Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Recession Indicator Just Reversed to Growth

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David Rosenberg's Recession Indicator Flipped Positive Today

(Business Insider) In October, Gluskin Sheff economist David Rosenberg warned of a big red flag signaling a recession in the United States.

The year-over-year change in the three-month moving average of nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft and parts (also referred to as "core capex") had turned negative.

Rosenberg considers this chart the purest look at what businesses are doing with their cash.

Today's durable goods report revealed a surge in core capex in January. Nondefense orders ex-aircraft and parts jumped 6.3 percent, way above economists' estimates of a flat reading.

Read more at Business Insider.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

USA Consumer Confidence Rises to 3-Month High

The Conference Board: Consumer Confidence Index

(The Conference Board) The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in January, rebounded in February. The Index now stands at 69.6 (1985=100), up from 58.4 in January. The Present Situation Index increased to 63.3 from 56.2. The Expectations Index improved to 73.8 from 59.9 last month.

Consumer Confidence Index by Month
Current Index: 69.6
Post-Recession High: 73.1 (October 2012)
Great Recession Low: 25.3 (February 2009)
Pre-Recession High: 111.9 (July 2007)

Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: “Consumer Confidence rebounded in February as the shock effect caused by the fiscal cliff uncertainty and payroll tax cuts appears to have abated. Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions is more positive than last month. Looking ahead, consumers are cautiously optimistic about the outlook for business and labor market conditions. Income expectations, which had turned rather negative last month, have improved modestly.”

Consumer Confidence Index by Year


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Architectural Billings Up, Bullish for Stock Market?

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Architectural Billings Rise

An Obscure Real Estate Indicator Is Looking Like a 'Huge Tailwind' for the Stock Market 

(Business Insider) The Architecture Billings Index jumped to 54.2 from last month's 51.2 reading, the fastest rate of growth in more than five years.

The index is a leading indicator for commercial real estate.

Dave Lutz, head of ETF trading and strategy at Stifel Nicolaus, sent along the chart below (the billings index in red versus the S&P 500 in blue), describing the surge in billings as a "huge tailwind" for the market.

The chart below suggests that billings can at times correlate with the market – but of course, that is not always the case.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

USA Consumer Sentiment Rebounds in February

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USA Consumer Sentiment: Thomson Reuters / University of Michigan

USA Consumer Sentiment Rebounds in February

(Reuters) - Consumer sentiment improved in February, buoyed by signs of increased hiring, though worries heightened about a decline in future income. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment rose to 76.3 from 73.8 in January, topping economists' forecasts of 74.8.

USA Consumer Sentiment by Month
Current Sentiment: 76.3 (+2.5)
Post-Recession High: 82.7 (November 2012)
Great Recession Low: 55.3 (November 2008)
Pre-Recession Peak: 96.9 (January 2007)

Households with incomes below $75,000 were among the most optimistic, "with expected gains in employment more than offsetting declines in after-tax incomes due to the end of the payroll tax cut," survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.

USA Consumer Sentiment by Year
Current Sentiment: 75.1 (-1.5)
Post-Recession High: 76.5 (2012)
Great Recession Low: 63.8 (2008)
Pre-Recession Peak: 88.6 (2005)


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Peter Schiff: The Real State of the Union 2013

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Peter Schiff

The Real State of the Union - 2013

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

USA Consumer Sentiment Subdued by Payroll Tax Hike

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USA Consumer Sentiment: Thomson Reuters / University of Michigan

Payroll Tax Hike Narrows January Gains in Consumer Confidence

"The Sentiment Index was 73.8 in the January 2013 survey, up from 72.9 in December, but below last January’s reading of 75.0. The two components of the index moved in opposite directions. The Expectations Index posted a gain to 66.6 in January from 63.8 in December, while the Current Economic Conditions Index declined to 85.0 in January from 87.0 in December."

USA Consumer Sentiment by Month

Richard Curtin, Director of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers, said "The end of the payroll tax holiday had a significant impact on consumer confidence, especially among lower income households. When asked to describe recent changes in their financial situation, declines in disposable incomes were much more frequent among households with incomes below $75,000. Indeed, higher income households much more frequently mentioned income gains in January than in the December survey. While consumer spending will slow in 2013, spending by higher income households, especially on interest sensitive purchases of homes, vehicles and household durables, will keep consumer spending slowly expanding in 2013."

USA Consumer Sentiment by Year


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Global Consumer Confidence: "We Start the New Year with Caution"

Nielsen Global Online Consumer Confidence Survey

Global Consumer Confidence: Concerns Around the World

"Global consumer confidence indexed at 91 in Q4 2012, a one-point decline from Q3 2012, but an increase of two points from Q4 2011, according to consumer confidence findings from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. However, the relatively flat global average across the last year does not tell the entire story. Across the 58 countries we measured in Q4 2012, confidence declined in 33 countries, remained flat in six countries, and increased in 19 countries relative to the prior quarter."

Global Online Consumer Confidence by Quarter
Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.

“Consumers around the world grappled with increasing economic concerns as the Euro zone crisis spread from troubled to core countries, the United States fiscal cliff threat loomed large, and China’s rising inflation sparked monetary policy action,” said Dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen. “Consumers are proceeding with caution in 2013 and showed renewed discretionary spending restraint in the last quarter amid further global economic and political uncertainty.”

Global Online Consumer Confidence by Region
Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.

"Asia-Pacific (101) and Latin America (96) reported the only regional consumer confidence index increases in Q4, rising one and two points, respectively. Middle East/Africa declined two points to 96, North America dropped one point to 90, and Europe decreased three index points to 71, compared to Q3."

Confidence by Country

India is the most most optimistic country at 121, followed by Philippines 119, Indonesia 117, Thailand 115, United Arab Emirates 113, Saudi Arabia 112, Brazil 111, China 108, Malaysia 103, and Norway 102.

Greece is now the most pessimistic country at 35, followed by Hungary 37, South Korea 38, Portugal 38, Italy 39, Croatia 42, Spain 46, France 52, Slovakia 57, and Japan 59.

U.S. Consumer Confidence

Consumer confidence in the U.S. decreased -1 to 89, which is upper mid-tier worldwide. Previous readings were 90 in Q3 2012, 87 in Q2 2012, 92 in Q1 2012, 83 in Q4 2011, 77 in Q3 2011, 78 in Q2 2011, 83 in Q1 2011.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

William Ackman: Everything You Need to Know About Finance & Investing

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William Ackman

William Ackman: Activist Investor and Hedge-Fund Manager

We all want to be financially stable and enjoy a well-funded retirement, and we don't want to throw out our hard earned money on poor investments. But most of us don't know the first thing about finance and investing. Acclaimed value investor William Ackman teaches you what it takes to finance and grow a successful business and how to make sound investments that will grant you to a cash-comfy retirement.
The Floating University
Originally released September 2011

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Legacy of Benjamin Graham: Master of Value Investing

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Benjamin Graham

Legacy of Benjamin Graham

Legacy of Benjamin Graham: The Original Adjunct Professor. This film, brought to you by the Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing, Columbia Business School, premiered on February 1, 2013 at the 16th Annual Columbia Student Investment Management Association conference.
Produced by: Louisa Serene Schneider
Shot & Edited by: Christina Choe

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

USA Consumer Confidence Drop Erases 2012 Gains

The Conference Board: Consumer Confidence Index

(The Conference Board) The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had declined in December, fell further in January. The Index now stands at 58.6 (1985=100), down from 66.7 in December. The Expectations Index declined to 59.5 from 68.1. The Present Situation Index decreased to 57.3 from 64.6 last month.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: “Consumer Confidence posted another sharp decline in January, erasing all of the gains made through 2012. Consumers are more pessimistic about the economic outlook and, in particular, their financial situation. The increase in the payroll tax has undoubtedly dampened consumers’ spirits and it may take a while for confidence to rebound and consumers to recover from their initial paycheck shock.”

Consumer Confidence Index by Month The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) had reached a Post-Great Recession peak of 73.1 in October 2012. The Great Recession cyclical low was 25.3 in February 2009. The Pre-Great Recession peak was 111.9 in July 2007.

Consumer Confidence Index by Year For each year, the related months are averaged. The Great Recession low was in 2009 at a 45 average and the Post-Great Recession peak is now 2012 at a 5-year high of 67. The 2013 average, only one month January, is 59.


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