Headline Data Look “Strong,” But Contradictions Abound

The January Non-Farm Payroll (NFP) number was always destined to be a market mover, especially after Fed Chair Powell said that, while the Fed will be lowering rates in 2024, March was not their base case. The +353K NFP number (consensus was +185K) with December’s number revised up to 333K from 216K, and the +0.6% […]

Fed Actions (Inactions) are Key to the Economic Outlook

Over the past week or so, we’ve seen some backup in market interest rates. The 10-Year Treasury yield (chart) closed at a 4.15% on Friday (January 19), up 21 basis points from its 3.94% level a week earlier, and 3.79% on December 26th. The rise in market rates was mainly due to the hawkish tone […]

Upon Further Review – The Labor Market Is Cooling

On Friday (January 5th), once again, the Non-Farm Payroll (NFP) number (+216K) handily beat the +175K consensus estimate for December. Immediately after the release, equity markets, via the S&P 500, spiked +0.75% (35 points) to 4,721 from 4,686, as did bond yields with the 10-Year Treasury rising 8 basis points to 4.08%. But, by day’s […]

The Fed: “We Don’t Talk About Rate Cuts – No! No! No!”

The title of this blog was inspired by Disney’s Encanto, a story about a family living in a charmed villa in the mountains of Columbia. Cracks begin to appear in the foundation of the grand villa, and it is Bruno, an ostracized family member, who holds the key to stop the foundation from crumbling. The […]

As Inflation Fades and Incoming Data Disappoint The Fed Appears Intransigent

The headline CPI reading of no price inflation (0.0%) in October surprised the financial markets (but not us). It caused a bond market rally as yields (especially on the long end) fell. Then the PPI (Producer Price Index) showed up with a negative number for October (-0.5%), and this is generally a harbinger of what […]

GDP Growth Will Slow – Likely to Turn Negative

The economic story of the week was the “hot” 4.9% GDP print. The chart shows this in relationship to the recent past, with the dotted line showing the long-run 1.8% growth rate of the economy. The 4.9% is an annualized number, so the actual growth from Q2 was just under 1.5%, and the year/tear growth […]