201412.21
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Questions For 2015

Well, it’s that time of year again, when all the pundits offer their crystal ball views of the coming new year. I don’t usually participate in the prediction game and this year won’t be any different. Like everyone else I wonder what the future holds but I know I have no special ability to predict…

201412.14
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A Considerable Period

con·sid·er·able 1. Worth consideration; significant 2. Large in extent or degree Merriam-Webster It was six years ago this month that the Federal Reserve cut the Fed Funds rate to its current target range of 0 – 0.25%, essentially cutting the interbank lending rate to zero. The upper end of that range hasn’t been a problem,…

201412.07
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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…

201412.07
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Rising Dollar: Good News, Bad News

So here we are nearly 6 years removed from the last global financial crisis – surely not the last – and while a lot has been done by global economic policymakers, it seems that not much has really been accomplished. Globally, debt has risen since the crisis despite the cries from some quarters of “austerity”;…

201411.30
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A Closer Look: World Markets

Not even geopolitical events in Ukraine, Iraq, and Syria, a third European recession in five years, or anemic Black Friday traffic and sales numbers can dislodge the US markets. A month after hitting the 1820 level, the S&P 500 Index (IVV) broke through all resistance on its way to new all-time highs at the 2075 level. The…

201411.30
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Slip Slidin’ Away

Slip Slidin’ Away Slip Slidin’ Away You Know The Nearer Your Destination The More You’re Slip Slidin’ Away Paul Simon Well, now things are starting to get interesting. Contrary to most expectations, OPEC decided last week to maintain – or more accurately, continue ignoring – their current production target. OPEC members haven’t been sticking to…

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;…