U.S. Economy

  • Sunday, December 4, 2016

  • 4:40 PM
    • The Trump transition team said last week that the search for Secretary of State had narrowed to four finalists, but apparently the president-elect isn't yet sold, as the field has been reopened.
    • Among the new candidates is Exxon Mobile (NYSE:XOM) Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson.
    • Sixty-four years old, Tillerson joined Exxon in 1975 and is set to retire next year.
    • Heads are already exploding in diplomatic circles over some of the president-elect's actions (such as receiving a call from the Taiwan president), and the appointment of Tillerson - who has no government or traditional foreign policy background - would surely be popcorn-worthy.
    • Exxon, of course, operates globally, so Tillerson is no stranger to interacting with foreign leaders at the highest levels. He's also had plenty of dealings with Vladimir Putin, and has spoken out against sanctions on Russia.
    | 4:40 PM | 53 Comments
  • 6:35 AM
    • Green Party candidate Jill Stein dropped a court case Saturday night that had sought to force a statewide recount of Pennsylvania's Nov. 8 presidential election after a judge ordered her campaign to post a $1M bond.
    • "Petitioners are regular citizens of ordinary means," wrote attorney Lawrence Otter.
    • She will pursue the effort instead in federal rather than state court. A recount began Thursday in Wisconsin, while another one could begin next week in Michigan.
    | 6:35 AM | 24 Comments
  • 5:33 AM
    • Following his intervention at Carrier, President-elect Donald Trump is targeting Rexnord (NYSE:RXN), another manufacturing company planning to relocate south of the United States.
    • "Rexnord of Indiana is moving to Mexico and rather viciously firing all of its 300 workers," he wrote on Twitter. "This is happening all over our country. No more!"
    • In October, Rexnord announced plans to move 300 union jobs and 75-80 supervisory jobs to Mexico, citing cheaper wages as the reason for leaving the U.S.
    • Previously: Trump speaks at Carrier plant (Dec. 02 2016)
    | 5:33 AM | 69 Comments
  • Saturday, December 3, 2016

  • 8:51 AM
    • via Laura Kusisto at the WSJ
    • It's turns out we're not all becoming hipsters, as a study by the Urban Land Institute finds suburbs outpacing downtowns in overall population growth, diversity, and even younger residents.
    • According to the report set for release on Monday, the suburban areas surrounding the 50 largest metro areas make up 79% of the population of those areas, but accounted for 91% of the population growth over the last 15 years. A full 75% of those between the ages of 25-34 live in the suburbs.
    • As has been true for decades, lower-cost housing and proximity to jobs are among the factors behind the move to the suburbs.
    • "We won’t solve the many economic and social challenges that are bound up in our housing market in the urban core,” says Stockton Williams, chief of the Urban Land Institute's Terwilliger Center.
    | 8:51 AM | 17 Comments
  • Friday, December 2, 2016

  • 2:48 PM
    • S&P's index of municipal bonds fell 3.46% in November, writes Amey Stone in Barron's. That's the worst month since September 2008, when it fell 4.83%.
    • That interest rates rose sharply in November isn''t news, but S&P Dow Jones' J.R. Rieger says potential tax reform in which the highest marginal tax rate could be cut lowers the attractiveness of municipals.
    • Munis, says Rieger, are a retail-driven market, and thus sensitive to changes in sentiment and quick reversals in fund flows.
    | 2:48 PM | 20 Comments
  • 12:03 PM
    • An all-star team of business leaders has been named to an advisory board that will talk to Donald Trump during his administration.
    • The President's Strategic and Policy Forum will be chaired by Blackstone (NYSE:BX) CEO Stephen Schwarzman. Other members include General Motors (NYSE:GM) CEO Mary Barra, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) CEO Doug McMillon, Disney (NYSE:DIS) CEO Bob Iger and former Boeing (NYSE:BA) CEO Jim McNerney.
    • The impressive list is a bit short of Silicon Valley leaders, while hedge fund managers are completely MIA.
    • The group is scheduled to meet for the first time in early February.
    | 12:03 PM | 58 Comments
  • 9:16 AM
    • That this has happened should be of zero surprise given the rise in the 10-year Treasury yield from 1.70% to 2.40%, and the cyclical nature of investor attitudes.
    • Markit takes note of the wave of short-selling in fixed-income ETFs on both sides of the Atlantic, with total demand to borrow ETFs jumping by one third. Shorts are most active in high yield, emerging market, and other long-dated ETFs.
    • The most shorted ETFs are the two big junk bond funds (HYG, JNK), and shorts actually slipped a little in November for HYG, but rose 14% for JNK (hedgers likely make up a sizable number of shorts, one would think). Shorts in the investment-grade LQD fell 56%.
    • Shorts in the iShares JPMorgan USD Emerging Market Bond Fund (NYSEARCA:EMB) soared 111%.
    | 9:16 AM | 2 Comments
  • 8:51 AM
    • The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index fell 0.17% in November.
    • The slight decline marks the fifth straight month that the gauge of small business hiring has fallen.
    | 8:51 AM
  • 8:42 AM
    • The first thing to check on hearing the news of a plunge in the unemployment rate to 4.6% from 4.9% would be the labor force participation rate, and indeed that did slip to 62.7% from 62.8%.
    • The number of persons "unemployed" of 7.4M compares to 7.79M a month earlier and 7.9M a year ago (when the UE rate was 5.0%).
    • The broader U-6 unemployment rate fell to 9.3% from 9.5%. One year ago, it was 9.9%.
    • Turning to the Establishment Data, nonfarm payrolls grew an inline 178K, but October's 161K gain was revised down to 142K. September, however, was revised higher by 17K jobs to 208K.
    • Average hourly earnings slipped $0.03 to $25.89; on a Y/Y basis, they're up 2.5%.
    • The average workweek was flat at 34.4 hours.
    • Treasury yields have turned lower since the print, the 10-year now down 4.2 basis points to 2.40%. TLT +0.6%, TBT -1.2%
    • Stock index futures have trimmed losses, with the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPYdown 0.15%, and the Nasdaq 100 (NASDAQ:QQQoff 0.2%.
    • Previously: Job gains inline; UE rate plunges to 4.6% (Dec. 2)
    | 8:42 AM | 6 Comments
  • 8:30 AM
    • November Nonfarm Payrolls: +178K vs. consensus +175K, +142K previous (revised from +161K).
    • Unemployment rate: 4.6% vs. 4.9% consensus, 4.9% previous.
    | 8:30 AM | 240 Comments
  • 8:01 AM
    • "The bar was so low on Trump to the point people were expecting markets will go down 80% and global depression - and now this guy is the Wizard of Oz and so expectations are high," Jeff Gundlach tells Reuters. "There's no magic here."
    • Back to reality: Government programs take time to implement, rising mortgage rates aren't great for the "psyche" of the middle class, and HRC supporters are in no mood to spend money.
    • "There is going to be a buyer's remorse period," he says. Yields (TLT, TBT) have peaked and should move sideways from here, the dollar (UUP, UDN) is going to fall, and gold's (NYSEARCA:GLD) next move is higher.
    • DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund (DBLTX, TOTL) is up 2.12% through the end of November, besting 63% of peers. On a three-year basis, it's up 3.46% annualized, topping 93% of peers.
    • Other notable funds: DBL, OPP, DBLFX
    | 8:01 AM | 35 Comments
  • 7:15 AM
    | 7:15 AM
  • 6:41 AM
    • Threatening to retaliate, Iran has called the U.S. Senate's vote to extend the Iran Sanctions Act for another decade a violation of the 2015 deal with six major powers that curbed its nuclear program.
    • ISA was first adopted in 1996 to punish investments in Iran's energy industry and deter its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
    • The extension was passed unanimously on Thursday.
    | 6:41 AM
  • 5:25 AM
    • The U.S. Labor Department's jobs report for November will be the last major piece of economic data before the Federal Reserve's next meeting.
    • Economists expect 175,000 jobs to be added, up from 161,000 in October, and they see the unemployment rate remaining at 4.9%.
    • If the report comes close to those estimates, the Fed will likely raise rates in December for the first time in a year.
    | 5:25 AM
  • 2:42 AM
    • President-elect Trump has chosen retired Marine General James Mattis to head the Department of Defense, making the announcement during a post-election victory rally in Cincinnati.
    • Because he only retired in 2013, 'Mad Dog' Mattis would need Congress to waive a requirement that a defense secretary be a civilian for at least seven years before taking the top job at the Pentagon.
    | 2:42 AM | 4 Comments
  • 2:06 AM
    • As part of a deal to keep jobs in the state, Carrier's parent company United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) has received $7M worth of tax breaks from the state of Indiana. In exchange, the firm will invest more than $16M in its Indianapolis plant.
    • Speaking at the factory, President-elect Donald Trump reiterated that American companies will not leave the country "without consequences," but promised to lower the U.S. business tax rate "from 35% to 15%" and do away with "many regulations."
    | 2:06 AM | 6 Comments
  • Thursday, December 1, 2016

  • 2:22 PM
    | 2:22 PM
  • 12:22 PM
    • The 10-year Treasury yield is up another seven basis points to 2.46%, and bank investors continue to wrap their arms around the idea that real regulatory loosening is on the way. The XLF is higher by 1.7% vs. the S&P 500 being flat. KBE +2.15%, KRE +2%.
    • Bank of America (BAC +3%), Citigroup (C +1.7%), JPMorgan (JPM +2.2%), MetLife (MET +2.2%), Voya Financial (VOYA +3.3%), Northern Trust (NTRS +3.5%).
    • Oil is now ahead 4.6% to $51.72, helping the XLE to another 2.1% advance.
    • Tech (QQQ -1.4%) continues to struggle. Its decline today puts it lower by 1.1% since the election vs. the S&P's 2.8% advance, a 10% gain for the XLE, and a 14.5% move for the XLF.
    | 12:22 PM | 15 Comments
  • 10:04 AM
    • October Construction Spending: +0.5% M/M to $1,172.6B, vs. +0.6% expected, 0.0% (revised from -0.40%) prior.
    • Private construction spending: $885.9B
    • Public construction spending: $286.79B.
    | 10:04 AM
  • 10:01 AM
    • ISM Manufacturing Index: 53.2 vs. 52.3 consensus and 51.9 prior.
    • Employment 52.3 vs. 52.9 prior.
    • Prices 54.5 vs. 54.5
    • New Orders 53.0 vs. 52.1
    • Production 56.0 vs. 54.6
    | 10:01 AM
  • 9:55 AM
    • The CCI edged up to 44.9 from 44.8 last week.
    • The State of the Economy Index increased to 37.8 from 37.5 a week ago.
    | 9:55 AM
  • 9:47 AM
    • The global bond rout picks up steam this morning, with the 10-year Treasury yield up another 5.3 basis points to 2.441%, the 10-year Bund up 4.8 bps to 0.324%, and 10-year yields in Italy, Spain, and the U.K. higher by similar amounts.
    • TLT -1.1%, TBT +2.2%
    • Rolling around the minds of fixed-income investors is incoming Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's consideration of locking in still-historically-low interest rates through the issuance of 50- or 100-year government bonds. At the pace rates are climbing, he better hurry.
    | 9:47 AM | 38 Comments
  • 9:47 AM
    | 9:47 AM
  • 8:30 AM
    • Initial Jobless Claims +17K at 268K vs. 253K consensus, 251K prior.
    • Continuing Claims +38K to 2.081M vs. 2.043M prior.
    | 8:30 AM | 14 Comments
  • 8:05 AM
  • 7:31 AM
    | 7:31 AM
  • 7:25 AM
    | 7:25 AM | 4 Comments
  • 6:41 AM
    • Financial markets are starting the month on uncertain footing following a dramatic November that featured a U.S. election, OPEC meeting and anticipation of Italy's upcoming referendum.
    • Despite surging oil prices, U.S. futures are following yesterday's slight decline on Wall Street, while the dollar retreats from a nine-month high.
    • The fixed income outlook isn't looking great either, with European sovereign debt looking vulnerable and Treasuries under pressure from the administration change.
    | 6:41 AM
  • Wednesday, November 30, 2016

  • 2:37 PM
    • Seven of 12 districts reported either moderate or modest growth in the survey period (early October until mid-November), according to the Fed's Beige Book.
    • Three other districts reported just slight growth, while things flattened out in the NY district.
    • The report also finds labor markets continuing to tighten in most districts, with staffing services having difficulty finding workers with wage increases.
    • Price pressures overall are seen as modest.
    • The FOMC's next meeting is Dec. 13-14, and the central bank is universally expected to hike 25 basis points.
    | 2:37 PM
  • 11:40 AM
    | 11:40 AM | 47 Comments
  • 10:00 AM
    | 10:00 AM
  • 9:45 AM
    | 9:45 AM
  • 8:52 AM
    • The 10-year Treasury yield was already higher this morning, possibly helped along by a 7% moonshot in oil on reports of a deal to cut production.
    • The yield jumped further - now up 7 basis points to 2.36% - following the November ADP report showing 216K jobs added vs. just 160K expected, and 147K in October.
    • Other news to consider is Trump's Secretary pick Steven Mnuchin and his promise of tax reform - including both personal and corporate tax cuts - as a first priority.
    • TLT -1.15%, TBT +2% premarket
    | 8:52 AM | 6 Comments
  • 8:30 AM
    • Oct. Personal Income and Outlays: Income +0.6% M/M vs. +0.4% consensus, +0.4% (revised) prior.
    • Consumer spending +0.3% M/M vs. +0.5% consensus, +0.7% prior (revised).
    • Core PCE Price Index +0.1% in-line with consensus, +0.1% prior.
    | 8:30 AM
  • 8:27 AM
    | 8:27 AM | 31 Comments
  • 8:15 AM
    | 8:15 AM | 4 Comments
  • 7:22 AM
    | 7:22 AM | 5 Comments
  • 7:01 AM
    • MBA Mortgage Applications
    • Composite Index: -9.4% vs. +5.5% last week.
    • Purchase Index: -0.2% vs. +19.0%.
    • Refinance Index: -16.0% vs. -3.0%.
    • 30 year mortgage rate sharply up to 4.23% vs. 4.16% last week.
    | 7:01 AM | 3 Comments
  • 4:41 AM
    • Corporate profits continued to rebound last quarter amid solid growth in the broader U.S. economy.
    • With GDP expanding at an annual rate of 3.2% in Q3, a key measure of after-tax earnings across U.S. corporations rose 5.2%, according to the Commerce Department.
    • That's the first annual increase since late 2014 and the strongest year-over-year growth since the fourth quarter of 2012.
    | 4:41 AM | 2 Comments
  • 4:33 AM
    • House Democrats will decide today if they want to keep Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at her top leadership spot, where she's been perched for the past 14 years.
    • Pelosi is seen as the favorite against Rep. Tim Ryan in the closed-door election, which will also decide other top positions that will help steer the Democrats for the next two years.
    | 4:33 AM | 3 Comments
  • 3:38 AM
    • NBC has confirmed the President-elect has picked Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary and Wilbur Ross as Commerce Secretary and will announce them as early as today.
    • Update (7:05 ET): The news is official.
    • Meanwhile, Mitt Romney offered praise for Trump's "impressive" transition effort following their second dinner together Tuesday night, as he nears the top of the list of potential candidates for Secretary of State.
    | 3:38 AM | 3 Comments
  • Tuesday, November 29, 2016

  • 10:55 AM
    | 10:55 AM
  • 10:06 AM
    • Cyber Monday online sales increased 12.1% to $3.45B, according to an updated tally from Adobe.
    • Mobile spending was up 34% Y/Y to $1.07B to account for 31% of sales.
    • Conversion rates were highest for desktops at 6.3%, while smartphones (2.8%) and tablets (5.1%) were still above holiday averages.
    • Holiday shopping season sales through November 28 are up 7.6% to $39.97B.
    • The S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:XRT) is up 1.81% over the last week to outpace broad market averages. The list of outperformers over the last week -- which factors in the pre-Thanksgiving buzz, Black Friday reports, and Cyber Monday numbers -- includes Target (NYSE:TGT), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS), Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT), Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS), DSW (NYSE:DSW), Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS), Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR), Dollar General (NYSE:DG), Burlington Stores (NYSE:BURL), The Children's Place (NASDAQ:PLCE) and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY). An interesting sidenote is that all the retail names listed above topped the return of Amazon for the 5-session period.
    | 10:06 AM | 14 Comments
  • 10:03 AM
    • Nov. Consumer Confidence107.1 vs. 101.0 consensus; 100.8 in Oct. (revised).
    • Present situation Index 130.3 vs. 123.1
    • Expectations Index 91.7 vs. 86.0
    | 10:03 AM | 2 Comments
  • 9:20 AM
    • The latest read from Redbook on retail store sales indicates that sales are up 1.2% Y/Y through the first 26 days of the month. Redbook expects a 1.4% gain for the month.
    • Department stores reported strength in gift merchandise, including small appliances, accessories and cold weather apparel. The level of discounting in the sector will have a large impact on how Q4 earnings play out.
    • Related stocks: DDS, M, SSI, BONT, SHLD, JCP, KSS, JWN.
    • Previously: Redbook Chain Store Sales: +2.2% (Nov. 29)
    | 9:20 AM | 15 Comments
  • 9:02 AM
    | 9:02 AM
  • 8:59 AM
  • 8:32 AM
    | 8:32 AM
  • 8:30 AM
    • GDP Q3+3.2% vs. +3.1% consensus and +2.9% prior.
    | 8:30 AM | 19 Comments
  • 7:15 AM
  • 6:47 AM
    • The U.S. Commerce Department will release its revised estimate of gross domestic product for Q3 at 8:30 a.m. ET.
    • Economists expect a slight upward revision to 3% growth, from 2.9% in the earlier estimate, potentially keeping the Fed on track to raise interest rates in December.
    • If correct, it would also remain the best quarter for economic growth in two years.
    | 6:47 AM
  • 5:06 AM
    • Amid reports of divisions in Donald Trump's transition team, a new contender has emerged for Secretary of State. David Petraeus, the former CIA director, met with the President-elect yesterday.
    • Trump is also likely to roll out what he will cast as a "dream team" today to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system.
    • Georgia congressman Tom Price will be named as Health and Human Services Secretary and Indiana consultant Seema Verma will take the helm of Medicare and Medicaid.
    | 5:06 AM | 2 Comments
  • Monday, November 28, 2016

  • 3:58 PM
    • BB&T had $4.5B in assets when John Allison took over in 1989, and $152B when he left in 2008. The lender weathered the financial crisis better than many, and Allison was neither a fan of the bailouts, nor the raft of regulations since.
    • Until recently, he's been CEO of the Cato Institute.
    • He's scheduled to meet with the president-elect today, though it's not clear whether it's about a formal role in the administration.
    • Source: WSJ
    | 3:58 PM | 3 Comments
  • 10:51 AM
    • Adobe backs up its prior forecast that Cyber Monday sales will increase 9.4% Y/Y to $3.36B. The firm says sales of $540M were piled up between midnight and 10:00 a.m. ET.
    • Adobe's forecast is a shade under the $3.5B anticipated by ComScore ($2.5B desktop, $1B mobile).
    • Volume leaders in the closely-watched electronics sector include the Sony PS4, Microsoft Xbox, Samsung 4K TVs, Apple iPads and Amazon Fire.
    • ETFs: IYK, UGE, SZK, IBUY.
    | 10:51 AM | 1 Comment
  • 10:40 AM
    | 10:40 AM
  • 7:30 AM
    • IBM predicts that online sales on Cyber Monday will increase at a double digit rate from a year ago.
    • The company also predicts that overall holiday period online sales for retailers will increase 13.89%.
    • A big issue in the retail sector is if the smaller players can keep pace with the blazing starts reported for heavyweights Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart and Best Buy.
    • Source: Press Release
    | 7:30 AM
  • 6:36 AM
    • Donald Trump's economic plans have received strong backing from the OECD, with the international organization predicting the President-elect's infrastructure policy and tax cuts will fire up the U.S. economy.
    • It forecast growth at 2.3% in 2017 and 3% the following year. That would in turn drive the unemployment rate in the world's biggest economy down from the current 4.9% to 4.5% in 2018.
    | 6:36 AM
  • 4:58 AM
    • The Clinton campaign is backing Green Party candidate Jill Stein's efforts to take a fresh look at voting results, stating it planned be a participant in recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
    • President-elect Donald Trump called the decision a "scam" and "nothing would change," claiming that he won the popular vote as well as the electoral college if "the millions of people who voted illegally" were deducted.
    | 4:58 AM | 14 Comments
  • 3:37 AM
    | 3:37 AM | 11 Comments
  • 3:05 AM
    • The future of U.S.-Cuban relations has been thrown in doubt after the passing of Fidel Castro.
    • On the campaign trail President-elect Donald Trump criticized Obama for re-establishing diplomatic ties with Cuba, and his incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus told Fox News Sunday that Trump is willing to reverse the policy.
    • In March, Obama made the first visit to Cuba by a U.S. president in 88 years.
    • Related CEF: CUBA
    | 3:05 AM | 7 Comments
  • Sunday, November 27, 2016

  • 7:11 PM
    • ShopperTrak reports a 1% drop in store visits during the two-day period covering Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
    • The slight dip in traffic was largely anticipated as e-commerce growth continues to soar. Online sales for the Black Friday to Thanksgiving time frame were up 17.7% to $5.27B, according to an estimate from Adobe.
    • The Super Bowl of online shopping starts at midnight. The National Retail Federation expects 122M Americans to shop online tomorrow on Cyber Monday vs. 121M last year.
    • Early analysis indicates that Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) through its Jet.com add-on and Target (NYSE:TGT) via hard-hitting promotions are significant players in keeping up with Amazon online this holiday season.
    • Previously: Black Friday wrap: Records fall, retail winners and losers (Nov. 25)
    | 7:11 PM | 5 Comments
  • Saturday, November 26, 2016

  • 1:29 PM
    • Taking pains to try and appear to be keeping the whole affair at arms length, the Clinton campaign nevertheless says it plans to be a participant in recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
    • From a blog post from Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias: "Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides."
    • Green Party candidate Jill Stein says she's nearly raised all of her $7M goal needed to initiate recounts in those three battleground states (she's already done so in Wisconsin).
    • Trump's combined margin of victory in the three states was 107K votes, and while Elias says the campaign doesn't think that can be overcome, "we have an obligation" to those who cast ballots for HRC.
    | 1:29 PM | 229 Comments
  • Friday, November 25, 2016

  • 9:45 AM
    | 9:45 AM
  • 8:30 AM
    | 8:30 AM | 10 Comments
  • 7:24 AM
    | 7:24 AM | 1 Comment
  • Thursday, November 24, 2016

  • 8:03 AM
  • 7:58 AM
    • Black Friday isn't as big as it once was due to earlier holiday deal hysteria, but it's still a very significant day for retail.
    • The National Retail Federation expects 137.4M Americans to hit stores at some point over the weekend and around 74% of that population to go shopping tomorrow.
    • That's about on par with last year's figures as online sales become a bigger part of the holiday. Adobe even expects Black Friday web purchases to top $3B for the first time, up 11.5% from 2015.
    • #BlackFriday
    | 7:58 AM | 8 Comments
  • 5:37 AM
    • The dollar is climbing past more of last year's peaks against the euro, with only the March 2015 high of $1.0457 standing in the way of a push towards parity that banks are again saying is on the cards.
    • With U.S. markets out for the Thanksgiving holiday, trade will be thinner, but the dollar is expected to extend its surge after another strong batch of U.S. economic data on Wednesday.
    • The greenback is now worth more than 7.5% against a basket of major trading partners than it was three months ago.
    • ETFs: UUP, UDN, USDU
    | 5:37 AM | 19 Comments
  • Wednesday, November 23, 2016

  • 3:11 PM
    • For much of the country, the limit on single-family mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae (OTCQB:FNMA +1.6%) or Freddie Mac (OTCQB:FMCC +0.3%) has remained at $417K since 2006, but that's headed up to $424K next year.
    • The move comes as the FHFA's Home Price Index shows average home prices finally moving their level from Q3 of 2007 (which the agency designates as the pre-crash level).
    • Loan limits will also head higher in "high-cost areas" - to $636K, or 150% of the $424K level.
    | 3:11 PM | 45 Comments
  • 2:04 PM
    • In no surprise given what we've heard since the November 1-2 FOMC meeting, the just-released minutes of that affair shows the Fed seeing further improvement in labor markets and inflation, with most agreeing that a rate hike is coming "relatively soon."
    • Fed Funds futures are pricing in a 100% chance of a move when the FOMC meets next month.
    | 2:04 PM | 9 Comments
  • 12:20 PM
    • GDPNow sees 3.6% growth for Q4, the same as one week ago. There's been some strong economic news since, but also misses yesterday in existing home sales and this morning in new home sales.
    • Of interest is the Blue Chip consensus forecast, which continues to trend lower, and now sees Q4 growth of just about 2.2%.
    | 12:20 PM
  • 11:32 AM
    • Average rates for 30-year fixed mortgages breached 4% and reached their highest levels since July 2015, according to the latest Freddie Mac survey.
    • The 30-year fixed averaged 4.03% for the week ending Nov. 23, up from last week's 3.94% - which was a huge spike from 3.57% the week before - and the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.25%, up from last week when it averaged 3.14%.
    • At this time a year ago, the 30-year and 15-year fixed rates averaged a respective 3.95% and 3.18%.
    • ETFs: XHB, ITB
    | 11:32 AM | 2 Comments
  • 10:30 AM
    • We'll get today's weakish data out of the way first - jobless claims unexpectedly jumped last week, and new home sales disappointed in October (and Sept.'s print was revised lower).
    • On the other hand, there was an unexpected big lift in consumer sentiment since the election, durable goods for October, surprised to the upside, and the 10-year Treasury yield has popped to more than a one-year high of 2.39%.
    • The dollar index has surged to its highest level in about a decade, with particular strength against the yen (NYSEARCA:FXY) and euro (NYSEARCA:FXE). UUP +0.7%
    • Gold, on the other hand, continues its big retreat, down 2.15% to $1,185 per ounce - its lowest price since February. GLD -2.15%
    | 10:30 AM | 85 Comments
  • 10:15 AM
    • "The initial reaction of consumers to Trump's victory was to express greater optimism about their personal finances as well as improved prospects for the national economy," says Survey of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin.
    • The Index of Consumer Sentiment unexpectedly popped higher to 93.8 from its initial read this month of 91.6, and from 87.2 in October.
    • The Index of Consumer Expectations jumped all the way to 85.2 from 76.8 a month earlier.
    • More from Curtin: "The post-election boost in optimism was widespread, with gains recorded among all income and age subgroups and across all regions of the country."
    • Previously: Treasury rout is back on (Nov. 23)
    | 10:15 AM | 8 Comments
  • 10:00 AM
    • Nov. Consumer Sentiment: 93.8 vs. 91.6 expected and 91.6 prior.
    • Current Economic Conditions 107.3
    • Index of Consumer Expectations 85.2
    | 10:00 AM
ETF Screener: Search and filter by asset class, strategy, theme, performance, yield, and much more
ETF Performance: View ETF performance across key asset classes and investing themes
ETF Investing Guide: Learn how to build and manage a well-diversified, low cost ETF portfolio
ETF Selector: An explanation of how to select and use ETFs