All Blog Posts from Economy

  • Investing In A Recession

    Our Outlook

    Let’s talk about investing in a recession. The problem with recessions is that earnings decline, and P/E multiples decline both at the same time. When these two metrics decline at about the same time, a significant market decline (drawdown) typically occurs. In the post WWII era, the worst drawdown occurred between December 2007 and June […]

  • Recession Signal?

    Our Outlook

    Over the past several decades, one of the most reliable economic indicators has been the shape of the US Treasury yield curve.  The yield curve is simply a graph of current yields on treasury bonds from the three-month T-Bill to the 30-year treasury bond. The normal shape of the yield curve from left to right […]

  • Market Quick Stats – March 2022

    For the first time in 2022, the S&P 500 finished the month up from the previous month with a total return of 3.6% in March. The year-to-date total return is -4.7% for the benchmark stock index. While rising Fed funds rates are historically a negative for stock, the result has been worse for bonds so […]

  • War and Markets

    Our Outlook

    Just as COVID related mandates and restrictions started to abate in the US and around the world, Russia invaded Ukraine. First, our prayers go out to all those impacted by war. Innocent people killed, maimed, or whose lives are destroyed in other ways as they find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. […]

  • Questions on Inflation and Employment

    Our Outlook

    January Non-Farm Payrolls (NFP) jobs expectations were for +150,000 new jobs and an unemployment rate of 3.9% (here). Reported new jobs tripled expectations coming in at +467,000 (here). The unemployment rate ticked a bit higher to 4.0% as more workers came back into the labor market. On its surface the NFP report looks great; however, […]

  • Market Quick Stats – January 2022

    Our Outlook

    The S&P 500 finished down (-5.2%) in January, the worst start since a (-9.8%) loss in January 2009. Notable S&P 500 decliners in January included, Moderna (-33.3%), and Netflix (-29.1%). The 30 stock Dow Jones Industrial Average saw its biggest declines in Cisco Systems (-12.1%), Home Depot (-11.5%), and Nike (-11.1%). Taking a sneak peek […]

  • PG Stock Valuation

    Our Outlook

    Procter & Gamble shareholders enjoyed a 20.0% total return in calendar year 2021 and the third 20% plus return since 2012. Shareholders suffered only one calendar year stock price decline over the past ten years, and that was in 2015. Significant foreign exchange conversion woes and a volume growth malaise were the culprits then and […]

  • How to Save More Money in 2022

    Our Outlook

    Here’s a simple investing and planning tip for the new year. If your employer offers a 401(k)-retirement savings plan, join the plan. If you are already in the plan but are not yet maximizing your contributions, increase your salary deferral at least 1%. If you can afford to forego more money today to save for […]

  • Inflation Update

    Our Outlook

    Inflation figures through the most recent reporting period ended November 2021, saw the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All-Items rise 6.8% over the past twelve months. According to the BLS, this is the largest 12-month increase since 1982. Inflation readings for Energy rose 33.1% and Food rose 6.1%. Both are the largest 12-month increases in […]

  • Market Quick Stats – Year End 2021

    Our Outlook

    The S&P 500 finished up 4.4% in December to close out a strong 2021. At year-end, the 505 firms in the index were cumulatively valued over $42 trillion. The top 10 constituents comprised 29.3% of the total weight of all companies in the index. For perspective, the top weighted company, Apple, ended the year valued […]

  • Consumer Goods – Post Pandemic

    Our Outlook

    It’s no secret that the COVID pandemic and related government mandated shutdowns created winners and losers. Businesses that were deemed essential were generally winners and those deemed non-essential were generally losers as they were shut down to varying degrees. Clearly, restaurants, restaurant suppliers, hotels, airlines, and other travel related companies were impacted the most negatively. […]

  • Market Quick Stats – November 2021

    Our Outlook

    November’s S&P 500 total return of -0.69%, was a tad negative. However, the 30 stock Dow Jones Industrial Index fell -3.5% driven by declines in 25 of the 30 companies in the index. Looking toward December, fears of a December 15th US debt ceiling limit will likely resurface. And, markets will be focused on Chairman […]

  • Infrastructure Bill

    Our Outlook

    On November 15th, President Biden signed a $1 trillion+ infrastructure spending bill into law. The bill focuses mostly on traditional infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges and rails that need maintenance and upgrades. Biden’s much larger and more controversial “Build Back Better” proposal for climate/green initiatives has not yet been approved by congress. Funding is to […]

  • Supply/Demand Imbalances

    Our Outlook

    Global supply chain issues are both a supply and a demand problem. On the supply side, labor has become scarce. Pandemic related mandatory shutdowns, COVID quarantines, and older worker retirement decisions have combined to create a serious labor shortage. In the October National Association of Business Economics (NABE) survey, 47% of respondents reported a shortage […]

  • Market Quick Stats – October 2021

    Our Outlook

    Fears sparked by reports of a possible default at China’s Evergrande, and the impending US debt ceiling limit drove the S&P 500 to a -4.6% loss in September. How quickly fears faded after Evergrande averted default (for now) and congress extended the debt ceiling limit to December 3rd. These thaws and strong Q3 corporate earnings […]

  • Supply Chain Disarray

    Our Outlook

    Global Shortages Semiconductor chip shortages impacting the auto industry are well documented, but how bad are they?  Apparently, bad enough that respected German firm Bosch believes global semiconductor supply chains for the auto industry are no longer “fit” for their original purpose. Moore’s Law Over the past few decades, Moore’s Law has played out, and […]

  • Market Quick Stats – September 2021

    Our Outlook

    After 53 new closing highs so far this year, it seemed like this market could only go up…until September. The S&P 500 started the month with its 54th new high and then volatility crept in. By the end of a rollercoaster like month, September tallied a -4.76% decline; the first decline since January 2021. The […]

  • Focus on Investments

    Our Outlook

    What is Driving this Market? Can anything stop this market?  Slowing growth and a recession certainly could, but are they anywhere on the horizon? A host of COVID specific federal unemployment benefits are set to expire on September 6th 2021.  Among the expiring emergency benefits is an extra $300 per week of unemployment income. Federal […]

  • Infrastructure & Budget Legislation

    US Senate Spending Bills On August 10, 2021, the US Senate passed a bi-partisan infrastructure funding bill worth $1.1 trillion (see more here).  The Senate bill allocates about 10% toward roads & bridges and smaller amounts for rails, ports, airports, and EV charging stations. According to Statista, in 2018, the US spent 0.52% of its […]

  • Bond Rates Are Declining, Why?

    Our Outlook

    What are Lower Yields Telling Us? On March 19, 2021, the benchmark ten-year US Treasury bond closed yielding 1.74%. By the first trading day in August the bond’s yield had dropped to 1.20%. With all of headlines and talk about rising inflation, why have bond yields dropped so significantly since March? The bond market and […]

  • Why My Property Tax Increased & Yours May Too

    Our Outlook

    A Rising Home Value is Good Right? Yes, but in a way it’s a double edged sword.  Have you looked at your mortgage escrow statement recently?  I did and my jaw dropped. My real estate taxes just jumped 31%. It must have been a mistake I thought. Then I called my county auditors office and […]

  • Market Quick Stats – July 2021

    Our Outlook

    Back to Normal?  Not So Fast… Just as most restaurants and business in cities with the most stringent COVID precautions/restrictions started to re-open, some of those locations are introducing new COVID precaution/restriction measures. For example New York City mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced mandatory vaccinations for all newly hired NYC government employees and for […]

  • How to Look at Market Valuations

    Our Outlook

    What is a “Fair” Price for Stock Before you buy or invest in stock, you’ll want to answer the question: Are stocks valued appropriately for the current level of economic activity or expected level of activity over the next twelve months? You can think about stock valuations a little like you might think about a […]

  • Is 2021 Back to Normal Yet?

    Our Outlook

    (Re) Open For Business Here we are halfway through 2021. Restaurants and business throughout the nation are re-opening. How is this return to normal playing out in the economy and stock and bond markets? As of June 30th, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices, the S&P 500 index of US stocks is up 15.2% year-to-date (YTD). […]

  • Focus on Personal Finances

    Our Outlook

    High Debt Levels Higher levels of corporate, government, and personal debt may be creating a more fragile economic environment. In past decades, low debt was considered prudent and desirable. Today, fiscal policies pursued by the US Federal government have pushed our national debt over $28 trillion, and zero interest rate (ZIRP) monetary policies of the US […]

  • What About Bitcoin?

    Our Outlook

    Crypto Curiosity Record breaking prices propelled Bitcoin into the mainstream news this spring. We have fielded more and more questions about cryptocurrencies in general and Bitcoin specifically. It appears likely that blockchain technology and maybe some cryptocurrencies may survive. Ultimately, how they are regulated and how widely they will be used as currency or for […]

  • Taxes & Energy Policy

    Our Outlook

    Individual Tax Rates The current US government administration is considering raising taxes for individuals & families, corporations and even estates.  A recent CNBC article discussed how the Biden administration is looking to raise the top marginal tax bracket to 39.6% from 37.0%.  Coupled with this is the likelihood of lower income thresholds for each tax […]

  • Inflation and the Economy – 1st Half 2021

    Our Outlook

    Inflation – Persistent or Transitory? One of the biggest financial news themes this year has been inflation. There is no question that price inflation is on the rise.  Is it here to stay, or will recent increases be short-lived and transitory? Each month, a US government agency called the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) measures […]

  • September 2020 Non-Farm Payroll Employment (NFP)

    Our Outlook

    On October 2nd, 2020 the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that September Non-Farm Payroll Employment rose by 661,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate fell by 0.5% to 7.9% (see full release here). The unemployment rate dropped below the key 8% level although job gains were below estimates forecasted by Marketwatch at 810,000. September represents […]

  • August 2020 Non-Farm Payroll Employment (NFP)

    On September 4th, 2020 the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that August Non-Farm Payroll Employment rose by 1.4 million new jobs and the unemployment rate fell by 1.4.% to 8.4% (see full release here). The unemployment rate drop was better than forecast and total job gains where about in-line with estimates. August represents the […]

  • July 2020 Non-Farm Payroll Employment (NFP)

    On August 7th 2020 the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that July Non-Farm Payroll Employment rose by 1.763 million new jobs and the unemployment rate fell by 0.9% to 10.2% (see full release here). Both the job gains and the unemployment rate drop were better than forecasted. July represents the third 1 million+ job […]

  • A Look at Tax Increase Proposals

    Our Outlook

    Taking a look at the recently proposed 3% wealth tax and raising the top marginal income tax rate to 70%.

  • Much Ado About Tariffs

    Our Outlook

    Recently announced tariffs on steel & aluminum imports has created an economic commentary uproar. Should you be concerned?

  • Commentary – August 22, 2017

    Our Outlook

    TD Ameritrade Economic research discusses the upcoming need for congress to pass a budget and raise the debt ceiling. Humanitarian aid and rebuilding from the devastation left by Hurricane Harvey on the Gulf Coast is a critical need that congress will also have to address.