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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

‘Death puts’ — aka, the ‘survivor’s option’

Originally published on the Tahoe Daily Tribune’s website, http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/news/opinion/15501217-113/tahoe-truckee-market-beat-death-puts-aka-the-survivors-option Record-low interest rates over the last few years have made it a difficult time for fixed income investors. In a normal interest rate environment, a conservative income investor with $1 million to invest could expect to receive an income of $45,000 to $50,000 per year by investing in benchmark 10-year US Treasury bonds. Today, the 10-year Treasury is yielding about 2 …Read More

Rising wages: Is Wal-Mart a precursor?

Originally published on Reno Gazette Journal’s website, http://www.rgj.com/story/money/business/2015/03/06/rising-wages-wal-mart-precursor/24537471/ For the past 18 months, the labor markets have been telling us to be bullish on the U.S. economy as the healing in that market precipitated economic strength. Those who could read those signals had a significant time advantage in the markets, as those signs emerged months ahead of the now-official view of the Fed that the labor markets are healing. In …Read More

Weather or not, economy still improving

Originally published in the Reno Gazette Journal’s website, http://www.rgj.com/story/money/business/2015/02/20/weather-economy-still-improving/23742909/ In my last column, I talked about the negative media spin on January’s data, perhaps contributing to January’s equity market decline. In February, despite the fact that the equity markets have moved to new records, negative spin continues. I continue to see hand wringing over some month over month declines in individual pieces of data without any further analysis. One of …Read More