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Robert Barone

Coronavirus: The Black Swan

  Black Swan taking off (Cygnus atratus) South Island, New Zealand (Photo by: VWPics/Universal Images … [+]VWPICS/UNIVERSAL IMAGES GROUP VIA GETTY IMAGES   The equity market finally had a reaction to the effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) last week, and it was significant with the S&P 500 falling 252 points (7.4%) from its record high close on Valentine’s Day. As of this writing, most of the fall (209 points) came on Monday …Read More

Lies, damned lies, and statistics

Today’s world thrives on instant gratification, tweets and sound bites. In-depth analysis rarely makes headlines, and by the time the in-depth analysis is available, the media have moved on to the next tweet sensation. And so, the business community was left with only a superficial reading of April’s retail sales numbers, possibly resulting in erroneous conclusions about the economy’s direction. Here are some of the instant headlines from the May …Read More

Reconciling Contradictory Data

Originally published in RGJ’s Business Section, Sunday, 4/5/15 The markets are still concerned about a weakening U.S. economy, as data from the industrial portion of the economy continues to show weakness, even in March. The ISM Manufacturing Index fell to 51.5 in March, its lowest level in more than 2 years; ADP indicated that private sector job creation fell to 189,000 in March from 214,000 in February with most of the …Read More

Three Uncertainties Are Driving the Markets

The financial markets have been focused on three uncertainties: the strong and rising value of the dollar vis a vis other currencies, weakening U.S. economic indicators, and the timing and magnitude of Fed policy actions.  All this with a background of the ongoing Greek tragedy and continued political strife and terrorism worries. Volatility has resulted.  To show the market’s uncertainty, in the month of March, of the 19 trading days …Read More

Uncertainties driving the markets

Originally published on RGJ’s website, http://www.rgj.com/story/money/business/2015/03/20/uncertainties-driving-markets/25113763/ The financial markets have been focused on three uncertainties: the strong and rising value of the dollar vis a vis other currencies, weakening U.S. economic indicators, and the timing and magnitude of Fed policy actions. All this with a background of the ongoing Greek tragedy and continued political strife and terrorism worries. Volatility has resulted. The Strong Dollar The rising value of the dollar …Read More