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Archive for November, 2012

2012/11/27: Quick Post: Weekly Calendar and Weak Macro View

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

© 2012 ROHR International, Inc. All International rights reserved.

The weekly Report & Event Calendar is available through the link in the right hand column. The Summary Perspective will available soon. Yet there is also an interesting anomaly in the fundamental influences. And it is not just the strongish US economic data versus the trepidation over the potential plunge off the Fiscal Cliff… there is also the negative outlook into next year.

Some would like to believe that the US election settled enough ‘uncertainty’ to encourage an economic revival on the back of clearer parameters. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, as the pending legislation enactment (Obamacare in particular along with tax increases) and regulation acceleration (EPA takes on anything exuding carbon) in the US is going to be daunting for business. Wait until Obamacare foments the major cancellation of group healthcare plans at myriad small and mid-sized employers.

It’s good old Nanny State Taxulationism1 finally run amok, as the President and his cohorts distract the opposition with even more outrageous proposals to distract them from unwinding what’s already the law of the land. The questionable nomination of UN Ambassador Susan Rice for Secretary of State after her misguided or purposely misleading statements on the Benghazi tragedy comes to mind.

1Taxulationism © 2010 Alan Rohrbach & Jack Bouroudjian. All rights reserved unless explicitly waived

Def.: Combined impact of taxation, regulation and protectionism to an oppressive degree as official policy   

And the degree to which 2013 is going to be a tough year has not escaped the watchful eye of the better macro-economic observers…

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2012/11/23: Weekend Thought: There is NO Bond Bubble… more so Cash

November 23, 2012 Leave a comment

© 2012 ROHR International, Inc. All International rights reserved.

It has been the bane of the ‘Bond Vigilantes’ (adamant bond bears) that all of the fiscal crises and incipient signs of economic growth have not led to a major capitulation of the primary government bond markets. Another short term round of that is apparent today. Equities are spurred higher in this week’s recovery from the midmonth break, yet govvies are holding steady… just as they did yesterday in the face of the higher equities. And due to better than expected German economic numbers, today’s rally would seem more than just technical. Likely even more frustrating for the bond bears.

While we will get back to more current market discussion below, the current intermarket asset class performance must be taken in a twofold broader context. The first is that the immediate threat to the equities is less from a still troubled Europe, and more so on the question of whether the US Fiscal Cliff issues can be resolved timely. The far broader and more meaningful aspect for the sometimes seemingly mindless resilience of the govvies is the question of whether there actually is a Bond Bubble? Our assessment for some time has been that as long as equities appear risky due to government policy interference and instability, equities are indeed at risk due to the potential for significant global economic weakening.

This is our classical Taxulationism1 fear. While many assert that the US election clarifying the path forward is constructive, we are not at all sure. What it guarantees is that the ‘Obama program’ will mostly proceed according plan. Possibly business will indeed be able to plan around the higher taxes and aggressive regulatory enforcement. On the other hand, the Obama health care reform and other measures might just lead to layoffs, closures, and at the very least many individuals facing the higher expense of shifting to personal health care plans from company-sponsored ‘group’ policies. Also to say the least, not good for consumer discretionary spending.

1Taxulationism © 2010 Alan Rohrbach & Jack Bouroudjian. All rights reserved unless explicitly waived

 Def.: Combined impact of taxation, regulation and protectionism to an oppressive degree as official policy

If that is going to weigh on the US economy, the one developed economy showing some growth now is going to weaken once again into next year. And that is a good reason why people still feel more comfortable in bonds than equities. All of the capital flow data on fund investment tends to back that up as well. And yet, there isn’t really any ‘Bond Bubble’ as such. If anything, there is a ‘Cash Bubble’. That was brought home to roost in a Financial Times video report on Monday.

While the title of the piece is Marooned in a bond ‘safety bubble’ and the opening discussion focuses on bond vs. equities flows, the point which eminently come to the fore is there no historic basis for this. As the graph below illustrates…
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2012/11/22: Happy Thanksgiving with NO Ambush

November 22, 2012 Leave a comment

© 2012 ROHR International, Inc. All International rights reserved.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our US readers, with thanks especially for the lack of any big time volatile swing in the wake of an ambush today.

Let’s begin by allowing that there is typically only a marginal chance something will change radically on a surprise in one major financial center while another major center is closed for a holiday. That said, it has happened during some past instances. Tuesday’s Summary Perspective (available via the right hand column link) includes a brief discussion of how the US bond bears were ambushed in early November 2004. Back then the US bonds were under pressure near a critical low.

Yet on the November 11th Veteran’s Day holiday (also a Thursday) the German Bund saw some very weak German news that extended its rally to a significant new high. That deferred a broader US bond selloff for four months. In the event this time around the potential for Chinese and Euro-zone Advance PMI’s released today was certainly a concern for the recent equities rally back from a significant selloff. Yet, in the event they were constructive enough to allow equities to advance the last several days’ bid.

So no ambush this time, except…

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2012/11/20: Quick Post: Weekly Calendar and Perspective: All as expected on equities rally from support

November 20, 2012 Leave a comment

© 2012 ROHR International, Inc. All International rights reserved.

The weekly Report & Event Calendar along with the Weekly Summary Perspective are available through the links in the right hand column. The Perspective sums up what has been the anticipated reaction to the more cooperative tone of US Fiscal Cliff negotiations convened by the President at the end of last week. As was easy to surmise, both sides of the otherwise highly partisan US Congress were interested in appearing more reasonable. And then the equities were allowed to assume the best as Congress pulled that great European summer holiday trick: they left town. It could just as easily have been August in Europe instead of Thanksgiving in the US.

That came along with somewhat better US data (especially housing) and funding for Greece, which was enough to bring in a very sharp equities relief rally yesterday.  That sent the December S&P 500 future gapping up from last week’s test of 1,350 area back up to the 1,387 Tolerance of the 1,400 area overall congestion. And that is how the “worst case scenario” ending up getting turned around into the sharp rally.

At least for now…

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2012/11/16: The Petraeus Predicament and bye-bye Ho-Ho’s

November 16, 2012 Leave a comment

© 2012 ROHR International, Inc. All International rights reserved.

Let’s begin by allowing that some might wonder what the liquidation of Hostess Brands and today’s Congressional testimony on the Benghazi tragedy from General David Petraeus have to do with the markets? While the near term effect will likely be very transitory (if indeed there is any at all), they each provide interesting insights and might exert some influence on American politics and economics. It is especially the case right now that the former might have a very significant influence on the latter.

Maybe this all seems more important because it is a slow economic data day. An spite of that we will also have more to say about the state of the markets at the end of this post as well.

To begin, General Petraeus’ fall is a tragedy of Shakespearian proportions. A true American hero whose commitment to public service even at high personal physical and political risk was a model for others. And yet, feet of clay leave him embarrassed and dismissed from high public office. Not the first, but surely one of the most poignant examples of this. And as most readers who have followed the multiple threads of the Benghazi consulate attack are aware, there is at least one aspect which is now very interesting to all concerned: to what degree did his desire to keep his personal problem under wraps affect his performance as CIA chief during and in the immediate aftermath of that attack?

Conspiracy theories abound…

 

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2012/11/13: Quick Post: Weekly Calendar and Perspective: All as expected on equities choppy grind lower

November 13, 2012 Leave a comment

© 2012 ROHR International, Inc. All International rights reserved.

The weekly Report & Event Calendar along with the Weekly Summary Perspective are available through the links in the right hand column. The Perspective sums up what has been the anticipated reaction to last week’s re-election of the President. As we immediately noted when the election outcome became clear last Tuesday evening, it was the “worst case scenario.”

That is not a partisan statement intended to disparage the President. It was just that an ineffective highly, partisan split Congress with a President who got only the slightest majority of the popular vote was going to be problematic. That’s a prescription for a higher risk of actually heading over the Fiscal Cliff in January. At the very least, this is left us with a level of uncertainty that has created highly volatile, low liquidity markets. That was one of the main topics of discussion when I cohosted Jack Bouroudjian’s Jack B. Show today, extending into the still less than constructive influence out of Europe. Thanks to Jack for exploring all that.

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2012/11/06: Quick Post: Weekly Calendar and Brief Update access on US election pollsters really wrong in some ways

November 6, 2012 Leave a comment

© 2012 ROHR International, Inc. All International rights reserved.

The weekly Report & Event Calendar is available through the link in the right hand column. The Summary Perspective will available later today in deference to wanting to wait for today’s US market Close to update the technical projections in front of tomorrow’s election response. And whatever the election may bring, one thing is glaringly apparent as the Northeast continues to struggle with Super Storm Sandy’s aftermath…

…the counterintuitive ability of markets to anticipate the degree to which the rebuilding effort is a ‘GDP-positive’ event. That is to say our views on the positive market anticipation of the reconstruction and rehabilitation effort trumping the extreme human tragedy and near term economic damage have been vindicated. It will ultimately provide more of a bump to GDP that the loss of business from the downtime of the businesses waiting for replacement/repair of their buildings and equipment.

And now it’s on to the election follies. And we have covered that at some length in today’s institutional TrendView BRIEF UPDATE, we will leave it for you to decide whether the more aggressive polling organizations and analysts have it right. And whichever side prevails in the race for the White House, there is a case to be made the market response might seem a bit perverse because…

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