Monthly Archives: January 2010

How Much Debt is too much Debt?

Earlier this morning, credit rating service Standard & Poor's ("S&P") revised its credit outlook on Japan to "negative" from "stable." This could seemingly pave the road to a future downgrade to Japan's current AA long-term rating. As part of rationale behind the revision to their credit outlook for the country, S&P cited concerns over amount of Japanese government debt outstanding. Japan's government debt is already among the highest in the world and S&P thinks the debt burden might peak at a level as high as 115% of their Gross Domestic Product ("GDP") over the next few years.Read more

Continued Housing Recovery Requires Growth in Job Market

U.S. existing home sales fell by 16.7% in December 2009, to 5.54 million units, which was far worse than many analyst expectations. This report follows much better than forecasted existing home sales results this past Fall season - which culminated in a 26% surge over the three months prior to December.Read more

The Bleak Outlook For Unemployment

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current official unemployment rate is 10%. The official unemployment rate, often referred to as the U-3 rate, represents the total unemployed as a percentage of the civilian labor force.Read more

The January Effect and 2010 Market Outlook

In the annals of Wall Street lore, many professional investors believe that the 'January effect" has a positive impact on stocks during the initial weeks of a new year. The belief holds that investors who sold stock at the end of the previous year for tax reasons look to buy back stocks at the beginning of the new tax year, thus driving stock prices higher. In addition to tax-related trading, we believe that the January effect may be more pronounced this year than in previous years given the amount of money still sitting on the sidelines and in bond funds.Read more