Slope of Hope Blog Posts
Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.
Data released today shows:
- a drop in Britain's Construction PMI
- a rise in U.S. Job Cuts
- a drop in U.S. Unemployment Claims (which are still at higher average levels than from 2000 to 2009)
- a sharp drop in U.S. Nonfarm Productivity
- a sharp rise in Unit Labour Costs
as shown on the graphs below.
So, basically, we have a situation of fewer people being less productive at higher company costs in the U.S. and a continuing drop in Britain's business conditions. These figures do not bode well for a healthy business environment for either country that would support sustainable growth, without increasingly higher inflation in the short, medium, and long term, in my opinion.
I've mentioned purveyor-of-skanky-wear retailer Abercrombie & Fitch many times in the past, and my post of October 11 highlighted it when it was above $70. It continues to tumble (much like it did during those charmed years of 2007-2008). It's down a double-digit percentage today.
It's often tempting to anthropomorphise the markets, whether describing the movements of the markets, or referring to the dark forces that some feel are manipulating the markets behind the scenes. I don't subscribe to the latter view, as I think that the force manipulating the markets is doing so quite openly, and that force is the Fed, helped by other central banks, keeping interest rates negative and flooding the world with new money in the expectation that rising asset prices will boost the real economy. I do sometimes anthropomorphise the market however, and this week the market is being a tease.
I mentioned yesterday morning that a break above my SPX declining channel would open the way to a test of the highs and that was what we got, to within three points. In terms of direction that resolved absolutely nothing, as the failure at the afternoon high on SPX was a lower high, a potential double-top, and a second test of declining resistance from the 2007 high. Here's the updated big picture SPX daily 6yr chart: