This week marks six months until Election Day. During the next six months, the elections will likely become an increasingly potent driver of the markets. While we believe the impact for changes to the makeup of Congress may be more meaningful than the presidential election, we will tackle that in a later commentary. In this week’s commentary, we focus on the presidential election’s relationship to the performance of the markets and economy. Specifically, we address: Continue reading
Ah, the rites of spring! Easter, gardening, baseball, the hockey playoffs….and spring cleaning. Yes, cleaning! This is the perfect time to do it – when you are motivated by the fact that it took you 17 hours to gather your paperwork together for your CPA (another rite of spring, albeit a depressing one). Here are five tips to get you started. Your home may not be ready for a Southern Living photo spread after this, but at least you’ll get rid of a little bit of that clutter. And you don’t even have to go outside and beat a rug with a broom! Continue reading
Posted in Staff News
_ In each of the past two years the stock market began a slide in the spring, a phenomenon often referred to by the old adage “sell in May and go away,” which lasted well into the summer months. Are stocks poised to repeat the pattern this year? We have identified 10 indicators to watch closely in the coming weeks that may warn of an impending slide.
March has become a month for sports fans synonymous with NCAA college basketball and “March Madness.” Offices hand out the tournament brackets and basketball aficionados and novices all fill out their sheets hoping for the pot awaiting the first Monday in April. We all try to get a leg up reading about “who’s hot,” “who’s not,” “who’s injured,” and “who’s got the easiest road.” Then on the first Thursday through Sunday, our brackets are busted when a fifteen seed beats the two seed you we had going to the Final Four or that “hot team” cools off in the first round and gets upset by East Bumbleton State! Continue reading
It has been a sweet sixteen weeks for the S&P 500. The broad stock market index has had only three down weeks out of the past sixteen. There has not been a sixteen-week period with fewer weeks of losses in over 20 years—since the period ending September 1, 1989!
As the NCAA tournament gets down to its own sweet sixteen this week, it is a good time to reflect on the competing drivers of the markets that may make for an exciting showdown in the weeks and months to come. Continue reading
Unless you have been under a rock for the last week or so, you are probably well aware that the Division I NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament aka “March Madness” has started and is in full swing. Across the country millions of people have put on their best analysts hat and filled out countless brackets in an attempt to determine who the winner of arguably the single most exciting event in all of sports will be. While none of us know for sure yet who the actual winner of the tournament will be, it is clear that the real winners will be the local economies of the tournament host cities, the NCAA, and the Universities themselves. Continue reading
The three-year anniversary of the bull market took place on Friday, March 9. In the three years since March 9, 2009, the S&P 500 index is up 103% (with a 116% total return including dividends). This has been the strongest bull market since WWII [Chart 1].
So, after doubling in three years what is next for the bull? Continue reading
I thought I’d take a break from talking about money directly and provide you with something to personally consider.
Have you noticed we are surrounding ourselves with distractions and “things” all day long? Cell phones, computer screens, work environment, cars, machines, tools … the list is endless. These items have become a part of us, they shape our day and in some fashion our lives. Hey, I know some of these things we would say we cannot do without, and I know many of them make our life much easier and provide us the very means to live, so I do see the quandary. However, I am troubled that these things can all too often define us and keep us all too comfortable within that zone of familiarity. Continue reading
Hollywood has a thing for sequels. So do the markets. In recent weeks, we have pointed to the rise in the stock market and the euro early this year as mirroring those gains of early 2011. While stock market gains and currency moves can certainly grab headlines, they lack the drama of a move in oil prices. The move higher in oil prices so far this year is similar in pattern to last year’s surge, but the story is a bit different this time.
Last February, a series of uprisings that began in four middle-eastern countries started to push oil prices higher. While the uprisings began in December 2010 and in January 2011 the Tunisian President fled to Saudi Arabia, the so-called “Arab Spring” Continue reading
If you’ve ever been duck hunting, you know that the day begins at 0 dark thirty hours before sunrise. You are up with milk men and newspaper deliverers ready for the drive or boat ride to the blind.
On the second or third day of the hunt suffering from lack of exercise and sleep, I sometimes need the jolt of a caffeine-laden Red Bull. The result is I am a wide awake somewhat jittery hunter – hardly a healthy way to start the day.
To a certain degree, our markets have ingested their fair share of Red Bull. Three plus years of artificially low interest rates and an abundance of liquidity provided by our Federal Reserve has produced an economy jittery, tired, and in need of a healthy diet and exercise regiment. Continue reading