This week the Federal Reserve Bank announced the beginning of the end of its years-long support of the financial markets.  Granted, $10 billion per month of reduced purchases is a baby first step, but over the next year, the Fed is hoping they can reduce its bond buying altogether. (more…)

 

The bulls can’t muster enough strength to push stocks to new highs. Bears lack the conviction to stage a meaningful decline. It appears we are in a stand-off, but for how long? (more…)

 

Information abounds on why and when you should contribute to a tax-deferred savings plan such as an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Less is known about what happens in retirement when you have to take money out of these plans. For those who turned 70 ½ years or older in 2013, pay attention, because it’s distribution time. (more…)

U.S. economic growth in the third quarter surged higher by 3.6%, while jobless claims plunged by 23,000 to 298,000 as layoffs slowed. That’s great news, right, so why is the stock market falling? (more…)

Lobbyists for the big banks have been fighting to water down the so-called “Volcker Rule” for the last three years but it looks like they are going to lose this battle. Next week the U.S. government is expected to announce tighter bank regulations. It could make the financial markets a lot safer for all of us and cost the banks a bundle. (more…)

Record highs again

Over the last twenty years or so, the three days prior to thanksgiving have always been positive for the markets as has the day after. This year they were accompanied by record highs. (more…)

Stocks need a break

This week the S&P 500 Index touched 1,800 before pulling back a bit. Hitting round numbers in the averages usually creates some profit taking among investors. A number of indicators are also hinting that a minor correction could happen at any time. (more…)

More and more scientists, sociologists and economists are predicting a world food crisis in this century.  Meeting that challenge will require another Green Revolution, but how we accomplish that is the subject of a great deal of controversy. (more…)

 

For those who have yet to commit to equity, it is time to reassess. We have entered a new phase in stock markets worldwide. It is called a secular bull market and could last for many years.  Don’t let this opportunity slip by. (more…)

 

The fine art of guessing monthly employment data is a big business on Wall Street.  Economists fine tune their forecasts every month and rarely miss the actual number by more than a few thousand jobs. Not this time. (more…)