interest rates – Hudson Berkshire Experience Tue, 29 Mar 2022 10:20:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 interest rates – Hudson Berkshire Experience 32 32 Stocks falter lower, crude climbs after US bans Russian oil | app Tue, 08 Mar 2022 21:25:06 +0000

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed lower on Tuesday after another wobbly day of trading on Wall Street as oil prices soared after the United States banned imports from Russia.

The economic fallout from his invasion of Ukraine also rattled the nickel market, driving up its price so much that trading in the metal was shut down.

The S&P 500 fell 0.7% after hovering between a 1% loss and a 1.8% gain. Such swings have become common as investors struggle to guess how high oil prices will go and how much they will weigh on the economy. The benchmark lost 30.39 points to 4,170.70. It has fallen four days in a row and now stands 13.1% below its record set at the start of this year.

Oil surged on fears that global supply could be disrupted as Russia is one of the world’s largest energy producers. Following President Joe Biden’s announcement of the Russian oil ban, the price per barrel of US crude rose 3.6% to $123.70. Brent, the international standard, rose 3.9% to $127.98.

But oil prices did not climb as high as they had the day before, when concerns erupted over a possible ban and the price of U.S. oil hit $130.50. As oil pared its gains after Biden’s announcement, stocks also pared their losses.

The surprising reactions may have been the result of the big moves markets had already made a day earlier in anticipation of the announcement, said Nate Thooft, chief investment officer of multi-asset solutions at Manulife Investment Management.

“You’ve seen the sanctions escalate, but in the eyes of the market, that’s old news,” he said. “Now that it’s happened, and a lot of selling has already taken place, the market is asking, ‘sell?’ and you have people buying in the market.”

He expects the dizzying hour-to-hour swings to continue. Uncertainty is still high and many investors are still keen to trade quickly. “For me, for the traditional investor,” he said, “it’s one of those situations where you buy into weakness and turn a blind eye.”

The Nasdaq composite fell 35.41 points, or 0.3%, to 12,795.55. On Monday, it closed 20% below its record high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 184.74 points, or 0.6%, to 32,632.64. It went from a loss of 238 points to a gain of 585 earlier.

Small company stocks held up better than the broader market. The Russell 2000 rose 11.68 points, or 0.6%, to 1,963.01.

Already high oil prices have pushed the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the country to a record high. Biden said he hoped to limit Americans’ pain, but he acknowledged the ban would raise gas prices.

“Defending freedom is also going to cost us dearly,” he said.

Biden also said he understands many European allies may not be able to take similar steps because they are much more dependent on Russian energy supplies. European nations have said they plan to reduce their dependence on Russia for their energy needs, but filling the void without crippling their economies will likely take some time.

“The markets just need time to digest things and they were presumably shocked when (the invasion) happened,” said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco. “It’s no surprise that the EU disagrees with the US on this, and that’s certainly positive for oil, but we also have to recognize that this is changing quite rapidly.”

The US ban on Russian oil imports is the latest move by governments and companies around the world to squeeze Russia’s finances in the wake of its attack on Ukraine. All of the penalties raise questions about how prices will go not just for oil but also for natural gas, wheat and other commodities where the region is a major producer. This in turn adds more pressure to the already high inflation that is sweeping the world, tightening its grip on the global economy.

It also makes an already difficult path for the Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world even more treacherous. They hoped to raise interest rates enough to bring down high inflation, but not enough to cause a recession.

“That geopolitical risk has essentially reduced some of the Fed’s political risk and they’re much less likely to make a policy mistake this year,” Hooper said. “The Fed recognizes this risk to US policy and will act more cautiously.”

All the uncertainty has led to a particularly wild commodity trade, where supply challenges collide with strengthening demand as the global economy recovers from its coronavirus-caused shutdown.

Nickel trading was suspended on the London Metal Exchange on Tuesday after prices doubled to an all-time high of $100,000 per metric ton.

Nickel is primarily used to produce stainless steel and some alloys, but is increasingly being used in batteries, particularly electric vehicle batteries.

Russia is the world’s third largest nickel producer. And Russian mining company Nornickel is a major supplier of high-grade nickel used in electric vehicles.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which is used to fix interest rates on mortgages and many other types of loans, rose to 1.84% from 1.75% on Monday evening.

AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise, Yuri Kageyama, and Alex Veiga contributed.

Allen Harris: How do higher interest rates affect businesses? | Business Sat, 26 Feb 2022 12:00:00 +0000

The good news is that your input costs may be low enough to offset some of your increased labor costs.

The bad news is that your sales could drop due to higher interest rates.

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise the federal funds rate from 0-0.25% to 1% by July 2022. That doesn’t sound like a big increase, and it isn’t. But, it’s fast.

The terminal rate is expected to be 2.5% in 2023. Even this rate is relatively low. However, the super cheap cost of money undermined the business environment as it allowed weak and failing businesses to operate.

A higher federal funds rate impacts other rates, such as mortgages, Wall Street Journal Prime, and lines of credit. Many lines of credit are re-evaluated monthly, so higher interest charges immediately impact the bottom line.

Some businesses operate from owner-occupied buildings, and those term loan payments could also adjust upwards. Higher interest rates affect your business’ cost of capital, reducing cash flow. You are mistaken if you think that higher interest rates will not affect you because you have no more debt. What impacts your customers, and the rest of the world, impacts you.

After the Japanese asset bubble collapsed in 1991, the government allowed banks to prop up so-called zombie companies by giving them enough cheap money to repay their loans. Two decades of easy money have created zombie companies here in the United States

There is no exact definition of “zombie companies”. Yet the Federal Reserve’s July 2021 report “US Zombie Firms: How Many and How Consequential?” notes that “it is generally accepted that these companies are not economically viable and manage to survive by appealing to banks and capital markets”.

Between 2015 and 2019, the Fed found that about 10% of public companies and 5% of private companies were zombies. Based on the peaks during the US recessions of 2001 and 2008, I would venture to assume that the numbers are double those reported for 2019 (and are even more dependent on easy money policies today).

The economic cycle has become linked to monetary policy. Marginal business practices were effective because the low cost of capital allowed for inefficiencies.

Despite these risks, the Fed intends to fight inflation by raising rates. According to the NFIB Research Foundation, the biggest problem facing small business owners is no longer labor shortages, it’s inflation. Inflation recently hit 7.5% over the past year, the highest consumer price index (CPI) measure since February 1982.

Since 1977, the Federal Reserve has fulfilled a dual mandate defined by Congress, to “effectively promote the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.” The Fed’s target inflation rate is 2% (using a measure known as Personal Consumption Expenditure). His next dragon to slay is the High Price.

Supply chain issues partly explain the high inflation. The Fed cannot fix the supply chain issues that contributed to inflation. However, the Fed can slow down the economy. Interest rate hikes are a lever to induce your customers to buy less of what you sell. Falling demand for goods and services lowers prices.

When interest rates rise, consumers tend to save more and spend less. Higher interest rates mean higher debt servicing costs. This prevents households from spending on credit cards and taking out loans, which means your sales and profits could plummet.

The corporate sectors that will be hit first will be the most sensitive to interest rates. Mortgages will become more expensive. Auto loan repayments will be higher. Then it could spill over to the rest of the economy.

Higher debt service decreases profits and deters companies from starting new projects or expanding because they cannot afford credit as easily. This company may not be you, but the company or its employees could be your customers. It affects us. And once that starts, banks might become more reluctant to give you a business loan when you need it most.

You can take steps now to prepare for how higher interest rates could affect your business. You need to take action to control rising costs and defend your revenue.

If your lender allows you, change your adjustable rate loans to a fixed rate. This will lock in your low rate for the duration of your loan. If the lender does not allow refinancing, you can pay off your debt to avoid spending more at a higher interest rate. (However, you will need to account for the ratio of interest payments to principal in your amortization schedule.)

If you have excess cash, you can open a high-yield savings account to generate more interest income.

You can get an approved line of credit now. If your bank does not extend the credit, you could borrow from your investment portfolio. For example, Charles Schwab & Co. allows investors to take out a “pledged asset line” to “use for real estate investment, business start-up, or other expenses.” Suppose the economy slows down or your borrowing costs increase. In this case, it will be more difficult to obtain financing. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Finally, change the consumption habits of your customers. Pull some of your sales forward and make others recurring. This statement can (and has) been extended to entire books.

I understand it’s borderline flippant to suggest that it comes as easily as waving a magic wand. I also know that the reaction of business owners in all industries is, “We can’t do this; you don’t understand my industry. Well, I know business. And I know that owners of small boxes often find themselves. This box limits opportunities to cut costs or defend revenue. Let’s get out of this box.

A downturn for Plymouth County real estate in sales and mortgages Sat, 19 Feb 2022 09:31:54 +0000 John R. Buckley Jr.

The number of deeds registered last month fell from the number of deeds registered in January 2021. There were 661 deeds registered in County Plymouth, compared to 708 deeds registered last January. This represents a 7% drop in sales.

Record John R. Buckley, Jr. said, “We are definitely seeing a slowdown in records, but it should be noted that January 2022 activity is nearly equal to January 2020 pre-Covid-19 numbers. Two years ago a, we recorded 672 acts. Given that last year’s numbers were the highest since 2005, the 2020 numbers might provide a better perspective to consider.

The average sale price in January was $553,451 compared to the average sale price of $489,987 last January. The low inventory of properties on the market remains a factor in the number of transactions. Time will tell if inventory increases for the next spring market.

Like the sales figures mentioned above, the mortgage figures also show a reduction in registrations. Plymouth County registered 1,920 mortgages in January, down 43% from the 3,390 mortgages registered in January 2021. Similar to the sales figures, the 1,920 mortgages registered in January 2022 are more comparable to the 1,862 mortgages registered before the Covid-19. January 2020. “It’s clear that people have taken advantage of low interest rates to lower their monthly payments. It’s also clear that you’re reaching a point where most, if not all, have refinanced their mortgages and the refinance market is starting to dry up,” Register Buckley added.

Foreclosures and Notice Orders, January 2021.

With the end of the moratorium on foreclosures, lenders are reactivating their foreclosure services. The number of foreclosure notices is where this is most evident. Foreclosure notices are the first document to come to the court in the foreclosure process. In January 2022, the Plymouth County Deeds Registry recorded 30 foreclosure notices compared to 11 foreclosure notices recorded in January 2021. This represents a whopping 173% increase in filings. The number of January registrations is not as high as the number of pre-Covid-19 registrations, 78 registered in January 2020, but the upward trend is apparent.

Stocks fall again, giving Wall Street another losing week | app Fri, 18 Feb 2022 17:29:16 +0000

Stocks capped a week of volatile trading on Wall Street with a large selloff on Friday that left the major indexes with their second consecutive weekly loss.

The selling lost some momentum in the afternoon, but intensified again in the final hour of trading. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average each fell 0.7%. The Nasdaq composite bore the brunt of the selloff, however, losing 1.2%.

Treasury yields fell as investors shifted money to the safety of US bonds. The 10-year Treasury yield, which affects rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, fell to 1.93% from 1.97%.

Markets have been choppy all week as investors watch the latest developments in Ukraine, where Russia has amassed troops on the border. Tensions are another concern for investors as they try to determine how the economy will react to rising inflation and impending interest rate hikes.

“Investors are facing geopolitical risks, Fed tightening and valuation spikes,” said Peter Essele, head of portfolio management for Commonwealth Financial Network. “Any time you get that kind of trifecta scenario, you’re going to see volatility.”

And then there’s the uncertainty about what might happen in Ukraine over this holiday weekend, with US markets set to close on President’s Day on Monday.

“You’re heading into a long weekend with no resolution on Russia or Ukraine, so you’ve got people just going a little sideways,” said Tom Hainlin, national investment strategist at US Bank Wealth Management. .

The S&P 500 fell 31.39 points to 4,348.87. The benchmark index is now 9.3% below its all-time high set on January 3.

The Dow fell 232.85 points to 34,079.18 and the Nasdaq fell 168.65 points to 13,548.07. Shares of smaller companies also fell, sending the Russell 2000 Index down 18.76 points, or 0.9%, to 2,009.33.

Tensions over Russia and Ukraine escalated throughout the week, throwing a snowball as markets focused more on inflation, central bank monetary policy and economic growth. The United States has issued some of its clearest and most detailed warnings yet of how a Russian invasion of Ukraine might unfold, and its Western allies have been on high alert for any attempt by the Kremlin to create a false pretext for a new war in Europe.

Russia is a major energy producer and military conflict could disrupt energy supplies and make energy prices extremely volatile.

Inflation remains a top concern for Wall Street as companies continue to grapple with supply chain issues and higher costs, prompting warnings that operations will suffer for part or all of 2022 General Electric fell 5.9% after warning that inflation pressure and supply chain issues hurt several of its businesses, including healthcare, renewable energy and aviation. He expects the problems to persist for at least the first half of the year.

Video streaming company Roku fell 22.3% after giving investors a weak revenue forecast and warning of ongoing supply chain issues.

Weakness in several large tech stocks, which carry more weight on indexes due to their size, helped drag the market down overall. Intel fell 5.3%.

Retailers and travel-related businesses also lost ground. Amazon lost 1.3% and Royal Caribbean fell 1.7%

Companies considered less risky investments, such as utilities, held up better than the rest of the market.

Investors remain focused on the Federal Reserve and its plan to hike interest rates to combat rising inflation. The final minutes of a meeting of Fed policymakers confirmed that the central bank intends to act decisively to fight inflation with higher interest rates. Wall Street is trying to look ahead to determine how more aggressive Fed monetary policy will impact markets, especially after years of more supportive ultra-low interest rate policies.

New York Federal Reserve Chairman John Williams said on Friday that the central bank should start raising interest rates next month to help contain too-high inflation. But he added that rate hikes may not have to start as strong as some have suggested.

“I personally don’t see any compelling case for taking a big step early,” Williams said following an event at New Jersey City University to discuss the economy and interest rates.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Typical Massachusetts home sold for less than $500,000 in January. For the last time ? Thu, 17 Feb 2022 18:27:36 +0000

Jon Gorey – Globe Correspondent

February 17, 2022 1:27 p.m.

Home sales in Massachusetts fell in January from a year ago, according to The Warren Group, a real estate analysis company. And while prices rose year on year to new highs in January, the typical single-family home sold for less than $500,000 for the first time since March 2021.

There were 3,509 single-family home sales in Massachusetts last month, down 8.9% from January 2021. But last year’s fierce fall and winter market makes comparisons difficult, and a decline was to be expected. Year-on-year sales figures have been down for six consecutive months now, Warren Group chief executive Tim Warren said, and 2021 was the busiest January for single-family home sales. since 1999.

The slowdown in sales is not due to a lack of interest from home buyers, Warren added, but rather a lack of homes for sale. There were about half as many homes and condos on the market in January as they were a year ago when inventories were already low, according to a separate report from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.

The median price for a single-family home sold in January was $495,000, an all-time high for the month and a 10.7% increase from January 2021. “That’s a lot, but it’s not a astronomical increase,” Warren said. A slowdown in price growth is likely a good thing after two straight years of double-digit percentage gains in house prices, he added.

Moreover, it is unlikely to last long.

“Generally, January and February median prices are some of the lowest of the year, so we’ll be back to over $500,000 soon,” Warren said.

“Legs on the market in places like Wellesley and Newton and Cambridge, there may not be enough people left who can afford that price level, and so there is a drain to what I would call the affordability,” Warren said, noting that the median price of a single-family home in Worcester County rose 10.3% year-over-year, outpacing the most expensive counties that are mostly in within Interstate 495, such as Suffolk, Middlesex, Norfolk and Essex. (View data by county here.)

Statewide price growth was also supported by vacation home buyers, who continue to bid up prices in Berkshire and Barnstable counties. While there were fewer sales of single-family homes on Cape Cod last month than in January 2021, the median price of a home in Barnstable County climbed 18.8% a year ago, from from $505,000 to $600,000.

Economists expect rising interest rates to put some downward pressure on house prices this year as more expensive mortgages erode purchasing power. The average interest rate on a 30-year mortgage was 3.92% on February 17 – almost a percentage point higher than in February 2021. This difference is enough to reduce a homebuyer’s price range by tens of thousands of dollars.

Related Long-term mortgage rates in the United States are soaring and approaching 4%

But Warren fears buyers will be pressured to lock in a lower interest rate, creating something of a stampede in February and March and pushing prices higher in the near term. “People can bid too aggressively for the next two months, hoping that if they overpay by $10,000 in February, it’s the same monthly payment they would have gotten in October. [with the higher rates]”Warren said.

The local condo market mirrored that of single-family homes, with the median selling price of a Massachusetts condo rising 9.5% in January to $438,000 from $400,000 — a new high for the month. Sales volume also declined, down 14.9%, with 1,442 condo sales statewide. Condo sales were flat in Somerville in January, where the median selling price climbed 24.3% year over year to $891,500 from $717,500. Prices in South Boston were flat, with sales down 61.4% from a year ago. (See city-by-city data here.)

Jon Gorey blogs about houses at Send feedback to [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @jongorey. Subscribe to our free real estate newsletter at Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter @globehomes.

Virgin Money announces rate hikes Tue, 15 Feb 2022 09:24:04 +0000

Virgin Money announced increases to all of its residential fixed rate and buy-to-let (BTL) products.

The group said on Monday that all residential fixed rates would increase between 0.10% and 0.25%, and all BTL fixed rates by up to 0.27%.

In addition, the group has announced that it will withdraw its fixed rate of 75% loan-to-value (LTV) over five years to 1.70% with a fee of £995.

Massive UK bank branch closures

The announcement comes two weeks after the company released its trading update results, showing its market share in mortgages fell slightly by 0.5% to £57.8bn last quarter. 2021.

Read more: Mortgage professionals mull over BOE rate hike

According to industry reports, the group said it would be more “selective” in its mortgage lending to secure returns, after admitting it would accept lower profit margins on its home loan products in the face of a increased competition in the mortgage sector.

The group also indicated that it would continue to invest in technology in order to maintain its market share in the medium term.

Virgin Money is the latest lender to raise interest rates. Last week, the Nationwide Building Society announced plans to raise both its base mortgage rate (BMR) and standard mortgage rate (SMR) following the Bank of England’s decision to double its rate. base at 0.5%.

From March 1, Nationwide will introduce higher rates of 2.50% for its BMR and 3.99% for its SMR product. For Nationwide borrowers with a tracker mortgage, their rate hike will mirror the BoE’s 0.25% increase.

Other lenders have followed suit, including the Principality Building Society, which announced it would raise rates on March 1 by 0.25% for existing account holders of its variable-rate savings products.

Read more: UK economy sees increased annual growth

Santander also announced that from the beginning of March it will increase its standard floating rate by 0.25% to 4.74% and it will increase its tracking rate (FoR) to 3.75% for existing borrowers, as well as all of its mortgage tracker products that are linked to the base rate.

Platform, the mortgage arm of the Co-operative Bank, refrained from raising rates but said it would revise its standard variable rate, which is currently 4.49%.

Halifax said it would write to customers with mortgages affected by the Bank of England rate change and let them know of their new monthly payment.

Your stress-free guide to buying home loans Mon, 14 Feb 2022 21:25:54 +0000

By Bob Walsmith Jr.
President 2022
Santa Barbara Association of Realtors

With this super-simple breakdown of loan types, you won’t be overwhelmed, you’ll find the right mortgage.

When it comes to buying a home, most people know what they prefer: a bungalow or a condo, a red-light district or a sleepy street.

Mortgages, too, come in many styles – and recognizing which type you should choose is just a bit more complex than, say, knowing that you prefer hardwood floors to carpet.

First, to choose the best loan for your situation, you need to know exactly what your situation is. Are you going to stay in this house for years? decades? Do you feel comfortable financially? Are you anxious about changing loan rates?

You’ll want to have an understanding of the different loans that are out there. There are a lot of options, and it can get a bit complicated – but you have this. Here we are.

Mortgages are fixed or adjustable, and one type is better for you

Let’s start with the most common type of mortgage, the workhorse of home loans: the fixed rate mortgage.

A fixed rate mortgage:

· Allows you to lock in an interest rate for 15 or 30 years (there are also 20-year loans). This means that your monthly payment will remain the same for the duration of the loan. (That said, your property taxes and insurance premiums will likely change over time.)

It is ideal when: You want long-term stability and plan to stay put.

Here’s what else you need to know about fixed rate mortgages:

· A 30-year fixed rate mortgage offers a lower monthly payment for the loan amount (for this reason, it is more popular than the other option, the 15-year one).

· A 15-year fixed rate mortgage usually offers a lower interest rate but a higher monthly payment because you pay off the loan amount faster.

Now let’s move on to variable rate, the other type of mortgage you’ll be looking at.

An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM):

Offers a lower interest rate than a fixed rate mortgage for an initial period — say, five or seven years — but the rate can fluctuate after the introductory period ends, depending on how interest rate. And that can complicate budgeting.

· Has caps that protect how high the rate can go.

It is ideal when: You plan to live in a house for a short time or expect your income to increase to compensate for potentially higher future rates.

Here’s what else you need to know about variable rate mortgages:

· Different lenders may offer the same initial interest rate, but different rate caps. It’s important to compare price caps when shopping for an MRA.

· Variable rate mortgages have a reputation for being complicated. As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau advises, be sure to read the fine print.

A rule of thumb: when comparing adjustable rate loans, ask the potential lender to calculate the highest payment you might have to make. You don’t want any surprises.

Conventional loan or government loan? Your life answers the question

The fixed or variable rate mortgage you qualify for introduces a whole host of other categories, and they fall into two categories: conventional loans and government loans.

Conventional loans:

· Offer some of the most competitive interest rates, which means you’ll likely pay less interest over the life of the loan.

· Generally, you can get one faster than a government loan because there is less paperwork.

Who is eligible? Generally, you need at least a credit score of 620 or better and a 5% down payment to qualify for a conventional loan.

Here’s what else you need to know about conventional loans:

If you put less than 20% down on a conventional loan, you will have to pay private mortgage insurance, an additional monthly fee designed to mitigate the risk to the lender that a borrower might default on a loan. (The PMI ranges from about 0.3% to 1.15% of your home loan.) The result: The lender must cancel the PMI when you reach 22% of your home’s equity, and you can ask for it to be cancelled. once you reach 20% net worth.

· Most conventional loans also have a maximum debt-to-equity ratio of 43%, which compares the amount you owe (student loans, credit cards, auto loans and other debts) to your income, expressed as a percentage.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac set limits on how much money you can borrow for a conventional loan. A home loan that respects these limits is called a conforming loan:

· In most cities, the maximum conforming loan amount is $548,250.

· In high-cost areas, such as New York and San Francisco, the limit is $822,275.

· Limits are reviewed annually and are subject to change based on the average home price in each area.

A home loan that exceeds these limits is called a giant loan:

Jumbo loans generally require a higher down payment (up to 30% for some lenders) and a credit score of at least 720. Some borrowers can qualify by down payment of 20%, but their credit score must be higher .

They also tend to have stricter debt-to-income requirements, typically allowing a maximum DTI ratio of 38%.

There are also practical considerations to take into account before getting a jumbo loan, mainly: Are you comfortable with so much debt? The answer depends on your current financial situation and your long-term financial goals.

There are other types of loans. You should contact your trusted real estate agent for suggestions of lenders to talk to for help.

Bob Walsmith Jr. is a Southern California native and Realtor® at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in Santa Barbara. During his work with the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors, Bob has served on the CORE Committee, the Education Committee, served as Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee and the Multiple Listing Service Committee. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Alpha Resource Center in Santa Barbara. Bob lives in Goleta with his beautiful wife Julie. When he’s not working, Bob enjoys golfing, tasting fine wine, eating well and walking our beautiful coastline. Bob can be reached at 805.720.5362 and/or

]]> 3 TSX Dividend Stocks Hit 52-Week Highs Fri, 11 Feb 2022 15:00:00 +0000

Image source: Getty Images

Investors who have these three TSX dividend-paying stocks in their investment portfolios are likely to be happy campers. They recently hit 52-week highs! Should we buy them, keep them or sell them? Here are some insights from analysts to help you in your decision making.

Fairfax Financial Holdings

Fairfax Financial Holdings (TSX:FFH) is sometimes called a smaller version of Berkshire Hathaway. Like Berkshire, it is a holding company that has an insurance business. FFH also aims for a high rate of return on invested capital to create long-term shareholder value.

The beta of the stock roughly matches the beta of the market. Like most stocks in the market, it took a hit during the pandemic crash. However, it has roughly doubled since the bottom of the stock market crash in early 2020. Over the past year, its returns have also been comparable to those of Berkshire Hathaway. FFH stock is currently yielding around 1.9%.

FFH Total Return Level Chart

FFH and BRK.B Total Return Level Data by YCharts

John O’Connell’s comment on FFH in October 2021 was not kind, however:

“Prem Watsa engages in market timing, unlike Warren Buffett. Fairfax is a black box in what it owns. Tough business. Stuck in the mud for a while. If you want to look for good capital allocators in the [property and casualty insurance] company, look at BRK.B, which he owns.

John O’Connell, Chairman and CEO of Davis Rea

Royal Bank Stocks

Quality companies are meant to recover from market corrections. Stocks of major Canadian banks made a big comeback after the pandemic crash. As a leading bank with leading positions in a range of financial services in Canada, Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY)(NYSE:RY) is no exception.

It has appreciated about 120% since the bottom of the stock market crash and now has the largest market capitalization of the major Canadian banks. Its market capitalization is $208 billion.

Over the past 52 weeks, the stock dividend has returned almost 43%! Bank stocks have long been a staple in dividend portfolios. Currently, it offers a respectable yield of 3.3%.

RY Total Return Level Chart

RY Total Yield Level Data by YCharts

Here are David Driscoll’s comments on RBC stocks this month:

Rising interest rates will improve net interest margins (the spread between mortgages issued and deposits received). Dividend increases have taken place across the industry. Well-diversified company with operations in the United States and internationally. Avoid buying too many bank stocks as this exposes investors to sector risk.

David Driscoll, President and CEO of Liberty International

Brookfield Infrastructure

While Royal Bank shares may be staple banking stocks for many, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (TSX:BIP.UN)(NYSE:BIP) could be a core utility holding company. Since BIP was separated from Brookfield Asset Managementit increased its cash distribution every year for more than a decade.

Based on the way he runs his business, investors can expect more dividend increases for many decades to come. Its cash flow is sustainable – around 90% is regulated and contractual and 70% is indexed to inflation. Currently, it gives about 3.5%.

Here is a comment on Varun Anand’s utility as of November 2021:

“A diversified large-cap infrastructure play, led by one of the top asset managers [Brookfield Asset Management]. Excellent construction work on a global scale. Better ways to play infrastructure by owning individual names versus a conglomerate. Good candidate if you want to sleep at night and collect the dividend.

Varun Anand, Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at Starlight Capital

Stocks gain ground, bond yields hit pre-pandemic high | app Tue, 08 Feb 2022 15:36:49 +0000

Stocks rose in the afternoon on Wall Street on Tuesday after a directionless morning as investors continue to struggle to predict how well the economy will hold up to the current bout of inflation as well as the medicine of the Reserve federal government to cure it, higher interest rates.

The S&P 500 was up 0.8% at 2:08 p.m. ET. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 368 points, or 1.1%, to 35,457 and the Nasdaq rose 1.1%.

Shares of small companies have outperformed the broader market, a potential sign that investors are optimistic about economic growth. The Russell 2000 rose 1.3%.

Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.95%, its highest level since before the start of the pandemic. The yield, which is used to set interest rates on mortgages and many other types of loans, traded at 1.91% late Monday.

Banks, which benefit from rising interest rates and rising bond yields, made solid gains. Bank of America rose 1.9%. Commodity companies, including steel and paper makers, also gained ground.

Technology companies have largely advanced and helped boost the overall market. Apple rose 1.8%.

Chipmaker Nvidia rose 0.5% after suffering an early loss following news that it had ended its plan to buy chip designer Arm from Softbank.

The price of US crude oil fell 1.5% and weighed on energy stocks. Chevron fell 1.5%.

Peloton jumped 26.9% after announcing a company shakeup that included the resignation of its co-founder as CEO and major job cuts.

Investors continued to scrutinize the latest corporate results with mixed reactions. Pfizer fell 3.5% after giving Wall Street disheartening earnings and revenue forecasts. Harley-Davidson jumped 15% after reporting a surprising fourth-quarter profit.

The mostly muted trading so far this week follows weeks of volatility for major indices. Rising inflation and the Fed’s plan to raise interest rates to combat it were the primary concerns for investors. Any rate hike would mark a sharp turnaround from much of the past two years, when ultra-low rates drove up prices for everything from stocks to cryptocurrencies.

“We’re in a bit of a holdover situation right now,” said Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Baird. “A lot of short-term indigestion is taken care of.”

The Labor Department’s latest consumer price report released Thursday will give Wall Street another update on the depth of inflation hitting consumers’ wallets. Economists expect inflation to rise 7.3% in January, which would show that inflation remains at its highest level in four decades. This could add to concerns about how often the Fed will raise rates this year.

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Asian stocks follow Wall St higher after rebound | World Tue, 08 Feb 2022 15:03:28 +0000

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks rose on Wednesday after Wall Street rebounded as investors awaited U.S. inflation data that could influence the pace of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.

Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney grew.

Wall Street’s benchmark, the S&P 500, rose 0.8%, recovering from the previous day’s plunge.

Investors are awaiting U.S. inflation data on Thursday for signs of how quickly the Fed could withdraw historically low interest rates and other stimulus to try to cool soaring prices. Traders expect at least four rate hikes this year, starting next month.

Wall Street’s rebound “suggests an attempt by equity bulls to regain some control,” IG’s Yeap Jun Rong said in a report. “Much will depend on upcoming inflation data from the United States to allay some concerns about the tightening ahead.”

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.8% to 3,481.24 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 1.1% to 27,579.87. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was up 1.9% at 24,794.80.

Seoul’s Kospi rose 0.8% to 2,768.76 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 1.1% to 7,268.30.

The India Sensex opened 0.7% higher at 58,208.01. The New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets grew.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose to 4,521.54. The index is now about 5.7% below its January 3 peak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.1% to 35,462.78. The Nasdaq composite advanced 1.3% to 14,194.45.

Shares of small companies have outperformed the broader market, a potential sign that investors are optimistic about economic growth. The Russell 2000 Small Stock Index rose 1.6% to 2,045.37.

Markets have been volatile since Fed officials said in mid-December that stimulus withdrawal plans would be accelerated to cool inflation, which is at its highest level in decades.

European central banks and others are also considering when to withdraw stimulus.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said this week that any rate hikes would be gradual. Investors expect the ECB to take a more hawkish stance at its March meeting after the board said last week inflation risks were rising.

Higher interest rates can depress stock prices by dampening economic activity and making it more expensive to borrow money to finance transactions.

Economists expect Thursday’s data to show US inflation accelerating to a four-decade high of 7.3% in January.

On Tuesday, the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note, or the difference between its market price and the payment at maturity, rose to 1.96%, its highest level since the start of the pandemic, from 1 .91% on Monday.

Tech companies were a big part of the S&P 500 rally. Apple rose 1.8%.

Chipmaker Nvidia rose 1.5% after announcing it was ending plans to buy chip designer Arm from SoftBank.

Retailers and other businesses that rely on direct consumer spending have helped boost the market. Amazon rose 2.2% and Home Depot gained 1.1%.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude gained 26 cents to $89.62 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell from $1.96 the previous session to $89.36. Brent crude, the price base for international oils, rose 25 cents to $91.03 a barrel in London. It lost $1.91 on Tuesday to $90.78.

The dollar fell to 115.48 yen from 115.54 yen on Tuesday. The euro fell from $1.1413 to $1.1427.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.