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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

Weekly Market Commentary- 06/18/19

06/18/2019
Are we on the cusp of change? The United States is doing quite well. Randall Forsyth of Barron’s reported: “…the U.S. economy and stock market both seem to be doing better than OK, thank you, as the expansion and bull market celebrate their 10th anniversaries. Unemployment is around the lowest level in a half-century. The worst thing seems to be that inflation continues to run slightly below the Fed’s 2 percent target, a problem that might strike some as similar to being too rich or too thin.” Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 06/11/19

06/11/2019
Surprise! It was a great week for markets. Since the U.S.-China trade conflict resumed in early May, investors have been off balance. The possibility of escalating tariffs on Mexico heightened economic uncertainty. Then, last week’s unemployment report arrived with less than stellar news – just 75,000 jobs were created in May. The number was well below expectations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised March and April employment numbers downward, too. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 06/04/19

06/04/2019
Tariff trouble. Just two weeks ago, the U.S. government lifted tariffs on Mexico and Canada. So, it was a surprise last week when President Trump tweeted the United States would impose an escalating tariff on all goods imported from Mexico until the flow of migrants to the United States’ southern border stops. The pending tariffs have potential to hurt both American and Mexican economies, reported The Economist. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 05/28/19

05/28/2019
U.S. stocks have had a great run. During the past decade, the profitability of U.S. companies increased rapidly. Strong corporate earnings helped the U.S. stock market outperform markets in other nations by a significant margin. According to Capital Economics, “Since the start of this decade, the average annual return from the MSCI USA index of mid- and large-capitalization U.S. equities, which closely tracks the S&P 500, has been roughly 13 percent. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 5/21/19

05/21/2019
Trade war trade-off. There was some good news on trade, last week. The United States took steps to reduce trade friction with the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and Japan. “The United States on Friday reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico to remove steel and aluminum tariffs, which had been a persistent source of friction across North America over the past year. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 05/14/19

05/14/2019
Trade talk trouble took a toll last week. Major U.S. stock indices moved lower when trade talks between the United States and China broke down. The Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index, Nasdaq Composite, and Dow Jones Industrial Index all finished the week down between 2 percent and 3 percent, reported Ben Levisohn of Barron’s. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 05/07/19

05/07/2019
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is off to its best start in 20 years. Despite the exceptional performance of U.S. stock markets year-to-date, and data that suggest economic growth remains steady, some analysts and investors have been pecking at Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. They’re keen for the Fed to implement a rate cut, which could stimulate economic growth and help push stock markets higher, because inflation is lower than ideal, reported Howard Schneider and Ann Saphir of Reuters. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 04/30/19

04/30/2019
It wasn’t an ‘Avengers End Game’ spoiler, but there was big news last week. Economic growth in the United States was strong during the first quarter. The Bureau Of Economic Analysis (BEA) announced gross domestic product (GDP), which is the value of all goods and services produced in the United States, increased by 3.2 percent. The estimate came as a surprise. It was well above the consensus forecast of 2.3 percent, according to Randall Forsyth of Barron’s. Read More