Stocks: Clear Sailing Into 2015

The bull remains unstoppable. After enduring what was the first measurable decline in nearly two years in September and early October, stocks have recovered impressively to the upside. In the weeks since the mid-October bottom, stocks have successfully navigated some potentially choppy waters en route to setting fresh new all-time highs. And despite the already extraordinary rally to date, stocks may now be entering into a new phase of clear sailing through the rest of 2014 and into the start of the New Year.

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

Japan Stimulus: Not My Cup Of Sake

Friday highlighted once again the importance of maintaining a long bias to stocks at least for now in an investment portfolio regardless of your long-term outlook for the global economy and its markets. In a surprise revelation, the Bank of Japan announced that it was raising the stakes on its already unprecedented monetary stimulus program. In short, they have essentially decided to push the accelerator even further through the floor. The stakes are higher than ever with this latest policy move, and the stability of the global financial system may ultimately hang in the balance. But such are worries for another day apparently. In the meantime, it is worthwhile to consider the sustained near-term impact on global financial markets, including both U.S. and Japanese stocks.

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

A Once In A Generation Change For Stocks

The Federal Reserve is currently undergoing a monumental change in its monetary policy priorities. This shift marks a major departure from the focus that has defined the Fed’s work for more than a generation. And if the Fed actually follows through with this transition, it will have dramatic implications for years if not decades to come on financial markets that have become so heavily dependent on the persistently generous support of monetary policy for over a quarter century. Yet financial markets seem to hardly notice these recently explicit signs that we may be right now at the dawn of a new era for Fed policy. As for what lies ahead in the next phase, stock investors will almost certainly be required to work much harder to generate consistently positive returns than has been required over the past few decades.

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.

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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