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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

The MarketsIt’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 Dictionary...

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 and,...

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...

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Monday, April 24, 2023

The MarketsBetter 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 on United...

Monday, April 17, 2023

The MarketsKeep your eye on the big picture.Last week, there was nothing too surprising in economic and financial news.Inflation eased, as expected, although it remained above the Federal Reserve (Fed)’s target rate. The Treasury...

Monday, April 10, 2023

The MarketsAmbiguous 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 another sees...

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 look at...

Tuesday, March 14, 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...

Monday, March 6, 2023

The MarketsSibling 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 the Federal Reserve...

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 conditions...

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The MarketsBrace 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 expected. Last week, the...

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...

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 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 investors’...

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The MarketsBullish 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 opinions about...

Monday, January 9, 2023

The MarketsIt’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 was 3.7...

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

The MarketsIt’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 Index, which had...

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

The MarketsWhat 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, energy-price mayhem,...

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...

Monday, December 12, 2022

The MarketsWhat 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 MarketsWhat 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 sixty-six...

Monday, November 28, 2022

The MarketsThere 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 the Fed was...

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...

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...

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 MarketsSome 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 because...

Monday, October 24, 2022

The MarketsMarkets 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 to finally...

Monday, October 17, 2022

The MarketsWe’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 Consumer Price Index...

Monday, October 10, 2022

The MarketsBah 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 keep crude...

Monday, October 3, 2022

The MarketsThe 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 the third...

Monday, September 26, 2022

The MarketsCentral 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 to 3.12...

Monday, September 19, 2022

The MarketsIt’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. Others find deep...

Monday, September 12, 2022

The MarketsCentral banks are hawkish. Stocks popped higher, anyway. Last week, despite signs that inflation is slowing, U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) officials emphasized their commitment to tightening monetary policy to lower...

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

The MarketsYou 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 and full employment....

Monday, August 29, 2022

The MarketsMarkets 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 were garbled...

Monday, August 22, 2022

The MarketsIs 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 investors who...

Monday, August 15, 2022

The MarketsRally 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 enthusiasm.The big...

Monday, August 8, 2022

The MarketsThe 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...

Monday, August 1, 2022

The MarketsInvestors 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 second...

Monday, July 25, 2022

The MarketsA 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 experiencing...

Monday, July 18, 2022

The MarketsNobody 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 Statistic’s...

Monday, July 11, 2022

The MarketsRising 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 the child calms down...

Monday, July 4, 2022

The MarketsThe 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 remarkable...

Monday, June 27, 2022

The MarketsLast 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 record. Surveys of...

Monday, June 20, 2022

The MarketsThe 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 funds target rate by 0...

Monday, June 13, 2022

The MarketsInflation 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 in May....

Monday, June 6, 2022

The MarketsHow 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 force participation rate rose...

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

The MarketsOn the fear and greed cycle.One of the most challenging times for investors is a market downturn. Whether markets are experiencing a correction or a bear market, it’s really disturbing to watch the value of your...

Monday, May 16, 2022

Monday, May 9, 2022

Friday, May 6, 2022

Monday, May 2, 2022

Monday, April 25, 2022

Monday, April 18, 2022

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

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Monday, February 7, 2022

Monday, January 31, 2022

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Monday, January 17, 2022

Monday, January 3, 2022

Monday, December 20, 2021

Thursday, December 16, 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, 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)...