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Two Major Concerns About Overvalued Stock Market Prices

By Monday, November 17, 2014

Stock Market 60 OvervaluedThe 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

Dow Jones Transportation Stocks Suggesting Bullish Fourth Quarter?

By Friday, November 7, 2014

Where Are Stocks HeadedIn terms of stock market direction, the Dow Jones Transportation Average recently pushed through to another new record-high. The index retrenched along with the broader market in early October, but it fought back hard to just over 8,800.

Within the index, countless stocks have been doing well. Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK) slumped to $42.00 in the lead-up to its earnings report. Now, it’s almost $55.00 a share after reporting … 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

How the Markets Will Close Out 2014

By Friday, October 31, 2014

Markets Will Close Out 2014Credit 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

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

Another Solid Earnings Season Ahead for Existing Winners?

By Friday, October 10, 2014

Solid Earnings SeasonOne large-cap that always reports early is Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST). The company’s numbers came in solid.

Costco hit a wall not too long ago and was hard pressed to produce growth. But the company’s latest quarter beat the Street with considerable sales strength in the month of September.

In its most recent quarter, there was considerable growth in the company’s cash position and shareholders’ equity improved significantly.

For the … Read More

These Two Companies Set to Report Strong 3Q14 Results

By Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Strong 3Q14 ResultsMore good numbers are coming down the earnings pipeline, and if the broader stock market is going to take a well-deserved rest, corporate results are a positive indicator going into 2015.

Global Payments Inc. (GPN) is a very good business in terms of its financial growth. The Atlanta-based company is one of the world’s largest processors of credit and debit card payments and business is growing by the double-digits.

The … Read More

What the Smart Money Is Doing Now

By Friday, October 3, 2014

Smart MoneyAccording to the Investment Company Institute, assets in institutional money market funds increased $17.19 billion to $1.69 trillion for the week ended on September 24, 2014. This was the biggest weekly increase in these money market funds in the last five months. (Source: Investment Company Institute web site, last accessed October 1, 2014.)

This is critical: when institutional investors sense the risk of a stock market sell-off in key stock … Read More

The Nine-Month Check-Up

By Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Nine-Month Check-UpWith nine months behind us this year, today we look at how two popular forms of investment have done in 2014 and where I think they are headed for the remainder of the year.

Starting with stocks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed yesterday up 2.8% for the year. Given the risk of the stock market, 2.8% is no big gain. I wrote at the beginning of 2014 that the … Read More

Where the U.S. Dollar Is Headed and What It Means to You

By Monday, September 29, 2014

U.S. Dollar Is HeadedFor the U.S. federal government’s fiscal year, which ends this Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts a budget deficit of $506 billion. (Source: Congressional Budget Office web site, September 26, 2014.)

But just because our annual deficit is declining, that doesn’t mean our national debt is rising by an equal amount.

In fact, between September 20, 2013 and September 20, 2014, the U.S. national debt increased by $1.0 trillion. … Read More