March 2018 Economic Dashboard

The first quarter of 2018 started off with a bang as stock market indexes climbed over 6% by January 26, one of the better starts to a new year.  After a placid 2017, meaning little or no volatility, investors were spooked by the January labor report that suggested wage inflation was accelerating and the Federal… Read More »

February 2018 Economic Dashboard

So much for another quiet year. Throughout all of 2017 the Dow Jones and S&P 500 indices never declined more than 3% from their latest highs on their way to full-year total returns in excess of 20%. The momentum continued into January as it seemed like we were on our way to another great year…. Read More »

January 2018 Economic Dashboard

(click image to enlarge) As if last year’s stellar performance wasn’t enough, the momentum has continued right along into 2018. The S&P 500 returned 5.62% in January, the best start to a year in nearly three decades. Historically a strong start to the year bodes well for the rest of the year, but there are… Read More »

December 2017 Economic Dashboard

(click image to enlarge) Happy New Year!  2017 turned out to be one of the best years for stocks since the bull market began in March of 2009.  Market advances were broad-based, as small, mid-size and large company indexes all reached new all-time highs, as did many international markets.  Even long-time laggard Japan reached new… Read More »

November 2017 Economic Dashboard

(click image to enlarge) There’s an old stock market indicator that suggests that the direction of fund flows—money going into and out of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs)—is a contrarian predictor of future stock market returns. In other words, individual investors are really bad at timing and typically buy when they should be selling… Read More »

October 2017 Economic Dashboard

(click image to enlarge) With the stock indices setting new records on what seems like a daily basis many investors find themselves wondering if this is just the calm before the next storm. It can be hard to commit to the market when many pundits are predicting the next bear market is just right around… Read More »

September 2017 Economic Dashboard

(click  image to enlarge) The daily drumbeat of warnings that a bear market or crash is imminent, and one calamity or another awaits investors, reminds us to heed Samuel Clemens’s advice about herd mentality: “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” Investor sentiment (also known as… Read More »

August 2017 Economic Dashboard

(click image to enlarge) North Korea has dominated the headlines lately, with the Labor Day weekend being no exception. At just 33 years old North Korean’s leader Kim Jong-un has proven to be quite unpredictable. Luckily it’s not our job to hypothesize about what actions he’ll take and therefore what military action, if any, should… Read More »

July 2017 Economic Dashboard

 (click image to enlarge) Stocks continued their upward march in July (both the Dow 30 and S&P 500 have recorded over 30 new highs this year). The broader-based S&P 500 has ten industry sectors among 505 component stocks. Would you believe only three of the ten sectors have outperformed the entire index return in 2017?… Read More »

June 2017 Economic Dashboard

(Click image to enlarge) As we pass the halfway point of the year we once again wonder if the years really do fly by faster as we get older, while the kids are wondering why school seems to start earlier and earlier each year. It’s also a time for celebration though as July 4th calls… Read More »