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Thoughts On The Economy, Buffet, Oscars & Politics – Ep.148

  • The Dow finished the last trading day in February, with a 123-point decline, in fact the Dow Jones closed at the low of the day; the NASDAQ was down 32.5 points
  • Gold reversed the declined from Friday, it was up $16.5 today it’s up another $2.50 as I record this, we’re now back above $1240
  • The reason gold declined on Friday was that the rate hike was apparently back on the table because of some stronger than expected Q4 GDP numbers and also the consumer income and spending numbers were hotter than expected
  • If you remember, I thought Q4 GDP would be revised down from .7%, in fact the consensus was for a downward revision to .4%; as it turned out, the government moved it up to +1%
  • The reason for the adjustment was that inventories were not draw down as much as was originally thought, so I suppose that will happen in 2016 Q1
  • In fact, the Atlanta GDP has already walked down their estimate for Q1 a bit, since that number came out.
  • I don’t think it really matters with the government says Q4 GDP was, because before the year is over they will revise that quarter negative because they will have to admit that the recession began last quarter
  • They always declare a recession after the fact by going back and revising down the data
  • We got the January trade deficit in merchandise that actually came out bigger than expected;  $62.2 billion vs $61 billion – that’s a lot of red ink for merchandise trade in one month
  • What also spooked the gold market was the income and spending numbers – hotter than anticipated – personal income up .5 vs .4 expected, spending also up .5 vs .3 expected
  • The core CPE numbers, the inflation numbers were hotter also; instead of being unchanged, were up .1
  • Year over year, we were up 1.7 on the core and 1.3 overall
  • The idea was that these numbers indicated that the rate hikes are back on the table
  • I don’t think so; especially when you look at the horrible numbers that came out today
  • First is the Chicago PMI for February. Last month was 55.6, they were looking for 52.9; we got 47.6
  • If you look at some of the sub-components, including employment, this was the weakest Chicago PMI since the great recession of 2009