Strong Week for Stocks as Strong Dollar Hurts Precious Metals

Inflation Nears 3% The federal government’s Consumer Price Index rose 2.9% across the 12 months ending in June, a level of annualized inflation last seen in February 2012. Yearly inflation has now increased for ... continue reading

Weekly Economic Update: July 2, 2018

Income and Spending Rise, Along with Core Inflation According to the latest monthly Department of Commerce snapshot, personal incomes improved 0.4% in May. Personal spending, however, advanced just 0.2% (half the gain forecast by ... continue reading

Will the first half of the year end in the black or red?

TARIFF TALK INTENSIFIES Major economic powers proposed additional import taxes last week, as investors wondered if a global trade war was now underway. Monday evening, President Trump stated that he had instructed U.S. Trade ... continue reading

Blue chips falter as Nasdaq soars

FED, NEW TARIFFS GET WALL STREET’S ATTENTION As expected, the Federal Reserve adjusted the target range on the federal funds rate to 1.75%-2.00% on Wednesday. The central bank’s latest dot-plot projection, however, raised some ... continue reading

The Duke weighs in on the market week

100 MONTHS OF GROWTH FOR SERVICE BUSINESSES The Institute for Supply Management announced this milestone as it revealed a 58.6 May reading for its non-manufacturing purchasing manager index. That excellent reading was well north ... continue reading

Topsy Turvy market last week ends on winning note

HIRING, HOUSEHOLD SPENDING STRENGTHEN Net job growth surprised to the upside in May: companies added 223,000 more workers than they laid off or fired. At 3.8%, the unemployment rate is now where the Federal ... continue reading

Diversification from S&P 500 & DOW is winning

HOME SALES DECLINE Both new and existing home sales weakened in April, according to reports from the Census Bureau and National Association of Realtors. Resales were down 2.5%; new home buying, 1.5%. NAR chief ... continue reading

Stocks off to fast start this week

RETAIL SALES RISE ANOTHER 0.3% April’s advance remained at that level. even with car and truck sales removed. It paled compared to the 0.8% March gain reported by the Department of Commerce, but it ... continue reading

Big week in the stock market and world politics

OIL HITS A 4-YEAR PEAK The price of WTI crude settled at $71.36 on Thursday, hours after Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts forecast $90 oil by spring 2019 and a “risk of $100 ... continue reading

Market Rally Friday salvages the week

The stock market indexes were up strongly on Friday as the week overall was about flat. The Nasdaq was up 1.26% for the week while the S&P 500 and the DOW were off a ... continue reading

Stocks mostly flat as 10-year Treasury hit 3%

It had been more than four years since the 10-year Treasury yield was 3%. This past week the yield went above 3% before settling back at 2.96%. Higher interest rates mean higher borrowing costs ... continue reading

Interest rates edge up

This last full trading week in April will determine if it is a positive month. So far, so good. The 10-year treasury yield is tickling 3% for the first time in years. This has ... continue reading

Volatility to the upside

CONSUMER SENTIMENT INDEX DESCENDS SLIGHTLY In its initial April edition, the University of Michigan’s survey of household sentiment saw its index decline to 97.8 from its final March reading of 101.4. The survey’s chief ... continue reading

Stocks on a roller coaster in April

What a week!  Monday was a huge down day, followed by three strong up days and then Friday was like Monday.  Nobody likes their account values to decline, but I’m not alarmed. The President’s ... continue reading

Good Results and Volatility Continue

The economy is getting stronger, and thankfully last week’s volatility was to the upside!  The first ten weeks of the year have hopefully reminded you of what a “normal” stock market is like. Market ... continue reading

What a topsy-turvy week

Last Monday the DOW was up nearly 400 points and then the market nose-dived until stabilizing Friday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both up strongly.  For the week the three major indexes were ... continue reading

Great week follows monster week for stocks

With recent volatility, it would have been reasonable to think there might be a pullback last week.  Thankfully this was not the case and the market may be poised to hit new highs after ... continue reading

Stock market snaps back

The stock market shot up during first three weeks of the year and then dropped during the next three weeks.  Last week was a huge up week for stocks! So now what?  If you ... continue reading

Shake up and shake out in the stock market

We have now experienced a 10% drop from the highs a couple weeks ago.  This comes after the 8% surge upward to begin the year.  I prefer when the market moves abruptly up versus ... continue reading

Stock selloff continues

If you began investing about two years ago and never previously followed the stock market, you have only seen wildly successful returns and very little volatility.  Last week’s pullback is very routine in the ... continue reading

Stocks soar while 10-yr Treasury yields quietly soar even higher!

If you’re bored of reading about the stock market hot streak, then I’ll provide you with financial information this week which may surprise you.  The 10-yr U.S. Treasury yield, currently 2.72%, has increased 32% ... continue reading

Government shutdown. Stock market open!

Three weeks in to 2018, the stock market is up approximately 5% which would be an annualized return of 86%.  Yes, this is a great start and yes, this cannot continue indefinitely. Over the ... continue reading

Positive economic news everywhere!

The economy has been picking up steam and the stock market is leading the way with big gains this past week!  The tax reform legislation passed late last year has led to many companies ... continue reading

2018 is off to a hot start!

Equity markets did not take a breather after 2017 as last week was very strong.  Stock market valuations are very high in a historical context which technically signals a correction coming but spreadsheets do ... continue reading

Welcome 2018!

Well a 20% year for the 2017 stock market is in the books and we have a clean slate for the New Year. There isn’t much planned this week as the markets were closed ... continue reading

Massive Tax cuts become a reality for 2018

We have seen phenomenal stock market performance despite horrific corporate tax structure and onerous regulations. One might think deregulation and now the passing of the largest corporate tax cut in history would guarantee an ... continue reading

What to do when the record is broken?

The stock market performance has been similar to a broken record of late so……… It appears sweeping tax reform is likely to pass this week, so I will share several thoughts.  I will be ... continue reading

Holiday cheer can lead to April tears

December is when mutual funds must declare capital gain distributions for 2017. These gains are typically a combination of short term and long term capital gains. A mutual fund buys and sells stocks and ... continue reading

Eight straight winning months

November was the eighth straight positive month for the stock market, while the worst single month for 2017 was only less than one-half of one percent to the downside.  There have been stronger years ... continue reading

A bountiful Thanksgiving week for the stock market!

In a short trading week, the major indexes were up very strongly.  Unless there is a significant pullback in the next month, 2017 will be easily the strongest year for the stock market since ... continue reading

Mixed week on Wall Street as holidays approach

2017 has been a stock market year to be thankful for!  Last week was a solid one for the Nasdaq while the DOW and S&P 500 were off a bit.  This will be a ... continue reading

Stock market slows down for a week

The major indexes all gave some ground last week, while commodities had a strong week.  Tax policy seemed to be off the front page last week, but hopefully we will see progress in the ... continue reading

Economic Indicators and the Market Continue to Shine

This bull market is nearly nine years old and picking up steam.   However, “Reversion to the mean” may mean that stock market returns over the next decade will be very modest (4-6%).  Mean ... continue reading

Stronger data supports another great week for the stock market

Surprisingly, GDP grew at 3% for the second straight quarter and home sales are way up over this time last year.  Corporate earnings continue to be strong.  It is easy to focus on the ... continue reading

DOW 23,000. We hardly knew ya!

The Dow Jones index blew past 23,000 as the stock market stacked up another great week.  If you were completely unaware of the past performance of the stock market, then you’d likely view the ... continue reading

More good news in the financial world

Last week was another good week for the major stock market indexes and now we hear that Social Security is increasing retirement benefits by 2%, the largest increase in five years!  For many of ... continue reading

Columbus Day follows another strong market week

It is what it is.  The three major stock market indexes were all up more than 1% for the week.  There are many economic measurements, but in your household, the dollar value of your ... continue reading

October can be scary and not just because of Halloween

It was another great week and month as the stock market rolls in to the fourth quarter!  However, October has secured a place in history as the fourth worst month for the Dow Jones ... continue reading

The Market Takes a Breath as Summer Ends

Last week was basically flat for the stock market following the biggest week of the year for the DOW.  Low market volatility over the past 18 months is a bit unnerving to me.  It ... continue reading

DOW Has Best Week of the Year

The stock market brushed off North Korea concerns and surged forward.    The market futures this Monday morning are positive after those gains last week. Let’s hope the momentum continues into the fall. Inflation ... continue reading

Irma Takes Over the State of Florida

The infrastructure spending required to rebuild from these hurricanes is good for the economy and the stock market in the short term.  There will always be winners and losers but this infusion of spending ... continue reading

Stock market closes August strongly

All three major domestic stock market indexes (S&P 500, Nasdaq, DOW) are in positive double digit territory for 2017!  This week is a short trading week as Monday was Labor Day. September Brings a ... continue reading

All eyes on Houston area as summer comes to a close

Houston and surrounding communities are under siege from nature.  Hurricane Harvey and rain pummel the area.  The human tragedy will also have a negative economic impact in the tens of billions. World events, natural ... continue reading

Stock Market backs up as economy sends mixed signals

Good corporate earnings and low interest rates are two strong factors for the health of the stock market.  If more regulatory relief and tax reform gets done, then it would be a very strong ... continue reading

Stocks Off More Than 1% As Gold Surges

Diversification is not simply spreading your investments around. If all of your investments react the same to economic conditions then your investments are not diversified. This situation would be described as owning investments with ... continue reading

Dow Jones Reaches New Milestone

Last week came with encouraging results and the stock market was slightly up on balance.  These results likely helped your portfolio irrespective of who you voted for or what the name Trump means to ... continue reading

With Trump, Results Matter More than Effort

Trump being dropped in Washington was like dropping an ice cube in a scalding hot pot of oil (DO NOT TRY THAT).  I don’t believe the 71-year old president is going to change his ... continue reading

Sleepy but Successful Summer Days

Short and sweet Economic Update this week as the market continues to trend upward with very little volatility.  It is easy to sleep on the possibility of a correction which often comes when we ... continue reading

Records are very profitable these days

My 13-year old daughter Reagan has a record player and buys albums regularly now.  With digital technology, who would have guessed vinyl records would be “in vogue” again? Who would have guessed the DOW ... continue reading

Summer is in full swing as market takes a breath

Last week the market was slightly up after a very strong first half of 2017.  The second half of 2017 will likely be impacted by what congress does or doesn’t do with regulations and ... continue reading

Winning at Halftime

The stock market had an outstanding first half of 2017 and is poised for more gains if low interest rates, low energy costs persist.    If congress improves the health insurance market and passes ... continue reading

First official week of summer is a good one for markets

More Homes Moved in May In a pleasant surprise for economists, both new and existing home sales picked up last month. The National Association of Realtors announced a 1.1% gain for resales, with the ... continue reading

Tech selloff continues as DOW and S&P 500 have positive week

We have seen tech giants, Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and others suffer over the past 10 days even as the overall stock market has done pretty well.  These household names have impacted our everyday ... continue reading

Mixed stock market results last week

An Upbeat Report on the Service Sector The Institute for Supply Management’s May non-manufacturing purchasing manager index displayed a reading of 56.9 last week, showing expansion in U.S. service industries for an eighty-ninth straight ... continue reading

The pillows are fluffed to cushion an inevitable fall.

Last week was another very strong week for the stock market.  Some people are concerned about a pullback or crash.  Experienced investors know that the stock market cannot continue as it has over the ... continue reading

Big week for the stock market

The major market indexes came back very strong last week and now we are headed for June with momentum.  If only our news was as positive and calm! Consumer Sentiment Declines Just a Bit ... continue reading

What A Wild Week For Trump And The Stock Market

Market volatility returned last week as there was a steep decline early in the week followed by a market comeback later in the week. This volatility seemed to be linked to the Trump administration ... continue reading

Mixed Bag on Wall Street Last Week

Large cap stocks, as represented by the S&P 500, were down about 1/3% while Small cap stocks, as represented mostly by the NASDAQ, were up about 1/3%. A Solid Retail Sales Reading Americans bought ... continue reading

Are You Tired of Winning?

Okay, I admit the subject line is a cheap play on one of President Trump’s many interesting statements. He said we would “get tired of winning so much!” My point behind the silly statement ... continue reading

Stock Market Surged Last Week

The Nasdaq crossed the 6,000 mark and is up over 12 percent in 2017! Tepid data came in last week but the stock market still surged. A positive outlook in the business community, potential ... continue reading

Stock Market Rebounds Upward

Solid week for the stock market amid conflicting news about home sales surging while housing starts have slid. As I write this, the stock market is up strongly Monday morning with all major indexes ... continue reading

Inflation And Stocks Retreat As Spring Arrives

Tough week for stocks as there was approximately a 1 percent decline. We also saw interest rates decline a bit as well. This can be correlated as people sell stocks out of fear and ... continue reading