Monday, November 16, 2009

Economic News Today/This Week

U.S. equity index futures are higher this morning. S&P 500 futures are up 8 points in pre-opening trade. Strength came mainly from weakness in the U.S. Dollar. Commodities priced in U.S. dollars including gold, silver, copper and crude oil are trading higher. Gold is trading at another all time high.

Traders will be watching comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke today. He is expected to give an update on the U.S. economy at a speech to the New York Economic Club at 12:15 PM.

Economic news released this morning was mixed at best. S&P 500 futures slipped slightly after the news. Consensus for October retail sales was a gain of 0.9% versus a decline of 1.5% in September. Excluding autos sales, consensus was a gain of 0.4%. Actual was a gain of 1.4%. However, September sales were revised to a decline of 2.3% and October sales ex autos improved only 0.2%. In addition, the November Empire State Manufacturing Index came in lower than expected. Consensus was 29.00 versus 34.57 in October. Actual was 23.5. (more)

Gregg: U.S. Facing Fiscal Meltdown

The Republican President Barack Obama once nominated as commerce secretary said Sunday that the U.S. is on the brink of a fiscal meltdown that will give it “third-class status as a nation.”

Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., the senior Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, told C-SPAN that the biggest problem faced by the country is “the impending fiscal meltdown of our nation.” a risk he said is only exceeded by the risk of a terrorist attack using weapons of mass destruction.

“We’re taking ourselves down the road to third-class status as a nation,” Gregg said in the interview, which focused on the pending healthcare debate in the Senate that is expected to start this week. (more)

David Morgan as interviewed by Ellis Martin of The Opportunity Show

Technically Precious with Merv

FREE weekly precious metals investment newsletter click here

BNN: T. Boone Pickens on Energy

watch part 1

watch part 2

watch part 3

Eric Sprott: Gold Momentum's Picking Up Dramatically

The Gold Report: You have written quite a bit about the U.S. government's growing debt and a whole bunch on unfunded liabilities leading to a default on obligations or printing more money.

Eric Sprott: There aren't too many choices when you're in debt to the level that the U.S. government is. As we've outlined in some of our recent articles, one way of calculating it says there's $72 trillion of debt and other way suggests it is $100 trillion. It's almost academic which calculation you use; it's just an overwhelmingly serious problem.

Thank goodness we have a zero interest rate policy. Otherwise, the cost of those obligations would be unbearable. As we analyze where we are and look at all the things that the administration is doing, it certainly seems that they're going to try to spend their way out of it. Last week's announcement regarding the extension of the homeowner credit, in addition to giving corporations loss carry-backs while paying unemployment benefits for an additional 20 weeks—these are all signs of trying to spend their way out of it. It is looking more and more like it will be an inflationary scenario. It could even be hyperinflationary. (more)