No Help From Window Dressing 03-31-15

Today marks the end of the year’s first quarter, and while such days are often characterized by up-moves in share prices as many professional money managers dump losing positions and scoop up recent top-performing shares to gussy up their portfolios, we do not see any really visible new window dressing today.

The lack of a positive action is due at least in part to the U.S. dollar, which has strengthened in the past few sessions, not so much as a result of improved U.S. fundamentals but instead from the weight that traders give to events abroad. Read more about No Help From Window Dressing 03-31-15

Inflation Remains Notably Absent 03-24-15

Stocks have managed to climb slightly since the Federal Reserve’s latest policy statement was released last Wednesday. But the gains have been less than what we should expect in light of the central bank’s surprisingly dovish comments.

The Fed dropped the word “patience” from its statement, yet offered a more pessimistic view of where the economy is headed. It lowered its GDP forecast for 2015 to 2.3 percent to 2.7 percent. It also lowered its estimate of the benchmark Fed Funds rate for the end of this year, to 0.625 percent, from a previous forecast of 1.125 percent. Read more about Inflation Remains Notably Absent 03-24-15

More Red Than Green This St. Patrick's Day

It’s St. Patrick’s Day and we hear the cheerful sounds of the parade marching up Fifth Avenue outside of our midtown New York office. The mood on Wall Street in lower Manhattan is decidedly more downbeat, however, with red the dominant color on trading screens today. Read more about More Red Than Green This St. Patrick's Day

Dollar Strength, Stock Weakness 03-10-15

Stocks are also taking their cue from events in Europe where the situation in Greece once more threatens to unravel. The creditors of the beleaguered country yesterday rejected Athens’ reform proposals. Those reforms are an important contingent for additional tranches of bailout funds, without which Greece will be forced to exit the currency union. We view that departure as inevitable but suspect more compromises will shortly ensue, and thereby delay that day. Read more about Dollar Strength, Stock Weakness 03-10-15

Not Quite Goldilocks, But Close 03-03-15

Stocks spent the past week trading in a very tight range. Today they’re testing the lower end of that range. While shares could sink a bit further in the short term, however, absent any unexpected news to rouse investors, we foresee no significant pullback in the offing. By the same token, it may take a bit longer for the S&P 500 to successfully challenge the record high it set last Friday. Read more about Not Quite Goldilocks, But Close 03-03-15

The Quiet Season 02-24-15

Stocks climbed to marginal new highs last week; the S&P 500 closed above 2,100 for the first time in the process. According to the age-old adage, the most bullish thing for the market is to make new highs. While that’s often true, we can’t wholeheartedly support the current move. Read more about The Quiet Season 02-24-15

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