Low-volatility investments are just one more way to chase heat.
Earnings expectations are likely still too low.
Bank rules might get a bit easier and tougher, but this week’s developments are more spectacle than anything else.
Another Affordable Care Act rule has been delayed. Markets have largely brushed off the legislation so, in our view, these delays likely get the same response.
Congress is debating unwinding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but in our view, near-term market impact is likely limited as too many factors remain unknown.
Headlines are focused on BOE Governor Mark Carney’s monetary policy statements, but his regulatory actions might be more impactful for the UK economy and markets.
Dodd-Frank turned three years old over the weekend, yet many rules remain unwritten—and some seem poised to stay that way.
Technocratic thinking is infesting economics—and enfeebling it.
Japanese equity markets and growth surged in Q1, but absent necessary structural and economic reforms, is it sustainable?
EU finance ministers continue debating how to treat uninsured depositors when banks fail.
Despite a seemingly pro-business move lowering some taxes on Monday, Hollande’s future legislation likely doesn’t stay on this, or any, set path.
It seems Japanese economic reform may be on ice for now as Abe takes aim at the constitution.
Fitch seemingly Xeroxed Moody’s arbitrary rationale in downgrading the UK’s credit rating Friday.
The Italian presidential election and Germany’s approval of Cyprus’s bailout dominated eurozone news on Thursday.
Portugal’s political and economic (relative) calm’s been recently disrupted—does this mean rocky territory from here on out?
Cyprus voted ‘no’ on seizing deposits and may have another plan in mind.
A forced seizure of Cypriot bank deposits is bad policy, but the global fallout appears limited.
From Dodd-Frank’s incomplete grade to Brazil’s efforts to undo self-inflicted wounds, here’s a brief look at stories that caught our eyes Friday.
There seem to be a number of trends in the energy industry converging—how they play out depends largely (for better or worse) on politicians’ decisions.
The development and implementation of regulation rooted in 2008’s financial crisis has largely been slow. And overall, that’s a good thing.
Two Greek defaults couldn’t derail markets in 2012.
Often, the unintended consequences of government action are rather predictable—sometimes, though, even the unintended consequences are a surprise.
Our annual list of reasons we’re thankful this year.
The eurozone and China dominated headlines Thursday, but news was largely as expected, save for a few interesting twists.
Examining the potential economic and market impact of natural disasters.
Crony capitalism, debating capital in the Capitol and a “critical” summit in Belgium’s capital.
Thailand’s ill-advised experiment with rice markets is already showing signs of unraveling.
Our minds were divided Tuesday, covering North Korean agricultural reforms, demographic argument debunking and transcontinental airline merger proposals largely underpinned by silly legislation.
Rising corn prices this summer aren’t only being driven by a drought.
Recent upward revisions to some UK economic data don’t quite square with growing calls for fiscal stimulus.
Is Iceland’s return to economic growth a model for the eurozone?
A famed economist’s centennial, India’s blackouts and China’s gradual financial system liberalization were in the headlines Tuesday.
Greece’s past and present show the truth in words Greek revolutionary hero Lord Byron penned two hundred years ago.
Spain successfully auctioned short-term debt, US industrial production nicely beat estimates and benign US inflation figures met with some odd media conclusions on a busy Tuesday.
Our midweek mash-up of new (and not-so-new) news.
In which we sample Spanish yields, European finger-pointing, ratings agency wrangling and a healthy slice of free trade.
A midweek mash-up of news that caught our eye.
While many ponder the best ways government can aid economic growth, we have a not-so-small suggestion.
European officials continue to bicker over Basel 3 implementation, adding to political intrigue.
A brief review of PIIGS updates from Thursday.
A brief rundown of China’s GDP, Hungarian political posturing and eurozone bond auctions.
A look at Spanish yields, recent US economic and legislative news and renewed drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico.
Stocks continued 2011’s volatile pattern on Wednesday—but that doesn’t negate the list of things to be thankful for this year.
Although sentiment continues to be dour, a preponderance of the evidence shows underappreciated economic strength.
Recent legislation and its unintended consequences have us asking for a little more conversation and a little less action.
Picking apart financial news and reading between the lines are critical to successful investing.
The bull market looks likely to continue in 2011 but with important differences from the past two years.
The US government may currently be in deep debt, but it's not necessarily a cause for alarm.
A recent executive order seeks to clean house in Washington and hints at a more moderate political climate.
|Strong demand met the eurozone's first jointly backed bonds to aid Ireland. |
|As a new year in sovereign funding gets under way, euro scrutiny may heat up a bit. |
|The ability to think relatively is one of humanity's great strengths—especially in investing.|
|Despite being in negative territory as late as mid-September, markets are now decidedly up for the year. |
|The White House struck a deal with congressional Republicans on Bush-era tax cuts Monday night.|
|Despite rampant worry, stocks are proving resilient in 2010.|
|Ireland officially requested aid as the ruling party announced it will dissolve the government after an impending budget vote. |
|While much attention is paid to various European nation's sovereign debt, behind the scenes European corporations are strong and positioned well.|
|Stocks took a dive on another round of recycled worries Tuesday. |
|Euro worries are bubbling up again, but any risk remains firmly in the future. |
|The MSCI World and S&P 500 returned to pre-correction highs this week with very little fanfare. |
|Mobile computing technology is exploding in Emerging Markets, which is a windfall for the global economy. |
|US industrial production fell in September—but investors needn't worry much over small monthly fluctuations. |
|Global economic prosperity is possible, and Germany shows how it's achievable. |
|Investors devoured the Fed minutes from its latest meeting. |
|Midterms elections are fast approaching, and politicians are talking taxes. |
|Japan surprised investors with its particularly dovish monetary policy announcement Tuesday. |
|Few admit it, but recovery is almost over and expansion almost here. |
|Look past the headlines—and the unemployment lines may be getting shorter.|
|The Fed's most recent policy statement was sparse as ever, intimating the central bank remains flexible. |
|China will eventually have to free its capital markets and currency, but doing so gradually may be preferable to forcing the issue.|
|Lehman Brothers is history, but the fallout from its failure still seems fresh. |
|If you believe the media hype, 2010 might seem like a lost cause, but there's still plenty of time for global stocks to have a solid year. |
|Investors refocused on Europe Tuesday—the latest shift in this year's bearish back-and-forth. |
|Central banks remain flexible as credit conditions continue to thaw.|
|Wednesday's global manufacturing data effectively pulled another leg out from under the double-dip table. |
|To properly frame the US double-dip debate, global investors need to keep the whole world in mind. |
|Existing home sales fell more than expected in July, the month after the homebuyer tax credit expired. |
|Political gridlock is increasing all over the world—a good thing for markets. |
|After a week of worry and whispering, the Treasury's conference on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was a yawner. |
|China surpassed Japan in Q2 as the world's second largest economy. |
|Historically, hiring follows on the heels of corporate capital spending—which is already underway. |
|Global trade is booming—and that's bullish. |
|As the risk of a Greek default gets slimmer, all of Europe appears on steadier economic ground. |
|Cash-rich companies are further building reserves by borrowing at ultra-low rates. |
|Global manufacturing expanded again in July 2010, but you wouldn't know from the dour headlines. |
|PIIGS debt auctions are garnering less and less attention in the financial media–and no news is good news. |
|A more moderate amendment to the global book of bank rules gained wide acceptance Monday—alleviating more financial uncertainty. |
|Q2 2010 corporate earnings are exceeding expectations, a trend that looks likely to continue. |
|Recent market negativity—including Friday's sell-off—has some questioning the recovery. But what do chips have to say to the dip?|
|As expected, Congress passed Wall Street reform on Thursday. Given the resulting hodge-podge of studies and feckless changes, was the goal real reform or political gain?|
|Signs show PIIGS and the eurozone aren't doing as badly as feared. |
|Japan's latest election results show yet another political power shift. |
|The ongoing correction and negative first half year returns stoked pessimism in many. But is this indicative of what lies ahead?|
|Despite market jitters, consumer spending remains steady.|
|Early summer is index rebalancing season, which may briefly impact some shares for a short period. |
|The UK, France, and Germany announced their joint support of general bank levies to reduce financial risk Tuesday.|
|China announced over the weekend it will loosen the US dollar-yuan currency peg. |
|The Brits will likely merge their central financial services regulator, the FSA, with the Bank of England. |
|Debate over releasing EU bank stress test results is now resolved—perhaps the next test should be a recent history test for EU and US politicians.|
|On Tuesday, the Fed announced amendments to the Credit CARD Act of 2009—which included regulations on late payments and account inactivity penalty fees. |
|Western governments would do well to cast their eyes East—where freer trade and lower taxes may boost growth. |
|The timing and tone of an unexpected Fitch warning on the UK's credit rating were a little strange. |
|Emerging Markets are in the lead, but there's promising news in developed nations too. |
|The besieged Japanese prime minister resigns. However, it should have little effect on global stocks. |
|Political uncertainty in the US and Europe contributed to a volatile week for stocks |
|Market recoveries, and economic recoveries, aren't smooth slopes higher—occasional bumps along the road should be expected.|
|Today's Brazil is an image of growth, but eight years ago it resembled Greece.|
|Congressional hearings give the air of "action” but accomplish little.|
|Despite political uncertainty in Britain and widespread fears of a European debt contagion, economic news was overwhelmingly positive.|
|A volatile day on Wall Street left investors scratching their heads|
|Despite positive economic news, sovereign debt speculation sent global markets spiraling on Tuesday.|
|Sovereign debt uncertainty struck global markets again Tuesday.|
|The IMF proposed a bank tax to avoid future crises. Ill advised? Sure. Bull stopping? Fat chance. |
|Human behavior after an economic crisis is as immovable as it is predictable.|
|In terms of global economic significance, PIIGS can't hold a candle to a new, slightly less cute acronym. |
|Taking the temperature of Chinese monetary policy, we find it's neither too hot nor too cold presently.|
|An injunction preventing unauthorized early release of analyst recommendations has a little website (and some opponents) up in arms—but the ruling ultimately doesn't much matter for long-term investors. |
|PIIGS problems seem to keep coming, but they likely won't be as bad as widely feared. |
|The Fed held steady as an old accounting debate stirred early this week. |
|Greek cross currency and credit default swaps have been in the headlines lately. |
|Growth in US service industries is yet another sign we're in a broad-based recovery. |
|The threat of continuing Greek drama dominated headlines Thursday, but investors were left with more questions than answers at day's end.|
|Japan surpassed China as the largest foreign holder of US Treasuries in December. |
|Markets dropped significantly Thursday as sovereign debt fears resurfaced in the EU. |
|The White House released its budget blueprint for fiscal year 2011 Monday. |
|Concerns over Greece's rising deficits escalated this week, but sentiment (not fundamentals) seems the culprit behind the volatility.|
|The UK became the last developed country to bid cheerio to the recession on Tuesday. |
|No single factor explains broad market trends—ever. |
|With China's recovery gaining ground, gradual policy tightening is underway.|
|New trade tariffs aren't on the list of reasons to celebrate the New Year.|
|Long-term economic and stock market predictions are never entirely accurate—there are simply too many unforeseeable factors involved. |
|This year's holiday shopping season exemplifies the disconnect between expectations and reality. |
|With 2009 (and the ‘00s) winding down, investors can take what they've learned and look forward to the future.|
|The Senate will vote a present down the chimney this Christmas Eve—but it's only the next step in a lengthy process littered with political land mines.|
|The UN's Copenhagen summit fell short of its lofty goals—and that could be good for business going forward, especially in developing nations. |
|Greek debt concerns roiled markets again Thursday. Expect such disruptions to continue, but not to derail the bull market.|
|For now, moderately higher inflation signals economic recovery—nothing more|
|Markets were fidgety following a Fitch downgrade of Greek government debt Tuesday. |
|Entirely new challenges lie ahead for the Fed Chairman—whose confirmation is all but assured. Is he up to the task?|
|News of Dubai World's debt restructuring roiled global markets but doesn't reflect a new financial crisis. |
|Holiday retail sales won't make or break economic recovery. |
|Positive earnings surprises should continue for some time.|
|The "new normal” economy is likely to be more normal than new.|
|Doubts drive every bull market. |
|As the market pulls back a bit, some investors are reconsidering their approach. But brief pullbacks are normal—not reason to change a sound long-term strategy. |
|The Fed's "exit strategy” needn't be precise. |
|Folks looking for explosive headlines often overlook the quiet bits of good news likely to drive markets higher. |
|An obscure benchmark for raw materials shipping costs adds its weight to other tentative signs of recovery. |
|Fears about China moving away from the US dollar eased as policymakers vocalized a simple truth: The greenback is China's only realistic option today.|
|Although Q1 2009 GDP fell more than expected, the numbers suggest strong improvement potential looking forward. |
|Details of bank stress tests were released today, and investors cheered the lack of news.|
|The G-20 will meet in London this Thursday—hold on to your hats. |
|March Madness kicked off Thursday, and the AIG controversy continued to kick up dust. |
|Mark-to-market accounting rules continue to draw scrutiny, but don't expect a repeal anytime soon. |
|Employment data contributed to wild swings in stock prices today. |
|A bevy of negative headlines sent stocks down big—but few were new news. |
|Global fiscal stimulus has been significant and is growing daily. Despite the dangers, that's a good thing for investors. |
|Problems for Financials will likely linger. But the government seems intent on avoiding a systemic collapse, and Financials' woes shouldn't prevent a recovery for the broader markets. |
|It's earnings season again, but for the foreseeable future, uncertainty reigns. |
|We're too eager to give up on monetary and fiscal stimulus before it's had a chance to work. |
|After the Big Three's second trip to Washington, hats in hand, Congress is circulating a bailout plan. |
|We don't deny there's plenty of trouble in the world today. But remember, there's good news too. |
|Things seem pretty bad right now—and there's plenty of trouble—but stocks have never been cheaper. Just ask the Oracle of Omaha. |
|US markets were down Thursday and continued to fall unchecked Friday morning on "unsettling” employment news—yet the S&P 500 finished the day up. What gives? |
|Troubles in the US automotive and airline industries are driving some investors to fly off the handle. |
|Many believe a rising fed funds rate would be bad for stocks. Such a notion is hogwash. |
|Increasing productivity is one of the best ways to tame inflation. |
|Congress is set to vote on an economically treacherous cap-and-trade bill. As of now, it's all talk. Let's hope there's no action. |
|Congress is set to vote on an economically treacherous cap-and-trade bill. As of now, it's all talk. Let's hope there's no action. |
|Financial stocks have taken it on the chin lately, and whether they recover anytime soon is debatable. Regardless, the sector's fortunes don't necessarily dictate those of broader markets. |
|The Consumer Confidence Index is often believed to portend economic and stock market direction. Put simply, it doesn't. |
|Socialist sentiment in Europe doesn't bode well for long-term Continental prosperity. |
|Prediction markets are making use of efficient markets theory to forecast everything from basketball games to political contests. |
|High gas prices aren't likely to go away anytime soon. But gasoline consumption is too small a percentage of overall spending for prices to have the impact folks fear. |
|It's impossible to predict short-term market fluctuations, but the current crop of ills is widely known and unlikely to lead to a more prolonged downturn. |
|With lots of cash and credit in the system, larger firms are looking for bargains. |
|Headlines are rife with suggestions to spur on the economy. Things have slowed down of late, but government remedies, like the decision to subsidize the production of ethanol, can cause more problems than they solve. |
|Today's widespread focus on economic negatives and denial of positive global fundamentals is bullish for stocks.|
|Recent Fed policies have been criticized as a government-sponsored bailout and possibly a sign of more intervention to come. We view such fears as misplaced. |
|It's been over four months since the global stock market peaked. After a re-test of January's lows, investors are now both fearful and fatigued.|
|High oil prices translate to great investment opportunities. |
|Those fearful of a candidate from either of the two major parties ascending to the White House next year can breathe a bit easier. Democrat or Republican, historically markets have performed fine.|
|The common belief a bumpy start to January portends market trouble is statistically and fundamentally baseless.|
|As markets opened for the New Year, folks dwelled on old news.|
|2007 felt like a tumultuous year, but stocks worldwide held their ground and so did the economy. A recounting of the year's top worries that never materialized.|
|A look back at the best 2007 MarketMinder daily commentaries.|
|Where many interpret recent central bank and sovereign wealth fund action as ominous, we see signs of incredible strength, versatility, and durability in today's global markets.|
|2007 looks like a banner year for big cap stocks. But just because big caps are leading today doesn't mean betting on them looking ahead is a sure thing.|
|The first negative quarter for earnings growth in over five years has many investors running for the hills, but a close look at the data reveals bullish conclusions for stocks.|
|A time-tested concept says a new bear market's at hand—but there are good reasons to distrust the Dow Theory.|
|Free market economies are the alchemical conduits of progress and wealth for individuals and societies alike.|
|The trend of overblown fears tied to a credit crisis continued today with Freddie Mac's $2 billion loss announcement.|
|Breakthroughs in neuroscience are spawning powerful insights for approaches to economics and investing. But like any new tool, it can easily cause as much damage as good. Tread lightly.|
|The continued trend of risk averse, wet blanket CEOs is an indication of today's dour market sentiment, not economic peril. Merrill Lynch's hiring of John Thain is the latest example.|
|No one's immune from weak dollar fears—but fears don't translate into fundamental trouble for markets or economies. Weak or strong, the dollar doesn't dictate stock market direction.|
|Maybe today ended the recent spate of negative market volatility, maybe not. Either way, investors will eventually wake up to the fact so-called "toxic” debt assets are worth far more than currently perceived.|
|Many fear higher tax rates after the 2008 election. But no matter the outcome, the benefits of compounding interest are too great to attempt short-term market timing to avoid a potential, future tax hike.|
|Individual stocks are highly correlated with their sectors, countries, and the market. Thus, investors must take a broader view than simply studying specific companies. Today's Capital Markets stocks are a great example.|
|Stock market volatility is perfectly normal—up and down. Allowing market choppiness to predicate investment decisions is simply wrong.|
|It's been a great day for the US economy. Too bad few (including Fed officials) appreciate it.|
|Are oil prices finally high enough to stifle the economy? In a word, no.|
|Just in time for Halloween, Wall Street is once again exorcising the demons of credit crunches past.|
|Tech stocks have been on a tear. Is the rally for real, or just a post-correction countertrend?|
|This week's market volatility is being compared to Black Monday 20 years ago. In reality, the dissimilarities are many and stocks remain a great value.|
|The M&A and share buyback boom is set to resume on the strength of market fundamentals and the leadership of "maverick” business leaders willing to re-set the trend.|
|It felt like a summer of turmoil, but the third quarter of 2007 was much better for stocks than it seemed.|
|On the eve of Labor Day weekend, Part 2 of MarketMinder's look at the economics of labor.|
|As summer unofficially closes, it's a good time to remember the tenets of Capitalism and free market economics that helped make US labor one of the most versatile, productive, and wealthy workforces in the world.|
|When investors get jittery, they tend to believe one issue, and one issue only, moves stocks. That's a classic sign of a bull market correction and not a new bear. |
|With today's Fed's statement behind us and the market's nicely positive reaction, now's a good time to turn bibliophilic and get to that summer reading.|
|The market is expecting a savior, but this week's Fed meeting likely won't provide much in the way of a credit messiah. That's ok because markets didn't need saving in the first place.|
|The global boom in energy prices, profits, and stock appreciation isn't done yet.|
|Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party suffered a stunning defeat in the upper house election on Sunday, giving up control in the chamber to the opposition Democratic Party of Japan. What does it mean for global stocks?|
|Ever wondered what you're supposed to do with stories you're supposed to ignore?|
|Investors are predominantly focused on residential housing statistics, but many fail to realize commercial real estate is almost as big…and it's booming.|
|Markets are great! But let's not deify them.|
|Are we facing a coming credit crisis? Or is the real crisis a disappointing lack of working calculators in most major newsrooms?|
|Why congressional meddling in free markets should leave you feeling dirty.|
|The science of evolution is changing the way economics and markets are understood. |
|Conformity is the norm of human existence.|
|It's good to be hypercritical of the antics of activist judges who legislate from the bench.|
|The big buzz around Wall Street this week is the so-called lifting of capital restraints to US securities firms, which could lead to as much as $4.|
|Apparently, the latest trend in Washington is self-flagellation.|
|What strength of resolve is it that impels a people to raise a value—a mere abstract concept—above life? Who can fathom the force of character necessary for ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom? Where can be found, deep in the gut, that ego-annihilating principle giving man the expedience and depth of heart to destroy the body in the name of ethereal liberty? What a rare and new thing is liberty in world history—the timeline of civilization is a tapestry of human enslavement.|
|We continually tout the power and potency of the merger and acquisition boom as a primary driver of the global bull market in stocks.|
|Sometimes the most obvious stuff is the least recognized.|
|As the alternative energy craze continues, we'd like to interject a little commonsense into the debate.|
|Pretend you are an average CEO of an average S&P 500 company.|
|So many protectionists out there these days.|
|Stocks have gone up in each of the last four years.|
|Conglomerates were bigger than the Beatles in the 1960s.|
|Chinese M2 money supply growth accelerated to 16.|
|Finally, some euphoria.|
|The Energy sector has been one of the best stock performers over the last several years.|
|Global equities capped off another banner year in 2006, with the MSCI World Index returning 20% in dollar terms.|
|Yo, Adrian! 2007 has all the makings of another sequel.|
|There's a good chance you think the entire world's manufacturing production has moved to developing economies like China and India.|
|Treasury Secretary Paulson is on a mission to make US capital markets more competitive.|
|We've written several times in this commentary on equity supply destruction and its ability to drive stock prices higher.|
|What kind of an economy was the United States 150 years ago? Primarily agrarian.|
|Lately we've been lauding the virtues of destruction.|
|P/E ratios are fickle things.|
|How can it be that an industry that creates no tangible products is worth about 25% of the value of all equities, and represents an even higher proportion of profits? It's a time of great innovation and development throughout the Financials sector.|
|Returns on Utilities stocks are truly electrifying this year.|
|We think price-to-earnings ratios are pretty boring.|
|When companies buy each other they take equity supply off the market and pay a premium for those shares.||
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