No News Is Good News for U.S. Economy / Dollar.

* German ZEW is weak again.
* Swedish Unemployment drops to 8%
* Canada prints fiscal budget today.
* RBA’s minutes are dovish, and so is Stevens .

And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts.

Good day.. And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! A not so Tom Terrific Tuesday for our Blues who were shut out last night and now trail 2-1 in their series with Minnesota. That’s a scary thing folks. I’ve told you all how the “odd games” in a playoff series are the most important games to win, but even more in hockey, as I heard the other day on TV, that when teams split the first two games, the winner of the 3rd game goes on to win the series 67% of the time. Uh-Oh! I really thought the playoffs snake-bitten Blues were going to shake that moniker this year. Yes, the series isn’t over yet, but it doesn’t look as promising now as it did when it started.

Speaking of not looking as promising. Just a couple of days ago, the euro was trading with a 1.08 handle, and it appeared to want to go higher. But today, after a weak ZEW report, the euro has a 1.06 handle. Sure the German Investors confidence report as measured by the think tank ZEW , but that wasn’t all that ails the euro this morning, as we’re now 1-day closer to the 23rd, which is the Eurogroup meeting on Greece, and those associated with trading the euro are getting just a bit uneasy about the whole mess. The other thing weighing on the euro and the other currencies this morning, is the lack of data in the U.S. In a case of no news is good news for the U.S. economy, traders, which I’ve told you many times in the past, are fickle, have seemed to forget that last week was a “lost week” for U.S. data.

In Australia last night, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) printed their minutes from the April 7 meeting, and the minutes were pretty much on the dovish side of the ledger. And then RBA Gov. Stevens made a speech last night that also sounded as if he’s finished waiting and watching the Aussie economy’s reaction to the previous rate cuts, and is now ready to cut rates at the May meeting. The Aussie dollar (A$) is flat this morning despite the minutes and the Stevens speech. I’m quite surprised by this, as I truly expected to see the A$ getting whacked when I read the reports this morning before writing. But like I said above, Traders are fickle.

Remember last week when I told you that Banks around the world were banging on the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) to do something to stem the rise of the ruble, which had gained 15% just in April? Well, apparently it took a couple of days, but the CBR announced yesterday that they were boosting dollar costs to stem the rally. the dollar costs are simply the costs of lenders to borrow dollars and buy rubles. The ruble, which in early morning trading on Monday was gaining ground, immediately lost 2.2% on this news. I’d say the CBR stemmed the rally, eh? Geez I dislike it when Central Banks get their hands in the cookie jar. And then you have to hear all their whining about how the strong rally is hurting state revenue and all that. I say, a Central Bank should embrace a strong currency. display it with pride. Besides what are they so darn worried about, last year at this time, the ruble was trading at 35, and now it’s 52. And I don’t recall anyone complaining about how strong the ruble was last year when it was 35. Will everyone just please calm down?

As I told you yesterday, today Canada will print their fiscal budget, and also as I told you yesterday, the drop in the price of Oil is going to make it very difficult if not impossible for Canada to print a Budget Surplus this year. In addition, I’ll so repeat what I said yesterday since the drop in the price of Oil is a “known” thing, the Canadian dollar/ loonie shouldn’t have to pay that much of a price for not booking a Budget Surplus. But we’ll have to wait-n-see, eh? But then, you never know what the Budget holds for us, right? If my some miracle of bean counting, they show they can still book a surplus, then that would be a HUGE positive surprise! And let me remind you that there will be a federal election this fall in Canada, so maybe the Canadians have learned something about cooking books ahead of elections from…

Well, once again the New Zealand dollar / kiwi is closing in on the A$… Right now kiwi is up ¼-cent this morning, and is within 1/3rd -cent of parity with the A$… I’ve said before that this just doesn’t’ seem right, given that there’s always been a wide differential between the two currencies’ levels. But. it is what it is, right? I wonder what the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Gov. Wheeler thinks of this development. I haven’t heard anything from him recently, but longtime readers know that he never misses an opportunity to diss kiwi, and this would be an excellent time, in his mind I’m sure, to do just that!

In Sweden overnight, Swedish Unemployment for March fell to 8% from 8.4% in February, this was a better than expected (8.3%) result and has helped the krona to rally VS the euro this morning, but not against the dollar, yet. Remember how I explained to you how the Norwegian krone was rallying against the euro, and that carried over on the crosses to dollar / krone trading? Well, the krona doesn’t have the amount of trades that the krone does, so the krona might not see the rally VS the euro carry over to the dollar / krona on the crosses, but then it may if there is enough push. But right now there isn’t.

I just noticed that I was tapping my foot along with the song on the iPod, so I stopped to listen, as sometimes I get to writing and the music is playing but I don’t pay attention to it. The song that had my foot tapping along with it, was Charlie Daniels, The Devil Went Down To Georgia.

The U.S. Data Cupboard is empty today, no data, no news is good news for the U.S. economy and dollar. Well, I told you yesterday that the early part of the week, the U.S. Data Cupboard had 3rd Tier and Housing data only for us to look through. Well one of those pieces of 3rd Tier data printed yesterday and was very bad. The Chicago Fed National Activity Index, which is a monthly index designed to gauge overall economic activity and inflation pressure. The index is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity drawn from 4 categories of data: 1. Production and income 2. Employment, unemployment and hours worked 3. Personal consumption and housing and 3. Sales, orders and inventories. It starts at zero (0) and any number above zero represents that the national economy is expanding at its historical trend rate of growth, and of course negative values indicate below-average growth. Well, March’s index was negative, and in fact the first 3 months of this year the index has been negative, and the last month of 2014. So, that makes 4 consecutive months of negative values. I thought this played well in the sandbox with the thought I keep telling you about over and over again, that the economy is missing expectations too often. But now you get to see the actual data from the Chicago region. Hmmm.

Late last week, we saw Housing Starts and Building Permits fall from the previous month’s numbers. And that got me thinking. there could be a huge run to get a mortgage and buy a house before June, for IF the Fed does decide to hike rates in June, these uber-low mortgage rates, which the guy on St. Louis TV that claims he’s the “mortgage expert” says if you don’t have a mortgage loan rate in the 3’s, you’re paying too much, could be going away, or at least higher. So, a mad rush ahead of June could turn these falling numbers around. But what happens when the Fed doesn’t hike rates in June? Ruh-Roh George!

Gold is up $3 this morning, but still below $1,200 at $1,198 and change. A longtime reader reminded me of something yesterday, and that is to talk about Gold & Silver as being in what I would consider to be “still on sale” at these prices. Of course that’s my opinion and I could end up being wrong, but it sure looks like a blue light special to me!

I was reading an article on Google+ last night and in it was a chart that showed the Gold demand breakdown between investment and jewelry here in the U.S. Now I’ve long chronicled how Gold, for the most part, here in the U.S. is not viewed as a store of value, but instead a commodity that is bought and sold on whims and rumors. In the East, Gold is viewed as a store of value, period. Well, here in the U.S. in the years between 1999 and 2014 15% of the Gold bought was used as investment, while 85% was sold as jewelry. Hmmm. Well, as I’ve said before, until the U.S. treats Gold like the Far East, as a store of value, Gold will continue have the weight of manipulators on its back.

Oh, and for the record. Russia’s Central Bank (CBR) bought 1 Million ounces of Gold in March. WOW!

To recap. Germany’s ZEW was weak and there’s one less day to the 23rd weighing on the euro this morning. No news is good news for the U.S. economy and dollar, as the Data Cupboard is empty today. Canada’s Budget gets printed today, will they show a Budget Surplus or not? Chuck says if they do, then there’s some monkey business going on ahead of the Federal Elections in the fall. Sweden posted a better than expected Unemployment rate, but hasn’t seen the good in dollar/ krona cross yet. And Gold is up $3 this morning, but remains below $1,200. and Russia added 1 Million ounces of Gold last month to their reserves!

Before I go to the Big Finish this morning. Yesterday, once again, I made a faux pas with the amount of euros that Greece owes to the IMF. I said Billions, when it was really Millions. I told one dear reader, that I guess I’m just so used to typing the word Billions, that my fat fingers didn’t notice the difference. So.. I apologize to you, and to the Greeks who owe 200 Million euros and 770 Million euros to the IMF in the coming weeks. Not Billions!

Currencies today 4/21/15. American Style: A$ .7740, kiwi .7705, C$ .8180, euro 1.0710, sterling 1.4885, Swiss $1.0450, . European Style: rand 12.0900, krone 7.8795, SEK 8.6755, forint 278.15, zloty 3.7105, koruna 25.6115, RUB 53.64, yen 119.35, sing 1.3495, HKD 7.7500, INR 62.85, China 6.1280, pesos 15.40, BRL 3.0315, Dollar Index 98.13, Oil $56.15, 10-year 1.88%, Silver $16.20, Platinum $1,159.50, Palladium $ 777.75, and Gold. $1,198.88

That’s it for today. Have I told you lately, that I love you. No wait! While I do love my dear readers, that’s not where I was going with that. Have I told you lately, how painful this darn cellulitis is? The pain takes my breath away at times. UGH! Kathy & Chuck tried a new restaurant, for us that is, on Saturday night. Food was great, and a fun place. for those of you in the St. Louis area, I highly recommend: Matthew’s Kitchen, which is in the city. I’m so disappointed in the Blues, but they still have a chance to redeem themselves. Van, the man, Morrison is playing: Into the Mystic, on the iPod right now. What a great mellow song. Well, yesterday was Frank Trotter’s birthday. My mind quickly went back to the day that his boss Bob Butler (no relation) brought him around to introduce him to everyone, and I immediately thought, “what a preppy” he had on an olive khaki suit with a white shirt and pink tie. That was 1981. Can you believe that? 34 years ago. I’ve been one lucky person, to work next to Frank for many years, and we’ve become such good friends. There’s no one in the world that supported me like he did, through cancer, issuing the Pfennig, and other things. So, I hope your day was Grand, Frank. You deserved it! And with that, I’ll get out of your hair for today, and hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday!

Chuck Butler
Managing Director
EverBank Global Markets
Editor of A Pfennig For Your Thoughts