For quite some time now, we have been saying (via our Financial Intelligence Report) that the U.S. economy could be headed for serious trouble in the months ahead and that a new bear market may be just around the corner.
With this week's onslaught of negative news, investors may finally begin to heed our warnings.
Earlier today, RealtyTrac (a seller of foreclosure data) reported that the number of U.S. properties in foreclosure rose 87 percent during May, as compared to the same period a year ago. Meanwhile, the value of the U.S. dollar fell to a record low against the euro, as the U.S. trade deficit widened to $60 billion during May, from $58.7 billion in the prior month.
The U.S. consumer has apparently felt the affects of rising adjustable mortgage rates and the declining dollar, as same-store sales at the nation's major retail chains rose during the period from February to June of this year at only half the rate during the same period a year ago. June same-store sales at Macy's, the second-largest U.S. department store chain, fell approximately 2.7 percent while sales at J.C. Penney declined 1.5 percent.
Yet, the major stock market averages in the U.S. and around the globe rose sharply today — both the Dow and S&P 500 hit a new record — as corporate buyouts and merger and acquisition activity has continued at a torrid pace.
The latest buying frenzy came from Rio Tinto Group, who announced plans this morning to acquire aluminum producer Alcan (AL). Just last week, Johnson and Johnson (JNJ), ConocoPhillips (COP), and Sears Holdings (SHLD) announced planned buybacks of their publicly traded stock.
With the majority of investor sentiment data registering bullish signals, we think the bull market may have one final run-up before a "sudden" halt finally wakes up investors. Stay tuned.
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