Shifting trends show that Millennials are living their lives differently from past generations and there are strong implications for investments

The following link to a very interesting article shows the shifting trends within the millennials generation that we should all pay close attention too when evaluating investments. These trends are likely to continue to develop, and future generations will build upon these trends, driving meaningful shifts in the economy. These shifts will drive many businesses into extinction, while others will grow dramatically, and still others will be born of these…

Amazon Buys Whole Foods for $13.7B in Cash – Is this the end of brick and mortar grocery?

Amazon announced today that it will acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in cash. Following this news Whole Foods was up almost 30%, a great day for shareholders of both Whole Foods and Amazon, but not so great for the rest of the retail grocery segment (Kroger is down about 9% today). The grocery segment is nothing new for Amazon – they have been selling a multitude of typical grocery…

40 Days and 40 Nights – What will the Fed Do?

There are just 40 days remaining before the next Fed meeting. All eyes will be on the Fed to see if they pull the trigger on the first Fed Funds rate hike since June of 2006, and the last Fed Funds rate change since December of 2008, when the Fed placed that rate in a range between 0% and 0.25%. Stocks have rebounded significantly from the dips in August and…

Fed Window for Rate Hikes is Now, Officially Open!

The long awaiting Fed rate raising cycle is now, officially upon us. The question of whether or not the Fed will raise rates has long been answered in the affirmative, and so, it is not a question of if, but when will the Fed tighten. June was almost universally forecast to be the first Fed meeting at which Fed governors would possibly vote to raise rates. The June meeting occurs…

Sinking Gasoline Prices May Be Too Late to Rescue Holiday Retail Sales – Published in Noozhawk on Monday, December 8, 2014

Last week’s jobs report was amazing, plain and simple. The U.S. economy added 321,000 jobs, far exceeding consensus analyst estimates of 235,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell slightly to 5.8 percent, from a high just above 10 percent at the trough of the Great Recession. The stock market continues to set new, all-time highs. So why isn’t the economy growing at a robust pace? The answer is simple, although the…

Has Black Friday Lost Its Significance? – Published in Noozhawk on Monday, December 1, 2014

Black Friday — the first official shopping day of the holiday season — has historically been the most important shopping day of the year for retailers. But with the emergence of Cyber Monday, and the loss of pricing pressure that has resulted, particularly since the Great Recession of 2008-2009, is Black Friday no longer relevant to retailers or to the economy and financial markets? Black Friday, so-called because in the past the…

Economic Growth Is All About Wages – Published in Noozhawk on Monday, November 3, 2014

Although we witnessed the first glimpse of wage improvement last week, American workers are not seeing consistent pay increases. Until this changes, economic growth will remain lackluster, and as a result, earnings for U.S. companies will lag current stock valuations. The United States is adding jobs at the fastest pace since the end of the Great Recession, with the economy adding 248,000 jobs in September, and another strong month of…

Healthy GDP Report Could Put Nail in Economic Coffin for the Fed – Published in Noozhawk on Monday, October 27, 2014

The Commerce Department will release the first report for third-quarter gross-domestic product this week. Real GDP growth is expected to be 3 percent annualized, following the dramatic jump to 4.6 percent growth for the second quarter. A healthy GDP report on Wednesday could give consumers — who have been reluctant to spend — more confidence in the economy, but may also push the Fed to begin raising interest rates sooner rather than later. We began 2014…

Unreliable Government Data Drive Stock Market Bubble

For a long time now, we have seen outsized revisions of government data, including the first quarter 2014 GDP figures, which the government initially reported at 0.1% annualized growth, only to revise that number down dramatically to -2.9% annualized growth.  Today, the government reported that second quarter GDP grew at a 4% annualized rate, and they (once again) revised first quarter GDP growth to -2.1% annualized growth.  Further, they have…

Rising Oil Prices Could Be the ‘X’ Factor for Securities Markets – Published in Noozhawk on Monday, June 23, 2014

With stocks setting all-time highs almost as frequently as World Cup fans leap from their seats to watch a shot for a goal, investors might get the sense that the market will keep advancing indefinitely. However, recent developments in Iraq, and their direct impact on oil prices, could be the “X” factor that throws a wrench in the now five-year-plus bull market rally. Iraqi militants, including members of ISIS (Islamic State of…