Trump, Manafort, Cohen, And Markets

Political risk suddenly surfaced in the U.S. stock market on Tuesday. It was one-two punch of breaking headline news. First, the President’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to criminal charges and directly implicated the President in payments made “for the purpose of influencing the election”. On the very same day, former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort was found guilty by a jury on eight counts of fraud. These two headlines sent the S&P 500 Index down more than 20 points from the all-time highs it spent nearly seven months climbing all the way back to reclaim. Depending on how things unfold, could political risk become a mounting problem for the U.S. stock market going forward?

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Nobody Does It Better

The U.S. stock market finally did it. Or did it? On Wednesday, August 22, the U.S. stock market as measured by the S&P 500 Index will become the longest bull market in history. Fantastic. Given how far we have come from the near destruction of the financial world so long ago now, what have we learned along the way to apply to the remainder of the journey that lies ahead?

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We often hear how concentrated the gains in the U.S. stock market are today. But how truly concentrated is today’s market? And why might it matter to investors going forward?

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The Day The Stock Market Music Died

The U.S. stock bull market is alive and well.  While a breakout by the S&P 500 Index above its January peak remains elusive, it seems only a matter of time before the fresh new all-time high confetti is once again falling from the rafters. But underneath the market surface, a disconcerting trend with corporate earnings began developing a few months ago and is continuing to pick up steam. As stocks chase new all-time highs, are they doing so long after the corporate profit music has died?

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Jive Turkey

News out of Turkey dominated the market headlines on Friday. The Turkish lira currency tumbled sharply against the U.S. dollar, falling by as much as 16% as concerns mounted about the financial health of the world’s 13th largest economy. Makes for interesting headlines, but since I don’t own any Turkish stocks in my portfolio, I’ve got nothing to worry about here, right? Not so fast.

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