Posts Tagged ‘consumer credit’



Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Consumer credit contracted $3.6B in July.  In short, the year over year rate is improving, but the bottom line is that consumer credit continues to contract as the de-leveraging continues at the household level (via Econoday):

“Consumer credit outstanding in June contracted $1.3 billion-but at least it was at a slower pace than in recent months. Credit in May fell $5.3 billion while April dropped a particularly severe $14.9 billion. Simply, the consumer sector is showing weak demand for loans combined with tight bank lending and heavy charge offs by banks.”


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An Avoidable Depression

An Avoidable Depression

Great DepressionCourtesy of MIKE WHITNEY at CounterPunch

The economy has gone from bad to worse. On Friday the Commerce Department reported that GDP had slipped from 3.7% to 2.4% in one quarter. Now that depleted stockpiles have been rebuilt and fiscal stimulus is running out, activity will continue to sputter increasing the likelihood of a double dip recession. Consumer credit and spending have taken a sharp downturn and data released on Tuesday show that the personal savings rate has soared to 6.4%. Mushrooming savings indicate that household deleveraging is ongoing which will reduce spending and further exacerbate the second-half slowdown. The jobs situation is equally grim; 8 million jobs have been lost since the beginning of the recession, but policymakers on Capital Hill and at the Fed refuse to initiate government programs or provide funding that will put the country back to work. Long-term "structural" unemployment is here to stay.

The stock market has continued its highwire act due to corporate earnings reports that surprised to the upside. 75% of S&P companies beat analysts estimates which helped send shares higher on low volume. Corporate profits increased but revenues fell; companies laid off workers and trimmed expenses to fatten the bottom line. Profitability has been maintained even though the overall size of the pie has shrunk. Stocks rallied on what is essentially bad news.

This is from ABC News:

"Consumer confidence matched its low for the year this week, with the ABC News Consumer Comfort Index extending a steep 9-point, six-week drop from what had been its 2010 high….The weekly index, based on Americans’ views of the national economy, the buying climate and their personal finances, stands at -50 on its scale of +100 to -100, just 4 points from its lowest on record in nearly 25 years of weekly polls…It’s in effect the death zone for consumer sentiment."

Consumer confidence has plunged due to persistent high unemployment, flat-lining personal incomes, and falling home prices. Ordinary working people do not care about the budget deficits; that’s a myth propagated by the right wing think tanks. They care about jobs, wages, and providing for their families. Congress’s unwillingness to address the problems that face the middle class has led to an erosion of confidence in government. This is from the Wall Street Journal:

"The lackluster job market continued to weigh on confidence. The share of

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Consumer Credit: Yuck

Consumer Credit: Yuck

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

There’s nothing here that I like:

Consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 1/2 percent in April 2010.  Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 12 percent, and nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 7 percent.

Yeah yeah.

In dollars, non-revolving loans went from $1.5925 trillion to $1.602 trillion, an increase of $10 billion.  But revolving (credit card) debt decreased $8 billion from $846.5 to $838.

The previous values were revised (negatively) as well.

To put this in chart terms in percentages:

Yeah, ok, the rate of change has leveled out in the credit card space and turned up a tiny bit in the non-revolving.  But in dollars it looks like this:

Nice little hook there eh? 

The consumer continues to say "screw that!" on more spending - especially spending that goes on plastic.

Believe whatever you want about the magic market pumpers, the numbers do not lie, and it appears the stock market is figuring it out too, with RTH (Retail Holders) down to just under 93 from $108 just a couple of months ago, a loss of 14%.

"Here it comes!"

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Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

I haven’t thought the 75%+ rally was particularly irrational over the course of the last 12 months.  Surprised by the strength?  Absolutely.  But irrational, no.  As of late, we’ve begun to see signs that the consumer is back, but the equity action implies that the consumer is not only back, but ready to break records.  In late 2006 I wrote a letter that said:

“So here we sit with a relatively healthy economy, signs of inflation and record housing prices. Sounds pretty good, right? Not so fast. The markets could certainly move higher if housing doesn’t collapse, but we see very few scenarios in which that can happen.  When the housing market slows consumers will spend less and businesses will begin to suffer. The US economy will then fall into a recession and European and Asian countries will quickly follow suit as the world’s greatest consumers wilt under the environment of low liquidity and higher debt….The credit driven housing bubble remains the greatest risk to the equity markets at this time.”

I said the market was due for a potentially crippling recession as the yield curve inverted, consumer balance sheets were turned upside down, and a housing bubble was brewing.  Just days before the market crashed in 2008 I said the market had all the ingredients for a crash.  In late 2008 I said the market had overreacted and would likely revert towards the mean in 2009 for a total return of 18%.

The day before the market bottom in March 2009 I said government intervention would likely generate an equity rally.  But I did not come close to predicting that we were on the precipice of a 75% 12 month move.  Not even close.  On the other hand, I have never thought the move was particularly irrational and didn’t fight the tape through 2009.

I was very constructive on the market heading into 2010 and maintained that stimulus, strong earnings and an accommodative Fed would result in higher stock prices in H1.  I point this out not because I am trying to toot my own horn or gloss over my many imperfections (many can be emphasized), but overall I have been able to not only foresee the macro mechanics driving the market, but have also done a fine job translating that into…
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Mortgage Debt as a Percentage of Consumer Credit. You Have Officially Entered Hell.

Mortgage Debt as a Percentage of Consumer Credit. You Have Officially Entered Hell.

Courtesy of Paco Ahlgren at Bottom Violation

mortgage, consumer, credit, debt, bernanke, fannie, freddie, housing, collapse, recoverySee the green part of the graph? That’s home mortgage debt up until 2008.

See the blue part? That’s consumer credit.

Call me mathematical, but what’s wrong with this picture? More importantly, what propaganda machine continues to succeed in preventing the breathing portion of humanity from recognizing that the government sponsored and encouraged lending in the home mortgage industry for decades, and this is what happened.

Stated another way: The government not only caused this, it encouraged it. This has nothing to do with market action. This is pure, politically-motivated manipulation. For those of you still so mind-numb that you remain skeptical, ask yourself this: why is the commercial mortgage market still solvent? Answer? Because it doesn’t have government sponsorship.


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Retail sales rise – don’t get too excited

Retail sales rise – don’t get too excited

Courtesy of Tim Iacono at The Mess That Greenspan

The Commerce Department reported higher retail sales in January, the third increase in the last four months, as American consumers continue to open their wallets after one of the sharpest contractions in spending since the Great Depression.

IMAGE Following an upwardly revised decline of 0.1 percent in December, overall sales adjusted for seasonal variations rose 0.5 percent in January and the gains were broad-based with a full nine of 13 categories posting increases.

After rising 0.1 percent in December, auto sales were unchanged last month and, excluding autos, overall sales were up 0.6 percent following a decline of 0.2 percent. Excluding both automobile sales and sales at gasoline stations, January saw an increase of 0.6 percent after a decline of 0.3 percent in December. 

Best Buy Raises Earnings Estimate

On a year-over-year basis, overall retail sales were up 4.7 percent and, excluding autos, sales rose 4.6 percent. As these figures are not adjusted for inflation and when considering the level of sales one year ago (see chart above), the recent data loses some of its luster, particularly when considering which components contributed most to the increase in sales over that time. 

Sales of food and clothing, aided by government assistance to a degree never seen before, continued to rise at about the rate of inflation, but, with unemployment still quite high, incomes flat or falling, and consumer credit collapsing as it has over the last year, it’s hard to see how spending in the U.S. will rebound to anywhere near the levels seen during the middle of the last decade absent the hefty contributions from discretionary spending.

Moreover, as we move further into 2010, the year-over-year comparisons will become increasingly difficult since the worst of the spending slowdown occurred in late-2008 and early-2009.

For example, from last January, gasoline station sales rose 29 percent and this was due exclusively to higher prices since the average price at the pump was about 50 percent higher than a year ago. Other categories posting the biggest gains were sales at nonstore retailers that rose 12.4 percent and auto sales that were 6.7 percent higher than immediately after the virtual shutdown…
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Consumer Credit: Awful

Consumer Credit: Awful

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker

Plant shoots

Where are my green shoots?

Consumer credit decreased at an annual rate of 6 percent in the third quarter of 2009.  Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 10 percent, and nonrevolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 3-3/4 percent.  In September, consumer credit decreased at an annual rate of 7-1/4 percent.


Here’s the graphical representation.

Nothing good in here.  The non-revolving flattened out some in September (gee, you think "cash for clunkers" might have influenced August and September?) but revolving credit – that is, credit cards – continues its base jump without any appreciable change in slope.

Here’s the longer-term view:


We are a credit-based system, as are all modern monetary systems.   No meaningful economic recovery can or will occur until the consumer has purged his balance sheet of the inappropriate debt he has and is once again able to earn and borrow.


If we supposedly exited the recession on or before September, it sure isn’t apparent in this report.  You can put a fork in that line of garbage – it’s done.

PS: The next update of the Z1, due out in a couple of months, should be interesting….. especially the "Ponzi Finance" indicator….


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Three Yahoo Tech Tickers: Deflation, Gold, Stock Market

Three Yahoo Tech Tickers: Deflation, Gold, Stock Market

Courtesy of Mish

I was on three Tech Ticker segments yesterday with Henry Blodget and Aaron Task.

Tech Ticker – Inflation or Deflation?

Inflation or Deflation? "It’s Definitely Deflation," Mish Says

Ask an economist about their biggest concern about the U.S. economy and you’re likely to get one of two starkly different answers: America is either about to be swamped by a major bout of inflation or decimated by deflation.

Count Mike "Mish" Shedlock of Sitka Pacific Capital among the deflationistas.

While some consumer prices are rising and the Fed is printing money like crazy, Shedlock says deflation is "definitely" a greater threat than inflation.

People looking at prices are completely missing the mark," says Shedlock. "Consumer credit is falling, banks aren’t lending, and we’ve got bank failures at a massive rate. These are the same kind of conditions as in the Great Depression."

Indeed, bank lending has tumbled and the Fed reports consumer credit has shrunk for seven consecutive months and was down 5.8% on an annualized basis in August, the most recent month available.


Tech Ticker – Ignore The Euphoria

Dow Breaks 10,000: Don’t Get Caught Up in "Euphoria", Mish Warns

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 10,000 today for the first time in a year, and more than a decade after first breaking the mark. Since hitting lows in March, the Dow is up an astounding 50%, while the S&P 500 has gained 60%.

Before you get your broker on the phone or start trading that dormant online brokerage account, take heed of this warning from Mike “Mish” Shedlock, the blogger behind MISH’S Global Economic Trend Analysis: "Five years from now, I think its quite likely the Dow is not going to be much more than 10,000," he says.

Why so negative?

"We’ve still not solved any of those structural problems" in the housing, banking and debt markets, that caused last year’s crisis, he claims.

Shedlock’s advice: ignore the euphoria, and "take some chips off the table. Now’s just not a good time to be invested."

Shedlock, also an investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management, thinks investors are better positioned in gold and cash.

Tech Ticker – Thoughts On Gold

Exploding Gold Prices Have Nothing To Do With

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Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Consumer credit fell 13% year over year in a sure sign that the deleveraging cycle is alive and well.  Consumers are paring back on credit in an unprecedented fashion.


Those who are curious as to why this recession is different from past recessions need look no further than the following chart.  You’ll notice that consumer credit is falling at a rate that has never been seen before. In fact, consumer credit declined marginally during the 1991 recession and actually climbed throughout the 2001 recession.   Why is this important?  An economy that is based on a fractional reserve banking system has trouble expanding if the debt in the system does not continually expand.  Consumers are still deleveraging and that means a robust and sustainable recovery is unlikely to occur.


The biggest risk in such an environment is not whether the consumer recovers – the consumer needs to deleverage and clean up their balance sheet – but whether the government continues to pummel the currency and rack up massive debts as they try to dig our way out of the debt hole.  These are the same mistakes Japan made in the 90’s.  Let’s hope we wise up and stop the printing presses before they cause an even larger boom/bust cycle….



The Government’s Effort Has Failed

The Government’s Effort Has Failed

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker

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Zero Hedge

Dead, White, & Blue - The Great Die-Off Of America's Blue Collar Whites

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden. the 2016 campaign season, it couldn’t be clearer that the billionaire version of white privilege is going great guns, but as for working class whites, not so much. As Barbara Ehrenreich, founding editor of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, notes today, the sense of white privilege has taken a hit in America and that’s not surprising. A recent study she cites suggests that middle-aged whites with no more than a high-school degree now have death rates that, in developed countries, come close only to those last seen ...

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Phil's Favorites

Lee Adler's Composite Liquidity Indicator

Lee Adler at Wall Street Examiner shows that the stock market continues to mirror his composite liquidity indicator, with both the S&P and the liquidity indicator moving higher. Here is Lee's composite liquidity indicator chart:

Lee writes,

Macroliquidity increased slightly last week. The trend is still positive, although at a much shallower angle than during the years when the Fed was doing QE. The growth rate this year has only been around 2%. 


I was expecting a Wile E. Coyote moment if the market did not buckle in the wake of the $100 billion in Treasury supply settling on November 27 and 30. It hasn’t happened yet. Instead the market rallied on December 1. It forces us to consider the idea that the money printing by the ECB and BoJ is sufficient to keep the pot boiling in the US. The same worldwide dealers and institutions are drinking from the worldwide trough of cent...

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Chart School

Strong Gains

Courtesy of Declan.

Yesterday's modest losses were undone by today's swoop by buyers. This will have forced many shorts to cover, particularly those who decided to take advantage of yesterday's weakness.  The seasonally positive 'Santa rally' may be perfectly timed here if the November high can be taken out.

The S&P reversed the move lower after it failed to crack support of the tight range. Bulls look to be making a better fist of this, and there is a good chance for some follow through higher. On the negative side, the index's relative performance remains a problem as it sharply underperforms against both Tech and Small Cap Indices. It also have negative technicals in the form of On-Balance-Volume and MACD, although the latter is just shy of a 'strong buy' signal.


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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Morgan Stanley Calls 2016 the Year of the Yen With BOJ on Hold (Bloomberg)

The yen will outshine the dollar as next year’s star performer in the $5.3 trillion-a-day global currency market, according to Morgan Stanley.

A top Wall Street strategist believes the global bull market will end in 2017 (Business Insider)

Societe Generale is out with a call for the end of the global stock bull market: 2017. 

In its year-ahead outlook for 2016, SocGen expects that aside from the US, next year ...

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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

Bull market depends on what this stock does (Update), says Joe

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Could one stock really tell you where the broad market heads? Joe Friday shared he thought so on November the 13th in the chart below. Bio-tech stock Valeant Pharma (VRX) had been slammed the prior few months and the broad market dipped along with it.

The chart below reflected the VRX was testing five support lines at one time at (3), along with oversold momentum at (1) and volume was sky high at (2), which could have reflected panic selling. All of these conditions would suggest this price point was key for the stock and maybe the broad markets.

Since the Joe Friday post, VRX is up over 28% in less than 3-weeks


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Insider Scoop

Aduro Biotech Downgraded By Oppenheimer On Listeriosis Disclosure

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related ADRO Aduro Biotech Receives Orphan Drug Designation in the European Union for CRS-207 for the Treatment of Mesothelioma Benzinga's Top Initiations
  • Aduro BioTech Inc (NASDAQ: ADRO) shares have climbed 51 percent in the last three months, even after hitting a low of $19.03 on September 29.
  • Oppenheimer’s Wendy Lam downgraded the rating on the company to Perform.
  • Al... more from Insider


Swing trading portfolio - week of November 30th, 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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Digital Currencies

The Bitcoin Universe Explained

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As evidenced by the Greek, Chinese, and now Argentine 'jumps', the world remains increasingly aware of the inevitable worth of fiat currencies and fears the desperate acts of governments as the react to that reality (and is looking for alternatives).

This infographic explains the wide ranges of the Bitcoin universe, accompanied with quotes from some of its best-known business leaders.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist ...

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Sector Detector: Bulls wrest back control of market direction, despite global adversity

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Some weeks when I write this article there is little new to talk about from the prior week. It’s always the Fed, global QE, China growth, election chatter, oil prices, etc. And then there are times like this in which there is so much happening that I don’t know where to start. Of course, the biggest market-moving news came the weekend before last when Paris was put face-to-face with the depths of human depravity and savagery. And yet the stock market responded with its best week of the year. As a result, the key issues dominating the front page and election chatter have moved from the economy and jobs to national security and a real war (rather than police ...

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PSW is more than just stock talk!


We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more! features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

If you are looking for non-mainstream, provocatively-narrated news and opinion pieces which promise to make you think -- we feature Zero Hedge, ...

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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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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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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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