6/19/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  All eyes on inflation! Inflation is the way economists measure changes in the prices of goods and services. The United States has enjoyed relatively low inflation for a significant period of time. Last week, the consumer price index indicated inflation had moved lower in May.1 Inflation is our focus because it is at the core of two very different opinions that currently are influencing markets and investors. A commentary on the Kitco Blog explained:2 […]

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6/12/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  Stock market historians may dub 2017 the Xanax year. Traditional historians will probably choose a different moniker. Stock markets in many advanced economies have been unusually calm during 2017, reported Schwab’s Jeffrey Kleintop in a May 15, 2017 commentary.1 The CBOE Volatility Index, a.k.a. the Fear Gauge, which measures how volatile investors believe the S&P 500 Index will be over the next few months, has fallen below 10 on just 15 days since the […]

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6/5/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  The bull market in U.S. stocks is getting really old! In fact, this bull has been charging, standing, or sitting for more than eight years. In April, it became the second longest bull market in American history, according to CNN Money.1 There are some good reasons the stock market in the United States has continued to trend higher. For one, companies have become more profitable. During the first quarter of 2017, companies in the […]

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5/30/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  Is preparing for the future more important than enjoying the present? There is a lot to enjoy today. Last week, Financial Times wrote:1 “Wall Street ended an impressive week on a steady note – eking out a tiny gain to a fresh record close – as oil prices recouped some of the previous day’s steep losses and the latest U.S. GDP data reinforced expectations for a June rate rise.” In fact, U.S. equities have […]

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5/23/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  How much is too much? There has been no shortage of drama since the new administration took office – legislative setbacks, controversial hiring and firing, and fiery tweets on various topics. Regardless, U.S. investors and markets remained stalwart until last week when the CBOE Volatility Index (a.k.a. the fear gauge) jumped 46 percent higher and markets declined.1 Financial Times explained:2 “…a range of stock benchmarks made their biggest single-day fall since November, as the […]

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5/15/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  Does performance tell the whole story? American stock markets have delivered some exceptional performance in recent years. Just look at the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index. Barron’s reported the S&P 500, including reinvested dividends, has returned 215 percent since April 30, 2009. The index is currently trading 50 percent above its 2007 high.1 The rest of the world’s stocks, as measured by the MSCI EAFE Index, which includes stocks from developed countries […]

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5/8/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  Is it complacency? Exuberance? Uncertainty? Exhaustion? Insight? Intuition? Last week, all three major U.S. stock markets gained value and two reached new record highs. On the face of it, that’s great news for stock investors. However, if you look below the surface, the markets’ upward trend may have you scratching your head.1 Barron’s reported:1 “That the S&P would hit a new high was all the more surprising given the lack of reaction to major […]

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5/1/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  It was a good week to own stocks. Not all financial news was good news last week, but that didn’t prevent U.S. stock markets from moving higher. Barron’s reported on the good news:1 “This past week, welcome political news from Europe, a batch of stellar corporate-earnings reports, and a concrete tax proposal to cut corporate and some personal rates sharply gave the bull even more reasons to rally. By Friday’s close, the Dow Jones […]

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4/24/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  Last week, investors multi-tasked, pushing both U.S. bond and stock markets higher. In March, the Federal Reserve raised the Fed funds rates for the second time in three months.1 Typically, we would expect interest rates to rise and bond prices to fall, but interest rates have been falling and bond prices have been moving higher. Barron’s reported yields on 10-year Treasuries hit their lowest levels since the election last week. Reuters explained there has […]

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4/17/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  And the survey said… In late 2016, Natixis Global surveyed 500 institutional decision makers representing corporate pension plans, public pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, foundations, and endowments. Survey participants said market volatility, geopolitics, and interest rates were their top risk concerns for 2017.1 So far, U.S. stock markets haven’t proven to be very volatile, but geopolitics caused some disruption last week. Barron’s reported:2 “Stocks fell 1 percent last week in quiet trading, […]

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