Retailers Getting Crushed…Is the Stock Market Next?

You’ve likely heard that consumer spending accounts for 70% of U.S economic activity. While some argue with this figure and how it is derived, there is still no denying that consumer spending has a notable impact on the economy. So, what happens when retailers take a big hit like many did in Q1? Does it […]

Time to Sell Bonds and Buy Dividend Stocks?

Following the 2008 global financial crisis, central banks around the world implemented aggressive monetary policies in an attempt to reignite the global economy. Europe and Japan are still running QE (quantitative easing) programs and even China entered the game with several interest rate cuts. The U.S. has ended QE, but interest rates are still near […]

Beware the Bear with FANGs

Could the next bear market be driven entirely by four stocks? It just might. In 2015, nearly all of the S&P 500’s meager gains were driven by FANG, what is becoming a common acronym for Facebook (ticker: FB), Amazon (ticker: AMZN), Netflix (ticker: NFLX) and Google (ticker: GOOGL). Taking this a bit further, had you […]

Will ‘Sentiment’ Turn This Bull into a Bear?

I have used this space many times to discuss how fundamentals drive stock prices over the long run. Additionally, in the midst of (sometimes severe) volatility and rising uncertainties that come with it, I’ve often made the point to stay focused on what really matters in terms of equity prices these days including: U.S. GDP […]

4 Quarters of Negative Earnings – Time to Worry?

Earnings season is on the menu now and bears everywhere are drooling. Why? Because looking at Q1 as a whole, total earnings are expected to be down -10.3% on -0.6% lower revenues versus the same period last year. This will be the 4th quarter in a row of negative earnings growth for the S&P 500, […]

Bank Stocks Plummet – Time to Unload or Load Up?

Financial stocks stumbled hard out of the gates in 2016. Some of the biggest players in the U.S. like JP Morgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Bank of America (BAC) got completely clobbered in the first six weeks. From January 4 to February 11, when broad domestic markets shuddered, JP Morgan declined -19.62%, Wells Fargo […]

5 Tech Products and the Changing Investing Landscape

It’s no secret that technology is woven into our lives – from how we communicate to how we receive medical care to how we purchase goods, technology is omnipresent. It’s also no secret that, often, winners and losers are borne out of technological innovation. But, that’s no newsflash – automation sometimes results in the loss […]

Playing Politics with the Economy?

The presidential primary season has hit full stride – cue the rhetoric on everything ‘wrong with the economy!’ In just about every presidential election year, the economy becomes a central issue underscoring its perceived weaknesses. We need more jobs! Raise the minimum wage! We need more tariffs to protect domestic industries! And so on. At […]

Are Central Banks Out of Options?

A board member of the European Central Bank, Benoit Coeure of France, made a strong point in a recent statement when he said, “…for the recovery to become structural…monetary policy does not suffice.” I think he’s right. The evidence is pretty clear in the global economy today. The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to the […]

Are We Headed for a Currency War?

Over the past year, mutterings of a “currency war” have become commonplace in the global economic discourse. Suspicions that developed nations are engaging in, or considering, actions to devalue their respective currencies have been growing. As the economic cycle ages, and countries grapple with ways to remain competitive, pressure to devalue ratchets up. When it […]