Monday, November 20, 2017

Weekly Message: The State of the Economy Heading Into the Holiday Season

Heading into a shortened workweek, it seems only fitting to offer up a shortened weekly message. Here goes:

While getting a jump on this week's macro analysis over the weekend, I guessed that the forthcoming reading of the Index of Leading Economic Indicators would jump nicely given the positive look of many of the other 72 data points we track. 

Sure enough:     click any insert to enlarge...

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Small Businesses on Taxes and Labor -- AND -- The State of the U.S. Labor Market

Three of the seventy-three inputs to our macro analysis have to do with the results of the monthly NFIB Small Business Survey. We track the headline number, hiring plans and capex (expansion) plans. While we don't score the stated concerns of the employers of 2/3rds of all Americans, we find them to be interesting and instructive. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Stat of the Day: Housing starts and permits...

Following up on our housing theme from this morning, today's release of new home sales and permits speaks to the sustainability of the single-family housing market. Oh, and by the way, such data does not support the doom and gloom you've been hearing from the media of late:

Charts of the Day: No Housing Bubble Here

We've expressed herein a few times of late (here's one) our view that -- rising/record home prices notwithstanding -- today's housing market does not nearly possess bubble characteristics.

To further support that notion, take a look at the latest quarterly Fed assessment of U.S. consumer credit, courtesy of Bespoke Investment Group. I.e., it takes a lot more (a lot more!!) than the ability to fog a mirror (the mid-2000s litmus test) to qualify for a mortgage these days:    

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

This Week's Message: The Quintessential

The stock market is a fascinating phenomenon! It is the quintessential independent, and unpredictable, entity. Yet there are those who would have us believe that they have its number; that they have indeed figured out what makes it tick and what its next move is going to be. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

There's Inflation in Them There Surveys! -- AND -- Gold's action made sense to us yesterday...

Once again, the Institute for Supply Management Survey respondents are telling us there is indeed some inflation out there. Thing is, we, as of yet, haven't seen much in the headline indicators; which, by the way, (PPI and CPI) are set to report next week. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Follow Up To "Headline of the Day"

China's move to free up its financial sector for foreign investment also potentially bodes well for our emerging markets exposure; as China's looming bad debt issues have been a source of concern for global investors.