Article Index
Corporate Earnings

In these pages, I have been very critical about stock buybacks by companies on the key stock indices. I see them as nothing more than a form of financial engineering used to manipulate per-share corporate earnings…and a bad investment for the companies buying their stocks back. According to…

Finally, some good news for the U.S. economy? Last week, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 248,000 jobs were created in the U.S. economy in September, pushing the unemployment rate down to 5.9% from 6.1% the previous month. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 3, 2014.) The…

Earlier this month, Jeremy Siegal, a well-known “bull” on CNBC, took to the airwaves to predict the Dow Jones Industrial Average would go beyond 18,000 by the end of this year. Acknowledging overpriced valuations on the key stock indices are being ignored, he argued historical valuations should be…

One of the oddest things to happen with the stock market since it has recovered is that the number of shares trading hands each day has slowly disappeared. In the table that I have created for you below, I list the trading volume for the S&P 500 for…

The earnings are beginning to flow and it’s a total mixed bag out there again. Carnival Corporation (CCL) beat the Street with its second-quarter numbers, with cruise line sales growing four percent over the second quarter of 2013. Guidance, however, was mediocre and the position sold off on…

When I look at the stock market, I ask who in their right mind would buy stocks? While key stock market indices creep higher, the fundamentals suggest the complete opposite. But despite valuations being stretched, insiders selling, corporate revenue growth being non-existent, and the U.S. economy contracting in…

Oracle Corp. (ORCL) reports on Thursday and it’s one of the first large corporations to do so this reporting season. Second-quarter earnings season is just about here, and it’s exactly what the stock market needs now. The lull between earning seasons can make for some wacky trading action.…

Don’t buy into the notion that there’s economic growth in America! We’ve already seen U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) “unexpectedly” decline in the first quarter of 2014, and now there are signs of another contraction in the current quarter. (The technical definition of a recession is two negative…

With the Dow Jones hitting 17,000 being pretty likely in the not-too-distant future, from there, it’s only another 18% or so until the Dow hits 20,000, which is pretty incredible. These numbers seemed so unrealistic just a few years ago but now, it’s not too farfetched. The most…

There’s one long-term investing adage that has shown a great amount of success over the years: buy when everyone is fearful and sell when optimism is over the top. This theory worked extremely well when key stock indices fell to their lowest levels. It worked in 1987, in…

In the first quarter of 2014, Retail Metrics, a retail industry research firm, found U.S. retailers missed their corporate earnings estimates by the most since the year 2000! As I have been writing, consumer spending only increases when consumer confidence is rising. Unfortunately, in the U.S. economy today,…

Yesterday was an amazing day for the markets. Gold bullion hit a three-month low despite: 1) inflation rising rapidly in North America; and 2) the Chinese buying half of this year’s world gold production. The stock market was up to a new high despite: 1) corporate insiders selling…

When we asked our readers what they enjoy reading the most on Profit Confidential, less than 10% of them said they like to read about the eurozone. We understand it’s not a topic of interest with the majority of our readers, but I can’t stress enough that what’s…

One of the oldest and most reliable ways to assess the value of the stock market is to look at its price-to-earnings (P/E) multiple. This multiple measures how much investors are willing to pay for each dollar of earnings. P/E multiples of 15 mean investors are willing to…

If you want to see what happens when irrationality over a stock comes to an end, check out this chart of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ/AMZN). In 2013, Amazon.com stock went up 63%. So far this year, the stock has collapsed 25% as investors realize converting growing revenues into corporate…

Did you see this story in the Wall Street Journal last Friday? “Retirement investors are putting more money into stocks than they have since markets were slammed by the financial crisis six years ago… Stocks accounted for 67% of employees’ new contributions into retirement portfolios in March… That…

It’s frustrating each morning to hear the anchors on the financial news channels say key stock indices are poised to open higher when you know the fundamentals are tormented…but it goes on day after day, week after week, month after month. Dear reader, if there is one old…

The numbers are flowing and growth is hanging in there. Citing a “re-engagement” by retail investors, TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (AMTD) reported a record activity rate in the first quarter of approximately 492,000 trades per day for a comparative quarterly gain of 8.1%. The company generated record first-quarter…

The concept of corporate earnings being the single biggest factor that drives key stock indices like the S&P 500 higher has been thrown out the window. While I continue to see analysts issue buy recommendations for the S&P 500, the fact of the matter is that profits at…

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered its growth forecast for the global economy. It says the world economy will now grow by 3.6% in 2014 and 3.9% in 2015; it grew at three percent in 2013. (Source: International Monetary Fund, April 8, 2014.) I see the IMF…