Research & Market Insights Market Insights

11.25 2009

Will Lack of Credit Impair Holiday Sales?

While stocks still seem to be poised to extend the monster rally that began in March, the S&P 500 index has encountered strong resistance over the last six weeks just above the 1100 level.  Recent trading has been all about the value of the U.S. Dollar: stocks have been weaker on dollar strength, and have…

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10.30 2009

Worrisome Close for the Markets

Equity markets closed out the week of trading today with significant losses. The S&P 500 lost 4% this week, while the Russell 2000 Index of small cap stocks lost over 6%. More importantly, the S&P 500 broke the uptrend line in place since this rally began in March, potentially signaling major weakness to come. See…

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10.01 2009

Fourth Quarter Off To A Rough Start

After posting impressive returns of over 15% in the third quarter, the major stock indexes started the final quarter of 2009 with large losses. The S&P 500 closed down 2.6% while the Nasdaq lost just over 3%. The downside bias was set early this morning as weekly jobless claims data showed an unexpected deterioration, and…

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09.04 2009

August Employment Report

Today the Labor Department (BLS) reported that the unemployment rate reached the highest level since 1983 even as the pace of job market deterioration continued to improve. U.S. employers cut payrolls by 216,000, less than consensus expectations of a 230,000 drop, but previously reported June and July job losses were revised upward by 49,000. The…

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09.02 2009

Gold Soars As Stocks Tread Water

The price of gold and gold mining stocks soared today as stocks continued this week’s selloff. Our preferred investment vehicle for gold, the SPDR Gold Trust (symbol GLD), which holds gold bullion, rose 2.4% today as spot gold closed at $980 per ounce. We also hold shares in gold mining companies through the Market Vectors…

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08.28 2009

Markets Shrug Off Good News

When it comes to the financial markets, often the reaction to news is more important than the news itself.  This week, I’d have to admit that much of the news was quite positive, including: July Existing Home Sales rose 7.2%, well above expectations of a 2.1% increase; The Case/Shiller Home Price Index showed a month-over-month…

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08.15 2009

Tough Week for U.S. Consumers

Markets received a little dose of reality last week, declining for the first time in five weeks due to disappointing news on the health of over two-thirds of the U.S. economy. Amid all of the recent talk of the imminent end to the recession, several data points released last week show the U.S. consumer is…

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08.05 2009

All Eyes on July Employment Report

The S&P 500 closed at 1,005.65 on Tuesday, just one-tenth of a point shy of the high on November 4th of last year, the day Barack Obama was elected President. Of course, we all know too well what happened over the four months following the election as stocks plummeted over 30%. So today, the S&P…

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07.07 2009

Equity Markets Begin Correction

Today, equity markets continued to show signs that at least a mild correction is underway as the S&P 500 Index closed at its lowest level since May 1st. After reaching an intra-day high of 956 on June 11, the S&P 500 has declined nearly 8% through the close of today’s trading at 881. From a…

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06.16 2009

Stock Market Correction Ahead?

In my May 22nd post, I talked about the S&P 500 Index approaching its 200-day moving average, an important level that would inspire confidence if the index could close above it on strong trading volume.  Well, the S&P 500 did close above the 200-day moving average on June 1st, but volume was lackluster, and has…

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