We hit a milestone just recently, although it’s certainly not one we wanted to hit.
Markets stabilized in May after one of the worst months since the start of the pandemic.
Yesterday was another bad down day in the markets.
April was a hard month for the markets.
The economy seems to be doing well, with job growth still at high levels, consumer spending still healthy, and businesses continuing to invest.
Markets rebounded in March, but it was not enough to offset earlier losses in January and February.
We saw a bit of a bounce in stock markets in March, but not enough to recover from a terrible first quarter.
We’ve talked a lot about higher interest rates and what they mean for the market.
I have been holding off on commenting on the Russia-Ukraine conflict until some sort of resolution occurred.
January was a terrible month.
The official jobs report comes out this Friday. Expectations are for another slowdown, with about 175,000 jobs added, down from 199,000 in December.
The panic of the day is the news about interest rates.
We are just starting earnings season, when companies will be reporting how much money they made in the fourth quarter of last year.
As we closed out 2021, the world looked both different from a year ago and very much the same. Another wave of the virus was underway, with a new variant that may be even worse than the one before.
Inflation and what it means for investing is one of the biggest issues I have been hearing about recently. The topic can generate quite a bit of anxiety. But before we start to worry, let’s take some time to understand what actually happens when inflation hits the economy. Then we can panic—or not.
It’s been a while, but it’s time for another COVID update. Compared with a month ago, the medical situation continues to improve, which is good news, although there are reasons to be concerned over the next month or two.
After a great start to the quarter in July and August, September was when the storms hit. Here in the U.S., markets pulled back significantly.
For those who haven’t heard, global markets slumped yesterday as a Chinese real estate developer, Evergrande, was reported to be approaching bankruptcy. For many, this news brings to mind the great financial crisis of 2008.
U.S. equity markets continued to rally in August, with all three major indices setting new record highs during the month. We did see some midmonth volatility, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.50 percent, while the S&P 500 experienced a 3.04 percent gain.
My colleague Sam Millette, manager, fixed income, on Commonwealth’s Investment Management and Research team, has helped me put together this month’s Market Risk Update.
Yesterday was an interesting day.
If we could travel back in time to the beginning of 2020, many of us would be surprised at how good things were.
The regular meeting of the Fed starts today.
May was another good month, albeit one with some ups and downs.
Today marks, in many ways, the birthday of my profession.
The first quarter looks to be the turning point, both for the pandemic here in the U.S. and for the economic damage it has caused.
There has been a lot of talk about whether the stock market is in a bubble. As usual, there are distinguished professionals on both sides of the debate, armed with convincing statistics and arguments. So, what is the average investor to do?
The economic news has continued to soften in recent days. December saw layoffs go up and the number of jobs decline, and, this morning, the retail sales numbers dropped. Consumer confidence has gone down. Clearly, the economic headwinds from the pandemic are getting worse.
The third wave of the pandemic may be showing signs of a peak. While new cases remain very high, the seven-day daily average was down for two days in the past week, suggesting we may be close to a peak.
As we consider what may happen in 2021, it’s useful to reflect on how we ended 2020—both the good and the bad. For the good, the election is behind us. Vaccines look to be more effective than anyone expected. Jobs and confidence are holding up surprisingly well as the economy adapts. In many ways, things are much better than we thought.
Total new jobs came in at 245,000. This result was well below the 460,000 expected and even further below the 638,000 we saw last month. Looking under the hood, the details were not great either.
As expected, the medical news continues to get worse. New infections hit all-time highs last week as the third wave of the pandemic has accelerated around the country. Case growth in many states remains at levels that threaten health care systems.
A lot has changed in the past week. I normally try and get this post up earlier in the month, but with everything that has happened—and which has demanded comment—this is the earliest I could fit it in. But that is a good thing...
“It will take as long as it takes,” a reported quote from the Pennsylvania attorney general about the vote count, can also apply to the election itself. Indeed, from where we stand right now, the Pennsylvania vote count will determine the election. We don’t know what the final answer is, and we don’t know when we will know. So, are we any further along than yesterday?
Markets continued to rise in June, as efforts to reopen state economies across the country continued throughout the month. Investors reacted to the continued reopening with optimism, driving the S&P 500 up 1.99 percent in June following a 4.76 percent increase in May.
June was a mixed month. The national reopening in May and June led to new viral outbreaks and a spike in new infections in multiple states. Surprisingly, though, both the economic recovery and financial markets did very well. As we enter July, the question of many minds is whether the medical situation will improve—and whether the good economic and market news will continue.
May was a good month, in terms of the virus, the economy, and the markets. But what does this positive news mean for the month ahead?
April saw markets rebound from the recent lows set in March, as progress combating the spread of the coronavirus gave hope to investors. The S&P 500 gained 12.82 percent during the month, marking the best single month for the index since 1987.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. April was a Dickens of a month. But what lies ahead? Let’s take a closer look.
As we did last week, I’d like to provide an update on where we are in the coronavirus crisis. This week, the news has generally been good. The virus continues to come under control, with the growth rate slowing (although the case count has not declined as much).
Things have quieted a bit (but only a bit) in terms of the coronavirus crisis. As such, I thought it would be a good time to provide an update on this evolving situation. Let’s start with the trends in the spread of the virus to understand what they mean in the present for the markets, as well as in the future for the pandemic itself and the economy.
March was a really tough month. After a terrible February, all major stock indices were down by double digits, leading to significant declines for the quarter as a whole. All of the major indices ended the month and quarter below their 200-day moving averages, often a sign of more trouble ahead.
As expected, the initial jobless claims report—the one that shows how many people have been laid off and are newly applying for unemployment assistance—was a shocker this morning. Three million people lost their jobs and applied for unemployment last week. This is by far the highest number ever, with the previous record at just under 700,000 in 1982.
With everything that is happening in the world, now is a good time to step back and think about where we are and where we might be going. There is a tremendous amount of information available. But what’s missing is a framework for that information that would help clarify the big picture.
We have finally seen the end of the bull market, with the Dow dropping 20 percent from its highs and the S&P 500 following today. We are officially in a bear market, with all that implies. Stock markets around the world are down again today on the news.
Monday, March 9, will be the 11th anniversary of the bull market that started back in 2009. With recent pullbacks and turbulence around the coronavirus, it is reasonable to worry that this anniversary will be the last and that a bear market will break the streak sometime in the next year. As such, now seems a good time to consider where we stand—and where the market might be headed.
In yesterday’s post, I pointed out that the markets were taking a break, stopping the sudden slide to think about whether the news surrounding the coronavirus is really as bad as all that. Today, they appear to have decided that, yes, things are that bad and may be even worse. Perhaps, then, it is time for me to reassess my conclusions.
It is now clear that the coronavirus has escaped the attempted containment by Chinese authorities and has spread around the world. According to the World Health Organization, there are 79,331 confirmed cases, of which 77,262 are in China and 2,069 are outside of China (as of February 24, 2020).
It’s time for our monthly look at market risk factors. We had a strong start to the year, with U.S. markets at all-time highs by mid-January. But a risk-off sentiment driven by the spread of the coronavirus from China spooked investors, leading to modest declines for equity markets at month-end.
January was a tough month. We started with a U.S. attack on an Iranian general (creating thoughts of war) and ended with the possibility of a new global pandemic (with the Wuhan coronavirus spreading around the world). In between, of course, we had the impeachment spectacle here in the U.S., as well as the British exit from the European Union.