December in Figures

January 4, 2010

In the final month of 2009, the dollar and equities advanced.  Traditional hard currencies, that is the yen, euro and Swiss franc, suffered the most pronounced losses against the greenback, and the Canadian and Zealand dollars outpaced their U.S. counterpart.  The Dow Jones Industrial Averaged lagged behind the rise of other U.S. stock indices and […] More

Oil To Boost On-Year CPI Comparisons Sharply

October 28, 2009

Even when inflation first fell below zero, central bankers around the world confidently predicted a return to the black in the final months of 2009.  The factor behind this prediction lies in the extremely sharp 59% decline of crude oil prices between the September 2008 and December 2008 monthly averages.  Economists call this kind of […] 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

Bear Markets: How Bad Can They Get?

October 6, 2008

Market historians classify a bear run as any decline that exceeds 20%.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell below 10,000 today for the first time since October 2004 and is 29.9% below its high of 14,165 a year ago. Nearly nine years have passed since the end of the 1987-2000 bull run, which took the […] More

The Week in Figures

September 19, 2008

After a week as wild and woolly as this one, a tally of net changes is in order. Since the close on Friday, September 12, the dollar fell 3.1% against the New Zealand dollar, 2.3% against the Swiss franc, 2.1% against sterling, 1.8% against the euro, 1.4% against the Australian dollar, 1.2% against the Canadian […] More

The Fickleness of Foreign Exchange

August 9, 2008

  The above plot of oil prices against the dollar from the Money and Markets Newsletter illustrates a fact of life in foreign exchange markets.  Currency movements seldom correlate with other variables all of the time.  The chart shows a strong inverse correlation between oil prices, which were rising, and the dollar, which fell until […] More

Bastille Day Oil Price Coincidence

July 30, 2008

Some dispute exists over the date and level of the latest and all-time record high in oil prices.  One camp cites $147.27 on July 11th, but another view puts the peak at $147.91 per barrel on July 14th.  Coincidentally, Bastille Day in 2006 saw oil prices crest at of $78.40, a record high that stood […] More

Oil Corrections and Trend

July 17, 2008

Extreme volatility and unpredictability remain a fact of life for oil prices.  Market players have literally seen every kind of oil price movement since 1973 and can conceive of a further upswing toward $200/barrel or a huge correction back to $100 happening within the next six months or so.   To approach the above correction scenario […] More

Dollar Respite Unlikely to Endure

July 15, 2008

The dollar at this hour is more than a penny stronger than its earlier record low today of $1.6038 per euro.  Fed Chairman Bernanke’s more alarmist remarks about the outlook for U.S. growth drove this respite, first sending oil prices sharply below today’s high of $146.73, which in turn boosted the dollar and trimmed some […] More

Vital Market Signs at Selected Previous FOMC Meetings

June 25, 2008

  EUR/USD USD/JPY 10Y, % DJIA Oil, % 6/30/2004 1.2173 109.44 4.63 10396 37.95 6/29/2006 1.2527 116.07 5.20 11077 73.41 8/7/2007 1.3749 118.55 4.73 13510 72.27 12/11/2007 1.4682 111.49 4.11 13645 89.78 1/30/2008 1.4792 107.31 3.70 12454 91.70 3/18/2008 1.5786 98.73 3.41 12257 107.53 4/30/2008 1.5562 104.58 3.83 12953 114.54 6/25/2008 1.5579 107.98 4.12 11807 […] More