Michael's Personal Notes

On the topic of economic recovery, let’s check in on how the economies of China and the remainder of the world are faring. To be blunt, as if Europe wasn’t enough to worry about, news out of Asia is pointing to at least an economic slowdown in the…

Ominous signs about the economy have started early in 2012… A high-end retail sector company that weathered the 2008 and 2009 financial crisis quite well is now buckling under the pressure of a slowing economy in both Europe and the U.S. Tiffany & Co. (NYSE/TIF), the world’s second-largest…

This is a problem… Factory orders in Germany dropped the most in three years in November (Source:Economy Ministry,Berlin). Economic growth forecasting companies and institutes are quickly lowering their GDP forecasts for Germany this year. The weak November factory orders for Germany and new forecasts that GDP growth will…

Don’t be fooled by the U.S. job numbers for December released this morning… Economists were rejoicing about the job numbers report released by the U.S. Labor Department on Friday morning; 200,000 jobs were created in the U.S. in December, bringing the unemployment rate down to 8.5%. Below, my dear…

I’m going to be the first to make the call… The eurozone is in recession. The “official” number won’t reflect this for another three to six months, but I believe the eurozone has already entered a recession. Total GDP of the 17-member eurozone is about $12.5 trillion, with…

Two big eurozone countries are headed back to recession this year. Spain, the eurozone’s fourth largest economy, will fall back into recession in early 2012, according to a statement made by its Economy Minister.Spainhas the highest unemployment rate in the eurozone at a staggering 21.5%.Spainand its citizens are…

What will happen to the U.S. housing market in 2012? As we close out 2011, we will have experienced the fifth consecutive year that home prices in the U.S. have declined. According to the popular S&P/Case-Shiller Index,U.S. home prices are down 31% from their mid-2006 peak. Several reports…

A tale of two cities… I was in Manhattan this weekend and have to report to my readers, I’ve never seen it so busy. The city is booming. Walking on 5th Avenue after 11:00am is difficult because of the sea of people (forget even trying it at about…

Michael’s Personal Notes: My, how industries have changed, how times have changed, how the industries best performing stocks in play have changed. Yesterday, the iconic 64-year-old Saab Automobile Company said that it was filing for bankruptcy in Sweden. A total of 3,400 jobs are at risk. The company lost $260…

Happy to see someone’s buying stock… The year 2011 has been a difficult year for the stock market considering how well stocks performed in 2009 and 2010. Looking at the stock market and all the negative news we hear about the economy and the eurozone, it sounds like…

Over the past three trading days, gold bullion has lost roughly $100.00 an ounce. This correction is good medicine! The speculators who got into gold late are being taught a lesson. The weak money is leaving gold. This is exactly the type of healthy correction in the 10-year…

The year 2011 will mark the 11th consecutive year that gold bullion prices have closed the year higher than they started the year. Here are the raw numbers, the closing numbers of the price of gold bullion per ounce every year since 2000: 2000 - $273.00 2001 -…

There’s nothing I love more than a good, old-fashioned, American company success story…especially since they are so are to come by these days. Yesterday, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE/F), the number two U.S. automaker, announced that it was reinstating its dividend payments for the first time since 2006. Ford,…

This morning, the world’s largest restaurant chain, McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE/MCD), reported that stores open at least one year in November saw sales rise 6.5% in the U.S. McDonald’s, with over 33,000 stores worldwide, is often referred to as a benchmark stock; a leading indicator of consumer spending behavior.…

When everyone is on the bandwagon, that’s the time to get off… According to a report from the CFTC, short positions against the euro were at net $14.4 billion in the third week of November—a 17-month high. Seems everyone is betting against the eurozone and, with such a…

This morning, the Labor Department announced job creation of 120,000 in the U.S. in November and the unemployment rate has suddenly fallen to 8.6%. Sound like good news? Actually, when we look closer, it’s actually devastating job creation news. More than half the job creation in November came…

My fellow financial editor, Robert Appel, BA, BBL, LLB, sent the below e-mail alert yesterday. I feel it important to share with my Profit Confidential family of readers: “As we move into the last month of the year, we want readers to know that, on a balance of…

Back in October of 2009, I wrote a scathing editorial in the pages of PROFIT CONFIDENTIAL on my dislike for Bank of America Corporation (NYSE/BAC) stock (Why I Don’t Like the Bank Stocks). Back then, Bank of America stock was trading at $17.00; today it trades at $5.37.…