Market Trends

  • soft commodities

    Coffee, Sugar, and Chocolate: Soft Commodities on the Rise

    What happens when there is a weak dollar? It means our trading partners can buy more of our products, so it’ll improve our balance of trade. Sure, it leads to some measure of inflation because imports will be more expensive, but that will encourage us to buy more American products. What’s so bad about that? […]

  • Bonds. Junk Bonds.

    We’ve discussed how much debt is floating around out there. America’s bar tab was around $54 trillion; half of that was money owed by the federal government, and a quarter of it was credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, and other instances of consumer debt. While a smidge of the rest of it consisted of the […]

  • Looming debt: Worse than you feared, but not as bad as you think

    Debt is piling up. That’s for sure. If the headlines are to be believed, we’re all going broke except for the bill collectors and bankruptcy lawyers. We do indeed live in a more indebted world than we ever have before; if you add up the different lines in the chart below, you’ll find liabilities totaling […]

  • What will happen to the airline industry?

    Ever notice how many business terms come from aviation? “The 30,000-foot view.” “Headwind.” “Golden parachute.” But there is one troubling term being bandied about now: bailout. When you hear it related to the airline industry, rest assured it’s in the nautical sense of the word. Passenger airlines are set to receive $25 billion in grants […]

  • Getting fiscal about getting physical

    With the spread of Covid-19 dominating the headlines, health is understandably on people’s minds. So, we’ve decided to make this a wellness-themed newsletter. We recently gave an overview of the streaming media industry. Now we’ll examine another industry that seems to have popped up seemingly overnight: exercise equipment. Sure, there were always weight machines, and […]

  • A Luddite’s guide to streaming services

    Technology is changing. And, while many of us still own shoes older than our first Web browser, the act of reading text on a computer is outmoded as a platform for communication, according to many (i.e., our kids). And if you still own a landline phone and a cable TV box, well bless your heart. […]

  • Inflation makes a comeback

    It’s hard to get nostalgic about the 1970s. We remember what we wore, how we had our hair done up and the stupor-inducing sitcoms we considered appointment TV. And we also remember the way the economy was going. The 1970s’ economy wasn’t bad per se, but it was a disappointment – a ‘’bummer” if you […]

  • IPOs: Not just for high rollers

    There sure have been a lot of big-name initial public offerings (IPOs) so far this year, and a lot more in the pipeline. Already we’ve seen Zoom, Slack, Beyond Meat, Chewy, Fiverr, Pinterest, Uber, and Lyft. Still on deck are AirBNB, Postmates, Robinhood, and WeWork parent The We Company. Traditionally, retail investors have been unable […]

  • Bear hunting

    It’s hard to gauge the point at which you’ve entered a recession – two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. It’s much easier, though, to figure out when you’ve hit a bear market because a bear market occurs when the stock market, usually defined as the S&P 500 index, falls 20% from its peak. It’s […]

  • Commodities: Hard assets for hard times

    In normal times, investment advisors often tell you to diversify your portfolio into three broad categories: equities, fixed income, and cash equivalents. What proportion you put into each bucket is a judgment call, as is the frequency with which you rebalance your portfolio. And of course, the art lies in picking the right vehicles within […]

  • Are we already in a recession?

    The sad truth about recessions is that you could already be in one and not know it. The most commonly agreed-upon definition of a recession is two consecutive readings of negative growth of a country’s gross domestic product. Considering that these readings are conducted quarterly, the economy could have been contracting for quite a while […]

  • Expansive times?

    The good news – and there’s plenty of it – is that the economy is doing very well. The U.S. economy just notched its 121st consecutive month of expansion. That is, it has been more than a decade since America experienced two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product (GDP), which is what defines a […]