Strong Economic Numbers Fuel the Market Uptrend

The second quarter of 2019 began with solid gains in the stock market.  Investors are acting as if they expect the Federal Reserve to refrain from any interest rate increases for the rest of this year and that is the consensus among analysts.  In fact, some are talking about a possible rate decrease if inflation remains tame. On the first Friday in April … [Read more...]

Is a Recession in Our Future?

In March the stock market continued its upward climb, albeit at a slower pace than the first two months of the year.  Economic activity continued at a strong pace with more job growth, wage gains, low unemployment and low inflation.  In spite of these positives, talk of a recession dominates the air waves. Why is the R-word so prevalent in such a strong … [Read more...]

Fear Controls the Market

2018 started strong in January but ended with a December marked as the worst December since 1931.  At the close of the 3rd quarter domestic stocks had recovered most of their losses from February and April, and appeared poised for a strong end to the year.  All this changed early in October as the market hit correction territory for the third time in 2018.  … [Read more...]

Interest Rates and Tariffs and the Market

The positive action in the market in the first week of November turned negative in the trading days leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday.  Investors had two major concerns.  It seemed the Federal Reserve was being too aggressive in raising interest rates and another round of tariff increases with China in January could dampen economic growth. The good … [Read more...]

The Volatile Year So Far

As the closing bell rang on Wall Street at 4:00 p.m. last Friday, it marked the end of the third quarter 2018.  Let’s take a look back at the year so far. Throughout 2017 the S&P 500 Index did not experience so much as a 3% pullback and January 2018 was one of the best months ever.  At the end of January this year we wrote the following in our monthly … [Read more...]

The Bull Market in Stocks

Market volatility continued in July with an overall trend to the upside.  Small caps led the market upward and growth is outperforming value.  The losses in the closing days of June were recouped in July with some to spare.  With the action in August, the S&P 500 Index is approaching its January highs. The Federal Reserve Board met on July 31 and … [Read more...]

Economy Strengthens and Stock Market Moves Higher

In May the U.S. economy continued to strengthen and the stock market continued its volatility.  Reports at the end of the month of a stronger than anticipated jobs report coupled with an incremental increase in the hourly wage were well-received.  Rising wages keeps inflation in the 2% range which is the goal of the Federal Reserve.  Many analysts believe … [Read more...]

Trade Wars and Volatility

In the first days of March the President tweeted that he intends to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum to protect American interests.   That sent the market reeling and a twitter storm ensued.  Investors fled the market fearing a trade war only to come back to the market when the administration softened the rhetoric.  The uncertainty generated by … [Read more...]

Before Tax Reform

It looks like we will have some version of a tax reform package before the end of this month to be effective on January 1, 2018.  No one can be certain what the exact terms will be, but we have enough information to make a few assumptions. What steps can you take before December 31 to reduce your income tax liability? Tax-deferred contributions:  Have you … [Read more...]

Tax Reform 2017

Tax reform dominated the airwaves in October but before it could tackle tax reform, Congress needed to successfully pass a budget.  By a narrow margin the budget passed on October 26th and Republicans immediately turned to drafting a new tax plan.  The administration is under great pressure to produce tax reform for the American people before the end of 2017 … [Read more...]