Small Business Frustration

restaurants closingsDespite continuing discouraging data hitting headlines, somehow markets are finding ways to keep going up. Volume still remains critically low, especially from a historical average comparison. It is clear that investors on both sides do not know what's driving this beast and where it is headed. In the long run, I always like to stick with fundamentals, as I do believe they eventually are forced to be revealed in stock market performance.

As of now, fundamentals are still remaining quite sluggish. Intel did produce higher than expected earnings today, however, the bar for favorable earnings has been set extremely low. The real question is whether or not these earnings levels are sustainable, because circumstances do not seem to be getting better anytime soon. My occupation gives me the opportunity to have a lot of interaction with a variety of small businesses. As such, from what I've gathered, many of the small businesses around the nearby cities (restaurants, clothing retail, service business, construction) are performing at record low levels. Many have a lot of frustration, due to much of what is on the news (that the recovery has begun and stock market rallies). Many feel that they are doing something wrong, which is why their numbers are still suffering. I try to tell them that indeed most businesses are still in their same position and that it is not an isolated incident.

Real economic results from real consumers will need to return in order to fully bring us out of this recession. If not, we will see many of the small businesses around the country, which we all love, not survive. Hopefully, we can see a change in the consumer this coming year, or unfortunately, more problems are ahead.

Retail sales were surprisingly lower than expectations for December, which was a downer for analysts. On top of that, last week's initial jobless claims were 11,000, compared to an expected 3,000. Most analysts are hoping that we take expressway back to economic health, where most likely, we will be taking side streets and hitting every light on the way. I, of course, hope for the speedy recovery, but also realize the improbabilities of such a recovery following years of loose underwriting and waste less spending. So, for now, I am waiting out this flat market and waiting for more significant volume and movement. Happy Trading.



    Small business is being crushed by government hungry regulators and money hungry lawyers.

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