Inflation continues to rear its ugly head in the lives of Americans, as 64% of U.S. residents are living paycheck to paycheck. Equities futures indicate Wednesday’s trading sessions may see stocks heal after the last two days of significant capitulation. However, the S&P 500 index is showing an ominous death cross ahead, which means the U.S. economy could face a longer-term downtrend.
US Economy Feels the Wrath of Rising Inflationary Pressures, 64% of Americans Live Paycheck to Paycheck
Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, the positivity surrounding the global economy has disappeared and a slew of countries are worried about the state of the financial system. On Tuesday, U.S. president Joe Biden announced a ban on all Russian oil imports as he noted that the world’s top exporter of crude and oil products is not welcome on U.S. soil. Biden did this while the price of crude oil has been soaring in value, touching $130 per barrel on Tuesday.
Soaring gasoline prices.
Soaring energy prices.
Soaring food prices.
How are you liking The Great Reset so far?
— PeterSweden (@PeterSweden7) March 8, 2022
Inflation is wreaking havoc on the wallets of ordinary American citizens and rising gas prices are not the only worries right now. Data shows that 64% of U.S. residents are living paycheck to paycheck and are barely getting by. While wages have jumped by 5.1%, it’s still less than the pace of inflation that has surged above 7% in recent times. In fact, last month, the U.S. Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) climbed at its fastest rate in 40 years. There’s been a rise in Americans living paycheck to paycheck as the number of citizens operating in this fashion jumped 3% higher than the year prior, according to a Lendingclub report.
The average gasoline price and the cost of food in the US are at an all-time high and inflation will pop the biggest economic bubble that has ever existed. The US stock market has been on life support for years with more Fed printed trillions required every year to keep it alive.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) March 8, 2022
Speaking with CNBC’s Jessica Dickler, Lendingclub’s financial health officer Anuj Nayar said that the researchers have seen the “cost of everything shooting up.” Nayar further insisted that the rising gas prices and skyrocketing costs stemming from the grocery store are hitting Americans in the wallet the hardest. “You’ve got to eat, you’ve got to commute; these are not discretionary expenses,” the Lendingclub executive added. Recently recorded statistics clearly show U.S. citizens are paying a lot more for nearly everything they buy.
Americans Can Opt-out of the Used Car Market, but Cannot Avoid Skyrocketing Food and Rent Costs
On March 9, New York Times (NYT) authors Emily Badger, Aatish Bhatia, and Quoctrung Bui quoted a number of Americans that said the prices of used cars, apartments, steak, bacon, chicken, bread, heating oil, gasoline, vegetables, toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, and lumber have become unbearable.
“A car battery costs almost two times as much,” one individual surveyed said. “Bacon is as expensive as filet mignon used to be,” another person surveyed by the NYT remarked.
“This is not just a used car phenomenon,” the chief economist at Morning Consult, John Leer told the NYT reporters. “When it was used cars, you could have the option essentially of opting out of inflation. You could say ‘I don’t want to buy a used car, so this doesn’t affect me, life goes on,’” Leer added.
S&P 500 Death Cross Could Mark Onset of a Long-Term Bear Market
Meanwhile, stock market participants have been roiled by the extreme volatility equities markets have been experiencing. For example, the S&P 500 was down 30.39 points when stock markets closed on Tuesday afternoon, and charts show a death cross is imminent. Basically, a death cross appears when the S&P 500’s chart shows the 50-day moving average (MA) drop below the 200-day MA. As the S&P 500 has dropped, the 50-day MA is now roughly 42 points away from breaching the long-term trendline (200-day MA).
Death Cross Checklist:
Dow Jones: ️
S&P 500: Coming Soon! pic.twitter.com/8imfNAX3c0
— Kimchi Premium (@cafetero7878) March 8, 2022
The baleful death cross is not a good signal and many believe it’s a sign of the economy facing a longer-term downtrend. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and Nasdaq Composite have already faced death crosses. The last DJIA death cross event was at the end of March 2020 just after ‘Black Thursday’ (March 11, 2020) and a week later that year, the S&P 500 recorded a death cross. Nasdaq just recently registered a death cross on February 18, 2022, just prior to the start of the Russia-Ukraine war.
The rampant inflation, soaring commodities, citizens living paycheck to paycheck, equities capitulation, and the menacing death cross are seemingly marking the onset of a long-term bear market. Each and every day, analysts and economists are discussing the possibility of a looming recession, or even worse predictions of a “greater depression.” The NYT survey respondents’ commentary highlights that Americans are angry about the rising inflation.
“As everything goes up in price, my savings diminish — Everything is going up, but our wages are not,” the report’s survey commentary concludes.
What do you think about the reported signals that show a recession is looming over the economy? What do you think about the rising inflationary pressures? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.