Friday, February 5, 2016

U-3 And U-6 Unemployment Rate Long-Term Reference Charts As Of February 5, 2016

Shortly after each monthly employment report I have been posting a continual series titled “3 Critical Unemployment Charts.”
Of course, there are many other employment charts that can be displayed as well.
For reference purposes, below are the U-3 and U-6 Unemployment Rate charts from a long-term historical perspective.  Both charts are from the St. Louis Fed site.  The U-3 measure is what is commonly referred to as the official unemployment rate; whereas the U-6 rate is officially (per Bureau of Labor Statistics) defined as:
Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force
Of note, many economic observers use the U-6 rate as a (closer) proxy of the actual unemployment rate rather than that depicted by the U-3 measure.
Here is the U-3 chart, currently showing a 4.9% unemployment rate:
(click on charts to enlarge images)(charts updated as of 2-5-16)
unemployment rate
Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Civilian Unemployment Rate [UNRATE] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed February 5, 2016;
Here is the U-6 chart, currently showing a 9.9% unemployment rate:
U-6 unemployment rate
Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons  [U6RATE] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed February 5, 2016;
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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 1878.01 as this post is written

3 Critical Unemployment Charts – February 2016

As I have commented previously, as in the October 6, 2009 post (“A Note About Unemployment Statistics”), in my opinion the official methodologies used to measure the various job loss and unemployment statistics do not provide an accurate depiction; they serve to understate the severity of unemployment.
However, even if one chooses to look at the official statistics, the following charts provide an interesting (and disconcerting) long-term perspective of certain aspects of the officially-stated unemployment (and, in the third chart, employment) situation.
The three charts below are from the St. Louis Fed site.  Here is the Median Duration of Unemployment (current value = 10.9 weeks):
(click on charts to enlarge images)(charts updated as of 2-5-16)
median duration of unemployment
Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Median Duration of Unemployment [UEMPMED] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed February 5, 2016;
Here is the chart for Unemployed 27 Weeks and Over (current value = 2.089 million):
unemployed 27 weeks and over
Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Civilians Unemployed for 27 Weeks and Over [UEMP27OV] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed February 5, 2016;
Here is the chart for Total Nonfarm Payroll (current value = 143.288 million):
total nonfarm payroll
Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: All Employees: Total nonfarm [PAYEMS] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed February 5, 2016;
Our unemployment problem is severe.  The underlying dynamics of the unemployment situation remain exceedingly worrisome.    These dynamics are numerous and complex, and greatly lack recognition and understanding.
My commentary regarding unemployment is generally found in the "Unemployment" label.  This commentary includes the April 24, 2012 five-part post titled “The Unemployment Situation Facing The United States”, which discusses various problematical issues concerning the present and future employment situation.
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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 1875.93 as this post is written

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Four Charts Of Recent S&P500 Price Volatility – February 4, 2016

This post is an update to past posts regarding stock market volatility.
While I track many different measures of volatility, I find the following charts to be both simple and clear in depicting the recent volatility in the stock market.
Overall, my analyses indicates that there are many reasons for this volatility, and the volatility is highly significant.
For reference purposes, shown below are four charts with y-axis price labels.
First, a one-year daily depiction of the S&P500 through yesterday's (February 3, 2016) close, with a 50-day moving average (MA50) depicted by the blue line:
(click on chart to enlarge image)(charts courtesy of StockCharts.com)
S&P500
Second, a three-month daily depiction of the S&P500 through yesterday's (February 3, 2016) close, with a 50-day moving average (MA50) depicted by the blue line:
(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart courtesy of StockCharts.com)
S&P500 daily 3 months
Third, a three-month depiction of the S&P500 in 60 minute intervals through yesterday's (February 3, 2016) close, with a 50-hour moving average (MA50) depicted by the blue line:
S&P500 3 month 60 minute
Fourth, a three-month depiction of the S&P500 in 10 minute intervals through yesterday's (February 3, 2016) close, with a 50-period moving average (MA50) depicted by the blue line:
S&P500 three months 10 minute intervals
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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 1912.53 as this post is written

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI)

The St. Louis Fed’s Financial Stress Index (STLFSI) is one index that is supposed to measure stress in the financial system.  Its reading as of the January 28, 2016 update (reflecting data through January 22) is -.339.
Of course, there are a variety of other measures and indices that are supposed to measure financial stress and other related issues, both from the Federal Reserve as well as from private sources.
Two other indices that I regularly monitor include the Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) as well as the Chicago Fed Adjusted National Financial Conditions Index (ANFCI).
Here are summary descriptions of each, as seen in FRED:
The National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) measures risk, liquidity and leverage in money markets and debt and equity markets as well as in the traditional and “shadow” banking systems. Positive values of the NFCI indicate financial conditions that are tighter than average, while negative values indicate financial conditions that are looser than average.
The adjusted NFCI (ANFCI). This index isolates a component of financial conditions uncorrelated with economic conditions to provide an update on how financial conditions compare with current economic conditions.
For further information, please visit the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s web site:
Below are the most recently updated charts of the NFCI and ANFCI, respectively.
The NFCI chart below was last updated on February 3, 2016 incorporating data from January 5,1973 to January 29, 2016, on a weekly basis.  The January 29, 2016 value is -.55:
NFCI
Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed February 3, 2016:
The ANFCI chart below was last updated on February 3, 2016 incorporating data from January 5,1973 to January 29, 2016, on a weekly basis.  The January 29 value is -.04:
ANFCI
Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed February 3, 2016:
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I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this blog are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.
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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 1890.95 as this post is written

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February 2, 2016 Gallup Poll Results On Economic Confidence – Notable Excerpts

On February 2, 2016 Gallup released the poll results titled “U.S. Economic Confidence Index Flat at -11 in January."
Notable excerpts include:
Americans' confidence in the economy last month was unchanged from December. Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index averaged -11 for the month of January. This is much higher than most monthly averages recorded since 2008, but is still below the post-recession high of +3 found in January 2015.
also:
Gallup's Economic Confidence Index is the average of two components: how Americans rate current economic conditions and whether they believe the economy is improving or getting worse. The index has a theoretical high of +100, if all Americans rate the current economy positively and say it is improving. It has a theoretical low of -100, if all Americans rate the current economy poorly and say it is getting worse.
In January, 26% of Americans rated current economic conditions as "excellent" or "good," while 29% rated them as "poor." This resulted in a current conditions score of -3, similar to the -4 in December. Meanwhile, the economic outlook score was -18, matching the November and December scores. This was the result of 39% of Americans saying the economy is "getting better" and 57% saying it is "getting worse."
Here is an accompanying chart of the two components (Sub-Indexes) of the Gallup Economic Confidence Index, discussed above:
Economic Confidence Subindexes
Here is an accompanying chart of the Gallup Economic Confidence Index:
Gallup U.S. Economic Confidence Monthly Averages

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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 1914.02 as this post is written

VIX Weekly And Monthly Charts Since The Year 2000 – February 2, 2016 Update

For reference purposes, below are two charts of the VIX from year 2000 through yesterday’s (February 1, 2016) close, which had a closing value of 19.98.
Here is the VIX Weekly chart, depicted on a LOG scale, with the 13- and 34-week moving averages, seen in the cyan and red lines, respectively:
(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart courtesy of StockCharts.com; chart creation and annotation by the author)
VIX Weekly LOG
Here is the VIX Monthly chart, depicted on a LOG scale, with the 13- and 34-month moving average, seen in the cyan and red lines, respectively:
(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart courtesy of StockCharts.com; chart creation and annotation by the author)
VIX Monthly LOG
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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 1939.38 as this post is written

Charts Of Equities’ Performance Since March 9, 2009 And January 1, 1980 – February 2, 2016 Update

In the March 9, 2012 post (“Charts of Equities’ Performance Since March 9, 2009 And January 1, 1980“) I highlighted two charts for reference purposes.
Below are those two charts, updated through the latest daily closing price.
The first is a daily chart of the S&P500 (shown in green), as well as five prominent (AAPL, IBM, WFM, SBUX, CAT) individual stocks, since 2005.  There is a blue vertical line that is very close to the March 6, 2009 low.  As one can see, both the S&P500 performance, as well as many stocks including the five shown, have performed strongly since the March 6, 2009 low:
(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart courtesy of StockCharts.com; chart creation and annotation by the author)
EconomicGreenfield 2-2-16 SPX v others since 2005
This next chart shows, on a monthly LOG basis, the S&P500 since 1980.  I find this chart notable as it provides an interesting long-term perspective on the S&P500′s performance.  The 20, 50, and 200-month moving averages are shown in blue, red, and green lines, respectively:
(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart courtesy of StockCharts.com; chart creation and annotation by the author)
SPX Monthly LOG
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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 1939.38 as this post is written

DJIA, DJTA, S&P500, And Nasdaq Long-Term Stock Charts

StockCharts.com maintains long-term historical charts of various major stock market indices, interest rates, currencies, commodities, and economic indicators.
As a long-term reference, below are charts depicting various stock market indices for the dates shown.  All charts are depicted on a monthly basis using a LOG scale.
(click on charts to enlarge images)(charts courtesy of StockCharts.com)
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, from 1900-January 29, 2016:
DJIA from 1900
The Dow Jones Transportation Average, from 1900-January 29, 2016:
DJTA since 1900
The S&P500, from 1925-January 29, 2016:
S&P500 since 1925
The Nasdaq Composite, from 1978-January 29, 2016:
Nasdaq Composite since 1978
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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 1939.38 as this post is written