Posts Tagged ‘stimulus programs’

Is Earnings Optimism for the S&P 500 Justified?

Is Earnings Optimism for the S&P 500 Justified? 

Courtesy of Doug Short

Regular visitors to dshort.com know I follow Howard Silverblatt’s earnings spreadsheet on the Standard & Poor’s website. Free registration is required to access this data. I’ve received several requests for more specific details on where to find the spreadsheet. It is fairly well hidden. Here are two links to help frustrated seekers: step one and step two.

I follow the "As-Reported" earnings and top-down estimates for future earnings (see column D in the spreadsheet). The chart below shows the higher estimates of future earnings from the most recent spreadsheet, dated August 24th, and three earlier spreadsheets (February 17th, April 28th, and July 15th).

The latest earnings estimate for 2Q 2010 is 67.20. Friday’s close gives us a P/E ratio of 15.84, which is close to the average trailing 12-month P/E of 15.48. Beyond the 2Q, the chart illustrates increasing optimism about next year’s earnings. The August 24th estimate of $80.20 for 4Q 2011 at today’s P/E would put the S&P 500 at 1,270 at the end of 2011. That’s a gain of 19.3% from the latest close.

But will as-reported earnings really live up to these estimates? Last month Howard Silverblatt pinpointed the problem for earnings in a Bloomberg article No Sales Means No Jobs Means No Recovery. His concluding remarks are worth repeating here:

I look to sales as a future indicator. On this basis, earnings are running ahead of Q1 2010, but sales are flat, and that’s the problem. It’s great that companies have improving earnings, but those improvements are due to high margins, which were the product of cost cuts — specifically job reductions, the very thing that we need to improve now. Until companies and consumers start to spend more, the job front will not get better, but they won’t spend more until they believe things are getting better. The stimulus programs were supposed to jump start the economy and break the downward cycle by convincing both groups that better times were here. But so far we’re not seeing the sales or the jobs; but earnings are good, at least for now.

Companies in the S&P 500 sell across the world. But consumption in the US, which remains critical for sustained earnings growth, has been undergoing a sustained contraction —, a fact that…
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Outsourcing Unemployment To China

Outsourcing Unemployment To China

Courtesy of Mish

As goes the US consumer so goes Chinese manufacturing. Here is a long but educational video produced by Vanguard on several Chinese manufacturing cities and what the economic downturn has meant for them. It’s well worth a play.

 

That video is more confirmation of the Chinese manufacturing and unemployment woes outlined in How Will China Handle The Yuan? and over a year ago in Is China’s Growth Story Coming Unglued?

Yet the myth of Chinese decoupling still persists.

Some day China will be far less dependent on the US but that day is not in the immediate foreseeable future. The videos are proof enough. Moreover, a strong case can be made that Obama Risks Global Trade War With Misguided Tariffs.

For now, stock are rising along with the biggest global reflation in the history of the world, by central bankers in nearly every country in the world, including China.

However, such stimulus is not infinite and is not without cost. Nor can temporary increases in demand caused by massive give-away programs be cause for permanent celebration. At best, stimulus programs shift demand forward stretching out the recovery period.

At worst, such programs add to malinvestments in housing, commercial real estate, and other areas. Government programs seldom, if ever, allocate resources effectively. The wildly popular cash-for-clunkers program actually destroyed productive assets, a repeat on a small scale of misguided efforts by FDR in the great depression to drive up prices of goods.

Yet for all these efforts unemployment is still rising, and even Fed officials admit the outlook for employment and consumer spending is far from rosy. Please see The Problem with Janet Yellen’s Recovery Outlook for details.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

 


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Government Bailouts and the Stock Market – The Seen and the Unseen

Government Bailouts and the Stock Market – The Seen and the Unseen

Courtesy of Mish

Inquiring minds are reading Cash for Clunkers Is Just a Broken Windshield by Caroline Baum. It’s the best trashing to date of the "cash for clunkers" program.

Transferring money from taxpayers to car buyers is a transfer. The money taken from taxpayers can’t be used for something else.

This is the lesson of Frederic Bastiat’s essay, “That Which is Seen, and That Which is Unseen.” Bastiat, a 19th century French political economist, tells the story of a shopkeeper who has to hire a glazier to repair a broken window, providing work and income for him in the process. That’s what is seen.

What is unseen is what the shopkeeper would have done if he didn’t have to pay the glazier. He might have bought shoes for his children, providing income for the shoemaker, who in turn could buy leather to produce more shoes. The glazier’s gain is the shoemaker’s loss. There is no net gain, no job or income creation, from this transaction.

Broken Window Fallacy

The “broken window fallacy,” as it is known, can be applied to all government spending. The $787 billion fiscal stimulus enacted in February transfers money from taxpayers to the government to allocate as it sees fit. The effect of the government’s expenditures shows up as growth in gross domestic product. Auto manufacturers produce more cars to meet the juiced demand, adding to GDP. This is what’s seen.

What is unseen is what would have been produced by the private sector had the government not confiscated future revenue via taxation.

Cash for clunkers requires that trade-ins be scrapped, whether they are fully depreciated or not. How is destroying something good for the nation?

James Hamilton, professor of economics at University of California, San Diego, says cash for clunkers adopts the worst of the New Deal policies and adapts it to today’s circumstances.

The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 “paid farmers to slaughter livestock and plow up good crops, as if destroying useful goods could somehow make the nation wealthier,” Hamilton writes on his blog. “And yet, here we are again, with the cash for clunkers program insisting that working vehicles must be junked to qualify for the subsidy.”

Caroline touched on several key issues. The first is is money taken from taxpayers can’t


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Phil's Favorites

What's wrong with Huawei, and why are countries banning the Chinese telecommunications firm?

 

What's wrong with Huawei, and why are countries banning the Chinese telecommunications firm?

A major Chinese technology firm is under international scrutiny for its potential role in spying. AP Photo/Andy Wong

Courtesy of Frank J. Cilluffo, Auburn University and Sharon L. Cardash, Auburn University

The Chinese telecommunications company Huawei is under scrutiny around the globe over concerns that its close ties wi...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Connect Series Webinar December 2018

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

We cover dominating patterns in major global Indices, sectors, commodities and the metals markets.  We produce chart pattern analysis and empower people to improve entry and exit points.

To become a member of Kimble Charting Solutions, click here.

...

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Zero Hedge

As Markets Brace For Recession, Illinois Is Nation's Least Prepared

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Ted Dabrowski of WirePoints

Wall Street’s best predictor of a recession has reared its ugly head and Illinois is nowhere near ready for a slowdown. In fact, Illinois is the nation’s least-prepared state for an economic downturn. When that recession finally comes, Illinoisans should expect to get hit hard.

The pre...



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Biotech

China's win-at-all-costs approach suggests it will follow its own dangerous path in biomedicine

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

 

China's win-at-all-costs approach suggests it will follow its own dangerous path in biomedicine

Megacity Shenzhen, as seen from Hong Kong, is a center for Chinese finance and tech. AP Photo/Kin Cheung

Courtesy of Hallam Stevens, Nanyang Technological University

The world was shocked by ...



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Insider Scoop

Wells Fargo Is Bullish On Shopify

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related SHOP Benzinga's Top Upgrades, Downgrades For December 18, 2018 41 Biggest Movers From Friday ...

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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Dec 16, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

A significant selloff Friday had bears continuing to enjoy December and calls for the bulls for the Federal Reserve to save them.  It’s been a very long time since bears have had the upper hand for such an extended period.  Volatility continues to be very high and the charts continue to say “remain in safety”.  The Russell 2000 – the laggard of 2018 – broke a yearly low set in February and the S&P 500 broke October lows to create a “lower low”.

Karyn Cavanaugh, senior market strategist with Voya Investment Management, said that disappointing economic data out of China was the biggest driver of Friday’s losses. “The Chinese data was a dirt sandwich, not because it showed deceleration in the Chinese economy, but because it’s showing...



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Digital Currencies

Crypto Bull Tom Lee: Bitcoin's 'Fair Value' Closer To $15,000, But He's Sick Of People Asking About It

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Listening to the crypto bulls of yesteryear continue to defend their case for new new all-time highs, despite a growing mountain of evidence to suggest that last year's rally was spurred by the blind greed of gullible marginal buyers (not to mention outright manipulation), one can't help but feel a twinge of pity for Mike Novogratz and Wall Street's original crypto uber-bull, Fundstrat's Tom Lee.

Lee achieved rock star status thanks to ...



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Members' Corner

Blue Wave with Cheri Jacobus (Q&A II, Updated)

By Ilene at Phil's Stock World

Cheri Jacobus is a widely known political consultant, pundit, writer and outspoken former Republican and frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, CBS.com, CNBC and C-Span. Cheri shares her thoughts on the political landscape with us in a follow up to our August interview.

Updated 12-10-18

Ilene: What do you think about Michael Cohen's claim that the Trump Organization's discussions with high-level Russian officials about a deal for Trump Tower Moscow continued into June 2016?

...

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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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ValueWalk

Vilas Fund Up 55% In Q3; 3Q18 Letter: A Bull Market In Bearish Forecasts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The Vilas Fund, LP letter for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018; titled, “A Bull Market in Bearish Forecasts.”

Ever since the financial crisis, there has been a huge fascination with predictions of the next “big crash” right around the next corner. Whether it is Greece, Italy, Chinese debt, the “overvalued” stock market, the Shiller Ratio, Puerto Rico, underfunded pensions in Illinois and New Jersey, the Fed (both for QE a few years ago and now for removing QE), rising interest rates, Federal budget deficits, peaking profit margins, etc...



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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"

 

 

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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.

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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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