Almost Daily Grant's

“Almost Daily” is the new, end-of-day delectation from Grant’s.

ADG tells you what happened. It speculates on what may happen and tracks and develops Grant’s themes. Look for it after the New York close of trading—almost daily.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Almost Daily…on vacation

Grant’s is taking its summer break. 

Almost Daily Grant’s will resume on August 24th.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Rounding error

Loss making Uber Technologies, Inc. (Grant’s, January 27) wants to grow.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Whipping Post

St. Louis-based Post Holdings, Inc. is striking while the iron is – or rather, remains – hot.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tape delay

A common economic thread today links a handful of nations across North America, Europe and the Land Down Under.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Paid to wait

This year’s emphatic advance in stocks has been accompanied by equally agreeable price action in credit. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

In reverse

The 2017 auto market has gone from limousine to lemon.  

Monday, July 31, 2017

Negative rates, positive carry

That quasi-public entity known as the Swiss National Bank released its operating results for the first half of 2017 this morning, earning a reported profit of CHF 1.2 billion ($1.24 billion) through June 30.  

Friday, July 28, 2017

Runs runs Rudolph

Europe is enjoying solid economic conditions and pleasant asset price action amidst the loving embrace of Mario Draghi and Co.  So why are bank runs on the minds of the regulators? 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bid quarry

What’s going on in the formerly-moribund large cap gold mining realm?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Best Ally

Price match: It’s not just for flat-screen TV’s anymore. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Soirée temps

A few dispatches from across the Atlantic and beyond:

Friday, July 21, 2017

Rich in Fibra

Mexican REIT Fibra Uno reported in-line earnings this morning, eliciting little more than shrugs. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

IPO blues

A strange sighting on the wires this morning:  On the day its shares were scheduled to price, prospective public concern Yogaworks announced it was pulling the plug on its scheduled initial public offering.  “Market conditions” was the company’s announced rationale.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What a Wonderful Whirl

Now unfolds an update on a pair of conservatively-financed, venerable American companies with business models that (we contend) are at risk of competitive disruption: 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Green tea leaves

The Bank of Japan has been hard at work.  

Monday, July 17, 2017

Is this your homework Larry?

BlackRock, Inc. is out with second quarter earning’s report this morning:

Friday, July 14, 2017

Buffed with a fine chamois

It’s been quite a year for equity holders of Restoration Hardware Holdings, Inc.  

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Creditor prey

Heady days for corporate borrowers: From consumer loans to structured credit and junk bonds, debtors are up in the driver’s seat.  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Greater grains

A dispatch from a Pennsylvania farmer: 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Tales from the crypto

Crypto-currencies, the corner of the capital markets which perhaps most resemble the Wild West, took another tumble today.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Rate & roll

This morning’s release of June non-farm payrolls brought a measured dose of relief for those worried about a slowing economy:

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Yield of dreams

Interest rate risk still exists, after all.   

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Amazon warrior

News items over the lengthy July 4 weekend offered no succor for the beleaguered retail realm.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Defensive driving

They grow up so fast.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Preaching to the choir

The House Financial Services Committee yesterday held a hearing on “The Federal Reserve’s Impact on Main Street, Retirees, and Savings”

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Well, you have cooties

NYSE President Tom Farley launched a verbal broadside at short sellers this morning, 

Monday, June 26, 2017

We must protect this house!

Under Armor CEO Kevin Plank’s nine minute appearance Sunday on NBC’s Today featured no shortage of notable quotables. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Capital call

“‘System risk’ alert rocks Chinese companies that gorged overseas”, blared this morning’s Financial Times headline. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Altice falcon

In the second largest IPO of the year, Altice USA, Inc. raised roughly $2 billion in its trading debut

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Stairs up,

Preliminary home price data in the formerly hot Toronto housing market is little short of shocking.  

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Party like it’s 1999

Having barely escaped the economic grim reaper in 2007, retail trading platform E*TRADE is alive and well these days

Monday, June 19, 2017

‘Tine marches on

Argentina to issue 100 year sovereign bonds? A drowsy early morning headline reader may have wondered if he or she was still dreaming.  

Friday, June 16, 2017

 

Price check

Undisputed retail heavyweight champion Amazon.com 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Who insures the insurers?

Behold the multi-act saga currently unfolding in Red China. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Imagination at work

The news dropped early yesterday. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Fed ahead

By all accounts, we will soon see the Funds Rate exceed 1% for the first time since 2008.  

Friday, June 9, 2017

Chicago dog

Things are going from bad to worse for the state of Illinois.  

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Three wishes

This year, BABA’s no black sheep.  China e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. announced 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

CoCo-nut

A multi-billion dollar bank failure in the midst of a rip roaring bull market and growing economy?  An odd sighting indeed.  

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Polishing cloth

“The desire for gold is the most universal and deeply rooted commercial instinct of the human race.”  So said Gerald M. Loeb, founding partner of Wall Street brokerage E.F. Hutton & Co. and “the most quoted man on Wall Street” according to Forbes, in his 1935 book The Battle for Investment Survival.

Monday, June 5, 2017

With a side of clams

Restaurant Brands International just had its annual shareholder meeting, as scheduled. CEO Daniel Schwartz spoke to attendees, as scheduled.  

Friday, June 2, 2017

Disco(unt) inferno

Shares of aspirational home-furnishings retailer Restoration Hardware went into reverse today, retreating to the tune of 25% after the company’s first quarter results included a downward revision to its forecast for adjusted earnings per share in the fiscal year. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

March of the mansion-dwellers

“You can’t give away a house in Greenwich.”  Such was the blunt assessment at a CNBC-sponsored conference last fall from Starwood Capital CEO Barry Sternlicht, a former resident of the Constitution state who has since moved to Florida. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Cheaper by the dozen

It’s never been more convenient to be average. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Here, take two of these:

It’s been so gradual and free of unpleasant effect you may have hardly noticed: bank-to-bank lending rates as measured by LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) have virtually doubled since the summer of last year, 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Recency bias

Baubles merchant-cum consumer finance dispenser Signet Jewelers, Inc. is having another tough day.  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Now is a great time to…

It sure isn’t 2007, but the mini-boom seen in the U.S. housing market in recent years looks to be abating.  April new home sales of single family units (not seasonally adjusted) saw a sharp 11% decline on a sequential basis.  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Yuan love

A cross-asset tug of war is underway in the Middle Kingdom, as an apparent revival of risk aversion in Chinese equity and credit markets stands in increasing contrast to calm waters in the yuan/dollar exchange rate. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Leap of faith     

Subprime auto lender Santander Consumer, Inc. has an unusual element in its underwriting process; trust in the borrower.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Pack em’ in

In some of the nation’s biggest and most expensive cities, the balance of power in commercial real estate is swinging to the buyers. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Foresea-able

China’s Foresea Life Insurance Group has a problem, and is not shy about it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

 

Shhh—the market is sleeping

Staying home with the curtains drawn and the pillows fluffed is the new going out on the town. At least, the hot demand for so-called low volatility ETF products would seem to suggest as much.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Bad breadth

US equities made their first high of the cycle in over two months, with the broad S&P 500 finally eclipsing its March 1 peak after ten weeks of sideways drift in a narrow range.  While not necessarily breaking news on its own, the component behavior driving this latest move higher is definitely worth noting.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Retailer reflux

April was another fine month for the consumer economy, and another mixed period for consumer retail.  Advance retail sales for the month, although short of analyst consensus, logged a respectable 0.4% sequential gain to leave the year-on-year reading higher by 4.5%.  That continued a relatively torrid start to 2017 for this metric, with average monthly growth of 4.9% towering over the comparable first four months for 2016 and 2015 (both advancing by around 2.9% per).

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sturm und Draghi

“Super Mario” ran into a less than receptive audience as he explained ECB policies to a group of Dutch parliamentarians yesterday.  An excerpt of one brusque exchange (conducted in English) with MP Thierry Baudet follows:

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Not so great grains

The world agricultural commodity market is creaking under the weight of outsized inventories. Sound familiar?  

Farmers’ supply stocks have ballooned, with corn, wheat and soybeans rising to least 50% above their respective 20 year averages prior to today’s release of USDA supply and demand estimates for May.   Over the past three years, prices have accordingly withered on the stalk, with corn dropping by about 25%, wheat by 39% and soybeans by 15% in that period.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Anchors aweigh

The European economic engine is revving up.  Staffing firm Adecco Group AG provided the latest example of brisk activity, as their first quarter results featured strong hiring growth across the continent. Improving conditions were evident from France, which contributed a 9% year-on-year revenue gain in the run-up to the Presidential election just concluded, to Italy, which saw top line performance leap higher by 26%. Even erstwhile EU member-non grata the U.K. managed general staffing growth of 16% from 2016 levels, per Adecco.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Global energy supply:  push and pull

Consider a pair of news items, as the oil patch digests a steep 12% decline in WTI crude over the past month to approach its 52-week low.

Friday, May 5, 2017

And the 2017 "King of carry" is . . .

Bloomberg News anointed the winner this morning. Take a bow, Turkish lira. Of all the currencies in all the waste places (AKA “developing markets”), you are the favorite of income-deprived monetary shoppers, so Bloomberg reports.  Does it matter that the Republic of Turkey is beset by sui generis, regional and who knows how many other varieties of trouble? Not to today’s rugged yield-seeking investors.  They are as intrepid as the volatility-sellers.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A little trouble in little China

Money rates up, commodities down, IMF abashed.

Limit down plunged iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange overnight—curious, given alleged healthy Chinese economic growth. Curious, too, is the weakness in steel rebar and copper, down 6.3% and 5.7%, respectively,  in the past three sessions. Or maybe not so curious. “Sell a non sequitur.,” said the page-one analysis in the Jan. 13 issue of Grant’s, which laid out a bearish case for industrial metals in the context of the long-unfolding Chinese credit debacle. Since its multi-year peak in February, iron ore has fallen by 30%.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

In/de-flation In-decision

Is the U.S. economy accelerating, or slowing down? While the travails of the auto-manufacturers, commodity producers and reflationista Treasury bond bears have been well documented of late, a comparably broad swath of commercial activity appears to be positively vigorous. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Buckle up, auto bulls!

April’s round of vehicle sales was a strikingly poor one. Each major U.S. automaker cleanly missed its estimate for the period, putting the industry on track for its first annual decline since 2009.  Was there not one shaft of sunlight in the gloom?  Ford vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service Mark LaNeve found it. “I’m not discouraged by the number,” he said, referring to Ford’s 7.1% year-over-year sales decline, worst among the majors. “In this kind of industry, there’s going to be these kind of months.”

Monday, May 1, 2017

Now what, Chair Yellen?

What are we bid for eight bedrooms, seven baths and 700 square feet of the rarest of outdoor Manhattan living space? Including eight wood-burning fireplaces and a paneled library? And not forgetting a 107-year history and a gold-plated Beekman Place address (No. 29)?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

But it rhymes

Those who recall the financial chaos of 2007-09 might shift in their seat uncomfortably upon seeing the phrase “innovative solutions for borrowers” in a press release headline. Wire-watchers were treated to that informative sight earlier this week, as the government sponsored enterprise Fannie Mae announced a plan to help those burdened with student loan debt qualify for a mortgage.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Tech goes to heaven

The eyes of Silicon Valley have turned increasingly skyward.  Industry “rock stars” have seemingly broken into near-simultaneous competition to break technological barriers long considered to be far from human reach.  Last fall, Elon Musk announced plans to colonize Mars via his SpaceX company, only to be beaten to the publicity punch by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, whose Blue Origin days before (according to Digital Trends) “detailed a new series of rockets…that will have much more lifting capacity and orbital capability.” Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic also has its eye on the red planet.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A short story in six lines

Consider the following headlines, all from Bloomberg news, this morning:

China’s Hidden Debt Stirs Investor Angst as Defaults Rise

China Markets Reel as $1.7 Trillion in Shadow Funds Unwind

China Pledges Support for Economy, Stressing Need to Avoid Risk

Hong Kong Dollar Weakens to 14-Month Low as Rate Spread Widens

Iron Ore Seen Slumping for Years After Hitting February Peak

China Helps Make Caterpillar Great Again as Outlook Improves

Monday, April 24, 2017

Apres Macron, le deluge?

Apres Macron, le deluge?  Yesterday’s first round elections in France looked to produce a favorable result for the status quo, as the May 7 runoff between establishment candidate Emmanuel Macron and nationalist Marine Le Pen will likely vault the former into power, or so say the can’t miss polls. That result would sit well with Brussels, as Ms. Le Pen had vowed to exit the union and recommission the franc...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Score one for Marc Cohodes. Canadian regulators dealt a blow to Toronto-based Home Capital Group, Inc., accusing the mortgage finance company of making “material misleading statements” over its response to the origination fraud which the company disclosed to the public in 2015.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A significant positive data point arrived this morning in the form of the Cass Freight Index for March.  Standing in contrast to some recent harbingers of weakness, this tabulation of North American shipping activity showed a third straight month of year-over-year gains in both the shipments and expenditures components (higher by .9% and 3.0%, respectively), maintaining the upward trajectory which began in October.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Following their surprise (or non-surprise, for Grant’s readers) currency devaluation in December 1994, Mexico was forced to contend with a number of necessary evils, apart from Larry Summers. Hyperinflation reared its head in the form of a 43% rate of CPI growth at publication time in the fall of 1995, on its way to 52% at year end. Following a series of rate hikes, GDP went into freefall...

Monday, April 17, 2017

The non-eruption of a new Korean war over the weekend helped spur a solid bounce for equities, with a .77% upswing for the S&P 500 erasing the bulk of last week’s decline. U.S. Treasury spreads widened a bit as the long end reversed its early strength, while losses in the energy patch helped keep the CRB commodity index in the red. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A late spasm of selling pressure left the S&P 500 at its lowest close in an even two months, as equity markets are perhaps paying heed to the risk aversion signals recently emanating from the JPY/USD pair, industrial metals complex and US Treasury curve...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The so-called Trump trade saw its latest round of unwinding, as the first sub-110 close in the JPY/USD pair since November accompanied reciprocal post-election highs in the price of gold.  Rates likewise continue to augur something other than reflation, as the benchmark 10-year yield crept below 2.28% for the first time since November 17 while the Treasury curve has pancaked to its flattest in the past five months.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

In spring-like fashion, the volatility freeze that has defined 2017 so far is showing increasing signs of thaw. Indicators such as the VIX index, JPY/USD pair and price of gold have all retraced their “reflation” moves following the November elections, joining the US Treasury curve which initially widened sharply following Donald Trump’s surprise victory but has since fully reversed flatter across the 2/10 and 5/30 spreads. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

The BBC reports that, according to a newly discovered tape, the Bank of England directed money-center banks to set Libor below the prevailing market rate during the chaotic days of October 2008.  The news is bombshell and dud, rolled up into one.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Rounding Error
Loss making Uber Technologies, Inc. (Grant’s, January 27) wants to grow. Getting more of its drivers on the road is one logical route to that end. So the ride-sharing Unicorn devised a plan...

The buck stops here
Will the last U.S. dollar bull to leave kindly turn out the lights? To say the least, 2017 has not been kind to the greenback.

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