In our continuing effort to provide our clients with the best services and technology available, there's always the challenge of providing the information you want and need without overwhelming you with unnecessary complexity. We believe we've struck the perfect balance with our latest enhancements to our secure online client portal. All the information is still there, we just made it faster and easier to see what you want to see.

Globalization and productivity have all but neutralized inflation.  Profits in the US continue to surge while analysts play catch-up.  Global economic growth looks healthy as well among the G6 countries.  Earnings in Japan and Europe outpace analysts’ expectations just as they do here.  And the developing ‘BRIC’ countries; Brazil, Russia, India, and China are ablaze with growth rates as high as 10%.  

In last week’s Brief we asked the question was it time for technology to shine? The answer so far is a resounding ‘not yet,’ as bellwethers IBM, Motorola, Apple, and Intel all disappointed investors with their fourth quarter results in the last few days. The run-up in technology stock prices in the first weeks of January is proving to be premature. Investors who bid the shares up just weeks ago on the notion that 2007 earnings for tech were going to be well ahead of other sectors’ growth having changed their tune as early reports are less than their high expectations. They are now nervous about commoditization and competitive pressures combined with a slowing economy.

This economy continues to surprise analysts with its resilience in the face of circumstances that have crushed previous expansions. The government announced today that the unemployment rate fell to 4.4%, its lowest level since May 2001. The report also showed that service sector activity accelerated as housing declined.