Once we start to feel the risk of layoffs has passed, we will start spending more—consumers and companies alike. I reject the doomsday proclamations that the consumer psyche has been altered permanently; we want what we want.
That's not to say the next boom is here as yet. Growth will be poky and uneven at first. And plenty of obstacles loom, especially in the anti-business, tax-happy policy push of President Obama and his round-'em-up posse.
But if you aren't careful, the aftershocks and recriminations of this terrible tumble will cloud your vision of the rebound underway.
Skim these hopeful numbers:
- Leading economic indicators have been up the past couple of reports; durable goods orders are up three of the past four months; businesses’ capital-goods orders just rose 4.8 percent, the largest increase in five years.
- The four major indexes for stocks, which often rise to presage an economic rebound, are up 30 percent to 50 percent since early March.
- At the end of last week stocks hit the Golden Cross—the 50-day moving average price of the S&P 500 crossed over and above the 200-day average. That often portends a 20% rise in stock prices over the ensuing year.
- The Vix fear index on stock-price volatility is down over 40 percent in three months, falling to where it was just before the collapse of Lehman Brothers that set off a worldwide financial panic last fall.
- On Friday personal income numbers came out, rising an encouraging 1.8 percent (albeit largely because of a $250 Social Security onetime boost to millions). Personal savings AND consumer spending are up a bit, too.
To me, the compelling conclusion is inescapable—the worst is over. The risk of global financial collapse has been isolated and neutralized, and the rebuilding has begun. Dow 10000 here we come.
Remember you heard it here first.