Summer Time…And the Trading is Easy 08-19-14

Stocks are marching ahead once more today in quiet trading, with the blue chip averages close to record highs. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 actually reached its own milestone today, a 14-year high, revisiting levels not seen since the heady days of the tech bubble. With many investors enjoying their summer holiday in the waning days of summer, volume today, as has been the case for some time now, is quite light—and it’s likely to remain that way through Labor Day. Read more about Summer Time…And the Trading is Easy 08-19-14

Quiet Trading As Stocks Lack a Catalyst 08-12-14

Stocks are little changed today after two days of gains, with little news to propel them in either direction. What news we have had, however, has largely been positive. Read more about Quiet Trading As Stocks Lack a Catalyst 08-12-14

Holding Steady 08-05-14

No sooner did we describe the market as being unflappable (in the last update headline, no less) than stocks produced their worst weekly performance in two years. Still, we stand by that call. Although equities did slip in last week’s trading, from where we sit it looks like nothing more than a modest, and much needed correction. Read more about Holding Steady 08-05-14

Unflappable and Unexciting 07-29-14

Tensions in Europe continue to mount in the wake of a seeming step-up in Russian support of Ukrainian separatists following the success of Ukrainian government troops in recapturing territory formerly held by the rebels—despite widespread condemnation of the downing of Malaysia Airlines MK17. The European Union has enacted stiffer sanctions on Moscow and the United States is expected to follow suit. Russia claims it will not be drawn into tit-for-tat sanction escalation, but it shows no sign of backing down either. Read more about Unflappable and Unexciting 07-29-14

In the Sweet Spot, for Now 07-22-14

There’s a global rally in stocks underway today. Shares are getting a bump from some progress in Ukraine where separatists have handed over the bodies as well the jet’s flight recorders recovered from the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines MK17. They also now pledge to allow investigators access to the crash site. This has sparked hopes that Russia will back away from its support of the separatists, easing tensions in the region. Of course this is just speculation and it remains to be seen if Moscow is truly in a conciliatory mood. Read more about In the Sweet Spot, for Now 07-22-14

Sidelined, But Likely Not for Long 07-15-14

Janet Yellen is back on Capitol Hill this week answering congressional queries. To no one’s surprise she reinforced the view that the Federal Reserve will maintain an ultra-easy monetary policy for some time to come, due to persistent slack in the labor market (despite the 6.1 percent headline unemployment rate). The consensus pegs mid 2015 as the likely start of Fed tightening, and an increasing number of economists expect the first rate hike could occur sooner. Read more about Sidelined, But Likely Not for Long 07-15-14

That Was Quick 07-08-14

The title of our last update proclaimed that “Future Good News is Apt to be Less Well Received.” It didn’t take long for that call to ring true. Last Thursday the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a beauty of an employment report, with 288,000 non-farm payrolls created in June and the unemployment rate down to 6.1 percent. Stocks initially climbed on the news, but subsequently gave up all of those gains and then some. Read more about That Was Quick 07-08-14

Future Good News Apt to Be Less Well Received 07-01-14

The first half of 2014 was a fruitful one for investors, with stocks, bonds and commodities all generating solid returns. Returns in the second half are likely to be more modest, but we’re getting off on the right foot, aided by generally favorable U.S. economic reports.

Weekly chain store sales out today came in a bit below expectations, but nevertheless climbed at a 1 percent annualized rate. Year over year they were up 4.6 percent, an improvement over the prior 4.1 percent reading. Read more about Future Good News Apt to Be Less Well Received 07-01-14

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