Last updateMon, 22 Jul 2019 8pm


Trends & Forecasts

Good Riddance to 2008—and a Look Ahead

consumer_confidence_indexI think there’s a pretty good consensus that 2009 has to be better than 2008. No matter where you looked, the bad news kept rolling in, and got worse as the year wound down:

On Dec. 30 the Conference Board released its Consumer Confidence Index™ for December, which had declined to a new all-time low in December after increasing moderately in November. The Index now stands at 38.0 (1985=100), down from 44.7 in November.

Here’s to Fewer Worries in the Months Ahead

wall_st._bullIf you have held on to your investments over the past couple of years, either through sang froid, inertia or the paralysis of fear, there may be a little cheer this holiday season. Speaking on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” on Dec. 20, Kevin McCormally, Editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, said that now may be a good time to start looking at stocks again. “We think the economy will begin improving by the end of 2009,” he said. “We’re hopeful. Congress has done a lot of work to get the economy moving again. Again, we’re not saying this is a bottom, but we think we’ll look back at this as a pretty good time to buy stocks.”

Mixed Signals for Valve Industry

With all the gloom flying around it can be difficult to find anything encouraging to report, but it's there if you look for it.

For example, with much of the valve industry tied to the oil patch, it's a bit discouraging to see that the Baker Hughes U.S. rig count was 1,941 on Nov. 14, down by 51 rigs (2.5%) from the week before and down 2% from the previous month. Yet it's not all bad. We can take some comfort that it is still 8% above year-ago levels. And API numbers back that up, at least partially. The API 2008 Quarterly Well Completion Report: Third Quarter estimated that 16,379 oil wells, natural gas wells and dry holes were completed in the third quarter of 2008, a 16% increase over last year's third quarter.

The ’08 Election Has Come and Gone…Where Do We Stand?

obama_pose.jpgBarack Obama’s win over John McCain on Nov. 4 was the most lopsided victory for a presidential candidate since George H.W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis in 1988, and the most lopsided win for a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson beat Barry Goldwater in 1964. Obama easily set a new record for total votes with over 65 million and still counting.

Zogby Talks Politics with VMA

zogby-web.jpgJohn Zogby, one of America’s most respected and accomplished pollsters, spoke to members of the Valve Manufacturers Association at its 70th Annual Meeting in Tucson, AZ. Zogby has successfully predicted past presidential elections with near pinpoint accuracy; so when he talks, people listen.

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