Category Archives: Market Commentary

General commentary about the financial markets

A Quick Review of Economic Trends

Job Growth Rebounds; Wage Growth Slows.  The pace of job creation rebounded in September.  Payroll employment increased by 336,000, about twice the consensus estimate. Gains for August and July were both revised upward.  This was the largest monthly increase in … Continue reading

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A Quick Review of Interest Rates and Inflation

The FOMC Pauses Again. At its September meeting, as expected, the FOMC held the target range for the Fed Funds rate steady at 5.25%-5.50%.  In the press release accompanying the statement, the Committee noted that while inflation remains elevated, tighter … Continue reading

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A Quick Review of September’s Stock Market Trends

Stocks lost more ground in September, the second consecutive month of decline. The losses appear to be driven by the evolving sentiment that interest rates will remain higher for longer.  This caused valuation multiples to compress across almost all stocks.  … Continue reading

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Housing Market Update – March 2023

Housing market data from the U.S. Commerce Dept. and others show sales and production leveled off and even recovered a bit in the final months of 2022 and first two months of 2023.  The seasonally-adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of single-family … Continue reading

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September Housing Market Update

The average rate on the 30-year mortgage has risen above 6.00% in response to the latest hike in the Fed Funds target rate.  Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey pegged the average rate at 6.29% this week. The CME’s Fed … Continue reading

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22Q2 Housing Market Update

Despite an accelerating slide in housing sales and production following this year’s rise in mortgage rates, my homebuilder stock price index has performed in line with its benchmarks since April. At current prices, homebuilding stocks trade at less than four … Continue reading

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The Drivers of Large Cap Stock Performance in 2021

Estimated Returns by Sectors, Industry Groups and Industries Large cap stocks, as measured by the Lark Research Large Cap index (the “Index”) which currently mirrors the S&P 500, turned in another impressive performance in 2021.  The Index posted a price … Continue reading

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2021 Market Outlook – Part 2: S&P 500 Sector Analysis

2020 was of course dominated by the impact of the pandemic on the economy and specifically on the revenues and profits of each of the S&P 500 constituents.  There was a sharp stock market sell-off in March-April, followed by a … Continue reading

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2021 Market Outlook – Part 1

Despite Ongoing Uncertainties about the Pandemic, the Economic Recovery and Global Events, the Stock Market is Poised to Move Higher in 2021. The financial markets turned in a stellar performance in 2020, the year of COVID-19, when real GDP probably … Continue reading

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The Employment Situation and Outlook – December 2020

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.

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Housing Market Update – February 2019

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

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