Thursday, June 11, 2009

Just Another Day of Bad Media Reporting

I am not pointing this stuff out to say "I told you so", I am simply aghast at what passes for reporting nowadays. It is also a good way to show, it really does not matter what reality is, it simply is our perception of reality. Since I've been around a while, and I know some portion of the readers are new to "the game", I am just trying to show you how it all ties together. Behold...

Yesterday I wrote

And in between these two auctions are tomorrow morning's retail sales. Remember, when we analyze a government report we have to ignore everything the actual retail companies are saying in their reports and trust statisticians from D.C. (who know better than retailers on the ground) Since gasoline prices alone jumped substantially in the past month, this alone should provide "better than expected" retail sales (remember, high gasoline prices are a good think because they stoke monthly retail sales - just wait how "good" $4 gas will be for this number)... and boy oh boy the only thing the market needs to confirm green shoots is the "consumer is back".

And Monday I wrote

As for economic reports we have a light week - we have a government retail report (in which we ignore everything the retailers are telling us and instead await the government to tell us what is correct)... with gas prices rising I can already see it now, we see futures surging Thursday as retail sales came in 'better than expected'. No one will point out the fact that gas prices jumping month over month will account for much of the 'surge in spending'.

So what was the headline today? You guessed it

The Commerce Department said total retail sales rose 0.5 percent, the first advance in three months....

Gasoline sales jumped 3.6 percent in May after dropping 0.8 percent the previous month. Excluding gasoline, retail sales rose 0.2 percent.

In English, because gasoline prices surged consumers had to spend more to fill up their car. This caused retail sales to go up. Hence by definition this singals to the market that the US consumer is back. Or some such logic.... just wave your arms and yell about a 0.5% increase in consumer spending. Smile for the camera on CNBC... and act pundit like.

Check your logic at the door - those who actually look under the hood will be driven to the insane asylum by the 'facts'. I always get a kick when we have a slew of retailers post their individual store results less than 2 weeks ago, and then we ignore all the actual companies are saying (what do they know about their business or the American consumer?) and say "well the government says this so "I'm going with the government data".

Remember the 30 year bond auction is today, just like yesterday with the 10 year auction it should spark a strong reaction in the market. 2 hours to go to be whipped around like lemmings on a popsicle.

Back to chewing my blue pill and reconnecting to the Matrix. For the 9th day in a row we are pressing against this 200 day moving average ...

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