The employment report today proved to be a non event–as almost all reports of any type have been lately. Given that the wage component of this report was relatively benign at a plus .2% the rest of the report is somewhat ignored. If the wage component it was +.4% instead we would have had real fireworks in the interest rate complex as it would be like screaming ‘fire’ in a theater.
This leads to a bit of a quandry–we used to write about the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. The ‘have nots’ are feeling pretty good about their situation (whatever it may be), but if we stay in this stagnant low wage growth environment we wonder how long they will stay feeling good. We know that CEO’s are making out like bandits (in some cases they are really bandits–in my opinion)–but is the lower end really doing that well? Consumer confidence numbers say folks are happy–but these reports show very low wage growth–somebody is telling a fib we think.
The 10 year treasury is pretty flat–up and down a basis point. The stock market is in the normal start weak and come blowing back mode. This is all about the traders who detect the trend. When the DJIA starts off down 100 or 300 points the short term traders pile in driving it up 200 or 300 points. If you are playing with a $10 million bankroll this has been providing some tidy returns.
I just looked over the baby bonds and preferreds and see everything is quiet. Maybe the biggest item today is the 2 HSBC trust preferreds that were announced for call today. Guess all of the holders at $26.15 took a tad bit of a spanking on that call–hopefully they knew the risk they were taking and didn’t just buy yesterday so they could get the high 7’s% yield–if it was a newbie holding the shares they learned a lesson–if it was Gridbird he had the risk factored in.
We have been waiting all week for a money transfer to make a new investment, but just checking the account it has still not arrived. Never had a transfer from my checking account take this long (a week). We will likely write about the new investment this weekend regardless of whether the money arrives.
Hopefully everyone will have a good weekend. Spring finally arrived in Minnesota so I have laid down a nice nitrogen on our lawn–this sets us up to ride the tractor every 4-5 days. Unlike some of our neighbors we love to mow with the tractor–we almost fight over who gets to mow. Our lawn is almost an acre and an hour ride on the tractor really allows one to do some mindless labor and de-stress.