Quarterly Commentary

Commentary | Q3 2017

September 30, 2017 – The stock market’s favorable performance reflected rising profits and an improving economic environment which began in the second quarter of 2017. Real growth rose at a rate slightly above 3% in the second quarter, and initial indications are growth continued at a rate above 2% in the third quarter. If economic growth…

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Commentary | June 2017

Quarterly Commentary The rise in stock prices in the quarter brought the market to a level that is at or near its historic high. While stock prices rose, so did valuations as earnings increases did not keep pace with price increases on average. The market, as measured by almost any broad based index, is now…

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Commentary | March 2017

Quarterly Commentary The market’s ascent in the first quarter continued a trend that began shortly after the November 2016 election.  Market participants seem to be expecting the implementation of new economic policies designed to produce an increased rate of growth for corporate profits as well as the overall economy. The new favored policies are likely…

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Commentary | December 2016

Market Review for 4th Quarter 2016 While the market’s gain was generated entirely after the November elections, there were other factors that helped drive the market higher. In the fourth quarter, markets appeared to be buoyed by an improved outlook for real GDP growth and rising corporate profits. Estimates for real economic growth for the…

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Commentary | 2Q 2016

While the market’s rise in the second quarter was not robust, it did reflect underlying optimism on the part of US investors. The preliminary data pertaining to real GDP growth in the recent quarter suggest the growth rate was about 2.5%. The 2.5% represents an increase from the less than 1% real growth in the…

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Commentary | 1Q 2016

In the first quarter of 2016, the rise of the market as represented by the S&P 500 Index, generated a return of 1.4%. The market’s modest rise took place against a background of diminished expectations. During the quarter, the consensus expectation for economic growth for the remainder of 2016 was reduced. Consistent with the revised…

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Commentary | 4Q 2015

In the fourth quarter, the rise of the market as represented by the S&P 500 Index, brought the market close to a positive return for the entire year. With the inclusion of dividends, the Index achieved a small positive return for 2015. The Index’s rise seemed unrelated to any improvement in the economic environment, or…

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Q3 2015 Commentary

The decline in the stock market reflected concerns about both real and imagined threats to the US economy and corporate profits. Among those threats was an anticipated 25 basis points increase in the Fed Funds rate. Market participants have been waiting for this modest rate increase for more than a year. Each time it appears…

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Q2 2015 Commentary

The puzzling economic data for the first quarter weighed on the market. Almost six years after the beginning of the economic recovery following the last recession, real GDP declined. This pattern of growth is unusual, and called into question the viability of the current economic recovery. Economic growth is expected to resume in the second…

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Q1 2015 Commentary

The market managed a small advance in the first quarter in the face of reduced expectations for near term real GDP growth and an anticipated decline in corporate profits in the quarter. With the market’s valuation no longer below average, this new set of expectations was able to impede the market’s progress and increase volatility.…

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