Morning Report: Globalism wins in France 5/8/17

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P Futures 2395.0 -2.8
Eurostoxx Index 393.7 -0.9
Oil (WTI) 46.2 0.0
US dollar index 89.9  
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.37%
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 102.6
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 103.81
30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 4.05

Stocks are lower after Emmanuel Macron won the French election. Bonds and MBS are flat.

The election in France is perceived as a rejection of Trumpism (or whatever you want to call it). It was a return to the globalist left. Seems to be a little “buy the rumor, sell the fact” going on in the markets.

James Bullard is saying that the Fed Funds rate is close to where the Taylor Rule calculation would recommend they be set. The economy is in a low growth regime, but the labor force is in a high growth regime. As long as the labor market is still taking up slack, we won’t see much in the way of wage growth, which should keep the Fed from having to normalize too quickly. Depending on how you set some of the variables, the correct Fed Funds rate is anywhere from 67 basis points to 155 basis points.

The week after the jobs report is generally pretty data-light so we shouldn’t have that much in the way of market-moving data. The biggest chance of market-moving data is Friday when we get retail sales and the consumer price index. We do have Fed-speak every day except for Thursday.

Where are robots more likely to replace workers? It turns out that the upper Midwest is ground zero, however parts of the Northeast are as well. Out West, we see very little of it. This could partially explain why the real estate markets out West are red-hot, while markets in the Rust belt and the Northeast are tepid at best. Automation means jobs are being lost, which results in a declining population. For decades now, the general trend of population growth has been similar to what you would see if you picked up the United States by Maine, dangled it and shook it. Of course robots are a symptom of a bigger problem – some of these industries have high cost structures, and they will either automate or go out of business. Note that the West may not be immune – the next shoe to drop will be artificial intelligence and machine learning which will replace a lot of white collar workers as it develops.

robots

Compare this to the CoreLogic real estate heat map:

corelogic MSAs

Definitely seems to be a correlation between overvalued (red) and undervalued (green) real estate markets and the presence of automation. It makes sense. If people are leaving the green areas, you would expect to have a harder time selling a home (or easier time buying) than in places that are experiencing an increase in population.

Buffetapalooza or Capitalist Woodstock (the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders’ meeting) was over the weekend in Omaha, where you can sing with the Fruit of the Loom guys, eat at Warren’s favorite steak house, eat Sees candy, etc. He did have a few words about Wells’s scandal (BRK is WFC’s biggest shareholder).

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