More weak economic data today sent the U.S. stock market to record highs; at least the Dow and the S&P hit new records. NASDAQ not quite, but very close. The dollar hit a new low for the year. The dollar index, settling in at 95.10, right on the low for the day. That’s down .63. Some of the other currencies are strong.
Aussie Dollar Strong
The Aussie dollar was up about 1.3% on the day; one of the strongest of the currencies today. The Aussie dollar is very close to a 2-year high. The Canadian dollar was very strong this week on the back of a rate increase by the Bank of Canada. But the dollar falling across the board.
Foreign Stock Gain
Foreign stocks did better than U.S stocks, given their tailwind from appreciating currencies. Gold prices were up just over $11. Given the weakness in the dollar and the weak economic data, gold should be moving up a lot more than it is; I still think there is still a lot of short selling going on, but I smell the mother of all short squeezes coming. Silver is up about .30; back up to $16. remember was a low as $15.10 earlier in the week.
Dollar Index Weakening
The dollar index index at 95.10, just down over 7% on the year. It ended last year just above 1.02. In fact, in January, hit almost 1.04, so we’re down 8-1/2% since the January high, and the year is only half over. So I think there is a lot more momentum coming, especially in light of the economic data I’m about to get to.
Retail Sales Disappoint
The big report was the Retail Sales numbers, were supposed to bounce back from May’s -.3, and they did manage to revise that to down only .1%;but instead of getting a .1% rebound we had another drop. We had -.2% in June, so that is back-to back declines. In fact that is 3 consecutive months of falling retail sales. The picture gets worse when you strip out car autos. Last month, we got -.3%. That was unrevised. They were looking for June to be +.2% – instead we were down another .2%. And if you strip out gasoline, it’s even worse than that. They were looking for +4% and we got -.1%. So very very weak retail sales. This was supposed to be the quarter of the big bounce back! How are we going to bounce back in GDP without retail sales?
Consumer Prices Weaker
We also got consumer prices that actually came out weaker than expected. That is supposedly bad news, the way the Fed spins it, because the Fed’s trying to get higher inflation, at least the way the CPI measures it. They were supposed to get an increase of .1% for consumer prices following last month’s .1% decline and instead we came in unchanged. Year over year CPI, up 1.6% vs an estimate of 1.7%, and core, stripping out food and energy, they were looking for +.2%. instead we were up .1%
Janet Yellen Wants More Inflation
So when Janet Yellen testified before Congress earlier in the week, the only thing she expressed concern about is that inflation is not high enough. She does not seem concerned at all about the weakness in the economy.