Dashboard

December 2019 Economic Dashboard

The S&P 500 is coming off one of its best years of all-time, with a price return of 28.9%.  An initial reaction might be to take gains in anticipation of a pullback. History tells us such a response would be unwise, as the market has performed well following big up years. The graph below shows… Read More »

November 2019 Economic Dashboard

In announcing their third rate cut for 2019 earlier this quarter, the Federal Reserve signaled that they believed this latest cut would be enough to support moderate growth and a continued buoyant job market. With the federal funds benchmark rate back down to a range of 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent, the focus now turns… Read More »

October 2019 Economic Dashboard

Much has been in the news and on the minds of investors about a weakening US economy. Several developments in October helped to temper these fears, leading to a 3.3% rise in the S&P 500. Trade talks showed some signs of positive momentum, with the US and China announcing a “phase one” trade agreement. Better… Read More »

September 2019 Economic Dashboard

The US stock market finished the third quarter near its all-time highs, which is remarkable given the volatility witnessed during the 90-day period.  The media has been touting a recession resulting from the combination of the trade war and restrictive Fed monetary policy.  Most economic indicators are pointing to slower growth, so the Fed has… Read More »

August 2019 Economic Dashboard

August was a more volatile month than usual, triggered by both an escalation of the trade war with China and more indications that the US economy may be slowing more than expected. The S&P 500 had daily changes of over 1% on 11 of the 22 trading days in response to both rhetoric and economic… Read More »

July 2019 Economic Dashboard

After a relatively good month for the stock market in July, the one-two punch of a disappointing Fed rate cut on July 31 and more tariffs on Chinese goods and its retaliatory currency devaluation in the first days of August have sent stock prices sharply lower.  Markets like predictability (which usually comes at a premium)… Read More »

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 »