SMK Capital Management LLC
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Cleveland: Booming in more ways than Lebron – August 2014

Orville is the CEO of five-year-old Cleveland Heartlab, which has licensed several innovations from researchers at nearby — and world-renowned — Cleveland Clinic. The partnership was initiated by the clinic as part of its mission to turn its inventions into commercially viable medical products, generating profits for both parties. To date, besides Heartlab, 66 neighboring companies have spun out from Cleveland Clinic ideas since 2000. All told, the clinic has 525 patents and 450 licensing agreements. This level of innovation would be stunning anywhere, but in Cleveland? Jake Orville was equally surprised when he arrived in 2008….Read the full article

US economy grows by 4% as Fed cuts stimulus – July 2014

The US economy grew at an annual rate of 4% during the April-to-June period, latest figures released by the US Department of Commerce have shown. The growth during the second quarter reverses the contraction seen earlier in the year. Following the report, the Federal Reserve said it would continue to ease back on its stimulus efforts. In a widely-expected moved, the Fed announced a cut to its bond purchases to $25bn (£15bn) a month from $35bn…Read the full article

New Jobs: Cleveland construction is booming – July 2014

The Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor area added more new construction jobs during the past year than 75 percent of 339 metro areas as employment in the local industry hit a seven-year high, according to an analysis released by the Associated General Contractors of America. However, local construction jobs in the area are at risk amid short-and-long-term uncertainty about federal highway and transit funding, the association’s chief economist warned…Simonson noted that the Cleveland metro area added 5,300 new construction jobs between June 2013 and June 2014, a 15 percent increase….Read the full article

New US homes sales surge to six-year high in May – June 2014

Sales of new US homes surged to a six-year high in May suggesting the housing market is beginning to recover from its recent slowdown. Sales increased by 18.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 504,000 – the highest level since May 2008, according to the Commerce Department. However, the S&P/Case-Shiller index, also released on Tuesday, found house price increases slowed in April. Economists had expected bigger rises. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the home price index, covering 20 major US cities, rose 0.2% in April, and by 10.8% on an annual basis….Read the full article

Cleveland Area Continuing To Show Economic Strength – June 2014

The Cleveland Metropolitan Statistical Area continues showing economic strength compared to other MSAs of all sizes across the nation, particularly in Tennessee, according to two recent surveys. “Area Development” magazine ranked 379 MSAs across 21 economic and workforce indicators. The 21 indicators considered by “Area Development” came from seven sub-categories from four sources: the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Census American Community Survey and Moody’s Analytics…Read the full article

U.S Economy creates 217,000 jobs in May – May 2014

U.S. employers kept up a solid pace of hiring in May, returning employment to its pre-recession level and offering confirmation the economy has snapped back from a winter slump. Nonfarm payrolls increased 217,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, in line with market expectations…May marked a fourth straight month of job gains above 200,000 even though there were fewer gains than the 282,000 seen in April when hiring was still bouncing back from a winter lull…The nation finally recouped the 8.7 million jobs lost during the recession, with 8.8 million more people in work now than at the trough in February 2010…Read the full article

More Growth and Building in Cleveland – April 2014

The developers of the Flats East Bankproject tied up a financing package last week for their second phase, clearing a path for the 23-acre waterfront district’s first apartments to open by June 2015. A flurry of public filings on April 15 signaled that the Wolstein Group and Fairmount Properties had consummated a $149 million deal that took more than 18 months of negotiations. The lower levels of a 243-unit apartment building already are taking shape near the Cuyahoga River, where the developers plan to add more restaurants, entertainment venues, parking and public spaces…Read the full article

 

Fewer Mortgage Borrowers Underwater – January 2014

The company reported Thursday that 9.3 million properties, or 19% of all homes with mortgages, were “deeply underwater” in December, meaning borrowers owed at least 25% more on their mortgage than the home was worth. That’s down significantly from 26% of all homes with mortgages, or 10.9 million properties, last January, RealtyTrac reported…Read the full article.

Housing Inventory Disappears in California – November 2013

For most of the year, housing inventory was steadily increasing across the nation.  In California, it appeared that inventory hit a bottom in February of this year.  At that point, there were 109,000 homes available for sale.  The latest figures going out to October showed 127,000 homes available for sale and this was down from 134,000 reached in August.  There has also been a steady decline of homes available for rent…Read the full article.

Mortgage Rates Move Higher Again – November 2013

Mortgage rates will likely rise above 5 percent in 2014 and average 5.3 percent by the end of 2015, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s forecast. That would mark a big jump over where mortgage rates stand now. The MBA reported this week that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.33 percent, the lowest average since June…Read the full article.