Tragedy In Paris: The People And Markets Will Overcome

The global community was stunned on Friday on the news of a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in the city of Paris that left more than 100 dead and dozens injured. Our deepest sympathies go out to the victims of these tragic events. But as the world begins to process over the weekend what took place in Paris on Friday, focus may eventually turn to the following question. What impact, if any, will this latest global terrorist event have on global markets?

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

Utilities: Across The Universe

I currently favor utilities in the current market environment. Following a strong advance in 2014, the sector has been under pressure for much of the year due in large part to concerns about the U.S. Federal Reserve and plans to raise interest rates. This recent weakness may be presenting investors with opportunity as they position for the future. But instead of taking a blanketed approach in allocating to the sector, investors may be well served to focus on specific themes within this space. With this in mind, it is worthwhile to take a walk across the utilities universe.

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

The Consumer Mirage

It has been a common refrain over the last several weeks since the recent market bottom in late September. Sure, global economies outside the U.S. are continuing to struggle as evidenced by the fact that their central banks are compelled to ease even further. But the story in the United States is one of contrast and relative strength, which is supported by the fact that the U.S. Federal Reserve is feeling confident enough to begin the process of normalizing interest rates before the end of the year. And supporting the strong domestic economic thesis is the apparent vigor of the U.S. consumer, highlighted by the strength and leadership of consumer discretionary stocks during the recent stock price rebound. Perhaps, but if price is indeed truth, the apparent strength of the American consumer might just be a mirage.

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

Breaking Down The Bull

The seemingly relentless bull market that is running at nearly seven years and counting has been frustratingly elusive for some investors. For while the stock market has risen so impressively from its lows in March 2009, a number of stock investors find themselves lamenting the feeling that somehow they have missed out on much of the gains. And this comes despite the fact that they have been actively allocated to stocks in their investment portfolios throughout much of the post crisis period. How can this possibly be? Because the post crisis gains in the stock market have not been as continuous and uniform as they are now widely viewed in retrospect. In fact, a vast majority of the post crisis upside in the stock market has been confined to two very specific periods along the way. And if you missed these two distinct stretches, you missed most everything in the post crisis rally.

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

Trade First, Ask Questions Later

The importance of risk management cannot be overstated in today’s capital markets. Yes, it has been a delightful magic carpet ride higher for the stock market since the spring of 2009. Some have become so sedated along the way that they potentially have all but forgotten the nearly devastating market turmoil that came before it during the financial crisis. It has been that long ago now that a good many others that have entered capital markets in the years since the crisis have come to expect that what we have experienced during the current phenomenal bull market run is not an unusual exception but actually the norm. And perhaps such relentless euphoria will continue well into the future. Only time will tell. But worrisome fundamental, technical and behavioral cracks continue to lurk under the surface. So while it remains worthwhile to continue participating as stocks continue their ascent, it is also just as important if not more so to not become complacent. For once the stock market finally peaks and begins moving sustainably to the downside, it is likely to take no prisoners along the way

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.


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