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.
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.
CPI and the PCE Price Index and Fed Policy
The BLS's Consumer Price Index for March shows core inflation below the Federal Reserve's 2% long-term target range at 1.66%. The Core PCE price index at the end of the February (the most recent data), is significantly lower at 1.10%. The Fed is on record as preferring Core PCE as its inflation gauge.
None of us likes to imagine what will happen after we pass away. It's too sobering. But what will life be like after your death? And no, I'm not talking about an afterlife, I'm talking about life after death: not yours, but your family's. What will their life look like after you pass?
Earnings season is upon us. Expect a lot of jumping around this quarter as companies miss or exceed estimates. Although earnings are important, they are also fickle and easily manipulated, which is why it’s always good to remind ourselves, as shareholders, of some of the long-term time-tested ways in which companies deliver value not merely over one quarter to the next, but over years and years to come.
The markets were down big this week, with much of the profit-taking in high growth stocks and popular momentum names. Although economic data here in the U.S. continues to improve, the market was showing signs of exhaustion over the past couple months as less stocks were participating in the rally to new highs.
The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report was released this morning for last week. The 300,000 new claims number was a dramatic decline of 32,000 from the previous week's 332,000 (revised from 326,000).
Energy is an emerging interest for the market as portfolio managers search for value in energy stocks. One of the biggest topics discussed at the beginning of the year was valuations. You need to look no further than energy, old tech, materials, and utilities to find value this quarter.