Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Morning Journal--$16,000,000,000,000 and counting


Economics

This Week’s Data


The International Council of Shopping Centers reported weekly sales of major retailers up 0.5% versus the prior week and up 3.4% versus the comparable period last year; Redbook Research reported month to date retail chain store sales up 1.5% on a year over year basis.

The June Case Shiller home price index came in +0.9%.
http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/08/case-shiller-house-prices-increased-05.html

And:
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/08/hanson-on-case-shiller/

The August Conference Board’s consumer confidence index was reported at 60.6 versus estimates of 65.9.
http://scottgrannis.blogspot.com/2012/08/consumer-confidence-remains-very-low.html

The August Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index came in at -9 versus forecasts of -10.

Weekly mortgage applications fell 4.3% though purchase applications increased by 1.0%.
http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/08/mba-mortgage-refinance-activity-declines.html

The second revision of second quarter GDP came in at +1.7, in line while the GDP deflator was reported at +1.6%, in line.



Other

A look at the ‘hollowing out’ of the middle class (medium):
http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2012/08/pew-research-calls-it-hollowing-out-of.html

China’s nonperforming loan problem (medium):
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/chinas-non-performing-loan-nightmare

Another milestone for our political class: $16,000,000,000,000 in debt (short):
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/16oooooooooooobama

And (short):
http://advisorperspectives.com/dshort/guest/Shedlock-120828-Government-Spending-and-GDP.php

Politics

Domestic


Wednesday morning humor (2 minute video):
http://www.clubforgrowth.org/perm/?postID=15949

Health insurance and political risk (medium):
http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2012/08/28/risky_business

The war on children (medium):
http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/war-369449-women-percent.html




Steve Cook received his education in investments from Harvard, where he earned an MBA, New York University, where he did post graduate work in economics and financial analysis and the CFA Institute, where he earned the Chartered Financial Analysts designation in 1973. His 40 years of investment experience includes institutional portfolio management at Scudder, Stevens and Clark and Bear Stearns. Steve's goal at Strategic Stock Investments is to help other investors build wealth and benefit from the investing lessons he learned the hard way.