Consumer Confidence

3 Things: The Fed Is Screwed

The Federal Reserve is quickly becoming trapped by its own "data-dependent" analysis. Despite ongoing commentary of improving labor markets and economic growth, their own indicators are suggesting something very different. As we have stated previously, while the Federal Reserve may hike interest rates simply to "save face," there is indeed little real support for them doing so. Tightening monetary policy further will simply accelerate the time frame to the onset of the next recession. Of course, the Fed knows this which is why they recently floated the idea of "negative interest rates" out into the markets. In other words, they already likely realize they are screwed.

A Third Of All Containers Shipped From Long Beach Port Are Empty

In September, the Port of Long Beach handled a near record 197,076 outbound empty boxes. "They accounted for nearly a third of all containers that moved through the port last month. September was the eighth straight month in which empty containers leaving Long Beach outnumbered those loaded with exports."

Is This 2000, 2007 Or 2011?

One of the primary arguments by the more "bullish" media is that the current setup is much like that of 2011 following the "debt ceiling" debate and global economic slowdown caused by the Tsunami in Japan. While there are certainly some similarities, such as the weakness being spread from China and a market selloff, there are some marked differences.

The Stock Market Rally... To Nowhere

"...the markets did retest the late August lows, and when combined with the very oversold conditions, led to a frantic 'short covering' rally back to previous resistance. It is worth noting that the recent market action is very similar to that of the August decline and initial rebound as well... . If the market is still confined within a more "bearish" trend, the current rally, like the ones that preceded it, will be a "rally to nowhere."

Someone Is Lying: Consumer Confidence Is Somehow Both "Highest" And "Lowest" For The Year

According to what is arguably the most respected polling organization in the US, consumer confidence has crashed to the lowest level in a year. On the other hand, according to a tax-exempt research organization, consumer confidence is not only the highest it has been in 2015, but it practically the highest since 2007.Someone is lying, we leave it up to readers to decide who.

The 80/20 Rule Is Crushing The Economy

In business, the 80/20 rule states that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. In an economy that is more than 2/3rds driven by consumption, such an imbalance of the "have" and "have not's" impedes real economic growth.

Consumer Confidence Spikes Near 8-Year High Amid Global Turmoil But "Hope" Fades

For the second month in a row, US Consumer Confidence (according to The Conference Board) soared in September. Printing 103.00 (smashing expectations of 96.8) in September, this is just shy of January's high going back to August 2007. The biggest driver of this seemingly odd exuberance (amid global escalation in financial and physical wars) is the Present Situation (up from 115.8 to 121.1) while "hope" dropped from 91.6 to 91.0. As The Conference Board concludes, "while consumers view current economic conditions more favorably, they do not foresee growth accelerating in the months ahead.”

US Futures Resume Tumble, Commodities Slide As Chinese "Hard-Landing" Fears Take Center Stage

It was all about China once again, where following a report of a historic layoff in which China's second biggest coal producer Longmay Group fired an unprecedented 100,000 or 40% of its workforce, overnight we got the latest industrial profits figure which plunging -8.8% Y/Y was the biggest drop since at least 2011, and which the National Bureau of Statistics attributed to "exchange rate losses, weak stock markets, falling industrial goods prices as well as a bigger rise in costs than increases in revenue." In not so many words: a "hard-landing."