Changing Market Leadership Reflects Growth Expectations

earth from space at nightIS IT A CYCLICAL ROTATION?

Economic growth may not be predictable, but it tends to follow a pattern that is known as a business or economic cycle. Periods of recession (when the economy contracts) are followed by periods of growth (when the economy expands).

Some companies and market sectors tend to perform better during economic expansions. They’re known as cyclical companies, Continue reading

Third Quarter Earnings Season

mn on the edge with the sun‘Tis the season!

Third quarter earnings season, that is.

Every quarter, companies report earnings to let investors know how profitable the companies were during the quarter. When profits grow, a company’s share price may move higher. When profits decline, a company’s share price may move lower.

For five consecutive quarters, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) has been in an earnings recession – the earnings for the companies in the index have declined every quarter. Continue reading

Gotta Love The Ig® Nobel Prizes

Processed with VSCO with f3 presetLAUGH THEN THINK – HARDER. The Ig® Nobel Prizes were awarded last week. The prizes celebrate some of the most imaginative, unusual, and peculiar scientific achievements of the year. For 2016, the winners included:

• Economics: Journalism and marketing professors from New Zealand and Britain for their work in marketing theory. The winning paper was entitled, “The Brand Personality of Rocks: A Critical Evaluation of a Brand Personality Scale.” Continue reading

Jobs Report – Good News or Bad?


The U.S. unemployment rate ticked higher last week. The September jobs report showed the United States added 156,000 new jobs in September. That was 16,000 fewer than economists were expecting and 11,000 fewer than were added in August, according to Barron’s. Continue reading

Markets Don’t Care Who Is Elected

Manhattan SkylineIT’S AN ELECTION YEAR! The influence of elections on markets, investors, and economies has been examined and re-examined over time. Theories have been developed. Ideas have been promoted. Some may be accurate; some may not be. Here are a few things to keep in mind especially if markets get volatile before the election: Continue reading

Calm(ish) Markets in Third Quarter

calm man hot spring hot tubMarkets were relatively calm during the third quarter of 2016

They were able to deliver some attractive returns overall and all eyes remain fixed on central banks.

In the United States, all three major U.S. indices posted record highs twice during a single 7-day period in August, reported The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) experienced a 51-day streak without at least a 1 percent decline. The index returned 3.3 percent in the third quarter. Continue reading

Oktoberfest & The State of Craft Beer!

beerIS YOUR STATE CRAFTY? Oktoberfest is upon us and that means beer. In the United States, celebrations are likely to include craft-brewed drafts, which are a far cry from traditional American lager, according to the Brewer’s AssociationThe Economist wrote:

“Any American university student can inform you that much of the beer in the United States is utter swill. Those who graduate from the red Solo cup – the brand so synonymous with beer pong and college life – can afford to purchase better. And so they do. Continue reading

The Fed Resists Urge to Raise Rates

hands on laptop - keep calm in backgroundAs expected…

The dovish U.S. Federal Reserve left rates unchanged last week and markets celebrated. Across the globe, national stock market indices finished the week higher. In the United States, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and NASDAQ gained more than 1 percent.

Not everyone was thrilled with the decision, however. Three Federal Reserve presidents cast dissenting votes. All believed interest rates should move higher. That’s the most dissents since December 2014 when even the dissenters were divided about what should happen. Continue reading

Grocery Shopping


Groceries may be mundane, but they’re big business. By 2020, the value of the world’s grocery market is expected to reach $11.8 trillion, according to The Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD). The largest markets are expected to be China, United States, India, and Russia. That’s not the interesting part, though.

According to Morgan Stanley, fewer people will gather food by carting up and down the aisles of local grocery stores. Instead, in many countries, people will fill their baskets online. Continue reading

The Economic Cage Match: Softening Data Vs. Rising Inflation

cagePotentially Soft Economic Data Vs. Inflation

If it’s not one thing, it’s one other.

Economic data released last week will factor into this week’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decision on whether to push interest rates higher in the United States. Some of the August data supports the idea economic growth was soft. For example, August retail sales fell more than expected, down 0.3 percent from July. Other data was as expected: U.S. producer prices were flat, which was in line with expectations. Continue reading