Consumer Confidence

3 Things: Worse, Worst, Or Worst-er

"The basic assertion is the following: the U.S. economy is not showing signs of entering into recession, thus stocks are not at risk of falling into a sustained bear market. Unfortunately, this conclusion is not necessarily true. For history has shown on numerous occasions that you do not need to have an economic recession looming on the horizon to see U.S. stocks fall into a bear market."

Rate-Hike Looms As The Fed's Much-Watched Consumer Confidence Bounces

Thanks, we presume, to a resurgent stock market (because almost every macro and micro fundamental data item has been a disaster), UMich Consumer Sentiment rose from 89.0 to 92.1, bouncing after 3 straight months lower. Both current situation and futures expectations rose (the former to near cycle highs). Good news right? Be careful what you wish for however, as The Fed's Bill Dudley previously noted this consumer confidence data is a must-watch for The Fed in its rate-hike decision-making.

There Goes The Final Pillar Of The US "Recovery": The Loan-Growth Paradox Explained

One year ago we reported that companies were using secured bank debt to repurchase stock: a stunning, foolhardy development. It so unbelievable we promptly forgot this bizarre tangent into "use of loan funds"... Until today when we found that it was, indeed, all a lie and that the banks themselves had become complicit in perpetuating not only the worst possible capital misallocation, but being an accessory to the US stagnation, soon to be replaced with full-blown recession.

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.