Friday, July 31, 2009

Market Mishmash

by Bill McBride on 7/31/2009 03:55:00 PM

As we wait for the first bank failure today, let me start with a comment on house prices:

Tech Ticker has a story on house prices today: Housing Bottom? No, the Mother of All Head Fakes. The house price issue is worth some thought this weekend. Although the seasonal adjustment for Case-Shiller appears insufficient, I checked it with some models, and I think it is calculated correctly. I'll post some thoughts on house prices this weekend.

And on vacant CRE, it is hard to beat this, from the WSJ: Giant Warehouses Dot Phoenix Desert Awaiting Imports That Never Came

Along a 15-mile stretch of desert, amid strip malls and unfinished subdivisions, nearly a dozen giant warehouses sit silent and empty. They are relics of this city's dream of becoming a national warehouse hub ...

Today, an empty, half-mile-long warehouse lingers from that vision. The building's 1.2 million square feet could fit 193 full-size copies of the Statue of Liberty. Its parking lot has room for 292 tractor trailers. But on a recent morning the only signs of life were a security guard's trailer, golf cart and bicycle.
...
"It's not a pretty story," says developer Jonathan Tratt ... Mr. Tratt's warehouse is one of 11 storage complexes completed in southwest Phoenix in 2008, with two more set to be finished this year. Those 13 properties combined will have eight million square feet and are now 86% empty ...
And this is a corollary to bank failures, from the Seattle Times: Frontier Financial to be bought by takeover firm (ht Mark)
Frontier Financial and SP Acquisition Holdings announced this morning a deal that will give Frontier shareholders 2.5 million SPAH shares ...

In March, Everett-based Frontier Financial had agreed to submit to tighter supervision by regulators over the way it lends money and manages its operations.

On Wednesday, the company with $4 billion in assets reported a second-quarter loss of $50 million ... Nonperforming assets accounted for 20.5 percent of the company's total assets at the end of June, up from 3 percent a year ago ...
Probably a number of weaker banks will be acquired this year. It is better than being seized by the FDIC.

Stock Market Crashes Click on graph for larger image in new window.

And finally from Doug Short of dshort.com (financial planner): "Four Bad Bears".

Note that the Great Depression crash is based on the DOW; the three others are for the S&P 500.