Total new vehicle registrations in California in 2019 fell 5.5% from a year earlier, to 1.89 million vehicles, the third year in a row of declines...Registrations were down 9.5% from 2016. This was far sharper than the decline in US auto sales of 2.5% over the same period.
-- Wolf Richter, Wolf Street
Bond markets have appeared markedly more pessimistic than the stock market, with the yield on 10-year Treasury bonds falling to 1.52 percent Thursday from about 1.8 percent in mid-January. That suggests bond investors envision lower growth, and hence lower interest rates, over years to come.
-- Neil Irwin, NYT
A cautious investor might argue that real estate stocks represent small-cap bond-proxies and simply benefitted from small caps outperforming large caps and a bull market in bonds over the last 30 years. These exposures can be acquired more efficiently via small-cap stock and bond ETFs.
-- Nicolas Rabener, Alpha Architect
I have no ideas why Bitcoin is going up, nor does anyone else. You will hear people wax on about China, money supply, politics and yada yada yada but it’s just noise.
-- The Freedom Of Speech Bull Market … and Bitcoin
Maybe so. Bitcoin has been around (as a real thing) for less than a decade vs. the U.S. Dollar, which has been around (again, as a real thing) since World War II. One can wax poetic about gold, silver or a piece of early art, but the yardstick is currently the U.S. Dollar. The concept of Bitcoin is legitimate, but like anything new it has to pay its dues and survive the test of time. Perhaps not sixty years like the U.S. Dollar, but if it can demonstrate another three to five years of stability, it might gain wider acceptance as a storer of value. By comparison, the Euro in U.S. Dollar terms, was worth about $1.50 as recently as 2011 - less than a decade ago. Currently, a Euro is worth $1.09, roughly 30% lower.
What does all of this mean about Bitcoin? In my opinion it means that to not be in Bitcoin is to not be diversified against shifts in geopolitics. We value the U.S. Dollar at a premium in part because of our recency bias, but in reality nobody knows where it will be in ten years. Do I want to be in U.S. Dollars? Of course. But I also want to be in Bitcoin. Not because Bitcoin's future is uncertain (it is) but because the future is uncertain.
The most controversial aspect of the paper may be its recommendation for an attitude adjustment to counter the view in recent years that disinflationary/deflationary forces are a phenomenon that are amenable to correcting if only policy makers muster the political will and intellectual capital to grapple with the problem. Measured against the long game of history, however, such plans look like the proverbial Dutch boy sticking his finger in the dike in the hopes of holding off a rising sea.
-- James Picerno, The Capital Spectator
I believe that the 1/29 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s same-day press conference suggest that the Fed is likely to stay on hold through the end of this year. Furthermore, the Fed’s next move, whenever that comes, is likelier to be a rate cut than the start of more hikes. That’s because Fed officials remain concerned that inflation has stayed stubbornly below their 2.0% target.
-- Dr. Ed's Blog
This is definitely the prevailing wisdom, right now. I'm taking the other side, with an overweight position in TIP (the iShares TIPS Bond ETF) vs. intermediate Treasuries. The prevailing wisdom could certainly end up being right, but in my opinion the inflation risk is to the upside, not the downside.
Davide Serra’s $12.5 billion London-based firm Algebris is planting 25,000 eucalyptus, mango, orange, avocado and papaya trees across villages in Tanzania to offset its carbon footprint, joining everyone from the World Economic Forum to YouTube influencers in such programs.
-- Nishant Kumar, Bloomberg
Tanzania Mango prices double in 3 months
-- Halili Letea
After the best December in recent history, the S&P 500 could not keep the ball rolling in January. After closing 2019 at 3,230.8 the index pushed higher to 3,337.8 on January 22nd, before losing steam (catching a cold?) and closing the month at 3,225.5 – 3% off its high.
Starbucks' business in China started showing concerning metrics before the coronavirus outbreak, Guggenheim's Matt DiFrisco also said on CNBC. The earnings report showed a slowdown in China's same-store sales from 5% last quarter to 3%. In fact, the delivery portion of the business showed a 9% growth rate which implies the rest of the business is in the negative.
-- Jayson Derrick, Benzinga
The price of a pound of ground coffee is down 20% in a week. What is going on with the price of coffee?