& Strategic Views
The first quarter of 2013 witnessed the best equity returns over a three month period for quite some time with both the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 reaching all-time highs. The strong performance overshadowed the discussions in December of budget impasses, sequestration and overreaching tax plans. The market was driven by relatively strong 4Q earnings reports, stronger than expected economic readings and less noise from Washington that had elicited fear from investors. It is [...]
We have remarked to many of our clients recently that this has been a year of conflicting realities. While politically and internationally “turbulent” seems to be an appropriate adjective, the capital markets have painted a different scene. Despite a close Presidential election, a “Fiscal Cliff,” countless European Summits and Sovereign Debt debates, both the stock and bond markets posted respectable returns. The economy continues its slow march towards recovery and on a variety of fronts [...]
We are surprised the markets were so strong last quarter given the negative headlines that typically cause market volatility. Our year-end expectations have been exceeded. Year to date we have double digit gains in the S&P and the Nasdaq and high single digit gains in the Dow Industrials. Even our friends across the pond have seen high single digit gains in their major indices. This quarter only added to the strength we have seen in [...]
In the first half of the year we have seen some of the best and the worst that the markets have to offer. The dichotomy is noteworthy: the first quarter was the best in 14 years while during the second quarter the Dow posted the worst May performance since 1940! With the same surprising speed that confidence was restored in the first quarter, fear and uncertainty returned in the second. The last 90 days have [...]
The following are some significant events that occurred in the 1st quarter:
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 13,000 for the first time since May 2008.
- The S&P 500 also had its highest close since 2008; in fact, it had its best first quarter since 1998.
- Parliaments in Germany and Finland approved the second bailout package for Greece.
- The ECB's (European Central Bank) 3 year Long-Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO) was initiated and served its intended purpose of stabilizing [...]
2011 was a wildly volatile and emotionally taxing year for investors worldwide. After an attractive first quarter, the Japanese tsunami devastated a portion of our manufacturing supply chain which damaged production, sales and ultimately, GDP. Following that natural disaster, we experienced a man-made one when politicians seemed intent on creating a financial crisis over America’s very large debt. Their indecisiveness contributed to a decision by the ratings agencies to lower our nation’s pristine triple-A credit [...]
Instability, uncertainty, and overall headline risk drove stock prices for the last three months. While many of the concerns we have written about earlier this year persist, the drama in Europe supersedes everything right now. On the whispers of agreements or dissensions between the deal makers/politicians in France and Germany, equity markets have moved hundreds of points upward or downward. Sentiment is quite negative these days and sentiment is driving the fluctuations we’ve witnessed this [...]