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Category Archives: Economic Indicators
Update: I updated the charts and some of the performance results on March 28, 2017. I found and corrected an error in the performance calculations. Conclusions remain the same. It’s finally time to start turning all the economic indicator stuff I’ve been posting on into something useful for investors. In this post I’ll introduce the SPY-COMP indicator and how it works as tool for entering and exiting investments. The mechanics of the SPY-COMP system are similar to the SPY-UI system I’ve posted on previously. The only difference is that the new system uses a composite of the top 6 economic … Continue reading
In today’s post we’ll update the top 6 economic indicators as of mid March 2017. Each of the 6 indicators is updated with February data. Last month’s update is here. For background on the top 6 see here. The table below shows the current heatmap for the top 6 indicators. Just like last month all of the indicators are green. Here’s a brief update on each. Unemployment rate – Feb was another strong month for employment. UER is back down to 4.7%. Below it’s 12 month SMA. No signs of weakness in this indicator. Real retail sales – Feb’s year … Continue reading
On Friday, March 10, the unemployment rate (UER) for Feb 2017 was released by the BLS. The UER improved to 4.7%. In this post I’ll update the SPY-UI indicator for March. I’ll also provide some new charts with historical data that will be useful in the future. The first thing we’ll look at is the latest UER with respect to its 12 month SMA. The chart below plots both of those along with the US recession boundaries and the SP500 monthly drawdowns. The chart goes back to 1948. For this month the UER at 4.7% is still below its 12 … Continue reading
In my last post I introduced a heat map of the top individual economic indicators and how the heat maps are a very simple yet useful way at looking at the overall state of the economy. In this post I’ll do the same thing but this time with composite economic indicators. What is a composite economic indicator and how is it different than an individual indicator? Individual economic indicators typically provide information about one particular aspect of the economy, say housing, and consists of one data series or a composite of related sub-series. A composite economic indicator, as we’re using the term here, tries to … Continue reading
Now that we have a good set of top economic reads on the state of the economy and a list of the top 6 individual economic indicators, we can tackle using these indicators to get a gauge on where we are in the economic cycle. In this post we’ll present a simple heat map of the top 6 economic indicators, look at what the heat map looked like in previous recessionary periods, and finally compare it to what the heat map is saying today. This will become a regular monthly post, published on or just after the third Friday of … Continue reading
A quick post on a new page I have added to the blog. In the top menu you will see a page called ‘Top 6 Economic Indicators“. On this page you will find FRED graphs of 6 economic indicators, updated automatically when new data is available. I’ll tell you a bit more about these indicators below and why they were chosen. First, there are a lot of economic indicators these days. There are individual indicators (we track 66 of them), like the unemployment rate, for very measuring very specific aspects of the economy, and composite indicators (made up of many individual … Continue reading
This is the first post on economic indicators. In this post we’ll share our top reads on the state of the US economy. Notice I say we, instead of I. In this new endeavor on tracking the economy I now have a partner. He happens to be my cousin and he is also an electrical engineer and even more of a geek than I am. I’ll talk about him more in the future. Before we dive into our top reads let me describe what we’re trying to do. What we’re trying to do is use economic indicators, individual and/or composite … Continue reading