Research & Market Insights

03.07 2010

Employment Continues To Improve

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released February employment figures on Friday which showed continued, yet far from robust, improvement. Payrolls dropped by 36,000 in February, nearly half the consensus expectation for losses. In another positive sign, prior month losses were reduced, indicating that the massive layoffs of a year ago have abated. In addition, the…

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02.12 2010

How Will the Greek Debt Crisis Be Resolved?

Markets this week were volatile as investors weighed the news coming out of Europe concerning the potential bailout of Greece. On Thursday, European leaders pledged unprecedented support to Greece, yet they failed to provide any details of how the bailout would work. Of course, Greece is not alone among European countries with too much debt,…

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02.06 2010

Investors Take Flight From Risk

Despite generally good news on the economy and corporate earnings, global equity markets are in the midst of the steepest correction since the recovery rally began last March. The week’s peak to trough decline for the S&P 500 was over 5%, and the index is now down over 7% from the January 19th high. A…

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01.20 2010

Election Results – Another Positive for the US Dollar

In the wake of yesterday’s stunning election in Massachusetts, why did the equity markets endure the steepest losses of 2010? After all, markets rallied on Election Day in anticipation of the Republican victory. CNBC’s Jim Cramer used much of his show to urge viewers to “Buy, Buy, Buy!”, based on his belief that gridlock will…

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01.10 2010

Stocks Start New Year Strong, Jobs Not So Much

The calendar may indicate that a new year has begun, but one week into 2010, global equity markets continue to act like it is still 2009. The S&P 500 closed higher each day this week to post a 2.7% gain and close at the highest level since October 2008. On Friday, stocks reversed earlier losses…

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12.22 2009

Has the U.S. Dollar Bottomed?

Did the U.S. dollar bottom on Thanksgiving? Since then, the greenback is up nearly 5% in response to sovereign credit fears, beginning with Dubai and then spreading to Greece. We have been arguing that the “short dollar, long everything else” trade is among the most crowded we’ve ever seen, and that the near term threat…

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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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