Money

How Do You Assess the Economy amid the Shutdown?

Investors rely on a ton of data to make decisions. I know I do and it has become a staple in my investment newsletter PowerTrend Profits. In fact, it is so much so that each month my subscribers get a detailed snapshot of not only the U.S. economy but also the latest data for the Chinese and euro-zone economies as well. All of that is found in the section I call Data Download. As a former Wall Street equity analyst, I know the value of reliable data not only as the latest and greatest data point is released, but also how it fits with one’s investing mosaic.

One of the problems we’re hearing about now as a result of the federal government shutdown is how it affects the economic calendar. As occurred last Friday, there was no September Employment Report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, if you visited the BLS website as I did, you’ll see an announcement telling you, “During the shutdown period BLS will not collect data, issue reports or respond to public inquiries. Updates to the site will start again when the Federal government resumes operations.” This lack of information will only exacerbate concerns and uncertainty the longer the shutdown continues. If we run up until the Oct. 17 debt ceiling line in the sand, that will be the case in spades.

Potentially adding fuel to that fire, in the coming days, corporate earnings will be with us in full force for the recently completed September quarter. Against the backdrop of the government shutdown and looming debt-ceiling conversations, I would expect companies to issue conservative outlooks and forecasts when they report their quarterly results. That’s another reason to think the stock market will get a little bumpier in the weeks ahead.

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