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‘Market Commentary’ Category

One of the oddities of a significant bull market—and this one we’re in today qualifies, as the second-longest in modern American history—is that they tend to go on longer than you might expect from the pure market fundamentals. The last leg of a bull market tends to be driven by psychology; people have recently experienced […]

It is probably not a good sign for an investment when its largest clearing firm takes out an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal asking for more regulatory oversight and warning investors that its investment category is so volatile that futures contracts could create devastating losses. Yet this is exactly what has happened recently when […]

2017 Third Quarter Report   The last few years of a bull market are always a bit of a mystery to professional investors; the market rises faster than it did in the early, cautious years when nobody believed there WAS a bull market, even though there appear to be fewer fundamental or economic reasons for […]

You probably didn’t notice, but Monday, September 11 marked a milestone: the S&P 500 index’s bull market became the second-longest and the second-best performing in the modern economic era. Stock prices are up 270% from their low point after the Great Recession in March 2009—up 340% if you include dividends. That beats the 267% gain […]

They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and that means, to an economist, that sometimes it’s easier to communicate something complicated with a chart or a graph rather than a lot of explanatory text. So it is with three charts and a picture, selected for the eye-opening perspective they offer. The first, in the […]

Have you ever wondered what stock market professionals and equity analysts talk about in their spare time? Recently, the Bloomberg website featured a debate about something that is getting a lot of attention recently: the historically high, and still-rising U.S. stock market valuations. People have been willing to pay more, and more, and more for […]

Chances are, the market barometer you most often hear about is the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Every evening, the Dow’s ups or downs are soberly reported as if they reflect something important. They don’t. A recent online article noted that the 37-year-old index only reflects the performance of 30 U.S. multinational companies, and it doesn’t […]

 2017 Second Quarter Report The U.S. stock market has more than tripled in value during the runup that started in March 2009, and the most recent quarter somehow managed to accelerate the upward trend. We have just experienced the third-best first half, in terms of U.S. market returns, of the 2000s. The Wilshire 5000 Total […]

One candidate for the greatest bull market run in financial history is the recent runup in price of the Bitcoin—the crypto-currency favored by international arms dealers and drug cartels, but also gaining acceptance at some retail locations. The so-called “internet of money” is not backed by any government, which its promoters say is a good […]

Are we in the late stages of a bull market—that time when the market suddenly takes off like a rocket for no apparent reason? Over the last eight years, the S&P 500 index has returned more than 300% But the tail end of this run seems to have accelerated the trend. The first quarter of […]

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