9 10, 2018

Weekly Market Commentary – The stock market tends to be a leading economic indicator

2018-10-09T20:52:02+00:00 October 9th, 2018|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets The stock market tends to be a leading economic indicator. Last week offered some insight to economics and stock market behavior. The U.S. unemployment rate reached its lowest level since 1969 and wages moved higher, yet major U.S. stock indices lost value. Why didn’t stock markets move higher? The answer is stock prices tend to be leading indicators. They reflect investors’ expectations for the future. Last week, investors may have been thinking like this: When unemployment is low, companies cannot always hire enough workers… To hire more workers, companies raise wages… Higher wages give workers more spendable [...]

2 10, 2018

Weekly Market Commentary – The Federal Reserve and the word “accommodative”

2018-10-02T17:34:12+00:00 October 2nd, 2018|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets It wasn’t headline news… But, if newsprint was still popular, last week’s key economic news would have appeared below the fold. The Federal Reserve raised rates for the third time in 2018, as expected. In addition, the Federal Open Market Committee projects economic growth will continue for three more years, although its median numbers show growth slowing from 3.1 percent in 2018 to 1.8 percent in 2021. (Remember, forecasts, no matter how venerable the source, are best guesses and not bedrock.) Investors weren’t enthusiastic about the Fed’s actions or its expectations, and the onset of United States-China [...]

26 09, 2018

Weekly Market Commentary – Economy in late stages of expansion?

2018-09-26T18:14:50+00:00 September 26th, 2018|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets Did you hear the news? A tech company introduced a microwave you can turn on using Wi-Fi – as long as you have one of the company’s voice assistants at home, reported Kaitlyn Tiffany of Vox. Soon, the voice assistants will be built with neural networks that will formulate hunches about whether their owners might like to be reminded to lock the door or turn off a device. Some people love the idea. Others don’t. Internet-enabled appliances weren’t the only show in town last week. The strong performance of the U.S. economy earned a standing ovation from [...]

18 09, 2018

Weekly Market Commentary – Investors or Consumers?

2018-09-18T20:01:06+00:00 September 18th, 2018|Weekly Market Commentary|

The MarketsAll investors are consumers, but not all consumers are investors.The September installment of University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Survey reported Americans are feeling pretty optimistic. Consumer sentiment rose to the second highest level since 2004, and consumer expectations reached the highest level since 2004. Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin, wrote:“Consumers anticipated continued growth in the economy that would produce more jobs and an even lower unemployment rate during the year ahead…The largest problem cited on the economic horizon involved the anticipated negative impact from tariffs. Concerns about the negative impact of tariffs on the domestic economy were [...]

12 09, 2018

Weekly Market Commentary – Remember: Volatility is normal

2018-09-12T21:03:10+00:00 September 12th, 2018|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets Remember: Volatility is normal. Major U.S. stock market indices climbed into record territory during August. They gave back some gains last week. Peter Wells of Financial Times explained: “Speculation about a fresh round of tariffs on Chinese imports from the Trump administration weighed on U.S. stocks, handing the S&P 500 its first four-day losing streak in a month. A strong jobs report only hardened expectations that the Federal Reserve views the U.S. economy as healthy enough to withstand a probable interest rate rise later this month.” Strong economic growth and rising wages have the potential to push [...]

5 09, 2018

Weekly Market Commentary – Where is our country’s biggest export market?

2018-09-05T02:05:28+00:00 September 5th, 2018|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets Where is our country’s biggest export market? Markets were fired up last week after the United States and Mexico agreed on new trade rules. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index reached an all-time high and finished the month of August up about 3 percent, reported Michael Sheetz, Thomas Franck, and Alexandra Gibbs of CNBC. During the latter half of last week, though, the S&P 500 gave back some gains. A hitch in the giddy-up of trade talks between the United States and Canada caused the index to stumble. Damian Paletta, Jeff Stein, and Heather Long [...]

29 08, 2018

Weekly Market Commentary – Key Insights into the recent Federal Reserve August meeting

2018-08-29T00:14:09+00:00 August 29th, 2018|Weekly Market Commentary|

The MarketsTick, Tock.Not everybody loves meetings and even fewer enjoy reading the minutes, but investors make an exception with the Federal Reserve. This week the Fed published the minutes from its August 1 meeting. While no changes were made to interest rates, the minutes did provide insight to how the Fed sees the U.S. economy.Key Insights: The economy is strong. The economy is poised for its best annual growth in a decade due to stimulation from tax cuts and federal spending. The current nine-year bull market is about to be the longest bull market in history and the stock market hit [...]

21 08, 2018

Weekly Market Commentary – As Maxwell Smart used to say…

2018-08-21T17:29:30+00:00 August 21st, 2018|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets As Maxwell Smart used to say… Missed it by THAT much! After a rocky start, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index came within 1 percent of an all-time high last week, reported Ben Levisohn for Barron’s. It’s significant because the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has been trading below its January record all year. The article suggested the lack of progress begs the question: Are we still in a bull market? It’s the old ‘Shrink Global Markets with Corporate Buybacks’ trick. Last week, Robin Wigglesworth of Financial Times reported, “The global equity market is shrinking at the fastest [...]

14 08, 2018

Weekly Market Commentary – Let’s Talk Turkey!

2018-08-14T19:49:37+00:00 August 14th, 2018|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets Let’s talk Turkey! So, how did a country that represents just about 1.4 percent of the world’s economy spark a global selloff? Turkey was once a rising star. The country’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan took office in 2003 and his “conservative, pro-business policies helped pull the country back from an economic crisis,” reported Financial Times. As Turkey’s economy strengthened, investors saw opportunity. Investments from outside the country averaged about $13 billion a year, according to World Bank figures cited by Financial Times, although investment slowed after terror attacks in 2015. Bloomberg reported Prime Minister Erdogan has [...]

7 08, 2018

Weekly Market Commentary – Capital gains tax reform – The Millennial Way

2018-08-07T20:03:54+00:00 August 7th, 2018|Weekly Market Commentary|

The MarketsCapital gains tax reform comes with a big price tag: $100 billion over 10 years.A capital gain is any increase in the value of an asset, such as an investment, a home, land, etc., between its purchase and its sale. The amount of a gain is determined by subtracting the purchase price from the sale price.Last week, the White House proposed capital gains be adjusted or ‘indexed’ for inflation before they are taxed. Princeton Professor Alan Blinder explained the idea in The Wall Street Journal:“Why index gains? Suppose you own a stock for many years, during which time overall [...]