Consumer sentiment is at its lowest level in two years, while the so-called "Misery Index" stands at a three decade-high. And it's true: Americans aren't spending as robustly as they once were. But when you look at the numbers, it becomes clear that U.S. consumers aren't down for the count just yet.
The stock market has been on a tear over the past two years. With the major indexes hitting multi-year highs recently, the value pickings are slim. But one highlights five stocks that still have attractive prices in this rising market.
CEO bonuses rose 30.5% in the past year, but are the heads of large U.S. firms really earning their hefty compensation packages by creating increased profits and shareholder value? A closer look reveals wide disparities: There are some Bargain CEOs, but also some Hogs and Value Destroyers.
It's no surprise that consumer prices are rising -- the prices of commodities from corn to cotton to copper are near record levels, thanks to shrinking supplies and rising demand worldwide. The question is whether the Fed will raise rates to combat this price inflation -- and whether it should.
Though it fell just short of expectations, Whirlpool more than doubled its profits in the fourth quarter, thanks to rising sales and cost-cutting. The maker of Maytag, Amana and KitchenAid appliances reported its 4Q net income rose 111%.