Tag Archives: investing

Three Pillars of the Economy – Jobs and Wages, Corporate Profits and Housing

We live in a world of numbers. No where is this more prevalent than on Wall Street. It seems that we have an index for just about everything. Trying to follow all this data is quite overwhelming. For this discussion we’ve chosen three areas for review. For investors, this is a thumbnail of the “big picture” of the US economy. They are Jobs and Wages, Corporate Profits and Housing.
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Oil Prices and Production: Danger vs. Opportunity

The Chinese word for crisis has two characters – Danger and Opportunity. When we see the collapse of oil prices from more than $100.00 per barrel down to $45.00, clearly we have a crisis in the energy sector. The US oil industry has been hit hardest. A year ago the shale oil fracking industry was the darling of investors. Now, share prices have plummeted, companies are cutting back expenses, budgets are getting slashed, oil rigs are being taken out of service and the stage is set for some shale companies to go belly up. Shale oil is highly capital intensive and these companies are highly leveraged with huge debt.Continue Reading

NASDAQ in the Spotlight

Have you wondered why the NASDAQ has become so popular? It is now the driving force leading markets higher. Here are some highlights from the pages of the NASDAQ:Continue Reading

The Two Faces of Oil

Oil is a mysterious commodity. It trades with supply and demand numbers, yet it also trades with geopolitical events. It is an international commodity with each country buying or selling depending on their needs and domestic supply.Continue Reading

Investors – A Fresh Look at the Home Building Sector

The world is just a complete mess. Europe is teetering on the brink of deflation and is forced to initiate a QE program. Russia and Ukraine are battling it out for supremacy. ISIS terrorists are roaming the world for conquests. Japan is in a recession. China’s economy is slowing down. The only beacon of light is the United States. By all accounts our economy is in great shape. The latest jobs report was a smash hit. We added 257,000 new jobs in January. November and December jobs were revised upward to 414,000 in November and 329,000 in December. This is the 11th straight month of jobs numbers above 200,000. For the past three months we’ve added an average of 336,000 jobs. Weekly wages have risen 12 cents per hour. Consumer confidence is the highest in a decade. Car sales were up 14% in January. With all this good news what we’ve seen in January is a choppy market reacting to the highs and lows of international events and the sharp drop in oil prices. However, tucked in the jobs report is an interesting set of statistics. It has to do with the housing sector.Continue Reading

January 2015 – Turbulence Rules the Markets

Some market watchers hold that January sets the tone for the rest of the year. If this January is any indication we are in for a bumpy ride. The markets have reacted to cross winds both international and domestic.Continue Reading

The Election in Greece: Syriza Party’s Stunning Win

It was to be a grand thing, this Euro. It was the water that would raise all the boats of each European country and for 10 years it did just that. The headquarters was set up in Brussels. A troika would rule. It was the European Commission, The European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Each country could issue its own bonds. Interest rates fluctuated based on the relative economic strength of each country. Germany with its strong industrial capacity and exports rose to the top. The Southern countries of Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy lacked the exports. Instead they relied on the money from their bonds to put people to work in the public sector. What no one realized at the time was that all the new debt being issued would eventually need to be repaid in Euros, not their old currency. This inflated the debt.Continue Reading

A New Focus: Greece is Under the Microscope

Focus is changing to Europe. Events are happening there at lightening speed. From the recent assassinations in Paris to Greece and to Brussels, the headquarters of the Eurozone. So – let’s take a closer look. Continue Reading

2015 – How is the World Doing?

It might be helpful to take a reading on various countries at the beginning of 2015 to help investors decide where to place their bets in the coming year. Some trends are affecting all major world economies while others are country specific.Continue Reading

Big Banks Win – Derivatives are Back

Once upon a time in the long ago we had banks that lent money to individuals and companies to expand and grow the economy. During the Great Depression lawmakers saw the need to rein in and regulate banks’ activities. The Glass Steagall Act of 1933 ruled that banks could not become involved in selling or trading securities. Separate Investment banks were organized that could underwrite and sell securities but they could not use depositor money.Continue Reading