What is the downside to the soaring stock market?
One is the exclusion of a majority of Americans who are not in the markets, which stands at 54%, according to the latest survey by BankRate.
To put an exclamation point on the divide, fully 66% of millennials have no skin in the game, the survey found.
So as I’ve said numerous times, the markets are not the economy, but the corollary that the wealth effect of a rising market has little meaning for most Americans as well.
Allow me two anecdotal accounts over the Thanksgiving holiday. Air travel from Newark Airport was not difficult at all. News channels were there all day Wednesday to film the traveling hordes queuing up in lines, but they never materialized.
Secondly, family traveling from Connecticut had little traffic problems on the Interstate, with light congestion along the way.
None of this makes for scientific analysis, but we may see in a the next few days or so reports on the diminished spending on Black Friday and Cyber Monday for retailers.
Based on the percentage of Americans involved in the markets, the headlines reading “Markets Set New Record Highs,” have little truth or the ability to inspire confidence for increased spending at ailing retailers.