Friday the 13th didn't scare the markets very much, at least we didn't see a waterfall decline which I was half expecting. Falling over one percentage point is bad enough, but not a bad as a three percentage 'crash'. I believe the handwriting is on the wall for further market losses and it would behoove investors to sit on their hands and wait for the dust to settle. I would neither go short or long at this point. Short-term session indicators improve slightly, but still remain very bearish.
(Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes fell sharply on Friday, weighed down by consumer retail and technology stocks after disappointing forecasts from Cisco and department store chains suggested weakening demand heading into the key holiday shopping season.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales rose less than expected in October amid a surprise decline in automobile purchases, suggesting a slowdown in consumer spending that could temper expectations of a strong pickup in fourth-quarter economic growth.
LONDON (Reuters) - Cargill Inc [CARG.UL], one of the world's largest privately held corporations and a top commodities trader, has launched a restructuring that includes layoffs, one company source and four industry sources said on Friday.
(Reuters) - Slumping same-store sales at upscale U.S. department store operator Nordstrom Inc could point to more than a glut in retailers' inventories, not just a longer-than-usual spell of warm weather and fewer spendthrift tourists.
(Reuters) - J.C. Penney Co Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly net sales and a smaller-than-expected loss, helped by demand for home products and footwear and a strong performance by the growing number of Sephora beauty shops in its stores.
Three months ago, when looking at the predictive track record of US economists, we said that "if PhD economists were serious about getting things right, they would have a tough job. That goes double for PhD economists charged with making policy decisions based on their conclusions."
We furher explained thatâ€™s because economics (like sociology and political science and astrology) isnâ€™t a real science. Itâ€™s a pseudo-science. And as is the case with other pseudo-sciences, itâ€™s flat out impossible to discover laws and immutable truths, no matter what anyone told you in your undergrad economics course.
Back then we were specifically looking at economist's predictions about the Fed's first rate hike, which based on a WSJ survey of "respected" economists, nearly 95% said the Fed would hike by September.
It did not... once again showing just how truly clueless about a binary event a short 9 months in the future, economists truly are.
* * *
Where are we now? Here is the latest WSJ poll:
About 92% of the business and academic economists polled by The Wall Street Journal in recent days said they expected the Fed to raise its benchmark federal-funds rate at its Dec. 15-16 policy meeting. Some 5% said the Fed would stay on hold until March and 3% predicted the Fed would keep rates at near-zero even longer.
[note that this post was authored by Steven Hansen]. The preliminary University of Michigan Final Consumer Sentiment for November came in at 93.1, an increase from the 90.0 final October reading. Bloomberg had forecast 92.0.
Middle-age women confront a cold shoulder in the employment market, limiting their opportunities for job interviews, and penalizing them for holding lesser jobs while they attempt to get their careers back on track, according to compelling new data from the National Bureau of Economic Research.
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