By Michael Lombardi, MBA | October 31, 2014
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
By Mitchell Clark, B.Comm. | October 31, 2014
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
By Mitchell Clark, B.Comm. | October 29, 2014
It really is quite amazing the amount that spot oil prices have dropped. Naturally, in a lot of areas, the price of gasoline has not dropped the same percentage.
Lower oil prices help a lot of industries. The railroads and airlines, for instance, should show a material gain in earnings in the fourth quarter due to the drop in fuel costs.
It’s not a game-changer for oil producers just yet, … Read More
By Mitchell Clark, B.Comm. | October 27, 2014
Corporate earnings are flooding in, and while there are always disappointments—typically in not meeting Wall Street expectations—the numbers are pretty good.
The stock market was relieved when conglomerates started reporting. 3M Company (MMM) saw its share price pop almost five percent higher after beating estimates and reporting a solid improvement in U.S. market demand.
I continue to like this position for long-term, income-seeking investors. (See “Off-the-Radar Company Delivering Attractive Earnings.”)… Read More
By Mitchell Clark, B.Comm. | October 24, 2014
The big news so far this earnings season isn’t corporate financial results but the price of oil, which continues to be under pressure.
Domestic production has finally caught up to spot prices and combined with reduced expectations for the global economy, oil prices continue to be vulnerable.
Resource investing is inherently volatile; risk related to commodity-based investing is always higher. But as oil prices have given oil stocks a well-deserved … Read More
By Michael Lombardi, MBA | October 20, 2014
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
By Michael Lombardi, MBA | October 17, 2014
Over the past few months, I warned my readers the stock market had become a risky place to be. While I also suggested euphoria could bring the market higher than most thought possible—to the point of irrationality—the bubble has now burst. Key stock indices are falling and fear among investors is rising quickly.
Please look at the chart below of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) Volatility Index (VIX). This … Read More