20 02, 2019

Weekly Market Commentary – Why did the stock market do that?

2019-02-20T00:15:04+00:00 February 20th, 2019|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets Why did the stock market do that? The great mystery of stock markets reared its head last week. With no clear driver, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 3 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index moved higher by about 2.5 percent. It was a puzzler. Ben Levisohn of Barron’s explained: “Given those gains, we’d expect a heaping helping of good news, but not much was forthcoming. Earnings reports from [two large multinational companies] left investors wanting. And economic data were either bad or terrible in the United States – [...]

12 02, 2019

WEEKLY MARKET COMMENTARY-The Intersection of Economics and Valentine’s Day

2019-02-12T17:55:45+00:00 February 12th, 2019|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets Central banks take a turn. At its first policy meeting of 2019, the U.S. Federal Reserve changed direction. After four rate increases in 2018, Chair Jerome Powell announced interest rates were on hold. Last week, banks in the United Kingdom, Australia, and India followed suit by either reducing rates or cautioning rate reductions were likely, reported Sam Fleming and Jamie Smyth of Financial Times. The dovish tone of central banks owes much to slowing global growth. January’s International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook lowered global growth estimates for 2019 and 2020. Changing expectations were fueled both by [...]

4 02, 2019

Weekly Market Commentary – S&P 500 delivered its best January performance since 1987

2019-02-04T22:48:38+00:00 February 4th, 2019|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets And, U.S. stock markets celebrated. Last week, the Federal Reserve put itself on hold. The Federal Open Market Committee met on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, to discuss the state of the economy and determine policy. After the meeting, Fed Chair Jerome Powell offered a positive assessment of U.S. economic strength that was leavened with a few concerns. “We continue to expect that the American economy will grow at a solid pace in 2019, although likely slower than the very strong pace of 2018…Despite this positive outlook…Growth has slowed in some major foreign economies, particularly China and Europe. [...]

30 01, 2019

Weekly Market Commentary – U.S. stock investors took a breather last week

2019-01-30T02:35:49+00:00 January 30th, 2019|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets Like competitors who’ve completed a difficult section in an endurance race, U.S. stock investors took a breather last week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, which has gotten off to its best start since 1987, ended the week with a slight loss, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite finished slightly higher, reported Ben Levisohn of Barron’s. News the U.S. government shutdown would end, albeit temporarily, appeared to be of little interest to investors. Barron’s suggested the markets’ muted response to the government reopening was in balance with its response to the shutdown – there [...]

23 01, 2019

Weekly Market Commentary- We’re off to a good start

2019-01-23T18:58:15+00:00 January 23rd, 2019|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets We’re off to a good start. Investors who remained steady during December’s wild ride are probably pleased with their decision as stocks have gotten off to a strong start in 2019. Unfortunately, those who reduced their exposure to the asset class may be feeling the sting of missed opportunity. Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained about 3 percent. The Index is up 5.9 percent year-to-date, which is its best start in more than a decade, according to Ben Levisohn of Barron’s. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) and NASDAQ Composite also moved higher [...]

15 01, 2019

Weekly Market Commentary – Shortcuts to investing?

2019-01-15T19:41:51+00:00 January 15th, 2019|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets People love rules of thumb. Sometimes, mental shortcuts are helpful. Other times they are not. When it comes to investing, seasonal shortcuts are not uncommon. In fact, January boasts two: The January Effect explains why U.S. smaller company stocks tend to outperform the market in January. The original theory held that tax-loss harvesting pushed stock prices lower in December, making shares more attractive to investors in January. An article published in International Journal of Financial Research explained the effect could also owe something to the optimism that accompanies a new year, as well as year-end cash windfalls. [...]

10 01, 2019

Weekly Market Commentary – 2018- A Wall of Worry

2019-01-10T00:38:21+00:00 January 10th, 2019|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets Investors will think of the last quarter of 2018 for years to come, but they won’t remember it fondly. The Economist described it like this, “After a rotten October and limp November, the S&P 500 tumbled in value by 15 percent between November 30th and December 24th. Despite an astonishing bounce of 5 percent the day after Christmas, the index finished the year 6 percent below where it started...” Last quarter’s volatility and the slide in share prices owed much to uncertainty about economic growth. Investors were concerned about a variety of issues, including: The Federal Reserve [...]

2 01, 2019

Weekly Market Commentary – What basic instinct is market volatility triggering?

2019-01-02T21:55:23+00:00 January 2nd, 2019|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets Investing during the month of December was like traversing an icy mountain stream. It delivered a staggering shock to the senses that triggered the instinct to, “Get Out!" When it comes to investing, that instinct is called loss aversion. For many people avoiding a loss is more important than realizing a gain. Simply put, not losing $100 is more important than gaining $100. Erica Goode of The New York Times talked with psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky about a series of experiments they had conducted to measure loss aversion. The pair found relatively few people would [...]

19 12, 2018

Weekly Market Commentary – Ouch!

2018-12-19T20:57:12+00:00 December 19th, 2018|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets Ouch! It never feels good when the stock market heads south, and that’s what happened last week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500), Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite all moved into correction territory, which means the indices have fallen 10 percent or more from their previous peaks. If you look at corporate earnings, the decline in U.S. stock values may seem a bit of a head scratcher. During the third quarter of 2018, almost four-fifths (78 percent) of companies in the S&P 500 were more profitable than analysts expected, according to FactSet Insight. [...]

11 12, 2018

Weekly Market Commentary – Two issues which helped push down major U.S. stock indices lower

2018-12-12T20:15:24+00:00 December 11th, 2018|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets We’re off to a slow start. December is usually the best month of the year for the stock market. It has been since 1950, according to Randall Forsyth of Barron’s, but not so far this year. Two issues made investors particularly uncomfortable last week which helped trigger a sell-off that pushed major U.S. stock indices lower. Fading optimism about an easing of trade tensions with China. It looked like the relationship between the United States and China might thaw, and Americans were feeling pretty optimistic about a trade truce. In fact, markets moved higher Monday in anticipation. [...]