Waiting On The FOMC.

* Waiting for “forward guidance”.
* Currencies are mixed ahead of FOMC.
* Chuck pretends he’s the king of the forest!.
* The price of Oil bounces higher! .

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

Good day. And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well. This is going to be short-n-sweet today, as I am getting caught in the undertow and once I get through writing this morning, I’m heading back home! Today will be all about the FOMC Meeting results and the “forward guidance” that Fed Chair, Janet Yellen gives us. Of course, the snarky me, would say something really mean right now but the new kinder, gentler me, would opt for saying that I can’t believe the markets take the “forward guidance” as seriously as they do. I mean wasn’t the “forward guidance” late last year, pointing the markets to a rate hike in June? What good did that do them?

OK. time to go to the Big Finish. Nah. I’ve got more in me than to do that to you! So, since today is going to be all about the FOMC and “forward guidance” I might as well, spend some time on this subject. First of all, given all the economists that work at the Fed, don’t you think just maybe there would be one, that thinks like me? That sees the same things I see? Apparently not, for there’s never anything that comes from the Fed press conferences that sounds like reality to me.

If I were king of the forest, not queen, not duke, not prince. And I had the podium this afternoon, this is the kind of stuff I would explain to the media and the markets, so they understood completely where the Fed actually stands in real time, not make-believe land, where green shoots cover the ground.

Our economics lesson today is centered on NAIRU, and why it’s important. NAIRU stands for the Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment. Basically it is equal to the specific level of unemployment that exists in an economy that does not cause inflation to increase. NAIRU often represents an equilibrium between the state of the economy and the labor market. So, what is the Fed’s NAIRU? Ahhh grasshopper, one would have to guess at that level, but it’s probably at 5%, and you might recall that the Unemployment Rate that the Fed uses, from the BLS I might add, is 5.5%… So. think about this for a moment. The latest PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditures) the inflation calculation that the Fed uses (as opposed to the stupid CPI), was 1.2% on an annual basis in April.

So, The Fed would love to have the PCE better than 2%, and the Unemployment rate at their NAIRU rate of let’s say 5%, before they would hike rates. so, you can bet your sweet bippie that the Fed will not announce a rate hike this afternoon, and unless all this changes to meet the Fed’s requirements, and I have to say I doubt it will, we won’t see one in September either!

OK. So, if I were king of the forest. I would explain to the markets and media that the things we look at to determine if we need to hike rates, are not lining up, and unless there are some major changes, it doesn’t look like they will line up any time soon. There’s your forward guidance!

So. The currencies are mixed this morning with the euro, pound, franc, and rupee the currencies with gains VS the dollar, while the remainder of the lot are either flat to down with the Aussie dollar (A$) the worst performer overnight. Gold is down $3 to start the day, as Gold traders still think that the Fed could pull a rabbit out of their hat and hike rates today. I guess they need to read what the king of the forest had to say about that! HA!

The price of Oil has bounced back above $60, to $61.18 as I write. Apparently, crude supplies shrank by 2.9 Million barrels last week, marking the 7th consecutive month of falling supplies. Apparently, U.S. Oil producers have seen a slowdown as the rest of the world, has picked up the pace. The U.S. Oil Producers have had to deal with lower Oil prices, which means shutting down wells. I do believe I told you that all that this was going to be the end result of the drop in the price of Oil.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum here. Well, not funny ha-ha, just funny, strange. The Price of Oil bounced higher, but the petrol currencies that include: rubles, loonies, real, and krone, are not rallying alongside the rally in the price of Oil. Hmmm. Maybe the bounce took the currency traders by surprise. But more likely, this is just a case of traders not wanting to go long in one direction ahead of the FOMC today.

No news from the Eurozone regarding the Greek Drama. So, the play goes on. I spent most of the morning talking about Greece yesterday, so I won’t go there again, if you missed class yesterday, simply go to www.dailypfennig.com and check out the June 16 Pfennig!

You know sometimes I just throw my hands up and say, I give up. And yesterday was one of those times. Let me set this up. First, remember sequestration? Yes, it did what it was supposed to do.. It took the Federal Budget Deficit that was $1.1 Trillion in 2012, and reduced the next year’s deficit by more than 50%! Cutting deficit spending worked! But now, that it works, why continue doing it? I guess that’s the mantra that the POTUS has decided to take, as he announced that he will veto any FY 2016 appropriations bill that adheres to sequestration’s limits. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? OK, this is not a political letter, for if it was I wouldn’t be writing at EverBank. But in this case, we’re skating around politics, because we’re talking about debts and deficits that will once again be growing, after a couple of years of cuts to spending. Shame, shame, Shame. (in my best Gomer Pyle voice!)

Well, Monday we had a “bad data day”. and yesterday, I would say it was a “strange data day”. In what way, Chuck? I hear you asking.. Well, Housing Starts fell -11.1%, but Building Permits rose 11.8%, both in May.. Now, I ask you, isn’t that strange? Well, of course it is. The Housing Starts data saw a HUGE drop in multi-family units (-20.2%) leading the downward direction for the overall Housing Starts data. While Building Permits and its 11.8% jump in May reached the highest level for this data since April 2007. So, get in while interest rates are still low, seems to be the battle cry here, eh?

So, today’s U.S. Data Cupboard, is all about the FOMC today. So, the markets will be in a holding pattern until around 1 pm CT today. I can tell you right here, right now, that Janet Yellen is going to keep talking about seeing a stronger economy down the road, which will require higher interest rates, and while the part about a stronger economy being able to deal with higher rates is true, the jury is still out on the part about seeing a stronger economy down the road. Of course “down the road” could mean next year, right? So, every word she says this afternoon is going to be gone over with a fine tooth comb. But in the end, if she says what I think she’s going to say, the dollar will be sitting pretty once again, based on an opinion that has yet to be proven as fact.

To recap. It’s all about the FOMC today, folks. So, go out pick up the laundry, get your groceries, wash your car, and all that, but come back for the FOMC press conference this afternoon. The currencies are mixed this morning ahead of the FOMC, so it looks like tight ranges will be the play today, until the markets get a feel for the direction of the Fed. Gold is down again this morning but only by a couple of bucks, but the price of Oil has bounced to a $61 handle. Chuck gives us his: If I were king of the forest, not queen, not prince, not duke, talk, so you certainly don’t’ want to miss that!

For What It’s Worth. Well. I longtime, dear Pfennig Reader, Bob G., sent me this on Monday, and I thought, since you dear readers have been subjected to my opining about China working on having the next reserve currency. Now for those of you, who receive the text letter, you won’t see this, to see it, you’ll have to go to the Pfennig website at www.dailypfennig.com but what I’m talking about here, is a picture of a billboard outside the airport in Beijing. Any questions now, as to what China’s goal is?

Chuck again. as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. I’m told that this is a billboard in China, I have not been there personally to verify this, but if it truly is. To me this picture says it all. Remember, while China has become more of capitalist country than the U.S., they are still a Communist Country, and I don’t believe a bill board like this would get to be put up, if the country’s leaders didn’t approve it. So. if that’s the case, then all the words that Chinese leaders have spoken in the past 6 years about removing the dollar as the reserve currency, just got put into this one picture.

Currencies today 6/17/15. American Style: A$ .7685, kiwi .6935, C$ .8125, euro 1.1265, sterling 1.5730, Swiss $1.0780, . European Style: rand 12.4250, krone 7.7475, SEK 8.1820, forint 276.55, zloty 3.6890, koruna 24.1760, RUB 53.96, yen 123.90, sing 1.3465, HKD 7.7530, INR 64.11, China 6.1158, pesos 15.40, BRL 3.0875, Dollar Index 94.88, Oil $61.18, 10-year 2.32%, Silver $15.98, Platinum $1,075.50, Palladium $731.60, and Gold. $1,179.09

That’s it for today. Whew! Made it to the end! It was highly questionable at the start today, the first two exits from the highway I take in from home, were looking like they were going to be turn-around spots for me to head back home. But I soldiered on. I will say something about this change up that the Good Lord has thrown me, I find that I can go on when I didn’t think I could. BTW. Last Sunday was the 8 year anniversary of my first cancer operation, the one that saved my life. Next week will the same year anniversary of the operation to remove my hip and 2/3 rd’s of my right femur. Yes, on the 4th of July, 8 years ago, I had been cut from, well, you know the saying, but at that time I thought I was finished with cancer. Little did I know then, eh? Well, the Cardinals played through the rain yesterday, but got the win, and now turnaround and go to Minnesota, that’s affectionately called Minnesnowta, by the Big Boss Frank Trotter, who played his college hockey in the state. The Strawbs are playing their song: Autumn on the iPod right now. That’s a real “rock Classic” song. Well, maybe, just maybe, I’ll not have to run out of here to go back home after all.. More rain today for us today, as the storm Bill is moving up from where it made landfall around Houston. In 1973, our spring was full of rain, and we used to get out of school to go help sandbag areas where the rivers were rising. I don’t ever remember going into summer with this much rain. Come on Mother Nature, couldn’t you even this out with the folks in California? Oh well, got to go. I Hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday!

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