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The Recovery Begins – The Steep Part Of The “V”

The big market mover this week was Retail Sales, up 17.7% in May. Consensus estimates averaged 8%. A pop was expected; the magnitude wasn’t. Remember, the economy has never seen this kind of shutdown, or experienced such fiscal or monetary policies, so there is no experience or precedent upon which forecasts can be based. In this recovery, the consensus is likely to get the direction right, but as we have seen with other data …Read More

The Recession Has Arrived, & with a Vengeance

For some time, I have outlined the growing softness in the U.S. and world economies.  Most of the recent data is pre-virus, and are generally meaningless.  The numbers we will get for March will be awful, but the worst is yet to come.  An example of March’s data is from the Philly Fed.  The print of their Manufacturing Index was -12.7 for March, down a record amount from the +36.7 …Read More

FOMO, Momentum, The Fed, But No Fundamentals

As of this writing, the equity markets are on a three-day losing streak, caused by less optimism on the “trade war” file. And, while there were some positives in recently released economic data, most major economic indicators continue to show business contraction. The equity market has been driven by “the economy is strong” narrative, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), momentum, and the injection of huge amounts of liquidity by the Fed (QE4). Unfortunately, …Read More

A Full-Employment Recession: Post-WWII Growth Model Flawed

There were three big interrelated economic events at the end of October. We had the first pass at Q3 GDP, followed by the Fed meeting (another reduction in the Fed Funds Rate), and the week ended with a much stronger than anticipated jobs report. The data continue to imply that the traditionally accepted post-WWII growth model (emphasis on positive aggregate GDP growth) is no longer applicable, and policies based on it …Read More

The Goldilocks Labor Report: “Just Right!”

It isn’t ever a good sign when markets become manic. August was quite volatile with five days out of 22 (23%) where the S&P 500 intra-day market swings exceeded 2%, and three days when the market closed down more than -2.5% from the prior day’s close. (We haven’t seen such price volatility since 2011!) While, so far, September has been less volatile, the market is still susceptible to tweets. For example, news about the …Read More

The Deer in the Headlights

The big event of August, the one that was going to move markets, was supposed to be Jay Powell’s remarks at the KC Fed’s annual symposium at Jackson Hole.  Turns out, his speech was a non-event! The Powell Non-Event The media made it their purpose, prior to his speech, to spotlight the fact that the FOMC members, the Fed’s rate setting committee, are very divided on the appropriate policy, given …Read More