Ten-year US treasury rates broke out this week on the back of news that looks unequivocally like an inflationary boom. Earlier in the week the Atlanta wage tracker ticked back up to 3.3% year over year. Wages moving higher, check. Oil prices broke above $71/barrel. Commodity prices higher, check.
Rising oil prices, food prices and interest rates are likely to soon start taking a toll on the US consumer. Over the last year, gasoline prices are up 28%, the price of cornerstone crops like corn, soy and wheat are up between 5-16%, credit card interest rates have moved to an eight year high of 13.6% and the all important mortgage rate has risen to nearly 5%.
There are two basic drivers of the London Interback Offered Rate (LIBOR): 1) policy rates and 2) a variable premium. Starting with the policy rates component, in the chart below I compare the interest rate on excess reserves (IOR) and USD LIBOR.
With the European Central Bank dragging its feet to begin the monetary tightening cycle, the difference between US and German rates has opened up to record levels. In the chart below, I show the yield on 10 Year US Treasury Bonds and 10 Year German Bunds.
A recent report by The Wall Street Journal identified a new generation of supercomputers as the fuel behind Big Oil’s “digital arms race to find oil and trim costs.” Indeed, make a quick visit to the websites of most of the Supermajors – that’s BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total and Eni in oil speak...
Bitcoin made a closing high on December 18, 2017 at $18,764 and then proceeded to fall to the closing low for the year, $6,604.48 on April 6, 2018. Since then, it has rebounded almost 50% to today’s level of $9,670, having broken back through the 50-day moving average.
Price excesses have built up over a long bull market. Stocks are expensive, and the volatility shock wave is traveling the globe. This quarter, we discuss the risks correlated with the current volatility, potential new sources of instability, and the sectors that could be the performance beneficiaries of these trends.
Among yesterday’s data releases was the widely followed ‘flash’ PMI report produced by Markit, which showed that the Manufacturing PMI increased to the highest level since the 4th quarter of 2014. Unlike the final report, which gets published on the first day of the month, the advanced report lacks details on specific components.
After spending the last four months consolidating gains, crude oil is breaking higher again, and it’s taking inflation expectations with it. The break higher in crude isn’t surprising given that oil fundamentals haven’t been this good in years.
Another month and another new high in equity valuations, at least relative to sales. Indeed, the median company in our developed world index (which covers the top 85% of companies in each country) just achieved a price to sales ratio that eclipsed the 2000 peak.