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Taking Stock

From Trick Or Treat To Naughty Or Nice Only a few weeks ago, kids were in Halloween costumes and the Dow Jones Industrials Average was nearing 17,500. Stock averages then began to reach all-time highs just before oil prices plunged and stocks joined the slide. Oil prices are now...

Taking Stock

Low Pump Prices Pump Up Shoppers Sliding oil prices greased the skids for the largest stock market decline in two months. Media commentators sounded their usual tocsins of doom, continuing their practices of attracting followers through useless and inaccurate predictions. The...

Taking Stock

Gas, Oil And Dividends Gas pump prices dropped to their lowest levels in four years. This gives U.S. drivers some extra shopping power. The slide followed the wholesale barrel price, down 40% since June, skidding even more when OPEC did not reduce production, as was the rumor....

Taking Stock

Some Favorite Things For Thanksgiving Stocks are finishing the month of November on an upswing that market history indicates will persist through the year-end. In September and early October, the stock market experienced its first “correction” in two years. Since that dip, stocks...

Taking Stock

Drilling For Dollars Crude oil prices have dropped to below $75 a barrel, down 30% this year to a four-year low. The causes stem from changed trends in supply and demand, with consequences to global economies, stock prices and consumer spending. Prices for other commodities,...

Taking Stock

The Band Plays On In October, the stock market achieved a remarkable reversal to the upside. It is now moving toward new highs like a soprano repeating curtain calls to continuing applause. Investors are a less forgiving audience and many now fret whether the next performances...

Taking Stock

‘Tis The Season Like a vanishing Halloween ghost, the Federal Reserve ended the tapering of its bond-buying program, at least for the time being. As the Fed announced last month that it intended to end the program this month, the news should not have been surprising although Wall...

Taking Stock

Volatility Is Back After stock market averages set record highs in mid-August, stocks sagged, interrupting the market’s recently re-established uptrend. The buoyant markets of the last couple of years must have spoiled investors; financial media featured predictions of doom even...

Taking Stock

Bad News And Good News Stocks began the third quarter with a Fourth of July bang and ended it with a whimper. The averages crested at new highs in mid-August, then slipped back, finally ending the quarter up 1% on both the Dow Jones Industrials and the S&P 500. Even that...

Taking Stock

Try To Remember The Kind Of September . . . As stocks exited the summer of 2014, the S&P 500 Index marked the year by closing at 2014. It backed off and is now around 1972; resumed momentum and September quarterly earnings reports should send it back by yearend above 2014 and...

Taking Stock

The Bank Plays On The Federal Reserve is calling the dances for Wall Street at the moment. Janet Yellen, its Choreographer-in-Chief, announced Wednesday that it plans to keep interest rates near zero for a “considerable time” after the previously announced wrap next month of its...

Taking Stock

Old Pilots and Bold Pilots Apple (AAPL-$100) kicked off the fall stock season with a trio of new products. Its new iPhone expands the screen and the iWatch shrinks it. Apple will sell millions of these to people who didn’t know that they really wanted them until this week. The...

Taking Stock

September Songs Stocks left behind slow summer trading on a run, entering September on sharply increased volume. The market left little doubt of its short-term momentum, scoring new highs above 17,000 on both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and above 2,000 on the S&P 500....

Taking Stock

  S&P Hits 2000; What’s Next? Market professionals use the Standard & Poor’s index of 500 stocks rather than the popular Dow Jones Industrial package of 30. Still, if you ask one of them how the market is doing, she will probably respond with the change in the Dow....

Taking Stock

The Rally Of Summer  For the third time in the past twelve months, the stock market slid into a downtrend and then, after dipping around five percent, rallied and resumed a confirmed uptrend. It’s like contemporary swimming pools with a maximum depth of five feet, making it...