Friday Charts: Don't Fear Another Financial Collapse Until This Indicator Soars

Includes: DIA, SPY
by: Lou Basenese

The last time I suggested print media is dead, some old-school readers rioted (via nasty emails, of course). Remember, we’re in the Digital Age. Old-school protests don’t work (more on that in a bit).

Anyway, apparently some of you still get The Grey Lady on Sundays and love thumbing through her dew-moistened pages. So, yes, technically, print media isn’t dead. But it’s only a matter of time.

Here’s more proof, courtesy of thinker and blogger extraordinaire, Mark Perry.

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Over the last 60 years, newspaper advertising’s fallen off a cliff.

Fun fact: The year advertising revenue peaked is the same year blogging software first appeared, according to NYU journalism professor, Jay Rosen. Coincidence? Not so much.

It’s hard to stay in business when your primary source of revenue is on a crash course with zero. Unless you’re the U.S. Postal Service, that is.

Whether you call print media “dead” or “dying,” it doesn’t matter. The investment implications remain the same. Avoid traditional print publishers like the plague. Even if they pay dividends like Gannett Co. (NYSE:GCI).

Foiled Again, Batman

Now let’s move on to people that are actually protesting physically, not digitally: the Occupy Wall Street folks.

Their mission? To fight against “the greed and corruption of the 1%.” In the spirit of Dr. Phil, “How’s that working out for them?”

Not so good.

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Since the self-professed “leaderless resistance movement” began a year ago, the S&P 500 Index is up 20%.

Let’s give the protesters the benefit of the doubt for a second. They really just want the big, bad financial sector to implode on itself, right? And that must have happened by now, right?

Foiled again, Batman.

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The S&P 500 financial sector is up even more since the protests began.

Maybe the financial collapse is right around the corner then? Or not.

While chatter about it certainly keeps increasing, the most reliable indicator of impending financial doom isn’t signaling any trouble ahead.

Turns out, Credit Default Swaps (CDS) – which represent the cost of insurance against a default – are falling precipitously in the financial sector.

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You’ll recall, spiking CDS prices preceded the Great Recession and all the European bailouts. So the next time someone tries to scare you stockless about a financial collapse, check out CDS prices before you even think about believing it.