Morning Report: Retail Sales strong

Vital Statistics:


Last Change
S&P futures 3105 8.25
Oil (WTI) 56.59 -0.14
10 year government bond yield 1.84%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 4.00%


Stocks are up this morning on optimism for a trade deal. Bonds and MBS are flat.


Retail Sales increased 0.3% MOM and 3.1% YOY. in October. The control group, which strips out the volatile auto, gas, and building materials sectors) increased 0.3%. Apparel and big-ticket items like furniture and appliances were weak, however. Regardless, it is looking like this year’s holiday shopping season will be strong.


Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan doesn’t see a recession in 2020 as strong consumer spending and a robust labor market provide a strong foundation to keep the economy going. Numerous Fed speakers – Powell, Williams, Kaplan, Clarida – have all expressed comfort with the current level of interest rates. As a general rule, the central bank is loath to do anything during an election year for fear of appearing political and wanting to help one candidate or another. This is especially true when one of the candidates is trying to influence Fed policy publicly. This means we probably won’t see any further action out of the FOMC until 2021. Long-term rates (and mortgage rates) will therefore be more influenced by overseas rates and any sort of inflation surprises in the US. FWIW, I think the Fed is exactly where they want to be, with a positively sloped yield curve, decent growth and tame inflation.


Mortgage delinquencies fell to a 25 year low, according to the MBA. The rate for 1 – 4 unit DQs fell to 3.97% in the third quarter, which was down 59 bps from the second quarter and 50 bps from a year ago. “Mortgage delinquencies decreased in the third quarter across all loan types – conventional, VA, and in particular, FHA,” said Marina Walsh, MBA’s Vice President of Industry Analysis. “The FHA delinquency rate dropped 100 basis points, as weather-related disruptions from the spring waned. The labor market remains healthy and economic growth has been stronger than anticipated. These two factors have contributed to the lowest level of overall delinquencies in almost 25 years.”





19 Responses

  1. Now that wedding registries are at Amazon Bezos is set to take over the entire world.

    The real point I am aiming for is that online shopping is now so easy that it has to bring consumerism to a new high and even dampen lows compared with mall excursions.


    • The CEOs of mall REITs will claim that Amazon is mainly cannibalizing mail-order catalog sales, but they are talking their book of course…


  2. I’ve not been watching the impeachment hearings but I do wonder if the tactic of the Democrats reading Trump’s tweets as questions to the witnesses is going to backfire?

    Seems to increase the circus atmosphere and let Trump hijack the conversation even as they are attempting to refute his point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The media still can’t handle the fact Trump can speak directly to the American People in real time.

      He understands the media and the state of affairs better than any Republcian i have ever seen.


    • If discrimination is creating equity,

      The problem with that is: who defines equity? Whoever gets to define equity accepts some metrics while dismissing others. Who gets to end up defining what is optimal or desirable or a community good? It seems hard to argue, to me, that discriminating against smarter and more studious and harder-working students in college admissions because you’ve already got too many Asians in your program is not necessarily better for the collective good.

      What the author Sullivan is quoting is saying that anti-racism is, essentially, the only principle or desirable outcome that matters, and everything else should be subservient to that one factor. Which again comes to: who gets to say that antiracism is the primary good that should decide all policy?

      or for any kind of freedom which might have some inequality as its outcome.

      Alas, if it were only allowable to be critical of that point of view in polite society.

      “is no such thing as White blood or Black diseases or Latinx [sic] athleticism”

      That sounds like bad news for African Americans with sickle-cell.

      Also, I love that Sullivan put a [sic] next to Latinx. God bless the man.

      “It would establish and permanently fund the Department of Anti-racism (DOA) comprised of formally trained experts on racism and no political appointees. The DOA would be responsible for preclearing all local, state and federal public policies to ensure they won’t yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas. The DOA would be empowered with disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas.”

      OMG. I love how people agitate so far for an oppressive authoritarian state when they think their ideas will be the one everybody else is forced to conform to.

      You want to talk literally Hitler–this guy is literally a (young) Hitler. This book is apparently his Mein Kampf, just retitled “My Racism”.


  3. This cannot be real.

    This has to be from The Onion, right?


  4. It was never about Confederate statues alone:

    “Charlottesville City Council votes to remove statue of Lewis, Clark and Sacagawea
    The Daily Progress”


  5. Final season of Man in the High Castle was disappointing. This review of it is pretty good:

    “The Man in the High Castle went from being a high-concept show about an America under Nazi rule to being a higher-concept show about alternate worlds and how Nazis would want to put every America under Nazi rule. But despite its mostly successful marriage of thrilling espionage and science-fiction, High Castle has always been at its best when miring itself in the tricky moral soil that a Greater American Reich would be built on. Luckily, Season 4 does deliver some great character work that makes the most of the past three seasons’ horror. Unfortunately, those moments punctuate an otherwise troubled story, full of too many characters to service and a weakened confidence in its own central conceit.”


  6. Vox laments the right isn’t taking impeachment all that seriously.

    from the article:

    As I have written before about AOC and the Green New Deal, the right has an ability to convey a partisan message to its base that the left utterly lacks.

    ” AYFKM? The left owns almost every major daily, every TV network, every cable news channel except for 1, Hollywood, Twitter, tumblr, and is trying to muscle Facebook. What the left “utterly lacks” is any sense of self-awareness…


    • To the left, anything to the right of Jacobin is right wing. Especially if it’s owned by a corporation.


    • One way to look it as it’s just the absolutism of tribalism. That the other tribes have anything is unacceptable, and must be lamented. There is no “live and let live” in ideological tribalism.

      Another is they are complaining that the rights message resonates with more people more effectively than the left’s message, which I think is accurate. Their messaging is so poor in content and presentation that they feel they can’t compete with the political right.

      And also ideological blinders can explain it, I think. They are aware of the weaknesses of both the right’s messages and messengers. But they can’t see the same sorts of weaknesses on their own side, so the attribute the problems to “voter suppression” or Super-PACs or talk radio giving the right superior media control—-when that objectively is not true.


Be kind, show respect, and all will be right with the world.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: