2016 3rd Quarter Commentary

Overview Somewhat counterintuitively, the third quarter was characterized by the lowest volatility we’ve seen in a while.  Following the “Brexit” vote at the end of the second quarter, markets stabilized and continued to march higher. Second quarter earnings (reported during the third quarter) were mainly favorable which reinforced the narrative that the economy continues its slow growth trajectory.  The Federal Reserve met last month and decided to keep interest rates unchanged, citing that “the economy has a little more room to run than might have been previously thought.”  The … more >

2016 3rd Quarter Commentary 2017-03-18T16:01:31+00:00

2016 2nd Quarter Commentary

Overview It seems every year at this time, Europe manages to spook the markets. A European recession, a threatened default by a Eurozone member (Greece) or (this time) an exit from the EU by a member nation, Britain (i.e. “Brexit”) have all come across the headlines.  Markets deplore uncertainty and this most recent drama has ratcheted up global economic apprehension and reduced global GDP expectations.  While there is plenty of uncertainty in the system, it is only fair to note that many fears were overstated by a sensational media … more >

2016 2nd Quarter Commentary 2017-03-18T15:35:50+00:00

2016 1st Quarter Commentary

Overview The first quarter of 2016 was volatile – politically, economically and in the stock market.  The year began with fears of a U.S. recession linked to sagging oil prices and economic volatility in China which led to the worst start to a year for the S&P 500 on record.  Through the first 10 days of 2016 the market was down 7% and by February 11th the market was firmly in correction territory, down over 11% for the year.  In the midst of all this negativity it became clear … more >

2016 1st Quarter Commentary 2017-03-18T15:35:40+00:00

2015 4th Quarter Commentary

Overview Last year marked the end of a multi-year winning streak for most major equity indices and a divergence in the fixed income markets. 2015 broke a string of three straight years of double digit gains in stocks and it was the weakest showing since 2011 for the S&P 500. This last quarter was also historic in that the Federal Reserve, after years of zero interest rate policy, finally raised short term rates by 0.25%.  The final results do not tell the full story for 2015 where many sectors … more >

2015 4th Quarter Commentary 2017-03-18T15:35:32+00:00

2015 3rd Quarter Commentary

Overview The stock markets have finally experienced the pullback that we’ve written about for the last 6 quarters.  The volatility that began in the sec ond quarter of this year sparked by concerns over Greece and Puerto Rico continued with a vengeance in the third quarter.  The last three months logged the largest decline in stocks in any one quarter in over four years with the S&P down 6.4% and the Dow down 7%.  Even after this decline, the markets are only down 5.3% for the S&P and 7.0% for … more >

2015 3rd Quarter Commentary 2017-03-18T15:35:23+00:00

2015 2nd Quarter Commentary

Overview The fireworks came out just in time for the Fourth of July.  The second quarter was relatively sleepy until the end of June when the Greek debt crisis made headlines again.  Greece rejected a cash-for-reform proposal by the EU and missed an IMF debt payment causing a banking system closure. The Greek people voted on the matter July 5th and rejected the plan as well.  As of this writing, no final agreement has been made.  Additionally, there has been a massive correction in the Chinese stock market where … more >

2015 2nd Quarter Commentary 2017-03-18T15:35:17+00:00

2015 1st Quarter Commentary

Overview With the first quarter of 2015 in the books, the domestic stock and bond markets managed to post a (barely) positive return.  After another positive year in 2014 and with economic uncertainty increasing as investors weigh the actions of the Fed, we have plenty to watch as the year unfolds.  Below are our thoughts on the events of the past three months as well as where we believe we are heading. Economy We ended 2014 on a decent note with a 2.2% expansion in GDP.  The New Year … more >

2015 1st Quarter Commentary 2017-03-18T15:35:13+00:00

2014 4th Quarter Commentary

Overview This has been quite an eventful year, both internationally and domestically.  Internationally we have seen increasing unrest in Hong Kong, Russian military antagonism, Middle Eastern unrest and an African pandemic that threatened the world. Domestically we had a significant shift in the political climate with a Republican takeover of the Senate. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Economy GDP surged to finish the year and we saw real improvement in the jobs market. According to the Wall Street Journal, employers added 2.7 million jobs … more >

2014 4th Quarter Commentary 2017-03-18T15:35:07+00:00

2014 3rd Quarter Commentary

Overview The economic and world news for this quarter has been intense.  Developments in Iraq and Syria with renewed calls for military intervention have dominated headlines.  The stalemate between Russia and the Ukraine continues while in Africa, a deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus has gripped the world’s attention.  Most recently, Hong Kong has called for more autonomy from China through peaceful demonstrations.  Economically we had a strong reversal in GDP (more below) and of course we are heading into a significant election that will impact the future of … more >

2014 3rd Quarter Commentary 2017-03-18T15:34:56+00:00