because READING is funda-mental...
#1 We recently learned that the number of new mortgage applications in the United States had fallen to the lowest level that we have seen in nearly 20 years.
#2 Radio Shack has announced that it is going to close more than 1,000 stores. This is just another sign that we are in the midst of a "retail apocalypse".
#3 The ISM Services index just fell to its lowest level in 4 years, and ISM Services Employment just experienced its largest decline since the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
#4 Obamacare is really starting to hammer the U.S. health care industry...
"The Affordable Care Act is creating significant financial uncertainty to health care organizations," said a survey respondent from the health care and social assistance industry.
"With little warning, the negative impact on revenue has been unprecedented."
#5 Trading revenue at the "too big to fail" banks on Wall Street is way down...
Citigroup Inc. (C) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) are bracing investors for a fourth straight drop in first-quarter trading, a period of the year when the largest investment banks typically earn the most from that business.
Citigroup finance chief John Gerspach said yesterday his firm expects trading revenue to drop by a "high mid-teens" percentage, less than a week after JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said revenue from equities and fixed income was down about 15 percent. If trading at the nine largest firms slumps that much, it would extend the slide from 2010's first quarter to 36 percent.
#6 One of the "too big to fail" banks, JPMorgan, is planning to fire "thousands" more workers.
#7 Moody's has downgraded the credit rating of the city of Chicago again. Now it is just three notches above junk status.
#8 The U.S. economy actually lost 2.87 million jobs during the month of January according to the unadjusted numbers. Over the past decade, the only time the U.S. economy has lost more jobs during the month of January was in 2009 at the peak of the last recession.
#9 In January, real disposable income in the U.S. experienced the largest year over year decline that we have seen since 1974.
#10 Only 35 percent of all Americans say that they are better off financially than they were a year ago.
#11 Global retail sales for machinery giant Caterpillar have fallen for 14 months in a row.
#12 The economic data show that virtually all of the largest economies on the planet are slowing down right now. The following is from a recent Zero Hedge article...