Friday, March 11, 2022

Morning Note: Consumers Are Feeling It (inflation)

Equities, in the wee hours, were looking to end the week on a positive note, inspired by a V. Putin comment that ceasefire talks have taken "positive shifts." However, as I type, the Dow has given back the lion's share of those gains, the S&P 500 is flat and the Nasdaq is now in the red. While we'll pray that indeed there's light (very soon) at the end of this tragic tunnel, keep in mind, this is the same V. Putin who said there'd be no invasion right up to the day it began. 

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey for March was released this morning, and, well...

Inflation is clearly weighing on the American psyche (consumers expect 5.4% over the coming year, the highest read since 1981), as the survey clocked its highest ever reading in terms of folks expecting their finances to worsen over the next 12 months. As for their current conditions, consumers haven't felt this low since 2009. 

Not what you want to see in a consumer-driven economy, nor if you're hoping that, in light of present global affairs, the Fed will stay its hand come next week's meeting. As for the Fed, all appearances are that worries over inflation presently trump those over asset bubbles...

Asian equities struggled overnight, with 10 of the 16 markets we track closing in the red.

Europe's in the green this morning, though off its earlier highs, with 18 of the 19 bourses we follow trading up as I type.

US equities are mixed: Dow up 127 points (0.38%), SP500 up 0.03%, SP500 Equal Weight up 0.15%, Nasdaq 100 down 0.32%, Nasdaq Comp down 0.37%, Russell 2000 down 0.30%.

The VIX sits at 30.00, down 0.76%.

Oil futures are up 1.87%, gold's down 1.22%, silver's down 0.83%, copper futures are down 0.16% and the ag complex (DBA) is down 0.07%.

The 10-year treasury is up (yield down) and the dollar is up 0.21%.

Among our 38 core positions (excluding cash and short-term bond ETF), 19 -- led by carbon credits, AT&T, Eurozone equities, Nokia and US banks -- are in the green so far this morning. The losers are being led lower by MP (rare earth miner), uranium miners, base metals miners, oil services stocks and gold.

Sadly, as current events suggest:
"We have evolved, technologically, tremendous evolution. But inwardly, psychologically, we have hardly moved. We are still very very primitive."

--J. Krishnamurti, 1981 

Have a great day!

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