Share the Wealth – June 9, 2017
Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence
The major averages look to finish the week mixed following the NASDAQ’s sharp decline. Since Monday the Standard and Poors 500 Index is down about 6 points or ¼% while the tech heavy NASDAQ has lost 67 points or a little over 1%.
Wholesale inventories fell .5% in April. Sales declined for a 2nd month down .4% on a large drop in non-durable sales. March was revised lower; this report will subtract from GDP or Gross Domestic Product estimates.
Mortgage equity withdrawal or MEW featured prominently in the post 2007 housing crisis as the house is an ATM idea came back to bite a lot of folks. Following the nadir seen in late 2011 as per the Calculated Risk Blog using data from the Fed’s 1st quarter Flow of Funds report MEW has increased fairly steadily since the 2011 low. After adding convincingly to disposable personal income in 2016 it slipped back into the red as 2017 began despite a small increase in mortgage debt during the quarter.
Much has been made of “fake news” in the post Trump period, particularly by the president himself, and frankly given the lamestream media’s track record justifiably so in more than a few cases. Recently Trump returned from a trip to Saudi Arabia trumpeting his record 350-billion-dollar arms deal with the Saudi’s, at least according to the headlines. Recent analysis by NPR and the Brookings Institute have found that the 350 billion Dollar deal is largely a mirage as evidenced by a lack of contracts or consideration for export. While there are numerous “Letters of Intent” and similar the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, calls them “intended sales” and many are recycled from the previous administration as well. Apparently, it is only “fake news” when it’s inconvenient.