Archive for the
‘Market Commentary’ Category

Healthy Earnings – For Now  Professional investors are constantly trying to figure out whether the U.S. economy is healthy or sliding toward a recession.  The most important tea leaves they read are actual corporate earnings vs. the earnings estimates provided by Wall Street analysts.  Surprises on the upside are generally considered to be positive signs, […]

2018 First Quarter Market Report Is the bull market finally over? For the first time in nine calendar quarters, the U.S. investment markets delivered a negative overall return. It was only a slight decline, but the decline reminds us that markets can and do go down from time to time. After starting the year strong, […]

Currencies and Protectionism   There is no question, if the Trump Administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs lead to carefully-targeted tit-for-tat retaliations against American products around the world, the resulting trade war scenario would be terrible for the global economy.  Many analysts have dismissed this escalating protectionist future as unlikely, saying that cooler heads are likely […]

    Cause for Alarm?   Quietly, without a lot of fanfare, the U.S. national debt moved past $20 trillion last September 8.  On March 15, it exceeded $21 trillion.  The next time the debt ceiling will come up for a vote is March 1, 2019, at which point the total could be another $2-3 […]

The History of Bond Rates—Past as Prologue? Although stocks get the most attention, bonds are significant contributors, both to your total return on your portfolio, and also to the prices of every other investment. Bonds compete with stocks and real estate for investment dollars; when their yields are high, it causes a shift in demand […]

Sunny Weather Forecast Economists and traders pay a lot of attention to something that probably doesn’t keep you up at night: the FOMC Minutes, or, in English, the summary of the discussion among decision-makers on the Federal Reserve Board, known as the Federal Open Market Committee. What do they discuss? The health of the U.S. […]

Should We Be Alarmed? Suppose somebody came up to you and shouted: “I have terrible news about the economy. I think you should sell your stocks!” Alarmed, you say: “Oh, my God. Tell me more!” And this mysterious stranger shouts: “Run for the hills! The American economy just added 200,000 more jobs—more than expectations—and the […]

Downturn for What? On Tuesday morning, Wall Street traders woke up to something they haven’t experienced much of lately: actual market volatility. One trader posted an image of his Bloomberg terminal at the market opening (re-posted here), which showed an immediate scary-looking plunge in U.S. equities as the opening bell rung. By the end of […]

False Visions of the Future The financial experts know a lot more about the markets and how the markets will perform in the future than the ordinary rest of us. Right? As it turns out, the predictions made by financial experts are no better than those made by gypsies looking into crystal balls, soothsayers gazing […]

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