The Good News Economist

The Good News Economist
Contributor since: 2008
Company: The Good News Economist

@dave,
which hens might those be? and just where are they planning to roost?

@bbhowmick
#1. ICSC-Goldman's same-store tally -- store sales Y/Y + 3.9%
mam.econoday.com/bysho...
#2 Redbook - store sales Y/Y + 3.0%
mam.econoday.com/bysho...

Thanks Artful,
Indeed it has been fun to watch the cynics for the past year. As you may know, observing the cynic vs. the optimist has been a lifelong past-time of mine.
Dave, guess which lot in general ultimately succeeds?

Ian,
Yes we have been tracking that trending spreadsheet for almost a year now and the linear trend line so far has been spot on.
Interestingly it mirrors the ISM manufacturing index improvement for the same period that we also have been tracking closely on our blog...
For an independent look at consensus estimates for the current period reported this coming Friday, have a look here:
mam.econoday.com/bysho...
This is not a matter of "anything being possible", rather at this point the trending yields a forecast of significant net U.S. jobs growth that is "highly likely."

Thanks for you thoughtful comments Justin.
J-dub, "never" is a strong word.

William,
Seems this earnings season has finally made believers of many, many gloomsters. (Or at least quieted the chatter) Once non-farm payrolls continue net positive for several months, there really will be no place else negative to point to... with the exception perhaps -- commercial real estate -- which still seems quite sluggish even to me...
Notsosmart and Gedankonomist,
Well over 100K of the net new jobs last month were from the *private*, non-government sector. If you read the last year of my articles -- particularly those on the manufacturing rebound in the U.S., there is absolutely no basis to implications that the labor turnaround is attributable to only government jobs.
Private sector employment is now ramping swiftly in this recovery cycle. Just ask your local or regional manufacturer (with no government ties).
GNE

James,
Always enjoy your comments. You do understand my shtick here right? Many believe that because my blog only reports the positive, that I personally don't read (or even comprehend the negative)
Anyway, no I don't know anyone who has just bought a brand new luxury liner... however what is most impressive to me anecdotally recently is that 6 of my friends who have each been looking for work in various industries for 4+ months, have each found quite satisfying full-time positions in the past month.
None of my quite extensive network of friends/contacts have been laid off since the first of the year to my knowledge.

Jeff,
As always this is a great representation of the sources of the data and science available for our analysis. And yes, employment is likely the most "loaded" of political/economic measures.
In looking at all the data, I choose to apply occam's razor to the data. To me that means a simple linear trending extrapolation of a trailing 12 months of the BLS results. The predicted result is extremely accurate -- almost 100% so when the 100K error band is applied.
I agree that you are being too bearish. The simple trending approach points to net jobs growth in tomorrow's report and extending well into 2010...
See the chart here:
seekingalpha.com/artic...

Karl,
The point of the "Good News Economist" blog is to offset (in some small way) the negative bias that exists in mainstream news media outlets. That bias is set in place by their own admission. Bad news is what sells -- and for the most part is what their editors deem as "newsworthy."
In good times and bad, the mainstream media (and the stories you read there) lean strikingly toward the negative.
Our premise is anti-institutional media based and represents our protest to a society that glorifies (and buys) newsworthy negativity.
So... in good times and bad, the good news economist blog will always lean strikingly positive....
Eldon Mast
Editor
goodnewseconomist.com

James,
Thanks for continuing to read our alternate 180 degree perspective. Indeed it is the moto of our website... "WHEN ALL YOU READ IS GLOOM, TURN HERE FOR A MUCH DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE." goodnewseconomist.com
User 152125,
Congratulations on the sale of your home. You may not have read our article several months ago that points to several other markets that are red-hot... Malkiel without being too glib there are indeed many more "miracles" happening out there as we speak... perhaps not in your local MSA, but in almost half of them across the country...
mast-economy.blogspot....
mast-economy.blogspot....

Papaswamp,
You must not be looking very far. I've personally had 6 close friends find full time work in the last 3 weeks... all at different small businesses all in different business segments.
Will SMBs owners continue to be cautious, sure... but to say none of them are hiring is just flat out incorrect.
mast-economy.blogspot....

Have a look hear for the top 100 companies to work for. Look closely and you'll notice they indeed are hiring.... rapidly.
money.cnn.com/magazine...
and its not just big business that is hiring again...
www.marketwatch.com/st...
Gloomsters, you've had your day and the sky is brightening. Time to look outside, not at your broken models of doom.
goodnewseconomist.com

RyanClarke,
If you have a look at the chart, the data does not support your claim.
In fact if you go back 3 years we are now even above those levels seen as far back as Dec 2006. Not only are we at those levels, but the momentum of new orders is accelerating.

James,
First off: Thanks for reading and commenting and the enjoyable repartee.
Secondly, The Good News Economist is a blog, not a person. You -- like many -- associate me as the editor and blog writer as the "Good News Economist" and I foster that myth to a certain extent by signing my posts as GNE, but the primary goal is that the GNE blog is a "place" where there is no gloom and doom -- not a person.
Thirdly, your simile that "A "good news economist" is like a "good news" weatherman cheerfully forecasting tomorrow's weather to get everyone in a good mood and everyone goes out the next day shoveling a foot of "partly cloudy and sunny"" -- is a fun visual, but misses on what the intention of the GNE attempts to do... I will be the first to admit that any forecasting that is done on the blog can sometimes be wrong. However, if you fairly assess what has been forecast over the last year, you will find only one or two "misses."
For the most part what you will find at the blog is selective "silver lining" articles. They don't attempt to forecast, only point out what is positive in today's climate. We can argue whether or not their is a shadow inventory, but whether or not there is one, the fact remains that the article points out firming prices (no matter how select the individual markets) and rising consumer confidence. Those are the silver lining facts. And they attempt to offset that gloom and doom you will find elsewhere.
Thanks again for reading.
Eldon Mast
Editor
The Good News Economist
goodnewseconomist.com

Carlini,
Looks like you watched the Wendy's commercial but did not read the entire WSJ article posted by concrete guy.
Yes I am in contact with many realtors from across the country. And I have spent significant time on primary and secondary research on this myth. What I find when asking the probing questions with realtors and bankers is that these reports of massive "shadow" inventory are significantly overblown. As the article in the journal notes we are now below a 4 month supply in markets like Boston, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco. That is a *sellers* market my friend. As Concrete guy sez: "It's hard to imagine that sellers (particularly distressed sellers) would be holding their homes off the market with inventories this low"... the market I know just doesn't work that way.
With respect to "spin." By my repeated admission, what the good news economist does is report good news. If you want the bad, you'll need to find it somewhere else. The pay is *not* great at all... it is my own personal blog.
Yes, I have been awake this whole time. I am just personally tired of the "shadow market" myth... time to put it to bed... And as the little old granny asserts, "I don't think there is anybody back there."
And my research and first hand observations confirm it.
GNE

Carlini: The "shadow supply" is just that: a shadow. That drum-beat is old, tired and at this point has no legs.
As my grandmother would say: "Where's the beef? .... I don't think there's anybody back there!! "
www.youtube.com/watch?...
Nice find concrete guy.
You are absolutely correct. There is no plausible reason to believe that banks and/or distressed sellers are just sitting on the sideline waiting for some mythical point in time to dump this shadow supply on the market.
Moon,
Short term market movement was all about JPM Chase noise. Nothing to do with Semis. Long term market movement agrees with me.

"Past performance is no indication of future results," however my past experience concludes that the past is the only sure indication we've got... all else is pure speculation.
<img class="authors_reply" src="static.seekingalpha.co...">


RK,
But it sure looks pretty!
Not necessarily. Intel continues to invest heavily in R&D to reduce cost. Additionally they have now a 4 quarter track record of revenues and margins that are on the mark or above. If they are fully valued here, that means a miss to their just released increased guidance. Don't bet on it.
Karl,
You also neglected to report that they raised revenue guidance significantly for Q1. There really is NO BUT in Intel's results this quarter... indeed this is now the 4th Q in a row that they have crushed... INTC up over 75% since March and AMD up over 300%

Ryanclarke,
Not according to Intel. Profit margins continue to be massive. Remember you can continue to lower price if you also lower your cost. Intel continues to invest heavily in technologies that lower chip costs considerably while increasing their performance metrics.

Robespierre,
Likely AMD will also continue to ride this wave. Since March lows AMD stock is up over 300%... up another 2% in premarket today based on the Intel news....

Kunst,
Looking back, the GNE blog did quite well in 2010. A list of 25 predictions and a retrospective look is posted here:
mast-economy.blogspot....
One of the finest moments was to call the stock market bottom (with associated charts) 3 days prior to the March low. The charts back in 1974 and 1975 gave a pretty good clue of what was about to happen this time around.... Google for "stock market chart 2009 2010" to find that top story or direct link is here:
mast-economy.blogspot....
Thanks all for reading in 2009.
Happy 2010.

Chancer,
You don't have to wait until next year to evaluate any predictions that I may have made in the past year. I will own up to any mistakes, but for the most part, since last November most have been on the mark. The latest limb I've climbed onto was early last month. "Net job's growth will return by Christmas." You'll note from comments in that initial article in early November that most decided to criticize... but indeed the data is bearing it out as we speak. (unless of course you choose to label the data as invalid -- as many do here on SA)
But perhaps more importantly, I have been clear since my writing began, that the GNE blog is all about accentuating the positive. If you want gloom and doom, you can find plenty of that elsewhere. And plenty of folks will help you see why any data is suspect and that you can't trust the anyone, especially the government -- those dogs.
The blog is not concerned with trying to paint a balanced or a politically one-sided view... only a positive view, regardless of the extent of negative data or your political persuasion. Obviously when the actual data turns more positive, the task of finding the good news and silver linings becomes much easier.
With respect to all the jobs data observable currently, it all points to a jobs market that is firming quickly. That is a far cry from losing close to 700,000 a month in March and observing data that was on a trend line that looked abysmal. That trend line turned in Apr and the jobs bleeding has now all but stopped. I really don't care if one says that the Democrats or the Republicans did it, the reality is that net job losses in the US economy have now stopped.

And just in from today's wire: 2,127 mass layoff events (at least 50 workers) in October. That's down 434 from September - and down 77 Y/Y. For those who follow this number closely, that is a huge decrease M/M... about as good as it gets during recovery.

David,
I totally agree with your "personal feeling" point. In fact, when I went through the layoff cycle personally about 10 years ago that was exactly my experience. My personal "depression cycle" lasted until I found that next job... (and even months after that until I was certain that the new employment represented a stable income and lifestyle...)
During that recovery for me, it was several months after new job creation began in the economy at large until I found my next gig... but what was abundantly clear at the time was that I would never find my next deal unless I stayed extremely positive and upbeat... a devil of a feat for anyone who has had to do it...

Thanks for the additional details on this William...
so running some very rough numbers...
20 hours a week
10 bucks an hour
Next 6 weeks
64000 workers
equals?
$78,800,000 gross
Surely doesn't make 78 millionaires, but buys a lot of weekly groceries for those doing without right now.
<img class="authors_reply" src="static.seekingalpha.co...">


@Thomas,
>Being in the business as a builder, property manager and
>landlord, I submit that the housing situation is nowhere near a
>satisfactory conclusion..
I too am a property manager and landlord in multiple markets across the country. I certainly agree that the housing situation is nowhere near a satisfactory conclusion, however it has clearly started to improve significantly since spring in many markets.
I reject the notion that there is this phantom wave of foreclosures waiting to slam the market... if that is the case just what are the bankers and their agents waiting for?
As a landlord since the 80's, I have not experienced (nor can I imagine) a better time than now to increase my holdings in residential rentals.
@j-dub,
When you look at mortgage resets charts, just remember that with rates at the levels they are now, that resets actually turn out to result payments and rates LOWER than what was set at origination. The doomster charts on ALT-a resets always fail to factor that "minor" landscape change... these ain't your father's ARM resets.

j-dub,
Whether or not they are artificial will remain to be seen... but what IS seen (by main street at least) are improving conditions.

Yes Dave.
Did you bother to read the second paragraph?