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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2012

    US Economy Has Gotten Worse

    19 Facts That Prove Things In America Are Worse Than They Were Six Months Ago

    Tyler Durden
    April 8, 2016


    While we all very capable of discerning the ‘recovery’ facts from the peddled recovery fiction throughout President Obama’s reign… a close up over the last six months suggests things are getting worse in a hurry. As The Economic Collapse blog’s Michael Snyder details, while most people seem to think that since the stock market has rebounded significantly in recent weeks that everything must be okay, that is not true at all.
    Has the U.S. economy gotten better over the past six months or has it gotten worse? In this article, you will find solid proof that the U.S. economy has continued to get worse over the past six months. Unfortunately, most people seem to think that since the stock market has rebounded significantly in recent weeks that everything must be okay, but of course that is not true at all. If you look at a chart of the Dow, a very ominous head and shoulders pattern is forming, and all of the economic fundamentals are screaming that big trouble is ahead. When Donald Trump told the Washington Post that we are heading for a “very massive recession“, he wasn’t just making stuff up. We are already seeing lots of things happen that never take place outside of a recession, and the U.S. economy has already been sliding downhill fairly rapidly over the past several months.
    With all that being said, the following are 19 facts that prove things in America are worse than they were six months ago…

    U.S. factory orders have now declined on a year over year basis for 16 months in a row. As Zero Hedge has noted, in the post-World War II era this has never happened outside of a recession…
    In 60 years, the US economy has not suffered a 16-month continuous YoY drop in Factory orders without being in recession. Moments ago the Department of Commerce confirmed that this is precisely what the US economy did, when factory orders not only dropped for the 16th consecutive month Y/Y, after declining 1.7% from last month
    #2 Factory orders have now reached the lowest level that we have seen since the summer of 2011.

    #3 It is being projected that corporate earnings will be down 8.5 percent for the first quarter of 2016 compared to one year ago. This will be the fourth quarter in a row that we have seen year over year declines, and the last time that happened was during the last recession.

    #4 Total business sales have fallen 5 percent since the peak in mid-2014.
    #5 S&P 500 earnings have now fallen a total of 18.5 percent from their peak in late 2014.

    #6 Corporate debt defaults have soared to the highest level that we have seen since 2009.
    #7 The average rating on U.S. corporate debt has fallen to “BB”, which is lower than it has been at any point since the last financial crisis.
    #8 The U.S. oil rig count just hit a 41 year low.
    #9 51 oil and gas drillers in North America have filed for bankruptcy since the beginning of last year, and according to CNN we could be on the verge of seeing the biggest one yet…
    Shale oil driller SandRidge Energy (SD) warned there was “substantial doubt” it would survive the oil downturn. The Oklahoma City company said this week it is exploring a potential Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
    Based on its $3.6 billion of debt, SandRidge would be the biggest North American oil-focused company to go bust during the current downturn, according to a CNNMoney analysis of stats compiled by law firm Haynes and Boone.
    #10 According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, job cut announcements by major firms in the United States were up 32 percent during the first quarter of 2016 compared to the first quarter of 2015.
    #11 Consumers in the United States accumulated more new credit card debt during the 4th quarter of 2015 than they did during the entire years of 2009, 2010 and 2011 combined.
    #12 Existing home sales in the U.S. were down 7.1 percent during the month of February, and this was the biggest decline that we have witnessed in six years.
    #13 Subprime auto loan delinquencies have hit their highest level since the last recession.
    #14 The Restaurant Performance Index in the U.S. recently dropped to the lowest level that we have seen since 2008.
    #15 Major retailers all over the country are shutting down hundreds of stores as the “retail apocalypse” accelerates.
    #16 If you take the number of working age Americans that are officially unemployed (8.1 million) and add that number to the number of working age Americans that are considered to be “not in the labor force” (93.9 million), that gives us a grand total of 102 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now
    #17 Since peaking during the 3rd quarter of 2014, U.S. exports of goods and services have been steadily declining. This is something that we never see outside of a recession…

    #18 The cost of everything related to medical care just continues to skyrocket even though our wages are stagnating. According to the Social Security Administration, 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year, and yet the cost of medical care just hit a brand new all-time high…

    #19 Our government debt continues to spiral out of control. At this point it is sitting at a staggering total of $19,218,516,838,306.52, but when Barack Obama first entered the White House it was only 10.6 trillion dollars. That means that our government has been stealing an average of more than 100 million dollars an hour from future generations of Americans every single hour of every single day since Barack Obama was inaugurated…

    How in the world can anyone look at those numbers and suggest that everything is okay?

    I simply do not understand how that could be possible.
    Part of the problem is that Americans have been trained to be irrationally optimistic. It is fine to have an optimistic outlook on life, but when it causes you to throw logic and reason out the window that is not good.

    For example, you can be “optimistic” about your ability to fly all you want, but if you step off a 10 story building you are going to take a very hard fall to the ground.

    Similarly, you can ignore all of the facts and pretend that our economic prosperity is sustainable all you want, but it won’t change the fundamental laws of economics.

    Finally, don’t forget, “There are no signs of a US recession anytime soon”… apart from these nine charts that is…

  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)
    The Stock Market Is Approaching Record Highs. So What’s Behind The Rally?

    04/20/16 AT 3:19 PM

    With corporate earnings set for a sixth consecutive quarter of decline, some investors have doubts about the strength of the current Wall Street rally.PHOTO: ANDREW BURTON/GETTY IMAGES

    Like a boxer who gets knocked down but rises up again, the U.S. stock market has lifted itself out of the deep slump it suffered at the start of the year to rally toward near-record highs in recent days. The Standard & Poor’s 500 inched further past the 2,100 milestone Wednesday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average pushed above 18,100.

    But the upsurge in stock prices has been just as notable for what’s missing. Namely, corporate earnings, which are projected to have moved downward for a sixth straight quarter. As major companies begin reporting financials for a challenging start to the year, it’s unlikely that the trend will snap very soon.

    So if companies aren’t making as much money, what’s driving the rally in stocks? The answer, in part, is the same forces that drove a massive sell-off in the volatile first six weeks of the year: China and the U.S. dollar.

    “This is a reversal of panic at the start of the year,” Anthony Valeri, vice president of investment strategy at LPL Financial, said. “The economic data didn’t bear out the extreme pessimism.”

    That pessimism stemmed from a raft of distressing economic data out of China in the early weeks of 2015, which spurred market volatility the world over.

    The strengthening of the U.S. dollar against other currencies weighed on profit prospects as oil continued plummeting early in the year, deepening the pain in the energy industry.

    But those trends have stabilized since U.S. markets hit a low point in the second week of February. The dollar has eased down 5 percent for the year, a relief for exporters and manufacturers. Above it all, the Federal Reserve has maintained a loose monetary policy, affirming the need for further gains across the economy.

    Does the current earnings drought really matter then? Maybe not so much. “What’s supporting the market recently is overseas events,” Valeri said. The end of the oil slump and the easing of the dollar are expected to bolster earnings in upcoming quarters, he said, noting that earnings grew at a decent clip in 2015 if you exclude the energy sector and companies affected sharply by the exchange rate.

    “Outside of those two sectors of the economy, we’re in pretty good shape,” Valeri said.

    Still, fundamental doubts over the strength of the rally remain. With growth slowing across housing, spending and exports, the market remains in a “delicate balance,” Deutsche Bank analysts said in a recent note. “Sentiment could reverse if the Fed is seen as closer to raising rates, or if, at the other extreme, growth stutters, oil sells off, political risk escalates in Europe or China concerns re-emerge.”

    For institutional investors, which include pension fund managers and insurance companies, the risks have been too high to dip into the recent rally. As Bank of America Merrill Lynch reported Tuesday, the bank’s biggest clients have been net sellers of stocks for the past 12 weeks. “Persistent sales suggest to us that clients continue to doubt the market rally,” the analysts, Jill Carey Hall and Savita Subramanian, wrote.

    The fact that stocks are going up means that someone is buying, however. The buyers fall largely in three categories.

    First, as JPMorgan Chase analysts said in a recent note, hedge funds have been rushing to cover short positions they entered back when recession fears were mounting. To cover the shorts, which are bets that stocks will fall, fund managers have been forced to buy up the stocks they’d previously wagered against.

    That buying drives demand higher.

    There’s also retail investors. As the market picked up last month, individual investors increased the share of their portfolios devoted to stocks to 64 percent, compared with a long-term average of 60 percent, according to the American Association of Individual Investors.

    Finally, there’s corporations themselves. Goldman Sachs analysts led by chief U.S. equity analyst David Kostin projected this week that stock buybacks will be the “key source of equity inflow” in 2016. Though repurchases are predicted to total $450 billion this year, short of the $561 billion last year, Goldman said that total would likely eclipse inflows from foreign and domestic investors of all stripes.

    Companies repurchase their own shares as a way of delivering payouts to shareholders, reducing stock dilution from executive compensation and concentrating ownership amongst large shareholders.

    “With the U.S. economy expected to grow at a modest 2 percent pace and cash balances at high levels, firms are likely to continue to pursue buybacks as a means of generating shareholder value,” Goldman wrote.

    Are those three groups — retail investors, hedge funds and corporate finance officers — enough for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones to set new records in the coming weeks? LPL’s Valeri isn’t so sure.

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