Last week, the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank hosted its annual economic policy symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Market participants watched with keen interest as U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and other key monetary policymakers spoke. Read more about Dovish Central Banker Talks Set Positive Market Mood 08-26-14
After falling to a two-month low last week, U.S. stocks—using the S&P 500 as proxy—have staged a comeback in recent days. For the month, the blue chip index is about breakeven. As predicted by our stock indicator, although equities may struggle to find much upside in the near term with valuations stretched, despite the ongoing geopolitical risks, the chances for a major decline (10 percent or larger) seem small. Read more about Keeping an Eye on Overseas Turmoil 08-12-14
Last Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that U.S. employers added 209,000 jobs in July. That was more than 20,000 fewer jobs than economists had expected. Nevertheless, the gain represented the sixth consecutive monthly addition of more than 200,000 jobs, the longest such period since the 1990s. Read more about Digesting the News 08-05-14
Despite the disquiet in international news, economic data on the home front continues to look encouraging. Last week, the Department of Labor announced that new applications for unemployment benefits fell during the week ended July 19 to the lowest level since February 2006, thanks partly to an increase in auto production at a normally sluggish time of year. Initial jobless claims declined to 284,000, a level lower than most economists had expected. Read more about Markets in Neutral Gear as Economy Rebounds 07-29-14
This issue we take a look at the Malaysian plane tragedy, its potential ramifications, and what our market indicators say about the near-term direction of the market.
We also discuss the ongoing bilateral investment treaty negotiations between the U.S. and China and review how the landscape has changed as the Middle Kingdom emerges on the global stage. We reiterate our endorsement for our favorite China-related investment. Read more about Conflicts and Negotiations
The U.S. Department of Commerce today reported retail sales for June. At a growth rate of 0.2 percent, following a 0.5 percent increase in May, the sluggishness of the headline sales number surprised economists, who had expected to see 0.6 percent growth. That may account for the renewed aura of worry hitting the market today, particularly in small- and mid-cap stocks. Read more about No Reason to Rush for the Exits 07-15-14