Morning Report: Commodities continue to rise

Vital Statistics:

S&P futures4,39014.2
Oil (WTI)114.132.63
10 year government bond yield 1.87%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 4.09%

Stocks are flattish this morning as commodities rise and the war in Ukraine enters its second week. Bonds and MBS are down.

Jerome Powell’s testimony yesterday caused market participants to pare back their bets on the markets now centered on only a 25 basis point hike in March. At one point yesterday, markets were factoring in a chance of the Fed doing nothing this month. He will have another day of questioning on the Hill today.

Commodity prices continue to climb with oil hitting the highest levels since 2008. It isn’t just oil however – metals like aluminum and zinc are rising as well. The Bloomberg commodity index had the biggest weekly gain since the 1960s.

Initial jobless claims fell to 215k last week, while nonfarm productivity rose 6.6%. This is good news, as productivity is the key to higher living standards. Unit labor costs rose only 0.3%.

37 Responses

  1. Good Jon Stewart quote:

    “the business model of the internet is arson. You can’t make money unless you’re setting fires.”


  2. Relaunch of Year Zero Substack:

    “An elite drunk on its own fantasies of virtue while in possession of every lever of power is a great danger to others and also to itself.”


  3. This sounds about right:

    “A Brief Conversation with My Friends on the Left About the State of the Union
    Sasha Stone

    Me: It’s been a rough three years in this country. I don’t think I ever remember of time of such division, hatred and upheaval. Can you believe it was COVID then it was massive protests that completely changed this country in every industry and in every way, then it was January 6th and it looked like some kind of crazy Civil War but then Afghanistan and then things started to get really really bad, and then now – Putin and Ukraine and nuclear power plants and world war and….it’s just so bad. So so bad.

    Them: Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump.”


    • It certainly describes Plum Line


    • jnc:

      This sounds about right:

      Indeed. I have been having a days long political conversation with an ex-colleague, the very epitome of a northeastern limousine liberal, and that article exemplifies the substance of the conversation perfectly. He has almost nothing of substance to say, other than just Trump/white supremacist.


      • It is a religion.


        • Brent:

          It is a religion.

          It is, and I keep telling him that. But since he is a hardcore atheist who thinks religion is responsible for all historical evils (including slavery!) he just can’t get his head around this accusation. It doesn’t compute.


        • How does he feel about Islam?

          I find it interesting how many anti-religious folks give a free pass to the one religion still being used as a justification, by its members, for bad stuff.


  4. Man, Ukraine is animating the left for some reason.


  5. This is a worthwhile read. Looks like the rehabilitation of MBS has started.

    “Absolute Power

    Asked about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Mohammed bin Salman said, “If that’s the way we did things, Khashoggi would not even be among the top 1,000 people on the list.”

    By Graeme Wood”


  6. Good piece:

    “The GOP Cares About Winning. Do Democrats?
    Biden should take a page from McConnell’s playbook.

    Josh Barro

    McConnell is the last politician I’d call a populist, but he understands popularism: that you should try to raise the salience of popular elements of your agenda, while dropping the unpopular ones — or at least not drawing attention to them.”


  7. When it seems like everyone else around you is an asshole, you’re the asshole.

    For Carol Lieber, a Democrat in DuBois, the trends and accompanying social disruption make it tough not to despair. She and a close friend didn’t talk for more than a year. Neither had much to say to the other that they wanted to hear. She blames Trump for spreading misinformation and stoking animosity. She holds her neighbors responsible for allowing themselves to believe it all. It got to a point where people she’s known casually for decades and thought she respected no longer seem decent. Around town, “there is a lack of graciousness and kindness and consideration,” Lieber says. A virus that for nine months kept her from hanging out with her adult daughter who lives four houses down, combined with the politics around it, managed to ruin even small pleasures. Lieber decided to boycott her favorite cosmetics store because the owner was so belligerent online.


    • This line from the piece tells you all you need to know about the author’s viewpoint.

      In the quiet bar that smelled of heavy cigarette smoke, two retirees in “Veteran” caps nursed bottles of Miller Lite.

      It smells like those people.


      • Oh sweet Jesus,

        “ He’s started to refer to those voters he wants Democrats to focus on—people who feel like the Republican Party has abandoned their values around upholding the Constitution—as the “Bush-Cheney coalition.” It’s a reference to the former vice president who served under both Bushes, as well as Dick Cheney’s daughter, Liz, the Wyoming Republican congresswoman who is calling out the former president’s lies about a stolen election and is serving on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.”

        That’ll do it!


        • How come it’s only Democrats that seemed surprised that potential Trump supporters are not 2-d caricatures?

          A woman described for me an encounter with a helpful stranger whom she sensed didn’t share her Democratic views but who didn’t hesitate to change her flat tire.

          Does anybody here spend time wondering about the political affiliation of those they interact with? And then judge them?


        • I don’t believe this person actually exists.

          Beverly Lindemuth, who lives in Hazen in Jefferson County, about 20 minutes outside DuBois, said the comity between women pickleball players at an area YMCA dissipated when a regular showed up to play in a “Let’s Go Brandon” T-shirt, the slogan that has become a coded way of profanely disrespecting the president. The woman told them she wasn’t vaccinated, that she worried the shot had given her husband a foggy “Covid brain,” and that she thought the vaccine contained a chip allowing the government to track them. Lindemuth says when she brought up what the T-shirt meant, it wasn’t clear to her if the woman knew. She says she and other players chalked it up, along with the woman’s reaction to the vaccine, to how deep anti-Biden sentiments have burrowed and how deeply intertwined views about Trump and the virus have become.

          It hits every lefty trope. Reminds me of leftists claiming they’re 4 year looked at a video of Trump and asked When did Leni Reifenstahl start directing again?


        • More things that didn’t really happen,

          A neighbor noticed Maloney and her husband hadn’t been traveling as much as they used to, she says, and asked her if she was “afraid.” Maloney says she told her they were being careful, which included getting vaccinated, and the woman confessed that she hadn’t gotten the shot. “She said, “If I go, I know where I’m going,” Maloney recalled. “I said to her, ‘Well, I hope I go there, too. But I’m not ready for that. God gave me a brain and I’m going to use it.’”

          Maloney says the woman hadn’t spoken to her since.


        • Totally nailed it.

          “They weren’t even insulted,” Linda Parker, 66, and a Democrat from Treasure Lake in Clearfield County, says of the Erie audience. “The only thing I can come up with is he’s a voice for them. When you feel less than, you try to build your ego up by making other people less than. They know he’s racist. They know he’s sexist. They know that he’s xenophobic. And that all builds their ego up; makes them feel better about themselves. Otherwise, how do they relate to someone who was raised rich, got an education and literally lived in a golden tower?”


    • The left seems to have forgotten how they behaved during the Trump administration

      The left also has zero self-awareness over how authoritarian they have become


  8. The premise of this article is that Trump is obviously guilty. What’s interesting though is that he and the organization seem to somehow avoid criminal prosecution time and time again, defeating the best legal minds the local, state and federal can offer. The conclusion to be drawn is that he must be a legal genius or that all levels of prosecution are corrupt, never that the organization did not break criminal laws.

    You have to read the whole article before you get to this though:

    The case still was not a slam dunk, Mr. Dunne acknowledged at the meeting. But he argued that it was better to lose than to not try at all.

    “It’s a righteous case that ought to be brought,” Mr. Dunne told Mr. Bragg.

    It’s a very revealing admission.


  9. Totally true.

    Plus they forgot to mention that buddies frequently blow each other, in a completely hetero way of course.


  10. This made me laugh and brought me back to Impeachment #1.


  11. I’m still absolutely fascinated by the Left’s weird desire to militarily engage Russia. Is it because all the rubes still believe the Russia hoax and want revenge?

    One JFK conspiracy theory that’s rarely talked about is what if Russia did assassinate Kennedy and LBJ knew – would all out nuclear war be justified or would it be better to prevent the American public from hearing about it?


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