Investment Comments


September Investment Comments

U.S. economic indicators appear quite strong and supported an impressive 4.1% annualized growth rate in second quarter Gross Domestic Product.  Underlying growth would have been 5.1% excluding inventory de-stocking; ups and downs in inventories typically correct themselves the following quarter. Retail sales growth also remains solid, up 6.4% from last […]


August Investment Comments

Through mid-July, the S&P 500 is up nearly 5%, a respectable start following 2017’s strong performance.  The move higher has come despite what appears to be slowing, but still solid, global growth and concerns surrounding trade.  President Trump recently proposed tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods after Beijing responded […]


July Investment Comments

The S&P 500 mostly sputtered through the first five months of 2018, but a strong start to June has pushed its year-to-date performance up to +5.5%.  Renewed volatility has made this year’s gains feel hard-earned, even grueling.  It is somewhat difficult to believe that we are currently on pace for […]


June Investment Comments

Investors in 2018 haven’t had much to cheer about.  The stock market is about flat.  The resumption of normal volatility seems abnormal because prior years were so placid in comparison.  Normally investors can seek relief in the bond market, but with both the Federal Reserve and a stronger economy pushing […]


May Investment Comments

To date, one could make the case that the return of volatility is the market story of the year.  The Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, spiked in February to a high of 50 before settling in at a level below 20. Despite the February surge, the current level of the […]


April Investment Comments

Stock investors as a group seem like a bunch of manic depressives, present company excluded of course.  We worry when the economy doesn’t grow much because recessions accompany bear markets and we certainly don’t like those.  But we also fret when the economy does too well because that could result […]


March Investment Comments

After two years of a steadily rising stock market it finally happened: the dreaded correction.  Corrections are defined as at least a 10% drop in market value after achieving a peak.  On Thursday, February 8th the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day at 23,860.46, down 10.4% from its peak […]


January Investment Comments

The S&P 500 has continued its run, returning more than 17% year-to-date through November.  The steady rise this year, with only modest turbulence, has increased the number of market observers highlighting an “overheated” market where investors have become complacent.  Not to completely dismiss these concerns, but a fact-based analysis helps […]


December Investment Comments

How Important Is Tax Reform to the U.S. Markets? The U.S. economy and the rest of the world look generally healthy.  That’s something we haven’t been able to say since before the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.  Since that time, major parts of the world have either been in recession or […]


November Investment Comments

The S&P 500 gained 2% last month and is now up 14% for the year.  According to finviz.com, every sector registered gains, with financials and technology leading the way. Third quarter “earnings season” is off to a strong start.  According to FactSet, with 6% of the S&P 500 reporting as […]