Category Archives: Market Commentaries

Market Month: April 2014

The Markets

The rotation out of momentum stocks that began in early March continued in April, hitting many of the tech and biotech high-fliers that had soared earlier in the year. That cost the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 dearly, leaving both with negative year-to-date returns. The Russell ended the month down 6.7% from its early March year-to-date high, while the Nasdaq slumped 5.6% over the same period. However, valuation concerns didn’t affect… Click here to read the rest of this market summary, Market Month: April 2014

Quarterly Market Review: January – March 2014

The Markets

Profit-taking from 2013’s strong run as well as currency and credit problems in several emerging markets threatened to derail the stock market as 2014 began. Those factors, combined with the prospect of less support from the Federal Reserve, a slowing Chinese economy, and renewed Cold War tensions, led to a volatile quarter for equities. After a dismal January, equities regained… Click here to read the rest of this quarterly market summary, Quarterly Market Review: January – March 2014

Market Month: February 2014

The Markets

Equities recovered from January’s losses in fine style. The Nasdaq continued to lead the pack year-to-date, but by the end of the month the S&P 500 had set a fresh all-time closing high. The small caps of the Russell 2000 also had a strong month, leaving the Dow industrials the only one of these four domestic indices down for the year despite its February gains. Unlike its domestic counterpart, the Global Dow barely managed to squeak into… Click here to read the rest of this market summmary, Market Month: February 2014

Market Week: February 3, 2014

The Markets

It’s a small, small world: Despite various attempts at propping up local currencies, emerging markets continued to suffer from concerns that 1) assets being moved to stronger currencies could undermine already fragile economies, and 2) a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing could reduce demand for commodities, exports of which are crucial to many emerging-market countries. Fueled by additional Fed tapering, risk aversion also spread to markets in developed countries, hurting large caps that derive a large portion of their revenues overseas. The Dow’s losses gave… Click here to read the rest of this market summary, Market Week: February 3, 2014

Market Week: January 27, 2014

The Markets

A double whammy helped trigger a selloff in equities last week. Weaker-than-expected manufacturing data from China helped fuel concerns about the global impact of potential additional Fed tightening next week and a stronger U.S. dollar. Some lackluster earnings reports didn’t help, though profit-taking in the wake of last year’s strong rally also could have been a factor. After declines in several emerging-market currencies, the Dow and S&P 500 dropped below…Click here to read the rest of this market summary, “Market Week: January 27, 2014”

Market Week: January 13, 2014

The Markets

Believers in the so-called January indicator–the concept that the first five trading days suggest the stock market’s overall direction for the rest of the year–were likely discouraged last week. The S&P gave up roughly half a percentage point during 2014’s first five trading days. The other three domestic indices… Click here to read the rest of this market summary, “Market Week: January 13, 2014”

Annual Market Review 2013

Overview

Standoffs, sequestration, shutdown, and suspense in Washington supplied the wall of worry that equities markets are said to be so fond of climbing. And climb it they did. The Dow, S&P 500, and small-cap Russell 2000 explored record territory for much of the year. Investors spent most of 2013 toggling between rejoicing at the lack of bad economic news and worrying that good news would prompt the Federal Reserve to start cutting its support. However, the Fed delayed action, first to assess the economic impact of the sequester budget cuts imposed by 2012’s fiscal-cliff detour, and then to avoid aggravating concerns over the U.S. debt ceiling showdown and the 16-day government shutdown… Click here to read the rest of this annual market review, “Annual Market Review 2013”

Market Week: January 6, 2014

The Markets

Equities rang in the new year by taking a bit of a breather. As investors decided to take some of the profits that the Santa Claus rally had left in their stockings, the Dow lost 135 points on 2014’s first trading day, though it regained much of that the following day. The other three domestic indices…
Click here to read the rest of this market summary, “Market Week: January 6, 2014”

Government Shutdown commentary

Our clients have received a lot of confusing information about what is happening in the global markets, economies and governments. For many people, this confusion has led to an uncertainty about where to focus, when to be concerned, and when to simply shut out the “noise” of information overload. We have been getting many inquiries from our clients who are concerned about the federal government shutdown and the upcoming debt ceiling decision. In consideration of general investors’ experiences with the bear markets of 2000-02 and 2008, we understand their concerns, and we are happy to offer our thoughts.

We believe that a short-term government shutdown will have a minor impact on the economy, and at the same time, no one can accurately forecast the consequences of a default on our debt. It does not matter what an investor reads from widely dispersed articles or sees on TV shows; forecasting is impossible and futile. At a conference for financial advisors last week, several of the Kramer Financial staff heard an update from Bob Benmosche, who is President and CEO of AIG, regarding his meeting with President Obama on October 2nd. Mr. Benmosche was optimistic that both sides understand what is at stake as it relates to the debt ceiling and are determined not to allow a default to take place.

It is important to remember that major financial and economic crises have happened over the years. For example, the following crises (just to name a few) occurred*:

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