Can the Markets Rise, When Economies Dive?

Friday, September 11, 2009

During the course of an economic cycle, interest rate increases are used to restrain rapid inflation or growth during a bullish market, while rate cuts are used during market mayhem (a bearish market), in hope that the declining rates will encourage consumer consumption, returning the economy to a normal and healthy state.Throughout this cycle 2003-2009, the Fed has used numerous methods apart from its standard rate cuts to propel the economy. The recent one has been quantitative easing, where central banks have participated in the bond market, while injecting money into the financial system.
Over a year and a half ago, analysts thought the claim that a market recession reaching the scales of the 1930’s depression is ‘farfetched’. To date those investor’s thoughts are quite different as exploitation of the housing sector has caused a snow-ball affect throughout the world economy, forcing government officials to make coordinate efforts to redeem the world’s economy.Over the last couple of months government interference in the markets has intensified as numerous banks and large caps have been nationalized, to help prevent further loses across the globe. In addition, economic data continues to pour out showing a deteriorating economy, forcing officials to come out with new creative methods.
Despite the negative data and gloomy outlook the markets have recently increased, making investors question as to whether the recent rally is a change in trend or just a simply a bullish rally in a bearish market.While it is too early to determine any change of trend, one must take into consideration the following:
) Interest rates reductions or increases can take up to 9 months to leak through the system, affecting the economy.
2) The markets work on expectations; therefore if government officials are aiming for a market turnaround towards the end of this year, the indices will price it in beforehand.
3) Once the indices retrace a fair part of their losses, demand will increase on positive sentiment, driving the markets even higher.
4) Low interest rates will eventually spark demand across the board as consumers will take advantage of the low rates, especially as rates like these might not last.
Last week’s trading session presented mixed signals as the U.S housing sector suddenly showed signs of slight improvement. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, single family homes increased for the first time in seven months, adding an increase of 4.7% to new-home sales. In addition, over the last two weeks of trading the U.S government has addressed the market, stating that it intends to buy back government bonds and the far end of the curve, in an effort to reduce the costs of home purchasing. By taking a look at the homebuilder’s index one can see the recent increase, caused by the improving data and overall market momentum.
Will the Market Rally Continue?
While there is quite a lot of market moving data coming out this week, including the G20 meeting and unemployment results from the U.S on Friday, one must not steer away from the housing sector (the cause of the current economic situation).Following this week’s U.S manufacturing data, housing figures are expected to be released and could show a further improvement in the sector. In addition unemployment data is expected to show another 656,000 job losses in the month of March. While one might think that the figures are devastating, the markets could react in a completely different way.
During the U.S ‘s last recession (2003-2003) the U.S unemployment rate continued to rise and Non-farm Payrolls decreased, while the markets were forming a bottom. The unemployment rate peaked during the middle of 2003, when the U.S indices were far off their lows.With the G20 meeting coming up, an interest rate decision from Europe and employment data coming out, the markets could see some profit taking around current levels, accompanied by an increase in market volatility. Just keep in mind that the markets could surprise, especially when investors are already expecting further bad news. A ‘higher-low’ will give confirmation like in 2003.

Found Support on it 50 Day Moving Average

After Monday's massive drop, due to fears that the Auto-Industry is heading for bankruptcy, the major U.S stock indices bounced back during yesterday's session, closing with gains of approximately 1.5%. Many analysts classed yesterday’s rally as a “buy-up rally”, something that normally happens towards the last few days of the quarter, in order to show profits on balance sheets.The closely watched financial sector soared compared to the other sectors, increasing by over 5.51%. The sector that weighed on the intraday bullish momentum was the Energy sector, closing the session down by -0.85%.
Economic data didn’t really have much of an impact during yesterday’s stock session, even though the released data continued to show a deteriorating economy. Consumer confidence for the month of March dropped further than expected, showing a result of 26.0, while the S&P/Case Shiller 20-city Composite Home Price Index showed a worse than expected result of 19%, exceeding analysts’ estimate of 18.6%.Tension should increase across the board today as President Obama is scheduled to attend the G20 summit in England. While many topics will be discussed regarding the economy, including further stimulus actions to restore the world’s economy back onto a healthy track, China will also have it say, especially as officials from China are now suggesting that the U.S Dollar should no longer be classed as the world’s reserve currency.
To date the U.S deficit is reaching enormous levels, on GDP terms. Many economies are now questioning whether the U.S will be able to repay its debt. China is especially concerned, as they are currently holding $740 billion worth of government bonds.
Dollar at 50% Fibonacci Trading level
On the Forex market the Dollar index failed to break resistance of 86 points. The recent surge in the Dollar occurred after the index touched major trend line support. From a fundamental point of view, further economic problems have recently surfaced, justifying the recent rally, sending investors rushing back into the Dollar Safe Haven. When observing the following chart one can see that the Dollar is now fighting with its 50% Fibonacci level, a price that could act as minor resistance.
On individual pairs the major mover of the day was the USD/JPY jumping higher, breaking minor trend line resistance. Japan’s Tankan index plummeted in the first quarter, showing investors that the gloomy economy is far from a turnaround. The index came out at -58, exceeding analysts’ expectations of -55. In addition Australia’s Retail Sales sparked movement on the AUD crosses, as the retail sector showed further contraction coming out at -2.00%.
Gold is Converging
After breaking its major trend line, Gold has been presenting lackluster sessions, hanging around the $920 level, when observing the chart carefully one can see that the precious metal is coming close to a break out. With the G20 meeting coming up and important employment data being released towards the end of the week, traders should observe the breakout.
Market Data to Watch Out For
Even though Europe is scheduled to release its unemployment rate later today, major movement will circle around the U.S’s ADP employment survey. The report is expected to show another 660k job losses in the month of March. In addition the ISM Manufacturing Prices are expected to show an increase, while housing data could show signs of further stability. Construction Spending is expected to shrink by only 1.7%, while pending home sales could show an increase of 0.3%

Fundamental & Technical Analysis in Forex Trading

Forex trading over the years has become popular among the investing public. After the recent stock market crash, people are turning towards forex trading in droves. Forex Brokers are also marketing aggressively to increase the number of their clients.
These gurus will tell you that forex trading is very easy. Anyone can do it from the comfort of their homes. You only need a computer and an internet connection. No doubt, the internet revolution has made it possible for anyone to trade forex from anywhere in the world.But these gurus are never going to tell you that 95% of the new traders do not survive more than six months. Only 5% will ever become winning traders. 95% will take the plunge on the advice of these gurus, lose their hard earned money and give up. Forex markets are unforgiving. It slaughters inexperienced traders.
Why so many new traders get slaughtered by the forex market? Simply; they were not prepared. By simply reading one or two eBooks on forex trading, you will never succeed at forex trading until and unless you start living and start breathing forex.If you really want to succeed at forex trading than learn it properly. Understand how the forex markets functions. What is the role of underlying economic factors like interest rate, GDP growth rate, unemployment figures, fiscal deficit etc in moving the currency markets? As long as you wont get the feel of the markets, you wont succeed.
The best method to understand forex markets is learning what fundamental and technical analysis is. Fundamental analysis tells you how economic factors affect currency markets. What is the role of interest rates, GDP growth, unemployment figures, housing slump and host of other factors in moving the forex markets? Fundamental analysis can predict the medium to long term trend in the forex markets.Technical analysis studies the past behavior of prices to predict the future behavior of prices. You need to master technical analysis if you are thinking of becoming a day trader. Technical analysis is ideally suited to forex markets.
Technical analysis depends on the proper use of a number of indicators that you need to understand and master. These indicators can provide you will information regarding the market whether it is trending or ranging. This will help you devise your strategy. It can also tell you about the entry/exit for each trade.If you have been previously trading stocks than you can switch to forex trading much faster. But always remember as long as you dont make forex trading passion of your life, you wont succeed at it. Learn everything about forex, make it a passion and you will develop into a winning trader.

Advantages of Opening An Offshore Bank Account

Sunday, June 14, 2009

While offshore bank accounts are not for everyone, they can offer huge benefits to the right person. For many small businessmen and entrepreneurs, a good offshore bank account has provided the "key" or competitive edge to unlock vast potential wealth. But first I want to dispel two big myths about offshore bank accounts. #Myth 1 - Only the super-rich can afford offshore bank accounts. You don't need to be rich to open an offshore banking account. While it is true that a "wealth-management" service with a personal banker might require an initial investment of US$1MM, accounts with no minimum deposits certainly exist, and smaller minimums of US$500-5000 are quite common.
Myth 2 - Offshore bank accounts are illegal, or used only by criminals. The confidentiality that offshore banking accounts offer has led to abuse by criminal gangs, but in fact these days many offshore banks have stricter due diligence than their onshore competitors. Criminal activity, wire fraud and money laundering will just as likely take place in New York or London (government sponsored or otherwise). Furthermore, ownership of an offshore bank account is never illegal, although not declaring that you have it can be illegal (laws will vary from country to country). What can an offshore bank account do for you? Here are some of the advantages that have helped investors make their choice.
1) Privacy - Shield your assets from prying eyes. The phrase "If you're not doing anything wrong, you've got nothing to hide" is often used, but the brutal truth is that many citizens from countries all over the world are exposed to corrupt authorities and criminal elements. Even in more stable countries frivolous litigation can decimate a man's wealth, while he cannot trust the government to rule in his favour. Why take the risk? By shielding your financial identity with an offshore bank account you can escape the attention of greedy lawyers and experience the kind of total economic freedom that a domestic account can't offer.
2) Asset protection - Wealth held offshore is harder to reach for anyone who might want to get their hands it. Often the physical distance and legal complexity of attempting to seize an offshore account will ensure that a case against the account holder never takes off.
3) Earn tax-free interest - Many offshore accounts will not have interest taxed at source like your home bank account. In addition the offshore account can open up for you some of the best investment opportunities not available in the domestic market .
4) Multiple currencies at your fingertips - swiftly change between foreign currencies at a fraction of the cost of doing it at home. Some offshore accounts will also offer FOREX and Trading accounts, allowing you to instantly buy and sell at the click of a button from a tax-free offshore base.
5) Perhaps the best advantage of an offshore account is that it will allow you to make international transactions with little or no hassle and red-tape. If you try to transfer even relatively small amounts of money from your domestic account you will likely face a barrage of security questions and other invasive queries, but a good offshore account will allow you to make such transactions online effortlessly, and into the many millions of dollars.

Banking Solutions for Customer Convenience

When Banking started of for Independent India, you had Nationalized and regional banks handling the country’s finances. As the years progressed you had more branches opening up. The 80s and 90s saw a whole lot of Global Banks like Standard Chartered, Barclays, Grindlays opening their banks up in India. Still banking didn’t seem to be convenient. The modus of transaction was pretty gloomy and boring with people having to wait their turns to visit the teller’s counter to complete their transactions. With technology coupled with the internet coming into play banking solutions have become more custom made for the average consumer. Online Banking ensures that a person is tuned completely with his finances at any given point from any part of the world. Ditto for mobile banking. The last couple of decades also saw numerous Indians migrate abroad on a bid to pursue their lives and carrier. Getting monetary transactions wasn’t easy then. Postal services and courier faux passes weren’t that convincing. Now with banks offering many solutions NRI Banking has also been made easier.
When Banking started of for Independent India, you had Nationalized and regional banks handling the country’s finances. As the years progressed you had more branches opening up. The 80s and 90s saw a whole lot of Global Banks like Standard Chartered, Barclays, Grindlays opening their banks up in India. Still banking didn’t seem to be convenient. The modus of transaction was pretty gloomy and boring with people having to wait their turns to visit the teller’s counter to complete their transactions. With technology coupled with the internet coming into play banking solutions have become more custom made for the average consumer. Online Banking ensures that a person is tuned completely with his finances at any given point from any part of the world. Ditto for mobile banking. The last couple of decades also saw numerous Indians migrate abroad on a bid to pursue their lives and carrier. Getting monetary transactions wasn’t easy then. Postal services and courier faux passes weren’t that convincing. Now with banks offering many solutions NRI Banking has also been made easier.
Banks also provide special facilities to their HNI (High net individual) worth customers. These people generally have a huge amount invested with the financial house and indulge in hefty transactions. They are provided with world class banking facilities termed as Priority Banking and Premier Banking, both words justifying their meaning. Savings account for the average investor has also been made easier where you no longer need a referral to open an account or minimum balance to save in your account (* condition applies in both cases). Currently the major Global players in the Indian Finance Sector include Standard and Chartered, HSBC and Barclays. Banks of Indian origin that have gradually made waves include ICICI, HDFC, SBI and Axis Bank. All in all modern day banking has every element that ensures Wealth Management Services for the longer run.

ATM Healthcare

Doctors are starting to redesign the way they work to link better with patients and to use the newly available multi-media technologies. This is an important process that will undoubtedly accelerate over the next 20 years. There is a need to substantially redesign many of the traditional processes used to practice medicine - and move to new ways of delivering health services, using what I call ATM Healthcare.
What, then, is ATM Healthcare?
When we think of the term ATM, most of us think of banks. The acronym ATM has entered our language so completely that many people don't even know what the letters stand for - they just know that undertaking an ATM transaction allows money to be drawn direct from their bank account, not from a credit account, and that they can do this at a special ATM machine usually in the street, or at a store checkout. ATM stands for Automated Teller Machine and is simply a direct electronic entry to your bank and your accounts. And it is very simple, convenient and consumer friendly. ATM has made banks and bank accounts much more accessible to customers, wherever and whenever they want. At the same time they have made the work of banks more efficient while dramatically cutting the cost of bank transactions to a few cents from an average of $10-15 per face to face transaction with a teller. This has happened because ATM machines now manage most of the simple bank transactions that used to take up a lot of the time of tellers. This frees up bank staff to spend more time on complicated transactions where human expertise is required. Who can now imagine a bank without widespread ATM facilities? And all this has happened in just a few years.
Computer scientists think of ATM in a very different way. For them ATM is a technical term describing how data can be passed across an electronic network. Here ATM stands for a protocol called Asynchronous Transfer Mode. This protocol was designed as a way of merging old telephone networks with more modern packet-switched computer networks in order to deliver data, voice, and video over the same channel. In other words it allows all sorts of differing data, from varying data sources, to be delivered at the same time. So what have these two types of ATM have to do with healthcare?
Think of the obvious parallels.
The doctor-patient consultation is in many ways similar to the traditional bank interaction with a teller. It is confidential, about 80% of consultations are relatively simple, and if complications arise, a second person can be called in to give specialist advice. There are also parallels with the computer scientist ATM, because this consultation nowadays involves typically several different types of data - voice, lab results, paper and electronic documents (health records), and increasingly video and digital images. The consultation itself can be described in both computer language and clinical terms as consisting of three information processes ? data capture (history and examination), data analysis (diagnosis), and business planning (treatment). What we in healthcare need to do is start thinking like bankers, and focus on providing our services in a more consumer friendly way. As we do this, doctors need to follow two core principles. The first is the complementarity principle - computers do well, what humans do badly, and vice versa. Computers never forget, and are great at scheduling, remembering and reminding, but humans are much better at data analysis and decision making. So computers should be able to do many simple health transactions, remember and order prescriptions and lab tests, schedule appointments, and provide preventative health information. The second principle is the importance of redesigning business processes before introducing new technologies. There are a lot of similarities between banking and the practice of medicine. And doctors can learn from bankers in this area. There is no reason why we should not introduce ATM Healthcare, in just the same way as bankers have introduced ATM Banking.
What would ATM Healthcare look like?
Firstly, lets assume that, like banking, ATM Healthcare is going to be used for relatively straightforward consultations in many specialities, and will not replace the complicated face to face consultation or intervention that makes up about 20% of overall medical consultations, and will always remain the health "gold standard" consultation. We already have most of the tools of ATM Healthcare at our disposal. Electronic Medical Records, lab results and x-ray images are the health equivalent of bank statements. Telemedicine - video consulting either in real time (synchronous), or delayed time (asynchronous) - is now a proven technology, is already available in some supermarket clinics, and is the equivalent of the teller machine. Email and wireless telephony provide more mobile access to providers, and the whole internet is an amazing educational and clinical communication platform that is already delivering all sorts of ATM Healthcare. We have lots of systems to combine different types of data and present them simultaneously to doctors and patients, just as per the computer scientists version of ATM.
Patients need to encourage doctors to think of ways of redesigning their practice processes to make better use of available multimedia technologies so that they can continue to provide better and more available care. I am sure this will happen, especially as more of the younger generations start receiving care. They will demand that doctors use these technologies, and increasingly change their ways, and hopefully use the example of banking as we move increasingly to ATM Healthcare.

4 Major Myths About Banking

If you listen to the news about banking these days, be it on TV, in the paper or from the radio drive-time talk shows, it’s mostly doom with a heavy sprinkling of gloom just for good measure:
* “Banks aren’t lending money anymore!”
* “You’re just a number at those banks anyway!”
* “Online banking isn’t safe; they’ll steal your identity or sell your personal information!”
So many myths about modern banking abound that one bank president has decided to clear the air by debunking the four major myths of banking during lean times. Or, for that matter, anytime at all. According to Robert Sumner, CEO of First National Bank of Pasco (FNB Pasco) near Tampa, Florida, “Banks do have money to lend; in fact, we’re lending every day.”
Sumner adds, “All banks aren’t created equal. Maybe some of the big banks are in trouble, but try a small community bank and you’ll realize that we operate under a much less stringent set of rules. In fact, not only do we make our own rules but we get to call the shots as well.” If you’ve been fearful of approaching one of your local community banks for a loan recently, or have doubts about their safety or security, let Mr. Sumner dispel the four following myths for your convenience:
Myth # 1 – Banks Aren’t Lending Money Anymore: Some of the bigger chain banks, gridlocked with federal red tape or their own corporate lending policies, have cut back on personal and even professional lending as they “restructure.” However, many small community banks are actively taking loan applications and eager to help those customers seeking reasonable personal or professional loans for a variety of reasons.
• Myth # 2 – Bankers Don’t Get Personal with Customers: Community banks are famous for personal customer service. Why? Because they are part of the community. While bigger banks deal in quantity over quality, smaller banks have more time, energy and staff to keep their customers happy.
• Myth # 3 – Banks Have Unlimited Money to Spend: No bank, big or small, has unlimited money to spend. In fact, the bigger the bank, the more systems of checks and balances they have to go through in order to lend you money. A customer requesting a loan from a large chain bank in Florida might have to get approval from a regional or even headquarters office two or three states away. A small community bank can answer you on the spot.
• Myth # 3 – Online Banking Isn’t Safe: Horror stories have happened to online banking customers, big or small. However, online banking is a big customer draw for banks of any size, and they have taken special pains to make it as safe as possible, with a variety of safeguards. With a community bank, of course, the biggest safeguard is walking through the front door.
If you’ve been holding off on either personal or professional banking because of unreasonable fears or mass media hysteria, don’t delay; visit your local community bank today.

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