Counterparties

MORNING BID – Long in the tooth

September 3, 2014

A frequent refrain among commentators is that this ongoing growth in the stock market has to ‘come to an end’ at some point because of, well, mostly because it’s been going for a while and that it’s gone entirely too far in the last few years.

MORNING BID – European Deflation

August 28, 2014

Never say the Europeans aren’t cautious. The dollar has been on a roll of late, in part because of the market’s growing expectation for more stimulus from the European Central Bank before long that would include some kind of larger-scale quantitative easing program after a speech last week from Mario Draghi that European markets seem to still be reacting to several days later. Reuters, however, reported that the ECB isn’t quite likely to do move quite so fast (heard this one before) and that took some of the wind out of the dollar’s sails and boosted the euro a bit.

MORNING BID – Retail therapy

August 13, 2014

All that’s left for investors now when it comes to earnings season is the shouting, but if the rest of the retailers post results anything like Kate Spade did on Tuesday, the shouts will be screams of terror rather than anything that assuages investors over the state of the overall economy. Kate Spade’s executives went into some detail on its conference call as to the nature of its margins shortfall – which Belus Capital chief equity strategist and longtime retail analyst Brian Sozzi said are not likely to improve until the middle of 2015 – and the company then did itself no favors by declaring that it wouldn’t be discussing the margin issues any further on the call. (Craig Leavitt, the CEO, violated that rule to some degree, but basically, investors don’t like it when you tell them flat-out that you’re not going to talk about your problems, and when you’re a company with a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 77.5 and a price-to-book value of 119, that’s going to be particularly true.)

MORNING BID – What’s all the Yellen about?

July 15, 2014

Rants from TV commentators aside, the market’s going to be keenly focused on Janet Yellen’s congressional testimony today, with a specific eye toward whether the Fed chair moderates her concerns about joblessness, under-employment and the overall dynamism of the labor force that has been left somewhat wanting in this recovery. The June jobs report, where payrolls grew by 288,000, was welcome news even as the economy continues to suffer due to low labor-force participation and weak wage growth.

MORNING BID – Closet cases

July 10, 2014

Usually when retailers warn of earnings weakness – particularly if they’re saying the entire economy is in a funk – there are two possible explanations:

MORNING BID – All bonds, all the time

May 29, 2014

There’s nothing dull these days about the bond market, which is exhibiting an unforeseen, profound level of strength that’s spread through the various asset classes on the fixed income side, and that continues to remain unexpected for the most part.

MORNING BID – Inflation situation, what’s up with that?

April 30, 2014

The Federal Reserve faces a relatively easy decision at the end of the day – it is going to continue to reduce its monthly bond buying, this time to $45 billion a month, and truth be told the action in the bond market of late has made things a bit easier for them when it comes to worrying about slack in the economy – long-term rates have not skyrocketed to nowhere as some had thought might happen, so that’s encouraging – mortgage rates are actually down by about 20 basis points on the year (yes, they rose dramatically last year, but they were somewhere in the realm of nothing early in 2013).

MORNING BID – Pitfalls and switchbacks

March 31, 2014

This week profiles as one that contains a bunch of potential minefields that could challenge the market’s prevailing view on what’s to happen with major market-moving events.

MORNING BID – But I never could find…(sha na na na, sha na na na na)

February 7, 2014

An odd jobs report sets the tone for what’s likely to be another choppy day in the markets – stock futures plunged, briefly, after the Labor Department said nonfarm payrolls grew by just 113,000, but the household survey saw a drop (again) in the unemployment rate to 6.6 percent on a big gain in jobs in that survey. An odd decline of 29,000 in government payrolls offset the overall about-at-trend-but-let’s-not-kid-ourselves-about-this-being-awesome 140,000 or so gains in the private jobs market, so there’s a little bit to like, some to shake one’s head at, and still more to wonder about how many people didn’t get to work because their feet froze to the ground when they tried to get into their cars.

Growing pains

November 11, 2013

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