Housing Market

The housing market continues to be in the doldrums and I continue to see this as a major risk for the economy and stocks. The reality is that the steady reduction in home wealth could cause a "poverty effect" to occur that makes homeowners feel they are less…

Back in 2007, I predicted that, by the time the fallout in the U.S. housing market was over, at least one major American homebuilder would go bankrupt. While many smaller homebuilders have closed their doors since last summer, on Monday, WCI Communities, Inc., a major large player in…

We are in a bear market, folks. This means you need to be careful in your trading and watch your risk management and exposure at all times or you could face some major losses. We are seeing bearish sentiment and higher risk in the financial sector, which I…

Stock markets continue to trade cautiously with swings in both directions, although the overriding bias is negative, with selling surfacing after major upside moves. The DOW had two straight 100-point declines last Monday and Tuesday prior to some buying on Thursday, as the barometer of blue-chip performance wavered…

There used to be a saying that your home is always your best investment. But by the time the current housing bust in the U.S. is over, American consumers might not look at their homes as a source of wealth accumulation for years to come. Early this morning,…

Last week was the first in four that the stock market pulled back. The media will be quick to point at the poor economy for the market's softness. You know the stories all too well by now: Rising foreclosures, subprime problems and falling housing prices are to blame…

The news continues to be bad in the housing market. A friend down the street from me just sold his home, but had to settle for below his asking price, which in our neighborhood has not generally happened in close to a decade. In fact, now we are…

There is nothing new in the depressed housing market except that it continues to be worrisome because of its negative impact on consumer wealth and spending. The National Association of Realtors just released data that pointed to a weak March for sales of existing homes, with the median…

Now that the Fed has made available a lot more money for financial institutions to tap if they want to, perhaps we can get on with the business of affecting stock market sentiment. Make no mistake; there's all kinds of money floating around the world, which was already…

On the troubled housing front, the news continues to be negative. Applications for building permits fell by three percent, according to the Commerce Department. In addition, the sales of existing homes in January declined to its lowest point in about nine years, with the median price for a…

All you see these days are headlines like "Recession Fears," "Credit Crisis," "Recession or Depression?," "Stock Markets in Tailspin" and so forth. Doom and gloom galore wherever you look. Where are the optimists? They're too few and far between, and those who admit to being optimistic more often…

House prices are falling. Stock prices are falling. Car prices are falling. Prices for most merchandise (especially electronics) are falling, thanks to the continuing glut of cheap imports from China. The real risk in today's economy, my dear reader, is not recession (even though we are going to…

The stock markets are under extreme duress at this time, as increased concerns regarding the state of the U.S. economy and consumer spending have raised the probability that a recession could occur this year. The impact on financial companies has been significant from the fallout in the housing…

Price levels are rising. The annualized inflation rate in Canada has picked up the pace, increasing from 2.4% in October to 2.5% in November. But I should be more specific, for it was the expanded inflation rate that has risen, while the core inflation rate has actually slowed…

The largest international act of economic co-operation since 9/11 took place yesterday, as the U.S. Fed and four other world central banks said they would pump billions of dollars into the credit markets to alleviate the squeeze started by the subprime problems. How did the stock market respond…

As the world financial markets continue spinning out of control, the world's major central banks, including our very own Bank of Canada, have decided to come to the rescue. The goal: calming the pressures in the short-term lending markets. The cavalry: The Bank of Canada, the U.S. Federal…

Nasty. That's the only word to describe the stock market's reaction yesterday to the U.S. Federal Reserve's meager quarter-point interest-rate cut. The S&P 500 was down 2.5%, the Dow Jones Industrial lost 2.1%. The market wanted deeper rate cuts Tuesday and the Fed simply didn't deliver. While interest-rate…

So, parity was nice, wasn't it? But the Canadian central bank cut its key lending rate yesterday, mostly prompted by worsening real estate and credit markets in the U.S. (?), as well as due to troubling numbers coming from our own economy (shrinking exports and lower consumer spending).…

In a speech to the Economic Club of New York on Monday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned that the worsening problems in the housing market that have ravaged homeowners and the subprime mortgage market would probably be a "significant drag" on economic growth heading into 2008. Bernanke…

A significant concern in the market and economy continues to be the potential negative impact of the continued softness of the U.S. housing market along with subprime and credit concerns on the U.S. economy. As I discussed recently, the July housing market numbers continued to reflect the turmoil…