Morning Report – Janet Yellen testifies 2/24/15

Markets are flat this morning after the EU and Greece agreed to a 4 month extension of their rescue package. Bonds and MBS are down small.

Janet Yellen is set to testify in front of the Senate this morning. Watch for volatility in rates. The prepared remarks are here. Initial reaction of bonds is negative.

Home prices rose .87% month-over-month and 4.5% year over year, according to Case-Shiller. We continue to approach normalcy, but housing starts / new home construction remain at recessionary levels. The Great Millennial Develeraging continues…

The Home Despot reported good earnings this moring, and the stock is up smartly. They boosted their quarterly dividend by 26% and authorized an $18 billion buyback. Sale store sales increased 7.9%. The conference call is going on right now, and it appears that the strike in the West Coast ports has not become an issue yet. Also, they are not seeing upward wage pressure as their wages are “above market.”

McMansion builder Toll Brothers beat numbers this morning, and took up guidance for 2015. ASPs are forecast to increase to $742,500 higher than the previous guidance of $735,000. Deliveries will increase as well to 5,600 units from 5,500 units. They will hold a conference call at 11:00 am EST.

20 Responses

  1. Frist! That is all.


  2. Also, when Spider-Man appears in Captain America: Civil War, he’s going to be Peter Parker, or Kevin Feige is out of his blinkin’ mind. Miles Morales can be Spider-Man in 2020.


  3. Does anyone else think the reason why the media is so upset over the walker / giuliani kerfuffle is because the MSM inadvertently gave him the opportunity to flip the bird at obama without saying anything crazy or usable in an attack ad?


    • Brent:

      Does anyone else think the reason why the media is so upset over the walker / giuliani kerfuffle is because the MSM inadvertently gave him the opportunity to flip the bird at obama without saying anything crazy or usable in an attack ad?

      I never thought about it that way, but it is an interesting notion.


  4. PL was so worth it today to see the resident Marxist reduced to defending the Argentine military junta’s invasion of the Falklands out of spite towards Thatcher and Reagan.


    • JNC, the Falklands War brings back a unique memory for me. In our synagogue we had open discussion of the morning’s Torah portion every Saturday. My daughter Hannah, then 8 1/2, stood up and gave a coherent rant on the righteousness of the Brit defense of the Falklands that was her takeaway on justifiable violence, which was a theme of the bible story. Totally surprised me, as well as everyone in the congregation.

      She was going through a year long period in her life when she thought she wanted to be the first woman POTUS.
      It ended for her when we lost those 200+ Marines in Beirut. She thought RWR was right to send the Marines and then she was heartbroken by what happened and decided that being POTUS was too hard.


  5. I can see I’m going to have to go visit Morning Plum to read through it when I get home.

    FWIW, I doubt that Greg’s comment the other day was aimed at anyone here; he’s fed up with Weldor.


  6. Which is odd because he’s so easily disregarded. I assumed it was myself, NoVA and Snarkbait based on the number of posts on that thread.

    The piece on the Falklands is part of the O’Reilly post.


  7. @markinaustin: That’s awesome. Amazingly engaged, at that age . . . although I think more kids were, at the time. If not at 8.5 then shortly thereafter.

    I know I was at age 13 (probably not enough to make a speech about it, and I was not as pro-Thatcher as your daughter, although Thatcher got points in my mind for being British and a woman while Reagan was just a senile old actor trying to start a nuclear war (again, I was 12/13 in 1982) but my children are only dimly aware of a world that exists outside of iPhones and Netflix and Hulu, although the oldest is also very aware of her boyfriend. And that’s about it.

    When we lost the marines in Beirut, I chalked it up to Reagan’s incompetence, although I entertained the possibility, at the time, that he did it intentionally to start World War III. I feel like my 13 year old self would be feted as “one of the smart ones” on PlumLine. 😉


  8. When we lost the Marines in Beirut my best friend’s older brother, who was assigned to that unit, was home on leave at the time. It was the first time I ever saw a man cry.


  9. Mark what did that daughter end up doing? Is she the one who is the PharmD or is that someone else?


  10. If I had to name one regret from my mentality back then it would probably be defending Oliver North in Iran/Contra. I’ve since come to the conclusion that it could have risen to the level of impeachment worthy, although whether or not to actually do so is fundamentally a political decision.

    Public presence can make a difference in how you view someones policies and North came off as a lot more self assured and the Democrats in Congress came off as so petty and venal in the hearings.


  11. I agree. I was way more liberal at the time, and still found the Democrats behavior in the North hearings groan-worthy. He came off way better. Charisma!


  12. I still have my Oliver North congressional hearings coloring book. It was a spoof based on the original Watergate coloring book that came out back then.


  13. Wow, I haven’t thought about the WG hearings in ages. I watched most of it because I was home with my son during the day, he was a baby. I went to school at night when my first husband came home from doing whatever it was he did during the day, never did figure that out…..LOL. I was really fascinated by them at 23. I’m not sure why after watching the moon landing, the Watt’s riots, all the JFK assassination, RK assassination, and MLK’s killing, coverage live. What a crazy story that was, and Nixon’s subsequent leaving office. My dad actually knew Nixon in the old days so maybe that was it…………..some of the stories he used to tell me.


  14. lmsinca: all right, give with the stories.


  15. I remember one in particular. A poker game. He tried to cheat and got caught. It was more funny at the time my dad said than anything else. He also used to talk about his “destiny” a lot. My dad didn’t really care for him that much but I think he was about a decade older than my dad anyway. They met after the war in Whittier I think. If I remember, their meeting had to do with my Dad’s best friend who was on the Enola Gay, Rick Nelson. He used to hang around in a lot of political circles (Nelson that is).

    My dad liked him enough to vote for him though.


  16. I recall a My History Can Beat Up Your Politics podcast on Nixon that went into Nixon’s love of poker, and I think touched on the cheating thing. Awesome little “it’s a small world” bit of history there. Thanks!


  17. Nixon grew up here locally so I’m sure there are lots of stories, or perhaps even myths, running through a lot of families in So Cal. Rick Nelson’s widow is still alive and I speak to her periodically. Next time I do I’ll ask if she knows any other little tidbits of info on Nixon or anyone else that memorable. I remember the poker one because my Dad’s family were big card players and you couldn’t sneak much past my dad when it came to poker……LOL

    Interesting about the podcast!


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