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Strategist

Will headwinds from the global economy affect us?

By Pierre Villere

As this column was going to press in early November, the U.S. stock markets were breaking records and reaching all-time highs. Many in the economics and investing community were holding their breaths as we tip-toed through third-quarter earnings season for America’s publicly traded companies, big and small. The high-level concern going into earnings season was that the slowing U.S. economy would unleash a spate of poor reports, and the stock market would confirm what many bears had predicted: the slowdown is here. Well, it didn’t happen.

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A breath of fresh air from the National Association of Home Builders

By: Pierre G. Villere

The top line economic indicators are mixed these days, but we remain bullish at our firm about the future of the construction industry. My frustration is with the press, from CNBC to the major news networks on both the conservative and liberal sides of the political spectrum, with their need to fill the day with news. This results in long, anguished speculation about the state of the economy, and just more of the Chicken Little Syndrome, as I call it (“The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”).

Read more: A breath of fresh air from the National Association of Home Builders

Lower interest rates cause a jump in mortgage refinancing

By: Pierre Villere

As I have been saying for months now, the fear of a stalling economy coupled with the stock market correction in the Fall of 2018 shook up Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and his fellow Board Governors, and they made public pronouncements that the Fed would pause any rate hikes for the foreseeable future. Shortly thereafter, the Fed came back and added that they were open to considering a cut in rates depending on the economic metrics they monitor to guide them in those decisions.

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What Recession?

By: Pierre G. Villere

My wife and I were traveling recently, and we had made a reservation at a popular restaurant in the town where we were visiting. When we arrived promptly for our reservation time, the hostess politely told us it would be 15 to 20 minutes before we could be seated. We gladly sat at the bar, observing the restaurant and all the comings and goings. But one fact struck me as odd: 25 percent of the tables were empty. So on our way out, I asked the hostess about this and asked about the wait, and she explained what we all know about the current employment picture: They can’t hire enough servers and kitchen staff to maximize the restaurant’s seating capacity.

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What does a record stock market signal for our economy?

By: Pierre G. Villere

In late June and early July, the stock market indexes all rallied to new, all-time highs, capped off by a surging Dow Jones Industrial Index that closed at a record high on the day before Independence Day. This came about as trader sentiment, whether it is the retail day trader or the institutional investor managing billions, strengthened over what appears to be a thawing on the issues of both tariff negotiations, as well as the general trade picture.

Read more: What does a record stock market signal for our economy?