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  • More on Caterpillar Q4: Plans major stock buybacks [View news story]
    So companies are using excess cash to buy back stocks and keep prices propped up? Not exactly a positive indicator for the future economy.
    Jan 27 08:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jobless Claims edged up 1K to 326K [View news story]
    US population in 2000 was ~ 248 is now over 310 million. Gallup has the P2P at 42.5% (working 30hrs a week or more)..lowest in several years. GDP comparisons per worker is a weak metric these days since debt levels (corporate and government) are at multi-decadal highs. Central banks are forced to sit on interest rates to prevent economic collapse. The market is a farce, propped up by mass intervention and continued debt/currency creation with continued government loans, guarantees and outright Fed monetary injections. The returns from such policies are obviously diminishing at a rapid rate.

    Simply put...there are too many people for too few jobs. Jobs are either not being filled, being replaced by cheaper workforce elsewhere or being replaced by technology. The technology aspect is rather large and another reason why GDP per employee is misleading (additionally the way GDP is now calculated). The worker is getting credit for the robot or computer that is doing the work.
    Jan 23 12:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weak China data leads small global selloff [View news story]
    ..lets see what happens after the London Market closes...
    Jan 23 10:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jobless Claims edged up 1K to 326K [View news story]
    I suppose I look at it as $2.1Billion per month (cost of the program) was just removed from the consumer economy. Certainly many of these people will have to pick up some sort of job, but eventually, the degradation of the participation rate will impact the economy. Gallup's P2P is definitely heading in the wrong direction. Initial claims won't see this aspect at all.
    Jan 23 10:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Broader Implications Of A Weakening Retail Sector [View article]
    I think the condition of the consumer is largely ignored. Hardly noticed in today's new unemployment claims report was the vanishing of over 1.35 million from EUC2008 as funding was not renewed. That is 1.35 million consumers no longer receiving unemployment. Translated a different way $26 Billion (yearly cost of the program) or $2.1 Billion per month, was just removed from the consumer economy.

    Shipping wise BDI, and my preferred shipping metric, HARPEX are at multi year lows

    Showing no real recovery. As to rail traffic...I wonder how often certain shenanigans happen to seem as if traffic is really doing well?
    Jan 23 10:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jobless Claims edged up 1K to 326K [View news story]
    EUC drops to zero as 1.35 million no longer receiving long term benefits. This might translate to a larger drop in participation rate for January.
    Jan 23 10:02 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Gold Breakout Occurs As The Days Turn Long [View article]
    Inventory will indeed be the key. I think we will see some serious whiplash moves as the slamdown continues only to see prices whip back up as inventory cannot keep with demand. It will all depend on how much longer the manipulators can run before they are out of gas or the market simply ignores the attempt at manipulation.
    Jan 23 09:59 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Gold Breakout Occurs As The Days Turn Long [View article]
    Here is my conspiracy theory for the Gold slamdown in 2013 and why it probably wont improve much in 2014. Several countries are making gold repatriation moves. Instead of the gold arriving quickly it is coming in extremely slowly (ex. Germany has only repatriated 5 tons of gold from the NY fed after a year). Banks are manipulating the price lower because they don't have the gold they are supposed now they have to buy it.
    Jan 20 08:44 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.K. retail sales jump in December [View news story]
    Wonder how those UK consumer debt levels are looking?
    Jan 17 07:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Senate approves budget [View news story]
    "..... Even though most legislators haven't read the 1582 page bill."

    Well that just makes me all warm and fuzzy. I wish I could find a job where I didn't have to do my job.
    Jan 17 06:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Payrolls add 74K in December; UE rate down to 6.7% [View news story]
    Canda is certainly having a rough time recently with their unemployment.... of course they could change and measure like the US does and it would plummet.
    Jan 10 04:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Payrolls add 74K in December; UE rate down to 6.7% [View news story]
    I think ADP on it's face was probably close. I can't stand the way BLS does their survey. Gallup does a better job IMHO. ADP doesn't really look at who takes the jobs (demographics) or can tell the quality of jobs. Even with +200,000 jobs it wasn't enough to offset those leaving. Next month will be very interesting with some 1 million+ having come off EUC. Either they will disappear from the count, or the number of job openings will drop since so many will be forced to find something.
    Jan 10 04:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Payrolls add 74K in December; UE rate down to 6.7% [View news story]
    We have squandered most of our IP via trade deals (production in countries with less than diligent enforcement of IP violations) and ignorant regulation that supports patent trolls. There is very little software that isn't pirated.

    Technology is a positive and negative bedfellow. It has probably replaced more jobs than one can count. What took 1000 people 20 yrs ago can be done by 10.

    Plain and simple the US has a population problem. But in a consumer based economy, the US has failed to evolve the workforce with technology. Thus as fewer are working, poverty increases, heavy strain on social services and debt increases. Eventually this smothers the economy.
    I know you follow Gallup, they picked up on the participation rate drop. They show a level not seen in almost 3 yrs using their matrix (P2P). Only 42.9% in the 30 hr or more work week. Stagnation. And that is with years of QE, forced low interest rates and massive government backing of consumer loans. It just isn't working. Maneuvers can be made only so long before this imbalance causes nothing short of collapse.
    Jan 10 04:30 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Payrolls add 74K in December; UE rate down to 6.7% [View news story]
    I don't think you should sell anything. Present situation is very positive for the stock market. It is heavily backed by government and Fed actions. Since this article has to do with employment, I thought that is the situation we were addressing. Participation rate has been degrading for some 15yrs. Eventually this imbalance will catch up with a consumer based economy. Corporate ( now almost $10 T) and government (now at $17.3 T) liabilities are at record highs. As long as indebtedness keeps being extended, things will function, but it will be ever diminishing returns. Interest rates have had to be forced down, and now the Fed is having difficulty sitting on them. I suspect they may be forced to hold off on the next taper move to keep things under control. The 10yr is trying very hard to break free of 3%. If it does the Fed may be forced to chase rates quickly.
    This is a big gorilla in the room no one wants to see wake up.
    Jan 10 03:41 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Payrolls add 74K in December; UE rate down to 6.7% [View news story]
    Good portion of housing is purchased by investors...there are actually a few articles here on SA recently warning about the looming slowdown in housing. Regular home buyers (that can qualify) are getting government backed loans. Rental properties are the big winner at the moment. I know you know this one.... 95% of all non-revolving consumer loans in 2013 were government backed student and auto loans. Retail sales are dismal as numerous reports are coming out.
    On the flip side high end auto sales, Bentley etc. are doing well. The income gap is getting wider and the worker is getting poorer. 70% live paycheck to paycheck, 80% have been in or are impoverished or near poverty (numerous articles on this).
    "(Reuters) - The number of U.S. residents living in poverty edged up to 46.5 million last year, the latest sign that an economic recovery marked by a stock market boom has not trickled down to ordinary Americans."
    "While the Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 16 percent on a total return basis last year, including reinvested dividends, the Census Bureau report showed median household income slipped to $51,017 from of $51,100 in 2011.
    The economy has struggled to sustain growth rates of more than 2.5 percent since the recession ended.
    Although the bulk of the more than 8 million jobs lost during the downturn have been recouped, many of the jobs have been in services industries such as retail and restaurants that typically do not pay well."

    The evidence is there. No one wants to look.
    Jan 10 03:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment