Morning Report: Retail Sales disappoint 7/17/17

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P Futures 2457.0 2.0
Eurostoxx Index 387.2 0.4
Oil (WTI) 46.5 0.0
US dollar index 87.3 -0.1
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.30%
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 102.625
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 103.59
30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 3.96

Stocks are higher this morning after a strong GDP report out of China. Bonds and MBS are up.

There isn’t much in the way of market-moving events this week with a sparse economic calendar and the Fed is in the quiet period ahead of their FOMC meeting next week.

Inflation at the consumer level remains below the Fed’s target as the consumer price index was flat MOM and up 1.6% YOY. Ex-food and energy, it was up 0.1% MOM and 1.7% YOY.

Retail sales disappointed, falling 0.2% MOM. The prior month was revised upward however from a drop of 0.3% to a drop of 0.1%. The Street was looking for 0.1% gain. The control group fell 0.1% versus expectations of a 0.4% gain.

Industrial production rose 0.4% MOM while manufacturing production rose 0.2% and capacity utilization ticked up to 76.6%. Improvements in the mining sector accounted for the rise.

Business inventories rose 0.3% as autos increased. Inventory will amount to a slight positive in the Q2 GDP report. The inventory-to-sales ratio is at 1.38, which is elevated compared to historical norms and would ordinarily be associated with a downturn in the economy.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey fell to 9.8 last month, but is still reasonably strong.

Earnings season gets into full gear this week, with a lot of the big banks reporting.

Wells Fargo reported better-than-expected earnings last week. The stock was down about 2% on the news, despite the earnings beat as improvements in credit quality were offset by high expenses. Mortgage origination was down 11% YOY to $56 billion, while applications fell 13% and the size of their pipeline fell 28%. Nonconforming loans rose by $7.3 billion, while second mortgages fell. Mortgage banking revenues fell 19%, however which indicates margin compression.

Mortgage banking revenues at JP Morgan and Citi also fell by 26% and 52% respectively.

Defaults are soaring for subprime auto loans, as the sector has hit new post-crisis highs. While subprime auto loans are not going to have the impact on the economy that subprime mortgages did, this is a tell that all is not necessarily well in consumer-lending land. Despite the aggressive underwriting in auto loans, mortgage credit remains tight as a drum. The auto loan issue is yet another one of the unintended consequences of Fed policy: many of the biggest investors in this sort of paper are pension funds, insurance companies, etc, who have to hit a return bogey and cannot earn enough in government and investment grade paper to meet their actuarial obligations. Many of the state pension funds are solvent only if you squint at the asset return assumptions.

Mortgage credit eased a touch in June, according the the MBA Mortgage Credit Availability Index. Conforming and non-conforming credit eased while government credit tightened.

24 Responses

  1. This article is beyond description. Do yourself a favor and read it, you won’t regret it.


  2. Are either of these faked? Does anyone here know? Read anything about them?


    • Those are hilarious!

      What’s your take on them?

      Liked by 1 person

      • For the limo, maybe he saw another car with more American flags on it to his right and headed for it.

        For the one with Netanyahu he was confused about something. Whether he ought to have been confused or whether he had a bad senior moment I dunno. My wife thought may be he had to fart and walked away from everyone for a moment to escape the mikes, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I had seen the limousine one before. Extreme distraction would be my guess. Although it doesn’t seem possible to miss the limo.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting argument:

    “In 1968, Johnson and his team knew what Nixon was up to. They had wiretapped the South Vietnamese ambassador who was in touch with the campaign through a contact nicknamed The Dragon Lady. (Music promoter, Rod Goldstone is not the only exotic character in these tales). A couple days before the election, the Christian Science Monitor had the story of Nixon’s behind the scenes work. Their correspondent in Saigon had come up with the reporting, but the paper needed the White House to confirm. (How quaint.)

    Johnson, down on his ranch in Texas, held an emergency phone call with his Secretary of State and Defense. Should they confirm the report? They knew the story was true. They had the covert information. The president’s men said it would be immoral to expose Nixon. “I do not believe that any president can make any use of interceptions or telephone taps in any way that would involve politics,” said Secretary of State Dean Rusk. “The moment we cross over that divide, we’re in a different kind of society.”

    Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford added his own reason: “I think that some elements of the story are so shocking in their nature that I’m wondering whether it would be good for the country to disclose the story and then possibly have [Nixon] elected. It could cast his whole administration under such doubt that I would think it would be inimical to our country’s interests.”

    Clifford, who was a staunch Democrat (he helped orchestrated Truman’s 1948 miracle comeback) was worried about the country more than defeating Nixon. The story never ran.

    Politics is not the nicest business, but there are still times when people do the right thing.”

    So in this telling, the “right thing” is to prevent true information about Nixon’s involvement with the Vietnam peace negotiations from becoming public knowledge, lest it “influence” the vote in the presidential election.

    Trump has made everyone crazy.

    The more traditional version of this story is that it wasn’t about “doing the right thing” but rather Johnson not wanting to open the can of worms about having wiretapped Nixon’s campaign plane, not just the South Vietnamese ambassador.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s official: Kid Rock is running for Senate:

    Singing Sweet Home Alabama all summer long…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope the settlement is in the many millions, but given Columbia’s endowment, it’ll probably barely cause a yawn even if it is. I think the kid should sue not just the university, but every Columbia employee that was involved. Personally. These assholes need to be made personally responsibility for these injustices.

    It is akin to jnc’s complaint about bank employees rarely going to jail for their misdeeds. Until they feel the pain personally, they will keep this crap up.


  6. I guess broads should never get a break from being in the presence of a dude’s Johnson.


  7. Small government activist in the morning:

    Thanks for your input, Beauregard.


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