This is a very special day: Lover or Farmer Day. If you are a Lover, then it is the longest night of the year and you’re happy. But, if you’re a Farmer, it’s the shortest day of the year – hence you have less light to get things down and you’re not-so-happy. Aside from Season Affects Disorder (SAD) and treatment with full spectrum light plus, perhaps, some vitamin D3…oh, wait, back to finance.
We begin this morning with the futures up, the Tax Bill passed, Bitcoin’s holding in the $16,700 range earlier, while we ponder how long this year’s Santa Rally will last.
AS always, the answer is: ” Until it’s done.” Like “when the fever breaks.” Nevertheless, we have several fresh data points just out:
The first one is the latest GDP figure out from the Bureau of Economic Analysis:
“Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the third quarter of 2017 (table 1), according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 3.1 percent.”
Then we consider the Chicago Fed National Activity Indicator:
“Led by slower growth in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) declined to +0.15 in November from +0.76 in October. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index decreased from October, but three of the four categories made positive contributions to the index in November. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, increased to +0.41 in November from +0.31 in October.”
But the Philly Fed’s Business Outlook survey is more upbeat:
“Current Indicators Suggest Solid Growth
The diffusion index for current general activity increased from a reading of 22.7 in November to 26.2 this month (see Chart 1). Nearly 41 percent of the firms indicated increases in activity this month, up from 35 percent in November. Both the current new orders and shipments indexes also improved this month, increasing 8 points and 2 points, respectively. Although they moderated slightly, both the delivery times and unfilled orders indexes remained positive, suggesting longer delivery times and increases in unfilled orders. Inventories were, on balance, nearly steady this month: The percentage of firms reporting lower inventories (19 percent) was slightly higher than the percentage reporting higher inventories (17 percent).”
Should mention, too, in the BEA GDP data there is Table 12, the Corporate Profits report:
“Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation adjustment and capital
consumption adjustment) increased $90.2 billion in the third quarter, compared with an increase of
$14.4 billion in the second quarter.
Profits of domestic financial corporations increased $47.8 billion in the third quarter, in contrast to a
decrease of $33.8 billion in the second. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations increased $10.4
billion, compared with an increase of $59.1 billion. Rest-of-the-world profits increased $32.0 billion, in
contrast to a decrease of $10.8 billion. In the third quarter, receipts increased $26.9 billion, and
payments decreased $5.2 billion.”
If these numbers haven’t put you to sleep, congratulations. You have the makings of a good young capitalist.
There are less than four dozen of us left, the rest having been co-opted by various causes and globalism. So Ure in good company.
Dow should pop up today…as we near the end of the Santa Rally.
Enjoy It While You Can, Tho
As our outlook for 2018 continues to point to problems in late 2018, especially in the House elections where we’re expecting the RINO’s to suffer, another disturbing fact is coming into focus:
This is a kind of ‘double-whammy’ for those of us getting Social Security: When the young die, they stop paying into retirements. As a result, fewer workers (which will be driving wage inflation) will make things more expensive for the older Americans (especially those of us who essentially got NOT BUMP in Social Security because healthcare premiums ate it ALL) due to wage-driven inflation.
In a way, somewhere in here, robotics is good news (since we won’t need open borders to bring in cheap labor). But it will quickly turn to bad because, once again, only the One Percent will continue to own the Means of Production.
As we’ve been shouting from the rooftops, robotic incomes to business should be taxed as Regular Income and robotics should pay Social Security.
For now, no one seems to hear me, but give it time. As jobs evaporate in coming years, surely someone besides us will wise-up.
About that War in February
Our “not particularly upbeat” outlook for 2018 also includes war on the Korean Peninsula.
“US commandos train to capture North Korean nukes” is yet-another pointer of trouble to come.
US Department of Stupid
Or, be CNN and ask Is ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ sexist? FMTT.
Rolling Stone Sold
Penske Media buys majority stake in Rolling Stone magazine. Keep on truckin’?
The Case Against Pitbulls
Soap Box: File this under “Gory Story” as a 22-year old woman was mauled to death by her two pitbulls, according to local accounts in Richmond media.
The sad part of the story (in addition to the death) is the number of stories that come out basically apologizing for the dogs and hinting at neglect. WTF?
There was a case recently in Florida which took us aback: “Pit bulls that almost killed a UPS driver were just ‘doing their job,’ their owner says…”
Let me see if I have this right: If a delivery driver were to show up here at the ranch and I sent out a volley from the inventory, nearly killing the driver, what would happen? Answer: Attempted murder charges as a minimum, no question. Box time, for sure.
But IF, instead of a few bursts downrange from the AK’s it was chomps from Pitbulls that nearly killed, that would be OK? “Doing their job?” My ass. Set some frigging land mines, then too, so they can “do their job…”
People – not dogs – are responsible for all damage done by their animals. And an in-muzzled Pitbull – unpredictable and DANGEROUS as they are – is like walking around with a loaded weapon pointed at everyone in range.
So, pardon me if I draw down on any four-legged bred killers in my vicinity. Quid pro quo. Out of a muzzle? Out of a holster. Plain as that.
If you claim you need “personal protection” try Frontiersman Bear Spray – Maximum Strength & Maximum Range – 30 Feet (7.9 oz). $30 bucks and no food bill. No poop bags. No obedience classes.
Remember: I’ve owned two dogs and consider myself a responsible pet owner. Where I differ with pitbull owners is the definition of responsible.
Out here in the woods, understand, packs of wild dogs are a real PROBLEM. And much WORSE when pits and other attack breeds are in the pack’s mix. Ever look at a half dozen dogs with their back hairs up? Up close and personal?
All the dogpoligies in the world won’t turn a pack. Bear spray at ’em if they’re upwind? No thanks…Something heavier and faster is the only choice if you want to be home for dinner. Bump-fire? Let’s just say it works.
Despite the liberal outcries, there are times in the Outback when a 10-round magazine isn’t enough…30 (or our new 40’s) are definitely preferred. Dog packs or a herd of wild hogs are two such occasions. NRA and GOA members, of course, know this.
If you can’t make the distinction between a well-trained or working dog and a bred killer, you probably shouldn’t own ANY pets. Or firearms, either.