Consumer Confidence & LEI’s Flash Warning

Consumer Confidence & LEI’s Flash Warning

Consumer Confidence for September declined a bit more than expected, falling to 119.8 from 120.4, versus expectations for a decline to 120. While that doesn’t sound all that meaningful as it is still well above the long-term average of 93.9, we see something occurring beneath the headlines that warrants further attention and is particularly concerning […]

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Falling Dollar as Trump Trade Tumbles into Investor “Meh”

Falling Dollar as Trump Trade Tumbles into Investor “Meh”

The U.S. dollar got hit hard again today as the Trump Trade continues to reverse and investor sentiment becomes more neutral – a big “Meh.” The U.S. dollar is continuing its steep decline today as the AMEX U.S. Dollar Index makes new lows for 2017 and is nearing the lowest point over the past year, […]

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Economic Data Continues to Paint Peaking Picture

Economic Data Continues to Paint Peaking Picture

This view never gets old.While this was a shortened week with the Memorial Day holiday, it was certainly packed with economic data. Yours truly fell a bit behind coupled with the short week and another one of my trips from Southern California back to my other home base in Italy, so this is a longer […]

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Consumer Spending – it isn’t all about Confidence

Consumer Spending – it isn’t all about Confidence

With roughly 70 percent of GDP attributed to consumer spending, the market should be pretty excited over how earlier this week Consumer Confidence for March blew away expectations. The catch is that spending is simply a function of income and credit, not confidence. If you want to spend more, you must either earn more or borrow more – pretty simple. So with Consumer Confidence at all time highs, we take a look at this other side of the question . . .

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Retail Sales a Warning?

Retail Sales a Warning?

Retail sales flashing a warning?  Sales have recently taken a serious pounding, which many claim is due primarily to the awful winter weather in much of the US.  While the tough winter undoubtedly did have an impact, the chart below (which shows the month-over-month percentage change in retail sales and the quarter-over-quarter percentage change in US GDP) […]

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February MarketWatch

February MarketWatch

This month’s MarketWatch is a bit more positive than last month’s.  From Dec 31st, 2013 to the lows for the year to date on Feb 3, the S&P 500 pulled back 5.8%, while the Dow Jones 30 gave back 7.3% in the same time frame.  Both indexes rebounded in February, with the S&P 500 now […]

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Comparative History: 2012 vs. 1998

Comparative History:  2012 vs. 1998 The first quarter of 2012 was a stunner in the equity markets, giving us the best first quarter since 1998, which begs the question, what did 1998 look like relative to 2012? 1998 2012 Sector trends Beginnings of an enormously impactful internet revolution Banking sector still struggling, corporation cash at […]

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We Aren't Out of the Woods Yet

We Aren't Out of the Woods Yet

The growth of an economy is dependent primarily on just two factors, (1) the quantity and quality of the labor pool and (2) the amount of available investment capital. With the current unemployment rate, clearly the quantity of the labor pool is not a problem. The quality of that pool is a discussion for another […]

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