Category Archives: Blitzer’s Insights

Inflation

Supported by a stronger economy and higher oil prices, recent readings of inflation are rising. The Fed’s principal gauge, the personal consumption expenditures deflator excluding food and energy (Core PCE) is approaching but still below its 2% target. The more widely recognized CPI and CPI excluding food and energy are both rising and a bit Read more […]

The Source of Uncertainty

In 2017 politics, not economics will be the major source of market uncertainty.  The world’s major economies moved past the financial crisis and Great Recession: unemployment rates are at more acceptable levels and central banks are discussing the end of quantitative easing. Equity markets in the US and the UK made new all-time highs while Read more […]

Surging US Dollar

The US dollar continues to advance against most developed market currencies as analysts point to rising US interest rates and expectations of tax cuts and increased federal spending as reasons to expect further gains. One might expect investors to shift their fixed income investments to markets with higher interest rates. Since rates are currently higher Read more […]

Round Numbers and the Dow

As the Dow Jones Industrial Average approaches the 20,000 level everyone seems to be suddenly fascinated with the figure. People who rarely ask if the market is up or down want to know if the Dow will cross this supposed benchmark today. Journalists   with years sent covering the markets want to know what 20,000 means.  Read more […]

The Turning Point

Thirty-five years ago on September 30, 1981 the 10 Year treasury yield peaked at 15.85%.  With a few bumps it has slid downward ever since – until now. The events of the last few weeks moved interest rates higher and added about 25 bp to the ten year treasury.  Even allowing for some near-term volatility Read more […]

The Fed: No Change In Rates Amidst Puzzling Policies

Questions and some answers on issues facing, or created at, the Fed Raise Rates? Not very likely next week at the September 21st FOMC meeting.  Recent data including August jobs report, declines in Industrial Production and Retail Sales and comments from FOMC members argue against a move now.  The November 2nd meeting is just days Read more […]

What’s Next from the Fed

Last weekend the Federal Reserve held its annual symposium at Jackson Hole Wyoming and discussed near and longer term monetary issues. No Rate hike in September There are three FOMC meetings remaining this year: September 21st, November 2nd and December 14th. While there is no rule that all interest rate target changes must come at Read more […]

Bank Lending: More Demand, Tighter Standards

Three times a year the Federal Reserve surveys bank lending officers about credit standards, loan pricing and the demand for borrowing.  The Survey provides insights into business and consumer borrowing as well as where the economy may be headed.  The results of the July 2016 survey, released today, echo the details in last week’s GDP Read more […]

Home Prices Rising

This morning’s S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report showed prices rising at about a 5% annual rate over the last 12 months.  Across the country the pattern varies with strong price gains in the Pacific Northwest and small price increases in New York and Washington DC.  The press release and data are available at Read more […]

Party like it’s 2007

House sales and prices are rising.  Home sales in June were 5.57 million at annual rates, the highest since February 2007 when national home prices peaked.  Currently prices as measured by the S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index are climbing at a 5% annual rate and are a mere 3% from their all-time peak. What next?  Read more […]