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crude oil

The “Avoidance” Reaction

Preamble I received an email from my travel agent last Monday (March 2) informing me that, because Italy had been raised to a Travel Level 3 by the CDC (strongly advised not to travel there), our vacation to Italy (March 12-22) had to be postponed, else we risked being quarantined upon our return.  In addition, the previous Friday, two corporate meetings in my immediate schedule for the week in the …Read More

Deflation’s Persistence Implies Yields Will Be Lower for Longer

Despite what you hear from the TV pundits, the U.S.’s second quarter ended on weakness, and there is little evidence that economic acceleration occurred.  In previous years, slow GDP growth in Q1 was followed by 3%+ in Q2.  Not this time!  The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model, which uses a lot of sentiment indicators, is all the way down to 2.4% for Q2.  I suspect that the Commerce Department’s initial GDP …Read More

Assessing the market now that recession fears have disappeared

With recession fears now nowhere to be found, the market averages have raced their way back to a positive return for the year, a much-welcomed development considering where they were on Feb. 11. The bears have retired to their caves, and the negativism in the media has all but disappeared. The rising price of oil It is counterintuitive to look at the rising price of oil as a positive for …Read More

OPEC’s lunacy behind market’s volatility

Market volatility was present throughout January with no calming so far in February. We saw a 565-point intraday slide on the Dow on Jan. 20; then a few days later, the market closed up nearly 400 points! As February began, the Dow gave back most of that 400-point gain only to regain nearly half of it last Wednesday after another rollercoaster ride (376 intraday points). On Friday, the jobs report …Read More

The Fed puts rates on ice

After raising interest rates in December for the first time since the financial crisis and Great Recession, the Federal Reserve has gone into a January freeze. The central bank on Wednesday announced no change in interest rates, meaning the target for the Fed’s benchmark federal funds rate will remain between 0.25% and 0.50%, the range set last month. For consumers, the outcome of this week’s meeting means more of the …Read More

This Market Needs Some Xanax

Xanax is a medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.  Markets have been ugly since year’s end. On Wednesday, volatility was high, as the Dow Jones was down -565 points before rallying back to close down -249. Thursday’s action was a relief (+116), but markets are likely to be volatile near term.  Xanax sure would help. There are lots of worries: That economies, worldwide, are decelerating; That China will …Read More