Category

U.S. Economy

The Week in Review

Equities Are Riding High on Thin Air

I am often asked by the investors in my funds, "When will markets finally start paying attention to the signs of weak economic growth?" I tell them that the consensus answer is that bull markets only end when the Fed starts aggressively raising interest rates.

I also tell them that when interest rates are at zero, as they have been for the last seven years, the normal answer may not apply. In the meantime, stocks keep hitting new record highs while bonds and commodities are telling a very different story about the state of the economy…

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U.S. economy

With 40% of Americans One Bill Away from Financial Disaster, What's Next?

Despite hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout money and U.S. Federal Reserve stimulus, the U.S. economy is still not working very well for the average American.

According to a survey by Bankrate.com, 40% of Americans say they are just one big bill away from financial disaster. That tells Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald that the government's efforts to rescue the U.S. economy have failed.

He said there's one figure he's watching this week that will show if there's much hope for Main Street at this point...

In This Market, Don't Drink the Kool-Aid

Stocks hit new records last week as central banks around the world continued writing checks to prop up still struggling economies, the price of oil stabilized, Vladimir Putin lured the West into a phony truce in the Ukraine, and Athens and the EU tried to pretend that Greece isn't hopelessly insolvent or that it even matters if it is or isn't.

In other words, investors were once again all too willing to ignore economic reality and drink the Kool Aid being served by central bankers and politicians.

We might as well call this the "Jonestown Market" because the cult leader Jim Jones could just as easily be handing out paper cups filled with colored water and investors would be swilling it down...

U.S. Economy

2015 Layoffs Blow the Cover Off the Job "Recovery"

Just over a month into the new year, and the 2015 layoffs are already mounting.

What gives? The economy is recovering. The unemployment rate rests at a six-year low of 5.6%. And sinking gas prices have stoked consumer confidence.

The job cuts are evidence that the touted job recovery has been artificially inflated.

Here's a look at 12 recent job cuts across several sectors and what's behind them...

U.S. Economy

Deflation in 2015? These Four Charts Say Yes

Deflation in 2015 seems to be upon us. And while falling prices might seem like a good thing, deflation can wreak havoc on the economy.

In a deflationary period, prices will drop, corporate profits will dry up, wages will shrink, and all of this will reinforce the conditions of recessions.

These four charts show that the U.S. has a real deflation problem now...

Jobs

The Scary Wage Growth Story in the December Jobs Report

The December jobs report released today (Friday) by the U.S. Department of Labor highlights what’s missing in the job market’s recovery: wage growth.

According to the report, the United States added 252,000 jobs last month, ahead of consensus estimates of 240,000. That was enough to push the unemployment rate down to 5.6%.

But those impressive numbers were not enough to distract from the bigger story of falling wages…

Income Investing

Dividend-Paying Stocks: MSFT, MCD, and 22 More New Dividend Boosts

The profusion of dividend-paying stocks that have increased payouts over the last several weeks reflects a robust second-quarter earnings season.

Companies in the S&P 500 turned in 10.3% earnings growth in Q2 – the highest advance since 2011's third quarter.

Last week Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), McDonald's (NYSE: MCD), and 22 other dividend stocks raised payouts. Here's the full list of dividend hikes announced during the week ending Sept. 19, 2014.

Last week Microsoft </strong>(Nasdaq: MSFT), McDonald's </strong>(NYSE: MCD), and 22 other dividend stocks raised payouts. Here's the full list of dividend hikes announced during the week ending Sept. 19, 2014.

U.S. Economy

The Truth Behind the Dangerous "Helicopter Money" Delusion

Seeking out major trends and power shifts in the global economy is a part of my work that I enjoy most.

It's a lot of work, and needless to say, it involves constant research.

That's why a piece I recently read in Foreign Affairs absolutely shocked me…

The piece is a bit revolutionary, as its authors speak to a drastically different way of stimulating an ailing economy than the path we're on today.

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