We were going to post something else today but I heard a TEDx talk by JP Sears that really struck a chord. “What is weirdness? It’s the trace tendencies, the behaviors, the perspectives that make you unique and yet it’s nothing we need to acquire it’s something were incarnated with. Who inspires you the most? Cliché names like Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Steve jobs. What about them inspires you? Probably the fact that they’re weird. Nobody has ever inspired other people by excelling at normalcy”. This is something that I covered in previous post where I said DOCUMENT DON’T CREATE. People want to see you for who you are. Do not try to act like someone you are not. Document yourself and your life. That is the true nature of marketing. Sell yourself, not the content. .
MARKET UPDATE :
Relations between the U.S. and North Korea have been moving markets. Interestingly, Tesla CEO Elon Musk says people should be more concerned about artificial intelligence (AI) than North Korea, saying it has "vastly more risk than North Korea." Musk pointed to the fact that AI has defeated some of the world's best video game players in a game that is much more complex than chess or Go. And don't forget that Facebook's AI created its own language between bots that had to be shut down.
Switching back to rates, U.S. Treasuries ended Tuesday on a lower note due to further easing of tensions with North Korea. An improvement in global risk appetite contributed to a lower start after it was reported that North Korea will not follow through on its threat to envelop Guam in fire...for now. A better-than-expected retail sales release also helped nudge rates up, given that this feeds directly into GDP estimates.
The 10-year yield touched a high of 2.28%, vs. Monday's 2.22% close - certainly still within the range we've been in all summer. Price-wise the 10-year worsened .375 while the 5-year T-note and agency MBS prices sold off .125-.250 depending on maturity, coupon, and type.
For news, this morning we've had the MBA's survey of retail applications for last week (+.1%). Coming up are July housing starts and permits, and at 2PM ET, 8AM in Hawai'i, is the Fed releasing the minutes from the July meeting: look for more confirmation of a September announcement regarding the commencement of tapering which is expected to start in October in addition to assessing odds of another rate hike this year with December heavily favored. We start Wednesday with the 10-year yielding 2.28% and agency MBS prices nearly unchanged versus last night.
🌔 Did you know? You can't watch the eclipse unless you're using protective glasses that block 99.99% of the sun's rays! Another warning: most glasses are sold out or are now super expensive. TAP's solution? Russ in San Leandro dusted off his eclipse viewer making skills (he remembered making this back in the 70s for the eclipse back then) and got to work on this setup that allows you to see the sun. He used cut off pieces of foam PVC. The big white piece is about 16 x 24, and the gray screen is about 12 x 15. The gray screen (use gray because the sun's shadow will appear more clearly) acts as a "block" piece with a white rod (the "sun dial"). The binoculars (only one lens peeking through) act as a lens that transmits the sun's image onto the white foam PVC/the screen. The sun dial allows you to find the angle that the binoculars are looking straight at the sun, when this happens the sun's shadow on the block piece will be at a minimum. The eclipse image will project onto the big white piece, making safe eclipse viewing successful! 🌔