Posts Tagged ‘home sales’

The Hindenburg Omen: How Long Before Americans Cry, ‘Oh, The Humanity!’ As Obama Policies Fail?

August 31, 2010

A cartoonist used the image of the Hindenburg to describe the ideologically-biased mainstream media’s horrified reaction to Obama’s plummeting poll numbers back in July 2009:

But now there is another, far more frightening connection between Barack Obama and the infamous Hindenburg explosion.

Obama aint going down quietly: he’s taking the entire American economy with him:

The Hindenburg Omen IS Scary, but So Are the Fundamentals
Posted Aug 25, 2010 01:37pm EDT by Aaron Task in Investing

After tumbling below 10,000 yet again Wednesday morning, the Dow rebounded to close above that psychologically important level and was slightly higher early Thursday. Still, fear in the market is being expressed by the continued rally in Treasuries and widespread chatter about an ominous sounding technical indicator: The Hindenburg Omen.

The Hindenburg Omen has a roughly 25% accuracy rate in predicting big market upheaval since 1987, meaning it’s far from infallible but isn’t inconsequential either. The indicator’s creator, mathematician Jim Miekka, compares the Hindenburg Omen to a funnel cloud that precedes a tornado in a recent interview with The WSJ. “It doesn’t mean [the market’s] going to crash, but it’s a high probability,” he said.

Complex and esoteric even in the world of technical indicators, the Hindenburg Omen is triggered when the following occurs, Zero Hedge reports:

  • — The daily number of NYSE new 52-week highs and the daily number of new 52-week lows must both be greater than 2.2% of total NYSE issues traded that day.
  • — The NYSE’s 10-week moving average is rising.
  • — The McClellan Oscillator (a technical measure of “overbought” vs. “oversold” conditions) is negative on that same day.
  • — New 52-week highs cannot be more than twice the new 52-week lows. This condition is absolutely mandatory.

These criteria have been hit twice since Aug. 12, prompting Miekka to get out of the market entirely, The WSJ reports. Judging by the recent market action, many others are following suit — or at least moving in the same direction.

Worry List Lengthens

As Henry and I discuss in the accompanying clip, there are a lot of reasons to be worried right now that having nothing to with The Hindenburg Omen, the “Death Cross”, Mercury being in retrograde or myriad other indicators cited by market pundits of various stripes.

More fundamental reasons to be concerned include:

It’s the Economy, Stupid: This week’s weak durable goods and home sales reports are just the latest in a string of desultory data. In sum, the macroeconomic data strongly suggest the job market isn’t going to improve anytime soon. And if the job market doesn’t improve, there’s really not much hope for a turnaround in housing, consumer sales or anything else really. Oh, and the stock market is still expensive on a cyclically adjusted P/E basis, making it more vulnerable to an economic slowdown.

Unusual Uncertainty: On July 21, Fed chairman Ben Bernanke testified on Capitol Hill that the Fed’s forecast called for real GDP growth of 3%-3.5% for 2010 and 3.5%-4.5% in 2011 and 2012. Less than a month later, the Fed announced plans to buy Treasuries again (a.k.a. “QE2”) and, as The WSJ reported this week, there’s a tremendous amount of dissention within the Fed about the ‘right’ policy prescription.

Financial Follies: Whether it’s renewed concerns about Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, more U.S. bank closures or reports of commercial developers walking away from properties, it’s clear the problems in the financial system were not resolved by various and sundry bailouts and government stimulus … not by a long shot.

Good Politics vs. Good Economics: S&P’s downgrade of Ireland’s debt and Greece’s revenue shortfall show the short-term perils of the austerity measures that have swept Europe. But promising to cut government spending and slash deficits appears to be a winning political strategy in America right now. Certainly, it’s a key message of Republican and Tea Party candidates, who appear to have the momentum heading into the November mid-term elections. But if Europe’s ‘PIIGS’ are any example, gridlock might not be so “good” for the economy this time around, much less the financial markets.

Of course, the “good” news here is that there’s so much to worry about and the markets typically are darkest just before dawn.

CEOs of large corporations see a mess created by Obama to blame for the malaise that we haven’t seen since Obama’s long-lost twin Jimmy Carter was president:

This week, Intel CEO Paul Otellini and Jim Tisch, CEO of Loews Corp. both blamed the President’s policies for creating an environment of “uncertainty” that is crippling America’s economy.

The Obama administration is “flummoxed by their experiment in Keynesian economics not working,” Otellini said Monday in a speech in Aspen.

Higher taxes and more regulation add an additional $1 billion to building a semiconductor manufacturing plant in the U.S. vs. overseas, the CEO said.

As a result, “the next big thing will not be invented here. Jobs will not be created here,” Otellini said, warning of “an inevitable erosion and shift of wealth, much like we’re seeing today in Europe…this is the bitter truth.”

Loews’ Tisch made similarly themed comments in a Bloomberg interview on Wednesday. “Part of the problem is that business has very little confidence in what’s been going on and very little visibility,” he said.

But is it just CEOs?  Is it just big business?  Surely Obama’s anti-business policies are making things easier for the little guy, right?

Wrong:

For America’s Middle Class, the Hits Just Keep on Coming
Posted Aug 25, 2010 07:50am EDT by Aaron Task

A lot of ink and pixels have been spilled this week over the ICI’s report that equity mutual funds suffered net withdrawals totaling over $33 billion in the first seven months of 2010. Myriad reasons were cited for the trend, including a mistrust of stocks, the flash crash and an aging population. (See: The Next Bubble? Investors Flee Stocks in Droves In Favor of Bonds.)

Perhaps the biggest reason of all hasn’t gotten enough attention: Americans are making due with less and don’t have the money to put into stock funds, and many are taking money out of their investments to pay for basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter.

With wages stagnant for those who still have a job “a lot of people are having to tap into their nest egg to keep their living standards going,” says Damien Hoffman, co-founder of WallStCheatSheet. “A lot of people are living out of principal. There’s no other way to get around that.”

Fidelity’s recent report of a sharp increase in the number of 401(k) participants seeking loans or hardship withdrawals in the second quarter is further evidence of the disappearing middle class. “These are basically emergency ways to fund yourself. We think it’s a scary statistic,” Hoffman says. “Where is the middle class going to be if they draw down their 401(k)s drastically over course of next few years?”

Obama’s anti-business and profoundly socialist policies seek to punish business in every way he can.

A lot of Americans were probably happy with that in November of ’08.

But that was before they began to realize the truth that either all boats rise, or all boats sink.  Nancy Pelosi never drained the political swamp, as she falsely promised, but Barack Obama has certainly drained the ocean of economic opportunity (and very likely poisoned the bluebird of happiness, but that’s a crime for another day).  We need the rich, and the big businesses, in order to have jobs.  When they profit, the rest of us do.  And when they are demonized and attacked and regulated to death, the rest of us suffer, too.

Because name the last time a poor person hired you and gave you a good paying position.  If you’re a liberal, let me add, “It was never, wasn’t it, dumbass?”

It’s not really accurate to say that Obama is “anti-business”; he’s the MOST anti-business president ever.

A glance at Obama’s appointments and their actual world business experience should suffice to reveal how important business was to Obama.

Obama filled his administration with radicals out to “fundamentally transform America.”  And being the kind of man or woman who was oriented toward meeting payrolls and expanding businesses really didn’t need to apply.

And these eggheaded Marxists are seizing money from the private sector – and even from the future – and making terrible decisions about how to invest it.  We get turtle tunnels and monkey cocaine studies rather than infrastructure investment.  Had it been up to businesses as to how to invest the trillions of dollars that Obama pissed away, things would have been a lot better now.

I love the title from a US News & World Report article: “Obama’s Anti-Business Policies Are Our Economic Katrina.”  It’s written by Mortimer Zuckerman, who used to be a huge supporter of Barry Hussein, until he finally realized that “the One” was nothing more than a great big fart in the wind.

And even Obama’s own Democrat Party is now finally beginning to realize what a great big fart in the wind Obama truly is.  They hitched themselves to the Obama bandwagon; and now the wagon is burnt to ashes.

On November 4, 2008, the voters of the United States of America voted for national extinction.  And yet many are surprised that we’re now following in the footsteps of the Dodo bird.

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Mystefied Democrats See Tide Going Out Rapidly, With Huge Wave Appearing Over The Horizon

August 25, 2010

There’s an article on how to spot the warning signs of a tsunami.  Point #3 says:

Watch. If there is a noticeable and rapid fall in the water and it’s not time for low tide, head inland immediately. Think of how waves work: water first pulls back, then returns with force. An excessive or unusual retreat of water in the ocean is the biggest indication of a tsunami. Many people died in the Indian Ocean tsunami because they went to observe the bare sea floor after the ocean retreated.

That’s your Democrat Party for you.  They’re looking at the bare sea floor after the ocean retreated, too short-sighted to see the huge building wave in the horizon, too uncomprehendingly stupid to change and move to safer places.

So they keep spending more, and more, and more, and demonizing Republicans because they aren’t willing to recklessly spend.  And they demagogue on issues like the Arizona law and the Ground Zero mosque, attacking Republicans who have staked their ground on positions that the American people overwhelmingly agree with them on.  And of course there’s ObamaCare, which was hugely unpopular from the start to the finish, and yet Democrats used every godawful and corrupt means imaginable to ram down our national throats.

Ignorance is bliss, until that giant wave hits you like a billion freight trains.

Scared Monkeys ran this block quote from an article in the New York Times, mocking the liberal paper for finally figuring out that Democrat control of Congress was genuinely at risk:

Representative David R. Obey has won 21 straight races, easily prevailing through wars and economic crises that have spanned presidencies from Nixon’s to Obama’s. Yet the discontent with Washington surging through politics is now threatening not only his seat but also Democratic control of Congress.

Mr. Obey is one of nearly a dozen well-established House Democrats who are bracing for something they rarely face: serious competition. Their predicament is the latest sign of distress for their party and underlines why Republicans are confident of making big gains in November and perhaps even winning back the House.

The fight for the midterm elections is not confined to traditional battlegrounds, where Republicans and Democrats often swap seats every few cycles. In the Senate, Democrats are struggling to hold on to, among others, seats once held by President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Democrats are preparing to lose as many as 30 House seats — including a wave of first-term members — and Republicans have expanded their sights to places where political challenges seldom develop.

But more and more political pollsters are seeing not 30 Democrat seats going Republican, but double and even triple that number:

A 1994-style scenario is probably the most likely outcome at this point. Moreover, it is well within the realm of possibility – not merely a far-fetched scenario – that Democratic losses could climb into the 80 or 90-seat range. The Democrats are sailing into a perfect storm of factors influencing a midterm election, and if the situation declines for them in the ensuing months, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Democratic losses eclipse 100 seats

Here’s a link to that entire Real Politics article by Sean Trende.

And with the latest news of a 27% plunge in existing home sales – the worst decline since the LAST TIME a Democrat was president – it seems that the “situation” has declined for them in these ensuing months.

This news is a stunning economic indicator, because mortgage rates are at an all-time low, and low-priced home bargains abound, and people STILL aren’t buying.

From USA Today:

Economic forecasts were plenty pessimistic ahead of Tuesday’s report by the National Association of Realtors because of other data pointing to weakening sales since the federal tax credit ended in April.

The actual numbers were far worse — sales fell more than 27% from June and 25% from a year ago to an annual rate of 3.83 million units.

It is not clear if the housing market hit a huge air pocket or crashed and burned, but for now, this sector looks to be flat on its back,” says Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors.

The stunning drop-off when mortgage rates are at historic lows indicates many potential buyers have lost confidence, Naroff says. “If no one is confident, I don’t know that the interest rates matter, no one is going to want to borrow,” he says.

Economists say Tuesday’s report also indicates that the housing recovery has faltered.

This qualifies as a double dip in housing,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, adding buyer confidence has also been shaken by a weakening stock market and a lack of jobs. “These are pretty ugly numbers.”

No region of the country was spared: Existing-home sales fell 35% in the Midwest, 30% in the Northeast, 25% in the West and 23% in the South.

In addition to the one trillionth usage of the mainstream media’s favorite adverb – “unexpected” – being employed, I’m seeing a far more frightening adverb: “double dip.”

As in “double-dip recession.”  As in, how is Obama going to blame Bush for a second recession that occurred entirely while “the One” was president?  Remember Obama’s economic team telling us the recession was over? Remember Obama and Biden boasting of their “Recovery Summer”?

If Bush’s recession is over, but we’re going into a recession, then just who the hell owns this recession?

Blame Obama.

Reuters has the following:

(Reuters) – More Americans now disapprove of President Barack Obama than approve of him as high unemployment and government spending scare voters ahead of November’s congressional elections, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday.

In the latest grim news for Obama’s Democrats, 72 percent of people said they were very worried about joblessness and 67 percent were very concerned about government spending.

The unemployment rate of 9.5 percent and the huge budget deficit are dragging down the Democrats and eating away at Obama’s popularity only 20 months after he took office on a wave of hope that he could turn around the economy.

Another bit of bad economic data arrived on Tuesday when the National Association of Realtors reported sales of existing homes plummeted in July to their slowest pace in 15 years.

Piling the pressure on Obama, the top Republican in the House of Representatives called on the administration’s economic team to quit.

Obama’s disapproval rating was 52 percent in Tuesday’s poll, overtaking his approval rating for the first time in an Ipsos poll. Only 45 percent of people said they approved of the president’s performance, down from 48 percent last month.

That number, coupled with a hearty 62 percent who think the country is going in the wrong direction, could spell trouble for Democrats, who control both chambers of Congress and the White House.

Let me paraphrase that last paragraph:

That tsunami, couple with a giant tidal surge that is pushing everything in the country backwards in the wrong direction, could spell trouble for residents around the Indian Ocean, who live in regions that are now fifty feet underwater.

Obama is reading some finely-honed demagoguery off his teleprompters, talking about Republicans having led us in the wrong direction, and cars, and ditches, and not giving Republicans the car keys.  But now more Americans by a wide margin think Obama sucks even according to the left-leaning Ipsos polling organization.  And 62% of Americans think the “wrong direction” is the one Obama is leading them in.

Mind you, reality won’t stop Joe Biden from guaranteeing that the Democrats will retain control of the House.

On my view, Republicans easily take the House in an eye-popping takeover, and yes, either retake the Senate, too, or fall just short.  Everything will have to go right for Republicans and wrong for Democrats in order for Republicans to win the ten seats they need, but let’s not forget that Democrats are in full meltdown mode.

Which is why on November 2 I’ll be watching the election with the Beach Boys’ “Catch a Wave” playing over and over in the background.

Critical Failure Overload: Which Obama Failure Should We Focus On?

June 30, 2010

There seems to be a genius to Obama’s incompetence.  He is failing on so many levels, in so many ways, all at the same time, that nobody can possibly keep track of them all.

Which means, paradoxically, that the more failures Obama accumulates, the better he looks, as coverage of all the failure is dissipated such that nothing receives the focus it needs to penetrate the American culture of distraction.

A few days ago, the media hailed Obama’s firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal and replacement by Gen. David Petraeus as a magnificent act of presidential leadership and decision-making.  Let’s not mention that the same figures on the left who were hailing Petraeus yesterday were demonizing him when Bush appointed him to take control over the Iraq War and the surge strategy that won that war.

Obama is turning to Bush’s general and Bush’s Secretary of Defense in order to overcome the failure created by utterly failed Democrat Party ideas.

Chief among those utterly failed Democrat ideas is the timetable for cut-and-run.  Democrats wanted to impose this guaranteed-to-fail strategy for Iraq, but Bush prevailed and won the war.  Now they want to make sure we lose in Afghanistan, as Afghans who want to stay alive realize who will still be there a year from now (i.e., the Taliban), and who won’t (i.e., the United States), and that they’d better not ally themselves with their “timetable for withdrawal” all-too-temporary American allies.

We find that the July 2011 timetable for withdrawal was a purely political decision that had no military justification or support whatsoever.

Of course, the failure in Afghanistan comes as a welcome relief to day 72 of the even bigger failure in the Gulf of Mexico.

The leftwing media is essentially shouting, “Hey, take your eye off that total failure over there on the Gulf Coast.  Look over here!!!  Obama fired a guy that pricked his thin-skin and appointed Bush’s general to save his liberal ass.  And he gave a speech!!!  Don’t waste your time thinking about the fact that BP took the cap off the leaking hole so that 104,000 gallons of oil per hour could pour out of the sea floor.  Don’t look at the possibility that as much as 4.2 million gallons of oil are pouring out of that damn hole Obama can’t plug every single day!!!

Come on!  Obama’s got Bush’s general now!!!  The one whom Obama and every other Democrat demonized three years ago while he was winning in Iraq!!!”

Well, go ahead and take a look at how terribly Obama is failing in Afghanistan.  Look at how Obama doubled Bush’s last body count in 2009, and how he is now on pace to double his own doubling of Bush’s body count this year.  Look at how terrible a job Obama is doing mismanaging the various top-level civilian and military personnel who are clearly not on the same page with one another as personal fiefdoms rather than the mission dominate (see also here).  The divisions – which underscore that Obama’s entire Afghanistan plan is in freefall – aren’t pretty.  And don’t forget to look at the fact that “Those divisions are of Obama’s own making, stemming from his lack of leadership and failure to make a firm commitment to victory in Afghanistan.”

While you’re at it, take a look at the fact that, by the standards Democrats used to attack Bush in 2004, Barack Hussein is the worst president in American history bar none.

The Obama-failure in Afghanistan is a distraction for the Obama-failure in the Gulf of Mexico.  And the Obama-failure in the Gulf of Mexico is a distraction for the Obama-failure in the economy.

Look at the fact that a full year and a half later, jobless claims continue to go up “sharply.” Look at the fact that new home sales have plunged to the lowest level ever recorded.   Look at the fact that that disaster followed the news that Obama’s mortgage modification program had officially imploded.  And look at the fact that bank foreclosures have doubled under Obama’s “wreckovery.”

One in four homeowners are underwater in their mortgages, and are increasingly just bailing out and walking away from their responsibilities in Obama’s God-damn-America.  Consumer confidence is down dramatically.    And oil prices are way down for the very bad reason that our economy is in such bad shape no one can afford to go anywhere.  And, of course, our stock market just took a very cold bath yesterday.

Where are we supposed to look to see an area in which Obama HASN’T failed?

Look at everything, if you have time to contemplate all the failure that Obama has brought.  But don’t be distracted from taking time to watch the spill cam footage every day, or following the latest tracking of Obama’s oil spill and its contamination of the Gulf Coast, or following the Obama-regime-caused inability to clean up the mess.

As you watch the daily disaster unfolding, don’t forget to remember that Obama is the guy running the show.  Or that the show looks like a chicken running around after its head has been cut off

Obama Worst President In History, According To 2004 Democrat Campaign Rhetoric

June 23, 2010

This is just too good.  Barack Hussein is far and away the very worst president in American history.  And that according to the very same standards that Democrats attacked George Bush with in 2004.

Democrats of 2004 Brand Obama Worst President
By Kevin Hassett – Jun 20, 2010

As we approach another general election, it will be interesting to see how the economic performance of Democrats is judged. If voters borrow the preferred method of John Kerry and other Democrats from 2004, Barack Obama will be revealed to be among the worst presidents in history.

During the 2004 election, Democrats constantly reminded voters that George W. Bush was the first president in decades to oversee a net loss of jobs.

The drumbeat was incessant. “This administration is the first since Herbert Hoover’s to actually lose jobs on its watch — 1.8 million jobs,” Kerry said at a campaign stop. His campaign chairman, Jeanne Shaheen, said Bush deserved “the first-ever ‘Herbert Hoover Award’ for having the worst jobs record since the Great Depression.”

The Hoover analogy was a stretch, as some recognized even back then. The watchdog election site factcheck.org wrote, “Comparing the Bush economy to Hoover’s Great Depression is just silly, and implying that tax cuts are not contributing to job growth deserves an ‘F’ in freshman economics.”

As an adviser to the Bush re-election campaign, I regularly rebutted the Hoover charge when I appeared on television to debate Kerry supporters in 2004. Here’s what I said then, and still say now: While some presidents arrive in Washington during boom times, others come during busts, and those often are the ones elected precisely because voters hope that they will change economic policies.

Jobless Recovery

Bush arrived just as the last recession was beginning — a bit of timing that Obama can relate to. Though that recession was brief, the subsequent jobless recovery did little to strengthen Bush’s record as he entered his reelection year.

Obama, of course, is just 17 months into his presidency, and more than two years from facing the voters personally. But with a big midterm congressional election upcoming, let’s see how Obama would fare if Kerry-like tactics were used on him.

The answer: not well. Whether the measurement is job creation, unemployment or growth of gross domestic product, the economy has been worse under Obama than it was under Bush.

First, job creation. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. shed 2.3 million jobs since February 2009, Obama’s first full month in office. Going back to World War II, that is by far the worst record for any president in his first 17 months, outpacing the job destruction experienced in the early Bush years by more than 800,000 jobs.

Campaign Fodder

For Obama, there is an even worse way to play the data, which might just become fodder for a political ad: From November 2008, the month he was elected, until now, the economy has shed an astonishing 4.4 million jobs. That’s worse than Hoover.

Sure, you can blame the first few months of that period on lame-duck President Bush. But perhaps companies accelerated their shedding of jobs because they were bracing for higher tax rates, increased union power and costly environmental taxes under Obama.

Other measurements are only slightly kinder to Obama. The two-percentage-point increase in unemployment rate during his presidency, to 9.7 percent from 7.7 percent, is the third-worst since World War II. Dwight Eisenhower and Gerald Ford saw bigger increases.

GDP growth under Obama, an abysmal 3 percentage points so far, is the fourth-worst in the postwar period. Eisenhower, Ford and Ronald Reagan all began their terms with worse GDP growth.

But hey, it was Kerry and the Democrats who made job creation the be-all and end-all measurement of a presidency, and by that standard, Obama is dredging a new low. It’s probably a good bet that Democrats who became so enamored of Hoover’s name in 2004 won’t be mentioning it much this year.

Republicans should be willing to drop it too — so long as some economic adviser to Kerry-Edwards ‘04 admits the campaign was wrong to bring up Herbert Hoover in the first place.

(Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, is a Bloomberg News columnist. He was an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. The opinions expressed are his own.)

So if you want to see the case that Barack Obama is the worst president in history, don’t bother reading what conservatives say; just listen to Democrats own rhetoric from just a few years ago.

This article’s findings as to just what a disaster Obama has been even measuring by the Democrats’ own standards does not include the recent information that Obama’s mortgage modification program has totally failed in every way imaginable, and that sales of new homes has fallen to the lowest level ever recorded? It was the mortgage industry that created the 2008 collapse – and Obama has done nothing but make a black hole of crisis even worse.

I can’t even imagine how shrilly the Democrats would have decried those facts had they occurred during the Bush years.

And, to go on, you want to talk about a president’s ability to handle a national disaster such as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, day 64?  No matter how bad you want to say Bush was regarding Hurricane Katrina, Bush is now widely recognized to have done a far superior job.  How about war fighting?  Bush won in Iraq; Obama is floundering enormously in Afghanistan.

Basically, by whatever metric you want to use, Obama is the biggest disgrace to ever occupy the White House.

If this doesn’t prove that Democrats are a) pathological demagogues and b) completely unfit to govern, what possibly could?