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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Zero Hedge

Global Warming Scam Exposed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Michael Shedlock via,

When you are willing to pay for global warming “research” that has a predetermined outcome, all you do is open the door for fraud.

 Please consider Top University Passed Off Rivals’ Research to Bankroll Climate Change Agenda.

One of the world’s leading institutes for researching...

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By Investment Master Class. Originally published at ValueWalk.

By  Investment Master Class

“Charlie [Munger] is possibly without peer when it comes to the checklist of atypical investment factors he considers and his deep fluency in the diverse disciplines from which they are drawn”  Peter Kaufman

]]> Get The Full Series in PDF

Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. Save ...

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How One Billionaire Became a Gold Bug

Courtesy of Mish.

Hugo Salinas-Price, a hard currency advocate, and the founder of Mexico’s Elektra retail chain explains in the following guest post how he became a gold bug.

How I Became a Gold-Bug by Hugo Salinas Price

My father was Hugo Salinas Rocha -“Salinas” was his father’s surname, and “Rocha” was his mother’s surname; the custom of using both parents’ surnames is universal in Latin America. Father was a successful merchant in Mexico City, and in the 1930’s he ran a store in downtown Mexico City. The store belonged to a company founded by his father, Benjamin Salinas Westrup and to the partner he took into the business, his br...

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Financial Markets and Economy

The Biggest Money Mistakes We Make—Decade by Decade (The Wall Street Journal)

Our relationship to money changes as we get older. So do the mistakes that we make with it.

U.S. Natural Gas Futures Slide Most Since July on Warm Midwest (Bloomberg)

U.S. natural gas futures slid the most since July, dragging shares of most major producers down as warmer-than-average weather in the Midwest prompted speculation that a mild winter will curtail demand for the heating fuel.


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Chart School

RTT browsing latest..

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Please review a collection of WWW browsing results.

Date Found: Sunday, 10 April 2016, 01:58:50 PM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.
Comment: Pay attention : www.thefelderrepo...

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Comment: RTT: Who owns the SP500?

Date Found: Monday, 11 April 2016, 03:53:00 PM...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of October 24th,2016

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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Kimble Charting Solutions

Banks- This is putting a smile on this sector

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Historically, when strong bull markets have taken place, Banks go along for the ride. Since the summer of 2014, banks have under performed the broad market by around 12%, as the S&P is just a couple of percent from all-time highs. Are banks about to act healthier and put a smile on this sector, which could help the S&P breakout above the 2,150 level?

Below looks at the Bank Index (BKX)



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Members' Corner

World Series 2016

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.

The good news... Waiting since 1945, after 71 years, the Chicago Cubs have a chance to win their first WS since 1908.  The bad news... The Cubs face an Indian's team that has been waiting since 1948 to win a WS and last appeared in 1997.

CLE swept BOS, and took out TOR who had swept TEX, and has only lost ONE post season game.  That being Game 4 ALCS at TO, yet, during that series, no Indians starting pitcher made it through more than six innings. 

In fact, Trevor Bauer, only lasted two outs during his one start, leaving Merritt and the pen to bear the burden of over eight innings of baseball.  Mid range reliever Merritt notched a victory in that game with ERA 1.80; WHIP 0.60 with 5 IP. 

What does all that tell you? Oddly enough, without Carr...

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Mapping The Market

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

Via Jean-Luc

Good article on investing success:

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

By Morgan Housel

There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.

Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...

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Digital Currencies

Gold, Silver and Blockchain - Fintech Solutions To Negative Rates, Bail-ins, Currency Debasement and Cashless

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

By Jan Skoyles

I was so pleased yesterday by the announcement that I have joined the Research team at GoldCore as it meant that I could finally start talking about it and was back in a role that lets me indulge in my passion by researching and geeking out on all things gold, silver and money.


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Epizyme - A Waiting Game

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

Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer.  One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."

Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.  

Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.'  Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color).  Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...

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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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