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Taking Stock

How To Handle A Correction Stocks continue to stumble further into a “correction,” defined as a decline of more than 10%. These unnerving events occur about 20 months and take an average of 3 months to work themselves out. A “bear market” is a decline of more than 20%. There was...

Taking Stock

Keep Your Head When All About Are Losing Theirs Stocks tumbled into January with their weakest performance to begin a New Year in 15 years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was below 3,000. It was on its way to over 13,000 in 2007 before the financial crisis, which took it below...

Taking Stock

Good Bye, 2015; You’re Flat Time is running out for the stock market to put any exciting numbers on the scoreboard. With only one trading day left, both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial averages are at the same levels at which they began the year. This flat...

Taking Stock

Stock Lists For Santa Wall Street liked its Christmas present from the Federal Reserve. After years of unending debates and predictions, the Fed ended a seven-year experiment with the fed funds rate almost at zero rates with a raise to a range of 0.25% to 0.50%. The Fed’s action...

Taking Stock

Money And Holidays Stocks continue their pattern of meandering without sustained trends. An uptrend developed after the summer slump and then came under pressure in the absence of any compelling news events. Anxieties stemming from violence here and abroad plague us all, leaving...

Taking Stock

Here Comes Santa Claus Holiday shopping got off to a mixed start. Traffic was weak at Gap, Old Navy and Chico’s and up at TJX (TJX-$70), the global leader in off-price apparel and home fashions. Costco (COST-$165) stock is trading near all-time highs as same-store sales were up...

Taking Stock

The Bipolar Stock Market  Stocks fluctuate in the short-term largely in response to psychological or emotional reactions to events affecting companies or the economy. Lately, nervous investors and traders have overdone this, driving the stock market into a bipolar disorder. This...

Taking Stock

Shopping For Blue Chips Halfway through the fourth quarter and investors nervously anticipate both the Federal Reserve meeting in mid-December and the critical retail shopping season. Stock prices are reacting selectively to company news rather than as sectors. Macy’s (M-$40),...

Taking Stock

It is a Happy Halloween! Stocks are greeting Halloween with a strong October, up around 5% since the end of August. Other than companies dependent on oil and gas prices and some exporters whose sales are pressured by the strong dollar, most stocks are showing increasing strength....

Taking Stock

Is the Rally for Real? Another week of cautious progress by stocks is keeping their October rally alive. The market needs another 3% to get into positive territory for all of 2015 and I believe this has an increasing probability of success. Prevailing worries focus on actual news...

Taking Stock

Feeling For The Bottom Stocks finally struck some sparks of light after a wretched quarter. Whether these can relight a fire under the market remains to be seen but initial results are encouraging. A disappointing employment report actually lifted stocks as hopes revived that the...

Taking Stock

Real News Needed Stocks closed the quarter with a badly needed up day. Despite that last-minute boost, they still ended the third quarter down 7% on the S&P 500, which left them also down 7% for the year-to-date. This quarter was the worst in four years and the best thing...

Taking Stock

Staying On Course The seas remain choppy and the winds variable but there are signs the storm is blowing itself out. After a discouraging week, as soon as the markets reopened after Labor Day, stocks came through with a strong, surge that lifted my portfolio stocks 3% in a day....

Taking Stock

What To Do Now? Stock market “corrections” remind me of coming down with the flu. I feel awful, nothing will help and it seems it will never end until one day when I realize it’s over and I feel fine. It wouldn’t feel any better if my doctor had described the flu ...

Taking Stock

Down, Up And Sideways Stocks finally snapped a six-day losing streak with a 619-point rally on Wednesday. That’s a start but the market still needs to reestablish a firm footing if we will see positive returns for 2015. Stocks then extended their one-day rally with a three...