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Weekly Market Commentary- 03/26/19

03/26/2019
Wonder what the Federal Reserve’s 40-yard dash time is? On Wednesday, the Fed juked like an NFL running back and left investors wondering whether they should buy or sell. Heather Long of The Washington Post reported the U.S. central bank: 1. Lowered its 2019 estimate for U.S. economic growth to 2.1 percent 2. Announced its intention not to raise rates in 2019 3. Indicated it will stop shrinking its balance sheet in September Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 03/19/19

03/19/2019
Stock and bond markets rallied. Last week, major U.S. stock indices finished higher for the 10th time in 12 weeks. Bond markets moved higher, too, with the yield on 10-year Treasuries dropping just below 2.6 percent, reported Randall Forsyth of Barron’s. Yields on 10-year Treasuries haven’t been this low since January 2018. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 03/12/19

03/12/2019
Markets were rattled last week. The market hates surprises, especially when the surprise comes from a central bank. Last week, the European Central Bank (ECB) unexpectedly reversed course and took a more accommodative stance on monetary policy in an effort to encourage stronger European economic growth. Tom Fairless of Barron’s explained: Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 03/05/19

03/05/2019
Is it a soft landing? Economists use aviation metaphors to describe the results of central banks’ efforts to manage rapidly growing economies. If the Federal Reserve lifts rates enough to prevent the economy from overheating without jolting it into recession, then it has engineered a soft landing, according to Investopedia. (Rate increases that drop a country into recession are hard landings.) Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 2/26/19

02/26/2019
Investors were pleased with the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) new approach to its balance sheet. The Fed delivered its semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress last week. The report recapped the events of late 2018 and reiterated the Fed’s intention to “…be patient as it determines what future adjustments to the federal funds rate may be appropriate to support the Committee's congressionally mandated objectives of maximum employment and price stability.” Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 02/19/19

02/19/2019
Why did the stock market do that? The great mystery of stock markets reared its head last week. With no clear driver, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 3 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index moved higher by about 2.5 percent. It was a puzzler. Ben Levisohn of Barron’s explained: Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 02/12/19

02/12/2019
Central banks take a turn. At its first policy meeting of 2019, the U.S. Federal Reserve changed direction. After four rate increases in 2018, Chair Jerome Powell announced interest rates were on hold. Last week, banks in the United Kingdom, Australia, and India followed suit by either reducing rates or cautioning rate reductions were likely, reported Sam Fleming and Jamie Smyth of Financial Times. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 02/05/19

02/05/2019
And, U.S. stock markets celebrated. Last week, the Federal Reserve put itself on hold. The Federal Open Market Committee met on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, to discuss the state of the economy and determine policy. After the meeting, Fed Chair Jerome Powell offered a positive assessment of U.S. economic strength that was leavened with a few concerns. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 01/29/19

01/29/2019
Like competitors who’ve completed a difficult section in an endurance race, U.S. stock investors took a breather last week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, which has gotten off to its best start since 1987, ended the week with a slight loss, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite finished slightly higher, reported Ben Levisohn of Barron’s. News the U.S. government shutdown would end, albeit temporarily, appeared to be of little interest to investors. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 01/22/19

01/22/2019
We’re off to a good start. Investors who remained steady during December’s wild ride are probably pleased with their decision as stocks have gotten off to a strong start in 2019. Unfortunately, those who reduced their exposure to the asset class may be feeling the sting of missed opportunity. Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained about 3 percent. The Index is up 5.9 percent year-to-date, which is its best start in more than a decade, according to Ben Levisohn of Barron’s. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 01/15/18

01/15/2019
People love rules of thumb. Sometimes, mental shortcuts are helpful. Other times they are not. When it comes to investing, seasonal shortcuts are not uncommon. In fact, January boasts two: The January Effect explains why U.S. smaller company stocks tend to outperform the market in January. The original theory held that tax-loss harvesting pushed stock prices lower in December, making shares more attractive to investors in January. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 01/08/19

01/08/2019
Investors will think of the last quarter of 2018 for years to come, but they won’t remember it fondly. The Economist described it like this, “After a rotten October and limp November, the S&P 500 tumbled in value by 15 percent between November 30th and December 24th. Despite an astonishing bounce of 5 percent the day after Christmas, the index finished the year 6 percent below where it started...” Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 12/31/18

12/31/2018
Investing during the month of December was like traversing an icy mountain stream. It delivered a staggering shock to the senses that triggered the instinct to, “Get Out!” When it comes to investing, that instinct is called loss aversion. For many people avoiding a loss is more important than realizing a gain. Simply put, not losing $100 is more important than gaining $100. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 12/18/18

12/18/2018
Ouch! It never feels good when the stock market heads south, and that’s what happened last week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500), Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite all moved into correction territory, which means the indices have fallen 10 percent or more from their previous peaks. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 12/11/18

12/11/2018
We’re off to a slow start. December is usually the best month of the year for the stock market. It has been since 1950, according to Randall Forsyth of Barron’s, but not so far this year. Two issues made investors particularly uncomfortable last week which helped trigger a sell-off that pushed major U.S. stock indices lower. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 12/04/18

12/04/2018
Hold on to your hats! Recently, stocks have delivered a wild ride. During Thanksgiving week, U.S. stock markets took investor uncertainty on the chin, suffering a 3.8 percent drop, which was the worst performance in eight months. Then, last week, stocks reversed course. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite delivered their strongest weekly gains in seven years, reported Ben Levisohn of Barron’s. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 11/27/18

11/27/2018
It was a turkey of a week. The United States and China continued to spar over trade and other issues. An expert from Moody’s told Frank Tang of the South China Morning Post (SCMP) the United States-China dispute will not be easily resolved: “Look at the speech Vice President Pence gave in Papua New Guinea at the Apec conference. He didn’t just talk about trade, but also intellectual property, the South China Sea, forced technology transfers..." Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 11/20/18

11/20/2018
Keep your eyes on the horizon. Motion sickness happens when your body receives conflicting signals from your eyes, ears, and other body parts. One way to manage the anxiety and queasiness that accompany the condition is by keeping your eyes on the horizon. The motion of the stock markets has been causing some investors to experience similar symptoms. Surprisingly, the remedy is the same: Keep your eyes on the horizon – your financial planning horizon. Read More

Weekly Market Commentary 11/13/18

11/13/2018
How are you feeling about financial markets? Some votes are still being counted but investors appear to be happy with the outcome of mid-term elections. Major U.S. stock indices in the United States moved higher last week, and the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) Sentiment Survey reported: “Optimism among individual investors about the short-term direction of stock prices is above average for just the second time in nine weeks…" Read More

Weekly Market Commentary- 11/06/18

11/06/2018
Stocks recovered some ground last week and then stumbled over unemployment. Major U.S. stock indices faltered Friday after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on a popular ‘lagging’ economic indicator – unemployment. (Remember, lagging indicators describe what has happened in the past.) The BLS reported:1, 2, 3 Read More