Organic and natural food markets continue to expand their brands. And this is good for consumers’ health and investors’ wallets. Organic food and product shops have grown significantly for several years in terms of revenue and earnings growth while gaining market share in the retail grocery sector.
The Justice Department sued Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) this week, alleging that the big bank defrauded investors by understating the risks of the mortgages backing about $850 million in securities. The lawsuit is another legal woe for Bank of America related to mortgage securities losses and litigation since the financial crisis.
The DoJ’s Case Against Bank of America
While most of the prior cases against the big bank more »
The manufacturing sector is a key factor in the U.S. economy -- rumors of its demise have been greatly exaggerated. According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), manufacturers account for about 12% of the gross domestic product.
Manufacturing at a glance
The association notes that manufacturers contributed $1.87 trillion to the U.S. economy last year. This is an increase from $1.73 trillion in 2011. NAM also more »
The housing market recovery has been good for home improvement retailers and the home goods sector as well.
As has previously been reported, the housing market is in the early stages of a shaky recovery. Inventories remain tight even though rising interest rates may have recently caused a pullback in homebuilders’ share prices. Interest rates have climbed by 100 basis points in the past month or so. In other words more »
U.S. Federal Regulators continue to hit the money center banks with steep fines and penalties and investors should take note. The latest news concerns settlements between the money center banks and an array of federal regulators and agencies.
FHFA Settles with UBS
The retail coffee sector continues to percolate, led by the great second quarter results of Starbucks.
Starbucks’ (NASDAQ: SBUX) second quarter saw solid growth in sales and profits. The stock is trading close to all-time highs. And some analysts contend the share price will continue to climb. Their argument is based on the successful introduction of a new menu that features more options. This includes salads and the recently acquired more »
The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently adopted new trading rules for US banks' overseas operations.
The federal regulator’s cross border guidance applies to American banks conducting trade in London, the European Union and elsewhere in the global village. The new rules are part of the CFTC’s new-found powers under the Dodd-Frank reform measure. In particular the cross border guidance is aimed at the $700 trillion derivatives market more »
Key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) have been delayed, and investors in the health care sector should get a second opinion.
Obamacare was originally planned to kick in next year. But the White House recently announced the mandate for covered employers to provide health insurance has been delayed until 2015. There are far reaching economic impacts of this new twist far more important than the chatter of more »
The housing market recovery is good news for investors in the home improvement sector.
Ripe conditions for new construction
The key for housing starts, as investors know, is inventory. And the number of homes for sale more »
The too big to fail banking behemoth will fork over $968 million to cover pre-existing loans and any potential future claims on loans originated and sold to Fannie Mae between 2000 and 2012.
Head honcho of CitiMortgage, Jane Frazier reportedly said, “We have a strong and productive relationship with Fannie Mae.”
The Art more »
Several news sources recently reported that the confidence of US home builders surged in June – a signal that the housing market recovery is gaining ground.
A consensus of home builders believe conditions for new construction are favorable for the first time since the housing market tanked seven long years ago. This green shoot of optimism was recently reported by the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index more »
US regulators are contemplating tighter capital requirements for the big banks, which could force them to withhold dividend payments.
Several news sources recently reported the Federal Reserve and the FDIC are weighing tough capital requirements for the nation’s money center banks. The new standards may even force the banks to withhold dividend payments for as long as five years. And this is something else for investors in financials to more »
The coffee shop retail sector continues to brew and this is good news for coffee drinkers and investors who like to nibble on tasty treats.
A small taste of heavenly coffees
These coffee chains appeal to different customer bases. Starbucks and similar retail chains are the favorite of consumers who believe more »
Utility companies are buying into solar power and this is a triple play for these outfits, their customers and investors.
Several of the largest U.S. utility companies are moving into the solar power business. While utility companies still lean heavily on coal and natural gas as power sources, the transition into solar and other green technologies is underway.
Solar Energy at a Glance
My last article considered three of more »
Solar energy has been touted as a viable energy source for the future. The need and demand for clean renewable energy has been increasing in recent years. But a New York Times story reports how increasing demand does not mean rising stock prices for solar energy companies.
This is partly the result of industrial policies of foreign nations like China that subsidize solar energy. In short, these subsidies have pushed more »
Dollar stores are deep discount retail outlets that have become more popular with consumers in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008. This article discusses whether these outlets are also good buys for ordinary investors.
A brief overview of dollar stores
Dollar-store retail chains have become increasingly popular with consumers since the financial crisis. In so doing, these discount stores have gained market share from other retailers. This included more »
Home Depot (NYSE: HD) reported higher quarterly sales and earnings figures this week. The strong results were due in part to the housing market recovery that is slowly gaining momentum. This article will provide an overview of the company’s quarterly results and the 2013 outlook for Home Depot and some of its competitors.
Home Depot’s first quarter earnings
Home Depot is the nation’s largest home improvement retail more »
The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently announced long anticipated new swaps rules. The new rules tighten oversight on derivative transactions, but the big banks will also continue to control the swaps market. This article will provide an overview of the new rules and how it affects key swap players.
New Swaps Rules at a Glance
Derivative transactions come in a number of forms such as Interest Rate and Currency more »
Since joining The Motley Fool blog network in January, my articles have linked public policy issues and current events to market sectors and companies in those sectors for ordinary investors to consider. This article takes a look at 5 of those suggestions across a number of market sectors based on first quarter performance and prospects for continued growth.
The Health Care Sector
Since the financial crisis of 2008 through the more »
The Volcker Rule provisions of the Dodd-Frank reform measure ending proprietary trading have still not been established by federal regulators as financial firms set up contingency plans. This article will provide an over view of the rule and discuss its effect on some key firms.
A Brief History of the Volcker Rule
The Volcker Rule is designed to prohibit banks with federally guaranteed deposits from trading on their own account more »
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