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For several years, investors have wrestled with a profound dilemma. With Federal Reserve and other substantial government stimulus, stock prices have risen to and remained at valuation levels that have, throughout history, ultimately been severely punished. As the years rolled on and the Fed consistently provided one sort of stimulus or another whenever stocks appeared [...]
The US economy is struggling through its worst decline since the 1930s. Corporate earnings have plummeted, and numerous CEOs are refusing to offer forecasts for upcoming quarters. Nonetheless, the major stock indexes have rallied to or above all-time highs. Investors appear willing to disregard weak fundamentals so long as the Federal Reserve continues to produce [...]
Late in the second quarter, I wrote To Be Equity-Lite or Equity-Heavy?, which spelled out the predominant arguments for and against significant equity ownership in the current environment. I encourage you to read or reread that article to evaluate your own reasons for remaining either equity-lite or equity-heavy. Departing from our typical Quarterly Commentary format, [...]
During the first quarter, we experienced the fastest ever 35% decline from an all-time high in US equity market prices. The subsequent remarkable recovery rally regained most of the lost ground in barely a month and a half. Commentators are currently marveling about the disconnect between aggressively rising stock prices and the weakest economic data [...]
As the month of April closed last week, Wall Street celebrated the S&P 500’s powerful 12.7% advance, the strongest monthly gain in 33 years. Whether that success points to continued gains in the short run, however, is open to question. Looking back, two even more profitable months saw slightly varied outcomes. The most profitable month, [...]
Two articles from The Wall Street Journal weekend edition struck me as particularly helpful to readers seeking insight into prospects for the pandemic, the economy and the investment markets. Relative to the coronavirus pandemic and its potential effect on the economy, let the authors Louise Radnofsky and Ben Cohen speak for themselves: There has always [...]
In just under two months, stock prices worldwide have plummeted from historic highs to bear market lows and have rocketed part way back up again. The coronavirus has infected nearly 2 million people, killing over 100,000, and shut down vast swaths of the world economy. In less than one month, our way of life has [...]
In our January Commentary, we noted that the Fed had dropped short-term interest rates in late-2019 in three distinct quarter point increments to the year-end level of 1.50-1.75%. As the coronavirus spread around the world in early-2020, the central bank cut interest rates on March 3 by half a percentage point, its biggest single cut [...]
Readers of our reports over the past few years know that we have described the condition facing investors as a bet. Older market veterans who have lived through a number of market cycles would tend to bet on what has always ultimately played out-- that the equity markets would eventually revert to their historically normal [...]
In my 52 years in the investment industry, I have never seen anything like the stock market activity of the last month. From its Feb 12 all-time high, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by more than 35% (about 10,500 points) to its Wednesday low, just below 19,000. That significant decline was the fastest in [...]
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