Lombardi: Stock Market Commentary & Forecasts, Financial & Economic Analysis Since 1986

About That QE4…

By for Profit Confidential | October 20, 2014

Another Round of Money Printing Coming SoonIt’s widely expected that at the end of this month, the Federal Reserve will end its third round of quantitative easing (that began in September of 2012). This is QE3, where the Federal Reserve was printing $85.0 billion of new money every month and using it to buy U.S. Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities (MBS). In the beginning of 2014, the Fed started reducing the amount of money it was printing each month.

Is there another round of quantitative easing (more commonly known as QE) coming?

Here’s why I ask…

First, U.S. long-term bond yields are collapsing. Back in 2013, when the Federal Reserve hinted that it might move away from quantitative easing, we saw U.S. bond yields soar. Between May and December of 2013, yields on the U.S. 10-year notes almost doubled. But since then the unexpected happened.

10 Year Treasury Note Yield Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

Since the beginning of 2014, the yields on the same bonds have plunged 30%. Despite the Federal Reserve telling us it expects to raise interest rates in 2015 and 2016 (which would be catastrophic for bonds), bond prices are rising… Odd, to say the least.

Second, I hear hints about QE4 from key members of the Federal Reserve. In an interview with Reuters, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco said, “If we really get a sustained, disinflationary forecast…then I think moving back to additional asset purchases in a situation like that should be something we should seriously consider.” (Source: “Exclusive: Fed’s Williams downplays global risks, eyes U.S. inflation,” Reuters, October 14, 2014.)

In other words, if inflation in the U.S. economy doesn’t meet the Federal Reserve’s target of two percent, then the Fed should reconsider its thoughts on quantitative easing. Sadly, according to the official figures, inflation in the U.S. economy for the first eight months of the year was just 1.3%—we… Read More

Why This Company Is a Consistent Winner for Investors

By for Profit Confidential | October 20, 2014

One Company That’s Proven It Can Adapt to the MarketplaceAmid all the turmoil in capital markets, I’m reminded of all the good corporate earnings being released.

Of course, the stock market is a system of discounting future business conditions and the recent sell-off has been pronounced, but stocks have come so far over the last several years. If the catalysts were deflationary pressures among oil prices and global economic activity, a little haircut in share prices is well deserved.

One of the first businesses to show a real turnaround after the financial crisis sent stocks and the economy tanking was Winnebago Industries, Inc. (WGO).

The first thing that dries up when there’s a shock to the economy is spending on luxury items and/or non-essential products. Likewise, the recreational vehicle market is very sensitive to prevailing economic conditions. For a number of years now, however, Winnebago Industries has been on a turnaround roll.

Based in Forest City, Iowa, the company’s fourth fiscal quarter of 2014 (ended August 30, 2014) saw revenues improve a solid 15% to $246 million, up from $214 million in the same quarter last year.

The company reported that it experienced a 15% improvement in total motorhome sales. A 25% comparable gain in motorhome unit growth was offset by lower average selling prices.

Earnings came in solid with management noting particular bottom-line strength in towable recreational vehicles. Total fourth-quarter operating earnings grew 19% to $18.3 million. Net earnings grew to $12.9 million for a comparable quarterly gain of 22%, while net earnings per diluted share improved 26% to $0.48.

All in all, it was another very good financial report from Winnebago Industries and the company just reinstated its quarterly dividend ($0.09 per share), which has been on hiatus since October of 2008. (See “My Top Three Stocks in This ‘Alternative’ Housing Market Sector.”)

The company also finished it… Read More

Former Wall Street Tech Favorite Set for a Comeback

By for Profit Confidential | October 17, 2014

How This Former Wall Street Tech Star Is Making a ComebackThe financial media and analysts are talking endlessly about the state and fragility of the stock market and whether a bottom may be near. I discussed the vulnerability to the downside in my last article. If you missed it, you may want to go back and read what I said. (See “Strategies to Protect Your Capital While Investing in This Market.”)

While stocks appear to be heading to negative ground in 2014, I view continued weakness as a buying opportunity to accumulate some stocks at a discount.

For the majority of you, I would advise staying away from the higher-beta small-cap and momentum stocks at this time and wait for things to settle down. In other words, I want to see some sustained buying support emerge to show some evidence the downside selling is coming to an end.

In the meantime, take a look at some of the bigger S&P 500 and DOW stocks that have moved lower to much more attractive entry points.

In the technology area, I like what’s happening at former Wall Street darling Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ/MSFT) under the stewardship of CEO Satya Nadella.

While Nadella recently said some disparaging remarks on females in the workforce, what he has done at Microsoft since taking over from former CEO Steve Ballmer has been encouraging.

The rise in the stock price in Microsoft has even allowed Ballmer to pay an obscene $2.0-billon-plus for the LA Clippers. Ballmer’s failure to recognize and fully understand the big impact the mobile sector has on the technology space helped to make Microsoft insignificant for years.

MSFT Microsoft Corp Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

Nadella has shifted his focus to make Microsoft a much more relevant company for the technological age we are in. While the company is known for its “Windows” platform, Microsoft is looking to develop solutions for the mobile space.

The personal computer (PC) is not dead yet, but Microsoft has shifted its focus to smartphone… Read More

This is an entirely free service. No credit card required.

We hate spam as much as you do.
Check out our privacy policy.