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The drumbeat of bad (and sometimes just plain weird) news has risen lately — but today’s batch stands out. Here’s a small sampling: US jobless claims were higher than expected, and continue the rising trend of the past few weeks. US layoffs surged to a six month high, while asset write-downs are up worldwide. Among […]

Big Companies, Huge Problems

by John Rubino on January 27, 2016 · 9 comments

Apple is far from the only iconic US company that’s signaling a global slowdown. Three more are in the news today: Caterpillar warns equipment sales still falling (CNBC) – Caterpillar saw retail sales of machinery fall 16 percent worldwide for the three-month period ended in December, the construction and mining equipment company said on Wednesday. […]

One by one the pillars of the recovery are toppling. Last year the Chinese infrastructure party ended and the shale oil boom went bust. More recently the FANG stocks went from pulling the market up to pushing it down. And today Apple — whose sales would always go up because everyone on Earth wants an […]

The Shrinking Global Economy, In Three Charts

by John Rubino on January 10, 2016 · 19 comments

Regular contributor Michael Pollaro offers three more charts which tell a story that’s both disturbing and apparently misunderstood by a lot of mainstream analysts. The US trade deficit (exports minus imports) has been getting smaller. Since a trade deficit subtracts from GDP growth, a shrinking deficit will, other things being equal, produce a bigger, faster-growing […]

More Ominous Charts For 2016

by John Rubino on January 2, 2016 · 16 comments

If 2015 was the year in which no investment strategy worked, 2016 is looking like the year in which all economic policies fail. Already, at what should be the blow-off peak of a long expansion, US corporate profits are rolling over: In recent quarterly reports, most companies blame their dimming fortunes on the strong dollar’s […]

The Recession And Bear Market Of 2016, In Two Charts

by John Rubino on December 20, 2015 · 12 comments

Good friend Michael Pollaro just sent a couple of charts that show the US economy heading for a brick wall. The first illustrates what happens when business sales (the green line) turn negative. In the previous two boom/bust cycles, when sales started falling the economy either tipped into recession shortly thereafter or (it was discovered […]

Ideally, a central bank would like the party to be rocking when it takes away the punch bowl. This party, however, is not cooperating. For every sign of exuberance (high-end real estate bubbles, equity and bond bull markets, job growth) there are five or six things going wrong, some of them in a big way. […]

The “Real Stuff” Economy Is Falling Apart

by John Rubino on December 3, 2015 · 52 comments

Each month one or two high-profile government reports show the US is growing, adding jobs and generally recovering from the Great Recession. But it’s not clear how that can be, when the part of the economy that makes and moves real things keeps shrinking. Here’s a chart, published recently by Zero Hedge, showing that US […]

A too-strong currency is, in theory, supposed to make it harder to sell things to cheap-currency countries, thus crimping corporate profits and by implication pretty much everything else. The US dollar has been rising against the rest of the world for over a year, so let’s see how we’re doing. From today’s Wall Street Journal: […]

The End Of The Recovery, In One Chart

by John Rubino on November 20, 2015 · 14 comments

One of the questions on analysts’ minds lately is whether stock prices can keep moving up when corporate sales and profits are falling. But the same can be asked about the overall economy. Why would companies hire more people if they’re selling less stuff? The answer is that they probably won’t. As the chart below […]

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