December 20, 2016
The cheapest way to begin investing

Fed Raises Rates

Last week was mixed for the markets, as the Dow increased by 0.44%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.06%, the NASDAQ dropped 0.13%, and the MSCI EAFE gave back 0.55%. We also saw a variety of data released, giving a similarly mixed view of recent economic activity. Retail sales and the Consumer Price Index showed modest gains, while industrial production and housing starts both declined. The biggest headline from last week, however, was a development the market anticipated for quite some time: The Federal Reserve decided to raise its benchmark interest rates – for only the second time since 2006.   Why did the Fed raise rates? The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the group of Fed officials who meet to determine interest rates and other policies choices, has a mandate to “foster maximum employment and price stability.” In its quest to uphold this mandate, the FOMC aims to keep […]
December 12, 2016
Heritage Investors Investment Strategy

Rational Exuberance?

On Friday, December 9, all three major U.S. stock indexes ended at record highs. For the first time in five years, they each posted gains every day of the trading week. The S&P 500 was up 3.08%, the Dow added 3.06%, and NASDAQ increased 3.59%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE even gained 2.9%, despite potential risks from the Italian referendum and impending end of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing. From our vantage point, we see a rally that appears to be picking up steam. Looking at this impressive growth, however, it’s easy to wonder whether the markets are becoming overvalued and a correction is in order. In keeping with this concern, last Monday, December 5, marked the 20th anniversary of Former Federal Reserve Chief Alan Greenspan’s famous warning about “irrational exuberance.” Back in 1996, Greenspan worried that overvalued stocks and extreme investor enthusiasm could drive stocks to reach unsustainable […]
August 3, 2016
Stock Market Highs

What to do during Stock Market Highs

Both the DOW Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 have reached all time highs in recent weeks, which may have sent your stocks skyrocketing, but as we’ve seen in the past, the stock market highs and lows are anybody’s guess. In May of 2000, the S&P closed at 1,537 and then just over two years later bottomed out to 777. As the markets recovered, we saw yet another big gain in October of 2007; only to watch the bubble burst yet again a year and half later when the S&P closed at 677. Now with closing numbers over 2100 being recorded in July of this year, you may be asking yourself what should I do?   Review and rebalance your portfolio With the markets at an all time high, the first thing you to assess is, where you are in your retirement? If you’re still 15-20 years away, you may […]
April 25, 2016

Stocks End Mixed as Tech Falls on Earnings

Stocks End Mixed as Tech Falls on Earnings WEEKLY UPDATE – APRIL 25, 2016 Stocks ended last week mixed on earnings that were largely better than expected, though the tech sector disappointed. For the week, the S&P 500 gained 0.52%, the Dow grew 0.59%, and the NASDAQ lost 0.65%.[1] First-quarter earnings reports drove a lot of market activity last week. Though analysts expect overall S&P 500 earnings to be negative for the fourth quarter in a row, the news so far is more about earnings surprises and fewer negative revisions to estimates. Given how low the bar was set by many corporate teams, it’s not so unexpected to see positive surprises. With reports in from 132 S&P 500 members, overall earnings are down 7.9% on 1.1% lower revenues, though nearly three-quarters beat their earnings estimates.[2]   However, the tech sector is another story. Tech stocks sold off after disappointing results […]
March 22, 2016

Dow and SP 500 Green for 2016

Dow and SP 500 Green for 2016 WEEKLY UPDATE – MARCH 21, 2016 After a historically rough start to the year, stocks finally rallied enough to put the S&P 500 and Dow in the green for the year. Extended weakness in the dollar-which investors hope could boost economic growth and corporate profits-contributed to the gains.[1] For the week, the S&P 500 rose 1.35%, the Dow added 2.26%, and the NASDAQ grew 0.99%.[2] The last two weeks have been important in terms of global monetary policy. The European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, and Federal Reserve all met to determine next steps for their respective economic spheres of influence. Currently, there is a divide between the Fed, which is moving away from low rates while supporting economy growth, and the ECB and BOJ, which are fighting slowing economic growth with negative rates and quantitative easing. However, the latest Fed meeting suggests […]