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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

Playing Political Poker A week ago, I wrote this column on the third day of the shutdown of much of the U.S. government. Sadly, a week later, there has been very little real progress toward overall resolution. While the market warmly greeted recent news of a possible short...

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

The Fed Takes Point Headline news centered on the grave situation in Syria but Wall Street kept its focus on interest rates. Going into the Federal Reserve’s first meeting in two months, commentators predicted the beginning of a decrease in the Fed’s policy of bond purchases and...

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,...

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

Quarter’s End As we near the end of the third quarter, stocks are up 6% for the quarter and 15% for the first nine months of the year. These returns are of the S&P 500 stock index, which is running a bit ahead of the popular Dow Jones Industrials Average. The S&P includes...

Taking Stock

When To Sell Apple hesitated briefly and then went through $700 a share. That’s twice its low of the last year, a period that saw it claim the title of the world’s most valuable public company. I’m asked now if I think it will split its stock. I don’t know, however, it really...

Taking Stock

Walking A Tightrope Stocks continue to walk a tightrope above the perils of some country fleeing the Euro Zone or of this country falling off the dreaded “fiscal cliff.” Our political campaign exacerbates these dangers yet the stock market keeps on rolling. As we move into fall,...