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Weekly Market Commentary- 09/18/18

09/18/2018
All 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. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 09/11/18

09/11/2018
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." Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 09/04/18

09/04/2018
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. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 08/28/18

08/28/2018
Tick, 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. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 08/21/18

08/21/2018
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? Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 08/14/18

08/14/2018
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. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 08/07/18

08/07/2018
Capital 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. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 07/31/18

07/31/2018
Is it a sugar rush or something more sustainable? Economic growth in the United States was strong during the second quarter. Gross domestic product (GDP), which is the value of all goods and services produced in the United States, grew by 4.1 percent. That’s the fastest growth in four years, reported the BBC. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 07/24/18

07/24/2018
Last week, there was some good news and some notable news. Here’s the good news: Corporate earnings have been strong. As of July 20, 17 percent of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index had reported second-quarter results. More than 85 percent of those companies reported positive earnings surprises, according to FactSet, which means they earned more than expected. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 07/17/18

07/17/2018
Investors are becoming more discriminating. Trade tensions escalated as the U.S. administration expanded tariffs on Chinese goods last week. You wouldn’t have known by watching the performance of benchmark indices, though. Just four of the 25 national stock market indices tracked by Barron’s – Australia, Italy, Spain, and Mexico – moved lower. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 07/10/18

07/10/2018
What a rollercoaster of a quarter! When it comes to the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) Sentiment Survey, respondents tend to be more bullish than bearish about U.S. stock markets. The survey’s historical averages are: • 38.5 percent bullish • 31.0 percent neutral • 30.5 percent bearish As the second quarter of 2018 began, investors were feeling less optimistic than usual. (About 36.6 percent were bearish and 31.9 percent bullish.) Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 07/03/18

07/03/2018
There’s a bear in China – and it’s not a panda. The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) Composite Index, which reflects the performance of all shares that trade on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, dropped into bear market territory last week, reported CNBC. The Index has fallen more than 20 percent from its previous high. It appears some investors saw an opportunity and bought the dip since the SSE Index bounced higher last Friday, gaining more than 2 percent. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 06/26/18

06/26/2018
What time is it? The yield curve may be the pocket watch of economic indicators. It’s been around for a long time and it’s often right, but not always. The yield curve is the difference between the interest paid on two-year government bonds and 10-year government bonds. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 06/19/18

06/19/2018
Deal or no deal? Last week opened with heightened trade tensions between the United States and its allies. It closed with the United States imposing new tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods. The Chinese declared it was the start of a trade war, reported Financial Times. U.S. markets largely ignored the potential impact of trade wars on multiple fronts. Barron’s reported the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which includes companies that are vulnerable to tariffs, moved slightly lower. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 06/12/18

06/12/2018
G whiz! Never before could the Group of 7 (G7) Summit have been mistaken for reality TV. The generally dignified annual meeting of leaders from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom (along with the heads of the European Commission and European Council) was a lot more contentious than usual, reported Reuters. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 06/05/18

06/05/2018
If the countries were instruments, last week sounded like a fifth-grade garage band. World markets were buffeted by a clamor of good, bad, and unexpected news last week. Events that captured media and investor attention included: • Taxing America’s allies. Early in the week, investors weren’t the only ones riled by the administration's announcement it would impose hefty trade tariffs on American allies. “ Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 05/30/18

05/30/2018
Geopolitical uncertainty didn’t dent U.S. stocks last week. Geopolitics is the intersection of geography, economics, and politics. Last week, there were some fine examples of the ways geopolitical events can create uncertainty. Barron’s reported: “President Donald Trump began the week suggesting that a trade war with China was on hold, before later ordering his administration to explore penalties on imported automobiles." Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 05/22/18

05/22/2018
Too much? Too little? Or just right? U.S. stock markets were relatively calm, although they finished the week lower. U.S. Treasury yields hit a 7-year high and finished the week above 3 percent. While these were notable, the most remarkable events last week occurred beyond our borders. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 5/15/18

05/15/2018
Splash! How do employers lure staff in a tightening labor market? The curly tail grubs and spinnies of the business world are higher wages and better benefits. During the past decade, the employment picture in the United States has shifted dramatically. In mid-2009, 15.4 million unemployed Americans were chasing 2.2 million available jobs. At the end of 2017, just 6.6 million Americans were unemployed, and employers were casting eagerly to fill 6.6 million open jobs, reports Barron’s. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary - 05/08/18

05/08/2018
What in the world? A lot happened last week. Some of the notable events included: • Trade talks between the United States and China. The talks were described as “frank, efficient, and constructive,” although significant issues have yet to be resolved. • A Federal Open Market Committee meeting. The Federal Reserve indicated it expects to raise rates during 2018, but did not do so last week. • Low unemployment in the United States. U.S. unemployment fell to 3.9 percent. Read More