Market Recon Thursday

Good Morning,
                        On this side of the dirt…again…yessss !!!!!
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Central Banking
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                        Now that you’ve calmed down a little, just thought you’d like to know that central banks in Indonesia, the Philippines, Egypt, Norway, Ukraine, Mexico, and Chile all will announce policy decisions today.  That was in Barron’s last weekend, I’m not an encyclopedia.  For those youngsters out there, who might accidentally read my note…. an encyclopedia was how us old guys used to “Google” stuff, but we would actually have to go to library, and it would take half a day.
                        Now that the Fed has gotten itself out of it’s ZIRP policy, we can all relax because the cloud of uncertainty blurring the prism through which we see the financial markets has now been lifted.  True?  No?  Well. in a way…..yes.  While uncertainty will always go hand in hand with the human (most of you) experience, I think we can all agree that, for Janet Yellen, there is clear intent to raise rates further in coming months.  The makeup of the FOMC in 2016 will be slightly more hawkish as St. Louis, and Kansas City will join the fray, soooooo…… Barring an unforeseen (What could go wrong ??) jolt to the economy, most economists that I follow think we’re looking at a .25% increase in the Fed Funds Rate every quarter, or every trimester.  I will be less aggressive, and say that I think it will be a bit slower than that.
                       One thing that struck me about Janet Yellen’s demeanor yesterday.  She seems to support higher inflation going forward, yet fear it all at the same time.  I found that to be both human, and somewhat reassuring.  Only a fool would think that we have nothing to fear from inflation just because we haven’t felt it’s extreme anger in 30 something years.  Sort of like nighttime in the jungle….you know something scary is out there, shoot, you can hear it….. you just hope it doesn’t introduce itself.  I know many of you like when I bash the Fed, and they certainly have given us plenty of ammo over the last few years.  Just not today.
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The Macro
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08:30 ET
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Initial Jobless Claims (Weekly): This item surprised to the upside last week with a very Scrooge like 282K, which was the nastiest number that we’ve seen in this space since July.  The four week moving average is now just less than 271K.  That is also the consensus expectation for today.  Truth is anything above 250K, and below 300K will be taken in stride by market participants right now.  Good idea….Say a little prayer right now for somebody you don’t know who lost their job this holiday season.  I’ll wait.
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Philly Fed (December):  This one is the gold standard of regional Fed district manufacturing indices…. if there is such a thing.  Philly actually squeezed out an expansionary number in November after taking two consecutive kidney punches in the months prior.  Overall, the expectation is for another slight positive this month, but nothing is at all likely.  There are economists at -5 for this one, and there are economists way up at +8.  If they don’t have a clue, how are you supposed to?  Spin the wheel.  Buy a vowel.
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10:00 ET
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Leading Indicators (November):  Probably the most useless piece of macro in the entire macro universe, at least as far as traders are concerned.  Honestly, I just leave this one in my notes because I like making fun of it.  Next.
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10:30 ET
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Natural Gas Inventories (Weekly): This cute little guy has printed in contraction for two consecutive weeks.  Survey says….. let’s make it three.  I’m looking for a reduction in supply of something like 60 billion cubic feet.  I won’t even dare you to trade this release, because there’s a chance that you could get your face ripped off.
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Thursday’s Earnings Highlights
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Before the Open: GIS (.83), NAV (.63)
After the Close:  I don’t see anything exciting.
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          OK, gang.  It’s Thursday.  Now, get out there, and take Thursday down.  Let no being work harder than you.  Ever.