MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING JULY 22, 2024 ©

Review

 Financial services and doctors’ offices were disrupted on Friday, while TV broadcasters went offline as businesses worldwide grappled with an ongoing major IT outage. Air travel has been particularly hit, with planes grounded, services delayed and airports issuing advice to passengers…. cybersecurity giant CrowdStrike experienced a major disruption, following an issue with its latest tech update.

—Ruxandra Iordache, “‘Largest IT Outage in History’ Leaves World Reeling,” www.cnbc.com, July 19, 2024.

Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING JULY 15, 2024 ©

Listen on SpotifyApple, and Amazon

Watch on YouTube

Review

 Why wait until September?… The Fed’s publicly stated criteria for a rate cut, that it can be confident inflation is moving down toward its 2% target, appear to have been met. The core consumer-price index, stripping out food and energy, rose just 3.3% in June from a year earlier—the slowest pace in over three years. This year-over-year core CPI rate has either slowed or stayed the same for 16 straight months, making the market’s freakout over a supposed inflation rebound earlier this year look decidedly overblown.

Aaron Back, “It’s Time for the Fed to End the Waiting Game,” Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2024.

Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING JULY 8, 2024 ©

Listen on SpotifyApple, and Amazon

Watch on YouTube

Review

 The Labor Department reported on Friday that the U.S. added a solid 206,000 jobs last month, slightly beating expectations and continuing a remarkably strong run. But the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.1%, a sign of slack in a labor market that has already shown some hints of gradually slowing down…. Average hourly earnings were up 3.9% in June from a year earlier, marking their smallest gain since 2021. The counts for both April and May were revised lower by a combined 111,000 jobs.

-Justin Lahart and Nick Timiraos, “Case for September Rate Cut Builds After Slower Jobs Data,” wsj.com, July 5, 2024.

Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING JULY 1, 2024 ©

Listen on SpotifyApple, and Amazon

Watch on YouTube

Note: Next week will be a shortened trading week due to the observance of the July 4 Independence Day in the U.S.

Review

 It was in fact as consequential as any presidential debate in history, and the worst night for an incumbent in history. It was a total and unmitigated disaster for Mr. Biden. It was a rout for Mr. Trump…. It is impossible to believe that the Democrats will continue with Mr. Biden as their presidential standard-bearer.

— Peggy Noonan, “The Most Important Presidential Debate Ever: It Was an Unmitigated Disaster for Biden and a Rout for Trump. Democrats Will Have to Face Reality,” Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2024.

Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING JUNE 24, 2024 ©

Listen on SpotifyApple, and Amazon

Watch on YouTube

 Review

 Wall Street’s climb to record highs has come with conspicuously little volatility. The S&P 500 has gone 377 days without a 2.05% sell-off. That’s the longest stretch for the benchmark since the great financial crisis, according to FactSet data compiled by CNBC. The index hasn’t experienced a gain of at least 2.15% in that time either.

— Brian Evans, “The Stock Market Is in Its Longest Stretch Without a 2% Sell-Off Since the Financial Crisis,” www.cnbc.com, June 21, 2024.

Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING JUNE 17, 2024 ©

Review

 Google Trends is reporting an astonishing spike in searches for “petrodollars.” This is apparently because of a viral story that on 9 June, Saudi Arabia failed to renew a secret 50-year deal with the US to keep oil priced in dollars. Oil has always traded in non-dollar currencies….Saudi Arabia’s riyal remains pegged to the dollar….The dollar’s reserve status depends on how money is stored, not how transactions are denominated. The story seems to have started in the crypto world. Many crypto speculators desperately want to believe in the dollar’s demise. Confirmation bias encourages people to ignore what is realistic if their prejudices are seemingly confirmed. This is a poor investment strategy.

Dr. Paul Donovan, UBS GWM Chief Economist, UBS Weekly Blog, June 13, 2024.

Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING JUNE 10, 2024 ©

Review

 U.S. job growth burst past expectations last month while the unemployment rate edged up to 4%, presenting a mixed view of a labor market that has generally been cooling without overly troubling most workers. Total nonfarm U.S. jobs increased a seasonally adjusted 272,000 jobs in May, more than in April and well above the 190,000 that economists had expected.

—Sam Goldfarb, “Hiring Defied Expectations in May, With 272,000 New Jobs,” Wall Street Journal Online, June 7, 2024.

Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING JUNE 3, 2024 ©

Review

 A late-afternoon rally lifted the Dow industrials and S&P 500 to daily gains after the Friday morning release of the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge. The personal-consumption expenditures price index rose 2.7% in April from a year ago, in line with economist expectations.

— Patricia Kowsmann and Ryan Dezember, “S&P 500, Dow, Rise After PCE Inflation Data: Dow Climbs About 575 Points,” Wall Street Journal Online, May 31, 2024.

Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING MAY 27, 2024 ©

NOTE: Monday, May 27, is Memorial Day in the U.S., a holiday when the nation honors its warriors, those who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Markets will be closed in the U.S.

 Review

 “Attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”

Warren Buffett, as quoted by Jason Zweig in “What Our Brains Know About Stocks—but Won’t Tell Us,” Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2024.

Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING MAY 20, 2024 ©

Review

 Inflation eased slightly in April, providing at least a bit of relief for consumers while still holding above levels that would suggest a cut in interest rates is imminent. The consumer price index increased 0.3% from March, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday. That was slightly below the Dow Jones estimate for 0.4%.

Jeff Cox, “CPI Report Shows Inflation Easing in April,” www.cnbc.com, May 15, 2024.

Continue reading…