Weekly Update

Volatility Drop Usually a Positive Signal


Published April 9, 2021

The past few days have marked an important milestone in the market’s recovery. The volatility index (VIX) measuring the relative “fear” of investors has dropped below its key reference line as the chart below shows. Fear has subsided and the market has returned to normal levels. (more…)

Weekly Update

April Often Shines on the Q


Published April 2, 2021

This week’s market action reminds us that April is often a favorable month for investors, particularly for tech/consumer stocks. This week, those stocks look to have begun a rebound from their March rest period. Over the past 15 years, the Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) has posted a gain 80% of the time in April, making it the second most reliably strong month for this index. (more…)

Weekly Update

Correcting Through Time


Published March 26, 2021

 

Market corrections are typically defined as a decline of at least -10%. But they can also be corrections “through time”. A case in point is the chart of Amazon below. After leading the way higher for stocks from the initial Covid-19 plunge, Amazon has traded sideways for the past nine months, correcting in time. (more…)

Weekly Update

A Surge in Investment Technology


Published March 19, 2021

These days it seems there is a high level of financial investment activity going on. Witness the recent Congressional hearings about the online-driven mania in Gamestop and other “meme” stocks. We cannot remember a time when individuals trading stocks were brought before Congress. Every week there is a new acronym, new concept, or new purported “bubble” taking shape. We will take this space this week to describe, define, and digest some of the major new areas in the investment world. (more…)

Weekly Update

The Stock Market-Economy Connection


Published March 12, 2021

Below is the most recent analysis from Schwab’s Liz Ann Sonders. While some have struggled with the seeming disconnect between the stock market and economy over the past year, Ms. Sonders outlines how the market and economy have been much more in sync than we might realize. (more…)

Weekly Update

The Nasdaq Rolls Over


Published March 5, 2021

The market’s preferred narrative has changed over the past month leading to a selloff in the tech & consumer-heavy Nasdaq. When the current market rally started way back in April 2020, the argument was that the stable earnings growth and global presence of the mega-cap tech and consumer stocks like Amazon, Facebook, Nike, et al. would be the best place for stock investors to park their money. These brands are substantially online or ‘digital’ in their business operations, and less likely to be impacted by the new stay-at-home lifestyle. (more…)

Weekly Update

Interest Rates: Getting Back to Normal


Published February 26, 2021

 

Interest rates have ripped higher along with stocks as expectations for a very strong post-pandemic economic recovery gain traction. This week, however, that rise in rates appeared to reach a point where concerns crept in. Stocks tumbled as investors worried that the rise in rates was too high, too fast. (more…)

Weekly Update

A Roaring Bull Market in the Riskiest of Asset Classes


Published February 12, 2021

It is no secret that money is chasing stocks, creating what some are calling ‘bubbles’ of valuation here and there (if not in the market overall). We talked last week about how valuation doesn’t really matter, supply and demand does. Right now, investors see no reason to hold back on the demand piece. We find no better example of this behavior than the massive (and sharply quick) run-up in shares of the most risky of companies, broadly speaking. That would be the smallest companies in the market – the microcaps. (more…)

Weekly Update

Reminder: The Market Is All About Supply and Demand, Nothing Else


Published February 5, 2021

That’s right folks, any market: stocks, bonds, commodities, milk, diapers, et al. is ONLY about supply and demand. Sure, we try to make ourselves feel better by assigning formulas and trying to figure out some “fair value” based on historical data. But it’s a complete wild west guess, right? Take the price-earnings ratio, so frequently used to peg the stock market as being “expensive” or “cheap”. This ratio has run anywhere from 10 to 100, settling in a typical range of 15-20 or so. Still, it’s a bell(ish) curve with a very wide range of possible values. That typical range does not say anything about the investing or economic environment of the times. (more…)