My cross-country move is closer to completion. My car should arrive today. My furniture in one week. Mrs. OldProf and I can visit our new home, but are in temporary lodgings for the next week.
I observed from 38,000 feet yesterday, watching most of the typical stories unfold. I need (and plan) to write more on each of these topics, but here are some key points:
* Everyone who has been "warning" (including those doing so for many years) are seizing on some one-month data points as confirmation. It is confirmation bias, because the same sources ignore the good economic news.
* To make things more frightening, we hear creative terms like "manufacturing recession" from people who do not even know the actual definition of a recession.
* The ISM report, according to their own analysis, is consistent (if annualized) to GDP growth of 1.5%. The below 50 readings in manufacturing are widely misinterpreted.
* The ISM commentary says nothing about the Fed or the need for lower interest rates. It says a lot about trade issues. These are affecting sales and input costs. It is affecting business confidence.
* Political issues are getting even more attention. People love to speculate about something more than a year away. It may be great fun, but it is a poor foundation for your investing. A good example are the Medicare-for-all plans which have no real chance of passage no matter who is elected.
* This morning's TV describes the week's trading as "panic." Good for headlines, I guess.
Overall -- recession odds have not changed much although market technicals are worse.
Most importantly, the real-time economics lesson continues. Those who do not understand the advantages of global trade seriously miscalculated the consequences of a trade war. Monitoring trade talk progress is the most important element of news for both investors and traders.