Home remodeling is booming . . .

| December 28, 2011

A little commented on metric in recent weeks was a 30% year over year increase in housing starts.  While that is impressive, home remodeling is up even more!  Home remodeling is up 40% year over year and is at a multi-year high.  To be sure while housing starts remain at a depressed level compared to […]




U.S. economic reports have increasingly exceeded estimates – this usually translates into stronger stocks and weaker bonds – but not now – what gives? . . .

| December 27, 2011

Bond rates remain near all-time lows despite persistent strength of U.S. economic indicators beating estimates.  Usually interest rates rise when the economy strengthens.  The following chart, courtesy of www.bondvigilantes.com , shows the usually tight relationship between U.S. Treasury bond yields and an index of the degree by which U.S. economic metrics exceed their estimates.  The […]




Tablet sales are booming and are set to continue to boom in 2012. One in three online consumers will be using a tablet by 2014 . . .

| December 16, 2011

Game changer, transformational, these are a couple of the descriptors for the tablet computer phenomena.  eMarketer predicts there will be 55 million tablet users a year from now.  We already know that Apple and Amazon are each currently selling in the order of 1 million tablets and e-readers (i.e. Kindles) – per week.  It is […]




As smartphones and tablets proliferate, more and more essential communications are migrating off the desktop and onto a wireless device. E-mails are increasingly being read on a mobile device – implications for security and demand for bandwidth . . .

| December 16, 2011

Smartphones and increasingly tablets are always on, always within reach communications (and commerce) devices.  Recent research by Knotice and published by the Center for Media Research noted that the percentage of all e-mails now being read on a mobile device has grown by 51% since 2010.  This says a lot about pervasive presence, the quality […]




Online video ad spending set to continue to boom in 2012 . . .

| December 16, 2011

Online video is surging as more owners of smartphones and tablets spend time watching full-length TV shows and feature films on their mobile devices.  Over 50% of all internet users in the U.S. now watch online videos at least once per month.  As you can expect, ad money follows eyeballs and ad money is moving […]




E-commerce is booming this holiday season . . .

| December 14, 2011

The Business Insider web site, Silicon Alley posted the chart below on the trend in e-commerce sales.  The current data from comScore has e-commerce sales rising by 15% so far this year over 2010.  Approximately $26.8 billion has been spent online in the first 42 days of the holiday shopping season.  There was $1.1 billion […]




Rail carloads improving – not indicative of an onset of a recession . . .

| December 14, 2011

The Business Insider web site posted the chart below on carloadings last week.  As they pointed out, rail carloadings are a good indicator of what is going on in the real economy.  The picture is encouraging as rail carloads are increasing.  They are an early indicator of economic strength and weakness.  They are now signaling […]




Weekly economic indicators have softened but do they signal recession? . . .

| December 14, 2011

The ECRI index of weekly economic indicators have clearly softened this year and particularly so in Q3.  The weakness was coincident with the market unrest over the escalating Euro crisis and the U.S. debt ceiling debate/debt downgrade.  The management at the ECRI believes the chart points to a recession in 2012 – they aren’t saying […]




Small businesses raising hiring intentions . . .

| December 14, 2011

The recent report from the NFIB included positive news on small business hiring plans.  Small business hiring plans are the best since late 2008.  While the levels remain historically low they are showing a persistent lift.  Jeb Terry, Sr. Dec 13, 2011 Source: Bespoke Investment Group Aberdeen Investment Management – a guide service for micro-cap […]




We know where the money is – have a look at bank deposits . . .

| December 14, 2011

The key measures are M1 and M2 (if you don’t know what they are, go to Wikipedia or the Fed’s web site).  The pundits don’t appreciate how scared the U.S. consumer/investor has become after all the political theatre in Washington and Europe.  We have had a historic flight to cash that started with the financial […]