It was quite a week that started off with winter storm Stella, a Fed interest rate increase and finished up with St. Patrick’s Day. Your resident mixologists, Chris Versace and Lenore Hawkins, were busy sharing their thoughts on all of that as well as the February Retail Sales report this week and break it all down for you on this episode of Cocktail Investing. As usual, the High Priestess of Global Macro that is Lenore Hawkins has a number of data points to share that will raise eyebrows over what the mainstream financial media is calling an “improving economy.” Keep in mind that even if the Fed’s GDP forecast rings true through 2019, it means we will have experienced 14 consecutive years with annual GDP not breaking past 3.0 percent. As Lenore points out, that’s never happened before, not even during the Great Depression.
Sounds like some big headwinds to growth and yet the “data dependent” Fed raised rates even though the Atlanta Fed slashed its GDPNow forecast for 1Q 2017 to 0.9 percent last week vs. more than 3.0 percent at the start of January and 4Q 2016’s GDP of 1.9 percent. Was the Fed’s March interest rate increase because of inflation or was it because of something else?
Chris and Lenore share their thoughts on all of that as well as several Thematic Signals that we collect each and every day that serve to confirm our 17 investment themes. During this episode, they’ll share some of the latest that pertain to our Connected Society, Aging the Population, Foods with Integrity and Guilty Pleasure investing themes. On St. Patricks day on a show titled Cocktail Investing, it’s rather fitting to talk about how Amazon is putting liquor stores in its crosshairs.
More Thematic Signals can be found each and every week here. If you’d like to listen to past episodes of the Cocktail Investing Podcast, you can find them here.
Companies/Stocks Mentioned on the Podcast
- Amazon (AMZN)
- Consumer Discretionary SPDR ETF (XLY)
- International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF)
- JPMorgan Chase (JPM)
- McCormick & Co. (MKC)
- Netflix (NFLX)
- Russell 2000 (RUT)
- S&P 500 (SPX)