renaissance

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

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.”...

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...