Archive for July, 2010

Consumer Sentiment: Leading Indicator or Reflection of Today’s News?

Friday, July 30th, 2010
Consumer Sentiment: Leading Indicator or Reflection of Today’s News?

Consumer sentiment and confidence surveys make the headlines and influence the stock market (for the day, at least). The thought is that people’s feelings influence their spending. And with consumer spending making up a large part of the economy… The question is are those feelings prescient and stable – a leading indicator that can... »

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US Stocks Clearing Their First Hurdle

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
US Stocks Clearing Their First Hurdle

Company earnings reports are coming in better than expected, and they are causing stocks to jump. This is the test I wrote about in “US Stock Market’s Trend About To Be Tested” (June 29): “Bearish investors need to tread carefully in this stock market. The very attractive valuations make betting against the market especially... »

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Bond Rating Agencies Now Held Liable – Why That Is a Good Thing

Friday, July 23rd, 2010
Bond Rating Agencies Now Held Liable – Why That Is a Good Thing

A provision in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is the liability of bond rating agencies (e.g., Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s) whenever their ratings are included in formal SEC registration materials. The result: The bond rating agencies now are  disallowing their ratings from being used. Without them, securitized bond offerings... »

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Oops! The Wall Street Journal Forgets How the Dow Jones Industrial Average Is Calculated

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
Oops! The Wall Street Journal Forgets How the Dow Jones Industrial Average Is Calculated

The weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal carried the headline: “BofA Drives Dow Drop” (July 17-18, by Donna Kardos Yesalavich, page B-11). The problem is that Bank of America, in spite of its 9.2% Friday decline, is too small to have much effect on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). Too small? Yes,... »

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Do Those Unemployment Stories Seem Scary? Take a Look at These Facts

Friday, July 16th, 2010
Do Those Unemployment Stories Seem Scary? Take a Look at These Facts

Articles continue to be written about the high unemployment rate and its associated misery. Some pundits use the rate as the keystone of their dire economic forecasts. Interviews with the long-time unemployed are used to highlight the supposed widespread pain. Mention the 10% unemployment number (it’s actually 9.5%, down from 10.1%, but people still... »

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A Double Dip to Enjoy: Interest Rates

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
A Double Dip to Enjoy: Interest Rates

There continues to be an ongoing discussion about the economy potentially double dipping (AKA a repeat performance of the 2007-2008 bad times). Along with that worry is the stock market plummeting, with some pundits predicting a calamitous plunge. (I think Robert Prechter holds the current record with his Dow Jones Industrial Average forecast of... »

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Unemployment and the Stock Market Following a Familiar Path

Friday, July 9th, 2010
Unemployment and the Stock Market Following a Familiar Path

Concerns continue to surround unemployment, particularly with the stock market’s recent decline. However, the unemployment and stock market patterns are continuing to follow a “normal” route. Here is how this period compares to others. »

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The New Housing Subsidy: Affordability

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010
The New Housing Subsidy: Affordability

You would think today’s mortgage rates of near 4.5% would bring happiness. Instead, some see the low rates as a sign of housing’s weakness, a measure of buyers’ difficulty in getting mortgage loans and/or an indicator of coming deflation. The rate decline does offer good news as we move into the summer home selling... »

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This Stock Market Decline Is Painful

Friday, July 2nd, 2010
This Stock Market Decline Is Painful

It is agonizing and frightening to watch money disappear quickly. The stock market is notorious for periodically shaking the confidence of all investors. This week’s stock market downdraft is the perfect environment to create panicky feelings. What’s an investor to do when the news is bad, advisers are predicting more to come and the... »

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