4 million fewer jobs from peak but corporate profits at record levels. Consumer confidence dips yet stocks keep moving up.
As the Dow flirted with 14,000 and the S&P 500 hit 1,500 the typical American is losing their confidence and also reflects a stock market that diverges from the interests of the Americans worker. Given that many of the S&P 500 companies earn a sizable portion of their profits abroad, it is hard to see a direct correlation to the health of the American worker. In fact, the middle class continues to face a difficult future. It was interesting to see consumer confidence fall while stock prices move up. But what we do see is a growing class of Americans stuck in poverty. The startling high number of Americans on food stamps does not seem to be inching lower (we are over 47 million). Yet corporate profits are at record levels. Goldman Sachs for example earned $2.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012. How is it feasible that stocks continue to move higher while real wealth gains to working and middle class Americans seem stagnant?