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The Global Market Update is curated by Douglas Tengdin, CFA an employee of Charter Trust Company.
The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Charter Trust Company.
Investments may involve investment risk, including the possible loss of value.

Home Sweet (Upside-Down) Home

By | September 7th, 2010|

So why the long slog? For months economists have been going on ad-nauseum about the long slog that this economy is presenting us. While sharp recessions are often followed by sharp recoveries, that doesn’t seem to be the case this time. Why is it different? One big issue is housing. In the past, economic slowdowns led to lower interest rates, which allowed homeowners to refinance [...]

Not So Bad …

By | September 6th, 2010|

While the jobs report looked dreary on the surface, there was more to it than first appeared. Employment fell last month by 54 thousand, led by the loss of 114 thousand census workers. Private sector employment rose by 67 thousand jobs, and in July the private sector added 107 thousand jobs, 36 thousand more than originally reported. Unemployment ticked upwards, but that was because the [...]

American Dreamin’

By | September 3rd, 2010|

Is the American dream of home ownership still alive? Many people don’t think so. The appreciation from ’03 through ’07 seemed to make it impossible to buy in unless you used special financing. Demand grew and prices soared across much of the country. But then the loans started to turn sour and unqualified borrowers defaulted. The bubble burst and home prices declined by up to [...]

Global Stuff

By | September 2nd, 2010|

Manufacturing reported good news yesterday. Does it make a difference? Yesterday the nation’s purchasing managers noted that their index of manufacturing activity rose more than economists expected. Many had expected that the story of slowing economic growth would be confirmed yet again by another economic indicator. But this index didn’t keep to the story line, and showed that the nation’s factories increased production. The details [...]

Sowing and Reaping

By | August 31st, 2010|

Many wonder what will get the US economy moving again. For them I have one word: Wheat. Our farms are about to experience perhaps their best harvest ever. A combination of ideal weather at home, crop failures abroad, and increasing global demand for cereal grains have created a perfect anti-storm, in which high prices and record yields combine in a cash-flow bonanza for the American [...]

Low Hanging Fruit

By | August 30th, 2010|

If we told our leaders that there was a magical way to stimulate the economy, generate new tax revenues, increase demand for housing, and boost wages for American workers, would they go for it? Not a chance. The magic is through immigration. The San Francisco Fed recently published a study which showed increased immigration leads to higher wages for everyone. Over the long run a [...]

Good News?

By | August 29th, 2010|

The economy turned out to be weaker than expected. Why is this good news? On Friday the Commerce department reported that the economy grew at a rate of 1.6% during the second quarter rather than 2.4% as originally reported. That’s down significantly from the growth rate of the first quarter, which was almost 4%. So if the economy is slowing, why did interest rates rise, [...]

Charging Around

By | August 27th, 2010|

Have we become a plugged-in nation? In the US there are now over 285 million active wireless devices, and that number could double in 7 years or less. All those devices are taxing our outlets and taxing our minds. A couple of recent studies show that all our time on-line may be affecting our brains. The constant stimulation of Facebook, Twitter, and texting can alter [...]

Counting Change

By | August 26th, 2010|

The nation’s chief accountant is stepping down. What does it mean for investors? Robert Hetz, the Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, is stepping down as its chief two years ahead of schedule. This comes at a time of tremendous financial uncertainty and as the body is enmeshed in a battle over expanding the use of mark-to-market accounting, which requires companies to use market [...]