There is no doubt that the United States is the world’s most important economic driver; with the GDP value of the United States representing almost 25 percent of the world economy.
When the financial crisis began in 2008, the U.S. national debt stood at $9.2 trillion. Based on the White House’s own figures, the national debt will reach $20 trillion by the end of this decade—about 140% of our current Gross Domestic Product.
The U.S. government has implemented more fiscal stimulus and monetary intervention than ever before, yet real GDP has slowed from 2.4% in 2010 to 2% in 2011, and remained flat in 2012.
Every day it seems as though the S&P 500 makes a new high. This strong performance over the past year is creating complacency, as more retail investors are piling into the market. However, I would certainly urge caution, especially for any new capital being put to work at these lofty levels. With earnings season upon us, we’ve already seen several sectors in the S&P 500 get hit significantly, especially retail stocks. We keep hearing about resilience among Americans, but consumer sentiment is not as strong as many analysts believe. This is why I wasn’t surprised when retailers disappointed. One of ... Read More
This past weekend, a friend of mine made a statement that there must be a large amount of economic growth coming shortly because of the booming stock market, driven by investor sentiment. As I told him, the two are not necessarily tied together. Over the past few months, we have heard about how economic growth is about to accelerate here in America, and this has helped drive investor sentiment in the stock market higher. However, I think there are many questions that need to be answered before we can assume economic growth will reach escape velocity, and investor sentiment is heavily contaminated with a large addictio ... Read More
One of the more common themes that I keep reading about these days is the strength of U.S. economic growth. It’s important to get at least some understanding of the potential for economic growth, as this will impact your investment strategy. Recent data is definitely making me ask the question: just how strong is the level of economic growth in America? We all know that this holiday season was much weaker than expected for retail companies. Considering that consumer spending fuels the majority of economic growth in America, this is certainly not a positive environment for that sector—but that shouldn’t ... Read More
The U.S. economy has been showing some positive growth that has helped to propel the stock market higher, but be careful: there appears to be some cracks forming in the global economy to which the U.S. economy will not be immune. Japan reported that its economy fell back into a recession after contracting an annualized 1.6% in the third quarter, representing the second straight quarter of contraction. Part of the blame will squarely lie with Prime Minister Abe and his controversial decision to raise the country’s sales tax from five percent to eight percent in April. I consider the decision to raise the sales tax wrong, as it largely impacts the middle cla ... Read More
The stock market charts are showing some hesitation once again following the recent technical breaks to new record-highs for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average. On the charts, the blue chip DOW is back below 17,000. Its continued failure to hold after breaking above 17,000 for the fifth time is a red flag that suggests more weakness and vulnerability could be in the works for the stock market on the horizon. Small-cap stocks are also subject to some selling again with the Russell 2000 declining to below both its 50-day and 200-day mov ... Read More