Planet Earth has nearly run-out of rational investments. Global population seems to be slowing as planned (Thanks Covid!). And even with newswires buzzing with with “Inflation hype” a buddy of mine asked this week “When will bondholders catch a break?”
Today, we consider Earth’s Economic Prospects from an Off-Worlder’s perspective. Because by pretending “We ain’t really from around these parts…” the depth of our folly becomes apparent.
We begin in high orbit, our daily monitoring from a parking orbit in geo-synch:
Top Down Global Mess
Besides the obvious, though slow-motion, die-off from accidental/planned pandemics which have killed how many million so far? (3.3 million on 161 million cases for a death rate of ~1.86%. The Spanish flu ran about 2.6% during its 1918-1921 roll.) What we really want to know is whether the “magnetic vaccination site” deal (going viral) is real or not…
Regardless: We are still facing multiple potential wars.
- The Israeli IDF is getting ready to enter Gaza and take out missile launching sites. Take a look at Chris Tyreman’s take on it over on the “Step-by-Step-Millionaire channel on Youtube.
- The energy pipeline owners are expecting the ransomware-induced shortage to ease up by Memorial day. Software is now a global weapon.
- Ukraine is still a smoldering stand-off. But the Ukraine government continues its hard line: Ukrainian Court Puts Putin Ally Viktor Medvedchuk Under House Arrest reports Bloomberg.
- And with China licking its chops for reunification of Taiwan, we immediately ask “Sabotage?” when stories like Power restored in Taiwan after rolling blackouts (apnews.com) cross. Equipment failure, eh? Ahem…
So any one of these could blow-up on a sneeze.
Bounce Or Trounce
We like to use trend channels, Elliott Waves, and our high orbit Aggregate Index view of the world. Since, at any one instant when markets close for the weekend, like tonight, there’s only so much money sloshing about.
Based on futures (before the retail data, which we’ll get to in a sec.) it was clear that we’re in some kind of rally. It began at the lows earlier this week and ended the 3 down in the Aggregate like so:
If the rally closes above the 2 on the right up there, then off we go into a final small v to finish 5 up and then disaster has an opening. More likely – not financial advice, just chit-chat at the betting window – we might see a rally to the channel top to complete 4 and then set up for a 5 down next week.
The kind of what-if’s we kick around in the charts tomorrow for subscribers. Spiced up with options expiration in a week.
OK, NOW Retail
I didn’t want to over-focus on the retail numbers just out. Because the nature of investing has changed over the years. Like a Matryoshka doll set, everything is nested and interconnected in terribly complex ways, best considered from high Earth orbit.
Once you’ve got a globally-linked & levered view – then you can drill down into a single country and decide how to play.
We’ve been anxious to see how the retail sales figures would hold up because while we have tremendous pent-up demand from consumers who’ve been stuck in lockdowns, there’s this damn chip problem that has kept the auto showrooms short of product. Not just chips, either. Some are already labeling it “Biden’s state-sponsored labor shortage” over on RealClearPolitics.
Whatever the Post-It, here’s the data:
“Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for April 2021, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $619.9 billion, virtually unchanged (± 0.5 percent)* from the previous month, and 51.2 percent (± 0.7 percent) above April 2020. Total sales for the February 2021 through April 2021 period were up 27.1 percent (± 0.5 percent) from the same period a year ago. The February 2021 to March 2021 percent change was revised from up 9.7 percent (± 0.5 percent) to up 10.7 percent (± 0.3 percent).
Retail trade sales were down 0.3 percent (± 0.5 percent)* from March 2021, but up 46.1 percent (± 0.7 percent) above last year. Clothing and clothing accessories stores were up 726.8 percent (± 2.8 percent) from April.”
Related: Import – Export Prices
Just out from Labor:
U.S. import prices advanced 0.7 percent in April following a 1.4-percent increase in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Higher prices for fuel and nonfuel imports contributed to both the April
and March advances. Prices for U.S. exports increased 0.8 percent in April, after rising 2.4 percent the previous month.”
A few minutes after both numbers, we saw futures rise a bit more so almost up to the top of the trend channel in our chart.
Keep an Eye On:
Just ahead of the open (9:30) we get the Fed Industrial capacity and utilization date (9:15). If you’ve got a sense of indecision about what’s coming, this could offer solace (or that one last nudge off the bridge).
Cleaning the Bilge
Yes, your favorite “one-man financial rag” – which began while I was living on my sailboat – still collects things in the “bilge.” Which – if you’ve failed to claim the pirate’s life – is the usually dirty (more like filthy) area under the “floor” (sole) of a ship of any consequence. (If it doesn’t have a sole, it’s a no consequence – so dinghy’s and skiffs don’t count….). Here’s this morning’s bilge pumping:
Misleading headline? “Conservatives seize on gas crunch to blame Biden, stir base” has us wondering would libtards act any differently? (Spoiler: No.)
Can’t fix stupid Dept. “Antifa Protester: “I Can’t Wait Until Black People Lynch White People” – reports Summit News. Yeah – that’ll heal the nation – you bet.
The Cryptolips: While we watch Crypto Mania argue over tulip bulb color virtues (Bitcoin as red tulips, Ethereum as pink tulips, etc…it’s all quite absurd) Coinbase CFO on crypto investors, dogecoin and growing competition is worth pondering as well. BTC stuck in the low $50.4k range.
Splitsville Tracking in the NY Times biz section: The Gateses’ Public Split Spotlights a Secretive Fortune. Which, as my consigliere notes has driven the Harry & Meghan drivel off the wires for a while.
Oh – wait – they’re back: Prince Harry on why he and Meghan moved Archie to California over on yahoo.com. God save us from “celebrithink.” But, if you’re a groveler…
Say, you don’t suppose this is what “jump the shark means?” Scientists bring 97 baby sharks to life through artificial insemination.
Bilge cleaning almost done, we find this in the Hollywood Reporter capturing that eu d’ insanity running rampant today. Cara Delevingne is Auctioning an NFT About Her Vagina.
As we have long-warned: The world is running out of things to monetize – race, weather, gender, made-up “secret numbers” and now body parts. Yet the nice (sick) consistency of it works from a portfolio standpoint. For one more day…
Off to work on charts for Peoplenomics subscribers and a once-around the yard on the new lawnmower. Don’t forget ShopTalk Sunday – building a nifty ham radio kit – the uBitx 6.0 which is a $209 marvel *(including shipping).
Hi-ho riding mower! Away!~
Write when you get rich,