Steve Liesman: Round Two
Steve Liesman: second round (from Sunday, 11:19 am). Mr. Santelli - your turn.
With a charactersitic bout of nerve over wisdom, let me offer just one more reply:
What exactly are you arguing about here? Whether I'm a jerk or a tool? Is that even worthy of a single reply? Ok, don't answer that.
What would seem to be worth everyone's time is the focus on the issue raised by the essential disagrement between Rick and myself: are the jobs numbers improving or not and what is the right investment play relative to the direction of jobs and the economy?
The question is not are the jobs numbers bad, awful and otherwise horrible now. That is irrefutable. But the existence of 15 million unemployed Americans and millions more discouraged workers don't tell us anything about whether the numbers are worsening or improving. And it doesn't tell us whether we should buy bonds or stocks or gold or cans of tuna fish (is there an ETF for that yet?) to prepare for the end of the world as we know it.
I offer four piece of evidence that the jobs market is improving and believe it will continue to do so:
1. The 4-week avg. of jobless claims (NEW inputs into the system) have stepped down dramatically from 674k at its worst in March to 474k in the last week.
2. Payroll job losses have been reduced to a 3-month average loss of 87k from 691k in losses in the first quarter. Inside the November report we learned of strong upward revisions to Sept. and Oct., a long workweek and the strongest monthly gain in temp. employment in five years.
3. The employment gauge of the ism mfr. index has risen to a rate that suggests job and economic growth. (though it came down slightly in the last month, it remains above 50)
4. Ridiculously high productivity rates that must come down, meaning more jobs and/or longer hours.
I am aware of other indicators that point the other way. The NFIB survey (which I report every month), the ISM services indicator employment component and the stubbornly high duration of unemployment, along with the EUC gains. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate may not be done rising.
But why spend time on personal attacks when history is unfolding all around us, when there are monumental debates to be had about the economy, the right policy, the data and, most important, how to make a buck at all this?
I wish you all happy and prosperous holidays and make a request to keep your eye on the prize, which for me is an expansive bonefish flat, on a warm, windless day and lots of time to enjoy it.