September 22, 2014

Bits Bucket for September 22, 2014

Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 00:37:43

Does the ‘death cross’ strike fear in your heart?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 00:38:58

Go ahead and tweet your alarm if you feel the urge.

Time to worry? Russell 2000 ‘death cross’ looms
September 19, 2014, 3:05 PM ET

Look out, the Russell 2000 is getting mighty close to achieving the dreaded “death cross” — a technical pattern that occurs when the 50-day moving average falls below the 200-day moving average (the purple line is the 50-day, the green is the 200-day). Needless to say, there’s some notable alarm on Twitter.

Comment by azdude
2014-09-22 06:15:36

I guess corporations are arguing stock buybacks are good for shareholders. Some other lemmings tried to tell me that too.

Can someone please explain how stock buybacks are good for shareholders?

Do shareholders who are investing in corporations even realize those same companies are speculating in the market?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 06:30:08

“Can someone please explain how stock buybacks are good for shareholders?”

Buybacks limit the number of shares on the market, which increases the value of individual shares, as the market value is concentrated over a smaller denominator. Shareholders can then sell to lock in capital gains.

Pretty simple math here…grade school long division explains the principle.

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Comment by azdude
2014-09-22 06:59:45

The overall value of the company hasn’t done a dam thing.

Lets say the company was worth 1000.00, no debt.

10 shares worth 100 each. You take out 2 shares bought with debt. Company worth 1000 - 200 debt = 800.00 . your remaining shares are worth 8 *100= 800.00.

If you bought the stocks with cash it would still reduce the equity in the company.

Whats your basically trying to say is the company is getting those shares they buyback for free, it has no negative to equity.The money is either borrowed or comes from cash.

equity in company/ shares outstanding= shareholder value

Now if the numerator stayed the same you would be right.

Wall street tries to trick people because earnings are reported in earnings / share. So you take away shares and earnings magically go up.

Where the hell is all the fuzzy math coming from?

Stocks represent the value of the company. If you buy the shares with debt or cash it still costs the company to buy them.

Buybacks do not limit anything. They reduce the number of shares outstanding, the float.

Comment by oxide
2014-09-22 07:09:57

If there are 10 shares and the company buys 8 of them, then the company owns 8 shares of the total value and the stockholders hold the remaining 2 shares of the total value. It’s not as if the shareholders suddenly get all the value split over 2 shares. The company is just another shareholder in the company, so to speak.

Whether or not the company buys back the 8 shares with debt or couch cushion money seems irrelevant.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-09-22 07:18:22

Fuzzy math?

You fail to understand the equities market. Once an IPO is executed and the company receives the proceeds of the sale of those shares, it’s done. It’s over. They’ve got their money and the shares continue to be traded.

Comment by Neuromance
2014-09-22 07:33:27

Executives are in part, paid based on share price. Manipulating share price higher means more cash for the most important shareholders.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-09-22 07:41:50

So if they are partly paid in share options, based on share price, it’s all good for them!

Comment by HBB_Rocks
2014-09-22 08:14:39

Share buybacks usually means that the company can’t think of anything better (as in better ROI) to do with the money.

If a company pays dividends, then buying back shares results in less cash out the door (less shares, less dividends) but again, just means they can’t think of anything better to do with the money.

Comment by Overbanked
2014-09-22 11:22:58

“Wall street tries to trick people because earnings are reported in earnings / share. So you take away shares and earnings magically go up.”

I never understood the logic of this, for reasons already articulated above.

The only possible benefit I can see from a corporation buying back its own shares (apart from them having inside information legally and then selling the purchases with capital gains distributable to the shareholders… whew…)is that there is less cash needed to pay dividends, if they can legally owe themselves dividends…

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-09-22 14:30:34

Normally, it would indicate that they are too profitable to want investors (since investors take profit away). That is not what’s going on now. They are just borrowing at such low rates that it’s more profitable to borrow from the bank than to borrow from investors.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-09-22 16:09:14

“Can someone please explain how stock buybacks are good for shareholders?”

If the company is borrowing money for the buybacks, it’s simply adding risk for the investor (leveraging up the company). That’s not necessarily good.

If the company is using free cash flow to buy back stock, then the benefit to shareholders can come in two main ways:

1. Management, with all they know, feel the company is dramatically undervalued, and as a shareholder, you effectively get the benefit of management’s real opinion of value–not only does the number of shares outstanding drop (increasing the value to the remaining shareholders), but the buyback was done at an advantageous time. This is akin to repurchasing corporate debt at a discount (which a lot of companies did during the crash). Effectively giving the shareholders more than $1 of value for spending $1 of cash. That’s good.

2. If the money was going to be used for dividends anyway, a buyback is far more tax efficient. If dividends were abolished, and the money was instead used for a steady buyback program, the same corporate value would be realized over fewer and fewer shares, and over time shareholders get the benefit of $1 of buybacks with $1 of market value. If shareholders need the money, they can sell whenever they want to realize that value and pay their tax (but they do so on their own schedule). If the company instead used $1 to pay in dividends, the shareholder is forced to pay tax on the $1, and would be left with $0.70-$0.85 of value for the $1 distributed.

Of course, if the second strategy is used indiscriminately (even when the stock price it too high), the company might end up paying $1 in cash for $0.50 of value, in which case, they would have been better off paying out the dividend.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-09-22 17:27:29

All else equal, buybacks shift a shareholder’s decision to pay tax on free cash flow to the shareholder from the board.

Aside from all sorts of other things (buying at a low price, etc.), that’s essentially the benefit I see.


A company generates $10 in cash flow (after tax), and the company is valued at 10x free cash flow ($100 per share) plus their cash on hand.

In the dividend situation:

1. A shareholder gets $10 per year, and the stock stays valued at $100. The shareholder ends up with less than $10 after paying Uncle Sam, and if they like the Company’s 10% yield, then can reinvest the net amount back with the Company, owning somewhat less than $110 worth of the Company after 1 year (with a 30% tax rate, they would own $107 worth of the company).

2. The company is priced at $110 immediately prior to the corporate buyback, and afterwards, with the reduction in the number of shares, the stock is still worth $110, but now the cash flow (which is the same) is distributed to fewer shareholders. Each share now would have gotten $11 of free cash flow. Instead of having less than $110 of value, the shareholder has $110 of value.

The only difference between the two situations is that in case #1 Uncle Sam gets a cut, and because of that cut, the shareholder effectively gets less return on their investment in the future.

In example #1, only “post-shareholder tax” cash flow can be reinvested.

In example #2, “pre-shareholder tax” cash flow can be reinvested back into the Company.

In example #1, the shareholders have no choice but to pay their tax–even if they would have preferred to reinvest the dividends into the company.

In example #2, the shareholders have the choice of taking cash (by selling some stock and paying tax), or reinvesting pre-tax in the company.

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-09-22 17:40:09

I always found it odd that companies would not buy back their stock when the the dow was at 8000 but gladly at 17,000

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-09-22 17:53:09

a) Mutual fund buys blocks of ABC Company common stock driving the price higher


b) ABC Company buys blocks of ABC Company common stock driving the price higher

A distinction without a difference.

Comment by taxpayers
2014-09-22 09:04:58

it’s a HA kind of day

looks like silver has gone out of style

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-09-22 11:01:30

You don’t like falling prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels that accelerate the economy?

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Comment by azdude
2014-09-22 17:14:01

you showed you really r an ignorant fool today.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-09-22 17:26:33

dude, how is things being more expensive while working folks are earing less money “good”?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-09-22 17:46:04

Falling prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels is always a net positive for the economy. Always

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 00:41:46

Metals Stocks
Gold finds no bounce off nine-month lows
Published: Sept 22, 2014 3:17 a.m. ET
Short bets have risen to highest level since June
By Shawn Langlois
Markets reporter

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Gold prices showed no interest in bouncing off January lows on Monday, opening the week in their familiar shade of red as traders are set to drink in another batch of pivotal economic data over the coming days.

At last check, gold for December delivery (GCZ4, -0.09%) was down $3.90 at $1,212.70 an ounce. September silver (SIU4, -3.45%) took a much harder hit, off 64 cents, or 3.5%, at $17.82 an ounce.

Gold closed Friday with another loss, marking three straight weeks of declines. Signs of an improving economy and a strengthening collar continue to dog prices.

Net long positions in gold in New York futures and options dropped for a fifth-straight week, while short sellers have boosted their bets to the highest level since June, according to Bloomberg.

On the economic front, the calendar may not be as compelling as it was last week, but there are still some notable reports out there, starting with existing home sales on Monday. New home sales hit midweek while the third estimate of second quarter GDP wraps things up on Friday.

Elsewhere in metals trading, December palladium (PAZ4, -0.48%) lost $5.95 to $810.90 an ounce, while October platinum (PLV4, -0.43%) shed $7.90, or 0.6%, to $1,329.40 an ounce. High-grade copper for December delivery (HGZ4, -1.39%) dropped 4 cents, or 1.5%, to $3.05 a pound.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 06:39:58

Jeff Reeves’s Strength in Numbers
Opinion: Gold crashes and is now tarnished for good
Published: Sept 22, 2014 6:00 a.m. ET
An improving economy is diminishing safe-haven demand
By Jeff Reeves

Gold shined brightly at the beginning of 2014, with bullion prices jumping by about 13% from New Year’s Day until mid-March.

But since spring, and particularly since July, gold prices have been on the decline. Last week, the precious metal settled near lows not seen since Christmas 2013.

So should investors consider this sell-off as an opportunity to buy precious metals on the cheap? Or is gold really tarnished for some time to come? Sadly for gold bugs, it’s the latter.

There’s always a big argument for gold as the only alternative amid overpriced stocks, a weak U.S. recovery and a fragile dollar that will collapse at any time. If you want to make those arguments in the face of the facts, feel free to scroll down to the comments section and make fun of my receding hairline.

But for those interested in reality, it’s important to note how much those arguments have missed the mark over the past few years and how they ignore recent data to the contrary.

The stock market, U.S. economy and the dollar are all doing quite well. Judging by recent data, all three look like they will improve.

Here’s why I wouldn’t expect gold to rebound anytime soon, and why the outlook for this precious metal is quite tarnished:

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 06:42:05

Why this September hasn’t been a happy month for gold bugs
September 17, 2014, 12:12 PM ET

India has helped make September an unusually difficult month for gold bugs.

Marking the traditional start of gold-buying season in India, it is usually a strong monthfor the yellow metal, but not this time around. On a most-active basis, futures on the yellow metal GCZ4 -0.25% is down around 4.7% since the end of August, trimming its year-to-date rebound to around 2%, according to FactSet. December gold was down $$9.30 at $1,226.60 an ounce Thursday, extending a slide as the dollar continued to rie in the wake of Wednesday’s Federal Reserve statement and news conference by Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen.

Here’s what Barclays precious-metals analysts led by Suki Cooper have to say in a Wednesday note:

As we head into Q4 14, typically a strong season for physical demand, the price floor provided by this demand looks unusually soft. While there are signs that demand has picked up ahead of the wedding and festival related buying season in India, it has not picked up in a fashion commensurate with the recent fall in prices. This deflated cushion is likely to be overwhelmed by a weak macro environment, namely a stronger dollar, with our FX strategists thinking EUR/USD will endure greater deterioration, forecasting a fall to 1.22 in three months and 1.10 in 12 months.

Indeed, throw in a stronger dollar and a Federal Reserve that’s headed toward tighter monetary policy and it can be difficult for a gold bull to find a friend. A stronger U.S. unit can be a negative for commodities priced in dollars, making them more expensive for foreign-currency users. Higher yields, which can go hand-in-hand with a stronger dollar, contrast with gold’s lack of yield.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-09-22 07:39:15

And staffing company stocks are bleeding faster than gold. I see a turnaround ahead. Gold’s had a 3 year meltdown.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 08:02:56

“I see a turnaround ahead.”

Any thoughts on the timing? Because it seems like the last bear market for gold lasted roughly two decades (1980-ish through 2000-ish).

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Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-09-22 09:10:28

no time horizon but the event horizon. Event being when bonds and stocks will be a hot potato. And that will happen. The investors will rush to safety. It will be to cash and metals - safety. I very much doubt it will be strictly precious metals, but I very much doubt it will be strictly cash. A combination of both.

Comment by oxide
2014-09-22 16:07:49

Sounds like a good time to buy the physical. Not everything is about buying low and selling high; it’s about usefulness. I think of the Chinese who are buying safe houses; they won’t care if house value falls 1/3.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-09-22 19:18:10
Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 19:54:32

“Certainly yes. China and Russia buying up gold.”

Great to have eager bagholders when prices are dropping…

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-09-22 20:36:40

I am very very confidant they know more what they are doing than the U.S. government knows what its doing.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 00:44:16

Silver slumps to 4-year low; gold looks likely to test $1,200
Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:33am GMT
24 karat gold bars are seen at the United States West Point Mint facility in West Point, New York June 5, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/Files
By A. Ananthalakshmi

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Silver’s sell-off extended to a second session on Monday, with the metal tumbling to a four-year low, as investors unwound long positions amid strength in the dollar and the possibility of a sooner-than-expected U.S. rate hike.

Weakness in gold, which fell to its lowest since January and was edging close to breaking below $1,200 an ounce, also weighed on silver and other precious metals.

The precious metals group has seen sharp losses in recent days as the dollar index hit a 4-year high last week on expectations the world’s biggest economy will see the start of its rate-tightening cycle sooner-than-expected.

“It is hard to get too excited about the precious metals group at this stage, as poor and uninspiring technicals will likely continue to exert pressure on prices,” INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note.

Spot silver slid to $17.30 an ounce - its lowest since June 2010, while spot gold dipped to $1,208.36 - its lowest since early January - before recovering modestly to trade at $1,213.10 by 0302 GMT.

Platinum hit fresh nine-month lows of $1,322.30 on Monday. Palladium also slipped and is down about $100 since hitting a 13-1/2-year high on Sept. 1.

“It looks like we can see further long liquidation for silver,” said one precious metals trader in Sydney. “The next key support at $16.60. And if we do trade under $17, there will be significant stop-loss orders around that level.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 00:46:33

If PMs are tanking on the mere hint the Fed may begin to dial rates back up to normal levels at some point in the distant, indefinite future, just imagine the squealing out of the gold bug brigade once interest rates actually start heading up again.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-09-22 05:24:02

When the full effects of the Fed’s debasement of the currency begin to manifest, the rush into precious metals (the physical variety, not the manipulated paper kind) will be epic.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-09-22 05:28:22
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Comment by Combotechie
2014-09-22 05:47:31

“In a move that could spark a new gold rush, customers anywhere in the world will be able to buy unlimited quantities of gold coins directly from the Mint.”

Think about this: They want to raise prices by increasing supply.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 05:50:49

Sounds like the Royal Mint wishes to reduce its gold exposure. Not exactly a bullish sign for the gold price breakout scenario…

Comment by Combotechie
2014-09-22 05:37:59

“When the full effects of the Fed’s debasement of the currency begin to manifest …”

Will this manifesting somehow find its way into rising wages?

If not then where is the money going to come from to push up the prices of PMs?

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 05:44:57

Magical thinking is necessary to properly understand.

Comment by azdude
2014-09-22 07:28:21

remember, houses are like a box of commodities!

ac compnents

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 08:05:05

Also remember that commodities are crashing!

How to Trade the Great Commodity Crash
Greg Guenthner
Posted Sep 12, 2014

Commodities are falling through the floor.

Almost everywhere you look in the commodity market, you’ll find carnage.

“Commodities fell to a five-year low on speculation abundant supplies and slowing economic growth outside of the U.S. will curb demand for raw materials,” Bloomberg reports. “The Bloomberg Commodity Index declined to the lowest since July 2009. Brent oil traded at the cheapest since 2012, wheat, corn and soybeans retreated to four-year lows, and gold slumped to a seven-month low.”

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-09-22 08:51:39

And it all depreciates

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 05:42:20

Time will tell. But I am curious why this dynamic you mentioned is not yet in play. It’s not like the Fed tried to hide QE3.

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Comment by azdude
2014-09-22 06:17:07

Its time for another round of printing so corporations can continue to borrow at zero and buyback their shares.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-09-22 06:10:13

We wonder how that “epic” works. The Fed has loaned everybody in the world that would borrow, all the dollars they wanted for so long that everybody is up to their eyeballs owing dollars. Income and earnings to pay back these loans is on the slide. Debt saturation all around. There isn’t enough income around the world to pay off the loans or to even roll over the loans. This has already been an epoch credit expansion. Something else comes after. That’s the setup Raymond.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 06:32:01

Sounds more like a deflationary setup than a prelude to a gold price breakout.

Comment by azdude
2014-09-22 07:35:42

why do I get the feeling wall street and corporations are hosing shareholders?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-09-22 08:53:35

No worse than the housing hosing.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 06:45:45

It certainly is interesting to see Mr Market dumping shares so soon after the Fed reiterated their commitment to holding down interest rates into the indefinite future.

Just think how ugly things will get when the Fed finally gets around to announcing a plan to tighten with a timeline attached to it!

Comment by azdude
2014-09-22 07:22:33

Companies should keep buying back shares with borrowed cash so the value of the company magically goes up and then shares are worth more.

Hey its working why not ride this horse longer?

Comment by taxpayers
2014-09-22 09:08:40

I remember when the fed could only control short rates and only marginally
I’m old

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-09-22 19:22:09

It certainly is interesting to see Mr Market dumping shares so soon after the Fed reiterated their commitment to holding down interest rates into the indefinite future.

Seems imminently foreseeable—the Fed is winding down their QE right as the EU is cranking up theirs… That seems destined to increase the value of the dollar for a change, with predictable effects on stock prices here.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-09-22 01:58:47
Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-09-22 05:21:59

The Free Sh!tters (Detroit Corps) demand free water as a human right.

Comment by azdude
2014-09-22 06:19:02

they will probably come out with some program to help them. In CA they have tons of programs for low income people.I know electric and gas bills are covered.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-09-22 16:08:31

Yeah - and how many of these “victims” have the latest iPhones, cable TV, and expensive drug habits? These same “victims” voted for successive corrupt Democrat administrations that maladministered Detroit into the ground and turned it into a corrupt shithole, and are now giving the vulture funds free rein to step in with their “solutions.” I have no pity for these freeloaders.

Comment by Shillow
2014-09-22 06:43:13

The ’shadow inventory’ will be purchased by the government en masse and used to house the 20 million new legal residents. Anyone who wants to sell a house government will offer fair market value based on a formula that includes what price you paid and what price will not tank the area. Maybe it will be made illegal to even publish the price you sold to the government for.

Comment by azdude
2014-09-22 07:24:43

That really sounds like a good plan. Do you think they can borrow some more notes from uncle FED to implement?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-09-22 10:52:29

Hold onto your cash and stay out of debt. You’re going to need every penny you can get your hands on.

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Comment by azdude
2014-09-22 17:15:18

we know your broke , your not fooling anyone here.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-09-22 17:44:27

Data AZ_Fraud… Stick with the data.

Cypress, CA Sale Prices Plummet 15% QoQ; Down 4% YoY

Comment by palmetto
2014-09-22 06:46:48

If ever a city personified the decline of a nation, Detroit is it.

Comment by Dman
2014-09-22 11:51:56

Only an individual can personify something.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-09-22 12:13:57

Detroit is incorporated.

Corporations are people too!

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Comment by Dman
2014-09-22 13:02:51

I stand corrected : )

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-09-22 16:09:37

Okay, “embodied,” Grammar Nazi.

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Comment by Dman
2014-09-23 05:48:55

The word we’re looking for is “symbolized.”

Comment by oxide
2014-09-22 07:33:23

If you want to create a third world country, being flippant and sarcastic about safe water is a good place to start. That said, I wouldn’t object to a sliding scale with some minimum amount being free and you pay after that.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-09-22 19:28:39

being flippant and sarcastic about safe water is a good place to start. That said, I wouldn’t object to a sliding scale with some minimum amount being free and you pay after that.

No one was flippant about _SAFE_ water—just about _FREE_ water.

They’re welcome to drink as much as they like from the drinking fountain in the park.

Do you really think that is should be piped into everyone’s home regardless of whether they pay their bills?

Comment by taxpayers
2014-09-22 09:24:11

the black chic on msnbc has 14 rights +1 yo and you be at 15

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-09-22 16:10:56

She looks like she’s spawned 14 feral Democrat-for-Life entitlement voters, that’s for sure.

Comment by 2banana
2014-09-22 10:28:03

The irony is the reason Detroit, Buffalo, Cleavland, Philly, Chicago, etc. were all founded were in large part due to a plentiful supply of clean and cheap water…

These cities have been run into the ground by the democrats/progressives but the “bones” are there for these cities to rise again one day (with good leadership).

Without the right bones - you have southern California/Las Vegas today.

Dry, no water and millions of illegals flowing in - it will not end well.

Maybe the government will allow to flush your toilet every third day…

Comment by Dman
2014-09-22 12:05:39

It’s funny how you always focus on northern cities as proof that progressivism doesn’t work. Why don’t you take a trip to Mississippi or Louisiana or pretty much any rural red state area if you want to see evidence of how voting conservative will turn your state into a third world dump?

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-09-22 12:16:04

Not water for drinking, water for transportation.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-09-22 07:29:24

Me to the rebubble:

See you later, crater gator.

I crack myself up.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-09-22 09:38:11

….. and enjoy your crater taters.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-09-22 07:51:04

Cash is king! There. Your daily dose!

Realizing huge gains is becoming addictive I tell you.

“Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle…” (That’s the sound of Selfish Hoarder” counting his $100 bills).

How’s your crack shack today? Better put more bars on the windows cuz your nabe is going ghetto!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 08:06:57

“How’s your crack shack today? Better put more bars on the windows cuz your nabe is going ghetto!”

That comment may hit close to home for my family soon, as we need to sell the old homestead within the next several months. It’s located a short drive away from Ferguson, MO.

Comment by goon squad
2014-09-22 09:29:24

“crack shack … bars on the windows”

As a renter of a top floor unit in a security building, I don’t have these problems

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 08:11:10

Economic Report
Existing-home sales drop for first time in five months
By Ruth Mantell
Published: Sept 22, 2014 10:54 a.m. ET
A “For Sale” sign stands in front of a house in Seattle on July 20. Bloomberg

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Sales of previously owned homes fell in August, the first drop in five months, as investors paying entirely in cash made fewer deals, according to data released Monday.

While some may worry about last month’s slower pace of existing-homes, there’s a silver lining, NAR said.

First-time buyers have a better chance of purchasing a home now that bidding wars are receding and supply constraints have significantly eased in many parts of the country,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

Investors may be buying fewer properties due to concerns about returns, he added.

Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected an annual home-sales rate of 5.2 million in August, compared with an originally reported rate of 5.15 million for July. On Monday, NAR tweaked July’s home-sales pace to 5.14 million.

The annual sales pace of existing homes declined 1.8% to 5.05 million last month, led by drops in the South and West, NAR reported.

The home-sales pace in August was down 5.3% from the year-earlier period. Over the past year, racing prices and mortgage rates hit housing demand. A hard winter slashed home sales in the first quarter, and economists expect 2014’s final sales tally to wind up below last year’s result.

Later this week the government will report on sales of new single-family houses, and economists expect the annualized pace to pick up to 425,000 in August from 412,000 in July. The U.S. Commerce Department recently reported that construction started on new U.S. homes tumbled last month, pulling back after a recent surge, signaling some shakiness in the housing market’s recovery.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-09-22 09:40:35

Remember. …. This is the same lying thieving outfit that understated collapsing demand every month for 5 years straight.

Comment by Neuromance
2014-09-22 10:55:44

The NAR will say whatever it needs to in order to help its members make sales. That’s the bottom line.

What I find unfortunate is the government - the Commerce Department - relies on NAR for its real estate data. There are much better and more accurate sources of this information. State and local governments keep impeccable transaction, tax and location data as this is source of tax revenue. Relying on NAR for this information means that if and when NAR sees fit to fudge the data for whatever reason, they will.

It just shows how deeply the government is captured by the FIRE sector. “If they control the information, they can bend it all they want.” - John Mayer, “Waiting On The World To Change”

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-09-22 11:09:39

They reconfigure the data at the behest of GovCorp.

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-09-22 16:13:01

Remember. …. This is the same lying thieving outfit that understated collapsing demand every month for 5 years straight.

The authors of “Freakonomics” called realtors “an industry of dissemblers.” Truer words were never spoken.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-09-22 17:37:37

Damn that’s right on… Check out Danny Websters definition of dissembler.

“to give a false or misleading appearance to; conceal the truth or real nature of: to dissemble one’s incompetence in business.”

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Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
Comment by phony scandals
2014-09-22 13:46:18

Al Bundy on Married with Children said the perfect woman would have three breasts, two big ones up front and a third on her back for slow dancing.

Comment by rms
2014-09-22 17:41:40

She was in Total Recall, IIRC. Hehe.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-09-22 13:41:30

‘The White House _ Office of the Press Secretary’

‘This isn’t America vs. ISIL. This is the people of that region vs. ISIL. It’s the world vs ISIL.’

The latest line out of Vegas has ISIL favored by 3 1/2 points.

Comment by goon squad
2014-09-22 15:03:21

Region VIII checking in.

Comment by goon squad
2014-09-22 16:32:59

Some music from region V:

MC5 - The American Ruse:

Comment by phony scandals
2014-09-22 17:17:07

Region I Missing Afghan Soldiers checked in.

State Police: 3 Missing Afghan Soldiers in Custody

BOSTON — Sep 22, 2014, 5:14 PM ET
By BOB SALSBERG Associated Press

Three Afghanistan National Army officers who went missing during a training exercise at a Cape Cod military base were detained Monday at the U.S.-Canadian border, Massachusetts law enforcement officials said.

Massachusetts state police were notified that the three were being questioned by federal authorities at Rainbow Bridge, which connects Niagara Falls, New York, and Niagara Falls, Ontario, said spokesman David Procopio, who did not have further details.

There was no immediate comment from the Pentagon.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in Niagara Falls said they didn’t have the men in custody. Messages left for Canada Border Services Agency weren’t immediately returned.

Military officials said the Afghan soldiers had been participating in a U.S. Central Command Regional Cooperation training exercise at Joint Base Cape Cod. They arrived at Camp Edwards on Sept. 11 and were last seen Saturday at the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis during an off day.

The soldiers were reported missing by base security personnel Saturday night. They were identified as Maj. Jan Mohammad Arash, Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada and Capt. Noorullah Aminyar.

Gov. Deval Patrick, who had been briefed over the weekend on the situation, said earlier Monday that the military did not believe the three soldiers posed a danger to the public. -

Comment by Avocado
2014-09-22 15:53:39

Walmart has more employees on food stamps than any other co.
I am tired of subsidizing Walmart with tax payer dollars! McDonald is #2.

How do we fix this scam!

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-09-22 18:03:12

Stop shopping at Wal-Mart?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-09-22 16:15:30

A high-flyer bubble stock got crushed today…my, this brings back memories.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-09-22 16:18:43

Oligarch for Open Borders Mark Zuckerburg is annoying neighbors by building himself a “fortress.” What’s wrong, Mark, you want to isolate yourself from the dystopia you are helping to create?

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-09-22 17:54:55

What i want is zucks feet held to the fire when another trayvon or Mike brown incident happens, almost all the rioting if i had a son, was because FB twitter instagram took their pages down so people can wildly speculate about police brutality……..keep dead people pages up…….he promised he would.

Police very very rarely shoot anyone that does not have some type of criminal record…..very very rarely.

Ohbewanna knew travyon should have been arrested instead of suspended….still cant believe he said that ignorant remark.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-09-22 16:24:54

Well looky here. The UK Labor Party’s Ed Miliband is pledging to use a “mansion tax” to fund Britain’s ailing health care system. I’ll believe it when I see it - Labor, like the Tories, is an adjunct of the City of London banksters - but it appears the competing demands of Britain’s ever-growing Free Sh!t Army is conflicting with the the oligarchs’ rapacious demands for “moar austerity!” for the 99%.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-09-22 16:27:20

Accounting scandals at a retail behemoth?! I am shocked, shocked, I tell you…I thought the regulators were supposed to prevent such things after the 2008 financial crash.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-09-22 16:29:48

To the low-IQ voters who nearly installed this imbecile and her even more odious running mate in the White House: run don’t walk to the nearest medical facility and get yourselves sterilzed for the benefit of society. And please don’t vote anymore. You’re simply too stupid to exercise that responsibilility.–and-says-the-liberal-media-is-to-blame-9749438.html

Comment by rms
2014-09-22 17:49:03

“…run don’t walk to the nearest medical facility and get yourselves sterilzed for the benefit of society.”

Someone in California was offering a cash incentive to welfare mothers to get the procedure; Maxine Waters got her panties in a bunch.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-09-22 18:05:41

I’m pretty sure the welfare queens (except the ones on Wall Street) didn’t vote for McCain/Palin, but I can see where the Dems would throw a hissy fit over such a proposal.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-09-22 16:37:57
Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-09-22 16:40:45

Janet, we have a problem. The Fed’s main policy transmission channel, since stock ownership is not widespread enough to affect the real economy’s expectations, is via home equity wealth creation and animal spirit exuberance-based borrowing and leverage. As the following chart shows, the much-touted “housing recovery” pillar of the economy - that is set to take off and lift growth to escape velocity - is only evident in one place…

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-09-22 16:43:01

After 4 straight months of bounce-back exuberance that ‘confirms’ the hope that NAHB sentiment appears to present, existing home sales dropped 1.1% in August (against expectations of a 1.0% rise) and previous growth was revised lower. This is the biggest miss since November 2013. The South and West saw the biggest drops as inventory fell. First-time homebuyers remain sidelined with only 29% of total sales. The National Association of Realtors blames the drop on “investors stepping away from the market,” and notes distressed sales are the lowest since October 2008.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-09-22 16:48:37

What happens when the Fed’s money-printing, followed by out-of-control government spending and liabilities, causes the dollar to lose its reserve currency status?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 19:57:12

Aren’t we talking about an event a few decades down the road here?

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-09-22 17:10:30

came across this….the end of another era…come on everyone loved comic books…

Comment by phony scandals
2014-09-22 17:32:20

I had a feeling Leonardo DiCaprio would win the Clinton Global Citizen Award for his environmental work when I read this last year.

“I would like to improve the world a bit. I will fly around the world doing good for the environment”.

by The Deadline Team
January 19, 2013 1:30pm

Leonardo DiCaprio says he’s taking a break from acting.

DiCaprio says he plans to use the time to travel and promote environmental awareness. “I would like to improve the world a bit. I will fly around the world doing good for the environment”. - 275k -
Leonardo DiCaprio Receives Clinton Global Citizen Award for Environmental Work

Sep 22

Leonardo DiCaprio has been awarded a prestigious Clinton Global Citizen Award for his environmental work.

Receiving the honor at a ceremony in New York on Sunday night, The Wolf of Wall Street star said it was “ridiculous” that less than three per cent of the world’s philanthropic efforts goes on preserving the environment.

The actor, who had attended the People’s Climate Change March earlier in the day, urged world leaders in attendance to address the “real and terrifying crisis” facing the planet.…/ - 54k -

Comment by rms
2014-09-22 17:53:13

Needs to spend more time with Erin Heatherton?

Comment by phony scandals
2014-09-22 17:51:14

The Hillary Letters: Clinton, Saul Alinsky correspondence revealed

“I have just had my one-thousandth conversation about Reveille [for Radicals] and need some new material to throw at people.”
The Hillary Letters: Clinton, Saul Alinsky correspondence revealed

by Alana Goodman | Washington Free Beacon | September 22, 2014

Previously unpublished correspondence between Hillary Clinton and the late left-wing organizer Saul Alinsky reveals new details about her relationship with the controversial Chicago activist and shed light on her early ideological development.

Clinton met with Alinsky several times in 1968 while writing a Wellesley college thesis about his theory of community organizing.

Clinton’s relationship with Alinsky, and her support for his philosophy, continued for several years after she entered Yale law school in 1969, two letters obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show.

The letters obtained by the Free Beacon are part of the archives for the Industrial Areas Foundation, a training center for community organizers founded by Alinsky, which are housed at the University of Texas at Austin.

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-09-22 18:08:24

always wondered why she didn’t leave Bill after Monica…..maybe she did the same with good ole Saul? he was married at the time…

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 19:58:31

That’s a goldalist perspective if ever there was one.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-09-22 20:35:23

Awesome comeback W-A-B - “goldalist!”

I strive to be a goldalist but my holdings of physical precious metals (of any kind) are under 7% of my assets.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 21:21:07

I truly don’t grasp the big freakout over the China slowdown. It’s not like we haven’t been warning on it here for months on end already.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 21:24:21

Credit Markets
U.S., German and U.K. Bonds Strengthen on China Concerns
Worries Over China’s Economic Outlook Spark Selling in Riskier Assets
By Min Zeng
Updated Sept. 22, 2014 4:03 p.m. ET

Investors scooped up ultrasafe government bonds in the U.S., Germany and the U.K. Monday as concerns about China’s economy sparked selling in riskier assets.

In late-afternoon trading, the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note was 6/32 higher, yielding 2.567%. Yields fall as prices rise.

The yield on the 10-year German government bond fell to 0.967% while the yield on the 10-year U.K. government bond slid to 2.501%, according to Tradeweb.

Investors’ appetites for riskier assets soured on comments earlier Monday from Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei. Mr. Lou said weakness in a single economic indicator wouldn’t be reason enough for a drastic change in the country’s fiscal direction.

The comments raised worries that without further stimulus, the prospects of the world’s second-largest economy could become gloomier. China has been a big buyer of commodities and investors are worried that reduced demand would push down commodities prices and undercut the economic prospects of the commodities-exporting countries.

Concern about Chinese growth has ramped up lately after data showed that the country’s industrial-output growth slowed to its lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis. Worries about demand have recently pushed down prices for crude oil, natural gas and silver.

The Treasury bond market is benefiting from some safe-haven buying,” said Larry Milstein, head of government and agency trading at R.W. Pressprich & Co. in New York. “Chinese growth is critical for overall global growth. It will be very difficult for U.S. economic growth to improve if both China and Europe are dragging down growth.”

On Monday, copper, whose price is among the most sensitive to the growth outlook in China, hit a three-month low. Monday’s price strength in Treasury bonds is the latest sign of the market regaining some poise after a recent selloff.

The 10-year note’s yield rose above 2.65% last week as investors shed holdings over concerns about how long the Federal Reserve can keep its official interest rates near zero amid signs of a stronger economy.

Higher yields have attracted fresh buyers since Friday, including investors in Asia and Europe who are attracted by higher yields in the U.S., compared with bonds in Germany and Japan.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-09-22 21:28:03

The iron ore industry is headed for a brutal shakeout as prices collapse
September 22, 2014, 2:57 PM ET

A bloodbath in iron-ore prices could get much uglier before things turn around. And it’s not all China’s fault, either.

While Chinese demand, a major force in the market, has slowed, big iron ore producers, including Brazil’s Vale, BHP Billiton , Rio Tinto and Fortescue plan to boost production and shipments despite the glut.

Australian producers BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue aim to boost output by 170 million tons this year, equal to around 7% of 2013 global supply and 11% of global production outside China, notes Capital Economics. Vale and Anglo-American are also looking to increase output, too.

Why are they boosting production in the face of falling demand?

“It’s because their marginal cost of production is much lower than many of the smaller players globally; and because they operate in different segments, they can absorb a large hit in iron ore mining profitability that others cannot survive,” said Ben Ryan, an analyst at Hedgeye Risk Management, in an email. “They’re ultimately admitting we’re in a downtrend in raw minerals mining (iron ore, copper, and coal) and the announcement to increase production despite prices [being down] 40% year-to-date works to squeeze lower cost producers on the way down. The expectation for the global supply increase works with the apparent decrease in demand to push prices lower. Eventually enough producers get squeezed out of the market and this supply/demand dynamic bottoms out then reverses.”

Comment by phony scandals
2014-09-23 07:24:37

phony scandals

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