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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

Weekly Market Commentary - 05/01/18

05/01/2018
A meeting of the minds. The Federal Reserve and the U.S. bond market appear to be in agreement about the direction of interest rates. For more years than anyone cares to count, investment professionals have been predicting the end of the bull market in bonds. Bond guru Bill Gross called the end of the bond bull in 2011 – and called it again in 2013. He wasn’t alone. Strategists who participated in Barron’s Outlooks anticipated rising interest rates in 2014 and 2015, too. Read More

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