Data Flash: US March Confidence Falls; Social Distance Rules, Coverage Rage On

Conference Board’s Measure Echoes Michigan Sentiment The Conference Board’s US consumer confidence index fell in March to a reading of 120.0 from 132.6 in February, another indication that COVID-19 had severely impacted the psyche of consumers in just a few weeks, the Conference Board reported Tuesday. The report, based on a sample through March 19, […]
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Volatility Spike at the Tokyo Fix Sends Dollar Soaring…and Tumbling

Price action ramped up at this morning’s 9:55am Tokyo Fix as a surge in orders ran into thinner liquidity conditions. The volatility was exacerbated by the fact that this was not only a month end, in Japan it was the fiscal year end fix. A surge of US dollar buying saw it jump sharply, with […]
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Long Spring Journey Under Way: Virus Stays in the Lead

Test results are coming in faster and in greater numbers Monday from areas like New York where the ravaging corona virus is already killing people, and at the front lines elsewhere the governors, the county executives and mayors are increasingly facing up to the fact it’s coming for them. The day’s Corona Virus Task Force […]
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White House Watch: In Some Sense its Only Day Three

The worsening of the virus spread and intensity is a treacherous path that is finally heading toward an intersection with a more promising US response Sunday, very late but finally getting underway. Not that the next two weeks and maybe longer won’t be very grim. A chastened President Trump told his Sunday night briefing audience […]
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Tragic Virus Disconnects May Begin to Yield to Phase 3

The sharply different accounts, stories of critical shortages from hospitals and medical personnel versus sweeping assurances from the White House, were in especially sharp contrast Friday while both sides looked to the new rules and mountains of money that finally became available with the day’s signing of Phase 3 into law. It was a comment […]
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February Real PCE Up 0.1% but March Plunge to Come

Real Personal Consumption Expenditures rose by 0.1% in February, a second straight gain and a positive for first quarter consumption and GDP, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Unfortunately, it won’t stay that way, as social distancing will cut severely into March PCE, enough to more than offset the modest gains in the first two months […]
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Gruesome Virus Developments Hardly News Any More

Virus infection cases kept multiplying in the US Thursday, death tolls kept going up, more governors and mayors ignored President Trump’s dream of packed churches on Easter and the US kept mostly ignoring the kind of contact tracing that slowed the virus to a crawl elsewhere. By one count, the US number of infection cases […]
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US Initial Claims Soar as Millions Laid Off, More to Come

With millions laid off in the March 21 week due to business shutdowns, initial jobless claims surged to a record high level in Thursday’s data, and are likely to go further as displaced workers sign up for benefits and any backlog is worked down. The level of initial claims surged by 3.001 million to 3.283 […]
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Virus Apex Weeks Away as Defences Mount

A thousand distractions filled the news Wednesday, particularly promises contained in the pending congressional effort to replace trillions of dollars of income, pay for medical gear and rescue firms big and little. Not distracted are the sub-microscopic capsules of single strands of ribonucleic acid that are using unwitting asymptomatic carriers to reach more states. Their […]
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And Another Thing…

As I am making predictions this week, and for once it seems to have gone OK (still time, I know), let’s maintain the momentum. When the world comes out of this crisis, financial markets will look different, but very familiar to some. I was talking to a friend who runs a fintech business in our […]
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