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Friday, December 12, 2008


retail sales collapse

per calculated risk. the chart here is provided by the bank credit analyst, which i prefer as it dates back to the 1981-82 period. but CR well notes:

Although the Census Bureau reported that nominal retail sales decreased 8.4% year-over-year (retail and food services decreased 7.4%), real retail sales declined by 10.1% (on a YoY basis). This is the largest YoY decline since the Census Bureau started keeping data.

the rate of inflation in 1982 as measured by CPI had already subsided to 4% under paul volcker's tenure at the fed -- so this retail collapse really is quite a lot worse than that seen in 1981-82. the rate of employment growth, it seems to me, will also soon breach those precedents.

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Great, informative blog. How are you positioning yourself in this haywire market? It's tempting to go heavy on the short side via SRS, FAZ and SKF and such. The problem is that it seems like the PPT is doing their part to make sure the market doesn't crumble before Christmas. Are you standing aside or accumulating a position? Thanks in advance.

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z, i've been trying from both sides since january 2008, with the result of being about flat to a bit up. so i'm not killing it or anything. just fyi.

imo, there's been a monster drawdown that should spark a rally. i had considered going in that s&p 750 would mark the crash low. maybe it still will. but the fact is that the market still looks like a series of lower highs to me, and i've seen no real evidence of strong accumulation. that it hasn't behaved better says something.

so i'm mostly in cash, with some longs. with the market short-term overbought now, i'm thinking about taking those longs off monday am. this doesn't so far much look like the kind of powerful rally i would expect off a final low. given how damaged the banking sector is -- normally the investment banks, following their november 30 end-of-fiscal-year, would boost liquidity in stocks and create a santa claus rally -- but that clearly won't be operative this season -- i'm inclined to be cautious.

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Bank of America and Mr. Higgins missing $millions, It can happen to you, my fellow Americans

More info:

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