Market Commentary

Jun 302014
Second Quarter 2014 Summary

In the years leading up to the financial crisis, I gained a reputation among my peers for being permanently bearish. As I shared my macro-economic outlook with clients in 2006 and 2007, in particular, the most common response was something along the lines of, “Great, now that I’m totally depressed, what else is there to [Full Text]

Mar 312014
First Quarter 2014 Summary

Fear and Greed the driving emotions of the market often discussed in the pages of the quarterly commentary and at investment conferences, have yet again begun to impact the individual investor. While fear has been common over the past years, for the first time in a long while greed is inching its way into investor [Full Text]

Dec 312013
Year End 2013 Summary

2013 is now on the books and closed.  Despite facing most of the same problems we have faced over the past few years, it’s a new year and things are, to a certain degree, different.  The 2013 rally was largely built on a re-pricing of stocks as an asset class, with earnings multiples expanding. The [Full Text]

Sep 302013

Well, here we are, fourth quarter 2013, discussing and debating the same issues; raising the debt limit, government shutdown, Syria, unemployment, deficits.  These events are not new to anyone. And for markets, these would not qualify as long-term surprises. Mind you, this does not preclude short-term gyrations which we a) hope for and b) are [Full Text]

Jun 302013

My goodness what was it Bernanke said- to so significantly roil the markets?  I thought for nearly 4 years now we were all waiting to hear the economy is on the mend making it time to start cutting back on the monetary heroine.  Apparently the thought of withdrawing- no matter how slowly the drug is [Full Text]

Mar 312013

What a quarter. Could we have asked for more?  Well, yes.  The beautiful bounty of the market looked healthy but a close inspection of the core showed the fruit to be rotten. In true American fashion, let’s ignore reality for a minute and focus on the positives. The quarter itself was quite dramatic.  We were [Full Text]

Sep 302012

Stock markets broadly rallied over the past few months in anticipation of a third round of bond purchases from the U.S. Federal Reserve. QE3, the Federal Reserve’s third round of quantitative easing, is so open-ended that it is being called QE Infinity. Doubts about its effectiveness are surfacing. The Financial Times reports: “Among the trading [Full Text]

Jun 302012

Fear gripped the markets through April and May, driving global stocks downward. The European debt crisis reignited when the incumbent and “pro-bailout” New Democracy party failed to win the early election it called. The result increased the odds Greece would exit the euro and led investors to scrutinize all sovereign debt holdings. Government bond yields [Full Text]

Mar 312012

Stocks shot out of the gate in 2012 to post their best first quarter in 14 years, but a familiar anxiety is creeping back into the markets. The surge was fueled by a stream of good data about the United States economy, including the unemployment rate ticking down to 8.3 percent and consumer spending rising [Full Text]

Dec 312011

The S&P 500 Index closed 2011 at almost the exact level that it began the year.  In March, markets were initially jolted by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, but then began to recover as the damaged reactors came under control. However, the dysfunctional political process in the U.S. regarding the budget and debt ceiling in [Full Text]