It’s “that time of the month” when we pick through the various West Coast port cargo tonnage reports, which is near-enough to a financial crystal ball as you’ll likely time and try to infer what’s happening in the not-too-distant future.
Long Beach inbound cargo in July was down 10.02% in July, but cross viaduct rival Los Angeles was up 3.97% compared with year ago numbers and up 5% compared with June’s handle.
Sidebar: If you noticed a disturbance on the San Pedro bridge, that was the site of the apparent suicide of movie director Anthony Scott (Top Gun, et al). The importance of that bridge in trade is our focus, however.
Up the coast a ways, Oakland was up 1.5% for the month after being down 8.7% the previous month, but overall, Oakland containers coming in are up only 1.6% for the year which – last time I looked – was about how the US population is growing (and you can take the argument about amnesty out back, too early in the week to take that on again).
Full inbound in Seattle was down 17.6%, though, and regardless of whether that’s due to Japan or whatever doesn’t make much difference.
So we put it all into a handy grid:
|June TEU’s||July TEU’s||MoM||Note|
…and what emerges is a picture of the docks being flat to down 2% for the month, so in terms of expecting a major recovery spike, US companies are not loading up on imported goods presently.
Our two notes: 1) Port of Seattle is adding three super-Panamax cranes and 2) what screwed up things in Portland is a beef between the ILWU and the Electricians union over who will plug in refrigerated containers… and looks like a fair chunk of change will be paid by the Port of Portland to the terminal operator for damages.
So while we see the economy flatlined for the foreseeable future, and the Baltic Dry Index continuing its decline, an Australian interview with economist James Rickards outlines a coming currency war. 15-minutes of vid but worth it, I think.
Not much in the way of numbers this morning, but FOMC minutes are expected tomorrow and maybe that will shed some light on why the Fed money figures last week showed a goosing of M1/M2 which we reported on Friday.
The suggestion was floated last week among readers that with George Soros and John Paulson adding to their gold positions, that another run, possibly to new highs could be in the very formative stages. Not a bad bet and I continue to hang on to that lone gold coin of ours…
Meantime, our trading model for Peoplenomics readers has been long for weeks now and we have to wonder if a new all-time high in markets is possible should the 1,422 level be decisively breached. Still, we’ll have to take the old wait-and-see on that.
Newsweek is headlining a Niall Ferguson piece: “Obama’s Gotta Go” which I’m sure has Mittster types grinning.
You might want to look at the Real Clear Politics site now and then (here) since they have a summary of the polls going and it’s a lot more productive use of your time that wading through hours of interviews.
Like sports, people try to find all kinds of nuances in numbers, but in the end, it’s a number, there’s a couple of months of campaign left and plenty of mud for all. So no point getting too worked up over anything, the two candidates being near clones of each other, anyway, as that 40-similiarities piece of last week made obvious.
Nothing to sneeze at here: Australia seems to think the worst of the flu season is now passing (they are counter-cyclical to us due to upside/down winter there) but there is some discussion that swine flu has killed one person in India, and another report has two dead. And two in a different province.
There are been 200+ cases of H3N2v reported in the US since July 1 although the WHO says of these:
“Regarding the recent outbreak of influenza A(H3N2) variant (A(H3N2)v)1in the United States of America, as of 10 August 2012, the total number of confirmed human cases of influenza A(H3N2)v for 2012 increased to 154, mainly as a result of follow up investigations of the initial cases in Ohio and Indiana. One case was also reported from Hawaii and one in Illinois. Most cases were children who had direct or indirect exposure to pigs in agricultural fairs, no human to human transmission has been documented for the 2012 cases. Clinically, these cases are similar to seasonal influenza cases, and all patients have recovered from their illness. Investigations around cases and contacts is on-going. “
Kleenex handy for the fall?
Quakes & Niburu
News to Take Your Meds With
OK, another “Niburu is coming vid” out on YT this weekend, the umpteenth time around for this…and this one – if you can get past the Wagnerian music (god-awful stuff at 5 AM, trust me on this) holds that the arrival of Niburu is just around the (celestial) corner and in the meantime, astronomers who might ‘out’ the cover-up are dying off:
OK, so there was some double-counting…still, the death of all those radio astronomers in a cable car accident back when lingers as a hanging WTF moment/odd coinkydink. But that was back in 1999…
All of which might be a yawner except our reader Tony has been documenting the increase in earthquakes over the past few years and, as I have been telling you, the West Coast has been relatively free from antipodal earthquakes to all that other action around the Pacific Ring of Fire.
But did you pay attention to the quake off the coast of Washington this weekend and might that be a precursor to the Pacific Northwest going through setup for something like a Banda-sized quake? Only a 4.5 (see map for location) but still, has us wondering.
And there was that 6.6 in Indonesia on Sunday.…six dead in that one. But is a a North Pacific (rim) quake swarm yet? Map checks leave it open to debate - for now. After all, what the hell is “normal” anymore?
Israel is said to have deployed its Iron Dome air defense system to the Egyptian border area. This comes at a time when Egpt is reported cracking down on “terrorists” in the area. But tensions there are something to watch closely.
More after this…