blog

Blog

Weekly Market Commentary - 04/24/18

04/24/2018
The world is in debt. The April 2018 International Monetary Fund (IMF) Fiscal Monitor reported global debt has reached a historically high level. In 2016, debt peaked at 225 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) (the value of all goods and services produced across the world). Public debt is a significant component of global debt. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 04/17/18

04/17/2018
What do you think? • Are you bullish, bearish, or neutral about the U.S. stock market? • Are U.S. stocks undervalued, overvalued, or fairly valued? • What is the biggest threat the U.S. stock market faces this year? During the first four months of 2018, U.S. stocks have experienced not one, but two, 10 percent declines. These short-term reversals are known as corrections. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 04/10/18

04/10/2018
You could almost hear the spurs jingling. Trade tensions ratcheted higher last week as the United States and China staked new positions on the not-so-dusty main street of trade. It was the latest round of posturing in what has the potential to become a trade war between the world’s largest economies. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 04/03/18

04/03/2018
In like a lion… Investors roared into 2018. During the first week of the first quarter of the New Year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 25,000 for the first time ever. Less than two weeks later, it closed above 26,000. The Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index and NASDAQ Composite also reached new all-time highs. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 03/27/18

03/27/2018
Why am I saving and investing? After a week like last week, it’s an important question. There are many reasons people save and invest, including to: • Live the life they want today and in the future • Accumulate resources so they’re prepared for any bumps in the road • Provide an education for their children • Offer assistance to parents • Support a young person with a disability • Do good in the world • Live comfortably in retirement without anxiety Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 03/20/18

03/20/2018
It’s a good time for a gut check. Last week, after sliding lower for four days, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index recouped some of its losses on Friday. The reasons behind the week’s poor showing were diverse. Barron’s reported: “The market is so discombobulated right now that it can’t even decide what it’s afraid of. What do we mean? When the Standard & Poor’s 500 index suffered its first correction since the beginning of 2016 last month, the cause was easily identified..." Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 03/13/18

03/13/2018
It’s a bird…It’s a plane…It’s a labor shortage! There is little doubt the Millennial generation has been reshaping our world. One of the most remarkable aspects of this demographic group is a preference for experiences over consumer goods. “Three out of four millennials would rather spend their money on an experience than buy something desirable. This “experience generation” is now a third of the U.S. population,” reported Eventbrite. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 03/06/18

03/06/2018
As Yogi Berra once said: It’s déjà vu all over again. Last week, global stock markets took a bit of a dip after President Trump announced a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum. Tariffs are taxes on goods imported from other countries. In general, governments impose tariffs to enhance revenue and/or protect domestic industries from competition abroad. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 02/27/18

02/27/2018
U.S. Treasuries are offering a lesson in supply and demand. Last week, the U.S. Treasury auctioned $258 billion in bonds. Treasury auctions are the way the United States government finances its debt. The Treasury sells short-, intermediate-, and long-term IOUs, known as bills, notes, and bonds. When investors and governments purchase bonds, they agree to lend money to the United States. In return, the United States agrees to pay an amount of interest over a certain period of time. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 02/20/18

02/20/2018
As New York Fashion Week ended, inflation strutted its stuff. Ever since the Federal Reserve began raising the Fed funds rate in 2015, analysts have been anticipating higher inflation. The fact that price increases remained relatively small was a perplexing mystery. Then, last week, inflation increased faster than expected. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 02/13/18

02/13/2018
Back to reality... After months of eerie calm, stock market volatility has returned. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) – a measure of how turbulent investors expect stock markets to be during the next 30 days – appeared to fall asleep in November 2016. For more than a year, a level of serenity that is rarely associated with stock markets prevailed and U.S. share prices moved steadily higher. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 02/06/18

02/06/2018
It was not a good week for stocks. Last week, stock markets around the world lost value. In the United States, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500), Dow Jones Industrial Index (Dow), and NASDAQ all finished lower. Some pundits have been drawing comparisons between the performance of the Dow last Friday and Black Monday, the memorable day in 1987 when the index shed 508 points in a single day. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 01/30/18

01/30/2018
The numbers are coming in. Publicly-traded companies report their earnings and sales numbers for the previous quarter in the current quarter. For example, fourth quarter’s sales and earnings are reported during the first quarter of the year, and first quarter’s sales and earnings will be reported during the second quarter, and so on. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 01/23/18

01/23/2018
Last week, the United States government might as well have hung a sign on the front door of the Capitol that read, “Gone negotiating. We’ll be back in…however long it takes.” In 2013, the U.S. government closed for 16 days. About 850,000 federal workers were furloughed and 6.6 million workdays lost. The shutdown affected private companies that worked with the government, too, and the U.S. economy took a hit. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 01/16/18

01/16/2018
Inflation, inflation, where’s the inflation? The U.S. Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates in anticipation of higher inflation. In its 2018 forecast, Goldman Sachs indicated it expected to see “a gradual increase in global core inflation, albeit to levels that are still below central bank targets in most places.” Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 01/09/18

01/09/2018
Whoosh! Bang! Flash! Fizz! Whistle! U.S. stock markets delivered their own version of fireworks to celebrate the New Year. During the first week of 2018, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a new all-time high, moving above 25,000 for the first time ever. The NASDAQ Composite and Standard & Poor’s 500 Indices also rose to new highs. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary-01/02/18

01/02/2018
How good was 2017? It was so good, the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index finished in positive territory every month for the first time ever (on a total return basis), reported Barron’s. All major U.S. indices finished the year with double-digit gains. As we enter 2018, keep an eye on investor sentiment. “History has shown us that the crowd can be right during trends, but it also tends to be wrong at extremes. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 12/26/17

12/26/2017
It’s time to turn your mind to taxes. Last week, President Trump signed tax reform, officially titled ‘An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018,’ into law. The legislation provides significant permanent tax cuts for businesses, including reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Most individual taxpayers will also receive tax benefits, including lower marginal tax rates. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 12/19/17

12/19/2017
Here we come a tax-reforming… The reconciliation of Congressional tax reform bills proceeded apace last week, and Congress is expected to vote on the measure early this week. If tax reform passes, Dubravko Lakos-Bujas, head of U.S. equity strategy with JPMorgan, thinks we may see value stocks swing back into favor. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 12/12/17

12/12/2017
“It's the hap- happiest season of all.” While holidays don’t make everyone happy, investors should be feeling festive. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is up more than 18 percent year-to-date. The Dow Jones Global ex U.S. Index is up about 21 percent year-to-date (refer to the table), and Treasury bond yields are lower than they were at the start of the year. Read More