It has been a common refrain over the last several weeks since the recent market bottom in late September. Sure, global economies outside the U.S. are continuing to struggle as evidenced by the fact that their central banks are compelled to ease even further. But the story in the United States is one of contrast and relative strength, which is supported by the fact that the U.S. Federal Reserve is feeling confident enough to begin the process of normalizing interest rates before the end of the year. And supporting the strong domestic economic thesis is the apparent vigor of the U.S. consumer, highlighted by the strength and leadership of consumer discretionary stocks during the recent stock price rebound. Perhaps, but if price is indeed truth, the apparent strength of the American consumer might just be a mirage.
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