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Weekly Market Commentary - 1/21/2020

01/21/2020
The new trade deals are here! The United States and China signed a preliminary trade deal last week. The next day, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement was approved by the Senate. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 1/14/2020

01/14/2020
It was a nerve-wracking week. Iran fired 22 ballistic missiles at the Ain Al Asad air base near western Iraq and a second base in northern Iraq following last week’s U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian military commander. Newsweek reported the bases suffered minimal damage and there were no casualties from the attack. However, Iran mistakenly downed a commercial airliner, killing all on board, reported CBS News. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 1/7/2020

01/07/2020
About face! 2019 was a remarkable year for investors with many asset classes delivering positive performance. Both the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, a gauge of U.S. stock market performance, and the Dow Jones Global (ex U.S.) Index delivered double-digit increases (see the below table). Bonds and gold rallied, too, delivering positive returns for the year. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 12/31/19

12/31/2019
2019 will be a hard act to follow. Investors may find themselves reluctant to ring out the old and ring in the new this week. During 2019, stock and bond markets delivered exceptional returns. Ben Levisohn of Barron’s reported the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 23 percent at the end of last week, the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index had gained 29 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 36 percent. The S&P 500 and Dow both closed at all-time highs. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 12/24/19

12/24/2019
Let’s hear it for 2019! Major stock indices in the United States and overseas are poised to deliver double-digit gains for the year. Even with uncertainty about Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU), the FTSE 100 boasted a gain of more than 10 percent at the end of last week. That’s not bad for a year which included (in the United States) an inverted yield curve, an earnings recession, and a contentious trade war. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 12/17/19

12/17/2019
So, what comes next? Last week was a good week for investors. Ben Levisohn of Barron’s explained: “The Federal Reserve and European Central Bank both pledged to do what they could to underpin their respective economies. The United Kingdom gave Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party a landslide victory, virtually guaranteeing that the Brexit saga will end, finally.” Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 12/10/19

12/10/2019
Ahh, the power of distraction. On Friday, the unemployment report flashed its numbers like a hair model in a shampoo commercial. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 266,000 new jobs were created in November. That was better than expected even after deducting the 40,000-plus General Motors employees returning to work, reported CNBC. The sign of economic strength helped major U.S. stock indices recover from losses suffered earlier in the week – mostly. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 12/03/19

12/03/2019
It’s a shopping revolution! Sometime, probably not so long ago, comedian Dave Barry wrote, “Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.”Not so much anymore. On Black Friday 2019, many shoppers didn’t venture any farther than their favorite digital device. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 11/26/19

11/26/2019
Thanksgiving is in the air! On Thursday, U.S. investors may find themselves giving thanks for the bull market. Year-to-date, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite have all gained more than 20 percent with dividends reinvested. The MSCI World Index also is up 20 percent year-to-date. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 11/19/19

11/19/2019
The longest bull market in history showed no signs of slowing last week. U.S. stock markets climbed higher for the sixth week straight – the longest rally in U.S. markets in two years – and the Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 28,000 for the very first time, reported Bloomberg. The Economist reported, “It has been a year of mood swings in financial markets. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 11/12/19

11/12/2019
Last week, major United States stock indices finished at historic highs. According to a source cited by Barron’s, U.S. stock markets are responsible for creating $6 trillion in paper wealth this year. ‘Paper’ wealth is when an asset is estimated to be worth a specific amount. The wealth becomes ‘real’ when the asset is sold. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 11/05/19

11/05/2019
They did it. The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates last week, as expected. There were no enthusiastic fans singing the Baby Shark song, but the Federal Open Market Committee’s decision was well received. Reuters reported, “Gaps between market expectations and the Fed’s own outlook have been wide at times this year, a source of concern for policymakers who don’t want to kowtow to markets, but also don’t want to surprise or disrupt them. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 10/29/19

10/29/2019
More money managers are feeling less bullish, but you sure couldn’t tell by the performance of U.S. stock markets last week. So far, 2019 has been a tremendous year for U.S. stocks. Through the end of last week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index had gained more than 20 percent year-to-date, the Dow Jones Industrial Index was up more than 15 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite had risen more than 24 percent. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 10/22/19

10/22/2019
Last week was like an overstuffed suitcase that busts open on the baggage carousel. A lot was unpacked in a surprising and disorderly fashion. There was some positive news for investors who prioritize fundamentals. Third quarter’s earnings season – the period of time when companies let investors know how they performed during the previous quarter – got off to a strong start. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 10/15/19

10/15/2019
The world breathed a sigh of relief last week when the United States and China took a step toward a trade-war truce. Financial Times reported the United States agreed to not increase tariffs from 25 percent to 30 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports next week. (Current tariffs remain in place, and it is possible new tariffs will be imposed on additional Chinese goods – electronics, apparel, and other consumer items – in mid-December.) Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 10/08/19

10/08/2019
From trade wars to impeachment inquiries, investors had a lot to ponder during the third quarter. Toward the end of September, they appeared to become more cautious, although it’s difficult to say which issues weighed most heavily. Here are a few questions they may have been asking: Is recession looming closer? Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 10/01/19

10/01/2019
They say bull markets climb a wall of worry. Investopedia’s Will Kenton explained the idea like this: “…a bull market isn’t a peaceful place. When times are good, investors are constantly tense, wondering how long they will keep rolling, fretting about when a seemingly inevitable correction will finally put a stop to the market elation. As a market continues ascending, the decision can become increasingly agonizing whether to take profits in a position or let it ride.” Last week, the wall of Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 09/24/19

09/24/2019
There’s a new theory in town. Renowned economist Robert Shiller’s new book suggests investors may be able to predict and prepare for economic events by tracking popular stories. Applying the theory might have been a challenge last week. There were so many stories with potential to move markets and affect the economy it was difficult to guess which would be the most influential. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 09/17/19

09/17/2019
Where’s inflation? If you enjoy searching for Waldo, the visual nemesis in a red-striped sweater and cap, you may appreciate the quandary of central bankers in many wealthy nations. For almost a decade, they’ve been trying to find inflation. Last week, there were reports of a sighting in the United States. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 09/10/19

09/10/2019
Remember the movie Groundhog Day? Bill Murray’s character is a crotchety newsman who lives the same day over and over again. After exhausting other options, he chooses self-improvement and eventually escapes the cycle. The movie came to mind last week when the United States and China headed to the negotiating table. Again. Global stocks rallied on the news. Again. Read More