Monthly Commentary

May 2019
How quickly circumstances can change! Not too long ago fears of another rate hike by the Feds had quashed the rally that had been running since the beginning of the year. Then in March, they came out with a statement indicating that they had no plans to raise rates for the rest of the year. That caused the markets to respond in a favorable way and optimism once again entered the markets.    Read Details


April 2019
Are investors feeling better about their portfolios? The markets seem to think so as the major indices have recovered from their bottoms in mid-December and recently hit new all-time highs.  Why have investors decided to jump back in and fuel this rebound? Perhaps they have stopped looking over their shoulders with fear and anxiety and are instead focusing on the opportunities ahead.  Read Details


March 2019
Interest rates and trade talks with China were once again front and center for investment headlines as most of the major U.S. equity indices rose in March. On top of that all the major indices printed their biggest quarterly gains in nearly a decade. That is a great start for the year after most investors were singing the blues back in December as it appeared that the stock markets were poised for a free fall after a disastrous fourth quarter.  Read Details


February 2019
Now that we are two months into the new year, have we recovered from the debacle in the markets in the last 3 months of 2018? Not quite. Although we have recovered nearly 95% of what was lost in those three months, investors should feel better about the progress so far. Both the S&P500 and the DJIA posted their best two month start to a year in nearly three decades. The markets received multiple boosts in the form of better trade relations with China, better than expected corporate earnings and on the surface, a more cooperative Federal Reserve.    Read Details


January 2019
Prepare for the obligatory rollout in the market media of stories about the “January Effect” and its reliability in predicting the year’s market performance. This well-known adage states, “so goes January, so goes the year,” and it has been surprisingly accurate when you consider that since 1950 the barometer has been wrong only 10 times, for a batting average of 87%. That’s very good, but of course, the returns during those positive years have been all over the board.  Read Details


December 2018
What a difference a year can make. Just under a year ago, the market was extending its run of consecutive monthly closes in positive territory. Last year, the S&P500 was off to its best start since the 1980’s. This year, the first two days have been the worst start since 2000 and the fifth worst ever. Read Details


November 2018
Please tell it to stop! Volatility has returned to the market in a big way and investors are struggling to adjust to the new market tone.  After a long run of months where the stock market advanced in a steady, predictable fashion, it decided to do an about face in February. The streak ended and an era of market volatility once again is holding serve.  For the US stock market, 2018 will go down as unusually volatile with investors suffering through not one but two significant corrections. It still remains to be seen if the S&P500 can hold on to the hard-fought gains it earned in 2018.   Read Details


October 2018
Ouch! There is no way to sugarcoat the stock market performance of October. For the month, the S&P500 was down 6.9% which virtually wiped out all of the gains year to date. For many of the major indices, this October was the worst on record going back to 2011. The carnage wasn’t just confined to the broader indices, as the bleeding spread to the Materials, Consumer Goods, Energy and Industrial sectors and the Technology sector was hit especially hard. Naturally, investors look at these numbers and automatically assume that more bad times are ahead of us.   Read Details


September 2018

The markets have pulled back slightly after hitting new highs on positive news of an expanding economy, low unemployment, growing wage growth and an accommodating interest rate environment.  Even though the Feds have raised rates 3 times this year, the markets have willingly accepted those hikes and see them as necessary evils of an expanding economy.  The other news tied to this is that the end of this market run is not likely anytime soon.   Read Details


August 2018
With only 4 of the 500 companies in the S&P500 yet to report, it looks like the second quarter of 2018 printed another great earnings report. Compared to the second quarter of 2017, earnings are expected to increase 24.9% and revenues are expected to be up 9.5% from the same time period in 2017.  Of those companies reporting, 80% have earnings above analyst expectations and this is significantly higher than the historical average of 64% and even well above the 75% average of the past four quarters. On the revenue side, 72% of the companies reported revenues above expectations and this too is well above the 60% long term average.  Read Details


July 2018
After reaching a new high just before the end of last January, the S&P500 has spent the last 4 months climbing out of the hole it dug at the beginning of April. Since then it has continued to move to the upside with a series of advances followed by pullbacks and then another advance. During that time, it tested critical support levels at least 4 times and each of the rising trends saw higher highs and lower lows. All good technical indicators of a strong economy and relatively optimism on behalf of investors.”  Read Details


June 2018
The markets once again are trading on headlines. The rhetoric from the Trump Administration continues to confound investors as they try to make sense of his tweets and his policies. Virtually every day the markets move up or down based on the latest headline on trade tariffs, immigration news or other political issues. Most recently, investors are looking for guidance from the Federal Reserve in the form of their minutes from their last meeting. This will provide some insight into the plans they have for interest rates and how they plan to keep the economy moving in the right direction. So far markets have held up well enough with the S&P500 up 1.67% year-to-date while the Dow is negative for the year.  Read Details