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Final Q4 GDP Unchanged At 2.2%, Below Expectations; Corporate Profits Tumble - March 27, 2015

So much for the "self-sustaining", "escape-velocity" recovery. Again. After rising at an annualized pace of 4.6% and 5.0% in Q2 and Q3, the final Q4 GDP estimate (a number which will still be revised at least 3-4 times in the coming years), slid more than half to 2.2%, the same as the second estimate from a month ago, and below the consensus Wall Street estimate of 2.4%. There were few changes underneath the surface (as can be expected with the bottom line number not changing) however most notable was the increase in Personal Consumption which increase from 2.83% to 2.98%, with this increase more than offset by a drop in Inventories from a 0.12% contribution to a -0.10% detraction from Q4 annualized growth. Net trade ended up subtracting -1.03% from Q4 growth, compared to -1.16% previously. Finally, fixed investment and government spending were virtually unchanged.

But the worst news was the following: For the year 2014, profits from current production decreased $17.1 billion, in contrast to an increase of $84.1 billion in 2013. Profits of domestic financial corporations decreased, and profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations increased. The rest-of-the-world component of profits decreased $9.0 billion in 2014, in contrast to an increase of $1.3 billion in 2013.


While this has to do a lot with the CCAdj and IVA adjustments ... the fact that profits are now declining is not what those advocating EPS growth would like to see. In short: a number which confirms the US economy is once again slowing down, and will hit the breaks when in one month the BEA reports that Q1 GDP was at or below 1.0%, with snow in the winter getting the bulk of the ridiculous blame once again...
 [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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Mark Carney: next interest rate move will be up, not down - March 27, 2015

Mark Carney: next interest rate move will be up, not down -- Bank of England Governor makes interest rate remarks during conference in Frankfurt -- Mark Carney: next interest rate move will be up, not down -- Bank of England Governor makes interest rate remarks during conference in Frankfurt...  [click here to read] (source: Telegraph)


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China's Demographic Destiny Disaster (In 2 Simple Charts) - March 26, 2015

China’s economy is slowing, and the debate is raging over whether the country is headed for an abrupt hard landing or whether the slowdown will stabilize into a soft landing that may already be underway. However it plays out, Schwab's Jeff Kleintop notes, one thing is clear: A return to the double-digit growth rates of years past seems unlikely. Demographics are destiny.. and China faces two unstoppable trajectories...  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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Kansas Fed Plunges To 2-Year Lows, New Orders Crash: "Economy Not As Strong As Media Portrays" - March 26, 2015

How can it be? Services PMI was at 6-month highs. The Kansas City Fed Index tumbled to -4 in March (against expectations of +1) and was last below this level in Feb 2013. KC Fed has now missed for 6 of the last 8 months and the report is a disaster across the board. New orders plunged to -20 (2nd lowest print since Lehman), order backlogs imploded, average workweek collapsed to -17 (lowest since Lehman), and future capex expectations fell to a five-year low. As one respondent noted, "we do not see the economy as being as strong as a portrayed in the national media reports."...  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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Illiquid Corporate Bond Market Will End In "Very Unpleasant Fashion" - March 23, 2015

The hunt for yield is driving investors into riskier debt at just the wrong time. With liquidity in the corporate bond market drying up thanks to new regulations, the rush to the exit is likely to be "very unpleasant," one analyst says...  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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Existing Home Sales Miss (Again); Weather & "Unsuitably High Price Levels" Blamed - March 23, 2015

Following January's disastrous dive in Existing Home Sales (which must be weather, right? Nope!) to a SAAR 4.82 million homes, February (with its even worse weather) saw a 4th month of missed expectations with a 4.88mm print against 4.90 mm expectations. As always, weather was blamed - which is odd given that the only drop in sales that occurred happened in The Northeast which accounts for just 12% of total transactions. Perhaps more worrisome is NAR's Larry Yun noting "unsuitable price levels" as a reason for weak sales due to low inventories (despite inventories rising 1.6% in February?!). May be it's time to blame The Fed... for not creating more rich people to buy more houses...  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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The Perfect Storm For Oil Hits In Two Months: US Crude Production To Soar Just As Storage Runs Out - March 22, 2015

At the current rate of record oil production, storage will be exhausted in under two months, some time in mid-May. At that point, with no more storage to buffer the record oil production, the open market dumping begins and prices of WTI will crater as every barrel will have to be sold at any clearing price, since the producers will have no other choice than to, literally, dump the oil. In other words, a perfect storm is shaping up for oil some time in late May, early June. And then we learned something even more startling....  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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10 Charts Which Show We Are Much Worse Off Than Just Before The Last Economic Crisis - March 21, 2015

If you believe that ignorance is bliss, you might not want to read this article....  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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The Latest Flashing Red Light: Global Earnings Plunge Most Since Lehman - March 20, 2015

The latest red light: Global equity 12-month forward EPS has turned to the tune of 7% negative on a YoY basis.In fact, as the chart below shows, global forward EPS is now plunging at the fastest rate since Lehman, and is down to levels last seen in 2011...  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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Philly Fed Signals Worst Margin Compression Since Lehman - March 19, 2015

With markets pricing in nothing but a "permanent plateau of margins," it appears the Philly Fed is about to ruin that meme too... Thanks to the collapse of the Prices Received (and Prices Paid) indices, margins are now implicitly the lowest since Lehman. The last 2 times "margins" were this low, the US entered recession....  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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Yellen Admits "Market Valuations Are On The High Side", Adds "No Comment" On Biotech, Social Media Stocks - March 18, 2015

With a firm "no comment" Janet Yellen shied away from burstng the bubble in "extremely stretched" Biotech and Social Media stocks, but was forced to admit that "overall measures of equity valluations are on the high side." Then, rather oddly, she notes that The Fed sees unusually low spreads in corporate bond markets... which is odd since they have actually widened dramatically in the last year or so, perhaps signalling just how "high" valuations are in stocks...  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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Q1 GDP Now Just 0.3% According To Fed Model - March 17, 2015

When we first exposed the world to The Atlanta Fed's GDPNow forecasting model (just 2 weeks ago), expectations were for 1.2% growth in GDP in Q1. A week later it was cut in half to 0.6% as dismal data just poured on. And today, The Fed model now predicts another 50% cut in growth to just 0.3% in Q1, led by a near 20% collapse in non-residential investment...  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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Housing Starts Collapse Most In 8 Years To 18 Month Lows - March 17, 2015

Housing Recovery? Yellen, we have a problem. Housing Starts for February collapsed 17% - this is the biggest MoM drop since February 2011. At 897k SAAR, this is the first sub-900k print since September 2013 and biggest miss since Feb 2007. Multi-family starts are the lowest since June 2014. The collapse was dominated by the Northeast (-56.5%) and Midwest (-37%) so it must be the weather, right? Not so fast, The West region saw starts collapse 18.2%. Permits for multi-family units rose notably as single-family permits dropped to one-year lows...  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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US Economic Data Is Having Its Worst Year Since At Least 2000 - March 16, 2015

It's getting old but the percentage of missed expectations in economic data is now over 90% since the start of February with three more added to the long list today. This has pushed Bloomberg's US Macro Surprise index to its worst start to a year on record....  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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Homebuilder Sentiment Tumbles To October Lows (and No, It's Not The Weather) - March 16, 2015

Homebuilder Sentiment tumbled for the 2nd month to October lows, missing expectations for the 3rd month in a row, as buyer traffic and sales expectations both fell. The weather-crushed Midwest saw sentiment surge from 48 to 61 and the sun-soaked home-sales-destroyingly warm West region saw sentiment collapse from 64 to 53....  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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US Manufacturing Output Falls For 3rd Month - Worst Since Lehman - March 16, 2015

Along with a massive revision for January (from +0.2% to -0.3%), February's Factory Output fell 0.2%(missing expectations for the 3rd month in a row). This is the 3rd drop in a row for factory output - the worst run since 2009. Overall industrial production missed for the 3rd month in a row but managed a meager 0.1% rise on the back of the biggest rise in utility output ever. Auto vehicles and parts production tumbled 3.0% MoM....  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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Empire State Manufacturing Misses: New Orders Slide To 16 Month Lows, Capex Plunges - March 16, 2015

At 6.90, Empire State Manufacturing missed expectations of 8.00 (and dropped from the previous 6.9 print) for the 2nd weakest print in 11 months. While New Orders tumbled back into the red (and 16-month lows), average workweek and number of employees rose markedly (making this survey once again seem a total farce). "Hope" for the future improved (though remains lower than most of the last year's prints) but new order expectations, tech spend, and capex all plunged....  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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"The Only Mystery Is Why Everyone Persists In Talking About A Recovery" - March 14, 2015

There is no mystery anywhere to be found in the fact that US retail sales don’t follow the jobs trend. Not if you look at what kind of jobs they are, let alone at all the other made up and manipulated numbers that are being thrown around about the US economy. The only mystery is why everyone persists in talking about a recovery. That recovery will never come, simply because all 90% of Americans do is pay for the other 10% to get richer. There are many other factors, but that all by itself makes a recovery a mathematical mirage....  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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What Happens To The Stock Market If The U.S. Follows The World Into Recession? - March 13, 2015

Regardless of income, history shows that stocks crater when payrolls, industrial production and real final sales all tank. The current euphoria for stocks has several components: one is soaring corporate profits, and the other is quasi-religious faith in the power of central banks to keep stocks lofting higher in a complete disconnect from fundamentals such as sales, profits, production or payrolls. History is rather unkind to blind faith in central banks, just as the rising U.S. dollar and stagnant sales are being very unkind to corporate profits....  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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US Producer Prices Tumble Most Since 2009 (And Don't Blame Oil) - March 13, 2015

US Producer Price Index (ex food and energy) fell 0.5% MoM in February (against expectations of a 0.1% rise) - the biggest drop on record (since 2009).The great news for Americans is that the drop in overall producer prices was led by a 1.6% fall in food prices. Year-over-Year PPI Final Demand has fallen (-0.6%) for the first time on record....  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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UMich Consumer Sentiment Tumbles, Misses By Most Since 2006; Weather & Poor People Blamed - March 13, 2015

Despite record high net worth and record high stock markets, the US Consumer is not amused. UMich survey of Consumer Sentiment for March tumbled from 95.4 to 91.2 (against expectations of a rise to 95.5) for the biggest miss since Feb 2006. This was the biggest one-month drop since Oct 2013. Quite unbelievably, the survey director says the drop was driven by a slide in lower-income group sentiment caused by weather! And finally, it appears the data was 'leaked' 3-4 minutes early as Nanex noted, liquidity disappeared from e-minis at 0956ET....  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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3 Things: Strong Dollar, Oil, Missed Employment - March 12, 2015

With all deference to Dr. Richard Fisher, the surging dollar is not good for either the economy or ultimately a stronger labor market. This is particularly the case when the dollar is only stronger because the rest of the world is on the brink of recession and or deflation. The negative impact of a surging dollar in a weak economic environment will more than likely outweigh any positive inputs for the U.S. consumer. Time will tell, but the evidence is mounting that the we are likely closer to the end of the current economic cycle than the beginning....  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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Q1 GDP Expectations Are Crashing - March 12, 2015

Despite the continuing commentary that all is well in America, economic growth expectations for Q1 just collapsed to a new cycle low. From just 4 months ago, growth expectations have been cut 20% to 2.4%... but that is still double The Atlanta Fed's dismal 0.6% forecast....  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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"Taper Tantrum" Talk Starts In Europe Two Days Into Q€ - March 11, 2015

"The ECB could move to cutting the depo rate further to maintain loose financial conditions and especially to prevent a taper tantram forcing EURUSD higher," Citi says, commenting on steps the central bank may be forced to take in the event some core countries (i.e. Germany) are unable to source enough eligible assets to meet purchase targets under PSPP. Just two days in, speculation is growing about the viability of the program...  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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Recession Alarm: Wholesale Sales Plunge Alongside Factory Orders, Worst Since Lehman - March 10, 2015

For all the talk of a recovery, the recession may have quietly arrived as confirmed first by factory orders and now wholesale trade sales...  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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Nearly At "Full Employment"? 10 Reasons Why The Unemployment Numbers Are A Massive Lie - March 9, 2015

How can the government be telling us that we are nearly at “full employment” when so many people can’t find work? Could it be possible that the government numbers are misleading? It is our contention that the official “unemployment rate” has become so politicized and so manipulated that it is essentially meaningless at this point...  [click here to read] (source: ZH)


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