Big Pharma and Politics

On July 20, 2017 we posted a blog titled, “Is Big Pharma A Pinata?’ It appears that the answer may be yes.  While healthcare availability and costs remain a major issue, it appears that government is disproportionately focused on prescription drugs. Milliman, a large independent actuarial and consulting firm, annually publishes the “Milliman Medical Index (MMI)”, … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of November 27, 2023 The holiday-shortened week proved relatively uneventful in the capital markets, although equity prices continued to trend upward and interest rates on longer dated US Treasury securities stayed relatively flat. Our Signals remained unchanged. Bob Bilkie, CFA

How Green is Green

According to press reports, Panasonic’s new Kansas 4-million-square-foot battery plant will double the local electric utility’s load, requiring significant upgrades to infrastructure.  In addition, Evergy will have to keep a coal-fired plant operational until at least 2028, after which the utility plans to transition from coal to natural gas, by the end of the decade.  … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of November 20, 2023 The growing importance of social rifts and the declining importance of China as it relates to investment decisions are both reflected in our Signals this week. The larger Social/Culture Signal highlights the growing divide among Americans and their opinions on the two wars occurring in the world today. It appears … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of November 13, 2023 The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index closed at within 10% of its all-time high on Friday, November 10.  Clearly, the equity markets have climbed the proverbial “wall of worry” given the harsh geo-political risks that have arisen, punctuated by the Hamas massacre of Jews which led to Israel’s war … Continued

California’s Continuing Water Saga

We have previously posted a number of blogs outlining California’s water problems.  We have noted that the issue of adequate fresh water supplies tended to reflect a lack of concerted political effort and the cyclicality of rain and snow fall. State officials recently reported that, as of the end of the September fiscal year, the state’s reservoirs … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of November 6, 2023 We are moving our Monetary Policy Signal from yellow to green, following the announcement by the Fed that they will not be engineering another interest-rate increase before year end. Shortly on the heels of that announcement, the October employment data was released showing a reduction in job gains versus the … Continued

The Future of Energy

We appear to be at an energy crossroads as reliance on fossil fuels may be on the way out, presumably offset by an ascension of renewable energy.  At least that seems to be the conventional wisdom. Investors might want to take another look. All comments and suggestions are welcome. Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA

Sigma Signals

Week of October 30, 2023 In a Wall Street Journal Article from October 18th titled “Tech Leaders Say AI Will Change What It Means to Have a Job”, it is stated that, “Artificial Intelligence will likely lead to seismic changes to the workforce, eliminating many professions…” This is no different than in the early 1900’s … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of October 23, 2023 With the presence of myriad uncertainties led by the Israeli/Hamas war and the inability of Republicans in the House of Representatives to choose a Speaker, we would have expected even more equity market weakness this past week. We can only conjecture that market participants, conditioned to resist emotional selling, may … Continued

Big Brother and Your Big Mac – Update

In our blog posted May 3, 2023 we discussed the potential impact of pending California legislation that would establish a minimum wage and other workplace requirements for fast-food workers.  Recently, labor groups, primarily the S.E.I.U., and fast-food companies reached an agreement that resulted in legislation that established increases in minimum wages for fast-food workers and … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of October 16, 2023 The troubled Middle East that seems always a boiling cauldron just had another log thrown on the fire. Israel is amassing forces to drive Hamas out of Gaza following the Hamas led massacre in Israel a week ago Saturday. Capital markets were expecting a wave of selling pressure that Monday … Continued