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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE/WMT) will raise minimum wages for more than 100,000 of its U.S. workers in some departments. This is the second time the world's largest retailer has announced a wage hike this year. (Source: Reuters , June 2, 2015.) Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is engaged in the…

In spite of some doom and gloom scenarios for the housing market, so far it has been full steam ahead as the sector continues to blaze along since bouncing out of the Great Recession in 2008. With interest rates and mortgage rates continuing to be relatively low, and with…

The current stock market sentiment is bullish and based on the charts, there are indications that the market wants to go higher, especially technology and small-cap stocks. The S&P 500 is eyeing another record-high and it may just reach it by the time you read this. While stock…

We all know how bad this winter has been so far. The harsh weather across the majority of the country has impacted jobs growth, commerce, housing, and consumer spending. Of course, with the spring season on the horizon, we’ll soon see if the weak economic metrics mentioned were…

The harsh winter conditions have negatively impacted the housing market, but the underlying long-term fundamentals appear to be in place and have not worsened. If the economic renewal continues, my sense is that the housing market will strengthen as we move along this year, which means continued opportunities…

Old Man Winter appears to be killing the retail sector and the economic renewal. Extreme cold and nasty weather has engulfed about 70% of the country, reaching as far south as Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas, which don’t traditionally experience winter weather. All that nasty weather means less…

Don’t for a second believe consumer spending in the U.S. economy is improving! J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE/JCP) has announced it will be closing 33 stores in the U.S. economy. By doing this, the retailer will save about $65.0 million a year starting in 2014. 2,000 employees…

There’s a significant cold spell out there in the Mid-East and Northeastern parts of the country. At the same time, the stock market has cooled down a little, beginning the year on a cautious note. I recently discussed my views for the stock market going forward and while…

The holidays are just around the corner, and for the restaurant sector, that means big business, as people shop, dine, and head to the theaters. From fast food outlets like McDonalds Corporation (NYSE/MCD) to steakhouses like Ruths Hospitality Group, Inc. (NASDAQ/RUTH), the holidays are a key time for…

This has clearly been the year of the bull, as the bears enter their fifth year of hibernation during what has been a spectacular bull market run. For those who have constantly called for the stock market to burn up, it hasn’t happened. The stock market clearly has…

I’m getting increasingly nervous about the current stock market and its vulnerability to the downside. We have a fragile economic renewal, weak corporate revenue growth, muted jobs growth, a housing market that’s stalling, an upcoming leadership transition at the Federal Reserve, and the government still needs to hammer…

Instead of the employment picture getting better in this country, it’s getting worse! In today’s jobs report, we’re told 169,000 jobs were added in the U.S. jobs market in August. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 6, 2013.) Aside from the fact we need a minimum of 200,000…

Finally, some good news for the U.S. economy? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just reported July existing-home sales increased in the U.S. housing market to an annual rate of 5.39 million homes—up 17.2% from July of 2012. (Source: National Association of Realtors, August 21, 2013.) And those…

The S&P 500 may be nearing a new record high, but trust me when I say there’s some nervousness growing in the market. I really don’t blame you if you want to take some profits. In fact, I insist. When I look for sectors that I feel are…

I love watching Chef Gordon Ramsay blowing a gasket in one of his many cooking shows, including Master Chef and Hell’s Kitchen. While the outbreaks are often quite hilarious, the popularity of cooking shows has grown over the past years since we first saw Iron Chef come on…

Politicians and the mainstream will certainly love this… Last week, Moody’s Investors Service changed its outlook on the U.S. national debt from negative to stable. (Source: Reuters, July 18, 2013.) Despite the credit reporting agency’s “upgrade” on U.S. national debt, my opinion remains the same: the U.S. national…

Wherever we turn to in the media today, we hear or read the U.S. economy is witnessing a period of economic growth. The media and politicians cite an improving luxury car market, rising real estate prices, and jobs growth. On the contrary, and as I have been writing…

While an economic slowdown is looming over the global economy, no one seems to care, as stock markets continue to reach new record-highs—giving investors false hopes of economic growth. But how long can this mirage actually last? The economic slowdown in the global economy I’m talking about is…

As I have written in these pages many times before, economic growth in a country happens when people are finding jobs, real wages are rising, consumers are spending, businesses are expanding and seeing their inventories decline, and the general standard of living is rising. But all of these…