9/11/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  Last week, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and potency of Hurricane Irma dominated hearts and minds, but there were some diversions and some welcome news, too. The NFL kicked off its 2017 season with the Chiefs’ win over the Patriots.1 The men’s U.S. soccer team tied Honduras to stay in the running for a World Cup spot.2 And, Sloane Stephens made the jump from 957th best on the women’s tennis tour to U.S. Open […]

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8/29/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  Hope floats. Optimism about possible pro-growth economic policies, including tax reform and deregulation, helped U.S. stock indices finish higher last week, reported Barron’s.1 It wasn’t all smooth sailing, though. Stocks bobbed up and down as investors’ optimism was weighted by concerns about a possible debt-ceiling battle and government shutdown.2 CNN offered some insight to the historic economic impact of government shutdowns on productivity:2 “The last time the government was forced to close up shop […]

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8/21/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

Here, there, and everywhere… Markets around the world appear to be benefiting from global economic recovery. After pointing out the United States’ economy is the heart of the global financial system, Barron’s reported:1 “The Standard & Poor’s 500 index has tirelessly amassed 30 record closes this year, but is up just 1.2 percent since March 1. Meanwhile, nearly every foreign stock market has sprinted ahead…We wrote on March 25 about how a global recovery should […]

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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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