Consumer Confidence

US Automakers' Worst Nightmare (In 2 Charts)

With the second half of 2015 "grim" for Chinese auto sales, US automakers - who have field-of-dreams-like built inventories to record levels - have turned domestic for growth by extending credit for decades to anyone who can fog a mirror. That was all well and good until we discover this morning that the government's consumer confidence survey shows Americans auto-buying attitude is the lowest since Jan 2013. Automakers have two options, offer buy-one-get-one-free to all new Syrian refugees or cut production dramatically in hopes of easing inventory excess. Good luck.

Consumer Confidence Slides As Low Gas Prices No Longer Lift Sentiment

Despite ongoing low gas prices, a recovery in stocks, and the nationally-advertised unemployment rate remaining low, Consumer Confidence tumbled in October from eight-year highs to three-month lows. Worse still, "hope" slid to its lowest in 3 months as "jobs plentiful" slid notably with fewer jobs and decreasing income.

Futures Flat After Yen Carry Tremors As Fed Starts 2-Day Policy Meeting

Two biggest move overnight came from everyone's favorite carry pair, the USDJPY, which may have finally read what we said yesterday, namely that with the Fed and ECB both doing its job, there is little need for the Bank of Japan to repeat its Halloween massacre for the second year in a row, and as a result will keep its QQE program unchanged. It promptly tumbled from its 121 tractor level, to just above 120.25, where BOJ bids were said to be found. With the FOMC October meeting starting today, the other overnight catalyst was not surprisingly the latest Hilsenrath scribe in which he removed any uncertainty about a Wednesday hike, "leaving mid-December as the central bank’s last chance to raise rates this year."

Key Events In Another Central Bank-Dominated Week

Last week it was all about central banks, when both the ECB and the PBOC unleashed a massive market rally. This week it will be about even more central banks, this time the Fed, which won't hike, and the BOJ, which may but most likely won't as the Fed and the ECB already did its work for it, sending the Yen tumbling with their actions and/or jawboning.

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.