Market Commentary July 22, 2024

The Markets The rate cut stars are aligning. For the last year, borrowing costs in the United States have remained relatively high as the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) waited for economic data to show that inflation was on track to reach the Fed’s two percent target. Now, we may finally be on the cusp of… Read more »

Market Commentary July 15, 2024

The Markets Will deflation continue? In May, Pew Research asked Americans about the biggest problems facing our nation. The top three answers were: Inflation; The ability of Democrats and Republicans to work together; and The affordability of health care. Last week, there was some good news about the first issue. Inflation became deflation as the… Read more »

Market Commentary July 1, 2024

The Markets Some good news and some volatility. Last week was a mixed bag as investors weighed positive economic news against concerns that stock prices for some chipmakers may not be sustainable. Here are the highlights: Inflation slowed to zero. On Friday, one of the Fed’s favored measures of inflation – the Personal Consumption Expenditures… Read more »

Market Commentary June 24, 2024

The Markets Are we at an inflection point? The transition to renewable energy has been moving forward and may be reaching an inflection point. In 2023, global renewable energy capacity increased by almost 50 percent, reported the International Energy Agency (IEA). Renewable capacity reached all-time highs in the United States, Europe and Brazil. However, the… Read more »

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 »