Economy and Trends

Food Stamps: Enrollment and Spending Continue to Fall

Federal spending on SNAP (food stamps) hit a 7-year low in 2017 as more Americans got off welfare and went back to work. SNAP spending increased dramatically during Obama’s presidency, climbing from $37.6 billion to $53.6 billion after his first year in office. Spending peaked in 2013, when the government handed out $79.8 billion to more than 47 million recipients. The ...

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Special Report: 2018 Sector Outlook

With only a few weeks of trading left before we close the books on 2017, we thought it would be of interest for our readers to look ahead to 2018 and evaluate each of the main sectors. Most of the domestic indices are at or near all-time highs and investor sentiment is reaching extremely optimistic levels. While the new highs ...

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Rising Economic Tide Lifting Many Retail Boats

On Wednesday, November 29, 2017, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday that U.S. economic output grew at a 3.3% annual rate in the third quarter, faster than earlier estimated, and the highest rate in over three years. Meanwhile, consumer and business confidence are at recent-year highs and equity markets continue to surge to new all-time highs. This strong growth belies contentions ...

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GDP Grew More Than Predicted in the Third Quarter

The U.S. Economy has hit an impressive milestone. In the third quarter, the gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 3.3%, even with the tough hurricane season. This is the fastest rate seen in the last three years. In 2016, the economy saw merely 1.5% growth. “It was the first time actual gross domestic product had exceeded potential GDP since the ...

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Tax-Free Bonds for Stadiums? NFL vs Congress

Ever since the National Football League let their games get political with the national anthem protests, there has been a tremendous backlash from fans and Republicans. House Republicans even took action by proposing a bill last week that would halt team owners from being able to use tax-free bonds to help fund the construction of these event arenas. “Under the ...

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Oil CEOs Request That the OPEC Extend Output Cut – Expect Higher Gas Prices

Oil CEOs are making a push to “stabilize” the market by calling on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to extend out the March 2018 oil output cut deadline.    “OPEC members are reportedly forming a consensus around extending their production cutting deal with other crude exporters by nine months. That would prolong the agreement among OPEC, Russia and other ...

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Japan – The Land of the Rising Wage?

On Sunday, October 22, 2017 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won his third consecutive electoral victory. The 63-year-old Abe is on course to become Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister. Mr. Abe owes his victory partly to adroit political judgment. Sensing disunity among his likely opponents, he called for an unscheduled election. In response, the main opposition party, The Democratic Party split ...

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Delta Airlines – Mix of Alpha and Beta

A small commercial spat involving Delta Airlines received front page media attention this past October 9 when Canadian Prime Minister Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the White House to begin another round of NAFTA negotiations. A few weeks ago, a purchase order of 125 small jets by Delta from Canadian manufacturer Bombardier was slapped with a large tariff by the ...

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India Vs. United States: A Comparison of Economies and Markets

India is the second largest country in the world in terms of population and the country has made great strides in its economy by developing a capitalist approach and adapting it to meet with Hindu traditions. The annual growth rate for GDP has been above four percent since we entered the 21st century with the exception of one reading and ...

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Georgia Insurance Commissioner: Obamacare Rates Up 57% Next Year

Premiums for individual policies sold under the Affordable Care Act could increase by as much as 60% next year. Regulators are forced to either approve the increases demanded by health insurance companies or lose those companies. “Obamacare has become even more unaffordable for Georgia’s middle class,” complains Georgia insurance commissioner Ralph Hudgens. “I am disappointed by reports that the latest Obamacare repeal has ...

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