Market Commentary

January 3, 2020 Weekly Market Recap

The stock market ended a stellar 2019 on a quiet note, started 2020 with a bang, then succumbed to some profit taking after a U.S. airstrike escalated tensions in the Middle East. By week’s end, the S&P 500 declined 0.2%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.04%, and the Russell 2000 declined 0.5%. The Nasdaq Composite, however, did increase 0.2%. Continue reading

Seeing Clearly in 2020

The start of a new year is a time to reflect and plan. For me, this means understanding what’s driving the markets and economy, reviewing portfolios and financial goals, and reminding myself of the basic principles of investing. Continue reading

Hindsight Is 20/20. Foresight, Not So Much.

The year 2019 served up many examples of the unpredictability of markets. Interest rates that US policy makers expected to rise fell instead. American consumers’ confidence weakened as the year began, and news headlines broadcast fears of an economic slowdown. But investors who moved onto the sidelines may have missed the gains in the US stock market. Continue reading

December 20, 2019 Weekly Market Recap

As we head into the Christmas break, the S&P 500 reached another milestone, surpassing the 3200 level in a 1.7% advance this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+1.1%) and Nasdaq Composite (+2.2%) also rallied further into record territory. The Russell 2000 kept pace with the Nasdaq with a solid 2.1% weekly gain. Continue reading

Taking Stock of 2019, Looking to 2020

We have much to be thankful for this year. Stock markets are riding high as we approach the end of 2019. The S&P 500 has returned nearly 30% with dividends, the MSCI EAFE index of developed markets is up over 21%, and the MSCI Emerging Markets index has gained about 15%. Continue reading

Trade Headlines Can Be Misleading

It’s no secret that U.S.-China trade talks have dominated market headlines in 2019. Escalating tariffs on both sides of the Pacific and the possibility of an extended trade war have led to swings in the stock market all year long. Continue reading

November 22, 2019 Weekly Market Recap

The S&P 500 snapped a six-week winning streak, although it declined just 0.3% this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.5%), Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and Russell 2000 (-0.5%) performed in-line with the benchmark index this week, reflecting a broad-based lack of conviction. Continue reading

The 2020 Presidential Election and the Market

With the 2020 Presidential Election less than a year away, it’s natural to be concerned about the impact of politics on the stock market and economy. After all, the past three years have been politically turbulent to say the least. Continue reading

Rising Rates and a Steeper Yield Curve

Interest rates have been on a rollercoaster ride this year. The 10-year Treasury yield was as high as 2.8% at the start of the year before falling below 1.5% only two months ago – the lowest level since 2016. Continue reading

November 8, 2019 Weekly Market Recap

The S&P 500 (+0.9%), Nasdaq Composite (+1.1%), and Dow Jones Industrial Average (+1.2%) broke out to new record highs in a week full of trade headlines that were viewed favorably by the market. Cyclical sectors set the pace while U.S. Treasuries sold off. The small-cap Russell 2000 (+0.6%) trailed its large-cap peers. Continue reading