Are Investors Abandoning Small-cap Stocks?

The stock market has not responded well to indications that the U.S.–China trade dispute is falling off course. I’ve written many times that Fed policy, corporate earnings, and the China trade deal would be three key drivers of market returns in 2019, and it follows that bad news on any of those three fronts is […]

Is Inflation No Longer a Threat to the U.S. Economy?

‘Inflation’ used to be a word that, when discussed in economic circles, often dealt in worrisome implications – fear of too much inflation or concern over not enough inflation (or at worst, deflation). Rarely have we seen inflation running at subdued, acceptable levels for long stretches of time, as we have arguably seen in the […]

What investors can learn from Q1

The first quarter of the new year was an encouraging one for equity investors. Stocks rallied strongly, and the media buzz over trade wars and recessions slowly faded into the background. The S&P 500 soared +13.6% in the first three months led by Technology stocks, which rose +19.9%. In order for investors to participate in […]

What Q1 earnings tell us about the year to come

There are a myriad of factors influencing market movements right now: trade issues with China, the Federal Reserve’s new approach to monetary policy, Brexit uncertainties, new appointments to the Fed, and so on down the line. But I would argue that no factor contributes more to the long-term direction of domestic stock prices than U.S. […]

Sky High Market, Sky High Market Risk?

Investors may remember some bleak statistics from the end of 2018, when a Deutsche Bank analysis showed that 90% of investible asset classes traded negative for the year.[1] This across-the-board poor performance was unprecedented as far back as records went, and investors faced the harsh reality of having very few places to generate returns. Year-to-date, […]

Are the Signs Pointing Toward a Recession?

Investors were legitimately spooked in March, as a few of the most influential recession indicators were flashing SLOWDOWN. 1) The Yield Curve: With the exception of a single instance, an inverted yield curve has preceded each U.S. recession in the last 50 years. On March 22, the yield curve inverted for the first time since […]

What to do When Growth Stocks Stop Growing

The broad outlook for U.S. corporate earnings is getting weaker, seemingly by the day. For Q1 2019, total S&P 500 earnings are expected to decline -3.6% from the same period last year, though on +4.8% higher revenues. Growth is expected to be negative for 9 of the 16 Zacks sectors, with Technology and Energy as […]

Distinguishing Between Weak Growth and Negative Growth

I’ve noticed recently that many economists and ‘experts’ appear to be resetting their expectations for when the U.S. economy might enter a recession. Many now seem to believe it could happen as soon as this year, and some are citing a host of economic data that appears to show a U.S. economy weakening on many […]

Volatile Market Causes Many Investors to Miss January Rally

We’re only in the second month of the new year, but already we’ve seen many investors experience the tragic cost of market volatility. According to Lipper data, investors moved a staggering $190 billion into money market funds (cash) in Q4 2018. The last time investors fled risk assets in such large numbers was during the […]

The Global Economy’s Biggest X Factor in 2019

Equity markets received some relief in late January, when the Federal Reserve decidedly shifted tone on interest rate increases for 2019. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that “the case for raising rates has weakened somewhat,”1 adding that the Fed is increasingly concerned about the effects of policy-related headwinds from trade disputes, Brexit, and the potential […]