Looking Forward to the CPI

Your narrator knows when to hold 'em.
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Powering Down

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. -- Wheat farina.

Salt, wheat germ, guar gum (texturizer), natural flavor, BHT (to preserve freshness), mono- and diglycerides (emulsifier).

Calcium carbonate, ferric phosphate (iron source), niacin, vitamin A palmitate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid.

That's what's in my cereal.

That's also precisely how interesting Treasuries (and the things that move them) prove during the last few weeks of the year.

And that's about all there is to that.

Side Dish

The Gambler.

Perhaps the data to be released tomorrow can provide some sparks.

The market is looking for the

Consumer Price Index

to print two-tenths -- both overall and core (excluding food and energy) -- and for

retail sales

to print five-tenths overall and four-tenths core (excluding autos).

I can find no overly overly compelling reason to believe that the CPI won't come in at consensus. Barring that, though, I think a bigger print is likelier than a smaller one (overall CPI estimates clock in as high as 0.6% and core guesses reach 0.4%, and my spreadsheet spits out a three-tenths core -- and yes, I do suck at predicting the broad price measures). The retail numbers, meantime, seem to me likely to print bigger than expected (and at least two good forecasters have core sales rising 0.8%), which would square with the strong Christmas-spending profile discussed

here about a month ago.

To bet on tomorrow is (in your narrator's view) therefore to choose between a normal bad day (big retail plus as-expected CPI) and a bad bad day (big retail and an upside CPI surprise).

For what it's worth.

No to High-School Goth. Yes to (Say) Dark Green.

Uhh ... that absolutely-everything-always-in-black thing you

people are so stuck on?

You need to get over that already.

I still cannot quite figure out who you're trying to be, but you do not look even half as cool as you think you do.

You look ridiculous.

Goofed.

And hey. I messed up in the Side Dish that

appeared on Thursday. Jim Bianco didn't author the "slow" notes I attributed to him (Jim's been as economy-bullish as they come). Someone else did -- and Jim was pointing out how absurd it was to be placing stock in them.

All apologies for the error.

How much emergency cash will you withdraw toward year-end?

None.

A few hundred.

A few thousand.

More than ten grand.