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Core U.S. inflation rate accelerates to normal

Two ways to look at this morning’s U.S. inflation data. First, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) came in above expectations with a 0.4% increase in January. Economists had expected a 0.3% increase, according to Briefing.com. That puts the headline inflation rate at an...

Fourth quarter GDP growth looking better than expected

Another number that points to stronger than expected U.S. economic growth. U.S. exports rose 3.2% in October to $159 billion, according to data released on Friday, December 10. That’s the highest level since the middle of 2008. With a dip in imports, down 0.5% in...

Update Cummins (CMI)

I’m starting to see a new pattern in third quarter earnings reports.  Now to see if it continues through the end of earnings season. What’s the potential pattern? Companies that announce great earnings but that still don’t measure up to Wall Street expectations. The...

Getcha predictions here: My scorecard for the fourth quarter

It’s a new quarter. Do we know any more about the trend in the stock market and the economy than we did at the start of last quarter Well, actually a little bit. I don’t think we’re at “Bet the farm” certainty, but figuring out the trend isn’t quite as confounding as...

How to fix the U.S. economy? First, no more baby steps

I haven’t been able to sleep ever since I read that Larry Summers is leaving his post as President Barack Obama’s top economic advisor. Why doesn’t the phone ring? I’m eating with it at my elbow. I’ve changed the way I walk to work to avoid cell phone dead zones. I’m...

Update Cummins (CMI)

Right now, for this point in the economic recovery, I’d much, much rather own capital equipment stocks than consumer stocks. As I noted in my post on September 24, report on orders for durable goods, corporate customer are buying capital goods to expand and upgrade...

While consumers sit on their wallets, businesses spend

The bifurcated U.S. economic recovery keeps on bifurcatin’. While the U.S. consumer still can’t seem to open his or her wallet (and with official unemployment stuck near 10%, who can blame consumers for being hesitant about spending), businesses keep on ordering...

Buy Gerdau (GGB)

Brazilian steel maker Gerdau (ADR: GGB) is on the march in the U.S. steel market and back home in Brazil. In the United States:  in August, the company acquired the remainder of the shares of its 66% owned U.S. subsidiary Gerdau Ameristeel. That gives Gerdau a wholly...

Is the economy stronger than the numbers say?

There’s good reason to suspect that the early September rally that began on September 1 is going to peter out. From 1049 at the close on August 31, the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index had climbed 7% by September 13. That’s 7% in just seven trading sessions. It’s...

What one indicator is saying about the global economy

A bottom with no near-term upside catalyst. I’m afraid that fits the global economy, the U.S. stock market, and the Baltic Dry Index. The Baltic Dry Index, a widely followed, but very volatile, indicator of global economic activity, is showing signs that it...