A Return-to-Office is Coming

As I sit to write this month’s column, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has touched 40,000. Only the weeks ahead will determine if the average pushes through and trades up into the 40s permanently, or if profit-taking results in continued trading in the 39,000s, or even lower. Remember, this stands in stark contrast to the average’s 20-year low we experienced…

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Wait! Stop the Presses!

I have to start by explaining this headline for the younger readers who don’t remember the culture of the newspaper industry, which is now long gone. You see, newspapers in larger markets once printed multiple editions throughout the day, so that news could be as recent as three or four hours old. “Wait! Stop the Presses!” was a popular expression…

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Productivity Gains Will Drive Stock Markets Higher

I have developed a fascination with one of the biggest life-changing events that has enveloped our economy, and our lives, and offers infinite promise: A.I. As I have written in the past, I have witnessed three life-changing events in my 50-plus-year career: the invention of the personal computer, the advent of cellular telephony and the Internet. Each of these drove…

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Housing Stock Is Getting Older

A confluence of events around the housing market seems to portend that America’s shortfall in available homes will persist. Certainly, the higher interest rates of the past two years have made it harder to qualify for a mortgage, coupled with housing prices that just seem to continue to rise, even in the face of the headwinds of higher interest rates,…

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Housing Demand Has Jumped

The popular business press, including the cable news channels, are awash in reports that housing demand has already jumped on just the notion of rate cuts later this year, and the jump is expected to become a surge as I have been predicting. Remember, I have said for the last several months that when the Fed signaled inflation was headed…

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The Tide Has Turned

The Fed has said it: interest rates are coming down. Fed Chairman Jay Powell surprised markets in early December when he announced, somewhat unexpectedly, that the Fed was not planning to raise rates any further, and, in fact, was projecting three rate cuts in 2024 now that inflation has cooled.  Surprisingly, the Fed’s quarterly economic projections released in December, the…

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Upending Another Giant Industry

There are tectonic plate shifts in our economy that have existed since the early ages of commerce, events so dramatic, they shake entire industries. An example would be how the advent of the Internet decimated the travel agency world.  A couple of decades ago, trying to book airline tickets and hotel rooms was a laborious, over-the-phone nightmare that travel agents…

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The Burgeoning Field of Private Credit

New financing instruments have been invented since the time of the Phoenicians and the Médicis. The modern corporation was developed by English and Dutch trading companies in the 1600s, and some believe the genesis goes back as far as the 1300s in France. With that modern concept of multiple owners of a single entity, it drove the early advent of…

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Who Is Snapping Up All The Houses?

We are never-ending in our firm’s quest for up-to-the-minute data that we can analyze and then draw conclusions on how that data drives the construction aggregate market, and every now and then, we get tossed a big surprise that we did not expect. Take a recent, seminal report from a major investment bank that conducted a deep dive into the…

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The Outlook for Interest Rates

As I have loudly predicted for many months now and wrote in this space again last month: There is no recession in the near term, and none in sight. While that is welcome news to all in our industry, whether it be the large multi-nationals with their all-important shareholder interests to consider, or the privately held independent producer who has…

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