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OPINION

Forget Markets-Another Tough Day In USA

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It was a rather pedestrian-like session on Wall Street; weakness that began with Janet Yellen’s press conference became a more serious sell-off when reports of active shooters in San Bernardino, California, emerged. At least 14 people were killed after three armed men burst into the Inland Regional Center. In the aftermath of terrorists’ attacks in Paris and Mali and last Friday’s lone-shooter in Colorado Springs…the nation is on edge.

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Before the news broke, investors were on edge as Janet Yellen took a victory lap. She said that wage growth is accelerating, and I agree. Yesterday, Unit Labor Cost was as strong as it’s been in a long time.

Yellen continued, she stated that a significant number of those who are out of the labor force would want to return as the economy turns. On this matter, I am not so sure. I think that a part of economic success is self-fulfilling – people have to hit the bricks in order to make it happen. The part-time conundrum could be moving back to pre-crisis levels.

  • 3.0%: Pre-Crisis
  • 6.5% :Peak
  • 4.0% :Currently

There are exogenous circumstances including, the avalanche of regulations and Obamacare that has created a part-time crisis that will not be solved anytime soon.

Fear on the Rise

The volatility fear index (VIX) surged more than 9% on Wednesday, heightening the chance of major volatility Thursday and Friday. It’s that time to buckle up, but this moment of truth had to come; I think it’s been well-telegraphed.

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Wednesday’s Beige Book; the Federal Reserve (anecdotal evidence) on the economy shows “modest” improvements in general; overall, consumer spending was on the rise.

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