To the point this morning because much work remains to be done in  the garden today.  And we were busy as hell yesterday – more on that toward the end of this morning’s note.

First Up:  Housing Starts

Is there an economy left?  Well, sure…especially in big “coop-dweller” markets:

  • Building Permits  Privately?owned housing units authorized by building permits in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,353,000.   This is 6.8 percent (±1.1 percent) below the revised February rate of 1,452,000, but is 5.0 percent (±2.4 percent) above the  March 2019 rate of 1,288,000.
  • Housing Starts  Privately?owned housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,216,000.  This is 22.3 percent (±12.2  percent) below the revised February estimate of 1,564,000, but is 1.4 percent (±12.7 percent)* above the March 2019 rate of  1,199,000.
  • Housing Completions  Privately?owned housing completions in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,227,000.  This is 6.1 percent  (±12.0 percent)* below the revised February estimate of 1,307,000 and is 9.0 percent (±12.4 percent)* below the March 2019  rate of 1,348,000.

We look forward to seeing how the Case-Shiller numbers look in a couple of weeks.

Then toss in new unemployment claims: US weekly claims total 5.245 million as 22 million jobs have been lost due to coronavirus.”  Chair-straightening day here on the Titanic.

Why, It’s The Kiss of ’29

This is more for  Peoplenomics subscribers than anything:  But our line-up with 1929 has our Aggregate Index “kissing the 1929 track” for the first time since Feb. 19th so it will be instructive to see how the next several days roll…

The green  circle is where the market was set to open based on early futures prices.  No, we make no claims that there is a technical reason to revisit the November of 1929 period.

But, if we were to, the trading session today (in our work) lines up with the trading on October 22, 1929.  Before the Big Crash back then, but definitely close.

In fact, on our “line up day” in 1929, says Wikipedia: “”The present decline is a healthy reaction, which probably has overrun itself. There is nothing alarming about it”, National City Bank chairman Charles E. Mitchell said about recent losses in the stock market. “In a market like this fundamentals are the things to look for, and if you can show me anything wrong with the situation generally, then I will be concerned.”[59]

Meraning?  Don’t be surprised if someone says something wholly absurd about how there’s not a Depression pending today…

While it’s fine to remain hopeful of a positive outcome, the warning signs just keep flashing now that the IMF is warning about things like global recession with a chance of Depression.  And CNBC is rolling with stories like “The economic data is even worse than Wall Street feared: ‘The economy is clearly in ruins here’.”

What’s more, the news – if you rely on  data less than hype and do periodic checks of keyword search interest on Google’s Trend Lab – looks like we’re in about the same position we were in the fall of 2008:

See the odd thing about how this search played out last mini-depression?

In the Housing collapse the data showed the public queries spiked and we in a downtrend already before the market hit is low in March 2009:

Sure as hell, someone is going to challenge me:  “Ure saying the Google Trends data was  dropping when the market bottomed???  Like search  knows the fu ture?”  Well, duh…of course!

Yellow is when the Dow and S&P were bottoming.

When Google Trends was bottoming before the July 2009 bump (“OMG We’ll lose the lake house!“) April May of  2009 would have been a 11-YEAR ENTRY in the long wave.  (Do I have to do all Ure thinking for you?)

This is why Big Data = Big Money...pretty simple and obvious.  However, unless you’re a sick puppy like that guy I saw in the mirror this morning, you probably won’t piss-away 3-4 hours a day thinking about data sets, retrieving gazillions of .CSV files and making charts and applying Elliott and regression channels…when you could be watching soaps or tending baby Kush plants under the grow lights…

But, there it is.

Mr. Mirth Continues:

Here; take this cynicism pill with me:

City pension troubles looking out there, are they?  A thought prompted by noticing how the Las Vegas mayor demands end to Nevada coronavirus lockdown.

Meantime, ZeroHedge reports Lockdown-Backlash Begins: Angry Crowd Surrounds Capitol, Demands Michigan Governor Reopen Economy.

HR Strangeness afoot, too: Amid medical protective gear shortage, nurses are suspended for refusing coronavirus care without N95 masks.  Label these CV19 Mercy Suspensions…

US Dept. of V-hype:Elon Musk Claims Ventilator Donations Arrived At Hospitals, Governor’s Office Says They Didn’t.”

And this ought to be easy: EasyJet to leave middle plane seats empty.

Trumperian Statistics Class

Trump says U.S. has passed coronavirus peak.  Sorry, we’d like a more medical opinion, thanks.  However, here’s what our rate-of-change study argues and it gives some creds (not enough, though) to the T-Claim:

No question about it, the growth rate is coming down.  But past the peak?  Can we, like, get back to you on that?  Last thing we need is to go back prematurely and set fire to our own Wave Two.

Elsewhere in politics, we can’t help but point out another  CNN half-right “Analysis: Biden has a young voter problem.”  The other half is Biden has an old voter problem.  Also has a problem with voters who can spell Burisma...True, NY Governor Factime isn’t any better…another “Select the least-worst choice” election looms.  On paper ballots…

Around the Ranch

Several notes from the Outback may be of interest, especially if you are coping with a 900-square foot homfice.

Neighbor up the hill  – an outstanding mechanic by training – came down and put the new driver-belt on the mower Wednesday.  (A round of red-riding followed.  Yard looks like a golf course.  No greens feels, just gas and oil…

While he was here, Super Mechanic’s dad (next tree farm over) came by.  And while I showed off my Gunfighters Inc. Kenai center of chest holster, he showed me his latest “home defense unit” – made by Bond Arms over in Granbury, Texas.

What makes his B.A. “derringer” so cool is that Bond Arms has a unique interchangeable barrel system.  So when traveling, for example, around his property, he can attach the 45-long round/.410-gauge shotgun barrels (it’s an over-under derringer frame).  Great snake gun.  But for other adventures, a 9 MM Ruger barrel might be better.  Or, even an over/under .22 long rifle barrel.  All you do to change ’em around is break, remove pin, and on  goes the new barrel.  Pretty damn slick, I gotta say.  Choices of grips and all, naturally.

As soon (or eventually when) I finish getting the shop squared around, I may put in for a permit to build a silencer.  Surprisingly, many states to allow them, including Texas.  But, it’s in the making of them where the headaches begin, though isn’t rocketry or marketry.

Lemme see, next up the deliveries came by.  One driver telling me “Yeah, George, we’re moving more packages now than over Christmas...”  Just so – on of Elaine’s b-day gifts (begins with Celestron) was delayed.  FedEx and UPS may be the future, huh?

Next visitor was the neighbor from yonder over the creek.  He brought a a dozen and a half eggs and some home-made masks…all much appreciated because it keeps us on the one-trip to town schedule and no getting out of the car…He picked up his pair of neighborhood radios…so the defense net is up.

Made a dandy point about CV-19 locally:  Seems the prison populations aren’t included in the reporting of county-level virus, even for a facility which is  in a particular county.  Sure ‘nuf:  “TDCJ’s Beto Unit in Palestine has 97 confirmed COVID-19 cases among inmates.”  6 in the “county proper.”

Which seems to be telling us:  Even  though we were among the last places to get the virus in quantity, the bugs are here and since the TDJC people live in the community, we will be extending our  “voluntary simplicity” into the foreseeable future.

Sheesh.  With 6 cases now in the county “officially” we’re in reality up into the low 100-range…which sucks.

Pass the bleach and write when you get rich…”Who was that  masked man?”