Can Ireland Withstand Hurricane Ophelia?

Can Ireland Withstand Hurricane Ophelia?

2017 has been the strongest hurricane season since at least 2005, and many observers would say that it is a year when the hurricanes and tropical storms just did not quite behave normally. The United States and Caribbean have endured hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Now there is Hurricane Ophelia, but what makes it unusual is where the current storm path is headed — Ireland.

It is quite normal for Ireland to experience unusual weather. After all, if you have been there you might get the joke that you can experience all four seasons in a single day. According to most reports, this is set to be the strongest storm to hit Ireland since Hurricane Debbie back in September of 1961.

Ireland has undergone much expansion in the past 20 years, and the island nation was among the European nations hit the hardest during the financial crisis. Ireland was even a member of the PIIGS — Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain — the nations that continued to suffer after the crisis. Ireland took its lumps and did what it had to do to recover from the financial crisis the best of all the PIIGS.

The question that needs to be asked is just how ready Ireland is for a hurricane, and what sort of hurricane strength is likely to occur.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has a current projection that Hurricane Ophelia is likely to hit Ireland on Monday, and for the storm to pass over it in a north-northeast path and then to hit the northwestern coast of Scotland in the early hours of Tuesday as a tropical storm.

The NHC advisory on Saturday morning said:

Given that Ophelia is forecast to become extratropical, the wind field should expand, resulting in impacts over portions of the British Isles regardless of its exact location or strength. By 96 hours, Ophelia should have weakened due to the interaction with land, causing the surface circulation to become ill-defined, and dissipation is expected shortly thereafter.

Although the center of Ophelia is not forecast to reach Ireland or the UK for another 48-60 hours, wind and rain effects will arrive well in advance of the cyclone center. Individuals in those locations should consult products from their local meteorological service for more information on local impacts.

Tropical-storm-force winds are possible throughout the Azores beginning tonight, primarily due to an approaching cold front. However, any track deviation to the west could bring stronger winds associated with Ophelia’s circulation to those islands.

According to the CIA World Factbook, the population of Ireland is projected to be 5.01 million people as of 2017. Only about 23.5% of the population is aged 55 and older. Hurricane Ophelia may spare much of Ireland’s population as its primary path is north or west in Ireland. The CIA World Factbook says:

Population distribution is weighted to the eastern side of the island, with the largest concentration being in and around Dublin; populations in the west are small due to mountainous land, poorer soil, lack of good transport routes, and fewer job opportunities.

Ireland’s gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at $324.9 billion on a purchasing power parity basis in 2016. That GDP figure was reported as $293.6 billion at the official exchange rate. To show what a snapback economy looks after a major recession, Ireland’s 5.2% GDP growth in 2016 was preceded by 26.3% growth in 2015 and 8.4% growth in 2014.

Ireland’s GDP per capita is quite high. In 2016 that was $69,200, up from $66,300 in 2015 and $52,900 in 2014.

The CIA World Factbook further says of Ireland:

In late 2013, Ireland formally exited its EU-IMF bailout program, benefiting from its strict adherence to deficit-reduction targets and success in refinancing a large amount of banking-related debt. In 2014, the economy rapidly picked up and GDP grew by 5.2%. The recovering economy assisted lowering the deficit to 2.5% of GDP. In late 2014, the government introduced a fiscally neutral budget, marking the end of the austerity program. Continued growth of tax receipts has allowed the government to lower some taxes and increase public spending while keeping to its deficit-reduction targets. In 2015, GDP growth exceeded 26%, the highest growth in the EU for two consecutive years. This dramatic increase reflected one-off statistical revisions, multinational corporate restructurings, and the aircraft leasing sector, rather than gains in the on the ground economy. Growth moderated to around 4.2% in 2016.

Next Week

Next Week

Next Week

October 13, 2017

Central Banks: Monetary policy reviews are scheduled next week in Israel, South Korea, Indonesia and Chile. Minutes from prior central bank meetings will be published by the Reserve Banks of Australia and India, and the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book of regional economic conditions gets released. Yellen, Kaplan and Dudley of the Fed speak publicly; so will PBoC Governor Zhou, BOJ Governor Kuroda, and ECB Vice President Constancio. It’s possible, too, that President Trump will name his nominee for the chair of the Federal Reserve. Yellen was nominated by former President Obama on October 9, 2013, and Bernanke’s initial nomination in 2005 was announced October 24.

Special Events: IMF/World Bank semi-annual meetings continue on October 14 and 15. Austrian legislative election on October 15. Extraordinary economic summit of the EU Council consisting of members’ political leaders begins Wednesday and runs through Friday.

Scheduled U.S. Statistical Releases: Industrial production, capacity usage, import prices, Philly Fed and Empire State monthly manufacturing surveys, the index of leading economic indicators, existing home sales, the National Association of Home Builders housing index, Treasury-compiled capital flows (TIC), and weekly jobless insurance claims, consumer comfort, energy inventories, chain store sales and mortgage applications.

Chinese Data: Quarterly GDP and monthly CPI, PPI, money and loan growth, retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment.

Japan: All industry index, customs trade surplus, revised industrial output, capacity utilization, and machine tool orders.

Selected Other Asian Data: Indian and Indonesia trade figures. Hong Kong and South Korean unemployment. India’s WPI and Malaysian consumer prices.

Euroland: Current account, trade balance, construction output, car sales, and ZEW index of investor sentiment.

Members of the Euro Area: German wholesale prices, consumer prices, ZEW index, and index of leading economic indicators. Current accounts and trade balances for Italy and Belgium. Dutch and Belgian consumer confidence. Spanish GDP, Belgian PPI, Austrian CPI, and France’s index of leading economic indicators.

U.K. and Switzerland: British retail sales, labor market statistics, PPI, CPI, RPI, DCLG house price index, Rightmove house price index, and public sector net borrowing. Swiss money growth and trade surplus.

Eastern Europe: Czech and Polish producer prices. Polish industrial production, retail sales and current account.

Nordic Europe: Danish PPI and index of leading economic indicators. Swedish unemployment and Norwegian trade balance.

Canada and Mexico: Canadian CPI, retail sales, housing starts, building permits, manufacturers survey and existing home sales. Mexican unemployment.

Australia and New Zealand: Australian employment and unemployment, business confidence index, motor vehicle sales and index of leading economic indicators. New Zealand third-quarter CPI and monthly service sector purchasing managers index.

South Africa and Turkey: South African CPI and retail sales. Turkish unemployment.

Copyright 2017, Larry Greenberg. All rights reserved. No secondary distribution without express permission.

 

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Gold rally extending overnight

Gold rally extending overnight

A daily summary of high-profile members of several complexes.

Gold Dec Contract (GC, ETF: (GLD))
Despite Thursday having held the test of Tuesday’s 1286.50 high, the rally extended overnight and Friday morning probed fresh highs up to 1300.00. Rather than react down, that was extended higher intraday to probe 1305.00 and to all but suggest the bottom had completed already.

Eurodollar Dec Contract (EC, ETF: (FXE, UUP))
Blipping-down on Friday morning’s data barely attacked the 1.1830 pullback limit. and was reversed up to a fresh high for the current correctioN. The balance of the session drifted back down, not triggering a sell signal, but undermining potential up to 1.1970.

Silver Dec Contract (SI, ETF: (SLV))
Fresh highs overnight extended higher Friday morning, positioned to close a dime above 17.30and reverse the trend back up officially.

30-year Treasury Dec Contract (US, ETF: (TLT))
Thursday’s close above 152-20 and 153-02 was exploited by surging in reaction to Friday morning’s econ reports. That was extended nearly 1 point to probe above 1540-04 Closing above 153-14 is the final confirmation that the trend has reversed back up, making a corrective dip down to 151-18,

Crude Oil Nov Contract (CL, ETF: (USO, USL) (UWTI-long, DWTI-short))
Thursday’s gap down had originated from a position of strength, which was proved by an overnight rally that probed above Wednesday’s prior high. Intraday action settled back to test prior support, but the recovery attempt remains valid.

Natural Gas Nov Contract (NG, ETF: (UNG, UNL))
Extending the corrective bounce overnight attacked its 3.04 potential objective to within 1 cent. Its reaction down tested what had recently been a buy signal.

About the Author

Rod David develops analytical techniques that are designed to efficiently identify targets and turning points for any liquid stock or market in any time frame. He primarily analyzes S&Ps, generating several round-turn candidates daily. Rod publishes “Trading Plan” and more each session at the blog http://IfThenSignals.com.

Google And Facebook To The Moon… Or Peak Advertising?

Google And Facebook To The Moon… Or Peak Advertising?

In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, I spent a lot of time travelling through a host of the worlds airports.

This naturally meant spending an inordinate amount of time staring at random people, wandering about aimlessly (no business class lounges when you’re an impoverished backpacker living on noodles), and traipsing through duty free stores, puzzling on how it is woman can spend so much on perfume and men so much on big ugly watches.

Today, smart phones have come to rescue us but these things were far from ubiquitous back then. Instead, we had trusty newsstands. Remember them? Magazines and newspapers duelled it out for shelf space. Vanity fair, PC Magazine, New Yorker, the FT, you name it.

What kept the newsprint industry alive was advertising revenues.

When it came to newspapers, people bought them to read about the local politician caught fornicating with a ladyboy while on holiday in Bangkok… or to read about some girl named Mildred who had become a movie star after 70,000 auditions and how proud her parents were.

Nobody read them for the silly pictures of Marlboro man on a horse or for the pictures of some freshly-shaven suit flashing a Rolex while sipping champagne on a private jet. But we still had tons of ads because without them there’d have been no stories of Mildred or ladyboy antics. It’s what kept the industry alive.

At it’s peak, ad rates were astronomical, but the only way to tell people about a new computer was to buy a page in Computer Shopper. And the only way the suits at Goldman Sachs could let you know they were there to screw guide you through the complexities of the market was to buy a full page in the FT.

Then it all imploded.

The internet has been at once the greatest and the most destructive commercial invention in media history. They said it couldn’t happen. Then it did. Playboy? Dead. Rolling Stone? Buried. Citadel? Whoosh!

Two decades ago, if you were an editor at a large rag, you were king of the world. Expense accounts, lavish office space, wielding Schwarzenegger-like power with every institution grappling for your attention. Today, if you’re still alive, you’re bandaging your business together… and you’ve already taken everything online. But guess which god you’re now praying to?

The same guys who now control ad spend.

You see, advertising revenue never went away. It just changed hands.

Advertising revenue never went away — it just changed hands.Click To Tweet

This chart is a couple years old but shows the overall makeup of the ad market.

And here’s the stellar growth of ad revenue for Google.


Google revenue growth

It’s been a helluva run for both:

For their part, investors clearly aren’t paying for revenues. A forward price to cash flow of 19.71x? Ouch!

And the big boy, Alphabet:

Based on the numbers…investors are buying “Growth”.

Benjamin Graham wouldn’t be turning over in his grave. He’d be backflipping.

Where to Now?

So are we to sail into the sunset with Google and Facebook leading the charge in the advertising space? For how long?

Or is there a coming pressure on ad revenue, meaning millennials will find themselves carrying catheters around and playing bingo to a different world… one not ruled by these two? Or could it all happen even sooner than that?

Ad growth can take place by acquiring new markets as well as maintaining existing revenues. If you’re adding new customers while existing ones are dropping off faster or even at the same pace as additions, you’re a hamster on a wheel, and that “growth” that investors are currently paying such a premium for risks being repriced.

Here at Capitalist Exploits HQ there isn’t a week that goes by without Natasha, or Henry, or Alec (this week’s one) hitting me up with the promise that I can grow my business much faster with SEO/UX/CRM and ad spending with Google, Facebook, and a bunch of other “social media” juggernauts”.

I don’t begrudge these folks. They’re just trying to make a crumb. But unfortunately that usually means promising me they know just the tricks of the trade, and I can pay them to place ads for me and “manage” my online presence. The ROI will come, I just need to be patient. Maybe they’re right, but I doubt it. Know why?

I’ve spoken with many others running online businesses, and you’d have more luck finding the yeti than anyone who’s had the ability to say with certainty that any of their ad spend is driving meaningful numbers over and above dollar spend. Site hits? Sure. But no conversions.

It’s a world of obfuscation with the promise of gold always lurking over the horizon… but never in reach.

A while ago a company run by some friends spent a godawful amount with what is the equivalent of Google’s SAS.

The promise from the Google boys was it’d pay off in a big way — just be patient — and it required a substantial downpayment.

That was nearly a year ago, and the patience has long since worn off. For an excellent breakdown on the murky world of ad trading, I’d strongly suggest Raoul Pal’s GMI report on the topic, which you can find by signing up to Real Vision TV.

I agree with Raoul when he says:

I think that as this story develops, Google and Facebook will begin to come under pressure. They are making super – normal profits based on total sham. They aren’t the villains but they own the eco-system and they clearly can’t be left in charge of it.

I’ve had similar experiences.

In the past, I hired an advertising agency who were considered “best in biz” to build a landing page for me and run a campaign complete with targeting traffic (which I paid for separately) for an event I was hosting.

The results where absolutely hopeless, and after three months and about US$15,000 down it was clear to me there was only one group making money on this gig… and it wasn’t the guy I saw in the mirror.

I fired them, took down the landing page, sat down, and wrote a short message to my existing list. No special copywriting skills, or emotional wording. Nothing. Just what I was up to. Bam! Success. Weird, heh?

Now, I realise that my data sample is admittedly tiny in the grand scheme of things, but the thing is I’ve enjoyed substantial organic growth (thanks to you readers for sharing my content with friends). But the targeting ad side, while only done a couple of times, has been spectacularly useless 100% of the time.

I remembered all of this when last week I came across this article about Procter & Gamble’s dialling back on ad spend.

The world’s largest advertiser slashed spending on ‘crappy’ digital ads by over $100 million — and still saw sales increase

We will vote with our dollars and will not waste our money on a crappy media supply chain—so we can invest in what really matters—better advertising and innovation to drive growth.

You may be thinking that US$100m is a drop in the bucket for the duopoly of Google and Facebook, and you’d be right. What isn’t a drop in the bucket, however, is Procter & Gamble entire annual marketing budget. A whopping US$2.4 billion!

P&G’s Marc Pritchard was pretty frank in a speech given at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual leadership meeting in Hollywood earlier this year.

Frankly, there’s, we believe, at least 20 to 30 percent of waste in the media supply chain because of lack of viewability, nontransparent contracts, nontransparent measurement of inputs, fraud and now even your ads showing up in unsafe places,

He has given the duopoly a one year ultimatum to clean up their act or risk losing P&G’s 2018 budget.

P&G are not the only ones as they’re joined by Unilever and Bank of America to name a few.

Digging deeper I found this from a few months back:

French advertising giant pulls out of Google and YouTube

Havas becomes first major global marketing company to pull entire ad spend after talks with tech company break down.

The problem that humans have is that we need data to understand and make rational decisions.

The entire digital advertising industry has been so new and so fast-moving that businesses haven’t had the time to accumulate meaningful data on which to make calculated rational decisions.

Additionally, the dynamic has been changing so quickly that what may have worked for a few months suddenly no longer works. It’s been like trying to fit a hubcap on a moving car. You just get chewed up.

The rush to get, gain, and retain “online presence” has led to a FOMO and subsequent massive boom in ad agencies and, of course, social media companies themselves.

Attempting to value the ad spend companies have opted to just spraying money at ad agencies in the hope that they know what the hell they’re doing. Investors, finding it impossible to value companies such as Google and Facebook, have chosen instead to just spray money at them buying the “growth”.

Speed Bumps

There are a couple that spring to mind:

1. More government regulation

It’s coming and here’s why.

Whether or not you believe that the Russians are hacking US elections or not is missing the point. Believing that foreign governments don’t or aren’t trying to influence elections is naive at best and deluded at worst. And this goes for all governments.

That manipulation no longer takes place via newsprint journalism. Today it’s Twitter, Facebook, and Google where the battleground lies. Right now, it’s the Wild West.

That’s unlikely to remain unregulated.

China has already banned and regulated both. Facebook isn’t allowed and Google is hamstrung. In Europe, Zuckerberg is increasingly regulated. The US remains relatively untouched, but I think the trend will assert itself. Importantly, as an investor, it’s clear to me that right now none of this is priced into these stocks all the while they’re sporting valuations that cause blood to shoot from the eyes of value investors.

2. Hard data spoiling the party

As mentioned above, the industry chorus is growing louder and louder.

Every business model matures, and Google and Facebook’s is no different. Businesses have had over a decade now to analyse ad spend and ROI. When entire industries find they can no longer square spending with ROI, we’re likely to see them seeking alternatives. It’s tough to envision this being good for either of these two.

Question


– Chris

“Customers will realise that the elusive holy grail of digital advertising nirvana is a total sham where everyone is being scalped, returns are virtually non-existent, the system is totally rigged against them and everyone else is getting rich off the back of it.” — Raoul Pal

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decrease to 243,000

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decrease to 243,000

by Bill McBride on 10/12/2017 08:34:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending October 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 243,000, a decrease of 15,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 2,000 from 260,000 to 258,000. The 4-week moving average was 257,500, a decrease of 9,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 1,250 from 268,250 to 267,000.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria impacted this week’s claims.
emphasis added

The previous week was revised down.

The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since 1971.

Click on graph for larger image.

The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims decreased to 257,500.

This was below the consensus forecast.  The recent increase in claims is due to the hurricanes.

How to Setup Breakout & Fibonacci Forex Trades

How to Setup Breakout & Fibonacci Forex Trades

At one time,  AUDUSD downtrend offered an interesting chart to search for short setups. In fact, the price had already approached the 38.2 retracement level, which could have easily become a turning spot for downtrend continuation.

Looking at the 4-hour price action, it becomes clear that several candlesticks were showing struggle at the 38.2 Fibonacci retracement level but bullish engulfing twins could have annulled the bearish signals.

2- 12- 2014 audusd 1

I, therefore, kept a close eye on the upcoming 4-hour candles looking to see if the price showed renewed bearish signals or will it keep retracing higher.

In both cases, I am specifically looked for shorts only because of the downtrend (see blue trend line). Here are the two bearish scenarios I am counting with:

  1. A break of the 4-hour candle low (green circle) for a break out trade to lower levels (orange arrow);
  2. A bounce at the Fibonacci confluence of Fib retracement and Fib target:
    1. The 50% Fib retracement and the -27.2 Fib target (red circle);
    2. The 61.8% Fib retracement and the -61.8 Fib target (dark red circle).

Chart Patterns

In both scenarios, it is useful to wait for a candlestick pattern to confirm that price is bouncing at the resistance spot or pushing through the support level. This helpful tactic has a high rate of ensuring a decent entry at the right time.

setup breakout

The same upside movement could also occur on the NZDUSD. The Kiwi was in a big downtrend as well but recent choppiness has put bearish ambitions in the freezer.

Looking at the Fibonacci Retracement Level

Looking at the upside momentum (green arrow), the break of the downtrend line (blue) and the double bottom (purple circle) at the 61.8 Fibonacci retracement level (light blue), the price could be ready for a bullish breakout (blue arrows) above the resistance line (red).

2- 12- 2014 nzdusd

I was interested in taking a long upon the break of resistance (aft candlestick confirmation) and/or taking a short at the Fibonacci targets. There are two valid options for catching the bullish counter trend breakout setup:

  • One is to look for a daily candle pushing through the trend line;
  • The other is to monitor the same bullish breakout but on a lower time frame such as the 4-hour chart.

The advantage of the H4, in this case, is the potential for an earlier entry and hence more space to targets as well.

When I zoom into the 4-hour chart I am able to see both a bull flag and contracting triangle type of chart pattern forex. The break below support and the break above resistance would indicate the break of the contracting triangle. A break of both the resistance and support levels will be the trigger I am looking for trade setup. Also, in this case, a strong candle is warranted: close near low or high, sizeable candle and the majority of candle outside of trend line.

2- 12- 2014 nzdusd 2

Do not be shy and tell us what you think of the above! Have you traded these pairs in the past? Do you currently trade them? What is YOUR reason for perhaps not trading them?

Let us know down below in the comments section!

 

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Weekly High Cleared, Possible New Bitcoin Rally Once the €4,000 Resistance is Shattered

Weekly High Cleared, Possible New Bitcoin Rally Once the €4,000 Resistance is Shattered

A new rally appears to be underway, and considering how poorly altcoins have performed this weekend, it might end up being a substantial leg up in price. The $4,679.97 monthly high is our near-term target, which is incidentally, almost €4,000 at the current exchange rate, and is serving as a psychological barrier that is holding back further growth.

This is right on cue, as the bitcoin cash community is having an elongated debate on removing the Emergency Difficulty Adjustment safeguard feature from their network protocol. Bitcoin gold is also drawing in some minor headlines, a recent article delved into more detail on how to prepare for the October fork.

Morgan Stanley’s CEO, James P. Gorman, has begun calling bitcoin more than a fad, praising the first crypto currency in a somewhat similar fashion to Goldman Sachs former VP, Matthew Goetz. Announcements from current and former high ranking banking officials, will probably be prevalent until the months end, presumably from other top US bank executives and administrators as well.

China and its regulators are prominent in the media too, with fresh articles primarily revealing more information on licensing issues, and how it will specifically pertain to local bitcoin exchanges.

Singapore has taken a different stance though, and has decided to only regulate fintech businesses, not crypto currencies and assets in general. Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, and Chairman of Singapore’s financial watchdog, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, answered questions on government policy relating to crypto currencies, the technicalities and minutia of it all was covered in a new Bitcoin News article.

BitFlyer, a Japanese bitcoin exchange, has released a new bitcoin prepaid card, offering its user base additional benefits and perks in regards to fiat conversion. Japan looks to be on the forefront of new financial services, at least according to a new article from bitcoin.com. This is in stark contrast to the latest announcement from CryptoPay, which has disabled newly issued and shipped contactless prepaid cards, and has as of late, garnered a lot of hate in the community.

Tweets by cryptopay

Taiwan seems to be taking a slightly friendlier stance to crypto regulation, and could begin to attract companies from China and other parts of the globe, with Taiwan’s FSC chairman opposing heavy handed crypto currency regulation.

Bitcoin has steadily risen since the October 5 $4,137.96 weekly low (GMT 06:00), and after breaking through the previous $4,137.96 weekly high today (GMT 01:00), is poised to shatter the $4,679.97 monthly high, either in the next few days or possibly even sooner.

If you have any questions and comments on bitcoin today, use the form below to reply.