Posts Tagged ‘stock market’
The general consensus among stock advisors is that the key stock indices will continue to go higher. Each day, I hear about another “bear” throwing in the towel and turning bullish on key stock indices.
“Don’t fight the fed or the tape; just buy stocks, and you’ll do fine” has become the norm again. Sadly, this worries me a lot because the fundamentals that drive the key stock indices higher are becoming weaker with each passing day.
As an example, for the third quarter, the corporate earnings growth rate for the S&P 500 companies was only 2.9%. To some, this might sound great, but look at these three facts: 1) corporate earnings were up 2.9% in the third quarter, but the stock market is up about 13% from the beginning of the third quarter; 2) corporate earnings growth so far in 2013 is running at its slowest pace since 2009; and 3) only 52% of the S&P 500 companies were able to beat revenue estimates for the third quarter. (Source: FactSet, December 6, 2013.) This suggests corporate earnings aren’t really coming from companies selling more, but rather from stock buyback programs and cost-cutting.
Troubles for corporate earnings don’t just end there. Corporate earnings are expected to be weaker in the fourth quarter. So far, of the 103 companies in the S&P 500 that have issued corporate earnings guidance, 89% of them have issued negative guidance!
And aside from corporate earnings, there is another problem brewing for key stock indices…
The chart below shows the dollar amount of stocks owned by households and nonprofit organizations. At the end of the third … Read More
There are approximately 118 component companies in this index, which makes its performance that much more impressive. Its return has been broad-based and substantial, and it’s likely to have continued momentum until monetary policy changes.
Biotechnology stocks are 100% risk-capital securities. But because there’s so much money in pharmaceuticals, it’s an equity market sector that’s worthy of some effort if you’re a speculator.
There are two unique features to biotechnology stocks that are not necessarily as prevalent in the rest of the equity market: 1) they have a tendency to trade on their own corporate developments, with less correlation to the action in the broader market; and 2) because so many biotechnology stocks are not going concerns, meaning that they are not established businesses but development companies that have little prospect of immediate profitability, extreme price volatility is a certainty.
Over the years, I’ve considered a number of biotechnology stocks in this column. There are several standouts in this market that continue to provide excellent returns to stockholders.
One large-cap company that continues to distinguish itself is Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB). This company developed a treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS), and while it is nowhere near a cure, the drug is helping treat patients with MS.
We first considered this stock near the end of April at $219.00 a share. The position consolidated for a while, then took off once again. Last month, when we looked at it, the stock was … Read More
Finally some good news in the U.S. jobs market?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday that, in November, 203,000 jobs were added to the U.S. jobs market. As a result, the unemployment rate went down to 7.0% from 7.3% in October. In addition to this, the BLS also revised the job numbers from October and September, saying 20,000 more jobs were created than previously reported. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 6, 2013.)
Yes, the jobs market report for November is a step in the right direction. And, while I’m certain the politicians and the mainstream will have a field day with this news, the underlying statistics in the jobs market are not improving.
The underemployment rate, which includes people who have given up looking for work and those who have part-time jobs that want full-time jobs, still sits at 13.2%.
In addition, the number of long-term unemployed, those who are out of work for more than six months, made up 37.3% of all unemployed in November! There are 4.4 million long-term unemployed people in the U.S. and the longer they stay out of work, the harder it will be for them to get back into the market.
Finally, the majority of jobs created in the U.S. economy continue to be created in the low-wage-paying sectors.
The bottom line here is that the “official” unemployment numbers do not reflect what’s really going on in the jobs market. But the official rate is going in the right direction…and moving close to the point (6.5% unemployment) where the Federal Reserve said it would start pulling back on its money … Read More
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