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Low Consumer Confidence: A Nice Contrarian Indicator

By John S. Tobey

Throughout the summer, we’ve heard about declining consumer confidence (AKA, sentiment). The conclusion typically drawn is that low consumer confidence now likely means low consumer spending ahead. Until recently, warnings have been sounded about weak winter holiday sales. Now, however, consumer confidence readings are creeping back, and retail sales are actually looking good. How... »

Forget The Fed: Business Has Its Own QE3

By John S. Tobey

Official “Quantitative Expansion” (i.e., the Federal Reserve’s increasing the money supply by buying bonds) is no longer necessary. The money supply is now growing through normal, homegrown forces, and the growth started just as the Fed’s QE2 ended. This article is posted on SeekingAlpha.com »

The 3 C’s Needed for Investment Success – Now More Than Ever

By John S. Tobey

News reports, pundit predictions, radio talk shows and reader comments have reached loud, negative levels. Unbridled pessimism has sprung up regarding just about everything. Like last year at this time, events and facts have been blown out of proportion and only negative indicators are taken as the “truth” with which to forecast a trend.... »

Easy Money (2-cont.): Fed Policy Understates Money Growth

By John S. Tobey

During the Fed’s easy money policy, official money supply growth looks moderate. Therefore, there seems to be little indication of high inflation risk. However, the easy money policy has caused money supply dislocations. When adjusted for these, money supply growth increases appreciably, thereby raising inflation concerns. Here’s the situation… This article is posted on... »

Easy Money (2): U.S. Inflation Now at 4% – How Fed Dismisses the Signs

By John S. Tobey

In “Easy Money (1): Fed Touts Flawed/Risky Rationale,” we discussed the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee’s (FOMC’s) weak rationale for easy money. Today, we’ll cover how the FOMC dismisses clear signs of 4% inflation. This article is posted on SeekingAlpha.com. »

Fed’s Easy Money Policy Ignores an Important Warning Sign

By John S. Tobey

A key indicator is flashing a warning for the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) to back off its easy money policy. But the signal goes unheeded. How important is the indicator? Very. Here’s the situation… This article is on SeekingAlpha.com »

When Will Housing Recover? How About in 2011

By John S. Tobey

Ask someone when housing will return to normal and you will likely hear forecasts ranging from a few years to never. Why? The usual litany of conditions – especially weak employment. And now mortgage rates are over 5%! So, what about this proposition: That 2011’s housing market could be better than expected – even... »

Will Friday’s Employment Report Make This a Perfect Week?

By John S. Tobey

The US economy has gotten standing ovations this week. All five major reports for January have been better than expected – some significantly so (see table below). Just one report is left: Employment. (more) This article is posted on SeekingAlpha.com »

Forecast for Bondholders: How the Fed’s Dilemma Will Affect You

By John S. Tobey

Previously, I discussed whether the Fed was paying attention to inflation’s apparent resurgence (“Tame Inflation Just Growled – Is the Fed Listening?”). Today, let’s talk about the box the Fed is in, what its choices are and how the direction chosen would affect bondholders. (more) This article is posted on SeekingAlpha.com »

Tame Inflation Just Growled – Is the Fed Listening?

By John S. Tobey

The Wall Street Journal’s lead article says it all: “Global Price Fears Mount” (By Brian Blackstone and Marcus Walker, January 24, page A-1). Rising inflation concerns have reached the “something must be done” stage. Everywhere except here in the US, that is. Now that anti-inflation actions (i.e., interest rate increases) are being discussed or... »

Why Employment Could Get a Boost

By John S. Tobey

Much has been made about the latest jobs report. Does that report set the stage for a lackluster 2011? No. In fact, the forecast looks good – perhaps even rosy. »

Outlook 2011: Growth and a Return to Normality

By John S. Tobey

Commentators say 2010 was a year of “unexpected” economic and market gains in the face of worries, concerns and reversals. That’s because those pundits allowed 2009’s uncertainties to carry over into their thinking. Looking for the next big, bad event produced numerous false warnings and unfulfilled dire predictions. 2011’s outlook is for growth and... »

/Quick Point/ – James C. Cooper’s ‘Business Outlook’ Lives!

By John S. Tobey

Last January I wrote “Obituary: Business Week’s ‘Business Outlook’ Column” (January 27, 2010). Bloomberg’s takeover of Business Week resulted in the demise of the long-standing, valuable “Business Outlook” column and the loss of economist James C. Cooper, the Business Outlook’s editor since 1988. Now there is good news… »

The US Consumer Is Back and That Means…

By John S. Tobey

… the US economy is back. Forget the picture of deflated, fearful consumers keeping their 2/3 of the economy moribund. Normal times are upon us, making the 2011 outlook rosy. »

Unemployment and the Stock Market Following a Familiar Path

By John S. Tobey

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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