Data-Driven Week

If you’re looking for excitement, this week has some good potential with the Consumer Prices report due tomorrow.  I can hardly wait to see how the soaring food prices get understated this time.


In the meanwhile, we have the retail prices report to digest along with the vitamin pill and toast:


“The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for June, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $422.8 billion, an increase of 0.4 percent (±0.5%)* from the previous month, and 5.7 percent (±0.7%) above June 2012. Total sales for the April through June 2013 period were up 4.6 percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago. The April to May 2013 percent change was revised from +0.6 percent (±0.5%) to +0.5 percent (±0.4%).


Retail trade sales were up 0.6 percent (±0.5%) from May 2013 and 6.0 percent (±0.7%) above last year. Nonstore retailers were up 13.8 percent (±2.1%) from June 2012 and auto and other motor vehicle dealers were up 12.9 percent (±2.1%) from last year.



So, overall, we see general merchandise is down, auto sales are the main thing keeping the economy afloat, and we have to wonder if the government had modeled that out years in advance, which is why the bailouts of Detroit were so important…because without them, we’d be in a Second Depression, marches in the streets by now instead, and worse?


Earlier, stocks looked about flat, but since we’ve just put in recent new highs in the indices, we should continue higher from here for a ways, even though we might get some sideways action for a while.


Our trading model is presently long so being bullish seems a reasonable thing to do as the summer rally seems to be here.


Zimmerman Walks

Not to put too fine a point on this, but with the acquital of George Zimmerman on both the murder rap and manslaughter charge, I think it’s time to roll out what I wrote you Thursday again:


“Looking ahead?  I’d wager that in the event a jury finds George Zimmerman innocent, I expect that the US Department of Justice (at Holder’s direction) will proceed with civil rights charges against Zimmerman against which he can’t possibly defend. ”

Sure enough, here’s the report out this morning that yes, it’s being eyed.  And, if my windage on this is right, by close of business tomorrow we should see an announcement of some kind.  I expect the reported lack of racial bias reported of the FBI’s work will be rolled over by then.


With a little thought about the future and some understanding of process and politics, we were able to “forecast” this week’s future….no magic or software involved.  Just an understanding of social, legal, and political dynamics.


The Obama crew is trying to use this as a rallying point for tougher gun control laws.


Foreign press reports talk about “America gripped by a second night of fury…” and such.  California was particularly hard-hit.


Meantime, an editing job at NBC on case coverage seems likely to head for court in the future.



More After This…




Departments and Entities

Syrian Simmer

With Israel reported toning down its opposition to arming rebels in Syria, we can look ahead a few months and wonder if the Middle East will be blowing up this fall.


The Wargamer’s Notebook

Gotta love this one:


“Hi George, This is a cool concept.  Given a bit more time and a chunk of $$$, you could send up your own CubeSat to do your bidding – named, of course, UreSat.


The rather formidable downside is that gravity still sucks – the orbital decay factor equates to a limited lifespan of several months that IMHO doesn’t yet justify the ‘more affordable’ cost of $300K/per.  But in due time, we could quite literally have thousands of CubeSat in low earth orbit.  And we think there’s a lot of space junk orbiting up there now…”


Wait!  Here’s a bazillion-dollar idea:  Set up a burial company that will take people’s remains and blast them off for an after-life in space. 


Forget “Dust to dust.”  It would be Dust to Andromeda…and beyond!  

Princely Taxes

In the event you need any further evidence thar royals place themselves over humans, the BBC coverage of Prince Charles’s tax affairs is certainly worth a read.


Why We Don’t Do Sports

18 people were killed this weekend in a stampede after a sporting event in Indonesia.


I didn’t think anthropoligists listed humans as herd animals, but when I read stories like this one, see the kind of crap people read about Hollywood, and then look at who wins political office….is it possible the anthros missed something?


Texas Politics

With Rick the globe-trotter off raising money for a presidential bit, Texas AG Greg Abbott has tossed his hat in the ring for governer here.


A right-wing delight would be a Perry-Cruz ticket, I think.


Always Paying Government

A move is afoot in Denver to have groups which assemble for things like exercise classes to have to pay the city for park use.  Apparently not casual exercise partners and such...just commercial ventures.


But this is how big, ugly trends get started.  Charge groups over XXX and then over time move it down to where even two people have to pay.  You watch…let’s talk about it in five years.  10 to be safe.


Where’s Dick Tracy?

Apple is trying to find new talent to launch it’s iWatch product.


Ever since the Dick Tracy cartoons came out, people have been fascinated with putting communications on their wrists.


But me?  I’m waiting for the underarm computer.  Think I’ll call it the iPit.

More after this….