Dashboard

June 2019 Economic Dashboard

The stock market continued the rally from the Christmas Eve low that marked the end of the fourth quarter “mini” bear market.  Stocks at that time fell due to fears the Fed would continue to increase short-term interest rates to levels that would lead to a recession.  The Fed has since held the line on… Read More »

May 2019 Economic Dashboard

Rising trade tensions with China and a surprise threat to impose tariffs on Mexico (related to the migrant crisis on the southern border) derailed the stock market in May.  Indeed, the Dow Jones 30 Industrials ended the month on its longest weekly losing streak in eight years.  Investors are fearing the multi-front trade disputes will… Read More »

April 2019 Economic Dashboard

The stock market rally continued in April, with the Dow Jones 30 gaining 2.7% and the S&P 500 up 4.0%.  The tech-heavy NASDAQ was the winner for the month with a gain of 4.7%.  Better-than-expected corporate earnings in April, a decline in inflation pressures and an excellent GDP report late in the month were among… Read More »

March 2019 Economic Dashboard

The stock market’s rebound has been strong and consistent since making a low on Christmas Eve.  It has been marked by a high percentage of stocks of all sizes and most industry groups moving higher in unison.  This pattern has been a hallmark of past bull markets. The underlying economy is still growing, albeit at… Read More »

February 2019 Economic Dashboard

The bear market in US stocks that occurred in the fourth quarter of 2018 was triggered by a fear that the Federal Reserve would keep increasing interest rates to fight off incipient inflation pressures building in the US economy.  Given the incredible US jobs growth machine, spanning 100 straight months of gains and counting, better… Read More »

January 2019 Economic Dashboard

US stocks posted their best January performance in 30 years.  Following the worst December since 1931, investors can rightly breathe a sigh of relief.  Our December Dashboard outlined the havoc caused by Fed Chair Jay Powell’s ill-advised remarks in October regarding future interest rate policy, as well as poorly-received follow-up statements about overall monetary policy… Read More »

December 2018 Economic Dashboard

“We are a long way from neutral.”  This phrase, uttered by Fed Chair Jerome Powell in response to a reporter’s question in early October, knocked the legs out from under the US stock market and triggered a fourth quarter decline in stocks not seen since the Financial Crisis began in 2008.    Powell was referring to… Read More »

November 2018 Economic Dashboard

Rumors of a plateauing of oil output in Texas, New Mexico (which share the Permian Basin) and North Dakota have been exaggerated by a lack of pipelines to transport shale oil to refining depots.  The pipeline bottleneck should be eased by the end of 2019 when three new pipelines are completed that will link the… Read More »

October 2018 Economic Dashboard

After enjoying five consecutive months of gains, US stocks had a terrible month of October, dropping almost 8% from their highs reached early in the month. Third quarter GDP growth was a very strong 3.5%, buoyed by robust consumer spending.  Corporate earnings beat already-high expectations.  So why then did the market have a sudden change… Read More »

September 2018 Economic Dashboard

Wall Street loves an anniversary and the 10th anniversary of the Lehman Brothers failure was no exception.  We won’t go into the causes of the failure and subsequent Great Recession as they have been told and re-told many times.  One lesson of Lehman was that anything was possible in terms of financial calamity, so what… Read More »