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Will Obama Keep On Truckin’ With Agenda?

William RutherfordWhile president focuses on health care, voters’ actions suggest they’re more concerned with the economy

Nearly a year ago, Vice President Joe Biden notoriously asked, “Why are we focusing on health care when the economy is the problem?” Apparently Obama didn’t get the memo.

In the Scott heard around the world, previously unknown Massachusetts state Rep. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) drove his dusty, old pickup truck to victory in knocking off the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Ted Kennedy. Elected in the bluest of the blue states, Brown is the first Republican elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts in 38 years. German news source Der Spiegel pronounced: “The World Bids Farewell to Obama.” Elected just a year ago in a stunning victory, President Barack Obama now finds himself facing declining approval ratings and upheaval. He promised change, but voters did not like what they perceived as European style socialism. With the nation suffering through the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression, exit polls from his presidential election showed that two-thirds of the voters cited the economy as their number one concern, and fewer than 10 percent mentioned health care. Since taking office, Obama has focused on health care. Obama, in his first year in office, gave 158 interviews and 411 speeches – more than any other U.S. president; perhaps more than all of them put together. Yet the Democrats have now lost the governorships of Virginia and New Jersey, and a Senate seat in Massachusetts.

In the meantime, the Brookings Institution says the largest and fastest growing population of poor people in the U.S. is in the suburbs. […]

April 6th, 2010|Categories: Daily Journal of Commerce|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Will Obama Keep On Truckin’ With Agenda?

Economic Data Suggest Reasons For Optimism

William RutherfordAs I have stated before, the economy won’t hit the bottom until housing prices stabilize. Recent reports show that single-family home prices in the U.S. posted a slight 0.2-percent increase in the third quarter. This was the first quarterly gain in two years. The biggest increases were in the West, despite California, Arizona and Nevada being some of the most troubled states. Sales of new homes unexpectedly increased in October.

Sales of new single-family homes increased 6.2 percent. Sales of existing homes increased 3.7 percent. All of these reports augur well for the economy.

Also, job losses in November slowed to 11,000, the fewest since this recession began, and the unemployment rate fell unexpectedly, indicating that the economy is in a healing process. Unemployment remains stubbornly high, at around 10 percent, although most believe the real level is much higher. Nevertheless, payroll data reflect a notable improvement in the jobs market. Some think that firings have been too aggressive and that firms will have to start hiring in the next few months. There is a long way to go, however; nearly 8 million people have lost their jobs since the start of the recession.

Average hourly earnings rose a penny in November and the average workweek expanded by 0.2 hours.
Another report showed U.S. factory orders rose for the sixth time in seven months in October, posting a larger-than-expected gain of 0.6 percent. In the third quarter, the U.S. economy grew 2.8 percent, expanding for the first time in more than a year.

The economy still faces stiff headwinds, including higher taxes and more regulation. But perhaps the strongest is banks’ reluctance to lend. Banks have taken billions […]

March 18th, 2010|Categories: Daily Journal of Commerce|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Economic Data Suggest Reasons For Optimism

Bill Rutherford Quoted In Dow Jones

Consumer Staples, Health Care Seen As Recessionary Havens

by Mary Ellen Lloyd, Dow Jones Newswires; 704-948-9145;

A year into the U.S. recession, the smart money on Wall Street says traditionally defensive sectors such as consumer staples, health care and telecommunications remain among the best bets.

That’s because it is businesses like drugstores, food producers, managed-care companies, and beer and cigarette makers that tend to do well despite tough economic times, according to several market strategists, money managers, economists and fund data managers.

“You’re dealing with industries and companies that provide necessities – everything from toothpaste to stents to pharmaceuticals to cereal,” said Brian Belski, Merrill Lynch’s U.S. sector strategist.

And some not-so-basic items can feel like necessary luxuries for folks during times of stress. “People tend to drink and smoke more during recessions and slowing times in the economy and the stock market,” Belski said. […]

December 18th, 2008|Categories: Bill Quoted|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Bill Rutherford Quoted In Dow Jones

Bill Rutherford Quoted In Business Week

Inside Wall Street: Bring on the Cranes and Road Graders by Gene Marcial

The Dow Jones industrial average has plunged some 41% since its record close at 14,164 on Oct. 9, 2007—for a $1.7 trillion loss in market capitalization. And the broader Dow Jones Wilshire 5000-stock index has lost 46%, or $9.1 trillion. The huge sell-off is causing some strategists to figure that the market has already priced in a recession. Not only that, “it also has posted the worst performance entering a recession in over 60 years,” notes Jeffrey Kleintop, chief market strategist at LPL Financial. While volatility is likely to continue, history suggests additional significant downside is unlikely. “The stage is set for an eventual recovery, led by the early cyclical sectors,” predicts Kleintop. It’s well-known, he adds, that powerful gains in the stock market come well before the end of a recession. […]

Bill Rutherford Quoted By

Dow sheds 486 points: Post-election worries about the weak economy are front and center.

by Alexandra Twin, senior writer

NEW YORK ( — Stocks fell sharply Wednesday, with the Dow sliding as much as 513 points, as Barack Obama’s historic victory gave way to renewed worries about the struggling economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) lost 486 points or 5%. The blue-chip average lost as much as 513 points earlier. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (SPX) index lost 5.3% and the Nasdaq composite (COMP) gave up 5.5%.

Investors were taking a classic “buy the rumor, sell the news” response to President-elect Barack Obama’s victory over John McCain, said Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Financial Services Group. […]


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October 31st, 2008|Categories: Rutherford Investment Management|Tags: , |Comments Off on 4-STAR MORNINGSTAR™ RATING

Bill Rutherford Quoted In Barron’s

Earnings Estimates Still Too Lofty


WHILE WALL STREET’S OUTLOOK for corporate earnings has grown more bearish by the day, the estimates are still not grisly enough.

Analysts have sharply cut their third-quarter and full-year financial profit estimates for companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 since the summer, finally giving up on the notion that profits will climb much in 2008.

A poll by Thomson Reuters shows that the Street expects earnings to fall 2.3% in the quarter ending Tuesday from a year earlier. For the entire year, profits are expected to remain flat, a big change from the 6.7% gain analysts had forecast in July.

But some are skeptical about even those modest expectations and expect earnings to be down this year by as much as 8%. And there’s little confidence that the 22% gains predicted in 2009 will materialize given the uncertain economy, falling oil prices and the turmoil plaguing financial markets. […]

Bill Rutherford Quoted At

Four at Four: Please Resume Your Normal Worrying

by David Gaffen

With the photo-ops, the handshakes, the forced smiles from leaders of opposition parties ready, Wall Street can go back to doing what it does best: Worrying about some other unknown problem somewhere out on the horizon. Thursday’s rally — sort of a “buy the rumor, buy the news” approach to the $700 billion bailout (a figure that was basically plucked out of a hat, as reported), and gives Wall Street enough cover to move ahead from here. That has already translated to a loosening in the Treasury market, where short-term debt yields shot up after days of pressure — the three-month note yield was lately at 0.75%, up from earlier in the day. “The alternatives seem pretty obvious and pretty bad — and there’s some comfort in that some progress is being made and it appeared to take some of the risk out of financials,” says William Rutherford, president of Rutherford Investment Management in Portland, Ore. There are, of course, massive logistical hurdles to implementing the U.S. Treasury Garbage Barge Trust, the least of which includes the value of the securities and which institutions will participate, and some are concerned that it may be all too much for the markets right now while still falling short of taking care of the issues. “There should be no illusion that the $700 billion estimate proposed by the Administration will be enough to end the debt crisis,” write analysts at Weiss Research. “There should also be no illusion that the market for U.S. government securities can absorb the additional […]

September 25th, 2008|Categories: Bill Quoted|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on Bill Rutherford Quoted At

Bill Rutherford Quoted In

Stocks rally on housing rescue

Dow surges 290 points as investors consider what the Fannie and Freddie bailout means for the broader economy.

by Alexandra Twin, senior writer

NEW YORK ( — Stocks surged Monday, with the Dow gaining 290 points and the broader market also gaining as investors breathed a sigh of relief that the government has swooped in to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) added 290 points or 2.6%. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 (SPX) index added 1.8%, paring its morning gains. The Nasdaq composite (COMP) added 0.6%, after climbing in the morning and then falling in the afternoon. […]

Bill Rutherford Quoted By Reuters

Reuters logo

UPDATE 3-HP results top Street despite stronger dollar

by Robert MacMillan and Eric Auchard

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) results beat Wall Street targets, overcoming fears that slowing global economies and a stronger dollar would substantially weaken the world’s biggest computer and printer maker.

Shares rose 3.2 percent in after-hours trading on Tuesday after HP posted solid fiscal third-quarter international sales and said it expects fourth-quarter earnings also ahead of expectations.

“What we’re seeing here is that despite the concerns we had coming into the third quarter, they are not being overwhelmed by a currency hit yet,” said Jason Pride, director of research at Haverford Trust Co in Philadelphia. […]

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