7/10/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  Things you may want to know… Last Friday, Financial Times (FT) published, ‘Five markets charts that matter for investors.’ Among the issues addressed in the charts were: • The bond market bear watch. The yield on 10-year German Bunds (Germany’s government bonds) reached an 18-month high of 0.58 percent recently. Yields rose after the European Central Bank’s Mario Draghi indicated its stimulus efforts would end at some point.1 When bond yields rise, bond values […]

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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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5/8/2017 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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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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4/10/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  U.S. stock markets are sending mixed signals. If you look at the performance of the CBOE Volatility Index (a.k.a. the VIX or fear gauge), which is a measure of market expectations for volatility in the near future, it appears all is well and investors expect no unexpected events.1 Barron’s explained:2 “…which brings us back to a central fact: the absence of volatility. The first quarter was historic for the CBOE Volatility Index…It ranged from […]

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4/3/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  Happy birthday! Toward the end of the first quarter, the bull market celebrated its eighth birthday. David Kelly, Chief Global Strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management wrote:1 “Eight years ago, on March 9, 2009, the S&P 500 closed at 677, down 57 percent from where it had been just 18 months earlier. 10-year Treasury yields had fallen from 3.6 percent to 2.9 percent over the previous year…Investors were depressed and scared. However, good long-term […]

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3/27/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  You’ve read it before – and it’s true. Markets hate uncertainty. Failure to pass the American Healthcare Act, which was supported by Republican leaders in Congress and President Trump, may have spooked U.S. stock markets last week.1 In an article titled, “How To Make Investing Decisions Based On Politics: Don’t,” Nasdaq.com reported controversy over the bill was “raising questions about [Republicans’] ability to focus on and pass policies that the market has been eagerly […]

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3/20/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  Three steps and no stumble… Technical analyst Edson Gould developed a market rule of thumb known as ‘three steps and a stumble.’ It states stock prices may fall after the Federal Reserve (Fed) raises the Fed funds rate three times in a row without a decline, according to Market Technicians Association.1 The idea is three increases show the Fed is serious about keeping rates at a relatively high level for a significant length of […]

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