Subscribe Thankful for Growth

This economy may not be perfect, but it’s the only one we’ve got, so let’s be thankful for the many positive developments we’re seeing both here in the States and across the globe. This week, as you sit down with loved ones, take a moment to appreciate how good things truly are right now.
Not only is the US economy growing at the fastest rate in years, we’re seeing healthy developments in many areas around the world. For the first time since the Great Recession, one can utter the words ‘synchronized global recovery’ without being seen as a total nut case.
Today’s article is going to be chart-heavy because I want to give you a big picture view of trends, not just here in the US, but also around the globe. I know that many of you are sitting on big gains and are worried that the bottom may fall out of this market. Well, stop worrying – at least for this week – because economic fundamentals remain strong.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 11/21/2017.

Synchronized Global Growth May Have Arrived

Nearly 10 years after the financial crisis brought the global economy to its knees, conditions have finally improved enough to crystallize my conviction that synchronized global growth is currently underway. Revenue and earnings growth are up year-over-year, not just in the U. S. but worldwide. Despite President Donald Trump threatening to raise tariffs and tear up trade deals, global trade is accelerating. World manufacturing activity expanded to a 78-month high of 53.5 in October, with faster rates recorded in new orders, exports, employment and input prices.
Additional trends and indicators support my bullishness. Worldwide business optimism, as recorded by October’s IHS Markit Global Business Outlook survey, climbed to its highest level in three years, with profits growth and hiring plans continuing to hit multiyear highs. Optimism among U. S. firms was at its highest since 2014, with sentiment above the global average for the second straight survey period.
Small business owners’ optimism remained at historically high levels in October, according to the latest survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). Its Small Business Optimism Index came in at 103.8, up slightly from September and extending the trend we’ve seen since the November 2016 election.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Publish.

The Hottest Way to Trade the ‘Retail Ice Age’

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning – We Make Investing Profitable. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
There are a few popular names for what brick-and-mortar retail is going through right now: ‘Amazon-ization,’ the ‘Retail Apocalypse,’ or, my own personal favorite, the ‘Retail Ice Age.’
The good news for traders is, there are even more ways to make money on companies with sagging sales and collapsing stock prices.
The thing is, not all retail stocks are headed directly for extinction. Some left-for-dead retail names have seen dramatic price spikes.
Which is more good news for traders, because it’s also easy to make money on beaten-up retail stocks when they do break out to the upside.
Let me show you how easy it is to make money on the ups and downs of retail stocks – something we do all the time in my Zenith Trading Circle trading research service…
This Is a Huge, Years-Long Profit Opportunity for Traders
Since 2014, more than 600 retail brick-and-mortar companies have gone out of business; many of those were public companies with listed shares.
So far in 2017, retailers have announced plans to close 5,000 stores. And the year’s not over.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Shah Gilani ‘ November 21, 2017.

Ignore Merkel And Brexit: According To Bill Blain, A New Threat Can Bring Europe Crashing Down

Blain’s Morning Porridge, Submitted by Bill Blain of Mint Partners
Europe is like a 4D game of Jenga, and Germany is a very wobbly block – as are the banks
Europe is an enormous 4 dimensional game of Jenga. At the moment there are far too many blocks in play. Some of them are likely to leave the edifice teetering but standing. The question is: will any cause it to tumble?
Top of the wobbly blocks list is Merkel – what happens next in Germany? The CDU’s disastrous shift left has opened the door for the extreme right, and has fractured her own support.
Merkel’s survivability is questionable. In her wake, all efforts to rejig Europe via closer union and monetary/fiscal harmonisation via banking union are absolutely on hold while the German constitutional crisis (yep, for that is what it is) plays out.
Markets don’t seem particularly worried – they have become blas about political risk and look to the upside of Germany’s apparent rosy and robust financial strength. What’s not to like about Germany? What can possibly go wrong – it regards the current Merkel issue as a short-medium term minor concern. Get over it.
On a purely German basis they might be right. The critical thing for Europe is who follows Mutti?
Merkel’s threats to call another vote rather than continue coalition talks looks like bluster – sounds like she’s trying to scare the opposition parties into a deal rather than go through the uncertainty of second election. If it comes to a second vote, it’s another miscalculation.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 21, 2017.

BofA’s Apocalyptic Forecast: Stocks Flash Crash, Bond Bubble Bursts In H1 2018, War May Follow

Having predicted back in July that the “most dangerous moment for markets will come in 3 or 4 months“, i.e., now, BofA’s Michael Hartnett was – in retrospect – wrong (unless of course the S&P plunges in the next few days). However, having stuck to his underlying logic – which was as sound then as it is now – Hartnett has not given up on his “bad cop” forecast (not to be mistaken with the S&P target to be unveiled shortly by BofA’s equity team and which will probably be around 2,800), and in a note released overnight, the Chief Investment Strategist not only once again dares to time his market peak forecast, which he now thinks will take place in the first half of 2018, but goes so far as to predict that there will be a flash crash “a la 1987/1994/1998” in just a few months.
Contrasting his preview of 2018 with the almost concluded 2017, Hartnett sets the sour mood with his very first words, stating that he believes “2018 risk asset catalysts are much less bullish than in 2017” for the simple reason that the bearish positioning going into 2017 has been completely flipped: “positioning now long, not short; profit expectations high, not low; policy close to max stimulus; peak positioning, peak profits, peak policy stimulus means peak asset returns in 2018.” He also goes on to point out that the historical omens are poor:
Bull market in S&P500 would become the longest ever on August 22, 2018 (and the second biggest ever at 2863 on S&P500). Equities have only outperformed bonds for seven consecutive years on three occasions in the past 220 years (the last time was 1928 – Chart 1).

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 21, 2017.

Why the Next US Recession Could Be Worse Than the Last

Before we begin, I’d like to offer a hearty thanks to the thousands of you who responded to the survey we issued last week. If you haven’t responded yet, don’t worry – there’s still time. The goal of the survey is to figure out what you, the readers, want to read. At the end of the month, we’ll produce a video series addressing the top three topics you have chosen. You can access the survey and let us know what’s on your mind by clicking here. Thank you in advance for your time and your thoughtfulness, and to those of you celebrating in the US or in the world, Happy Thanksgiving.
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Though the frontrunners are becoming clear, there are several other subjects many of you have expressed interest in that we don’t want to ignore. One of these topics is the US economy. Specifically, some of you wanted us to analyze the economy in the context of George’s forecast in ‘The Next 100 Years’: that a major economic and social crisis revolving around the decline of the American middle class will happen sometime in the early to mid-2020s.

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on NOVEMBER 20, 2017.

Will Spain be the First to Default on Pensions?

The Pension Crisis is brewing rapidly and we will begin to see this make headlines much more so around the world. There is hardly a country not in trouble (Norway the exception), where pensions are underfunded as governments have relied upon tax revenue. As the crisis in Spain brews, it will be the pension crisis there which blows the lid off of the entire problem. The Spanish pension system is moving rapidly toward a major crisis threatening its collapse. The Madrid government needs to issue debt to close the huge gaps as, without new debt, the pension crisis would have a meltdown this year. The question becomes when will buyers of debt realize that it is not even backed by economic growth. This is similar to a person without a job borrowing from the bank just to pay the rent. What government have done in the management of pensions is criminal for anyone in the private sector.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 21, 2017.

Walmart Nation: Mapping The Largest Employers In America

In an era where Amazon steals most of the headlines, it’s easy to forget about brick-and-mortar retailers like Walmart.
But, even though the market values the Bezos e-commerce juggernaut at about twice the sum of Walmart, Visual Capitalist’s Jeff Desjardins notes that the blue big-box store is very formidable in other ways. For example, revenue and earnings are two areas where Walmart still reigns supreme, and the stock just hit all-time highs yesterday on an earnings beat.
That’s not all, though. As today’s map shows, Walmart is dominant in one other notable way: the company is the biggest private employer in America in a whopping 22 states.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 20, 2017.