Reading media reports of economics is usually an exercise in decoding political bias and trying to find the center of things. Today we're in enough trouble that to understand "news" we must also strip away hope -- and pessimism. Big week for all of that. First thing first: the U.S. has lost some forward momentum, but is not entering recession. Consumer spending did not rise at all in May, dead flat, but orders for new durable goods doubled the forecast. New claims for unemployment insurance are running 385,000 weekly, up 15 percent from last year's best run since 2008, but not spiking. There are some flickers of hope from housing, but that's all (more below). Definitive reports for June come next Monday and Friday, purchasing managers and payrolls. Europe … we have another "relief rally" underway today (Dow up 220, gold up $55), as yet another Brussels summit has delivered yet more fibs to buy time. However, this time is different. After all prior can-kicking, ...
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