Since January 1st this year, the stock market has trending upward, aside from a minor drop today.
Let’s put this in perspective. There is absolutely no consumer market reason for the stock market to be rising at this time.
In December alone, at least 55,000 people received layoff notices. (Not all in the US but it is an indication of corporate health and productivity, along with consumer spending.) Most of those notices came from Ford Motors, GM and GE.
This is not counting the thousands of layoffs due to the bankruptcy of Sears. Thousands more over the past year by Harley-Davidson moving jobs to Thailand. Thousands more by Carrier moving jobs to Mexico. Thousands more by the bankruptcies of Toys R Us and other companies completely folding or closing locations.
Some reports I have heard say this was the lowest consumer spending season for the holidays for years.
In October or November China stopped buying any oil from the US. China was the number 2 buyer of US oil until that point. Instead they are buying from Russia, Iran and Venezuela. The resulting glut is what caused the sudden drop in US gas prices, meaning lowered profits for US oil companies.
India is opposing US sanctions to buy oil from Iran.
If the US actually does withdraw forces from Syria and Afghanistan (with objections being raised to our presence in Iraq), that will mean decreased military spending, no matter what the authorized budget may be. Budget and actual spending are two different things, or should be.
The government is in shutdown and has been for weeks, with no end in sight.
Yet the stock market is rising?!
This is just another illustration that the stock market is not a reflection of the actual economy. Or is a negative reflection.
Last year around this time, there was a jobs report which detailed increased employment and wages. The day after that report, the stock market took an 800 point plunge. Because shareholders objected to the fact that workers were getting paid a potentially decent amount.
So, one can draw the immediate conclusion that the stock market rising is a reflection of shareholder sentiment about decreased wages due to layoffs. While tens of thousands of layoffs were announced in December, they were not scheduled to take effect until this month. Hence the delayed effect.
Still, a huge part of this has no relation to the real world at all. What it indicates is that stock speculators are buying stock once again while the market was down and will sell once it reaches an apparent peak. That peak will be nowhere near were it was before. Stocks are still down by over 2000 points over a 3 month period. It had peaked for last year at over 26,000 and is now just under 24,000.
I fully expect this pattern to keep repeating in a stair step manner, going ever lower. That is, until some trigger event or until liquidity is exhausted. Then the stock market will fall off a cliff.
No worries for corporate executives. They will be the first to sell off their massive stock packages at a profit and then be paid multi-million dollar bonuses when entire companies fail, leaving millions more unemployed. Just like Sears just did. A 100+ year old company, once a major economic force, wiped off the map and the people who killed it get paid bonuses. Not the first time, won’t be the last.
The most amazing thing is that Conservatives still have the belief that the economy is doing well. I know they do for a fact. I work with some of them here in Alabama. One swears vehemently that Ford just announced they are hiring 20,000 people. She said she heard it on Fox news. Though I cannot blame Fox in this case. I looked it up and there was no such report even from Fox. I also checked Ford Motors press releases for good measure. Nope, nothing.
BTW, I really don’t want to hear comments on Conservative delusions from neoliberals who still believe in Russiagate. You have your own obvious delusions to deal with.
Looks like it’s going to be an interesting year. (sic)