You may have been thinking that Mr. Ure (me) had taken leave of my senses on Wednesday of this week when our Peoplenomics subscribers were given a quick lecture on “Why 15.3937577 is the ONLY Number that Matters.”
In case you didn’t get a business or finance degree (opting for honest work instead, we hope) it should become startlingly clear about now what the number – 15.3937577 – was all about: It’s the GDP, stupid! (Don’t take it personally, it’s a Friday morning writer’s crutch….)
And was my warning and concern misplaced? Absolutely not. The figures just out from the Bureau of Economic Analysis are grim although right in like with our “worst case” fears which could lead to a double-dip recession/depression with Dip 2 equal to the lows of 2009 which was the nominal low of Dip 1:
Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the first quarter of 2012 (that is, from the fourth quarter to the first quarter), according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter of 2011, real GDP increased 3.0 percent.
The Bureau emphasized that the first-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see the box on page 3). The “second” estimate for the first quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on May 31, 2012.
The increase in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, private inventory investment, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from federal government spending, nonresidential fixed investment, and state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.
The deceleration in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected a deceleration in private inventory investment and a downturn in nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by accelerations in PCE and in exports.
To be sure, the markets have not imploded on this big miss this morning. But I asked Robin Landry what he’s thinking in here: “If the correction is over it is best counted as a running flat. The preferred count, that the low on 4/10/12 was wave a of 4 down, and we have been in a 3/3/5 wave b up, which is finishing now, and the market will turn down right away to new lows in wave c of 4 to the 1340 area or lower is still the best looking count as far as wave structure.”
So, in terms of wasting money placing bets on the market, I’d be inclined to put money on the short side as the market seems likely (to me) to hit a high in “the amateur hour” (the firsty hour trading) and then sober up enough to run for the hills into the close.
The market adage “Sell in May and Go Away” could be especially meaningful this year. But we shall see.
Big doings in Minneapolis this morning when an unattended bag was found.
Maybe This Explains Something
You saw the story this week about how a Spanish company is planning to count votes for 900 jurisdictions in America? Well, comes now word that Spain’s unemployment rate is 24.4%.
OK, so they need the jobs. But still…seems we oughta count American votes in….
This have anything to do with people having the least faith in the federal government in 15 years? Why, who would ask such a thing, citizen? Shame on you.
News…Or Something Else?
From our news analyst up near Winnipeg:
Can MSM outlet product quoting a news release from the USA-headquarted “Human Rights Watch” satellite office in Beirut about Jordan be considered news? According to Wikipedia, HRW has what could be construed as interesting linkages to wealthy donors, and Al-Haq. It’s kind of odd how a Wikipedia editor is distressed at recently ruffled Dutch diplomatic feathers. With Indonesia lost, what remains of Empire but funds in Caribbean enclaves?
Midwest Storms Likely
Could be a busy weekend for Skywarn volunteers and first responders:
…SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS EXPECTED OVER PARTS OF CENTRAL AND EASTERN KANSAS AND FAR WESTERN MISSOURI TODAY…
THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER IN NORMAN OK IS FORECASTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF A FEW STRONG TORNADOES AND LARGE DESTRUCTIVE HAIL OVER PARTS OF CENTRAL AND EASTERN KANSAS AND FAR WESTERN MISSOURI TODAY.
A dozen break-in/home invasions in Bergen County New Jersey is worth tracking. Reason? Bergen’s an upscale county and we wonder if the criminal types are starting to focus with the people upscale from their roots even more…
Also Keep an Eye On
“Russia, U.S. to hold Anti-terror drills in May” in Colorado.
This one is particularly curious, since as taxpayers we fork over gobs and oodles of money to fund DoD ops. So why do we have Russian soldiers training in Colorado? I may be a bit thick-headed here, but this – when coupled with reports of a Spanish company being hired to count votes in America – seems to scream we have been shoved down a very slippery slope without being advised.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but who are those enemies, foreign and Domestic?
But What About MF Global?
With the probe of silver and gold pricing now several years old, and no sign of anyone being charged with crimes in the plundering of MF Global, we see this latest story about the CFTC ordering an $85-million forex fraud action as just another soft-shoe-shuffle while the real criminals put time between themselves and justice.
Maybe the alleged perps here just weren’t doing their fair share of bundling, you think?
Planet In Training
A NASA news release out Thursday offers some interesting insights into the development of Saturn’s moon Phoebe:
Scientists had their first close-up look at Phoebe when Cassini began exploring the Saturn system in 2004. Using data from multiple spacecraft instruments and a computer model of the moon’s chemistry, geophysics and geology, scientists found Phoebe was a so-called planetesimal, or remnant planetary building block. The findings appear in the April issue of the Journal Icarus.
“Unlike primitive bodies such as comets, Phoebe appears to have actively evolved for a time before it stalled out,” said Julie Castillo-Rogez, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. “Objects like Phoebe are thought to have condensed very quickly. Hence, they represent building blocks of planets. They give scientists clues about what conditions were like around the time of the birth of giant planets and their moons”
Analyses suggest that Phoebe was born within the first 3 million years of the birth of the solar system, which occurred 4.5 billion years ago. The moon originally may have been porous but appears to have collapsed in on itself as it warmed up. Phoebe developed a density 40 percent higher than the average inner Saturnian moon.
Great Trivial Pursuit question might be “How many moons does Saturn have?” The current answer being more than 60.
More after this…