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Markets: Time to Reflect on Risk, not Return

The week ended September 7th saw a pull-back from the record highs set in late August. Perhaps we witnessed the infamous “double top” (January 26th and August 29th). It is clear that financial markets have become riskier, and, perhaps, it is time for investors to assess the risks inherent in their portfolios versus the prospects of future returns. There is a short-term and a long-term view, neither of which augurs …Read More

New Market Highs: It’s Not the Economy (Stupid)!

It had been 210 days since the S&P 500 had made a new record high, but, on Friday, August 24th, after several days of struggle, the market finally broke to a new high (2874.69). The struggle actually began the prior Tuesday (August 21st). During that trading day, the S&P 500 actually pierced the old record high intra-day (during the trading session). But Wall Street has its own set of quirky …Read More

How Will Markets React to Growth Deceleration?

Economic fundamentals were ignored as if they were merely background noise as markets attempted once more in early August to breach their record high levels put in late last January. The common theme in the business media is that, due to great corporate earnings (24%+ in Q2), the equity markets are cheap. Never mind that a good part of that earnings growth was due to one-time tax reduction (in fact, …Read More

Inflation’s Virulence will Surprise: Yield Curve Inversion Likely

•  The strength of inflation will be the biggest market surprise in 2018’s second half, forcing the Fed to continue its rate raising regime; •  At the same time, the slowdown in world growth (not helped by the rise of protectionism) may keep the world’s other major central banks in easy money mode, thus feeding U.S. dollar strength and negatively impacting emerging market economies; •  Low rates, worldwide, increase the …Read More

Trade Wars Will Slow Growth

Q3 started out with several very positive days in the equity markets, due to the seeming “Goldilocks” economy (solid growth, low inflation, best employment market in 50 years), likely in anticipation of continued 20%+ earnings reports (the tailwind of tax reduction), and, at least in the early days of July, from a lack of any significant moves on the tariff and trade front. That all ended on July 11th when …Read More