December 2018 Market Letter

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”… Bah Humbug.

In most years, we can see a rather clear trend for December performance. However, 2018 is an exception. The last month of the year is historically positive for stocks, and we often hear of the “Santa rally”. Given what we’ve seen the last couple months, though, all speculation is up for grabs.

November was a negative month until this past week, which marked the best five day performance for major averages in over two years. The mid-term elections, while settled, produced a “sell on the news” reaction from investors. Perhaps the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives was larger in scope than…

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November 2018 Market Letter

Not so Happy Halloween… all tricks, no treats…

As I wrote a couple weeks ago, we’re in the midst of a long-awaited correction in the stock market. October will doubtless end up being the worst month since the tumultuous financial crisis of 2008. All major averages swooned badly, and many portfolios experienced double digit losses. Markets always go down much more quickly than they go up, and the swiftness of October’s deepening trough has been a bit alarming. Volatility has increased, but not to overly dramatic levels. We may need to see more pain before calmer waters appear.

I don’t want to sound like the proverbial broken record, but corrections are…

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Mid-October Market Letter

This rare mid-month missive will be brief and hopefully to the point. We’re in the midst of a mini-correction that I’ve been predicting would happen for quite some time. The stock market had a brutal week, shedding all gains for 2018. Volume was exceptionally heavy, but orderly. The major averages are now between 6 and 8% lower than their all-time highs from late September. Markets always go down far more quickly than they rise, and this decline is no exception.

Corrections, no matter how steep or swift, are never pleasant. However, they happen occasionally and are cleansing overall for the market. I cannot tell you with any clarity how long…

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October 2018 Market Letter

“Believe it or not, I’m walking on air… I never thought I could feel so free… Flying away on a wing and a prayer… Who could it be? Believe it or not, it’s just me…”

This is a stanza from the theme song of the 1980’s TV series, The Greatest American Hero. Joey Scarbury became a one-hit wonder with this tune, soon to be forgotten. More on Joey and others in a bit… let’s review what happened in September:

Hurricane Florence caused record flooding in the Carolinas.
The Federal Reserve raised interest rates another ¼ point, causing the 10 year Treasury to inch above 3%.
The price of crude oil rose to its…

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