Economy & Investments, Media

OMB Director Mulvaney: Climate Change Research ‘Waste of Your Money’

The liberal media is foaming at the mouth after the Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney detailed for the White House press core all of the cuts President Trump is making in his budget.

Among them is cutting all funding for climate change research because…”it’s a wast of your money.”

His epic take down of the global warming agenda has liberals seething.

Here’s more from Breitbart

Thursday at the White House press briefing while answering questions about President Donald Trump’s “America First Budget,” Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney called climate change research “a waste of your money” regarding proposed cuts in that area.

Mulvaney said  “A couple of different messages, when we talk about science and climate change — let’s deal with them separately. On science, we’re going to focus on the core function. There are reductions in the NIH, National Institutes of Health. Why? Because we think there’s been mission creep, we think there are things outside their core function. We think there’s tremendous opportunity for savings. We recommend a couple of facilities can be combined and there is cost savings from that.”

“Again, this comes back to the President’s business person view of government, which is if you took over this as a CEO and you look at this on a spreadsheet, and you go, ‘Why do we have all of these facilities? Why do we have seven when we can do the same job with three? Won’t that save money?’” he continued. “The answer is yes. So the part of your answer is focusing on efficiencies and focusing on doing what we do better. As to climate change, I think the President was fairly straightforward saying we’re not spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that. So that is a specific tie to his campaign.”

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Economy & Investments

Trump Boom: Third Longest Record in Growth, Jobs and Wages

Still in his first 100 days as president, Donald Trump is benefitting from the third longest period of growth in American economic history.

Buoyed both by investors’ confidence in an America-first policy and by the collapse of European and Asian markets, Trump’s America has done in one quarter what Obama couldn’t do in eight years.

Here’s more from Newsmax

U.S. employers hired workers at a robust pace in February, beating expectations, and wages grinded higher, which could give the Federal Reserve the green light to raise interest rates next week despite slowing economic growth.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 235,000 jobs last month as the construction sector recorded its largest gain in nearly 10 years due to unseasonably warm weather, the Labor Department said on Friday. 

The economy created 9,000 more jobs in December and January than previously reported.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen signaled last week that the U.S. central bank would likely hike rates at its March 14-15 policy meeting. Job gains have averaged 209,000 per month over the past three months. The economy needs to create roughly 100,000 jobs per month to keep up with growth in the working-age population.

“By any measure this report is consistent with an exceedingly healthy labor backdrop and, I think more critically, it’s a number that will embolden the Fed to raise rates in March,” said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York.

U.S. short-term interest rate futures initially rose after the data, while prices of U.S. Treasuries pared earlier losses. U.S. stock index futures were trading higher, while the dollar was weaker against a basket of currencies.

Last month’s brisk clip of hiring was accompanied by steady wage growth, with average hourly earnings rising 6 cents, or 0.2 percent. January’s wage growth was revised up to 0.2 percent from the previous 0.1 percent gain. That lifted the year-on-year increase in wages to 2.8 percent from 2.6 percent in January.

The unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.7 percent, even as more people entered the labor market, encouraged by the hiring spree. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast employment increasing by 190,000 jobs last month.

Continue reading…

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Economy & Investments

Trump Economy: Huge Jobs Boom in First Month

Whether analysts choose to credit President Trump directly or indirectly, one thing is clear: his first month in the White House has coincided with the largest gain in new jobs since the Great Recession.

Despite multiple fudged reports and claims of ‘jobs saved or created,’ Obama’s efforts to restore economic activity in the U.S. never compared to what happened last month.

Here’s more from Daily Mail

U.S. companies added a whopping 298,000 new jobs in February, beating economists’ expectations by more than 100,000.

The report from ADP, a global human resources and payroll firm, provides the first hard economic numbers from Donald Trump‘s first full month as president.

Trump tweeted a self-congratulatory note, calling the number ‘much more than expected!’

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He also wrote Wednesday on Twitter about another similar measure, citing numbers from a new LinkedIn workforce report that showed strong job-adding numbers from January and February.

Those months ‘were the strongest consecutive months for hiring since August and September 2015,’ the president tweeted, mirroring the report’s language.

Construction jobs increased by 66,000 in February, and the manufacturing sector added 32,000.

Trump has pledged to dramatically improve the U.S. employment market in those sectors as he tries to lure businesses from overseas and stop jobs from fleeing across the border.

He has also promised $1 trillion in new infrastructure spending, another measure calculated to add jobs.

‘February proved to be an incredibly strong month for employment with increases we have not seen in years,’ Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president of the ADP Research Institute, said in a statement.

January’s new-jobs numbers were also revised upward on Wednesday from 246,000 to 261,000.

‘Confidence is playing a large role,’ Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, told CNBC.

‘Businesses are anticipating a lot of good stuff – tax cuts, less regulation. They are hiring more aggressively.’

The official U.S. unemployment rate is expected to shift downward from 4.8 per cent to 4.7 per cent, in response to the official jobs numbers report, due Friday.

 

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Economy & Investments

This New Technology Will Change Everything…Again

78D394D3-90C4-4009-A136-326794E3E295@hsd1.fl.comcast.net.In global macro-economics there are a million different things that can occur to profoundly affect exchanges around the world and how investors respond in their buying and selling behavior. In my most recent blog I detailed just a few of them as examples for why I believe the historic, record-setting Trump markets are due for a major correction. And now other trading experts are starting to say the same thing.

But every so often I like to pull back a bit and at take a microscope to key developments, usually in technology and processes, which mostly fly under the radar but which have the potential to profoundly change the way the developed world operates. Developments like these, if they ultimately go public, present massive opportunities to get in on the ‘ground floor’ as they say.

As an oil and gas attorney and former landman, I have a special place in my heart for energy development and exploration technology. And it’s not just for drilling and pumping but rather of energy development at-large, whether fossil-fuel based or alternative. And I have maintained for several years now that we’re on the cusp of a breaking point in which the battle for dominance between fossil fuels and alternative fuels will finally be over. And now I believe that point has come.

Global economic statistics demonstrate that as much as 60% of the world’s consumption of oil is due to gasoline production for combustion engines. In short, well over half of the oil used on the planet is for transportation. And with the recent oil glut over the last few years, the oil and gas industry has clawed its way back to solvency in the wake of over-supply and flagging demand.

The question on the astute investors’ minds is whether the oil and gas industry will ever see the sort of boom again with over $100 per barrel. I’ve argued for some time that the answer to that question is an unequivocal ‘no’. The problem is two-fold. First, technology and oil have a love-hate relationship. As new exploration technologies emerge which make oil exploration much cheaper, ever more exploration companies can afford to go into business, drill and pump oil and thus put more oil on the global market.

But therein lies the rub: more oil on the global market presents a classic supply and demand quandary. Greater supply means lower prices and therefore lower profits. And lower profits mean more oil and gas busts. And that’s why investors are looking for alternate energy sources. Not because oil is too expensive but because the long history of the oil and gas industry has been marked repeatedly by the boom and bust cycle like no other industry has.

What could be more stable than oil and gas? Not wind; it’s too sporadic and not efficient broad-based energy production. Salt-water and oceanic energy production is still too expensive and is also not efficient. But with new advancements in just the last couple years, solar energy production is finally reaching the point that was predicted decades ago.

New solar cells being developed in Australia, for instance, will offer the same energy development potential as a roof-top solar panel but in the space of just a few inches square. Similarly new solar roof tiles developed by Tesla cost roughly the same as a traditional asphalt roofing but with the added benefit that they generate electricity.

The greatest challenge, however, to solar energy production hasn’t been merely the efficiency of solar cells…it’s been the inefficiency and lack of capacity in energy storage via batteries. But that problem appears to be solved by the most likely of people.

For decades now the world has increasingly relied on batteries for our ever-growing wireless existence. And the convenience of wireless living rests on the back of battery storage capacity. When the lithium-ion battery was invented by engineer and professor at the University of Texas, John Goodenough, the world took a leap forward in that wireless existence. But lithium-ion batteries brought with them limitations of their own. In addition to having a relatively short lifespan after a certain number of cycles were exhausted, they also presented the threat of catching fire and even exploding.

But now Goodenough has solved the problem with his latest invention which I believe will change the world all over again. Goodenough has reinvented lithium-ion battery now with a solid-state technology which solves all the problems of its liquid-based predecessor. Using solid-state, glass electrolytes, the new battery will charge in a matter of minutes (or seconds in the case of mobile batteries), last longer, are non-combustible and have a much longer lifespan.

Why will this change the world? It’s simple. The greatest impediment to residential and commercial applications of solar energy production is storage and charging. But with Goodenough’s new lithium-ion technology, smaller batteries will store more energy, recharge faster, last longer and be much cheaper. Oil producers beware.

Googenough and his team are currently exploring opportunities to test the technology with companies who have the ability to make commercial applications. Translation: the new lithium-ion technology will be coming to a smartphone, electric car and home near you very soon. And when that happens, companies offering those batteries will see significant increase in related stocks and options.

This opportunity will be not unlike investing early in Ford Motor Company prior to the advent of the assembly line or in Bell Labs prior to the discovery of telephony. It will mark a major turning point in how the developed world consumes energy. And, take it from me, energy is what makes the world go ‘round.

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Economy & Investments

Trump’s Record Market Is Due for A Reality Check

78D394D3-90C4-4009-A136-326794E3E295@hsd1.fl.comcast.net.Last week I predicted the Dow Jones would break the record set way back in the Reagan era for the longest winning streak of closes at 13 days. As of this writing, that record is now shattered. And it wasn’t just shattered, yesterday’s Dow average set another record when it crested over 21,000.

With the markets climbing ever higher, I’m even more confident that we’ll hit a ceiling and stocks will come diving down once investors take the cue and start realizing profits. As I said previously what goes up must come down, and the corollary to that investing rule is that the higher it goes the closer we are to a correction.

Last night’s first address to Congress for President Trump demonstrated all the more the confidence investors are putting in his administration’s commitment to protectionism and equally the trepidation of an unbalanced, global free-trade regime.

He also doubled down on his commitment to rebuilding the nation’s crumbling infrastructure with a request to Congress for $1 trillion in spending. That amount would dwarf the appropriations authorized for President Eisenhower’s infrasture program on which we’re still relying more than half a century later.

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The commitment to balance trade in the direction of American economic interests coupled with a commitment for massive domestic spending would clearly send investors into a dizzying spell of optimism. And they responded the next morning with a buying spree. But here’s the problem with that…

The higher prices climb the more over-valued they become, and we’ve all seen just a decade ago what happens when a market based largely on paper gets mugged by reality. History has shown over and over again that this is not mere speculation but rather a simple question of when.

Look at it like an airplane that, rather than finding a comfortable cruising altitude, continues to climb… at a rate of ascent that must soon become unsustainable. As a member of the Air National Guard, I can tell you that there is a ceiling beyond which no amount of thrust can keep a plane aloft at extreme altitudes. What happens when it reaches those altitudes? It stalls out and begins a dive…quickly.

That is more or less the same phenomenon we see happening in the stock market routinely throughout history. And it will happen again, and in the not-so-distant future.

What could possibly trigger that dive? There is a near-infinite number of possibilities, but let’s consider just a few. A major terrorist attack on U.S. soil similar to 9/11 could cause investors to stampede for the exits. A medium-sized conflict in the Middle East could flare up constricting oil supplies and, again, spook investors. An announcement by the federal government of stalled first quarter growth and/or lower-than-expected labor participation rates could be a trigger.

The key here is recognizing that a triggering event by itself won’t have any demonstrable impact on actual economic activity. All that is required is that the triggering event causes just a little bit of fear in a proportional number of investors. Once those investors begin selling as a ‘precaution’, other investors will assume there’s something they don’t know and should follow suit. And that’s when the sell-off ensues. It feeds on itself. I could see a 21,000 Dow come crashing back down to 17,000 or less.

Does that mean it’s time for you to run to cash? No. My message here is cautionary… a yellow alert. In other words, be ready to profit whether the ascent has a little more thrust available or if the engine stalls and a short-term plunge takes over. For many investors, it seems easy to make money when the markets seem very biased in only a bullish direction… especially when we’ve become accustomed to a seemingly endless bull market over these many years.

But reality smacks almost everyone when that easy momentum ceases. And every bull market ceases. Paper profits made over many months in the run up to Dow 21K can evaporate quickly for those married to a perma-bull mentality. Don’t be one of those. Complacency can make some just watch their accumulated gains evaporate as they keep expecting a relatively long-term bull market to pick right back up. The catch is that it doesn’t always do that. And short-term fortunes vanish.

Bailing out to cash isn’t an optimal answer either. Instead, it’s a great idea to brush up on how to make money on falling stock prices. One way is what is known as shorting stock. Another way that I favor in most situations is buying put options. Those who understand these bear market tools are the one’s celebrating when the bear reclaims the markets. In other words, while most people are despairing over the erosion of what can be months or years of gains realized in the bull market we’ve all been enjoying, agile investors who position themselves properly can significantly increase their cumulative gains by making money as stock prices fall.

Do you know how to do that? If not… or if you are unsure… email me at Mike@MikeGaliga.com and I’ll cover it in a future column. It’s knowledge that every smart investor simply must have. Otherwise, it’s limiting profit potentials to only one market scenario. And why do that? Some of the best profits that investors can make ARE MADE in bear markets. Such markets are usually harsh, making large moves very quickly. The panic spreads and accelerates the fall. Know how to take advantage of such falls and you can make a lot of money very quickly.

I’m expecting just such a correction in the near future… and probably several good ones on route to my longer-term forecast of Dow 30K. Be ready to profit from those corrections and agile enough to buy back in as the bear bottoms out and the bull resumes. If you don’t know how to do that, speak up now by emailing me- Mike@MikeGaliga.com – and I’ll cover this topic well in a future column. It’s not a lesson to try to learn as the market is melting down. Be proactive so that you are ready to act with confidence when the time is right. It’s coming. It’s editable. And there will be a great deal of profit in it for those that know how to capitalize on it. Are you one of those of people?

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Economy & Investments

Dow Sets 10th Record Close After Trump’s Jobs Pledge

Wall Street investors are as optimistic as they’ve been in a decade about the prospects of the American economy under the Trump administration.

While Barack Obama delivered nothing more than empty rhetoric and bogus statistics about jobs ‘saved’, Trump is already delivering on agreements with companies to build in America and add jobs.

It’s no surprise the Dow is responding.

Here’s more from Newsmax

U.S. stocks edged higher on Thursday, buoyed by energy stocks and a renewed pledge by President Donald Trump to chief executives of major U.S. companies to bring back millions of jobs to the United States.

At a meeting with about two dozen chief executives, Trump said he plans to bring millions of jobs back to the United States, without revealing a specific plan on how to counter a decades-long fall in factory jobs.

“We have seen quite a bit about that conference of business leaders with some extremely positive comments about the administration and their facilitation of a more pro-business-friendly environment,” said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank in Cleveland.

“That sort of endorsement from some of the major corporations around the country and around the world suggests to investors that this is a new era.”

Trump is expected to introduce a series of proposals that could benefit companies, including tax reforms, a reduction in regulation and increased infrastructure spending that were a part of his election campaign.

Those promises have helped spur equities to record highs, with the S&P 500 up more than 10 percent since the election.

Investors, however, are looking for more clarity on the proposals, which has kept the benchmark S&P index in a tight daily trading range. It has failed to register a move of at least one percent in either direction since Dec. 7.

Trump is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28.

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Economy & Investments, International

Galiga: Trump’s Coming Assault on ISIS and the Oil Market Conundrum

Over the last 24 months the U.S. economy saw some of its toughest economic challenges since the Great Recession was at its peak nearly a decade ago. After OPEC — led by Saudi Arabia — refused to cut back on oil supply, global prices took an expected nose dive. And the result was bankruptcy for hundreds of U.S. oil and gas exploration and service companies.

The bid by OPEC was explicitly to put a stop to the American ‘shale explosion’ which was taking massive market share from Persian Gulf producers and put it in the hands of U.S. producers. It was one of the largest shifts in commodities markets in history, and the Sauds put a swift end to it.

But, as Americans have proven time and again, we came back even stronger after those producers who weathered the storm rebounded with a renewed fiscal discipline that has made them more competitive than ever before. And competition coupled with deep national deficits by OPEC nations has the U.S. poised to come roaring back.

oil prices

I’ve predicted in recent weeks that the price of Brent crude, the benchmark for oil commodity prices, will hit $65 per barrel at some this Spring, if not before. But predictions like this always have a caveat, and this caveat has a name: Donald Trump.

As has become the new modus operandi, the world hangs on every word and tweet issued forth from the Trump White House, and the U.S. economy is no exception. As I pointed out in a recent post, the Dow’s new record of 20,000 was hit purely out of emotional speculation about Trump’s intention to rebuild American competitiveness by balancing trade agreements and restructuring tax policies. But the key point is that the path from here to 30,000 will be filled with all sorts of unpredictable events, both up and down, in the next 24 months.

That said, a recent Trump pronouncement reveals a hint as to what may happen to the global oil market. But I’ll sum that hint up in a word: volatility.

In an interview with ABC’s David Muir just over two weeks ago, President Trump explained that the problem with ISIS and its continued terrorist incursions around the world is that their operations are heavily financed — financed by oil. Among the geopolitical stratagem employed by the heads of ISIS is the capture and control of strategic oil fields around the Middle East. And it has been the continued production and sale of oil from these fields that has bankrolled ISIS to the tune of hundreds of millions.

In his ABC interview, Trump quipped, “We should have kept the oil when we got out. And you know, it’s very interesting. Had we taken the oil, you wouldn’t have ISIS, because they fuel themselves with the oil. That’s where they got the money. We should have taken the oil. You wouldn’t have ISIS if we took the oil.”

It doesn’t take a political genius to figure out that that comment very likely was a Freudian tell of the strategic cards the president is holding. Keep in mind this was less than a week after his inauguration during which his fast-paced administration was pondering and acting on his most important agenda items.

That revelation adds fuel to the reality that Trump has been very aggressive in his rhetoric about destroying ISIS and controlling the threat of terrorism in the U.S. and against U.S. foreign interests. So what does all this have to do with the oil market?

Galiga

It’s simple. Irrespective of actual supply and demand of crude oil, history shows us that any time there is military unrest or outright conflict in and around vital oil and gas infrastructure — particularly in the Middle East — investors get spooked. And when investors get spooked, they act…most often irrationally and erratically.

And there’s nothing more advantageous to the unemotional, rational investor than opportunities created when spooked investors start buying and selling out of fear for the future.

If you’re old enough to remember the Iran hostage crisis and the resultant lines at the gas pumps, you know what I’m referring to. The world is much more unstable than it was then, and global politics is even more unpredictable. Should the Trump administration take decisive action against ISIS in the Middle East, it won’t be unilateral. It will be a coalition. But that coalition will prompt action from Russia on behalf of its client-state Iran and from Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

What will that picture look like? Nobody knows. But what I can tell you with certainty is that oil prices will move, and they will move in a big way. So while my overall outlook is very bullish on Brent crude regaining much of its former glory, it won’t be without significant play over the next six to eight months.

Be on the lookout for future updates as I continue to watch these developments and my global sources very closely.

Do you know how to profit on such opportunities? Do you know how to make money as markets rise & fall? The coming volatility should offer terrific opportunities to grab quick profits as select stocks move bullishly & bearishly with swings in the price of crude. Based here in Oklahoma, I am so close to this particular situation that I can practically smell those opportunities.

If you need a refresher on how to make money when stocks rise & fall, let me know. I’ve been getting email from many readers showing interest in that and other topics and welcome all such comments, questions & requests. As I get a sense of what you would like to see, I can work it into future columns. So what would YOU like to see… or learn… or ask? Email me at: Mike@MikeGaliga.com

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Economy & Investments

Galiga: Greece Debt Will Likely Sink Europe’s Ship

Remember the last round of the Greece crisis and all the worries about financial meltdowns if Greece defaulted on debt it could not pay? Remember the call to kick Greece out of the union?

The dire warnings came. Markets might collapse. Investments would be slaughtered. Even some of the big bankers would lose on this impending disaster.

And then, almost magically, a last-minute deal was struck that basically kicked the can further down the road. Debts could be paid again. Impending financial disaster delayed. Crisis averted. All was well in the world.

A funny thing about the kick-the-can strategy: eventually the progression of time makes you catch up to that can again. And each time, it’s harder to give it another good kick down the road.

Now here were are, with international headlines awash last week with renewed warnings that the national debt for Greece remains unsustainable. And even with reports of positive economic growth, it’s unfortunately too little, too late.

The problem with Greek debt is more than a simple matter of debits and credits, and the minds behind the European Central Bank — the institution financing the entire European Union experiment — know it.

Even if Greece had a sudden, unpredictable surge in economic consumption which grew the nation’s GDP by double-digits, their problem is much the same as that for many European and Asian markets. And it’s not purely a financial problem as most people think; it’s actually a people problem.

That problem, of course, is bodies — young bodies, to be very specific. The baby boom that resulted after the cessation of fighting in WWII produced the largest generation in modern history, and it happened not just in the U.S. but in every developed nation in the world.

What that means in simple terms is that the world saw a burst of excitement and anticipation for the future resulting in more babies which meant more consumers and producers, which we’ll call ‘prosumers’. And when those prosumers came of age, began working and started families of their own, global economies exploded.

But, as with most things in economics, what goes up must eventually come down. And we’re now seeing the chickens from that boom come home to roost.

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Because we’ve yet to discover the fountain of youth, those boomers began to age and finally have begun to age entirely out of the workforce. What that means is far less population productivity and, simultaneously, quite a bit more relative consumption, particularly in the realm of health. Older folks don’t necessarily eat much less but they do require a great deal more in health care. And that additional health care has real costs to society.

So while population productivity is plummeting as boomers continue to retire in droves, health care costs are skyrocketing. In the most basic economic terms, this means that developed nations around the world are slowly suffocating under the weight of their own demographics. And there is no way to kick that particular can down the road to magically correct this issue.

What makes the problem worse is that subsequent generations have had far fewer children than did the parents of the boomers. So, in short, fewer people born means fewer people producing and fewer taxes paid. All of this sets up an unavoidable collision course in places like Greece where the fertility rate is below the minimum replacement line.

So what will happen? Can the can get kicked one more time? Well, the European Union really has no choice but to print more money and continue to bail out Greece (and Spain, Italy and Ireland) because the alternative is collapse. But by printing money, there’s very little reason to expect currency to do anything other than inflate — perhaps even hyper-inflate. So the choice for leaders of the EU is stark: a quick, painful death by economic collapse or a slow, uncomfortable death by currency inflation.

Currency inflation is a terrible enemy for anyone with money. If you know that your political leadership is going to take actions to basically make your money worth less than it is now, do you just let your hard-earned savings be eroded? If your currency is losing value by such decisions, what would you do?

Do you have choices? Of course you do. You don’t have to keep your money invested where it will be eroded. You can flee that market to greener pastures elsewhere.

Where does the world look when seeking the greenest pastures? The U.S. of course. This global reality will continue to drive international investors to the U.S. stock market as the best safe haven for their money. And that is one more reason why I’m predicting the Dow will hit 30,000 in the next 24 months, give or take. It is a reality that defines a great wave of buyers investing in U.S. markets.

Now, remember what happened when the Greece story was dominating the news? Markets around the world became volatile. Investors became frightened as the press spun that a default of Greece could trigger another round of great recession. Investors wondered if they should flee to cash or even focus in on bear market trading vehicles. Markets shifted from somewhat stable to pretty volatile- strong gains followed by harsh falls followed by big rebounds… all in a matter of days or weeks.

Volatility feeds investor nervousness… even in the U.S. markets. Americans get uncomfortable when we see that the DOW is down a few hundred points on worries about Greece… or Brexit… or any other volatility-fueling event. We remember a record high 5-digit DOW falling all the way to a 4-digit DOW not so many years ago, and how that great fall significantly cut into our 401K & IRA nest eggs.

We do not want to suffer through that kind of pounding again. And that fear can make investors panic out of the markets. Other investors see the selling and they panic out. That can define short-term sellers who let their emotions- particularly fear- overwhelm them such that they panic and run to cash.

The clash of those 2 forces will make for fairly big swings in the markets in the next few years. One fear of the international buyers is pressing them to buy into the relative safety of U.S. markets. Another fear of domestic sellers is short-term worries that the markets will fall in spite of that wave of buying.

A smoothly rising or smoothly falling market is a market where almost everyone is betting on the same direction. As such, investing profitability potentials get squeezed. Imagine the payout on a horse race where there’s only one horse in the race. Everybody knows which horse is going to win in that race. So the profit potential in that race evaporates to nearly nothing.

Volatility emboldens bulls & bears to think their view is right and about to come to pass in a big way. And that opens up the opportunity to make much greater profits over short holding periods if one is on the right side of those trades. Indices like the DOW will rise & fall- sometimes dramatically- over periods as short as just hours or days.

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While I maintain great confidence in my medium-term expectation of DOW 30K, I expect the path to that destination will have these bouts of dramatic, hand-wringing volatility. And I welcome it because my own approaches to harvesting profits from trading can make maximum gains whether stocks rise or fall.

In fact, volatility is a particularly powerful catalyst for bigger profit trades than anyone can realize if the DOW is just steadily moving up or down. The right buy or short… the right call option or put option purchases… and we grab profits in a few days or weeks that far exceed what we might make in many months just “holding” in a less-volatile market.

Do YOU know how to profit in both directions? Do you know how to take advantage of volatility so that it helps you make much more money than any kind of “buy & hold” strategy? Email me at Mike@MikeGaliga.com if you would like me to cover such topics in future editions of this column.

If you don’t know or are not so sure, this would definitely be the time for a quality refresher. That knowledge can help you make more ROI than you’ve ever made over the next few years and/or help you protect your wealth against market downturns instead of just taking the losses. Are you ready?

Lastly: I’m also interested in more topic suggestions you would like to see us cover in this column. Let us know what is on your mind and we’ll likely address it in timely, future articles. Again, just email anything you’d like to share with me to Mike@MikeGaliga.com.

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Economy & Investments

Taxes Set Record Through January, Feds Still Running Deficit

In the first month of 2017 the IRS has collected a record amount of tax revenue, a per capita sum equal to twice the average monthly salary in America.

Despite that massive haul, the federal government still cannot make ends meet and is running massive deficits. Surprise, surprise.

Here’s more from CNS News

The U.S. Treasury hauled in a record of approximately $1,084,840,000,000 in tax revenues in the first four months of fiscal 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 through Jan. 31, 2017), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

That is up about $5,616,000,000 in constant 2016 dollars from the approximately $1,079,224,000,000 in constant 2016 dollars that the Treasury collected in the first four months of fiscal 2016.

Tax revenues from previous years, as reported in the Monthly Treasury Statement for January of each year, were adjusted to 2016 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator.

Despite collecting a record $1,084,840,000,000 in tax revenues in the first four months of this fiscal year, the federal government turned around and spent $1,241,780,000,000 in those same four months—and ended up running a deficit of $156,939,000,000.

In January alone, the Treasury collected approximately $344,069,000,000 in tax revenues.

The largest portion of the $1,084,840,000,000 in federal tax revenues in the first four months of this fiscal year came from the individual income tax, which yielded approximately $550,068,000,000.

The second largest portion came from Social Security and other payroll taxes, which brought in approximately $361,887,000,000.

The income taxes collected from corporations in the United States in the first four months of the fiscal year ($84,877,000,000) amounted to more than 7 times as much as the customs duties collected on foreign imports brought into the country ($11,779,000,000).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 152,081,000 people employed in the United States in January. That means that the record $1,084,840,000,000 in taxes the federal government collected in the first four months of the fiscal year equaled about $7,133 per worker.

 

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Economy & Investments

Boom: 227,000 Jobs Added as Trump Begins With Hiring Burst

Democrats are tripping over their words today after a U.S. Labor Department jobs report revealed that nearly a quarter million new jobs were created in January alone on the build-up to the new administration.

Now they’re left speechless by an even more important statistic.

Here’s more from Newsmax:

U.S. employers stepped up hiring last month, adding a healthy 227,000 jobs, and more Americans began looking for work, a sign that President Donald Trump has inherited a robust job market.

January’s job gain was the best since September and exceeded last year’s average monthly gain of 187,000, the Labor Department reported Friday.

The unemployment rate ticked up to a still-low 4.8 percent last month from 4.7 percent in December. But the rate rose for a mostly good reason: More Americans started looking for work, though not all of them immediately found jobs. The percentage of adults working or looking for jobs reached its highest level since September.

Yet some of the economy’s weak spots remain: Average hourly wages barely increased last month. And the number of people working part time who would prefer full-time work rose.

January’s jobs figures reflect hiring that occurred mainly before Trump was inaugurated on Jan. 20. Still, it was the first employment report to be released with Trump occupying the White House, and he seems sure to take a close interest in it.

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