Foundation Forming, Base Building

Before things can get better they have to stop getting worse. We have talked about some of the very early signs that the economy is starting to turn.We have also seen bond and credit markets improving from last fall. But as corporations have begun to report 1st quarter earnings, these reports will be mixed at.. read more →

Banks are Gradually Healing

Wells Fargo kicked off earnings season last week with a preannouncement shocker – a $3 billion profit, double what analysts had forecast. Details on credit quality and trends were lacking and bad loan reserve levels were smaller than expected. Earnings results were driven by mortgage volume, which was up 40% overall, with a 64% increase in.. read more →

Nice Rally, but More Pain Ahead

The March stock market rally was welcome, long overdue, and helped erase some of the losses experienced in investment portfolios this past year. Stock markets do not usually move in a straight direction for long. The last two quarters have experienced both bull (20% gains) and bear markets (20% declines) within the same quarter!!! We.. read more →

Pieces Falling into Place

Since the beginning of the year, we talked about how the shape of a recovery in the markets might look. We mentioned that stocks would recover before the economy does, and credit markets may recover before stocks. During this six-month credit crisis Treasury bonds held up well, but AAA corporate bonds lost 15% to 20%. Much.. read more →

The Strong Survive – Getting Stronger

Circuit City finally closed its doors on its 600 stores last week, eliminating another 34,000 jobs in the economy. Best Buy is still in business, a little leaner after some layoffs and early retirement buyouts. They will probably emerge from this recession a stronger company, and no doubt with less competition. GM and Chrysler needed.. read more →

Winter Brings Spring (eventually)…..

The 2008 – 2009 winter in Minnesota has been longer and colder than in recent years. The slowing economy and the downward spiral in the stock markets has probably made it seem even longer and colder for many of us. Melting snow, the first robin spotting, and the fresh green growth of grass and trees.. read more →