8/14/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  North Korea may be a little country, but it can churn up big trouble. The possibility that verbal hostilities between the United States and North Korea could trigger geopolitical conflict had investors on the run last week. In the United States, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell by 1.4 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.1 percent, and the NASDAQ Composite finished 1.5 percent lower.1 Financial Times explained:1 “The sell-off came as […]

Read more

7/24/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  Do we have central banks to thank? Low interest rates, accommodative monetary policy, and improving economic growth have helped stock markets around the world reach record highs, reports Barron’s1: “…a look around the globe shows the surge of the U.S. market to new peaks to be anything but unique. Major [markets] in Europe and Asia also have been setting records. Even in South Korea, the Kospi closed at a new peak and is up […]

Read more

7/17/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  It was a good week for a lot of stocks but not bank stocks. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) both finished at record highs last week.1 Barron’s indicated investors owe Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen a debt of gratitude:2 “The main force behind the rally was the dovish performance by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in Congress on Wednesday and Thursday when she reiterated […]

Read more

6/26/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  It has been a very good year, so far. Through the end of last week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index posted 24 record highs and delivered returns in the high-single digits. The MSCI World ex USA Index was up more than 11 percent, and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index gained more than 17 percent. 1, 2, 3 After reading those numbers, many people would assume that bond markets are down for the year. […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more