Select Page

Jerome Powell’s ‘Economy Reality Check’ Tour: Hearing It Straight from the Small-Business Folks in York, Pennsylvania

Federal Reserve officials usually rely on the wisdom of top-notch Ph.D. economists in Washington to gather insights on the economy. But on a recent visit to York, Pennsylvania, Fed Chair Jerome Powell had a unique experience. He traded in boardrooms for the grit of small-business life, where inflation, sky-high interest rates, labor shortages, and the other quirks of the post-pandemic economy hit home.

Powell, accompanied by Patrick Harker, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, ventured to York to get a firsthand look at the efforts of this long-standing manufacturing hub, once famous for churning out York Peppermint Patties, as it strives to diversify its economic landscape.

The small-business community they engaged with radiated optimism but wasn’t shy about airing their concerns. Finding enough workers remained a persistent challenge. Soaring interest rates had put a damper on expansion plans for some. Meanwhile, the ongoing saga of rising costs and supply shortages had them in a perpetual tug-of-war.

Dow futures maintain stability with a focus on employment data

In Monday’s evening trading, U.S. stock futures exhibited a narrow trading range, reflecting the mixed performance of major benchmark averages during the day, as investors braced themselves for the release of crucial employment data scheduled for later in the week. As of 6:20pm ET (10:20pm GMT), Dow Jones Futures and S&P 500

Futures remained stable, while Nasdaq 100 Futures showed a slight gain of 0.1%.

Looking ahead to Tuesday’s trading session, investors will be paying close attention to the release of the latest JOLTS job openings data and a speech by FOMC member Bostic. Additionally, they can anticipate the unveiling of ADP nonfarm employment and nonfarm payrolls data later in the week.

In the realm of earnings reports, companies such as McCormick & Company Incorporated (NYSE: MKC), NovaGold Resources Inc (NYSE: NG), and Cal-Maine Foods Inc (NASDAQ: CALM) are poised to announce their quarterly results.

During the regular trading session on Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced a decline of 74.2 points, equivalent to 0.2%, closing at 33,433.4. The S&P 500, on the other hand, concluded the day with a flat performance at 4,288.4, while the NASDAQ Composite exhibited strength by adding 88.5 points or 0.7%, closing at 13,307.8.

In the bond markets, United States 10-Year rates reached a fresh 16-year high of 4.681%.


Small-Cap Stocks Rally to the Rescue: A Glimmer of Hope After September’s Slump

Small-cap stocks wrapped up last week on a triumphant note, injecting a dose of optimism to help mend some of September’s wounds.

The Hartford Multifactor Small Cap ETF (ROSC) played the hero, notching a 1.3% gain for the week, softening the blow from a sub-5% monthly downturn. Meanwhile, its small-cap value counterpart, the iShares Russell 2000 Value ETF (IWN), weathered a 6.5% loss throughout the month.

ROSC could be the silver lining for investors eager to dabble in small-cap value stocks while tiptoeing around the edges of volatility. Armed with a multifactor strategy, ROSC aims to outshine cap-weighted indexes throughout the full market cycle while serving up to 15% less turbulence.

In the September showdown, ROSC managed to keep its losses in check compared to IWN. However, the real jaw-dropper lies in its long-term performance. Year to date through September’s final curtain call, ROSC danced up 2.5% while IWN limped down by 0.6%.

In the grander scheme of things, ROSC has shown its mettle, boasting a 14.1% surge over the past year, while IWN mustered a 7.6% gain. Extend the timeline to three years, and ROSC races ahead with a 47.7% return, leaving IWN trailing at 42.3% (nonannualized).

Double Trouble in Detroit: Casino Workers Roll the Dice on Strike

In a city already shaken by a United Auto Workers strike that’s sent shockwaves through the Big Three Detroit automakers, Detroit now faces the looming threat of a second strike, this time from another sector that pumps significant revenue into the Motor City.

“Detroit Casino Workers Authorize Strike”: The stage is set for a potential strike at the three Detroit casinos if a new contract isn’t hammered out by the looming October 16th deadline. In a resounding display of unity, workers voted with a resounding 99% in favor of authorizing a strike, indicating strong backing for this bold move.

This bold step would put union workers at the MGM Grand Detroit, under the ownership of MGM Resorts International, the Hollywood Casino at Greektown, held by PENN Entertainment, and the MotorCity Casino on the picket lines.

Much like the auto industry strike where UAW workers are demanding fairer pay and improved retirement benefits, Detroit’s casino workers are chasing a similar dream.

Their demands include job security measures in the face of advancing technology, which could thrust online sports betting and iGaming into the spotlight as potential flashpoints in the strike.

According to a report from PlayMichigan, negotiations for a new contract have been ongoing since September, involving five unions in discussions with the Detroit Casino Council. These unions include UNITE HERE Local 24, UAW, Teamsters Local 1038, Operating Engineers Local 324, and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters.

The potential strike would affect a wide range of workers, from those in the casinos themselves to employees in retail outlets, housekeeping for the hotels and casinos, and the food and beverage sector. It’s a high-stakes standoff that Detroit is now nervously watching unfold.

Smart investing is like having a magical wallet that multiplies your money while you sip your morning coffee. It’s the art of making your dollars do the cha-cha in the financial dance floor, while others are still learning the basic steps. In the world of smart investing, your money doesn’t just grow; it throws on a tuxedo and invites its friends for an upscale soirée. So, grab your financial wand, cast your diversification spell, and watch your portfolio turn into a Hogwarts of wealth-building opportunities.