renaissance

Taking Stock

The Fed Keeps The Course The Federal Reserve continues to keep a gentle but steady grip on the tiller. It lowered its growth forecast for the rest of 2014 although it noted that recovery was continuing, allowing it to take another step backwards from its stimulus strategy. As...

Taking Stock

New Weeks, New Highs The market uptrend continues with stocks quietly making new highs on both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500. Trading volume is up, signaling institutional buying support. The European Central Bank finally made a substantial cut in interest...

Taking Stock

Finally, The Uptrend Is Back At last, the market averages pushed through their recent ceilings on increased volume, confirming a resumed uptrend. For several weeks, stocks have advanced on lower volume without conviction, in the manner of someone trying to pad quietly up a flight...

Taking Stock

Sell In May Or Wish You’d Stayed? Wall Street has many sayings that remain popular since they promise success without thinking. Typically, they also encourage generating commissions by prompting buying or selling stock as in “Sell in May and go away.” There are some historical...

Taking Stock

Competence Is Scarce Spring is here. After sliding into a correction, stocks rebounded in mid-April with three straight up days that prodded the S&P 500 back to a positive number for 2014. Volume was only moderate but trading during Passover and Holy Week always slows....

Taking Stock

Singing The Blues Wall Street almost ignored publication of a new book charging widespread irregularities in high-speed trading. After a brief flurry, the market moved up to new all-time highs on both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Regulators were not so...

Taking Stock

Living With Corrections Stocks are closing the quarter down around 2% for March and breakeven for the year so far. After strong performance in 2013 following a good year in 2012, some loss of momentum is normal. The market’s uptrend has been under increasing pressure for weeks...

Taking Stock

The Catalyst King Stocks sometimes get a catalytic boost from news of a spin-off or of an activist investor buying shares. Like stock splits, there are no immediate changes in the company’s financial status but the prospect of change encourages investors. General Electric...

Taking Stock

Three For The Road Aftershocks continue from the Financial Crisis and the worldwide Great Recession, which bottomed out five years ago. Their impact was the most severe since the Great Depression. Scars to the global economy were deep and widespread with a lasting impact on...

Taking Stock

Happy Birthday, Bull Market! The bull market in stocks is five years old this week. That certainly does not signal running to the hills, panicked selling never being a successful investment strategy, particularly since stocks have averaged a 26% gain over the year following a...

Taking Stock

Higher Altitudes The stock market is flirting with new highs on the S&P 500-stock index. As I wrote two weeks, ago momentum seemed destined to take the market to new highs. The Dow Jones Industrials need about a 300-point rise. That might seem like a lot but it is really less...

Taking Stock

Bounces And Bumps Next month, an array of laser devices mounted on top of high-rise apartment buildings in New Jersey begins operations. Their function is to zip market data 35 miles between the data centers of the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market data center...

Taking Stock

Seeking Stability After making new highs in mid-January, the stock market lost momentum and dipped six percent. Trading volume increased only moderately, a sign that institutions were not dumping stock. Stocks stumbled for three weeks, and then regained their mojo on increased...

Taking Stock

Dealing With The Dips Almost halfway through the first quarter and the stock market is making a good effort to regain its footing. The market will come back resume its uptrend at some point; the question is how much further it may sag. Currently, the S&P 500 is off around 5...

Taking Stock

The January Barometer Stocks stumbled in January. As the month ends, the S&P 500 average is down 3%. The “January Barometer,” which holds that as January goes, so goes the full year, would be worrisome if the correlation of this “indicator” with actual market performance were...