Diary of a Financier

Top Newsstuffs (January 26 – February 1)

In Bookshelf on Sun 1 Feb 2015 at 06:52

Top reads from the week that was…


Rail traffic weekly (Week 3, 2015) | Association of American Railroads (AAR)
Decent recovery from last week’s slip as easy yoy comps get easier (due to 2014q1’s severe winter weather); momentum from YE14 rally has been lost:Railtraffic weekly 2015 week 3
Weekly traffic: +5.1pp @ +4.1% yoy
Growth rate: +0.7pp @ +2.5% ytd
Carload groups: 9 of 10 posted gains for the week yoy
    Minerals: +22.2
    Motor vehicles/parts: +7.6
    Forestry: +4.8
    Coal: +3.8
    Metals: +2.8
    Petroleum: +0.8, multiyear boom still succumbing to law-of-large-numbers amidst oil price crash
#Netural #Latent indicator $XLE $USO $XLB $KOL $XME $XLI

Gross Domestic Product: Advanced estimate & full year (2014q4 & 2014FY) | Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
Growth misses expectations in a sequential deceleration; inflation decelerates even excluding the collapse in energy prices; this quarter’s big inventory build will drag a bit in 2015 as they’re drawn down, but Q1 data will have the benefit of easy yoy comps due to 2014’s extreme weather:
Real GDP (Q4): +2.6% (miss 3.2e)
– Inflation (Q4): Headline +0.3%; Core +0.7%
    Consumption (PCE): +4.3
    Government spending: -2.2; Federal -7.5; State & local +1.3
    Fixed investment: +2.3; Equipment +11.0 (+0.3pp); Intellectual property +7.1
    Residential investment: +4.1
    Exports: +0.4
    Imports: -1.4
    Private inventories: +0.8pp to GDP growth rate
Real GDP per capita (Q4): +1.9%; 9.0% below LT regression trend
Real GDP (Q3): +5.0% (unrevised)
Real GDP (FY14): +0.2pp @ 2.4% yoy
Inflation (FY14): Headline +0.1pp @ 1.4% yoy
[Previously: 2014q3 GDP & December CPI @ 1.6% core; See also: Relax about Q4 GDP & investment, “There are legitimate concerns about a strong dollar, and weak economic activity overseas, impacting U.S. exports and GDP growth… However, overall, the Q4 GDP report was solid.”]

Manufacturers’ durable & capital goods (December 2014) | US Department of Commerce
Sequential headline & core data disappoint again with negative prints & big misses; while this continues a deceleration in yoy comps, ytd growth rates still remain in healthy excess of trend GDP; big downward revisions for November compound the weakness; last month’s reduction in inventories reversed:
Core durable goods (ex-transportation)
    Orders: -0.2pp @ 5.2% ytd, -0.8% mom (misses +0.6e); prior month revised down (-1.4pp @ -2.1% mom)
    Shipments: -0.1pp @ 5.3% ytd, +0.2% mom
Core capex (nondefense, ex-aircraft capital goods)
    Orders: -0.2pp @ 4.8% ytd, -0.6% mom (misses +0.9e)
    Shipments: -0.1pp @ 5.0% ytd, -0.2% mom
    Inventories: +3.2pp @ +5.9% ytd, +0.5% mom @ $410.8B SA (SA set record a high again, but not NSA)
#Neutral #Deceleration


Investor sentiment survey (2015.01.28) | American Association of Individual Investors (AAII)
Reversal of last week’s health collapse returns sentiment to extreme levels; 2015 has started with volatile swings in sentiment after the alarming complacency seen in 2014, when continued “buying-the-dip” mentality persisted through multiple market events (e.g. 2 internal corrections & energy bear market):
Bull/Bear ratio: +77bps wow @ 1.97 (over 1.28 historical average & 1.8 extreme high)
Bullish: +7.0pp @ 44.2% (over 39.0 avg, under 45 extreme high)
Bearish: -8.4 @ 22.4% (under 30.5 avg, under 25 extreme low)
Neutral: +1.4 @ 33.4% (over 30.5 avg)
Measures respondents’ expectation for equity performance over next 6 months (through 6/2015).
[Previously: Retail asset allocations neutral with equities nearing extremes, Fund managers report average risk exposures, Strategist sentiment remains a bullish signal & Recent volatility increases retail’s willingness to buy]
#Bearish #Noisy


Marissa Mayer’s rules for software & app design | Nicholas Carlson (via Business Insider)
She has some easy rules for simple design to make sure every app her companies build is “fast, responsive, and beautiful”:
1. The two tap rule: “Once you’re in the app, is it 2 taps to do anything you want to do?”
2. The five point rule: “Look at every font on the page and every font size… every time you see a new color or a new size, you add up a point… I want every page below 5 points.”
#Designer #Development #User interface (UI) #User experience (UX)

Profile: Tom Brady cannot stop | The New York Times Magazine (NYT)
One of the best biographic pieces I’ve read about the New England Patriots’ star Quarterback and future NFL Hall of Famer.
[Despite deflategate/ballghazi, I don’t want this week to end: the pre-Super Bowl, non-stop press coverage has been glorious!]
#Football #QB #12


  1. […] GDP (FY14): +0.2pp yoy @ 2.4%     Inflation (FY14): +0.1pp yoy @ 1.4% (headline) [Previously: 2014FY & Q4 GDP (first estimate); See also: Relax about Q4 GDP & investment, “There are legitimate concerns about a strong […]


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