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  • Housing Starts Rise, Permits Fall [View article]
    Some people just have to have a new-built home, I suppose. However for most wouldbe hombuyers, why would they commission a new home to be built rather than buying an existing one at a substantial discount? This is what the data shows (inventory reduction) and will show for some time. Fixating on new home construction as an economic indicator seems to me a few steps ahead in the recovery. First, people need their jobs back, then they need to get their balance sheets in order, then they need to regain their confidence in their economic future. At that point new home construction can begin improving again.
    Aug 18, 2010. 08:51 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Koo: The Global Slowdown Is Becoming More Pronounced [View article]
    "Koo is quick to note that the recovery we’ve seen since the Lehman collapse was primarily a mean reverting recovery that took us back to where we should have been in the first place had there been no Lehman related panic:"

    Surely this cannot be. With 20% under/unemployed, roughly half of whom would be contributing to the economy during "mean" times, we are not anywhere near the mean of economic activity that would have occurred had there not been a recession. Choose any metric - GDP$, corporate profits, S&P valuation, P/E, personal income, personal net worth - and project forward to today from September 2008 and this will be obvious. Also its characterization as a "Lehman related panic" seems a bit ill-defined, unless Mr. Koo believes that Richard Fuld caused this whole mess.

    Mr. Koo may or may not be correct in his assessment of a global economic slowdown, however his evidence is based on cherry-picked data. If you look only at negative data you will reach a negative conclusion.
    Aug 18, 2010. 08:34 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Hindenburg Omen: Savage Downturn Ahead? [View article]
    Tell me when there was a time the market was not manipulated? And does only the government manipulate it?
    Aug 16, 2010. 09:06 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Hindenburg Omen: Savage Downturn Ahead? [View article]
    Panic, panic, panic everyone!!!

    Then - if, is not a valid deduction. It may be true that every market crash was 'predicted' by this indicator. However, between 1/1995 and 3/2000, a period when the SPX went from around 450 to over 1500, the Hindenburg Omen occured 31 times. True, there were corrections along the way and some were preceded by this indicator. However it is NOT true that we had 31 market crashes during the greatest bull rush in market history. The Hindenburg Omen may be prescient from time to time but it's not on my list of reliable indicators. Check the link below.
    Aug 16, 2010. 09:01 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TIPS and Gold as Inflation Hedges: Risk and Rewards [View article]
    So gold can only go up whether inflation or deflation. It's the perfect '__flation' investment. I am such a fool for not owning any. I just confuse it with commodities and never know when to buy it instead of pork bellies and wheat futures. Dear Freedom Fan: look at the charts again. There have been times when gold has decreased in value.

    Sorry folks, gold is the same as any other investment with believers that it will go higher and unbelievers that believe it will go lower--and lots of traders who are very clever at trading on volatility to suck the money (cash) out of gold investors. Oh yes, there are also those who believe the world monetary system will cease to exist in which case only gold will have value. But I still wouldn't have any of it because what I need in return for my pork bellies is a bushel of wheat.
    Aug 14, 2010. 10:37 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What the Bond Rally Means for Stocks [View article]
    The bears and negativists certainly control the discussion at SA - both authors and commentors. And it has built to a crescendo recently. Isn't that a buy signal?

    Perhaps a couple of weeks without any financial news would give us all a refreshing break. People were supposed to sell in May and go away. Instead they all hung around to complain.
    Aug 13, 2010. 08:37 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Triumph of Crony Capitalism: Part 1 [View article]
    I read a few more paragraphs and it gets worse.
    Aug 13, 2010. 08:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shaky economies and trade imbalances have prompted an unfortunate obsession with exports, writes Alan Beattie in the FT. There's no doubt the global economy needs rebalancing, but export-mania will just drag up the same old problems we've fought before. Besides, "by definition, every country cannot simultaneously export its way out of recession."  [View news story]
    'The U.S. trade deficit widened unexpectedly to a 21-month high of $49.90 billion in June, as imports from the nation's largest trading partners ballooned. U.S. exports contracted 1.3% in June from a month earlier, while imports increased 3.1%. The trade gap with China expanded to $26.15 billion in June -- the widest level since October 2008.'

    No need to worry about the U.S. We're going to import our way out of recession, however that works!
    Aug 11, 2010. 08:57 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Jobs Have Gone AWOL [View article]
    It's also easy to blame corporate managements rather than investors wanting increasing profits which have come, in recent years, by outsourcing. A company that is not competitive loses favor on Wall Street and is doomed to buyout by a stronger competitor or hedge fund, both of which will typically leverage the transaction to the hilt. Greed, greed, greed is the mantra of Wall Street and is viewed there as a positive trait. Everyone is 'Seeking (increasing) Alpha' aren't they? The last two years should have taught us something about the consequences of unrestrained greed, called a bubble, but seem to have not.
    Aug 11, 2010. 08:34 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    FIFO is the rule for most things. Why not check processing?
    Aug 11, 2010. 08:18 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • July Nonfarm Payrolls Estimate: -65k; Change in Private Payrolls Estimates: +90k [View article]
    Or it could be she wanted her teaching job back before school starts.
    Aug 6, 2010. 08:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dilbert creator Scott Adams gets most of his stock exposure via two ETFs: SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) and iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (EEM). Adams calls actively managed mutual funds "a scam" and equates trying to beat the market with "junk science and astrology." In Adams' view, only index funds "make sense."  [View news story]
    And yet, when you look at the annual scorecard for the mutual funds, they are typically compared to the S&P 500 and, on average, over many years perform lower, net of fees. Buy SPY and you'll be a little better off in the long run.

    Incidently, Sir John Templeton was not quite accurate ("If you buy the same securities as everyone else, you'll have the same returns as everyone else".) because timing is crucial.
    Aug 4, 2010. 03:51 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ISM Index: 'New Normal' Is a No Show [View article]
    Take away government spending back to 1932 and you have less than zilch. But you can't do that because government 'spending' is an integral part of GDP. What is government spending? Many people see it as 'welfare' and 'transfer payments' to people less worthy than they. However much government spending go to R&D at universities and businesses. Where did the internet have its origins? In DARPA funded research. Where did all those satellites come from that enabled universal communications and cable tv (even ESPN). How many jobs have been created in all the businesses and industry spawned by these government INVESTMENTS. Where did all those brilliant researchers get the money from to go to college and become brilliant.

    The point is, while there is spending and some of is wasteful and some indeed goes to unworthy people, there is also a lot of government INVESTMENT. We need to be wise enough to distinguish between the two, eliminating the former and channeling to the latter.
    Aug 3, 2010. 08:09 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • ISM Index: 'New Normal' Is a No Show [View article]
    And, if you think it's a rigged game, no investment is safe. Put your money under the matress and buy a gun to protect it.
    Aug 3, 2010. 07:50 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is a Big Decline in Equities Ahead? [View article]
    Short on rationale, this author is.
    Aug 3, 2010. 07:32 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment