Thursday, March 22, 2012

Data Suggests Economies Weakening Worldwide

Mainstream media has tried - somewhat unsuccessfully - over the past few years, to convince the American public that all is well with ours and the world's economies. Of course, the rich media stars have a vested interest in maintaining the status of the status quo, because if they have to report the truth for a change, their political masters might think of replacing them, as has been the procedure for members of the elite media who don't play along.

That's why it's important to tune out the TV blur artists and tune into internet and alternative sources, who try their best to tell it like it is, without cheerleading for the corporatists and globalists who dominate the money.

Today's news out of China and Europe was nearly matched for awfulness by more sour data on the US housing market, sending stocks uniformly lower in one of the better routs of the year so far.

Early in the US morning, China reported the HSBC flash Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell to 48.1 in March, a four-month low, compared with a final reading of 49.6 in February. It was the fifth straight monthly reading that showed contraction, another worrisome sign that the the world is entering what looks like a global recession.

In Europe, the miss was huge in the EU PMI data, with the composite PMI for the Eurozone declining for the second consecutive month, to 48.7 in March from 49.3 in February. The rate of decline was also accelerating, stoking fears that the recession that is well underway in many Eurozone countries is spreading fast. Rosy expectations from expert economists (one should know well by now that said "experts" only know money printing and inflation, and not reality) called for a rise to 49.8. They were sorely disappointed and stocks fell across the european bourses. Any reading on any PMI under 50.0 signals contraction and the european economies are contracting more rapidly than the optimists in Brussels and London can imagine.

In the US, the bad news was exacerbated by a trifecta of gloom from the housing sector. Mortgage rates jumped above 4.0% for a 30-year fixed mortgage, home prices remained flat for the month of January (despite excellent house-buying weather) and the December gain of 0.7% was revised radically lower, to a gain of just 0.1%. Additionally, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage applications fell 7.4% for the week ending March 16, compared with the week before.

As many skeptics have been saying for months, as US stocks posted incredible gains since October, there really isn't any recovery to be seen, anywhere.

And that's the nub of the argument. Government data is so overtly massaged, mangled, managed and misappropriated to meet the demands of the political and financial crowd that it can barely be trusted. The best advice is to just chop two percentage points off any data to get a realistic reading, rather than rely on the bogus statistics provided by the professional guessers in the governments' capture.

Of course, middle class Americans do have choices, though for the most part they are painful. Second jobs, kids at home, driving less, and eating a leaner more nutritious diet (you feel better and eat less) rather than the junk served at fast food and mid-priced restaurant chains are choices that are being made routinely by Americans forced to tighten their economic belts.

But of course, you won't hear that on either Bloomberg of CNBC, where everything is going up all the time, no matter what. It's been 3 1/2 years since the crash of '08. Nothing's changed, except that the lies have gotten larger.

Stocks were down hard until the closing hour, when, sure enough, a rally saved the major indices from finishing a heck of a lot lower. The day will come when all the pumping and pimping by the insiders won't be enough to save our precious stock markets from complete implosion. As usual, volume was non-existent.

With one more trading day ahead, stocks are poised for their worst weekly showing of the year.

Dow 13,046.14, -78.48 (0.60%)
NASDAQ 3,063.32, -12.00 (0.39%)
S&P 500 1,392.78, -10.11 (0.72%)
NYSE Composite 8,141.33, -78.01 (0.95%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,524,230,750
NYSE Volume 3,664,415,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1559-3952
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 94-41
WTI crude oil: 105.35, -1.92
Gold: 1,642.50, -7.80
Silver: 31.34, -0.88

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