Monday, 29 February 2016

US economy makes "solid" start to 2016 as JP Morgan warns of recession and bear market

The Wall Street Journal reported that the US economy started 2016 on a "solid footing" after data on Friday showed that consumer spending rose 0.5 percent in January.

The positive consumer spending data comes on the heels of a warning from JP Morgan: "Absent a pickup in consumption and further weakening in the U.S. dollar, we continue to see rising risk of earnings recession in the U.S."

While the January consumer spending data perhaps mitigates the recession concern somewhat, JP Morgan also warned in its note that its Qualitative Macro Index measuring business conditions shows "a cycle that remains in contraction (weak and decelerating) over the coming months."

A QMI at current levels has signaled a bear market 34 percent of the time, with the four readings below having generated average peak-to-trough plunges of 35 percent in the S&P 500.

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