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Consumer Confidence

Oct 05 2019

More Trends We Don’t Find Friendly…

  • Oct 5, 2019

The yield curve’s ten-month moving average inverted in September, hence the yield curve inversion can no longer be dismissed as transitory; the Boom/Bust Indicator remains below its descending 10-month moving average, confirming economic weakness predicted by the yield curve; and, the “Present Situation” component of September’s Consumer Confidence survey slipped below its 10-month moving average for the third time in 2019.

Aug 07 2019

Altitudes And Attitudes

  • Aug 7, 2019

Trend followers who use the ten-month moving average discipline finally had a positive month in July. But after the early-August decline, they are still holding an S&P 500 loss of 60 points from their latest trade initiated at the end of June.

Jul 04 2019

Slowdown Or Recession? Confidence Is Key

  • Jul 4, 2019

The pattern of sharp sell-offs followed by equally sharp rallies continued in June. Most risky assets recouped nearly all the losses suffered in May, and then some.

May 07 2019

It’s A Confidence Game

  • May 7, 2019

U.S. stock funds have seen heavy outflows despite the market’s YTD gains of 15-20%, once again reviving the tired characterization of this bull market as the “most hated in history.”

Apr 05 2019

A Confidence Game

  • Apr 5, 2019

Several consumer confidence gauges plunged in the wake of the Q4 market decline (as expected), and then rebounded in a lagged response to the stock market recovery (again, as expected). But March saw the largest one-month drop in consumers’ assessment of their “Present Situation” since 2008.

Mar 29 2019

The Cycle Is Over If Confidence Fades Further

  • Mar 29, 2019

The “Expectations” component of the Consumer Confidence survey has been wobbly in the last few months, but the latest report, released on Tuesday, showed the first meaningful hit to consumers’ “Present Situation” since the stock market first began to struggle 14 months ago (Chart 1).

Jan 08 2019

You Call That A Panic?

  • Jan 8, 2019

Christmas Eve came not with snowfall but a market freefall which was the worst-ever recorded for that date.

Jan 07 2017

Tilt Toward Beta

  • Jan 7, 2017

Stock market valuations certainly show no lack of investor confidence: each of our “Big Six” valuation measures now resides in either its ninth or tenth historical decile.

Jan 07 2017

Plenty Of Love For The Rally

  • Jan 7, 2017

The less-well-known Stock Market Confidence survey from the Conference Board has poked into “excessively optimistic” territory for the first time since 2003

Jan 07 2017

Safety In Numbers?

  • Jan 7, 2017

The S&P 500 closed the first week of January at a new cycle high, up 9.2% from the pre-election low made on November 4th.

Jan 07 2017

“Changes In Attitudes, Changes In Latitudes”

  • Jan 7, 2017

The above caption—and Jimmy Buffett song title—comes from the “View From The North Country” section in the first-ever Green Book published in November 1981. Not much has changed in 35 years.

Nov 05 2016

Lack Of Confidence Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

  • Nov 5, 2016

While this 7 1/2-year bull market has failed to give rise to anything resembling the equity culture of the late 1990s, we think it’s a stretch to claim—as dozens of commentators over the past five years have—that this bull is “the most hated” in history.

Apr 08 2015

Confidence & Stock Prices

  • Apr 8, 2015

Consumer Confidence shot to new cycle highs in March, closing within 6-7 points of the peak made shortly before the Great Recession.

Jul 08 2014

Confidence & Stock Prices

  • Jul 8, 2014

We’re still bullish, but nonetheless feel a duty to take issue with some of the popular story-lines that have attended the past two years’ rising prices.

Jun 07 2013

Stocks And The Economy

  • Jun 7, 2013

We’ve written before about retail investors’ tendency to “conflate” stock market action with movements in the underlying economy. Misunderstanding this interrelationship generally causes the public to liquidate stocks when the economy is weak, only to ultimately buy them back when the economic recovery is obvious to all.

Dec 06 2011

Risk Aversion Edged Up - Stay Defensive And Be Patient

  • Dec 6, 2011

The Risk Aversion Index edged up during November. It is still on a “higher risk” signal. We will stay defensive and be patient. Higher quality assets within the fixed income space are favored.


May 06 2008

Morose On Main Street… So Why Isn’t The Smart Money Worried?

  • May 6, 2008

Consumer confidence levels have sunk to five year lows. Could this be a bullish omen for the markets?


Mar 05 2008

Jobs/Consumer Data Flashing Recessionary Signals

  • Mar 5, 2008

Optimists have continuously cited low unemployment and the ever resilient U.S. consumer as two “pillars of strength” that will help keep the economy afloat. It has become considerably more difficult to make this case in recent months, as jobs and spending data have weakened to levels associated with recessions.


Oct 03 2007

Consumer Watch– Economic Data Weakening, Consumer Stocks Already Discounting A Slowdown

  • Oct 3, 2007

Our view that the consumer is due for a pullback has been bolstered in recent months, as Consumer Discretionary groups have continued to slip in our Group Selection (GS) Score rankings.

Sep 05 2006

The Demise Of The Consumer

  • Sep 5, 2006

“Of Special Interest” section examines the likely demise of consumer spending power. Taking a lead from the GS Scores and other economic data, we believe that a significant underweight in areas that are particularly sensitive to consumer spending is a prudent strategy for now.

Aug 03 2005

The Consumer: Still Chugging Along

  • Aug 3, 2005

Consumer spending may have finally peaked in this cycle, but a consumer collapse is far from imminent. Consumers can be expected to remain supportive of economic growth.

Nov 03 2004

Market Sentiment: Currently A Mixed Bag

  • Nov 3, 2004

An in depth discussion of market sentiment...At present, it is a real mixed bag, there is no clear cut consensus.

Sep 05 2004

Still Can't Count Out The Consumer

  • Sep 5, 2004

American consumer spending is still in an uptrend, helping to drive economic growth, although to a lesser extent. In the meantime, CapEx spending has been accelerating, which should serve to pick up any economic slack.

Jun 04 2003

View From The North Country

  • Jun 4, 2003

Does consumer confidence offers any insight into future spending patterns? Also, the case for shorting T-Bonds.

Mar 05 2003

View From The North Country

  • Mar 5, 2003

Consumer confidence now dismal. Historical analysis however indicates that good buying opportunities are typically found during periods of extreme pessimism. Currently view Conference Board measure as a stock market positive!

Dec 04 2002

Consumer Confidence & The NASDAQ…..Who Leads Who?

  • Dec 4, 2002

A closer look at the relationship between Consumer Confidence and the NASDAQ over the last three years.

Nov 05 2002

Eye On The Consumer

  • Nov 5, 2002

Important pillars of economic bridge until Capex kicks in and business confidence improves. Interest only mortgages-the ticking time bomb debt. U.S. Consumer debt OK compared with other countries but, what happens when interest rates rise?

Sep 04 2002

This Was No Summer Of Love

  • Sep 4, 2002

In August, the bloodletting finally slowed:  Majority of indices actually managed to eke out small gains.

Feb 05 2000

Who's Afraid of the Fed?

  • Feb 5, 2000

The public certainly is not afraid of Mr Greenspan…..Strong public confidence now a key stock market support factor.

Jun 02 1999

May Mutual Fund Flows

  • Jun 2, 1999

Market volatility was the likely culprit for equity fund disenchantment in May, as net inflows into U.S. focus equity funds for the month were less than half of April’s record breaking $26.1 billion. Main Street Confidence: The critical market factor…..what are some potential confidence destroyers?

Mar 02 1999

Main Street Confidence: The Critical Market Factor

  • Mar 2, 1999

What might threaten Main Street equity confidence???

Feb 03 1999

Public Confidence Measures

  • Feb 3, 1999

The driving force behind today’s stock market is the public. Never before had they had such clout.

Dec 05 1998

Public Confidence Again Rising

  • Dec 5, 1998

After noting last month’s declines in public confidence measures we wrote that, in order to sustain a rising stock market, these measures needed to improve in the next month. All of the confidence measures did improve.

Nov 04 1998

Public Conficence Measures

  • Nov 4, 1998

Numerous measures experienced sharp drops corresponding closely to the stock market sell off. Without a bounce in the next two months, the outlook for the economy and the stock market may look quite bleak.

Sep 08 1998

Major Stock Market Positives and Negatives

  • Sep 8, 1998

Steve’s personal judgements and opinions incorporating observations, experience and gut feelings, going beyond the quantitative aspects of the Major Trend Index disciplines.

Aug 05 1998

Major Trend Back to Negative

  • Aug 5, 1998

Major Trend back to Negative...Both Asset Allocation Portfolios shifted to their most defensive posture ever. Steve's judgements and opinions on major stock market positives and negatives.

Jul 04 1998

Should We Believe It This Time?

  • Jul 4, 1998

On June 22, clients received an Interim Memo noting that our composite Major Trend Index had slipped to Negative status. The subsequent calculation lost a few more points and remains marginally negative.

Jun 03 1998

Major Stock Market Positives and Negatives

  • Jun 3, 1998

  A review of the significant stock market positives and negatives as I currently see them.

Apr 06 1998

March Madness

  • Apr 6, 1998

The market finished the first quarter of1998 strong, with the S&P 500 up 13.5% and the Dow Jones flirting with the 9000 milestone. Expectations for April? More of the same. Nothing on horizon to shake individual investors’ confidence.

Mar 05 1998

Building a New Position: Housing

  • Mar 5, 1998

Buying 10% position in Housing. Moved up to Attractive last month, and currently the fourth highest ranked per our SS Scores. Expect current economic environment to be favorable for Housing.