Weekly Market Commentary

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“It’s The Hap- Happiest Season Of All.”

The Markets

While holidays don’t make everyone happy, investors should be feeling festive. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is up more than 18 percent year-to-date.

What Will It Take to Shake Investors’ Confidence?

The Markets

From the perspective of unsettling events, last week was jam-packed. North Korea claimed to have the capability to strike the United States with a nuclear missile, tax reform continued to travel a controversial path through the House and Senate, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia’s ambassador.

There Was a Lot To Be Thankful For Last Week

The Markets

Stock markets around the world may have ripened to full-slip sweetness this year. Emerging markets have delivered the most attractive returns year-to-date

Are Investors More Like Tigers or African Wild Dogs?

The Markets

It appears investors – retail and institutional – have become rather like predators. They patiently stalk shares, waiting for a dip, and then they strike – buying stocks when prices fall.

Selling It Overseas

The Markets

Most of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index have reported third-quarter earnings per share (EPS), which is the profit earned per share of stock outstanding during the period. Many have done quite well.

Taxes Are What We Pay for A Civilized Society

The Markets

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’s statement is engraved on the front of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, D.C. Some people agree with the sentiment. Others believe it to be a logical fallacy.

The Last Full Week of October Was A Box Full Of Surprises.

The Markets

First, U.S. economic growth exceeded expectations. The devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria was widely expected to stifle U.S. quarterly growth, according to NPR. The Atlanta Federal Reserve predicted 2.5 percent gross domestic product (GDP)* growth for third quarter, down from 3.1 percent the previous quarter. Instead, U.S. GDP grew by 3.0 percent.

And the Hits Just Keep On Coming.

The Markets

Last week was the anniversary of Black Monday. On October 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) lost 508 points, or more than 20 percent of its value, as it fell from the previous trading day’s closing value of 2,247 to 1,739.

There’s A New Kid in Town: Narrative Economics.

The Markets

Last week, Richard Thaler was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. His work in behavioral economics and finance recognizes not all economic and financial decisions are made after rational reflection. In Nudge, he wrote:

Slow and Steady

The Markets

It has been 332 days since the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index experienced a 5 percent drop, reported Barron’s. If there isn’t a selloff on Monday or Tuesday, this will become the longest rally without such a drop.

A Lot Happened During the Third Quarter Of 2017, But Not Much Changed.

The Markets

The bull market in U.S. stocks continued to charge ahead. Traditional measures of valuation continued to suggest the market is overvalued, but some analysts argued it’s different this time. The Economist explained:

Geopolitics, What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothin’!

The Markets

In January, Robert Kahn of the Council on Foreign Relations wrote in Global Economics Monthly: