renaissance

Taking Stock

Syria And Stocks The prospects of military action brought on by events in Syria sobered the stock market. Beyond the human costs inherent in any military action, troubles in the Middle East usually bring higher energy prices. Similar events in the past seem to have conditioned...

Taking Stock

Stocks Rehearse For A September Opening There is an old theatre saying that a poor dress rehearsal means a successful opening once the regular run begins. This might be true although it’s probably a myth created to settle the nerves of the performers. If applied to the stock...

Taking Stock 8/16/13

Apple Adds a ‘Friend’ Apple stock got a price lift from an unexpected source. Carl Icahn, the famous corporate raider, announced he had taken a $1.5 billion position in its stock and intended to request a stock buy back in the hope of boosting its price. That was enough to take...

Taking Stock

Summer’s Harvest Wall Street traders make up for the lack of holidays in August by taking vacations, usually after the middle of the month. Trading volume dips, sometimes exaggerating market swings and clouding identification of sector trends. Despite this choppy behavior,...

Taking Stock

New Highs, Old Principles Stocks powered to new highs on both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500. Only a week ago, I commented that the basics supported further market advances to 16,000 on the DJIA and 1,700 on the S&P. The S&P then closed at 1707 a...

Taking Stock

Back To Basics With no new announcements from the Federal Reserve, the stock market calmed down. In May, Chairman Bernanke’s comment about prospective tapering of its supportive policies spooked Wall Street and set off a 6.4% pullback. Since then, the markets seem to have...

Taking Stock

He Walks the Line Stocks continue to take direction from the comments of Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke. He recently emphasized that the Fed remains committed to shoring up the economy and that any deceleration in its policies will happen because it is achieving its goals, not...

Taking Stock

From Corrections To Jazz The market’s uptrend momentum lost energy and the background news of anxieties about interest rates pushed it into a “correction.” This was to be expected after its strong run this year. This environment demands restrained buys and even some sells. As...

Taking Stock

Treasury Bonds Or Tesla Stock? Stocks sold off as the summer began, giving back the gains they achieved in May. Investors seemed unusually spooked by these fluctuations, possibly in reaction to all the publicity about new highs and the new level of Dow 15,000. As the market slid...

Taking Stock

Farewell To May, Hello To Summer The market had a good month. As May comes to a close, the S&P 500 is up around 6% for the month and 15% since the beginning of the year. As always, investors now ask, “What’s next?” Stocks tend to follow Isaac Newton’s first law of motion that...

Taking Stock

For the last three years, the favorite phrase of many Wall Street traders has been “Sell in May and go away.” Like most sayings that seem to offer clear direction in a few words, actual results may differ. Traders who have been waiting for a 5-10% “correction” to jump back in the...

Taking Stock

Up, Up And Away Stocks held their course through a choppy season of quarterly earnings reports. Many companies met or exceeded earnings estimates but often fell slightly short of forecasts for sales. Increased profits on decreased sales demonstrate improvements in productivity...

Taking Stock

Hits, Misses  & Forecasts Quarterly earnings reports fell upon a stock market ready to react. Which way to react was unclear as what seemed as favorable news sometimes provoked selling while missing estimates occasionally prompted buying. Wall Street analysts exaggerate this...

Taking Stock

Dips And Dividends After holding a solid uptrend for most of 2013, stocks slid into a correction as the first quarterly reports disappointed. This could be the fourth straight year with market weakness developing in April and further stock price advances deferred to the fall....

Taking Stock

Double Or Bubble? Four years ago in March 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average bottomed out at 6,547 and the S&P 500 at 677. They are now around 14,850 and 1,592, more than double. There are always reasons not to buy stocks and investors were fearful then of U.S. debt...