Friday, July 31, 2009

Great GDP News

GDP dipped by just 1 percent in the second quarter. This is extremely good news as it indicates that the recession is easing.

I have to say that I am somewhat surprised. We will have to see what happens, but we may actually get growth this quarter. I thought that we would see things flatten and perhaps just a slight 0.5 percent increase in GDP in Q4. Given how severe the recession was in Q4 of 2008, I have not expected to see growth until 2010. Now it looks like things are far better than I thought.

Unemployment is still a lagging economic indicator, and I expect 10 percent unemployment this year. However, with the GDP figure for Q2, the improving real estate market, and the remarkable bull run on Wall Street over the last couple of months, it certainly looks like we are making progress.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

NASDAQ Run

Wall Street is having another banner day - at least as of mid-day. We may actually close over 2000 on the NASDAQ today for the first time since October. It has been a huge run from the bottom at 1265 just a couple of months ago. Very impressive rally.

We'll be getting mixed economic data for the next few months, but real estate seems to be improving and this week's Fed report that the economy across the U.S. seems to be stabilizing are yet more good signs.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Favre Stays Retired . . .

for now. I don't really believe him. I think he may sit out the season, but I still expect him to show up as a Viking either later this year (if there are injuries) or next year.

We'll see.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tillman Hurt for the Bears

Charles "Peanut" Tillman - the Bears top corner the last couple of years is out for a few weeks with a back injury. Back injuries take all the strength out of you and can linger so this could be a major issue. It is still early and he has dealt with this kind of thing before so hopefully he will be back.

That said, I think the Bears have very solid depth in the secondary and should be fine. At this point I am not too worried about the injury.

Economic Recovery Continues

Anyone who has mutual funds and got their Q2 statement knows that things are really improving. The Dow is now up over 9000 - remarkable given where we were a few months ago and that we are in the usually slow summer months. We are still getting mixed signals about the economy. Consumer confidence is still a bit down, but today we got news that the S&P real estate index on home prices is up for the first time since 2006. This is another very good sign.

It looks as if the unemployment figures are still ticking up but they seem to be stabilizing. It is quite possible that by Q4 we may actually see some net job growth - although I will still push that into 2010. The stabilization of the banking sector and Wall Street seems to have paid off. Bernanke looks like he knew what he was doing and the stimulus program will continue to help move the country forward.

I'm Back Again

Sorry for the delay in posting. I've been away on vacation for much of the last month - Providence, Boston, and Spain.

Great trip to Spain. It was like three vacations in one. We started in Majorca which is an island off the Spanish coast in the Mediterranean Sea. The water was crystal clear and there weren't seagulls, seaweed, or jellyfish as we have at most East Coast beaches. We then spent 4 days in Barcelona - great history, architecture, and food. Then we spent 4 days in the Pyrenees Mountains hiking and just enjoying the scenery. We hiked around a mountain lake in Nuria Valley that had the largest trout I have ever seen. The thing had to be 16-18 inches long. It was colorful and fat - I only wish I had my fishing gear with me.

All in all a great trip.

Next week we are off to Chicago for a week, but then I will get back into my regular routine. That will be great with training camp in full swing. I'll be able to get some news in Chicago about my beloved Bears and their chances and have more to say about Jay Cutler and the Super Bowl bound Bears in coming weeks.