Stock Market Forecast for 2015
Going into 2015, my economic outlook is not optimistic on stocks. I don’t expect to see key stock indices perform anywhere close to how they did in 2014 or recent previous years. In fact, it wouldn’t be a surprise to me if we see them decline for the first time since 2009.
I say this because there are many negative factors at play for stocks…. Read More
The value of the U.S. dollar is anchored in trust. As a fiat currency, the U.S. dollar isn’t linked to any physical reserves, like gold or silver; it’s just paper. For the U.S. dollar to be worth anything, it has to be backed by an economy people have faith in. Otherwise, the U.S. dollar would collapse… Read More.
Regardless of its intentions, the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE) experiment has left
The amount of money investors are borrowing to buy stocks is skyrocketing.
In September of this year, margin debt on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stood at $483.87 billion—a new record-high. When the stock market was forming a top in 2007, margin debt was at a “then” record-high of $329.51 billion. Margin debt on the NYSE is now 47% higher than just before the previous big market sell-off. (Source:… Read More
Ask even an amateur economist, and they will tell you this: an increasing money supply eventually leads to inflation. It’s a simple concept; the more paper money there is in the system, the less it’s worth and the less it buys.
And this is exactly what is happening in the U.S. economy. The money supply is growing at a fast rate when compared to historical averages.
Consider the chart below… Read More
It’s finally over…
The quantitative easing programs initially started by the Federal Reserve six years ago are (for now) history.
In its statement on October 29, the Federal Reserve said, “Accordingly, the Committee decided to conclude its asset purchase program this month.” (Source: “FOMC Statement,” Federal Reserve, October 29, 2014.)
The reason for ending the quantitative easing: “The Committee judges that there has been a substantial improvement in the outlook… Read More
According 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
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.
Recently, the company increased its quarterly… Read More
It’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… Read More
Amid 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…. Read More