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Previewing the March Issue 02-24-15

Today, the “troika” approved a list of reform promises submitted by Greece, putting the stamp on the bailout extension agreement reached late last week. Freshly ushered into power, Greece’s ruling party Syriza approached the negotiations with tough demands, but was humbled by reality, essentially extending the bailout deal—which it had promised to reject—to buy time to work on a more extensive agreement. Read more about Previewing the March Issue 02-24-15

Who Will Blink First? 02-17-15

Talks between the leaders of Greece and those of the rest of Europe so far have yielded little progress toward an accord and discussions have halted. Germany has demanded that Greece file for an extension of the bailout deal (set to expire at the end of February) if it wants euro zone ministers to meet to discuss financial aid for the beleaguered Mediterranean nation.

It appears that the rest of the euro zone wants Greece, at minimum, to agree to use the existing bailout agreement as framework to renegotiate for relaxation of austerity conditions. Read more about Who Will Blink First? 02-17-15

The Clock Ticks for Greece 02-10-15

Alexis Tsipras, the new Greek head of state, will attend the European Union summit this week to discuss a possible new line of critical funding for Greece as the current bailout deal is set to expire at the end of the month; if the country cannot work out another package, that would leave Greece with insufficient liquidity to meet its financial obligations. Read more about The Clock Ticks for Greece 02-10-15

Oil Heats Up 02-03-15

Oil prices have rebounded above $52 in recent days as a strike by refinery workers threaten to keep more than one million barrels of refined petroleum products per day off the market and a slew of energy company budget cuts and decline of rigs in operation spurred bets that oil may have bottomed. Read more about Oil Heats Up 02-03-15

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February 2015

The ECB Joins the Party

This issue we take a look at the ECB's ambitious new plans and what the Greek leadership change may mean for investors. As usual, we review what our indicators are saying about stocks, bonds, and precious metals and we re-rank our related ETFs accordingly.

We also look at what the CRB Raw Industrials Index is telling us about the industrial commodities market and implications for the future.

See the issue for details. Read more about The ECB Joins the Party

A Cold Day for the Market 01-27-15

As Winter Storm Juno blankets the Northeast with snow, the stock market is up and running, albeit on light trade volume. At mid-day, the S&P 500 is down roughly 1.3 percent while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down a greater 1.8 percent due to disappointing quarterly report cards from several of its component companies, including Caterpillar and Microsoft. Since the Dow includes only 30 stocks, big changes from any one will have a larger impact on the overall index compared to the S&P, which has 500 stocks.

Downbeat Forecasts Pressure the ECB 01-20-15

Attention is on Frankfurt this week, where top European Central Bank (ECB) officials will convene Thursday to decide the course of monetary policy. With the euro zone economy in bad shape, deflation an increasing threat, and an important Greek election looming this weekend, it is expected that the ECB will have additional easing—perhaps another round of bond purchases—up its sleeve.

As if to pressure regulators to act, the World Bank and the IMF both lowered their global growth outlooks, the World Bank last week and the IMF today. Read more about Downbeat Forecasts Pressure the ECB 01-20-15