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Empire State Manufacturing Activity Flattens; Huge Divergences Appear – What Does It Mean?

Empire State Manufacturing Activity Flattens; Huge Divergences Appear – What Does It Mean?

Courtesy of Mish 

Inquiring minds are digging into details of the September Federal Reserve Empire State Manufacturing Survey for clues on the economy.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions held relatively steady in New York’s manufacturing sector in September. The general business conditions index remained positive, although it slipped 3 points to 4.1. The new orders and shipments indexes were both up moderately for the month, at levels signaling stable activity. The prices paid index was positive and little changed from last month, while the prices received index edged up to just above zero. Employment indexes were positive, suggesting that employment levels and the average workweek continued to expand over the month. The degree of optimism about the six-month outlook continued to deteriorate, with the future general business conditions index hitting its lowest level since early 2009.

Business Activity Flattens Out

The general business conditions index remained above zero in September, but inched down three points from August. At 4.1, the index suggests that business activity was little changed over the month. Almost 35 percent of respondents said that conditions had improved over the month—up from the 30 percent who had said so last month, but the percentage that reported worsening conditions increased from 22 percent in August to 31 percent.

Selected Empire State Charts

Current Business Conditions

Expectations Six Months Ahead

Divergences

Current conditions have stabilized while future expectations continue to deteriorate, five consecutive months. Did we just see a "last gasp" in new orders and shipments?

Stabilization?

More interesting yet is the way in which the current conditions index has "stabilized".

A tip of the hat to reader "Ronald" who writes…

In the ten years of data they have on their website, this is the first time I have seen the percentage of businesses showing increases and the number of businesses showing decreases in general activity both increased 2 months running. Moreover, this is the 3rd lowest level of businesses conditions staying at the same level. Finally, when businesses showing deteriorating conditions reached 30 percent, it has typically been during recession and the index has historically been between 0 and -10.

I don’t think this can continue and it looks to me like the number is going to break big up or down.

A quick check shows the…
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GDP: 3 Years of Massive Downward Revisions; Inventory Adjustments Run their Course; Where to From Here? Fed’s Counterproductive Policies

GDP: 3 Years of Massive Downward Revisions; Inventory Adjustments Run their Course; Where to From Here? Fed’s Counterproductive Policies

Courtesy of Mish 

The BEA has finally admitted something anyone with a modicum of common sense already knew: The recession was far deeper and the "recovery" far weaker than previously reported.

Please consider BEA report Gross Domestic Product: Second Quarter 2010 (Advance Estimate) Revised Estimates: 2007 through First Quarter 2010

Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 2.4 percent in the second quarter of 2010, (that is, from the first quarter to the second quarter), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 3.7 percent.

The real story in the report was not the continuing ratcheting down of GDP forward estimates, but rather massive backward revisions, most of them negative, dating back three full years.

Revision Lowlights

  • For 2006-2009, real GDP decreased at an average annual rate of 0.2 percent; in the previously published estimates, the growth rate of real GDP was 0.0 percent. From the fourth quarter of 2006 to the first quarter of 2010, real GDP increased at an average annual rate of 0.2 percent; in the previously published estimates, real GDP had increased at an average annual rate of 0.4 percent.
  • For the revision period, the change in real GDP was revised down for all 3 years: 0.2 percentage point for 2007, 0.4 percentage point for 2008, and 0.2 percentage point for 2009.
  • For the revision period, national income was revised down for all 3 years: 0.4 percent for 2007, 0.6 percent for 2008, and 0.4 percent for 2009.
  • For the revision period, corporate profits was revised down for all 3 years: 2.0 percent for 2007, 7.2 percent for 2008, and 3.9 percent for 2009.
  • For 2007, the largest contributors to the revision to real GDP growth were a downward revision to PCE, an upward revision to imports, and a downward revision to state and local government spending;
  • The percent change from fourth quarter to fourth quarter in real GDP was revised down from 2.5 percent to 2.3 percent for 2007, was revised down from a decrease of 1.9 percent to a decrease of 2.8 percent for


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Services Declining at Slightly Faster Rate

Services Declining at Slightly Faster Rate

Courtesy of Jake’s Econompic Data

ISM details:

  • What respondents are saying:"Economic activity continues to decline." (Transportation & Warehousing)
  • "Continued soft sales, offset by improving profit margins." (Accommodation & Food Services)
  • "Stimulus funds have increased business activity." (Public Administration)
  • "Business downturn seems to be stabilizing somewhat." (Information)
  • "There is still downward pressure on our products; however, our sales volume is stabilizing." (Mining)
  • "The past month’s volume target and operating volumes were met. Rising concerns over the future form of healthcare reform and impact on provider organizations." (Health Care & Social Assistance)
  • "Although attendance is up, business levels remain steady. More people, fewer dollars spent — an indication that discretionary spending is limited." (Arts, Entertainment & Recreation)

ISM Services

Source: ISM


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Zero Hedge

China Considers Launching QE; Shanghai Stocks Soar

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Nearly two months ago we explained "How Beijing Is Responding To A Soaring Dollar, And Why QE In China Is Now Inevitable" in which we cited Cornerstone who reminded us "that from 2007 to late 2008, U.S. fed funds dropped 500 bp, and then the Fed still needed to do QE? The backdrop for China looks a bit similar. We had a credit bubble, they have a credit bubble. We had a housing bubble, they have a housing/investment bubble. Will China eventually have to go down the same path as the U.S., and the Eurozone? ... The PBoC will first cut rates to 0%, before contemplating QE."

To th...



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Chart School

Vehicle Miles Traveled: Our Evolving Behavior

Courtesy of Doug Short.

The Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Commission has released the latest report on Traffic Volume Trends, data through February.

"Travel on all roads and streets changed by 2.8% (6.1 billion vehicle miles) for February 2015 as compared with February 2014." The less volatile 12-month moving average is up 0.20% month-over-month and 2.36% year-over-year. If we factor in population growth, the 12-month MA of the civilian population-adjusted data (age 16-and-over) is a smaller change, up 0.13% month-over-month and up only 1.23% year-over-year.

Here is a chart that illustrates this data series from its inception in 1971. It illustrates the "Moving 12-Month Total on ALL Roads," as the DOT terms it. The ...



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Phil's Favorites

Reader Question: Is the Minimum Wage Really a Maximum Wage?

Courtesy of Mish.

A reader asked me if I ever hired someone for the minimum wage. He also believes the minimum wage is really a maximum wage.

From Drew ...
Mish, I’m curious if you have ever had to actually pay someone minimum wage to work for you week in, week out, year after year?

I’ve signed plenty of paychecks myself, and honestly, I could never employ someone and pay the minimum wage knowing it was not enough for that person to live on, regardless of whether or not the “market” says I could hire them for that price. I have willingly paid more, and they always very much appreciated it, and I also felt like I got more effort since they knew I was paying them more. But I know that’s not how large corporations work.

I believe you would argue whether or not the minimum is enough on which to live is irrelevant a...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of April 27th, 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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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

King Dollar slipping below support, say Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

King Dollar has been on a role since last summer, up over 20% in less than a year. When looking back on the US$, the rally has been rare and nearly historic. Majority of the rally took place inside the steep rising channel above. Over the past month the US$ might have put in a double top. Over the past few days, the US$ has slipped a little below rising support at red arrow above.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

As you can see from the table abo...



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Digital Currencies

Why Bitcoin's male domination will be its downfall

Here's an interesting argument by Felix Salmon, although I think he is taking two correct observations and mistakenly attributing a cause-and-effect relationship to them: Bitcoin is going nowhere because women are not involved.

More likely, in my opinion, women are not involved in bitcoin because bitcoin is going nowhere (and they know it). Or maybe, simply, bitcoin is going nowhere and women are not involved. 

Why Bitcoin's male domination will be its downfall 

By Felix Salmon

Nathaniel Popper’s new book, Digital Gold, is as close as you can get to being the definitive account of the history of Bitcoin. As its subtitle proclaims, the book tells the story of the “misfits” (the first generation of hacker-l...



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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Earnings and GDP temporarily take investor spotlight off the Fed

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

As we get into the heart of earnings season and anticipate the GDP report for Q1, the investor spotlight has been taken off the Federal Reserve and timing of its first interest rate hike, at least temporarily. Even though Q1 economic growth will undoubtedly look weak, the future remains bright for the U.S economy – even though many multinationals will struggle with top-line growth due to the strong dollar – and any near-term selloff resulting from weak economic or earnings news should be bought yet again in expectation of better results for the balance of the year. High sector correlations remain a concern, reflectin...



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Promotions

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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Market Shadows

Kimble Charts: South Korea's EWY

Kimble Charts: South Korea's EWY

By Ilene 

Chris Kimble likes the iShares MSCI South Korea Capped (EWY), but only if it breaks out of a pennant pattern. This South Korean equities ETF has underperformed the S&P 500 by 60% since 2011.

You're probably familiar with its largest holding, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, and at least several other represented companies such as Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp.

...



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Mapping The Market

S&P 500 Leverage and Hedges Options - Part 2

Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard.

In my last post (Part 1 of this article), I looked at alternative ETFs that could be used as hedges against the corrections that we have seen during that long 2 year bull run. Looking at the results, it seems that for short (less than a month) corrections, a VIX ETF like VXX could actually be a viable candidate to hedge or speculate on the way down. Another alternative ETF was TMF, a long Treasuries ETF which banks on the fact that when markets go down, money tends to pack into treasuries viewed as safe instruments. In some cases, TMF even outperformed the usual hedging instruments like leveraged ETFs. There could of course be other factors at play since some of 2014 corrections were related to geopolitical events which are certain...

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Pharmboy

2015 - Biotech Fever

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

PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs!   The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down!  The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months.  What could go wrong?

Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.

Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies.  A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...



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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 jennifersurovy@yahoo.com 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.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

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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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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