U.S. Stocks: Oh Behave!

The U.S. stock market continues to behave remarkably well. Such persistent resilience among U.S. stocks is notable for a bull market that recently entered its seventh year of largely uninterrupted gains since the quelling of the financial crisis in early 2009. And as long as the uptrend remains intact, investors are best served to respect it until warning signals emerge to confirm that definitive change in trend may actually be taking place. With this downside risk in mind, it should be noted that headwinds continue to accumulate for this market with each passing week, so investors are equally well served to avoid becoming complacent as we continue through 2015.

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

The Fed Trade That’s Money In The Bank

Global markets breathed a collective sigh of relief this week. On Wednesday, many investors were expecting that the U.S. Federal Reserve would emerge from their latest Open Market Committee meeting with hawkish suggestions that interest rates would be on the rise perhaps as early as June. But once the statement was released and Chair Yellen took to the podium with downward revised economic growth forecasts, investors took these more dovish tones as a signal that Fed rate hikes would be coming much later than originally expected. Market euphoria ensued from 2PM on and continued through the remainder of the week across virtually all asset classes including stocks, bonds and commodities. But not every corner of capital markets were pleased at the prospects for Fed rate restraint. And this sliver of differentiation may provide a particularly useful trade for investors once the inevitable Fed rate hikes finally get underway.

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

Lessons From Another Tough Week & The Big Day Ahead

It was another challenging week for the market. Overall, risk assets across various market segments moved steadily lower throughout the week. And those that had been heavily punished the prior week mostly struggled to find their footing. Capital markets are notably weak heading into the main event looming in the coming week. This, of course, is the latest meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee, which is expected to set the table for raising interest rates in the coming months. Given the market dependence on central bank liquidity, it is a meeting this Tuesday and Wednesday that has the potential to set the tone for the markets throughout the spring and into the summer.

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

Elevate My Market

It has been an extraordinary month of February for the U.S. stock market. It has received a steady stream of challenging if not outright gloomy economic news throughout the month. At the same time, corporate earnings growth forecasts for the coming year that were once positive by double digits only a few weeks ago have turned firmly negative. And the Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve has made it rather clear, most recently in her testimony before Congress this week, that interest rates will soon be on the rise, most likely in June, which is earlier than market expectations. All the while, U.S. stock valuations have now crested the 20 times as reporting earnings mark on a trailing twelve month basis and are closing in on this frothy level on a forward basis too. But despite the fact that all of the news seems kind of gray, the U.S. stock market has only one place where it wants to go. It wants to go higher.

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

Hawks Take Flight

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to appear in front of Congress this week to present her semiannual testimony on monetary policy. And following a dovish interpretation by the markets of the minutes from the Fed’s Open Market Committee meeting in late January, investors should not be surprised if Ms. Yellen takes to the microphone on Tuesday and Wednesday with a more hawkish-than-expected tone about the Fed’s intentions for raising interest rates. The Fed wants to raise rates as early as June, and it seems they are running into a credibility problem in getting the markets to actually believe it.

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

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