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: 

Chart

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:

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:

Chart

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

9 Y/O BOY SICK IN BED WITH ICE PACK AND THERMOMETER

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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DAVID MALPASS SAYS THE GDP IS NOT SUSTAINABLE

DAVID MALPASS SAYS THE GDP IS NOT SUSTAINABLE

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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ValueWalk

WikiTribune Shuns Clickbait, Says Good Journalism Will Attract Donations

By Mark Melin. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, is close to achieving his funding goal for the independent WikiTribune, a journalism enterprise that operates on many of the same principles as Wikipedia but is a separate business operation. Can Wales transfer the magic that transformed the encyclopedia model into journalism?

Jimmy Wales close to achieving initial goals for WikiTribune

With just one day to go before ending their initial fundraising efforts, the WikiTribune has funded nine of the ten journalists it originally targeted. Wales told ValueWalk he is “confident” WikiTribune is going to hit his fundraising target and embark on a new ...



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Zero Hedge

Outrage Ensues As Rambling Maxine Waters Has Her Mic Cut By Democratic Party

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

African American Caucus leaders are outraged today and wondering whether racism played a role in the attempted silencing of Maxine Waters as he microphone was cut at speech before the California Democratic Party African American Caucus.  From the LA Times:

The head of the California Democratic Party African American Caucus said Monday he was working with state party officials to determine who...



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Phil's Favorites

Gilead Sciences' Miracle Drug Combination

 

Oil is by my father Naum Katsenelson

Gilead Sciences’ Miracle Drug Combination

By Vitaliy Katsenelson, CFA

It was 1986. I was a junior high school student in Soviet Russia. In political information (propaganda) class, the teacher told us that the HIV virus was killing millions of people in the U.S. Though she didn’t say it explicitly, she made it sound like HIV was a just punishment for the U.S.’s flawed economic and political system. When asked if this virus could be cured, she said that because it constantly mutated it was incurable. (And in fact, HIV reproduces 12 million times daily.) Once you get sick, it’s a death sentence, she told us. I still remember the chilling and morbid certainty in her voice.

For a very lon...



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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

A Wall Street giant has raised $40 billion with the help of Saudi Arabia - and it could 'benefit significantly' from Trump's policies (BX) (Business Insider)

Blackstone Group, the investment giant led by Steve Schwarzman, announced a major deal with Saudi partners during the President's visit to Riyadh over the weekend. Schwarzman is a key outside adviser to the President.

America’s Cities Are Running Out of Room (Bloomberg)

A shortage of homes for sale has bedeviled U.S. house hunters in r...



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Members' Corner

Robert Sapolsky: The biology of our best and worst selves

Interesting discussion of what affects our behavior. 

Description: "How can humans be so compassionate and altruistic — and also so brutal and violent? To understand why we do what we do, neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky looks at extreme context, examining actions on timescales from seconds to millions of years before they occurred. In this fascinating talk, he shares his cutting edge research into the biology that drives our worst and best behaviors."

Robert Sapolsky: The biology of our best and worst selves

Filmed April 2017 at TED 2017

 

p.s. Roger (on Facebook) saw this talk and recommends the book ...



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Chart School

Gains Push Into Breakdown Gap

Courtesy of Declan.

While today's gains were modest they were significant in generating clean pushes inside last week's breakdown gaps. This brings indices back to challenge 'bull traps'

The S&P experienced lighter volume trading as On-Balance-Volume moved to a 'buy' trigger. Today's action opens up for a challenge of 2,405, although shorts may see this as opportunity to go aggressive with a tight stop once markets makes all-time highs.


The Nasdaq is also approaching its 'bull trap'. On-Balance-Volume holds to its ac...

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of May 22nd, 2017

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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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Soars Above $2000 For First Time Ever

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Bitcoin is now up over 100% in 2017, amid global political uncertainty and increased interest in Asia, suddenly spiking above $2000 this afternoon for the first time ever...

That is a year-over-year gain of more than 350%. The move comes, as CoinDesk notes, amid a broader boost in the cryptocurrency market, which broke the $60bn barrier today. The increase has taken place amid strong surges from Ripple's XRP, which seeks to lower costs in enterprise cross-border payments, and ethereum's ether token, a cryptographic asse...



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Biotech

Beyond just promise, CRISPR is delivering in the lab today

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

Beyond just promise, CRISPR is delivering in the lab today

Courtesy of Ian HaydonUniversity of Washington

Precision editing DNA allows for some amazing applications. Ian Haydon, CC BY-ND

There’s a revolution happening in biology, and its name is CRISPR.

CRISPR (pronounced “crisper”) is a powerful technique for editing DNA. It has received an enormous amount of attention in the scientific and popular press, largely based on the promise of what this powerful gene e...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...



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Mapping The Market

Bombing - Right or Wrong?

Courtesy of Jean-Luc

I am telling you Angel – makes no sense… BTW:

Republicans Love Bombing, But Only When a Republican Does It

By Kevin Drum, Mother Jones

A few days ago I noted that Republican views of the economy changed dramatically when Donald Trump was elected, but Democratic views stayed pretty stable. Apparently Republicans view the economy through a partisan lens but Democrats don't.

Are there other examples of this? Yes indeed. Jeff Stein points to polling data about air strikes against Syria:

Democr...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

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Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan 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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