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Retail Sales

The NASDAQ opened flat on Tuesday July 14th amid disappointing data in retail sales. Abroad, investors remain uneasy about talks surrounding Greece’s bailout package. European shares turned lower on Tuesday after a four-day rally due to uncertainty over whether the measures would be passed in Greece’s parliament. The…

Retail sales jumped in May, suggesting the U.S. economic recovery is picking up momentum. On Thursday, June 11, the Census Bureau reported better-than-expected retail and food services sales. For the month of May, total retail and food service sales came in at $444.9 billion, representing a 2.7% increase…

Economic data coming out of China does not look good. At the very least, they’re collectively saying that Chinese economic activity is slowing at a staggering pace. China’s Dismal Factory Output, Retail Sales, and Investment Miss Estimates April’s factory output increased 5.9% year-over-year, beating March’s 5.6% increase. However,…

I am not surprised that the retail sales remained unchanged in April. Although warmer weather is upon us, the April retail sales data did not warm up the way the industry would have liked. Retail Sales and Consumer Confidence Fading After barely growing in the first three months…

Look at any newspaper or watch any financial news channel and you will hear someone saying the U.S. economy is growing. To prove their point, they will refer to gross domestic product (GDP) figures and unemployment data. Yes, the GDP numbers and the unemployment picture do look better,…

It’s widely expected that at the end of this month, the Federal Reserve will end its third round of quantitative easing (that began in September of 2012). This is QE3, where the Federal Reserve was printing $85.0 billion of new money every month and using it to buy…

Over the past few months, I warned my readers the stock market had become a risky place to be. While I also suggested euphoria could bring the market higher than most thought possible—to the point of irrationality—the bubble has now burst. Key stock indices are falling and fear…

A good gauge for me on how consumers in the U.S. economy are faring has always been the statistics coming out of Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE/WMT) reported its operating income in its second quarter (ended July 31, 2014) declined by 2.4%. Its subsidiary, Sam’s Club (wholesale store),…

An economy is said to be technically in a recession when it experiences two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product (GDP) growth. The biggest portion of the U.S. GDP calculation is consumer spending; then comes investments, government spending, and, finally, net of exports. By far, consumer spending…

Consumer spending in the U.S. economy is highly correlated to consumer confidence. If consumers are worried about the economy, they pull back on their spending. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased by 1.63% in February from January. (Source: Conference Board, February 25, 2014.) And we see the…

Mainstream stock advisors are blowing air…telling us the U.S. economy is stalling due to cold weather. They say the economic chill caused by the uncharacteristically cold weather this year is only temporary. I don’t believe this for a moment. Sure, the weather had its impact. Consumers have been…

In 2013, the U.S. economy, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), rose at an average rate of 1.9% compared to 2.8% in 2012. And as it stands, GDP may slow further in 2014. What makes me think this? In January, U.S. industrial production declined by 0.3% from…

As I have been pointing out to my readers, the “official” unemployment numbers issued by the government are misleading because they do not include people who have given up looking for work and those people with part-time jobs who want full-time work. In January, there were 3.6 million…

Old Man Winter appears to be killing the retail sector and the economic renewal. Extreme cold and nasty weather has engulfed about 70% of the country, reaching as far south as Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas, which don’t traditionally experience winter weather. All that nasty weather means less…

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is currently shutting down numerous Chinese shell companies trading on U.S. exchanges, such as the over-the-counter market and the highly speculative Pink Sheets stock exchange. This is good and is something the SEC needs to continue to pursue and enforce, so domestic…

Investors were happily greeted with a surprise on Tuesday after the reporting of better-than-expected retail sales numbers that suggest the consumer spending market may be alive and well after all. In December, the headline retail sales reading jumped 0.2%, which was above the Briefing.com estimate calling for a…

It’s less than two weeks prior to the Christmas break, and with the New Year on the horizon, that means it’s time to sit down and really re-evaluate your portfolio. Now, we could see Santa appear and deliver our Christmas goods (i.e. additional gains) into January. What a…

The only thing keeping the stock market alive is the easy money that is indirectly being pumped into it by the Federal Reserve, nothing else. The fundamentals for the market are dead in the water. Here, I present five indicators that point to high risk for key stock…