Friday, June 25, 2010

Oú est ma tête ... It's Another No Worries Friday!

May Pink Martini gently lead you into your weekend.  By the end of the song, if you sing along as I do, you will have lost your head, your arms, your nose, and your feet, which is far worse than the bad news below.  Please press the little arrow before you read my Friday update.

The weekend depegging.  China announced last weekend that it was delinking its peg to the dollar to allow more flexibility in its exchange rate. If you are headed for China, the marinated duck feet may set you back a bit more. The higher the yuan goes (as of today, 6.79 per dollar), the more the US trade deficit drops. And this is something many US politicians, who are claiming that the yuan is still undervalued by 25-40%, would welcome. However … those of us not going to China and who frequent Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's (the Taylorsville store is my “happy place” FYI), you might be seeing prices going up on your jewelry findings and fake flowers. 

1963 was a long time ago ... Home sales have not been so low since 1963 … 300,000 units sold (yee haw, NOT). I think my mom and dad bought our Scottsdale house in 1963, or maybe it was 1962.  The median price is down, housing inventory is up. Mortgage rates are at record lows so a refi may be in order.
Here's me and my brother in the backyard of the Scottsdale house. Oh how I wish I still had that hat!
Touch not those rates.  The Federal Reserve meeting minutes are a little less positive, a little more guarded. Still, not much editing was done to update the minutes since the last meeting.

Falling, rising durable goods orders.  Durable goods orders fell to -1.1%, but not as much as expected (-1.3%). Excluding transportation, durable goods rose by 0.9%, but the expected increase was 1.3% increase. Bummer.

The newly jobless.  My first day as a jobless person I came home and cried while I re-organized tea pots and cups in my barrister cabinet.  Since I've now matured in my jobless state, I can tell you it's a roller coaster. Initial unemployment claims were down to 457,000 versus the previous week's figure of 476,000. The 4-week moving average was 462,750. Just remember folks, these are new claims, and do not represent the ongoing legion of unemployed people which is upwards of 15 million.

Down doobie down down down.  The GDP was revised downward for 1Q2010, 2.7% versus 3.0% as previously reported. For comparison purposes, the real GDP in 4Q2009 was 5.6%, but don't forget we had Christmas thrown in there.  Even if Santa didn't bring you much last year, a boatload of goodies was under somebody's tree.  Well, maybe.
And now for the good news …
  • One of my unemployed friends got a new job. She's in education, not in banking, and very well qualified.
  • Summer's here but I haven't had to turn on my air conditioning in the house. I hate fake air. The sprinkler guy comes Monday so my grass will get a big drink.
  • I finished six more stock options trading classes, for a total completed of 23. Some months ago, I did a post on option trading terminology. Now, I know how to set up the various trades, and how to determine the maximum profit and loss for each one. I can say "condor spread" in a sentence and it's meaningful. At least in theory.
  • This blog now has reader from Singapore, continuing the international readership trend that I frankly don't understand but yet appreciate.  I don't have enough data points to fully analyze.
  • Amongst a flurry of other activities on this busy weekend, I'm going to Park City Silly Markets on Sunday … a paper making friend is the featured artist and I'll be doing a post on her work very soon.
  • A really super important post is coming Sunday so stay tuned. I'm awaiting some feedback from a couple of reliable experts.
  • And by the way, don't believe everything you read. It's circulating on my Facebook page that I'm pregnant. Oh my high school chums are soooooo clever.
 Now go on … it's the weekend. Play, party, have fun! {shake it}

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