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Taking Stock

The Tree in the Forest If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? This philosophical thought experiment reminds me of the muted manner in which the financial media is reacting to stock market averages climbing to new highs. During the past...

Taking Stock

Home On The Trading Range Stocks continue trading in a concise range. The Dow Jones Industrial Average began the year at 17,823, sagged to 17,164 on January 30 and made a record closing high of 18,828 on March 23. It’s currently around 18,250, almost midway between the year’s...

Taking Stock

Farewell ‘til September One of the many veteran Wall Street sayings is Sell in May and go away, come again after St. Leger’s Day. St. Leger’s Day, Sept. 14, has been commemorated in England since 1776 [!] by the St. Leger Stakes, the final race in England’s Triple Crown. The...

Taking Stock

New High Ground  The stock market continues to generate more activity in the media than in price movements of stocks. For the recent quarter ending March 31, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,775 and the S&P 500 at 2068, just where they were on New Year’s Day....

Taking Stock

Round And Round It Goes Round and round it goes, and where it stops the Chairwoman knows. Wall Street is intensely waiting for the next Federal Reserve move as if watching for white smoke at a papal conclave signaling the election of a new Pope. Interest rate levels bear...

Taking Stock

March Market Madness  Volatility is back. Actually, it’s never gone away; just hiding when stocks put together a string of up days before reversing. J.P. Morgan, who dominated American finance during his time, said, when asked what the stock market will do, “It will fluctuate.”...

Taking Stock

Highs, Dips And Pullbacks The stock market is doing the hokey pokey. First they put a record high in and then they take a record high out. No need, however, for investors to “shake it all about” as market conditions for growth-stock pickers remain quite positive. The S&P 500...

Taking Stock

Riding Higher All three major stock averages are competing for new headline highs. Both the broad-based S&P 500 and the Dow 30 closed at record highs within the past week. The financial media credited prospective Federal Reserve actions or, more accurately, lack of actions,...

Taking Stock

The Bumpy Road to Investment Returns Stocks are taking the bumpy road to investment progress. Their price volatility softened during the last half of 2014 but returned in February to a familiar zigzag pattern. The S&P 500 was up 11% for 2014 so these ups and downs need not...

Taking Stock

Plus Ça Change “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” A French novelist originated this proverb (Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.) later adopted by George Bernard Shaw and Bon Jovi. Stock market moods and moves continually echo its wisdom. A few months...

Taking Stock

Dividends Beat Bonds Many factors influence the prices of stocks, yet from today’s financial news, one could conclude that they are dominated by the price of oil. Oil prices influence all of us and it makes for more dramatic headlines than announcing that yields declined [again]...

Taking Stock

Oil On Charted Waters The slightest acquaintance with analyzing price behaviors of stocks invariably brings the inquirer into a world of charts, cyclical analyses and other predicting tools. They come in an amazing variety-from simple records of price movements over time periods...

Taking Stock

Opportunity Rising The Old Year fled as the New Year stumbled in without the usual year-end “Santa Claus Rally.” Oil prices continued their collapse with the spillover impacting all commodity prices. On balance, these drops are a net benefit for the global economy but the...

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...