[05/31/13] Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS) analysts said Friday that a broadly expected mass sale of U.S. Treasury bonds is now happening.Three key factors prompting the sale of Treasurysare shifts in economic growth forecasts, watchfulness over the pace of Federal Reserve bond purchases, and uncertainty about Japan's “Abenomics” policy.
In Goldman Sachs' research report entitled "The Bond Sell-Off: It’s For Real," the analysts note that they had argued at the end of April that rallies in the bond market would gradually wind down.Read more
More than 80 percent of bond funds holding more than $500 million lost money in May, according toReuters.“10-year Treasury yields should currently be trading...
[05/31/13] Americans cut back on spending in April after their income failed to grow, a sign that economic growth may be slowing. Consumer spending dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in April, the Commerce Department said Friday. That was the first decline since last May. It followed a 0.1 percent increase in March and a 0.8 percent jump in February. A drop in gas prices likely lowered overall spending. Adjusted for inflation, spending ticked up 0.1 percent last month. Still, that was the smallest gain since October. Consumers also likely spent less to heat their homes last month, which may have reduced spending on utilities. April's weather was mild after an...Read more
[05/29/13] Is a housing recovery finally at hand, or are we just witnessing a new bubble fueled by unlimited government finance? Or is it neither of the above? Average prices for new homes reached a new all-time high of $330,800 in April, a 15.4 percent increase in a single month, and 34.9 percent off its January 2009 low of $245,000. But before you run off to start flipping houses on borrowed money, do not miss the giant grain of salt. The broader Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which includes prices for new and existing homes, has seen only a 10.8 percent increase through March since hitting its low in January...Read more
[05/23/13] Economic data released on Thursday indicated solid job growth and provided further signs that housing is recovering. The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell 23,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 340,000, a level consistent with firm job growth. And sales of new homes rose in April to the second-highest level since summer 2008, while the median price for a new home hit a high. The Labor Department said on Thursday that the less volatile four-week average of jobless claims declined just 500 to 339,500. That is close to the five-year low of 338,000 reached in the first week of May. The four-week average is 9...Read more
[05/22/13] Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said raising interest rates or reducing asset purchases too soon would endanger the recovery as the economy remains hampered by high unemployment and government spending cuts. “A premature tightening of monetary policy could lead interest rates to rise temporarily but would also carry a substantial risk of slowing or ending the economic recovery and causing inflation to fall further,” Bernanke said today in testimony to the Joint Economic Committee of Congress in Washington. Bernanke lamented the human and economic costs of an unemployment rate at 7.5 percent nearly four years into the recovery from the deepest recession since the Great Depression, and he said the Fed’s record easing is...Read more
[05/13/13] Retail sales unexpectedly rose in April, pointing to underlying strength in the economy and leading forecasters to bump up second-quarter growth estimates. The surprise gain in retail sales, which account for about 30 percent of consumer spending, was the latest sign of resilience in an economy that has been hit by belt-tightening in Washington as the government tries to cut its budget deficit. "It's more indication that our economy is growing. It's not growing as rapidly as a lot of people would like, but things are improving," said Tom Hall, an economics professor at Miami University's Farmer School of Business in Oxford, Ohio. Retail sales edged up 0.1...Read more
[05/03/13] The U.S. dollar surged against the yen and global equity markets rallied on Friday after the U.S. government reported jobs growth for April that topped expectations, driving stocks on Wall Street to record highs. U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 165,000 last month and the jobless rate fell to a four-year low of 7.5 percent, the Labor Department said. Hiring was also much stronger than previously thought in the prior two months, signs of a resilient jobs market. Economists expected payrolls to rise by 145,000 and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 7.6 percent. Leading U.S. and European indexes advanced more than 1 percent in a rally that...Read more