According to data out this week the economy could be turning a corner. That’s right; light at the end of the tunnel, the first ray of sunshine after the storm.
What? You find that hard to believe? You’re not alone.
"The reason this feels like a recession is—from the standpoint of the consumer—it basically is," says David Ressler, chief economist at Nomura Securities. "Consumer spending is very weak and isn't going to get any stronger anytime soon, and that's with the benefit of the economic stimulus."
But you can't deny the numbers are impressive. For example, on Thursday new GDP data revealed the US economy outpaced forecasts making recession less likely. And earlier in the week, consumer confidence and orders for big ticket items (such as planes) were stronger than expected.
“The numbers are nice but they’re all backward looking,” says RiverTwice Research president Zach Karabell on Fast Money. “I think investors have to be careful how they use this information.”
However Karabell does think you can discern some trends from the numbers. “One of those is strong retail strengths, another is good inventory controls and a third is exports. However if the dollar strengthens that third trend could reverse.”
“There is no way that the consumer is weakening to the degree that the commentary would suggest," Karabell concludes.
What’s the bottom line: The economy probably isn't as good as the numbers suggest but maybe it's not so bad either.
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Trader disclosure: On Aug 28, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (BTU), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE); Jon Najarian Owns (C), (JPM); Jon Najarian Owns (AAPL) Calls, (MRVL) Calls, (NKE) Calls, (XLF) Calls, (AFL) Calls, (PMCS) Calls, (TIE) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (UNG) Call Spreads; Finerman Owns (GS); Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (SUN), (TSO), (VLO); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (C) Leaps; Finerman's Firm Is Short (IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM); Finerman's Firm Is Short The British Pound; Terranova Owns (AAPL), (RIMM), (EOG), (FCX), (GS), (KOL), (NOV), (POT), (SA), (X), (VLO); Terranova Owns (AIG) Puts; Terranova Is Long Dec. 2008 Reformulated Gasoline Futures; Terranova Is Long Crude Oil Time Spread (Long Oct. 2008 Crude Oil Futures, Short Dec. 2012 Crude Oil Futures)
Terranova Is Chief Alternatives Strategist Of Phoenix Investment Partners, Ltd.; Phoenix Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (ABD), (ARE), (BRE), (CNTY), (CLB), (OFC), (DLR), (ESS), (EXR), (FL), (IAT), (IGE), (LNET), (MAC), (OIIM), (PSPT), (DBC), (DBV), (SLB), (SKT), (BLV)
Terranova Is Co-Portfolio Manager Of The Phoenix Diversifier PHOLIO; Phoenix Diversifier PHOLIO Owns (IGE), (DBC), (DBV)