The stock market has hung in there so far this year in spite of negative economic reports from December through February that indicated the economy was slowing significantly.
In late September 2011, the European Commission proposed a tax or fee on financial transactions. This appears to be part of the newly announced European Union plan, with Britain the sole dissenter.
Here's an interesting perspective on corporate tax rates. I'm sure you've all heard the argument that corporate tax rates are too high, and if only rates were lower, it would stimulate businesses, allowing for a whole array of positives. Proponents of this thesis will draw attention to the fact that the US has...
The ECB received another set of disappointing inflation reports yesterday. For some time now the central bank has been betting on the fact the declining inflation figures were driven by food and energy, while the core CPI rate was recovering. Well, that didn't turn out to be the case, at least for now.
The recovery over the past two months appears to support the general view that severe winter weather was responsible for the contraction, and that we shouldn't read the slippage as the beginnings of a business cycle decline. At this point it looks like the Winter slump has been reversed.
The latest Gallup survey on investment preferences in the U.S. puts real estate ahead of gold and stocks for the first time in at least a few years in yet another example of how most people (at least in the U.S.) simply follow established trends.
Cassandras warn that the foreign appetite for US debt is satiated and wonder who is going to buy US Treasuries when the Federal Reserve stops. Not only are US officials not concerned about this, but the Department of Treasury continues its campaign to discourage foreign central banks from buying so many Treasuries.
The Commerce Department reported(.pdf) that U.S. housing starts rose 2.8 percent last month, from an upwardly revised seasonally adjusted annual rate of 920,000 in February to 946,000 in April, however, this was below the consensus estimate of 955,000 that was expected, at least in part, due to better weather in the spring after a severe winter.