Posts tagged midwest business activity
2010 is going out with a bang as every piece of data beat guesses today including new claims for unemployment, pending home sales, and days until Christine O’Donnell was once again found out to be a fraud (and note to FBI agents, if you’re looking for where she may have hidden misappropriated funds, you might want to check her bush). And yet despite the flurry of good news, the market reacted with more of a yawn than if it had just read Paul Krugman’s senior thesis (titled Essays on Flexible Exchange Rates: A Love Story) or sat through the first seven hours of the play Gatz. It was a bizarre day in that macro news is hitting its apex while investors remain content to lock in their bonuses and play in the snow until the new year.
As mentioned, initial claims for unemployment fell below 400k for the first time in two years as only 388k people (to be revised up next week in the continued “hold the shock and hope for no awe” government strategy) were fired, laid off, outsourced, or attacked with a dildo last week. So break out the champagne, boil water for the lobster tails, and invite Kayla Collins over for a game of “hide the CDO,” because the economy is coming back (just don’t tell that to the 388k people who are now out of work, the ~18% of the people who are unemployed, the 8.7MM people still getting unemployment benefits, or something called the Federal Reserve Bank who thinks the economy is so fuck awful that they continue to stimulate it by buying bonds, keeping interest rates cockposterously low, and pleading for Super girl to bail them out). With only 388k workers losing their jobs a week and with ~40k new jobs being added to the economy every month, we should be back to full employment in only around negative 250 months, or by Money McBags’ calculations, 1980, so just in time for the 1981 Reagan recession. Sweet.
As always, the most interesting part about the initial claims number was that once again economist guesses proved to be less valuable than a tush turner for Tara Reid (and not because she has no ass, but because it is a stupid fucking product) as they guessed the number would be 415k, which was only off by ~10%. But hey economists, continue to use those broken models which were calibrated to work in an unconnected global economy where it took more than nano-seconds to find out that Argentina has better reality TV than the US. Really, good luck with that, let Money McBags know how it continues to not work. Money McBags is hella glad new claims for unemployment are dropping on an absolute level, but at some point, there are just fewer people to lay off and with job growth somewhere between stagnant and non-fucking-existent, Money McBags will continue to be very skeptical about the pace of the non-recovery.
In other macro news, pending home sales were up last month more than guessed as they rose 3.5% vs. guesses for a 2% rise, yet on an absolute level, they remained absolutely crappy. The index showed sales were still 5% lower than in November of last year as the last four digits of your social security number, a caricature, and a heart beat are no longer considered valid documents to qualify for a mortgage. Also today, business activity in the midwest jumped up to 68.6 from 62.5 while economists guessed it would fall to 61. As always, Money McBags has no idea what the difference between 68.6 and 62.5 is (other than 6.1), so his ability to interpret this data is about as useful as Stevie Wonder’s ability to interpret a Marcel Marceau performance. The index was driven by employment and new orders, which sounds fairly positive, especially if the orders were caused by demand for Money McBags’ new favorite t-shirt (and if you click one link on the award winning When Genius Prevailed today, or any day, let it be that one).
And the positive data didn’t stop there as flows into equity funds were positive for the first time in 8 months as investors rush to top tick the market. Net flows were a whopping $355MM which should put a major dent in the $90B that was pulled out of funds since the “flash crash” in the same way that Flavor Flav’s upcoming memoir will likely put a major dent in Phillip Roth’s potential 2011 Nobel Prize nomination (and Money McBags dares the Nobel committee to read Operation Shylock and then vote for some douchenozzle like Mario Vargas Llosa again). Not only that, but commercial real estate transactions are heating up again as Normandy Real Estate Partners and Five Mile Capital Partners put their John Hancocks on the actual John Hancock for $930MM which is ~50% above where the property was ditched in the throes of the real estate bubble bursting.
In the market, less happened today than in Tom Cruise’s honeymoon suite (except for the crying and disbelief as to what was supposed to go where) with the only mildly interesting news being that bond insurer MBIA was up ~15% after JP Morgan and Barclays dropped lawsuits around MBIA’s restructuring plans. Now Money McBags doesn’t find this interesting because the stock was up so much, rather he finds it interesting because he can’t believe MBIA is still in business. Next thing someone will tell him is that RDN, GM, and Nina Hartley are still open for business as well (umm, maybe scratch that last one). Finally the big rumor is that Groupon may go public (though Money McBags liked it better in 2000 when it was called MobShop or Mercata) after it turned down a $6B offer from GOOG and is trying to raise $950MM. With internet valuations as ridonkulous as that, Money McBags is officially putting the award winning When Genius Prevailed up for sale and won’t accept anything less than $10MM or a year of taint tickles from Erin Heatherton.
In small caps, STVI (which Money McBags pointed out yesterday) unsurprisingly fell 20% because it had been pumped more than Bobbi Starr in Ass Trap. It probably has another 50% down to go but there is something mildly interesting about it and as Money McBags said yesterday, it is worth trying to understand for when things settle. Otherwise not much happened so Money McBags will be back breaking down small cap stocks in the new year.
Writer’s note: Money McBags is 94% likely to take tomorrow off since it is New Years Eve (though he may pop in for a few quick jokes or throw them up on the twitter), his writing has been struggling a bit this week (the effort is there, really it is), nothing is going to happen in the markets, and he’d like to get his champagne on as early as possible. It has been a long year and Money McBags appreciates all of his readers for making this one of the top 700k websites in the world and growing every day. He hopes 2011 will bring more readers, more interesting stocks, and more NSFW Alice Eve nude scenes. So enjoy your celebration and Money McBags will see you all in 2011.