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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.”...

Taking Stock

The Federal Reserve Is Coming To Town The economy is expanding at a “modest to moderate” pace, according to a recent announcement by the Federal Reserve. After mixed results earlier this year, there are signs of acceleration in some key sectors. Sales of new homes picked up this...

Taking Stock

Happy Thanksgiving From Wall Street Stocks entered Thanksgiving Week at record levels with the Dow Average through 16,000 and the S&P past 1800. The NASDAQ over-the-counter stock index is also having a good year although it is the ghost at the banquet, still over 20% below...

Taking Stock

Keeping Perspective As predicted last week, stocks easily summoned enough buyers to push the Dow Average through 16,000 and the S&P past 1800. This prompted the usual media attention given to round numbers. After the Federal Reserve released its latest report, the market sold...

Taking Stock

From Shutdown To Surge Only a few weeks ago, political dysfunction shoved the nation to the edge of financial default. The government shutdown was damaging enough but a failure to raise the artificial “debt ceiling” would have led to an unnecessary default on U.S. Treasury bonds....

Taking Stock

Eyes on the Prize Two weeks after a small-minded sect of politicians drove the United States to the brink of default, its stock market hit record levels. This rebound reflects its continued leadership as the world’s largest economy and also on the country’s ability to produce and...

Taking Stock

Relief, Rally Or Reality Rally? Our House of Representatives brought the nation and the global economy to the brink of disaster and passed a stopgap measure with a day or so to spare. The preceding shutdown of the federal government cost the economy billions. Nothing seems to...

Taking Stock

Hitting The Ceiling The nation was forced to the brink a critical crisis, perhaps the most threatening since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. A small faction in the House of Representatives probably amazed themselves with the potentially destructive power they held. Apparently,...

Taking Stock

Congress Vs. The U.S. Economy Stocks paused for breath after a strong rally, quietly sliding for a week but remaining well ahead for September. Their big rally followed the Federal Reserve’s decision last week to continue its monthly $85 billion stimulus measures. With that issue...

Taking Stock

Where Now, New Dow? Stocks shook off several troubling worries, both foreign and domestic, and powered ahead to a new uptrend, with a strong surge back above 15,000 on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. This famous index of market performance is an old-fashioned arithmetic average...

Taking Stock

Advice From Mark Twain Stocks stumbled through the summer with the Dow Industrials losing 3% and then regained balance in September before the tragic situation in Syria began to dominate the news. Despite the many uncertainties of any military situation, stocks actually rallied...

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,...