Saturday, February 15, 2014

Participation Rate -- Where It's Best

The darker, the better, in this chart.

Investor Survey Shows Uncertainty at 11-Year High

This can't be a good sign!

Gold Big Winner In 2014

Gold has been trading firmly above $1300/oz this weak. On Friday, it accelerated higher. I consider gold to be its own "fear index" and an inflation index. Neither is good for the economy.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Stocks Rise Sharply On Slow News Day

Dow closed up another 126 points today. This overbullishness is, itself, one of the chief signs of a bubble.

US Industrail Production Weak

US Industrial Production last month was the worst since August 2012.They also revised the previous two months DOWN. Wall St traders barely blinked! Stocks flat so far today. They blamed the weather, dismissed it as transitory. Gee, and we all thought something as transient as "weather" happened ALL THE TIME!

If it weren't for the perpetually-rising stock market, we might thing the US economy was weak! 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Rising Risk Even As Wall St Dismisses It


Weak Economic Figures Send Stocks South

Dow futures down about 200 points as I type this. This is a double dose of bad news today.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mortgage Applications Shrink

The real economy! It's Obamalaise!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Wall St Loves Yellen

...and debt. It appears that GOP leaders in the House will imminently increase the debt limit again without any spending restraint whatsoever! Some are even suggesting that they suspend the debt limit for a decade!

Dow is up 136 points in a parabolic climb! Bullishness has never been stronger, not more extreme. The very existence of it increases risk.

Monday, February 10, 2014

How the BLS Transforms 2.9 Jobs Lost... Into a Gain

Much has been said about the January Non-farm payrolls number, which rose by 113K on expectations of a 180K increase, most of which has been focused on the US atmospheric conditions during the winter. There is a problem with those numbers: they don't really exist (as for the non-impact of "the weather" on jobs we showed previously that the number of people "not at work due to weather" as calculated by the BLS itself. this winter was lower than 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 - so much for historic winter weather).
So what really happened in January?
For the real answer we have to go to the BLS' non-seasonally adjusted data series. It is here that we find that in January, some 2.870 million real, actual jobs were lost, not gained. Putting this further in perspective, the number of NSA jobs losses in January 2014 was greater than in January of 2013, 2012, 2011 and tied that of 2010. In fact only during the peak of the depression in January 2009 was there a greater NSA drop in the first month of the year when 3.691 million jobs were lost.

So how does a loss of 2.9 million jobs become a "gain" of 113K jobs in the same month? Simple: through the magic of seasonal adjustments.

Here's the rest of the article.