Good Thing the Debt Deal Saved the Economy – Updated


It’s a good thing that debt deal (let’s not call it debt reduction, because really, it’s not) passed today and President Obama signed it. How odd that he didn’t have a signing ceremony. Maybe he was too busy thinking about his big birthday bash. Anyway, just think of the economic pain and suffering they spared us from enduring. Oh wait, never mind.

The S&P 500 turned negative for the year on Tuesday as the wrangling over the U.S. debt ceiling faded and investors turned their attention to the stalling economy.

The broad-based index fell for a seventh day and crashed through the key 200-day moving average in an ominous sign for markets. The seven days of losses mark the longest losing streak since October 2008.

“It is going to be a long week,” said Jim Maguire Jr., a NYSE floor trader at E.H. Smith Jacobs. “The bid is not here in the market.”

The selloff accelerated into the close as volume jumped well above average. The fall was broad-based, with four stocks falling for every one rising on the New York Stock Exchange.

The index also broke through its 2-1/2 year uptrend line from its bear market low in March 2009. Thursday was the index’s worst day in a year.

It gets worse.

Shortly after the vote, Fitch Ratings said the agreement to raise the U.S. borrowing capacity means the risk of a sovereign default is “extremely low” and commensurate with a AAA rating. But it warned Washington must reduce its debt or face a downgrade.


A government report showed U.S. consumer spending fell unexpectedly in June for the first decline in nearly two years as incomes barely rose.

On Monday a survey on U.S. factory activity suggested manufacturing stalled in July. The survey followed similarly weak reports from Asia and Europe and came after U.S. growth calculations were sharply cut for the first half of the year.

The government’s key monthly jobs report for July is due on Friday and will be closely watched by investors.

Fitch may be temporarily mollified, but what about Moody’s?

Moody’s Investors Service said the U.S. credit rating may be downgraded for the first time on concern that fiscal discipline may erode, further debt reduction measures won’t be adopted and the economy may weaken.

The U.S., rated Aaa since 1917, was placed on negative outlook, Moody’s said in a statement today as it confirmed the rating after President Barack Obama signed into law a plan to lift the nation’s borrowing limit and cut spending. A decision on the rating may be made within two years, or “considerably sooner,” according to Moody’s Steven Hess.

I can’t take anymore of this. I think I need a Tums.

Update: Oh dear, now I need a drink.

So what do the real analysts say?

From Zero Hedge: “JP Morgan: ‘Fiscal Policy Will Cut Our 2.7% 2012 GDP Forecast To Sub 1%’.”

Sub 1% means the economy will contract by 1%.

Update 2: Scared Monkeys linked – thanks!