201411.23
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A Closer Look: Market Style

Under uncertain yet seemingly improving economic conditions, the S&P 500 Index ((IVV)) has inched its way forward for much of the year, gaining just under 14% during this low-volume, low (but increasing) volatility period. The index bounced off support at the 1800 level and now finds itself at new all-time highs in a little over…

201411.23
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The Return of Conundrum

co·nun·drum – noun: A confusing or difficult problem; a question or problem having only a conjectural answer Merriam-Webster Back in the last Fed tightening cycle, Alan Greenspan described the refusal of long term rates to follow short rates higher a conundrum, something he couldn’t really explain. Unlike past periods of tightening, long term rates refused…

201411.16
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Bubble Behavior?

I really hate the term bubble. With regard to markets, frankly it has no meaning. One man’s bubble is another man’s rational bull market. There is no agreed upon valuation metric which, once exceeded, pegs a market or a sector or a stock as a bubble. My view on the matter is that “bubbles’ are…

201411.09
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Political Economy

I hate to do it, but I’m going to have to write about politics this week. Believe me, it isn’t something I relish, but in light of the recent election, it would be dereliction of duty to ignore the elephant and donkey in the room. Let’s get this out of the way right up front;…

201411.09
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A Closer Look: Commodities

The GSCI Commodity Index ((GSG)) consists primarily of Energy, but also includes Agriculture, Industrial Metals, Livestock, and Precious Metals as part of its holdings. The index broke down during the month of July on the back of a stronger US Dollar. It failed a critical test once it broke through the 200-day moving average, and…

201411.02
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A Closer Look: World Markets

Not even geopolitical events in Ukraine, Iraq, and Syria, nor a third European recession in five years, can dislodge the US markets. Two weeks after hitting the 1820 level, the S&P 500 Index (IVV) broke resistance at the 50-day and 200-day moving average on its way to a new all-time closing high. That’s an 11% gain…

201411.02
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Bank Of Japan Fills The Gap

The Federal Reserve ended QE3 last week as was widely expected and markets seemed to take it calmly enough. Stocks and bonds fluctuated, as they tend to do, but the end result was a non-event. It seemed that investors were willing to give the economy and the markets the benefit of the doubt as we…

201410.26
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A Market That Satisfies No One

Stocks rebounded in spectacular fashion last week, the angst of the last few weeks apparently forgotten as quickly as a central banker can float a trial balloon. First there was the Bullard bounce that moved us off the lows when things were looking their grimmest and then last week we got a rumor about the…

201410.19
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A Closer Look: Market Cap

After a slow, stubborn march forward to the 2000 level, the S&P 500 Cap-Weighted Index ((IVV) has broken down in the last couple of weeks. Although not exactly a surprise, the index broke both moving averages on its way to support. If it wants to limit the technical damage, which is already pretty grim, the index…

201410.19
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Was That It?

Stocks fell last week for the fourth week in a row and there was the whiff of panic mid-week. Despite that losing streak the S&P 500 is only 6% from its all time high but the pain for the leveraged investing crowd (the misnamed “hedge” funds) appeared to hit a crescendo last week – at…