Dow 100,000

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Unless the U.S. economy enters into an extended period of negative growth, Dow 100,000 is not a question of whether, but rather, when. The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 100 in January 1906, 1,000 in November 1972 and 10,000 in March of 1999.  In mathematical terms, growth can be arithmetic, where gains are linear, or … Continued

Momentum

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During almost any sports broadcast, you hear the word “momentum”, which psychologists define as psychological momentum.  Of course, the key question is, does it exist, is it just a temporary shift in confidence or mood, or does it actually change the outcome of a game or a season? “The Oxford Dictionary of Sport Science” defines … Continued

Forecasting Investment Returns

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This is never easy, but the board of the largest U.S. pension fund is taking a new look at what the future might bring.  The California Public Employee’s Retirement System (Calpers) plans to lower the current 7.5% goal to 7.0%, phased in over the next thee years. With this decision, Calpers is changing its business … Continued

“Much Ado About Nothing”/”The Art of the Deal”

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First, credits to William Shakespeare and Donald Trump. Now, the “Much Ado About Nothing” part of the discussion.  Recently, Mr. Trump has expressed displeasure regarding several auto industry vehicle assembly strategies.  He criticized GM for importing a few thousand Chevy Cruzes from Mexico, even though nearly all Cruzes, for sale in the US, are assembled … Continued

The Outlook for Electric Vehicles

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With the recent introduction of the Chevrolet Bolt EV (electric vehicle), some clarification as to consumer acceptance of EVs may emerge. U.S. sales of EVs have been statistically insignificant, with full year unit volume likely to come in below 150,000 compared to total 2016 U.S. vehicle sale of approximately 18 million units.  Based on reported … Continued

The Battle Over Fuel Economy

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The technical details behind corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards are complicated and controversial.  At an automotive conference held in Traverse City, MI, public sparring between regulators and industry representatives suggest that the path to the current goal of 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2025, is going to be bumpy. Predictably, the auto industry … Continued

Be Wary of Consensus

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Investors should be cautious in reacting to “consensus” opinions and investment strategies.  For example, running up to, and immediately after, Apple’s new iPhone announcement, analysts, both financial and technical, were somewhat less than enthusiastic about the phone’s prospects.  Comments included, not enough new stuff, taking out the headphone jack is a mistake, etc.  As a … Continued

“The Market Will Do Whatever is Necessary to Confuse the Greatest Number of People” – author unknown

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The Nasdaq Composite Index, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average each achieved all-time record high levels on August 11, 2016.  Earlier in the year, stock prices went into a scary swoon.  Multiple causal factors, offered by well seasoned investment pro’s, were given as an explanation with warnings of … Continued

Unemployment Hokum

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The most recent jobs report was clearly disappointing, with a dismal 38,000 net new jobs in May.  Never-the-less, the unemployment rate fell again to 4.7%.  At the same time, labor force participation fell to 62.6%.  Throughout the “recovery”, the unemployment rate has been declining, as has labor force participation.  In December 2007, labor force participation … Continued

Electricity Update

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On May 24, 2016, we posted a blog discussing some of the issues relating to the generation of electricity.  We opined that, “based on current technology, nuclear appears to be the only scalable alternative to fossil fuels.” According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, some of the country’s most influential environmental groups are softening … Continued

Here We Go Again

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A recent article in The Wall Street Journal indicated that banks have become more aggressive in pursuing home equity loans.  According to new data from mortgage data firm CoreLogic Inc, lenders extended just over $156 billion in home equity lines of credit in 2015, the largest dollar amount since 2007, the beginning of the housing … Continued