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.

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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.

The Bull In Winter

All good things must come to an end. This includes the current bull market in U.S. stocks. At nearly six years, it already ranks among the longest in history. And it has taken place during a time of heightened geopolitical and economic stress. A new bear market will eventually get underway. The only question is exactly when this change will take place. Whether it is in three years, later this year or has already begun remains to be seen. But a number of forces are increasingly converging that suggest that the demise of the graying bull market may now be drawing close. And no amount of cunning by global policy makers will be able to cheat death in the end.

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

What U.S. Investors Can Expect From ECB QE

The European Central Bank is finally putting action behind its words. More than two years after proclaiming they would do “whatever it takes to preserve the euro”, ECB President Mario Draghi revealed on Thursday that the central bank would be coordinating a plan to purchase assets totaling 60 billion euros per month. Investment markets rejoiced immediately following the announcement that the last major central bank has finally joined the quantitative easing game. But not all asset purchase programs are created equal. As a result, it is reasonable to consider exactly what U.S. investors can expect from the ECB’s QE program moving forward.

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

2015 Outlook: Pain

The U.S. stock market has provided a blissful time for investors over the last several years. It has been almost six years now since the turmoil of the financial crisis dissipated. And with each passing year, U.S. stock market volatility has become less and less as the financial crisis starts to become an increasingly distant memory. But that may all be about to change as we enter into 2015. In fact, the change may already be underway. After so many comfortable years, a new challenge has finally arrived for the U.S. stock market. Thus, my market prediction for 2015: Pain.

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


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