The Mess That Greenspan Made - Part 3

Retail Sales Post Modest Gain

The Commerce Department reported(.pdf) that retail sales rose less than expected last month, up only 0.2 percent in June following an upwardly revised gain of 0.5 percent in May.

The consensus estimate for June was a gain of 0.6 percent and the miss was largely due to a surprise decline of 0.3 percent in auto sales last month. Retail sales less autos rose 0.4 percent and when both autos and gasoline are excluded, sales also rose 0.4 percent.

Sales increased for nine of the thirteen major categories, paced by a gain of 1.1 percent at general merchandise stores (e.g., department stores) and an increase of 0.9 percent at nonstore retailers (e.g., internet sales) and health & personal care stores.

Declining categories were led by home improvement stores where sales fell 1.0 percent and food service where receipts were 0.3 percent lower.

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Tuesday Morning Links

MUST READS
Yellen may face grilling on Fed rate hike plans – USA Today
What to Watch for in Yellen’s Testimony This Week – WSJ
Draghi Seen Handing $1 Trillion to Banks in ECB Offer – Bloomberg
Traders look for Yellen to push S&P500 over 2,000 – Arabian Money
How Janet Yellen is redefining the Fed – New Yorker
CNBC’s Rick Santelli Loses It Over Fed Policy – Time
Santelli’s Rant Shows What Janet Yellen Is Up Against – New Republic
Santelli Slams Fed: “Not Created To Be A Feel-Good Institution” – Zero Hedge
Top 1 Percent Is Even Richer Than Surveys Say, ECB Paper Finds – Bloomberg
China Joins Furor Over Fox News Host’s ‘Chinaman’ Comments – WSJ
The Old Regime and the French Revolution – aucontrarian
Collision Course – Reformed Broker

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MARKETS/INVESTING
Futures up on J.P. Morgan, Goldman beats – MarketWatch
JPMorgan earnings: Thanks, Main Street! – CNN/Money
Goldman Sachs earnings rise, beating estimates – USA Today
Stocks or Gold? Choice Has Been Relatively Easy – Ciovacco Capital
In Bizarro Market, stocks rise along with pessimism – MarketWatch
Treasuries Halt Steepest Drop in a Week Before Yellen Testimony – Bloomberg
Gold edges up, still near 4-week low ahead of Yellen, U.S. data – Reuters
U.S. Exports More Gold To Hong Kong Than It Produces – SRSrocco Report
Chinese Gold Demand 973 MT YTD, Copper In Backwardation – BullionStar
Gold and silver smashdown: More to come? – Mineweb
The Silver Conspiracy – GoldSilverWorlds

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
U.S. Jobless Rate Closing in on Nairu Estimate – WSJ
U.K. inflation in sharp rise to 1.9% in June – BBC
Singapore’s Q2 GDP growth slows to 2.1% – Channel News Asia
Germany Prepares Further Spying Clampdown – Spiegel
China’s Property Market is Now Past the Tipping Point – Forbes
Mark Carney grilled on rising house prices: as it happened July 15, 2014 – Telegraph
Fitch calls for more action in ‘overvalued’ Canadian housing market – Financial Post
Phoenix Housing Market Hit By Unprecedented Plunge In Demand – Housing Wire
Should the Fed crash the economy now to prevent a crash later? – Noahpinion
Looks like the Fed wants to have even more power – CNBC
ECB caught up in economists’ spat – FT

 

Gold and silver prices dipped early last week after broad stock market indexes had reached record highs, but then the metals advanced sharply and ended higher as equity markets faltered amid new credit market fears, this time concerning the health of Portugal’s biggest bank. This marked the sixth straight week of gains for precious metals that are now at 3.5 month highs despite recent sharp declines for most other commodity prices.

Gold and SilverThough safe haven demand from a number of different sources (a list that seems to grow every week) has been the key driver behind rising gold and silver futures market buying, the big gains turned in by mining stocks so far this year are also being credited for some of the metals’ strength.

The silver rally has been particularly impressive as the “poor man’s gold” has risen 15 percent in just the last six weeks.

India and China remain non-factors for metals markets this summer and this is likely to continue over the near-term as the new Indian government chose not to reduce gold import duties and inquiries into commodity financing deals cast doubt over China’s gold demand. But quickly approaching seasonally strong periods of the year for both of the world’s top two gold buyers should prompt physical buying in Asia.

After surging in February and then faltering in the spring, precious metals are now again in strong short-term uptrends, seemingly determined to…

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Monday Morning Links

MUST READS
AdviceIQ: Why the market hasn’t peaked – USA Today
Individuals Pile Into Stocks as Pros Say Bull Is Spent – Bloomberg
Forget Debt As A Percent Of GDP, It’s Really Much Worse – Forbes
BIS chief: Rate rise could trigger Lehman-style event – Investment Week
BIS chief fears fresh Lehman from worldwide debt surge – Telegraph
Don’t be fooled by Krugman’s half-truths about the BIS – Telegraph
The end of quantitative easing is good news – Washington Post
Citigroup settles subprime mortgage case for $7B – AP
World Cup Triumph: Germany Earned It – Spiegel
5 money lessons learned from Monopoly – Bankrate.com
How to Fix the Credit-Rating System – Bloomberg
Ockham’s Razor and the Market Cycle – Hussman Funds
2014 vs. 2007 – Noland, Prudent Bear

MARKETS/INVESTING
Global stocks rebound after Portuguese bank scare – AP
Tech earnings may boost market in flux – USA Today
Don’t get too comfortable with low bond yields – CNBC
Why You Should Probably Own Fewer Stocks – Clear Eyes Investing
David Rosenberg: War and mayhem good for defence stocks – Financial Post
Treasuries Halt Five-Day Gain Before Retail Sales, Factory Data – Bloomberg
Gold slides from 3-1/2 month high as stocks climb – Reuters
Are we due for another massive gold and silver price smash? – Mineweb
Trend Change Developing In Gold And Silver Prices – GoldSilverWorlds
CME Group Cutting Margins For Gold, Silver, Copper Futures – Kitco
For How Long Will People Trust Fiat Money? – BullionStar

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
Consumers Spending More, Just Not on Things They Want – Gallup
Markit: Global business confidence wanes in June – xinhuanet
Draghi Faces Age-Old Problem in Trying to Spur Europe Inflation – Bloomberg
Singapore now 4th most expensive city in the world for expats – CNA
Secret Path Revealed for Chinese Billions Overseas – Bloomberg
Why the Chinese Are Snapping Up Real Estate in the U.S. – Five Thirty Eight
Should you give your child a down payment to buy a house? – Financial Post
Cities with the most abandoned homes – USA Today
Yellen’s ‘dovish stare’ may crack at testimony – CNBC
What the Fed Really Meant to Say – Bloomberg
Are the Fed and the ECB falling behind the curve? – CNBC
Charting a path to ‘normalization’ – Reuters

 
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