The Empire Strikes Out! NY State General Business Conditions Tanks To -9.1 As Global Yields Plummet

The Empire Strikes Out!

The US Empire State Manufacturing Survey General Business Conditions SA index fell to -9.1 in October, continuing a downward trend along with the downward trend in Fed M2 Money stock growth.

And the global sovereign debt market is showing fear as 10-year sovereign yields drop -10 basis points. The UK 10-year is down -36.8 bps! The US is down only -6.6 bps this morning.

The Empire (State) strikes out.

US Mortgage Rates Rise To 7.04% As Housing Market Chills (WTI Crude And Gasoline Prices On The Rise Again As Biden Fails To Convince OPEC To Pump More Oil)

Under “Nuclear Joe” Biden, the US is truly the land of confusion.

As the Biden Administration touts “affordable housing,” we are seeing the 30-year mortgage rate rise above 7% as The Federal Reserve fights inflation … caused by the Biden Administration. Meanwhile, US home prices are falling.

The Biden Administration launched a war on domestic energy production, resulting in crude oil prices rising 74% under Biden and regular gasoline prices rising 62.4%.

As Biden pleaded with OPEC to increase oil production, he was embarrassingly rejected. Hence, West Texas Crude Oil prices have begun to rise again along with gasoline prices (pink box).

How about unemployment and the 10yr-2yr yield curve?

US Economy Adds 263K Jobs In September, REAL Average Hourly Earnings Growth At -3.06% (100 Million NOT In Labor Force)

Yesterday, I told my family “The good news is that Rotolo’s Pizza tastes even better reheated in the morning. The bad news? I ate the only two piece left.”

Which brings me to the September jobs report. The good news is that 263k jobs were added to the US economy. That means 10,521k jobs have been added in the 21 months under Biden! (Bear in mind that 12,100k jobs were added in the 7 months under Trump following the Covid economic shutdown, yet no media outlet trumpeted that accomplishment).

The bad news? While nominal average hourly earnings grew by 5% YoY, when I subtract Bidenflation from that number I get -3.06% growth. Or should I say that REAL wages are shrinking under Biden.

Now for the “Biden Miracle” of jobs being added. Here is a chart of NFP jobs added (white line) against M2 Money and headline inflation. Both The Fed and the Federal government pumped trillions into the economy leading to the highest inflation rate in 40 years. Once governments stopped with their Covid shutdown nonsense, jobs would return regardless of who was President. BUT Federal spending and Fed money printing went off the rails in early 2020.

As Paul Harvey used to say, “Here is the rest of the story.” Labor force participation fell in September and the U-3 unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.5%.

But labor force dropouts increased leading U-3 unemployment to decline. The number of people NOT in the labor force grew to nearly 100 million. Nothing has been the same since Covid.

So what will The Fed do? According to Fed Funds Futures data (WIRP), The Fed will keep raising rates until March ’23 then slowly start lowering interest rates again.

And with that “positive” jobs report, The Dow is down almost -500 points and the NASDAQ is down over -3%.

And with Fed tightening, we are seeing a collapse in M2 money supply.

Great Reset?? US Treasury 10yr Yield Tanks -20 Basis Points (UK 10yr Tanks -24.1 BPS)

As I frequently told my investment and fixed-income securities students at Chicago, Ohio State and George Mason University, any 10 basis point change in the US Treasury 10-year yield is significant.

But how about today’s 20 basis point decline in the US Treasury 10-year yield?

The UK’s 10-year yield is down even more at -24.1 basis points. Germany is down -18 bps and France is down -10.3 bps.

Speaking of credit default swaps, Credit Suisse is back to financial crisis levels while UBS and Deutsche Bank are not … yet.

And gold jumped $28.5 dollars today as POP goes the yield.

With all the turbulence in markets thanks to the war in Ukraine and Biden’s green energy mandates and spending (not to mention Statists like Klaus Schwab screaming about a Great Reset), I was reminiscing about more simple times.

The Empire Strikes Out! US Producer Price Index Final Demand (Inflation) Hits 10% As NY State General Business Conditions Crash (Russia Winning Economic Demolition Derby With Ukraine)

Bad news. Its the same all over the world.

The US Producer Price Index (PPI) final demand rose 10% YoY in February, further evidence of spiraling inflation under Biden/Pelosi/Schumer’s reign of error.

And speaking of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the Empire State Manufacturing Survey (General Business Conditions) crashed to -11.8.

And Russia is losing the economic demolition derby with Ukraine (at least for sovereign debt).

I am still trying to figure out what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) meant by “When we’re having this discussion, it’s important to dispel some of those who say, well it’s the government spending. No, it isn’t. The government spending is doing the exact reverse, reducing the national debt. It is not inflationary.”

Really Nancy?

Here is a chart of Federal government outlays and inflation. Massive expenditures and growth in Federal debt and the resulting inflation. Nancy?

Here is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi trying to figure out the cause of inflation in the US.

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot! US Home Prices Grew At 19.1% YoY In January (Is US Housing Market Addicted To Gov?)

Feeling hot, hot, hot!

Corelogic released their January housing report and its a doozy.

Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased year over year by 19.1% in January 2022 compared with January 2021. On a month-over-month basis, home prices increased by 1.4% in January 2022 compared with December 2021 (revisions with public records data are standard, and to ensure accuracy, CoreLogic incorporates the newly released public data to provide updated results).

But Corelogic is still forecasting only 3.8% YoY growth in 2022.

Home prices are hot, hot, hot in all states except North Dakota and New York. The fastest growing states are lower taxes, higher growth states.

Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Diego are booming. But Chicago and Washington DC are growing at near 9% YoY.

Case-Shiller’s December report show home prices growing at 18.84% YoY thanks to Fed stimulypto and historic low inventory of homes available for sale.

Is the US housing market addicted to gov?

Let’s see if the five expected rate hikes from The Fed materialize.

Zoltan! On Why the Fed Needs to Spark a Market Crash (As US Housing Starts Decline With Rising Mortgage Rates)

Zoltan!

Credit Suisse’s Zoltan Pozsar thinks The Federal Reserve needs to spark a market crash. Really Zoltan??

If The Fed does its expected “shock and awe” (or shock and awful), it will be more than the stock markets will crash. The housing market could crash too.

Take the current US housing situation with its limited inventory of listings combined with massive Fed stimulypto.

US 1-unit housing starts are down -4.1% in January. But heck, it is January! But on a year-over-year basis, 1-unit housing starts are down -2.4%. But what will happen if The Fed ACTUALLY withdraws its gargantuan monetary stimulus (green line)?

Existing home sales inventory continues to decline as Bankrate’s 30-year mortgage rate starts to climb with expectations of Fed “Shock and Awful.”

Say hello to The Federal Reserve Board of Governors!

The Empire Strikes Out! Empire Manufacturing Index Slumps To Negative Territory As Inflation Roars (WTI Crude Futures UP 79% Since Jan 1st)

Well, Omicron is hitting hard. Not the virus itself, but governments’ reaction to the virus. The NY Empire Manufacturing Index has tanked into negative territory.

New orders are down 5%.

On the energy front, West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures are up 79% since January 1, 2021 while regular gasoline prices are up “only” 50% over the same period.

How about inflation and the Treasury yield curve? Inflation has soared to 40-year highs under Biden as energy prices (WTI Crude Futures) have soared 79%.

Container ships are still backed-up at LA and Long Beach ports. I thought Mayor Pete was supposed to fix the port congestion problem!

Maybe they should play the Darth Vader theme when Biden goes to the podium to stammer.

Bad Santa! 10Y Treasury Yields Jump Above 1.60% as Expectation Of Fed Hikes Grows (Mortgage Rates Expected To Rise)

Happy New Year! And Treasuries are off to fast start with investors bailing on Treasuries and buying stocks. AND the expectation that The Fed will raise rates 3 times this year.

The 10-year Treasury Note yield rose above 1.60% this morning.

And the US Treasury 10Y-2Y curve rose to 80.601 basis points.

Fed Funds Futures data is showing 3 rates hikes in 2022. May, September and December.

The Fed Dots project is definitely showing an upward trend in the Fed Funds Target rate with FOMC member forecasting the median target rate to be above 2% by 2024.

Of course, Fed reverse repo activity grew to an all-time high (but it is expected to pare-back).

How about mortgage rates? I expect mortgages rates to rise over 2022 as the 10-year Treasury Note rises.

While The Fed has been acting like Santa Claus with monetary easing since 2008, they are predicted to act like Bad Santas in 2022.

6 months of telling inflation in transitory stories. Now you know why.

What do you say to the Fed Open Market Committee that has resisted raising rates while inflation is the highest in 40 years?

Cautionary note: The Fed is likely to protect economic growth and ignore inflation. So I expect FOMC will continue to reinvest prepayments into Treasury and MBS, pro-rata to the current portfolio.

US Mortgage Purchase Applications UP 3.24% From Previous Week As Mortgage Rates Rose To 3.30% (But Purchase Applications Down 9.3% From Same Week Last Year)

Mortgage purchase applications rose 3.24% from the previous week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. However, purchase applications are down 9.3% from

Mortgage refinancing applications declined -1.57% from the previous week as mortgage rates rose from 3.23% to 3.30%.