Philly Fed: State Coincident Indexes increased in 46 states in December

From the Philly Fed: The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released the coincident indexes for the 50 states for December 2014. In the past month, the indexes increased in 46 states and remained stable in four, for a one-month diffusion index of 94. Over the past three months, the indexes increased in 50 states… Read More..

Slope of Hope vs. Reality: Greek Assets Hammered, 3-Year Yield Near 17%; Worst Day Ever for Greek Bank Stocks

Investors who plowed into Greek assets ahead of Mario Draghi's QE €60 billion a month bond-buying spree figuring the ECB could paper over this mess have been pounded almost nonstop recently.Today alone, Greek bank shares plunged 22-29%, and yield on the 3-year Greek treasury hit 16.97%.Worst Day in History for Greek Bank SharesBloomberg reports Greek… Read More

Three Perspectives on Market Breadth and the Story They Tell

There are several classes of indicators I routinely follow to track market strength and weakness.  These include measures of sentiment, breadth, momentum, volatility, correlation, and market participation (behavior of large market participants).  Among these measures, there is often considerable statistical overlap.  Because they are correlated, they are not truly measuring different things.  In an upcoming… Read More

MBA: “Mortgage Applications decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey”

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly SurveyMortgage applications decreased 3.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 23, 2015. This week’s results include an adjustment to account for the Martin Luther King holiday. ...The Refinance… Read More

Bitcoin Trading Alert: Tense Days Ahead

In short: no speculative positions. The Winklevoss twins seem to be connected to everything about Bitcoin that has hit the media recently. This is an exaggeration but the brothers have been reported to be working on a new ... Recent Commentaries | Safehaven.com… Read More

House Prices: Better Seasonal Adjustment; Real Prices and Price-to-Rent Ratio in November

This morning, S&P reported that the National index increased 0.8% in October seasonally adjusted. However, it appears the seasonal adjustment has been distorted by the high level of distressed sales in recent years. Trulia's Jed Kolko wrote in August: "Let’s Improve, Not Ignore, Seasonal Adjustment of Housing Data"The housing crisis substantially changed the seasonal pattern… Read More

BLS: Forty-two States had Unemployment Rate Decreases in December

From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment SummaryRegional and state unemployment rates were generally lower in December. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from November, four states had increases, and four states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.... Mississippi had the highest unemployment… Read More

Wednesday: FOMC Statement

I don't expect much to change in the FOMC statement. I expect "patient" to remain: "Based on its current assessment, the Committee judges that it can be patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy."And this sentence will probably be dropped (it seemed like a one time transition sentence): "The Committee sees this… Read More

Swiss Franc Yield Curve Negative for 12 Years; Bond Crash – Austrian Bank Raiffeisen; Another One Bites the Dust

The casualties continue to pile up in the wake of the Swiss National Bank dropping its peg to the euro.(See Rabbit Hole Intervention Fails: Wild Moves in Swiss Franc as Switzerland Abandons Euro Peg; Morals of the Story). The first moral of the story was "Don't borrow money in other currencies, especially long-term mortgages."The same… Read More

A Fresh Look at Stock Market Sentiment

I recently took a look at changes in the number of shares outstanding of the SPY ETF as a sentiment measure.  When traders are bullish, shares are created in the ETF; when they are bearish, shares are redeemed.  This is a useful sentiment gauge, because it reflects what traders are actually doing in the market… Read More