What One Economic Indicator is Saying About an Upcoming Recession

First – a look back at what was happening in 2008. I thought this was a pretty interesting clip from the University of Pennsylvania. I have more thoughts on news and headlines below but first I want to transition to one of the leading economic indicators I like to keep a sharp eye on…the Department of Labor’s Weekly Initial Jobless Claims for Unemployment Insurance. This report is often referred to…

Read more


Why the Shrinking Unemployment is Not as Good as it Seems

Well, we finally had a negative week in the S&P 500, post-election. It was trading down 0.97% for the week, and ended up at an index level of 2,192. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was barely positive, clocking in with a 0.1% gain on the week to close at 19,170. There was good news with employment and an interest rate hike is basically a 100% lock, so what gives? It…

Read more


First Time Claims

A record almost as old as me – but without the bad knee. You see what I did there with the rhyme, right? Let’s start with a quick update and overview. First – a quote from Barron’s over the weekend by Ben Levisohn, “Strength begat strength last week, as stocks continued to rise, even as the U.S. Dollar and bond yields headed higher.” It reminded me of a fairly recent…

Read more

Quarterly Review – Monument Style

Well, the first quarter of 2016 is in the books. I thought I’d start with a quote: “And when it’s over, I press rewind though.” – Fetty Wap Oh wait – I meant these quotes… “You are not able to predict what will happen nor when it will happen…and neither am I. Only charlatans and fools believe this is actually possible. I reminded everyone of this many times, including in…

Read more

Ben Carson

Ahh, 2% Away From an All-Time High?

First and foremost, Happy 240th Birthday to the United States Marine Corps.  As I come up on my 26th annual lap in the Corps (I’m still in the reserves until spring of 2017), I’ve got to say that when our birthday rolls around, I’m a little nostalgic.  I love all the emails that go around and the old pictures from field operations that get posted on Facebook.  Happy Birthday Marines…

Read more

Money Line

True Detective or Greek Drama

It’s Sunday night and the True Detective season two suspense is killing me … kind of like the Greek bailout deadline. U.S. stocks ended the week higher, with the S&P 500 gaining +0.8%… woohooo.  This was its highest weekly gain since April.  Oh, and the message from Wednesday’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announcement boosted markets as well. Contagion from Greece does not seem to be causing any sort of market…

Read more


Employment, Earnings and Time

Last week was a rough week until Friday rolled around and we saw a 267 point gain on the Dow due to some bullish employment data.  Additionally, the dollar weakened a little bit and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has upheld that it will keep monetary policy accommodative until we have full employment and price stability is reached.  Be ready for a lot of opinions about where we are…

Read more

Jobs Report on a Holiday

Jobs Report!!! On a Holiday???

As last week came to a close, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that nonfarm payrolls rose 126,000 in March, which snapped a 12-month streak of +200,000 readings. Ouch.  On top of that there were fairly significant downward revisions to February (295,000 to 264,000) and January (239,000 to 201,000) readings. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.5%. Taking a closer look at the numbers, the first three months…

Read more

Volatile Market in USNews Featured Image

4 Money Tips for College Seniors

Personal finance and career advice for college seniors. My daughter is a senior in college and came home for spring break. Last night was family pizza night. She went out for the pick-up and came back with the two pizza boxes. When we opened the boxes we instantly realized one of the orders was wrong. “Did you open the lid and peek when you picked up the order?” I asked.…

Read more