• Fed up with this saga

    Fed Speak  The Fed’s latest meeting minutes were released this week and largely confirmed what we had assumed to be the situation – the FOMC members seemed to be on board with continued patience on future adjustments to interest rates. In terms of the direction of interest rates in the future, however, members seemed to be a little more divided. A few officials demonstrated support of higher rates pending continued economic expansion while others expressed concerns about the risk of low inflation. On this front, the committee will be meeting in Chicago in early June to discuss whether the 2% inflation target is appropriate but adjustments to policies aren’t expected until…

  • Sentiments Toward a Renewed Focus

    Jack of all trades… Trade drama has been making headlines for a while and things have escalated quickly over the last two weeks. We have had outstanding trade issues with various different major trade partners over the last few months. This week, Trump agreed to lift tariffs on metal imports from Canada and Mexico while postponing his decision to impose tariffs on automobiles from Japan, the European Union, and various other countries for six months. This leaves all the attention on China. Latest news on this front – these trade talks have come to a standstill. Oh good.  Moral of the story: Improving trade agreements was a large part of…

  • China, China, China

    One for you, one for you, one for everyone!  The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report showed we had 7.49 million job openings in March while there were only 5.8 million unemployed workers. This marks thirteen straight months where the number of job openings has exceeded the number of unemployed workers as companies are struggling to find the right type of people to fill these jobs. This is a massive opportunity that a previous stock pick (LRN) is addressing. Job openings saw big gains for transportation, warehousing, construction, and real estate while job openings fell slightly for the federal government.  Moral of the story: While the pace of hiring has slowed…

  • Magic Fountain Philosophies

    Solid & Steady  The Fed held its monthly policy meeting this week and decided to leave rates unchanged. Policy members pointed out that overall and core inflation have been recently declining (remember just last week we saw CPI decline to 1.7%) and running below the Fed’s 2% target even though the economy is growing at a steady rate. However, Fed officials believe this weakness in pricing will be “transient.” Moral of the story: Based on the upbeat commentary from the FOMC and their belief that inflation might return, the Fed effectively erased any hopes of a rate cut. Bad news is that markets were probably hoping to hear a tone…