Weak End B4 The Bell
193 replies to this topic
Posted 26 March 2004 - 10:37 PM
Revision to Four PPI Commodity Indexes for January 2004
The March 18, 2004 release of Producer Price Index (PPI) data for January 2004 contained erroneous January index levels for four commodity index series: All commodities, farm products and processed foods and feeds, industrial commodities, and all commodities except farm products. These index series appear in Table 3 of the PPI News Release and in Tables 6 and 8 of the PPI Detailed Report. They also are available on the BLS website.
The error in calculating January index levels was made in a step that is unique to these four series. The correct January 2004 index levels are 141.0 for all commodities, 136.4 for farm products and processed foods and feeds, 141.9 for industrial commodities, and 142.6 for all commodities except farm products. The published index values for all series other than the four listed above, and for all months other than January 2004, are not affected.
The January 2004 index values for the four affected series now have been removed from the time series database and will not be available in the PPI Detailed Report. In addition, the originally released values for any percent changes involving January 2004 were incorrect for those four series. Those percent change values also will not be available. In the next three monthly releases of PPI data, percent changes from January 2004 to subsequent months will not be available for the four series.
It should be noted that all January PPI data are preliminary and will be revised after four months in accord with the usual PPI policy. When May 2004 data are released, final values for January 2004 will appear for all series levels and percent changes, including those affected by the error described here. At that time, percent change calculations also will be published for periods beginning or ending in January 2004.
Last Modified Date: March 26, 2004
Posted 26 March 2004 - 10:43 PM
MCI Lays Off 4,000, Cites Do Not Call List
Bankrupt telecommunications company MCI said Friday it is cutting 4,000 jobs — more than 7 percent of its work force — and closing three call centers because of cost-cutting pressures and fallout from the national Do Not Call registry.
The centers being closed are located in Denver, Phoenix and Niles, Ohio ( thats here where I live). Jobs are also being reduced at MCI facilities in Alpharetta, Ga., Colorado Springs, Colo. and Springfield, Mo.
I was getting ready earlier to say that the layoffs are slowing down. This just blew that thought out of the water.
Posted 26 March 2004 - 10:57 PM
Good thing MCI didn't announce those 4000 layoffs during market hours.
Hopefully the sheeple will forget all about it by monday!
Posted 26 March 2004 - 11:01 PM
State auditors say estimates of nearly $1 billion saved over the past five years fighting fraud in the Medi-Cal system have been significantly overstated by public health officials, raising big questions about how resources aimed at the problem have been used in recent years.
Posted 26 March 2004 - 11:03 PM
El Paso Says SEC Probing Reserves Cut
By C. Bryson Hull, 3/26/2004
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Natural gas pipeline operator El Paso Corp. <EP.N> on Friday said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into its deep cut in natural gas reserves.
Posted 26 March 2004 - 11:05 PM
Parmalat to Slash 15,000 Jobs
By Gerard Wynn and Sabina Suzzi, 3/26/2004
MILAN (Reuters) - Parmalat will slash almost half its workforce as it sells or liquidates units in 20 countries in an effort to keep the insolvent food group afloat, a plan unveiled on Friday showed
Posted 26 March 2004 - 11:09 PM
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Posted 26 March 2004 - 11:13 PM
Two men were approaching each other on the sidewalk both dragging their right leg. The first guy winked, pointed to his leg and said Nam 1969-the second guy pointed behind him and said Dog Shit a 1/2 block back!
Posted 26 March 2004 - 11:23 PM
so I can join in the merriment:
All.Commod = 141.0
Farm.Commod = 136.4
Ind.Commod = 141.9
Non-Farm.Commod = 142.6
so: what were the old (wrong) numbers?
Posted 27 March 2004 - 12:06 AM
The revised figures are in some ways lower than the originally reported:so I can join in the merriment:
The survey is generally taken the second week of the month:
Most prices refer to one particular day of the month, namely, the Tuesday of the week containing the 13th of the month; this pricing date can range between the 9th and the 15th.
PPI uses hedonic adjustments, which are subjective:
An alternative quality adjustment technique using hedonic regressions has been incorporated into PPI adjustment processes.3 Hedonic regressions estimate the functional relationship between the characteristics embodied in the products in a market and the products’ prices. Such regressions yield estimates of “implicit prices” for specified product characteristics that may be used to value the quality improvement resulting from changes in the various characteristics embodied in a product. The value of the quality improvement can then be removed from the reported price change to obtain a measure of the pure price change that is appropriate for the PPI.
The disatisfaction voiced in this forum concerns whether the figures are being manipulated and/or being withheld. The fact that the revised figure may be lower, and that it will take a long time to determine the correct figure, only adds to the disatisfaction.
The January report, taken early in the new year, does not include many of the explosive rises in raw material and energy costs that continued through March.
Posted 27 March 2004 - 12:13 AM
awww. gee. that's too subtle for me...
I enjoy seeing the "invisible hand" exposed, whenever,
but I prefer the message found in the tea leaves to be more straightforward...
if they was higher now than originally announced, THEN my joy would be unmixed.
Still, I agree any open manipulation is a sign of their incompetent meddling.
They just won't get what's coming to them as soon as I'd like...
Posted 27 March 2004 - 12:13 AM
I'm sure that the administrations reasoning is that "if not in the park, maybe they'll be in the mall."
Posted 27 March 2004 - 08:39 AM
Caught a little snippet of the post market show on PBS,name eascapes me, the one with Paul Kangarooass, but I digress. They interviewed a trader in the commod pits. He was all excited about the new bull market. His main source of excitement? All the NEW money flooding into the market.
For quite a while I have been saying that most of the "drive" in the commodities markets has been a byproduct of the whirling flood of liquidity combined with hedge funds impacting this relatively small cap market. Read that as wildcat speculation with disregard of fundamentals. I argue that demand overall is realtively flat with perhaps a small true piece of demand coming from China which by and large is more a result of shifting production from other locales meaning that demand elsewhere is simultaneously dropping. I also still contend that there is some strategic stockpiling occurring in China which may portend an ominous future especially considering the "sensitivity" of the Taiwan situation and secondarily North Korea. At a causal glance it bears a marked resemblance to Japan pre WWII.
There are within the "commodities arena" a few componenets that do have some seriously powerful fundamentals at work. They are oil, gold, and silver. Gold and silver have been in stuctural deficits for years. Most of the worlds stockpile of silver is gone and the supressed prices have prevented any serious increase in mining activity. Why bother, if it costs more to get it to market than the market will pay? Gold is also being "consumed" at a faster rate than it is being produced. It has only been the disgorging from CBs in the form of direct sales and leasing that has kept a lid on the price. The latest gold sales agreement will do little to alleviate the pressure and at some point the sales become really a stupid act of hari-kari as people begin to question the sanity of selling large chunks of the national treasures into a rising market.
Oil, I believe, has peaked production wise on a global basis. It recently has been revealed that the supposed reserves may not be what they are stated. (See Shell) More importantly for the US mtorist is the quality of oil. Oil is not created equally nor is the refining process the same for all grades of crude oil. US refineries are dependent on light sweet crude to produce the products for US consumption. Many of the recent (last 20 years) oil finds are not of this quality tending to be the heavier grades which our refineries can't cope with. Few people are aware of just how much refined product is imported. If you're in New York, there's a pretty good chance the gas in your tank came from a European Refinery; ditto your heating oil. If you live in Chicago or Arkansas, some of your gas comes from refineries in South America. There hasn't been any new refineries built in the US since the 70s. Many lay the blame on that squarely on environmental concerns and the resultant red tape with the associated costs. That may be a partial answer, but do you suppose the oil industry had foreknowledge of the true global oil picture decades ago when they decided to stop building refineries? I'll bet they did, and if they didn't, who in the hell would have? Why invest a bunch of money in equipment if you know the feedstocks simply wouldn't be available?
Now Canada has their tar sands, which BTW we also have signifcant deposits of in the Western US, but there's a dirty little secret about that source of oil. It takes more energy to produce it than it will deliver. It is only economical to produce at these prices as long as there is an abundant and cheap source of energy which primarily means NG. The problem of course is that as oil becomes more scarce the pressure on NG consumption will escalate raising it's market value. Currently I believe there is more NG around than the price would indicate. How long that lasts is anyone's guess. Somewhere, someone has a pretty good idea. Warren Buffet's recent withdrawl from a major pipeline project may hold some clues.
Oil will be available, but at what price? And how will the use of oil be allocated? Without oil the global population would likely plateau at somewhere between 500 million and a billion people, or roughly 10% of the current population. Mechanized farming, pesticides (oil based) and fertilizer (almost 100% derived from NG) are what has allowed us to feed the current population. Barring some miracle dicoveries (or major pandemic/war/natural disaster), over time the global population will soon peak and then decline as the planet returns to sustainability. Of course there will be a prolonged period of overshoot since most of the world's soil is no longer capable of growing much of anything without massive amounts of fertilizer. In essence most of the worlds farm soil is dead. So the likely result is the world's population will shrink well below the normal levels of sustainability until the soil heals sufficiently to once again produce on a sustainable level. This is nothing new. Global population has had several such ballooning and shrinking episodes in the past including such microcosims as Easter Island.
Bear in mind, much of what is above is very long term and most of us will not live to see a lot of my prognostications come to fruition. However we are beginning to see the process. I believe the planet is first headed toward an economic collapse that could precipitate from numerable, and likely multiple, sources. It is for this reason I feel the current commodities bull market is a bogey. Ultimately there will be a real bull market in commodities as the planet wars over some dwindling resources, but first, economic collapse will reduce demand below supply while simultaneously causing a move away from fiat currencies and to the ultimate safety of thousands of years of history that precious metals offer. If my guess is right, there will be a period of time during this collapse where actual fiat currency, in the US, will retain utility as the recognized medium of exchange, but eventually that will fail as the confidence in the system fails.
Once again most of us won't live to see much of what is above, but I do believe most of us will see the failure of the global economic system. If you manage to squirrel away enough of the right kind of nuts, you should be fine, though I might be concerned with living in any major metropolitian area. Green Acres is the place to be.........
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