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Posts Tagged ‘ECRI’

Thin-Air Thursday – A Weak Week of Denial

We HAVE to try to get more bullish.  

HAVE to as in forced against our will.   HAVE to as in forced against reason and rational thought.  We HAVE to follow the herd or be stampeded by it despite screaming FACTS like the ECRI data on the right that CLEARLY shows that the herd is INSANE!

USUALLY, the market (and its investors) understands that where there is smoke,t here is fire.  The last time ECRI was this low (on the way down) was early 2008, by which time we KNEW the economy was stalling and the Government gave us a tax rebate that goosed us for a few months but then we crashed and burned in a horrible, horrible mess that kind of made us wish they hadn't screwed around in the first place.  

The ONLY OTHER TIME ECRI was this low, since the great depression, was back in 2001, but the Nasdaq had long since crossed 3,000 from the other direction and was on it's way from 5,000 to 1,500 – only a 70% drop.  Don't worry though, in 2007 the Nasdaq was all the way back to 2,850 and then only fell to 1,250 and that's just 56% so this time may indeed be different despite the lower low in 2007 on the 6-year cycle that we're again in year 5 of.  

Clearly, things are much better than they were in late 2008/early 2009, right? I believe, at the time, people thought the World was going to end and they were lining up at banks in Europe to withdraw money and the US had 300 bank failures and the FDIC was down to its last $50M to cover the $8Tn worth of cash on deposit (all better now, they have $850M!) and 1,000,000 people a single month were losing their jobs…  Yes, things are better than the end of the World, that's for sure!  

But, are they Dow 13,200 better?  Are they S&P 1,400 better?  Are they Nasdaq 3,050 better?  

The NYSE doesn't seem to think so.   Although the Dow (14,100), the S&P (1,560) and the APPLdaq (2,800) and even the Russell (850) are all within striking distance of their 2007 highs, the NYSE (10,300) is still 21% below at 8,125.  Why is our broadest market index, whose capitalization ($16Tn) is larger than the Nasdaq ($5Tn),
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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.

Click to View
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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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 14th consecutive week, coming in at -10.1, a fractional improvement over last week’s -10.2, which was a downward revision from -10.1. So this index has essentially hovered around -10.1 for the past five weeks. The latest weekly number is based on data through September 3.

The rate 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.

Click to View
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 turn 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…
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ECRI: CHANCE OF RECESSION GREATER THAN 50%

ECRI: CHANCE OF RECESSION GREATER THAN 50%

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Well, I’m not going to lie – the ECRI has me utterly confused now.  At the market peak they were calling for sustained jobs growth, a continuation in the recovery and a flat stock market (which was approximately 10% higher at the time).   None of the above were right.  Now they’re saying the probability of a recession is the equivalent of a coin flip.  In other words, this “leading index” isn’t really telling us anything we don’t already know.  My guess is that the admission of a recession won’t come until well after fact.  The creators of the index have gone out of their way to tell readers why the index is misunderstood.  While I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt I am having a hard time seeing how this isn’t merely a coincident indicator.


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ECRI WLI “Flattens Out” at -9.8% – ECRI says “Gage is Fine”

ECRI WLI "Flattens Out" at -9.8% – ECRI says "Gage is Fine"

Courtesy of Mish

Lakshman Achuthan and Anirvan Banerji, Co-founders, Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI), continue to pour out statements about the ECRI WLI that are worth taking a close look at, if not outright challenging them.

Please consider Know How to Read WLI.

Sir, “Out on a limb, the ECRI weekly leading indicator … suggests a double-dip recession is imminent,” according to James Mackintosh (The Short View, August 4). This is a popular misconception pushed by pessimistic pundits.

Let’s review what the Weekly Leading index (WLI) has done this year. After rising to a two-and-a-quarter-year high by end-April, it plunged for all of two months – before flattening out and finally edging up to a six-week high by end-July. That’s hardly a recession signal.

Imagine flying in an aircraft that hits a huge air pocket and plunges 5,000ft in 10 seconds. That would leave you quite shaken up, but it doesn’t mean the aircraft’s about to crash – unless it keeps falling. That’s pretty much what’s happened with the WLI. Unless it turns down again and then keeps falling, it wouldn’t make sense to predict an imminent recession.

Many self-proclaimed experts have been back-fitting our data, looking at the WLI the wrong way, and screaming that the end is near. This is like people saying they don’t remember an aircraft dropping so fast and not crashing, while blaming the instrument makers for not trusting their own altimeter. Well, we do trust it. Bottom line, the gauge is just fine – as long as you know how to read it.

When there really is danger of an imminent recession, it will be signalled by a cyclical downturn in the WLI itself rather than its growth rate. But that hasn’t happened yet.

ECRI WLI

click on chart for sharper image

When there is "danger" of an imminent recession by the ECRI’s calls, history suggests we will have been in a recession for months. Nonetheless, one must be careful of "reading" indicators, especially when no one knows for sure what the hell it even consists of.

Instead, I would like to point out that two weeks of flattening after an enormous plunge to -10.8 is hardly worth calling "flattening". Let’s see where the index goes from here before we talk about "flattening" after that unprecedented nosedive.…
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ECRI LEADING INDEX RETRENCHING – NOW AT 3 WEEK LOW

Pragcap asks a good question: what is the value of a leading indicator that lags the market? – Ilene 

ECRI LEADING INDEX RETRENCHING – NOW AT 3 WEEK LOW

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

After weeks of denying the potential of a recession and missing the entire stock market decline it now appears as though everyone’s favorite leading indicator is pointing to a double dip in the US economy. Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of ECRI, has consistently maintained that there was no double dip coming for the US economy and that this was merely a typical mid-recovery slowdown. He also emphasized the fact that a retrenchment in the ECRI would in fact be a warning signal of a double dip. With the ECRI’s leading index at a three week low and a retrenchment occurring Achuthan is sticking to his guns saying it is premature to say there could be a double dip (via Reuters):

“A measure of future U.S. economic growth fell to a 3-week low in the latest week, confirming the slow pace of the recovery, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index fell to 120.8 in the week ending August 20 from 122 the previous week.

That was the lowest since July 23, when it was 120.7. The index’s annualized growth rate rose to minus 10 percent from minus 10.2 percent a week earlier. That was the highest since July 9, when it stood at minus 9.8 percent.”

ECRI2 ECRI LEADING INDEX RETRENCHING   NOW AT 3 WEEK LOW

“With the WLI staying essentially flat for the last six weeks, following a nine-week plunge, it is premature to predict a new recession, though risks remain,” said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of ECRI.

Unfortunately for equity investors, the admission that a double dip is on the table likely won’t come until well after the losses in stocks have occurred. At some point you have to wonder about the usefulness of a “leading indicator” that lags all market action… 


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ECRI’s Lakshman Achuthan Still Blowing Smoke

ECRI’s Lakshman Achuthan Still Blowing Smoke

Woman Smoking

Courtesy of Mish 

Lakshman Achuthan and Anirvan Banerji, co-founders of ECRI maintain the ECRI’s WLI Weekly Leading Index (Still) Widely Misunderstood

I am going to cut to the chase because all Achuthan and Banerji did in that piece is blow smoke without addressing the critical issue. Here is the key paragraph.

It’s true enough, based on the four decades of publicly available data, that WLI growth has never dropped this far without a recession. What most don’t know – apart from the fact that the WLI growth rate shouldn’t be used to predict recessions in the first place – is that, based on two additional decades of data not available to the general public, there are a couple of occasions (in 1951 and 1966) when WLI growth fell well below current readings, but no recessions resulted.

ECRI Still Has Explaining To Do

Lakshman Achuthan chastised Rosenberg in the above article (but not by name) for doing exactly what the ECRI did: Propose the WLI can be used to predict recessions.

I documented proof of that in ECRI Weekly Leading Indicators at Negative 9.8; Has the ECRI Blown Yet Another Recession Call?

Just The Facts Maam, Not The Spin

If the ECRI does not want people assuming the WLI can be used as a recession forecast, then perhaps they ought not present it that way.

Please consider some charts and text from the ECRI publication The Great Recession and Recovery:

ECRI Weekly Leading Index

"This is an index that’s been around for over a quarter of a century, and over that time (shown here) it has correctly predicted every recession and recovery in real-time."

I need to repeat that, over this entire time period, I was present to see each of the correct recession and recoveries calls in real-time, without false signals in between.

ECRI Clearly Touts the WLI’s Recession Prediction Capabilities

Please read the preceeding two paragraphs in italics slowly and carefully.

Lakshman Achuthan and Anirvan Banerji defense of the ECRI is that the WLI cannot be used to predict recession, yet in a blatant attempt to promote the WLI, the ECRI did just that!

Supposedly the WLI in "real-time" has correctly predicted every recession without a single false signal. Quite frankly that was a blatant attempt by the ECRI to promote the WLI’s recession prediction ability.…
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ECRI Falls Deeper into the Abyss

ECRI Falls Deeper into the Abyss

Courtesy of Bondsquawk 

The Economic Cycle Research Institute released its Weekly Leading Indices for the week ending July 23. While the Weekly Leading Index ticked up to 121.1 from a downward revised prior period reading of 120.6, the Weekly Growth Rate Index fell further by two-tenths of a percent to -10.7 percent.  This latest reading marks the 12th decline in a row and 8th straight week in negative territory, dating back to the first week in June.

For our new Bondsquawk readers, check out this to understand the significance of this leading economic indicator. 


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EXTEND & PRETEND: Stage I Comes to an End!

EXTEND & PRETEND: Stage I Comes to an End!

The Dog Ate my Report Card

Courtesy of Gordon T. Long 

Both came to an end at the same time: the administration’s policy to Extend & Pretend has run out of time as has the patience of the US electorate with the government’s Keynesian economic policy responses. Desperate last gasp attempts are to be fully expected, but any chance of success is rapidly diminishing.

Whether an unimpressed and insufficiently loyal army general, a fleeing cabinet budget chief or G20 peers going the austerity route, all are non-confidence votes for the Obama administration’s present policies. A day after the courts slapped down President Obama’s six month gulf drilling moratorium, the markets were unpatriotically signaling a classic head and shoulders topping pattern. With an employment rebound still a non-starter, President Obama as expected was found to be asking for yet another $50B in unemployment extensions and state budget assistance to avoid teacher layoffs. However, the gig is up: the policy of Extend and Pretend has no time left on the shot clock nor for another round of unemployment benefit extensions. A congress that is now clearly frightened of what it sees looming in the fall midterm elections is running for cover on any further spending initiatives. The US electorate has been sending an unmistakable message in all elections nationwide.

The housing market is rolling over as fully expected and predicted by almost everyone except the White House and its lap-dog press corp. Noted analyst Meredith Whitney says a double dip in housing is a ‘no brainer’ with the government’s HAMP program clearly a bust as one third of participants are now dropping out. The leading economic indicator (ECRI) has abruptly turned lower, signaling the economy is slowing rapidly without the $1T per month stimulus addiction, which has kept the extend and pretend economy on life support.

The gulf oil spill that was initially stated as 1000 barrels per day has been revised upwards faster than the oil can reach the surface. It now appears to be north of 100,000 barrels per day. A 100 percent miss is about in line with the miss on how many jobs the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was going to create.  Also, it appears the administration can’t even get its hands around the basics of administration management during any crisis event.  Teleprompter politics…
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Ever Wondered How You Know You’re In A Depression? David Rosenberg Explains

Ever Wondered How You Know You Are In A Depression? David Rosenberg Explains

Man sitting at table

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

As usual, some terrific points from the man who was far too smart for Merrill Lynch. We are also glad that Rosie caught our observation over the weekend that securitized loans have plummeted by trillions recently: easily the single biggest argument for QE2.

From Breakfast with David:

YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN A DEPRESSION WHEN …

Congress moved to extend jobless benefits seven times, as has been the case over the past two years, at a time when almost half of the ranks of the unemployed have been looking for at least a half year.

The unemployment rate for adult males (25-54 years) hit a post-WWII this cycle and is still above the 1982 recession peak, and the youth unemployment rate is stuck near 25%. These developments will have profound long-term consequences – social, economic and political.

The fiscal costs of the depression continue to mount, with the White House on Friday raising its deficit projection for 2011 to $1.4 trillion from $1.267 trillion. That gap in the forecast – $133 billion – was close to the size of the entire budget deficit back in 2002. Amazing.

You also know it is a depression when you find out on the weekend that the FDIC seized and shuttered another seven banks, making it 103 closures for the year. What a recovery!

Meanwhile, how are the surviving banks making money? By cutting their provisions for bad debts (at a time when the household debt/income ratio is still near record highs of 120% and at a time when one-quarter of the consumer universe has a sub-600 FICO score – which means they are also ineligible for Fannie or Freddie mortgage financing. The banks thus far have reduced their loan loss reserves between 23% (Cap One) and 73% (First Horizon) – as Jamie Dimon said last week, these are not real earnings.

You also know it’s a depression when a year into a statistical recovery, the central bank is still openly contemplating ways to stimulate growth. The Fed was supposed to have already started the process of shrinking its pregnant balance sheet four months ago and is now instead thinking of restarting Quantitative Easing. Of course, we are in this bizarre environment where bank credit continues to contract – last…
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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!

 
 

Phil's Favorites

Here's The Best Explanation We've Seen Yet For Why Oil Crashed

Here's The Best Explanation We've Seen Yet For Why Oil Crashed

Courtesy of 

Oil crashed today, with crude oil prices dropping from around $95 to $91 in a matter of minutes.

There were various theories for why, but the most compelling one is that there seems to be a lot more production than estimated.

Morgan Stanley sent out a note this evening from analyst Adam Longson that contains this table of production numbers/estimates for key producers. The key thing is that production is on the rise almost everywhere. Check out Libya, where output for the month surged to its highest level of the year. Everyone was freaking out a...



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Zero Hedge

Recovery? 60% Of Greeks Live At Or Below Poverty Levels

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

While Greek government yields (and political leaders) proclaim the troubled peripheral European nation is 'recovering', the risk of major political upheaval in Greece has not gone away ahead of next year's presidential vote next year. As Reuters notes, under growing pressure from anti-bailout leftists, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras desperately needs a new narrative to get the backing of lawmakers and rally Greeks fed up with four years of austerity. We wish him luck as Keep Tal...



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Chart School

Moving Averages: Month-End Update

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Valid until the market close on October 31, 2014

The S&P 500 closed September with a monthly loss of 1.55%. All three S&P 500 MAs and three of the five the Ivy Portfolio ETF MAs are signaling "Invested".

The Ivy Portfolio

The table below shows the current 10-month simple moving average (SMA) signal for each of the five ETFs featured in The Ivy Portfolio. I've also included a table of 12-month SMAs for the same ETFs for this popular alternative strategy.

For a facinating analysis of the Ivy Portfolio strategy, see this article by Adam Butler, Mike Philbrick and Rodrigo Gordillo:



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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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Option Review

VIX Call Spreads Trade

The CBOE Vix Index topped 17.0 and the highest level since early-August on Monday morning amid declines in U.S. equities to start the trading week. The volatility index is off its earlier highs to trade 5.0% higher on the session at 15.65 as of 11:30 am ET. Options volume on the VIX is hovering near 360,000 contracts, or just more than 50% of the average daily reading of around 660,000 contracts. Calls are far more active than put options, as evidenced by the call/put ratio up above 4.2 in morning trading, perhaps as some traders position for volatility to stick around.

Large call spreads traded on the VIX today caught our attention as one big optio...



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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Stocks fight off predictable weakness, but expect more downside

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Yes, the market showed significant weakness last week for the first time in quite a while. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average moved triple digits each day. But it was all quite predictable, as I suggested in last week's article, and certainly nothing to worry about. Now the market appears to be poised for a modest technical rebound, and longer term, U.S. equities should be in good shape for a year-end rally. However, I still believe more downside is in order before any new highs are challenged. Moreover, market breadth is important for a sustained bull run, so the challenge for investors will be to put together broader bullish conviction, including the small caps.

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



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 29th, 2014

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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Market Shadows

Ebola vs. Us

Ebola vs. Us

By Ilene 

Ebola is spreading too quickly for Ebola-vaccine makers to conduct typical studies of safety and efficacy on experimental vaccines. Instead, vaccines will be tested for basic safety, but then deployed with protocols devised now in order to test for efficacy essentially on the field. Testing has to be expedited because the situation in West Africa gets worse every day while there are no approved vaccines or other treatments.

The chart below is from a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine showing estimates of the virus's trajectory projecting out to November 1, 2014. If current trends continue...



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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.

The latest issue of Stock World Weekly is now available. Please sign in with your PSW user name and password. Or simply take a free trial to try out our weekly newsletter. 

...

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Promotions

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Digital Currencies

Making Sense of Bitcoin

Making Sense of Bitcoin

By James Black at International Man

Despite the various opinions on Bitcoin, there is no question as to its ultimate value: its ability to bypass government restrictions, including economic embargoes and capital controls, to transmit quasi-anonymous money to anyone anywhere.

Opinions differ as to what constitutes "money."

The English word "money" derives from the Latin word "moneta," which means to "mint." Historically, "money" was minted in the form of precious metals, most notably gold and silver. Minted metal was considered "money" because it possessed luster, was scarce, and had perceive...



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Pharmboy

Biotechs & Bubbles

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

Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



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