First Quarter 2015 Market Commentary

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Even with the headwinds of volatility, why is the U.S. economy doing reasonably well at this point? One of the principal factors is continuing improvements in the labor markets in both employment and wages. We’ve seen some of the best growth for job creation, especially when one adjusts for the slowdown in the workforce population. So, on a demographic-adjusted basis probably the best job creation we’ve seen in the last 10-15 years. This is starting to really help the outlook for the U.S. consumer. With wages going up somewhat and…

2014 Year-end Market Review & Personal Account Analysis

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In 2014, the place to be for investors was in large-company U.S. stocks. Investors in U.S. securities benefited from substantial economic traction especially during the second half of 2014, resulting in domestic stocks posting excellent returns even as the Federal Reserve wound down its quantitative easing program (massive bond-market purchases). For the sixth year in a row, the Dow advanced. The Dow was up 7.5% for 2014. The S&P 500 gained 11.4%, led by a 24% return in utility shares and a 23% rise in health-care stocks. Including dividends, the…

The Roller Coaster Stock Market

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By Kent Butcher, MBA   During times of volatility, the stock market is often compared to a roller coaster ride. This analogy is certainly applicable to the behavior of the stock market particularly beginning mid- July of this year. On July 16, the Dow Jones Average closed at 17,138. This was the highest point for the Dow in the previous five year period.  Four weeks later on August 7th, the Dow nose-dived to 16,368, a neighborhood that it had not seen since February of 2014. Fast forward six weeks to…

Market Review of Second Quarter 2014

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This report features world capital market performance and a timeline of events for the last quarter. It begins with a global overview, then features the returns of stock and bond asset classes in the US and international markets. The report also illustrates the performance of globally diversified portfolios and features a topic of the quarter. Download Market Review here:  Second Quarter Market Review Source: Dimensional Fund Advisors

1Q14 Financial Market Commentary

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After a rough 2013, many taxable bond-fund categories rebounded somewhat at the start of this year as rates came down. Long governments led the charge followed by preferred stock and long-term bond. Following outstanding 2013 returns, stocks saw a meager 0.6% return in the first quarter according to Morningstar U.S. Market Indices. Most stock sectors turned in positive performances for the quarter. Utilities led the way, followed by health care and basic materials. Communications services and consumer cyclical were the worst performers during the past three months. The first three…

UPAL Market Commentary February 2014

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Did January Set the Stage for the 2014 Market?    In January, equity markets fell, as investors scurried to the exits by prospects of  slowing growth in China mixed corporate earnings reports, especially among large U.S. and European companies slowing pace of factory orders concerns about jobs, job growth and unemployment claims deepening balance of payments in other countries, both developed and developing Hardest hit were emerging markets.  While stocks hit the skids, Treasuries rallied as investors sought refuge in perceived less risky asset classes, such as government bonds. With the…