Results 351–379 of 379 found.
Don't Deny The Jobs Recovery
You would think that after 63 straight months of growth in private sector payrolls, the longest streak since the 1930s, everyone would agree that the job-market recovery is for real. But, that ain’t the case. A quick Google search still uncovers a whole bunch of pessimistic appraisals of jobs and the economy.
Inflation: Dormant, Not Dead
Last month we explained why the dreaded threat of hyperinflation hasn’t materialized, and likely wouldn’t materialize, in spite of the huge expansion of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet the past several years, including QE1, 2, and 3.
Taxes Culprit Behind Slow Sales
Last week’s report on retail sales in April came in weaker than most economists expected, with no change from the pace of sales in March. As a result, the chorus calling for the Federal Reserve to postpone the start of rate hikes beyond June, already loud, grew even louder.
Key Seven Weeks Starts Now
Don’t be confused by the Federal Reserve acknowledging the obvious slowdown in economic growth in the first quarter. The door to a June rate hike is still open. Not wide open, but much more open than most analysts and investors think.
June Rate Hike Still on Tap
According to a recent survey by the Wall Street Journal, most economists think a June rate hike is unlikely. In fact, four times as many think the Federal Reserve won’t start raising rates until September or later as currently think the Fed will start in June.
Don't Fret Student Debt
For the past six years, investors have faced one fear after another. One of those fears has been the more than $1 trillion of student loan debt outstanding. This debt is up 160% since the start of 2006 (and growing) while the share of student loans with payments 90 days late, or longer, has risen from 6.4% to 11.3%.
Resist the Rate-Hike Huff
In June 2013, then-Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke hinted the time to “moderate” quantitative easing was approaching. The press called this “tapering”. The Fed would end QE gradually, by slowly shrinking its asset purchases rather than going cold turkey.
Big Government, Little Buns
You’re kidding, right? It’s 2015. How can a populated country run out of bread? It would be understandable if a natural disaster or devastating war caused a shortage, but neither of these is happening in Venezuela – and they seem to be running out of bread. Why? Well, Socialism, of course.
Fed Has Less Patience For ZIRP
Economic data will have something for everyone this week. The ISM reports (manufacturing and non-manufacturing) will likely be held down by unusually harsh weather and the Port closures. But, autos sales should remain strong and January jobs data are set for a gain close to 250,000.
Strong Dollar: Good, Not Bad
In fifteen short days, the bull market will be six years old. And, we’ve never seen such a steep wall of worry. Nouriel Roubini called it a “dead cat bounce.” Many said the recession wouldn’t end until 2010, maybe 2011. Supply-siders said the “Fiscal Cliff” would do us in. Keynesians said “The Spending Sequester” would end the boom.
QE and Currency Wars: A Theory With No Evidence
Some analysts think that central bank policy (specifically, quantitative easing) is the only thing that matters. They overlook innovation, investment, and just plain old hard work and argue that stock prices, interest rates and economic performance are driven by central bank stimulus. These analysts say the world has returned to a Depression-era game of competitive devaluation (some call it “currency wars”).
Rate Hikes Still A Few Meetings Away
No one expected the Federal Reserve to make any changes to monetary policy at today?s meeting and there were no surprises. The Fed continued to say it would be ?patient? before raising short-term interest rates, which means the Fed is very unlikely to raise rates through at least April.
GDP, Strong Again
With all the focus on Europe in general and Greece in particular, it?s important to keep in mind that the US economy continues to move forward. After real GDP dropped in the first quarter of last year, some analysts were predicting another recession. By contrast, we said the drop was due to unusually harsh winter weather and the economy would rebound quickly.
Davos - And the Euro
Perfect! Last week, the Swiss National Bank in reaction to market pressure, ended its crawling peg against the euro. The Swiss Franc surged 40% versus the euro, before settling around 20% higher, and roughly 17% against the already strong dollar. So, guess what? Attendees at The World Economic Forum ? an annual gaggle of the global financial elite held in Davos, Switzerland, which starts today ? just saw their trip get a lot more expensive.
Bullish, For the Right Reasons
Last week, we forecast the S&P 500 will hit 2,375 at the end of this year (link), so we?re obviously bullish on stocks. Our case is based on fundamentals, specifically, the long-term link between stocks, earnings, interest rates, and the economy as a whole. However, just because we?re bullish, doesn?t mean we agree with every bullish argument that?s out there.
2015: More Investment and Profits, Higher Rates, Dollar and Stocks
Contrary to popular opinion, business investment is a key factor behind the current recovery. Productive investments have boosted profits to record highs and, in turn, those profits have driven stock prices to record highs. They should continue to do so.
Rate Hikes To Start in 2015
Unlike most meetings, todays actions by the Federal Reserve were chock full of implications for the future course of monetary policy. At long last, the Fed finally removed the language in its statement that short-term interest rates will remain at essentially zero for a considerable time and replaced it with language that the Fed will be patient before starting to increase rates.
Oil Price: Looks Reasonable
A former economic colleague, and mentor, used to say: In the Bible, it says an ounce of gold will buy a fine suit of clothing. We have read the Bible, and we havent found this, although there could be some high-powered math, using talents, cubits, frankincense and myrrh that make it true.
Let's Finally Fix The CBO
If they came back today, the Founders of the United States wouldnt recognize the government they created 225 years ago. They put safeguards in place separation of powers, a bicameral legislature and reserved powers for the states to prevent it from growing so large.
Deflation Fears Are A Distraction
No matter what happens these days, deep fears, driven by breathless newscasters, take things to the extreme. As a result, slight gains in inflation create forecasts of hyper-inflation, while slowing or low inflation leads to fears of deflation.
Change Is In The Air
While many flay away, trying to figure out the meaning of last weeks GOP wave election, it seems simple. The government has tried for more than five years to turn a Plow Horse economy into a Race Horse, and failed. Yes, the economy is growing and creating jobs, but living standards are growing slowly, or not at all, for many.
Heads, I Win, Tails, You Lose
Up, down, sideways...it's all bad, all the time. Take oil, for example. Between September 2011 and March 2012, oil prices rose about 20%. This generated all kinds of "sky-is-falling" stories about consumers having less money to spend. But, recently, as oil prices headed south in May and June, do you think the negativity went away? Not! The Pouting Pundits of Pessimism said falling oil was a bad sign, signaling weak global demand. It's all bad, all the time. The glass is always half empty.
Stocks Are Really Cheap
America's equity markets have rallied sharply since last October, with the S&P 500 up 22%. Nonetheless, the stock market has been stuck in a range for 18 months, with the Dow Jones Industrial's Average trading between 10,650 and 13,280, well below the October 2007 high of 14,165. Financial markets have priced in all kinds of bad things a fiscal cliff, slower earnings growth, a potential recession, and big government. But, we think these markets are overly pessimistic.
Is Obama a Big Spender?
Last week, Rex Nutting, a reporter for MarketWatch, became famous when the White House used his analysis of government spending. He wrote that there has been no huge increase in spending under the current president. We like Rex Nutting. He seems like a fair-minded analyst. But we emphatically disagree. This is not personal, heck, its not even political. Data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows President Obama has been a huge spender.
Results 351–379 of 379 found.