As we entered 2016, the factors that led to the volatility throughout the 2nd half of 2015 persisted. After one of the worst ever starts to a year, a rally in March led to the S&P 500 ending positive for the quarter.
Uncertainty in the financial markets leads to volatility. There was uncertainty about the price of oil, US interest rates and the overall health of the global economy. Continue reading “April 2016 Commentary”
Investors and money managers alike were happy to say goodbye to 2015 as the S&P 500 closed the year on the downside for the first time since 2008. So far, 2016 has not fared better in its first week with global markets suffering.
There is much uncertainty and bad news out there to justify the negative sentiment:
- Oil continues its slide which many believe is a telling sign of a global slowdown
- There is fear of a slowdown in China and such has seen its stock market halt a few times due to mass selling
- The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time since June 2006 and has hinted at 3 or 4 more in 2016
- North Korea has an H bomb (ok, probably not)
Continue reading “January 2016 Commentary”
Everywhere we looked last quarter flashed signs of a pullback:
- The 3rd quarter is typically the worst quarter
- A slowdown in China
- The Fed may raise interest rates
- A collapse in oil prices
It’s no wonder that at one point we saw the S&P 500 decline over 10% from its highs for the first time in 3 ½ years. The headlines left many investors jittery about living through another major market pullback like we’ve seen on 3 other occasions since 2000. What I routinely reminded our clients is that, historically, we get a 10% pullback annually. So waiting 3 ½ years, we were long overdue. Continue reading “October 2015 Commentary”
As I’ve stated before, the market does not like uncertainty, and there was plenty of it in the 2nd quarter of 2015. Questions about an improving US economy and potential Fed interest rate hike, as well as concerns over the Greek debt crisis left investors in a state of flux for most of the quarter. Continue reading “July 2015 Commentary”
The volatility we saw in the 4th quarter of 2014 continued throughout the first quarter of 2015. The primary driver of the volatility was an increased expectation amongst economists that the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise interest rates as early as June. A second factor was sub-par earnings reports that produced a perceived slowdown in US production.
For the quarter, the S&P 500 squeezed out a slight gain of less than one percent. Conversely, the international markets (EAFE Index) produced a gain of over 5%. The shift signaled a belief that the similar European and Japanese monetary policies, which helped US markets for the last few years, are beginning to have the same positive effects across seas. Continue reading “April 2015 Commentary”
The 4th quarter of 2014 has been considerably more volatile than those of the past few years, as we have seen a see saw effect on a swell of global economic data and events. The quarter thus far has seen the S&P 500 fluctuate up and down by 5% or more a number of times. Continue reading “December Commentary”
The 2nd quarter of 2014 was full of milestones and momentum as the “sell in May” theorists were again on the wrong side. We saw the quarter end with a gain of over 4% in the S&P 500 with all-time highs eclipsed on multiple occasions throughout the quarter. It seems almost inevitable that 2014 will see S&P 2000. Continue reading “July 2014 Market Commentary”
With the US stock market seeing gains in each of the last 4 calendar years and rising 12% so far in 2013, many investors are worried that the stock markets are overvalued. Continue reading “April 2013 Commentary”
Do You See What I See?
The market is rallying today on a possible European Union bailout plan for Greece. As it stands, the markets are on pace for their best weekly gains in three weeks and their first monthly gains since April. With so many headwinds still prevalent, I am not sure I understand such short-term optimism. Continue reading “July 21st 2011 Commentary”
Markets Taking a Breather
May’s market so far has been much like the weather in the Philadelphia area — soggy. With high gas prices, a continued debt crisis in Europe and mixed corporate earnings reports, investors have reduced their appetite for risk in the most recent trading sessions. The result has been a sell-off in areas that have shown the greatest strength over the past few months. Continue reading “May 18th Commentary”