Finding The Bull Market Peak

The stock market has suddenly encountered an identity crisis. Over the three trading day stretch, stocks posted what is now the seventh worst trading day of the year on Tuesday followed by the best trading day of the year on Wednesday followed by the fourth worst trading day of the year on Thursday. Such violent swings have frayed the nerves of many investors that had become accustomed to a market that existed for so long with little volatility. But standing back from the daily trading noise and looking at the market from a broader view can be helpful in keeping today’s correction in perspective. And recent history can also offer some clues as to what a bull market peak actually looks like and whether we are currently in the midst of one today.

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

Threats Remain Despite Wednesday’s Rally

What a fantastic afternoon. After threatening to break lower for much of the morning, stocks exploded to the upside upon the release of the Fed minutes from a meeting held three weeks ago. But today’s trading action obscured what has been the development of larger, more disconcerting trading pattern. For the stock market remains on an increasingly wild roller coaster ride that started several weeks ago. And in what has become an unfamiliar condition for those that hold publicly-traded equity in U.S. companies, the value of this ownership has actually been declining in value on net since the beginning of September. Even after today’s surge, the ongoing down drift in stocks represents the longest sustained correction in stocks since the fall of 2012. Despite this recent weakness, investors continue to have good reason for optimism, as fresh new highs remain well within reach. With that said, now is also not the time for complacency either, as the recent downtrend not only remains unbroken but may also represent the very beginning of what is to come over the next several years.

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

Stocks: The Hunt For Red October

October has gotten off to a wild start. In the first three trading days alone, stocks as measured by the S&P 500 Index managed to drop by more than -2.3%, then rally by more than +2.3% to end up virtually flat for the month so far. And one gets the suspicion that this might not mark the end of the volatile market swings in the weeks ahead. Given that this latest bout of volatility is taking place nearly six years into the third longest stock bull market in history at a time when the economy remains persistently sluggish and the Fed is about to complete its market boosting QE3 stimulus program, investors may find themselves reasonably wondering whether the markets may finally be on the brink of rolling over. How markets perform for the rest of October will be critically important in determining whether we are indeed arriving at a peak or if stocks still have the strength to run higher into 2015. For if stocks post a decisively red October, it will likely mark the beginning of the end of this graying bull market.

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

U.S. Stocks And Ebola: A Risk Without Precedent

The United States saw its first diagnosed case of the Ebola virus in Dallas on Tuesday. While the potential for the virus to begin spreading more widely in the U.S. remains very minimal, the fact that it has arrived in the U.S. alone is cause to more closely examine the possible spillover effects from such an unlikely outcome. And one area that warrants consideration is the potential impact from such an episode on investment portfolios including stocks.

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

How Green Was My Market

The U.S. stock market had an unusual feel to it in the just completed third quarter of 2014. On the surface, it appeared that stock investors managed to squeeze out yet another positive quarter despite the various swings of volatility and general sense of unease that took place along the way. But one does not have to search far under the surface of this market to quickly come to the realization that all was not at all well for capital markets in the third quarter. And when looking ahead to the rest of the year and the twelve months of 2015 that will follow, investors will likely be confronted with an environment where a portfolio that is built both solid and good with careful thought will become an increasing necessity from a risk control and total returns perspective.

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

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