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13Aug

OIL PRICES; WILL THERE BE CONTINUED DREAD AT THE GAS STATION?

The pain at the pump has really hit home for many Americans during the recent holidays with prices that have averaged 73 cents more than a year ago. The average price of regular gas nationwide was $2.26 a year ago. The price of gas on Independence Day was the highest in four years. A barrel of Brent crude increased by five dollars from April to May. More than one variable has been at play creating a surge in the price of oil. The OPEC member countries voted to cut back on oil production in 2016. With demand staying high, and even higher in China, the price of oil, and by extension gasoline, was impacted by the falling supply. The U.S. supplies Saudi Arabia with military weapons, including a $350 billion deal last year. The president has asked the Saudi King to increase oil production. The head of OPEC said that

10Apr

NEW FED RATE HIKE; MARKET REACTION?

The past couple of years witnessed more speculation about interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve than what was the reality. Many of the pundits were convinced we would see four increases during 2016 and they were wrong. The thinking has shifted in 2017 as some of the precursors that the Fed considers are starting a align and justify action on their part. A growing economy and real growth in the job market, with the accompanying uptick in inflation, is just the formula the Fed needs to raise rates; really. On March 15, 2017, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised the federal funds rate again by a quarter point; the second such move in three months. They had raised the benchmark rate this past December as well. The two increases are expected to have some effect on short term lending rates. This has been a reversal of Fed policy,