The Economy Created Jobs in October 2019!

November 1, 2019, by John Norris

This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released The Employment Situation – October 2019. It showed the US economy created 128K net new ‘payroll’ jobs and the Unemployment Rate increased slightly to 3.6% from 3.5%. This was due to an increase in the ‘civilian labor force’ of 325K relatively to the creation of only 241K jobs reported at the household level. The difference between the two numbers is the former comes from a survey...

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Fed Rate Cut on October 30, 2019

October 30, 2019, by John Norris

This afternoon, the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) announced today it intended to cut the overnight lending target bank between member banks by 25 basis points to a range of 1.50-1.75%, and instructed the Open Market Desk at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to “undertake open market operations as necessary” to this end effective October 31, 2019. In layman’s terms, the Fed cut rates as everyone, and their brother, knew it was going...

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Quick Note on US GDP on October 30, 2019

October 30, 2019, by John Norris

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its ‘first stab’ at calculating 3Q 2019 GDP (Gross Domestic Product) this morning (10/30/2019). It estimates/estimated the US economy grew at a 1.9% annualized rate last quarter. This was slightly higher than “Wall Street’s” 1.6% estimate. Key takeaways are: Personal Consumption Expenditures remained healthy at a 2.9% annualized clip. Expenditures on finished products grew at a 5.5% rate Expenditures on services grew at a 1.7% rate. Private Domestic Investment...

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Episode 62 of Trading Perspectives Podcast

October 28, 2019, by Sara McPherson

High Income and Corporate Taxes This week, John and Sam focus on the importance of taxation in order to boost economic growth and alleviate poverty.  Dr. Abhijit Banerjee, a professor at MIT, was recently featured in a Bloomberg article in which he states that taxing the rich and large corporations is the only way to alleviate poverty.    Although taxation is important to economic growth, high tax rates don’t ensure a strong economy.  So, what is...

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Common Cents & The NBA on October 25, 2019

October 25, 2019, by John Norris

In case you might have missed it, there is currently a brouhaha in the NBA (National Basketball Association) over a tweet Houston Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey posted on October 4, 2019. In it was an image with a caption which read: “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” Let me repeat: there is currently a brouhaha in the NBA (National Basketball Association) over a tweet Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey posted on October 4, 2019....

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Dear John

October 23, 2019, by Sara McPherson

Chief Economist, John Norris, answers the most commonly asked questions. Dear John, What is the biggest threat to your economic forecast and investment strategy moving forward into 2020? First things first, the Federal Reserve is almost always the low-hanging fruit to be the biggest threat to anyone’s economic forecast. However, that is an unsatisfying answer, largely due to there being so much tension in our society and the markets. The Federal Reserve? That old saw?...

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Online Bill Pay Enhancements

October 23, 2019, by Sara McPherson

Oakworth Capital is continually striving to improve our client experience.  As part of this effort we are improving how we process checks issued through Oakworth Online Bill Pay.  Beginning Sunday, September 1st, Bill Pay checks will now be issued directly on your account and funds will not be withdrawn until the item actually clears your account.  There are several ways we feel this change will benefit you including giving you a true idea of when an item has been received...

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Episode 61 of Trading Perspectives Podcast

October 21, 2019, by Sara McPherson

The Shift in Consumer Values There is no doubt that consumer buying patterns are evolving, but after driving by 2 fine jewelers that are going out of business, John and Sam notice that people are shifting away from luxurious goods.  From fine china and silver platters, watches, and even beer, people are interested in more practical goods.  People are finding value in the product itself not in the marketing fluff.  Are these changes in consumer...

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Common Cents & Ennui on October 18, 2019

October 18, 2019, by John Norris

This past Tuesday, we met with clients in Northwest Alabama who asked me a very pointed and topical question: “how will this impeachment mess impact the markets and the economy?” As we were meeting in a church, and had just discussed some issues within our common denomination, I laughed and said: “so, we are going to hit all of it here today, huh? Religion and politics?” As Spinal Tap’s David St. Hubbins might say, it...

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3rd Quarter Economic Update 2019

October 18, 2019, by John Norris

The 3rd Quarter of 2019 was almost a copy of the 2nd, only slightly less so. Both had bad months (August and May) sandwiched in between a couple of good months. However, May was worse than August, and the sandwich months weren’t quite as strong in 3Q as they were in 2Q. For all the promise of volatility at the beginning of the year, 2019 has been surprisingly calm, or reasonably so. Why? Not much...

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