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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

Weekly Market Commentary- 09/03/19

09/03/2019
What, me worry? About this time last year, Time Magazine reported on anxiety in America. Almost 40 percent of Americans reported being more anxious than they were the previous year. The performance of stock and bond markets this summer may have pushed those numbers higher. Last week finally brought some relief. It was the best week for major U.S. stock indices since June. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 08/27/19

08/27/2019
Have you ever watched a lake in a thunderstorm? Heavy rain pummels the surface. Dark clouds drop the sky closer to the water. Gusty winds crash waves ashore. Up top, on land, damage may occur. Underneath, in the deeper water, things often remain pretty much the same. Last week’s stock market volatility was like a thunderstorm on a lake. Markets were doing well until the squall brewed up on Friday. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 08/20/19

08/20/2019
Don’t let volatility get you down. Last week was the 40th anniversary of BusinessWeek’s infamous cover headline: ‘The Death of Equities: How inflation is destroying the stock market.’ The publication’s current iteration, Bloomberg Businessweek, reported it is still getting grief over the headline and subsequent bull market. In its defense, stocks trended lower for about three years after the magazine hit newsstands. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 08/13/19

08/13/2019
Global selloff. Quick comeback. Investors boomeranged from stocks to safe havens and back as trade tensions between the United States and China intensified last week. The Economist reported: “On August 1st President Donald Trump warned that he would soon impose a 10 percent levy on roughly $300bn-worth of Chinese goods that have not already been hit by the trade war. Four days later China responded by giving its exchange rate unaccustomed freedom to fall." Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 08/06/19

08/06/2019
Tariffs strike again. The Federal Open Market Committee completed what it called ‘a mid-cycle adjustment’ with a quarter-point rate cut last week. Some investors were unhappy when Fed officials implied there would not be another reduction this year. They’d been hoping for at least one, reported Barron’s. Despite the disappointment, investors settled and U.S. stock markets rallied on Thursday. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 07/30/19

07/30/2019
It has been said there are two sides to every story. Just look at world financial markets. Stock markets and bond markets are telling very different stories. In the United States, stock markets were blue ribbon winners last week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rebounded to a record high. The Nasdaq Composite also set a new record. Barron’s reported U.S. stock markets were supported by abundant optimism inspired by expectations for solid earnings growth and a Federal Reserve rate cut in July. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 07/23/19

07/23/2019
Did last week mark the start of a new policy for the Federal Reserve? The U.S. Federal Reserve has a reputation for providing little transparency about the timing and direction of potential rate changes. That reputation was challenged last week. In back-to-back speeches, two of the three most influential members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Federal Reserve Vice-Chairman Richard Clarida and Fed Bank of New York President John Williams – made a case for lowering the Fed funds rate. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 07/16/19

07/16/2019
The bulls are running. Last week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index set a new record, closing above 3,000 for the first time. Other major U.S. stock indices also finished at record highs, reported Barron’s. Company fundamentals, investor sentiment, and geopolitics all have the power to push stock prices higher. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 07/09/19

07/09/2019
What will the Federal Reserve do now? There was unexpected economic news last week. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced 224,000 new jobs were added in June, which was more than analysts had anticipated. The gains were offset a bit by reductions in April and May employment estimates. However, overall, the pace of jobs growth during second quarter was fairly consistent with jobs growth during the first quarter, reported Matthew Klein of Barron’s. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 07/02/19

07/02/2019
In the infamous words of Mortimer Snerd, “Who’d a thunk it?” After U.S. stocks dropped sharply during the last weeks of December 2018, investors were not optimistic about the future. Early in January 2019, the State Street Investor Confidence Index dropped to its lowest point since 2012, and the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) Sentiment Survey showed just about 31.6 percent of investors as bullish. The long-term average for bullishness is 38.2 percent. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 6/25/19

06/25/2019
Everything went up – and that’s unusual. Randall Forsyth of Barron’s explained, “Like our major political parties, the stock and bond markets seem to live in two different worlds these days. The former sits at record levels, suggesting we live in the best of all possible worlds. The latter sees things as bad and only getting worse.” Read More