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Is the Economy Improving In Missouri? Nationwide?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 14,000 for the first time in five years. Is that a sign that the economy is getting better?

For the first time in five years, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 14,000 on Friday afternoon. Predictably, that means different things to different people.

Some observers saw it as a sign that the economy is on its way back. Others consider it a hallmark of an overheated market, and that nothing will come of it but woe.

"To some, it's an important booster to hearts and minds, making investors feel optimistic and thus more willing to bet on the market," according to an Associated Press report published Friday on STLtoday.com.

Also on Friday, the New York Times reported on some glimmers of hope in the job market, including this note: "On the bright side, revised government data showed that the economy added 335,000 more jobs than originally estimated during all of 2012, including an additional 150,000 in the last quarter of the year."

Finally, again on Friday, the Kansas City Star seemed to throw a little cold water on any suggestion that Missouri's economy was picking up steam. Citing Creighton University’s monthly Mid-America Business Conditions Index, the newspaper called growth in Kansas and Missouri "lackluster."

What about from where you sit? Do you see any signs that the economy is getting better? Have you seen friends and neighbors getting jobs, where before they couldn't? Are you feeling less of a squeeze on your pocketbook? What will it take to make that happen?

Fran Lannom February 03, 2013 at 06:39 PM
I see it as inflation rather than economic recovery.
flyoverland February 03, 2013 at 07:03 PM
Fran is correct. The market is inflating not because of growth, but because there isn't really any other option right now. There is inflation. One just needs to look at gas. It is higher this year at this time of the year than ever in history. Look at groceries. Have you tried to buy even hamburger lately? However, our market basket of commodities used by the government is simply not an accurate portrayal of reality. Meanwhile, where do you put your money? In a savings account making a quarter of a percent? You want to buy a muni-bond and lock your money up for years at 1.5%? Apply inflation to either of those and you are losing money. The market is the only place people can hope to make something on their money and that desire for return is inflating the S&P 500. American industry is sitting on its hands because of over-regulation and ObamaCare. I see a static economy with booms and busts in the market improving only as we near 2016.
Mike K February 03, 2013 at 08:57 PM
@flyoverland "American industry is sitting on its hands because of over-regulation and ObamaCare." No it's not. The captains of industry are rethinking their ability to sell 'trickle down economics' when their performance pay and bonuses are fundamentally tied to their ability to minimize any such trickle down. In the absence of ObamaCare and regulation we are left with the Russia model that is a kleptocracy of oligarchs. Sorry, that's not my idea of America. Nor a majority of Americans who decided in November. I think it's petulant middle-aged bigoted white men who are playing 'take my toys and go home' under the delusion that they are 'their' toys in the first place or that there is a 'home' to go to. It's a terrible system, this Democracy we have. But it's the best one we've thought up.
flyoverland February 03, 2013 at 10:36 PM
Watch and learn.
flyoverland February 03, 2013 at 10:41 PM
Please come back after you have occupied the CEO' s chair of a public company. By the way, I notice you took the liberty to edit out the word "over" from over-regulation in order to make comment look unreasonable. Nice try. When democracy dilutes capitalism, democracy never reaches its full potential.
Caffeinated February 04, 2013 at 12:04 AM
"Please come back after you have occupied the CEO' s chair of a public company." What publicly-traded company were you CEO of, flyoverland?
RDBet February 04, 2013 at 01:53 AM
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-17/corporate-profits-soar-as-executives-attack-obama-policy.html Corporate profits through the roof since Obama took office.Just a guess, but maybe that has something to do with the stock market going through the roof? Not that the greedy bastards are ever happy - wanting ever more deregulation, more corporate welfare etc.
flyoverland February 04, 2013 at 03:54 AM
Profits are through the roof because of financial engineering. "Right-sizing and Out Sourcing" etc. There is a difference between earnings and growth. Ask your hedge fund.
flyoverland February 04, 2013 at 03:55 AM
It was on NASDAQ.
RDBet February 04, 2013 at 04:19 AM
Oh reaally then. So it is business as usual in corporate America. I didn't know this was possible under Obama's socialism. I am hedging that my hedge fund manager knew all this already.
Mike K February 04, 2013 at 05:47 AM
@RDBet: I'm thinking Stereotaxis or TLC Vision. Savvis? Can't be Charter. Jerry Kent is too busy running successful companies to be spending time trolling and kvetching on Patch. You might be right, though, a dot-gone.
flyoverland February 04, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Wrong again.
ReverePaul February 04, 2013 at 05:26 PM
why don't you tell us than flyoverland, you must be proud about it since you brag about it all the time.
The Missourian February 04, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Don't hassle him about his anonymity.
Caffeinated February 04, 2013 at 06:36 PM
I think everyone's hassling him about his fake internet persona. Personally, I couldn't care less who he is. When one tries to substantiate their argument repeatedly by claiming some expertise without actually producing the bona fides, they should be mocked. Flyoverland's inarticulate grasp of what inflation is points no so much to a C-level expert than to yet another right-wing crank.
Mike K February 04, 2013 at 07:08 PM
I'm with Caffeinated on this one. He discounted my viewpoints for lacking C-level credentials, and asserted the basis for that opinion was his own C-level credentials. Implying that that alone qualified his views as being more valid than others. I reject that assessment. I don't think that the only parties qualified to make assessments as to the function of our economy can only be held by C-level positions at publicly traded companies. Any more than the vox populi rejection of that thinking by electing career politicians and wonks being equally valid or invalid.
Mike K February 04, 2013 at 07:18 PM
I also want to say that I do, however agree with the rest of flyoverland's assessment vis-a-vis inflation being an economic driver. Particularly due to the huge increase in government spending the last few years to dig us out of this mess. I just disagreed that the reason for industry sitting this one out is over-regulation and ObamaCare is a bit over-simplified, and likely not the significant causes of industry non-participation in growing the economy that Flyoverland believes them to be. There are other factors at work here, and I see certain industries looking forward to ObamaCare -- big box retailers for one. Not because it is cheaper for them, it isn't. But it does give them political cover for widespread denial of healthcare benefits and the resulting pushing non-covered employees onto the publicly funded medicare and medicaid rolls. Just because an employer does not offer its employees healthcare does not mean that its employees do not need it or want it or that offering it makes them more competitive in attracting better employees that are more productive from the labor pool.
flyoverland February 04, 2013 at 07:25 PM
You all are perfect examples of the left's intolerance of the truth when it interferes with its agenda. Not one of you has attacked my premise. You all attacked me. That is easier. It doesn't require any facts. I think that speaks for itself. The comment was not about the definition of "inflation". It was about an inflated stock market and record cash reserves held by American corporations. For your edification, stocks are valued, not just on earnings, but many other metrics. Cash, shares outstanding, debt, momentum, buy-backs, news, charts. There are many components that can value a stock and ultimately a market capitalization. To think stocks go up just because business is good if simplistic. I urge you to watch CNBC or Fox Business any day of the week and hear how many of their "experts" are and have been urging retail investors to buy dividend paying, blue chips as an alternative to parsimonious bonds. Of course, the smart guys did that two years ago and most are nearly fully valued, so retail investors are dropping down a notch looking for bargains, thus the inflated market. You can take my advice, or not. It doesn't matter to me. I would caution you to remember, the "January Effect," is over. The next Wall Street maxim to consider is "Sell in May and Go Away." Face it. We've got a guy in DC talking about raising taxes and football and his mythical son when the economy just went backwards. He has no clue. The ground hog should have said "no early recovery."
Caffeinated February 04, 2013 at 07:54 PM
"You all attacked me." We don't know you. No one attacked you personally. I do call BS on your claimed experience. >>"The comment was not about the definition of "inflation"" You cited raising gas prices as a symptom of inflation. This underscores a basic lack of understanding on your part of what what inflation is, as pointing to a single non-durable as an index is inherently ridiculous when discussing inflationary tendencies (Oh... I forgot, you also mentioned "groceries"). Look at CPI. To top it off, you're ignoring the fact that 2012's inflation was at 1.7%. Compare that to the inflationary rates over the past 12 years. Is a hyperinflation a risk? Of course. But the economy meets none of the criteria for hyperinflation.
Caffeinated February 04, 2013 at 07:54 PM
>>"There are many components that can value a stock and ultimately a market capitalization" An obvious statement. You enumerate some attributes to consider, but you fail to mention the single arbiter of value: the market. To deny that there's enormous value to be found in today's market is ignorant. >>"To think stocks go up just because business is good if simplistic" ...which is why RDBet specfically cited profit. Revenue is also up markedly across the board. If you're proposing that we are in a bubble, back that up. What sectors? Examples? I can point to one, but I'll let you show us your expertise. >>"I would caution you to remember, the "January Effect," is over." Yes it is, so one should look at the last four "January Effects" and consider value over the long term. You're obtuse warnings are devoid of substantiation. Again. The Dow Jones Index is an anachronistic marker, but on an apples-to-apples comparison the market is in sustained recovery. >>"We've got a guy in DC talking about raising taxes and football and his mythical son when the economy just went backwards. He has no clue." Are you talking GDP? If so, then you should look at why the GDP shrunk and recognize as a good conservative that it was because of austerity. Cutbacks. Are you saying those cutbacks in government spending were bad?
RDBet February 04, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Your premise is phony. Blame Obama. We had an economic collapse under supply-sider war-maker deregulator, tax cutter for the rich, George W Bush. Yes, it is oversimplistic to blame the great recession on Bush. Much as it is overdone to say Obama will doom the economy by ticking up the tax rates on the top, from the historical low rates. I do think the stock market is overpriced in general, and we live in an overall bubble in the US. We give too much credit and blame to president for control over the economy. Or are you like mike k and hunkering down for the Obama dictatorship?
Caffeinated February 04, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Oh, and another thing: the GDP estimates are likely subject to major revision. I wouldn't be surprised if the economy expanded despite the cuts in spending. We'll find out soon enough. I can't wait until sequestration. The irony of the faux conservatives crying over the spending cuts will be delicious.
John Dough February 04, 2013 at 08:19 PM
I would hate to play you guys at scrabble kleptocracy of oligarchs..is 4567 points.
John Dough February 04, 2013 at 09:08 PM
I guess you threw in 'Bigoted' for effect..based on your gut feeling of what you would like them to be...so you can maximise your hatred.
Mike K February 04, 2013 at 09:19 PM
But not better than Flyoverland's subjectivizing economics blovations. :-)
flyoverland February 04, 2013 at 11:18 PM
You missed the point of trying to point out the difference between "market inflation" and "inflation," in the traditional sense (see Jimmy Carter). Any housewife who shops will tell you it is here in greater intensity than the government is telling you. I also can't wait until sequestration. If we can't find 5% waste in every program in government, then we have fools running things. Trying to pump more money into a leaking balloon isn't going to work. Recovery, like chemotherapy is painful. Printing money is like painkillers, makes you feel good, but doesn't cure anything. Is the government helping or hurting the creation of capital? Obama just appoints a prosecutor to head the SEC. Try getting a filing through that place in normal times. Now, the new emphasis will make it harder. Try filing an S1 some time and see how helpful your government is. The DJIA is a fool's index. The broad market, or S&P 500 is what you should watch. I agree that profit is the best thing to move stocks, however, if you do not understand the difference between profit and growth, I can not help you. If you have never seen stocks go up in a short squeeze, you have no business running your own money. If you haven't seen lemmings beg for stocks backed by vapor, you are destined to lose your money. This market is going up because people cannot get a traditional return anywhere else. If you only want to see the sunshine, get professional help. Btw, how'd you like today's market?
Mike K February 05, 2013 at 12:42 AM
I guess we did. You mentioned 'market inflation' and then you conflated it with traditional inflation via your example of gas prices. So which was it? You certainly helped by doing so yourself. I liked today's market just fine. My Netflix is doing just peachy. How many 5-baggers do you have under your belt? 3 for me and counting. If market volatility is going to increase, then I'm looking at inverting saddles to keep making money. You are right in that the stock market is where the returns are, but that's not a secret nor has been for as long as we've had markets. Real estate outperforming the market was an anomaly. Consistently outperforming the market is the trick. So is telling the future.
John Dough February 05, 2013 at 02:19 PM
Inverting saddles?..baggers under the belt?... and peachey Netflix.....I'm flabbergasted.
Mike K February 05, 2013 at 05:33 PM
Flyoverland asked me what I thought of yesterday's down market. So I said what I thought. He also asserted that only C-level experience was capable of making informed views on the market by calling it out as a unique qualifier only he possessed in this discussion. I differ in that assessment is all, and noted that there is other market interaction experience besides CxO beyond SEC filings and attending board and shareholder meetings on which one can make equally valid and informed economic opinions.
Thomas Gibson February 05, 2013 at 07:06 PM
What about todays up market? Oh and by the way, I am doing very good now. Of course, that may be because I am enjoying a very good retirement!

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