Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Economics

Dow Theory Sell? Not yet.

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, April 10, 2018:

Investors who religiously follow Wall Street’s oldest, most successful market-timing tool, the Dow Theory, likely liquidated some, most, or perhaps all of their investments on Tuesday. They are already also likely regretting the move.

Strictly speaking, as The New American has noted in a series of three articles dating back to March 23, the theory tracks two primary indicators: the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the Dow Jones Transportation Index (DJT). Investors following Charles Dow’s thinking (he never used his own theory to trade stocks) went on yellow alert following the market sell-off that began in late January. The market rebounded but never hit new highs. That put in place the floor — called “support” — for those two indexes. The theory states that if a subsequent sell-off takes those two indexes below the previous lows, investors should sell and wait for a better opportunity to buy back into the market.

For the record, the Dow pierced the floor several times but the Transportation Index — the Transports — didn’t, although it came close. Although The New American is not a market-timing newsletter, the remarkable bull market since the election of President Donald Trump has simply demanded that TNA track and follow it from a historical perspective.

The floor “support” for the Transports — based on its bounce back in February — is 10,136. A sell signal was generated on Monday when that index closed below it, at 10,119.

Those who sold any part of their stock holdings on Tuesday missed the rally on Tuesday that took the Dow to 24,408, a gain of 428 points (1.6 percent).

Is this a head fake? Raymond James’ chief investment strategist, Jeffery Saut, thinks so. In a note to his clients Saut explained why:

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How Do You Spell Apocalyptic? Don’t Ask the Congressional Budget Office

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 11, 2018: 

All one needs to do is view the first page of the CBO’s 166-page report on its 10-year outlook for the U.S. economy and government spending that was released on Monday to see why: it features a graph that shows better than words just where we’re headed. Two lines diverge: one, showing government revenues; the other, government outlays. The gap, instead of narrowing, widens dramatically into the future. Unfortunately, the graph cuts off in 2028, leaving one wondering: what happens next?

The CBO report reflected the new law, happily called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, that was passed in December. Its previous projection, made by the CBO last June, showed a deficit of $563 billion for 2018, rising to $689 billion next year. Now, with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act behind them, the CBO now projects this year’s deficit to be $804 billion and next year’s to be just a touch below a trillion dollars, at $981 billion.

The CBO, considered by many to be less partisan than projections coming from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), covered itself with this disclaimer:

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CBO Update: Trillion-dollar Deficits to Arrive Two Years Sooner

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, April 10, 2018: 

According to the latest report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), released on Monday, the U.S. economy is going great guns. But that growth, no matter how robust, will never catch up with government spending. Hence, despite that growth, annual deficits of a trillion dollars will arrive two years sooner than originally projected.

That previous projection, made by the CBO last June, showed a deficit of $563 billion for 2018, rising to $689 billion next year. Now, with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act behind them, the CBO projects this year’s deficit to be $804 billion and next year’s to be just a touch below a trillion dollars, at $981 billion.

The CBO is considered by many to be less partisan than most government entities and as likely to create more accurate projections than those coming from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB). It covered itself with this disclaimer:

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Jobs Report for March Beats Forecasters, Again

Private-sector employment jumped by 241,000 jobs in March, beating February’s numbers and forecasters once again. This is the fifth straight month that the U.S. economy has added 200,000 jobs or more, and is far ahead of the paltry jobs growth recorded last September — just 80,000 new jobs that month. Forecasters were expecting just 200,000 new jobs as they anticipated that demand by employers would exceed available supply.

According to ADP/Moody’s Analytics,

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Bull Market in Stocks Continues

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, April 3, 2018:

The 616-point decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) during the first calendar quarter of 2018 ended a nine-quarter streak of gains. During those nine quarters, the Dow rose an astonishing 8,400 points, almost half of the Dow’s 18,000-point gain since the start of the bull market in stocks in 2009.

Monday’s sharp decline of more than 600 points mid-day (the Dow ended down 450 points for the day) raised once again the question: is the bull market in stocks over?

It’s highly unlikely. From 1995 to 1997, the Dow rose 11 quarters in a row before selling off. After the down quarter that followed, the market roared back, gaining 11 percent the next quarter and climbing more than 45 percent by the end of 1999.

Yardeni Research reports that

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New Unemployment Claims Drop Further, Beating Estimates

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, March 30, 2018: 

English: A map of the 12 districts of the Unit...

A map of the 12 districts of the United States Federal Reserve system.

New claims for unemployment insurance dropped last week to the lowest level in 45 years, according to the Department of Labor: “Seasonally adjusted initial claims [for unemployment insurance benefits were] 215,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week’s level [which was revised downward].”

Once again the economy is beating forecasters, who expected new claims to come in at 230,000. Either way, the performance of the economy continues to astound Democrats increasingly worried about the midterms and delight Republicans who voted for tax cuts and tax reform.

The last time new claims were this low was in 1973, when the labor force was much smaller. In 1973, the U.S. labor force was 100 million; today it is more than 160 million. Translation: Unemployment claims are the lowest in U.S. history when compared to the workforce.

It gets better.

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Is the Bull Market in Stocks Over?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, March 28, 2018:

Followers of the Dow Theory are having their faith in Wall Street’s oldest and most accurate market-timing model tested. Last week’s selloff triggered one of the last two indicators necessary for its followers to declare that the nine-year old bull market has ended.

Charles Dow never used his theory to trade stocks, but his followers have, with great success. It has outperformed the traditional “buy and hold” strategy by an astonishing 4.4 percentage points annually. Mark Hulbert, who watches the market watchers and publishes his results in his Hulbert Financial Digest, wrote that the key support levels to watch are 23,860 on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and 10,136 on the Dow Jones Transportation Average (DJT).

Near the close on Friday, the Dow broke through support, but

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Tariff Reality Ignites Stocks, Affirms Dow Theory Bull Market Signal

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 27, 2018:

The rebound in stocks on Wall Street on Monday and early Tuesday that followed last week’s sell-off was triggered by the reality that Trump’s tough talk on tariffs was little more than an opening bid to get China’s attention. It did, as was noted by Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin: “We’re having very productive conversations with them. I’m cautiously hopeful [that we can] reach an agreement.”

It helped that over the weekend investors began to understand that Trump’s threat, even if fully applied, would have very little impact on the overall economy. Part of the initial confusion was the media’s constant repetition that Trump intended “to impose at least $60 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports” as the Washington Post expressed it. Whether deliberate or not, the Washington Post should have said that Trump intended “to impose tariffs on at least $60 billion worth of imports, particularly imports of steel and aluminum.”

That’s a vastly different, more accurate and less concerning statement.

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Remington Arms Declares Bankruptcy, Will Continue Operating Under Chapter 11

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 26, 2018:

Remington Arms

Remington Arms

Remington Arms filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 in Delaware  on Sunday evening. Directors of the 200-year-old company — America’s oldest gun maker — threw in the towel: “Directors have determined that it is advisable and in the best interests of the Company that the Company file … a Voluntary Petition … for Chapter 11 [bankruptcy].”

Observers blamed the president and Adam Lanza for the filing. Remington’s sales of its iconic shotguns, rifles, and pistols were increasing during the 2016 presidential election as American gun owners, fearing that anti-gun Hillary Clinton would assume the presidency in November, went on a buying spree. When Donald Trump won, those gun buyers not only breathed a sigh of relief, they ended the spree, leaving gun shops with vast inventories and gun manufacturers such as Remington with falling sales and revenues.

Others blamed Adam Lanza for using one of Remington’s products, its Bushmaster AR-15, to kill 20 youngsters in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012. They note that the families of those victims filed a class-action wrongful-death lawsuit against Remington two years later, which lawsuit is presently before the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Those much more familiar with Remington’s recent history are blaming the company itself

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Fed Sees Inflation Coming, Raises Rates to Head it Off

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, March 22, 2018: 

Following the unanimous and much-anticipated decision by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by another quarter of a percent on Wednesday, the new chairman, Jerome Powell, said, “The economic outlook has strengthened in recent months. Several factors are supporting this outlook: fiscal policy [i.e., Trump’s tax cuts to individuals and corporations] has become more stimulative, ongoing job gains are boosting incomes and confidence, foreign growth is on a firm trajectory, and overall financial conditions remain accommodative.”

This raises the question:

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Is the Federal Reserve Working Against Trump’s Reelection in 2020?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, March 23, 2018: 

English: Short-Run Phillips Curve before and a...

Short-Run Phillips Curve before and after Expansionary Policy

In politics, according to FDR, there are no coincidences. He famously said that “in politics if something happens you can be sure it was planned that way.” The announcement by Trump that he has filed for reelection in 2020 and the pronouncement by the Federal Reserve following it may just be one of those “planned” coincidences.

The pronouncement from Jerome Powell, the new head of the Fed, was, on the surface, comforting:

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Saudi Arabia Once More Delays Plans to Sell Part of Its Oil Company

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 20, 2018: 

Coat of Arms of Saudi Arabia

Coat of Arms of Saudi Arabia

The chairman of Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s privately held oil producer, told avid listeners in Davos, Switzerland, in January that “we hope that 2018 will be the right time [to list shares of the company for sale], but ultimately we have to make sure the market is ready.”

There is increasing evidence that the market might never be ready.

When Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced his plans in January 2016 for moving his country’s economy away from its dependence on oil (called Vision 2030), he guessed he could raise $100 billion from the sale of part of Aramco to help with the transition. He also felt that the sale of just five percent of the company would do the job nicely. In addition he thought that those shares might be offered as soon as 2017.

The year 2017 came and went, and Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Khalid Al-Falih said last week that the new deadline for the listing — in late 2018 — was now “artificial,” adding that the next target date is April 2019.

There are so many challenges facing the elites in Saudi Arabia that the deal might never take place.

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Hey, Prince! How Does it Feel to Have the Crude Oil Shoe on the Other Foot?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, March 21, 2018: 

English: Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is about to enjoy learning what the Old Testament teaches about the sins of his father:

The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.

In the 1970s, many of us still remember the pain and suffering that Saudi Arabia’s kings inflicted on the United States and its citizenry in retaliation for U.S. support of Israel: long lines at gas stations, alternate days to fill up, double nickel highway speeds, daylight “savings” time, and other punishments.

The prince, born in 1985, won’t remember those days, but his father, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, most certainly does. And during his two-week sales tour of the United States, the prince is going to learn about justice delayed. He now needs the help of the United States to keep his sand castle from falling into the sea or disappearing into the Arabian desert.

Specifically, the prince has a dream – Vision 2030 – but

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Nearly 3,000 Venezuelans Leaving Their Country Every Day

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 19, 2018: 

English: Logo of the Norwegian Refugee Council

The increasing flood of Venezuelan refugees is putting so much pressure on neighboring countries that the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is calling for help. More than four million people have left Marxist Nicolas Maduro’s socialist “paradise” in just the last four years, and the numbers are increasing. They are finding temporary refuge in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Aruba, and Spain; however, those countries are being pushed to their limits.

The NRC stated that the “international community … must step up efforts immediately to provide much-needed protection and humanitarian assistance … a comprehensive and rapid response to food, education, documentation and health needs [is] vital throughout the region … [we are] requesting an immediate $2.5 million … particularly on the border areas between Colombia and Venezuela.”

But, as the NRC itself admits,

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Navarro or Kudlow for Trump’s Chief Economic Advisor? Navarro in a Walk.

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, March 14, 2018: 

Reuters reported that Trump is down to the final two candidates to fill the void left by Gary Cohn’s departure: Peter Navarro and Larry Kudlow. Kudlow has an elegant public persona honed through years of practice while Navarro is known to be abrasive and harsh both in public and in private.

But Peter Navarro has the president’s ear, at least for the moment. Navarro persuaded the president that “free trade” agreements like NAFTA and the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) are Trojan Horses: all dressed up to look like “free trade” (who could be against that?), but hiding inside the machinery for regional and then international government. And he won the battle of tariffs, resulting in the departure of globalist Gary Cohn (CFR member and former Goldman Sachs CEO).

Navarro knows what Kudlow should know about China. Navarro wrote a book about the threat while Kudlow has yet to mention it on his CNBC show “The Kudlow Report.” The threat has been successfully hidden by the mainstream media for years until Navarro wrote

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Trump Considering Kudlow, Navarro to Replace Cohn as Chief Economic Advisor

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 13, 2018:

Kudlow & Cramer

Kudlow & Cramer

The vacuum left by Gary Cohn’s departure last Tuesday will be filled shortly, either by Peter Navarro or by Larry Kudlow. Reuters reported that these are the president’s “top two candidates” to replace Cohn as chief economic advisor.

Navarro, as The New American reported, led the White House team that persuaded the president to keep America first by imposing tariffs to protect what’s left of the country’s vital industrial base. Kudlow, the Democrat-turned-Republican with a history of cocaine abuse (a $100,000-a-month habit until he successfully exited rehab in the 1990s) and supporting left-wing causes and candidates in his younger days, was grieved to learn of Cohn’s departure. As The New American reported,

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313,000 New Jobs in February, Far Exceeding Expectations

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, March 9, 2018: 

Friday’s numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) were predicted a day earlier by ADP/Moody’s Analytics, which said that private payrolls in February jumped by 235,000. But few expected the BLS to report what one surprised forecaster called “unbelievably strong” new jobs numbers. Further, the Labor Department said that its jobs reports for December and January understated the reality, adjusting those two months’ reports upward by another 54,000 jobs.

The economy continues to gain strength.

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Latest Poll: An Election Today Could Retire Five Senate Democrats

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, March 9, 2018: 

English: Official portrait of Senator Joe Manc...

Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, one of many in trouble in November.

Results of a poll of likely voters released on Thursday spell trouble — serious trouble — for at least five of the 10 Senate Democrats running for reelection in November in states carried by Trump in 2016. The poll, conducted by Axios/Survey Monkey from February 12 through March 5, shows Democrat senators in Montana, West Virginia, Missouri, Indiana, and North Dakota in deep trouble. The other five, in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, aren’t out of the woods by any means.

If it’s true that voters will vote their pocketbooks in November, a steadily improving economy would spell trouble for more than just these endangered five senators. The Wall Street Journal just reported that voters’ total net worth — including all assets such as stocks, 401(k) plans, and real estate, minus outstanding credit card-debt and mortgage balances — rose in the last quarter of 2017 by more than $2 trillion to a record $98 trillion. That’s nearly seven times their disposable annual income, giving them not only a nice cushion in the event of an unhappy accident but increasing confidence in their financial futures.

And those financial futures are especially important to young voters, as reported just before the 2016 presidential election by USA Today.

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Economy’s Performance Continues to Beat Forecasts

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, March 2, 2018: 

Three more measures of how the U.S. economy is performing once again beat economists’ forecasts: consumer confidence, jobless claims, and manufacturing. Tuesday’s release by the University of Michigan of its monthly “Survey of Consumers” showed all three of its indexes notching highs not seen in years. Its Index of Consumer Sentiment (“How are you feeling about your finances today?”) hit 99.7 compared to January’s robust 96.3. That is the second-highest level since 2004, reflecting, according to the survey’s chief economist Richard Curtin, consumers’ “favorable assessments of jobs, wages, and higher after-tax pay … overall, the data signal an expected gain of 2.9% in real personal consumption expenditures during 2018.”

The forecasters in this instance nearly got it right. The consensus reported by the Wall Street Journal expected 99.5. But that’s about as close as any of them got.

The U of M’s Index of Current Economic Conditions (“How does the economy look to you from your personal perspective?”) also beat expectations,

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CNN: Democrats are Headed for Real Trouble in November

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, February 28, 2018: 

When far-left CNN, proclaimed here and elsewhere as the Communist News Network, suggests that the Democrats might be in trouble come November, one can rest assured that they are truly in deep kimchi (a Korean side dish made with fermented vegetables). Political writer for CNN Eric Bradner sounded the alarm two weeks ago:

Caught flat-footed by the suddenly increasing popularity of the GOP tax plan, leading Democrats are urging the party’s candidates to … focus their campaigns [instead] on the economy.

That’s because Trump’s tax reform law “is now seen favorably by about half of voters … as Democrats fear that their chances of claiming House and Senate majorities in November’s midterm elections are slipping.”

Slipping? How about disappearing? How would any Democrat running for reelection in November respond positively to taxpayers’ questions about why he or she didn’t vote to allow them to keep more of their income? Left-wing Priorities USA just issued a memo warning that the debate over tax reform “has been relatively one-sided recently and voters have not heard nearly as much from Democrats.”

Bradner added:

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.