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Level: Beginner

What the Federal Reserve does with monetary policy affects the US consumer, which in turn determines how fast the overall economy grows. This course explains the key leading and lagging indicators intended to illuminate the health of the world’s largest economy and teach the student how to better understand events that in turn influence financial markets. The information economic indicators provide can help investors make informed decisions about their investments. Some indicators include building permits, purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing and employment.

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Lesson: #1
Money Supply (M2)

The Money Supply lesson discusses how M2 is calculated, where to find it, how it’s influenced and how it influences financial markets and the economy. It specifically covers some of the most popular tools used by global central banks and governments to influence the supply of money. In addition, the course covers the money supply rise in the United States and the subsequent inflationary episode in 2021.

Lesson: #2
Retail Sales

The Retail Sales lesson discusses how it’s calculated, where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. Measuring the dollars spent by U.S. consumers is useful as they are a large source of company revenues and economic activity globally.

The Consumer Confidence lesson discusses how it’s calculated, where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. Measuring the confidence of U.S. consumers is important because they are a large source of company revenues and economic activity globally.

Lesson: #4
The Yield Curve

The Yield Curve lesson discusses where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. The yield curve inversion is a powerful indicator that preceded the last six out of six recessions.

Lesson: #5
Unemployment Rate

The Unemployment Rate lesson discusses where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. The unemployment rate is one of the oldest economic indicators available and useful in analyzing the relative ease or difficulty in finding a job.

The Unemployment Claims lesson discusses where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. Unemployment claims is a high-frequently indicator and useful because analyzing the number of people that lose their jobs can provide insights on the direction of economic prospects.

The Personal Income and Outlays lesson discusses where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. Watching the personal income and outlays report at the end of the month provides strong awareness concerning the path of the U.S. economy and the path of the FED.

Lesson: #8
Payroll Employment

The Payroll Employment lesson discusses where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. Tracking the number of people on U.S. payrolls is important because it’s one of the most straightforward economic indicators available and it provides a powerful link to the economy’s productivity.

Lesson: #9
Housing Permits

The Housing Permits lesson discusses where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. The real estate sector is capital intensive, interest rate sensitive and requires the coordination of many moving parts of the economy. If one of the many contributors of the real estate sector appears weak, it’s likely a reflection of underlying weakness in the economy.

Lesson: #10
Corporate Earnings

The Corporate Earnings lesson discusses where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. Earnings season can provide market participants with positive sentiment when there’s fantastic news, negative sentiment when there’s adverse news, or indifference when results are in-line with expectations. Corporate earnings are an important measure of corporate financial health and therefore, a measure of economic health as well.

The Industrial Production lesson discusses where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. Monitoring the monthly industrial production report is useful as it’s a strong gauge of consumer demand and confirms a growing or shrinking economy through an industrial lens.

The GDP lesson discusses where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. GDP is the foundation of financial markets globally. Fast economic growth will likely lead to fast financial asset growth. Financial asset values won’t sustainably grow if GDP is declining.

The Consumer Price Index lesson discusses where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. Inflation can lead to constrained budgets, deteriorating purchase power, and difficulty planning for the future. Tracking the CPI for insights on how fast or slow prices are rising or falling is a critical component of effective economic analysis.

The Manufacturing PMI® lesson discusses where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. The manufacturing sector is capital intensive and requires the coordination of many moving parts of the economy. If one of the many contributors of the manufacturing sector appears weak, it’s likely a reflection of underlying weakness in the economy.

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