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 […]

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7/31/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

There was some good news and some bad news last week. First, the good news: Thanks to consumer spending and an upturn in federal government spending, the U.S. economy grew faster from April through June this year. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 2.6 percent during the period, according to the advance estimate for economic growth. This was an improvement over growth from January through March, when GDP increased by 1.2 percent.1 Now, the bad […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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6/26/2017 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. […]

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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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The DOL Fiduciary Rule: What You Need to Know

30 years ago, Kowal Investment Group was founded on the principle that the client always comes first. Since its inception, Kowal Investment Group has acted under a fiduciary standard of care, elevating our client’s needs before our own. Our firm is governed by strong values of respect, honesty and communication, which serve as the foundation for the success of our team and our clients. Because of our true client-focused philosophy, our clients can turn to […]

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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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