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,


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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.

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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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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Zero Hedge

Weekend Reading: Stuck In The Middle - Again

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Lance Roberts via,

I have written previously about being stuck in a trading range.

“Over the past couple of months, we have continued to drift from one economic report, or Central Bank meeting, to the next. Each report and meeting have continued to leave market participants confused as to what is going to happen next.

Is the economy improving? Or not?

Will the Fed hike rates? Not?...

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David Einhorn Contrasts Blinded Tesla Investors To Janet Yellen Who Imagines Light In Q3 Letter

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

David Einhorn’s new letter is out and he has some words for Elon Musk – as we reported last Q (and as David Einhorn himself mentions) he hints at a short in Tesla and takes a swipe at Elon Musk and central bankers (in an odd contrast I do not fully understand) in the Q3 letter to investors. David Einhorn’s letter is pretty short and mostly focuses on central banks but he also updates some positions in an atypical short letter by the famous hedge fund manager. Below is a brief excerpt followed by the full letter obtained by ValueWalk.

Also see

  • ...

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Phil's Favorites

FBI Reopens Clinton Probe: Too Little Too Late? Surprising Krugman Tweet

Courtesy of Mish.

It should be clear to even the casual observer that the FBI purposely failed to investigate the Hillary email server scam as well as improprieties the Clinton foundation.

Today the FBI reconsidered. So here we are, 11 days from the election, with an unprecedented FBI probe of the likely next president of the United States, who will undoubtedly be given a pardon by president Obama in his final finger to US citizens.

NBC reports FBI Says It Will Investigate New Hillary Clinton Emails.

The FBI is reviewing a new batch of Hillary Clinton emails, bureau director James Comey said in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Fr...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Dollar Near Seven-Month High as Stocks, Bonds Fluctuate on GDP (Bloomberg)

The dollar held near a seven-month high while stocks and bonds fluctuated after data showing a pickup in the world’s largest economy bolstered the case for higher interest rates this year. Oil fell.

Brexit Pains: The Pound Takes a Serious Pounding (Bloomberg)

The U.K. currency has become the most prominent victim of the Brexit debate, falling 18 percent against the dollar since the British voted in June to w...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Amazon; Potential bearish reversal pattern, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Without a doubt, Amazon (AMZN) remains in an uptrend (higher highs and higher lows) over the past decade plus. Last nights earnings does NOT change this trend!

Below updates the pattern on Amazon and highlights that this week, it is could be creating a pattern it has seldom created, over the past 10-years.


As mentioned in the chart, a few t...

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Digital Currencies

Needham Raises Bitcoin Price Target To $848: Here's Why

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With bitcoin breaking out of its recent trading range as Chinese buyers once again flock to the currency as the Yuan slides (as we predicted over a year ago they would), even Wall Street analysts are starting to pay attention, and in a recent report by Needham's Spencer Bogart, the analyst has raised his price...

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Members' Corner

Heil The Candidate?

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.

Remember the 2016 Presidential Election is only thirteen days away. During this election campaign, both 2016 election candidates and the incumbent President, have been amongst other things, vilified as Hitler-esque.

Above Heil Hitlary! courtesy of LULZY T-Shirts

Above Heil Trump! image...

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Chart School

Tech Hold Breakout,.but S&P Wedge Bound

Courtesy of Declan.

It was a mixed day for indices. Large Caps remain bound by wedge support/resistance, but Tech broke upside yesterday from similar wedges and held those breakout today.

There was little change for the S&P over the last couple of days. The one technical change was the MACD trigger 'buy' as other technicals stayed on the bearish side.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq cleared wedge resistance yesterday, and was able to hang on to the breakout despite today's loss. It too enjoyed a MACD trigger 'buy', but had an On-Bal...

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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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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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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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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.   

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