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It Feels Like Inflation

By: Gary Tanashian of Biiwii.com

Last night’s post on the US stock market ended as follows:

“As far as the Fed and its puny rate hikes are concerned, that is irrelevant.  This market is flipping them the bird.  Markets can rise a long way before a rate hike regime finally kills them.  It feels like inflation folks.”

This prompted a question from an NFTRH subscriber about what markets would benefit, and in what differing ways would they benefit if an inflationary phase comes to dominate?  That is a far reaching question and a difficult one as well, because inflation’s effects have a way of being unpredictable (how many would have answered ‘US stock market’ in the spring of 2011 to the question “where will the post-crisis inflation to date manifest on this cycle”?).

Last weekend, in an NFTRH 396 excerpt we talked about Applied Materials stellar quarterly report and what it might mean for the economy, the Fed, the gold sector and most of all the idea of an inflationary backdrop becoming more readily apparent (2003-2007 Greenspan style). [Read more...]

Pro-Inflation? Anti-USD?

By: Gary Tanashian of Biiwii.com

This is the opening segment from the May 15 edition of Notes From the Rabbit Hole, NFTRH 395.  I am releasing it for public viewing because it seems, the title’s question has come roaring to the forefront this week.  So the information (including the charts) is slightly dated, but becoming intensely relevant as of now.

We anticipated an ‘inflation trade’ or Anti-USD asset market bounce and this has been going on since mid-February. That was when silver wrestled leadership from the first mover, gold (which bottomed in December and turned up in January), and a whole host of other global asset markets began to rise persistently.

gold.spx.crb.silver.eem

So why again did the US stock market react negatively to good economic data on Friday? [Read more...]

Various Markets; Weekly Views

By: Gary Tanashian of NFTRH

It occurs to me that in public writing I tend to bludgeon people with macro fundamentals (like gold vs. positively correlated markets, yield relationships and even confidence in global policy makers), market indicators (VIX, Equity Put/Call, Gold-Silver ratio, Sentiment, Participation, etc.) and other views beneath the surface of things. So much so that I sometimes forget that people might like to see simple nominal charting as a frame of reference.

We update charts like these every week in NFTRH, but I have done relatively few for public review. So here it is, a simple weekly chart update of various markets, with very limited commentary interference from me.

US Stock Market

As you can see, US indexes have so far held critical support. Best projected case would be a bounce to SPX 2000 (+/-). The market continues to roll over on the intermediate trend as of now.

spx, ndx and dow

If the above is suspect to bearish, the broader US indexes are just bearish. Lower lows and lower highs abound and resistance is noted. [Read more...]

Semiconductor Equipment Sector Update

By: Gary Tanashian of Biiwii.com

NFTRH 322 covered the usual range of markets, from US to global stocks to precious metals and commodities to currencies and indicators.  It also included an extended economic discussion about the realities of the strong US economy and its dangerous underpinnings.

The economic segment began with this look at the Semiconductor Equipment sector, which was our first indicator on economic strength exactly 2 years ago and will be an initial indicator on economic deceleration when the time is right.

Excerpted from the December 21 edition of Notes From the Rabbit Hole, NFTRH 322:

Checking the Semiconductor Book-to-Bill ratio (b2b), this all-important forward looker came in pretty decent for November.  Per the data we reviewed in an update last week, the bookings, which is the most important component, was pretty good at $1.22 Billion compared to October’s $1.1 Billion.

The graph from SEMI does not include the November data.  I added an arrow showing the current level of the b2b.

semi.b2b

Our original graph is marked up as well to show the longer trend.  There is a spike up happening and this may or may not be related to an overall year-end sales spike in some high end capital equipment that happens like clockwork at the end of each year in Machine Tools (ref. sales graph below).  I do not have the level of knowledge about the Semiconductor Equipment industry to speak authoritatively about its more structural capital spending cycles.  So this is just a possibility to consider. [Read more...]

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...]

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