Morning Update! S&P 500 Futures UP, Mortgage Rates UP To 5.57%, Apartment Rents UP 20% YoY, WTI Crude Down -1.76%

At least S&P 500 futures are up this morning, an opportunity to buy the dip.

But on the housing front, we see that mortgage rates have pieced the 5.50% barrier and is now at 5.57%.

On the rent side, apartment rents are growing at 19.3% YoY for both Class A and Class B units.

Commodities are down this AM. WTI Crude is down -1.71%, iron ore is down -4.06% and nickel is down -6.29%.

Whoops! After a positive futures reading before opening, the Dow is down near a full percentage point, but the NASDAQ is almost breakeven for the day.

And the 10-year Treasury yield is down 8.6 bps.

As The Boss sang, “We’re going down.”

Blue Monday Or Stagflation? Commodities Signal Stagflation (WTI Crude DOWN 2.72%, Iron Ore DOWN 5%, S&P 500 Futures DOWN 1.7%, 10Y Treasury Yields Rise To 3.20% Then Sinks)

As the US is engulfed in inflation while The Federal Reserve is engaged in trying to fight inflation (well, sort of), we are seeing markets taking a shellacking, particularly commodities.

One indicator of a slowdown is declining commodity prices. Crude oil futures are down around -2.5%. Iron Ore is down -5% and steel rebar is down -3.21%.

Inflation numbers are due out Wednesday and are forecast to be 8.1% YoY (based on headline CPI). But combined with a slowing global economy, we get the dreaded “STAGFLATION.”

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index futures are down around 1.726% for Monday open. Asian markets already got clobbered with the Hang Seng down almost -4%.

On the bond side, the 10Y Treasury Note yield rose to 3.20% early in the morning, but has retreated to 3.1447% as of 8:40am EST.

Both stock and bond market volatility measures are increasing.

So, is it a Blue Monday effect? Or global stagflation?

Time for supplemental income under the Biden Administration.

Weekend Update! Mortgage Rates UP 87% Under Biden, Gasoline UP 80%, Food UP 59%, Commodities UP 63%, WTI Crude UP, Rents UP 17% YoY (Ain’t That A Kick In The … Head!)

As crooner Dean Martin once said, “Let ’em have it!” Ain’t this a kick in the … head.

Perhaps Joe Biden and Fed Chair Jay Powell are channeling Dean Martin by letting us have it.

Since Obama’s 3rd term as President (aka, Biden’s installation as President on January 20, 2021), mortgage rates have risen 87%, regular gasoline prices have risen 80%, CRB foodstuffs are up 59% and Commodities are up 63%.

And don’t forget about America’s energy life force, WTI Crude Oil. It is UP 123% under Biden.

Rents? Rising at a 16.8% rate.

Rents rising, food costs rising, energy costs rising, Biden and The Fed are taking us higher. In terms of prices and cost of living.

Cooler Kings! As Biden Keeps Going Green And Fed Raises Rates, Everything Is Cooling (Mortgage Rates UP, Venture Capital Down 53%, Stocks Crushed, Etc)

The Biden Administration and The Federal Reserve together should be called “The Cooler Kings” in that their policies are putting a Big Chill on the mortgage market and equities.

Mortgage rates are skyrocketing thanks to the Federal Reserve.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.27% for the week ending May 5, according to data released by Freddie Mac  FMCC, -1.62% on Thursday. That’s up 17 basis points from the previous week — one basis point is equal to one hundredth of a percentage point, or 1% of 1%.

House price growth to wage growth is below the all-time high, but remains above housing bubble levels of 2005-2007.

The Refinitiv Venture Capital Index is down 53% since November ’21 as The Fed cranks up interest rates.

Well, at least commodities are soaring under “The Cooler Kings.” Pretty much everything else is sucking wind.

Home prices are actually falling in some cities, like Toledo Ohio, Detroit Michigan, Rochester NY, and Pittsburgh PA. Even La-La Land (Los Angeles CA) is seeing a drop in median listing price since 2021 of -5.0%.

The question, of course, is whether The Federal Reserve will back off its plans to aggressively raise interest rates in lieu of crashing stock market, venture capital, and possibly home prices.

This is Scorcher VI: Global Meltdown.

Does Biden and The Fed Feel Like We Do?

Bidenflation And Jobs: REAL Avg Hourly Earnings Growth Declines Further To -3% YoY, Fertilizer Prices UP 262% Under Biden

Trevor Noah was correct. EVERYTHING is more expensive under Biden. And REAL average hourly earnings YoY keeps declining.

REAL average hourly earnings YoY fell further to -3%.

Meanwhile, fertilizer prices, a key ingredient to food costs, is up 262% under Biden.

Today’s jobs report was better than expected, at 428k jobs added (versus 380k expected). Its just too bad Bidenflation is clubbing American workers to economic death.

US labor force participation actually declined in April and struggles to get back to levels pre-Covid and Trump.

Here is the jobs market data for April 2022.

Leisure and hospitality sector still has a way to go after the ill-advised government shutdowns surrounding Covid.

Oddly, there are two job openings for every unemployed person.

Here is the new version of American Gothic.

Don’t Panic! NASDAQ Plunges 5% As 10Y T-Note Yield Rises +16.1 BPS (NASDAQ Simply Back To Before Fed Announcement, But Treasury Rates Higher)

The headline screamed “NASDAQ PLUNGES 5%!

True, it did, but it simply lost the gain’s from yesterday’s surprisingly mild Fed announcement.

But the 10-year Treasury yield is rising faster than my blood pressure. The 10-year Treasury yield is up to 3.09%.

Cryptos? Bitcoin is down -7.27% and Dash is down -8.23%.

Watch out mortgage rates!!

Don’t panic … about the NASDAQ. EVERYBODY PANIC about rising mortgage rates.

Medusa Touch! US Labor Productivity For Q1 CRASHES To LOWEST Since 1947 As Energy Prices And Inflation Skyrocket

Here’s some simple Medusa math for you: negative growth + payroll gains = negative productivity. Negative productivity + high labor costs = very high unit labor costs. That’s not a pretty picture for the economy or for companies, and the Q1 figures were even worse than expected — productivity fell by 7.5%, pushing unit labor costs up by 11.6%. Nasty.

In fact, labor productivity fell to the lowest level since 1947 and President Harry Truman.

Of course, Biden’s green energy policies have led to crushing inflation.

So, after Fed Chair Powell (aka, Jay The Revelator) said yesterday that “No Signs US Economy ‘Vulnerable’ To Recession”, we saw the S&P 500 index dive 1.5% and the 10-year Treasury yield break through the 3% barrier.

Biden’s policies are a Medusa-touch on the economy.

The new logo for the Biden Administration.

Fear The Talking Fed! Fed Jacks Target Rate Up By 50 BPS, 9 More Rate Hikes A Comin’ (Yield Curve Rises)

Well, the Fed’s talking heads have been saying a 50 basis point hike was coming in May … and it appeared!

And it looks like 9 rate hikes are a comin’ by February 2023.

The Fed’s Dot Plots shows a cooling of Fed rate hikes by 2024 and beyond.

Here is the path of Balance Sheet peel-off.

The US Treasury actives curve is up by 14 bps at the 10-year tenor and up 17 bps at the 2-year tenor.

The plan will see $30 billion of Treasuries and $17.5 billion on mortgage-backed securities roll off. After three months, the cap for Treasuries will increase to $60 billion and $35 billion for mortgages.

I could read the Fed’s speech on their decision, but since The Fed has been so highly politicized, I don’t really care what they say. Only what they do.

Simply Unaffordable! Mortgage Purchase Applications Rise 5% From Previous Week, But Remains DOWN 11% From One Year Ago As Fed Tightens (ARM Share Rises To 9.3%)

Simply unaffordable! US housing, that is. As The Federal Reserve tries to fight inflation caused by Biden’s Medusa-like policies, mortgage rates are soaring and we are seeing an INCREASE in mortgage purchase applications ahead of Fed tightening. Panic in (Fed) Needle Park!

Mortgage applications increased 2.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 29, 2022.

The Refinance Index increased 0.2 percent from the previous week and was 71 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 5 percent compared with the previous week and was 11 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) share has risen to 9.3% along with mortgage rates.

Between Biden’s energy policies, Congressional Covid relief and seemingly perpetual monetary stimulus from The Fed, we have 20% growth in home prices despite mortgage rates soaring.

And as The Fed is expected to tighten, mortgage rates hit 5.50%.

Is the US housing market addicted to gov? We will find out if and when The Federal Reserve actually tightens monetary policy.

Bond Rout! Treasury Curve Settles In At 20BPS (10Y-2Y), SOFR Coupons Slow To Adjust To Fed Rate Hikes, While Mortgages FAST To React (CoreLogic March Home Prices UP 20.0% YoY In March)

The U.S. Treasury market is showing signs of stress that may have implications for whether the curve keeps steepening. 

Over the past month the curve has retraced from an inversion to a steepening driven by a surge in yields on benchmark 10-year bonds. That has led to interesting outlier indications, as traders weigh the outlook for Federal Reserve interest rate increases and inflation.

The US Treasury yield curve has settled-in at 20.383 bps (effectively zero) as The Fed continues its war on inflation.

On the SOFR front, we see SOFR Coupons being slow to benefits from Fed rate hikes. So, SOFR Coupons are behaving like Stouffer’s lasagna, frozen and tasteless.

On the other hand, mortgage rates continue to soar on EXPECTATIONS of Fed rate hikes.

Meanwhile, CoreLogic revealed that March 2022 home prices were still sizzling at 20.9% YoY.

Phoenix AZ leads the top ten at 30.4% with Washington DC lagging at 9.9%.

So, its official. The Federal Reserve is best exemplified by former Yankee/Mets first baseman “Marvelous” Marv Throneberry. When players presented Mets’ manager Casey Stengel with a birthday cake but neglected to give piece of cake to Throneberry, Stengel replied to Throneberry when asked why no cake, “Because I was afraid your were going to drop it.”

Just like The Federal Reserve, the honorary Marv Throneberry of the the global economy.

Here is Marv’s baseball card from better days with the Yankees before they figured out that Marv was a terrible fielder. And strikeout quite a bit, like The Federal Reserve.