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Weekly Commentary

Week of November 4, 2019

They did it.  The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates last week, as expected. There were no enthusiastic fans singing the Baby Shark song, but the Federal Open Market Committee’s decision was well received.  Reuters reported, “Gaps between market expectations and the Fed’s own outlook have been wide at times this year, a source of concern for policymakers who don’t want to kowtow to markets, but also don’t want to surprise or disrupt them...READ MORE

Week of October 28, 2019

More money managers are feeling less bullish, but you sure couldn’t tell by the performance of U.S. stock markets last week.  So far, 2019 has been a tremendous year for U.S. stocks. Through the end of last week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index had gained more than 20 percent year-to-date, the Dow Jones Industrial Index was up more than 15 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite had risen more than 24 percent...READ MORE

Week of October 21, 2019

Last week was like an overstuffed suitcase that busts open on the baggage carousel. A lot was unpacked in a surprising and disorderly fashion.  There was some positive news for investors who prioritize fundamentals. Third quarter’s earnings season – the period of time when companies let investors know how they performed during the previous quarter – got off to a strong start.  Fifteen percent of companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index have reported so far and 84 percent had earnings that beat analysts’ expectations...READ MORE

Week of October 14, 2019

The world breathed a sigh of relief last week when the United States and China took a step toward a trade-war truce.  Financial Times reported the United States agreed to not increase tariffs from 25 percent to 30 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports next week. (Current tariffs remain in place, and it is possible new tariffs will be imposed on additional Chinese goods – electronics, apparel, and other consumer items – in mid-December.) In return, China agreed to purchase $40 to $50 billion of agricultural goods...READ MORE