Viewpoints

and

Reflections

Key Takeaways:
•     Although 1Q 2018 reported earnings growth has widely exceeded expectations, equity market returns have been subdued, at least until most recently.
•     A technical breakout from the market malaise is appearing, potentially signaling a delayed earnings rally.
•     Inflation prospects have diminished, indicating lower odds that the Fed will aggressively raise interest rates this year. 
...

Key Takeaways:

  •  The level of market volatility in 2017 was abnormally low.

  •  Volatility has increased in 2018, but to a level that is closer to a historically typical year over the past quarter century.

  • Market volatility is likely to escalate as the bull market ages and the Fed normalizes interest rates.

One of the biggest market stories in 2018 has been the return of equity market volatility, which is in stark contrast to the...

Key Takeaways:

·   Stocks weaken due to technology sector, escalating trade war, and breached key technical    levels

·    Still plenty of reasons to be optimistic about equities

·    Be diversified during times of market stress

U.S. stocks opened the second quarter on a weak note, as concerns about the technology sector, a trade war with China and a breached key technical level worried investors...

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by over 1% for a third straight day on Thursday, something it has not done in over two years. Markets tumbled after President Trump said the U.S. would impose tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum. This decision comes after the Commerce Department released results of a study looking at whether steel and aluminum imports pose a threat to national security. It concluded the imports do undermine natio...

February 20, 2018

Today, the big news came out of the bond market. The Bloomberg headline is “US Pays Up to Auction $179 Billion of Debt in a Span of Hours.” Shorter term notes sold at interest rates not seen in a decade. The two-year Treasury note rate rose to 2.25%. While that number may sound like good news for savers who want to buy short term CD’s, the stock market takes a different view. A move in interest rates this large and this abruptly is worrisome...

Before leaving for Christmas break, President Trump officially signed the Republican tax bill into law. The last time this country reformed its tax code, shoulder pads were in fashion, Mike Tyson became the youngest Heavyweight Champion in history, the Oprah Winfrey show had just debuted on television, and the movie “Wall Street” had not yet been released. Such sweeping reform obviously included many details and covered many issues. In the f...

December 14, 2017

Well, here we are at a little past the middle of the quarter - and we are still waiting. Markets are stable and inching higher on the remaining expectation that we will get some sort of tax cuts, at least for corporations if not for the rest of us. Most pundits who appear on Bloomberg and similar news outlets seem to agree that there is no compelling economic reason for these cuts. We are at full employment, the economy is growing between 2....

December 14, 2017

The Dow and the S&P 500 broke out of their complacency this week and yesterday closed with the biggest loss in several months. Was the more than 1% decline in response to escalating talk of armed conflict with North Korea, domestic political turmoil, or just the realization that valuations are stretched and it may be time to take some profit? As of today we see markets shrugging off the tweets and settling back in to a low volatility, slight...

Here we are pushing into the halfway point of this year and we have no clear indication of the likely timing or ultimate delivery on any of the anticipated “pro-growth” drivers of the surge in equity valuations of earlier in the year.  What we see now is a bit of “wait and see” that has kept investors engaged but not pushing higher.

            What will it take to move market complacency up or down from here? My best guess it will move up wi...

February 16, 2017

When I was younger, in a time long ago and a place far, far away Carly Simon sang about Anticipation – “We can never know about the days to come but we think about them anyway, and I wonder if I’m really with you now or just chasing after some finer day.”

 Anticipation is always where the action is; we get to imagine and then cherry pick the best part of the future ideal for our own interests. I believe the Trump Bump is the result of selecti...

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