Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Its' a good thing fundamentals don't matter...

Then good luck came a-knocking at my door
Skies were gray but theyre not gray anymore

Blue skies
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see

(When the Federales provide stats meant to represent future conditions the most heralded by the MSM is the LEI. -AM)

Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The index of U.S. leading economic indicators rose for the fifth straight month, capping the longest stretch of gains since 2004 and signaling a recovery is under way.

(But is the LEI a good indicator? -AM)

The King Report
September 22, 2009 – Issue 3597

The LEI, which has increased for five straight months, is heavily weighted to monetary indicators and the stock market. Its predictive value for the stock market has been poor due to over-used monetary stimulus. The LEI trended lower from 1997 to 2000 as US stocks bubbled. It declined from 2004 to 2008 as the monetary medication carried a diminishing effect on the real economy.

(Is there anything better? -AM)

Zero Hedge blog

Where is Warren Buffett to discuss his one favorite forward looking metric?

The latest data out of the Association of American Railroads has been released. While a month ago the weekly YoY decline hit a very troublesome -17.1%, the last weekly decline added another almost 3% to the deterioration, and is now down -19.8% for Week 36. Cumulative traffic decline is flat at -18.4%. Including intermodal traffic or ton-miles in the calculation does nothing to improve the conclusion. Not a single "carload originated" category has improved, and in fact even the relatively stable ones from the prior update have slumped.

Rosie's take on this indicator: "The data are not seasonally adjusted so when you actually take a look at the levels, they are all the way down to where they were in 1993." Yet recent data undoubtedly had the benefit of the Cash for Clunkers subsidy, which is now dead and buried. Upcoming freight data will be even worse.

(It's a good thing that fundamentals don't matter this time. Nothing but blue skies do I see. -AM)

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