US Economy

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Previewing US jobs

Via Calculated Risk: On Friday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the employment report for January. The consensus is for an increase of 158,000 non-farm payroll jobs in January (with a range of estimates between 140,000 to 183,000), and for the unemployment rate to be unchanged at 3.9%. Last month, the BLS reported

16

Trumps tax cuts trickle into nothing

by Chris Becker As US stock markets recover from the December rout, even as the Trump shutdown rolls into its 29th day, it’s critical to look at what goosed the S&P500 to its previous highs before this latest correction. A year into Trump’s presidency and the US economy was sailing along if measured by lower

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US student debt hinders home ownership

by Chris Becker The US Federal Reserve as an interesting report out (unlike the US government, Trump can’t shutdown the Fed! on the impact of student debt on new homeowner rates in the US. Salient because the Coalition wants the education cake and to eat it too. Last year the Senate passed the HECS/HELP adjustments

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Could Trump’s shutdown push US into recession?

by Chris Becker The record US government (partial) shutdown moved into its 25th day overnight, with both sides digging in as Senate Leader McConnell blocked another continuation vote in the Senate to re-open the government. The impact is being felt at a micro level by the near 1 million US government employees who haven’t been

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Is the Trump shutdown coming to a close?

by Chris Becker It’s been nearly three weeks since Donald Trump shutdown the US Federal Government over his intransigence to fund a “wall”, even though one already exists across most of the US-Mexico border. Equity markets leading up to the shutdown were in a tailspin with the Dow down nearly 3000 points or a little over

20

Sell gold! Or why the US dollar is not going to weaken

Via Bloomie: The U.S. dollar may be poised to decline, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday boosted the chances that the central bank will pause interest-rate increases, strategists at Goldman wrote in a note Saturday. Powell cited the events of 2016, when rates were kept unchanged through

2

US jobs report preview

From Calculated Risk: Note: The Employment report will be released as scheduled, and not postponed by the government shutdown. On Friday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the employment report for December. The consensus is for an increase of 180,000 non-farm payroll jobs in December (with a range of estimates between 160,000 to 200,000),

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When will the Trump shutdown end?

by Chris Becker As adult supervision returns to Congress (but not the Senate) on January 3rd, the US Government shutdown rolls on with news this morning that President Trump has invited the new Congressional leadership to the White House. From The Hill: Trump will host the leader and whip of each party from both chambers,

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US Treasury secretary reassures markets again

Via CNN: In a precautionary move, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spent Sunday on the phone speaking with the chief executives of some of the country’s largest banks to avoid yet another market whiplash when Wall Street opens Monday, according to a person familiar with the matter. The secretary, who has been visiting his children in

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When will the Fed blink?

Via Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: Monetary tightening by central banks is like trying to pull a brick across a rough surface with elastic: nothing happens; still nothing happens; then it leaps up and hits you in the face. The US Federal Reserve’s Jerome Powell may have a broken nose after asserting stubbornly this week that he would

1

Does the US have a new housing bubble?

“No” is the short answer, via Calculated Risk: Last Friday, Professor Robert Shiller wrote in the NY Times: The Housing Boom Is Already Gigantic. How Long Can It Last? We are, once again, experiencing one of the greatest housing booms in United States history. How long this will last and where it is heading next are

5

Goldman doves up on Fed, lifts AUD

And so it begins, from Goldman which has been far too hawkish this cycle all along: Relative to the turmoil in the financial markets, the economic numbers have been remarkably stable recently. Admittedly, jobless claims have risen and November payrolls fell somewhat short of expectations. But a report showing 155k new jobs and a decline

1

US jobs preview

Via Calculated Risk: On Friday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the employment report for November. The consensus is for an increase of 190,000 non-farm payroll jobs in November (with a range of estimates between 140,000 to 220,000), and for the unemployment rate to be unchanged at 3.7%. Last month, the BLS reported

3

What has Cold War 2.0 cost Trump’s stock market?

Via FTAlphaville: Just days after President Trump broke bread with Chinese president Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires and agreed to a ceasefire in the US-China trade war, Trump tweeted that his administration is working closely “on seeing whether or not a REAL deal with China is actually possible”. If not, the self-proclaimed “Tariff Man” warned that new

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Is the Fed about to stop hiking rates?

Via Goldman: How Does Fed Policy React To Stock Market Declines? The equity market sell-off since the beginning of October has led to questions around whether the Fed will maintain its current path of rate hikes. Historically, the Fed appears to have responded with more accommodative policy after stock market sell-offs, on average (Exhibit 1). This

7

Why Trump tax cuts failed

From Paul Krugman: The answer, I’d argue, is that business decisions are a lot less sensitive to financial incentives — including tax rates — than conservatives claim. And appreciating that reality doesn’t just undermine the case for the Trump tax cut. It undermines Republican economic doctrine as a whole. About business decisions: It’s a dirty

3

Westpac: US wage inflation contained

Via Westpac: Nonfarm payrolls rebounded strongly in October following a disappointing September print – a consequence of Hurricane Florence’s disruption. October’s 250k gain leaves the three-month average at 218k, in line with the month-average for 2018, but ahead of 2017’s 182k. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7% – a near 50-year low – as

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US debt markets still solid despite equity ructions

Via Moody’s: Net Stock Buybacks and Net Borrowing Have Yet to Alarm Recent outsized advances by equity prices probably owe something to either actual or anticipated buybacks of common stock. Both the relative steadiness of corporate credit quality and ample amounts of corporate cash now improve the outlook for equity buybacks. In the Financial Accounts

17

Trump looks to MOAR tax cuts

Via Reuters: The White House and Republicans on the House of Representatives tax-writing committee vowed on Wednesday to take “swift action” next year on a 10 percent tax cut for middle-class Americans. In a joint statement, the White House and the House Ways and Means Committee’s Republican members said they would push the tax-cut legislation

3

What will US mid-terms do to markets?

Via Goldman: Allison Nathan: How do you expect the midterm elections to play out? Alec Phillips: It’s hard to argue with the consensus view that Republicans will hold the Senate and Democrats will win the House majority. Polling suggests the chances of the Democrats gaining the Senate majority have declined in recent weeks, but they appear to

1

President Trump rallies into the mid-terms

The latest polls show Mr Trump at post-election highs: Morgan Stanley mulls outcomes: Trade risk is a constant. On election night, focus on other variables. While much is made of election outcomes influencing markets by shifting trade policy, we think this is overstated. Even if Democrats take control, they have their fair share of trade

4

Trump boom to fade not bust

Via Westpac: The latest GDP report for the US showed their economy in strong form, with a 3.5% annualised gain in the three months to September following the June quarter’s 4.2% rise. For the year to date, growth is currently running at a 3.3% annualised pace, close to twice potential. In assessing the outlook for

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US debt withstanding equity crunch

Via Moody’s: Financial Liquidity Withstands Equity Volatility for Now Higher interest rates and trade related frictions, including the effective tax hikes brought on by the imposition of tariffs, have lowered the market value of U.S. common stock by 8.1% from its current zenith of September 20, 2018. Thus far, systemic financial liquidity has yet to

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US tech is no bubble

I am bemused by those endlessly calling US tech a bubble. It’s not. Goldman shows us why today: This is secular growth story as lowflation drives ever more technology productivity spending: Multiples are almost fantastically cheap for the growth: There are some dimensions of bubblyness in frontier firms and the new age FAANGS – such

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MV Tampa sails into Trump’s lap

Via AFR: The Trump administration has intensified its claims “Middle Easterners” have hidden themselves in a caravan of thousands of Central American migrants marching towards the US border from Honduras through Mexico, in a move that analysts say will swing key Senate battlegrounds to the GOP. “It’s inconceivable that there would not be individuals from