Monetary policy is the mechanism through which the supply of money is controlled by monetary authorities. The goal of almost every monetary authority around the world is stability of prices. If prices are unstable—either too high or, in some circumstances, decreasing—this causes unforeseen and unwanted consequences for the economy as a whole. Monetary authorities usually enact changes to interest rates for the purpose of changing the demand for money. Monetary policy can be either expanding, when interest rates are lowered and more money is available at a cheaper, or contracting, when interest rates are raised to make money more expensive to slow price increases.
Improving unemployment numbers added fuel to the rise in the U.S. dollar. While the U.S. dollar’s strength is likely to be a major issue this year, long-term investors shouldn’t worry.
Let me explain…
U.S. Dollar Gaining Strength
There is a glimmer of hope, as the U.S. dollar index (a measure of the U.S. dollar’s strength relative to a number of other currencies) hits multiyear highs…. Read More
Lots of corporate earnings are still streaming in for the third quarter, though mostly among smaller-cap companies. Top-line growth certainly isn’t robust, but it’s not bad either. The surprise I’ve noticed in third-quarter reporting has been the profitability. There has been plenty of double-digit comparable earnings growth on single-digit sales reported…. Read More
Credit card companies are some of the best indicators in the global economy. Visa Inc. (V) just reported a pretty decent quarter. While earnings were down comparatively due to a one-time charge, adjusted earnings handily beat consensus.
The company’s fiscal fourth quarter came in solid, with growth of 10% on a constant dollar basis to $3.2 billion compared to the same quarter last year…. Read More
If there’s one thing the stock market needs, it’s a distraction from global growth worries and geopolitical events. And corporate earnings are the ticket for that as this season’s numbers are starting to pour in.
Pharmaceutical benchmark Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) once again beat Wall Street consensus, generating another good quarter of both sales and earnings growth…. Read More