Posts Tagged ‘consumer credit’

CONSUMER CREDIT CONTINUES TO CONTRACT

CONSUMER CREDIT CONTINUES TO CONTRACT

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.”

CC CONSUMER CREDIT CONTINUES TO CONTRACT


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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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PARTS OF THIS MARKET ARE LOOKING IRRATIONAL

PARTS OF THIS MARKET ARE LOOKING IRRATIONAL

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.

Yuck.

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.

FOOD

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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UNPRECEDENTED PLUNGE IN CONSUMER CREDIT CONTINUES

UNPRECEDENTED PLUNGE IN CONSUMER CREDIT CONTINUES

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.

 UNPRECEDENTED PLUNGE IN CONSUMER CREDIT CONTINUES

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.

 UNPRECEDENTED PLUNGE IN CONSUMER CREDIT CONTINUES 

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….

 


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The Government’s Effort Has Failed

The Government’s Effort Has Failed

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker


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Phil's Favorites

Worried about AI taking over the world? You may be making some rather unscientific assumptions

 

Worried about AI taking over the world? You may be making some rather unscientific assumptions

Phonlamai Photo/Shutterstock

Courtesy of Eleni Vasilaki, University of Sheffield

Should we be afraid of artificial intelligence? For me, this is a simple question with an even simpler, two letter answer: no. But not everyone agrees – many people, including the late physicist Stephen Hawking, have raised concerns that the rise of powerful AI systems could spell ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Lumber prices fall 45% this year, sending macro message?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

 Home and Lumber prices can send important messages to how the economy is doing. The chart above looks at Lumber prices over the past 11-years.

So far this year, Lumber and the DJ Home Construction index is diverging against the broad market. This chart highlights that Lumber is now down over 40% from its peak earlier this year.

Below compares the performance of the S&P to the DJ Home Construction index this year-

...



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Zero Hedge

Nearly One-Third Of US Households Struggle To Pay Energy Bills

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

31 percent of US households have struggled to afford their energy bills, according to a Wednesday report by the Energy Information Administration, which notes that Hispanics and racial minorities were hit the hardest.

According to the most recent results from EIA’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), about one in five households reported reducing or forgoing necessities such as food and medicine to pay an energy bill, and 14% reported receiving a disconnection notic...



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ValueWalk

The U.S. trade deficit with China is a dangerous scorecard as the mainland remains an unlikely source of U.S. profits

By Joe Quinlan. Originally published at ValueWalk.

With the United States and China at loggerheads over trade, investors should be aware of the many economic ties binding the two countries. Bank of America, U.S. Trust has released a new report that explores some of the finer points of U.S.-Sino relations and the strategic, but little understood, competitive advantages for corporate America.

The seven factors described below underscore the dynamism and competitiveness of U.S. companies and may help explain the resilience of U.S. large cap stocks despite ratcheting trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

Q2 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc

U.S.-China Checklist: Understanding Some...

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Chart School

Bitcoin Update - Bullish pressure present

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

If Venezuela or Argentina conducted business in bitcoin then their savings and wealth would be a lot better off. Yes Bitcoin and Litecoin have been volatile over the last few years,  but nothing like Bolivar (Venezuela) or the Peso (Argentina). 

You say they could use the US dollar, yes maybe so, but those who use the US dollar have to the yield to the US Federal Reserve where as bitcoin is decentralized and those who use it yield to no one.

In the next 12 to 18 months the lightning network and atomic swaps logic will forge Bitcoin and Litecoin together as the go to crypto decentralized currency. Of course massive risk, so the investor should be warned you can lose all your funds.  

Time to review the demand ...

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Members' Corner

Why obvious lies still make good propaganda

 

This is very good; it's about "firehosing", a type of propaganda, and how it works.

Why obvious lies still make good propaganda

A 2016 report described Russian propaganda as:
• high in volume
• rapid, continuous and repetitive
• having no commitment to objective reality
• lacking consistency

...

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Insider Scoop

Cantor Fitzgerald's 7 Buys For 7 Biotechs

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Cantor Fitzgerald has high hopes for patients with rare and orphan diseases. 

“We believe that biotech has entered a golden age of innovation and productivity across many therapeutic areas,” the firm said in a Friday note. Cantor expanded its portfolio with seven new neuro-innovator and platform-enabled therapeutics companies.

The ...

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Digital Currencies

Mania to Mania

 

Mania to Mania

Courtesy of 

“Russell rarely played the stock market and had little investing experience when he put around $120,000 into bitcoin in November 2017.”

This comes from a CNN money article, Bitcoin crash: This man lost his savings when cryptocurrencies plunged. From January 2017 through the peak in early 2018, Ethereum gained 16,915%.

Any time you have something go vertical, you just know that some peopl...



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Biotech

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

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

 

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

Breast cancer type 1 (BRCA1) is a human tumor suppressor gene, found in all humans. Its protein, also called by the synonym BRCA1, is responsible for repairing DNA. ibreakstock/Shutterstock.com

By Jay Shendure, University of Washington; Greg Findlay, ...



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Mapping The Market

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

Via Jean-Luc:

Famed investor reflecting on his mistakes:

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

One that stands out for me:

Instead of focusing on how value factors in general did in identifying attractive stocks, I rushed to proclaim price-to-sales the winner. That was, until it wasn’t. I guess there’s a reason for the proclamation “The king is dead, long live the king” when a monarchy changes hands. As we continued to update the book, price-to-sales was no longer the “best” single value factor, replaced by others, depending upon the time frames examined. I had also become a lot more sophisticated in my analysis—thanks to criticism of my earlier work—and realized that everything, including factors, moves in and out of favor, depending upon the market environment. I also realized...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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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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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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