Only Bad Economic News Makes It Into The Media -- So Here's The Good News That Was Missed Last Week

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Posted: Mar 18, 2019 9:27 AM
Only Bad Economic News Makes It Into The Media -- So Here's The Good News That Was Missed Last Week

Source: AP Photo/Richard Drew

The sharp rebound in consumer sentiment was underreported on Friday, which is regrettable, but par for the course when only bad economic news makes it into the news.

Michigan Consumer Sentiment

2019

2019

2018

M/M

Y/Y

Index of Consumer Sentiment

97.8

93.8

101.4

+4.3%

-3.6%

Current Economic Conditions

111.2

108.5

121.2

+2.5%

-8.3%

Index of Consumer Expectations

89.2

84.4

88.8

+5.7%

+0.5%

The most important message of the report is the fact that folks that have missed out on economic gains are finally getting a piece of the action and they are thrilled.

  • Households in bottom 2/3 of incomes saw sentiment soar to 97.4 from 90.0
  • Households in the top 1/3 of incomes slumped to 98.5 from 101.7
  • All income groups voiced optimism for economic growth over the year ahead

American Economic Icons under Pressure

Boeing

Boeing (BA) shares are down again on reports of investigations surface, including question regarding the U.S. department of Transportation over the process of certificating safety.  In addition, initial reports about the similarities of the Indonesian Lion Air crash and Ethiopian Air crash points to an issue with the plane and/or training.

On Friday, Boeing announced a software fix within ten days, which underscores the fact there are issues with the current software.   Currently, the costs of this episode are said to be north of $7.0 billion, but that number could climb higher.

General Motors

President Trump unleashed a wave of tweets aimed at General Motors (GM) for closing its Lordstown plant, which had operated since 1966, pumping out 16 million vehicles.

Donald J. Trump

?@realDonaldTrump

 ....are all coming back to the U.S. So is everyone else. We now have the best Economy in the World, the envy of all. Get that big, beautiful plant in Ohio open now. Close a plant in China or Mexico, where you invested so heavily pre-Trump, but not in the U.S.A. Bring jobs home!

Donald J. Trump

?@realDonaldTrump

General Motors and the UAW are going to start “talks” in September/October. Why wait, start them now! I want jobs to stay in the U.S.A. and want Lordstown (Ohio), in one of the best economies in our history, opened or sold to a company who will open it up fast! Car companies.....

Donald J. Trump

?@realDonaldTrump

Just spoke to Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors about the Lordstown Ohio plant. I am not happy that it is closed when everything else in our Country is BOOMING. I asked her to sell it or do something quickly. She blamed the UAW Union — I don’t care, I just want it open!

Donald J. Trump

?@realDonaldTrump

Democrat UAW Local 1112 President David Green ought to get his act together and produce. G.M. let our Country down, but other much better car companies are coming into the U.S. in droves. I want action on Lordstown fast. Stop complaining and get the job done! 3.8% Unemployment!

10:38 AM - 17 Mar 2019

Donald J. Trump

?@realDonaldTrump

Mar 16

Because the economy is so good, General Motors must get their Lordstown, Ohio, plant open, maybe in a different form or with a new owner, FAST! Toyota is investing 13.5 $Billion in U.S., others likewise. G.M. MUST ACT QUICKLY. Time is of the essence!

When GM initially made the announcement on November 26, local media lashed out saying this wasn’t the first time the company made a massive layoff announcement right before Christmas.

The problem is sales of the Chevy Cruze has slumped dramatically in recent years.  General Motors has been working to relocate workers to other parts of the state and country.  But roots are very deep in the community, and many workers don’t want to move, and can’t understand why the plant can’t be retrofitted or sold.

Today’s Session

Dow futures are pointing to a slightly negative open as Boeing shares are under pressure, while Nasdaq and the S&P 500 looking to be continuing their rise.

OPEC has pushed its April meeting to June. This will keep the 1.2 million barrels per day output cut, which is scheduled to end in June, in place for now.  Saudi’s would like to see it stay in place into the second half of the year.  Despite that, oil is trading down below $67 this morning as economic global slowdowns and weakening demand outweigh potential cuts.