First and foremost, Happy Holidays to all! Thank you for your readership throughout 2010; I promise that in 2011 my continued focus will be on providing quality blog content.
December Unemployment Report
The S&P 500 Index closed on Wednesday, November 24 @ 1198.35, incrementally higher from the Wednesday, November 3rd closing price of 1197.96.
Tuesdays are Tough!
Thankfully, the bell has rung and ended a rather difficult session for Tuesday, November 16.
First In, Last Out
I am back from an enjoyable few days in the wonderful state of California. The dynamics of California are so intriguing with its troublesome economy, teetering on the brink of oblivion, vilified in the media on a regular basis for its missteps.
Temporary Election Tailwinds
The historic election of 2010 has passed with the Republicans picking up 6 U.S. Senate seats to gain on the still Democratic majority of 53 to 47 in the Senate.
November Unemployment Report
Looking back at August, there is no doubt that we experienced a double dip in pessimism.
An overuse of any particular market tool will lead to underperformance, that is historically proven.
The IMF & Inflation
The week of October 11 begins with the Columbus Day Holiday on Monday. Clearly, one of my all-time favorite trading days was Columbus Day 2008, when the S&P 500 Index surged from 899.22 to 1003.35.
Q3 Earnings Cheat Sheet
Take a $100 bill out of your wallet and stare at it closely – it looks the same as it always did. Well, not really, it may look the same but its purchasing power continues to diminish.
Post ISM Commentary & US Jobs Report Preview
The Friday October 1st ISM release provided investors with further evidence that FOMC will decide to expand the size of its balance sheet from $2 trillion at the two day November FOMC meeting.
1. China’s September PMI rose from 51.7 to 53.8, above the 52.5 consensus
The week ahead closes September. Since the credit crisis began in the 3rd Quarter of 2008, the first business day of each calendar month has been a highly anticipated day for me.
Post FOMC / Town Hall Thoughts
Velma Hart stole the show during Monday’s town hall on CNBC with a brilliant question, “Is this my new reality?”
FOMC Cheat Sheet
On Tuesday, September 21, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will hold its sixth meeting for 2010.
Initial Jobless Claims
On the morning of Wednesday, August 11, investors woke up to a significantly lower S&P 500.
KISS - AGRICULTURE
During the mid-2000s, rising demand for agriculture from the emerging markets, in particular China, encouraged investors to actively incorporate agriculture investments in their portfolios.
Today's FOMC Meeting
CHANGE IN LANGUAGE – TONE: From the June 23rd meeting, 1st paragraph: “Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April suggests that the economic recovery is proceeding and that the labor market is improving gradually. Household spending is increasing”
The Week Ahead - August 9
Last Friday’s disappointing jobs report and the post-market corporate news from Hewlett Packard (HPQ) should have vacationing money managers draining cell phone batteries checking in with the office early this week.
August Jobs Report
Overall employment fell by 131,000 jobs.
During the last week of July, market expectations for the upcoming China PMI began to fall, somewhat dramatically.
Oil Market Update
Oil inventories continue to rise here in the United States; in fact, they are approaching the uncomfortably high levels of May 2009.
A Good Inning!
For all the negative sentiment that flavored our 4th of July bar-b-ques, I would say the month of July caught most money managers by surprise.
Let's begin with a quick summary of the July 23rd Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS) stress test for 91 European Banks.
Choke Up On The Bat
The S&P 500 Index aggressively declined 2.88% on Friday, July 16, quickly dropping the monthly gain for the Index to 3.315%.
Major Currency Markets
Remember the Dubai debt crisis? I believe most of us have forgotten by now about the Thanksgiving 2009 event that was predicted to roil the markets.
Historically, the first ten calendar of January, and “sometimes” in July as well, are a time for money managers to deploy fresh investor capital into the Equities market.
Week of July 12 Earnings Overview
Clearly, the absence of private sector job growth in this morning’s Unemployment Report is rather troubling.
In my last quarterly commentary I briefly discussed the critical question coming into this year - what is the path for 10 year Treasury yields?
The First Week of June
First, let’s touch on the equity markets coming out of May. I currently remain “invested,” having moved in late May from “underweight” back toward “market weight.”
Seeking The Solution
After many years contributing to business network television, I appreciate the mindset of producers. Telling the story of the markets and pointing investors in the proper direction is important.
The Week Of May 24
Here it is, the final week of May. This time next weekend America pulls back the curtain on another summer season.
Why Not Just Go Short?
I am back from Las Vegas and looking for thanks from my fellow New Yorkers for bringing back some Vegas weather - sorry I missed that Northeast rainstorm this week.
Capital Markets Update
Here we are happily one week removed from the 'Flash Crash' of Thursday May 6 and several days past the European Union’s 'shock and awe' defense of the euro.
That was a Bad Inning
In a 'Baseball Season of Frustration,' investors can certainly expect a bunch of strikeouts, caught stealing, and walks by the pitcher. Yesterday’s entire trading session was one lousy inning of baseball highlighted by some very wild pitches.
Thoughts On Early May Trading
I have a very reliable calculator that I am guessing is around 16 years old. As I get older, I unfortunately find myself using that calculator more and more.
Deepwater Horizon Rig Crisis
The events surrounding the Deepwater Horizon Rig crisis, which began on April 20, has now reached the impact point for oil prices.
Greetings From 34,989 Feet
Greetings from 34,989 feet above our great country. Let’s be exact - that is 34,989 feet above Omaha, Nebraska. Hello down there, Mr. Buffett.
Preparing For the FOMC Meeting
The Federal Open Market Committee meets Wednesday April 28, a one day event. During the credit crisis, which now feels like it didn't even occur; the FOMC added an additional day.
Heart of a Champion
By now, most of you know that I am a huge hockey fan. My love affair with the game was fostered during my childhood when I had the privilege of watching my favorite team, the New York Islanders, raise four Stanley Cup banners.
G-20 in Case You Missed It
G-20 leaders met over the weekend of April 23 in Washington D.C. – Some important takeaways.
For the Oil Doubters
Oil prices continue to “grind” higher despite the headwind of continued rising inventories and an OPEC consortium that, as usual, cannot adhere to their quotas.
WHAT I AM WATCHING THE WEEK OF APRIL 19
Obviously, as I stated on the evening of Friday April 16, the most critical indicator for the week of April 19 might just be the reaction to the SEC / Goldman Sachs news as Asian markets open Sunday evening April 18.
Goldman Sachs 24 Hours Later
I believe in allowing time to pass before letting Mr. Mouth express any thought that is not internally questioned and properly reflected upon. So, 24 hours have passed, enough time for me to offer some thoughts on the SEC suing Goldman Sachs (GS) for fraud. The one thing that I keep focusing on is 'how this will impact the markets.' I will survive however it turns out for GS. Sorry, call me superficial, but that is my concern, and maybe yours as well so, let’s dig a little deeper.
DOW Transports vs. DOW Industrials
Heading into 2010, advocates of Dow Transport outperformance were chided in a similar fashion to our Virtus friend Pete Batchelar suggesting that his Montreal Canadiens can eliminate the Washington Capitals.
First, let me once again state what I told the students at the University of Connecticut School of Business back in early February - the best trade out there is to take a thirty year mortgage. I still believe that; it is a generational opportunity.
Energy Market Update
I am done with my Fast Money oil price predictions ($90 before $60), taking my official bow and stating that $87.09 on April 6th is good enough for me - close enough to $90.
Spend it even if you don’t have it!
Late last year on Fast Money, I began suggesting that the “affluent consumer” was significantly contributing to, and supporting, overall consumer spending.
Earnings For the Week of April 12
'Now leading off for the Bull Market - ALCOA (AA)!' Well, not exactly Derek Jeter or even Johnnie Damon (circa 2004 Bosox), but Alcoa (AA) it is.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Asset prices continue to slowly move higher as we begin the next earnings season. Investors need also pay attention to the Greece / ECB drama and some domestic economic events. Let's quickly highlight those events.
Heading into the end of March European Summit
Heading into the end of March European Summit, the 16 nations that comprise the European Union have one thing on their minds - the rapidly declining value of their currency.
Tuesday’s FOMC statement did little to stall the bullish momentum the Commodities space has exhibited during the month of March.
Here I sit one week removed from the yearly family trip to Disney, utterly missing every minute of the trip. Certainly, my kids miss the trip, in particular the relaxed, no rules environment a vacation week with Dad brings.
The Quarter is coming to a close, some thoughts
Wow, basically we have two weeks left in the quarter. From a market action perspective it feels like it is still January 10th. Over the next two weeks I think the market will have support underneath it.
One Year Ago
So, here we are, one year removed from one of the greatest generational buying opportunities in the history of our capital markets.
Back in December, I wrote about the correlation between a “sideways” market and the temptation to alter portfolio strategies. The 2004 and 1994 markets provide templates.
Under The Radar
Unfortunately most of the “meat" never gets exposed to investors; they just witness “the fat".
We have a suspect
One of the more frustrating components of investing is when your investment plan is challenged by an aggressive sell-off in the market.
Was it 10 for '10 or 5 for '10?
New decade, new beginning, a global economic recovery reflected in rising capital market prices.
One Man's Truck
Everybody knows that Americans love trucks. We buy them in all sizes and even sport them up more after the purchase. At this time last week, not many Americans figured that one man's love of a truck in Massachusetts would initiate a series of political events that ended the week of January 18th with the capital markets in disarray.
The Importance of January 21st
On Thursday, January 21st earnings reports will be released for Google, Goldman Sachs, American Express, and Freeport McMoRan.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road
Friday’s December jobs report provided a much needed reminder that the FOMC will stand by its accommodative policy for an extended period of time. For all the criticism Ben and his boys have taken this week, they have accurately assessed and addressed the stresses in the economy and the capital markets.
No Quiet Markets Here
The litany of predictions for 2010 all seemed to suggest tepid performance for the capital markets. I myself have suggested that volatility, as measured by the VIX, will continue its current trend lower.
Here we are in 2010
Here we are in 2010 and, for all those who are preparing for dramatic changes, I posit that the sun still rose in similar fashion to 2009.
Virtus Investment Partners provides this communication as a matter of general information. The opinions stated herein are those of the author and not necessarily the opinions of Virtus, its affiliates or its subadvisers. Portfolio managers at Virtus make investment decisions in accordance with specific client guidelines and restrictions. As a result, client accounts may differ in strategy and composition from the information presented herein. Any facts and statistics quoted are from sources believed to be reliable, but they may be incomplete or condensed and we do not guarantee their accuracy. This communication is not an offer or solicitation to purchase or sell any security, and it is not a research report. Individuals should consult with a qualified financial professional before making any investment decisions.