Not that we will actually be so silly as to do that; the tools over on the www.peoplenomics.com side of the house are not giving us a green light yet and I invented those tools to keep our personal finances out of the ditch since I am one of those people who tends to fall in love with positions.
Still, we have to look at some of the factors that could lead to rational exuberance – and one of them slapped my yesterday on a drive through Jacksonville, TX.
The price of gas at one of the off-brands on the main drag through town was selling Regular for $1.499 per gallon.
The Triple A National Fuel Gauge Report shows $1.813 nationally this morning against year-ago prices at $2.044.
Since it seems like most of the cars being sold are getting reasonable mileage, it gets me to wondering whether car travel might be poised to make a recovery this year.
While it’s a bit early for thinking about driving vacations this year with the weather still kind of Itchy and Scratchy for a while yet, it is something to think about when the boss isn’t around.
There is a technical problem: Even with a strong rally today, the market will not have really gone anywhere this week. Remember that last Friday’s S&P close was 1,906.90. So the markets need to “put on some beans” today just to get back to break-even.
Even so, the Futures are kinda pointing this way. Some reasons?
Well in the Pacific, Japan and China were both up over 2 1/2%. In Europe, France and Germany were coming up on 3/4% increases, but the Brits were up 1.25% already.
If that kind of EUphoria carries West, that would pump the Dow up 200 and something by the close. And more important, that would breath live back into the S&P and pop a gain of 20-something for the week. Any port in a storm.
Still, there’s a long ways to the close and being in cash means we can focus on the important part of life: Trying to figure out who we pissed off in some previous lifetime to end up on this planet for this time around.
And trying to figure out what really matters besides health, heart, and pocketbook.
GDP’ing All Over Ourselves
Hot off the press release:
Real gross domestic product — the value of the goods and services produced by the nation’s economy less the value of the goods and services used up in production, adjusted for price changes — increased at an annual rate of 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
In the third quarter, real GDP increased 2.0 percent. The Bureau emphasized that the fourth-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see the box on page 4 and “Comparisons of Revisions to GDP” on page 5). The “second” estimate for the fourth quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on February 26, 2016.
The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), residential fixed investment, and federal government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment, exports, and nonresidential fixed investment.
Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased. The deceleration in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected a deceleration in PCE and downturns in nonresidential fixed investment, in exports, and in state and local government spending that were partly offset by a smaller decrease in private inventory investment, a deceleration in imports, and an acceleration in federal government spending.
I HATE the way BEA writes their press releases. It’s all self-referential percentages. You have to really go looking for the number which is the only part that matters. The rest is soft-shoe and bullshit; heavy on the latter.
If you read long enough, you eventually get to:
Current-dollar GDP — the market value of the goods and services produced by the nation’s economy less the value of the goods and services used up in production — increased 1.5 percent, or $68.1 billion, in the fourth quarter to a level of $18,128.2 billion.
Which could be stated as current GDP is running $18.128 trillion.
Somewhere in here I quote the new H.6 Money Stocks from the Fed and note that in the past 12-months, money at M2 is up 4.7% so GDP isn’t keeping up with the supply of paper and ink to keep pretending we’re profitable.
But then (worse) some dog-ion-the-manger reporter (like, oh, me) will come along and compare that to the Public Debt to the Penny. Which this morning is $18.963 trillion, So yes, with projected increases in the national debt for the balance of the year, we are happily (and insanely) going down the same road as Greece.
Which is why tomorrow’s Peoplenomics report will focus on the evolution of a Second Depression Handbook.
Eventually, you’ll need it.
Post data, the futures were up only a hundred or so. Maybe there are some rational people left on the Street, after all.
But don’t hold your breath.
What Are You Worth?
You see where China is setting up a Social Credit system? It will rate citizens on how I trustworthy they are.
Be a good little lapdog and don’t think outside the corporate/party lines too far and we’ll let you live…
I’d hate Amazon to rate me based on my reading list and purchase history. This seems to be the direction, though. Isn’t it enough I pay promptly?
But it’s the social engineering enforcement side of the PTB. Question climate change or government policy and you’ll get whacked on the peschewzelwhacker.
Politics: As Usual
Seems we have a choice of what to believe happened last night.
On the other hand, here’s a report that last night was no fun for Ted Cruz. GOP insiders- It was a rough night for Ted Cruz.
Who Hacked the IDF?
Well, us, for one as word spreads that US, British spies hacked Israeli air force: reports citing Snowden.
Zika virus continues to ramp up into an international pandemic.
FBI says video shows slain Oregon occupier reach for jacket pocket reports Reuters.
Madness on Bordering Files
Obama administration placed children with human traffickers, report says. Worst of all, the “ownership” of the kids wasn’t established properly, so a trafficker could claim “Oh, that’s my child” and be off with them.
Die-hard open border fans aren’t going to want me pointing out this was NOT a partisan report, either. It was an internal HHS investigation.
Wait! Isn’t there an Executive Order covering this kind of thing?
Did You Know?
There Goes the Barbershop
Yet another iconic American place is under attack as mobile continues to grow in the wake of Uber and Lyft. Here comes a national mobile hair-cutting product: Interesting news release caught my eye:
NEW YORK, Jan. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — After a year of providing exceptional on-demand handsomeness to busy, professional men in New York City, Shortcut, the preeminent mobile barber service, is releasing an optimized app to begin bringing its grooming services nationwide.
Initially launched in late 2014, Shortcut completely overhauled its product to include more sophisticated design and personalization functions to create an even more fluid experience for consumers and barbers alike.
I have to wonder how soon before other icons of American life fall under the tires. Got an app yet that can bring me hardware and lumber on command?
If we can do it with pizza and haircuts, why not 2-by-4’s?
Me? I’m thinking about getting into the mobile BBQ grill business, myself. $30 bucks for a grill and one hour of cooking on it. Tips would be of BBQ’ed whatever…and let’s see how IRS would want those braised tri-tip tips reported.