Log In

Enter your username and password below

Friday Charts: Pain At the Pump and the Innovation Economy

If you’re new to the Wall Street Daily Nation, every Friday I embrace the adage that a picture is, indeed, worth a thousand words.

I select a handful of graphics to put the week’s investment news into perspective for you.

So say goodbye to long-winded commentary… and hello to easy-to-understand pictures, with some quick-hit observations.

Why So Glum, Chum?

On Tuesday, the Conference Board revealed that Consumer Confidence hit the skids. The Index fell to 60.6 from 65.4 in July. That’s the biggest monthly drop in 10 months.

Please don’t join in the misery, though.

The latest economic data is improving, including housing prices and GDP growth. Heck, even sales of minivans are up by double digits. (Quick, tell my wife minivans are cool again!)

What’s more, a low consumer confidence reading is actually bullish for stocks. I know, it’s totally counterintuitive. Yet, it’s totally true. (Want proof? Go here.)

Talk About Pain At the Pump

Many Americans blame gasoline prices – up $0.43 since July 1, according to AAA – for their depressed mental state. Instead, they should be thanking God they don’t live in Norway, Turkey or Israel.

Bottom line: The pain at the pump could be a lot worse.

There’s nothing like a quick hand of misery poker to brighten our outlook now is there?

Can We Say, “Tech Turnaround?”

Back in July, I noted how the technology sector was oversold and poised for a rally.

Sure enough, the percentage of technology stocks trading above their 50-day moving averages jumped from 17% to 77%.

Of course, now the technology sector is considered overbought. But don’t bail!

In the long term, technology remains the place to invest. Especially disruptive technology like I mentioned on Wednesday.

That being said, now might be a good time to trim up your stops to protect your profits in case the sector hits any unexpected bumps.

Proof of Innovation

Speaking of disruptive technologies, one reader responded to the same Wednesday article by asking, “Where’s the beef? Show me proof that ‘the innovation economy keeps chugging along,’ like you said.”

Ask and ye shall receive…

The surest sign of innovation is patents. Not patent applications, mind you, as companies can flood the system to distract and prevent competitors from getting a leg up. The key is to focus on actual patents granted.

And since 1985, the number of global patent grants has more than doubled.

Domestically, they’ve more than tripled.

Would you like some fries with that Double-Stack? How about a Frosty?

That’s it for today. Before you sign off, though, do us a favor. Let us know what you think about this weekly column – or any of our recent work at Wall Street Daily – by sending an email to feedback@wallstreetdaily.com, leaving a comment on our website, or catching us on Facebook or Google+.

Thanks and enjoy the holiday weekend!

Ahead of the tape,

Louis Basenese

You May Also Be Interested In:

Consider These 3 Risks Before Putting Your Money Here

If you’re interested in adding a global dimension to your portfolio but don’t know where to begin, ADRs may be worth considering. ADRs offer the opportunity to invest overseas with minimal confusion and hassle, and can help you benefit from the financial success of other regions of the world.