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Weekly Market Commentary

September 17, 2018

All investors are consumers, but not all consumers are investors.

The September installment of University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Survey reported Americans are feeling pretty optimistic. Consumer sentiment rose to the second highest level since 2004, and consumer expectations reached...

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September 10, 2018

Remember: Volatility is normal.

Major U.S. stock market indices climbed into record territory during August. They gave back some gains last week...

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September 4, 2018

Where is our country’s biggest export market?

Markets were fired up last week after the United States and Mexico agreed on new trade rules. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index reached an all-time high...

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August 27, 2018

Tick, Tock.

Not everybody loves meetings and even fewer enjoy reading the minutes, but investors make an exception with the Federal Reserve. This week the Fed published the minutes from its August 1 meeting. While no changes were made...

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August 20, 2018

As Maxwell Smart used to say…

Missed it by THAT much! After a rocky start, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index came within 1 percent of an all-time high last week, reported Ben Levisohn for Barron’s. It’s significant because...

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August 13, 2018

Let’s talk Turkey!

So, how did a country that represents just about 1.4 percent of the world’s economy spark a global selloff?

Turkey was once a rising star. The country’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan took office in 2003 and his “conservative, pro-business policies helped ...

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July 30, 2018


Is it a sugar rush or something more sustainable?


Economic growth in the United States was strong during the second quarter. Gross nb domestic product (GDP), which is the value of all goods and services produced in the United States, grew by 4.1 percent. That's the fastest growth in four years, reported the...

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July 23, 2018

Last week, there was some good news and some notable news.

Here’s the good news: Corporate earnings have been strong. As of July 20, 17 percent of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index had reported second quarter results. More than 85 percent of those companies reported positive earnings surprises, according to FactSet, which means they earned...

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July 16, 2018

Investors are becoming more discriminating.

Trade tensions escalated as the U.S. administration expanded tariffs on Chinese goods last week. You wouldn't have known by watching the performance of benchmark indices, though. Just four of the 25 national stock market indices tracked by Barron's --Australia, Italy, Spain, and Mexico--moved lower...

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July 9, 2018

What a rollercoaster of a quarter!

When it comes to the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) Sentiment Survey, respondents tend to be more bullish than bearish about U.S. stock markets. The survey's historical averages are: 38.5 percent bullish; 31.0 percent neutral; 30.5 percent bearish.

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July 2, 2018

There’s a bear in China – and it’s not a panda.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) Composite Index, which reflects the performance of all shares that trade on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, dropped into bear market territory last week, reported CNBC. The Index has fallen more than 20 percent from its previous high. It appears some investors saw an opportunity and bought the dip since the SSE Index bounced higher last Friday, gaining more than 2 percent.

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June 25, 2018

The yield curve may be the pocket watch of economic indicators. It’s been around for a long time and it’s often right, but not always.

The yield curve is the difference between the interest paid on two-year government bonds and 10-year government bonds. In normal circumstances, an investor would expect to earn a higher rate of interest when lending money to a government for 10 years than when lending money for two years because there is more risk associated with lending for a longer period of time.

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June 18, 2018

Deal or no deal?

Last week opened with heightened trade tensions between the United States and its allies. It closed with the United States imposing new tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods. The Chinese declared it was the start of a trade war, reported Financial Times.

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June 11, 2018

G whiz!

Never before could the Group of 7 (G7) Summit have been mistaken for reality TV.

The generally dignified annual meeting of leaders from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom (along with the heads of the European Commission and European Council) was a lot more contentious than usual, reported Reuters.

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