Wow! I started Wally's 'trick' last year...still didn't get me more than an 'attaboy'. And, I don't believe cost of living increase has ever accounted for cost of gas increase, much less grocery, utilities, etc. Yep, time to update resume and move for my raise!
Typical raises (that don't come with promotions or as rewards for specific achievements) have always been approximately cost-of-living. Today, inflation is (according to official numbers, anyway) around 1-2%, and therefore so are the raises. When inflation was 5-6%, then the raises were similarly higher.
Sadly, Wally's analysis of the stock market is terribly accurate. I've seen plenty of cases where a company posts record profits, but the "analyst community" predicted something even greater, and the stock price therefore tanked. (This seems to happen a lot to Apple, for example) And Wally's observation - when the company posts record losses, but not as bad as predicted, causing the stock to go up. It really sucks when your stock performance is based more on what a bunch of useless pundits predict than on your actual profitability.