The Long Road Back

Last week the U.S. economy finally recovered all the jobs lost in the worst recession since the Depression.  Last month 138.5 million Americans were working, exceeding the 138.4 million working during December 2007, the first month of the recession. It has been a long-road back, taking over two years longer for jobs to recover than.. read more →

We Are All Linked

I recently viewed a news report on the economic troubles in Europe. This report focused on Spain’s economy, how it’s housing market remained in steep decline, unemployment was 24%, close to 50% unemployment among youth, and how despite having above average college graduation rates, many graduates were leaving Spain for countries with better employment prospects… read more →

Corrections Are Normal, Bears Are Often Wrong

Unemployment is stubbornly high and the housing market is still a mess-we all know that. Despite these structural problems, the economy has emerged from the recession in 2008, and is growing again-just not as fast as any of us would like. Recent economic data shows the economy is slowing and the market seems to have corrected.. read more →

Walls of Worry

Record home foreclosures, high unemployment, massive municipal defaults, unrest in Egypt, record federal budget deficits, European debt concerns, higher interest rates, and rising inflation in China and emerging markets. Is there enough for investors to worry about? Yes-and then some! There usually is plenty to worry about and it seems like there is always another market.. read more →

Poor Economy=Poor Stock Returns?-Not Necessarily

The recent mortgage foreclosure moratorium probably results in even more delays in cleaning up the millions of home foreclosures nationwide and means the return of a healthy real estate market is still years away. Jobless claims remain elevated, and unemployment seems like it will be stuck at around 10% for some time to come. Signs.. read more →

Five Things

We are in the middle of low volume summer trading in the stock market.After last quarter’s pullback, stocks are beginning to gradually move higher again. Recent economic news shows an economy that is still struggling with high unemployment and a sluggish housing market. But 2nd quarter earnings have been good and though corporations have been.. read more →

Inflation Watch

Consumer expectations for inflation have risen in June, causing some investors and policymakers to begin worrying about inflation again. Inflation expectations have risen to 3.1%, the highest level since last fall. We continue to think these inflation concerns are premature while we remain in the “Great Recession”. Most of the recent increase in prices has been due.. read more →

Low Inflation = Low Interest Rates

The high levels of recent government spending and resulting huge budget deficits have stirred the inflation hawks in recent months. The “talking head” investment advice on television has been touting inflation protection in the form of traditional inflation protecting investments such as TIPS bonds, Gold, Commodities, and even Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). Inflation, as always,.. read more →

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 →