S&P 500
2070.65
+9.42 +0.45%
Dow Indu
17804.80
+26.65 +0.15%
Nasdaq
4767.21
+18.81 +0.39%
Crude Oil
57.13
+3.49 +6.04%
Gold
1195.870
-2.375 -0.20%
Euro
1.2229
0.0000 0.00%
US Dollar
89.603
+0.370 +0.48%
Strong

Economy Post-'Jobs’ Report; Real or Memorex?

Now it gets interesting because early in the bailout process the Fed talked about achieving certain employment milestones before hiking interest rates.  Here we are at the 10th consecutive month with 200,000+ job gains (321,000 in November) and the jobless rate down to 5.8% and still there is a question on when or whether ZIRP will be withdrawn?

Well I am a visual learner so I for one can never get enough pictures to inform my thinking.  Pardon the redundancy in this chart’s frequent appearances in NFTRH

sp500
Source: SlopeCharts

The rectangular red box is zero interest rate policy (ZIRP), which is 6 years old this month.  If we play it straight we would be expected to believe what the mainstream believes, that the “Great Recession” is a thing of the past and that something built of abnormal policy can proceed per normal metrics and assumptions when abnormal policy is removed.  I don’t buy it. [Read more...]

Semi Equipment Book-to-Bill Ratio Moderating

Since we were the only ones (so far as I could see) even talking about the Semiconductor equipment industry ramp up (and positive implications on US manufacturing) back in early 2013 I think we should continue to tend the sector and finish what we started.

Last month the SOX took a massive dive down to our noted long-term support area in a giant swoosh of hype (coming from the financial media by way of one company’s outlook) and emotion by way of stampeding herds trying to get out at all costs.  It was just a setup as the SOX resides at new recovery highs this weekend.

From my days in manufacturing (most of which were spent not directly participating in this sector) I remember the Semiconductor Book-to-Bill ratio (B2B) as a pretty heavily watched indicator among industry types.  From Semi.org:

“The SEMI Book-to-Bill Report provides a first look at the book-to-bill ratio for North American Headquartered Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturers. The three-month average global bookings and billings are a strong indicator for trends in the worldwide semiconductor industry. SEMI follows the protocol established by the U.S. Department of Commerce in publishing our figures only on a three-month average basis. We do this in order to smooth out the natural volatility in bookings. This report is distributed monthly approximately three weeks after the close of each month. Categories covered include front-end (wafer processing/mask/reticle/wafer manufacturing/fab facilities) equipment and final manufacturing (assembly/packaging/test) equipment.”

On November 20 Semi.org published its most recent B2B data.  First their summary and then a table covering the May through October 2014 period. [Read more...]

Goldzilla

"History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man" – Blue Oyster Cult, Godzilla

I would have written off the gold sector long ago in its ongoing bear market had I thought for one moment that gold's utility as insurance against the acts of monetary madmen/women in high places had been compromised in any way. On the contrary, the monetary metal is simply having its price marked down in a bear market while its value, especially given its current price and all that has gone on in the financial system over the last 3 years remains just fine.

Indeed gold, an element dug out of the ground for centuries, once as money and now as a marker to sound money systems will one day be shown to be a calm oasis from the fallout to global monetary shenanigans currently ongoing. At least it would be an oasis to those who have valued it as such. It is going to feel like a giant dinosaur (minus the kitsch value) ripping through a city built on paper to the multitudes who have taken the bait on the current too big to fail global inflationary operations. They will fail. Timing is the only question. [Read more...]

Let's Take A Look At The Currency Markets

In light of the news from the land of the rising sun and the sinking currency, let’s reserve NFTRH 315’s only real charting for a big picture monthly view of currencies, to which we usually give just a brief update, and then some misc. big picture monthly charts [not included in this excerpt] as we try to gain perspective on things that may seem illogical to our rational minds.

xjy

Yen is losing the next level of support.  BoJ saw that support too. I’ll bet they also took note of the big October bounce and found it unacceptable.

xeu

The Euro is losing the support zone after bouncing above it in-month. [Read more...]

A Closer Look at the US Dollar

Using the standard weekly currency chart we followed along for months as the Euro found resistance at the long-term downtrend line as expected, the commodity currencies long ago lost major support and non-confirmed the commodity complex and the US dollar moved from a hold of critical support, to a trend line breakout, to its current impulsive and over bought status.  It is time now for a closer look at Uncle Buck since this reserve currency is key to so many asset markets the world over.

As the charts below show, USD is over bought on both daily and weekly time frames.  But the monthly is interesting because its big picture view is that of a basing/bottoming pattern, and it is bullish.  That is a long-term director, so regardless of what happens in the short-term, a process of unwinding the hyper-inflationist ‘Dollar Collapse’ cult is ongoing.  Signs point to disinflation toward deflation.

We’ll start with a daily chart and then ascend right through the weekly and then the monthly to take the pulse of USD.

As noted, the daily chart below is very over bought.  It is currently consolidating the big jerk upward that has come against Euro-negative policy from the ECB and an increasing drum beat about an eventual rise in the Fed Funds rate in the US.  People are finally catching on to the fact that the US economy has been strengthening since early 2013 and that the Fed is looking out of touch holding ZIRP despite this strength.

So the dollar is getting bid up.  The question the chart asks is whether the current consolidation will work-off of another over bought situation, or is a prelude to a reversal?  The answer is going to be key to the bounce potential in many asset markets, but especially commodities, which are generally tanking and precious metals, with gold eventually due to firm after it finishes its bear market and its fundamentals come in line.

usd.daily

You will recognize the weekly chart as it is the top panel of our long-running multi-currency chart.  RSI has been added to this view to show the over bought level.  Note that the weekly has joined the daily in over bought status on this most recent drive, whereas it was merely healthy – and not over bought – the last time the daily registered an over bought reading in July. [Read more...]

Sentiment Shifting for Gold Bugs

From a post on the HUI at the site last week:

“There are worse things that could happen than filling a gap and scattering the wrong kind of gold bugs back out.  Then it would be up to the longer-term charts to do the heavy lifting if the daily does fulfill this downside potential.”

The gap was filled, the top end of the anticipated support zone was reached and indeed, the wrong [i.e. momentum players] kind of gold bugs are scattering back out.  The hard sell down on Thursday was very likely due in large part to the selling by traders with a fetish about gold as a geopolitical or terror hedge.

We should continue to tune out these people and while we are at it, tune out the ‘Indian wedding season’ and ‘China demand’ pumpers in favor of real fundamentals like gold’s relationship to commodities and the stock market, the Banking sector’s relationship to the broad market, Junk Bond to Quality credit spreads and US Treasury bond yield relationships.

It’s boring stuff compared to all that demand in China, Modi’s pro-gold regime in India and of course how we are all going to go down the drain amidst war, terror and an age of global conflict unless we have a ‘crisis hedge’.  The only terror gold investors should care about is that perpetrated upon paper/digital currencies by global policy makers.

So last week was good in that it blew out those who were hanging on through the 2 month long grind that did indeed turn out to be short-term topping patterns.  I don’t mind telling you that my patience was tested by the bullish spirits, especially on up days with Ukraine in the headlines.  I did not think it would take 2 months to resolve, but every time the sector looked like it would crack, a new geopolitical flashpoint would show up in the mainstream financial media.

That condition is now being closed out.  Taking its place could be a bottom of at least short-term significance (i.e. to a bounce).  We have a fundamental backdrop that is not fully formed and a big picture technical backdrop that has degraded in gold and silver and is not proven in the equities.  So whether we bounce only, go bullish for an extended rally or even bull market, or (and it’s still on the table folks) fail into the ‘final plunge’ scenario, we are dealing in potentials, not confirmed trends.

Moving on let’s check sector sentiment.

st.au.optix

The current hook down in gold’s Optix (Sentimentrader.com’s aggregated Public Opinion data) is correcting recent surges in optimism.  This is coming amidst a small positive trend.  ‘Uh oh, dumb money is getting positive!’ think contrarians anxiously.  But the historical view shows that the Optix rises in the initial stages of a bull market. [Read more...]

A Look At The U.S. Stock Market Using Weekly Charts

With the help of some of NFTRH‘s standard weekly charts, we take a snapshot of the US stock market.

The Bank index is unbroken from a weekly perspective.  People will talk about an H&S but it is not activated until the trend channel and the neckline (a well defined support area) are broken.  BKX, along with the Semiconductors has been a notable leader to the entire surprise* phase of the bull market out of Q4, 2012.

bkx

A breakdown of support would break this cycle of the bull market (if this is a secular bull market as many experts think, then the bull would live again after the cycle completes).  It would probably be healthiest to the secular bull case for a breakdown to occur into a relatively small cyclical bear market. [Read more...]

Death of the Dollar? Gold an Inflation Hedge? Really?

Take a look around the gold bull landscape and tell me how many of them are featuring a chart like this, showing the US dollar in a bullish short-term stance (to go with the weekly bullish stance we have noted for so long in the ‘Currencies’ segment).

usd.daily

This is not to say that the US dollar has real value. How can it when it is hopelessly dragged down by a national debt-for-growth obsession. But as with gold, value is one thing and price is quite another. It is just that one (USD) receives a price bid due to a ‘nowhere else to hide’ sort of mentality by the majority when asset market liquidity becomes constrained and the other (Gold) receives a more solid value bid, over time.

We saw what happened when gold got the price bid as the panicked ‘Knee Jerks’ flooded in during the acute phase of the Euro crisis in 2011. That was the exclamation point on the first major phase of the gold bull market and the dawn of a cyclical bear market.

We continue to await economic contraction, in which the price of the USD can benefit for a while as capital comes out of assets and into what it thinks is a safe haven. Gold remember, has been soundly discredited as a store of value and that has been the bear market’s job… well done I might add. [Read more...]

The Real Price of Gold

The real price of gold, as adjusted by commodities is making some nice baby steps toward rebounding.  Here is a picture of the gold ETF vs. certain key commodity ETF’s and markets, that show the progress of what would be the most desirable condition (a rising real price) for a healthy gold bull.

gld.dbc

And then of course there are other notable measures like Gold vs. Stock Markets.  Here is the progress vs. SPY and EZU… [Read more...]

ZIRP Gains More Attention

We have been talking about how there had been no bubble in US stocks and how the economy is doing just fine.  We have also been talking about how the bubble is in policy and that the economy and stock bull market have been created – yes, like Frankenstein’s monster once again – out of this policy bubble.

Enter economist Joseph LaVorgna of Deutche Bank…  Fed needs to start raising rates, top forecaster says.

Will wonders never cease?  As you may know, I read the financial MSM to get a feel for what the casual market participant is reading, what the majority is being told is the truth.  Usually it is some combo of self-promoters and agenda (sometimes political) driven bulls and bears.

“The economy is improving much faster than the Fed is willing to acknowledge, LaVorgna said in an interview. At the current rate of hiring, more jobs will be created this year than in any year since 1999.”

Exactly, and still they inflate.  He correctly puts the focus on the financial (and national) disgrace called ZIRP as opposed to the theater surrounding QE’s long term bond purchases.

“In six months, the unemployment rate will be below 6% and the core inflation rate will be at 2%,” he said. “We are way ahead of schedule. We’re going to get to 5.2% or 5.4% a year ahead of schedule.”

“The Fed is behind the proverbial curve,” he said. “The Fed should be raising rates.”

It’s all that this corner of the interwebs has been hammering on for over a year now.  If the economy is at all real, get rid of QE and end ZIRP. [Read more...]

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