Interest Rate Roundup

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Quick hits...

Sorry for the absence these past few days. I actually took a vacation, then had computer issues. But now that I'm back in the saddle, here are a couple quick thoughts ...

1) Looks like we're having about the 5th "The Fed is done hiking rates" rallies in the stock market. I suppose even a stopped clock is right twice a day. But when are these rocks-for-brains "expert" economists on Wall Street going to give it up. How come they have any credibility left? Just wondering.

2) Nasty Consumer Price Index numbers yesterday. Headline CPI showed a big jump (0.4%). But even the artificially depressed/massaged/ridiculous "core" CPI (that excludes those things none of us use, like food and gasoline) jumped 0.3%. That was the biggest monthly gain in a year. For a "data dependent" Fed, these numbers should be the kiss of death.

3) $71 oil. $620 gold (after today's correction). Surging aluminum, zinc, platinum, copper, etc. prices. Yep, no inflation here.

4) Housing stats falling off a cliff, with the latest (April) National Association of Home Builders' index reading of 50 the lowest since November 2001. Exclude the post-9/11 figures, and you have to go back to 1996 to find numbers that are worse.

Of course, this is only more concrete proof that the real estate shills are right about a "soft landing." (Yes, I'm saying that with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek)


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