JUST AS I PREDICTED:
CBS NEWS: Retail shopping was up 2.3 percent this holiday season, according to initial numbers from MasterCard SpendingPulse -- lower than the 3.9 percent increase in holiday shopping the National Retail Federation had projected. If this first snapshot holds, it would be the first time holiday shopping grew less than 3 percent since 2009.
Deep discounts and extended hours could not get Americans to spend as much as stores expected this holiday season, so now retailers are cutting prices even more. Even along Chicago's exclusive Michigan Avenue, stores were offering 75 percent off Thursday.
"Retailers overshot the mark, in terms of apparel supply," said retail analyst Craig Johnson. "So there's an imbalance of supply and demand in apparel, leading to all the dramatic promotions you're seeing today."
Stores could not make up for storms which hit during two key shopping weekends -- and the lackluster economy.
"People are not buying as much," Johnson said. "Why are they not buying as much? Because their incomes are very soft."
After-tax income grew an average of just 1.1 percent between 2007 and 2012, but this year, it's up only 0.6 percent.THIS WILL LEAD TO BIG CUTS BY CORPORATIONS IN THE 1ST QUARTER.
AND THIS WILL SNOWBALL AS OBAMACARE LOWERS DISPOSABLE INCOME BY EVEN MORE.
PROFITS WILL BE LOWER AND UNEMPLOYMENT HIGHER.
EVERYONE WILL BE TALKING RECESSION BY JUNE.
AND THEN, THERE WILL BE A STAMPEDE TO EXIT THE STOCK MARKET - AND THE BUBBLE WILL BURST.
IT'S ALL BAKED IN THE CAKE. NOT MUCH CAN STOP IT.
UPDATE: MORE HERE.