U.S. Dollar Decline – July 2, 2018 Update

U.S. Dollar weakness is a foremost concern of mine.  As such, I have extensively written about it.  I am very concerned that the actions being taken to “improve” our economic situation will dramatically weaken the Dollar.  Should the Dollar substantially decline from here, as I expect, the negative consequences will far outweigh any benefits.  The negative impact of a substantial Dollar decline can’t, in my opinion, be overstated.

The following three charts illustrate various technical analysis aspects of the U.S. Dollar, as depicted by the U.S. Dollar Index.

First, a look at the monthly U.S. Dollar from 1983.  This clearly shows a long-term weakness, with the blue line showing technical support until 2007, and the red line representing a (past) trendline:

(charts courtesy of StockCharts.com; annotations by the author)

(click on charts to enlarge images)

U.S. Dollar Monthly chart

Next, another chart, this one focused on the daily U.S. Dollar since 2000 on a LOG scale.  The red line represents a (past) trendline.  The gray dotted line is the 200-day M.A. (moving average):

U.S. Dollar 200dma

Lastly, a chart of the Dollar on a weekly LOG scale.  There are two clearly marked past channels, with possible technical support depicted by the dashed light blue line:

U.S. Dollar Weekly LOG

I will continue providing updates on this U.S. Dollar situation regularly as it deserves very close monitoring…

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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2716.42 as this post is written

Consumer Confidence Surveys – As Of June 29, 2018

Doug Short’s site had a post of June 29, 2018 (“Michigan Consumer Sentiment:  June Final Retreats Slightly“) that displays the latest Conference Board Consumer Confidence and Thomson/Reuters University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index charts.  They are presented below:

(click on charts to enlarge images)

Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index

University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index

There are a few aspects of the above charts that I find highly noteworthy.  Of course, until the sudden upswing in 2014, the continued subdued absolute levels of these two surveys was disconcerting.

Also, I find the “behavior” of these readings to be quite disparate as compared to the other post-recession periods, as shown in the charts between the gray shaded areas (the gray areas denote recessions as defined by the NBER.)

While I don’t believe that confidence surveys should be overemphasized, I find these readings to be very problematical, especially in light of a variety of other highly disconcerting measures highlighted throughout this site.

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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2736.95 as this post is written

Long-Term Charts Of The ECRI WLI & ECRI WLI, Gr. – June 29, 2018 Update

As I stated in my July 12, 2010 post (“ECRI WLI Growth History“):

For a variety of reasons, I am not as enamored with ECRI’s WLI and WLI Growth measures as many are.

However, I do think the measures are important and deserve close monitoring and scrutiny.

Below are three long-term charts, from the Doug Short site’s ECRI update post of June 29, 2018 titled “ECRI Weekly Leading Index Update.”  These charts are on a weekly basis through the June 29, 2018 release, indicating data through June 22, 2018.

Here is the ECRI WLI (defined at ECRI’s glossary):

ECRI WLI

This next chart depicts, on a long-term basis, the Year-over-Year change in the 4-week moving average of the WLI:

ECRI YoY 4-Week Moving Average

This last chart depicts, on a long-term basis, the WLI, Gr.:

ECRI WLI,Gr.

_________

I post various economic indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2740.09 as this post is written

Broad-Based Indicators Of Economic Activity

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) and the Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti Business Conditions Index (ADS Index) are two broad-based economic indicators that I regularly feature in this site.

The short-term and long-term trends of each continue to be notable.

The post on the Doug Short site of June 28, 2018, titled “The Philly Fed ADS Index Business Conditions Index Update” displays both the CFNAI MA-3 (3-month Moving Average) and ADS Index (91-Day Moving Average) from a variety of perspectives.

Of particular note, two of the charts, shown below, denote where the current levels of each reading is relative to the beginning of past recessionary periods, as depicted by the red dots.

The CFNAI MA-3:

(click on charts to enlarge images)

CFNAIMA3

The ADS Index, 91-Day MA:

ADS Index 91dma

Also shown in the aforementioned post is a chart of each with a long-term trendline (linear regression) as well as a chart depicting GDP for comparison purposes.

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2716.31 as this post is written

Durable Goods New Orders – Long-Term Charts Through May 2018

Many people place emphasis on Durable Goods New Orders as a prominent economic indicator and/or leading economic indicator.

For reference, below are two charts depicting this measure.

First, from the St. Louis Fed site (FRED), a chart through May 2018, updated on June 27, 2018. This value is $248,755 ($ Millions):

(click on charts to enlarge images)

Durable Goods New Orders

Second, here is the chart depicting this measure on a “Percentage Change from a Year Ago” basis:

DGORDER Percent Change From Year Ago

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Manufacturers’ New Orders:  Durable Goods [DGORDER]; U.S. Department of Commerce: Census Bureau; accessed June 27, 2018;

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/DGORDER

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2699.63 as this post is written

Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI)

The St. Louis Fed’s Financial Stress Index (STLFSI) is one index that is supposed to measure stress in the financial system.  Its reading as of the June 21, 2018 update (reflecting data through June 15, 2018) is -1.149.

Of course, there are a variety of other measures and indices that are supposed to measure financial stress and other related issues, both from the Federal Reserve as well as from private sources.

Two other indices that I regularly monitor include the Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) as well as the Chicago Fed Adjusted National Financial Conditions Index (ANFCI).

Here are summary descriptions of each, as seen in FRED:

The National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) measures risk, liquidity and leverage in money markets and debt and equity markets as well as in the traditional and “shadow” banking systems. Positive values of the NFCI indicate financial conditions that are tighter than average, while negative values indicate financial conditions that are looser than average.

The adjusted NFCI (ANFCI). This index isolates a component of financial conditions uncorrelated with economic conditions to provide an update on how financial conditions compare with current economic conditions.

For further information, please visit the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s web site:

http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/publications/nfci/index.cfm

Below are the most recently updated charts of the NFCI and ANFCI, respectively.

The NFCI chart below was last updated on June 27, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through June 22, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The June 22, 2018 value is -.81:

NFCI_6-27-18 -.81

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed June 27, 2018:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/NFCI

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on June 27, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through June 22, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The June 22 value is -.53:

ANFCI_6-27-18 -.53

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed June 27, 2018:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ANFCI

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2716.43 as this post is written

Updates Of Economic Indicators June 2018

Here is an update of various indicators that are supposed to predict and/or depict economic activity. These indicators have been discussed in previous blog posts:

The June 2018 Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) updated as of June 25, 2018:

The CFNAI, with current reading of -.15:

CFNAI_6-25-18-.15

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index [CFNAI], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, June 25, 2018;

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CFNAI

The CFNAI-MA3, with current reading of .18:

CFNAIMA3_6-25-18 .18

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index: Three Month Moving Average [CFNAIMA3], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, June 25, 2018;

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CFNAIMA3

The ECRI WLI (Weekly Leading Index):

As of June 22, 2018 (incorporating data through June 15, 2018) the WLI was at 150.1 and the WLI, Gr. was at 3.1%.

A chart of the WLI,Gr., from the Doug Short’s site ECRI update post of June 22, 2018:

ECRI WLI, Gr.

The Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti Business Conditions (ADS) Index:

Here is the latest chart, depicting the ADS Index from December 31, 2007 through June 16, 2018:

ADS Index

The Conference Board Leading (LEI), Coincident (CEI) Economic Indexes, and Lagging Economic Indicator (LAG):

As per the June 21, 2018 press release, titled “The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. Increased in May” (pdf) the LEI was at 109.5, the CEI was at 103.7, and the LAG was 105.2 in May.

An excerpt from the release:

“While May’s increase in the U.S. LEI was slower than in recent months, the improvements in a majority of its components offset the declines in leading indicators of labor markets and residential construction,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. “The U.S. LEI still points to solid growth but the current trend, which is moderating, indicates that economic activity is not likely to accelerate.”

Here is a chart of the LEI from the Doug Short’s site Conference Board Leading Economic Index update of June 21, 2018:

Conference Board LEI

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2717.07 as this post is written

The U.S. Economic Situation – June 25, 2018 Update

Perhaps the main reason that I write of our economic situation is that I continue to believe, based upon various analyses, that our economic situation is in many ways misunderstood.  While no one likes to contemplate a future rife with economic adversity, current and future economic problems must be properly recognized and rectified if high-quality, sustainable long-term economic vitality is to be realized.

There are an array of indications and other “warning signs” – many readily apparent – that current economic activity and financial market performance is accompanied by exceedingly perilous dynamics.

I have written extensively about this peril, including in the following:

Building Financial Danger” (ongoing updates)

A Special Note On Our Economic Situation

Forewarning Pronounced Economic Weakness

Thoughts Concerning The Next Financial Crisis

Was A Depression Successfully Avoided?

Has the Financial System Strengthened Since the Financial Crisis?

The Next Crash And Its Significance

My analyses continues to indicate that the growing level of financial danger will lead to the next stock market crash that will also involve (as seen in 2008) various other markets as well.  Key attributes of this next crash is its outsized magnitude (when viewed from an ultra-long term historical perspective) and the resulting economic impact.  This next financial crash is of tremendous concern, as my analyses indicate it will lead to a Super Depression – i.e. an economy characterized by deeply embedded, highly complex, and difficult-to-solve problems.

For long-term reference purposes, here is a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 1900, depicted on a monthly basis using a LOG scale (updated through June 22, 2018, with a last value of 24580.89):

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart courtesy of StockCharts.com)

DJIA since 1900

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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2717.07 as this post is written

Money Supply Charts Through May 2018

For reference purposes, below are two sets of charts depicting growth in the money supply.

The first shows the MZM (Money Zero Maturity), defined in FRED as the following:

M2 less small-denomination time deposits plus institutional money funds.
Money Zero Maturity is calculated by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Here is the “MZM Money Stock” (seasonally adjusted) chart, updated on June 22, 2018 depicting data through May 2018, with a value of $15,427.5 Billion:

MZMSL

Here is the “MZM Money Stock” chart on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis, with a current value of 3.7%:

MZMSL_6-22-18 15427.5 3.7 Percent Change From Year Ago

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed June 25, 2018:

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MZMSL

The second set shows M2, defined in FRED as the following:

M2 includes a broader set of financial assets held principally by households. M2 consists of M1 plus: (1) savings deposits (which include money market deposit accounts, or MMDAs); (2) small-denomination time deposits (time deposits in amounts of less than $100,000); and (3) balances in retail money market mutual funds (MMMFs). Seasonally adjusted M2 is computed by summing savings deposits, small-denomination time deposits, and retail MMMFs, each seasonally adjusted separately, and adding this result to seasonally adjusted M1.

Here is the “M2 Money Stock” (seasonally adjusted) chart, updated on June 21, 2018, depicting data through May 2018, with a value of $14,024.2 Billion:

M2SL

Here is the “M2 Money Stock” chart on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis, with a current value of 3.8%:

M2SL_6-21-18 14024.2 3.8 Percent Change From Year Ago

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed June 25, 2018:

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/M2SL

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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2754.88 as this post is written

Trends Of S&P500 Earnings Forecasts

S&P500 earnings trends and estimates are a notably important topic, for a variety of reasons, at this point in time.

FactSet publishes a report titled “Earnings Insight” that contains a variety of information including the trends and expectations of S&P500 earnings.

For reference purposes, here are two charts as seen in the “Earnings Insight” (pdf) report of June 15, 2018:

from page 24:

(click on charts to enlarge images)

S&P500 EPS

from page 25:

S&P500 EPS

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I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not agree with many of the consensus estimates and much of the commentary in these forecast surveys.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2762.84 as this post is written