U.S. Economic Analysis

Before answering that question, I should probably say who we are running against, which would be emerging economies. Most Canadians, myself included, have been lamenting as of late about Canada losing large and important head offices to foreign takeovers. How (and can we?) compete against new multinational companies…

I often like to write about a group of favorite companies. I've been fortunate to have gained of lot of stock market experience from an early age and I've found that really successful companies are much more likely to remain long-term wealth creators. This, as opposed to mediocre…

The struggle continues for video rental company Blockbuster Inc. (NASDAQ/BBI) as it battles declining sales at its stores and a rising trend in online rentals and video-on-demand. The company had misjudged the growing importance of the online DVD rental market, which has been on a strong positive trend.…

For years, while Americans were taking out outrageous loans to buy homes they couldn't afford with no money down and at ridiculous variable interest rates, Canadians just shook their heads in disbelief, wondering how and if their neighbors would ever be able to dig themselves out of bottomless…

Markets just passed the midway point of this year and it looks rocky at this time given all of the risk factors such as high oil prices, interest rates, inflation, the economy, and earnings.  The second quarter was not something to remember as markets corrected and whether a…

We are now in a period of significant weakness for the broader stock market. Despite the solid first quarter showing from corporate earnings, inflation and interest rate fears will take over all trading action in stocks over the near-term. This is why you need to be sitting on…

It is hard to ignore the story about the takeover of Falconbridge, particularly after the company made an unusual move last week. Namely, Falconbridge decided to announce its financial results for, get this, one month! The company's execs justified their decision by wanting to give the investors the…

If you own U.S. dollar-based assets such as stocks and bonds, you really need to think about diversifying your portfolio. The trend for the USD is down and I expect it will continue to drift lower. Just last week, the USD fell to a 25-year low against the…

In past commentaries, I discussed the need for geographical diversification to helped aid and mix up portfolio returns. Investing in foreign stocks can also help to minimize currency risk. I wrote about looking at hot stock markets in Asia such as India, Jakarta, and Korea along with Mexico,…

What if you woke up one morning to the news oil had surpassed $100 U.S. a barrel? As a consumer, you'd likely be upset that it would cost so much more to fill up your vehicles. As an investor, you'd probably be kicking yourself for not owning some…

Yesterday I wrote about the bad news in the U.S. new home market and how new home prices actually declined 2.2% in March 2006 from a year earlier. I often write about activity in the U.S. housing market because right now it's likely the single most delicate industry.…

I'm starting to believe that reporters never get a story right. In specific, I'm talking about last week's news that March new home sales rose by 13.8%. The stock market happened to be up that day and I saw three news reports on the Internet claiming the market…

And the truth is. The U.S. Federal Reserve plays very close attention to the stock market. Why? Because history has proven that the direction of the stock market most likely leads the economy by several months. In the spring of 2000, NASDAQ stocks started a one-year decline which…

A major trade war appears to be brewing, pitting the United States against the new evil empire--China. This is not new, but now we will see how determined the U.S. is regarding its surging trade deficit with China. As I commented recently, the battleground is set. The U.S.…

Last week's U.S. government auction of two-year notes drew the weakest demand in nine months. Demand for the $22 billion in U.S. treasuries trying to be sold was much weaker than expected. Bloomberg News quoted Robert Auwaerter of Vanguard as saying. "the market is extremely concerned about the…

The number of bankruptcy claims soared over the last month or so, just before the new bankruptcy laws came into effect on Monday.  The new policy is aimed at reducing the number of people who file bankruptcy with the intent of evading personal debt.  Up until now, the…

It's time to think about gas. Not the kind of gas you put in your car, but the kind you heat your home with and big power plants use to generate electricity. More and more, our economy needs natural gas. There is, however, less and less of the…

As many as 40 impoverished nations could see upwards of $55 billion in loans forgiven after governors with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have finally supported a plan to do just that. The plan is expected to be finalized by the end of the…

Residents of Louisiana and Mississippi felt the wrath of Hurricane Katrina early Monday morning, as she ripped through the states, leaving behind her a wake of destruction and despair. Substantial personal losses aside, the financial effects of Katrina might be the most devastating hurricane damage in recorded U.S.…

Earlier this year, The World Health Assembly, The World Health Organization's (WHO) governing body, met to discuss contingency plans in the case of a flu pandemic sweeping the globe. China's recent troubles with the Avian Influenza, a subtype of what we know as "the Flu" have been putting…