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Fireside Charts: Good News for the U.S. Farmer, Coronavirus Affects Markets, and Pleasant (and Surprising) Manufacturing News

By:BCM Investment Team | Date:Jan24, 2020 | Category: Equity, Economics, Market Highlights, Fireside Charts

While we've seen some promising signs on economic activity (and even manufacturing, finally) out of New York and Philadelphia recently, the news hasn't quite reached Chicago yet and the regional National Activity Index print fell both short of expectations and into contraction. Agricultural readings have us breathing a sigh of relief on behalf of the long-suffering American Farmer, and we're keeping our fingers crossed the feeling won't be short lived. If these farmers are anything like the rest of the American populous, they're already living beyond their means—bad news for them and potentially a looming storm-cloud over our consumer-based economy. And as the coronavirus itself continues to spread, so too have its economic implications; Chinese markets and various commodities are already suffering under the weight of the new pandemic. There's some good (and surprising!) news out of Germany however; after being a drag on the entire Eurozone for months, German Manufacturing PMI surprised to the upside this month. Could it be enough to establish some traction and revitalize the European manufacturing sector?


1. Chicago did not follow the NY and Philly lead...


national activity index

Source: WSJ Daily Shot, from 1/23/20



2. Some U.S. farmers are finally catching a break...


u.s. agricultural readings

Source: WSJ Daily Shot, from 1/23/20



3. This is disturbing...70% of our economy is based on consumption!


u.s. consumer overspending

Source: WSJ Daily Shot, from 1/23/20



4. Our prayers are with these folks;...Wuhan, a city of 11 million, has been quarantined by the Chinese Government. For reference, NYC had ~8.4 million per the 2018 census...


coronavirus spreading

Source: WSJ Daily Shot, from 1/22/20



5. Chinese equity, currency and bond markets are acting as one would expect from a new pandemic.


shanghai shenzhen csi 300 index

Source: WSJ Daily Shot, from 1/23/20



6. Energy and industrial commodities such as copper are under pressure from fears that the Coronavirus will reduce demand...


brent crude

Source: WSJ Daily Shot, from 1/23/20



7. The drought/fires cannot be helping!


Markit Australian manufacturing PMI

Source: WSJ Daily Shot, from 1/24/20



8. Is the worst of the manufacturing recession over for Germany and Europe?


Markit German manufacturing pmi

Source: WSJ Daily Shot, from 1/24/20



9. Germany and Japan?!


Markit Japan manufacturing pmi

Source: WSJ Daily Shot, from 1/24/20



10. FOMO? Performance chasing? What happens when the music stops?


tech fund flows record high

Source: WSJ Daily Shot, from 1/24/20





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Disclosure: The charts and info-graphics contained in this blog are typically based on data obtained from 3rd parties and are believed to be accurate. The commentary included is the opinion of the author and subject to change at any time. Any reference to specific securities or investments are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended as investment advice nor are a recommendation to take any action. Individual securities mentioned may be held in client accounts.