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U.S. Economy

U.S. Economy

This "Hidden" Inflation Could Wipe Out Small Returns

Official measures of inflation tell a very different story from the reality facing consumers as they shop for groceries, gasoline, insurance, healthcare, and other everyday goods.

In the real world away from government statistics, product prices continue to rise at an inexorable rate.

Asset prices also continue to rise, particularly the prices of financial assets such as stocks and bonds as well as high-end real estate and art.

While there remain pockets of weakness in the housing markets, the prices of homes have also resumed their upward trajectory after crashing during the financial crisis.

So the question remains: If the prices of just about everything are rising, why is the government telling us that inflation is so low?

Bitcoin

Our Most "Unconventional" Investment Is in an Incredible Rally Right Now

Investing in Bitcoin may go against the grain – as it is anything but a conventional investment – but sometimes that's what it takes to maximize your returns.

And lately, those who have been investing in Bitcoin despite a string of bad publicity for the digital currency have been rewarded to the tune of a 45% gain in less than a month.

In recent months, we've seen a number of negative Bitcoin stories in the mainstream media, suggesting it was a bubble in the making.

During that period, I have remained one of the few tech analysts to say the Bitcoin market remains not only healthy, but faces a very bright future indeed…

Full Story...

U.S. Economy

Low Rates Won't Hide This Looming Threat Forever

Financial markets are experiencing a significant divergence in 2014 between the direction of stocks and bonds.

While the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average have traded to new record highs, the yields on benchmark Treasury bonds have dropped sharply.

Normally, one would not expect stock prices to rise and bond yields to drop simultaneously because these movements suggest contradictory readings of the economy.

Higher stock prices indicate bullishness about economic growth, while lower bond yields suggest just the opposite.

However, the inconsistent signals being sent by markets are not as surprising as they seem, given the context of the post-crisis environment in which Federal Reserve policies have distorted normal market pricing mechanisms.

This situation could blindside investors who don't see it coming…

Housing Market

Let's Make the Mortgage Due for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

You can call it a bailout, a rakeover – I mean, takeover – or socialism for cash.

But, whatever you call it, it's not going to last.

The $187.5 billion bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back in 2008 was absolutely necessary.

But here's why it's time for the government to get out of the mortgage business for good...

Stock Market Today

GSK, YHOO, DE, and NFLX Are Today's Pre-Market Movers

Premarket movers today, May 14, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to a new closing record on Tuesday of 16,715.44. The S&P 500 hit a record intraday high, touching over 1,900 for the first time ever.

Here’s what to know about the stock market today to make your Wednesday profitable:

Jobs

March Jobs Report: Still Stuck in Second Gear

The highly anticipated March jobs report out today supported what U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said earlier this week: The job market is not back to normal and the Fed has more to do on the unemployment front. This morning, the U.S. government announced that the economy barely missed expectations of 200,000 new jobs […]

To continue reading click here...

Bitcoin

Bitcoin ATMs Will Push Digital Currency into the Mainstream

One of the main obstacles holding back mass adoption of Bitcoin is that it's not all that easy for the average person to buy it.

Title: bitcoin ATMs - Description: bitcoin ATMsThat is quickly changing, however, with the spread of Bitcoin ATMs. The few hundred Bitcoin ATMs scattered around the world right now will bloom into tens of thousands over the next few years, and eventually hundreds of thousands. (There are about 2.2 million conventional ATMs in the world.)

That kind of accessibility will prove key to the wider adoption of Bitcoin. But the machines also need to be easy to use, a consideration the Bitcoin ATM pioneers already seem to understand.

To read more click here...

Commodities

How to Invest in Agriculture Ahead of Price Spikes in 2014

Ukraine is Europe's most important actor in agriculture. And the Russian standoff over the Crimean region is creating a number of concerns for Europe's breadbasket.

Ukraine also feeds North Africa, and social unrest over food prices in nations like Egypt and Tunisia will heat up again if grain prices continue to soar.

To continue reading, please click here...

Hot stocks

Why This Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) Acquisition Means Huge Profits

When Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) recently announced it was buying the messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion, it touched off an avalanche of controversy and criticism.

We saw comments from the usual market pundits and stock jockeys. But with WhatsApp – thanks to the unique name, and the immense purchase price – even the late-night comedians stepped up.

Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today: Dow Jones Industrial Average Falls, These Stocks Soar

U.S. stocks closed mixed today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average incurring losses, while the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq noted modest gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.07% or 11 points, to 16,340; the S&P 500 closed up 0.03%, or 0.5 points, at 1,868 points; and the Nasdaq closed up 0.5%, or 16 points, at 4,323 points.

Energy futures fell today, with crude oil, heating oil, and natural gas futures significantly off. Light, sweet crude oil for April delivery is down 2.1% at $97.91 per barrel today; heating oil is down 1.4% at $2.92 per gallon; and natural gas is down 1.7% at $4.52 per million BTUs.

Meanwhile, metals futures rose, with gold trading up 1.5% at $1,367.50 per ounce, platinum trading up 0.7% at $1,475.30 per troy ounce, and silver rising 2.2% at $21.28 per ounce.

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