Poor Economic Reports Spark Dreary US Outlook

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U.S. markets appeared to stabilize Monday after taking a nosedive following last week's bad economic reports.

However, more negative news and economic uncertainty in Europe pose additional challenges to the world's largest economy.

Dreary Outlook

The most recent reports on the job market now has many analysts pessimistic about the U.S economic outlook for the rest of the year.

"Friday's numbers were very far from where we want them to be, where the president wants them to be," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Monday.

On the heels of those gloomy numbers comes more bad economic news this week -- from slow growth in the manufacturing sector to slipping consumer confidence -- and a U.S. stock market that senses the air uncertainty.

"We are going to see a prolonged period of volatility," said Kenneth Polcari, a market analyst.

The down U.S. economy, coupled with a potential slowdown in China and a Europe that feels on the brink of collapse, is only adding to America's woes.

"That global environment across the three main engines of the global economy is looking a lot weaker than a month ago," Adam Boyton with Deutsche Bank said.

Political Implications

All this is clearly having an impact on the U.S elections as both candidates up the rhetoric on the economy.  Polls show President Obama and Mitt Romney now in a tie, but with Romney's favorability rating on the rise -- up 14 percent since February.

On Monday night at a fundraiser in New York with former President Bill Clinton, Obama warned that Romney's answers to fixing the economy will only make the climate worse.  

"We're not going backwards," Obama declared. "We're not going backwards, New York! We intend to go forwards."

Romney shot back, saying the president is failing to revive the economy because he has a "deficit in leadership."

"He has made it harder on almost every dimension for our economy to come back and to put people to work," the GOP presidential nominee said.

The economy, and particularly job creation, is clearly the number one issue voters are most concerned about as the November election looms.

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