Market Commentary

What Will Holiday Retail Sales Tell Us About the Market?

As the holiday season approaches, investors often shift their attention to ‘retail sales’ as a health barometer for the overall economy. The U.S. consumer accounts for around two-thirds of total output, so it makes sense that our fixation on discretionary sales numbers creates a fresh buzz every year.[…]

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Paris Attack Impact on Investing.

On November 13, the magnificent city of Paris was attacked by cowards – men whose feelings of hopelessness and disaffectedness were channeled into senseless violence against innocent people. This came only one day after a pair of suicide bombings killed 43 in Beirut,[…]

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Weak Import Data, Paris Aftermath, Tech IPOs…

November 20th, 2015
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Weak Import Data Something to Watch – this late in the cycle, the U.S. economy is a patchwork of strengths and weaknesses but also set for growth on balance. A piece of data released this week raised an eyebrow though – for the first time in a decade,[…]

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Rate Hikes and Recessions

Despite the Federal Reserve’s variable messaging on interest rates (rate hikes were to commence when unemployment hit 6.5%, which happened over a year ago), we do expect them to implement their first interest rate increase in 9 years before the end of the year.[…]

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“Singles Day”, Big Beer, Crude Oil, and more…

November 13th, 2015
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This week, we’re starting and ending with China as there was some big retail news there and a development that may warrant a short-term “volatility alert”…
“Singles Day” Underscores China’s Resilience – for all the headlines warning of a weakening China,[…]

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How Does an SMA Work?

November 10th, 2015
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Salsbury Cove, ME asks…How Does an SMA Work?
This is one of those questions we answer frequently — glad you asked!
“SMA” stands for Separately Managed Account, and it refers to a portfolio of assets managed by an advisor or a money management firm.[…]

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Is the Correction Over?

I Think the Correction is Officially Over – the S&P 500 is less than 1% away from reclaiming its July 20 high in further evidence the selling pressure experienced in late August was a correction, not a bear market. I’ve written about this several times noting I saw the selling pressure as short-term,[…]

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Corporate Debt Sends Signal to Investors

There was a tinge of nervousness in corporate debt markets toward the end of September when investment-grade companies sold just $105 billion of new debt. Sounds like a big number, but it marked a 20%+ decline from a year earlier and was the weakest September in four years (September is historically a strong month for bond issuance).[…]

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3 Creative Required Minimum Distribution Approaches

November 3rd, 2015
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The end of the year is fast-approaching, which means retirees aged 70½+ have an important item on their checklist: fulfill your Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)!
Not doing so properly could mean paying up to a 50% penalty on your unfulfilled RMD,[…]

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Aware of this Market Sweet Spot?

The S&P 500 is back in positive territory for the year, driven in large part by technology companies posting solid Q3 earnings (so far). Tech stocks have rallied hard since late August, largely leading the way for S&P 500 sectors. Tech as a category is now up over 5% on the year,[…]

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