Category Archives: Market Commentary
General commentary about the financial markets
Yesterday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that nonfarm payroll employment declined by 140,000 in December. The estimate for November was increased by 135,000. The level of employment for December was therefore virtually unchanged from the November report.
The outlook for housing (or more precisely, sentiment about the outlook for housing) has improved in recent weeks, primarily because of the decline in mortgage rates. The average rate on the 30-year mortgage has fallen by 57 basis points (bp) … Continue reading
The reaction to Friday’s labor market report was sharp and swift. Bond yields, especially on the long end of the yield curve rose and stocks sold off. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note ended the week at 3.23%, its … Continue reading
Here are the noteworthy items that crossed my desk during the week ended August 24, 2018:
Last week, stocks fell sharply. The S&P 500 ended the week down 5.16% in price. The Lark Research Homebuilder Stock Price Index fell 6.02%, underperforming the broader market.
At the conclusion of its two-day meeting on July 26, the FOMC kept the Fed Funds target rate unchanged. While this was expected by the financial markets, I thought that the FOMC might still actually raise the target rate. At … Continue reading
The consensus view of the financial markets suggests that the FOMC will next raise its target Fed Funds rate in December (by a quarter point). Currently, the target range is 1.00%-1.25%. Fed Funds futures currently suggest (as of July 13) … Continue reading
There are many ways to slice and dice the market to gain insights into its recent performance, but perhaps the simplest and sometimes the most effective way is to look at growth vs. value.
The major equity averages closed out the month of April with respectable gains ranging from 1.1%-1.4%, with the exception of the Nasdaq Composite, which rallied 2.9%. Year-to-date, the major indexes are up 6.0%-6.5%, which translates into an annualized gain of … Continue reading
Since my last update (Feb. 26), the stock market has had its ups and downs, reflecting the push and pull of stronger economic data against higher interest rates and the ongoing political wrangling in Washington.