Bonds and Stocks

U.S. Economic Performance Under Different Fed Chairmen

August 27, 2009

There have been only six chairmen of the Federal Reserve System since April 1951. William McChesney Martin was appointed by Truman and served from April 2, 1951 until January 31, 1970 while at starting age of 44 and an ending age of 63.  His father had been a central banker, but Martin’s prior experience had […] More

July in Figures

August 1, 2009

A frequent risk assumption trade in July boosted equities, depressed the dollar, and produced mixed interest rate movements.  Oil prices had fallen around $10 by the 14th but recovered just about all its losses by month-end.  Gold recouped half its June decline. 10-Yr Yield 06/30/09 07/31/09 Chg vs End-June U.S. 3.53% 3.48% -5 Basis Points […] More

Interest Rates and Inflation

July 27, 2009

Figures in the table below are expressed in basis points expect for the latest ten-year bond yields and the latest on-year CPI inflation rates.  Entries in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rows are the respective changes of latest bond yield quotes from their averages so far this month, their average values in the first […] More

One-Year Anniversaries for Oil and the Euro and A Little History

July 14, 2009

West Texas Intermediate futures peaked on July 11, 2008 at $147.27 and are presently trading off 59.0% from that peak.  Gold, by comparison, dropped only about 5% on balance over that period.  Oil prices recorded lower period averages for eight consecutive months — $134.08 in June 2008, $133.97 in July, $116.69 in August, $103.57 in […] More

Ten-Year Bond Spreads and The Dollar

July 13, 2009

Ten-year Treasuries traded at a yield of 3.73% on September 12, 2008 just before Lehman Brothers collapsed, fell to as low as 2.08% on December 18th, rebounded to touch 4.0% briefly on June 10th, and have settled back to 3.36% currently.  These wide swings reflect dueling ideologies that cannot decide if the U.S. economy faces […] More

June in Figures

July 1, 2009

The dollar’s 6.7% advance against the Canadian loonie reversed a big loss in May.  The dollar advanced by 1.8% against the Swiss franc, another currency where officials seek a softer tone.  Smaller dollar gains were posted against the euro and yen, while losses were made against the pound, Aussie dollar and kiwi.  U.S. bond spreads […] More

Uh Oh! Equity Slide Poses New Risk to World Recovery

June 22, 2009

The world economy performed better in the second quarter of 2009 than in either of the prior two quarters, inspiring hope that a recovery will begin to emerge in the second half of this year.  Some analysts in fact are claiming that the U.S. business cycle hit bottom last month.  Other regions like Europe will […] More

May in Figures

May 30, 2009

As in April, yield curves steepened last month, with long-dated rates up and short-dated ones down.  Equities recovered further but by less from the bloodbath of 4Q08 and early this year.  The differences from April were a sharp advance in oil and gold prices and a pronounced decline of the dollar. 10-Yr Yield 04/30/09 05/29/09 […] More

April Markets in Figures: A Story of Subsiding Risk Aversion

April 30, 2009

10-Yr Yield 03/31/09 04/30/09 Chg vs End-March U.S. 2.68% 3.11% +43 Basis Points Germany 2.99% 3.18% +19 Japan 1.35% 1.43% +8 U.K. 3.17% 3.50% +33 Canada 2.78% 3.09% +31 3-month euros       U.S. 1.19% 1.02% -17 Basis Points Euroland 1.51% 1.36% -15 Japan 0.60% 0.55% -5 U.K. 1.65% 1.45% -20 Canada 1.00% 0.85% […] More

The Elusive Nature of Confidence

April 28, 2009

I’m not prepared to say that April is really busting out all over?  Sure, U.S. consumer confidence jumped to 39.2, about ten points higher than street forecasts.  The 12-month drop in U.S. housing prices finally declined according to the Case-Shiller indices.  In Britain, the CBI business group reported a swing in the distributive trades index […] More