And what did Jeffry Bartash mean when he referenced the “first quarter shocker?” His ‘shocker’ was the first quarter plunge in GDP, decreasing at an annual rate of 2.9%. And why was this a shock? I’m really not sure. I guess Bartash and many Wall Street types, including economists, were in hibernation during the cruel winter of 2013/2014, or they have very short memories. They seemed to have missed the harsh reality of the season.
It was a horrible winter on the East Coast (where 36% of us live) not to mention the trials of the upper Midwest. Although we Americans are championship consumers, it’s hard to go shopping when the streets are all clogged and there’s four feet of snow in your drive. Doesn’t seem like rocket science to surmise the negative effects on the economy, but most of the pundits did not. Or, was it simply (in the case of the media) an issue of fearful stories sell better than those with a positive bent?
The Market was not surprised
It just shrugged off the data and moved to new all-time highs. The only people surprised were the people making an issue out of the significance of a ninety-day-old final GDP statistic. And, maybe they weren’t surprised, as it is their job to keep people interested in normally boring stuff by scaring them to the edge of their seats. They did this before the report by not providing measured, informed analysis. It was always going to be the weather as prime reason for the ‘shocker’ GDP report, not an economy on the verge of heading South.
Truly Useless Information!
So, I ask why would MarketWatch (an online service of the Wall Street Journal) post this useless information at 1:30 PM (CDT) 6/29/2014? Why was the author sounding the all-clear three months after the fact? Like broadcast media (CNBC, FOX, CNN, et.al.) they need content to fill their platform. This content is rendered, for the most part by looking in the ‘rear view mirror.’ By looking in the ‘rear view mirror’ they try to explain a market (a leading economic indicator) that is a discounting device, deriving its valuation peering forward. In the end they usually end up looking stupid…too much time to fill with too little real information.
What do you think?
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