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Payrolls and Disability, The Dollar Turns Lower, & The Nanoparticle Pandemic

user profile picture davefairtex Jul 09, 2023
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It was Payrolls Friday this week, along with a number of other events:

  • Nonfarm Payrolls (PAYEMS): +209k (0.13%) m/m, prior 0.20%.   Slowing, but positive.
    • Temp Help (TEMPHELPN): -56k (-1.86%) m/m; recession hint.
    • Part-Time Work (LNS12032196): +124k (+13.08%) m/m; recession hint.
    • Avg Hourly Earnings (CES0500000003): 33.58 (+0.36% m/m); inflationary.
    • Employed 16-64, With a Disability (LNU02076955+LNU0207696): +153k (+2.51%) m/m.  Inflationary.
  • Durable Goods, Orders (DGORDER): +5.04B (+1.75% m/m); new high, not recessionary.
  • Auto/Light Truck Sales (ALTSALES): +602k (+3.84% m/m); not recessionary.
  • Bank Credit (TOTBKCR): -22B (-0.13% w/w); deflationary.
  • Fed Balance Sheet (WALCL): -43B (-0.51% m/m), a new 2-year low.

The payrolls data did show some hints of recession (the part-time work, and temp help components specifically) but the auto sales and durable goods did not, and neither did the average hourly earnings.  Perhaps the earnings rose due to the increase in workforce disability, which moved to a new all-time high?  The Powell-Baffling Elephant In The Room, which started rampaging in early 2021, continues to trample the US workforce.  What on earth could the cause be?

The only hint of good news: rate-of-increase of disability (not shown) peaked at a 28% y/y rate of change in early 2022, and it is “only” growing at an 8.4% y/y now.

This week, short-term rates were mostly unchanged, but the 10-year sold off fairly hard, rising 27 bp; translated into $dollar losses, it was a -3.75% move for the TLT (long bond) ETF (n.b. rising rates = bonds losing value).  Could this be a sign that international capital is fleeing the buck?  It might.  Or it might just be the 10-year.  TLT fell 4 days out of 5 – it looks really ugly.  The little yellow line below doesn’t look like much, but just consider: if you own the 10-year, it pays (now) 4% – per year.  This week, you just lost 3.75% to capital.

Here’s some more interest rate perspective: crappy debt (the JNK ETF, full of “companies with co-morbidities” debt) dropped 1.56% this week. 

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