Posts Tagged ‘green shoots’

Green Shoots or Greater Depression?

Green Shoots or Greater Depression?

green shoots or depression?Courtesy of Bud Conrad/David Galland, Editors, The Casey Report

While we aren’t contrarian for the sake of being contrary, more often than not that is the position in which we find ourselves. Today, with the media falling all over itself to paint a rosy outlook for the economy while simultaneously voicing encouragement to the new administration in its remake of the nation in previously unimaginable ways, it’s hard not to question our conviction that the worst is yet to come.

Could the economy really recover this quickly from the traumatic trifecta of a record real estate bubble, leviathan levels of debt, and a global credit collapse? We don’t see it as remotely possible, but yet… but yet… there for everyone to see are countless happy headlines and breathless exhortations that the worst is behind us.

So, is it Green Shoots or Greater Depression?

Getting the answer right is critical, because from it flow serious consequences to each of us. And not just in our investment portfolios but in how we organize our lives.

Looking for an evidence trail leading to the correct conclusion, Casey Chief Economist Bud Conrad once again put in very long hours digging through the data. Here’s what he uncovered, about the claims of green shoots, and what may actually be in store for the economy moving forward. 

- David Galland    

Rather than accepting the many commentaries that our economy may be improving, let’s focus for a minute on the important forces that will play out over the decade ahead,  and the minor improvements – from disastrous levels – that have given commentators such hope that the worst of our problems are behind us.

What Do the “Green Shoots” Really Look Like?

While some individual measures of economic activity appear slightly less dire than previously, it’s important to understand that most improvements are largely attributable to government intervention.

For example, at the onset of this crisis, commercial paper spreads rose to the point that this important source of corporate short-term funding had virtually shut down. Today, those spreads have returned to almost normal levels. But the bulk of this improvement is not due to a return of confidence in the economic system but rather to the Federal Reserve directly intervening in the market with several hundred billions of dollars.

And mortgage interest rates, which…
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The Statistical Recovery, Part Three

The Statistical Recovery, Part Three

green shoots, statistical recoveryCourtesy of John Mauldin at Thoughts from the Frontline

The Statistical Recovery, Part Three
Capacity Utilization Set to Rise
A Real Estate Green Shoot?
The Deleveraging Society
Some Thoughts on Secular Bear Markets
Weddings and Ten Years of Thoughts From the Frontline

This week we further explore why this recovery will be a Statistical Recovery, or one that, as someone said, is a recovery only a statistician could love. We look at capacity utilization, more on housing, some thoughts on debt and deflation, and some intriguing charts on volatility in the last secular bear-market cycle. This letter will print a little longer, but there are lots of charts. I have written this during the week, and I finish it here in Tulsa, where Amanda gets married tomorrow. (There is no deflation in weddings costs!)

Thanks to so many of you for your enthusiastic feedback about my latest Accredited Investor Newsletter, in which I undertook to examine the impact of last year’s dramatic increase in volatility on the performance of hedge funds and to ascertain those elements that led to success in the industry, such as select Global Macro and Managed Futures strategies, as well as the challenges. If you are an accredited investor (basically anywhere in the world, as I have partners in Europe, Canada, Africa, and Latin America) and haven’t yet read my analysis, I invite you to sign up here: www.accreditedinvestor.ws

For those of you who seek to take advantage of these themes and the developments I write about each week, let me again mention my good friend Jon Sundt at Altegris Investments, who is my US partner. Jon and his team have recently added some of the more successful names in the industry to their dedicated platform of alternative investments, including commodity pools, hedge funds, and managed futures accounts. Certain products that Altegris makes available on its platform access award-winning managers, and are designed to facilitate access for qualified and suitable readers at sometimes lower investment minimums than is normally required (though the net-worth requirements are still the same).

If you haven’t spoken with them in a while, it’s worth checking out their new lineup of world-class managers. Jon also tells me they just added yet more brilliant minds to their research team, making it,…
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Bulletins From Clunkerville

Green Shoots or Scorched Earth?

Bulletins From Clunkerville

fire, economy, recoveryBy MIKE WHITNEY writing at Counterpunch

Is the economy really recovering or is it all just hype?

Here’s what we know. The Fed doesn’t drop rates to zero unless its facing a 5 alarm fire and needs to pull out all the stops. The idea is to flood the markets with liquidity in order to avoid a complete financial meltdown. It’s a last-ditch maneuver and the Fed does not take it lightly.

The Fed initiated its zero interest rate policy, ZIRP, eight months ago  (December 16 2008) and hasn’t raised rates since. In the meantime, Fed chair Ben Bernanke has pumped huge amounts of money into the financial system using thoroughly-untested and unconventional means. No one knows whether Bernanke can roll up his multi-trillion dollar lending facilities or not (and avoid Zimbabwe-like hyperinflation) because no one has ever created similar programs. It’s all "make-it-up-as-you-go" policymaking. What we do know, however, is that the Fed intends to keep rates at rock-bottom for the foreseeable future, which means that the lights are all still blinking red.

Here’s an excerpt from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on Wednesday:

"The Committee will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and continues to anticipate that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period. As previously announced, to provide support to mortgage lending and housing markets and to improve overall conditions in private credit markets, the Federal Reserve will purchase a total of up to $1.25 trillion of agency mortgage-backed securities and up to $200 billion of agency debt by the end of the year. In addition, the Federal Reserve is in the process of buying $300 billion of Treasury securities. To promote a smooth transition in markets as these purchases of Treasury securities are completed, the Committee has decided to gradually slow the pace of these transactions and anticipates that the full amount will be purchased by the end of October. The Committee will continue to evaluate the timing and overall amounts of its purchases of securities in light of the evolving economic outlook and conditions in financial markets. The Federal Reserve is monitoring the size and composition of its balance sheet and will make adjustments to its credit and liquidity


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More On “The Less Bad Is Good” Mantra…….

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More On "The Less Bad Is Good" Mantra…….

Courtesy of Jan-Martin Feddersen of Immobilienblasen

The perfect fit to yesterdays post But Still Better Than Expected…….. ….

Paßt wie die Faust aufs Auge zum gestrigen Post But Still Better Than Expected……..
 

[cartoon+spin+bull+vs+bear.jpg]

Refining, the weakest link in the recovery Stephen Schork via FT Alphaville

Demand, not only for gasoline, but for other major products markets as well, is going the wrong way, i.e. from the top left to the bottom right on the charts. Thus, Big Oil is straining under the weight of poor margins.

It is now hard to reconcile these earnings reports, demand was lousy in the second quarter (and it not any better today). Yet, this market was being fed a fantastic lie back then… the less bad is good mantra.

Thus, whereas spot crude oil on the NYMEX finished the first quarter just below $50 a barrel (49.66) it finished the second quarter just below $70 (69.89). Crude oil rallied 40 percent as profits at the world’s largest oil companies were tumbling.

Why?

Because this market wanted to ignore the obvious and lull itself to sleep with silly pseudo-intellectual catchphrases… green shoots, crocuses, mustard seeds and this season’s rookie of the year… the second derivative.

Thus, while we were led to believe that demand for oil was rising in the second quarter, hence the justification for that 40 percent surge on the NYMEX, we now have the balance sheets from Exxon, Shell et al. that prove it was a lie.

Look at the screenshot of headlines we pasted on the top of today’s report. Profits for Big Oil are down as demand is at generational lows.

However, look at the very first headline, the NYMEX was higher yesterday because “… corporate earnings boost confidence…”

Huh?

According to this one article, demand for oil and therefore profits for oil companies are down, but the NYMEX rallied yesterday because Motorola (mobile phone maker) had a smaller than projected loss and Calphalon (cookware) and Paper Mate (writing instruments) had better than expected profits

. Bloomberg screenshot headlines

You really cannot make this up……

Das ist so absurd das man sich unweigerlich fragt ob wir schon wieder den 1. April haben…. :-)

 

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GDP In Pictures: The Truth

GDP In Pictures: The Truth

hellCourtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker


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And Again, More Black Shoots (Earnings)

And Again, More Black Shoots (Earnings)

green shoots or black shootsCourtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker


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Intel: Too Much, Too Far, Too Fast

In this second article by Karl, he examines Intel’s quarterly results and is not as excited as the market. Why? Layoffs. Intel excels at cost management – good for Intel, but not a sign of healthy economic recovery. – Ilene

Intel: Too Much, Too Far, Too Fast

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker

Intel, quarterly resultsAnd too euphoric:

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Intel Corp’s quarterly results and outlook blew past Wall Street forecasts on better-than-expected consumer demand for PCs, especially in Asia, setting an auspicious tone for the technology sector.

Uh, well….

Sure, if you just read the PR on the earnings.

Someone filed that story before the conference call, or simply ignored it.

The strong growth came in Asia, specifically China, which blew out a huge stimulus program.  Ok.

But it was specifically stated on the conference call that US consumer sales were weak, and repeating what DELL said earlier, so are enterprise sales.

The quote that was chosen is rather humorous:

Smith told Reuters that computer markets were strengthening and there were "pockets of relative strength" in consumer PC markets, as well as in the Asia Pacific and in China.

Pockets of relative strength.

Yes, there are.  Netbooks in particular are relatively strong – a new, very-low-cost alternative to laptops.  $300, 400, 500 machines – not the $1,000+ machines previously sold, and they’re replacing the demand that used to be filled by those $1,000 machines!  That’s not so good.

Neither is this:

Executives warned that the corporate market remained weak, and Intel does not expect much change in the second half.

Heh wait a second – I thought this was a bullish report for capital spending and the chip sector?  No?  IBM’s primary market is to enterprise customers, not consumers.

The bigger problem for Intel is its P/E – now well over 20, its just too high – unless we get a very strong economic recovery.

If you’re in the Dennis Kneale camp on that, have at it.  I’m going to pay close attention to the reaction in the real market tomorrow when the stock opens for trading by the pros – not the aftermarket daytrader games of the evening, with most of that volume happening before the…
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Green Shoots at Family Dollar

Green Shoots at Family Dollar (FDO)

TraderMark at Fund My Mutual Fund

No slowdown in dollar stores as Americans on Main Street are wrecked by the Great Recession. Family Dollar (FDO) just reported a very nice set of numbers – obviously the Street was under the impression the recession is over judging from the stock the past 2 months. Actually broke down below the 200 day moving average as of the last week.



Family Dollar Stores chart

Despite Wall Street’s protestations (and Dennis Kneale’s), Americans remain stuck in the Walmart section of retail, not Target [Dec 26 2007: Target Shoppers Turning into Walmart Shoppers] Remember, since I’ve started this blog not 2 years ago the % of Americans on food stamps has jumped from 1 in 11, to 1 in 9. [Jun 8, 2009: 1 in 9 Americans on Food Stamps] This appears to be helping Family Dollar which unlike most "dollar stores" has food items as well.

The gross margin expansion is mighty impressive – especially for a retailer; the same store sales growth in this retail environment is simply a damning indictment of how bad off more and more Americans are becoming. I continue to conclude "The Street" does not get what is going on out there in everyday America.

Via CBSMarketwatch

  • Discount retailer Family Dollar Stores Inc. said Wednesday that its fiscal third-quarter profit rose a better-than-expected 36%, aided by budget-conscious consumers seeking bargains on food and other consumables and improved home goods and apparel discretionary sales.
  • Net income rose to $87.7 million, or 62 cents a share, from $64.7 million, or 46 cents, a year earlier. Analysts, on average, estimated the company would earn 59 cents a share, according to FactSet.
  • Sales in the quarter ended May 30 rose 8.3% to $1.84 billion, the 6,600-store chain said. Comparable-store sales climbed 6.2%, helped by increased customer traffic and the higher amount customers spent per transaction.


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Mid-Year 2009 Checkup

Here’s Karl Denninger’s mid-year review of his new year predictions, and thoughts on 2009 part 2.

market predictionsMid-Year 2009 Checkup

Courtesy of Karl at The Market Ticker


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WAGE DEFLATION IN OUR MIDST

WAGE DEFLATION IN OUR MIDST

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalistdeflation

As I continue to focus on the real crux of this crisis (consumers) I bring you this excellent bit of research from David Rosenberg who so clearly understands the long-term ramifications of the weak consumer and the inflationary and economic impacts it will have.

A survey conducted by YouGov for the Economist magazine found that 5% of respondents had taken a furlough this year and 15% had accepted a pay cut (see The Recession and Pay: The Quiet Americans on page 33 of this week’s edition).

As wages deflate, workers are looking for ways to supplement their shrinking income base, for example, by moonlighting. Indeed, a poll undertaken by CareerBuilder.com and cited in the USA Today found that one in every ten Americans took on an extra job over the last year; another one in five said they intend to do so in the coming year. These numbers are double for the 45 to 54 year olds who now see early retirement, once around the corner, as an elusive concept.

Most pundits who crow about green shoots and about an inventory restocking in the third quarter giving way towards some sustainable economic expansion live in the old paradigm. They don’t realize, for whatever reason, that the deflationary aftershocks that follow a post-bubble credit collapse typically last for 5 to 10 years. Businesses understand better than the typical Wall Street or Bay Street economist and strategist that everything from order books, to output, to staffing have to now be restructured to adequately reflect a permanently lower level of leverage in the economy.

Indeed, by our estimates, there is up to another $5 trillion of household debt that has to be eliminated in coming years and that process is going to require that consumers go on a semi-permanent spending diet. Companies see this, which is why they are not just downsizing their payroll, but have also cut the workweek to a record low of 33.1 hours. Fewer people are working and those that are still working have seen their hours dramatically cut this cycle.

Companies are finding other ways to save on the aggregate labour cost bill as well, which may be a factor reinforcing the uptrend in the personal savings rate (see more below). For example, a rapidly growing number of employers are now suspending


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Phil's Favorites

Trump Tweeting As Much As Ever Amid Twitter Standoff

 

Trump Tweeting As Much As Ever Amid Twitter Standoff

By , Statista

President Trump has signed an executive order which aims to remove some of the legal protection given to social media companies, though it is expected to face significant legal hurdles. In a nutshell, it sets out to clarify the Communications Decency Act, handing regulators the power to file legal proceedings against social media companies for the way they police content on their platforms. Trump's decision to take action comes two days after Twitter attached a fact check to one of his tweets lambasting mail-in voting. He then threatened to close ...



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ValueWalk

Gold supply chain in recovery mode after pandemic shutdown

By Michelle Jones. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The gold supply chain was largely shut down as the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world. However, things are starting to open back up, and production is beginning again. The World Gold Council studied the gold supply chain, how it was impacted by the pandemic, and how the disruption of the supply chain has affected investment demand for the yellow metal.

Q1 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Disruption to the gold supply chain

The World Gold Council said the gold supply chain is entirely global because the metal is mined on evert continent except Antarctica and refined in nume...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Antigen tests for COVID-19 are fast and easy - and could solve the coronavirus testing problem despite being somewhat inaccurate

 

Antigen tests for COVID-19 are fast and easy – and could solve the coronavirus testing problem despite being somewhat inaccurate

Antibodies are incredibly good at finding the coronavirus. Antigen tests put them to work. Sergii Iaremenko/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

Courtesy of Eugene Wu, University of Richmond

In late February, I fell ill with a fever and a cough. As a biochemist who teaches a class on viruses, I’d been tracking the outbreak of...



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Zero Hedge

Ted Cruz Accuses Twitter Of Violating Sanctions Against Iran, Demands DoJ Probe

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

We've mentioned in nearly every single one of our posts about this week's dustup between the president and Twitter that the Ayato...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Tech Indicator Suggesting A Historic Top Could Be Forming?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Tech stocks have been the clear leader of the stock market recovery rally, this year and since the lows back in 2007!

But within the ranks of leadership, and an important ratio may be sending a caution message to investors.

In today’s chart, we look at the ratio of large-cap tech stocks (the Nasdaq 100 Index) to the broader tech market (the Nasdaq Composite) on a “monthly” basis.

The large-cap concentrated Nasdaq 100 (only 100 stocks) has been the clear leader for several years versus the ...



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The Technical Traders

M2 Velocity Collapses - Could A Bottom In Capital Velocity Be Setting Up?

Courtesy of Technical Traders

M2 Velocity is the measurement of capital circulating within the economy.  The faster capital circulates within the economy, the more that capital is being deployed within the economy to create output and opportunities for economic growth.  When M2 Velocity contracts, capital is being deployed in investments or assets that prevent that capital from further circulation within the economy – thus preventing further output and opportunity growth features.

The decline in M2 Velocity over the past 10+ years has been dramatic and consistent with the dramatic new zero US Federal Reserve interest rates initiated since just after the 2008 credit crisis market colla...



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Lee's Free Thinking

US Southern States COVID19 Cases - Let's Give Credit Where Due

 

US Southern States COVID19 Cases – Let’s Give Credit Where Due

Courtesy of  

The number of new COVID 19 cases has been falling in the Northeast, but the South is not having the same experience. The number of new cases per day in each Southern state has been rangebound for the past month.

And that’s assuming that the numbers haven’t been manipulated. We know that in Georgia’s case at least, they have been. And there are suspicions about Florida as well, as the State now engages in a smear campaign against the fired employee who built its much praised COVID19 database and dashboar...



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Chart School

Is this your local response to COVID 19

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

This is off topic, but a bit of fun!


This is the standard reaction from the control freaks.








This is the song for post lock down!







What should be made mandatory? Vaccines, hell NO! This should be mandatory: Every one taking their tops off in the sun, they do in Africa!

Guess which family gets more Vitamin D and eats less sugary carbs, TV Show



...



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Digital Currencies

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

 

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

App-etising? LDprod

Courtesy of Michael Rogerson, University of Bath and Glenn Parry, University of Surrey

Food supply chains were vulnerable long before the coronavirus pandemic. Recent scandals have ranged from modern slavery ...



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Members' Corner

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

 

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

No matter the details of the plot, conspiracy theories follow common patterns of thought. Ranta Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Courtesy of John Cook, George Mason University; Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge; Stephan Lewandowsky...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.