Online, Mobile Crush Everything Else this Holiday Sales Season

This shift has broader implications for the US economy and jobs.
‘Is [Black Friday] the mayhem that it might have been eight or 10 years ago?’ Walmart U. S. CEO Greg Foran told the Wall Street Journal. ‘I think that world is gone.’
According to RetailNext, the number of people visiting brick-and-mortar stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday declined 4% from last year. According to ShopperTrak, it declined 1.6%.
Yet online sales in the US over those two days surged 18% to a record $7.9 billion, according to Adobe Analytics, which tracks transactions at the largest 100 US online retailers.
As of 10 a.m. EST Monday, Adobe expects Cyber Monday online sales to surge 17% to $6.6 billion, making it the largest online shopping day in US history, with sales from smartphones soaring 41% year-over-year. –

This post was published at Wolf Street on Nov 27, 2017.

Did The ‘Short VIX’ Bubble Just Burst?

If there is one foolproof way to make money in today’s markets, it’s selling any and every blip higher in volatility – in fact it’s so easy a Target manager can do it and make millions. However, something very different happened last week…
3 of the 4 trading days last week saw SVXY fund outflows with Wednesday the largest single-day outflow in history…
The Short VIX ETF SVXY, up more than 150% this year amid a slump in equity swings, lost almost $330 million in four days – the biggest weekly outflow in history…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 27, 2017.

Senator Franken Addresses Sexual Misconduct Allegations: “I’ll Be Much More Careful In The Future”

Following allegations from multiple women (and photographic evidence of at least one) of sexual misconduct, Senator Al Franken returned to work today and told reporters he was ’embarrassed’ and ‘ashamed,” while giving no indication that he would consider resigning.
‘I am tremendously sorry,’ the Minnesota Democrat, 66, told reporters at a news conference in Washington on Monday, repeating earlier apologies. ‘It’s going to take a long time for me to regain people’s trust.’
And in a somewhat odd statement of admission and contrition
‘I know I’m going to have to be much more conscious in these circumstances, much more careful, much more sensitive, and that this will not happen again going forward.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 27, 2017.

White House May Ban Staff From Using Mobile Phones

As part of Donald Trump’s ongoing quest to halt leaks from within his administration, the White House may ban its employees from using personal mobile phones while at work. The move is expected to “raise concerns among staff including that they’ll be cut off from family and friends” according to five administration officials who leaked the proposed ban to Bloomberg, probably on their mobile phones.
While the idea was spun as being driven by cybersecurity concerns – with one official telling Bloomberg that there are too many devices connected to the campus wireless network raising security concerns – the real motive is likely simpler: with President Trump repeatedly complaining about press leaks since taking office, this may be just the next draconian step in eliminating unsupervised points of contact with the outside world. Mobile phone security has been a persistent issue for the White House, and at times some top officials have also worried about staff using their personal devices to communicate with news reporters, Bloomberg reported.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 27, 2017.

The $76 Trillion Bond Market Is Forecasting Inflation. Are You Ready?

This year, (2017) was the year that the financial system moved from fearing deflation to expecting inflation.
You can see this in the breakout in inflation expectations. From 2013 until mid-2016, the financial system’s expectations of future inflation were in a downtrend. Mid-2016 this changed as expectations began to rise, breaking this downtrend in early 2017.
They’ve since continued to rally. Bouncing off support.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 27 November 2017.

“Average”, Tailing 5Y Auction Sees Solid Support From Foreign Buyers

In today’s second auction, the Treasury sold $34 billion in 5 year paper, and like this morning’s 2Y auction, the results were rather lackluster, with the paper stopping at a high yield of 2.066%, above last month’s 2.055%, and the highest since April 2011, and just like the earlier 2Y sale, this auction also tailed the When Issued of 2.064% by 0.2bps.
The internals were unremarkable, with the bid-to-cover of 2.46, just barely higher than October’s 2.44 but slightly below the six previous auction average of 2.52, astotal bids of $85.5bn competed for $35.8bn in notes sold vs the six auction average of $88.7bn in bids for $37.0bn for sale.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 27, 2017.

The Yellen Put – Friend Or Foe?

The term ‘Greenspan Put’ was coined after the stock market crash of 1987 and the subsequent bailout of Long Term Capital Management in 1998. The Fed under Chairman Alan Greenspan lowered interest rates following the fabled event of default and life continued.
The idea of the Greenspan Put was that lower interest rates would cure the market’s woes. Unfortunately, the FOMC has since fallen into a pattern whereby longer periods of low or even zero interest rates are used to address yesterday’s errors, but this action also leads us into tomorrow’s financial excess. As one observer on Twitter noted in an exchange with Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari:
‘Central Bankers are much like the US Forest Service of old. Always trying to manage ‘nature’ and put out the little brush fires of the capitalist system, while they seem incapable of recognizing they are the root cause of major conflagrations as a result.’
When the Federal Open Market Committee briefly allowed interest rates to rise above 6% in 2000, the US financial system nearly seized up. Long-time readers of The Institutional Risk Analyst recall that Citigroup (C) reported an anomalous spike in loan defaults that sent regulators scrambling for cover. The FOMC dropped interest rates at the start of 2001 – nine months before the 911 terrorist attacks – and kept the proverbial pedal to the metal until June of 2004.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 27, 2017.

The Flattening Yield Curve Is Not a Threat to US Equities

Summary: On its own, a flattening yield curve is not an imminent threat to US equities. Under similar circumstances over the past 40 years, the S&P has continued to rise and a recession has been a year or more in the future. Investors should expect the yield curve to flatten further in the months ahead.
Investors are concerned about the flattening yield curve. Enlarge any image by clicking on it.
The yield curve measures the gap between long and short-term treasuries. The curve “flattens” when either short-term rates rise faster than long-term rates, or when long-term rates fall faster than short-term rates. The standard interpretation is that a flattening curve means that the bond market is pessimistic about future growth (low long rates) while the Federal Reserve is overly worried about inflation (rising short rates). The bond market’s view is typically more relevant.
Our monthly macro updates (here) start with the latest yield curve, with the note that the yield curve has ‘inverted’ a year ahead of every recession in the past 40 years (arrows). With the yield curve still 60 basis points away from inversion, the current expansion will probably last well into 2018, at a minimum. In short, the risk of an imminent recession is low.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 11/27/2017.

Second Republican Senator Says He’s Voting ‘No’ On Tax Reform

#BreakingNews: Sen. @SteveDaines aides to FBN: "No" on tax bill but optimistic about changes pic.twitter.com/2P07bfGIZo
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) November 27, 2017

Just hours after Sen. Rand Paul announced he would vote ‘yes’ on the Senate’s tax-reform plan, handing the White House a win, a second Republican senator has publicly declared his intention to vote against the bill, joining Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson in opposition.
And that senator is: Montana’s Steve Daines.
According to Politico, Daines and Johnson have similar objections: They both believe the bill is too generous to corporations while not doing enough to help small businesses, many of which would benefit from a more charitable pass-through rate. For “pass-through’ entities, taxes are generally filed through the individual income tax code and not the corporate tax code.
There are millions of these entities, and they are most often sole proprietorships, limited liability companies or partnerships.
Daines reportedly discussed his reservations about the bill with President Trump over the weekend.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 27, 2017.

2017: The Year of the Bubbles

2017 may well go down in history as the year of the bubble.
We’ve talked a lot about the stock market bubble in recent months, but there are a whole slew of bubbles floating around out there – most of them created by loose monetary policy that has dumped billions of dollars of easy money into the world’s financial systems over the last eight years.
Even the Federal Reserve has taken notice of the stock market bubble and seems to be a bit spooked by the monster it created. According to the most recent FOMC minutes released by the Fed, several participants ‘expressed concerns about a potential buildup of financial imbalances,’ in light of ‘elevated asset valuations and low financial market volatility.’
But the stock market isn’t the only bubble that’s blown up over the last year. Earlier this month, Mint Capital strategist Bill Blain warned us about the bond bubble.

This post was published at Schiffgold on NOVEMBER 27, 2017.

Consumer Is Ready to Keep Consuming

For years we have been hearing chimerical Cassandra calls of consumer calamity. ‘The consumer is getting tired, debt levels are too high, incomes are rising too slow.’ Ironically these charts below were used by a Business Insider article today titled:
‘Americans are having trouble paying off their credit cards – and it could spell trouble for the economy’.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 11/27/2017.

U.S. Energy To See Huge Investments From China

China wants to secure its supply of LNG.
During President Trump’s visit to China, the U. S. signed US$250 billion worth of potential trade and investment deals that would boost American exports to China and Chinese investment in the United States.
The two single largest potential deals were signed in the energy sector at the official U. S.-China Business Exchange, which took place on November 8th and 9th during President Trump’s visit.
The agreements are just memorandums of understanding (MoU), not final contracts, but they set the stage for a stronger energy relationship between the two powerhouses of the global energy production and consumption.
There is some concern that Chinese investment in U. S. energy could undermine free market principles. On the Chinese side, it’s unclear if Beijing is convinced that the U. S. will not use energy to retaliate against China by cutting supplies if disputes or disagreements escalate, Forbes contributor Sara Hsu writes.
The White House described the potential deals as such ‘that will create jobs for American workers, increase United States exports to China, and stimulate investment in American communities.’
West Virginia and Alaska were the two biggest beneficiaries of potential deals for Chinese investment, both which are in the energy sector.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Nov 27, 2017.

In Win For White House, Rand Paul Says He Will Vote ‘Yes’ On Tax Reform

In a surprising reversal that President Donald Trump will undoubtedly tout as a major victory, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has publicly confirmed that he will be voting ‘Yes’ on the GOP tax plan when the senate votes on it later this week.
Paul says he will vote ‘yes’ even though the tax overhaul ‘isn’t perfect’ and he’d like to see a larger cut. In an opinion piece published on Fox News’s website, Paul explained the reasoning behind his change of heart in greater detail.
Ultimately, Paul said, he is voting ‘yes’ because the US tax code, which has 97 different federal taxes, must be simplified. Congress can always authorize more cuts at a later date. In fact, Paul says if the public will is strong enough, Congress could authorize a new tax cut every year.
Currently, there are at least 97 different federal taxes. The tax code that instructs people how they must hand over their hard-earned money to government spans some 74,000-plus pages.
This is absurd, and so is the fact that government will collect over $3 trillion from taxpayers next year but still is not satisfied still is not satisfied.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 27, 2017.

Bill Blain: “Germany Is On Fire: How Long Until Bundesbank Demands Rate Hikes To Cool It?”

Blain’s Morning Porridge – November 27th 2017, submitted by Bill Blain of Mint Partners
Germany – not solved and likely to prove an even larger problem..
‘El castillo, le torre yo soy, le espada que guarda el caudal.
Another massive shopping day – Cyber Monday. Let’s see if the declining footprint into US malls confirms the end of retail and tomorrow belongs to Amazon, Ebay and Tencent? Suspect so… (Personally, I’m furious as I bought a new evening suit recently and picked it up Friday to discover even a proper West-end tailor was having a ‘black Friday sale’. I won’t be going back there again!)
Looks like I got Germany wrong.
My predictions Angela Merkel would find herself trapped into a difficult minority or a convention defying second election look increasing unlikely as she is now threshing out a ‘Grand Coalition’ CDU deal with the SDP. My ‘bad’. The membership of both parties apparently support it. I read a single member of her own party who dared to call for her resignation was subsequently booed down by the mob of enthusiastic Merkelistas.
The market is welcoming the news as far more positive for Germany than the earlier Jamaica Coalition, and positive for Europe as a reinvigorated Merkel will re-engage with Macron’s France to solve Europe’s many problems with sprinklings of German good-fairy dust.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 27, 2017.

Bulls Beware – We Are Finally Closing In On A Top

When former bears call for a ‘New Golden Age’ of the stock market, with targets of the DOW set at 100,000, well, it is clearly time for bulls to beware.
In fact, the Dow 100,000 prediction of this former bear is explained as follows:
‘This is not some pie in the sky prediction.
It simply assumes a continuation of existing trends in demographics, technology, politics, and economics. The implications for your investment portfolio will be huge.’
I mean, markets always continue their current trend unabated, especially since financial markets are purely linear environments . . . right!?!? So, why not set your target for 1,000,000 rather than 100,000 based upon the exact same thesis?
And, while another widely read author on Seeking Alpha, who has been bearish for the last year and a half, did not exactly turn bullish, he certainly took a major step towards the old claim that we have entered a ‘new paradigm:’
‘This idea of a “Goldilocks” backdrop characterized by solid growth but subdued inflation has become so ubiquitous that it’s being treated not so much as a way of explaining the current state of affairs but rather as a theory about how the world is going to work for the foreseeable future.’

This post was published at GoldSeek on Monday, 27 November 2017.

Amazon Soars On Report Of “Unbelievable” Online Sales As Channel Checks Show Store Traffic Down 1%

While bricks and mortar retailers and malls may have decided to put their aggressive discounts on hold for the time being, seemingly content with their market share (losses), online retailers – and one in particular – continue to make staggering gains.
Preliminary reports for Black Friday and Thanksgiving sales point to a promising start to the holiday shopping season, and once again, it is a story of online spending rather than brick and mortar. According to Adobe Analytics, which measures transactions at the largest 100 online retailers, online sales were up by 17.9% yoy for the two-day period. Moreover, according to BofA, there continues to be a shift toward mobile devices, with Commerce marketing firm Criteo finding that 40% of Black Friday online purchases were on mobile phones, up from 29% last year.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 27, 2017.

Financial Advice from Dr Wayne Dyer

Financial Wisdom from Dr Wayne Dyer
– Don’t make money the guiding principle for what you have or do
– Avoid debt, focus on value rather than price in $, &
– Do everything you can to eschew debt
– Finding the inherent value in everything
– A dollar does not determine worth
– The 12-step program to simplicity
***
DR WAYNE DYER was an American philosopher, self-help author and a motivational speaker. Dyer was an internationally renowned author and speaker in the fields of self-development and spiritual growth. Over the four decades of his career, he wrote more than 40 books, including 21 New York Times bestsellers.
Dyer created many audio and video programs, appeared on thousands of television and radio shows and starred in 10 National Public Television specials – featuring his books Manifest Your Destiny, Wisdom of the Ages, There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, and the New York Times bestsellers 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, The Power of Intention, Inspiration, Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life, Excuses Begone!, Wishes Fulfilled, and I Can See Clearly Now.

This post was published at Gold Core on November 27, 2017.