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Archive for December, 2013

Health Exchanges See Rush of Last-Minute Shoppers

Saturday, December 28th, 2013 1 comment

The chart below (via WSJ) shows the influx of shoppers since Nov. 30 in the 14 states running their own health exchanges.

 

WSJ_NA-BZ416_HEALTH_G_20131225170604

 

Source: WSJ

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Gold Set for First Annual Loss in 13 Years and Biggest Loss Since 1981

Saturday, December 21st, 2013 1 comment

WSJ_Goldloss

 

Source: WSJ

Netflix Almost as Popular as Cable Among Young Adults

Thursday, December 19th, 2013 Leave a comment

Statista_Netflix-Bau2mT7CEAAAbcl.jpg large

 

Source: Statista

Housing Starts at its Highest Since 2008

Thursday, December 19th, 2013 Leave a comment

On Wednesday, the Commerce Department announced good news for the construction industry: there were 1,091,000 new residential construction projects begun in November, a 22.7% increase, or the biggest one-month jump since 1990.

The chart below highlights the increase in housing starts, which are notably at its highest level since 2008.

 

Time_housing starts2013

 

Source: TIME (Business & Money)

Federal Reserve Announces Modest Taper of $10 Billion

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 Leave a comment

Everyone was waiting today to see if Ben Bernanke would announce a taper of the the Fed’s bond buying program at his final planned news conference before retiring. Well, Big Ben did not disappoint!

From MarketWatch:

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday took the first step to exiting its controversial bond-buying program, showing greater confidence that the U.S. economy will grow faster and hiring will pick up over the next year.

Starting in January, the Fed will reduce the pace of asset purchases to $75 billion from $85 billion a month. And if the economy improves at the pace the Fed expects, outgoing Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a press conference that he could foresee the bond-purchase program coming to an end by late next year.

 

In addition to the Fed announcing a modest taper, the Fed also provided other bullish comments:

[T]he central bank also tried to cushion the effects of a reduction in bond purchases on U.S. markets by indicating that short-term interest rates could remain near zero for even longer than the Fed had previously suggested, perhaps for several years.

 

So how did financial markets react towards the news? Quite positive to say the least. Here is a market recap:

Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +1.84%  soared to close near its all-time high with the best point gain since October 10. Dow added 293 points, or 1.8%, to 16,167.97. The S&P 500 index SPX +1.67%  rose 30 points, or 1.7% to 1,810.65, within a hair’s breadth of its all-time high. Nasdaq Composite COMP +1.15%  was up 16 points or 1.1% to 4,070.66.

 

Click the following link to read the full text of the Fed’s statement.

2013 Heisman Favorite Jameis Winston Stacks Up Well Against Last Two Winners

Saturday, December 14th, 2013 Leave a comment

Tonight, Florida State’s QB Jameis Winston, or “Famous Jameis,” is expected to win the 2013 Heisman Trophy as he is the overwhelming favorite among the six Heisman finalists, a list that includes last year’s Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. Even as a proud Florida Gators fan, I must say that Winston is an incredible talent that oozes confidence on the field.

Let’s take a look at how Winston stacks up against the last two Heisman winners. As you can see below, Winston certainly has the stats to win college football’s most prestigious award for a player.

ESPN_Winston-BbegPejCYAAdbv-

 

Source: ESPN SportsCenter

 

If you want to take a closer look at all of the finalists’ credentials, check out this post from USA Today.

Investment Fads and Themes (1996-2013)

Friday, December 13th, 2013 Leave a comment

Every year, Josh Brown (author of The Reformed Broker blog) puts out a collection of “Investment Fads and Themes” dating back to 1996. This year’s updated guide is posted below. Enjoy!

TRB_Investmentfads-11

To read Josh’s full commentary, head over to his blog here.