Investors Are Piling Into Safe Havens on Coronavirus Fears
Gold mining stocks have broken out, with several hitting new 52-week highs this week. Gold royalty and streaming companies, including Franco-Nevada and Wheaton Precious Metals, also hit fresh 52-week highs.
Why Americans Want Socialism
I don’t believe they really want socialism. Few even understand what it is. What they want is change. They see little hope for improvement in their situations, no matter how hard they work and sacrifice. They don’t see anyone in authority trying to help them. So, when someone offers what sound like easy answers, they jump aboard.
Tech Stocks Should Be Prominent in ESG Portfolios
The Wall Street Journal criticized ESG portfolios earlier this month for being dominated by big technology stocks. But we think technology stocks are integral to a responsible investing agenda when chosen as part of a well-defined process targeting companies that foster environmental, social and governance (ESG) improvements.
More of the Same
The economy was mixed in 2019. Consumer spending, while uneven, was relatively strong, supported by solid fundamentals. Business fixed investment and manufacturing were weak, but not “recessionary weak.” January data are to be taken with a grain of salt – seasonal adjustment is huge and weather (good or bad) can exaggerate – but figures point to more of the same.
Peace for Our Time
The cognitive dissonance in the credit market is stunning. I recently have had the feeling that I’m living peaceably in Britain during the 1930s while on the continent the Germans were building weapons, expanding their army and navy, and opportunistically grabbing land.
Women’s Unique Considerations around Money
No matter what industry you work in, being a woman brings unique challenges that men don’t have to deal with. The response isn’t to resign ourselves or get overly caught up in fighting for systemic change. Instead, identify what those challenges are and get the resources you need to overcome them.
Immediate Annuities May Fit Into Retirement Plan
I advise against variable, indexed (i.e., equity-indexed and fixed-indexed), and other similar annuities that pay high commissions, have high surrender charges or have high annual fees. But SPIAs may have a role in retirement plans.
Consumer Price Index: January Headline at 2.49%
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the January Consumer Price Index data this morning. The year-over-year non-seasonally adjusted Headline CPI came in at 2.49%, up from 2.29% the previous month. Year-over-year Core CPI (ex Food and Energy) came in at 2.26%, unchanged from the previous month and above the Fed's 2% PCE target.
Closer Look At February
A late month selloff in January saw the S&P 500 Index close marginally lower for the month. But stocks have taken off in February, with the S&P 500 up nearly 4% this month, as US economic data remains strong and fears over the worst-case scenarios for the coronavirus appear overblown.
Jobs, Coronavirus, and the Budget
In January, US payrolls expanded by 225,000, not only beating the consensus forecast, but also forecasts from every single economics group. Since January 2019 (12 months ago), both payrolls and civilian employment – an alternative measure of jobs that includes small-business start-ups – are up 2.1 million.