Posts Tagged ‘Auto Sales’

The Ghosts of Lapsed Stimuli

The Ghosts of Lapsed Stimuli

The Ghost of Christmas Present appearing to Scrooge. Illustration by John Leech (1817-64) for Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol , London 1843-1834.

Courtesy of Rick Davis at Consumer Metrics Institute 

We have mentioned before that our year-over-year indexes are effected by both the current level of consumer activities and the year-ago levels of that same activity. Even if current levels remain dead flat, changing levels from the prior year can impact the year-over-year numbers. The bottom line, however, is that almost all economic measures ultimately use prior levels as reference points, and it is the annualized growth rates that we actually remember from the GDP reports.

Nothing demonstrates this phenomenon more clearly than our Automotive Index, which experienced a tremendous upward spike at this time last year from the ‘cash for clunkers’ stimulus package. Looking back at the chart for that index from a couple of months ago the spike is glaringly obvious: 


Now fast forward to the current chart, where the upward ‘blip’ from the consumer oriented stimulus has inexorably shifted to the left and is half off the chart:


There are several conclusions that can be drawn from the above chart:

  • Some portion of the recent drop in our Domestic Autos Sub-Index is the result of current consumer demand comparing poorly year-over-year to the level of stimulated demand during the year-ago period.
  • The historical portions of the chart clearly show that a consumer oriented stimulus can have a measurable effect on select sectors of the economy.

But, at least for domestic autos during this recovery:

Without stimulus, significantly increased consumer demand has not been sustained. We see no signs of ‘organic’ or structural recovery yet in the either of two key durable goods sectors: Automotive and Housing:


The above chart is for the demand for new loans for newly acquired residential property (i.e., it excludes refinancing activities — which have remained strong). Again the impact of consumer oriented stimuli can be seen in the historical left side of the chart, but the right side tells us a great deal about whether the stimuli actually primed the Housing pump, or merely moved sales forward several quarters. If Housing is to become a real engine of economic growth again, this chart would have to move back into substantially positive territory and stay there without benefit of congressional give-aways.

Our year-over-year ‘Daily Growth Index’ continues…
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Heh Where Are The Sales?

Heh Where Are The Sales?

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

But I thought we had an economic recovery underway?

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for June, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $360.2 billion, a decrease of 0.5 percent (±0.5%)* from the previous month

Heh, that’s not so good.  Ex-autos sales were down -0.15%, implying what we’ve already seen reported: auto sales have gone in the tank.

But that’s not the only place we found bad news.  Building materials were down about 1%, and, interestingly, so were food and beverage stores (about 1/2%.)  Gasoline sales were down 2%, while clothing stores, general merchandise and electronics were up slightly.

All in all not a disastrous report – but definitely not a strong one either.  The market reaction was immediately negative, although the move (about 1/2% southbound) wasn’t dramatic.

The evidence continues to mount that the economy is, indeed, slowing once again.


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For Those Still Clinging To Hope, Here is David Rosenberg: “…Weakest Post-Recession Recovery On Record”

For Those Still Clinging To Hope, Here Is David Rosenberg: "This Is The Weakest Post-Recession Recovery On Record"

Courtesy of Tyler Durden


To all those fewer and fewer optimists who believe the economy may avoid a double dip (or alternatively suffer the realization it never really got out of the depression in the first place), David Rosenberg provides a glimpse just how tenuous the so-called recovery has been, even despite the unprecedented attempts by everyone at the top to shepherd the economy into growth at any cost, and the daily reminder from Ben Bernanke that risk is dead and the Fed will never let capital markets drop again. As for the future, Rosie asks the logical question: how is it that earnings are expected to grow by 20% in 2011, when it is becoming increasingly obvious that GDP growth next year will be negative?

From Gluskin Sheff’s Breakfast with Dave:

Let’s look at the situation from a top-down view. We have seen real U.S. GDP growth average 3.2% at an annual rate during this statistical recovery from the 2009 bottom. Of that, 2.1 percentage points came from the inventory swing — or about two-thirds of the growth. The remaining 1.2% average annual growth rate of GDP excluding inventories — otherwise known as “real final sales” — is the weakest post-recession recovery on record. The weakest ever, despite a 10% deficit-to-GDP ratio, a debt-to-GDP ratio rapidly heading to 100%, a near zero Fed funds rate, record low mortgage rates, an unprecedented tripling in the size of the Fed balance sheet, shifting accounting rules to help rejuvenate profit growth in the financial sector, cheap and easy FHA financing to virtually anyone who wants to buy a home, relentless government pressure on banks to modify defaulted loans, and bailout stimulus galore (Fannie and Freddie are now de facto “Crown Corporations” and their stock still trades!!) — and with all that, all we get for our money is a paltry 1.2% growth rate in final sales. Yuk.

And, just in case it is still unclear, Rosie sees much pain in the future:

Well, what’s past is past. Where are we going? It’s pretty clear from the manufacturing components of the last payroll report and the latest ISM index that the inventory cycle is either reaching its peak or it already has. The inventory plan

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Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Excellent thoughts here from David Malpass on the potential of sustained economic rebound:


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Testy Tuesday – Topping or Popping?

I told you yesterday would be fun!

Will today be funner?  Is funner a word?  As you know, I have been determined to get more bullish and our Watch List is growing every day as I add more and more undervalued companies that still have room to fly if we are truly going to run the S&P back over 1,100 this year.  We remain skeptical but you can be skeptical and still make money, as you can see from Corey's (Afraid to Trade) very nice S&P Chart, you can do very well in this market buying the dips OR selling the tops – we kind of like to do both

Despite the low volumes, buyers are clearly in control of this market and, in Member Chat yesterday, I compared the situation to having a bet on the Raiders, who lost 44 to 7 on Sunday.  You can start out with a bet on the Raiders (in this case, the Bears) but there’s a certain point, perhaps when the 3rd consecutive possession by the Giants (Bulls) ends in a TD, that you have tgo admit you aren’t going to win.  

You have a few choices at that point:  You can be a perma-Raider and keep betting more and more on your team (not smart);  You can swallow your losses and leave the stadium;  You can swallow your losses and stay on the sidelines and watch the game; Or you can switch sides and start betting on the Giants, maybe even recovering some of what you lost.  You can keep some of your useless-looking Raiders bets, just in case a miracle occurs but what’s the sense of not betting on a clear winner when it's right in front of you?  Even if you are skeptical, that can be useful as it keeps you out of trouble as you should be wise enough to take your profits off the table

I never understand the "fan" behavior of market players.  If you see the market going up and up and up and up – perhaps it's time to make a few up bets.  Bears don't earn loyalty rewards or get frequent-complainer points from the market so, if your "team" is getting trampled, it's OK to switch sides – at least for a while…
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Which Way Wednesday – For Oil?

Boy this is fun!

I love it when a plan comes together and all that tedious waiting has finally paid off as our bull trap has sprung and we are enjoying the ride down with all of the "wheee" and none of the nasty gnawing off of legs in order to get our money out.  While Jim Cramer decides to shamefully deflect the issue by CELEBRATING his call of a June housing bottom, his poor sheeple are getting hammered as wave after wave of sellsellsellers hit the wires.

It was, in fact, the BS housing data (sorry Jim but read past the headlines before you make a fool of yourself) that led us to get MORE bearish yesterday morning as it was reported RIGHT ON CNBC, that analyst Ivy Zelman said the following:

50 percent of sales in May were on spec. She says we’re seeing a lot of spec homes now because, “today’s consumer wants to touch and feel the house.” The positives are that cancellations are down, sales are better and there’s less negative pricing, although discounts are still prevalent. “The patient was without a pulse in the fourth quarter,” Zelman notes, “and now the patient’s in ICU.”  So why all the spec now? Because builders are trying to jam all these homes into buyers’ pockets before the expiration of the $8000 first time home buyer tax credit. It turns into a pumpkin November 30th.

So 50% of the sales (which were up 17%) were not sales at all!  That means that sales to ACTUAL people declined 33% in May.  We shorted the Qs right out of the gate and made our target 30% for the day trade and we had the usual fun with our oil shorts but, otherwise, all our bearish bets were working and there was little to do.  I called almost the exact finish for the day in my 2:58 comment to members where I said: "… since we need to sell off 5% and since NOT selling off more than 1.5% today would make it very unlikely we sell off 5% overall, then I think we need to finish lower than our lows so far.   Of course, Mr Stick knows this too so they will likely be fighting like hell to make sure that doesn’t happen while Mr Fund who…
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Market News

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Financial Markets and Economy

Tallying Terror's Economic Toll (Bloomberg)

How do you measure the impact of terrorism on economic growth?

Shake Shack shares fall as early investors get chance to cash out (Business Insider)

Burger chain Shake Shack Inc's <SHAK.N> shares fell as much as 11.3 percent on Thursday after the company said it would convert about 21 million of its Class B shares into Class A shares, allowing pre-IPO investors to cash out.

The investors, including top shareholder Leonard Green & Partners LP,...

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Phil's Favorites

Blodget on Market History


Outside the Box: Blodget on Market History

By John Mauldin

I remember the first time I walked into Henry Blodget’s new startup, Business Insider, back in 2009. Twelve fresh-faced kids were crammed into a room about the size of my bedroom, pounding away on laptops, creating a new destination website. He took me over to a corner; we sat down in front of a few cameras; and he began shooting question after question at me, later turning the session into a series of interviews.

You walk into his office today and it’s still packed wall-to-wall with fresh-faced kids (the older I get the younger they look), but the offices are much larger, and it seemed to me last time that there had to be at least 150 people in them. But the interviews are still quick-paced, even if they’re now conducted in a special room, with upgraded equipmen...

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Zero Hedge

Dollar Demolition Extends To 6th Day As EM/Asian FX Soars Most In Over 6 Years

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

As the odds of a Fed rate-hike this century drift asymptotically back towards zero, the stability-desirous central bankers of the emerging world are suddenly facing soaring currencies as hot money floods back into Emerging Asian markets. The Rupiah and Ringgit are up almost 3% overnight as everything from the Baht to the Won are surging against the USD. Asian FX is up 6 straight days against the USD (and 8 of the last 9) for the biggest 9-day gain since May 2009.

The China devaluation spike in The USD against Asian FX is rapidly being unwound...


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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.

To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

S&P 500…Stuck in this zone, welcome to the “Chop House!”

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.


What do S&P 500 bull and bears have in common? There opportunities are being limited by a tight range!

I started sharing with members several weeks ago that the patterns suggested the S&P would be in a “Chop House” environment for a while and that I doubted bulls nor bears would be that happy of campers.

In this type of an environment, unless you are really quick, nimble and accurate, its a time and place to take it easy and let this play out. For the majority of traders, the distance between the close on 8/25 at 186 and the close of 200 on 9/16...

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Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli


Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli

Courtesy of Value Walk

1) The shares of one of my largest short positions (~3%), Exact Sciences, crashed by more than 46% yesterday. Below is the article I published this morning on SeekingAlpha, explaining why I think it’s still a great short and thus shorted more yesterday. Here’s a summary:

  • The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Draft Recommendation issued yesterday is devastating for Exact Sciences’ only product, Cologuard.
  • I think this is the beginning of the end for the company.
  • My price target for the stock a year from now is $3, so I shorted more yes...

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Chart School

Yesterday's Losses Reversed

Courtesy of Declan.

Bulls can be happy with today's progress. What weakness emerged today was reversed by the close, a change on yesterday's action where sellers dumped in the last few minutes of trading. Volume climbed to register an accumulation day.

The S&P finished at the 50-day MA, but beyond that there is plenty of room beyond that to run to the next level of resistance at 2,045. Technicals are net bullish.

The Nasdaq pushed off its 20-day MA and has another 50 points of maneuver before it gets to its 50-day MA.  Technicals are not yet net bullish, but they are close.


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Sector Detector: Searching for solid support in the face of global headwinds

Reminder: Sabrient is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Uncertainty about the health of the global economy led investors to flee U.S. equities during Q3, primarily driven by worries about China's growth prospects and the Federal Reserve’s decision to not raise rates. Sure, there are plenty of real and perceived headwinds, but on balance it seems that a recession here at home is not in the cards. And when you consider sentiment and the technical picture, it appears that a continuation of Friday’s bounce is in store. The question remains as to whether the seasonally strong Q4 will be able to propel the bulls through levels of resistance that have built up.

In this weekly update, I give my view o...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of October 5th, 2015

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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Baxter's Spinoff

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).

The Baxalta Spinoff

By Ilene with Trevor of Lowenthal Capital Partners and Paul Price

In its recent filing with the SEC, Baxter provides:

“This information statement is being ...

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Mapping The Market

An update on oil proxies

Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard

Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself. 


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Watch the Phil Davis Special on Money Talk on BNN TV!

Kim Parlee interviews Phil on Money Talk. Be sure to watch the replays if you missed the show live on Wednesday night (it was recorded on Monday). As usual, Phil provides an excellent program packed with macro analysis, important lessons and trading ideas. ~ Ilene


The replay is now available on BNN's website. For the three part series, click on the links below. 

Part 1 is here (discussing the macro outlook for the markets) Part 2 is here. (discussing our main trading strategies) Part 3 is here. (reviewing our pick of th...

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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

Thank you for you time!

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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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