Market Commentary June 10, 2024

The Markets Another record high for the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index! Last week, the S&P 500 Index hit its 25th record high for 2024. Investor enthusiasm for artificial intelligence helped drive the index to a new high. About 30 percent of the Index is information technology stocks. The S&P 500 also benefitted from… Read more »

Market Commentary June 3, 2024

The Markets Overall, May was a good month for investors. The adage, “Sell in May and go away,” would have been poor advice last month. Major stock indices in the United States finished the month higher. Connor Smith of Barron’s reported: The Nasdaq Composite was up 6.9 percent for May, The Standard & Poor’s 500… Read more »

Market Commentary May 28, 2024

The Markets Perception versus reality. A recent Harris poll, conducted on behalf of The Guardian newspaper, found that there is some confusion about the state of the American economy and U.S. stock market performance. A significant proportion of the Americans who participated think the economy and the stock market are in rough shape. Here are… Read more »

Market Commentary May 20, 2024

The Markets Reading the economic tea leaves. Tasseography practitioners read tea leaves to forecast the future. Some economic data serve a similar purpose. Policymakers, central bankers, economists, and investors look at leading economic indicators to forecast where the economy may be headed. Classic leading indicators include: Consumer confidence. Consumer spending is the largest contributor to… Read more »

Market Commentary May 13, 2024

The Markets Higher rates are doing what they’re supposed to do. Last week, Federal Reserve officials spoke about keeping the federal funds rate higher until it becomes clear that inflation will reach the Fed’s two percent target rate. While people typically don’t mind earning more interest on their saving and investment accounts, higher rates are… Read more »

Market Commentary May 6, 2024

The Markets What will the Federal Reserve do? Uncertainty about the direction and timing of Fed rate cuts is causing stock markets in the United States to charge and retreat. U.S. stocks rallied for five consecutive months (anticipating rate cuts early in 2024) before retreating in April after higher-than-anticipated inflation suggested the Fed might delay… Read more »

Market Commentary April 29, 2024

The Markets The economy appears to be slowing down. Last week, many investors were focused on economic data. The Personal Consumption report offers information about Americans’ income and spending over the previous month. It includes one of the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauges, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index. The March report showed: Disposable… Read more »

Market Commentary April 22, 2024

The Markets Investors have been recalibrating their expectations. There is a lot going on in the world that could affect the value of financial markets – wars, tensions between major powers, a strong dollar, and rising oil prices – just to name a few. Last week, it was Federal Reserve policy. The possibility that the… Read more »

Market Commentary April 15, 2024

The Markets Inflation and geopolitics and earnings. Oh, my! It was a rough week for stock markets. “The S&P 500 closed 1.5% lower on Friday, while the Nasdaq Composite dipped 1.6%. Every S&P 500 sector closed lower—and just about 40 stocks in the index finished the day with gains,” reported Connor Smith of Barron’s. A… Read more »

Market Commentary April 8, 2024

The Markets The bull charged from October 2023 through March 2024. Last week, it took a breather. Optimistic may be the best word to describe the first quarter of 2024. From the start of the year, investors were confident that an economic soft landing in the United States was possible. The U.S. stock market reflected… Read more »