April 2020

Our last newsletter had barely been written when the world suddenly changed. The last sentence from this same section in that newsletter actually read: “Bull markets don’t die from old age. They die from fear, mainly of recessions.” Read more >

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January 2020 - As the stock market closed the year, the bulls showed that they were still very much in charge. Even though this current bull market is now over 10 years old, more than double the normal length, the S & P 500 total return was up over 31% for 2019...Read more >

October 2019 - The 3rd quarter of 2019 closed with the S&P 500 up 1.7% for the three-month period and 20.5% higher since the beginning of the year. For the twelve months ended September 30, however, the stock market was up a much less impressive 4.25%, due to last December and May’s big...Read more >

July 2019 - After the very strong 1st quarter that we reported in our last newsletter, April saw continued strength, closing with over a 4% return for the S & P 500. May, however, saw some heavy selling. The old Wall Street adage, “sell in May and go away” seemed to begin living up to its reputation...Read more >

April 2019 - Giving substance to our long-held belief that timing the markets is, at best, very difficult, the investors that ended 2018 in a frantic selling mode began 2019 in a frenzied buying mood. By the time the stock market closed on the last trading day of March...Read more >

January 2019 - The year’s end made many feel that they were back in the dark days of 2008, as financial markets saw their greatest sustained volatility since the Financial Crisis. After modestly recovering in November from September’s 7% decline...Read more >

October 2018 - Even the United States’ central bank is banging the drum regarding the country’s current economic strength. Fed Chair Powell recently spoke about the economy experiencing “a particularly bright moment.” Putting its money where its mouth is...Read more >

July 2018 - At its mid-June meeting, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (the FOMC) did as expected and raised the targeted overnight interest rate to a range of 1.75% - 2.0%. Providing strong justification to June’s rate hike was the expected 4% economic...Read more >

April 2018 - The winter of 2018 saw the close of Janet Yellen’s 4 year tenure as head of the Federal Reserve with her successor, Jerome Powell, assuming the role in February. Under Chair Yellen, the U.S. central bank sought to navigate between two conflicting signals...Read more >

January 2018 - Providing virtually no surprise, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee raised overnight interest rates by 0.25 percentage points to 1.25% at its recent mid-December meeting. Having raised rates three times in 2017, the Federal Reserve has strongly signaled...Read more >

October 2017 - The critical message coming from the Federal Reserve Bank's FOMC meeting in late September was the lowering of the rate-setters’ long-run forecast for interest rates. Fed policy makers dropped their average prediction for long-run interest rates from 3.0% to 2.8%...Read more >

July 2017 - The U.S.’ central bankers took the expected move at the mid-June Federal Open Market Committee meeting and raised overnight interest rates by 0.25 percentage points to a targeted 1.0%-1.25% range. In subsequent comments, Fed Chair Yellen expressed the bank’s...Read more >

April 2017 - Surprising no one, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (the FOMC) raised overnight interest rates by 0.25 percentage points at its most recent March meeting. Additionally, the central bank reiterated its expectation that overnight interest rates would be...Read more >

January 2017 - The big economic, and market news, as the year closed out was the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States. In comparison, the Federal Reserve’s mid-December meeting, where overnight interest rates were...Read more >

October 2016 - Coming as no surprise to most, the Federal Reserve left short-term interest rates unchanged following its late September meeting but also signaled its expectation that rates would be raised before year end. With policy makers deeply divided...Read more >

July 2016 - The Federal Reserve’s Open Market committee held off from raising overnight interest rates further at its mid-June meeting due to continued concerns about global growth, coupled with the recent voter approved British exit from the European Union...Read more >

January 2016 - To the surprise of few, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee raised U.S. overnight interest rates following its mid-December meeting. This was the first central bank initiated interest rate increase in more than 9 years. After having...Read more >

October 2015 - Mixed signals regarding the near-term future of interest rates are coming from the Federal Reserve and the financial markets. While the fixed income markets are strongly projecting rates to remain unchanged through at least early January...Read more >

July 2015 - Despite rosier expectations as 2015 started, the year is not playing out as anticipated. In the face of a stronger dollar, collapsing energy prices and severe winter weather, economic activity contracted by 0.2% in the year’s first quarter...Read more >

April 2015 - At quarter end, Fed Chair Janet Yellen expressed renewed concerns regarding the strength of the economic recovery despite the previous year's impressive progress on jobs creation. By stating her firm intention of being deliberate in...Read more >

January 2015 - Christmas came a bit early this year with good news from both the Federal Reserve Bank and the U.S. Commerce Department. At its mid December meeting, the Federal Open Ma rket Committee expressed optimism that the American labor market was...Read more >

October 2014 - Following their mid-September meeting, Federal Reserve policymakers remained firm in their belief that the economy’s recovery remains on track. As a result, the U.S. central bank announced a further reduction of its bond buying program to $15 billion/month. This move created...Read more >

July 2014 - Even in the face of unexpectedly poor 1st quarter economic results, the Federal Reserve’s rate setting committee continued its ongoing reduction of the current bond buying program. At its June meeting, the FOMC announced that its monthly security purchases were to be...Read more >

April 2014 - The year’s first quarter saw a changing of the guard at the Federal Reserve as Ben Bernanke left office after 8 years of economic turmoil. Having overseen a more than four-fold increase in the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet during his tenure, Bernanke left a substantially...Read more >

January 2014 - After 8 years in charge of the U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve’s chairman is stepping down. However, in his swan song, Mr. Bernanke has become more bullish on the direction of the U.S. economy. In early January, he shared the belief that...Read more >

October 2013 - As we go to press, the ineptitude of our nation’s legislative and executive branches has reached new lows with the dual prong fiscal showdown occurring in Washington, D.C. The federal government has been forced to shut down for the... Read more >

July 2013 - The Fed Reserve has spoken, and the markets have listened, sort of. Following the June meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (the FOMC), the central bank shared its belief that both the economy and labor markets...Read more >

April 2013 - In the face of bitter political infighting, and the imminent arrival of the fiscal cliff, the U.S. economy was poised to shrink as 2012 closed. Thanks to a last minute tax deal and continued consumer optimism, the economy continues to struggle forward... Read more >

January 2013 - Congress had the opportunity to sharply improve, on a temporary basis, the nation's budgetary situation by jumping off of the so-called fiscal cliff. Even if a totally inelegant method, going over the cliff would have sharply pushed... Read more >

October 2012 - After announcing another round of monetary easing at its September meeting, the Federal Reserve's efforts to support the economy continue. The U.S.'s central bank revealed its plan to maintain near-zero short term interest rates into... Read more >

July 2012 - With ongoing lackluster economic data, the Federal Reserve decided to keep dancing a little while longer by extending Operation Twist through the end of the year. While not as dramatic as a quantitative easing, which is where the... Read more >

April 2012 - Despite the U.S. economy finishing 2011 on a relatively strong note, the Federal Reserve remains very concerned about the strength of the economic recovery. At the Fed’s March meeting, particular concerns were raised over increasing commodity prices and the continued... Read more >

January 2012 - While the year’s final quarter appears to have been more economically active than anticipated, expectations for 2012 remain low. The December FOMC meeting highlighted concerns over tepid business investment and the continued weakness of the housing sector. Read more >

October 2011 - Both U.S. and global economic outlooks have taken a turn for the worse in recent weeks. Having withstood the continued drum roll of negative news from the Greek debt crisis, Middle East unrest, U.S. budgetary woes and natural disasters, confidence has ebbed into... Read more >

July 2011 - The good news as the year’s 1st half ends is that the world has now gone almost 3 months with no new major catastrophes! The bad news is that there remains no resolution on the U.S. budget/debt ceiling issue, China is starting to raise interest rates to combat... Read more >

April 2011 - An epic earthquake strikes Japan, and the collapse of the European Union currency drags on. A massive Pacific tsunami kills thousands, multiple Japanese nuclear plants are damaged and leak large amounts of radiation, and finally there is... Read more >

January 2011 - Eighteen months into the current economic expansion, to many, it still feels like a recession. In fact, to provide continued support to the tepid economic recovery, the Federal Reserve Bank felt compelled to launch the QE2 - we only hope that it will be more... Read more >

October 2010 - Following it's August meeting, the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced that it would be buying Treasury securities with principal payments from its existing trillion dollar mortgage-backed securities portfolio. By taking its most aggressive move... Read more >

July 2010 - The rocky path towards economic recovery, which we had previously predicted, continues to play out. Underscoring our concern was the quarter’s emergent European debt crisis. Highlighting the problem was investors belatedly demanding that... Read more >

April 2010 - Following an amazingly partisan and rancorous debate, the new healthcare reform bill was passed into law. While having admirable objectives, the new legislation creates sharp concerns over its longer term ramifications. Outside of healthcare... Read more >

January 2010 - The critical question looking further into 2010 is whether the economy can continue its nascent expansion in the absence of the massive monetary and fiscal stimulus put in place during 2008 and 2009. The Federal Reserve itself seems somewhat conflicted... Read more >

October 2009 - The U.S. economy now appears to tentatively be on the mend as Fed Chairman Bernanke recently shared his belief that the Great Recession ended during the year’s 2nd quarter. At its most recent meeting in September, the Federal Open Market Committee expressed... Read more >

July 2009 - At its late June meeting, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee expressed its belief that inflation will remain subdued for the foreseeable future despite the recent increase... Read more >

April 2009 - April will mark the 17th month of the current recession, making this downturn the longest of the post-Depression era. The new Obama Administration and the nation’s central bankers... Read more >

January 2009 - The Federal Reserve moved into totally uncharted waters during the month as it reduced overnight interest rates at its mid December meeting by more than 3/4 of a percentage point to... Read more >

December 2008 - The bad economic news just seems to keep snowballing in recent weeks. While evidence of a slowing economy has been evident for months, it was only in late November that the... Read more >

November 2008 - The most profound economic news since our last letter is the election of Barack Obama to become our next president. With an increasingly strident position on re-distributing... Read more >

October 2008 - Given the extraordinary economic and market conditions realized in recent weeks, we wanted to step out of our normal newsletter format. In these difficult financial markets, we... Read more >

September 2008 - Having met on August 5th, the Federal Reserve’s rate setting committee left overnight interest rates unchanged at 2%. The group continued to highlight its belief in moderating... Read more >

August 2008 - While the Federal Reserve’s rate setting committee did not meet in July, Chairman Bernanke provided his share of surprises when he suggested... Read more >

July 2008 - At its June end meeting, the Federal Reserve stood pat on overnight interest rates. While continuing to express concern over the ongoing housing contraction, rising energy prices and tight... Read more >

June 2008 - Showing increasing awareness of growing inflationary pressures, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke has recently signaled that the central bank’s rate cutting is likely over... Read more >

May 2008 - The Federal Reserve yet again pruned interest rates at its April-end meeting. Following the April 30th meeting, the Federal Reserve’s rate setting committee lowered overnight interest rates... Read more >

April 2008 - Chairman Bernanke and the rest of the Federal Reserve had a very busy month trying to stabilize the U.S. financial markets and economy. At an unscheduled early March meeting... Read more >

March 2008 - Although we were originally disdainful of the Federal Reserve’s initial rate cuts last fall, the central bank appears to have been on the right path. The economic data has continued to turn less... Read more >

February 2008 - In recent weeks the Federal Reserve has made it very clear that it is extremely concerned about the economy. In two separate moves in January, the Federal Reserve cut over-night interest... Read more >