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Wednesday November 29, 2006 - 10:52:05 GMT
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Searching for Waldo

Key News
· Japan's industrial output rose unexpectedly in October. (Reuters)
· Key Reports:
7:00a.m. MBA Refinancing Index. For Nov 17 Wk. Previous: +6.5%.
8:30a.m. Initial Jobless Claims. For Nov 18. Expected: +2K. Previous: -2K.
10:00a.m. End-Nov U Of Mich Consumer Sentiment. Expected: 93.0. Previous: 93.6.
10:00a.m. DJ-BTMU Business Barometer. For Nov 11. Previous: +0.1%.


“Federal Reserve officials are getting a first-hand lesson in the law of diminishing returns: Try as they might, they can't seem to get the same mileage from their hawkish rhetoric.”

Caroline Baum

FX Trading – Searching for Waldo
The Fed keeps talking about all this “inflation.” Is it a game of Where’s Waldo?
Our search is on…

We can’t find Waldo in the 30-yr T-Bond:

Nope! Can’t seem to locate him in the CPI chart either:


Hmmm…he seems to be missing from the latest Durable Goods orders…an October plunge of
8.3% …

Source: Census

And I doubt we’d find Waldo here, given that the price decline for new homes is falling off the chart…a fall of 3.5% in October, the largest drop in recorded history…(P.S. those gray areas on the chart below represent official recessions)

Source: Northern Trust

The bond “vigilantes” don’t seem to be finding Waldo either…as the curve inverts even further in the face of tough talk from Mr. Bernanke…

There is some talk that among those more adept at Where’s Waldo than we, suggesting he is hiding somewhere in unit labor costs…

But if we are finally starting to see the off the charts fall in housing prices scare the heck out of some of the 69% of US households that own such assets, doesn’t it make sense they might stop buying cars and appliances as reflected in the Durable Goods number? And if that trend continues, which it just might, isn’t it likely business that produce that stuff will start needed fewer employees to produce that stuff? And if those dwelling prices keep tumbling, won’t it be harder for owners to use them as collateral to withdraw cash to buy new cars or appliances? (Read self-feeding aspect here…)

Feedback loop…stock market? ...Maybe a place where Waldo is really hiding….

S&P 500 futures daily:

But if Waldo’s hiding here, it may only be temporary…as Paul Kasriel of Northern Trust surmises… [Our emphasis]

“In addition to revisions to third-quarter GDP data, the Commerce Department will release its first estimate of third-quarter corporate profits tomorrow, November 29. As Chart 1 shows, quarter-to-quarter profit growth slowed sharply in the second quarter – to 1.45% from 12.60% in the first quarter. Based on third-quarter labor cost data, I suspect that third-quarter corporate profit growth, measured sequentially, will remain tepid, at best. On a year-over-year basis, however, corporate profit growth is likely to appear rosier given the Katrina-depressed profits in the third quarter of 2005.

“With unit labor costs rising relative to selling prices and with sales volumes slowing, it is difficult to see how corporate profit growth in the near-term can be very strong. And if profit growth slows, where will corporations get the funds to continue “retiring” equity at a record pace – a factor supporting share prices and household deficit pending?”

Is the US dollar already telling the story—Waldo has left the building!

S&P 500 Index vs. US $ Index Daily:

Jack Crooks, Black Swan Capital


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09:00 DE- IFO Survey
13:30 US- Housing Starts/Permits
13:30 US- Current Account
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15:00 US- Existing Homes Sales
15:30 US- EIA Crude
Thu 21 Dec
03:00 JP- BOJ Decision
13:30 CA- CPI & Retail Sales
13:30 US Weely Jobless
13:30 US- GDP
Fri 22 Dec
09:30 US- GB- GDP
13:30 US- core PCE Deflator & Presonal Income
15:00 US- New Homes Sales
15:00 US- final University of Michigan
17:00 US- early Closes
Mon 25 Dec
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  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH- Medium- Tue --13:30 GMT-- US- Housing Starts and Permits. Leading indicators of activity

  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH-Medium- Wed --15:00-- US- Existing Homes Sales. Top Housing statistic
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