The Dow Drops 3 Big Names

The Wall Street Journal calls this the "biggest shake-up of the 30-stock index in almost a decade".  The three lowest priced stocks get bumped on September 20th on this price-weighted index.  The higher the stock price the more influence any given stock has on the price change in the Dow, so these three stocks have had little to do with the gains in the … [Read more...]

The Dow Powers through 15,000

Markets move not so much based on the actual data, as how the data relates to what investors expected.  The Citigroup Economic Surprise Index measures how economic data relates to expectations.  A positive number means data is better than expected and a negative number means worse than expected. This index has turned negative for all the major regions of the … [Read more...]

It Wasn’t Raining When Noah Built the Ark!

The Dow is back to an all-time high following the financial crisis.  The Wall Street Journal reported on the front page on March 6, 2013 that it took only 17 months to plunge from its 2007 high to its March 2009 low.  But it took four years to recover and reach new highs. “It’s like deja- vu, all over again”, as Yogi Berra was fond of saying.   Early in … [Read more...]

Uncertainty Stalls Markets

Labor Day marks the end of summer and while September can be slow, often there are new opportunities in the financial markets as the end of the year is in sight.  There is seasonality to the markets and stocks historically make slow or little progress in the summer months.  For the last three years, summers have been dangerously volatile.  In the summer of … [Read more...]

S&P Downgrades U.S. Treasuries

The stock market has been under tremendous pressure for the last two weeks.  A default by the U. S. government was avoided at the very last minute, but S&P took the unprecedented step a week ago of reducing the rating of US Treasuries from AAA to AA+.  Intuitively, that move should cause a sell-off in bonds with bond prices dropping and the yield on … [Read more...]

Debt Ceiling Crisis

The Debt Ceiling Crisis July 29, 2011 “The Debt Ceiling Crisis” has taken center stage in the last few weeks as Congress and the President are unable to come together on a fix for the economy.  Politicians and the media have spread fear and panic regarding the impact on financial markets if a timely agreement is not reached and every day that goes by the … [Read more...]

Selloff of Leading Stocks

After a strong rally for several months leading stocks began selling off in high volume in late April. Leading stocks are those that have superior fundamentals and have been outperforming the broad market on a relative basis during the recent rally. Volume refers to the number of shares traded in a day, relative to the previous trading day. High volume, … [Read more...]

2010 Market is a Rollercoaster Ride

We have closed the door on another year and the market turned in a respectable 12.8% gain for 2010 as measured by the S&P 500 index. It was a rollercoaster ride with three rallies and three downturns. The volatility gave investors whiplash and made it very difficult to navigate. By August, even veteran investors acknowledged that 2010 was one of the most … [Read more...]

Market Risk Rule #1 – Avoid Large Losses

Average investors are willing to take far too much risk on the downside in hopes that their stock will go back up.  The 2010 market is certainly testing the mettle of even the most experienced investors.  The focus in a down market should be … [Read more...]