Capital Highlights - In the Markets
Stay up to date on market trends and U.S. and international economic news with Capital Highlights.
May 2023 - Rough Week for U.S. Markets
This week the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced its third consecutive 25 basis point rate increase this year.
April 2023 - Healthcare
Each year on April 7 to commemorate the founding of the World Health Organization, this year’s celebration is under the motto “Health for All”, as the WHO’s founding mission was to promote health and wellbeing globally.
March 2023 - Why did Silicon Valley Bank go Bust?
The question everyone asked since last Thursday (3/9/23) has been “Why did Silicon Valley Bank go bust? And what does it mean for MY bank?” The best explanation is that Silicon Valley Bank (SIVB) was uniquely at risk because of its unusually low percent of individual depositors, and its unusually high portfolio of loans and securities backing up their deposits. How “unusual”?
February 2023 - Electric Vehicles Sales Spike
Electric vehicles (EV) sales in California spiked by over 60% in 2022 to 285,199 new electric vehicles being sold, according to registration data. The overall market share of EVs nearly doubled to 17% of total new vehicle sales.
January 2023 - Innovative Technologies
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the world's largest technology trade show, offers a glimpse into products coming down the pipeline. This year, the ever-expanding field of products showcased everything from color-changing cars to an oven that prevents food from burning.
December 2022 - Eurozone Inflation
A less self-serving analysis might place some blame on the flood of pandemic money-printing by the world’s central banks and deficit-spending stimulus binges by their respective governments.
November 2022 - Cheers!
Billionaire investing legend Warren Buffet says investors should stick to areas they know when they are deciding what to invest in. The fine wine benchmark Liv-ex 1000 index has returned over 38% over the last two years, while the S&P 500 has managed just a 7% gain.
October 2022 - NFT's
NFT’s, which stands for “non-fungible tokens”, are cryptographic digital assets that exist on a blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that distinguish each from all others. Unlike cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, that are identical and, therefore, can serve as a medium for transactions.
September 2022 - Inflation in the Eurozone
As bad as inflation seems in the U.S., it is much worse in the Eurozone where inflation jumped 9.1% in August - a new record for Eurozone data that goes back to 1997. Estonia led the way with a huge 25.2% rise, while Germany hit a record 8.8%. After years of money printing by the European Central Bank (ECB) that turned into an absolute torrent during the pandemic, inflation “suddenly” spiked in early 2021.
August 2022 U.S. Stock Benchmarks Posted Solid Gains
U.S. stock benchmarks posted solid gains, despite another hike in interest rates and data showing the economy contracted for a second quarter. A “bad news is good news” dynamic seems to be in play, with investors betting that poor economic news may allow the Federal Reserve to return to a relatively easy monetary policy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 946 points finishing the week at 32,845—a gain of 3.0%. Similarly, the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite rallied 4.7% closing at 12,391. By market cap, the large cap S&P 500 and small cap Russell 2000 each rose 4.3% while the mid cap S&P 400 gained 4.8%.
July 2022 Inflation
It’s not just housing—the average transaction price of new vehicles sold in June hit a new stratospheric record high of $45,844, up 14% from a year ago.
June 2022 Gouging
The United States hasn’t had a new refinery built since the 1970’s. As the following graphic shows, the rate of price increases for refined products like jet fuel, diesel, and gasoline, have surged far higher than the price of crude oil.
May 2022 Lockdown and Delays
U.S. trucking giant JB Hunt expects the delays that Shanghai is experiencing to spread to the US West Coast by July. Shelley Simpson, chief commercial officer stated, “We do forecast that [shipping delays] to get a lot worse as we come into the summer months.”
APRIL 2022 Office Space Anyone?
As the pandemic winds down, life in many respects is almost back to normal—except for one area—office space. According to building security provider Kastle, which monitors the use of security and ID cards in office buildings, the “Kastle Barometer” of average weekly occupancy for offices is still just 40% of pre-pandemic levels.
MAR 2022 Energy Production
It is well known that Russia is one of the world’s largest producers of energy, both natural gas and oil. So as gas prices continue to hit new highs across the country, just how much of the world’s oil does Russia produce?
FEB 2022 Gasoline, Rent & Orange Juice Oh My!
Along with gasoline and rent we get to add orange juice to the ever-expanding list of prices expected to skyrocket throughout the year. The January forecast for the U.S. citrus harvest is looking especially bleak for Florida orange growers.
JAN 2022 "Click & Collect" Sales to Increase
39.98 Initially developed by supermarket chains, this so-called “Click & Collect” service made it possible for consumers to buy online and then conveniently collect their purchases at the nearest store location. Walmart embraced this business model wholeheartedly, and overtook the grocery stores to become by far the biggest click & collect retailer in the country.