When “Bad News” Becomes “Good News”

While Tuesday’s Producer Price Index (PPI) for April came in hotter than expected (+0.5%), markets took the bad data in stride, perhaps because the year/year change on the headline index was still only 2.2% (2.4% for the “core,” i.e., ex-food and energy). Another reason for the lack of market volatility from the release may have […]

Growth Will Slow Faster Than Expected

So Says the Current Data The systemic “inflation” and “labor shortage” myths persist in the financial media despite data to the contrary: Layoffs remain at recessionary levels; Wage growth is slowing, not accelerating; Bond yields are falling (where’s the inflation?); Housing and auto buying intentions are at 40 year lows. Inflation The one-year inflation expectation […]

The Economy Slows; The Real “New Normal”

The virus’ resurgence has caused more business disruptions, raising the specter of a renewed economic slowdown.  Spending and income numbers have mainly been negative in Q4, and the much hoped for stimulus relief package is now stuck on the president’s desk. The Economy “Drop in Spending, Higher Claims Cloud Outlook for Growth,” WSJ, 12/24/20, A1. […]

How Will Markets React to Growth Deceleration?

Economic fundamentals were ignored as if they were merely background noise as markets attempted once more in early August to breach their record high levels put in late last January. The common theme in the business media is that, due to great corporate earnings (24%+ in Q2), the equity markets are cheap. Never mind that […]

Turning a Sow’s Ear into a Silk Purse

It wasn’t a big surprise that Wall Street advanced the narrative that the havoc wreaked by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma is actually a positive for the economy, now aided and abetted by the strangest employment report, perhaps of our lifetimes. (Conveniently ignored is Hurricane Maria, which completely wiped out Puerto Ricco’s economy, Hurricane Nate, and […]

Q4: A Look at the Post-Hurricane Economy

As Q3 ended, the economy continued on its tepid growth path.  Unknown is the value of the economic carnage of two hurricanes that hit the mainland and a third that completely devastated Puerto Rico.  The bond and foreign exchange (FX) markets have a sense that all is not well, but, the equity indexes haven’t yet […]