About 90 members of the S&P 500 Index having reported so far; the first-quarter earnings season is heating up. The vast majority of the S&P 500 constituents have beaten analysts’ (lowered) earnings estimates, but only half have managed to beat revenue estimates. The strong dollar and slower global economic growth continue to represent key points of concern for discussion for company execs in the conference calls. Read more about Straddling the Fence 04-21-15
The Commerce Department reported today that retail sales climbed in March, gaining 0.9 percent and ending a three-month streak of declines. The 0.9 percent figure is below expectations, but is also the best print in a year. Nice gains in sales of autos and building materials suggest that the frigid weather indeed played a large role in the weakness in the preceding months.
As consumer spending accounts for roughly two-thirds of U.S. GDP, the solid March numbers suggest that the economic slowdown in the first quarter may prove temporary. Read more about What the Ruble's Comeback Says 04-14-15
Although wage growth remains stagnant and the labor participation rate sits near a record low, the U.S. economy had been adding jobs at a nice clip; 2014 witnessed the best job growth since 1999 and the first two months of 2015 were likewise good. More than anything, this jobs momentum drove speculation that the Federal Reserve would opt to tighten monetary policy soon. Read more about Economy Cools; Oil Warms 04-07-15
The U.S. Commerce Department reported this week its third estimate for fourth-quarter GDP, that it grew at a 2.2 percent annualized clip in the fourth quarter. This is more than twice slower than the rate achieved in the fabulous third quarter, during which the economy expanded 5 percent. For the first quarter (ending today), according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, real GDP growth may be essentially flat. Read more about Lower Expectations 03-31-15
Later this week, we will publish the April 2015 issue of The Cash Cow. In the issue, we will take an in-depth look at the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to omit the term “patient” and make substantial changes to its policy statement. We will dissect what the changes mean and infer what future monetary policy course to expect, and discuss the ramifications for our ETF recommendations. And of course, we will have the latest market indicators information.
Stay tuned to your email for the issue download notice.
Read more about A Look Ahead to the April Issue 03-24-15
The U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy-making board Federal Open Market Committee meets today and tomorrow to determine the next leg of monetary policy. Although there’s no chance that the Fed would decide to raise interest rates at this meeting, observers are very interested whether it will change its language regarding the timing of the “normalizing” of the federal funds rate, which has remained essentially zero since the height of the financial crisis in late 2008. Read more about Eyes on One Word 03-17-15
There was plenty of red across the big board today as stocks retreat. After this session's decline, the major U.S. indices S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average both stand slightly under water for the year.
The ECB launched its €1.1 trillion asset-purchase program this Monday. This strengthens the dollar, and is viewed as a negative for U.S. stocks. A stronger greenback decreases the dollar value of American companies’ international sales and also renders U.S. exports less price competitive, potentially reducing revenues and profits. Read more about Stocks Give Back 2015 Gains 03-10-15