Market Commentary

Housing

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The new Case/Shiller 20 home survey came out and prices rose again. They slightly accelerated from the summer months, up 2.9% year over year. For 2019, home prices rose 5.1% according FHA. It is obvious why as interest rates for a 30-year mortgage has fallen to below 4%. The recent spread of the coronavirus has […]

Market Commentary

The Leading Economic Indicators

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Every month a report called the Leading Economic Indicators is released and for January, reported this week, it was up .8% from shrinking .3% the month before. This gauge is attempting to predict the future direction of the U.S. economy. It is believed to foretell us 3 to 9 months out. One month of a […]

Market Commentary

The Four Protagonists

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The U.S. is in a Sub Rosa battle with these four countries. Each want to undermine the U.S. dominance economically and militarily. To that end, one way or another, world events are shaped by this battle and at some point it will affect stock prices. These countries love to see the U.S. in political turmoil […]

Market Commentary

Retail Sales and Industrial Production

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These were the only two important reports, besides the continued low inflation reports, out this week. We have been in a low inflation period for so long it no longer is talked about. That could be a mistake. However, this week retail sales for January came in at .3% growth. It was broad based and […]

Market Commentary

The Coronavirus

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This week’s economic news will be light until Friday when we will have a flurry of reports on retail sales, imports and industrial production. Meanwhile the coronavirus dominates the news cycle, but it too seems to be fading a bit as investors shake off the worry of its effects on the world economy. Like most […]

Market Commentary

Jobs for January

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The official jobs report was released this morning. There were 225,000 new jobs which were much more than the expected at 165,000. In December, 147,000 new jobs were created. The unemployment rate moved up from 3.5% to 3.6%. The reason was that more people entered the labor force.  Finally, wages went up as well rising […]

Market Commentary

GDP

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The U.S. fourth quarter GDP number was released this week and it was stronger than expected at a growth rate of 2.1%. That means the 2019 average was slightly above 2%. When compared to the EU, which came in at an annual rate 1% and fourth quarter only .1%, the U.S. looks strong. Even compared […]

Market Commentary

Climate Change and our Investments

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‘Global warming’ use to be the moniker but today it is ‘climate change’ that appears on nightly news. Whatever it is called the actual change in our climate will not affect stock prices but the politics surrounding the controversy will. As an investor, you have to be aware of political realities because what happens in […]

Market Commentary

Manufacturing

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Recently the private company that produces the latest data on manufacturing specially, called the PMI report, stated that the number for December moved up from 52.2 to 52.4. Any number over 50 suggests expansion. The official report, called the ISM manufacturing index, for December came in at 47.2% down from 48.1%. Another report on construction […]

Market Commentary

The Market

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Even after some pretty significant events concerning Iran the U.S. stock market shrugged off the tension. It helps that President Trump seems to be playing down the confrontation by being cautious with his response. It also helps that our economy appears to be bouncing back from weakness seen in the summer months extending into the […]