Markets were higher today on upbeat earnings and manufacturing data. The S&P 500 closed at an all time high and is now up 0.07 percent for the year! Who knew such a little return could be so exciting. Much of the excitement about earnings came from Bank of America (BAC), which posted its highest annual profit since the financial crisis. Back in 2007, when BAC had a market capitalization of… Read More
Stocks were almost back to even for the year when investors pulled back yesterday beginning after the lunch hour. There was no obvious single driver sending prices lower, although it appears to have started in consumer discretionary stocks, where losses were the heaviest, down -1.94 percent on news from the retail sector about a slow Christmas. The nervousness among stock investors has sent bond prices higher with the yield on… Read More
Markets were slightly higher on Friday despite the surprisingly weak employment situation that was well below expectations. Bonds rallied sharply on the report with the yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond dropping almost one tenth of one percent, from 2.97 percent to 2.88 percent on Friday.
US stocks were narrowly lower yesterday as markets effectively stood still in front of the employment report coming out this morning. Bond prices have gained ground as the 10-year Treasury note yield fell to 2.98 percent. Earnings season officially started yesterday with Alcoa, the aluminum maker, whose earnings were poor on two impairment charges for acquisitions made a decade ago. At the same time, Alcoa reported a settlement with the… Read More
US stock markets were almost absolutely flat yesterday, as seen investors digested the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) December minutes. Recall that this was the meeting where the Fed decided to slow down their monthly bond-purchasing program to $75 billion per month, so the minutes were particularly interesting. There were no major surprises (hence the stock markets collective yawn), but it was good to see that there was widespread… Read More
Looking back at the year that was in 2013, one of the most interesting questions in my opinion is which style won: growth or value? Before answering the question, let’s take a quick minute to discuss these two styles. In short, value is the tendency for cheap stocks to outperform expensive stocks. Simple enough, right? It sounds like something legendary investor Ben Graham or his prodigious student Warren Buffet might… Read More
I want to take a day off from looking back at 2013 and forward at 2014, but don’t worry, there is much more in store for you in the coming days. Today, I want to share with you one of my New Year’s Day rituals. Credit Review First, I visit www.myfico.com and get my credit report from all three agencies. MyFico costs about $55 for all three and there… Read More
Markets were quiet Friday, partly because last week was the last time to pack in unused vacation days or make the most out of a the partial week. Add in a snowstorm in the northeast and not much happens. Friday was a day of Fed speeches, including Bernanke’s last as Fed Chairman. Over the weekend, I watched Zero Dark Thirty, the dramatic account of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. … Read More