Russell Investments, the firm behind the renowned Russell 2000 small-cap index, has a great chart up right now about some of the biggest economic data points and what they mean for the market in context with historical norms.
Data points include corporate debt, market volatility, interest rates, mortgage delinquencies, core inflation, employment growth, consumer spending and economic expansion. Those seem to cover just about all the bases to me.
You can find the full chart here at Russell’s website — and I strongly encourage you to click through, because there are interactive elements for each set of data that allow you to explore the context more thoroughly.
My read? We’re actually in a fairly “normal” environment save for housing (shocker). But Russell doesn’t prioritize the data so it’s not exactly fair to say that we’re good because all eight items are in “typical” ranges. Economic expansion on the lower and and sliding down seems to me a huge concern — while a slightly elevated level of corporate debt is negligible especially considering the low interest rate environment. You need a bit of critical thinking in order to get the most out of this graphic.
At any rate, it’s a fascinating overview of the macro picture and market sentiment. Check it out for yourself.
Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of “The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks.” Write him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP.