Weekly Update

February 12, 2016 Update


Europe and the banks

The crisis du jour is found in European banks. The market has determined that nothing good and everything bad is knocking on the door of these large institutions. Remembering how unpleasant the fallout from the U.S. banking crisis was, markets have quickly piled into the worst case scenarios and extrapolated all manner of unhappiness from a few data points. (more…)

Weekly Update

February 5, 2016 Update


As goes January…

Stock investors bid good riddance to a miserable month of January, the worst beginning to a year in stock market history. Chart 1 below provides a visual history of stock market returns: (more…)

Weekly Update

January 29, 2016 Update


A recession just around the corner?

Egged on by the stock market’s miserable January performance, there are increasing concerns that the market drop is projecting a coming recession. Last week we examined a few of the reasons why such a forecast may not be on point; how the economy might continue plugging along albeit with simmering growth. This week we will review some of the notes floating around that support the notion of recession, attempting to find if there are reasons beyond just the decline in stock prices to support the recession argument. (more…)

Weekly Update

January 22, 2016 Update


Is a recession coming? Part 1

As pundits and market analysts look for clues behind this year’s shockingly bad start to the stock market they have raised the volume on calls that a recession must be coming soon to U.S. shores, presumably having washed across the Pacific from China in the form of continually plunging oil prices and a central bank out of the good drugs the market needs to survive. (more…)

Weekly Update

January 15, 2016 Update


Can we realistically expect to find the next great stock?

The list below comes from @ivanhoff a professional stock trader and frequent investment writer, blogger, tweeter, et al. The list outlines the stages of a market correction. Given that stocks are mired in a significant correction right now, it seems worthwhile to revisit this list. Herewith is Mr. Ivanhoff’s outline. (more…)

Weekly Update

January 8, 2016 Update


Look at the QQQ

After a disappointing 2015 for investors, we begin the year looking at our focus Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) index. Monday’s plunge in stocks to welcome 2016 gapped below the index’s support level, shown below as the blue bar between 4500 and 4600. The index had failed repeatedly to forge ahead to new highs in November and December (the purple bar across the top Chart 1). This failure occurred despite extraordinary strength in some of the index’s main components – e.g. Amazon (AMZN), Google/Alphabet (GOOG and GOOGL), and Facebook (FB). These three stocks (actually four since Google/Alphabet is represented twice in the index) together comprise about 20% of the Nasdaq 100, almost twice the weight of Apple (AAPL). (It wasn’t long ago that Apple was routinely above 20% weight in the QQQ). (more…)

Weekly Update

January 1, 2016 Update


Can we realistically expect to find the next great stock?

We kick off 2016 with a couple of recent posts from popular financial blogs. Both of these articles focus on the emotional foibles and challenges we investors face. The first article recounts some of the absolute best stocks of the past ten years. Now, AFTER they’ve achieved such glorious returns, it’s very easy to say that we wish we had owned these stocks. However, the reality is that these stocks suffer the very same harsh volatility than most other stocks do. (more…)