Market Overview

Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain.


The unemployment rate, as reported by the government, is measured by those collecting benefits and has remained around 10% over the past 2 plus years. The “real” unemployment rate is more like 20% as more and more Americans have exhausted their benefits and no longer factor into the “reported” unemployment number, some aren't collecting because the don't qualify and some just don't bother to apply for benefits because they can earn more money working unstable “temp to hire” jobs or various part-time positions (if they are lucky enough to find them).

New-home sales dropped to a seasonally adjusted rate of 284,000 homes last month, the Commerce Department said last Thursday, down from 325,000 in December and less than half the 600,000-a-year pace that economists view as healthy.

Buyers purchased 322,000 new homes last year, the fewest annual total on records going back 47 years. Builders of new homes are struggling to compete in markets saturated with foreclosures as high unemployment and a steady decline in home prices keep many potential buyers from making purchases.

Poor sales of new homes mean fewer jobs in the construction industry, which normally powers economic recoveries. On average, each new home built creates the equivalent of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

The American Dream that many baby boomers have grown up believing in, has turned into a nightmare.
• Unemployment remains near all–time highs.
• Home values continue to tumble.
• 10% of homes are currently in foreclosure with addition 25% at risk.
• 25% of all home sales from year 2010 are now in distress.
• Cost of living is skyrocketing as wholesale and retail prices continue to rise in the wake of all-time high gasoline prices.
• Retirement and savings accounts shrink as many Americans continue to dip into their nest eggs and use credit to pay their monthly household bills.
• Consumer confidence at all-time lows.

Yet the stock market continues to rally. Can anyone explain this to me?

“Toto, something tells me were not in Kansas anymore.”

Posted-In: Wall Street JournalAnalyst Color Economics Analyst Ratings Media


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