Monday, November 30, 2009

new blog

check out the blog at
for updates now

posted by Peter Greene

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Industrial Production - Rewind

As expected, the August rise in industrial production was led by another jump in output of motor vehicles and parts, up almost 6% on the month. But non-auto manufacturing production also strengthened in August, managing its best turnout since the recession began excluding last October, when manufacturing rose following a disruption from hurricanes and a Boeing strike. Although the ISM manufacturing survey is not a precise guide to factory output, the latest readings suggests the pickup in activity is becoming more widespread as inventory cuts moderate and domestic business investment and exports turn higher.

The main driver of the recovery has been that businesses are raising output to close the gap with sales. Production was cut very deeply early in the year, when businesses were assuming a continued fall in demand. With sales firming at a much higher level than anticipated and, more recently, returning to growth, manufacturers are scrambling to raise output and the automotive-led moderation in the pace of inventory liquidation is now giving way to a similar pattern across other industries.

Although the turnaround in manufacturing has generally been stronger than anticipated, at the current pace of growth in industrial production, it would still take around two-three years for capacity utilization to rise to its prerecession level of around 79%. Since this recession has been especially deep and slack is unusually large, the case for low inflation and low policy rates in 2010 is a strong one but may not hold past that.

From Fusion research by Doug Lomma

posted by Peter Greene

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Old Guy Joke

An elderly gent was invited to an old friend's home for dinner one evening. He was impressed by the way his buddy preceded every request to his wife with endearing terms such as: Darling, Honey, My Love, Pumpkin, Sweetheart, etc.

The couple had been married almost 70 years and, clearly, they were still very much in love.

While the wife was in the kitchen, the man leaned over to his host, and said: "I think it's wonderful that, after all these years, you still call your wife those loving pet names."

The old man hung his head. "I have to tell you the truth," he said. "Her name slipped my mind about 10 years a go, -- and I'm scared to death to ask the old bitch what it is."

This is going around the desks today

posted by Peter Greene


Funny one I saw on Barry's blog...his link is on the right...Big Picture

posted by Peter Greene

Government Healthcare Failing Worldwide

Why should we be copying Government Healthcare...Look at this article about how Canada's system is breaking down and looking for a private option to save it...We have a private system now, learn from the neighbours in the north and stop this BEFORE we are in the same boat

Overhauling health-care system tops agenda at annual meeting of Canada's doctors

By Jennifer Graham (CP) – 3 days ago
SASKATOON — The incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association says this country's health-care system is sick and doctors need to develop a plan to cure it.
Dr. Anne Doig says patients are getting less than optimal care and she adds that physicians from across the country - who will gather in Saskatoon on Sunday for their annual meeting - recognize that changes must be made.

"We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize," Doing said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
"We know that there must be change," she said. "We're all running flat out, we're all just trying to stay ahead of the immediate day-to-day demands."

The pitch for change at the conference is to start with a presentation from Dr. Robert Ouellet, the current president of the CMA, who has said there's a critical need to make Canada's health-care system patient-centred. He will present details from his fact-finding trip to Europe in January, where he met with health groups in England, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands and France.

His thoughts on the issue are already clear. Ouellet has been saying since his return that "a health-care revolution has passed us by," that it's possible to make wait lists disappear while maintaining universal coverage and "that competition should be welcomed, not feared."
In other words, Ouellet believes there could be a role for private health-care delivery within the public system.

He has also said the Canadian system could be restructured to focus on patients if hospitals and other health-care institutions received funding based on the patients they treat, instead of an annual, lump-sum budget. This "activity-based funding" would be an incentive to provide more efficient care, he has said.

Doig says she doesn't know what a proposed "blueprint" toward patient-centred care might look like when the meeting wraps up Wednesday. She'd like to emerge with clear directions about where the association should focus efforts to direct change over the next few years. She also wants to see short-term, medium-term and long-term goals laid out.
"A short-term achievable goal would be to accelerate the process of getting electronic medical records into physicians' offices," she said. "That's one I think ought to be a priority and ought to be achievable."

A long-term goal would be getting health systems "talking to each other," so information can be quickly shared to help patients.

Doig, who has had a full-time family practice in Saskatoon for 30 years, acknowledges that when physicians have talked about changing the health-care system in the past, they've been accused of wanting an American-style structure. She insists that's not the case.

"It's not about choosing between an American system or a Canadian system," said Doig. "The whole thing is about looking at what other people do."

"That's called looking at the evidence, looking at how care is delivered and how care is paid for all around us (and) then saying 'Well, OK, that's good information. How do we make all of that work in the Canadian context? What do the Canadian people want?' "

Doig says there are some "very good things" about Canada's health-care system, but she points out that many people have stories about times when things didn't go well for them or their family.

"(Canadians) have to understand that the system that we have right now - if it keeps on going without change - is not sustainable," said Doig.

"They have to look at the evidence that's being presented and will be presented at (the meeting) and realize what Canada's doctors are trying to tell you, that you can get better care than what you're getting and we all have to participate in the discussion around how do we do that and of course how do we pay for it."

Copyright © 2009 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

posted by Peter Greene

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Firm's S&P note

As seen in the S&P 500 research note the index ran into resistance at the 1,020 level but this is still well above its recent range breakout spot near the 950/930 area. So at this point while prices are drifting keeping things in perspective we are still in the middle of a higher level trader range (930/950 to 1,020) after spending the earlier part of the summer locked in the 850 to 950/930 range.

The recent weakness is a combination of the late summer doldrums and a mean reversion of the S&P 500’s 15.20 % run up (measured from its’ recent high from its low on 7/10). Anecdotal sentiment has investors still doubting the rally, under invested and extremely cautious. While this kind of sentiment exists it is hard to expect anything more than a minor pullback (5% – 7 %).

While late summer and fall seasonality trends typically line up in the negative return camp it appears that so many investors are relying on it as gospel that maybe it won’t happen this year.

posted by Peter Greene

Monday, August 17, 2009

Firm's morning comments

Markets look to open weaker this morning as investors worry stocks have come too far, too fast. The headline story on reads, Stocks headed for sharp fall while on Yahoo Finance their lead story reads Stocks Futures Point to Plunge on Wall Street. All of it sounds a bit dramatic if you ask me, but that is what the media is about reporting what is happening not what may happen.

Certainly given we are in the late summer vacation season and stocks have had a good run in July there is the likelihood for a pullback, However is it anything more at this point than just a retrenchment of the recent rally or are we really headed for a plunge or a sharp fall ? Again it seems a bit premature and dramatic to say that at this juncture. Stocks ebb and flow. Traders overreact on the upside and the downside.

Under the surface of these silly headlines things still remain pretty much the same; liquidity is very strong, investors by and large remain under invested even after a rally of significant magnitude, sentiment while a bit more bullish is not a problem yet and valuations while richer than they were say a few months back still remain constructive.

Actually the headline that caught our eye this morning the most was CalSTRS (The California State Teachers Retirement Fund) is reducing exposure to equities into this rally. Now while we are sure there are many smart people at CalSTRS the fact that they are reducing equities actually makes us more comfortable that the bull trend will resume after a pause. After all CalSTRS like many pensions preached the passive BUY and HOLD strategy forever and got burnt in 2001/2002 and again in 2008 so they do not actually have a great history when it comes to making investment decisions. Now after all these years they are changing their investment mantra and trying to be proactive. Ironically this sounds like a reactive decision after years of making bad moves.

This headline just becomes another part of the sentiment puzzle which outlines how investors keep doubting the recovery and remain scared of stocks. While there are obvious issues about the tenure and durability of the recovery the more doubting thomases that line up the more likely the market is to confound them. There is a reason the old adage, the market exists to confound the majority and reward the minority has been around for a long time - because it typically holds true !

Expect some weakness near term - support on the S&P 500 remains below the market in the 950 area.

Look for a more detailed technical note tomorrow.

posted by Peter Greene