Sigma Signals

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With a likely profitability recession looming, the valuation on the S&P 500 is now less favorable (green to yellow). China and India are building new coal fired electric plants while Germany recently announced it is restarting its plants. This could influence energy policy in the US and the rest of the globe as energy security … Continued

Smoot-Hawley Tariff

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The Tariff Act of 1930, commonly known as Smoot-Hawley, was a law that implemented protectionist trade policies in the US.  Protectionism is the economic policy of restricting imports from other countries.  Proponents argued that protectionist policies would shield US producers, businesses and workers, while opponents believed that implementing protectionist policies would adversely affect consumers, and … Continued

“I’ve Got the World on a String”

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And the well-known Frank Sinatra song continues, “sitting on a rainbow got the string around my finger.”  If Mr. Putin sings in the shower, this might be his favorite melody, as he watches the West dangling at the end of his string (gas pipeline). If you’re looking for a solution here, you can stop reading … Continued

Wages

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The whole process of simply paying employees has become increasingly politicized with competing agendas shifting the focus away from the fundamental idea of a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.  We have advocates for a higher minimum wage, federal, state and local versions, for a competitive wage, for a living wage and so on.  … Continued

Know-nothing Investing

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Over the last several quarters we have seen an increase in market activity by individuals who seem to take pride in how much they don’t know about the stocks they are trading.  This is not investing.  Perhaps it is trading, wagering or just plain “rolling the dice.” Over the short run, this may not be … Continued

Climate, Coal and China

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China is putting forth a vision of continuing economic growth in conjunction with a reduction in greenhouse gas pollution.  The plan calls for a peaking in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, and net carbon neutrality before 2060.  This may be difficult.  We have previously discussed China’s dependence on coal.  (See our blog dated 2019-2-13). China’s … Continued

Momentum Investing

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While there are a number of specific strategies that can be considered to be momentum investing, the simple definition can be summarized as, buying stocks that have been going up and selling/shorting stocks that have been going down on the assumption that the existing trend will continue.  It’s a little like being famous for being … Continued

Subsidies or Surcharges?

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In order to accelerate demand for electric vehicles (EVs), the world’s governments have been handing out a wide range of subsidies and incentives.  But in nearly half of U.S. states, driving a battery-powered car now requires paying an additional fee. To date, 24 states have imposed special fees on EVs, usually through higher registration charges, … Continued

Taking the Plunge

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A February 4, 2019 article in the Wall Street Journal titled How to Invest When Markets Are Down noted that “If you have a lump sum to in­vest, rather than a small amount each month, you may be bet­ter off in­vest­ing it all at once, mainly be­cause keep­ing it on the side­lines in cash while … Continued

Consumer Confidence Hits 18-Year High

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The U.S. consumer confidence index rose in October to an 18-year high, amid optimism about jobs and the economy, according to the New York-based Conference Board. It is also probable that improving consumer confidence may be, at least in part, attributable to broad gains in wages.  Specific wage gain calculations are complex and single data … Continued

Recruiting in a Strong Economy

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According to recent reports, for the first time since 2005, the U.S. Army missed its recruiting goal for the year, despite increasing its bonus pool by $200 million and approving additional waivers for bad conduct and health issues.  The Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, with much smaller requirements, all met their recruiting goals for … Continued

Geriatric Health Care Screening

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A recent commentary written by Liz Szabo for Kaiser Health News discusses some of the issues relating to benefits and risks associated with cancer screening for the elderly. In her article, she states that, according to the American Journal of Public Health, nearly one in five women, with severe cognitive impairment, including older patients, are … Continued