In this Market Insights video we take a closer look at Trump's first 100 days as president and what it means for the US economy.
The media celebrated a growth acceleration, but a more even-keeled reaction seems apt to us.
Slow productivity growth is no reason for investors to worry.
The bevy of recent recession fears seems JUST a bit outside.
Rising student debt levels won’t slow growth or shock markets.
Global manufacturing seems to be picking up.
An under-the-hood look at US Q2 GDP growth.
Recent data suggest the US economy gained speed in Q2.
Brexit's ramifications will likely ripple across the Atlantic, but it's too soon to know how.
Friday’s disappointing US unemployment report should have little to no weight in your analysis of stocks’ direction.
What to make of oil’s recent rally.
Subprime auto loans aren’t another crisis waiting to happen.
Oil’s big drop since 2014 seems to have clouded investors’ view of the US economy.
Two charts reveal steady retail sales growth excluding oil’s impact.
Two charts reveal steady retail sales growth excluding oil’s impact.
Can the President of The United States affect sweeping change on his or her own?
Most recent economic data run counter to widespread global recession fears.
The US government passed and signed spending and tax legislation Friday and it was surprisingly good.
Data reinforcing one sector’s well-known struggles don’t mean trouble for the broader economy.
Black Friday’s economic importance is overstated.
US manufacturing was a tale of two surveys in October.
There is more to an economy than just building stuff.
We’re optimistic about the US and global economies’ prospects, but not for the reasons hogging headlines Wednesday.
The global economy keeps growing.
Chipmakers announced a huge breakthrough Thursday, adding years to one of the most powerful technological trends in history.
Don’t let the falling labor force participation rate fool you.
Whether caused by the dollar or not, March’s weak job gains hold little insight into the US economy and stocks’ future.
It's fashionable to say America's economic system needs fixing if we want faster growth, but some simple facts don't support this.
What January’s jobs report does and doesn’t mean.
Do recent US and UK economic data show weakening growth?
The media seemed ecstatic about November’s jobs report, but investors have better reasons to be optimistic about the US economy’s prospects.
There is much to be thankful for, not just in the US, but globally too.
Focusing solely on employment data can lead investors astray.
Gauges of tangible activity in the US economy show this expansion is driven by more than just the Fed’s attempted financial engineering.
It’s unlikely you’d see many headlines touting the fact US GDP growth has been above average in three of the last four quarters.
June’s jobs report was Yankee-Doodle dandy, but it doesn’t mean a thing for stocks.
What does President Obama’s new environmental plan mean for investors?
Some say the US has to achieve “escape velocity” for the expansion and bull market to continue, but laws of astrophysics don’t apply to the economy (or stocks).
Data can be pretty dull, but we doubt that’s the only reason headlines avoided it this week.
The downward revision to Q4 US GDP growth had a big silver lining, but how will the Fed see it?
US debt is a hot-button issue, but few know the facts showing why it’s manageable.
Interest rates are up, but so is household lending.
Another lower-than-estimated jobs report seems to have stirred the ire of some in the punditry. But a broader view suggests this isn’t a major factor for investors, period.
Headlines about US and Chinese manufacturing reports seemed to rankle investors Monday, but the actual data reports were benign.
How should we interpret December’s employment report?
Earnings are growing, and forward-looking indicators suggest sales and profits should keep rising.
Does the Santa Claus Rally matter much for long-term investors?
Will November’s strong jobs report, a healthier economy and Congress’ potential budget compromise suffice for the Fed to start tapering in December?
Before jumping into non-traded REITs, we’d suggest investors do their due diligence.
What can we make of October’s employment report?
Those looking to September’s unemployment report for Fed clues are likely spinning their wheels.
The US is facing another potential credit downgrade despite an averted debt default, but that doesn’t mean much for investors.
Some presume the debt ceiling is a huge risk looming in the near future, but there is ample evidence suggesting these fears are detached from reality.
The government shutdown that began midnight Tuesday helps add clarity to the potential market impact of both recent budget squabbling and the debt ceiling.
Disappointed Q2 GDP wasn’t revised up in the final estimate? Here are 34 numbers demonstrating the US economy is stronger than headline growth rates suggest.
Despite media speculation the Fed would begin tapering asset purchases this month, the FOMC held off—at least for now.
Identifying false fears might sound weird, but it’s a handy way for investors to gauge the market’s future direction.
Unemployment improved slightly in August, but how this impacts QE tapering plans remains to be seen.
Manufacturing is strong, but investors still seem skeptical of US economic strength.
Many doubt the strength of the US economy—are those concerns justified?
A -7.3% drop in durable goods isn’t great, but plenty of other evidence suggests demand remains firm.
A closer look at US banks’ balance sheets suggests the institutions are stronger than some rating agencies seem to believe.
As folks realize their QE tapering fears are false, their relief should propel stocks higher.
July’s slower job growth, in our view, doesn’t signal weakness for the economy or stocks.
With Moody’s raising its outlook for US debt on Friday, a look at what happened during our two years on “negative” watch confirms ratings agencies’ decisions aren’t predictive.
A quick analysis of QE’s impact on the economy throws into question the quantity of its benefits.
Data show recent employment gains aren’t “too slow.”
Interest rates may be up a bit, but the US’s debt is still plenty affordable.
Snippets from around the web illustrating the market impact of our currently gridlocked government.
While Friday’s jobs report was mostly positive, don’t be fooled into thinking the data has a future impact on stocks.
Thursday’s downward revision of US GDP likely tells us more about changing sentiment than fundamentals.
Recently released (and largely overlooked) economic data further illustrate the US economy’s underappreciated health.
The Institute of Supply Management released its Index for April, but don’t let the numbers fool you—domestic manufacturing is making a surprising comeback.
The reaction to Friday’s US Employment Situation report was far from exuberant.
Most banks passed the second half of the Fed’s stress tests, but that still doesn’t predict nor prevent future weakness.
From the US to Asia, a look at the latest developments in global energy markets.
While many presume the payroll tax hike will weigh on household spending, January’s strong retail sales suggest consumers are rather resilient.
Despite Wednesday’s negative GDP post, signs of economic growth continue to abound—a fact some folks are beginning to recognize.
Thursday’s debt ceiling deal introduces a few more arbitrary deadlines for Congress to contend with in the months ahead.
Housing data’s shown improvement of late, which may provide an incremental tailwind for the already resilient US economy moving forward.
There are some great pairs in US politics: Republicans and Democrats, the House of Representatives and the Senate, debt ceiling debates and threats of a credit rating downgrade.
Air traffic and auto sales are just two additional indicators highlighting a healthier than perceived global economy.
US Q3 GDP was revised up on higher personal spending and a downturn in imports. To us, despite headwinds and concerns (which are nearly always present), it’s likely expansion continues ahead.
Just as the holiday season is reaching its peak, so are debates about the fiscal cliff … At least, they seem to be getting there.
Fiscal cliff talks in Washington took a turn toward another political machination—the debt ceiling—something you might remember from … 91 times before.
Alleged connections between manufacturing’s contraction and the fiscal cliff seem, well, manufactured.
Signs of underappreciated positives in the US and Europe.
The US election results seemingly have given rise to heated rhetoric over the Affordable Care Act’s implementation. Let’s analyze the likely economic and market impact.
Despite accelerating hiring, the unemployment rate incrementally rose in the last report before the US elections. But should we draw any material conclusions from the data?
Dodd-Frank rules governing derivatives trading go into effect Friday. However, those potentially subject to the rules still find them full of ambiguity and uncertainty.
As the election nears and the year winds down, fiscal cliff rhetoric is heating up. So how to read between the hype’s lines?
Housing data strengthened recently—potentially providing another tailwind to already resilient US economic growth.
One interesting shift in economic activity was paired with two widely held misperceptions Tuesday.
A shrinking workforce took the shine off August’s falling unemployment rate, but history shows the economy can grow and employment improve as labor force participation falls.
The CBO revised its outlook for the US economy in 2012 and 2013—but their math has us scratching our heads a little.
Rising food prices likely lack the power to pick consumers’ pocketbooks or derail the global economy.
The IMF’s and other groups’ updated economic outlooks dominated headlines—a sure sign of a slow financial news day.
Those foretelling future economic distress based on Friday’s unemployment report are likely missing the broader trend.
This Fourth of July, celebrate freedom, free markets and more bull market ahead!
The Supreme Court declared 2010’s health care reform bill constitutional on Thursday—what does the decision mean for stocks?
The Fed announced it will extend Operation Twist through year end—but does it give investors a new reason to dance?
Watch what foreigners do with their money to gain perspective on American competitiveness.
US revised GDP was released Thursday to some consternation. And a brief update on US energy industry developments.
Both more granular and broader views of US Q1 GDP growth show Friday’s figures weren’t as bad as received.
Implementation of Congress’ attempt to regulate banks’ proprietary trading was delayed Friday to give regulators time to define what they’re regulating.
Friday’s unemployment report was less than sensational, but don’t miss the forest for the trees with just one data point.
Some have fretted rising gas prices are likely to derail the economy—but is there an actual connection to economic activity?
As global manufacturing continues expanding broadly, regional reports highlight some interesting happenings around the world.
As global manufacturing continues expanding broadly, regional reports highlight some interesting happenings around the world.
February’s capital goods orders missed estimates, but capital goods remain an economic bright spot.
Roughly three and a half years after its hotly debated birth, TARP’s bank bailout doesn’t seem much like the black hole many feared.
The Fed announced stress test results Tuesday—revealing mostly healthy financial institutions.
Data from both the private sector and government illustrate healing labor markets.
Upon closer inspection, fears of manufacturing’s long-term decline are unfounded.
Corporate earnings grew again in Q4—the ninth straight quarter of growth.
Trade data rolled in from many parts of the world globally. And they were met with typical deficit-and-surplus rhetoric.
Despite recent improvements in unemployment data, many still argue government isn’t doing or hasn’t done enough in that area—an argument which largely ignores several positives at work.
Here are over 20 numbers to help illustrate a data-packed Friday.
A look at some misperceptions we came across in our regular internet perusal Tuesday.
Friday’s US Q4 2011 GDP report showed growth continued—and accelerated for the third quarter in a row.
While fears of US manufacturing’s decline remain prevalent in the media, data paint a markedly different picture.
Signs of private-sector strength continue to emerge in the US and abroad.
Tuesday marked the first US trading day of the year—here’s a quick rundown of some primary stories.
Thursday bore gifts a little early as indications of US growth continued and Congress reached an agreement.
US November retail sales grew less than estimated. But digging below the surface, the report wasn’t bleak.
Is a still-high unemployment rate that unusual?
Strong Q3 earnings and record-high Black Friday sales illustrate the disconnect between sentiment and reality.
Let’s put one theory of a fundamental shift in US consumer spending patterns in perspective.
Don’t be fooled by the headline deceleration. Tuesday’s US Q3 GDP revision creates visions of a jolly holiday season with steady growth, but dwindling inventories.
A look back at Q3 earnings season, and a look ahead at the likely implications.
Euro politics dominated headlines again Tuesday, but eurozone musical chairs wasn’t the only story. Here’s a look at what news caught our eye.
A collection of factoids to help put current unemployment in perspective.
US companies are on track for eight straight quarters of earnings growth.
A look around the web at some of Tuesday’s not-so-new news.
The government announced a new plan to shore up underwater homeowners. But will it work?
A recent revision to US labor productivity has some in the media wringing their hands over long-range forecasts. But do the data merit the to-do?
Although sentiment continues to be dour, a preponderance of the evidence shows underappreciated economic strength.
Last week, slow developments on US free trade gave way to action—on more than one front.
Friday’s unemployment report showed better-than-expected hiring, but that hasn’t stopped some from fretting unemployment’s impact on economic growth.
While the Fed took an incremental step intended to buoy the economy Wednesday, Congress seems committed to quite the opposite tactic—doing nothing.
Thursday marks the anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ collapse. Three years on, are we facing a repeat of the 2008 financial panic and ensuing bear market?
A Friday look at things recent—and things remembered.
President Obama will address the nation Thursday on the current domestic jobs situation—but it’s unlikely solutions come from politicians on either side of the aisle.
Conclusions drawn from demographic data about the future of equity market demand sources seem initially compelling but break down under further scrutiny.
With the Fed holding its annual Jackson Hole symposium, talk of QE3 is escalating.
Amid steep market volatility, it’s important to recognize the widely discussed negatives but also to balance them against material economic positives to get a clearer view.
Global markets experienced a sell-off Monday, as investors contended with S&P’s US credit rating downgrade and the ECB’s Spanish and Italian debt purchase plans.
Markets continued their roller coaster ride Friday but basically ended flat—a useful illustration of recent market action in general and one reason to avoid knee-jerk reactions to uncomfortable volatility.
Debt ceiling dramatics came to a conclusion Tuesday, leaving many frustrated in its wake. Here’s a look around the news at what’s poking that frustration—and largely unnoticed remedies.
Even if Congress passes a debt ceiling extension, don’t expect markets to sound the “all clear.”
Ratings agencies are getting a lot of attention lately, but let’s look at some facts before assuming they’re all that credible.
White-hot, fear-based rhetoric is flying around the debt ceiling as politicians try to sell their positions. And, some links.
US manufacturing is alive and well, making government claims there’s a need for a “national strategy” dubious at best.
Rising demand from Emerging Markets consumers has had downstream effects on agricultural commodities. This bodes well for commodity capital expenditures.
Isolationism has no place in economics or investment strategy.
Though positive global developments are getting short shrift, they do exist today.
Many seem to think the Fed has a magic wand it can wave to solve the economy’s woes. But folks seem to believe in monetary policy sometimes and not others.
It seems the release of every economic data point brings fresh comparisons to the Great Depression—but they just don’t hold up. Nor do they tell us much about where we’re headed next.
Though regulatory uncertainty is troubling Financials shares, banks are healthier than most think.
A recent slowdown in some economic data has the media bemoaning we’re on the verge of the next Great Depression—but the numbers just don’t support that.
With June’s arrival comes the last month of the Fed’s second round of quantitative easing purchases.
While Q1 GDP was unchanged, dueling headlines said corporate profits both rose and fell.
Although a housing recovery would provide a nice tailwind moving forward, it isn’t necessary for continued economic growth.
2011 was predicted to be the year of the municipal bond default—but how has that played out so far?
Pending FTAs with Panama, Colombia and South Korea are caught in yet another political battle.
On Monday, the US hit the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, stressing the need for Congress to raise the debt ceiling—which will likely happen eventually.
Unemployment’s continued sluggishness has some proposing rather radical government solutions—which would likely do more harm than good.
US manufacturing, long thought dead, is actually much healthier than rumored.
A new Fed survey shows banks are healthier and lending is improving, but profit margins may be squeezed awhile longer.
Preliminary US Q1 2011 GDP came in below expectations, but varying speeds in a growth cycle are perfectly normal.
The Federal Reserve released yet another proposal in response to provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, but practical details were few and far between and likely unnecessary.
Q1 2011 corporate profit growth may be more subdued relative to past quarters, but Fisher Investments MarketMinder finds that normal in the course of an ongoing expansion.
S&P downgraded the US’s credit rating outlook by a notch, but it shouldn’t mean much.
Legislation that interferes with free markets can and frequently does have completely unintended consequences—sometimes undermining the very purpose of the legislation.
China reported a trade deficit in Q1 2011, but despite that, both Chinese imports and exports rose—a desirable overall increase in trade.
Contrary to protectionists’ claims, free trade agreements give American companies a fighting chance in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.
Congressional Democrats and Republicans continue to battle over the budget.
Economic growth and positive market returns continued in Q1 2011. But what of investor sentiment?
The QE2 debate’s already begun, and unsurprisingly, officials and politicians are heavily divided on the subject.
US Q4 2010 corporate profits were once again hugely positive—proof of overall US corporate health.
The US Treasury plans to sell $142 billion of mortgage-backed securities bought in 2008—the latest example of the government profiting from financial panic intervention.
Fears of a US muni market meltdown are spreading, but even if defaults reached their worst levels historically, the fallout would likely be relatively limited.
Private sector employment exceeded expectations Wednesday, but what does that say about the global recovery’s direction?
US economic growth is accelerating faster than most of the developed world—boding well for American stocks.
President Obama revealed his 2012 budget Monday—and true to form, lawmakers are already bristling over proposed spending cuts and tax increases.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner presented three proposals for reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Friday.
Growth continues to surge in the US thanks to increasing productivity.
Preliminary US Q4 GDP showed 3.2% annualized growth and pushed the economy to a new high-water mark—inconceivable to many just two short years ago.
The FASB's actions speak louder than the FCIC's words.
|Subdued US blue chips earnings reports shouldn't surprise—nor necessarily disappoint.|
Preliminary reports indicate the US Treasury's eight "toxic asset” funds weren't so toxic after all.
|Inflation was up in 2010, but 2011 shouldn't bring materially higher prices. |
|Is unemployment really the paramount economic indicator?|
|2010 looks to have ended on an economic up note.|
|What should investors take away from 2010? |
|US bank lending to smaller and medium-sized firms is on the rise. |
|This holiday season, we'd like to say thanks to corporate America for gifts given all year—and their gifts are the kind that keep on giving.|
|PIIGS fears remain in headlines, but US economic data are encouraging. |
|The Fed remained cautious in their most recent policy statement even as retail sales confirmed continued economic recovery on the verge of renewed expansion.|
|The Dodd-Frank legislation calls for the end of the rating agency oligopoly, an outcome we guardedly support. |
|Counterintuitively, that the US unemployment rate ticked up slightly in Friday's report isn't bad news. |
|Little attention seems to be paid to expanding manufacturing activity globally—and that could be good news for investors.|
|Irish bailout details failed to calm European nerves, but US investors managed to shake off some of the gloom on encouraging Thanksgiving retail sales. |
|MarketMinder is thankful for a quite a few things this year. |
|Geopolitical tensions on the Korean peninsula knocked stocks Tuesday.|
|US October retail sales increased the most in seven months—adding to business spending power. |
|Though little noted, corporate earnings are again trouncing analysts' expectations. |
|Fears are commonplace early in economic expansion—but a clear-minded review of US Q3 GDP shows many are simply ghost stories. |
|The question of will they or won't they is falling wayside to questions over how much?|
|Many decry Wall Street profiting from governmental programs put in place during the financial panic, but the opposite is closer to the truth. |
|Financials are finding ways around new regulations faster than Washington can enact new ones. |
|Technical indicators frequently grab investors' attention—but let's use recent history to assess their success. |
|We could see another quarter of solid S&P 500 earnings.|
|Friday's US unemployment report showed little improvement in the jobless rate—but it did reveal a smaller government payroll, adding further evidence recent socialism fears were (and are) overblown. |
|The unpopular Troubled Assets Relief Fund (TARP) closed to new business on Sunday—posting vastly smaller-than-feared costs and perhaps smaller-than-perceived successes. |
|September surprised investors by beating expectations, and if history is any guide, there might be more good news in store. |
|US legislation targeting China's currency policy seems ill-advised. |
|Increased political gridlock looks likely—and investors should cheer |
|Beneath the surface, Friday's US durable goods report showed businesses confidently deployed cash in August.|
|The US corporate debt default rate is down dramatically and now expected to fall further to pre-financial crisis levels.|
|The Fed's Flow of Funds report showed Americans' net worth fell in Q2—but also showed US non-financial companies maintained a massive $1.84 trillion cash hoard. |
|As US midterm elections approach, much of the heated debate surrounds the economy. But buying into their accounts is potentially dangerous for investors. |
|Double-dip fears are nothing new, and their existence doesn't confirm that the fears are valid. |
|Consumer spending is doing just fine, despite the usual fears to the contrary.|
|From the wilds of Wyoming to Washington's beltway, economic growth was Friday's catch phrase. |
|Thursday's US stock market performance wasn't stellar after a few weak US economic reports. But the picture's not as gloomy globally. |
|Bonds may feel safe relative to stocks, but there can be drawbacks—sometimes significant.|
|Trade up a focus on the trade balance for one on overall trade levels.|
|Slowing economic statistics are bringing out the bears. But we don't think they've got much to chew on. |
|July's US unemployment report disappointed. But does this provide useful information for investors? |
|Closely watched economic data are showing signs of improvement.|
|Friday's US GDP release provided an interesting look back at the second quarter—and a trip way back to revise dated data.|
|Is there enough political will to pass a contentious energy bill?|
|Fed Chief Ben Bernanke's testimony revealed a weaker outlook for growth—but also expectations for a continued recovery.|
|As the economic recovery matures, it's important to separate a declining rate of growth from an absolute decline. |
|Congress celebrated reconciliation of financial reform on Friday—but there's a lot more paper than substantive reform targeting major factors driving 2008's financial panic. |
|New and existing home sales data for May disappointed—but the expiring housing tax credit likely played a role.|
|While some fear ailing US consumers, businesses are showing resounding balance sheet vitality—a likely forerunner to bullish business spending. |
|We're big enough to handle our debt—and more. |
|Global stocks shed mid-week gains on Friday, tied to one story that was positive but not positive enough, and gamesmanship from a new Hungarian politician. |
|Spain's credit was downgraded on Friday, but that shouldn't overshadow positive developments elsewhere, like US manufacturing. |
|Recent data show it takes more than badmouthing to strip US assets of their popularity. |
|As stocks waver on euro-worries, global economic fundamentals continue their strong showing. |
|Hedge funds betting against the market get hurt—sometimes in a big way—when stock prices rise. |
|The US economy expanded for the third consecutive quarter. |
|It's the time of year for a classic rhyming myth to return from winter—but it doesn't pass muster when tested. |
|The Fed maintained its target rate Tuesday—but it's only natural to worry about what happens when higher rates do come. (Hint: Fine things historically.)|
|S&P 500 companies reporting earnings thus far are beating analysts' expectations—by a wide margin.|
|Bankers deserve their share of the blame for 2008, but why solely them?|
|There's much talk about raising taxes, but whether or not taxes go higher likely has little effect on the bull market.|
|The wonks at NBER are delaying declaring the recession's end—but investors needn't care about an "official” declaration.|
|Are credit ratings agencies really all that different from other forms of financial analysis? Nope. |
|A great deal of ink has been spilled over the world's growing disdain for US Debt, but two recent Treasury auctions tell a different tale.|
|Stocks got off to a good start in the second quarter, with gains likely fueled by positive manufacturing data from countries large and small. |
|Though the housing market continues stabilizing, the pace of recovery remains slow—in stark contrast to stocks and the broader economy.|
|Banks have received little credit for repaying bailout loans. |
|Most Americans feel like their portfolios haven't grown over the last year. But feelings are often completely wrong. |
|Wednesday's tame consumer price index reading is welcome confirmation inflation remains a distant threat.|
|Major stock market indexes hit 18-month highs Wednesday—spurring some folks to fear stocks may be due for a drop. |
|Moody signaled its displeasure with US debt levels by announcing the country was closer to a rating downgrade. |
|A resurging corporate debt market is yet another sign companies are strong and ready to spend, which spells growth for the broader economy.|
|Cash is corporate king currently, and that bodes well for stocks looking forward. |
|Many fear commercial real estate losses present a potential blow to economic recovery. |
|This month memorializes the 2000 market peak a decade on. Looking back, we find few revolutionary investing lessons, but many essential reminders. |
|The US and most Emerging Markets beating Q4 GDP expectations signals the global economy is alive and well. |
|February's falling consumer confidence doesn't tell us much and should little worry investors. |
The Fed raised the discount rate Friday—a baby step toward normalizing monetary policy.
|There's much to whoop and cheer about in the US manufacturing sector.|
|Recent PIIGS countries bond auctions were oversubscribed. |
|Fed head Bernanke released a statement Wednesday detailing stimulus exit options—but indicated monetary policy will remain accommodative for a while yet. |
|Falling inventories, little talked about, signal continued economic improvement and could help stocks rise over time. |
|Sentiment may be shaking the corporate bond market right now, but companies' prospects are largely robust. |
|Friday's employment report might seem a mixed bag, but it shows progress overall. |
|US manufacturing expanded in January at the fastest pace in five years, but naysayers fear the sector's continuing decline.|
|As US GDP grew at its fastest pace in six years, the pessimism of disbelief finds reason to doubt. |
|The FOMC's Wednesday meeting contained no surprises—but showed the Fed's willing to maintain accommodative policies until the recovery is on surer footing. |
|Tuesday's election surprise likely spells doom for health care reform.|
|December's job losses may discourage, but they're just another brick in the bull market's wall of worry. |
|So goes January, so goes the year—so long? Not so fast. |
|Bonds can lose value too. 2009 was an example. |
|What are the experts saying about 2010? And what should investors do about it?|
|Economic data—what's in those numbers? |
|US companies have plenty of cash on hand ready to be deployed at a moment's notice. |
|The US yield curve steepened to its biggest spread in decades last week—bullish for economic growth. |
|TARP's extension Wednesday was largely irrelevant—along with other emergency programs, it's already prevented the worst-case scenario. |
|The future's never certain, but a double-dip recession seems unlikely. |
|The world is full of rotating characters, and some acts have more power to move markets than others.|
|The ol' pension blues are back—but they needn't rob investors of holiday cheer.|
|Folks generally aren't as happy this holiday as usual, but there's plenty to be thankful for.|
|Short-term US Treasury yields dipped into negative territory this week. Investors needn't panic—it's not December 2008 all over again.|
|The semiconductor industry was rattled Thursday by analysts' downgrade.|
|A single piece of news virtually never accounts for daily market movement. |
|Investors need not believe in the US economy to believe in global stocks. |
|Credit ratings agencies are on the ropes lately. But are they down and out for good?|
|Don't fret a weakening dollar. |
|The financial crisis appears to be over, but thanks to onerous regulations and political scrutiny, Financials' woes aren't.|
|US October unemployment rose, but shouldn't hold back economic and stock market recovery. |
|Q3 US worker productivity increased the most since 2003—good news for corporate profits and stocks.|
|Jittery markets make for itchy trigger fingers. |
|CIT's bankruptcy filing is a story reminiscent of last year's financial horrors—one with less power to move markets.|
|The US economy returned to growth mode in Q3, with consumer spending leading the way.|
|Though some central banks are raising interest rates, stimulative global monetary policy remains en vogue. |
|Worried about today's high government debt? History shows we're still well within manageable levels.|
|Leading economic indicators are up for the sixth consecutive month. Investors who wait for the whole picture will likely be left behind as the bull market continues to rise.|
|Bull market skeptics believe commercial real estate woes may be the much- awaited "other shoe” drop-kicking markets. We doubt it.|
|Cries proclaiming imminent rampant inflation have little economic support. |
|Amid some celebration, Dow doubters hailed 10,000 as the ceiling for stocks. The milestone means little, but the bother's bullish. |
|Some Democrats want to expand the current stimulus—but investors needn't fear, it's unlikely any sweeping new stimulus measures will get approved anytime soon. |
|Concerns about higher taxes abound, but stock investors likely needn't fear the effects. |
|Investors shouldn't abandon their long-term investment strategies just because stocks are recovering.|
|Rumors are flying that a few countries want to stop pricing oil in US dollars, raising fears about the dollar as the world's dominant currency. |
|Unemployment and underemployment may continue rising, but history tells us they won't hold back stocks. |
|Fears natural disasters or geopolitical unrest could trigger the next bear market are nothing new.|
|US Q2 GDP was revised higher—but fears about the economy and consumer spending continue to weigh on many folks' minds. |
|The stock market recovery has been steady so far, but don't forget pullbacks are normal during a bull market.|
|World leaders descended on the US this week for a couple high-profile summits. Policy decisions, major or minor, are unlikely.|
|The DPJ, Japan's new ruling party, announced its decision to postpone parts of the $165 billion economic stimulus package passed earlier this year—possibly hindering Japan's economic recovery relative to the rest of the world. |
|As the global economy recovers, bare-bones inventories need to rise to keep shelves from becoming equally bare. |
|Recent talk of the end of the global recession isn't new news to investors.|
|Scaled historically, today's trade kerfuffles are minor—but we like that so many are paying attention.|
|Though Treasury and White House speak of "exit strategy,” financial regulation proposals could mean continued government involvement in the financial sector.|
|One year after a fateful week on Wall Street ignited a panic, we evaluate where things stand today.|
|The United Nations recently proposed establishing a global central bank and currency to solve the world's woes—but don't expect action anytime soon.|
|Economic data has been exceeding dour expectations, but skeptics are quick to note "less bad" data still isn't good.|
|Signs of improvement in the housing market are welcome but not necessary for the stock market rally to continue.|
|Despite investing myths to the contrary, September isn't a cursed month for investors. |
|Investors needn't fear China's stock market correction. |
|Contrary to popular belief, the stock market and the economy don't move in lockstep. Markets can recover in a V—even while the economy L's, W's, or Q's for a bit. |
|Colonial BancGroup's failure is typical of recessions' tendency to weed out weaker firms. |
|The cards might seem stacked against a rebound in consumption, but consumers are much more resilient than most think.|
|France and Germany announced positive Q2 GDP numbers Thursday, adding to signs a global economic recovery is well underway.|
|Stocks' fast pace has some fretting bubbles. |
|Bottom news stories are often the ones behind surging stocks. |
|Central banks worldwide are maintaining flexible monetary policies as the global financial system continues its recovery.|
|The US economy could be on the verge of renewed growth, but extremely cautious optimism pervades. |
|Employment numbers are in the spotlight again, but don't count on them to perfectly reflect the employment picture or tell you where markets are headed.|
|With Congress in recess and much of the financial industry on vacation, the news cycle should be mellow until after Labor Day.|
|The financial regulation debate is raging again.|
|Major new legislative proposals have stalled in the Beltway—that just might be a good thing for stocks. |
|The federal minimum wage increases this Friday. Despite arguments to the contrary, it's likely the economic impact will be negligible. |
|CIT may have secured a reprieve from bankruptcy court—for now—but the bigger news is its rescue is being backed by private financing rather than the government.|
|Earnings show banks' traditional capabilities are intact.|
|China's stimulus plans are coming to fruition faster than most developed nations, and the country will probably lead the global economic recovery.|
|State budget woes have received significant media coverage, but they tell us little about future stock prices. |
|Commodities regulators are debating the role speculators play in prices—yet again.|
|Budding CDO activity is a sign an important source of lending isn't permanently gone.|
|Sometimes the government's economic projections simply don't add up.|
|Investors should differentiate budget deficits from inflation.|
|Banks are less interested in the government's help these days. That's a good thing. |
|President Obama signed off on the "cash for clunkers” program Wednesday. Don't hold your breath on this one folks. |
|A seemingly ghoulish event known as quadruple witching took place this week, but long-term investors shouldn't fear its spells.|
|Short-term market volatility has never inhibited long-term value recognition or positive returns.|
|Today's announced financial regulatory proposals are moderate but highlight why investors should beware US Financials for now.|
|Economically sensitive sectors should lead the recovery—especially Materials, the earliest bird.|
|Fed reports showed US household wealth dropped in Q1, but this is hardly new news! |
|Rising US Treasury yields—alarming or alluring? |
|Recent government feuding over Citigroup's stock conversion highlights political risk within the slowly healing financial sector.|
|America's auto industry is as American as strudel, sushi, and bangers and mash.|
|Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke called for deficit reduction this week—what gives? |
|Big banks are eagerly trying to escape TARP, but it isn't easy. |
|It's time investors stopped bowing to the Dow—it's a poorly constructed index.|
|Bankruptcy looks inevitable for GM. |
|Congress recently passed a slew of new credit card regulations—and already the "law of unintended consequences” is hard at work. |
|You can sweat the small stuff—or look at the bigger picture. |
|Tough economic conditions and budget woes in some big states won't derail economic recovery.|
|Sluggish economic recovery won't prevent a V-shaped stock market bounce if worst-case fears subside. |
|Downturns bring increased federal scrutiny. But not all regulation is bad regulation. |
|With stocks down considerably from their high-water mark, it's hard not to wonder how long it'll take to get back there.|
|The stock market has been rising in the face of negative economic news, as it's supposed to. |
|Adding to already massive global monetary stimulus, the European Central Bank and Bank of England announced more stimulus Thursday.|
|Fears about bank stress tests are overblown, and markets have so far cheered the results. |
|Time is healing the US mortgage market.|
|In bad times, stocks are commonly shunned as permanently damaged goods—history shows no such thing.|
|When Democratic presidents learn to appeal to voters beyond their party base, history shows markets do very well in their inaugural years.|
|Regulators told investors Thursday they will detail bank stress-test methodology well before the results are released to the public. |
|How the government handles stress tests for banks will indicate the administration's ability to learn from past mistakes. |
|Recent prices demonstrate neither alarming growth nor precipitous declines—making a case for today's aggressive monetary policy. |
|Wells Fargo and other big banks will likely report stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings. But banks still face plenty of risks. |
|The SEC is considering limits on short selling, including reinstating the recently shelved uptick rule.|
|The relative size of the US in the global economy is shrinking.|
|A move in the right direction, the Financial Accounting Standards Board voted to soften FAS 157 Thursday. |
|Focusing on today's negative data to gauge economic progress is a fool's errand. |
|Time is running out for General Motors and Chrysler, and filing for bankruptcy is looking likely. |
|Bank executives visited the White House today to discuss the state of the economy and the financial system with President Obama.|
|Treasury Secretary Geithner's been on fire all week—but do his words doom stocks? Probably not. |
|Ambitious cap-and-trade legislation won't get through Congress easily. That's good news for the economy. |
|Treasury finally released details of the Public-Private Investment Program, but proposed modifications to FAS 157 could be more important to investors.|
|The Fed's new Term Asset-Backed Loan Facility (TALF) kicked off this week to somewhat tepid demand.|
|The Fed proved it's a force to be reckoned with, unveiling three additional strategies injecting up to an additional $1.15 trillion into capital markets. |
|Concerns foreigners will cease to finance the US's growing debt are nothing new. |
|Markets continue to discount uncertainty, not risk, as the rules of the game remain inscrutable as ever. |
|Economic and banking news largely beat dour expectations last week—and stock markets rose in response. But it's too soon to say if a new bull has arrived.|
|Free markets increase efficiency—even in hulking government bureaucracies. |
|Markets have a lot to digest, but few things are concrete yet. |
|Washington's waffling is only prolonging the pain. |
|Battered AIG received more aid, but there's no definitive end in sight to their problems. |
|Stock prices dropped today on dour news from the banking and economic fronts.|
|The White House submitted a blockbuster budget blueprint Thursday. |
|More inconsistent federal messaging roiled markets Monday and Tuesday. |
|Today's CPI data indicates the economy isn't slipping into deflation as many fear. |
|Political rhetoric continues to focus on banks—this time touching on the idea of nationalization. |
|The 3.5 million jobs promised by the stimulus package is based on fuzzy math, but it doesn't matter much for investors. |
|A pent-up deluge of dreadful news was unleashed Tuesday sending markets sharply lower. |
|Members of Congress grilled top bank executives Wednesday on why their institutions haven't been lending. |
|Treasury Secretary Geithner's financial rescue strategy may lack details, but one thing's for certain—it's massive. |
|Erratic equities declined Tuesday, yet credit markets continue to thaw. |
|The economy lost more jobs in January—an unfortunate statistic for jobseekers, but not necessarily investors. |
|The government can go a long way on borrowed dime. |
|Amid today's negative economic news, we note already low inventories could signify a particularly sharp but abbreviated downturn. |
|Government capital infusions to help banks lend appear to be sticks disguised as carrots. |
|GDP dropped 3.8% for Q4 2008—a dismal end to the year. Economic news will likely get worse in 2009, but expect the market to improve before the economy. |
|The Credit Default Swap market has been maligned as a source of financial instability, but inhibiting this important market would do more harm than good.|
|Plans for a government-run "bad bank” stoked financial shares today, but the targeted assets aren't nearly as bad as people think. |
|Fed policy makers will likely exhibit both force and caution in their scheduled meetings this week. |
|The heavy emphasis on the latest housing data belies its light GDP weight. |
|Treasury secretary nominee Timothy Geithner won the Senate Finance Committee's approval Thursday—but we still know relatively little about him. |
|TARP's strings are tightening around the banking sector. |
|Though little noticed in the US, a failed German bond auction has some worried abroad. |
|More weak unemployment data made the news today—but don't bet it depresses stocks long term. |
|Consumer health has been at the tip of everyone's tongue—now some worry more saving will make things even worse.|
|The SEC's long-awaited report on FAS 157 only complicates things. |
|Central banks worldwide have acted quickly, aggressively, and more or less together all year. |
|Looming rate resets on various adjustable rate mortgages are causing some to fear another subprime-like fallout. |
|The US government is spreading holiday cheer from Detroit to Main Street. |
|The Fed's recent rate cut and announced policy of quantitative easing is causing some to compare the US now to Japan in the 1990s—we're not so sure. |
|US markets were up today as the Fed announced it would again cut rates and continue aggressively deploying its many other policy tools. |
The Madoff scandal is an unfortunate demonstration of Wall Street hucksterism, but red flags were aplenty.
|Thursday night and Friday morning witnessed some surprisingly sane action from the Beltway—and predictably, the opposite too. |
|The muddled US financial regulatory system exacerbated this fall's crisis—maybe it's time to simplify its structure. |
|Consumer spending will be subdued this holiday season, but there is some good news amid the coal lumps.|
US financial and economic health recovery will take place in steps, not in a single climactic moment.
|In yet another attempt to address housing market concerns, the feds announced a plan hoping to aid new homebuyers and support housing prices. |
|President-elect Obama's economic Cabinet picks are experienced economic and political veterans—the usual suspects. |
|On Monday, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) officially labeled this past year a recession.|
|Banks are learning the hard way TARP is no overnight solution. |
|Rapidly falling prices have many worried about deflation.|
|The Fed's willing to innovate and innovate again to succeed. |
|As expected, the federal government stepped in over the weekend with an aid package for ailing mega-bank, Citigroup. |
|Fear strikes Financials—again! |
|Today's volatility is sometimes hard to fathom—but some of it is surely due to existing non-fundamental pressures. |
|Some insurance companies are turning themselves into savings-and-loan holding companies to qualify for government funding. |
|During economic downturns, many wait for signs of recovery before investing. But investment decisions based on today's news only puts investors behind. |
|The government has switched to "Plan B” on various rescue programs. |
|Some have argued the government's financial crisis cure-all has been one-sided—but a new plan seems to indicate that will soon be remedied. |
|Can a government save an industry? Detroit's Big Three are hoping so. |
|The US elected a new president Tuesday night, removing one key uncertainty. |
|The stock market is a leading economic indicator, not the other way around. |
|The last day of October finished higher—but the month was tough for stock investors. |
|Thursday brought further global liquidity support and weak (though expected) preliminary third quarter GDP data. |
|Cutting the federal funds rate is just one monetary policy tool of many. |
|Taken together, recent government and private sector actions are easing financial uncertainty. |
|What will banks participating in the Treasury's recapitalization program do with the extra funds? |
|Despite the gloomy headlines, there are plenty of companies reporting positive earnings. |
|Recently, the Fed announced more help for ailing money market mutual funds. |
|Tight credit conditions have eased lately—a little-noticed fact. |
|After Monday's round of announced European government capital injections, the US countered with a plan of its own Tuesday. |
|In addition to an interest rate cut, the Federal Reserve this week opened a new lending facility aimed at jumpstarting the commercial paper market. |
|Though today's financial panic may seem Great Depression-like, the real economic consequences don't have to be. |
|The Treasury's $700 billion financial rescue plan won't solve anything quickly—at least not in the way most folks think it will. |
|We examine the controversial topic of mark-to-market accounting—for those who forgot the details (or never knew to begin with)! |
|After one of the largest down days in years, some new information came to light while other issues remained unresolved. |
|In the hands of politicians, the financial rescue plan has become…politicized! |
|Many smart folks are weighing in on the government's bailout plan. Instead of hasty action, use this time to become as informed as you can. |
|As Congress debates the Treasury and Fed's financial system bailout, many are concerned over its "price tag.”|
|The weekend and Monday delivered more news of material importance to financial markets. |
|After a wild week on the Street, markets ended just about where they started.|
|Curtailing short selling is at best a regulatory shot in the dark.|
|The government rescue of insurance giant AIG is concerning but has its bright spots. |
|On one of the worst single days in stock market history, capital markets revealed as much about their strength as their weakness. |
|The last ten months have tested investors, but history and fundamentals say a bottom is likely near. When stocks hit bottom they'll bounce high. |
|New M&A accounting and reporting standards mark a positive step toward creating seamless global markets, but pose problems for today's would-be sellers and buyers of companies.|
|For months, the fates of Fannie and Freddie seemed uncertain. Now, the federal takeover is a fait accompli. |
|Major indexes have declined 20% or more from their highs, indicating a bear market. With the US presidential election at hand, investors face a critical juncture. |
|"Could” and "might” aren't news. Investors should be wary of opinions masquerading as journalism. |
|Sentiment-based surveys almost never capture the complete picture. |
|Many assign undue weight to the successes or failures of international organizations. But sovereign nations will do as they please, and failure to reach wide consensus doesn't mean globalization's end. |
|Will the Fed's expansion of powers prove to be a terrible precedent or a pertinent innovation? |
|Earlier this week we noticed the re-emergence of a classic investing myth. Folks hailed the trade deficit shrinking on growing exports as good news. |
|There's lots of hubbub surrounding the US dollar's recent rally against other major currencies. What should investors know when it comes to currency movement? |
Is California's once-golden economy now tarnished by years of anti-competitive regulation and taxes?
|Higher production costs aren't necessarily directly passed on to the consumer.|
|As second quarter 2008 GDP came in stronger than expected, headlines still find reason to be gloomy.|
|Investors looking for anecdotal evidence miss some hard data, like transports, which remain strong--unlikely to happen during recession. |
|Some folks fret lower oil and gas prices are a bad sign for Energy and the economy, but fundamentals still look nice. |
|Earnings season is proving to be a bumpy ride, but good news exists. |
|Sector weightings are one of the key drivers of portfolio performance. Knowing when to make adjustments is vital to performance over time. |
|With all the talk of economic woe and calls for accountability, a harsh regulatory response could become a risk. |
|Those in the financial industry are overwhelmingly bearish. Is there legitimate reason for their pessimism, or do the current troubles within their industry skew their views? |
|While CPI has ticked up of late, rekindling inflation fears, global long-term interest rates, a better indication for the market's expectation of inflation, remain benign. |
|Markets were volatile again on Friday as fears over the health of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac resurfaced. |
|Initial public offerings (IPOs) have dried up lately. Many view this as a bearish sign. But a dearth of IPOs means less stock supply—bullish for prices. |
|For this year's celebration of independence, it's time to ask why we feel so bad while the world keeps getting better. |
|That so many want to classify the economy today as being in recession is probably more a function of dour sentiment than economic reality. |
|Many touting economic stimulus checks as the economy's saving grace are talking out of both sides of their mouths. |
|The Federal Reserve left rates unchanged yesterday, but hinted at a potential shift in policy in the months ahead. Regardless, incremental rate changes don't matter much to long-term investors. |
|Many worry today's market volatility is because the world's more perilous than ever. Truth is, there's never a dull moment. Hang tough!|
Folks fearing the weak housing market will dampen consumer spending shouldn't worry—consumer spending tracks disposable income, not home equity.
|Folks tend to base broad economic views on local circumstances and solitary storylines. This earnings season, be wary of assigning too much weight to the performance of a small set of traditional economic bellwethers—there's a wider world out there. |
|Ben Bernanke's congressional testimony on Wednesday seemingly supports calls for recession in 2008. Scaling the problems reveals slower growth, but a recession remains unlikely.|
|Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced an "overhaul” plan for U.S. financial markets. But the plan, if it survives, will likely look very different.|
|Treasury Secretary Paulson's new policy recommendations intended to strengthen financial markets could prove to be more bane than boon.|
|Stocks have been sold in the short-term to pay off debt. Said otherwise—certain financial institutions have been de-leveraging. It's kind of like pawning your guitar to pay the rent. |
|The Fed's latest fix has markets in a huff. But just what is a Term Auction Facility anyway? |
|Investors fear Carlyle Capital's troubles signal larger problems surrounding agency mortgage securities, but Carlyle's woes aren't systemic.|
|Reported January foreclosure rates are up 57% from last year—a closer look at the data shows the accompanying fears are overblown. |
|Behind the turmoil, markets continue to function normally. |
|Recent failed muni bond auctions have sparked new fears Wall Street's in credit bondage. But a closer look reveals just another overhyped worry of the liquidity crisis. |
|The US consumer isn't dead yet! January sales growth beat expectations and is tempering fears of an impending recession. |
|Is the Sage of Omaha really trying to bail out bond insurers, or merely conducting business as usual?|
|Do higher credit card delinquency rates mean American consumers are finally dead? No—in fact, delinquency rates are still below average. But even higher rates haven't spelled doomed historically|
|Market reaction to today's ISM service industry report is overwrought and near hysterical—not an uncommon reaction to economic news of late.|
|Acquisition and share buyback activity march onward amid the tumult—an indication economic and market fundamentals are much stronger than today's pervasively dour outlook.|
|Ignore short-term market swings and investor fears and focus on what the market's likeliest to do going forward—only one of four possible scenarios.|
|While some are swooning over the "worst economy in five years,” a sober analysis of preliminary US GDP figures released today shows an economy still on strong footing.|
|Though bad news from the residential housing sector continues making headlines, it won't have the long-term economic or market impact investors fear.|
|Today's announced "stimulus” package from the beltway is little more than empty calories for the economy. |
|A US bank liquidity crisis never materialized in 2007…and we've got the data to prove it!|
|Market action today isn't warning you to sell—rather, now is the time to remain disciplined and ride out market turbulence.|
|Bond insurers are struggling to keep their heads above water as ratings agencies evaluate credit ratings. But new companies are entering the market and increased competition promises an improved industry over the coming years.|
|Investors are worried about plenty today, but inflation shouldn't be on their short list.|
|Fears surrounding foreign governments' investments in US firms is unwarranted. Capital is capital—the freer it flows the better.|
|Stocks took a walloping today on widely expected news tied to Financials' health and mortgage-related asset write-downs.|
|The Fed plans on communicating more regularly with the American public, which is nice, but we believe won't ease volatility or make forecasting markets any less difficult.|
|As two troubled Financials firms prepare to go on the auction block, note they are getting bought out by other Financials firms. The sector isn't as imperiled as it may appear.|
|It's no wonder market volatility is high lately. Today's headlines reveal a lot of market misperceptions. More than ever, folks seem to be choosing an overly dour view in place of reality.|
|Predictions about rising bond default rates seem too dour and highly unlikely. |
|In light of today's dour employment news, we're rerunning a past story detailing the imperfect nature of employment data.|
|2007 was a year of hand-wringing about the dollar's demise. With just a few days left in the year, it turns out the dollar wasn't so weak after all.|
|Headlines, polls, feelings—none of these are good indicators of a coming recession. Instead, you must look at the hard data to know if we're in recession.|
|The newest rationale to be bearish is possibly the silliest yet: A vicious cycle-induced recession. |
|Investors dread decreasing home prices will translate to lower net worth and slower consumer spending. But the Federal Reserve's latest report on the US household reveals the largely unappreciated strength and vigor of the American consumer.|
|As 2007 draws to a close, we consider just a few of the market conditions that could help fuel a continued global equity bull market.|
|Pearl Harbor reminds us of the resiliency, strength, and versatility of the United States and its citizens. By comparison, today's perceived economic problems are mere trifles.|
|Folks seem to believe the US is headed for a recession. We'd bet most of those folks would fail our quiz.|
|Investors commonly fear the US government is over-indebted, particularly to foreigners, and this poses an economic threat. However, our government is largely indebted to Americans, and currently, our debt load isn't worrisome.|
|Contrary to popular opinion, a Democrat President and Congress doesn't guarantee a tax hike. Rather, it's conceivable the Democrats maintain the tax cuts for political leverage.|
|Bernanke's testimony to Congress today depicted a resilient economy with plenty of capital markets-based mechanisms to ballast the soft housing market. Too bad many chose to hear a different message.|
|Reported US corporate earnings are weak so far in the third quarter, but a close look at the numbers and proper perspective reveals this doesn't signal a new bear market. |
|Politicians have it backwards. Debt is not a societal negative. It's a vital economic driver, and having access to credit makes society wealthier overall.|
|Large and diverse economies (such as the US) require huge dislocations to impede economic growth—most concerns like subprime and new housing supply simply aren't big enough to matter.|
|Yesterday's Fed action won't have much impact, which is good news, since our healthy economy requires no rescuing. |
|Today's jobs report was indeed negative, but when the hype is cleared away it doesn't amount to much.|
|News about increasing foreclosures may not be as bad as you think because weakness in the housing sector isn't enough to materially hamper America's economy.|
|Think the US or UK has too much debt? Think again.|
|Catcalls for a world economy in crisis on fears of the supposed credit crunch are getting sillier by the day as hard evidence of stability and strength piles on.|
|Our daddies told us there'd be days like this. The S&P 500 took a whooping today, capping what's been a tumultuous couple weeks in the market. But don't let a few days' frightening downside volatility scare you away from stocks just yet.|
|As the stock markets work through jitters about a credit crunch and subprime, recent aggregate economic news has been very encouraging.|
|Corporate profits are beating expectations.|
|Economies aren't like people.|
|Editor's Note: Today's commentary is written in half English, half Texting language.|
|Markets were pounded today in what could be the beginning of the second down leg of the correction.|
|Ben Franklin said: "Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.|
|Our minds are wandering.|
|The incompetence of government-run systems cannot be overstated, and we cannot belabor that point enough.|
|Stocks are cheap and they need to get more expensive.|
|If you picked up a newspaper in the past few weeks, you probably saw at least one article detailing the downward spiral of the subprime mortgage market.|
|Back in November, we provided a list of worries keeping overall sentiment cautious about the economy (see our past commentary "Skyscraper of Worry" for the full list).|
|Dominating headlines today is our bearded buddy Bernanke's Congressional testimony about the dangers of a retiring baby boomer generation.|
|We've done a very bad thing.|
|One of our favorite pastimes is delivering bad news to the bears in times we believe it's a bull market (like now).|
|United States unemployment stands today at a 5-year low of 4.|
|We're a bit tired of hearing of the over-extended consumer.|
|It's official: US GDP growth slowed in the third quarter.|
|Hopefully you said "That's Great!" after reading the above.|
|Psychologist Thomas Harris wrote a book called I'm OK, You're OK in 1976 explaining his theory on how we perceive ourselves and others.||
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