All The FANG Stocks Are Now In A Bear Market And Facebook Investors Have Already Lost 39 Percent Of Their Paper Wealth

These large stock market declines are starting to become a regular thing, and tech stocks are getting hit particularly hard. But we have been in a bull market for such a long time that many investors are having a difficult time comprehending what is happening. Many just keep believing that their beloved tech stocks will eventually bounce back because they just can’t accept the fact that the party is over. At this point, all of the “FANG stocks” have officially entered bear market territory. Facebook is down 39.5 percent from their 52 week high, Amazon is down 25.4 percent, Netflix is down 35.6 percent and Google is down 20.3 percent. And since many throw in Apple to make the acronym “FAANG”, we should also note that Apple’s stock price is now down more than 20 percent from the peak. The tech stock crash that so many have been waiting for has arrived, and many analysts believe that it is going to get a whole lot worse.

The combined market value of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google has fallen by 610 billion dollars so far.

Just think about that for a moment.

Most Americans don’t even realize that tech stocks have been crashing, and many of them simply assume that their investments are safe.

And at one time Facebook was considered to be a very safe investment, but now 39.5 percent of the value of Facebook has already been completely wiped out.

It looks like November will be Facebook’s third month in a row in the red, and that will be the longest monthly losing streak that it has ever had.

A lot of people are shocked that this is happening so rapidly. But really the only surprise is that it has taken this long for these massively overvalued stocks to crash and burn.

The truth is that these companies have been priced beyond perfection. So when even the smallest piece of bad news comes along, investors can start to panic.

For example, one of the big reasons why Apple has declined so much is because production orders for all three of the new iPhones that were unveiled in September have been slashed. It looks like iPhone sales are not going to be at quite the level everyone had anticipated, and Wall Street responded by throwing a huge temper tantrum.

And things look even more ominous for Facebook. As Joel Kulina of Wedbush recently noted, the number of people that are using Facebook on a daily basis in North America is falling…

Joel Kulina of Wedbush says problems in the company have been evident longer than this month. “If you go back to that earnings report back in July, they missed across the board and what really jumps out at me is that we’re seeing declining daily and monthly active users in North America or stalling active user metrics in North America, declining in Europe and the only regions that are seeing growth is in Asia where the average revenue per user is much lower than the Western world,” Kulina said.

When Facebook decided to start censoring people for their political views on a massive basis, that was the beginning of the end for the company. At this point they have alienated millions upon millions of users that were once addicted to the service, and that is damage that will never be repaired.

And it is inevitable that something newer, better and more engaging will eventually come along. Not too long ago, MySpace was the unbeatable giant in social media, but then Facebook came along and crushed them. Now it is clear that Facebook has peaked, and the void that is being created as Facebook declines will certainly be filled by someone else.

But what we are witnessing in the financial marketplace is not just about tech stocks. This is a broad-based global decline, and it has been going on for quite some time.

In fact, just check out the following tidbit from Simon Black

Deutsche Bank says 89% of all asset classes it tracks are negative this year – the worst year since 1901.

This is often how a big downturn begins: gradually, then suddenly. Asset prices stew and fester, slowly grinding downward for months while people maintain hope that prices will recover.

Yes, you read that correctly.

89 percent of all the asset classes that they track are down in 2018.

That is an absolutely astounding number.

We haven’t seen anything like this since the last financial crisis. Most people seem to assume that the problems that caused the last financial crisis have been fixed, but that is not the case at all. Instead, things were patched together and the global financial bubble was made even bigger. Here is more from Simon Black

Instead of giving million-dollar mortgages to unemployed borrowers with a history of default, investors are loaning billions of dollars to money-losing zombie businesses, or to governments that are already in debt up to their eyeballs, all while pretending these are safe, credible investments.

Total global debt back in 2008 was about $173 trillion, worth about 280% of GDP.

Today total global debt is $250 trillion, worth about 320% of GDP. It’s only gotten worse.

Now the “Bubble To End All Bubbles” is starting to burst, and great chaos is ahead. What we experienced in 2008 and 2009 is nothing compared to what is in front of us, and most Americans have absolutely no idea what is coming.

At the moment, one key thing to keep a close eye on is the high yield bond market.

High yield bonds (also known as “junk bonds”) crashed really hard just before the financial crisis of 2008 erupted, and now it is happening again.

Even if high yield bonds didn’t go down any further, they have already dropped to a level that indicates that stocks still have a lot more room to fall.

But if high yield bonds do continue to plummet like this, it is a clear indication that it is time to put your crash helmet on.

These are interesting times, and I have a feeling that they are about to get a whole lot more interesting.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

This Wasn’t Supposed To Happen…

We have definitely deviated from the script. According to virtually all of the “experts”, the stock market was not supposed to keep plummeting in November. This was supposed to be the month when the market calmed down and things returned to normal. But instead, November is starting to look a whole lot like October, and many investors are really starting to freak out. U.S. stocks declined for a third day in a row on Monday, and all post-election gains have now been completely wiped out. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost another 602 points, and all of these large daily losses are really starting to add up. It may still be a bit too early to call this a “major financial crisis”, but if stock prices keep plunging like this it won’t be too long before all hell starts breaking loose on Wall Street.

Goldman Sachs, GE and California utility stocks were some of the biggest losers on Monday, but it was Apple that made the biggest news

Investors grew concerned after Wells Fargo analysts identified Apple as the unnamed customer that optical communications company Lumentum Holdings said was significantly reducing orders. The news sent Apple’s stock down 5 percent for the day. Lumentum shares plunged almost 33 percent.

Shares in other major tech stocks fell. Advanced Micro Devices gave up 9.51 percent, while Nvidia fell 7.84 percent. Micron Technology lost 4.27 percent. Banks and consumer-focused companies, and media and communications stocks also took heavy losses.

All along, tech stocks had been leading the bull market on the way up, but now things have completely shifted.

In recent weeks tech stocks have been absolutely cratering, and several of the biggest names are now officially in bear market territory. The following summary comes from Wolf Richter

  • Facebook [FB] dropped 2.4% today, to $141.55 and is down 35% from its peak in July.
  • Amazon [AMZN] dropped 4.4% to $1,636.85 a share and is down nearly 20%, from the peak on September 5, when shares nearly kissed for the briefest moment $1 trillion.
  • Alphabet [GOOG] dropped 2.6%. At $1,038.63, shares are down 18% from the peak in July.
  • NVIDIA [NVDA] plunged 7.8% today to $189.54 and is down 34.5% over the past six weeks and down 11% from a year ago.
  • Netflix [NFLX] dropped 3.1% today to $294.07 and has plunged 30% from its high in early July.
  • Microsoft [MSFT] fell 2.4% today to $106.87 and is down 7.5% from its peak at the beginning of October.

The environment on Wall Street is radically different than it was even six months ago. Today, there are concerns about what a divided Congress will mean for the next two years. Certainly there will be no more tax cuts, and many investors are bummed about that. There are also concerns that the trade war between the United States and China will continue to escalate. In addition, interest rates continue to rise, housing numbers continue to get worse, and we continue to get more evidence that the global economy is really starting to slow down.

And one thing that is really spooking investors right now is the surging U.S. dollar

Stocks investors are spooked about a lot of things, and the strong dollar biting into earnings growth is now one of them.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback versus a basket of other currencies, jumped 0.7 percent on Monday to 97.58, a 17-month high. As the dollar rose, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 602 points to 25,387, and the S&P 500 was down nearly 2 percent to 2,726.

You may be tempted to think that a strong dollar would be a good thing, but in this financial climate it is definitely not. As I have discussed previously, many emerging market countries binged on debt during the boom years, and much of that debt was denominated in U.S. dollars. Now that the dollar is surging, that is making it much, much more difficult to service and pay back those loans.

Meanwhile, the price of oil continues to fall precipitously. At this point, oil has now fallen for 11 days in a row

Crude has now lost ground for 11 consecutive days, the longest slide since oil futures trading was introduced on the NYMEX in March 1983. The historic slump knocked oil into a bear market — barely a month after it hit four-year highs. Selling accelerated in extended trading, with crude breaking below $59 a barrel.

Monday’s drop signals skepticism from investors that Saudi Arabia will be able to quickly mop up a glut of supply that has suddenly emerged.

If you will remember, the price of oil also spiked dramatically and then fell like a rock just prior to the financial crisis of 2008.

Could it be possible that a similar scenario is playing out again?

In “Get Prepared Now”, I talked about what the coming financial crisis would mean for all of us, and I noted that many prepare for such a crisis by investing in precious metals. So it is quite interesting to note that global central banks were voraciously buying gold during the third quarter of this year…

Gold is particularly attractive to central banks looking for safe, liquid assets. Central bank purchases of gold increased by 22% during the third quarter. That’s the fastest pace since the fourth quarter of 2015, according to Natalie Dempster, managing director for central banks and public policy at the World Gold Council.

Could this be a sign that the central bankers believe that a new crisis is looming?

Of course there are many of us that are stunned that things have already deteriorated so rapidly. I expected that October would be bad, but I didn’t think that it would be that bad.

And many of us had anticipated that things would calm down a bit in November, and so a 602 point decline on Monday definitely came as a surprise.

Ultimately, it is just a matter of time before we witness a stock market crash far greater than we saw in 2008, but we can certainly hope that it will be put off for as long as possible.

However, the truth is that nobody can outrun the relentless march of time indefinitely, and time is most certainly running out for Wall Street.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium members-only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

Global Stocks Plunge Again And A Former Reagan Administration Official Is Warning Of A “40% Crash”

Stocks are falling again, and many believe that this new crisis is only just beginning. After a disappointing end to last week, a lot of investors were hoping for a bounce to start this week, but so far that has not materialized. As I write this article, all the big markets in Asia are down, and it looks like it is going be be a rough morning for Wall Street. Of course we probably won’t see too much movement as global markets wait to see what happens on Tuesday, and those results could potentially move things up or down substantially. Ultimately, I have a feeling that Wall Street will not be too happy if control of Congress is divided, because that would almost certainly mean that very little will get accomplished in Washington for the next two years. Instead, we will likely see even more bickering and fighting than we are seeing now.

But no matter what happens in the short-term, a lot of experts are convinced that the big market crash that everyone has been waiting for is finally here.

One of those experts is David Stockman.

Stockman is a former member of Congress, and he was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. These days he is a frequent contributor on CNBC, and he recently told the network that there will be “a 40 percent stock market plunge”

David Stockman warns a 40 percent stock market plunge is closing in on Wall Street.

Stockman, who served as President Reagan’s Office of Management and Budget director, has long warned of a deep downturn that would shake Wall Street’s most bullish investors. He believes the early rumblings of that epic downturn is finally here.

Because our financial system is even more leveraged today than it was in 2008, a plunge of that magnitude would be absolutely disastrous. Virtually everyone would need a “bailout” at that point, and economic activity would decline dramatically as the flow of credit dried up almost completely.

Needless to say, we would find ourselves in a very harsh recession very rapidly, and that is another thing that Stockman is anticipating

We’re going to be in a recession, and we’re going to have another market correction which will be pretty brutal,” Stockman said.

Of course Stockman is far from alone. Another economic expert that is warning of an imminent crisis is Mish Shedlock

In the last 10 years not a single fundamental economic flaw has been fixed in the US, Europe, Japan, or China. The Fed was behind the curve for years contributing to the bubble. Massive rounds of QE in the US, EU, and Japan created extreme equity and junk bond bubbles. Trump’s tariffs are ill-founded as is Congressional spending wasted on war.

Potential Catalysts

  1. Junk Bond Bubble Bursting
  2. Equity Bubble Bursting
  3. Italy
  4. Tariffs
  5. Brexit
  6. Pensions
  7. Housing
  8. China

Many will blame the Fed. The Fed is surely to blame, but it is prior bubble-blowing policy, not rate hikes now that are the problem.

Shedlock has correctly identified a number of factors that could act as “catalysts” for this crisis. The truth is that signs of trouble are all around us, and it is only going to take a very small nudge to push us off of a very steep cliff.

Instead of fixing our long-term problems in 2008, our leaders patched up the current system and started reinflating the bubble.

Now we have created the largest financial bubble in all of human history, and the only way to keep it from imploding is to inflate it even more.

On some level, just about everyone knows that this story is going to end badly, and that a horrifying economic downturn is ahead of us.

Just look at what General Motors is doing. Even though the U.S. economy has supposedly been “doing well”, they just offered a buyout to 18,000 of their employees because they want “to act ahead of the next economic downturn”

And yet, despite its strong position, Automotive News reports that GM plans to offer about 18,000 employees a voluntary buyout. The offer will only be extended to salaried employees who have worked at the company for at least 12 years, and eligible employees have until November 19 to decide whether to accept or not.

But why would GM reduce its workforce when it’s doing so well? With sales in the U.S. and China slowing down, hybrid and electric vehicles growing increasingly popular, and automated driving technology finding its way to more vehicles, GM sees a lot of change on the horizon. It’s also worried about the potential for another recession, and it wants to act ahead of the next economic downturn.

Earlier today, I received an email from one of my readers that really made me think.

He expressed his belief that a great economic crisis is rapidly approaching, and he wanted to know how he could help warn people about what is coming.

I wasn’t sure what to tell him.

At this point, the elite know what is coming and they are feverishly preparing for it. The “smart money” is pulling out of stocks at an unprecedented pace, and the ingredients for a “perfect storm” are definitely coming together.

But most ordinary Americans have bought into the false narrative that everything is going to be okay somehow.

Sadly, everything is not going to be okay, and a lot of people are going to be completely overwhelmed by the very painful times that are coming.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium members-only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

“Red October”: We Just Witnessed The Worst Month For The S&P 500 In 7 Years

This was an October that many of us will never forget. The month of October is typically the most volatile month of the year for stocks, and that was definitely the case in 2018. It was the worst month for the S&P 500 in 7 years, and it was the worst month for the Nasdaq in almost 10 years. But the damage could have been much worse if we had not seen a bounce the last two trading days of the month. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 241 points, and investors are hoping that this is a sign that things are starting to settle down a bit. And hopefully things will be calmer in November, because things were so chaotic in October that the month has already been branded “Red October” by the mainstream media

Wall Street finally bid good riddance to what one professional stock investor dubbed “Red October.”

In a tumultuous month marked by big price swings, rising fear levels and emerging risks, the U.S. stock market suffered its biggest October decline since the 2008 financial crisis, prompting shaken investors to reassess the staying power of a bull run that began more than nine years ago.

When we go back and look at the month as a whole, the damage is breathtaking.

Here is a summary of the carnage that we witnessed…

-October was the worst month for the S&P 500 since September 2011.

-October was the worst month for the Nasdaq since November 2008.

Nearly 2 trillion dollars in U.S. stock market wealth was wiped out.

-Overall, approximately 8 trillion dollars in global stock market wealth was wiped out.

-October was the worst month ever for the “FANG” stocks.

-Facebook was down 7.7 percent.

-Alphabet (the parent company of Google) was down 9.7 percent.

-Netflix was down 19.3 percent.

-Amazon was down 20.2 percent.

-Global systemically important bank stocks were down more than 10 percent.

To me, one of the most noteworthy things that happened in October was the huge movement that we saw in the junk bond market.

Usually junk bonds start to rapidly decline just before a major stock market crash happens, and October was the worst month for junk bonds since 2008.

That is a major league red flag, but not a lot of people are talking about it.

But without a doubt there is a lot of anxiety on Wall Street right now, and even many long-time bulls are turning into bears.

For example, just consider what Ralph Acampora is saying

The so-called “Godfather” of market chart analysis said that the damage already done to the stock market is much worse than most people are talking about. Ralph Acampora, a prominent market technician, says the stock market is in bad shape and it’s worse than many Wall Street investors appreciate.

From a technical perspective, the damage that has been done technically to the stock market is much, much worse than people are talking about,he told MarketWatch in a phone interview on Tuesday. Acampora also said that the technical damage that has resulted in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index erasing all of their gains for 2018, and the Nasdaq Composite Index falling into correction territory (which is usually characterized as a decline of at least 10% from a recent peak) will take months to repair.

Acampora had been a bull for a very long time, and while many other analysts are calling this decline a “correction”, he believes that “this is something different”

“I’ve been a bull for a long, long time and like everyone, I was waiting for a correction but this is something different,” said Acampora. “All the leadership is getting crushed,” he said. He added that he feels that the entire market will go into bear territory soon.

“Honestly, I don’t see the low being put in yet and I think we’re going to go into a bear market,” he said according to MarketWatch.

We’ll see what happens in November.

Stocks will definitely move next week after the election results come in. I would think that a divided result (Republicans keep the Senate but Democrats take the House) would be interpreted by investors as a negative sign because that will produce gridlock in Washington.

However, that will only move the needle for a day or two.

Ultimately, I still believe that some sort of “trigger event” will be necessary in order for a full-blown stock market crash to happen.

But the smart money is already behaving as if a stock market crash is a certainty. Just consider the following chart from Zero Hedge

Meanwhile, the number of Americans that expect the stock market to decline over the next year is at the lowest level in over a decade.

That seems quite odd.

As you can see from the chart, the smart money has correctly anticipated the overall direction of the market all the way back to 1990.

Do you think that the smart money will be wrong this time?

We have never seen the smart money get out of stocks at such a rapid pace. Despite the bounce of the last couple of days, there is definitely an atmosphere of gloom on Wall Street.

The ingredients for a “perfect storm” are definitely coming together. It may not be today or tomorrow, but at some point a “trigger event” will happen, and then all hell will break loose in the financial markets.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium members-only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

The Stock Market Has Just Done Something That It Hasn’t Done Since 2009

We continue to see extremely wild swings on Wall Street. On Monday, at one point the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 352 points, and then later it was down 566 points. At the closing bell the Dow had officially lost 245 points, and all of this extreme volatility is making investors very nervous. Investors like markets that are predictable, because it is a whole lot easier to make money when things move in a predictable fashion. When things get crazy, a lot of investors pull their money out and wait until things settle down in the marketplace, and that definitely makes a lot of sense. Right now, there is a lot of uncertainty about where things are ultimately headed. Some experts believe that the bull market will resume after this “correction” is over, but others believe that a bear market has now begun. And as you will see below, the fact that the S&P 500 has now broken a major trendline that has not been broken since 2009 is strengthening the case of the latter group.

Many had anticipated that we may see a bounce on Monday, but instead we witnessed another very large decline. According to Zero Hedge, all of the major stock indexes are now officially in correction territory…

  • Dow -10.1%
  • S&P -10.8%
  • Nasdaq Composite -14.4%
  • Dow Transports -15.5%
  • Russell 2000 -15.5%

Tech stocks got hit harder than anything else on Monday, and at this point they are down 13.3 percent from the peak. Each one of the FANG stocks is now in bear market territory, and many on Wall Street are stunned that this has happened so quickly.

But as I have warned my readers many times, markets tend to go down a whole lot faster than they go up.

The main thing that rattled investors on Monday was news that the Trump administration might slap even more tariffs on Chinese imports

President Donald Trump’s administration is prepared to announce tariffs on remaining Chinese imports if talks next month between Trump and Xi Jinping do not yield results, Bloomberg reported. Such a move is likely to prolong the standoff between the U.S. and China over trade and is expected to hurt the global economy.

Analysts are also blaming the stock market’s weakness in October on a variety of factors, including worries that U.S. corporate earnings growth has peaked and fears of a U.S. monetary policy misstep by the Federal Reserve.

The Chinese do not respond well to threats and intimidation, and our relations with China are the worst that they have been in decades. This is going to have huge implications for all of us, and this is a major storyline that we will want to revisit again and again in the months ahead.

Getting back to the market, we are starting to see things happen that we have not witnessed since the last financial crisis.

Specifically, the S&P 500 just broke the bull market trendline that had not been violated since the market bottomed out in early 2009. The following comes from Graham Summers

That’s bad news. But unfortunately it gets worse from here. Stocks have violated the monthly trendline running back to the 2009 for the first time in this bull market.

So when we talk about the bull market ending… we’re not just talking about the 2016-2018 run… we’re talking about THE ENTIRE bull market running back to the 2009 bottom.

You can see the chart that he is referring to right here. The fact that this trendline has now been broken is a huge sell signal, and it is yet another indication that a new financial crisis has begun.

And it isn’t just the U.S. that is in trouble. In fact, the U.S. is still in much better shape than the rest of the world.

Right now, approximately 58 percent of the 2,767 stocks listed on MSCI’s global index are officially in bear market territory.

Things have deteriorated so rapidly that even Jim Cramer of CNBC is starting to talk like a bear

There have only been four times in Jim Cramer’s career when the stock guru and former hedge fund manager sold out of his entire portfolio. And, scary as it sounds, the market action of the past few weeks reminds him of those chaotic moments.

“As much as it pains me to say this, the current situation combines … some of the worst characteristics of those four past breakdowns,” Cramer told investors on Monday as much of the stock market slid into correction territory.

Hopefully we will see a bounce on Tuesday and things will settle down on Wall Street for the rest of this week.

But whether that happens or not, this crisis is far from over.

Stock prices should have never gotten this high. The only reason they reached such absurd heights was due to unprecedented intervention by the Federal Reserve. And now the Federal Reserve seems determined to burst the bubble that they originally created, and that is going to cause immense pain for investors.

In order for valuations to return to their long-term averages, stock prices would still need to decline another 40 percent from current levels, but because our system is so leveraged a decline of that magnitude would be absolutely crippling for our financial system and would create the greatest credit crunch that any of us have ever seen.

And a credit crunch of that magnitude would instantly plunge the U.S. into an economic depression.

This financial bubble has lasted for much longer than it should have, but we desperately need it to continue, because the alternative is an economic horror show of unprecedented magnitude.

Unfortunately it appears that this bubble is now bursting, and that is extremely bad news for all of us.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium members-only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

A Perfect Storm Is Brewing

Will we someday look back on October 2018 as the turning point? As the month began, people were generally feeling pretty good about things, and the U.S. stock market quickly set a new all-time high. But from that point on, the wheels fell off for Wall Street. We just witnessed the worst October for U.S. stocks since the financial crisis of 2008, and at this point more than 8 trillion dollars of global wealth has been completely wiped out. But it isn’t just the stock market that is being shaken. The horrific violence in Pittsburgh is just the latest in a string of events that have rattled the entire nation. Sometimes I feel like I am literally watching the fabric of our society come apart right in front of my eyes. It is almost as if there is a tangible presence of evil in the air, and it seems to be getting stronger over time. For quite a while I have been warning that levels of anger and frustration are rising to unprecedented levels, and all of that anger and frustration is leading people to do things that are absolutely unthinkable. And if people are this crazed now, how bad are things going to get once the economy really starts unraveling?

Let there be no doubt – if U.S. stocks crash really hard, it will cause a massive credit crunch, and that would absolutely strangle economic activity.

Yes, October was bad, but we can recover from what happened in October.

But if November and December are equally as bad or worse, we could have a nightmarish crisis on our hands very rapidly. And many experts believe that this market is ultimately going to decline much, much further.

For example, just consider what Wolf Richter is saying

So it boils down to this: Some stocks have gotten crushed, but the market overall has barely been dented – though the fundamentals are rotten, shares are still ludicrously overpriced, enthusiasm is still exuberant except on bad days, and blind faith in annually rising stock prices still reigns. And the fact that stocks like Tesla [TSLA] or Netflix continue to levitate beyond all reality shows that this downturn has a long way, and years, to go.

And Chris Martenson expressed similar sentiments in his most recent article

The recent market weakness seen over the past two weeks is nothing compared to what’s in store. As we’ve been carefully chronicling, bubbles burst from ‘the outside in’, starting at the weaker places at the periphery before progressing to the center.

Emerging market equities are now down -26% from their January highs and -18% year-to-date. China’s stock market is down -32%, even with substantial intervention by the government to prop things up.

The periphery has been weakening all year, and the contagion has now spead worldwide.

But when I talk about a “perfect storm”, I am not just talking about money.

For years, I have been warning that the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted on a daily basis is rapidly disappearing, and the events of this past week made this exceedingly clear

Wednesday, a white man with a history of violence shot and killed two African-Americans, seemingly at random, at a Kentucky Kroger store following a failed attempt to barge into a black church.

After mail bombs were being sent to people who’d been criticized by the President, a suspect was arrested Friday — a man who had railed against Democrats and minorities with hate-filled messages online.

And Saturday morning, a man shouting anti-Semitic slurs opened fire at a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing 11 people attending Jewish services.

I will not ever be able to understand the kind of hate that we have been witnessing. I have always preached against racism, and I even included an entire chapter against racism in my latest book. There is absolutely no room for racism in America, but it just seems to keep growing.

We are facing overwhelming challenges as a society, and if we do not learn how to love one another there is no way that we are going to make it.

This is a time of great governmental shaking as well. On November 6th, some candidates will win and some candidates will lose, but the hatred being expressed on both sides will not go away. Sadly, the truth is that there are corrupt politicians all around us, and the American people have been rapidly losing faith in our system. If the corruption is not cleaned up and some way is found to restore faith in our system of government, it is only a matter of time before it collapses.

On top of everything else, we also live at a time of impending global conflict. A major regional war could erupt in the Middle East at any time, and Russia and China are openly warning that they are “preparing for war” with the United States. World War 3 is a lot closer than people realize, and the fact that our relationships with both Russia and China are rapidly going downhill is a major concern.

And of course the planet itself is increasingly becoming unstable. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions appear to be growing in both size and intensity, and massive storms have been hammering communities all over the globe in recent months.

The giant rock that we all live on is rapidly changing, and many believe that the Earth changes that we are currently witnessing are going to escalate dramatically in the years ahead.

Many ordinary Americans seem unconcerned about everything that is going on, and perhaps that is because they are unaware of the bigger picture. But the elite are definitely freaking out. In fact, the New York Times just published an article about how demand for private security services is higher than ever

At Pinkerton, a private security and detective agency founded in 1850, requests for executive security have increased 20 to 30 percent annually over the last five years, said its vice chairman, Tim Williams. And people are looking for safeguards in all areas of their lives that pose risks, experts say, including information technology and social media.

“People are scared right now,” Mr. Williams said.

And some among the elite even have plans to hop on private jets and leave the country completely when everything starts hitting the fan. For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “Bankers And Tech Executives Know The Collapse Of Society Is Coming And Are Feverishly Prepping For It”.

We are entering a time that will cause many to have great fear, but now is not a time to be scared.

It is when times are the darkest that light is needed the most, and I believe that this coming “perfect storm” will be an absolutely thrilling time to be alive.

Yes, life is going to become a lot more uncomfortable for all of us, but it is during times of great challenge that we find out what is truly inside of us. This will be a time when some will show that they are great villains, but many will also emerge as great heroes.

We have reached a critical juncture in human history, and everything is about to change. I would encourage you to be a light in the darkness, because that is going to be greatly needed in the days ahead.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium members-only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

Stock Market Plunges Again – Global Stocks Down 5 Weeks In A Row – 8 Trillion Dollars In Wealth Wiped Out

It’s not over. The worst October stock market crash since 2008 got even worse on Friday. The Dow was down another 296 points, the S&P 500 briefly dipped into correction territory, and it was another bloodbath for tech stocks. On Wednesday, I warned that there would be a bounce, and we saw that happen on Thursday. But the bounce didn’t extend into Friday. Instead, we witnessed another wave of panic selling, and that has many investors extremely concerned about what will happen next week. Overall, global stocks have now fallen for five weeks in a row, and during that time more than 8 trillion dollars in global wealth has been wiped out. That is the fastest plunge in global stock market wealth since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and it is yet another confirmation that a major turning point has arrived.

The wild swings up and down that we witnessed this week are very reminiscent of what we saw in 2008.

Markets just don’t go down in a straight line. In fact, some of the best days in all of Wall Street history happened right in the middle of the last financial crisis.

When markets are very volatile, the overall trend tends to be down. So what investors should be hoping for are extremely boring days on Wall Street when not much happens. That has been the usual state of affairs for much of the past decade, but now volatility has returned with a vengeance. The following is how CNBC summarized the carnage that we witnessed on Friday…

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 296.24 points lower at 24,688.31 after dropping 539 points at its lows of the day. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.1 percent to 7,167.21. At its lows, the tech-heavy Nasdaq had fallen more than 3 percent.

The S&P 500 fell 1.7 percent to 2,658.69 and briefly entered into correction territory, trading more than 10 percent below its record high reached in September. The average stock market correction, since WWII, results in a 13 percent drop and lasts for four months if it does not turn into a full-fledged bear market.

Larry Benedict, CEO of The Opportunistic Trader, said traders “don’t want to be long heading into the weekend.” He added, “S&P now down on the year and people are more afraid to be long today than they were when market was 10 percent higher.”

And when you step back and take a longer-term view of things, the devastation is breathtaking. The following facts come from Zero Hedge

  • Dow down 9% from record high (down 4 of last 5 weeks)
  • S&P down 10.1% from record high (down 4 of last 5 weeks)
  • Nasdaq down 13% from record high (down 4 weeks in a row)
  • Dow Transports down 15.2% from record high (down 6 weeks in a row)
  • Small Caps down 15.8% from record high (down 6 weeks in a row)

More importantly, global systemically important bank stocks have now fallen for 5 weeks in a row, and they have now plunged more than 30 percent from the peak.

In other words, the “too big to fail banks” around the world have already seen almost a third of their value wiped out.

There are quite a few global candidates that could potentially become “the next Lehman Brothers”, and once one “too big to fail bank” goes down, it could escalate this new financial crisis very rapidly.

But for most ordinary Americans, the main concern is about keeping their own money safe. Thanks to low returns almost everywhere else, more retirement money is in the stock market than ever before, and many Americans are very anxious about what a stock market crash would mean for their savings…

Nearly 40 percent of Americans said they were “anxious” about stock market volatility, according to Allianz Life’s 2018 Market Perceptions study, mainly because they worried they would not be able to protect their retirement savings.

In the end, a lot of people are going to get completely wiped out.

Hopefully you will not be one of them.

Of course the mainstream media continues to insist that everything is going to be just fine. In fact, CNN is telling people that now is “a good time for investors to double down on their investments”

Experts say big sell-offs are often a good time for investors to double down on their investments. One recommended looking for companies that are expected to post healthy gains in sales and earnings. A strong balance sheet and a steadily growing dividend don’t hurt either.

“With earnings season in full force, this is when stock pickers can add a lot of value,” said Ernesto Ramos, managing director of active equities with BMO Global Asset Management. “There really was no good reason for the market to be down as much as it was Wednesday.”

That is about the exact opposite from the advice that they should be giving, but unfortunately this is the narrative that we get from the corporate media before every major crisis.

October has historically been the most volatile month for stocks, and without a doubt this has been a wild month. Of course the midterm elections are coming up early next month, and those results could potentially spook investors. But once we get past that, hopefully the markets will start to settle down.

But if things continue to unfold as they did in 2008, this crisis could continue to escalate during the months ahead, and that would especially be true if some sort of “trigger event” sent a major surge of panic through the marketplace.

At this point, investors are extremely jumpy. For example, even though Amazon reported very good earnings this week, the stock crashed on Friday because revenue growth was slightly below expectations.

Any piece of bad news could send the markets tumbling right now, and if a major disaster were to happen we could be talking about a total collapse.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium members-only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

Stock Market Crash! The Dow Has Now Plunged 2,368 Points From The Peak Of The Market

The level of panic that we witnessed on Wall Street on Wednesday was breathtaking. After a promising start to the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average started plunging, and at the close it was down another 608 points. Since peaking at 26,951.81 on October 3rd, the Dow has now fallen 2,368 points, and all of the gains for 2018 have been completely wiped out. But things are even worse when we look at the Nasdaq. The percentage decline for the Nasdaq almost doubled the Dow’s stunning plunge on Wednesday, and it has now officially entered correction territory. To say that it was a “bloodbath” for tech stocks on Wednesday would be a major understatement. Several big name tech stocks were in free fall mode as panic swept through the marketplace like wildfire. As I noted the other day, October 2018 looks a whole lot like October 2008, and many believe that the worst is yet to come.

But in the short-term we should see some sort of bounce once the current wave of panic selling is exhausted. During every major stock market crash in our history there have been days when the stock market has absolutely soared, and this crash will not be any exception.

If we do see a bounce on either Thursday or Friday, please don’t assume that the crash is over. Most key technical levels have already been breached, and even a small piece of bad news can send stocks plunging once again.

On Wednesday there really wasn’t anything too unusual that happened, but stocks cratered anyway. Here is a summary of the carnage…

-The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 608 points on Wednesday.

-The Dow is now down 7.1 percent for the month of October.

-The S&P 500 has now fallen for 13 of the last 15 trading days.

-The S&P 500 is now down 8.9 percent for the month of October.

-A whopping 70 percent of all S&P 500 stocks are already in correction territory.

-A third of all S&P 500 stocks are already in bear market territory.

-It was the worst day for the Nasdaq since 2011.

-The Nasdaq is now down 11.7 percent for the month of October.

-At this point, the Nasdaq has officially entered correction territory.

-The Russell 2000 is now down about 15 percent from the peak as it hurtles toward bear market territory.

-Over in Germany, Deutsche Bank closed at yet another record low as it teeters on the brink of disaster.

-Global systemically important bank stocks have now fallen a total of 30 percent from the peak of the market.

Hopefully things will stabilize for a while, but many experts are warning that things could get much worse from here

The latest swoon, which knocked the S&P 500 down more than 3 percent Wednesday, signaled to many Wall Street pros that the decline was entering a new, more dangerous phase. There’s growing concern now that this decline is more than a garden variety pullback, or drop of 5 percent to 9.99 percent, and could morph into a drop of 10 percent of more for the broad market.

“With the big sell-off today, the market may have moved from pullback into correction territory,” says Nick Sargen, chief economist and senior investment advisor for Fort Washington Investment Advisors.

All it is going to take is one more really bad day for the Dow to push us officially into correction territory. And once we breach that 10 percent threshold, that could set off another round of panic selling.

On Wednesday, the one piece of bad news that kind of rattled investors was the fact that new home sales plunged dramatically in September…

This is a disastrous print:

August’s 629k SAAR was revised drastically lower to 585k and September printed 553k (SAAR) massively missing expectations of 625k (SAAR) – plunging to the weakest since Dec 2016…

That is a 13.2% collapse YoY – the biggest drop since May 2011

Without a doubt, a 13 percent year over year decline is catastrophic, and this is starting to remind many people of the housing crash that we witnessed back in 2008. Homebuilder stocks have been plummeting all month, and home prices are collapsing all over the nation.

In my previous article entitled “Why Are So Many People Talking About The Potential For A Stock Market Crash In October?”, I noted that this has been the month with the most market volatility ever since the Dow was first established. Absent some kind of major event, the stock market usually gets kind of sleepy around Thanksgiving and does not really spring to life again until after the new year has begun.

Of course it is entirely possible that this year could be different.

We have entered a time when global events appear to be accelerating significantly. Earlier today, bombs were mailed to major political leaders all over the United States. In the Middle East, it looks like Israel and Hamas could go to war at any moment. And we continue to see a rise in major seismic events – including three very large earthquakes that just hit the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

It truly does appear that the elements for a “perfect storm” are beginning to come together. We have been enjoying a period of relative stability for so long that many Americans have allowed themselves to become lulled into a state of complacency. That is a huge mistake, because all along we have been steamrolling toward disaster, and nothing has been done to alter our course.

Dark days are ahead my friends, and I strongly urge you to get ready.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium members-only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

Teetering On The Brink Of Disaster: 14 Of 19 Bear Market Signals Have Now Been Triggered

October 2018 is turning out to be a lot like October 2008. The S&P 500 has now fallen for 12 of the last 14 trading days, and it is on pace for its worst October since the last financial crisis. But the U.S. is actually in much better shape than the rest of the world at this point. Even though they have fallen precipitously in recent days, U.S. stocks are still up 3 percent for the year overall. On the other hand, global stocks (excluding the U.S.) are now down more than 10 percent for the year, and they are down more than 15 percent from the peak of the market in January. All it is going to take is a couple more really bad trading sessions to push global stocks into bear market territory.

And even though U.S. stocks are still outperforming the rest of the world, many are anticipating that the U.S. is definitely heading for a bear market as well.

According to Bank of America, 14 out of their 19 “bear market indicators” have now been triggered

“Expect a long bout of volatility,” Bank of America strategists led by Savita Subramanian wrote in a report published on Sunday.

Bank of America keeps a running tally of “signposts” that signal looming bear market. The bad news is that 14 of these 19 indicators, or 74%, have been triggered. Two more were toppled earlier this month: the VIX volatility index (VIX) climbed above 20 and a growing number of Americans expect stocks to go up.

Of course not all 19 indicators need to be triggered in order for a bear market to happen. These indicators are simply signposts, and what they are telling us is that big trouble could be brewing for the financial markets.

And Tuesday was certainly another chaotic day for Wall Street. The Russell 2000 experienced another extremely disappointing day, and it is now officially red for the year

Small-cap stocks erased all of their gains for the year on Tuesday, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average at one point was not be too far behind.

The Russell 2000, composed of publicly traded companies with a market capitalization between $300 million and about $2 billion, shed 0.8 percent on Tuesday, putting it into the red for 2018, down 0.6 percent.

The number of stocks that are at 52-week lows far outnumbers those that are at 52-week highs, but a handful of big name stocks has been keeping the market from plummeting too dramatically.

In the short-term, we should expect some more wild swings up and down, but meanwhile we continue to receive more troubling news about the real economy.

For example, we recently learned that existing home sales were down once again last month

The metric of interest today is existing home sales. The reading came in at 5.15m units, which was well below the estimated 5.3m units and 4.1% below year ago levels. As the chart below shows, existing home sales have been falling all year long, and year-over-year growth rates have been mostly negative since September, 2017.

And auto sales are way down all over the country

A growing number of auto dealers around the country is seeing a noticeable drop in retail sales and customer traffic in showrooms, raising the possibility that a long-anticipated slowdown in auto sales has arrived.

“We are definitely seeing business pull back,” said Scott Adams, the owner of a Toyota dealership in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, just outside Kansas City. “September was off some, but this month our car sales are down 12 percent and our truck sales are down 23 percent.”

These things would not be happening if the economy was in good shape.

Every time the Federal Reserve goes through an interest rate hiking cycle it causes big problems for the economy, and this is something that President Trump alluded to during an interview with the Wall Street Journal

In an interview Tuesday with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Trump acknowledged the independence the Fed has long enjoyed in setting economic policy, while also making clear he was intentionally sending a direct message to Mr. Powell that he wanted lower interest rates.

“Every time we do something great, he raises the interest rates,” Mr. Trump said, adding that Mr. Powell “almost looks like he’s happy raising interest rates.” The president declined to elaborate, and a spokeswoman for the Fed declined to comment.

No matter what President Trump does, disaster is inevitable if the Federal Reserve continues to raise rates. The Federal Reserve has far more control over the economy than Trump does, and that is why many of his supporters are hoping that Trump adopts Ron Paul’s “End the Fed” message for the 2020 presidential campaign.

Speaking of the Federal Reserve, former Fed chair Paul Volcker is saying that the U.S. is facing “a hell of a mess”

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who has reached legend status in the world of central banking, isn’t optimistic about current conditions.

When Volcker looks around now, he sees “a hell of a mess in every direction,” including a lack of basic respect for government institutions, a current Fed that seems to be following a completely arbitrary benchmark and a “swamp” in Washington run by plutocrats.

Without a doubt, it is most definitely true that we are facing “a hell of a mess”, but most Americans are entirely clueless about what is coming.

In the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, the economy stabilized and global central banks were able to inflate the biggest financial bubble in human history.

Once this bubble bursts, there won’t be a similar “recovery” this time around.

Along with the rest of the world, the U.S. is headed for an unprecedented period of chaos and pain. We should be thankful for each day of relative stability that we are still able to enjoy, because time is rapidly running out.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium members-only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

The Dow Has Fallen Nearly 1,500 Points From The Peak Of The Market, And Many Believe This “October Panic” Is Just Beginning…

We haven’t had an October like this in a very long time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down another 327 points on Thursday, and overall the Dow is now down close to 1,500 points from the peak of the market. Unlike much of the rest of the world, it is still too early to say that the U.S. is facing a new “financial crisis”, but if stocks continue to plunge like this one won’t be too far away. And as you will see below, many believe that what we have seen so far is just the start of a huge wave of selling. Of course it would be extremely convenient for Democrats if stocks did crash, because it would give them a much better chance of doing well in the midterm elections. This is the most heated midterm election season that I can ever remember, and what U.S. voters choose to do at the polls in November is going to have very serious implications for the immediate future of our country.

After a very brief rally earlier in the week, stocks have been getting hammered again. The S&P 500 has now fallen for 9 out of the last 11 trading sessions, and homebuilder stocks have now fallen for 19 of the last 22 trading sessions. It was a “sea of red” on Thursday, and some of the stocks that are widely considered to be “economic bellwethers” were among those that got hit the hardest

Several stocks seen as economic bellwethers fell sharply in the U.S., including United Rentals and Textron, which dropped at least 11 percent each. Snap-on and Caterpillar, meanwhile, fell 9.6 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively.

Hopefully we will see another bounce on Friday, but at this moment it looks like things could go either way.

But no matter what happens on Friday, many are convinced that the worst is yet to come, and here are some of the reasons…

China

Chinese stocks have fallen 12 percent so far this month, and overall they are down 26 percent over the last 12 months.

That means that China is now well into a bear market.

And history tells us that when Chinese stocks fall 10 percent or more within 30 days, that is usually very bad news for U.S. stocks. The following comes from CNBC

But a study by CNBC using analytics tool Kensho found that U.S. stocks are more often weaker when the declines in Chinese stocks are large. Over the past 10 years, when Shanghai stocks fell 10 percent or more in a 30-day period, the U.S. stock market was up only about 30 percent of the time, and the U.S. indexes all averaged significant declines.

For instance, the S&P 500 on average fell 4.8 percent when China was down 10 percent or more, and the Nasdaq was even worse with a loss of 5.3 percent.

The Chinese just had the worst quarter for economic growth since the first quarter of 2009, and many believe that is a huge sign of trouble for the global economy as a whole.

The Federal Reserve

In recent weeks I have been hammering the Federal Reserve over and over again, and they definitely deserve it.

The Fed is raising interest rates way too rapidly, and this is going to kill the economy and at some point it will inevitably cause a horrifying market crash.

And I am far from alone in criticizing the Fed. For instance, just consider what CNBC’s Jim Cramer said about the Fed on Thursday

Stocks tanked on Thursday because people are finally realizing that the Federal Reserve has the power to hurt stocks and slow the economy, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said after the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 300 points.

“This is one of those moments where it’s dawning on people that maybe all the assurances that we don’t need to be afraid of the Fed are being proven to be totally bogus,” the “Mad Money” host said.

Every Fed rate hiking cycle since 1957 has ended in either a recession or a market crash, and this one won’t be any different.

Forced Selling

In this day and age, when markets start to plunge things can get out of hand very quickly thanks to all of the computer trading that starts to happen.

This is something that Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon says his firm is watching very closely

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said Thursday that he believes part of October’s steep stock sell-off was the result of programmatic trading.

“There’s no question when you look at last week, some of the selling is the result of programmatic selling because as volatility goes up, some of these algorithms force people to sell,” Solomon told CNBC’s Wilfred Frost. “Market structure can, at times, contribute to volatility and one of the things that we’re spending a bunch of time thinking about at the firm is how changes in market structure over the course of the last 10 years will affect market activity.”

One key level to watch in the coming days is 25,000 on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

That is a very important psychological level, and if this downturn successfully breaks through that barrier we could very quickly move toward 24,000 thanks to programmatic selling.

This current bull market has lasted for much longer than it should have, but now it appears that the bubble may have burst.

And once the bears take control, things could get bad for a very long time. The following comes from investing expert Egon von Greyerz

It now looks like the secular bull market in stocks is turning into a secular bear market that could last for several years if not decades. The stock market acts as a sentiment indicator for what happens in the real economy. No indicator is perfect and stock market moves will be exaggerated in both directions. It is now likely that the world is starting an economic downturn of epic proportions.

During previous market downturns over the past 10 years, there was still a lot of optimism on Wall Street.

But these days it seems like “doom and gloom” is the dominant theme in trading circles, and it won’t take too much to turn that “doom and gloom” into “fear and panic” as everyone races for the exits as quickly as they can…

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium-members only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

“When the bubble bursts, America will experience an economic crisis much greater than the 2008 meltdown or the Great Depression”

The bigger they come, the harder they fall. Currently, we are in the terminal phase of an “everything bubble” which has had ten years to grow. It is the biggest financial bubble that our country has ever seen, and experts are warning that when it finally bursts we will experience an economic downturn that is even worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s. Of course many of us in the alternative media have been warning about what is coming for quite some time, but now even many in the mainstream media have jumped on the bandwagon. The Economist is one of the most prominent globalist mouthpieces in the entire world, and so I was stunned when I came across one of their articles earlier today that was entitled “Another economic downturn is just a matter of time”. When the alternative media and globalist media outlets are both preaching economic doom, that is a very clear sign that big trouble is imminent.

But for the moment, global financial markets seem to have settled down a bit. U.S. markets were down on Monday, but there wasn’t that much volatility. Once again, it was tech stocks that got hit the hardest

Apple and Netflix pulled back more than 1.8 percent each. Netflix fell after Goldman Sachs and Raymond James slashed its price targets on the video-streaming giant. Apple dropped after Goldman Sachs said the tech giant’s earnings could fall short this year as demand in China slows. Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet also traded lower.

This may seem odd to hear, but what happened on Monday was actually good news for Wall Street.

Whether the markets go up or down, what investors should want more than anything else right now is calm, and that is precisely what we witnessed on Monday. Yes, tech stocks took a bit of a hit, but overall there was not much panic in the marketplace and that is a positive sign (at least in the short-term) for Wall Street.

But that doesn’t mean that some big event isn’t going to cause another wave of panic on Wall Street by the end of the week. Nothing about the long-term outlook has changed at all. We have entered a time when the Ponzi scheme that we call “our financial system” could literally collapse at any moment.

And when it does collapse, the U.S. economy is going to experience pain unlike anything that we have ever seen before. In his most recent article, Ron Paul warns that when the “everything bubble” finally bursts “America will experience an economic crisis much greater than the 2008 meltdown or the Great Depression”…

The Fed will be unsuccessful in keeping the everything bubble from exploding. When the bubble bursts, America will experience an economic crisis much greater than the 2008 meltdown or the Great Depression.

This crisis is rooted in the failure to learn the lessons of 2008 and of every other recession since the Fed’s creation: A secretive central bank should not be allowed to manipulate interest rates and distort economic signals regarding market conditions. Such action leads to malinvestment and an explosion of individual, business, and government debt. This may cause a temporary boom, but the boom soon will be followed by a bust. The only way this cycle can be broken without a major crisis is for Congress both to restore people’s right to use the currency of their choice and to audit and then end the Fed.

Of course Ron Paul is far from alone.

Just the other day, Peter Schiff said essentially the exact same thing

Economic guru Peter Schiff is saying that the next market crash will be “far more painful” than that of the Great Recession in 2008. With rising interest rates and tariffs spiking the cost of living, Americans will have some difficult financial times ahead.

“I think as Americans lose their jobs, they are going to see the cost of living going up rather dramatically, and so this is going to make it particularly painful,” Schiff said. “This is a bubble not just in the stock market, but the entire economy,” he told Fox News Business. Schiff is predicting a recession, accompanied by rising consumer prices, that will be far more painful than the 2007-2009 Great Recession.

The Federal Reserve and other global central banks worked very hard to inflate this bubble for a very long time, and now the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates quite rapidly.

They seem determined to burst their own bubble, and in the process they are going to create immense economic devastation all over the planet.

When President Trump said that the Federal Reserve has “gone crazy”, he was right on the money, and hopefully the American people will finally see that it is time to shut the Fed down permanently.

And as I noted earlier, the mainstream media also seems to at least partially understand what is happening. For example, the following comes from a Bloomberg article entitled “Get Out of Equities Before It’s Too Late, Says Fund Manager”

The tumble in equities may go deeper than the correction earlier this year and investors should get ready to sell, according to a Budapest-based fund manager.

“Investors have to start looking for a way out from equities now,” Attila Dzsubak, investment director at MKB-Pannonia Fund Manager, who helps oversee 670 billion forint ($2.4 billion) in assets, said in Budapest. “Past experience shows that exits can quickly become too narrow.”

In the stock market, you only make money if you buy at the right time and if you sell at the right time.

Many of those that are wealthy on paper at the moment are going to see that paper wealth disappear in stunning fashion during the coming collapse.

America’s pride is largely based on the staggering wealth that we have been able to enjoy, but what is going to happen once that wealth is gone?

For the moment the bubble still lives, but the clock is ticking…

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium-members only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

Global Markets Continue To Fall As Bloomberg Warns “The Next Financial Crisis Is Staring Us In The Face”…

It looks like it could be another tough week for global financial markets. As the week began, markets were down all over the world, and relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia have taken a sudden turn for the worse. That could potentially mean much, much higher oil prices, and needless to say that would be a very bad thing for the U.S. economy. It has really surprised many of us how dramatically events have begun to accelerate here in the month of October, and the mood on Wall Street has taken a decidedly negative turn. Yes, U.S. stocks did bounce back a bit on Friday (as I correctly anticipated), but it was much less of a bounce than many investors were hoping for. And this week got off to a rough start with all of the major markets in Asia down significantly

In the Greater China region, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell by around 0.9 percent in early trade. The Shanghai composite also slipped by 0.33 percent while the Shenzhen composite bucked the overall trend to edge up by 0.4 percent.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell by 1.48 percent in morning trade, while the Topix index slipped by 1.17 percent, with most sectors trending lower.

But what happened in Asia was nothing compared to what we witnessed in Saudi Arabia.

At one point the stock market in Saudi Arabia had plummeted 7 percent after news broke that President Trump warned that the Saudis could face “severe punishment” for the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Saudis are denying doing anything wrong, but everyone agrees that he is missing, and everyone agrees that he was last spotted entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd.

And it is being reported that U.S. intelligence had previously intercepted communications which indicated that the Saudis planned to abduct Khashoggi.

It is believed that Khashoggi was dismembered after being abducted by the Saudis, and all of the major western powers have expressed major concern about his fate. But the Saudis insist that they didn’t have anything to do with his disappearance, and they are threatening “greater action” if any sanctions are imposed upon them. The following comes from USA Today

Saudi Arabia denied any involvement in the disappearance of Washington Post contributing journalist Jamal Khashoggi and warned Sunday that any sanctions against the oil-rich kingdom would be met with “greater action” and possibly exploding oil prices.

“The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures or repeating false accusations,” the government said in a statement released to Saudi media. “The Kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action.”

So what might that “greater action” look like?

Well, one Saudi official is warning that the price of oil could rise to “$100, or $200, or even double that figure”

In a column published just after the SPA statement, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya channel’s General Manager Turki Aldakhil warned that imposing sanctions on the world’s largest oil exporter could spark global economic disaster.

“It would lead to Saudi Arabia’s failure to commit to producing 7.5 million barrels. If the price of oil reaching $80 angered President Trump, no one should rule out the price jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that figure,” he wrote.

If the price of oil did shoot up to $200 a barrel, that would be absolutely crippling for the U.S. economy.

You see, it wouldn’t just cost a whole lot more to fill up your gas tank. Virtually everything that we buy has to be transported vast distances, and so the price of gasoline must be factored into all of those products.

The price of food is already ridiculously high, and so I don’t even want to imagine what a trip to the grocery store might look like if the Saudis follow through on their threats.

Meanwhile, warnings from the mainstream media of a new crisis on Wall Street continue to become even more dramatic. For example, the following comes from a Bloomberg article entitled “The Next Financial Crisis Is Staring Us in the Face”

The financial crisis ripped through Wall Street 10 years ago, pushing the global economy to the edge of the abyss. One might think those searing experiences would have created a learning opportunity — for managing risk better, understanding structural imbalances in the financial markets, even learning a bit about how our own cognitive processes malfunction.

Instead, we have little new wisdom or self-awareness to show for that traumatic event.

And this is how that Bloomberg article ended

As memories of the crisis fade as the economy recovers, we find the seeds of the next crisis are already being planted. They are the exact same issues of debt and mismanaging risk and not understanding our own limitations. Failing to learn from our prior experiences, we seem doomed to repeat them. We only have ourselves to blame.

That sounds like it could have been ripped right out of The Economic Collapse Blog.

Of course the author of that Bloomberg article is right on the money. We never learned the very hard lessons that we should have learned from the crisis of 2008. Instead, we simply reinflated all of the old bubbles and made them bigger than ever before.

Now America is 68 trillion dollars in debt, and our day of reckoning is so close that even the mainstream media is sounding the alarm.

It should be another very interesting week. Monday may set the tone for the entire week, and so hopefully U.S. markets will bounce back some more. If they don’t, it could set off another round of panic…

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium-members only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

October Horror On Wall Street: Investors Nervously Watch To See If The S&P 500 Will Bounce Back Above Its 200-Day Moving Average

Is this going to be another October to remember for Wall Street? As I have explained previously, the month of October has historically been the worst month by far for the U.S. stock market, and it has also been the month when our most famous stock market crashes have taken place. The stock market crash that started the Great Depression in 1929 happened in October. The largest single day percentage decline in stock market history happened in October 1987. And most of us still remember what happened in October 2008. So will we be adding October 2018 to that list? Well, so far things are certainly moving in that direction. Between Wednesday and Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged a total of 1,378 points. And the S&P 500 has now broken below the all-important 200-day moving average. If the S&P 500 bounces back above the 200-day moving average on Friday, that will be a sign that things have stabilized at least for the moment. If that doesn’t happen, all hell might break loose next week.

Personally, I believe that the S&P 500 will bounce back on Friday, but that doesn’t mean that the crisis is over. Remember, some of the best days in stock market history happened right in the middle of the financial crisis of 2008. During market panics, we should expect to see dramatic ups and downs. When markets are calm, that is good news for stocks, but when markets start swinging wildly that is usually a sign to start heading for the exits.

And without a doubt, we have witnessed quite a bit of volatility over the past two days…

-The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now down almost 2000 points from the all-time high that was established just last week.

-The S&P 500 has now fallen for six trading sessions in a row. That is the longest streak since the 2016 presidential election.

-The Nasdaq is having its worst month since November 2008.

-The Russell 2000 is now down 11.2 percent from the 52-week high, which means that it is officially in correction territory.

-Netflix has fallen 11 percent in just the past week.

-Facebook has lost of whopping 30 percent of its value since July.

-Only 1.5 percent of S&P 500 tech stocks are currently above their 50 day moving averages.

-Wednesday’s decline was the third largest single day stock market point crash in all of U.S. history.

-On Thursday, gold futures shot up by the most that we have seen since Brexit.

-European stocks just hit 20-month lows.

-Italian stocks have officially entered bear market territory.

When markets begin to fall precipitously, often forced selling can accelerate that process.

The following is how Andrew Zatlin described this in his most recent article

You get a call: your $1M stock is now worth only $950K. The lender can only allow you to have a loan of $475K, and your loan is for $500K. Problem part 2: that $500K loan also dropped 5% and you are down to $475K.

The lender feels very sorry for you, sends you a ghost hug emoji (it’s a hug that you can’t feel but you know is there). Unfortunately, you have 1 day to pay back the $25K. It’s the law and if you don’t get them money by close of business, they will liquidate your stock until they get the $25K

You’ve had paper gains and paper losses, depending on the ebb and flow of the market. But now your paper loss is going to be a real loss.

You aren’t allowed to ride out the loss: the loan is due in part TODAY.

You have what retail investors know as a margin call.

The term for this situation – extending your market position by borrowing against your existing liquid value – is called leverage. And the recent drop in the market means that investors are now over-leveraged.

Forced selling is the meme for the day. Fire sales will be underway.

Right now, Wall Street is more leveraged that it has ever been before.

As long as stocks have been going up, that hasn’t been a problem and everyone has been making money.

But when stocks start to go down, suddenly that becomes a massive problem.

And it looks like we may have had some dramatic “forced selling” in the market on Wednesday. At one point in the afternoon, the market was suddenly flooded with sell orders

Today was different, because shortly after 2:40pm when a massive selling program emerged as if out of nowhere and sent the Dow Jones plummeting by over 600 points in a manner of minutes, the selling volume was indeed one for the ages.

According to the NYSE TICK, or uptick minus downtick, index, at precisely 2:43pm, the selling order flood was so big it not only surpassed the acute liquidation that was observed around 3PM on Wednesday, but the -1,793 print was one that had not been seen for 8 years: as Bay Crest Partners technical analyst Jonathan Krinsky wrote, the sudden and violent surge in selling as measured by the TICK index, when downtick volume overpowered upticks, was the lowest reading since the May 6, 2010 “flash crash” when liquidity dried up in markets, sending the market plummeting for a few minutes, as HFT briefly went haywire (or when a spoofer outsmarted the algos, depending on what version of events one believes).

In any case, “someone” was in a massive hurry to get out of the market and was willing to hit literally any and every bid in doing so.

But now that the panic selling seems to have subsided, many “experts” are urging investors to use this as a “buying opportunity”

“We look at this as a buying opportunity,” said Dryden Pence, chief investment officer at Pence Wealth Management. “I would have my shopping cart out here.”

And even CNBC’s Jim Cramer is encouraging everyone to buy stocks on Friday

Friday is the time to start buying stocks again, Jim Cramer said during a CNBC special show on Thursday evening.

Is this really a good idea?

We shall see.

As I noted above, a lot of people are watching the S&P 500 to see if it will bounce back above the 200-day moving average. The following comes from CNBC

Wall Street’s anxieties took a new turn Thursday after the stock market broke below a key technical level that has supported the market for the past three years.

The S&P 500 index finished the day below its 200-day moving average, one of the most popular technical indicators used by investors to help analyze price trends. Sell-offs earlier this year — occurring in February, March and April — all had bottomed at that level.

Ultimately, if there is a going to be a full-blown collapse of the stock market right now, we would need some sort of “kick off event” in order to make that happen. It would have to be something on the scale of another 9/11, the collapse of Lehman Brothers, an unprecedented natural disaster, the start of a major war or something else along those lines.

Yes, conditions are definitely ripe for a “perfect storm” to develop, but it is going to take a little bit of a push to get us there.

So keep your eyes open, because our world is becoming more unstable with each passing day, and it won’t take much to push us into complete and utter economic chaos.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium-members only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

Do They Know Something We Don’t? Corporate Insiders Are Selling Stocks At The Fastest Pace In 10 Years

A lot of things are starting to happen that we haven’t seen since the last recession. A few days ago, I wrote about the fact that home sellers in the United States are cutting their prices at the fastest pace in at least eight years, and now we have learned that corporate insiders are selling stocks at the most rapid pace in ten years. So why are they dumping their shares so quickly? Do they know something that the rest of us do not? Certainly nobody can blame them for taking advantage of the ridiculously high stock prices that we are seeing in the marketplace right now. But stock prices have been very high for a while. Why is there such a mad rush for the exits all of a sudden? According to CNN, corporate insiders have sold 5.7 billion dollars worth of stock so far in September…

CEOs are using the market boom to quietly cash in their own chips.

Insiders at US companies have dumped $5.7 billion of stock this month, the highest in any September over the past decade, according to an analysis of regulatory filings by TrimTabs Investment Research.

It’s not a new trend. Insiders, which include corporate officers and directors, sold shares in August at the fastest pace in 10 years as well, TrimTabs said.

It would be one thing if September was an anomaly, but the fact that insider shares were being sold so rapidly in August as well indicates that this is a clear trend.

Could it be possible that these corporate insiders believe that the market is about to take a tumble?

Of course it doesn’t exactly take inside information to see the writing on the wall. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the third time in 2018. Overall, this is the Fed’s eighth interest rate increase since 2015, and it looks like the Fed is anticipating three more rate hikes in 2019

Looking ahead to 2019, Fed officials expect at least three rate hikes will be necessary, and one more in 2020.

“The Fed shows no signs of taking (a) breath in rate hikes,” Robert Frick, corporate economist with Navy Federal Credit Union, wrote in a research note.

This is terrible news for stock market investors, because every rate hiking program in the history of the Federal Reserve has ended in a stock market crash and/or a recession.

In fact, since 1957 there have been 18 rate hiking cycles, and every single one of them has ended in disaster.

So do you think that we are going to beat the odds this time?

After raising rates again, the Fed released a statement in which it said that it expects the U.S. economy to grow “for at least three more years”

The Fed sees the economy growing at a faster-than-expected 3.1 percent this year and continuing to expand moderately for at least three more years, amid sustained low unemployment and stable inflation near its 2 percent target.

“The labor market has continued to strengthen … economic activity has been rising at a strong rate,” it said in its statement.

You can believe that if you want, but it is also important to remember that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke assured all of us that a recession was not coming in 2008.

And later we learned that the moment when he made that statement a recession had actually already begun.

Needless to say, investors were not thrilled by Wednesday’s rate hike, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped another 100 points. Stocks have really struggled this week, and we continue to get more disappointing news from the real economy. On the heels of a “disappointing” existing home sales report, we just received news that new home sales missed expectations

Following existing home sales disappointment, hope was once again high for a bounce in new home sales in August but once again disappointed with a 629k print (up from a revised 608k), but missed expectations of 630k.

While the sales gain was the first in three months, the downward revisions to prior figures indicate that the market in recent months was slower than previously reported, adding to broader indications of cooler demand in residential real estate.

And the trade war continues to take a toll as well. According to Ford’s chief executive, the metals tariffs are going to result in a billion dollars in lost profits for his company…

Ford CEO Jim Hackett told Bloomberg Television on Wednesday that his company faces $1 billion in lost profits from President Donald Trump’s tariffs.

“The metals tariffs took about $1 billion in profit from us – and the irony is we source most of that in the U.S. today anyways,” Hackett said. “If it goes on longer, there will be more damage.”

Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why it looks like Ford could soon be laying off thousands of workers.

The “smart money” is always one step ahead of the “dumb money”, and corporate insiders have a much better view of what is really going on inside their companies than any of the rest of us do.

So if they are collectively convinced that now is a perfect time to sell, that is a major red flag.

On Wall Street, actions speak much louder than words, and corporate insiders are sending a very loud message by selling so many of their own shares.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Why Are So Many People Talking About The Potential For A Stock Market Crash In October?

It is that time of the year again. Every year, people start talking about a possible stock market crash in October, because everyone remembers the historic crashes that took place in October 1987 and October 2008. Could we witness a similar stock market crash in October 2018? Without a doubt, the market is primed for another crash. Stock valuations have been in crazytown territory for a very long time, and financial chaos has already begun to erupt in emerging markets all over the globe. When the stock market does collapse, it won’t exactly be a surprise. And a lot of people out there are pointing to October for historical reasons. I did not know this, but it turns out that the month with the most market volatility since the Dow was first established has been the month of October

The difference is quite significant, as judged by a measure of volatility known as the standard deviation: For all Octobers since 1896, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average was created, the standard deviation of the Dow’s daily changes has been 1.44%. That compares to 1.05% for all months other than October.

Like me, you are probably tempted to think that the reason why October’s number is so high is because of what happened in 1987 and 2008.

But even if you pull out those two months, October is still the most volatile

You might think that this difference is caused by a few outliers, such as the 1987 crash (which, of course, occurred in October) or 2008 (the Dow suffered several thousand-point plunges that month as it reacted to the snowballing financial crisis). But you would be wrong: The standard deviation of daily Dow changes is much higher in October than other months even if we eliminate 1987 and 2008 from the sample.

Once we get to Thanksgiving, the market tends to get sleepy, and it usually doesn’t wake up again until the new year begins.

So if something big is going to happen in the market in 2018, it is probably going to happen in the coming weeks.

And it is inevitable that something big will happen at some point. As Jesse Colombo has pointed out, stocks are more overvalued right now than they were just before the great stock market crash of 1929…

In a bubble, the stock market becomes overpriced relative to its underlying fundamentals such as earnings, revenues, assets, book value, etc. The current bubble cycle is no different: the U.S. stock market is as overvalued as it was at major generational peaks. According to the cyclically-adjusted price-to-earnings ratio (a smoothed price-to-earnings ratio), the U.S. stock market is more overvalued than it was in 1929, right before the stock market crash and Great Depression

It is becoming increasingly obvious what we are heading for, and a growing chorus of market experts are issuing ominous declarations about this market.

For example, David Tice is warning that “we’re getting closer to a meltdown scenario”

According to investor David Tice, who made a name for himself in running the Prudent Bear Fund before selling it to Federated Investors in 2008, the current market is dangerous. Tice was quoted as saying he’s “nervous” because “we’re getting closer to a meltdown scenario.”

And John Hussman ultimately expects “two-thirds of market capitalization” to vanish…

I am aware of no plausible conditions under which current extremes are likely to work out well for investors. There are a few possibilities that could involve a smaller loss than the two-thirds of market capitalization that I expect to vanish, as the run-of-the-mill, baseline expectation for the S&P 500 over the completion of this cycle. Yet it’s worth recognizing that the completion of every market cycle in history has taken the most reliable valuation measures we identify (those best correlated with actual subsequent S&P 500 market returns) to less than half of current levels.

Could you imagine the chaos that would be unleashed if the stock market went down by two-thirds?

That would make what happened in 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.

And there are a lot of parallels between what happened in 2008 and what is happening today. For example, the housing market is slowing down dramatically just like it did a decade ago. The following comes from a Bloomberg article that I came across earlier today entitled “Builders Slump as U.S. Housing Market Shifts to the Slow Lane”

The housing market is stalling, and homebuilder stocks are feeling the pain.

The S&P Supercomposite Homebuilding Index is down 21 percent year-to-date, on track for the biggest annual drop since 2008, when it fell 32 percent. That’s even with tax cuts, unemployment near the lowest since 1969 and a real-estate developer in the White House. What gives?

Just a few days ago, I wrote an entire article about the fact that home sellers are cutting prices at the fastest rate that we have seen in eight years. The housing market is clearly telling us that a big time economic slowdown is coming, but most people are not listening.

Switching gears, we have also recently learned that it looks like Ford Motor Company will soon be laying off lots of workers

Ford Motor employees are warily awaiting details of CEO Jim Hackett’s promised “fitness” plan and the serious possibility of significant job losses as the company faces pressure to improve its operations.

The company has warned of $11 billion in restructuring costs over three to five years, which could mean thousands of worker buyouts, according to analysts.

Why would they be doing that if the economy really was in “good shape”?

And let us not forget about the ongoing woes of the retail industry. Recently, I was astounded to learn that a whopping 20 percent of all retail space in Manhattan is currently vacant

“When you walk the streets, you see vacancies on every block in all five boroughs, rich or poor areas — even on Madison Avenue, where you used to have to fight to get space,” said Faith Hope Consolo, head of retail leasing for Douglas Elliman Real Estate, who said the increase in storefront vacancies in New York City had created “the most challenging retail landscape in my 25 years in real estate.”

A survey conducted by Douglas Elliman found that about 20 percent of all retail space in Manhattan is currently vacant, she said, compared with roughly 7 percent in 2016.

New York City is one of the few areas around the country that has actually been prospering.

If things are that bad there already, what does that say about the outlook for the rest of the nation?

The truth is that the economy is not nearly as good as you are being told, and things could literally start breaking loose at any moment.

Unfortunately, as a society we have not learned very much from history, and most Americans seem to think that this bubble of artificial prosperity is going to last indefinitely.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Stock Prices Are Surging Because Corporations Are Spending More Money On Stock Buybacks Than Anything Else

The primary reason why stock prices have been soaring in recent months is because corporations have been buying back their own stock at an unprecedented pace. In fact, the pace of stock buybacks is nearly double what it was at this time last year. According to Goldman Sachs, S&P 500 companies spent 384 billion dollars buying back stock during the first half of 2018. That is an absolutely astounding number. And in many cases, corporations are going deep into debt in order to do this. Of course this is going to push up stock prices, but corporate America will not be able to inflate this bubble indefinitely. At some point a credit crunch will come, and the pace of stock buybacks will fall precipitously.

Prior to 1982, corporations were not permitted to go into the market and buy back stock.

The reason for this is obvious – stock buybacks are a really easy way for corporations to manipulate stock prices.

But these days it is expected that most large corporations will engage in this practice. Large stockholders love to see the price of the stock go up, and they are never going to complain when smaller shareholders are bought out and their share of the company is increased. And corporate executives love buybacks because so much of their compensation often involves stock options or bonuses related to key metrics such as earnings per share.

So in the end, stock buybacks are often all about greed. It is a way to funnel money to those at the very top of the pyramid, and those stock market gains are taxed at capital gains rates which are much lower than the rates on normal income.

Normally, you would expect successful companies to invest most of their available cash back into operations so that they can make even more money in the future. And for 19 of the past 20 years, corporations have spent more on capital investments than anything else. But now, share buybacks have actually surpassed capital spending. The following comes from CNN

But that doesn’t mean companies aren’t spending on job-creating investments, like new equipment, research projects and factories. Business spending is up 19% — it’s just that buybacks are growing much faster.

In fact, Goldman Sachs said that buybacks are garnering the largest share of cash spending by S&P 500 firms. It’s a milestone because capital spending had represented the single largest use of cash by corporations in 19 of the past 20 years.

And this trend seems to be accelerating during the second half of 2018. It is being projected that firms will spend more than 600 billion dollars on stock buybacks during the second half of this year, and that will bring the grand total for 2018 to more than a trillion dollars

And the trend may not be done yet. Goldman Sachs predicted that share buyback authorizations among all US companies in all of 2018 will surpass $1 trillion for the first time ever.

Wow.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had more than a trillion dollars that we could put toward reducing the national debt?

This is the reason why stocks hit another new all-time record high this week. Stock buybacks have reached absolutely insane levels, and what we are witnessing is essentially a giant orgy of greed.

To give you some perspective, the previous annual record for stock buybacks was just 589 billion dollars in 2007.

This year, we may come close to doubling the previous record.

And let us not forget that the year after 2007 was the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

So what corporations are the worst offenders? Here is more from CNN

Apple (AAPL) alone spent a whopping $45 billion on buybacks during the first half of 2018, triple what it did during the same time period last year, the firm said. That included a record-shattering sum during the first quarter.

Amgen (AMGN), Cisco (CSCO), AbbVie (ABBV) and Oracle (ORCL) have also showered investors with big boosts to their buyback programs.

As I noted earlier, corporate insiders greatly benefit from stock buybacks, and they took advantage of massively inflated stock prices by selling off $10.3 billion worth of their shares during the month of August.

Inflating your stock price by cannibalizing your own shares is not a good long-term strategy for any corporation, but without a doubt it is making a lot of people very wealthy.

But in the process, the size of the stock market as a whole has been steadily shrinking. In fact, the number of shares on the S&P 500 has fallen by almost 8 percent since the beginning of 2011…

According to Ed Yardeni, the number of S&P 500 shares has shrunk by 7.7% since the start of 2011. This tends to increase the earnings per remaining share and the dividends available per remaining share.

This is yet another example that shows why the stock market has become completely disconnected from economic reality. Wall Street is inhabited by con men that are promoting Ponzi scheme after Ponzi scheme, and it is only a matter of time before the entire system collapses under its own weight.

But for now, the euphoria on Wall Street continues as stock prices continue to march higher. Meanwhile, we continue to get more signs of trouble from the real economy. For instance, this week we learned that the third largest bank in the entire country is going to lay off thousands of workers

Wells Fargo, the third-biggest U.S. bank, plans to lower its employee headcount by 5 percent to 10 percent in the next three years as part of its ongoing turnaround plan, the company announced Thursday.

The bank has 265,000 employees, meaning the reduction would result in a loss of between 13,250 and 26,500 jobs.

Why would they do that if the economy was in good shape?

And globally, the emerging market currency crisis has continued to escalate. According to one source, more than 80 percent of all global currencies have fallen in value so far this year…

A review of the values of 143 global currencies indicates that so far this year, more than 80 percent have fallen in value.

Another eleven appear to be pegged to the dollar and 13 have risen in value. Of the 13 that have increased in value, only six are up more than 1 percent versus the dollar.

There have been outsized declines in countries like Venezuela (down 99 percent), Argentina (53 percent) and Turkey (38 percent). However, Brazil is down 20 percent, Russia 15 percent, India 11 percent, Sweden 10 percent, and the Philippines 8 percent. Big economies like China are experiencing a 5 percent currency value decline while the Euro is off by 3 percent.

I applaud those that have made lots of money in the stock market, but the party will not last forever.

In 2007 corporations were pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into stock buybacks, and it propped up the market for a time. But eventually the bubble burst and the crisis of 2008 was so dramatic that it will be remembered forever.

Now we are facing a similar scenario, and it is just a matter of time before this bubble bursts as well.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The 5 Previous Times This Stock Market Indicator Has Reached This Level Stock Prices Have Fallen By At Least 50 Percent

Have you ever heard of the “Sound Advice Risk Indicator”? Every single time in our history when it has gone above 2.0 the stock market has crashed, and now it has just surged above that threshold for the very first time since the late 1990s. That doesn’t mean that a stock market crash is imminent, but it is definitely yet another indication that this stock market bubble is living on borrowed time. But for the moment, there is still quite a bit of optimism on Wall Street. The Dow set another brand new all-time record high earlier this week, and on Wednesday we learned that this bull market is now officially the longest in our history

For context, a bull market is defined as a 20% rally on a closing basis that’s at no point derailed by a subsequent 20% decline. March 9, 2009, has long been the agreed-upon starting point for such calculations because that was the absolute bottom for the prior bear market, which ended that day.

The S&P 500 has surged a whopping 323% over the period, with its roughly 19% annualized return slightly lagging behind the historical bull market average of 22%.

Of course the U.S. economy has not been performing nearly as well. Even if you accept the highly manipulated numbers that the federal government puts out, we haven’t had a year when GDP grew by at least 3 percent since the middle of the Bush administration.

It simply is not possible for stock prices to continue to soar about 20 percent a year when the U.S. economy is growing less than 3 percent a year. At some point a major adjustment is coming, and it is going to be exceedingly painful.

Author Gray Cardiff has been touting his “Sound Advice Risk Indicator” for many years. He believes that the relationship between the S&P 500 and the median price of a new house in the United States is very important, and this is the very first time since the late 1990s that this indicator has entered the danger zone

The “Sound Advice Risk Indicator” is a different story. This indicator, the brainchild of Gray Cardiff, editor of the Sound Advice newsletter, is derived from the ratio of the S&P 500 to the median price of a new U.S. house. For the first time since the late 1990s, and for only the sixth time since 1895, this indicator has risen above the 2.0 level that represents a major sell signal for equities.

So should we be concerned?

In previous instances when this level has been breached, a crash hasn’t always happened right away, but in every instance the market eventually fell “by 50 % or more”

To be sure, Cardiff is quick to emphasize, his risk indicator is not a short-term market timing tool. In the wake of past occasions when it rose above 2.0, for example, equities stayed high or even continued rising “for many months, sometimes even a couple of years.” However, he continues, “in all cases, a major decline or crash followed, pulling down stock prices by 50% or more.”

Because Wall Street is so highly leveraged today, a 50 percent decline in stock prices would be totally catastrophic. Banks would go down one after another, and we would be facing a financial crisis that would make 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.

And the truth is that much of the world is already in crisis mode. The mainstream media is telling us that Italy is teetering on the brink of “financial disaster”, and China appears to be entering a serious economic downturn as the trade war begins to take a substantial toll on their economy.

Meanwhile, emerging market currencies continue to plummet, and this week it has been Brazil’s turn to capture the headlines. The Brazilian real is absolutely crashing, and many analysts are pointing to their internal problems as the cause

According to analysts the devaluation of the Brazilian real is not due to the current foreign turbulence but to internal uncertainties and the upcoming October presidential elections.

“The (Brazilian) real was not devalued sixteen percent because of Turkey or other external reasons, it was because the rate of R$3.00 to R$3.30 (per US$1) was absolutely incompatible with the status quo of the Brazilian economy and the expressiveness of the country’s fiscal debt,” said Sidnei Moura Nehme, executive director at NGO.

At the same time, trouble signs continue to emerge here in the United States.

On Wednesday, we learned that Lowe’s is planning to shut down 99 Orchard Supply Hardware stores

The company said Wednesday that the 99 Orchard Supply Hardware stores that Lowe’s owns in California, Oregon and Florida, as well as a distribution center, will be shut down by the end of the fiscal year.

Orchard Supply Hardware has 4,300 employees. Ellison said in the earnings release that the chain’s workers will be given “priority status” if they apply for other jobs at Lowe’s and will also receive job placement assistance and severance.

If the U.S. economy really was in good shape, why would they be doing that?

Ultimately, most people out there realize on some level that our current economic situation is not sustainable. Stock prices have become completely detached from reality, and we are enjoying a ridiculously high standard of living that has been fueled by the greatest debt binge that the world has ever seen.

We can steal from the future for an extended period of time, but eventually it will catch up with us.

When the stock market finally crashes, the mainstream media will treat it like a big surprise, but the truth is that it shouldn’t catch anybody off guard. Key stock valuation ratios always return to their long-term averages eventually, and in this case stock prices are going to have to fall at least 40 or 50 percent before they begin to make sense again.

But as I noted earlier, our system is so fragile that we won’t be able to handle that kind of an adjustment.

Our system almost completely collapsed in 2008, but what we are facing is going to be much worse than that. Most of the wealth of the country will be wiped out in the process, and it will be an exceptionally painful time for the American people.

This article originally appeared on The Economic Collapse Blog. About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

5 Signs That Global Financial Markets Are Entering A Bear Market, And 11 Ways That You Can Get Prepared For The Chaos That Is Coming…

We haven’t seen carnage like this in the global financial marketplace in quite some time. On Wednesday, U.S. stocks were down some, but things were much, much worse around the rest of the world. Global banking stocks are plunging, emerging market stocks are cratering, and emerging market currencies continue their stunning decline. This represents a dramatic change from the relative stability that we have seen throughout most of 2018. It is almost as if someone flipped a switch once the month of August began, and the shakiness of global financial markets has many investors wondering what trouble fall will bring. What we are witnessing right now is not a full-blown panic yet, but it definitely has the potential to turn into one.

The term “bear market” is being thrown around a lot lately, but a lot of people don’t understand what a “bear market” actually is.

A bear market is generally considered to be when we see a decline of 20 percent or more from the 52-week high, and after the carnage of this past week a lot of those thresholds are now being crossed.

It would probably be too early to call this a “global stock market crash”, but we are well on the way to getting there. The following are 5 signs that global financial markets are entering a bear market…

#1 Global stocks have now fallen beneath all key moving averages. Those key moving averages are important psychological thresholds for investors, and if we have a few more days like Wednesday we could see global financial markets go into full panic mode.

#2 European banking stocks have now officially entered a bear market, and all major European stock indexes are now red for the year.

#3 Global banking stocks are down a whopping 23 percent from the peak established earlier this year, and that means that they have officially entered a bear market.

#4 Emerging market stocks have fallen 20 percent from the peak, and that means that they are also now in a bear market.

#5 When demand for industrial metals falls, that indicates that an economic slowdown is coming. On Wednesday, prices for industrial metals fell to their lowest level in almost a year, and “Dr. Copper officially entered a bear market.

If the financial carnage continues (and that is a big “if”), this could be the beginning of another financial crisis like we experienced in 2008, and that would almost certainly mean a crippling global recession.

And of course once the next global recession begins, it is likely to be more painful than we have ever seen before in modern history, because the global debt bubble is far larger than it has ever been before.

We live at a time of great global instability, and there are so many ominous warnings about our future. A lot of people reach out to me for advice on how to get prepared for what is coming, and I hope to share quite a few tips in future articles.

Today, I would like to share with you 11 tips that my good friend Ray Gano shared with his readers in his most recent article

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1 – Get Out of Debt: The old saying, “the borrower is the servant of the lender”, is so incredibly true. The key to insulating yourself from an economic meltdown is to become as independent as possible, and as long as you are in debt, you simply are not independent. You don’t want a horde of creditors chasing after you when things really start to get bad out there.

2 – Find New Sources of Income: With the birth of The IRA, there simply is no such thing as job security anymore. If you are dependent on a job (“just over broke”) for 100% of your income, you are in a very bad position. There are thousands of different ways to make extra money. What you don’t want to do is to have all of your eggs in one basket. One day when the economy melts down and you are out of a job are you going to be destitute or are you going to be okay?

IF you need some ideas on what you can do, contact me and I can help.

3 – Reduce Your Expenses: Many Americans have left the rat race and have found ways to live on half or even on a quarter of what they were making previously. It is possible – if you are willing to reduce your expenses. In the future times are going to be tougher, so learn to start living with less today.

4 – Learn To Grow Your Own / Supplement Your Food: Today the vast majority of Americans are completely dependent on being able to run down to the supermarket or to the local Wal-Mart to buy food. But what happens when the U.S. dollar declines dramatically in value and it costs ten bucks to buy a loaf of bread? If you learn to grow your own food (even if is just a small garden) you will be insulating yourself against rising food prices. Another thing is to learn to hunt and fish. There is “low cost” food out there for the taking, you just need to assert yourself. (Low Cost = you still need to pay for hunting and fishing licenses.)

5 – Make Sure You Have A Reliable Water Supply: Water shortages are popping up all over the globe. Water is quickly becoming one of the “hottest” commodities out there. Even in the United States, water shortages have been making headline news recently. As we move into the future, it will be imperative for you and your family to have a reliable source of water. Some Americans have learned to collect rainwater and many others are using advanced technology such as atmospheric water generators to provide water for their families. But whatever you do, make sure that you are not caught without a decent source of water in the years ahead.

6 – Buy Land: This is a tough one, because prices are high depending on where you are looking. If you are able to buy land when prices are low, that is going to insulate you a great deal from the rising housing costs that will occur when the U.S dollar does totally go into the tank.

7 – Buy Precious Metals: this is a no brainer, but it still amazes me how many people are not doing this. Right now silver is sitting at $14.41. That is a very affordable price and a price that everyone can afford. We must start “paying ourselves first” and start pulling in these sort of assets.

The best place that I recommend is Renaissance Precious Metals. It is who I purchase from.

8 – Get Partially Off The Grid: An increasing number of Americans are going “off the grid”. Essentially what that means is that they are attempting to operate independently of the utility companies. In particular, going “off the grid” will enable you to insulate yourself from the rapidly rising energy prices that we are going to see in the future. If you are able to produce energy for your own home, you won’t be freaking out like your neighbors are when electricity prices triple someday.

9 – Store Non-Perishable Supplies: Non-perishable supplies are one investment that is sure to go up in value. Not that you would resell them. You store up non-perishable supplies because you are going to need them someday. So why not stock up on the things that you are going to need now before they double or triple in price in the future? Your money is not ever going to stretch any farther than it does right now.

EXAMPLE – Toilet Paper

10 – Develop Stronger Relationships: Americans have become very insular creatures. We act like we don’t need anyone or anything. But the truth is that as the we see a socio-economic melt down we are going to need each other. It is those that are developing strong relationships with family and friends right now that will be able to depend on them when times get hard.

11 – Get Educated And Stay Flexible: When times are stable, it is not that important to be informed because things pretty much stay the same. However, when things are rapidly changing it is imperative to get educated and to stay informed so that you will know what to do. The times ahead are going to require us all to be very flexible, and it is those who are willing to adapt that will do the best when things get tough.

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Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

21 New Numbers That Show That The Global Economy Is Absolutely Imploding

Earth At Night - Public Domain

After a series of stunning declines through the month of January and the first half of February, global financial markets seem to have found a patch of relative stability at least for the moment. But that does not mean that the crisis is over. On the contrary, all of the hard economic numbers that are coming in from around the world tell us that the global economy is coming apart at the seams. This is especially true when you look at global trade numbers. The amount of stuff that is being bought, sold and shipped around the planet is falling precipitously. So don’t be fooled if stocks go up one day or down the next. The truth is that we are in the early chapters of a brand new economic meltdown, and I believe that all of the signs indicate that it will continue to get worse in the months ahead. The following are 21 new numbers that show that the global economy is absolutely imploding…

#1 Chinese exports fell by 11.2 percent year over year in January.

#2 Chinese imports were even worse in January. On a year over year basis, they declined a whopping 18.8 percent.

#3 It may be hard to believe, but Chinese imports have now plunged for 15 months in a row.

#4 In India, exports were down 13.6 percent on a year over year basis in January.

#5 In Japan, exports declined 8 percent in December on a year over year basis, while imports plummeted 18 percent.

#6 For the sixth time in six years, Japanese GDP growth has gone negative.

#7 In the United States, exports were down 7 percent on a year over year basis in December.

#8 U.S. factory orders have fallen for 14 months in a row.

#9 The Restaurant Performance Index in the United States has dropped to the lowest level that we have seen since 2008.

#10 This month the Baltic Dry Index fell below 300 for the first time ever.

#11 It is now cheaper to rent a 1,100 foot merchant vessel than it is to rent a Ferrari.

#12 Orders for Class 8 trucks in the United States dropped by 48 percent on a year over year basis in January.

#13 Due to a lack of demand for trucks, Daimler just laid off 1,250 U.S. workers.

#14 Even though Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to freeze oil production at current levels, the price of U.S. oil has still fallen below 30 dollars a barrel.

#15 It is being reported that 35 percent of all oil and gas companies around the world are at risk of falling into bankruptcy.

#16 According to CNN, 67 oil and gas companies in the United States filed for bankruptcy during 2015.

#17 The number of job cuts in the United States skyrocketed 218 percent during the month of January according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

#18 All over America, retail stores are shutting down at a stunning pace. The following list of store closures comes from one of my previous articles

-Wal-Mart is closing 269 stores, including 154 inside the United States.

-K-Mart is closing down more than two dozen stores over the next several months.

-J.C. Penney will be permanently shutting down 47 more stores after closing a total of 40 stores in 2015.

-Macy’s has decided that it needs to shutter 36 stores and lay off approximately 2,500 employees.

-The Gap is in the process of closing 175 stores in North America.

-Aeropostale is in the process of closing 84 stores all across America.

-Finish Line has announced that 150 stores will be shutting down over the next few years.

-Sears has shut down about 600 stores over the past year or so, but sales at the stores that remain open continue to fall precipitously.

#19 The price of gold is enjoying its best quarterly performance in 30 years.

#20 Global stocks have fallen into bear market territory, which means that about one-fifth of all global stock market wealth has already been wiped out.

#21 Unfortunately for global central banks, they have pretty much run out of ammunition. Since March 2008, central banks have cut interest rates 637 times and they have purchased a staggering 12.3 trillion dollars worth of assets. There is not much more that they can do, and now the next great crisis is upon us.

Without any outside influences, the global economy and the global financial system will continue to rapidly fall apart.

But if we do have a major “black swan event” take place, that could cause the bottom to fall out at any moment.

In particular, I am deeply concerned about the possibility that World War III could be sparked in the Middle East. In an article that I published earlier today entitled “Turkey Is Asking The United States To Take Part In A Ground Invasion Of Syria“, I included a quote from Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu that reveals just how eager Turkey and Saudi Arabia are for war to begin…

Some countries like us, Saudi Arabia and some other Western European countries have said that a ground operation is necessary,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Reuters in an interview.

However, this kind of action could not be left to regional powers alone. “To expect this only from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar is neither right nor realistic. If such an operation is to take place, it has to be carried out jointly, like the (coalition) air strikes,” he said.

The Turks and the Saudis very much want the United States to take a leading role in any ground invasion of Syria, but the Obama administration is not likely to do that.

So we shall see if the Turks and the Saudis are willing to go ahead without us. Let us hope that they do not decide to invade Syria, because that could start the biggest war in the Middle East that any of us have ever seen.

Unfortunately, Turkey is already attacking.

Turkey has been shelling Kurdish and Syrian military positions in northern Syria for four days in a row even though the Obama administration has been urging them to stop.

The first month and a half of 2016 has already been quite chaotic, and the stage is set for global events to greatly accelerate during the months ahead.

Sadly, the mainstream media in the United States is largely ignoring the preparations for a ground invasion of Syria, and they keep telling us that the global economy is going to be just fine, so most ordinary Americans are going to be absolutely blindsided by what is about to happen.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

The Last 16 Times This Happened There Was A Recession…

16 Sign - Public Domain

Something has just happened that has signaled a recession every single time that it has occurred since World War I. 16 times since 1919 there have been at least 8 month-over-month declines in industrial production during the preceding 12 month period, and in each of those 16 instances the U.S. economy has plunged into recession. Now that it has happened again, will the U.S. economy beat the odds and avoid a major economic downturn? I certainly wouldn’t count on it. As I have written about repeatedly, there are a whole host of other numbers that are screaming that a new recession is here, and global financial markets are crumbling. It would take a miracle of epic proportions to pull us out of this tailspin, and yet there are many people out there that are absolutely convinced that it will happen.

John Hussman is not one of them. In his most recent weekly comment, he examined this stunning correlation between month-over-month declines in industrial production and recessions. To me, what Hussman has presented is overwhelmingly conclusive

Last week, following a long period of poor internals and weakening order surplus, we observed fresh declines in industrial production and retail sales. Industrial production has now also declined on a year-over-year basis. The weakness we presently observe is strongly associated with recession. The chart below (h/t Jeff Wilson) plots the cumulative number of month-over-month declines in Industrial Production during the preceding 12-month period, in data since 1919. Recessions are shaded. The current total of 10 (of a possible 12) month-over-month declines in Industrial Production has never been observed except in the context of a U.S. recession. Historically, as Dick Van Patten would say, eight is enough.

Declines In Industrial Production And Recessions

After looking at that chart, is there anyone out there that still doubts that the U.S. economy is in significant trouble?

Many estimates of U.S. GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2015 are already just a small fraction of one percent. It would not be a surprise at all to see a negative number posted once it is all said and done.

And of course more bad news for the economy just keeps pouring in. So far this week we have learned that the growth rate of federal withholding taxes has turned negative, Johnson & Johnson plans has announced that it is eliminating 3,000 jobs, and BP has announced that it is eliminating 4,000 jobs.

Of course it is not exactly a surprise that BP is cutting jobs. At this point the entire energy industry is absolutely hemorrhaging workers. As I wrote about yesterday, 130,000 good paying energy jobs have been lost in the United States since the beginning of last year.

But now we are seeing major firms outside the energy industry cutting payrolls. Even financial giants such as Morgan Stanley are looking for ways to cut costs…

Morgan Stanley just announced fourth-quarter earnings, and it is providing detail to investors on a cost-saving plan called Project Streamline.

During a conference call, CEO James Gorman uttered a sentence that will most likely make the bank’s staff shudder.

“Too many employees based in high-cost centers are doing work that can sensibly be done in lower-cost centers,” he said.

The whole environment is changing.

When things start to get tough, big corporations start to get rid of people. We saw this back in 2008, and it is starting to happen again right now.

And just like last time around, we are going to see millions of Americans lose their jobs during the hard years that are ahead of us.

But thankfully for the moment there is a brief lull in the action. The financial turmoil that has gripped the planet was calmed on Tuesday when China announced that their economy grew at a rate of 6.8 percent during the fourth quarter of 2015. This was right in line with expectations, and markets around the world responded positively to the news.

There is just one huge problem. Everyone knows that GDP figures coming out of China are essentially meaningless. If you believe that the Chinese economy actually grew at a 6.8 percent rate during the fourth quarter of 2015, then I have a bridge to sell you. Virtually every other number coming out of China over the past several months tells us that the Chinese economy is shrinking, and so that 6.8 percent figure is extremely questionable at best.

Do you want to know the last time the communist Chinese admitted to having a recession?

It was in 1976.

Over the past four decades, economic growth figures have become a source of great national pride for China. To admit that the economy is now imploding would bring great shame on the Chinese government and the nation as a whole, and so that must be avoided at all costs.

Yes, the numbers are fraudulent in the U.S. too. According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if the U.S. was actually using honest numbers the last recession never would have technically ended.

But in China they take this to ridiculous extremes. The Chinese economy is fueled by exports, and Chinese exports have been down on a year over year basis for six months in a row. And the primary reason why commodity prices have been absolutely collapsing is because of the economic contraction in China.

Of course if China had released a GDP number that was honest, global markets would have crashed hard. So their lies are making everyone else feel a bit better for the moment, and every day of relative stability that we can enjoy from here on out is something to be thankful for.

As you read this article, markets all over Asia, Europe, South America and the Middle East are already in bear market territory. More than 30 percent of the market has been wiped out in Brazil and Hong Kong, more than 40 percent of the market has been wiped out in China and Italy, and about 50 percent of the market has been wiped out in Saudi Arabia.

We are already experiencing a major global financial crisis.

The only question remaining is how bad it will eventually become.

Let us hope for more days like this one that are relatively calm. But I wouldn’t count on things turning around significantly any time soon, because the economic fundamentals are telling us that big trouble is ahead.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

The Financial Apocalypse Accelerates As Middle East Stocks Crash To Begin The Week

Apocalyptic - Public Domain

It looks like it is going to be another chaotic week for global financial markets. On Sunday, news that Iran plans to dramatically ramp up oil production sent stocks plunging all across the Middle East. Stocks in Kuwait were down 3.1 percent, stocks in Saudi Arabia plummeted 5.4 percent, and stocks in Qatar experienced a mammoth 7 percent decline. And of course all of this comes in the context of a much larger long-term decline for Middle Eastern stocks. At this point, Saudi Arabian stocks are down more than 50 percent from their 2014 highs. Needless to say, a lot of very wealthy people in Saudi Arabia are getting very nervous. Could you imagine waking up someday and realizing that more than half of your fortune had been wiped out? Things aren’t that bad in the U.S. quite yet, but it looks like another rough week could be ahead. The Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are all down at least 12 percent from their 52-week highs, and the Russell 2000 is already in bear market territory. Hopefully this week will not be as bad as last week, but events are starting to move very rapidly now.

Much of the chaos around the globe is being driven by the price of oil. At the end of last week the price of oil dipped below 30 dollars a barrel, and now Iran has announced plans “to add 1 million barrels to its daily crude production”

Iran could get more than five times as much cash from oil sales by year-end as the lifting of economic sanctions frees the OPEC member to boost crude exports and attract foreign investment needed to rebuild its energy industry.

The Persian Gulf nation will be able to access all of its revenue from crude sales after the U.S. and five other global powers removed sanctions on Saturday in return for Iran’s curbing its nuclear program. The fifth-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries had been receiving only $700 million of each month’s oil earnings under an interim agreement, with the rest blocked in foreign bank accounts. Iran is striving to add 1 million barrels to its daily crude production and exports this year amid a global supply glut that has pushed prices 22 percent lower this month.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what this is going to do to the price of oil.

The price of oil has already fallen more than 20 percent so far in 2016, and overall it has declined by more than 70 percent since late 2014.

When the price of oil first started to fall, a lot of people out there were proclaiming that it would be really good for the U.S. economy. But I said just the opposite. And of course since that time we have seen an endless parade of debt downgrades, bankruptcies and job losses. 130,000 good paying energy jobs were lost in the United States in 2015 alone because of this collapse, and things just continue to get even worse. At this point, some are even calling for the federal government to intervene. For example, the following is an excerpt from a CNN article that was just posted entitled “Is it time to bail out the U.S. oil industry?“…

America’s once-booming oil industry is suddenly in deep financial trouble.

The epic crash in oil prices has wiped out tens of thousands of jobs, caused dozens of bankruptcies and spooked global financial markets.

The fallout is already being felt in oil-rich states like Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota, where home foreclosure rates are spiking and economic growth is slowing.

Now there are calls in at least some corners for the federal government to come to the rescue.

Is it just me, or is all of this really starting to sound a lot like 2008?

And of course it isn’t just the U.S. that is facing troubles. The global financial crisis that began during the second half of 2015 is rapidly accelerating, and chaos is erupting all over the planet. The following summary of what we have been seeing in recent days comes from Doug Noland

The world has changed significantly – perhaps profoundly – over recent weeks. The Shanghai Composite has dropped 17.4% over the past month (Shenzhen down 21%). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 8.2% over the past month, with Hang Seng Financials sinking 11.9%. WTI crude is down 26% since December 15th. Over this period, the GSCI Commodities Index sank 12.2%. The Mexican peso has declined almost 7% in a month, the Russian ruble 10% and the South African rand 12%. A Friday headline from the Financial Times: “Emerging market stocks retreat to lowest since 09.”

Trouble at the “Periphery” has definitely taken a troubling turn for the worse. Hope that things were on an uptrend has confronted the reality that things are rapidly getting much worse. This week saw the Shanghai Composite sink 9.0%. Major equities indexes were hit 8.0% in Russia and 5.0% in Brazil (Petrobras down 9%). Financial stocks and levered corporations have been under pressure round the globe. The Russian ruble sank 4.0% this week, increasing y-t-d losses versus the dollar to 7.1%. The Mexican peso declined another 1.8% this week. The Polish zloty slid 2.8% on an S&P downgrade (“Tumbles Most Since 2011”). The South African rand declined 3.0% (down 7.9% y-t-d). The yen added 0.2% this week, increasing 2016 gains to 3.0%. With the yen up almost 4% versus the dollar over the past month, so-called yen “carry trades” are turning increasingly problematic.

Closer to home, the crisis in Puerto Rico continues to spiral out of control. The following is an excerpt from a letter that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sent to Congress on Friday

Although there are many ways this crisis could escalate further, it is clear that Puerto Rico is already in the midst of an economic collapse

Puerto Rico is already in default. It is shifting funds from one creditor to pay another and has stopped payment altogether on several of its debts. As predicted, creditors are filing lawsuits. The Government Development Bank, which provides critical banking and fiscal services to the central government, only avoided depleting its liquidity by halting lending activity and sweeping in additional deposits from other Puerto Rico governmental entities. A large debt payment of $400 million is due on May 1, and a broader set of payments are due at the end of June.

It isn’t Michael Snyder from The Economic Collapse Blog that is saying that Puerto Rico is “in the midst of an economic collapse”.

That is the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury that is saying it.

Those that have been eagerly anticipating a financial apocalypse are going to get what they have been waiting for.

Right now we are about halfway through January, and this is the worst start to a year for stocks ever. The Dow is down a total of 1,437 points since the beginning of 2016, and more than 15 trillion dollars of stock market wealth has been wiped out globally since last June.

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people out there that are in denial.

There are a lot of people that still believe that this is just a temporary bump in the road and that things will return to “normal” very soon.

They don’t understand that this is just the beginning. What we have seen so far is just the warm up act, and much, much worse is yet to come.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

We Just Witnessed The Worst Week For Global Financial Markets In 3 Years

Global Financial Markets Crash - Public Domain

Is this the start of the next major financial crisis? The nightmarish collapse of the price of oil is creating panic in financial markets all over the planet. On June 16th, U.S. oil was trading at a price of $107.52. Since then, it has fallen by almost 50 dollars in less than 6 months. This has only happened one other time in our history. In the summer of 2008, the price of oil utterly collapsed and we all remember what happened after that. Well, the same patterns that we witnessed back in 2008 are happening again. As the price of oil crashed in 2008, so did prices for a whole host of other commodities. That is happening again. Once commodities started crashing, the market for junk bonds started to implode. That is also happening again. Finally, toward the end of 2008, we witnessed a horrifying stock market crash. Could we be on the verge of another major one? Last week was the worst week for the Dow in more than three years, and stock markets all over the world are crashing right now. Bad financial news continues to roll in from the four corners of the globe on an almost hourly basis. Have we finally reached the “tipping point” that so many have been warning about?

What we witnessed last week is being described as “a bloodbath” that was truly global in scope. The following is how Zero Hedge summarized the carnage…

  • WTI’s 2nd worst week in over 3 years (down 10 of last 11 weeks)
  • Dow’s worst worst week in 3 years
  • Financials worst week in 2 months
  • Materials worst week since Sept 2011
  • VIX’s Biggest week since Sept 2011
  • Gold’s best week in 6 months
  • Silver’s last 2 weeks are best in 6 months
  • HY Credit’s worst 2 weeks since May 2012
  • IG Credit’s worst week in 2 months
  • 10Y Yield’s best week since June 2012
  • US Oil Rig Count worst week in 2 years
  • The USDollar’s worst week since July 2013
  • USDJPY’s worst week since June 2013
  • Portugal Bonds worst week since July 2011
  • Greek stocks worst week since 1987

The stock market meltdown in Greece is particularly noteworthy. After peaking in March, the Greek stock market is down 40 percent since then. That includes a 20 percent implosion in just the past three trading days.

And it isn’t just Greece. Financial markets all over Europe are in turmoil right now. In addition to crashing oil prices, there is also renewed concern about the fundamental stability of the eurozone. Many believe that it is inevitable that it is headed for a break up. As a result of all of this fear, European stocks also had their worst week in over three years

European stock markets closed sharply lower on Friday, posting their biggest weekly loss since August 2011, as commodity prices continued to fall and and shares in oil-related firms came under renewed pressure from the weak price for crude.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 unofficially ended 2.6 percent lower, down 5.9 percent on the week as the energy sector once again weighed heavily on wider benchmarks, falling over 3 percent.

But despite all of the carnage that we witnessed in the U.S. and in Europe last week, things are actually far worse for financial markets in the Middle East.

Just check out what happened on the other side of the planet on Sunday

Stock markets in the Persian Gulf got drilled Sunday as worries about further price declines grew. The Dubai stock index fell 7.6% Sunday, the equivalent of a 1,313-point plunge in the Dow Jones industrial average. The Saudi Arabian market fell 3.3%.

Overall, Dubai stocks are down a whopping 23 percent over the last two weeks, and full-blown stock market crashes are happening in Qatar and Kuwait too.

Like I said, this is turning out to be a truly global financial panic.

Another region to keep an eye on is South America. Argentina is a financial basket case, the Brazilian stock market is tanking big time, and the implied probability of default on Venezuelan debt is now up to 93 percent

Swaps traders are almost certain that Venezuela will default as the rout in oil prices pressures government finances and sends bond prices to a 16-year low.

Benchmark notes due 2027 dropped to 43.75 cents on the dollar as of 11:35 a.m. in New York, the lowest since September 1998, as crude extended a bear market decline. The upfront cost of contracts to insure Venezuelan debt against non-payment for five years is at 59 percent, bringing the implied probability of default to 93 percent, the highest in the world.

So what does all of this mean for the future?

Are we experiencing a repeat of 2008?

Could what is ahead be even worse than that?

Or could this just be a temporary setback?

Recently, Howard Hill shared a few things that he looks for to determine whether a major financial crisis is upon us or not…

The first condition is a serious market sector correction.

According to some participants in the market for energy company bonds and loans, such a correction is already underway and heading toward a meltdown (the second condition). Others are more sanguine, and expect a recovery soon.

That smaller energy companies have issued more junk-rated debt than their relative size in the economy isn’t under debate. Of a total junk bond market estimated around $1.2 trillion, about 18% ($216 billion, according to a Bloomberg estimate) has been issued by energy-related companies. Yet those companies represent a far smaller share of the economy or stock market capitalization among the universe of junk-rated companies.

If the beaten-down prices for junk energy bonds don’t stabilize or recover a bit, we might see the second condition: a spiral of distressed sales of bonds and loans. This could happen if junk bond mutual funds or other large holders sell into an unfriendly market at low prices, and then other holders of those bonds succumb to the pressure of fund redemptions or margin calls and sell at even lower prices.

The third condition, which we can’t determine directly, would be pressure on Credit Default Swap dealers or hedge funds to make deposits as the prices of the CDS move against them. AIG was taken down when collateral demands were made to support existing CDS agreements, and nobody knew it until they were going under. There simply isn’t a way to know whether banks or dealers are struggling until the effect is already metastasizing.

I think that he makes some really good points.

In particular, I think that watching how junk bonds perform over the next few weeks will be extremely telling.

Last week was truly a bloodbath for high yield debt.

But perhaps things will stabilize this week.

Let’s hope so, because this is the closest that we have been to another major financial crisis since 2008.

(Originally posted on The Economic Collapse Blog)

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