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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Markets Reading the economic tea leaves. Tasseography practitioners read tea leaves to forecast the future. Some economic data serve a similar purpose. Policymakers, central bankers, economists, and investors look at leading...

 

Monday, May 13, 2024

The Markets Higher rates are doing what they’re supposed to do. Last week, Federal Reserve officials spoke about keeping the federal funds rate higher until it becomes clear that inflation will reach the Fed’s two percent target rate....

 

Monday, May 6, 2024

The Markets What will the Federal Reserve do? Uncertainty about the direction and timing of Fed rate cuts is causing stock markets in the United States to charge and retreat. U.S. stocks rallied for five consecutive months...

 

Monday, April 29, 2024

The Markets The economy appears to be slowing down. Last week, many investors were focused on economic data. The Personal Consumption report offers information about Americans’ income and spending over the previous month. It includes...

 

Monday, April 22, 2024

The Markets Investors have been recalibrating their expectations. There is a lot going on in the world that could affect the value of financial markets – wars, tensions between major powers, a strong dollar, and rising oil prices –...

 

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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The Markets Inflation and geopolitics and earnings. Oh, my! It was a rough week for stock markets. “The S&P 500 closed 1.5% lower on Friday, while the Nasdaq Composite dipped 1.6%. Every S&P 500 sector closed lower—and just about 40...

 

Monday, April 8, 2024

The Markets The bull charged from October 2023 through March 2024. Last week, it took a breather. Optimistic may be the best word to describe the first quarter of 2024. From the start of the year, investors were confident that an...

 

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

The Markets What do dieters have in common with the Federal Reserve? If you’ve ever dieted, you may be familiar with the weight-loss plateau. Many people experience steady progress. The bathroom scale moves lower week by week – until...

 

Monday, March 25, 2024

The Markets The central banks have spoken. No one expected the United States Federal Reserve to announce a rate change last week – and it didn’t. But Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s comments and the actions of other central banks led to new...

 

Monday, March 18, 2024

The Markets Here’s the tea on stock markets and presidential elections. Last week, a slew of headlines mentioned stock market bubbles and frothy valuations. The implication was that markets might be headed lower because...

 

Monday, March 11, 2024

The Markets The week got off to a good start... In testimony before House and Senate committees, Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell noted that prices had been falling and unemployment rates remained quite low. As a result, he...

 

Monday, March 4, 2024

The Markets  The bull market is alive and well.  “We know what investors are thinking,” reported Jacob Sonenshine of Barron’s. “The gains can keep coming, driven by an economy that is neither too hot...

 

Monday, February 26, 2024

The Markets Optimism abounds! Enthusiasm for everything related to artificial intelligence (AI) drove a global stock market rally last week. Equity markets in the United States, Europe, and Japan hit all-time highs after a leading...

 

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The Markets  Don’t fight the Fed.  The Federal Reserve (Fed) is the central bank of the United States. A longstanding bit of investment wisdom is: Don’t fight the Fed. It means that investors should align their...

 

Monday, February 12, 2024

The Markets China is out of favor with investors. For decades, China was among the fastest-growing economies in the world. Its real gross domestic product, which is the value of all goods and services it produces, grew...

 

Monday, February 5, 2024

The Markets We’ve been hearing a lot about layoffs. Last week, the January 2024 Challenger Report found that employers based in the United States cut more than 82,000 jobs in January. That’s a lot. In December 2023, about...

 

Monday, January 29, 2024

The Markets Even better than expected! The United States economy is not performing the way anyone thought it would. Instead of tipping into a recession last year, it crushed expectations. Gross domestic product, which is the value of...

 

Monday, January 22, 2024

The Markets Are you feeling optimistic or pessimistic? Consumers are a force to be reckoned with – and we’re all consumers. We buy coats and tweezers, electricity and bread, screens and fishing poles. We download apps and...

 

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

The Markets  Is inflation retreating?  Last week, we received a lot of information about inflation. Some seemed to support the idea that inflation was sticky, meaning it wasn’t moving lower, while other data suggested...

 

Monday, January 8, 2024

The Markets And we’re off…to a slow start. Last week, investors appeared to suffer from a New Year’s hangover. The culprit was too much optimism. After its December meeting, with inflation easing and the U.S. economy...

 

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

The Markets  2023 was a big year for U.S. stocks.  The story of 2023 has its roots in 2022, when the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index lost almost 19.5 percent amid rising inflation and aggressive Federal Reserve rate...

 

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

The Markets If all you wanted for Christmas was two percent inflation, you’re in luck! Barring unforeseen events, it appears the United States Federal Reserve (Fed) is on the cusp of accomplishing a feat many thought impossible...

 

Monday, December 18, 2023

The Markets Have rates peaked? Last week, at its final policy meeting for 2023, the United States Federal Reserve indicated that rates may have peaked. After the meeting, Chair Jerome Powell said: “As we approach the end of the...

 

Monday, December 11, 2023

The Markets Still exceeding expectations. Last week, the United States Treasury market rallied. Yields fell and bond prices rose as some bond market investors enthusiastically embraced the idea that the Federal Reserve will soon change...

 

Monday, December 4, 2023

The Markets We’re cycling along. It’s easy to forget that economic activity tends to move in cycles. A full cycle, known as the business cycle, typically includes four stages: • Contraction occurs when economic growth...

 

Monday, November 27, 2023

The Markets In November, investors were more optimistic than consumers. At the start of November, investors were decidedly bearish. During the week of November 1, the AAII Investor Sentiment Survey found that about 50 percent of...

 

Monday, November 20, 2023

The Markets Is it done? (We’re not talking about the turkey.) Last week, investors enthusiastically embraced the idea that the Federal Reserve (Fed) could be done raising rates – and that it might even begin to lower them....

 

Monday, November 13, 2023

The Markets Earnings grew in the third quarter. Four times a year, during earnings season, publicly traded companies report how well they performed during the previous quarter. The strength of corporate earnings – also known as...

 

Monday, November 6, 2023

The Markets  Will there be a year-end rally?  Last week, there was a lot of speculation about whether the United States will see a year-end stock market rally. Some say yes, and some say no.  For example, at Bank of...

 

Monday, October 30, 2023

The Markets The Mark Twain Effect? Historically, economic theory was based on the idea that financial decisions were grounded in rational thought. In recent years, behavioral economists have recognized that people don’t always...

 

Monday, October 23, 2023

The Markets  Stay calm and consider the big picture.  Today, investors have a myriad of worries that are creating tremendous uncertainty. A September Investopedia survey found investors are concerned about how their...

 

Monday, October 16, 2023

The Markets  Markets were resilient.  Last week, investors had a lot to process – geopolitics, inflation, consumer sentiment, the possibility of government shutdown – and markets were volatile. Toward the end of...

 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Financial markets lost ground during the third quarter.  While year-to-date returns for the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index remain above the historic average, which was 10.24 percent, including dividends, from 1973 to 2022...

 

Monday, October 2, 2023

The Markets  Inflation is slowing but consumers aren’t feeling it.  In August, for the first time in two years, inflation (excluding volatile food and energy costs) dropped below four percent. Last week, one of the...

 

Monday, September 25, 2023

The Markets How high will they go? Just as the market anticipated, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) chose not to raise interest rates last week. However, Fed officials made it clear another rate increase might be...

 

Monday, September 18, 2023

The Markets Adding new ingredients to the economic blender. The performance of United States economy in 2023 has been as unexpected as a lentil-avocado-cinnamon smoothie – a tasty surprise. Last week, economic data suggested the...

 

Monday, September 11, 2023

The Markets   All the work, work, work.   2023 has been a remarkable year so far. It has, “confounded economists, humbled forecasters, and rewarded investors. Despite a rapid rise in interest rates, the U.S. economy...

 

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

The Markets  Lowering inflation.  If you’ve ever waited in traffic while the center section of a bridge lifts to allow ships and sailboats to pass underneath, you may have noticed the enormous counterweight that lowers...

 

Monday, August 28, 2023

The Markets Becalmed. The Chinese government’s zero-COVID policy took the wind from the sails of its economy. When the government finally ended the policy earlier this year, many economists anticipated that pent-up consumer...

 

Monday, August 21, 2023

The Markets  Higher bond yields may be good for income investors – and not so good for stock markets. After more than a decade of near-zero interest rates, the “free money” era – a time when people and...

 

Monday, August 14, 2023

The Markets Consumer sentiment is a lagging indicator. It’s also a contrarian indicator. After rising sharply in June and July, consumer sentiment leveled off this month. The preliminary August reading for the University of...

 

Monday, August 7, 2023

The Markets  An unwelcome surprise.  Last week, Fitch Ratings startled markets by lowering the credit rating of United States Treasuries from AAA to AA+. It was the second rating agency to downgrade U.S. Treasuries; Standard...

 

Monday, July 31, 2023

The Markets Central bank palooza! While music lovers attended concerts and festivals across the United States, central banks had a lollapalooza of their own. The U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) led things off last Wednesday, followed by the...

 

Monday, July 24, 2023

The Markets Better than expected. In January of this year, the Bloomberg’s MLIV Pulse survey collected and shared investors’ expectations for stock markets. Survey participants were generally a gloomy group....

 

Monday, July 17, 2023

The MarketsDisinflation was in the air!To the great relief of the Federal Reserve, the American economy has been experiencing “disinflation,” which is a slowdown in the rate of inflation. For example, last week we learned...

 

Monday, July 10, 2023

The Markets Markets are playing Federal Reserve (Fed) Clue. Last week, investors parsed the monthly Employment Situation Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for clues about whether the Fed will raise the federal funds...

 

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

The MarketsShowing remarkable resilience. Throughout the first half of 2023, the U.S. economy and financial markets proved to be resilient – and so did investors. U.S. stock markets moved higher amid enthusiasm for...

 

Monday, June 26, 2023

The Markets The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Express is traveling fast. Investors are enthusiastic about AI. Late last year, an AI research lab introduced a chatbot that could answer questions – and people were...

 

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

The Markets Rebalancing ahead! There is one decision all investors should make: how to allocate the money they’re investing. Asset allocation decisions are usually based on a myriad of factors: expected returns,...

 

Monday, June 12, 2023

The Markets Leaping over the wall of worry. The “wall of worry” is an obstacle – or set of obstacles – that investors face. This year, the wall reached a considerable height as inflation, the War in...

 

Monday, June 5, 2023

The MarketsAs Gomer Pyle used to say, “Surprise, surprise, surprise!”Gomer Pyle USMC was a popular American sitcom in the 1960s. It focused on a naïve, do-gooding auto mechanic from Mayberry RFD who joined the military...

 

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

The Markets It’s a three-ring circus! For centuries people have embraced the circus. Enjoying the sticky fluff of cotton candy while elephants, clowns and trapeze artists perform in the spotlights. Merriam Webster...

 

Monday, May 22, 2023

The MarketsInvestors aren’t happy, but stocks are up.If you ever participated in a fantasy football league, you may have experienced a run on a position during your draft. One person picks a kicker or defense mid-round...

 

Monday, May 15, 2023

The MarketsBrace yourself! The debt ceiling standoff continues.Consumers aren’t optimistic. The Consumer Sentiment Index fell to a six-month low in May, dropping 9.1 percent month-to-month. Participants in the University of...

 

Monday, May 8, 2023

The MarketsThe labor market just keeps growing…and growing…Last week, the April employment report for the United States arrived. It showed that unemployment dropped to the lowest level in more than 50 years – 3.4...

 

Monday, May 1, 2023

The MarketsGet real!Despite more than a year of aggressive Federal Reserve rate increases, the United States economy is still growing, albeit more slowly. U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) - the value of all goods and services produced...

 

Monday, April 24, 2023

The Markets Better than expected. It’s earnings season – the time when publicly traded companies report on how profitable they were during the first quarter of 2023. So far, reports suggest that companies listed...

 

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

The Markets Ambiguous images. Some illustrations are optical illusions. When two people view the picture, they may see completely different images. A good example is Rubin’s Vase. One viewer may see a vase, while...

 

Monday, April 3, 2023

The MarketsPerhaps we should call this a pushmi-pullyu market.The first quarter of 2023 brought Dr. Dolittle’s pushmi-pullyu – the rarest animal of all – to mind. It is the offspring of goat-antelopes and unicorns,...

 

Monday, March 27, 2023

The MarketsWhat’s your jam?When you think of fun, are you running an Arctic marathon? Biking to your favorite burger place? Gaming with friends online? Each has inherent risk: Polar bears and hypothermia, traffic and flat tires,...

 

Monday, March 20, 2023

The MarketsUnknowns and uncertainty.Financial markets were volatile last week as investors parsed the risks around bank closures, central banks offered additional protections for depositors, and regulators took a harder...

 

Monday, March 13, 2023

The MarketsThrown for a loop.Early last week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Congress the Fed is committed to bringing inflation down to 2 percent. If economic data continues to come in hot, he said, then it’s likely...

 

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

The Markets Sibling discord. Stocks and bonds are two of the better-known asset classes in the family of potential investments. Last week, they were in opposition. Bond yields have been moving higher in anticipation of...

 

Monday, February 27, 2023

The MarketsIs it good news or bad news?The answer depends on your perspective. Last week, we learned that:Consumer sentiment is at its highest level in more than a year. Consumers are feeling better about current economic...

 

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The Markets Brace for a bumpy ride. There were some unwelcome surprises in last week’s economic data that caused markets to reassess expectations for 2023. For example: Inflation didn’t fall as fast as...

 

Monday, February 13, 2023

The MarketsThis time may be different...or it may not be.There has been a lot of speculation about how the Federal Reserve’s policies will affect the United States economy. Economists have differing opinions about whether the...

 

Monday, February 6, 2023

The MarketsWhat do Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) and the current economic expansion have in common? Author and humorist Twain was prematurely reported to be dead. It first happened in 1897. Twain was on a speaking tour in...

 

Monday, January 30, 2023

The MarketsThe vicious cycle of inflation.Last week, we learned that pay increases at central banks in many parts of the world won’t keep pace with inflation. As a result, their employees may not be able to maintain the standards...

 

Monday, January 23, 2023

The Markets “It’s hard to be a contrarian for very long these days because the consensus seems to change so quickly,” opined Ed Yardeni via LinkedIn last week. We’ve certainly seen a shift in...

 

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

The Markets Bullish or bearish? After last year’s geopolitical turmoil, economic malaise, and tumultuous stock market decline, many financial professionals – from investors to asset managers – have strong...

 

Monday, January 9, 2023

The Markets It’s being called the “Goldilocks” report.Last Friday, we learned that demand for workers in the United States remained strong in 2022. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.5 percent in December. (It...

 

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

The Markets It’s finally over. 2022 was a dismal year for financial markets. Major United States stock indices moved lower, trimming or eliminating the previous year’s gains.  The Standard & Poor’s 500...

 

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

The Markets What a year!   In some ways, it feels as though we lived through several years in 2022. The onslaught of events included, “The first major European war since the 1990s, unprecedented sanctions,...

 

Monday, December 19, 2022

The MarketsBad news is bad news, once again.For months, investors have cheered bad economic news. When the United States economy showed signs of weakness, stock markets often reflected investor enthusiasm. The thinking was that bad...

 

Monday, December 12, 2022

The Markets What comes next? The U.S. stock market tends to be a forward-looking vehicle. Investors make decisions today based on what they think may be ahead for the economy, and how economic change may affect the companies...

 

Monday, December 5, 2022

The Markets What will it take to slow this economy down? In 2001, railway workers slowed a runaway train in Ohio by latching a second engine to the back of the locomotive and applying the brakes. In all, the train traveled...

 

Monday, November 28, 2022

The Markets There was a shift in the winds of monetary policy. Last week, it became clear the Federal Reserve (Fed) had softened its hawkish stance. The minutes of the central bank’s November policy meeting indicated...

 

Monday, November 21, 2022

The MarketsThanksgiving and football go together like turkey and stuffing.For some families, though, this year may be more like a turducken, stuffed with American football and the sport the rest of the world knows as football (soccer)....

 

Monday, November 14, 2022

The MarketsLast week was remarkable for many reasons.One reason is that sky watchers around the world had an opportunity to see a total lunar eclipse. The moon, Earth and sun aligned, causing the moon to appear crimson. We won’t...

 

Monday, November 7, 2022

The MarketsIt’s the lag time.To no one’s surprise, the Federal Reserve continued to battle inflation last week, raising the federal funds rate for the fourth time this year, reported Claire Ballentine of Bloomberg. The Fed...

 

Monday, October 31, 2022

The Markets Some companies are doing better than others – a lot better. It’s earnings season; the time when companies share how well they performed during the previous quarter. Earnings reports are important...

 

Monday, October 24, 2022

The Markets Markets turned – again. Markets continue to be volatile. Last week, stocks headed north. Nicholas Jasinski of Barron’s reported the change of direction reflected investors’ desire for the market...

 

Monday, October 17, 2022

The Markets We’re not there yet. Investors are understandably eager for the stock market to hit bottom. Some hoped it happened last week, but it did not.  Despite the Fed’s rate hikes, last week the...

 

Monday, October 10, 2022

The Markets Bah humbug! Last week, OPEC+, which includes the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied oil producers like Russia, chose to cut production by two million barrels a day. The stated goal is to...

 

Monday, October 3, 2022

The Markets The third quarter marked a change in attitude. So far, 2022 has been a tough year for investing. We’ve experienced an unusual phenomenon – the simultaneous decline of stock and bond markets. Throughout...

 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The Markets Central bank tightening sparked recession fears. Last week, the Federal Reserve (Fed) raised the federal funds rate for the fifth time this year. During 2022, the Fed has lifted its benchmark rate from near zero...

 

Monday, September 19, 2022

The Markets It’s open to interpretation. Jackson Pollock was an action painter. He poured, dropped, and dripped paint onto horizontal canvases. Some people look at his work and wonder why it’s highly valued....

 

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

The Markets You may have heard this one: Don’t fight the Fed. The Fed is the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States. Among other things, the Fed influences monetary conditions in pursuit of price stability...

 

Monday, August 29, 2022

The Markets Markets were tuned to the signals coming from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. During World War II, United States armed forces often relied on high-powered radio sets to communicate. When determining whether transmissions...

 

Monday, August 22, 2022

The Markets Is this a bear market rally or a new bull market? Investment professionals are in the middle of a heated debate. Since mid-June, United States stock markets have moved higher, regaining about $7 trillion as many...

 

Monday, August 15, 2022

The Markets Rally caps were waving. In recent weeks, investors have embraced the idea that economic data will persuade the Federal Reserve to slow the pace of rate hikes. Last week’s inflation data fanned their...

 

Monday, August 8, 2022

The Markets The strength of the United States economy continues to surprise. If you have ever been camping, you may have banked your campfire by covering the hot coals with ash. It’s a process that keeps the coals...

 

Monday, August 1, 2022

The Markets Investors thought they heard a dovish note from the Federal Reserve and markets rallied. Last week, we learned from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) that economic growth in the United States slowed for the...

 

Monday, July 25, 2022

The Markets A lot of people are worried that a recession may be in our future. Some think it may already be here. Unemployment is low (3.6 percent), and inflation is high (9.1 percent). Both tend to occur when an economy is...

 

Monday, July 18, 2022

The Markets Nobody is happy, but Americans are feeling more optimistic. Last week, headlines blasted the new inflation numbers. Prices were up more than 9% year-over-year in June, according to the Bureau of Labor...

 

Monday, July 11, 2022

The Markets Rising inflation is a bit like a child throwing a temper tantrum in the grocery store. The red-faced parent, in this case the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed), tries to calm the child. Sometimes, it works and...

 

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

The Markets The first six months of 2022 have earned a place in history books. 2022 is likely to become part of the lore passed from generation to generation. Stories will be told about this bear market, as well as the...

 

Monday, June 27, 2022

The Markets Last week, bad news was good news. Consumers were feeling blue in June, according to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey. The survey scored sentiment at 50, which was the lowest level on...

 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Markets The fight against inflation intensified. Last week, the Federal Reserve (Fed) delivered a message that it is serious about fighting inflation. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) lifted the federal...

 

Monday, June 13, 2022

The Markets Inflation is proving to be far more tenacious than markets had hoped. The idea that inflation peaked in March was put to rest last week when the Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed that inflation accelerated...

 

Monday, June 6, 2022

The Markets How strong is the United States economy? That’s the question investors were mulling after last week’s jobs report. More jobs were created in May than economists expected, and the labor...

 

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

The MarketsInvestors reassessed and markets bounced.Last week, major U.S. stock indices moved higher for the first time in weeks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 6.2 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 6.6...

 

Monday, May 23, 2022

 

Monday, May 16, 2022

 

Monday, May 9, 2022

 

Monday, May 2, 2022

 

Monday, April 25, 2022

 

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Monday, April 11, 2022

 

Monday, April 4, 2022

 

Monday, March 28, 2022

 

Monday, March 21, 2022

 

Monday, March 14, 2022

 

Monday, March 7, 2022

 

Monday, February 28, 2022

 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

 

Monday, February 14, 2022

 

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Monday, January 31, 2022

 

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Monday, January 10, 2022

 

Monday, January 3, 2022

 

Monday, December 27, 2021

 

Monday, December 20, 2021

 

Monday, December 13, 2021

 

Monday, December 6, 2021

 

Monday, November 29, 2021

The Markets COVID-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...

 

Monday, November 22, 2021

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...

 

Monday, November 15, 2021

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...

 

Monday, November 8, 2021

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...

 

Monday, November 1, 2021

The Markets The road to recovery is slow and bumpy. Last week, we learned that economic growth slowed in the third quarter as a new wave of COVID-19 surged across the United States, reported The Bureau of Economic Analysis. Gross...

 

Monday, October 25, 2021

The Markets It’s MESSI! No, this commentary is not about Lionel Messi, the Argentine soccer phenom who is widely regarded one of the greatest footballers of all time. However, it is about something that economists say may be as...

 

Monday, October 18, 2021

The Markets Don’t get spooked! Barron’s Big Money Poll is an exclusive survey of market sentiment among professional investors. Last week, Nicholas Jasinski reported on 2021’s findings: “America’s money...

 

Monday, October 11, 2021

The Markets The word “jouncy” may have started life as a combination of bouncy and jolting – and it’s a pretty good way to describe what happened to stock markets last week. The week started with the Standard &...

 

Monday, October 4, 2021

The Markets September strikes again… If you look back over the last 20 years, September has been the worst performing month for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, according to Nasdaq. This year, the S&P 500 dropped 4.8...

 

Monday, September 27, 2021

The Markets Central banks have a lot of influence on investors, markets and economies. For the last year or so, the Federal Reserve has been purchasing $120 billion of bonds every month to ensure United States markets remained liquid...

 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

The Markets Stagflation isn’t trending, but it was mentioned in quite a few headlines last week. Stagflation is a portmanteau of ‘stagnation’ and ‘inflation.’ It occurs when a country experiences slow...

 

Monday, August 30, 2021

The Markets “Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder,” advised the Persian poet Rumi. Last week, Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell’s words helped grow the week’s...

 

Monday, August 23, 2021

The Markets Markets were shaken last week by a potent cocktail of central bank tapering and economic growth concerns mixed with coronavirus and a splash of the new Chinese privacy law. On Wednesday, the minutes of the United States...

 

Monday, August 16, 2021

The Markets What is the most important driver of economic growth in the United States? The most common way to measure economic output is Gross Domestic Product or GDP. It’s the value of all goods and services produced in our...

 

Monday, August 9, 2021

The Markets Are we there yet? For months, investors have wondered when the Federal Reserve (Fed) might begin to “normalize” its policies, a process that will eventually lead to higher interest rates. Last week, a...

 

Monday, August 2, 2021

The Markets The Chinese dragon cast a shadow over free trade and foreign investment last week. For decades, investors have recognized the investment potential of China. Since the country opened to foreign trade and investment in 1979,...

 

Monday, July 26, 2021

The Markets Shortest ever. Last week, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) finally announced the official dates for the recession that occurred in 2020. Economic activity peaked in February 2020 and bottomed in April 2020....

 

Monday, July 19, 2021

The Markets The term “peak growth” has become almost as popular as the comedy show Ted Lasso. Peak growth is a catchphrase with the potential to mislead. When the term is applied to the U.S. economy, it does not mean the...

 

Monday, July 12, 2021

The Markets There was a gapers’ block in financial markets last week as equity investors slowed to see what the United States Treasury bond market was up to. U.S. Treasury bonds rallied last week. Yields on 10-year Treasuries...

 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The Markets The world is about halfway back to normal. The Economist developed the Global Normalcy Index (GNI) to measure the post-pandemic return to normal. In March 2020, the GNI was 35 overall, with 100 being the normal pre-pandemic...

 

Monday, June 28, 2021

The Markets What begins with the letter “I”? Infrastructure is essential and sometimes taken for granted. Pipes carry drinking water to our homes, offices, and healthcare facilities, and carry away sewage and wastewater....

 

Monday, June 21, 2021

The Markets Is that a hawk? The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) met last week. They get together eight times a year to review current economic and financial conditions, assess risks to price stability and economic growth,...

 

Monday, June 14, 2021

The Markets It’s transitory. It’s not transitory. It’s transitory. It’s not transitory. Media analysts were plucking the inflation daisy petals last week. On Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the...

 

Monday, June 7, 2021

The Markets Pulling the economy out of the shed. If you’ve ever stored tools or machinery in a shed or garage for an extended period of time, you know they often need some care and repair to function properly. The same appears to...

 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The Markets Are we at a tipping point? One side effect of the pandemic was a collapse in demand for oil, which led to “the largest revision to the value of the oil industry’s assets in at least a decade,” reported...

 

Monday, May 24, 2021

The Markets What do markets hate? They hate uncertainty, and recently there has been plenty of it. Some of the questions plaguing economists and pundits include: Why aren’t people returning to work? Americans, like people in...

 

Monday, May 10, 2021

The Markets Like a gender reveal gone wrong, last week’s employment report delivered an unexpected surprise. Economists estimated 975,000 new jobs would be created in April. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)...

 

Monday, May 3, 2021

The Markets It’s Spring and economic recovery is in the air. Last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported the U.S. economy grew at a 6.4 percent annualized rate for the first three months of 2021. While that’s good...

 

Monday, April 26, 2021

The Markets It wasn’t just the price of pork chops. Last week, as investors weighed the news, strong corporate earnings were offset by higher grocery prices and rising numbers of global coronavirus cases. Solid corporate earnings...

 

Monday, April 19, 2021

The Markets Where are Treasury bonds going? The direction of bond yields is influenced by investors’ expectations for economic growth, among other factors. When economic growth is expected to weaken, bond yields tend to move...

 

Monday, April 12, 2021

The Markets Investors didn’t stumble over inflation last week. Why not? Inflation – rising prices of goods and services – can be measured in a variety of ways. For example, the Consumer Price Index considers changes...

 

Monday, April 5, 2021

The Markets Zoom, zoom, zoom. Big economies tend to recover from recessions about as quickly as semi-trucks accelerate from stop lights. In other words, recovery tends to be slow. That may not be the case this time. “Everything...

 

Monday, March 22, 2021

The Markets What are professional asset managers thinking? Bank of America recently published the results of its March global asset managers’ survey, which polls 220 professional investors responsible for about $630 billion in...

 

Monday, March 15, 2021

The Markets Investors had a lot to be enthusiastic about last week. Major stock indices in the United States soared, finishing the week higher and setting new records along the way, reported Al Root of Barron’s. There was plenty...

 

Monday, March 15, 2021

The Markets Investors had a lot to be enthusiastic about last week. Major stock indices in the United States soared, finishing the week higher and setting new records along the way, reported Al Root of Barron’s. There was plenty...

 

Monday, March 8, 2021

The Markets Neanderthal DNA may make people more – or less – susceptible to COVID-19, reported The Economist. It all depends on whether you have the genes and, if you do, which DNA string you inherited. No matter what your...

 

Monday, March 1, 2021

The Markets Students of financial markets may have noted a historically unusual event last week. On Thursday, the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes briefly matched the dividend yield for the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index....

 

Monday, February 22, 2021

The Markets It’s a contrarian’s dream come true. Contrarian investors like to buck the trend. They buy when other investors are selling and sell when others are buying. Last week, Bank of America (BofA) delivered a...

 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The Markets Way back, when radio disk jockeys played 45-rpm vinyl singles, the A-side of a disk was the song the record company was promoting and the other side – the flip side – held a song that sometimes had an equal or...

 

Monday, February 8, 2021

The Markets It’s not a black diamond ski run yet, but the yield curve for U.S. Treasuries is steeper than it has been in a while. A yield curve is the line on a graph showing yields for different maturities of bonds. Yield curves...

 

Monday, February 1, 2021

The Markets They say people watching the same event often see different things. That seems to have been the case last week when share prices of a few companies experienced tremendous volatility. Some cast the events as a David vs....

 

Monday, January 25, 2021

The Markets Last week, as COVID-19 vaccination efforts continued, there was speculation about stock market corrections and asset bubbles. On Sunday morning, Bloomberg reported 63 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine had been...

 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Markets Investors were rocked by economic data showing the economy hit the brakes hard in December. Last week, major U.S. stock indices decelerated as investors gaped at the economic damage caused by the rising number of...

 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Markets The event at the United States Capitol building had a resounding impact around the world, but it didn’t deter global stock markets. Last week, investors weighed the violent disruption of America’s 2020...

 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Markets When it comes to beverages, frothy can be delicious. In what may be the least inspiring description of fizzy drinks ever written, a group of food engineers explained, “Aeration in beverages, which is manifested as...

 

Monday, December 7, 2020

The Markets When is bad news good news? Take a look at last week. Major stock indices in the United States hit all-time highs on Friday, despite a lackluster employment report and a surge in COVID-19 cases, reported Lewis Krauskopf of...

 

Monday, November 30, 2020

The Markets Last week, vaccine optimism immunized investors against signs of economic weakness. In previous commentaries we’ve written about narrative economics, which holds that popular stories may affect individual and...

 

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Markets The U.S. economy is like a semi-trailer truck. No one likes being stuck behind a semi at a stoplight because big trucks don’t go from zero to 60 in 2.5 seconds. Neither does the U.S. economy. When the pandemic brought...

 

Monday, November 16, 2020

The Markets Vaccine can be a powerful word. It’s worth 14 points in Scrabble (42 on a triple word square) and, last week, it was worth a whole lot more than that to financial markets. On Monday, a pharmaceutical company and a...

 

Monday, November 9, 2020

The Markets It’s said markets hate uncertainty, but that wasn’t the case last week. Despite tremendous uncertainty about the outcome of the United States election, major domestic and international stock indices moved higher...

 

Monday, November 2, 2020

The Markets Last week, financial markets and economic data told very different stories. Reviewing economic data is a bit like looking in a rearview mirror. Typically, it offers information about what is behind us. For example, last...

 

Monday, October 26, 2020

The Markets Stimulus talks led investors in a merry dance last week. So far in 2020, stock markets have been sensitive to fiscal stimulus. Last week, there was optimism a new stimulus package could be negotiated before the election....

 

Monday, October 19, 2020

The Markets It was a turbulent week for investors. Waves of positive and negative news buffeted financial markets last week: The financial sector delivered upbeat earnings news Currently, many financial companies in the Standard &...

 

Monday, October 12, 2020

The Markets Yes. No. Maybe? Markets were sharply focused on the status of stimulus last week. First, it was on. Then, it was off. Then, it might be on. Then, it was off again. There was a big bill. There was a smaller bill. There were...

 

Monday, October 5, 2020

The Markets Last week, the third quarter of 2020 came to an end – and the fourth quarter delivered a doozy of an October surprise. President Trump has the coronavirusOn Friday Americans awoke to the news President Trump had...

 

Monday, September 28, 2020

The Markets For four weeks, the U.S. stock market has sparked and sputtered like a campfire in light rain. Today, pandemic-driven demand is providing fuel for the investors. The need for certain types of products and services has...

 

Monday, September 21, 2020

The Markets Investors weren’t happy with central banks last week. After the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell confirmed the economy is recovering more quickly than anticipated:...

 

Monday, September 14, 2020

The Markets Last week, the Nasdaq Composite Index set another record. So far, 2020 has been memorable for many reasons, not the least of which is the incredible speed at which some events have been occurring in financial markets. This...

 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Markets Stock markets in the United States retreated a bit last week. U.S. stocks have been trending higher for months. Last week, they gave back some gains. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.3 percent, while the S&P 500 Index fell 2...

 

Monday, August 31, 2020

The Markets The stock market rallies like it’s 1986. August has been a good month for stock investors. At the end of last week, the S&P 500 Index was up 6.8 percent for the month. The Index is poised to deliver its best returns...

 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The Markets The shortest bear market in history is over.The Nasdaq Composite and Standard & Poor’s 500 Indices finished at new highs last week. The stock market is considered to be a leading economic indicator, so strong stock...

 

Monday, August 17, 2020

The Markets The Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index finished the week within a whisker of its February high, reported Randall Forsyth of Barron’s.It’s a remarkable feat. The stock market has recovered in just 175 days....

 

Monday, August 10, 2020

The MarketsThere was good news and bad news in last week’s employment report.The good news was the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics delivered better-than-expected data about employment. In July, the U.S. economy added about 1.8...

 

Monday, August 3, 2020

The MarketsWhere are we on vaccines and treatments?During 2020, the United States government has spent more than $13 billion on Operation Warp Speed (OWS), which is focused on accelerating the development of vaccines and treatments for...

 

Monday, July 27, 2020

The Markets Where are we on vaccines and treatments? During 2020, the United States government has spent more than $13 billion on Operation Warp Speed (OWS), which is focused on accelerating the development of vaccines and treatments...

 

Monday, July 20, 2020

The Markets Is the United States economy recovering or faltering? It depends on who you ask and which data you consider. For example, last week, the Department of Labor reported fewer people applied for first-time unemployment benefits...

 

Monday, July 13, 2020

The Markets Please don’t scream inside your heart. Last week, a reopened Japanese theme park asked patrons to wear masks to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. It also asked them not to scream while riding the rollercoaster....

 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The MarketsWhat a quarter!Who could have guessed a global pandemic would produce outsized stock market returns? Near the end of last quarter (March 23), the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 30.75 percent for the year, and it...

 

Monday, June 29, 2020

The MarketsBlame it on the coronavirus.Stock markets in the United States and Europe retreated last week as the number of new COVID-19 cases increased steadily in America. On Thursday, there were more than 44,000 new cases, the highest...

 

Monday, June 22, 2020

The Markets Could it be the upside surprises?U.S. stock markets have marched higher despite a pandemic, an economic downturn, and social justice protests – and a lot of people have wondered why.Greg Rosalsky of Plant Money spoke...

 

Monday, June 15, 2020

The Markets The Nasdaq Composite dipped its toes into record territory last week before retreating. Stock indices in the United States rallied early last week on optimism about the reopening of businesses across the country. The Nasdaq...

 

Monday, June 8, 2020

The MarketsThe employment report electrified U.S. stock markets last week.American stock markets responded enthusiastically to the news U.S. unemployment was 13.3 percent in May. If it seems inexplicable double-digit unemployment would...

 

Monday, June 1, 2020

The Markets Are those green shoots? In economic terms, green shoots are signs of improvement. If you were paying close attention, you might have seen some in economic data released last week. They weren’t apparent in the Bureau...

 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Markets It was a good week for stock markets in the United States, but there was trouble in Asia. U.S. stock markets rallied last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, and Nasdaq Composite all...

 

Monday, May 18, 2020

The Markets America is reopening, state by state. That’s welcome news for many businesses, but we’re far from business as usual. Last week’s economic news included unemployment hitting an 80-year high, a record drop...

 

Monday, May 11, 2020

The Markets The stock market is not the economy. It’s an important point to remember when headlines marvel that U.S. stock markets are moving higher while the U.S. economy is contracting. Stock markets are not mindful of the...

 

Monday, May 4, 2020

The Markets There are signs COVID-19 may be in retreat. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control reported, overall in the United States, for the week ending April 25 (officially week 17 of the coronavirus), the number of: •...

 

Monday, April 27, 2020

The Markets We live in interesting times. There is discussion about whether the saying, “May you live in interesting times,” is a blessing or a curse. At this point in 2020, we all understand why. Last week, the world...

 

Monday, April 20, 2020

The Markets Last week’s economic data was about what you might expect in the midst of a virus crisis that has shut down businesses and forced people to stay home: • Retail sales were down 8.7 percent in March. Retail sales...

 

Monday, April 13, 2020

The Markets Why is the stock market doing so well when the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to peak? At the end of last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the United States remains in the acceleration phase of the...

 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The Markets In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy says to her little dog, “Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.” Today, many of us understand Dorothy’s trepidation and uncertainty better than ever before. COVID-19...

 

Monday, March 30, 2020

The Markets The United States set some records last week. First, we became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. Popular Science explained: “An increase of 15,000 known cases in just one day pushed the United States past Italy...

 

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Markets The coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to spread across the United States last week. On Friday, March 13, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported there were 1,629 confirmed and presumptive cases and 41 deaths. Last...

 

Monday, March 9, 2020

The Markets Last week, market volatility reached levels that make many investors uncomfortable. On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged higher, delivering its biggest one-day point gain in history. The catalyst may have been...

 

Monday, March 2, 2020

The Markets Take a deep breath. We have experienced downturns before. Think back to 2018. During the last quarter of the year, major stock indices in the Unites States suffered double-digit losses, much of it during December. What...

 

Monday, February 24, 2020

The Markets Risk on or risk off? The coronavirus appears to have inspired two distinct schools of thought among investors. Some investors currently favor opportunities that are considered lower risk, like Treasury bonds and gold,...

 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Markets Many stock markets around the world moved higher last week. Investors’ optimism in the face of economic headwinds has confounded some in the financial services industry. Laurence Fletcher and Jennifer Ablan of...

 

Monday, February 10, 2020

The Markets Last week, major U.S. indices posted strong gains. That’s welcome news, but the drivers behind share price appreciation appear to have little to do with company fundamentals. Fourth quarter earnings season is underway...

 

Monday, February 3, 2020

The Markets Prepare yourself. There is a good chance markets will be volatile in the coming weeks. Precautions designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus may also slow Chinese economic growth and, by extension, global economic...

 

Monday, January 27, 2020

The Markets Markets hunkered down last week.News of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China unsettled investors around the world. The respiratory infection is related to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East...

 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The Markets The new trade deals are here! The United States and China signed a preliminary trade deal last week. The next day, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement was approved by the Senate. The phase-one deal between the United...

 

Monday, January 13, 2020

The Markets It was a nerve-wracking week. Iran fired 22 ballistic missiles at the Ain Al Asad air base near western Iraq and a second base in northern Iraq following last week’s U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian...

 

Monday, January 6, 2020

The Markets About face! 2019 was a remarkable year for investors with many asset classes delivering positive performance. Both the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, a gauge of U.S. stock market performance, and the Dow Jones Global...

 

Monday, December 30, 2019

The Markets 2019 will be a hard act to follow. Investors may find themselves reluctant to ring out the old and ring in the new this week. During 2019, stock and bond markets delivered exceptional returns. Ben Levisohn of Barron’s...

 

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Markets Let’s hear it for 2019! Major stock indices in the United States and overseas are poised to deliver double-digit gains for the year. Even with uncertainty about Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU), the...

 

Monday, December 16, 2019

The Markets So, what comes next? Last week was a good week for investors. Ben Levisohn of Barron’s explained: “The Federal Reserve and European Central Bank both pledged to do what they could to underpin their respective...

 

Monday, December 9, 2019

The Markets Ahh, the power of distraction. On Friday, the unemployment report flashed its numbers like a hair model in a shampoo commercial. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 266,000 new jobs were created in November. That was...

 

Monday, December 2, 2019

The Markets It’s a shopping revolution! Sometime, probably not so long ago, comedian Dave Barry wrote, “Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going...

 

Monday, November 25, 2019

The Markets Thanksgiving is in the air! On Thursday, U.S. investors may find themselves giving thanks for the bull market. Year-to-date, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite have all...

 

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Markets The longest bull market in history showed no signs of slowing last week. U.S. stock markets climbed higher for the sixth week straight – the longest rally in U.S. markets in two years – and the Dow Jones...

 

Monday, November 11, 2019

The Markets Last week, major United States stock indices finished at historic highs. According to a source cited by Barron’s, U.S. stock markets are responsible for creating $6 trillion in paper wealth this year....

 

Monday, November 4, 2019

The Markets They did it. The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates last week, as expected. There were no enthusiastic fans singing the Baby Shark song, but the Federal Open Market Committee’s decision was well received. Reuters...

 

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Markets More money managers are feeling less bullish, but you sure couldn’t tell by the performance of U.S. stock markets last week. So far, 2019 has been a tremendous year for U.S. stocks. Through the end of last week, the...

 

Monday, October 21, 2019

The Markets Last week was like an overstuffed suitcase that busts open on the baggage carousel. A lot was unpacked in a surprising and disorderly fashion. There was some positive news for investors who prioritize fundamentals. Third...

 

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Markets From trade wars to impeachment inquiries, investors had a lot to ponder during the third quarter. Toward the end of September, they appeared to become more cautious, although it’s difficult to say which issues weighed...

 

Monday, October 7, 2019

The Markets From trade wars to impeachment inquiries, investors had a lot to ponder during the third quarter. Toward the end of September, they appeared to become more cautious, although it’s difficult to say which issues weighed...

 

Monday, September 30, 2019

The Markets They say bull markets climb a wall of worry. Investopedia’s Will Kenton explained the idea like this: “…a bull market isn’t a peaceful place. When times are good, investors are constantly tense,...

 

Monday, September 23, 2019

The Markets There’s a new theory in town. Renowned economist Robert Shiller’s new book suggests investors may be able to predict and prepare for economic events by tracking popular stories. Applying the theory might have...

 

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Markets Where’s inflation? If you enjoy searching for Waldo, the visual nemesis in a red-striped sweater and cap, you may appreciate the quandary of central bankers in many wealthy nations. For almost a decade, they’ve...

 

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Markets Remember the movie Groundhog Day? Bill Murray’s character is a crotchety newsman who lives the same day over and over again. After exhausting other options, he chooses self-improvement and eventually escapes the cycle...

 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Markets What, me worry? About this time last year, Time Magazine reported on anxiety in America. Almost 40 percent of Americans reported being more anxious than they were the previous year. The performance of stock and bond markets...

 

Monday, August 26, 2019

The Markets Have you ever watched a lake in a thunderstorm? Heavy rain pummels the surface. Dark clouds drop the sky closer to the water. Gusty winds crash waves ashore. Up top, on land, damage may occur. Underneath, in the deeper...

 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Markets Don’t let volatility get you down. Last week was the 40th anniversary of BusinessWeek’s infamous cover headline: ‘The Death of Equities: How inflation is destroying the stock market.’ The...

 

Monday, August 12, 2019

The Markets Global selloff. Quick comeback. Investors boomeranged from stocks to safe havens and back as trade tensions between the United States and China intensified last week. The Economist reported: “On August 1st President...

 

Monday, July 29, 2019

The Markets It has been said there are two sides to every story. Just look at world financial markets. Stock markets and bond markets are telling very different stories. In the United States, stock markets were blue ribbon winners last...

 

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Markets Did last week mark the start of a new policy for the Federal Reserve? The U.S. Federal Reserve has a reputation for providing little transparency about the timing and direction of potential rate changes. That reputation was...

 

Monday, July 15, 2019

The Markets The bulls are running. Last week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index set a new record, closing above 3,000 for the first time. Other major U.S. stock indices also finished at record highs, reported Barron’s....

 

Monday, July 8, 2019

The Markets What will the Federal Reserve do now? There was unexpected economic news last week. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced 224,000 new jobs were added in June, which was more than analysts had anticipated. The...

 

Monday, July 1, 2019

The Markets In the infamous words of Mortimer Snerd, “Who’d a thunk it?” After U.S. stocks dropped sharply during the last weeks of December 2018, investors were not optimistic about the future. Early in January 2019,...

 

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Markets Everything went up – and that’s unusual. Randall Forsyth of Barron’s explained, “Like our major political parties, the stock and bond markets seem to live in two different worlds these days. The...

 

Monday, June 17, 2019

The Markets Are we on the cusp of change? The United States is doing quite well. Randall Forsyth of Barron’s reported: “…the U.S. economy and stock market both seem to be doing better than OK, thank you, as the...

 

Monday, June 10, 2019

The Markets Surprise! It was a great week for markets. Since the U.S.-China trade conflict resumed in early May, investors have been off balance. The possibility of escalating tariffs on Mexico heightened economic uncertainty. Then,...

 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The Markets Tariff trouble. Just two weeks ago, the U.S. government lifted tariffs on Mexico and Canada. So, it was a surprise last week when President Trump tweeted the United States would impose an escalating tariff on all goods...

 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Markets U.S. stocks have had a great run. During the past decade, the profitability of U.S. companies increased rapidly. Strong corporate earnings helped the U.S. stock market outperform markets in other nations by a significant...

 

Monday, May 20, 2019

May 20, 2019 The Markets Trade war trade-off. There was some good news on trade last week. The United States took steps to reduce trade friction with the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and Japan. “The United States on Friday...

 

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Markets Trade talk trouble took a toll last week. Major U.S. stock indices moved lower when trade talks between the United States and China broke down. The Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index, Nasdaq Composite, and Dow Jones...

 

Monday, May 6, 2019

The Markets The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is off to its best start in 20 years. Despite the exceptional performance of U.S. stock markets year-to-date, and data that suggest economic growth remains steady, some analysts and...

 

Monday, April 29, 2019

The Markets It wasn’t an ‘Avengers End Game’ spoiler, but there was big news last week. Economic growth in the United States was strong during the first quarter. The Bureau Of Economic Analysis (BEA) announced gross...

 

Monday, April 22, 2019

The Markets And the answer is… A Jeopardy! contestant captured the nation’s attention last week by setting multiple records for the most money earned in a single episode. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has been...

 

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Markets Investors took an intermission. The curtain appeared to close on the first act of 2019 last week – and what an impressive act it was. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index delivered some dramatic returns and is less...

 

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Markets The first quarter of 2019 brought a welcome reversal. Last year, Barron’s published a group of market strategists’ expectations for 2019 performance. The article came out in mid-December, before the steep...

 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Markets “Fascinatingly counterintuitive…” That’s how Michael Arone, an investment strategist, described the U.S. market environment to Avi Salzman of Barron’s: “‘Stocks are rallying, but...

 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Markets Wonder what the Federal Reserve’s 40-yard dash time is? On Wednesday, the Fed juked like an NFL running back and left investors wondering whether they should buy or sell. Heather Long of The Washington Post reported...

 

Monday, March 18, 2019

The Markets Stock and bond markets rallied. Last week, major U.S. stock indices finished higher for the 10th time in 12 weeks. Bond markets moved higher, too, with the yield on 10-year Treasuries dropping just below 2.6 percent,...

 

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Markets Markets were rattled last week. The market hates surprises, especially when the surprise comes from a central bank. Last week, the European Central Bank (ECB) unexpectedly reversed course and took a more accommodative...

 

Monday, March 4, 2019

The Markets Is it a soft landing? Economists use aviation metaphors to describe the results of central banks’ efforts to manage rapidly growing economies. If the Federal Reserve lifts rates enough to prevent the economy from...

 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Markets Investors were pleased with the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) new approach to its balance sheet. The Fed delivered its semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress last week. The report recapped the events of late 2018...

 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Markets Why did the stock market do that? The great mystery of stock markets reared its head last week. With no clear driver, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 3 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite and Standard &...

 

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Markets Central banks take a turn. At its first policy meeting of 2019, the U.S. Federal Reserve changed direction. After four rate increases in 2018, Chair Jerome Powell announced interest rates were on hold. Last week, banks in...

 

Monday, February 4, 2019

The Markets And, U.S. stock markets celebrated. Last week, the Federal Reserve put itself on hold. The Federal Open Market Committee met on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, to discuss the state of the economy and determine policy. After...

 

Monday, January 28, 2019

The Markets Like competitors who’ve completed a difficult section in an endurance race, U.S. stock investors took a breather last week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, which has gotten off to its best start since 1987,...

 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Markets We’re off to a good start. Investors who remained steady during December’s wild ride are probably pleased with their decision as stocks have gotten off to a strong start in 2019. Unfortunately, those who reduced...

 

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Markets People love rules of thumb. Sometimes, mental shortcuts are helpful. Other times they are not. When it comes to investing, seasonal shortcuts are not uncommon. In fact, January boasts two: The January Effect explains why U...

 

Monday, January 7, 2019

The Markets Investors will think of the last quarter of 2018 for years to come, but they won’t remember it fondly. The Economist described it like this, “After a rotten October and limp November, the S&P 500 tumbled in...

 

Monday, December 17, 2018

The Markets Ouch! It never feels good when the stock market heads south, and that’s what happened last week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500), Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite all moved into...

 

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Markets We’re off to a slow start. December is usually the best month of the year for the stock market. It has been since 1950, according to Randall Forsyth of Barron’s, but not so far this year. Two issues made...

 

Monday, December 3, 2018

The Markets Hold on to your hats! Recently, stocks have delivered a wild ride. During Thanksgiving week, U.S. stock markets took investor uncertainty on the chin, suffering a 3.8 percent drop, which was the worst performance in eight...

 

Monday, November 26, 2018

It was a turkey of a week. The United States and China continued to spar over trade and other issues. An expert from Moody’s told Frank Tang of the South China Morning Post (SCMP) the United States-China dispute will not be...

 

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Markets Keep your eyes on the horizon. Motion sickness happens when your body receives conflicting signals from your eyes, ears, and other body parts. One way to manage the anxiety and queasiness that accompany the condition is by...

 

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Markets How are you feeling about financial markets? Some votes are still being counted but investors appear to be happy with the outcome of mid-term elections. Major U.S. stock indices in the United States moved higher last week,...

 

Monday, November 5, 2018

The Markets Stocks recovered some ground last week and then stumbled over unemployment. Major U.S. stock indices faltered Friday after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on a popular ‘lagging’ economic indicator...

 

Monday, October 29, 2018

The Markets Why did the stock market fall when the economy is doing well? The answer is that one reflects the past and the other anticipates the future. Last Friday’s advance estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed...

 

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Markets The world remains full of opportunities and challenges. Although we’ve seen global markets moving in tandem in recent years, Sara Potter of FactSet pointed out, “…we’re starting to see the end of...

 

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Markets Like an unexpected gust of wind that blows the hat off your head or flips your umbrella inside out, last week’s stock market performance startled investors. Looking back, it’s easy to identify some of the...

 

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Markets The stock market tends to be a leading economic indicator. Last week offered some insight to economics and stock market behavior. The U.S. unemployment rate reached its lowest level since 1969 and wages moved higher, yet...

 

Monday, October 1, 2018

The Markets It wasn’t headline news… But, if newsprint was still popular, last week’s key economic news would have appeared below the fold. The Federal Reserve raised rates for the third time in 2018, as expected. In...

 

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Markets Did you hear the news? A tech company introduced a microwave you can turn on using Wi-Fi – as long as you have one of the company’s voice assistants at home, reported Kaitlyn Tiffany of Vox. Soon, the voice...

 

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Markets All investors are consumers, but not all consumers are investors. The September installment of University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Survey reported Americans are feeling pretty optimistic. Consumer sentiment...

 

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Markets Remember: Volatility is normal. Major U.S. stock market indices climbed into record territory during August. They gave back some gains last week. Peter Wells of Financial Times explained: “Speculation about a fresh...

 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Markets Where is our country’s biggest export market? Markets were fired up last week after the United States and Mexico agreed on new trade rules. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index reached an all-time high and...

 

Monday, August 27, 2018

The Markets Tick, Tock. Not everybody loves meetings and even fewer enjoy reading the minutes, but investors make an exception with the Federal Reserve. This week the Fed published the minutes from its August 1 meeting. While no...

 

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Markets As Maxwell Smart used to say… Missed it by THAT much! After a rocky start, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index came within 1 percent of an all-time high last week, reported Ben Levisohn for Barron’s....

 

Monday, August 6, 2018

The Markets Capital gains tax reform comes with a big price tag: $100 billion over 10 years. A capital gain is any increase in the value of an asset, such as an investment, a home, land, etc., between its purchase and its sale. The...

 

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Markets Is it a sugar rush or something more sustainable? Economic growth in the United States was strong during the second quarter. Gross domestic product (GDP), which is the value of all goods and services produced in the United...

 

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Markets Last week, there was some good news and some notable news. Here’s the good news: Corporate earnings have been strong. As of July 20, 17 percent of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index had reported...

 

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Markets Investors are becoming more discriminating. Trade tensions escalated as the U.S. administration expanded tariffs on Chinese goods last week. You wouldn’t have known by watching the performance of benchmark indices,...

 

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Markets What a rollercoaster of a quarter! When it comes to the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) Sentiment Survey, respondents tend to be more bullish than bearish about U.S. stock markets. The survey’s...

 

Monday, July 2, 2018

The Markets There’s a bear in China – and it’s not a panda. The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) Composite Index, which reflects the performance of all shares that trade on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, dropped into bear...

 

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Markets What time is it? The yield curve may be the pocket watch of economic indicators. It’s been around for a long time and it’s often right, but not always. The yield curve is the difference between the interest paid...

 

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Markets Deal or no deal? Last week opened with heightened trade tensions between the United States and its allies. It closed with the United States imposing new tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods. The Chinese declared it was...

 

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Markets G whiz! Never before could the Group of 7 (G7) Summit have been mistaken for reality TV. The generally dignified annual meeting of leaders from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United...

 

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Markets If the countries were instruments, last week sounded like a fifth grade garage band. World markets were buffeted by a clamor of good, bad, and unexpected news last week. Events that captured media and investor attention...

 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Markets Geopolitical uncertainty didn’t dent U.S. stocks last week. Geopolitics is the intersection of geography, economics, and politics. Last week, there were some fine examples of the ways geopolitical events can create...

 

Monday, May 21, 2018

The MarketsToo much? Too little? Or just right? U.S. stock markets were relatively calm, although they finished the week lower. U.S. Treasury yields hit a 7-year high and finished the week above 3 percent. While these were notable, the...

 

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Markets Splash! How do employers lure staff in a tightening labor market? The curly tail grubs and spinnies of the business world are higher wages and better benefits. During the past decade, the employment picture in the United...

 

Monday, May 7, 2018

The MarketsWhat in the world?A lot happened last week. Some of the notable events included: • Trade talks between the United States and China. The talks were described as “frank, efficient, and constructive,” although...

 

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Markets A meeting of the minds. The Federal Reserve and the U.S. bond market appear to be in agreement about the direction of interest rates. For more years than anyone cares to count, investment professionals have been predicting...

 

Monday, April 23, 2018

The MarketsThe world is in debt. The April 2018 International Monetary Fund (IMF) Fiscal Monitor reported global debt has reached a historically high level. In 2016, debt peaked at 225 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP)...

 

Monday, April 16, 2018

The MarketsWhat do you think?• Are you bullish, bearish, or neutral about the U.S. stock market? • Are U.S. stocks undervalued, overvalued, or fairly valued?• What is the biggest threat the U.S. stock market faces this...

 

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Markets You could almost hear the spurs jingling. Trade tensions ratcheted higher last week as the United States and China staked new positions on the not-so-dusty main street of trade. It was the latest round of posturing in what...

 

Monday, April 2, 2018

The MarketsIn like a lion…Investors roared into 2018.During the first week of the first quarter of the New Year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 25,000 for the first time ever. Less than two weeks later, it closed...

 

Monday, March 26, 2018

The MarketsWhy am I saving and investing?After a week like last week, it’s an important question. There are many reasons people save and invest, including to:• Live the life they want today and in the future• Accumulate...

 

Monday, March 19, 2018

The MarketsIt’s a good time for a gut check. Last week, after sliding lower for four days, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index recouped some of its losses on Friday. The reasons behind the week’s poor showing were diverse...

 

Monday, March 12, 2018

The MarketsIt’s a bird…It’s a plane…It’s a labor shortage!There is little doubt the Millennial generation has been reshaping our world. One of the most remarkable aspects of this demographic group is a...

 

Monday, March 5, 2018

The MarketsAs Yogi Berra once said: It’s déjà vu all over again.Last week, global stock markets took a bit of a dip after President Trump announced a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum....

 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Download the attached file containing key financial data for 2018 including the 2018 tax rate schedule as well as key deductions, exemptions, credits, and contribution limits. 2018 Key Financial Data

 

Monday, February 26, 2018

The MarketsU.S. Treasuries are offering a lesson in supply and demand.Last week, the U.S. Treasury auctioned $258 billion in bonds. Treasury auctions are the way the United States government finances its debt. The Treasury sells short-...

 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The MarketsAs New York Fashion Week ended, inflation strutted its stuff. Ever since the Federal Reserve began raising the Fed funds rate in 2015, analysts have been anticipating higher inflation. The fact that price increases remained...

 

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Markets Back to reality... After months of eerie calm, stock market volatility has returned. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) – a measure of how turbulent investors expect stock markets to be during the next 30 days –...

 

Monday, February 5, 2018

February 5, 2018The MarketsIt was not a good week for stocks.Last week, stock markets around the world lost value. In the United States, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500), Dow Jones Industrial Index (Dow), and NASDAQ all...

 

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Markets The numbers are coming in. Publicly-traded companies report their earnings and sales numbers for the previous quarter in the current quarter. For example, fourth quarter’s sales and earnings are reported during the...

 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The MarketsLast week, the United States government might as well have hung a sign on the front door of the Capitol that read, “Gone negotiating. We’ll be back in…however long it takes.”In 2013, the U.S....

 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Markets Inflation, inflation, where’s the inflation? The U.S. Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates in anticipation of higher inflation. In its 2018 forecast, Goldman Sachs indicated it expected to see “a...

 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Whoosh! Bang! Flash! Fizz! Whistle!U.S. stock markets delivered their own version of fireworks to celebrate the New Year. During the first week of 2018, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a new all-time high, moving above 25,000 for...

 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

/>How good was 2017?It was so good, the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index finished in positive territory every month for the first time ever (on a total return basis), reported Barron’s. All major U.S. indices finished...

 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

MarketsIt’s time to turn your mind to taxes.Last week, President Trump signed tax reform, officially titled ‘An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for...

 

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Markets Here we come a tax-reforming… The reconciliation of Congressional tax reform bills proceeded apace last week, and Congress is expected to vote on the measure early this week. If tax reform passes, Dubravko...

 

Monday, December 11, 2017

“It's the hap- happiest season of all.”While holidays don’t make everyone happy, investors should be feeling festive. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is up more than 18 percent year-to-date. The Dow Jones Global...

 

Monday, December 4, 2017

What will it take to shake investors’ confidence?From the perspective of unsettling events, last week was jam-packed. North Korea claimed to have the capability to strike the United States with a nuclear missile, tax reform...

 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Markets There was a lot to be thankful for last week. Stock markets around the world may have ripened to full-slip sweetness this year. Emerging markets have delivered the most attractive returns year-to-date. The MSCI Emerging...

 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Are investors more like tigers or African wild dogs? It appears investors – retail and institutional – have become rather like predators. They patiently stalk shares, waiting for a dip, and then they strike – buying...

 

Monday, November 13, 2017

MarketsSelling it overseas.Most of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index have reported third quarter earnings per share (EPS), which is the profit earned per share of stock outstanding during the period. Many...

 

Monday, October 30, 2017

October 30, 2017The MarketsThe last full week of October was a box full of surprises. First, U.S. economic growth exceeded expectations. The devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria was widely expected to stifle U.S....

 

Monday, October 23, 2017

The MarketsAnd the hits just keep on coming. Last week was the anniversary of Black Monday. On October 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) lost 508 points, or more than 20 percent of its value, as it fell from the previous...

 

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Markets There’s a new kid in town: narrative economics. Last week, Richard Thaler was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. His work in behavioral economics and finance recognizes not all economic and financial decisions are...

 

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Markets Slow and steady... It has been 332 days since the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index experienced a 5 percent drop, reported Barron’s. If there isn’t a selloff on Monday or Tuesday, this will become the...

 

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Markets A lot happened during the third quarter of 2017, but not much changed. The bull market in U.S. stocks continued to charge ahead. Traditional measures of valuation continued to suggest the market is overvalued, but some...

 

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Markets Geopolitics, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin'! In January, Robert Kahn of the Council on Foreign Relations wrote in Global Economics Monthly: “Markets showed impressive resilience in the face of a range of...

 

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Markets “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, in practice there is.” Yogi Berra was talking about baseball, but the concept also applies to diversification, according to the GMO White Paper,...

 

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Markets Last week, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and potency of Hurricane Irma dominated hearts and minds, but there were some diversions and some welcome news, too. The NFL kicked off its 2017 season with the Chiefs’ win...

 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Markets When it comes to economic growth, the government doesn’t measure twice. It measures three times. Last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis revised its initial estimate that the gross domestic product (GDP), which is...

 

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Markets Hope floats. Optimism about possible pro-growth economic policies, including tax reform and deregulation, helped U.S. stock indices finish higher last week, reported Barron’s. It wasn’t all smooth sailing,...

 

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Markets Here, there, and everywhere… Markets around the world appear to be benefitting from global economic recovery. After pointing out the United States’ economy is the heart of the global financial system,...

 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Markets North Korea may be a little country, but it can churn up big trouble. The possibility that verbal hostilities between the United States and North Korea could trigger geopolitical conflict had investors on the run last week....

 

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Markets Do we have central banks to thank? Low interest rates, accommodative monetary policy, and improving economic growth have helped stock markets around the world reach record highs, reports Barron’s: “…a...

 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Markets It was a good week for a lot of stocks but not bank stocks. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) both finished at record highs last week. Barron’s indicated...

 

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Markets Things you may want to know… Last Friday, Financial Times (FT) published, ‘Five markets charts that matter for investors.’ Among the issues addressed in the charts were: • The bond market bear watch....

 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Markets This is the way the quarter ends – with a central bank scare. Central bankers are stodgy. They speak carefully. For many, reading the words ‘Federal Reserve’ is enough to cause boredom to set in and web...

 

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Markets It has been a very good year, so far. Through the end of last week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index posted 24 record highs and delivered returns in the high single digits. The MSCI World ex USA Index was up more than...

 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Markets All eyes on inflation! Inflation is the way economists measure changes in the prices of goods and services. The United States has enjoyed relatively low inflation for a significant period of time. Last week, the consumer...

 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Markets Stock market historians may dub 2017 the Xanax year. Traditional historians will probably choose a different moniker. Stock markets in many advanced economies have been unusually calm during 2017, reported Schwab’s...

 

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Markets The bull market in U.S. stocks is getting really old! In fact, this bull has been charging, standing, or sitting for more than eight years. In April, it became the second longest bull market in American history, according...

 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Markets Is preparing for the future more important than enjoying the present? There is a lot to enjoy today. Last week, Financial Times wrote: “Wall Street ended an impressive week on a steady note – eking out a tiny...

 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Markets How much is too much? There has been no shortage of drama since the new administration took office – legislative setbacks, controversial hiring and firing, and fiery tweets on various topics. Regardless, U.S....

 

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Markets Does performance tell the whole story? American stock markets have delivered some exceptional performance in recent years. Just look at the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index. Barron’s reported the S&P 500,...

 

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Markets Is it complacency? Exuberance? Uncertainty? Exhaustion? Insight? Intuition? Last week, all three major U.S. stock markets gained value and two reached new record highs. On the face of it, that’s great news for stock...

 

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Markets It was a good week to own stocks. Not all financial news was good news last week, but that didn’t prevent U.S. stock markets from moving higher. Barron’s reported on the good news: “This past week, welcome...

 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Markets Last week, investors multi-tasked, pushing both U.S. bond and stock markets higher. In March, the Federal Reserve raised the Fed funds rates for the second time in three months. Typically, we would expect interest rates to...

 

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Markets And the survey said... In late 2016, Natixis Global surveyed 500 institutional decision makers representing corporate pension plans, public pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, foundations, and...

 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Markets U.S. stock markets are sending mixed signals. If you look at the performance of the CBOE Volatility Index (a.k.a. the VIX or fear gauge), which is a measure of market expectations for volatility in the near future, it...

 

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Markets Happy birthday! Toward the end of the first quarter, the bull market celebrated its eighth birthday. David Kelly, Chief Global Strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management wrote: “Eight years ago, on March 9, 2009, the...

 

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Markets You’ve read it before – and it’s true. Markets hate uncertainty. Failure to pass the American Healthcare Act, which was supported by Republican leaders in Congress and President Trump, may have spooked U.S...

 

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Markets Three steps and no stumble… Technical analyst Edson Gould developed a market rule of thumb known as ‘three steps and a stumble.’ It states stock prices may fall after the Federal Reserve (Fed) raises the...

 

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Markets Rate hike ahead…maybe. Last week’s U.S. employment report was better than expected. The United States added 235,000 jobs in February, which was a few more than economists had forecast. It may seem...

 

Monday, March 13, 2017

<p><strong>The Markets</strong></p><p>Rate hike ahead…maybe.</p><p>Last week’s U.S. employment report was better than expected. The United States added 235,000 jobs in February,...

 

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Markets It was a grand slam. Major U.S. stock markets were positively euphoric following President Trump’s speech on February 28. Optimism about the new administration’s pro-growth policies propelled the four major U.S....

 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Markets Once upon a time, five blind men discovered an elephant. Each man examined a different part of the elephant and formed a unique impression about the animal. One believed an elephant was like a pillar, while another decided...

 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Markets Up! Four major U.S. benchmark stock indices closed at record highs for four consecutive days during Valentine’s Day week, reported Financial Times (FT). To date, positive corporate earnings and robust investor...

 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Markets What’s the word ‘phenomenal’ worth? It all depends on who says it. Barron’s shared Wilshire Associates’ calculations which indicated the word was worth about $175 billion – the amount...

 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

U.S. stock markets were unsettled last week. President Trump's executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries to the United States for 90 days, in tandem with some disappointing earnings reports, inspired...

 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Markets An historic moment for U.S. stock markets… The Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 20,000 last week. Barron’s cautioned investors not to make too much of the milestone since, “There are only 30 stocks...

 

Monday, January 30, 2017

How many times did you login to a digital account today? It probably was more than once. Some people access digital sites via computer or tablet, but many others rely on their phones. Deloitte recently reported the essentials of life...

 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Markets Markets weren’t quite sure which direction to move last week. The Trump rally, which lost some steam, gained momentum early in the week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index finished January 19, the day before the...

 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Markets Around the world in a few paragraphs… The post-election adrenaline rush may be over in the United States. Barron’s reported: “The new year began with high hopes, with the bulls expecting the rally that...

 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

In 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize. He accepted the award and took the opportunity to articulate his hope the civil rights movement would be successful, as well as his hope for all mankind:1 “…I must...

 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

In 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize. He accepted the award and took the opportunity to articulate his hope the civil rights movement would be successful, as well as his hope for all mankind:1 “…I must...

 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

In 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize. He accepted the award and took the opportunity to articulate his hope the civil rights movement would be successful, as well as his hope for all mankind:1 “…I must...

 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Markets …And, they’re off! Bullish sentiment helped world equity markets get off to a fast start last week. Just name a country or region – developed markets, emerging markets, the United States, Latin America,...

 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Markets What a difference a year makes! At the start of 2016, investors were rather pessimistic and risk averse, preferring bonds to stocks. By the end of the year, they were quite optimistic and preferred stocks to bonds. In...

 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

…And, it may have some thorns. There’s something you should know about retirement. It’s not as easy as everyone makes it seem. Remember what life was like when you tied the knot? How about once you had children? Or, when you accepted a...

 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Holiday Greeting - The Way You Eat in 2017 What can we expect in the New Year? If international food consultancy Baum + Whiteman is correct, we may find ourselves embracing new food trends including:1 • Restaurants without seats. We...

 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Retirement IncomeHere’s a million dollar question: How will you transform your savings into income that will last throughout your retirement?1There are probably as many answers to that question as there are retirees. However, all...

 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Markets Missed it by that much… The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) got within 13 points of 20,000 last Tuesday. It finished the week about 90 points below the vaunted milestone. “The Dow has gained nearly 10...

 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

We hope your holidays will be filled with family, friends, merry-making, and good cheer. One way to ensure a happy holiday season is to stay safe online. Here are a few tips that may help. 1. When using public Wi-Fi at a hotel, coffee...

 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Markets The Federal Reserve put a hitch in the markets’ giddy-up last week. It wasn’t the Fed’s second interest rate hike in a decade that caused markets to stumble. December’s rate hike was old news before...

 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Markets Dad: “Fra-gee-lay” …it must be Italian!Mom: I think that says “fragile,” honey.Dad: Oh, yeah. This holiday season, investors’ enthusiasm for U.S. stocks has rivaled old man...

 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Markets Flirting with higher interest rates. Last week, yields on 10-year Treasury bonds rose to a 17-month high of 2.44 percent, reported The Wall Street Journal, before retreating to finish the week at about 2.4 percent. As...

 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Markets It’s a myth! According to WebMD, the amino acid L-Tryptophan is not responsible for Americans’ post-Thanksgiving food coma. The real culprit is overeating. So, last week’s post-feast sleepiness can be...

 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving is America’s second favorite holiday,1 and it offers something for everyone. You can enjoy family togetherness, feasting, football, school plays, parades, gratitude, and, of course, shopping. If you’re a traditionalist,...

 

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Markets This time it’s the end. Really. Possibly. It seems like experts have been forecasting the end of the bull market in bonds for years – and they have been doing so. In July 2010, bond guru Bill Gross predicted the...

 

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Markets Surprise! Markets were remarkably sanguine following the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States. There was a moment of panic. As election results rolled in on Tuesday, Gold prices rose and Treasury...

 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

“American soldiers in battle don’t fight for what some president says on TV. They don’t fight for Mom, apple pie, the American flag. They fight for one another. ”1 Stars and Stripes used the words of Lieutenant Colonel Harold “Hal”...

 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Markets Markets hate uncertainty – and that may create opportunities. Last week, investors experienced another bout of election jitters, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index fell for the ninth straight session....

 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Markets It’s almost over… During July 2016, Pew Research reported almost 60 percent of Americans were suffering from election fatigue. They weren’t uninterested in the election. They were just worn out by...

 

Friday, October 28, 2016

In the 1970s, a TV episode of The Odd Couple taught viewers never to assume.1 It’s a lesson we appear to have forgotten. Many Americans assume Medicare will provide financial assistance to help with long-term care costs in retirement....

 

Friday, October 28, 2016

In the 1970s, a TV episode of The Odd Couple taught viewers never to assume.1 It’s a lesson we appear to have forgotten. Many Americans assume Medicare will provide financial assistance to help with long-term care costs in retirement....

 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

People of a certain age will remember ‘It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.’ The animated television special debuted in 1966,1 way back when there were only a few channels and you had to get out of your seat to change them from one...

 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Markets “Verrrry interesting.” Arte Johnson’s catch phrase from Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In may not have described U.S. stock markets last week, but there were some interesting economic, cyber-security, and...

 

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Markets ‘Tis the season! Third quarter earnings season, that is. Every quarter, companies report earnings to let investors know how profitable the companies were during the quarter. When profits grow, a company’s share...

 

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Markets Was it good news or wasn’t it? The U.S. unemployment rate ticked higher last week. The September jobs report showed the United States added 156,000 new jobs in September. That was 16,000 fewer than economists were...

 

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Markets Markets were relatively calm during the third quarter of 2016, yet they delivered some attractive returns overall. In the United States, all three major U.S. indices posted record highs twice during a single 7-day period in...

 

Friday, September 30, 2016

That’s how much Americans had spent on pain relief medications and treatments when the Institute of Medicine (IOM) completed its report in 2011. If you factor in lost productivity, the economic cost of pain rose to more than $560...

 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

If you ask people what creates stress in their lives, money is often at the top of the list. Stress in America: Paying With Our Health found money was a somewhat or a very significant source of stress in the lives of 64 percent of...

 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The MarketsAs expected… The U.S. Federal Reserve left rates unchanged last week and markets celebrated. Across the globe, national stock market indices finished the week higher. In the United States, the Standard & Poor’s...

 

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Markets If it’s not one thing, it may be another. Economic data released last week will factor into this week’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decision on whether to push interest rates higher in the United States...

 

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Markets Blame it on the central banks! After 44 consecutive sleepy, summer days when Barron’s reported the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index opened and closed without a 1 percent move in either direction, the index tumbled...

 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Markets “We can never know about the days to come, but we think about them anyway…”--Carly Simon Economists and market analysts have been thinking a lot about the Federal Reserve and the actions it may take...

 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Labor Day weekend — the three days dedicated to celebrating American workers — marks the end of summer and, for some, the start of a new school year. It’s a good time to relax and ponder thoughts about work and play: “No work is...

 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The MarketsAttention investors: U.S. interest rates may be moving up and it might happen this year. During last Friday’s speech at the Federal Reserve’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Fed Chairwoman...

 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

You may not have heard of the Longevity Market but, if you’re older than 50, you’re one of its 74.9 million members.1 It may be easiest to think of the Longevity Market as another way of describing the Baby Boom and preceding...

 

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Markets Last week, Wall Street was speculating about monetary policy with the enthusiasm of commentators trying to predict who will bring home Olympic gold. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is expected to introduce another...

 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Markets How do you measure stock market valuation? If you look at conventional measures – like price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios – then U.S. stock markets appear to be pricey. The Wall Street Journal reported trailing...

 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Markets It’s déjà vu all over again! The Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) Volatility Index, also known as the VIX, tracks the prices of options on the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index. Since...

 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Markets Here’s a brain tickler for you: In July 2016, there were four. In June 2016, there were 10. Since 2008, there have been 673! What are they? If you guessed central bank rate cuts, you are on the money. Financial Times...

 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Most investors are familiar with the maxim ‘buy low and sell high.’ The unfortunate reality is that it’s a difficult principle to follow. Buying low often means investing in a company when its shares are priced below full value.Of...

 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Markets Like a cool breeze on a hot day, the post-Brexit market rally has soothed investors. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), also known as the fear gauge, fell significantly during the past few weeks, according to CNBC.com. The...

 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Markets “Start your engines,” was not in the Department of Labor (DOL)’s June Employment Report Summary, but it may as well have been. A positive jobs report revved investor optimism and sent U.S. stock markets...

 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Markets When the yield on 10-year Treasuries finished last week at 1.37 percent, a record closing low, Barron’s called it a Kübler-Ross rally. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross was a Swiss psychiatrist whose research identified...

 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Markets Second quarter ended with a spectacular finale of Brexit-inspired market volatility. Investors typically welcome sharp market movements with about the same level of enthusiasm that canines show for fireworks. However,...

 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Would you accompany a group of high school students studying photojournalism and social change in Argentina? How about a group learning about language and culinary traditions in France? Does working for a season or two in a great place...

 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Our Founding Fathers structured American democracy and left a legacy that has greatly influenced the world. This Fourth of July, see what you know about the Founding Fathers by taking this brief quiz. 1. Who were America’s Founding...

 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

You may be asking yourself whether that’s a trick question. After all, almost one-third of 18- to 34-year-olds are still living at home with their parents. It is, in fact, the most common living arrangement for this age group and a...

 

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Markets The world’s stock markets took it on the chin last week. A one-two punch was delivered with the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting leading and concerns Britain will leave the European Union following. On...

 

Friday, June 17, 2016

For several years, researchers at Boston College have been studying the experiences and expectations of fathers. As you might suspect, the way in which men understand the role of ‘Dad’ has been changing. While some still believe their...

 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

In medieval times, alchemists sought methods for transforming ordinary metals into gold. Today, just about every adult searches for a means of transforming savings into a retirement’s worth of income. Recently, they received help from...

 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Before the big barbecue, take time this Memorial Day weekend to honor the men and women who gave their lives fighting for our country. If you’re looking for a way to remember those brave Americans, here are a few suggestions:1 • Raise...

 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Scientists have been mapping our mothers’ brains! They haven’t found eyes in the back of her head, or a way to help her worry less, but they are beginning to understand the mother-child bond better:1 “After centuries of observing...

 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Super Bowl winners, the length of hemlines, and Sports Illustrated covers – all of these have been used to develop theories about the direction in which stock markets may be headed. Presidential elections and terms have also inspired a...

 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

If you receive a voice or email message from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or you field a phone call from an IRS agent informing you “you owe back taxes” and “you better pay now or be arrested (or deported)...

 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

College students have steep learning curves. In high school, they were tasked with doing well academically, participating in extracurricular activities, complying with the rules of their parents’ homes and, possibly, having a job...

 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

If wars were fought with words, Ireland would be ruling the world. --Irish proverb1 The wit and humor of the Irish is legendary, as is their ability to weave words into poems, prose, folk tales, and song. On this St. Patrick’s...

 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Are you looking for just the right Valentine’s Day message for someone you love? Here are a few suggestions that have a decidedly financial twist from 14 Ways an Economist Says I Love You by Liz Fosslien. The messages are...

 

Friday, January 29, 2016

The world’s first central bank offered unprecedented convenience. It gave 17th century Swedes the option to pay with paper notes rather than 40-pound copper plates, which were the currency units of the Swedish empire at the time....

 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a complex man who took an unconventional approach to a difficult problem. He used non-violent protests to focus attention on civil rights in the United States. While he fought the status quo, he...

 

Monday, October 26, 2015

You may have heard of tax loss harvesting. Some people harvest losses every year, while others do so only when they have taken significant capital gains or have received more income than expected during a given year (perhaps they sold...

 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Twenty-five years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, guaranteeing disabled Americans – people with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities – equal opportunity in employment, transportation, government...

 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Healthcare. Retirement. Those may be two of the most stressful words in the English language today. Especially when you include them both in the same sentence. For instance, a married couple that saves $326,000 has a 90 percent chance...

 

Friday, August 7, 2015

How Do You Make Money in Stocks?Have you ever watched Family Feud? Perhaps you were a child when Richard Dawson hosted the game show or maybe you enjoy the current version. No matter, take a moment and:• Name a three-letter word that...

 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

While your high school student is taking standardized tests, parsing college choices, and raring for graduation, you’ll probably find yourself spending some time with net income calculators on college websites. Whether your family’s...

 

Monday, April 27, 2015

It all depends on you. Thanks to the Baby Boom generation, pre-retirees and retirees have a lot more options than did previous generations of Americans. There is a lot to consider before you decide where to live during retirement: your...