Financial Professionals

Market Insights

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Reading 10 quick takeaways

08/24/2009

  1. On Oil: it doesn't seem like Iranian President Ahmadinejad is too concerned about possible gasoline export sanctions to Iran. This Iranian story is NOT GOING AWAY!
  2. On Natural Gas: despite the early hype surrounding the possibility of the coldest U.S. winter in 10 years, Natural Gas fell below $3 this week, $2 is next.
  3. The U.S. rig count: 985 as of 8/21/09 versus 1,998 on 8/22/08 - Oil and Gas producers are voluntarily reducing supplies.
  4. Message to President Obama from Ben Bernanke, your Fed Chairman: "I am not making any move to tighten monetary policy until you re-appoint me" - Historically low interest rates are sticking around for the next 3 to 6 months, as well as excess liquidity.
  5. Consumer Credit: the latest Fed Senior Loan officer survey showed an improvement in charge-offs, but please keep in mind that it also showed that lending remains very restrictive. I am thinking that lending will remain restrictive for far longer than analysts believe.
  6. China: for those who think the "Standard of Living" theme in China is mature, keep in mind that 50% of China's population still works in the agricultural industry. Therefore, the "Standard of Living" is many years away from its maturity; China is still rising.
  7. Emerging Markets: hot markets right now - Indonesia and Turkey.
  8. Mark your calendar! September 1 release of August ISM Manufacturing Report - can we vault above the 50 contraction/expansion line?
  9. First In, Last Out: I have talked about that theme over the past year and still believe it applies now. Our domestic economy started the economic mess in December 2007; we will struggle to avoid coming out near last. Emerging Markets are still the investment theme and asset prices that benefit from a sustained weak U.S. dollar.
  10. As cheap as U.S. Treasuries may appear, corporate bonds remain the theme.

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