On September 17, 2014, the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) policymaking arm, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), met for the sixth time this year. On the one hand, the FOMC surprised markets by announcing “how” it would exit from quantitative easing (QE) and reduce the size of its balance sheet in the coming years. On the other hand, the FOMC calmed markets by not making any substantive changes to its forward guidance to the public and financial markets on when it would begin raising rates.
The statement released after the meeting once again said that the FOMC
would keep rates low for a “considerable time” after QE ends. However,
the new set of economic and rate forecasts by FOMC members indicated
an earlier start to rate hikes than the forecasts made at the conclusion of
the June 2014 FOMC meeting and a slightly steeper path for the fed funds
rate once rate hikes commenced. Some market participants — ourselves
included — thought that perhaps the FOMC would switch to a more
explicitly data-dependent approach (how quickly the economy is growing,
where the unemployment rate is, what the inflation rate is, etc.). The FOMC,
however, decided to strike a more balanced tone, and Fed Chair Janet Yellen
repeatedly stressed in her post-FOMC meeting press conference that…
Don’t Fight the Fed ECB? (Part 2 of 2) There have been a lot of bad movie sequels. Remember Ghostbusters II? Grease 2? Blues Brothers 2000? In the case of this Weekly Market Commentary, “Don’t Fight the Fed ECB? (Part 2 of 2),” we hope you find the sequel at least as good as the original, perhaps something closer to The Godfather: Part II than The Godfather: Part III.
Last week we answered the question of whether the latest bold stimulus measures by the European Central Bank (ECB) are a buy signal for European equities. We highlighted key differences between buying Europe now and the United States several years ago during the start of the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) quantitative easing (QE) programs. The different pictures for growth, valuations, and corporate profits in Europe versus the United States lead us to conclude that we should take a broader view to evaluate the investment opportunity in Europe. To that end, this week we take a deeper dive into the investment opportunity in Europe and evaluate fundamentals, valuations, and technicals — none of which we find particularly compelling at this time.
The following scam was passed on to us by John Conroy of MDNA Member firm Machinery International. We are sensitive to the scams that bombard our businesses every day.
This scam can affect us when we travel so please be on guard.
Here is what happens:
You arrive at your hotel and check in at the front desk. Typically when checking in, you give the front desk your credit card (for any charges to your room). You go to your room and settle in and everything is good.
The hotel receives a call and the caller asks for (as an example) room 620 – which happens to be your room. The phone rings in your room, you answer and the person on the other end says the following: ‘This is the front desk. When checking in, we came across a problem with your charge card information. Please re-read me your credit card number and verify the last 3 digits numbers at the reverse side of your charge card.’
Not thinking anything is wrong, since the call seems to come from the front desk you oblige. But unfortunately it was a scam by someone calling from outside the hotel. They have asked for a random room number, then asked you for your credit card and address information. They sound so professional, that you think you are talking to the front desk.
If you ever encounter this scenario on your travels, tell the caller that you will be down to the front desk to clear up any problems. Then, go to the front desk or call directly and ask if there was a problem. If there was no problem, inform the manager of the hotel that someone tried to scam you of your credit card information, impersonating a front desk employee.
This was sent by someone who has been conned and is still cleaning up the mess.
MDNA Member firm Absolute Machinery Corporation will walk for cancer on September 28th, 2014 in honor of Don Detenber, who passed away this year after battling multiple myeloma.
Nate Smith, President of Absolute Machinery said “Don, a dear family friend…was my mentor when I was a very young child, had me clean machines for him when I was a teenager sometimes in subzero warehouses and when I would complain he said it was character building- “just get it done.” When I was in college he arranged an internship for me for several years at a plastics factory where I was able to hone my machinery skills.
Eventually I went to work for Don at Yankee Machinery Sales (a manufactures representative firm & used equipment trader in the plastics industry) and attended several local MDNA meetings in the early 1990’s and he claimed at that time that is was the only organization where the folks are interested in networking and making money together! After retiring he was redeployed here at Absolute to mentor the up & coming young guns to make sure they abided by good business practices and then he became the ‘Absolute Oracle’ for 10+ years in addition to selling equipment. He was a gentlemen and wonderful person and we all miss him.”
Every year the Absolute Machinery team strives to make a difference by participating in the Annual UMass Medical Cancer Walk. They said for them it is a privilege and an honor to raise money for cancer research with the goal of developing better treatments and ultimately eradicating this horrible disease. Absolute Machinery also states that this is a personal cause for their employees, many of whom have had family or friends touched by cancer. Of equal importance to them, the UMass Medical Cancer Walk lets their team come together with others to remember those who have lost their fight with cancer, to support those who continue their fight, and to celebrate those who have fought and won.
The European Central Bank (ECB) announced bold stimulus measures,
including further cuts to key interest rates and an asset-backed securities
(ABS) purchase plan, on September 4, 2014. The moves are an
acknowledgment of the recent deterioration in the Eurozone economy and
increased deflation risk. This decision follows the historic move to negative
deposit rates initiated back in June of 2014. These measures are geared
toward spurring economic growth through easier access to cheaper credit
for businesses and households and toward driving prices higher to avoid
deflation. These moves may also continue to pressure the euro currency and
help boost European exports.
Is this move by the ECB a buy signal for European equities? To help
answer that question, we look back at how U.S. stocks reacted to our own
monetary stimulus through quantitative easing (QE). Although Europe
has not engaged in outright QE (where the ECB buys government bonds
directly), it may in the future. With essentially zero interest rates (or lower),
and the addition of bond purchases, these ECB moves are similar to the
Federal Reserve’s (Fed) moves.
Buying stocks after the various QE programs were announced by the
Federal Reserve was generally a profitable decision for investors, although
On Tuesday, September 16 and Wednesday, September 17, 2014, the
Federal Reserve (Fed) will hold the sixth of its eight Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings of the year. This meeting will include a press conference by Fed Chair Janet Yellen and FOMC members’ forecasts for the economy, the timing of the first fed funds rate hike, and the level of the fed funds rate at the end of 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and in the long run. In recent years, markets have been conditioned to expect a greater possibility of policy changes at meetings accompanied by press conferences and new forecasts and, as a result, market participants have increased their odds that
the Fed will change “something” at this meeting.
Although we continue to expect the Fed will again cut the pace of its bond
purchase program (quantitative easing or QE) and remain on pace to exit QE
by the fourth quarter of 2014, the odds have increased in recent weeks that
the Fed will take some additional action. Arranged from most likely to least
likely (in our view), at this week’s meeting the Fed could:
“I found you and your organization to be very professional. The equipment I purchased from you was accurately described and represented – no surprises and no “misunderstandings”. I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase more equipment from Prestige Equipment in the future. “I was onsite this morning when the truck arrived in Buffalo with my furnace. I wanted to look it over before it was unloaded. I have to say your team did an incredible job to prep the furnace, tuck things away and build a beefy skid for the system. We have a lot of clean-up to do and things to tweak but we’re very pleased with our new purchase from (MDNA Member Company) Prestige Equipment.” —Kevin Brennan, KB MACHINE (customer)
“We purchased a used press brake from Steve Vander Ziel (of MDNA member firm Vander
Ziel Machinery Sales Inc.) and they stood out as dynamite dealers in comparison to past dealers we worked with. Steve was so forthcoming and the whole deal was really great. I can trust him to do a good job and don’t have to worry. Since then we have purchased multiple machines with Vander Ziel. Even if I had to pay a little more money in the future for a machine than I’d still buy from him.”
– Tony Strenke | President, Advanced Tower Components
Over 200 people were on hand including MDNA Member firms, Premier Vendors, Prospective Member Companies and their guests for what many have described as “the best MDNA Chicago Chapter Reception and Dinner ever held.” We would like to thank the Chicago Chapter leadership team and the sponsors for making this evening such a success. Chapter Chairman Bob Yeoman, the leadership team of John Josko, Joe Lundvick and Ronnie Graff all worked tirelessly to put this event together. Without our sponsors (listed below) we could not have had this outstanding networking event at the new Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, in the great city of Chicago during IMTS 2014.
In addition to the networking and camaraderie, the attendees participated in a silent auction to raise funds for the Austin D. Lucas Scholarship Fund.
The MDNA would also like to thank the people who volunteered their valuable time at the MDNA booth at IMTS. Our booth space, provided by Allways Precision Inc. was staffed the entire week by both MDNA member volunteers and MDNA staff who represented the Association and collected leads on behalf of all members. In a sea of shiny new machinery we were proud to offer a viable alternative and our volunteers made this possible. Leads will be posted throughout this week in the Member’s Only Back Office. [Not a valid template]
Check out posts about the IMTS 2014 show and see more photos on our MDNA Facebook page!