Quarterly Commentary

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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Q4 2014 Commentary

The rise in the stock market was consistent with the continuation of a favorable economic environment and a modest improvement in corporate profits. The growth of real GDP continued into the fourth quarter, albeit at a slower pace than that of the third quarter. Interest rates remained low, inflation was well contained, and it appears…

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Q3 2014 Commentary

The modest increase in stock prices in the third quarter reflected the net impact of conflicting influences. Positive influences included the favorable rate of economic growth during the quarter, profits edging upward and meeting expectations for the most part, and a growing consensus outlook for economic growth at a greater than 3% annual rate for…

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Q2 2014 Commentary

The outlook for economic growth for the remainder of 2014 became much less clear by the end of the second quarter. The persistent downward revisions in the change in real GDP in the first quarter revealed an economic environment that was weaker than anticipated. At the end of 2013, the consensus economic forecast called for…

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Q1 2014 Commentary

The market produced a modest rise in the most recent quarter in the face of slowing economic growth in the US and overseas, a reduction in the rate of increase in corporate profits, and disturbing political shocks originating in Eastern Europe. Real GDP growth in the US was estimated to be approximately 2% in the…

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Q4 2013 Commentary

The substantial rise in the stock market during the fourth quarter reflected the continued rise in corporate profits, better than expected growth in real GDP, and the Fed’s efforts to expand the money supply. These favorable trends in profits and real growth are expected to continue into 2014 while the Fed gradually reduces its effort to expand…

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