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...]

October Market Commentary

The month of September is often a challenging one for the stock market but this year the market sailed through the month unscathed.  That was in spite of the many events taking place which in the past would have rattled the market. The consensus at the September Federal Reserve meeting was to hold interest rates steady.  The projection of annual GDP … [Read more...]

Market Observations in September

On August 2nd the Dow Jones Index closed above the 22,000 mark for the very first time.  During the month the index traded in a range of 2.6% from high to low and ended the month close to where it opened.  As stock prices rise, risk increases and no can deny that prices are high right now. However, investors have become complacent in the environment since … [Read more...]

The Market in July

With June behind us, we are now half way through 2017.  The stock market has held its gains from earlier in the year and shrugged off the domestic as well as global uncertainties that dominate the airwaves.  The S&P 500 Index of the 500 largest US stocks ended the month of June up slightly at a gain of nearly ½ of one percent. The market surged in … [Read more...]

Investors Encouraged by 1st Quarter Earnings Reports

The Dow held its gains for the first half of May, staying within 100 points of its all-time closing high set on March 1st.  Then on May 17th it suffered the biggest one day decline since the November election.  With hindsight the drop turned out to be but a blip on the chart as the stock market recovered quickly.  By May 31st the Dow gained 1/3rd of one … [Read more...]

Stock Market Surges Ahead in February

The stock market picked up steam in February and surged upward much as it did in November following the election. There can be no question that investors are looking forward to a robust economy powered by lower taxes, fewer regulations and an aggressive rebuilding of the infrastructure of this country. The outstanding question is how will this be paid for … [Read more...]

The Year in Review

With 2016 in the rear view mirror it is time to reflect and time to look ahead to 2017.  You have heard us say many times we don’t predict.  As the great philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”  There is no better example of this than to look at 2016.  The year started off very badly for the markets.  … [Read more...]

Presidential Election is in Full Swing

  As July drew to a close the commerce department released the second quarter economic report with a disappointing 1.2% GDP annual growth rate, adjusted for inflation and seasonal impact.[1]  Consumer spending, which represents 2/3rd of the GDP, remained strong expanding at a rate of 4.2%, but it was offset by a reduction in business investment and a … [Read more...]