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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...

Taking Stock

Watching for Market Indicators One “indicator” of future stock market performance is the “Super Bowl Indicator.” A New York Times sportswriter created this “indicator” in 1978. It holds that an up market lies ahead for 2014 if the NFC team wins the Super Bowl. There is no...

Taking Stock

After The Streak Ends Stocks stumbled into the New Year, caught their breath and moved back up with the S&P 500 inching above its previous closing high set on December 31. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is still 150 points below it record close at yearend but current...

Taking Stock

Financial Forecasts, Fads & Fashions The New Year invariably inspires financial media commentators to publish their predictions for the next twelve months. The more specific they make them, the less their numbers will match the actual outcomes. The most accurate forecast I’ve...

Taking Stock

The Santa Claus Rally Santa Claus brought early gifts to stock investors when Chairman Bernanke’s farewell report on Federal Reserve policy announced a very gentle program of reducing its program of buying bonds. The Fed even added a sweetener by extending the period before it...

Taking Stock

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town After months of speculation, the Federal Reserve finally announced that it would begin reducing its money-easing program of buying bonds. Rather than any abrupt termination of these popular activities, it will modestly taper its monthly purchases...

Taking Stock

Will There Be A Santa Claus Rally? Retail sales picked up last month, Santa should be coming, the Federal Reserve may soon unleash its “taper” and it’s Friday the Thirteenth. That’s time to play Scrooge and ask if this robust year in the stock market has taken us into a “bubble.”...