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Posts Tagged ‘economic indicators’

The Albert Edwards Exploration Diary, Day 423

Joshua M Brown found the latest entry in the diary of a frustrated bear in search of negative data showing the economy is headed for a downturn in The Albert Edwards Exploration Diary, Day 423. – Ilene 

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

2 Decembre Anno Domini 2010

This morning I awoke to a cable from the nearest village informing me that Cyber Monday shopping stateside broke all kinds of records.  I’ve also been informed that PMIs from around the world are now in expansionary territory in unison.  Even jobs data is getting a tiny bit better, week by week…

But still I forge ahead.  I will scour the ends of the earth to find indicators that cast economic conditions in a negative light.  I will climb the highest peaks and plumb the depths of the Seven Seas in search of Depressionary evidence – no matter how obscure.  I will measure the second derivative change in Chinese eel sales on the wharves of Tianjin.  I will document the savings rates of retired sailors in Marseilles.  I will stop at nothing to make the numbers agree with my orneriness – this I swear to you, faithful client of Societe Generale.

Although my employer SocGen, the bankroller of my exploration, appears to be losing faith in my stubborn jeremiads, I must continue until I am proven correct.  I must plow on in my search for negative data until I am vindicated, even if global markets triple and quadruple before the next down cycle.

One day, the recovery will falter.  And on that day, I will be redeemed.

Yours in Perma-Bearishness,

Albert

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The ECRI Weekly Leading Index

The ECRI Weekly Leading Index 

Courtesy of Doug Short 

Today the Weekly Leading Index (WLI) of the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) registered negative growth for the 15th consecutive week, coming in at -9.2, a slight improvement over last week’s -10.1. The index had been hovering around -10 for the previous five weeks. The latest weekly number is based on data through September 10.

The magnitude of decline from the peak in October 2009 is unprecedented in the Institute’s published data back to 1967. Recently, however, the Institute has disclosed that two earlier decades of data not available to the general public contained comparable declines in WLI growth (in 1951 and 1966) when no recession followed (HT Barry Ritholtz).

The Published Record

The ECRI WLI growth metric has had a respectable (but by no means perfect) record for forecasting recessions. The next chart shows the correlation between the WLI, GDP and recessions.

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Click for a larger image

A significant decline in the WLI has been a leading indicator for six of the seven recessions since the 1960s. It lagged one recession (1981-1982) by nine weeks. The WLI did turned negative 17 times when no recession followed, but 14 of those declines were only slightly negative (-0.1 to -2.4) and most of them reversed after relatively brief periods.

Three of the false negatives were deeper declines. The Crash of 1987 took the Index negative for 68 weeks with a trough of -6.8. The Financial Crisis of 1998, which included the collapse of Long Term Capital Management, took the Index negative for 23 weeks with a trough of -4.5.

The third significant false negative came near the bottom of the bear market of 2000-2002, about nine months after the brief recession of 2001. At the time, the WLI seemed to be signaling a double-dip recession, but the economy and market accelerated in tandem in the spring of 2003, and a recession was avoided.

The Latest WLI Decline

The question, of course, is whether the latest WLI decline is a leading indicator of a recession or a false negative. The published index has never dropped to the current level without the onset of a recession. The deepest decline without a near-term recession was in the Crash of 1987, when the index slipped…
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July Seasonally Adjusted Retail Sales “Mixed Bag”; Manufacturing Output Rises Led by Auto Sector

July Seasonally Adjusted Retail Sales "Mixed Bag"; Manufacturing Output Rises Led by Auto Sector

Courtesy of Mish

Excluding autos and gas retail sales ran out of steam in July 2010. Please consider the SpendingPulse Report July Retail Sales Show Mixed Results.

After several months of sales slowdown, total retail sales have stabilized somewhat, although overall growth has slowed sharply since earlier this year. In fact, growth in July headline numbers was driven largely by an increase in spending on gasoline, which is why the ex-auto ex-gasoline number is a better barometer to measuring the underlying health in retail spending.

July’s growth rate excluding auto and gasoline leaves the three-month average year-to-year growth rate of retail sales at 1.0%, well below the 3.5% for the prior three months. The ex-auto year-over-year numbers tell a similar story of a shallow and stabilizing trough, with the unadjusted three-month average year-over-year growth rate slowing to 1.6% compared to the 6.5% average growth rate for the previous three months.

The first table above compares June and July 2010 vs. the same month in 2009.

The second table shows July 201o vs. June 2010 seasonally adjusted. For an alleged recovery, these are weak numbers.

Industrial Production up 1 Percent, Led by Autos

Inquiring minds are taking a look at the July Federal Reserve Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization report.

Industrial production rose 1.0 percent in July after having edged down 0.1 percent in June, and manufacturing output moved up 1.1 percent in July after having fallen 0.5 percent in June. A large contributor to the jump in manufacturing output in July was an increase of nearly 10 percent in the production of motor vehicles and parts; even so, manufacturing production excluding motor vehicles and parts advanced 0.6 percent.

The production of consumer goods moved up 1.1 percent, as the output of consumer durables jumped 4.9 percent: Production for all of its major components advanced. In addition to a gain of 8.8 percent in the output of automotive products, which was mainly due to a large increase in light truck assemblies, the indexes for home electronics and for miscellaneous goods increased 1.3 and 1.5 percent, respectively; the index for appliances, furniture, and carpeting moved up 0.5 percent.

Among components of consumer nondurables, the output of non-energy nondurables declined 0.2 percent, and the output of consumer energy products moved up


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10 LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATORS THAT ARE ROLLING OVER

10 LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATORS THAT ARE ROLLING OVER

Boston train wreck

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Via David Rosenberg at Gluskin Sheff:

1. The ECRI weekly leading index growth rate peaked on October 9, 2009 (at 28.54%; now at 9.0%).

2. The Conference Board’s LEI peaked at 109.4 in March (109.3 in April).

3. ISM orders/inventory ratio peaked at 1.805 in August 2009 (1.33 in April).

4. University of Michigan consumer expectations peaked on September 2009 (at 73.5) – now at 65.3 in May.

5. The UofM index of big-ticket consumer purchases peaked in February-March at 136; is down to 129 as of May.

6. Jobless claims bottomed at 442k on March 11.  They had peaked at 651k on March 28, 2009.  But they are back at 471k, which is where they were back on December 19, 2009 so the improvement has stalled out.  Not only that, but to keep 472k into perspective, claims were at 453k the week after 9/11 (and the economy back then was eight months into recession).  Yes, yes, employment has been rising of late; however, keep in mind that nonfarm payrolls are in the index of coincident indicators; claims are in the index of leading indicators.  Please let’s not drive looking through the rear window.

7. Single-family building permits peaked at 542k (annual rate) in March (were 484k in April).

8. Mortgage purchase applications peaked on April 30th at 291.3 and now are at a 13-year low of 192.1 even though mortgage rates have come down 20 basis points since the nearby high.

9. Auto production peaked at 7.8 million units (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in January – was at 7.2 million in April.

10. Electrical utility output was down 0.1% YoY as of May 15th.  Could be another early sign that the production revival is behind us.

Source: Gluskin Sheff 


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GDP Contraction Coming In Second Quarter 2010?

GDP Contraction Coming In Second Quarter 2010?

Courtesy of Mish

I have been speaking with Rick Davis at the Consumer Metrics Institute about leading economic indicators. Davis claims his data leads the GDP by about 17 weeks while noting that other so-called "leading indicators" are merely a reflection on the stock market and yield curve.

Davis captures his data solely from online transactions of real consumers, in real time.

Here are a four charts. The first chart shows the Consumer Conference Board LEI, not the Consumer Metrics Index.

Consumer Conference Board LEI vs. S&P 500

Davis writes:

Is the conference board LEI really leading anything or is it merely a reflection of the stock market? A look at the actual values of the LEI and the S&P 500 over the last four years confirms the indicator is really a coincident indicator for the equity markets, published once a month, three weeks in arrears.

Weighted Composite Index (WCI) vs. S&P 500

The above chart shows the Consumer Metrics Weighted Composite Index (WCI) vs. the S&P 500 Index. Watch what happens when the above data is offset by 5 months.

WCI vs. S&P 500 Shifted 5 Months

The Consumer Metrics website shows most of the WCI components advancing. However, housing and consumer spending account for roughly 60% of the index and those are contracting.

It is hard to make a case on the basis of so little data, but at least since 2006 we see evidence of actual leading.

However, the stock market does not always follow the economy nor is the stock market a leading indicator of the economy.

Please see Is the Stock Market a Leading Indicator? for a discussion.

Thus, as interesting as the above chart may be, I would not recommend using Consumer Metrics Data to project stock market movements. However, when a stock market is as lofty as this one, and a recovery is priced in that is not likely to happen, I would expect the stock market to decline if the economy tanks.

Daily Growth Index (DGI) vs. BEA GDP

The above chart shows Consumer Metrics Daily Growth Index (DGI) plotted against GDP.

According to Davis the DGI is 91-Day moving average of the WCI that corresponds to a trailing ‘quarter’, and is translated from a 100-base number into a +/- percentage. For example 99 on the WCI would roughly correspond…
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Phil's Favorites

Alexis Tsipras "Open Letter" to German Citizens Regarding Extend-and-Pretend Unserviceable Debt

Courtesy of Mish.

Here's a story from January 13 that just came my way today thanks to a reader wootendw who posted a link as a comment to one of my articles.

The background to this story is SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras' "Open Letter" to German Citizens, published on Jan.13 in Handelsblatt, a leading German language business newspaper.

Alexis Tsipras, now prime minister of Greece, sent this letter to Handelsblatt:
Most of you, dear Handesblatt readers, will have formed a preconception of what this article is about before you actually read it. I am imploring you not to succumb to such preconceptions. Prejudice was never a good guide, especially during periods when an economic crisis reinforces stereotypes and breeds b...



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Zero Hedge

Is The Swiss Franc Tumbling Due To Month-End SNB Window-Dressing?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Facing what is likely the largest loss in its history, it would seem The Swiss National Bank has undertaken what every good asset manager does nowadays - Month-End window-dressing. The Swiss Franc has collapsed in the last week or so (against the Dollar and Euro) as a mysteriously active seller of Swissy has managed levels up to smooth out the collapse in value of the SNB's balance sheet...

If only you had a little morer margin to hang on to that Swiss Fra...



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Chart School

Accentuate the Positive: The Psychological Inflation of Quarterly GDP

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Pop Quiz! You just received your quarterly statement from the company that manages your 401(k). Which result would you prefer?

     A) Your portfolio is up 1.22% for the quarter.
     B) Your portfolio is up 4.97%* for the quarter.

Well, that's certainly a no-brainer question. You'd definitely choose option B.

However, buried in the fine print of the document for option B is the footnote for that little asterisk:

     *Compounded Annual Percent Change

So this was a trick quiz question! The two answers are identical. To two decimal places, the quarter-over-quarter gain of 1.22% becomes 4.97% if we state it as the compounded annual percent change....



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Market Shadows

What Would You Do?

What Would You Do?

Courtesy of Paul Price

Suppose you had the technical ability and raw materials to print up counterfeit dollars, euros or yen that were identical to the real things. Assume you could spend them as fast as you could create them with no fear of any repercussions.

Would you prudently print up only as much fresh currency as you needed for your current lifestyle? Would you create just a bit more than that to help relatives or those in need?

It is most likely you’d have your printing press running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Becoming the richest person in the world would confer great power upon you.

You could rationalize this action because you plan to use the money for good purposes. Imagine the warm feeling you’d get by giving every person in America one million do...



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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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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of January 26th, 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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Sabrient

Sector Detector: With the Fed fading into shadows, investors look overseas for new catalysts

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

By Scott Martindale

Last week, the S&P 500 put an end to its streak of weekly losses, despite giving back some gains on Friday. Thursday provided the big catalyst, with the ECB’s announcement of its bold new monetary stimulus plan. Investors were cheered and soothed for the moment. And U.S. fundamentals still look strong. But with Greece trying to turn back time, with volatility elevated (and likely to continue as such), and with the technical situation still dicey, the near term outlook is still worrisome.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart...



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Digital Currencies

Jitters After Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Services

So as I was saying yesterday (Bitcoin: The Biggest Clown Show In History?), Bitcoin has several obstacles on the path to potential success as an alternative currency. But I forgot to mention hacking and theft at Bitcoin exchanges and other technical problems. This is related to the lack of government backing and the fact that the value of Bitcoins is based entirely on confidence.  

Jitters After Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Services 

By 



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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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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

Here's this week's Stock World Weekly.

Click here and sign in with your user name and password. 

 

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Option Review

SPX Call Spread Eyes Fresh Record Highs By Year End

Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...



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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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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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