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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...

Taking Stock

Stocks are alternating up and down days, creating a chart pattern that looks like an electrocardiogram. The market’s uptrend remains intact but under some pressure as investors fret whether the forthcoming round of quarterly earnings reports will be sufficient to sustain its...

Taking Stock

Don’t Fight The Fed Stocks continue to flirt toward new highs on the Dow Jones Industrials. A record on the broader S&P 500 hangs only a few points above its recent levels. The economic recovery remains fragile after the Congress stumbled into across-the board spending cuts...

Taking Stock

New Record, Now What? Despite today’s unsettling news of U.S fiscal issues, investors continue to buy stocks with enough enthusiasm to send the Dow Jones Industrials Average to a new high. They did it again the next day and the day after that. This newly reestablished uptrend...

Taking Stock

There Ought To Be Clowns Congress confronts another budget crisis of its own creation, yet the major stock market averages are flirting with five-year highs. It may be that previous partisan political games of fiscal “chicken” have hardened investors against overreacting to the...