Jobs on the Jackson Hole Agenda 08-20-14

This afternoon, the Fed released the minutes from its last Federal Open Market Committee meeting, held at the end of July. The details show that “many participants noted that if convergence toward the committee’s objectives occurred more quickly than expected, it might become appropriate to begin removing monetary policy accommodation sooner than they currently anticipated.” Read more about Jobs on the Jackson Hole Agenda 08-20-14

Tepid Growth Ties the Fed’s Hand 08-13-14

Despite some choppy action lately due to geopolitical tensions abroad, new signs of economic woes in Europe, and concerns of Fed tightening at home, U.S. stocks have held their own. My stock indicator remains in neutral territory, having exhibited only minor changes, one way or another, in recent weeks. Indeed, although there have been a few relatively large one-day swings, stocks have been essentially flat this month; the S&P 500 is up roughly half a percentage point. Read more about Tepid Growth Ties the Fed’s Hand 08-13-14

Weathering the Turbulence 08-06-14

Overseas worries coupled with speculation that continued domestic economic recovery may force the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy sooner than expected (by the most popular estimate, in mid-2015) have pressured stocks lately. With U.S. stocks overbought, by historical standards, on a valuation basis and entering a traditionally weak period for equities, market participants don’t need much prodding to pause and take some profits off the table. Read more about Weathering the Turbulence 08-06-14

Dovish Fed and Strong Economic Rebound 07-30-14

The Federal Reserve wrapped up its latest policy-setting meeting today. As expected, Janet Yellen and company further reduced the pace of the Fed’s monthly debt purchases by $10 billion. Beginning in August, the central bank will purchase $10 billion in mortgage-backed securities and $15 billion in Treasury securities per month. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will meet again in mid-September, at which time it is expected to cut the size of QE to $15 billion per month.     Read more about Dovish Fed and Strong Economic Rebound 07-30-14

Investing Conditions Still Favorable 07-23-14

The market was briefly jolted last Thursday by the downing of a civilian jet carrying 298 passengers and crew from the Netherlands to Malaysia, suspected to be the work of Ukrainian rebels using advanced Russian weaponry. The prospect of drastic escalation in Eastern Europe prompted many investors to reflexively reduce their risk exposure. Read more about Investing Conditions Still Favorable 07-23-14

Bouncing Back 07-16-14

Last week, a large Portuguese bank’s parent company failed to make a debt payment, and the trading of the shares and bonds of the bank were halted, reigniting fears of contagion throughout Europe once again. But the stir was brief, as the bank, Banco Espirito Santo, convinced investors that they had more than enough capital on hand to cover any potential losses from exposure to their troubled parent company. Read more about Bouncing Back 07-16-14