Stocks are flat after the ECB cut rates again and promised more stimulus. Bonds and MBS are down.
ECB President Mario Draghi announced more quantitative easing and a cut in rates. They maintained their main rate at 0.05% and cut the deposit rate to -.3%. Apparently it wasn’t enough as bond yields are up worldwide.
Janet Yellen will be speaking in front of Congress starting at 10:00 am.
The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index fell from 59.1 to 55.9 in November, coming in well below expectations. Note the ISM Manufacturing Index also missed estimates and came in below 50, which indicates deceleration in the manufacturing sector. The employment sub-index fell, and some business owners are blaming Obamacare for higher costs.
Factory Orders rose 1.5%, a bit better than expectations, while durable goods orders were revised downward to 2.9%. Capital Goods Orders ex-defense and aircraft (a proxy for business capital expenditures) rose 1.3%.
Job cut announcements fell 13.9% to 31,000, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas. This is the lowest level in over a year.
Initial Jobless Claims rose 9k to 269k. Initial Jobless Claims are still at multi-decade lows, which is amazing when you take into account population growth.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort index fell again last week to the lowest level in a year. Consumers are becoming more pessimistic about the economy, with 31% having a positive view and 69% having a negative view. FWIW, November same store sales are coming in this morning from the retailers, and they look to be disappointing.
Bill Gross’s latest investment outlook is out. He is advising clients to gradually de-risk their portfolios during 2016. His thesis is that years of QE have essentially hollowed out real economies as it allows zombie corporations to continue to exist and it punishes savers and insurance companies / pension funds. Of course he is talking his own book to some extent. There is no doubt that the fear of the unintended long-term consequences of ZIRP and QE are coming into play with the Fed’s plan to raise interest rates in the US.
Filed under: Morning Report |