Category Archives: Market Commentary

General commentary about the financial markets

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

Posted in Communication Services, Consumer Discretionary, Consumer Staples, Energy, Financials, Health Care, Housing, Industrials, Market Commentary, Materials, Real Estate, Sectors, Technology, Telecommunications, Utilities | Tagged | Comments Off on 2021 Market Outlook – Part 2: S&P 500 Sector Analysis

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.

Posted in Federal Reserve, Market Commentary | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on The Employment Situation and Outlook – December 2020

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

Posted in Consumer Discretionary, Housing, Market Commentary, Real Estate | Tagged , | Comments Off on Housing Market Update – February 2019

Friday’s Drop in Unemployment: Less Than Meets The Eye?

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

Posted in Market Commentary | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Friday’s Drop in Unemployment: Less Than Meets The Eye?

Notes from the Inbox . . . August 24, 2018

Here are the noteworthy items that crossed my desk during the week ended August 24, 2018:

Posted in Market Commentary | Comments Off on Notes from the Inbox . . . August 24, 2018

A Possible Early Sign of a Market Rebound

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.

Posted in Housing, Market Commentary | Tagged , | Comments Off on A Possible Early Sign of a Market Rebound

The Fed Keeps Interest Rates on Hold

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

Posted in Federal Reserve, Market Commentary | Tagged | Comments Off on The Fed Keeps Interest Rates on Hold

The Market’s Mistaken View on Fed Rate Hikes

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

Posted in Federal Reserve, Market Commentary | Tagged | 1 Comment

Growth vs. Value: The Story of the Market

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.

Posted in Market Commentary | Tagged , | Comments Off on Growth vs. Value: The Story of the Market

Market Update–April 30, 2017

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

Posted in Market Commentary | Tagged , | Comments Off on Market Update–April 30, 2017