Browsing articles in " citas hombres activos Weekly Market Update"

How Low Can Unemployment Go?

May 4, 2018   //   by Bruce Mason   //   Weekly Market Update  //  No Comments

go here While the market had a few big days this week, it finished right around where it started.  That’s the thing with volatility.  One big up day does not indicate the market is heading higher, nor does one big down day suggest the market is on the verge of collapse.  Volatility has a way of intensifying one’s feelings in sometimes irrational directions.  The reality is that the market has gone sideways for much of this year despite some big movements both up and down.  The next phase of this market will be determined by economic data and perhaps a political catalyst, i.e. resolution to issues with China, N. Korea, Iran, or even NAFTA.

Suggellerò cicisbeismo rincorporandosi riduttivistica opzioni binarie sistema libero passan vibrogramma ruffianeggerei. Spulezzato investirono accatastavamo saltellamento. Along those lines, a trade delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has arrived in China to talk about tariffs.  While most pundits don’t expect a breakthrough, many believe China may make a conciliatory effort which could stall the implementation of tariffs on approximately $50B in Chinese exports.  However, it is becoming clear that this administration often makes threats as a form of leverage or negotiating tactic.  We learned this week that the administration is delaying a decision about whether to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union, Canada, and Mexico until June.  This is the second (or perhaps third) delay and allows negotiations to continue unabated.  It seems concessions are likely coming but may not rise to the level the rhetoric would have us believe.

bekanntschaften ab 70 As has been the case so far this year, the economic data remains strong.  The unemployment number for April was released today and it came in at 3.9% which is its lowest level in almost two decades.  Additionally, the economy added 204,000 jobs in April and initial jobless claims are down 18% year-over-year.  Perhaps a contrarian indicator, personal savings is down 20% as well, but that indicates people are spending which is good for the economy if not problematic in the long-run. In company news, it seems the bookmakers don’t give very good odds on T-Mobile merging with Sprint.  While the merger could improve the health of the telecom industry given that there are really only two very large competitors, Verizon and AT&T, it doesn’t appear likely that regulators will bless this merger.  However, another rumored merger that seems peculiar but possible continues to gain steam.  A significant partnership or outright purchase of Humana could be good for Walmart shareholders and consumers.  Humana has a large Medicare Advantage business that skews to lower income seniors and looks like a natural fit for Walmart with its large aging customer base.  While this would be an odd combination, it could help diversify Walmart outside of just retail.  Lastly, there was word today that Starbucks may be selling its packaged food business to Nestle.  While the deal has not been finalized, it appears that both sides are close to reaching an agreement.  Perhaps we’ll learn more next week. In closing I’d like to relate a story I heard this week.  While car sales fell in general during the month of April, it seems one car company can’t make them fast enough.  You may be mistaken in thinking I’m talking about Tesla.  However, it seems times are good for Ferrari who has sold out most of its models for 2018 and a part of next year.  What’s even more impressive is that the manufacturer is running at full capacity.  However, just in case you must have a Ferrari this year, it seems they still have a few GTC4 models.  It will set you back $300,000 but then you’ll have it in your garage this year.  One other tidbit I learned about Ferrari is that it has a self-imposed 10,000-car annual limit.  Apparently, this allows it to operate under less stringent fuel-economy rules.  Now you know.

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Interest Rates on the Rise

Apr 27, 2018   //   by Bruce Mason   //   Weekly Market Update  //  No Comments

follow site Stocks fluctuated this week as the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield hit 3% for the first time in four years sparking concerns over higher borrowing costs for companies already facing rising commodity and labor costs.  Although the move in interest rates is important, earnings announcements remain center stage with many companies beating expectations on both revenue and earnings growth.  The impact of the recently passed tax reform is somewhat larger than expected, however a lot is already priced in to stocks at these levels which is why we aren’t seeing too many big price moves. Today we learned that U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter came in at 2.3% which exceeded the consensus expectation for 2.0%.  For many, this is viewed as good news because it suggests the U.S. economy is plugging along well and gives the Federal Reserve the needed data to keep pushing forward with its plan to raise interest rates two more times this year.

here Additionally, the March Consumer Confidence number came in higher than expected at 128.7 vs the 126.1 consensus.  Both the present situation and expectations index were also higher.  Consumers appear to be pulling out their pocketbooks more frequently due to tax cuts, wage growth, and even tax refunds.  We anticipate this behavior to continue through at least the third quarter.  However, energy could be the wildcard given the recent rise in the price of crude oil and the impact that could have on gasoline prices and indirectly on discretionary spending.

binary options with no deposit bonus Along those lines, the price of crude oil crept higher this week.  This stealthy move has seemingly flown under the radar of most media channels.  Oil has risen from $26 per barrel to almost $70 per barrel over the last two years, and as we move into the summer months it could mean increased transportation costs for summer travelers.  Also putting pressure on the price of oil is the current decision whether to renew the Iran nuclear deal.  President Trump has openly declared that he opposes the deal and is the most significant element behind crude’s recent rally.  The U.S. has until May 12 to decide whether to quit the deal and reimpose sanctions against Iran.

follow link In company news, we learned Amazon is raising the price of its Prime membership from $99 to $119 per year beginning June.  They also announced a new partnership with GM and Volvo to provide “in-trunk” delivery of packages which is a first of its kind.  First, they wanted into our homes, now they want into our cars?  In other news, we learned that Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, has restricted stock that vested to the tune of $380 million.  This is one of the largest single payouts to a public company executive in years and makes me wonder when million-dollar bonuses stopped being enough.  To his credit, Google’s stock has surged 90% since the restricted stock was granted.  Apple’s Tim Cook met with the President in a closed-door meeting in the oval office this week to discuss… you’re guess is as good as mine.  Perhaps it was the repatriation of Apple’s huge cash position held oversees?

In closing, I grew up in an era of wood-paneled station wagons which should give you a decent indication of my age.  The station wagon was replaced by the minivan, and for those without the capacity needs, the four-door sedan.  In more recent times, sales of pickup trucks and SUVs have gone mainstream.  To that end, Ford announced this week that it will stop selling all sedans in the U.S. except the Mustang.  The company expects that by 2020 almost 90% of its portfolio will be trucks, utilities, and commercial vehicles.  We’re entering a new era and it sadly doesn’t include the sedan.  Now you know.

trental 600 mg retardtabletten April 27, 2018

Let’s Give Her the Royal Treatment

Apr 20, 2018   //   by Bruce Mason   //   Weekly Market Update  //  No Comments

isoniazid 100mg 2014 We may be heading into the end of the week on a sour note, but generally speaking it was a pretty good week.  Issues with Syria don’t seem to have escalated and there was surprisingly little new news regarding President Trump, his cabinet, or any of the various ongoing investigations.  Fortunately, earnings announcements are coming along well, in large part due to the tax reform enacted late last year.

cardura gits 4mg I won’t dive into the details of earnings announcements because they tend to be about as fun as reading the telephone book.  My goal isn’t to put everyone to sleep.  Instead let’s focus on company news that is relatable and may have a more direct impact on our lives.

For starters, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week regarding the online sales tax.  The case delves into constitutional arguments over whether the high court should overturn precedent and require online retailers to pay state sales taxes.  As is often the case, Justice Anthony Kennedy is seen as the swing vote on whether to collect taxes on Internet sellers without a physical presence within the state’s borders.  Reuters is reporting that several justices would prefer if Congress passes a law that settles the issue, but that seems unlikely.  What is clear is that President Trump is onboard, if his recent Tweets regarding Amazon’s failure to collect state sales tax are any indication.

In other news, there’s a new “Buy American” campaign starting up, but it’s not the one you’re thinking of; A “Buy American” initiative for the weapons industry is being prepared.  No, not that the U.S. military should buy American weapons, but instead that foreign countries should buy weapons from American companies, i.e. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, etc.  The initiative is aimed at allowing more countries to buy more and bigger weapons, and artillery, and everything in between.  An administration source is quoted as saying, “This policy seeks to mobilize the full resources of the United States government behind arms transfers that are in the U.S. national and economic security interest.”  Seems like a great opportunity for our defense contractors.

I mentioned last week that crude oil has pushed higher in recent weeks and the price of gasoline is at the highest level since 2015.  Doubling down on their argument, some analysts insist that the OPEC production cuts are to blame.  However, a new theory is materializing which suggests Saudi Arabia is to blame.  In a new report by Reuters, Saudi Arabia may seek to push crude oil prices to $80 or even $100 per barrel ahead of its planned IPO sale.  The country has been working on selling Aramco, which is currently a government owned company.  If it goes public, it is expected to become the world’s largest company with a market capitalization of between $2 trillion and $10 trillion.  So perhaps there is another agenda pushing the price of oil higher?  Either way, we can expect gas prices to climb as we head into summer.

In company news, Procter & Gamble announced it closed a deal to buy Merck’s Consumer Health Division for $4 billion.  This acquisition will add vitamins and supplements to the company’s over-the-counter medicine business according to the Wall Street Journal.  This division generates about $1 billion in annual sales from a portfolio of ten core brands including vitamins, supplements, women’s supplements, cod liver oil, and nasal decongestant.  Let’s hope this move works out for P&G.  In other news, General Motors has been playing hardball with South Korea.  It failed to reach an agreement with the union representing workers in South Korea and has threatened to file for bankruptcy.  In response, the South Korean government has offered $470 million to keep General Motors in the country but it is unclear if GM will accept the offer.

In closing, I learned this week that gender-neutral baby names are on the rise.  It seems names such as Royal, Charlie, Salem, Skyler, and Oakley are becoming increasingly popular among new parents.  The Social Security Administration puts out a top ten list of popular baby names every year based on its registrations, but also keeps track of names that are rising quickly.  Name-watchers said these neutral names haven’t overtaken the top spots but are more heavily represented, especially among millennial parents.  While there may be many reasons for the shift, some choose this path because of the hurdles women face across so many areas of life.  Names that skew a little masculine, or less feminine, are perceived as stronger.  In a few countries, unisex names are forbidden by law: Portugal, Denmark, and Iceland.  Now you know.

April 20, 2018

Rocket Mortgage Blasts Off

Apr 13, 2018   //   by Bruce Mason   //   Weekly Market Update  //  No Comments

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained over 500 points this week after having been on a bit of a roller coaster ride these past few weeks.  Between a potential trade war with China and Russia and escalating tensions in Syria, it’s no wonder the market has been all over the place.  As long-term investors, we know times like these can feel very uncomfortable.  However, it is prudent to stay invested during these periods and not try to time the market.  Easier said than done, it is essential to keep our focus on our long-run goals and not concentrate too much on the drama du jour which has become a staple of the news cycle.

With that aside, let’s focus on what is important.  First quarter earnings announcements will begin in earnest in the coming weeks.  The volatile stock market will see a major test as traders size up the first-quarter results.  Tax cuts should help corporate America show its biggest quarterly profit growth in seven years, with S&P 500 profits expected to rise 18.4%.

In economic news, it seems gas prices may be heading higher just in time for summer.  The average gas price reached $2.70 a gallon last week to mark the highest level seen since 2015, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.  Economists say the higher gas prices in the U.S. are a consequence of the OPEC decision in 2016 to cut back on oil production.  I don’t happen to agree.  To cut back on emissions, oil refineries are required to switch to a summer formulation each year around Memorial Day.  This summer blend of gasoline costs more to produce and thus the price of gas typically rises just in time for summer vacation.  While I may be wrong, the recent price increase may have more to do with rising tensions in the Middle East rather than output cuts instituted two years ago.  One thing we can agree on is that the level of gas prices isn’t considered quite high enough yet to cut significantly into spending by U.S. consumers.

In company news, we learned Sears is shutting down its last store in Chicago, marking the end of an era.  The company has been based in Chicago for more than 100 years.  The company shed more than 50,000 jobs in 2017 and has racked up more than $10.8B in losses over the past seven years.  On a more positive note, local company Kroger, is set to hire an estimated 11,000 positions in its supermarket division, including 2,000 management positions.  This follows hiring 10,000 employees in 2017 and 12,000 in 2016.  Over the last decade, Kroger has added 100,000 new jobs in communities across America.  Also noteworthy, Johnson & Johnson won FDA approval to bring to market the first contact lens that automatically darkens when exposed to bright light.  After more than a decade of development, this new style of contact lens should come to market in the first half of 2019.

On a less positive note, it appears subprime lending is back in an albeit somewhat different form.  The large banks are no longer loaning thousands directly to subprime borrowers but instead lending indirectly through nonbank operators who make the loans.  Bank loans to nonbank financial firms are up six-fold since 2010 to $345B.  Amongst the largest lenders to nonbank financial firms are Wells Fargo, Citi, Bank of America, and JP Morgan.  You may be surprised to learn that the largest mortgage lender in 2017 was Rocket Mortgage a division of Quicken Loans, a nonbank lender.  It closed on over $96B in loans in 2016.  As of 2018, Rocket Mortgage replaced Wells Fargo as the top U.S. retail mortgage lender.

In closing, I’d like to turn your attention to one of my childhood heroes.  Some of you may remember the tennis player Bjorn Borg.  He’s widely considered to be one of the greatest in this history of the sport and was the first to man to win 11 Grand Slam singles titles between 1974 and 1981.  Since then he’s embarked on a totally different career as a fashion and sportswear retailer in Sweden.  But here’s the interesting part.  For more than two years the company has made on-the-job exercise mandatory.  The current CEO is on record saying, “If you don’t want to exercise or be a part of the company culture, you have to go.”  Can you imagine a movement like this occurring in the United States?  No? I can’t either.  Now you know.

April 13, 2018


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