January 24, 2014

Weekend Topic Suggestions

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 06:24:49

Is the housing market in your area going up, down or sideways? (Only honest answers, please.)

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 06:39:40

Here are some very local North County SD anecdotes:

1) Never before now have I seen open houses around here in early January; very unusual!

2) Some of the mom-and-pop real estate investors in our area are actively engaging in mid-winter property upgrades, putting in new lawns, mending fences, etc. I begin to suspect they are getting their rental properties ready for the reaping, which will eventually happen at the point when “somebody” rings a bell to alert “everybody” that there are more rental investments in the U.S. than fundamentals will support in a rising interest rate, low-inflation market.

The smart investors will tiptoe out the exit door before then.

3) Speaking of smart investors, the divorced woman with three young children who rents the place next door to us recently let my wife know that her investor-landlord gave her sixty days’ notice of intent to sell. The place is an overpriced dump, which she wouldn’t want to purchase if she had the money, but with rents recently climbing through the roof and very little for sale or rental inventory available, it’s not clear what good choices she has. Not to mention how painful it will be to move a young family to a new place.

Comment by Anklepants
2014-01-24 07:31:46

Rents climbing thru the roof yet LL wants to sell …hmmm

Comment by oxide
2014-01-24 08:26:24

Looking at the Zillow map, it appears that 15-20% of my nabe was sold in the past three years, but at the moment there is very little inventory. The few that are traditionally for sale are flips which were priced ~5-10% above Zestimate. They are slowly coming down. “Pre-forclosures” are the biggest segment of inventory. Their estimated prices are early 2012 vintage, but they are likely trashed inside. Look for more flips.

I took some days off work a few weeks ago, and had to go to HD on a weekday morning. The place was popping with contractors buying drywall, OSB, and Pro-Pack sets of base molding and pre-hung doors. On weeknights and weekend, the hoi polloi pick up space heaters, houseplants, and the occasional wood dowel for some craft project. A little more activity at the kitchen design than I would expect. Six weeks from now you won’t be able to find a parking spot.

Comment by scdave
2014-01-24 10:03:04

but at the moment there is very little inventory ??

Ditto here…Our inventory is so low that it may as well be zero…

Comment by Apathy
2014-01-24 10:52:34

Small sample from Alexandria, Va, about 3 miles from downtown DC. My neighborhood has 2 types of housing. 1. Old duplexes and row houses. 2. New duplexes and row houses after they demolish the old ones and build on top. Unless I know the residents, I can’t tell who is a renter and who is an owner, best guess is that 50%-60% of the people are renting.

1 neighbor just sold and one neighbor just rented out their duplex townhouses, both the newer type.

The neighbor that sold paid 500k in Dec 2011, sold for 600k in dec 2013. 2000 sqft.

The neighbor that rented told me they didn’t need the money from selling to buy their new place so they are renting it out. I don’t know what it rented for, but they had it listed for $3500/month and I saw a lot of foot traffic for the 2 or 3 days they had it up. I am assuming they got the $3500 or close to it, since the rent sign came down in about a week. Maybe 2200-2300 sqft.

The older rowhouses are now going for $400-450k ish. I know several owners, mostly couples in their late 30s to early 40s that paid $300k something over the last 7-10 years. They are not selling, because most of them don’t care about the value one way or the other. They don’t want a long commute, so they won’t sell regardless until their jobs move.

The larger data point is the new Pulte development across the road from the neighborhood. They are building around 700 condos in a townhouse style and just starting to break ground on several apartment style condo buildings with hundreds of units each. The townhouses at 1500-1700 sqft start at 600k+ and the larger ones are $1M+.


They have been at this for a couple years already and just keep building the next row. I walk my dog over there and watch the progress. Typically the townhouse style buildings are 80-90% sold before they break ground. I went into their office, because a neighbor told me they have a nice floor model of the whole development and I wanted to check it out. The development is going to be enormous when they are done adding all the commercial and grocery business and condo buildings. I asked if any units were available in the townhouses, to see if those sold/available signs were just a gimmick to get people to buy really fast. The guy told me, sorry, we don’t any right now. But you can get signed up for the next building starting in a couple months, there are still a couple units unsold in that one, but sorry, no corner units.

Who are these people that pay $625k for the starter units? It is not like you can grow into them.

Those are my first hand observations. It gets a lot crazier over in Arlington, Va price wise, or at least it used to, maybe Pulte is going to turn things around. I am also friends with a married couple that just bought a townhouse in I believe Fairfax City, maybe 30 minutes West. Paid roughly $620k for 2k sqft. They put a lot down, but didn’t tell me the %, and just had a baby, plan to stay until she is out of school. I think they are 34 and 31. They sold their old place in Seattle at a substantial profit.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-24 11:34:58

Remember… Prices are falling in Arlington, VA and DC metro area.


Comment by scdave
2014-01-24 14:07:01

Thanks for the local info Apathy….

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-24 14:17:44


Comment by ghost riding the whip
2014-01-24 16:49:06

The link says median sq foot prices are UP MoM and YoY.

Comment by Overtaxed
2014-01-24 16:58:04

“Paid roughly $620k for 2k sqft. They put a lot down, but didn’t tell me the %, and just had a baby, plan to stay until she is out of school. I think they are 34 and 31.”

Then they are grossly over their heads unless they happen to be one of the approx .1% of couples that age that make ~300K/yr.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-24 17:07:13

And Arlingtons inventory up a staggering 34%…. and rising.

Comment by Apathy
2014-01-24 18:54:37

scdave - no problem, hopefully more people will post different metro areas.

overtaxed - I agree $620k is definitely a significant amount of money. I know he makes around 125k, her salary is probably 50-60k. So they paid 3.5 x income. The mortgage is probably 2.5 x income with an interest rate in the high 3s or low 4s.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-24 19:30:03

No problem. Here’s another.

Corvallis, OR Housing Prices Collapse 25% Year Over Year


Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-24 19:32:54

Here’s another.

Bend, OR Housing Craters A Whopping 33% In 2013


Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 06:41:34

Does the stock market’s futures worry you?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 06:42:54

Huh…just after Eddie told us right here to go plow a 70% asset allocation into stocks.

Go figure!

Futures: S&P 500 -0.5% DOW -0.4% NASDAQ -0.4%

U.S. stock futures tumbling from three-pronged attack

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 06:47:36

Indications Archives
Jan. 24, 2014, 7:44 a.m. EST
U.S. stock futures tumbling under three-pronged attack
By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

MADRID (MarketWatch) — Wall Street was set to open with stinging losses on Friday, with investors set to pick up selling where they left off from a bruising session a day earlier. Worries about China, Latin America and company earnings ganged up on investors and sent futures tumbling.

There are no data reports to distract investors, though shares of Microsoft Corp. and Starbucks Corp. could gain on the heels of their results posted late Thursday. Several heavyweights reported before the opening bell Friday, including Honeywell International Inc., Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co.

Extending an earlier drop, futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJH4 -0.44%) slid 108 points, or 0.7%, to 16,043, while those for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (SPH4 -0.49%) tumbled 13.1 points, or 0.7%, to 1,811.10. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index (NDH4 -0.46%) sank 27.25 points, or 0.8%, to 3,587.

Let’s hope anyone who set up for a Friday rally today did so in a way that caps their losses,” said Stephen Guilfolye, chief economist at Sarge986.com, in emailed comments. “This way you can make up the lost ground by day trading equity-index futures.

I think long-term investors may want to let the market open, see which way the wind blows, and maybe decide where to go discount shopping, and where to take some profits from purchases made last year. I think we may see some of both,” said Guilfoyle.

The day before, the S&P 500 (SPX -0.89%) lost 0.9%, while the Dow industrials (DJIA -1.08%) suffered their worst loss in five weeks, dropping 1.1%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP -0.57%) fell 0.6%. All were hit by a surprise contraction in China’s manufacturing sector, which came on top of worries about the country’s financial sector and fed into worries about a possible spillover to the rest of the global economy.

Guilfoyle also mentioned that traders were keeping a nervous eye on the growing crisis in Ukraine, where protestors reportedly holed up in government buildings on Friday.

Emerging stocks took a major hit on Thursday, with the Argentine peso diving, and that left stocks gasping in Spain, a country closely tied to Latin America, with a drop of more than 3% for the IBEX 35 index (XX:IBEX -1.99%). The Argentine peso suffered its biggest fall since 2002 on Thursday after the central bank reportedly ran out of reserves to support its currency, capping a selloff that has taken place over the bulk of this week.

Earnings are also presenting worries for investors, as most of the big names that reported this week missed Wall Street expectations, said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, in a note.”This alone is not only rattling traders’ nerves,” he said. “The Federal Reserve meeting, during which the handcuffs around quantitative easing could be tightened further, is also a concern.”

Comment by scdave
Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 22:45:43

That interview with Spence is quite fascinating. He looks pretty old, but his brain is as sharp as a tack.

I remember of all models I ever had to study in graduate school , the one I enjoyed the most was his theoretical model of the value of education, whose take-home message is that your education is only valuable for the reputation effect (I went to such-and-such school), and the knowledge gained is basically worthless. (Not suggesting I necessarily agree with the point; just found it very entertaining, especially coming from an educator.)

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 06:49:15

Jan. 23, 2014, 11:48 a.m. EST
How about a 50% crash?
When will the bubble pop?
By John Nyaradi

For a long time, we have been hearing that the stock market is headed for a significant crash. Is 2014 the year?

Back in 2011, some Elliott Wave aficionados were telling us that the crash was on its way. Since that time, there has been a tendency to stop listening to those who have been crowing about the next financial crisis since before we even recovered from the last financial crisis.

But during the past few weeks, we have been receiving warnings from outside the usual “gloom and doom” sphere. Most notably, bond guru Jeffrey Gundlach gave a webcast presentation on Jan. 14, which raised more than a few eyebrows. Gundlach explained that as the Federal Reserve proceeds to taper its monthly bond purchases, stock market volatility will escalate. He considered the record-high margin-debt levels on the New York Stock Exchange as a signal of a stock market “top.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 06:50:15

Wall Street is offering Ben Bernanke quite a farewell party!

Comment by oxide
2014-01-24 08:28:41

DOW down 123. S&P down 15.

Comment by Shibe
2014-01-24 12:20:40

Dogecoin up 1000% over three weeks –and rising as Chinese investors flee BTC in advance of trade restrictions.

Cryptocurrencies, the libertarian answer to anarcho-capitalism.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 19:39:02


Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 19:42:05

Treasury Bonds Post 4th Straight Weekly Price Gains
Investors Sought Safety From a Continued Selloff in Stocks and Emerging-Market Currencies
By Min Zeng
Updated Jan. 24, 2014 4:32 p.m. ET

U.S. Treasury bond prices strengthened Friday, capping the longest weekly price rally in nine months, as investors sought safety from a continued selloff in stocks and emerging-market currencies.

The buying sent the benchmark 10-year note’s yield to a two-month low of 2.704%. The yield, a key benchmark to set long-term borrowing costs for consumers and businesses in the U.S. and abroad, has fallen from 3.03% at the end of last year, the highest level since July 2011. When bond prices rise, their yields fall.

In late-afternoon trading, the benchmark 10-year note was up 12/32 in price compared to the level late Thursday, yielding 2.728%, according to Tradeweb. The yield fell about 0.09 percentage points for the week, a fourth straight weekly decline.

Among key drivers sending bond yields lower: some disappointing data deflating optimism that the U.S. economy would accelerate; growing concern about the health of China’s economy and the country’s nonbank financial institutions that have played a major role in fueling lending; a broad selloff in emerging-market currencies amid flagging economic growth and political and social turmoil in some countries.

“There has been a shift to risk-off mode across the global markets that’s boosting demand for safe-haven Treasurys,” said Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Capital Markets.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 19:49:13

Dow plunges 318 points; drops 3.5% for the week
Adam Shell and William Cummings, USA TODAY 5:49 p.m. EST January 24, 2014

- Stocks continue diving for the second straight day as investors react to turbulence in emerging markets.
- Dow Jones industrial average has fallen more than 1% for second day in a row
- Signs of slowing Chinese growth has investors spooked
- Global markets on edge as appetite for risk dips amid new fears

U.S. stocks continued their slide Friday, tumbling sharply as jittery investors reacted to continuing turbulence in emerging markets.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped back below the 16,000 mark, plunging 318.24 points, or 2%, to 15,879.11.

The Dow had its second straight day of triple-digit declines and its fourth straight session of losses. The blue-chip index dropped 3.5% for the week.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index tumbled back below the key 1,800 level, as it fell 38.17 points, or 2.1%, to 1,790.29. The S&P posted a 2.6% weekly loss.

And the tech-laden Nasdaq composite index was off 90.70 points, 2.2%, to 4,128.17. It fell 1.7% for the week.

Slowing growth in China and a move by the Federal Reserve to start cutting back on its easy-money policies has caused problems in many emerging economies, where currencies have come under intense selling pressure, raising fears of economic problems caused by rising inflation and capital outflows.

On Thursday, the Argentine peso plunged 15% versus the U.S. dollar, its biggest swoon since 2002. Similarly the Turkish lira hit a record low vs. the U.S. greenback.

Market turbulence in Turkey … and now Argentina has led to talk of a new crisis sweeping emerging markets,” Neil Shearing, an analyst at Capital Economics told clients in a research note.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 06:52:58

Jan. 24, 2014, 7:29 a.m. EST
Spanish stocks sink as banks battered by Argentina woes
By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

MADRID (MarketWatch) — Stocks in Spain sank 3% on Friday as a global selloff continued a second day, intensifying for Europe as fears over China and emerging markets smacked sentiment.

Banks and drug stocks were the biggest losers, though shares of Celesio AG were up on buyout news.

Declners swamped gainers on the Stoxx Europe 600 index (XX:SXXP -1.31%), which tumbled 1.4% to 327.86. The index closed 1% lower to 332.69 on Thursday for the biggest one-day percentage loss since early December, while in the U.S., the Dow industrials (DJIA -1.08%) suffered the worst loss in five weeks.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 06:54:58

MarketWatch First Take
Jan. 23, 2014, 6:53 p.m. EST
Expect greater volatility in U.S.-listed Chinese stocks
Opinion: SEC’s clash with China auditors needs to be contained
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By Junheng Li

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — After Securities and Exchange Commission Administrative Law Judge Cameron Elliot ordered that the China units of the global “Big Four” accounting firms should be suspended from auditing U.S.-listed companies for six months, volatility in U.S.-listed Chinese companies spiked — and this uncertainty is likely to continue.

Wednesday’s ruling, if finalized, stems from disputes between the auditors and the SEC over submitting work papers to U.S. regulators for examination.

What is going on effectively is a conflict in the laws of two jurisdictions. Under U.S. securities laws, the SEC is empowered to investigate alleged fraud and require the production of audit work papers from non-U.S. accounting firms. Under Chinese laws, such audit work papers are deemed state secrets and cannot be provided.

In theory, the SEC could see fit to delist all of the Chinese companies on American exchanges. The impact of a widespread delisting would be nuclear, as it could dissolve the entire food chain from investment banking, accounting, auditing, and research coverage that service the listed companies. In such a case, American investors and institutional managers would take the most of the financial losses.

Beyond China’s borders, another devastating effect of the SEC’s hard line could be felt by the multinationals with Chinese operations including Yum! Brands Inc. (YUM -0.99%), Ford Motor Co. (F -1.10%), General Motors Co. GM -1.22% , Coca-Cola Co. (KO -0.41%) and Procter & Gamble Co. (PG +0.46%), which have sizable operations in China and would no longer to be able to produce audit reports. It is clear that if the SEC-Chinese government standoff persists, the whole auditing regulatory framework supporting the global operation of those firms and the capital-raising function of U.S. market will suffer.

Comment by oxide
2014-01-24 11:20:12

You left off the last paragraph of this opinion piece. The author wants the SEC to say “OK, it’s all right for Chinese companies to keep their books secret as long as they inform investors; yeah that should be fine.” But wait, the SEC wants access to the books to investigate fraud, not to inform investment decisions. Wouldn’t this give Chinese companies license to commit fraud, and no one can even investigate it?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 19:44:11

Have you seen the latest Jack Ryan movie yet? If not — SEE IT!

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 06:56:39

Jan. 23, 2014, 4:51 a.m. EST
China factory data show contraction; stocks drop
By Michael Kitchen, MarketWatch

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — China’s manufacturing sector is registering an unexpected contraction in January, albeit a mild one, according to preliminary data out Thursday, though economists said the result didn’t necessarily signal a sharp slowdown.

The “flash” version of the HSBC/Markit China manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to a six-month low of 49.6, down from a final December reading of 50.5, with the data sending Chinese stocks and the Australian dollar all lower.

Economists had expected the flash PMI — which usually includes 85%-90% of total responses used for the final report — to print at 50.3, according to a Bloomberg News forecast. Results below the 50 level indicate contraction, while those above 50 suggest growth.

Among the subindexes, overall new orders swung to a decline, while new export orders — already in contractionary territory — showed a faster rate of losses. The closely watched employment subindex also fell at a faster rate than in December.

In a campaign to stem wasteful spending and corruption by officials, China has banned government-run companies from spending public money to get calendars printed.

The work-backlog indicator signaled a decrease, changing direction from the previous month, while the subindex for output rose at a slower rate.

Economists not too worried

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 07:09:40

Jan. 24, 2014, 6:16 a.m. EST
Bonfire of the bears — but is the easy money gone?
Opinion: Bull market closer to an end than a beginning
By Howard Gold

Just as stock valuations have moved to worrisome heights and even some long-time bulls have warned of a big correction ahead, a few big-name bears have embraced their inner bull.

Last year, several perennial naysayers went over to the bullish side, sometimes to the chagrin of their true-believing followers. Gurus who had long viewed the current bull market as a phantasm conjured up by Federal Reserve money wizards now mutter “don’t fight the Fed” and “don’t fight the tape.”

These prominent born-again bulls included bearish hero David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff, Morgan Stanley’s strategist Adam Parker, and hedge-fund manager Hugh Hendry. Even Dr. Doom himself, Nouriel Roubini, who became an international celebrity and Davos fixture for his end-times forecasts, has turned bullish on the global economy. Read: Dr. Doom gets meditative in Davos

These bears’ changes of heart took many forms — from Rosenberg’s surrender to a torrent of good economic data, to Parker’s Wall Street flip-flopping, to the Augustinian agonies of Hendry. But their submission to a tidal wave of rising stock prices may be part of the capitulation that is supposed to occur at market tops or bottoms.

To paraphrase Tolstoy, all happy bulls are alike, but reformed bears are all unhappy in their own way. Let’s go through their tales of woe one by one.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 07:13:32

This guy spends way too much electronic ink extolling the wisdom of his past calls; still, I find his narratives entertaining.

Jan. 23, 2014, 1:20 p.m. EST
The question that scares the bulls and the Fed
By Michael A. Gayed

Inter-market movement continues to look more and more fragile with several negative trends expressing themselves. I have been noting in my last few writings that bonds are strengthening despite the “rising rate environment” meme and that behaviorally things are acting more normal.

Every single Nouveau Bull who got last year right needs to start asking one question and one question only: If the Fed’s wealth effect were effective, why are consumer stocks suddenly collapsing at the same time China’s manufacturing and exports are surprisingly weak?

The entire Fed strategy all along is to try to juice the value of assets on the hopes that it makes people “feel” better about their financial situation, spend more, and create a virtuous cycle of growth through increased velocity of money. Wouldn’t you think that after such a strong 2013 that consumers would go spending like mad and growth would seriously pick up? Wouldn’t that mean retailing stocks would do well?

It’s not happening. This is a fragile juncture purely because if the market begins to realize that the Fed was actually ineffective in juicing reflation, and growth/earnings do not pickup, then last year was unjustified. Retailers bottomed before the March 2009 low. What does it mean then if they just topped, something which I alluded to on Bloomberg at the very end of December?

Comment by Anklepants
2014-01-24 07:37:13

Is it twice as hard to get a virtuous cycle moving because we fear losses 2 to 1 over gains? Is it linear or worse?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 07:15:51

Jan. 16, 2014, 12:34 p.m. EST
A quiet collapse which requires attention
By Michael A. Gayed

Best Buy made the news this morning with a drop in sales it referred to as a “speed bump,” but the truth is that it may simply be indicative of a much larger, more ominous move in the retail sector as a whole. But first, let’s take a look at the environment in which the space currently resides.

So far in 2014, stocks have been in somewhat of a holding pattern in the U.S., at the same time emerging markets, outside of China, appear to be stabilizing. The long bond on the Treasury side — seen here through the (iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF TLT +0.28%) — has countered near-term the “rising rate environment” meme, despite article after article claiming that this will finally be the year of escape velocity for the economy (something only known with hindsight).

I maintain my belief that fragility does remain high for global risk assets, and that tactical alternative-asset allocation is important to mitigate risks which continue to manifest in certain areas of the marketplace. While we ourselves are currently exposed to equities, there is a very real possibility that we take on a more defensive stance soon given what may be the start of some troubling signs.

How many times do you take yourself to the brink of complete collapse? It’s not a real fun place to go.

—Bryan Clay

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 07:18:10

Jan. 13, 2014, 2:20 p.m. EST
Needing a correction, or just wanting one?
By Michael A. Gayed

Stocks have been somewhat volatile as markets kick of 2014 trying to figure out what happens next to the economy and Federal Reserve policy, which raises the question of whether or not that volatility is a sign of a potential correction in the making, or the fact that some market participants would prefer one, regardless of conditions.

Emerging markets — represented here by the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM -1.17%) — looked like they were in the midst of another severe drop until Friday’s gain reversed five straight days of weakness. U.S. small-cap stocks, as seen through the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM -0.64%), despite being extended, are now positive year-to-date while multinational large-caps remain slightly lower. The most powerful mover thus far has, surprise surprise, ended up being longer-duration Treasurys, repped by the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT +0.28%), which staged a huge rally on the heels of Friday’s weak payroll report.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 07:35:43

Oh bugger…the future is arriving fast and furious.

Dow 16,094 -280 -1.71%
Nasdaq 4,197 -46 -1.08%
S&P 500 1,817 -28 -1.51%
GlobalDow 2,446 -24 -0.97%
Gold 1,266 +5 0.36%
Oil 97.34 +0.04 0.04%

Comment by cactus
2014-01-24 09:22:24

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - A full-scale flight from emerging market assets accelerated on Friday, setting global shares on course for their worst week this year and driving investors to safe-haven assets including U.S. Treasuries, the yen, and gold.

Wall Street opened lower, extending selling to a second day. Concerns about slower growth in China, reduced support from U.S. monetary policy and political problems in Turkey, Argentina and Ukraine drove the selling.

The Turkish lira hit a record low. Argentina’s peso fell again after the central bank abandoned its support of the currency.

The declines mirror moves from last June when developing country stocks fell almost 18 percent over about two months and hit global shares.

The broad nature of this selloff combines country-specific problems with the reality that reduced U.S. Federal Reserve bond buying reduces liquidity that has in the past boosted higher-yielding emerging markets assets.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 22:49:59

“…reduced U.S. Federal Reserve bond buying reduces liquidity that has in the past boosted higher-yielding emerging markets assets.”

You’d better get used to seeing that explanation in print ALOT!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 06:59:16

Is it safe to say at this point that the foreclosure crisis is over?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 07:01:28

Short answer: NO.

January 24, 2014
5 states with the highest foreclosure rates
Foreclosures hit a three-year high as a percentage of overall sales

Although the housing market is recovering in many regions, foreclosures reached a three-year high last year. Short sales and foreclosure-related sales — including sales to third-party buyers at public foreclosure auctions and sales of bank-owned properties — accounted for 16.2% of all U.S. residential sales last year, up from 14.5% in 2012 and 15.2% in 2011, according to the 2013 U.S. Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report, released Thursday by RealtyTrac, a real-estate data firm. What’s more, the number of homes sold in December 2013 fell by 10% year-over-year to 5.17 million.

While there are fewer new foreclosures, the specter of further foreclosures persists. “It may surprise some to see distressed sales rising in 2013, given that new foreclosure activity dropped to a seven-year low,” Blomquist says. Why? Most of the increases in 2013 are recession-era foreclosures still in the system. Banks are repossessing more homes as higher prices are making it easier for them to sell, he says, but the recovery has strengthened most local markets enough to withstand blows from these nagging foreclosures.

In December 2013, one in 1,136 homes in the U.S. had a foreclosure filing, according to RealtyTrac.

Next: 5 states with the highest foreclosure rates:

— By Quentin Fottrell

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 07:02:30

Does last year’s huge price decline mean the gold party is over?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 07:05:05

The report of my death was an exaggeration.

– Mark Twain

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 07:07:14

Metals Stocks Archives
Jan. 24, 2014, 8:37 a.m. EST
Gold rally enters second session, propelled by equity woes
By Victor Reklaitis and Shawn Langlois, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Gold prices advanced on Friday, building on their hefty gains from the prior session, when a drop in the equity market sent investors scurrying for the perceived safety of the precious metal.

Gold for February delivery (GCG4 +0.36%) rose $6.60, or 0.5%, at $1,268.90 an ounce. March silver (SIH4 +0.83%) was last up 20 cents, or 1%, to $20.22 an ounce.

Gold on Thursday spiked to its highest close in more than two months, riding not only the retreat stocks, but also a weaker dollar (DXY -0.03%) and the prospect of India easing curbs on imports.

Also Thursday, the gold ETF (GLD +0.25%) broke through levels not seen since Dec. 10, and moved well above its 50-day moving average.

A general risk-off trend could continue on Friday as U.S. stocks are set to open with sizable losses. But some analysts are skeptical about gold advancing further.

“In our view, however, it is questionable whether the price rise will be sustainable given that six tons were withdrawn from the gold ETFs yesterday, their highest outflows for a month,” said analysts at Commerzbank Commodity Research in a note on Friday.

“The latest development is more likely to have been driven by speculation,” the analysts said.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 07:19:42

Asia Markets recap: U.S. losses smack region
January 23, 2014, 7:08 PM

After the big three U.S. stock indexes all ended with solid losses, Australian shares were doomed to move lower before the first trades took place. And although Sydney couldn’t evit the inevitable, it did manage to limit the damage — at one point even pushing the S&P/ASX 200 back to the flatline.

The supportive factor was gold. Comex gold futures rallied almost 2% in New York to close out the day at their highest level since mid-November. Not only did this help the dedicated gold miners (Newcrest, Kingsgate, et al), but even lifted the big diversified names, such as BHP and Rio Tinto.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 07:26:07

Are you following the winter economics Olympics?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 07:27:19

Latest from Davos: BOE to revise guidance in Feb.
January 24, 2014, 3:01 AM

It’s Day 3, and the Davos movers and shakers are well into the swing of speaking, socializing and sharing their take on what’s next for the global economy.

Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney’s comments last night that there is “no immediate need to increase interest rates” raised questions about the worth of forward guidance, setting the scene for today’s panel on the future of monetary policy with Larry Summers.

Highlights so far:
Larry Summers’s comments on the recovery
Carney: Bank of England to revise guidance in Feb.
Seconds out: Summers and U.K.’s Obsorne face off

Comment by In Colorado
2014-01-24 10:03:33

It’s Day 3, and the Davos movers and shakers are well into the swing of speaking, socializing and sharing their take on what’s next for the global economy.

More unemployment
More debt
More rigged markets

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 19:50:24

Yep. The central bankers are doing a heckuva job!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 20:52:58

Perhaps I am being overly harsh. Just because central bankers pretend to control the movements of the stars, the planets and their moons doesn’t mean that they actually have the power to do so. One should recognize the limits of power and acknowledge it, though.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 20:40:22

‘Tis a mere flesh wound.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 20:41:45

ft dot com
Last updated: January 23, 2014 6:06 pm
Argentine peso plunges after central bank pulls support
By Delphine Strauss, John Paul Rathbone and Jonathan Wheatley

Argentina’s peso suffered its biggest one-day fall since a 2002 financial crisis after the country’s central bank scaled back support for the currency in an effort to preserve foreign exchange reserves that have fallen by almost a third over the past year.

The fall accelerated a long-running decline since president Cristina Fernández replaced her economic team in November. The currency plunged around 15 per cent at one stage although thin liquidity made it difficult to gauge its true level.

The peso rallied in late trading to around 7.88 to the dollar – around 10 per cent down on the day, according to Bloomberg data. Argentine press suggested the central bank might have made late-stage intervention.

The latest levels are still at some distance from the black market rate that most Argentines use, which has weakened 28 per cent since the start of the year to stand at around 12.85 to the dollar on Thursday.

“The risk of capital flight is rising by the minute. This will be very hard to control,” wrote Dirk Willer, strategist at Citigroup, adding that liquidity had “largely disappeared” with the risk of Venezuela-style capital controls.

The peso’s fall added to increased risk aversion on global markets. By the close, the S&P 500 equity index lost 0.9 per cent, while the CBOE Vix volatility index – Wall Street’s so-called “fear gauge” – was up 7 per cent. Yields on 10-year Treasuries fell 8 basis points to 2.78, hitting their lowest levels since early December, as investors flocked to safer assets.

Across the Atlantic, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 fell 1.1 per cent while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo shed 0.8 per cent.

The fall in the currency was probably hastened by a broader sell-off in emerging markets, with weak data from China’s manufacturing sector adding to concerns over the effects of the Federal Reserve’s tapering plans. Turkey’s central bank was forced to intervene to prop up the lira, and the South African rand, Brazilian real and Chilean peso also fell sharply.

Argentina first introduced currency controls a week after Ms Fernández was re-elected president by a landslide in 2011. Since then the government has redoubled efforts to restrict transactions in foreign currency.

On Wednesday, it imposed new restrictions on online shopping in its latest attempt to curb capital flight and prevent a possible balance-of-payments crisis.

Jorge Capitanich, the head of Argentina’s cabinet of ministers, told reporters on Thursday that the central bank had not bought or sold dollars the previous day, “which tells you what its position is with respect to the exchange rate”. Earlier in the week, he used his Twitter account to urge businesses to “produce and invest, rather than worrying about the illegal dollar”.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 20:42:57

Bloomberg News
Asian Stocks Drop Fourth Week Amid China Growth Slowdown Concern
By Adam Haigh January 24, 2014

Asian stocks fell this week, posting the longest streak of weekly losses in more than 18 months amid concern growth is slowing in China, the world’s second-largest economy.

Cnooc Ltd. (883) slumped 8.7 percent in Hong Kong after an output growth forecast from China’s biggest offshore oil and gas producer fell short of its five-year average target. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. fell 2.5 percent as investors in a troubled trust product distributed by the lender met officials, demanding their money amid concern of a default. Newcrest Mining Ltd., a gold producer, climbed 3.2 percent in Sydney as the precious metal capped a fifth week of gains.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 1.4 percent to 137.64 this week. The gauge fell a fourth straight week as a survey from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics indicated Chinese factory output will shrink this month. The measure’s 5.1 percent advance from the end of August pushed valuations on the gauge to 13 times estimated earnings, above the average multiple during the past three years.
Video: China Manufacturing Report Shows Contraction

“There will be a correction of 10 percent or more,” Monty Guild, chief investment officer of Los Angeles-based Guild Investment Management Inc., which manages $143 million in global equity funds, said by e-mail about stocks globally. “We see China as an unattractive place to invest.”

Japan’s Topix index fell 2.5 percent this week and the Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 2.2 percent as the yen strengthened against the dollar. South Korea’s Kospi index lost 2.4 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index declined 0.4 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index slid 2.3 percent and Taiwan’s Taiex Index was little changed.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 20:44:32

Australian dollar heads for four-year low amid China growth fears
The Aussie dipped below 87 US cents after RBA member said it could go as low as 80
Bloomberg and agencies
theguardian.com, Friday 24 January 2014 20.34 EST
The Australian dollar has fallen under 87 US cents for the first time since 2010. Photograph: Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images

The Australian dollar has dropped below US$0.87 for the first time since July 2010 amid concerns about growth in China and the knock-on effects for emerging markets.

China’s bank regulator ordered regional offices to increase scrutiny of credit risks in the coal-mining industry, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

At the same time, emerging market assets were hit by worries about slowing growth in China as well as political problems in Turkey, Argentina and Ukraine.

The Aussie slid versus all 16 major currencies after the Wall Street Journal cited Reserve Bank member Heather Ridout as saying around 80 cents would be a fair deal for everybody.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 20:46:14

If China has a 10% correction, will the U.S. correction be larger or smaller than that?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 20:47:26

Asian Stocks Drop Fourth Week Amid China Growth Slowdown Concern
By Adam Haigh Jan 24, 2014 4:15 PM PT

Asian stocks fell this week, posting the longest streak of weekly losses in more than 18 months amid concern growth is slowing in China, the world’s second-largest economy.

Cnooc Ltd. (883) slumped 8.7 percent in Hong Kong after an output growth forecast from China’s biggest offshore oil and gas producer fell short of its five-year average target. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. fell 2.5 percent as investors in a troubled trust product distributed by the lender met officials, demanding their money amid concern of a default. Newcrest Mining Ltd., a gold producer, climbed 3.2 percent in Sydney as the precious metal capped a fifth week of gains.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 1.4 percent to 137.64 this week. The gauge fell a fourth straight week as a survey from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics indicated Chinese factory output will shrink this month. The measure’s 5.1 percent advance from the end of August pushed valuations on the gauge to 13 times estimated earnings, above the average multiple during the past three years.

There will be a correction of 10 percent or more,” Monty Guild, chief investment officer of Los Angeles-based Guild Investment Management Inc., which manages $143 million in global equity funds, said by e-mail about stocks globally. “We see China as an unattractive place to invest.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 20:49:40

Not to worry: History doesn’t repeat, it rhymes. Just because the 1990s Asian crisis started in Thailand doesn’t necessarily mean the next one will, too.

Political crisis in Thailand
You go your way, I’ll go mine
Thailand’s very unity is now under threat
Jan 25th 2014 | CHIANG MAI | From the print edition

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-24 20:51:39

Singapore Quarterly Home Price Has First Drop in Two Years
By Pooja Thakur Jan 23, 2014 11:03 PM PT
Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg

Singapore’s fourth-quarter home prices slid for the first time in almost two years, trimming annual gains to the smallest since 2008 as mortgage curbs cooled prices in the Southeast Asian city.

The private residential property price index fell 0.9 percent in the three months ended December, more than the 0.8 percent drop based on preliminary data announced on Jan. 2. The decline in suburban housing values was 1 percent, more than the 0.6 percent slide in the earlier report, according to a government statement today.

“The data means that in the last three weeks of December, the price decline accelerated in the suburban market,” said Nicholas Mak, executive director and head of research at property consultants SLP in Singapore. “We have to wait for another quarter to see if suburban prices continue to weaken, and if they do, it will set the tone for 2014.”

Record home prices amid low interest rates raised concerns of a housing bubble and prompted the government to widen a campaign that started in 2009 to curb speculation in the property market. Singapore unveiled new rules in June governing how financial institutions grant property loans to individuals, in addition to previous curbs including new taxes and higher down-payments.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2014-01-26 11:46:14

Seattle area: Zillow map shows hundreds of listings, maybe 1/4 of them forclosures. For sale sighs are numerous in the neighborhoods. Houses I looked at 6 months ago are still on the market. Rough guess that 1/4 to 1/3 of listings have price reductions, using the zillow search feature.

Meanwhile my realtor tells me prices will be up 4% next year.

Magic 8-ball says “Answer Uncertain”

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