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Morning Notes For August 26th 2010 at Trader’s Narrative

Morning Notes For August 26th 2010

The following is a guest post by a buy-side analyst working in a US asset management firm. The author’s comments are in italics. I welcome your feedback in the comments:

Initial Jobless Claims: Survey 490K Actual 473 Prior 500 Revised 504
initial jobless claims Aug 2010

  • Last week’s spike in claims likely reflected GM’s failure to hire back workers not laid off in the first place during the usual model-year retooling period. – FTN Financial
  • Japanese investors continue to buy foreign bonds on a massive scale. The four-week moving average, at 1.38 trillion yen, remains near last week’s record high. – Bloomberg

cumulative net Japanese purchase of foreign bonds Aug 2010

  • 10 year US treasuries yield 2.5% and domestic 10 year Japanese gov. bonds (JGBs) yield .93%. Japanese investors have been through 20 years of deflation and the data of late (globally) has been pointing in that direction. Yields this low are new to us, but Japan has seen this script. JGB yields hit 2.5% in 1997 and at that time bonds they seemed like the sale of the century. Bond prices would continue rallying ultimately yielding .58% in 2003! This could be why they have been loading up on foreign bonds.
  • Despite worries about deflation, the nation’s money supply has been growing again according to the WSJ – a positive development. This signals that credit availability is starting to ease (there have been other indications of this, inc. the Fed’s recent Senior Loan Survey). WSJ
  • Bond Market Comes to Terms With Possibility of Downturn The most popular question in the business press these days: Are we in a bond market bubble? Looking at the market data, the answer is, no. Bond spreads are no narrower than those posted during previous recessions, and cur¬rent spreads — though narrowing — are to be expected, with the global financial system still on life support after its once-in-a-century meltdown less than two years ago – Bloomberg
  • Sales of new homes declined in July to 276,000 on an annual pace, the lowest mark since the Commerce Department begin tracking the data in 1963. The median price of a new home dropped to $204,000, the lowest level since December 2003, and the inventory of homes increased to a 9.1 months’ supply. – Bloomberg

New Home Sales of Single Family Homes (SAAR – Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate)
new home sales SAAR Aug 2010

  • We will be cutting our GDP forecast (which will be out before the end of the week) because business investment with equipment, one of the economy’s bright spots in the first quarter, is not growing as fast as we thought it would in Q3. Several economists revised their growth expectations down yesterday after the number, and many are more concerned about a return to recession. – FTN Financial

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