Viewpoints

and

Reflections

  • Markets fell late last year, pricing in many potential risks

  • Global equities have started strong this year

  • We continue to be optimistic for three primary reasons: Fed pause, trade resolution, and a strong economy.

In 2018, U.S. equities, as measured by the S&P 500, posted their worst year in a decade. The year was characterized by a return of volatility, marked by several record-setting highs followed by sharp reversals. Desp...

January 7, 2019

If you are a “first timer” experiencing a major market correction for the very first time or even someone who lived through the market crisis of 2008 but was less effected then, the horror of opening a statement and seeing a seriously lower number than last month can be unnerving, unsettling, even panic inducing. How can we make sense of a bear market? What are the best ways to cope with what feels like a drumbeat of bad news?

As one who has...

  • U.S. manufacturing plunged in December, causing equity markets to sell off and bond prices to rise.

  • Apple reported big drop in revenues. The company makes up roughly 3% of the S&P 500.

  • We remain cautiously optimistic, as labor markets and the service sector of the economy remains on solid footing. 

 The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released a report showing U.S. manufacturing slowed in Dece...

  • Equities have sold off as the Federal Reserve hiked rates for the fourth time this year

  • Possible government shutdown looms, but government dysfunction is nothing new.

  • We remain cautiously optimistic. Economic and company fundamentals remain strong

In 2018, tax reform legislation was implemented, corporate earnings grew to nearly 20% and the unemployment rate is near a 50-year low, with more job openings than people looking fo...

  • Global growth concerns sent equity markets down over 3%.

  • The selloff affected bond markets, as investors moved to longer dated Treasurys.

  • We remain cautiously optimistic.

Equity markets are declining sharply ahead of Wednesday’s market holiday to honor the late President George H.W. Bush. Investors are shifting from stocks to longer maturity, safe haven Treasurys. This reallocation has sent bond prices higher, causing bond yi...

October 11, 2018

Dollar Tree customers are feeling the effects of tariffs imposed last month. Steel and aluminum tariffs imposed earlier in the year touched primarily industrial goods, but the new round of tariffs imposed on Chinese products are now touching everyday consumer items. The article in USA Today notes Dollar Tree imports 42% of its products (USA Today 10-8-18), mostly from China. Management remedies will be pulling items off shelves, higher price...

Here we are at the mid-point of the third quarter and I think it’s safe to say that despite some headwinds and uncertainty the economy remains in good shape. A good economy generally goes hand in hand with a good stock market. Market trends follow companies’ earnings, and the most recent round of reporting showed a strong double-digit year over year growth. The effects of tax cuts should be seen in continued profits, particularly in the smal...

Key Takeaways:

  • The Trump administration has imposed its latest round of trade tariffs against China and threatens that more is to come. The U.S. is seeking trade agreements that are ‘fair’ to the United States.

  • German leader Angela Merkel agrees, in principal, with a U.S. plan to eliminate all auto tariffs between the two nations, but believes such a deal must apply to all EU trading partners.

  • Despite escalating trade threats, e...

I was recently at a gathering of friends and the discussion turned to the new tax law. Several of them admitted they may not be able to deduct annual contributions to their favorite charities due to these recent changes. While I don’t know if this fact will alter their commitment to support their church, school or important cause, I know the realization of the loss of deductibility for charitable donations came as a shock to them, and may al...

The news flow this quarter seems focused on two areas: rising interest rates and the looming deadlines for tariff negotiations. As you probably know “news” is often another way of expressing “things we are watching for negative effects on our portfolios.”

            Let’s start with what is worrisome. The US ten year Treasury bond interest rate now hovers around 3%. Why is this significant? For starters, this rate has not been this high sinc...

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