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It's easy to get overwhelmed by the reams of contradictory data out there.
After all, the U.S. Department of Commerce has boosted its estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) growth to a 3.9% annual pace from last month's estimate of 3.5%. That creamed economists' predictions of a fall back to 3.3% growth.
On the other hand, the Conference Board reported that the consumer confidence number fell to its lowest level since June.
Markets were up and then down on the news last Monday – and ended the day mostly flat. It's enough to drive tech investors crazy.
But I'm not worried about the economy. Or the tech sector for that matter.
That's because all three of my "Overload Busters" – you could call them the "real news" – are moving in positive directions.
These three indicators cut through the floods of data every time. They've long proven to be accurate barometers of the markets – and surefire ways to instigate profits.
It's taken me an honors degree in economics and 30 years of tech investing to hone this system to perfection. But it's actually a pretty simple system that tech investors like you can pick up and start following immediately.
Let's get started.
Overload Buster No. 1: Jobs and the Economy
In the early part of the economic recovery, high-tech companies weren't too concerned about job growth. That's because the "jobless recovery" in 2009 and 2010 actually helped the tech sector.
With sales rising, firms were able to improve productivity and increase profit margins without adding to their labor costs. Instead of people, they invested in software, business electronics, cloud computing and robotics.
However, no industry can keep growing without solid economic expansion and lower unemployment. After all, people need jobs in order to afford the latest smartphones, HDTVs, and connected cars.
By employment standards, 2014 is now a growth year. The economy has added an average of more than 200,000 jobs for nine months in a row. That's the highest rate since 1995.
Unemployment continues to fall. It recently dropped to 5.8%, the lowest level in a decade. And jobless claims as a percentage of the workforce are the lowest they've been since the government began keeping these stats back in the 1970s.
We've also had two strong growth quarters in a row for the U.S. economy, as defined by GDP. It came in at 3.5% in the third quarter, beating forecasts of 3.1% by nearly 13%.
That followed 4.2% growth in GDP in the second quarter, which reflected growing personal consumption, private inventory investment, exports, fixed investment for home and commercial buildings and local government spending.
Indicators to follow:
- Employment Situation Report, released first Friday of the month,S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- GDP Forecast, tracked by theConference Board
Overload Buster No. 2: Earnings
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is a 36-year Silicon Valley veteran and one of the top technology financial analysts working today. That's because, as a consultant, senior adviser, and board member for Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Michael enjoys privileged access to pioneering CEOs, scientists, and high-profile players. And he brings this entire world of Silicon Valley "insiders" right to you...
- He was one of five people involved in early meetings for the $160 billion "cloud" computing phenomenon.
- He was there as Lee Iacocca and Roger Smith, the CEOs of Chrysler and GM, led the robotics revolution that saved the U.S. automotive industry.
- As cyber-security was becoming a focus of national security, Michael was with Dave DeWalt, the CEO of McAfee, right before Intel acquired his company for $7.8 billion.
This all means the entire world is constantly seeking Michael's insight.
In addition to being a regular guest and panelist on CNBC and Fox Business, he is also a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter. His first book Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings warned people about the coming financial collapse - years before the word "bailout" became a household word.
Silicon Valley defense publications vie for his analysis. He's worked for Defense Media Network and Signal Magazine, as well as The New York Times, American Enterprise, and The Wall Street Journal.
Michael is 100% independent and receives absolutely no compensation from companies he writes about. His ideas are completely his own.
So, it probably goes without saying that you won't ever be left in the dark about breaking innovations, ahead-of-their-time technologies, and breakout companies on the cusp of changing the world once you join this world.