U.S. home prices saw their highest gains since February 2006 during the first nine months of 2013, according to new data from the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.
The S&P/Case-Shiller 10-City and 20-City Composites were up by 13.6% for the period, versus the first nine months of 2012. Price gains did slow noticeably following the summer selling season: October 2013 saw only a 0.2% gain in these two key composites.
In Part 1 of this story we looked at the case being made by Wall Street bulls: Mainly, that an increasingly strong economy will continue to drive stocks higher. Now it’s time for the bears to have their say.
So, what are some cautionary arguments to go along with the cheery optimism of stock market bulls like Fidelity Investments, (and many, many others)?
Well, the bulls vastly outnumber the bears these days, and even the bears aren’t predicting a crash. (Though many Internet sages are, we should point out). What most bears predict isn’t so much a big, downward correction of the market in 2014, as an easing off on the wild gains of 2013. Call it a “flat market bearishness” and here are the main reasons why:
Stocks have reached historic highs recently, but history tells us that the ride down can be painful. With retirement funds hanging in the balance, let’s take a two-part look at what might happen – good and bad — in the year ahead. In Part One we’ll check in with the bulls, who see nothing but big gains ahead:
Bulls vastly outnumber bears these days, with stocks ending 2013 at record highs. As of Dec. 26 major indices including the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 had pushed into all-time record territory. Overall, the value of stocks as a percentage of the overall U.S. economy is greater than it’s ever been.
California currently leads the nation in “hidden” job leads, according to a free app that tracks hiring announcements before they are advertised. The app, called the Hidden Jobs App, is a free service from hiring firm CareerCloud. It tracks company announcements of upcoming hiring as they appear in news articles, blog posts and press releases. Apparently, you can use this app to find out about jobs before they are advertised, and get your resume in ahead of the herd. Continue Reading…
The Fine Line Between “Financially Smart Gift Giving” and “Cheapskate”
Two-thirds of Americans surveyed recently by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards say they plan to budget the same – or less – than they did last year for holiday gift-giving.
As you might expect, the CFP Board is hailing this as a move toward “financially smart gifting.” (They are, after all, financial planners by trade). But could we be at risk of trying to brand Ebenezer Scrooge cheapskate behavior as a virtue?
Japanese tire maker Toyo Tire said it has broken ground on an expansion of its manufacturing facility in Georgia. The company said that the move will add 650 new jobs.
The Osaka-based company currently has a two million square foot plant in White, Georgia. The expansion will add another 700,000 square feet, and add capabilities that Toyo said are needed to meet growing demand for its Toyo Tires and Nitto brand light truck and passenger car tires in the U.S.
Atlanta-area chief information officers (CIOs) plan to do more hiring in 2013 than they did over the past six months, according to a new survey.
Robert Half Technology – a firm that places information technology (IT) professionals with companies – recently conducted a survey of Atlanta-area CIOs, and found that 18% of them plan to expand their IT teams in the first half of 2014.
That’s up a full nine points versus the projections they made in the last survey, which forecast the previous six-month period of June-to-December 2013.
In another sign that the economy has improved somewhat, a new survey finds that corporate holiday spending on employees and clients is at its highest level since 2008.
Companies surveyed by industry group the Advertising Specialty Institute said they plan to spend an average of $33.92 on clients this year, and $44.98 for employees. This is up from last year’s client/employee averages of $26.48 and $41.70, respectively.
ASI said that the most popular gift choices for companies surveyed were gift cards (42.4%), cash bonuses (29.2%), food and beverages (27.5%) and apparel (11.2%).