24 01, 2022

Weekly Market Commentary – When is a barometer not a barometer?

2022-01-24T15:41:53-04:00January 24th, 2022|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets When is a barometer not a barometer? It’s widely recognized that people do not make perfect financial decisions. In fact, many investors rely on mental shortcuts when asked to make complex decisions. That may be why there are theories that correlate stock market performance to football, hemlines and sales of headache remedies. For example, last week several articles about the U.S. stock market used the adage, “As goes January, so goes the year.” The saying describes the January Barometer, which holds that the performance of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index in January has predictive value. If [...]

19 01, 2022

Weekly Market Commentary – Is the economy doing well, or not?

2022-01-19T15:54:27-04:00January 19th, 2022|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets Is the economy doing well, or not? If you skimmed the headlines last week, you may have seen that retail sales – the purchases we make from stores in-person or online – declined 1.9 percent in December. The statistic may have raised questions about the strength of the economy. After all, how could retail sales move lower during the holiday season? Media headlines speculated that the spread of the Omicron variant, rising inflation, and consumer grumpiness were to blame. Economists had other ideas, according to Logan Moore and Megan Cassella of Barron’s. “Consumers had long been expected [...]

4 01, 2022

Weekly Market Commentary – 2021 was a fizzing mints-in-soda kind of year.

2022-01-04T10:34:21-04:00January 4th, 2022|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets 2021 was a fizzing mints-in-soda kind of year. Everything seemed to shoot higher – from COVID-19 cases and vaccinations to economic growth and global stock markets. Everything except for optimism. As the year came to an end, a CBS News poll found that 40 percent of Americans felt 2021 was mostly filled with sadness, although almost three out of four people polled said they were hopeful for 2022. As we head into the new year, let’s a look back at 2021. Vaccinations took off. At the start of the year, very few people were vaccinated against COVID-19. Despite [...]

30 12, 2021

Weekly Market Commentary – Investors were feeling bullish.

2021-12-30T13:41:17-04:00December 30th, 2021|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets Investors were feeling bullish. Last week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index closed at a record high for the 68th time this year. That’s the second-highest number of record closes in a single year. The highest number occurred during 1995, when the S&P 500 had 77 record highs, reported Reuters. That was the year the Dow Jones Industrial Average passed 4,000 for the first time and then rose above 5,000, reported Wayne Duggan of Benzinga. “The market deserves to celebrate. [COVID] brought death and dislocation, but we tend to pay too little heed to what didn’t [...]

14 12, 2021

Weekly Market Commentary – Inflation met expectations

2021-12-14T16:31:47-04:00December 14th, 2021|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets Inflation met expectations. When the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) last week, it showed that inflation was at levels last seen in 1982. In November, prices were up 0.8 percent month-to-month and 6.8 percent year-to-year. “It was the blowout, superhot inflation number that everyone was expecting—and it was met with a shrug,” reported Ben Levisohn of Barron’s. “The major indexes, for their part, rose a touch on Friday to finish what turned out to be a fantastic week: The S&P 500 gained 3.8% to hit a new high, while the Dow Jones Industrial [...]

7 12, 2021

Weekly Market Commentary – Investors look to the future

2021-12-07T09:33:27-04:00December 7th, 2021|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets Investors look to the future. Last week, employment and manufacturing data confirmed that the United States economy continued to strengthen in November, but positive economic news was overshadowed by investors’ concerns about the spread of coronavirus and Federal Reserve policy. Let’s start with the economic news. More Americans were working. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that unemployment dropped to 4.2 percent in November – a level the country wasn’t expected to achieve before 2024, according to Eli Rosenberg of The Washington Post. The labor force participation rate improved, too, meaning that more people are returning [...]

1 12, 2021

Weekly Market Commentary – COVID-19 strikes again.

2021-12-01T12:35:16-04:00December 1st, 2021|Weekly Market Commentary|

The MarketsCOVID-19 strikes again.Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in Europe, climbing from about 700,000 new cases a week in September to 2.6 million a week in November, reported Richard Pérez-Peña and Jason Horowitz of the New York Times. As Thanksgiving approached, there was concern that travel and togetherness could increase the number of cases in the United States, too, creating stress on already taxed healthcare systems. Jamie Smyth and Caitlin Gilbert of the Financial Times explained:“…what was expected to be a celebration has become fraught with danger in some Midwestern states, where vaccination rates are low and COVID-19 [...]

22 11, 2021

Weekly Market Commentary – Thinking about the possibilities.

2021-11-22T21:17:00-04:00November 22nd, 2021|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets Thinking about the possibilities. The Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index finished last week slightly higher and has gained about 6 percent during the past 25 days; however, investors have curbed their enthusiasm. The S&P 500 hasn’t experienced a move of one percent or more in 25 trading days. That’s the longest period without a move of that size in about two years, according to a source cited by Avi Salzman of Barron’s. It’s possible investors are taking time to think about the current mix of conditions and how the economy and financial markets may be affected. For [...]

15 11, 2021

Weekly Market Commentary – Economists like to joke that inflation is just right when no one notices it.

2021-11-15T13:49:18-04:00November 15th, 2021|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets Economists like to joke that inflation is just right when no one notices it. Last week, investors noticed it. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is a measure of inflation, rose 0.9 percent in October and 6.2 percent over the last 12 months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (When volatile food and energy prices were excluded, the CPI was 4.6 percent for the period.) That’s the highest level for inflation in 30 years, according to The Economist, and well above the United States Federal Reserve’s policy goal of two percent inflation over the longer term. Uncertainty [...]

9 11, 2021

Weekly Market Commentary – Feeling bullish…

2021-11-09T13:15:27-04:00November 9th, 2021|Weekly Market Commentary|

The Markets Feeling bullish… Investor bullishness ticked higher last week on all four investor sentiment gauges tracked by Barron’s. Investor optimism may have been fanned by positive financial and economic news. For example, last week: The jobs report was better than expected. Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 531,000 new jobs were added in October, lowering the unemployment rate to 4.6%. In addition, the employment numbers for August and September were better than previously reported. The BLS Employment Diffusion Index measures the breadth of employment gains across the economy. It rose from 63.6 in September to [...]

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