Is the Dollar Threatened?

I’ve received several questions from clients over the last few days regarding China’s currency, the yuan. Almost all of them were some variation of these three: with its acceptance into the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) ‘Special Drawing Rights’ basket, is the yuan a threat to the dollar’s status as the world’s top reserve currency? If […]

December 2015 Stock Market Outlook (In Brief)

U.S. Markets December is here. Small gift buying stirs the season. Yet, that’s not what keeps stocks rising. Visible U.S. share buying is typical seasonal performance chasing by mutual fund managers. Late year markets like to stage a Santa Claus rally. Look 3 years back to fully grasp current S&P 500 valuations. 2013 saw +32% […]

They’re Eliminating One of Your Investing Tools

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) announced in mid-November the decision to eliminate stop orders and “good-till-canceled” orders from the investor playbook. When used correctly, stop-loss orders can be a resourceful tool to curb losses, and they can also be used to prevent a stock from falling back to its cost basis – which theoretically […]

What Will Holiday Retail Sales Tell Us About the Market?

As the holiday season approaches, investors often shift their attention to ‘retail sales’ as a health barometer for the overall economy. The U.S. consumer accounts for around two-thirds of total output, so it makes sense that our fixation on discretionary sales numbers creates a fresh buzz every year. Don’t expect this year to be any […]

Paris Attack Impact on Investing.

On November 13, the magnificent city of Paris was attacked by cowards – men whose feelings of hopelessness and disaffectedness were channeled into senseless violence against innocent people. This came only one day after a pair of suicide bombings killed 43 in Beirut, and just two weeks after a commercial plane was downed in Egypt […]

Rate Hikes and Recessions

Despite the Federal Reserve’s variable messaging on interest rates (rate hikes were to commence when unemployment hit 6.5%, which happened over a year ago), we do expect them to implement their first interest rate increase in 9 years before the end of the year. As noted before in this column, rate hikes aren’t inherently bad […]

Corporate Debt Sends Signal to Investors

There was a tinge of nervousness in corporate debt markets toward the end of September when investment-grade companies sold just $105 billion of new debt. Sounds like a big number, but it marked a 20%+ decline from a year earlier and was the weakest September in four years (September is historically a strong month for […]

Aware of this Market Sweet Spot?

The S&P 500 is back in positive territory for the year, driven in large part by technology companies posting solid Q3 earnings (so far). Tech stocks have rallied hard since late August, largely leading the way for S&P 500 sectors. Tech as a category is now up over 5% on the year, compared to the […]

Recession in 6-12 Months?

A few clients have approached me recently with some ‘worrisome’ U.S. government agency data. From the Energy Information Administration to the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Labor to the Department of Commerce, there appears to be a confluence of weak data that – according to a few sources – signals the U.S. could […]

New Trade Deal: 3 Things Investors Should Know

As I wrote in my weekly global markets summary last week, the 12-country trade deal, known as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), finally reached agreement last week in Atlanta. The big players include the U.S., Japan, Canada, and Australia, and the biggest impact from the deal stems from the multilateral agreements with developing economies in […]