Economic growth

Why the Housing Market Points to Very Weak 2015 Economy

By Monday, November 3, 2014

Housing Market Points to Very Weak 2015 EconomyThe chart below shows us that between April and August of this year, home prices in the U.S. declined. The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index is only released 60 days after each month’s end, so while data for September and October are not yet available, based on what I’m about to tell you, five years after the Great Recession, the U.S. housing market is on shaky ground again.

According to … Read More

These Poor 3Q Earnings Reports Foretell 2015’s Economy

By Friday, October 31, 2014

Poor 3Q Earnings Reports Foretell 2015’s EconomyAccording to research by UC Berkeley, in 2012, the top one percent of income earners in the U.S. earned 22.5% of all the income. The bottom 90%, on the other hand, earned less than 50% of all the income. (Source: Pew Research Center, January 7, 2014.) Income inequality in the U.S. economy is the highest it has been since 1928. The rich are getting richer, and the poor are seeing … Read More

Why Wal-Mart’s Sales Downgrade Should Worry Investors

By Friday, October 24, 2014

Why Wal-Mart's Sales DowngradeOn November 30, Switzerland’s citizens will cast a very critical vote.

Through a referendum, they will vote for or against the Swiss National Bank increasing its gold bullion reserves to 20%, the central bank halting the selling of gold, and the storing of gold bullion in the country. (Source: Kitco News, September 30, 2014.)

If the results are in favor of the referendum, it will mean Switzerland’s central bank will … Read More

Why I Expect a Big Boost in This Company’s 2015 Dividend Payout

By Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Company 2015 Dividend PayoutEven with the recent price retrenchment, there’s not a lot of value circulating in this stock market. Everything’s already gone up and the capital gains have been great the last few years. But it’s still a slow-growth environment in the global economy, and despite a very accommodative monetary policy, stocks can’t go up forever without experiencing a meaningful retrenchment.

Company earnings are pouring in and there have been some disappointments. … Read More

Plunging Oil Prices Next Big Investment Opportunity?

By Friday, October 17, 2014

Declining Oil Prices the Market’s CatalystWhile corporate earnings continue to come in solid, stocks continue to be sold.

It’s not all the time that stocks follow oil prices, but they certainly have this time around and the selling momentum has gained on deflationary pressures from producer prices to declining expectations for global economic growth.

And the selling is happening to companies that beat consensus with their earnings, like J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (JBHT), which … Read More

Why Stock Prices Will Continue to Fall

By Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Stock Prices Will Continue to FallNow that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 1,035 points (six percent) from its mid-September peak, the question investors are asking is “how far will she go?” For small-cap investors, the drama is greater, as the Russell 2000 Index has fallen 12.5% from its July peak.

Since 2009, every market pullback presented investors with an opportunity to get back into stocks at discounted prices. Even some editors here at … Read More

Is This Stock Sell-Off Just a Blip?

By Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Is This Stock Sell-Off Just a BlipIf 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.

The company completed a major divestiture of its ortho-clinical diagnostics division during its … Read More

Why Stock Buybacks Will End Up Being a Terrible Investment for Companies

By Friday, October 10, 2014

Great Stock Buyback MirageIn these pages, I have been very critical about stock buybacks by companies on the key stock indices. I see them as nothing more than a form of financial engineering used to manipulate per-share corporate earnings…and a bad investment for the companies buying their stocks back.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg and the S&P Dow Jones Indices, companies on the key stock indices are expected to spend $914 billion … Read More

House Prices to Decline in 2015?

By Monday, September 15, 2014

House Prices to Decline in 2015As we progress to the end of 2014, my skepticism towards the U.S. housing market increases. In fact, the fate of home prices in 2015 is in question.

I don’t expect an outright collapse of the housing market like the one we saw in 2007, but I see the momentum in housing prices that began in 2012 and picked up in 2013 dissipating for several reasons.

First, according to Fannie … Read More

What the Worst Jobs Report of the Year Really Tells Us

By Friday, September 12, 2014

What We Found Buried in August’s Jobs ReportA week ago today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its jobs market report for the month of August. To say the very least, there was nothing in that report that says the labor market in the U.S. economy is back on its feet. In fact, the report painted a gruesome image of employment in this country.

In August, 142,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy—the lowest monthly … Read More