Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Peaks, Cliffs, and Civilization - 2013

As many are aware from previous postings here, and from others who look at the big picture in socioeconomics, cycles, ecosystems, civilizations, etc., our current way of life stands at a crossroads.  For years we have watched as peaks in energy production and resources have approached, some passing by, and some peaking around now.  This implies that industrial output, and the availability of many of the goods and services we have been privileged to have enjoyed are in the process of peaking now as well.  The "fiscal cliff" may not be the only cliff that is approaching.

As the social mood and the markets were nearing extremes in pessimism, the March 2009 issue of our previous publication MoodCompass warned:

"Global stock markets are near a low and the negativity in social mood is nearing a peak. 
This is not the end of the economic downturn, but it is near the end of increased disintegration for now.  When the next long term peak in optimism arrives, that will be the time to look for things to really begin to get bad!"

Are we passing that peak right now?  No one can tell for sure if a peak has occurred until it is well passed.  There are signs that a peak may be in progress.  One example of bizarrely blind optimism, such as would occur at a peak, was apparent in the responses to today's disappointing GDP.  There were flat out refutations of an economic contraction (in spite of a negative GDP) because the greatest plunge in 40 years of government spending was not "the economy," it was just "the government."

Because one of the initial manifestations of a socioeconomic downturn (after social mood) is the stock market, it would be good to closely monitor both social mood and the market for evidence of a peak.  Whether the current topping process is the peak, or simply the beginning of a short "correction" before more peaking, will likely be known only after some time has passed.

As was mentioned in a recent post on U.S. Market Health, a negative change in trend appears to be in progress.  It was also said that one down week (or even two) doesn't mean that the Great Downturn is here... but it might be.

For more information on the MoodCompass Project, see

Thursday, January 24, 2013

U.S. Stock Market Health and Social Mood

There has recently been an increase in posts around the internet and in the news that the U.S. stock market may be about to plunge to a mere fraction of its current value.  At the same time, the market continues to go up, defying even the most adamant of bears.

In response to a request by a follower of this blog, we will chime in on what current U.S. social mood trends have to say about the health and well being of the stock market (apologies to those who aren't stock market fans as the language in here is geared towards market people and traders).

1).  Social mood (as measured by our assessment of daily top Google Hot Trends) peaked near November 19, 2012.  It has come down in a choppy fashion and is now at "support."  What it does from here is critical, not only for the well being of the stock market, but to the socioeconomic vitality of the United States (and likely, the world).

2).  Manifested social mood (as measured by our assessment of daily top U.S. news stories) may have peaked on January 14, 2013.  It has yet to make a "lower low."  FYI- Google Hot Trends signals have a better track record of being predictive of the stock market than U.S. news stories.

3).  The weekly projection for next week (from a 7 day EMA Google Hot Trend signal) is showing the first down week in six weeks.  While this week's projection (week of Jan. 21) was showing slightly positive, it was also indicating a trend change was near.  A new downtrend starts with one down week, however, by itself this does not indicate that the much anticipated huge decline has begun.

4)  Last, but not least, for those who follow Ellliot Wave patterns, the market has not yet risen above the 2007 high.  This would indicate that a sharp third wave down is still possible, but would have to begin momentarily (for more information on the Grand Supercycle, Elliot Waves, and what that means for the stock market as well as global society, see  It is also possible, that the markets will make new record highs, and then begin the first wave of the Grand Supercycle decline.  If so, that would mean less of a decline, at least initially.

For those looking for a big change in the market and the outlook of the world, this would be the year that it happens, and it is a good possibility, all things considered, that we could be days away from the beginning of that change to manifest in the markets.  However, there is no evidence that we can see at this time, that it won't be another few weeks or even months for the Great Downturn to occur.  Since social mood precedes stock market behavior, the next few days and weeks will tell us if we are about to soar to new heights or fall faster and farther than any of us in America could have ever imagined.

Hang on!

For more information on how we assess social mood and its relationship to the stock market see the "Mood and the Market" tab at

Angry and Active, Global Mood thru Jan 28, '13

The social mood for Jan 25-28 reflects a desire for action, and a willingness to take action.  People are angry and argumentative, making cooperative efforts challenging.  Incidents of unrest, protests, and workplace violence, as well as other mass violence incidents should continue to grab news headlines.

Epidemic factors, while still elevated,  are beginning to show a decrease.  A peak in the flu outbreak may be occuring.

Globally, the liklihood for crises, upheaval, and disasters is elevated.  However, no major disaster is anticipated.

Significant Natural Events: While no major disasters are expected, there is an elevated risk for significant natural events. The types most associated with the current pattern are volcanoes, earthquakes, unstable or violent weather, and wildfires.

For more information on the current outlook or The MoodCompass Project see

You can also join the MoodCompass Project on .

*Estimated casualties are provided to give a sense of scale of potential impact to U.S. society. Events of equivalent impact without fatalities are also possible (e.g. economic loss). Also, since U.S. social mood changes are the measure, if  event(s) occur outside of the United States, loss of life and/or property could be substantially greater.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Flu Peaking? Not according to Social Mood

Hope that the flu may be on the decline coincides with a slight decline in the "epidemic" social mood factor that we monitor and is expressed by the CDC in a recent news article.  However, as mentioned in a recent MoodCompass website update, "There may be some hope of an end in site for the flu outbreak in the U.S. but a resurgence in the near future is likely."

Why the pessimism?  At the time they expressed this hope of a peak, the next resurgence was visible in the following week's "epidemic" signal (i.e. Jan. 15 - 24).  Does this come from a crystal ball or specialized tea leaf reading?  Not really.  Signals of next week's destabilizing news events come from *this week's* social mood.  Eight components of social mood on a daily basis are put into equations and out comes any signal spikes relating to events 7 to 14 days ahead.  That may sound strange, and even suggest certain metaphysical assumptions may need revision.  However, it is not any more ethereal than getting next week's weather report today.

For more information on the current outlook or The MoodCompass Project, see

You can also like The MoodCompass Project on .

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1/18/2013 CDC: Flu deaths increase sharply

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Increasing Discontent: Global mood thru Jan 14

Social mood changes show an increase in the liklihood of unrest, protests, and workplace violence, as well as other mass violence incidents.  While there should be no large scale incidents during this period, the potential is building for more impactful events in the near future.

For more information on The MoodCompass Project see

You can also join the MoodCompass Project on .

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Maintaining Status Quo:Outlook thru Jan 11

Social mood factors of action and non-direction sum up the current global outlook (Jan 4-11, 2013).  The recent directed push to stave off the fiscal cliff, has left the U.S. and global economies with a desire to keep moving, but without a clear heading.  It may be agreed by all that a lot needs to be done, but not on what that is.  The best that can be achieved with this current global mood is to maintain the status quo.  At worst, anger and arguments will increase perceptions of instability. 

Action and activity may be the order of the day, but it may end up creating exhaustion and frustration more than anything else, at least for the time being.  

For more information on the current outlook or the MoodCompass Project, see

You can also visit the MoodCompass Project on .

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Examples of Action + Non-Direction mood in the news:

1/5/13:  Republican party seems angry, divided as ever