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Aug 05 2023

A Delayed Day Of Reckoning?

  • Aug 5, 2023

Today, the recession / no-recession call dominates daily market debate probably more than any time since the spring of 2008 (when the economy had been in recession for 4-5 months). We fully expect the U.S. economy to roll over in the next several months.

Feb 06 2023

Soft Landing Or Recession? A Dashboard Update

  • Feb 6, 2023

The weight of evidence clearly leans more toward a recession, but the wild card is the recent dovish turn of global central banks, which can significantly boost confidence from investors, consumers, and businesses.

Dec 07 2022

Goodbye Inflation, Hello Recession?

  • Dec 7, 2022

Unlike the five prior cycle peaks, this year’s inflation peak materialized during an ongoing economic expansion. That implies the “post-peak” monetary policy has never been tighter than today—making a soft landing even more improbable.

Nov 18 2022

How This Year’s Inflation Peak Differs From Its Predecessors

  • Nov 18, 2022

Our studies of economic and stock market history are meant to provide perspective, not an investment roadmap. But occasionally a current trend will resemble the past so closely it’s eerie.

Take the current inflation cycle. If (as we believe) June’s CPI inflation rate of 9.1% represents the peak for this business cycle, then many of its characteristics have lined up almost perfectly with the “average” of past inflationary episodes.

Nov 05 2022

The World As Powell Sees It

  • Nov 5, 2022

When the economy falls into recession, labor market measures will be among the last to tell us. We can’t resist watching them anyway, for two reasons. First, we know that the Fed’s self-proclaimed data dependency is unduly reliant on lagging data points, like the monthly employment report. We want to see what the policymakers are seeing, even if that sometimes means using the same, fogged-up rearview mirror.

Oct 07 2022

Recession Dashboard Update—More Deterioration

  • Oct 7, 2022

The latest ISM Manufacturing numbers resulted in a downgrade to that factor from “green” to “yellow.” Unemployment claims is the lone component with a green light on the dashboard. Overall, the various measures we track suggest the risk of a “real” recession is high—better than 50%.

Aug 09 2022

#51 - Yield Curve Inversion

  • Aug 9, 2022

Our recession indicators have continued to deteriorate. Given the stagflation backdrop, the Fed’s tightening cycle is very likely to end in a recession.

Aug 05 2022

Recession Dashboard Update—Real Recession More Likely Than Not

  • Aug 5, 2022

Our recession indicators have continued to deteriorate. Given the stagflation backdrop, the Fed’s tightening cycle is very likely to end in a recession.

Jul 08 2022

“Recessionary” Valuations?

  • Jul 8, 2022

The bear was a mere cub back in March when we examined the historical record of buying S&P 500 dips in the -10% to -12% range. “Blindly” buying them turned out to have mediocre returns, but we illustrated that the positions of various business-cycle indicators could help one determine whether or not catching the proverbial “falling knife” was warranted.

Jun 07 2022

Recession Dashboard Update—More Warning Signs

  • Jun 7, 2022

Overall, there are now more warning signs, but it still doesn’t suggest a recession is imminent.

Sep 05 2020

Does An Economic Rebound “Inoculate” The Stock Market?

  • Sep 5, 2020

The 2020 decline exhibits a strong resemblance to the “incomplete” bear market of March 2000-September 2001—in that neither decline sufficiently deflated the extreme valuations of the preceding bull, and each was followed by an immediate rebound in reliable valuation measures to top decile levels.

Apr 17 2020

Mapping Out The Eventual Earnings Recovery

  • Apr 17, 2020

We view the coronavirus pandemic as the final straw that tipped an already vulnerable U.S. economy into recession, rather than the watershed event that will change the way we view growth, profitability, and even the nature of work itself. But even economic “optimists” like us need to recognize that the recovery back to last cycle’s earnings peak will be a long and grinding one. There’s a good chance that the four-quarter trailing S&P 500 GAAP Earnings Per Share cycle peak of $139.47 will not be exceeded until 2023 or 2024 (Chart 1).

Mar 06 2020

Back Breaker?

  • Mar 6, 2020

With the wavering state of consumer and business confidence, even a modest stock market correction of 8-10% might deliver the fatal blow to confidence—and therefore to the U.S. economic expansion.

Oct 04 2019

Cross-Asset Cross Currents—All About The Recession Call

  • Oct 4, 2019

September was an emotionally exhausting month for investors as reversals in major themes produced wide-ranging repercussions. Movements in various markets have been increasingly tied to bonds—the market that is most sensitive to recession outlook.

Jul 05 2019

Recession Evidence: How Much Is Enough?

  • Jul 5, 2019

Over a 12-month horizon, we now believe a U.S. recession is very likely, but aren’t confident enough to make the call when the forecast window is cut in half. Second-half stock returns could be decent if the business-cycle peak is still a year away. Then again, there’s peril in waiting for “too much” confirmation of recession.

Mar 07 2019

Unemployment And The Point Of No Return

  • Mar 7, 2019

We’ve done extensive work on the yield curve, but until now had entirely overlooked an employment-based recession indicator that’s lately come into focus.

Nov 07 2018

The Rate Hike Carnage Is All Around Us

  • Nov 7, 2018

Taking a cue from the White House, today’s market pundits seem more prone to declarative, unsubstantiated statements than we can ever remember.

Feb 07 2018

Recessions & The Stock Market

  • Feb 7, 2018

In the last couple of months, we’ve come across a handful of economic “check lists” purporting to show the relative absence of recession harbingers as the expansion closes in on its ninth anniversary this summer.

Oct 06 2017

Stocks And The Economy

  • Oct 6, 2017

The stock market is often maligned as a poor economic forecaster, and it’s true the market has predicted several more recessions than have actually occurred.

Jul 14 2017

Boom/Bust Doesn't Point to Recession

  • Jul 14, 2017

The Boom/Bust Indicator, combines a market-based measure (commodity prices) with a weekly government report on the employment situation

Jul 08 2016

Recession Watch

  • Jul 8, 2016

While we don’t see a U.S. recession on a one-year horizon, there are a handful of indicators that may force us to revisit that view—including the two relatively obscure data series shown below.

Sep 09 2015

Recession? Too Early To Call

  • Sep 9, 2015

Among the various arguments put forward by those believing the recent decline is no more than a correction, the most difficult for us to address is the common claim that “there’s no recession on the horizon.”

Sep 04 2011

Recession Or No Recession? That ISN’T The Question

  • Sep 4, 2011

Doug Ramsey provides an analysis of non-recession related bear markets. Historically, non-recession related markets are shorter in duration than recession induced bear markets, but the decline is essentially the same magnitude.


Oct 05 2009

Be A Buyer In An October Scare

  • Oct 5, 2009

Following a strong September, October may be a little weaker. However, readers should use any October scare to buy equities in anticipation of strong end to 2009.


Sep 04 2009

Lehman Remembered

  • Sep 4, 2009

Market vacuum occurred during the 4 weeks following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, when the S&P 500 dove from 1250 to 900. This occurred during the recession, but it has been the Retailers that are among the few groups that have closed that gap.

Dec 02 2008

November Market Action

  • Dec 2, 2008

Drama, if not direction, have become one of the stock market’s few certainties.

Oct 05 2008

The Beginning Of The End.....Yes, We’re Talking About The Bear Market

  • Oct 5, 2008

September was a horrible month for the stock market, but now is not the time to be selling stocks. We believe a market bottom is close at hand, and this month’s “Inside The Stock Market” section presents several of our “big picture”, historical market studies to provide support for this belief.


Oct 05 2008

Financial Crises: A Historical Perspective

  • Oct 5, 2008

Doug Ramsey examines the history of bank failures and prior liquidity crises (back to 1830) to demonstrate that this current financial meltdown is not unprecedented. The names have changed, but the economic and emotional responses have been loosely patterned over the entire time frame.


Oct 05 2008

Portraits Of Declining Inflation

  • Oct 5, 2008

Jim Floyd and Steve Leuthold believe that U.S. consumer price inflation has peaked and is headed for the +3% level by mid-2009. With current headline inflation running at +5.4%, that implies there is plenty of disinflation in the pipeline.


May 06 2008

Economic Watch

  • May 6, 2008

Even though government statistics do not yet indicate a declining quarter of real GDP growth, we believe we are, in fact, in the grip of a recession.

Apr 05 2008

Trying To Make Sense Of Earnings

  • Apr 5, 2008

Jim Floyd tries to makes sense of earnings in the current recessionary environment.



Mar 05 2008

Bear Market Bottom This Summer?

  • Mar 5, 2008

What follows is my attempt to accentuate the positive; why the current bear market may be maturing and bottoming out sooner than you might think.

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.


Feb 05 2008

The Economy And The Stock Market

  • Feb 5, 2008

The stock market tends to peak out 6-12 months prior to recession but turns back up prior to the end of a recession.


Feb 05 2008

Do You Believe In "Decoupling"

  • Feb 5, 2008

A popular buzz word in recent months is “decoupling”, often used in building a case for investing in fast growing foreign stock markets even though the U.S. economy is entering a phase of minimal economic growth or recession.

Feb 05 2008

U.S. Economy Skirts Recession In Q4, Or Does It?

  • Feb 5, 2008

It now appears that the downward bias in inflationary pressures suggested by the CPI data is tame compared to the GDP Deflator. And if this is true, investors may be operating under a false sense of security  that economic growth remains positive (albeit ever so slight).

Nov 05 2007

View From The North Country

  • Nov 5, 2007

Steve's commentary on the stock market's Wall of Worry, the oil patch and mining company squeeze, the abusurdity of corn to ethanol and the world's most valuable companies.

Jul 04 2007

2008 Recession Watch

  • Jul 4, 2007

What little discussion of a possible U.S. recession there had been in the first half of the year has dried up with an apparent pick up in the economy. “Inside The Stock Market” this month presents a 2008 Recession Watch, identifying some indicators which may prove useful in assessing the possibly of a coming recession.

Jun 05 2007

Keep An Eye On The LEI – Leading Indicators Have Topped, But Have Yet To Roll Over

  • Jun 5, 2007

The Index of Leading Economic Indicators has a proven track record of indicating when a recession may be near. Although this index has been trending sideways for quite some time, it has not yet rolled over.

Jan 04 2006

Today's Yield Curve Inversion May Not Be Particularly Meaningful

  • Jan 4, 2006

Many economic recessions are preceded by inverted yield curves, but not all. There have been several inversions that have not immediately preceded a recession.