Media Hype/Myths

On the Trumped-Up Rally

12/08/2016

Stock moves attributed to Trump are overrated next to positive underlying fundamentals.

Black Friday's Overstated Importance

11/30/2016

This MarketMinder Minute evaluates the overstated importance of Black Friday.

Looking for Some Retail Therapy?

11/17/2016

Black Friday gets eyeballs, but the retail industry overall seems in fine shape. 

When Not to Trade

11/14/2016

Election-night volatility led to wildly incorrect market forecasts, showing the folly of trading around major news events.

Are They Right About Recession?

11/01/2016

The bevy of recent recession fears seems JUST a bit outside.

The Media’s Inflated Take on Inflation

10/19/2016

Rising prices in September aren’t evidence of a crisis averted.

Slow Down on Slow Growth Fears

10/07/2016

Recent fretting over slow US economic growth is—and has been—overwrought, in our view. 

Brexit Boo-Hooing Seems Like a Bust

09/09/2016

More than two months after Brexit, the British economy marches on.

Stocks’ Rise Doesn’t Rely on Dividends

08/26/2016

The hunt for high dividends isn’t fueling this bull market.

Sales, Not Surveys

08/23/2016

July’s UK retail sales report is yet more evidence sentiment surveys aren’t as predictive as many think.

Five Fallacies About “Overvalued” Stocks

08/16/2016

P/E ratios and other valuations are overrated, not overvalued.

Trumped Up Unemployment Numbers?

07/29/2016

Beware of politicians bearing statistics.

Don’t Jump to Conclusions on Brexit’s Impact

07/25/2016

Recent UK economic data are insufficient to draw any conclusion about the impact of June 23’s vote to leave the EU.

8.15 Bits of Bad News That Haven’t Broken Markets in 2016 (But Were Supposed to)

07/22/2016

False fears don’t scare stocks.

Low Bond Rates Don’t Yield Low Stock Returns

06/17/2016

Historically low global bond yields don’t mean stocks are in trouble.

Book Review: Deconstructing Financial Pundits

06/09/2016

Clash of the Financial Pundits shows why investors shouldn’t get hung up on sensational headlines. 

RIP, Manufacturing Recession

06/03/2016

Manufacturing’s most recent soft patch may have passed. 

Low Yields Do Not Equal Low Returns

05/31/2016

Even with bond yields near historic lows, investors needn’t flock to exotic alternatives to find a decent return.

No, Slowing Buybacks Aren’t Bearish Either

05/31/2016

Pundits flip-flop on stock buybacks but still don’t see reality.

Brexit, and the Creative Art of Misinformation

05/20/2016

In the heated debate over the UK's referendum on EU membership, the economic impact is commonly overstated.

Quick Hit: A Few Bullet Points to Shoot Down Lingering Eurozone Fears

05/18/2016

The eurozone economy is on much more solid footing than is widely appreciated.

The ‘Retail Recession’ Label Doesn’t Fit

05/13/2016

Department stores’ recent woes aren’t a sign the US economy is headed for recession.   

History Shows Election Nerves Don’t Stress Stocks

05/13/2016

Getting closer to an election won’t automatically roil stocks. 

How to Lie With Statistics: Election-Year Stock Returns

05/12/2016

In which we debunk three flawed “analyses” of election-year returns.

Don't Believe the Energy Hype

05/09/2016

Energy stocks have outperformed lately, but they still face many headwinds.

Investors: Time to Pay Less Attention to Jobs

05/06/2016

Jobs data aren’t a useful market input.

Your Annual Reminder Not to Sell in May

05/03/2016

An antidote to markets’ mythological summertime blues.

Don’t Fret the Q1 US GDP Slowdown

04/29/2016

While growth was slow in Q1, it isn’t a harbinger of worse to come.

The Elusive Passive Investor

04/29/2016

That investors are flocking to passive investment products in droves doesn’t make them passive investors.

Really, the UK Unemployment Report Wasn’t Bad

04/20/2016

Brexit risk didn’t take a bite out of UK job markets.

Living Wills Are No Way for Banks to Die

04/19/2016

Bank living wills likely won’t prevent future bailouts or make the next crisis less severe.

Trade Trumps Protectionism

03/14/2016

Contrary to Presidential candidates’ and pundits’ claims, a trade war likely would wreak economic havoc.

Britain Doesn’t Need Balanced Growth

03/08/2016

Recent data reinforce the notion Britain doesn’t need booming heavy industry to grow.

Reality GAAP

03/04/2016

Different corporate earnings measures don’t tell wildly different stories.

Listen to Markets' Signals

03/01/2016

Markets often send distress signals long before the bad outcomes materialize.

There Won’t Be an All-Clear Signal

02/23/2016

It’s almost impossible to call market lows, and it’s not necessary to do so to reap stocks’ growth over time.

Disappearing Bonds and the Perils of Chasing Yield

02/19/2016

There is no such thing as safe yield or risk-free return.

About Those European Banks

02/12/2016

European bank stocks took a pounding, but Lehman comparisons miss the mark.

Behind the Baltic Drop

02/10/2016

A widely watched gauge of global shipping costs hit a record low Monday. Here is some quick-hitting perspective.

Survey Says … Growth!

02/04/2016

You might not know it from the media coverage, but January PMI surveys show the US and UK services sector grew.

That Raucous Iowa Caucus

02/03/2016

Some candidates won, the polls lost, and it’s still too early to handicap November’s race. 

Drilling Deep: How Did Energy Influence US Q4 GDP’s Slowdown?

01/29/2016

Digging into US Q4 2015 GDP growth.

Industry Isn’t Producing a Recession

01/29/2016

Industrial production’s recent contractions don’t mean recession is nigh.  

The Folly of Dissecting Fedspeak

01/28/2016

The Fed never really penciled in four rate hikes this year.

Oil and Stocks, Hand in Hand?

01/25/2016

How meaningful is oil and stocks’ recently high correlation?

The Debt Mountain and Other Chinese Ghost Stories

01/22/2016

The current spate of China fears are the same as the past ones. 

What Did JPMorgan’s Dimon Say About the US Economy?

01/14/2016

Analyzing media for you to add in crucial missing context.

Rounding Up Start-of-Year Fears

01/07/2016

A look at the various factors most pundits allege are behind this week’s volatility.

Four Investment Lessons From 2015

12/31/2015

Learn from some of the year’s biggest misperceptions.

Global Growth: The Underappreciated Gift That Keeps on Giving

12/28/2015

The global economy is in better shape than many figure. 

Does Kris Kringle Make Stocks Jingle?

12/24/2015

Whether or not stocks rise around the holidays isn’t important or predictive.

Fed Rate Hike: Emerging Markets Edition

12/23/2015

Rumors of the Fed’s impact on Emerging Markets are greatly exaggerated.

Infatuated With Inflation

12/17/2015

There is no mystery behind persistently low inflation readings.

Are Credit Markets Sending a Distress Signal?

12/14/2015

Trouble at a few junk bond funds renewed long-running bond market liquidity and contagion fears, but there are some mitigating factors.

MarketMinder Minute - Don’t Fear the Rate Hike

12/14/2015

This MarketMinder Minute examines the impact of initial Fed rate hikes on stocks.

Manufactured Worries About the Future

12/03/2015

Data reinforcing one sector’s well-known struggles don’t mean trouble for the broader economy. 

How to Approach the Season of S&P 500 Forecasts

12/03/2015

Answer: With Caution.

Black Friday Is No Barometer

11/25/2015

Black Friday’s economic importance is overstated.

One Very Bad Reason to Hold Gold

11/19/2015

Gold isn’t a reliable buffer during times of uncertainty. 

The Next Big Fed Fear

11/18/2015

First folks feared the end of quantitative easing, then the first rate hike. Up next: the shrinking of the Fed’s balance sheet.

The Yuan’s Symbolic Ascent

11/17/2015

The IMF adding the yuan to the SDR will not dethrone the dollar as the world’s preferred reserve currency.

On “Currency Manipulation,” US Trade and Stocks

11/12/2015

Currency moves just don’t have much influence on trade. 

Will the Fed Hike the Dollar Higher?

11/12/2015

An initial Fed rate hike doesn’t automatically mean a stronger dollar.

Presidential Politics and America’s Economic Relationship With China

11/11/2015

Political rhetoric on China doesn’t overlap much with reality.

Valuations—and Valuation Fears—Rebound

11/10/2015

Are stocks really overvalued?

Will Britain Leave Europe?

11/06/2015

It is far too early to start gaming the ramifications of a potential “Brexit.”

Defanging Debt-Ceiling Doom

10/26/2015

Like a bad movie sequel, we suggest paying little heed to the latest debt ceiling chatter.

To Gauge the Global Economy’s Health, Strip Out Commodities

10/15/2015

Falling commodity prices are skewing global economic data downward, but they are not actually a net negative economically.

Prophet Margins?

10/13/2015

A projected downtick in S&P 500 profit margins is not a prophecy of doom.

Resist the Urge to Call Bottom

10/09/2015

Attempting to find the correction’s bottom is a futile endeavor, whether you use technical indicators or not.

Global Economy: Look Beyond Manufacturing

10/08/2015

There is more to an economy than just building stuff.

Fire the Unemployment Rate

10/02/2015

The unemployment rate is a terrible indicator of where the economy and stocks are headed.

The US Can Afford Its Debt

10/01/2015

US deficits and debt are not problematic for the economy.

Midweek Potpourri: Fund Flows, Tax Cuts and Budget Brinksmanship

09/10/2015

Some highlights from Wednesday’s financial headlines.

The Fruitless Folly of Forecasting the Fed

09/04/2015

Forecasting Fed moves is an exercise in futility, as two financial writers illustrated Thursday.

Parsing Profits

08/31/2015

Stagnating headline earnings aren’t the full story.

Stocks Don’t Need More QE

08/28/2015

Bringing back quantitative easing (QE) would be more harmful than beneficial.

Reflections on Corrections and China

08/25/2015

Corrections are trying, but markets usually reward patience. 

Navigating a Choppy Stock Market

08/24/2015

While it isn’t easy, we’d suggest the best thing for investors to do amid recent volatility is tune out the noise and remain calm.

Are Recession Rescuers Tapped Out?

08/21/2015

Many unnecessarily fret the government is out of ammunition to fight the next recession, whenever it arrives.

Flat Year Yields Flat Fear

08/18/2015

Don’t fret flat returns—they aren’t predictive.

MarketMinder Minute - Assessing the Greek Debt Crisis

08/18/2015

This MarketMinder Minute evaluates the pending Greek bailout and what it means for global stocks.

China Devalues the Yuan

08/14/2015

The yuan’s depreciation doesn’t spell doom for the world.

Silicon Bubbly?

08/11/2015

Whether or not private tech firms are partying like it’s 1999, their high valuations shouldn’t imperil the global bull market.

Puerto Rico Can’t Afford Its Debt

07/08/2015

Puerto Rico’s troubles don’t presage trouble for broader markets.

Greek Voters Say No, Yanis Varoufakis Says Bye—What Next?

07/07/2015

Sunday’s referendum didn’t change much for Greece: It is still in limbo, and it is still too small to upend the bull market.

People Are Not Leaving the Workforce

07/02/2015

Don’t let the falling labor force participation rate fool you.

On Greek Tweets, Capital Controls, Chaos and Volatility

06/30/2015

Has the endgame finally arrived?

How Not to Use Valuations

06/29/2015

While market valuations do not predict forward returns, they are a useful gauge of sentiment.

Down With the Dow

06/25/2015

Price-weighted market indexes like the Dow Jones Industrial Average are too flawed to describe the stock market.

User’s Guide to a Critical Week for the Euro(TM)

06/23/2015

Everything you need to know about Greece this week.

Efficient, Not Complacent

06/22/2015

Markets are not ignoring supposed negatives—they are weighing them against vast positives.

Greece Is Still the Word

06/17/2015

Volatility is spiking as Greece’s latest deadline approaches, but the longer-term risks for global markets likely remain small.

Searching for Meaning in Tame Times

06/12/2015

A flattish start to 2015 has some pundits wondering where US stocks go from here.

Today’s M&A Is No Mania

06/11/2015

Corporations aren’t masking weakness with flashy mergers.

Real Estate’s Impact on the Economy Is Really Overstated

06/09/2015

Housing is no more of an economic headwind today than it was when housing fears perked earlier in this expansion.

Rational Optimism, Not Irrational Exuberance

06/08/2015

Investors are not yet euphoric, suggesting the bull market likely has room to run.

The Yuan’s Rise Doesn’t Doom the Dollar

06/08/2015

The dollar’s status as the world’s primary reserve currency is neither in jeopardy nor is it the benefit many folks think.

OPEC Still Won’t Support Energy Sector Returns

06/05/2015

Diving into Energy stocks still seems premature.

Big Theories, Small Moves

05/29/2015

Pundits offer plenty of explanations for bond market volatility, but bond markets aren’t very volatile by historical standards.

Pushing Back the Buyback Flak

05/28/2015

Contrary to conventional griping, stock buybacks don’t detract from long-term investment in research and development.

The Truth About May—It Is a Month

05/26/2015

Selling in May is a not a recipe for boosting returns.

Tall Tales Your Broker Told You

05/21/2015

This bull market holds some valuable lessons for investors who base investment decisions on P/Es or dividends alone.

Yesterday’s False Fears Are Still Here

05/20/2015

False fears still run rampant in this bull market.

Yesterday’s False Fears Are Still Here

05/20/2015

False fears still run rampant in this bull market.

Earnings 1, Strong Dollar Doom Mongers 0

05/19/2015

Q1 earnings defied the strong-dollar doomsayers.

How to (Actually) Shield Your Retirement From the Threat of Low Yields

05/18/2015

Worried about funding your retirement in an era of low yields? The solution is changed thinking. 

The Fed Isn’t Fueling This Typical Bull Market

05/15/2015

This typical bull market isn’t brought to you by the Fed.

Resistance Is Futile

05/12/2015

Stocks have plenty of ammo to pierce an arbitrary line on a chart.

Pundits Search For Meaning in Bumpy Bond Yields

05/11/2015

We would suggest patience before you buy into the theory a bond bear looms.

Why Greece Isn’t the Bull Market’s Achilles Heel—in Pictures!

05/08/2015

Here are 10 graphs and charts showing why we don’t believe Greece is a threat to the bull market.

A Stock Market Correction Is Never “Due”

05/06/2015

Corrections do not operate on schedules, so they are never “due” or “overdue.”

The Mysterious Evaporating Bond Liquidity?

05/05/2015

Is the bond market drying up?

Britain’s Balance

04/29/2015

The UK economy doesn’t need its politicians’ help.

Not Synonyms: ‘Record High’ and ‘Peak’

04/27/2015

Stocks are back to record highs, but are they actually high, or low?

3 Reasons the Dollar’s Reserve Currency Status Shouldn’t Worry You—in Charts!

04/17/2015

Let’s reassess longstanding fears the dollar will lose its status as the world’s primary reserve currency.

QuitE Wrong

04/15/2015

The eurozone has been doing fine without the ECB’s QE.

Dollar Up, Costs Down?

04/10/2015

While most attention paid to the rising dollar frets its potential impact on multinationals’ revenues, there is a benefit most aren’t noticing.

A Greece-y State of Affairs

04/09/2015

Is the eurozone at risk of a Greek contagion?

Theories Miss the Mark on March’s Jobs Miss

04/07/2015

Whether caused by the dollar or not, March’s weak job gains hold little insight into the US economy and stocks’ future.

Three Backward-Looking, Not-So-Predictive Valuations Are High

03/31/2015

The US Treasury makes a market forecast.

Pundits Already Lowering Expectations Bar for Q1

03/27/2015

Q4 GDP was revised again Friday, but the real story here is analysts' low expectations for Q1.

Pundits Forecast Fed, Prove Forecasting Fed Is Folly

03/20/2015

The media's mixed message on the Fed's deletion of patience illustrates the folly of Fed timing.

Unfunded Liabilities, the Lockbox, and Other Social Security Myths

03/19/2015

How Saturday Night Live contributed to an economic freak-out.

Book Review: The Shifts and the Shocks Obsesses Over Equilibrium

03/19/2015

Perennial economic stability is impossible in the real world. 

Fed People Write Words, Draw Dots

03/18/2015

Once again, headlines read way too much into Fed communications. 

The Wealth After-Effect

03/17/2015

All-time-high household net worth doesn't mean much for stocks.  

When Cheap Doesn’t Mean Value

03/11/2015

Should investors steer clear of regions that look pricey?

Big British Debt Saves the World, and Other Century-Old Stories

03/11/2015

The story of three centuries' worth of UK debt shows why today's occasional debt doom-mongering is pretty far-fetched.

America, the Liberated

03/04/2015

It's fashionable to say America's economic system needs fixing if we want faster growth, but some simple facts don't support this. 

Aversion to the Mean

03/03/2015

Stocks’ gangbusters February doesn’t mean March must be a stinker.

1,896 Days Ago, Greece Was a Mess

02/26/2015

If Greece fears haven't derailed the bull market yet, the likelihood they do the enxt time they pop up is teensy. 

Random Stock Market Factoids 35 Days Into 2015

02/20/2015

A check-in beyond the headlines at 2015 to date. 

Braking Down Subprime Auto Loan Concerns

02/18/2015

Are subprime auto loans going to drive the next financial crisis?  

Gumby, Greek Politicians and Other Bendy Things

02/13/2015

Greek and eurozone leaders said some things and made some plans.

Safe Haven, Found! It’s in the Fiction Aisle

02/12/2015

The hunt for a new safe haven to replace those just proven unsafe is on again.  

One-Two-Three-Four, Who Declares a Currency War?

02/11/2015

Are we in a currency war today? 

Three Myths About Friday’s Jobs Report

02/09/2015

What January’s jobs report does and doesn’t mean.

Does a Strong Dollar Favor Smaller?

02/03/2015

We investigate the claim that a strong dollar will kill large-cap US stocks.

What to Glean From Contradictory Coverage

01/30/2015

When all news is bad, it's a sign stocks have more wall of worry to climb. 

Economic Growth Seems Plenty Durable

01/28/2015

Do recent US and UK economic data show weakening growth?  

The ECB Will Buy Some Bonds

01/23/2015

ECB QE is a thing and we expect similar results as the US, UK and Japanese versions: Misperceptions galore and little economic stimulus.

China's Great Miss?

01/21/2015

Is a missed growth target a troubling sign for the world’s second largest economy?   

The Swiss Miss: Media’s Take on the Franc’s Fallout

01/20/2015

We sift through the latest on Switzerland so you don’t have to.

How Wearable Gadgets Describe Economic Data

01/15/2015

A crop of new products promise data about your body and fitness level, but they’re far less accurate than touted. The same holds true for economic data.

 

Data-Dependent Forward Guidance

01/14/2015

How central bankers say they’ll act on economic data won’t tell you when the next rate hike is coming.   

Five Charts on Wage Growth

01/12/2015

Friday’s wage numbers looked dim, but other income growth figures tell a different story.

Read Past the Headline

01/09/2015

December’s eurozone prices posted their first annual decline since 2009. But this deflation doesn’t look like bad deflation when you look beneath the surface.

Buried Growth

01/07/2015

Contrary to fears otherwise, the global economy is growing just fine.  

The Often-Rumored, But Rarely Seen Grexit

01/06/2015

Politicking over a Greek exit from the euro resumes.

Volatility on 34th Street?

12/23/2014

Neither we, nor anyone else, can possibly know whether Santa will bring investors treats, a lump of coal or more volatility in 2015.   

Dissecting Three Media Themes on Oil

12/19/2014

Here is your user guide for oil-related hyperbolic news stories.

Vexing Volatility

12/18/2014

What can investors take away from December's swings? 

The Red Scare

12/17/2014

What should investors make of the Russian ruble’s recent plunge?  

Considerable Wrangling Over Considerable Time

12/17/2014

Did the Fed just tell you when short-term rates will rise?

Now What?

12/16/2014

Did economic reform in Japan just become more likely?

Debunking the Junk Funk

12/12/2014

Is the high yield bond market giving clues about stocks' future?

The Greek Gambit, Redux

12/10/2014

Does Greek political turmoil mean the euro crisis has returned? 

Some Solace From a Quantum of Fear

12/09/2014

Some say the stronger dollar will cause big problems for Emerging Markets. Are they right?

No, China Is Not Number One.

12/05/2014

What to make of recent IMF estimates that show, by one measure, China’s economy will be larger than America’s this year.  

Falling Oil Prices: Consumers’ Boon, Producers’ Bust?

10/29/2014

Working through some misperceptions surrounding lower oil prices.  

The Great Global Disconnect: Headlines Versus Data

10/24/2014

The global economy continues to grow against a backdrop of fears it won’t. 

About Those Falling Commodity Prices

10/21/2014

Some say falling oil and metals prices are a sign global demand is sinking, but a closer look suggests the truth is much brighter.

Did a Fed Waffle Cause Thursday’s Rebound?

10/17/2014

Sentiment can swing on some pretty crazy factors, as Thursday’s action illustrated.

Why We Don’t Fear Deflationary Doom Is Here

10/16/2014

Fears of deflation doom seem like typical correction ghost stories. 

Return of the Euro Crisis’ Ghosts

10/15/2014

Should investors be concerned about the recent spate of scary eurozone headlines?  

Putting Stocks’ Zigzags in Broader Perspective

10/10/2014

It has been a bouncy start to October, but equity investors must focus on longer time periods than seven trading sessions.

Eight Charts to Show Why the Strong Dollar Won’t Knock Earnings

10/07/2014

Headlines holler about the dollar, but for investors, it’s all just noise.

A Fun Fight With the Fed

10/03/2014

Contrary to the old Wall Street saying, the Fed’s interest rate moves often mean little for stocks.

Hey La, Hey La, Volatility Is Back?

09/30/2014

Volatility can be pretty volatile sometimes, but at the moment, this is not one of those times.

Ken Fisher: “Nothing Is Better—Stocks Are Stocks.” Even Small Caps.

09/25/2014

A check-in on market leadership by size.

Some Ken Fisher Wisdom on the Eurozone

09/24/2014

As our boss, Ken Fisher, once wrote, “The older an argument is, the less power it has.”

G-20 Minus One Country Plus 900 Bullet Points = 2 Percentage Points of Extra Growth?

09/23/2014

For investors, the G-20’s super-secret plan to make the world grow faster is more a sideshow than a reason to be bullish.

The FOMC’s Rorschach Test

09/19/2014

It was a Fed-filled week, here’s a look back.

Words, Words, Words

09/16/2014

Don’t waste your time overthinking Fed forward guidance—it is merely marketing spin. 

There Is Nothing About Terror to Fear But Fear Itself

09/11/2014

As we remember the events of September 11, 2001, we take a look back at how terrorism has historically impacted stocks.

And Now for Something Completely Different

09/09/2014

Was any of Monday’s big news really big?

The Myth of September's Siren

09/03/2014

Don't believe the hype surrounding the so-called “September Swoon.”

Passive Investing’s Primary Error: It’s (Mostly) Imaginary

08/12/2014

The number of passive investment products vastly exceeds the ranks of actually passive investors.

Should the ECB Go Big?

08/08/2014

Is the ECB sleepwalking its way into a deflationary spiral?

Trying to Predict the Unpredictable

08/06/2014

Folks have a dismal record timing corrections, but in our view, it’s a fruitless endeavor.

What a Real Bubble Looks Like

07/29/2014

To see what real euphoria looks like, we journey back to 2000.

More Bulls to Come

07/28/2014

Contrary to what some believe, today’s bull shouldn’t detract from future stock returns.

New Challenge for Investors: Navigating Noise in Uppy Times

07/08/2014

All-time highs aren’t a good enough reason to avoid stocks.

A Slightly Refined, But Still Crude Export Ban

06/27/2014

Do recent rulings allowing US oil producers to export lightly refined crude mean the ban on US crude oil exports is about to go bye-bye?

The Myth of Small Cap’s Superiority

06/03/2014

Small cap’s historical long-term returns don’t tell the full story.

Is Volatility Crashing?

05/27/2014

Can investors predict future volatility just by looking at “volatility” and “stress” gauges?

About That Wibbly Wobbly Market

04/29/2014

Will stocks keep bouncing sideways?

Economies and Spaceships

04/22/2014

Some say the US has to achieve “escape velocity” for the expansion and bull market to continue, but laws of astrophysics don’t apply to the economy (or stocks).

High Frequency Trade-Offs

04/21/2014

High frequency trading is back in the spotlight—how do its pros and cons really weigh?

Too Big to Fail: Money Management Edition

04/11/2014

Can mutual funds and money managers be too big to fail?

When the Growing Gets Tough

04/11/2014

China’s recent trade data sparked hard-landing fears among investors. But is fundamental weakness really to blame?

Beating the Earnings Blahs

04/08/2014

Headlines warn of a gloomy Q1 earnings season, but we don’t see much reason for investors to get the blues.

Three Down. Nine to Go.

04/02/2014

What does a flattish first quarter mean for the rest of the year?

The Early Bird Scares the Worm

03/21/2014

New Fed Head Janet Yellen has the whole media crowing about when the next Fed Funds rate hike will be—will her announcement ruffle markets’ feathers, too?

Bitcoin Goes Boom

03/05/2014

Is Bitcoin a viable currency?

On GDP, Fed Forecasts and Tapering Tapering

03/03/2014

The downward revision to Q4 US GDP growth had a big silver lining, but how will the Fed see it?

Grabbing the Third Rail: Income Inequality and Stocks

02/26/2014

Is growing income inequality an economic and stock market risk, as some say?

Five Reasons a Scary, Viral Chart Is Misleading—and One Reason It’s Bullish

02/13/2014

A misleading chart concluding a 1929-style crash looms has gone viral—a sign there is likely much more bull market to come.

Weathering the Storm

02/11/2014

Nasty weather can impact the economy, but the effect is usually fleeting.

‘More’ Charts on Unemployment

02/10/2014

Another lower-than-estimated jobs report seems to have stirred the ire of some in the punditry. But a broader view suggests this isn’t a major factor for investors, period.

Volatility and Manufacturing

02/04/2014

Headlines about US and Chinese manufacturing reports seemed to rankle investors Monday, but the actual data reports were benign.

Q(E) the Contagion? I Think Not

01/24/2014

Did the Fed cause an Emerging Markets currency contagion?

Is Santa Coming to Town?

12/16/2013

Does the Santa Claus Rally matter much for long-term investors?

Pricking the Stock Market Bubble Debate

12/04/2013

There’s been a lot of chatter about a stock market bubble—is investor concern warranted?    

Momentum and Other Fake Market Forces

11/05/2013

When headlines predict big short-term moves, long-term investors should stay cool.

Uncertain About the Costs of Uncertainty

10/16/2013

How do you measure that which is uncertain?    

Tick Tick Boom?

10/15/2013

Don’t sweat Congress’s latest shenanigans—we still won’t default.

Part-Time Employment Part Deux: The Affordable Care Act

10/14/2013

Many fear the ACA will contribute to turning the US into a part-time nation—but is this more media hype, or is it a trend to contend with?

Nix the VIX

10/14/2013

A common indicator of market volatility is the VIX, but investors needn’t give it much weight.

High-Frequency Fallacies

10/10/2013

While high-frequency trading continues to be a popular topic of debate, some of the opposing views are a teensy bit flawed, in my view.

Part-Time Reasoning on Part-Time Employment

10/09/2013

Many in the media fret employment is improving primarily due to an increase in part-time jobs—but do the data bear that out?

“Non-Essential” Data

10/04/2013

With some federal agencies’ closures this week, new (and some historical) US economic data are offline—some fear the lack of official statistics may eventually shutdown markets, too.

Tapertagion!

09/27/2013

It’s widely held ending QE will have global repercussions—we agree! But in our view, taper contagion likely has more positive implications than many fear.

Popping Housing Bubbles’ Bubbles

09/12/2013

Housing fears are bubbling up, but data broadly show the sector is doing better than many realize.

Investing in the Age of Ages

09/05/2013

How should you invest in the Age of Austerity/Stimulus/Uncertainty/Bernanke/Bubbles?

September Is Just a Month

09/02/2013

September gets a bad rap, but history shows it isn’t inherently bad for stocks.

Skepticism About a Simmering Economy

08/30/2013

Many doubt the strength of the US economy—are those concerns justified?

Squirrelly Computers?

08/29/2013

In our view, investors needn’t pay much attention to recent outages at exchanges—they happen more often than you’d think. And sometimes, the causes are pretty innocuous.

Smokin’ Hot!

08/23/2013

Economic growth has been smokin’ lately, yet some still fear there is a fire to put out.

Thug Island Dreamin’

08/19/2013

Historically, geopolitical tensions move stocks less than you might think.

Don’t Fret the Debt

08/16/2013

Should investors be concerned about the size of US debt?

Much Ado About Bonds

08/12/2013

Some headlines say a bond bear market is in the offing. What should long-term investors do?

Chinese Trade Chatter

08/09/2013

Chinese July trade data pleasantly surprised many investors by trouncing expectations and June’s figures—but is there more to the story?

Trading Up?

08/07/2013

June’s trade report is getting applause, but not for the reasons it should.

Defying Gravity

08/02/2013

The S&P 500 hit a new all-time high Thursday, but in our view, that says nothing about what lies ahead for stocks.

GOoooo, Bonds!

07/31/2013

Detroit is bankrupt, and investors and officials alike have been questioning the future of general obligation bonds.

The Student-Loan Crisis That Wasn’t

07/19/2013

In June, headlines decrying the student-loan rate’s upcoming July 1 rise seemed par for the course—so was politicians’ late-to-game solution this week.

Thinking About Bonds

07/15/2013

As the Fed eyes QE tapering, how should investors think about bonds?

Opinions Make Poor Standards

06/12/2013

S&P thinks the US economy is doing fine, but we didn’t need an outlook upgrade to tell us that.

Led Zeppelin

06/04/2013

The dreaded Hindenburg Omen flashed Friday, but evidence shows little reason to fear this technical indicator.

Excess Fed Fears

06/03/2013

Theories presuming assured stock market doom when the Fed dials back on QE are missing a few important considerations.

The Return of the Debt Ceiling

05/20/2013

If no calamity or even remotely negative consequence ensued from suspending the debt ceiling for three months, why should it return?

Market May I?

05/09/2013

Markets don’t move on Mayan calendars, astronomy or folklore—so we have a hard time seeing why they should move just because it’s May.

Fitch’s ‘Fiscal Space’

04/22/2013

Fitch seemingly Xeroxed Moody’s arbitrary rationale in downgrading the UK’s credit rating Friday.

The Employment Twitch

04/08/2013

The reaction to Friday’s US Employment Situation report was far from exuberant.

No Foolin’

04/02/2013

Lately, we’ve seen claims stocks’ rally is a Fed-fueled bubble—but strong earnings and other fundamentals show that’s not the case.

Up, Dow

03/06/2013

Wall Street saw another record Tuesday, but is it all Dow from here?

Comic: Coining Currency War Confusion

03/01/2013

Inside the UK Downgrade

02/25/2013

The UK’s downgrade isn’t great news, but it shouldn’t much impact one of the world’s healthiest debt markets.

The CBO’s Ballpark Precision

02/07/2013

The nonpartisan CBO’s projections seem to be most useful to very partisan politicians.

The Sequester A-Cometh

02/05/2013

The sequester debate will be massive but the actual fallout vastly smaller.

Look the Other Way

02/04/2013

There are plenty of reasons to be bullish for 2013—but they aren’t the “good news” you often find in the headlines.

Seven Things That Didn’t Happen in 2012

01/04/2013

With 2012 in the rearview, a look back at widely prognosticated things that didn’t happen.

Wishing Upon Eurozone Stars

10/22/2012

There’s a rather long wish-list for the eurozone—from lots of parties, too. But some seem less likely than others, particularly by year-end. Here’s why—and also why that’s not such a bad thing as some might presume.

(Still) No Chinese Hard Landing

10/19/2012

Recent data suggest those fearing a “hard landing” in China should pause for reconsideration.

US Debt: Made in China?

10/18/2012

A popular headline is the US’s (over-)indebtedness to China—a story that just doesn’t much square with the facts, particularly as it seems China decreases its US Treasury holdings.

Scaling the Fiscal Cliff

10/11/2012

As the election nears and the year winds down, fiscal cliff rhetoric is heating up. So how to read between the hype’s lines?

Known Unknowns and Unknown Unknowns

09/27/2012

Investing in stocks requires a keen eye for what to fret and what not to—and at times, an iron stomach.

Predictable Politicking

09/11/2012

The latest on Greek budget negotiations and Germany’s upcoming court ruling on the ESM.

September to Remember?

09/05/2012

Neither market history nor current events should give investors an automatic reason to fear September.

Brazil’s Unique Take on Stimulus

08/16/2012

Brazil announced new stimulus measures Wednesday—but they’re strikingly reminiscent of measures being deployed in the eurozone under a far different name.

Minding the Media

08/10/2012

Headlines today are dominated by negative news—but that’s fairly normal and not indicative of trouble.

A Bailout for Spain?

08/08/2012

There’s been much talk recently of a bailout for Spain (and possibly Italy, too)—but is that truly likely and why or why not? 

Dousing the Flame?

07/26/2012

Has the UK’s Olympic torch been put out before the games officially commence? By some media accounts, yes—but Wednesday’s GDP print merits further examination.

China—Choking or Choking Up?

07/16/2012

China’s GDP release Friday caused consternation among some the global growth powerhouse is choking in the clutch—but what if it’s just choking up in advance of an accelerating second half?

Reconciling Reporting

07/13/2012

Headline news covering economic results Thursday was a bit mixed in our view. Here’s a look at the stories that caught our eyes.

Deflating Chinese Inflation Concerns

07/10/2012

Chinese inflation notched a 29-month low in June, renewing hard-landing jitters—but officials’ pro-growth efforts should keep the economy afloat.  

A Dearth of Demand?

07/03/2012

As common economic concerns drag on, some in the media worry we haven’t done enough to goose demand—but do their arguments hold economic water?

Repositioning Ratings Agencies

06/25/2012

The actual economic and market impact of ratings agencies’ opinion changes doesn’t match their influence on the media’s rhetoric.

Resilience and Resolve

06/04/2012

Markets have undoubtedly challenged investors’ patience recently—but in our view, such markets require resolve, particularly considering extant underlying economic resilience.

A Mediterranean Smorgasbord

05/31/2012

A brief round-up of European news dominating Wednesday’s headlines and some thoughts on how to potentially frame the latest developments.

The Facebook Dogpile

05/25/2012

In the rush to pile on a hyped IPO, there are some serious lessons.

Déjà Vu All Over Again?

05/07/2012

Decelerating growth rates aren’t necessarily indicative of a looming correction. In fact, they’re more likely a sign of pattern recognition.

May Madness

04/25/2012

Ill-defined aphorisms like “sell in May” lack credible supporting evidence.

Consistently Taxing

04/17/2012

A look at some historical facts in honor of 2012’s tax day.

More Gas in the Tank

04/09/2012

Some have fretted rising gas prices are likely to derail the economy—but is there an actual connection to economic activity?

Quarterly Questions

04/02/2012

As Q1 comes to an end, a review of some highlights and what to expect moving forward.

The Forecasting Abacus’ Flaws

03/26/2012

What should one take from mathematical attempts at forecasting?

Oil Prices' Other Signal

03/19/2012

While many focus on oil prices’ potential demand-side effects, there is another side to this story.

Manufacturing on the Mind

03/02/2012

Upon closer inspection, fears of manufacturing’s long-term decline are unfounded.

Leaping to Conclusions

03/01/2012

Investors should beware allowing popular misconceptions and common media assessments to blindside them when it comes to assessing the economy’s and markets’ overall status.

As Oil Prices Rise, So Do Theories

02/27/2012

Oil prices have risen lately, resurrecting some old theories regarding their impact.

How Now, Dow

02/22/2012

The Dow touched 13,000 Tuesday—an interesting but insignificant signpost.

Slow Eurozone—No Surprise

02/16/2012

Eurozone GDP for Q4 2011 came out Wednesday but probably surprised very few—thereby lessening the likelihood it surprises markets much either.

Same Greek Dance, Different Italian Song

02/10/2012

Eurozone officials continue to show ample willingness to forestall a sudden and disorderly euro breakup.

Tick Tock Goes the Clock

02/09/2012

Greek debt talks are down to the wire. But what does that mean?

A Case of the (Unemployment) Mondays

02/07/2012

Despite recent improvements in unemployment data, many still argue government isn’t doing or hasn’t done enough in that area—an argument which largely ignores several positives at work.

These PIIGS Went to Market

02/03/2012

A look at falling Italian and Spanish debt yields.

A Web of Misperceptions

02/01/2012

A look at some misperceptions we came across in our regular internet perusal Tuesday.

January Jonesing

01/24/2012

With January’s returns positive thus far, the “January effect” seems to have vanished from consciousness.

Manufacturing’s Manifest March

01/19/2012

While fears of US manufacturing’s decline remain prevalent in the media, data paint a markedly different picture.

S&P’s Shifting Opinion

01/13/2012

Standard and Poor’s (S&P) was busy Friday, downgrading nine eurozone nations—including previously AAA France and Austria. But these actions seem far less material than many presume.

The Golden Cross

01/09/2012

Bullish or bearish, technical indicators have some serious, deep-rooted flaws.

Five Things That Didn't Happen in 2011

01/03/2012

As 2011 comes to a close, here’s our look at the top things that didn’t happen.

Financial Alchemy

12/19/2011

Gold prices have been rocky lately to the bewilderment of many whose views hinge on mythological views of the yellow metal.

Unemployment, Overall and on Average

12/02/2011

Is a still-high unemployment rate that unusual?

Midweek Mash-up

11/09/2011

Euro politics dominated headlines again Tuesday, but eurozone musical chairs wasn’t the only story. Here’s a look at what news caught our eye.

Mediterranean Musical Chairs

11/08/2011

The latest on Greece and Italy.

Counting Candy (and Earnings)

11/01/2011

US companies are on track for eight straight quarters of earnings growth.

A Halloween Headline Tour

10/31/2011

A Halloween tour of the financial press.

Don’t Bank on the Big Bang

10/18/2011

Germany tempered the world’s expectations for an overnight eurozone fix, keeping with the gradual approach we’ve seen thus far.

Mutterings and Musings on Media

10/12/2011

Assessing current media headlines helps illuminate the good and bad of media coverage.

When the Reality Is Mostly Fear

10/03/2011

Friday concluded a choppy quarter for stocks, with some fearing a new recession as a result. But do economic data support the thesis?

What Matters in Greek Chatter?

09/27/2011

We survey the latest Greek headlines and sift between those stories with substance…and those without.

Differentiating Europe’s Periphery

09/26/2011

While peripheral Europe is often referred to collectively, this obscures the fact the issues confronted are different in magnitude, severity, potential resolutions and progress.

Italy and the IMF

09/21/2011

S&P downgraded Italy’s credit rating Monday and the IMF lowered its estimate of global growth Tuesday. But are these changes as negative as they seem?

The Greek Shuffle

09/19/2011

Greece was in the news—again—last week. Some still await a dramatic end, but is that a likely conclusion?

Dawn After Darkness

09/15/2011

Thursday marks the anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ collapse. Three years on, are we facing a repeat of the 2008 financial panic and ensuing bear market?

A Solution In Search of a Problem

09/13/2011

The idea of protecting manufacturing has grown in media popularity lately. Let’s examine the issue—and some proposed remedies.

From Whispers to Murmurs

09/13/2011

Amid heightened rumors of a Greek debt default, a look at Monday’s flurry of Greece-centric headlines.

Market-Moving Myopia

09/08/2011

Markets seemed to cheer Germany’s Wednesday court ruling supporting recent eurozone bailouts—but what does that tell you about stocks’ longer-term outlook?

Flipping Through the (Web) Pages

09/07/2011

A collection of stories making headlines around the web Tuesday.

Incremental Positives

08/31/2011

Though most recent news has a negative slant, there are incremental positives out there—even if they’re largely overlooked.

Resetting Expectations

08/29/2011

There are two ways to think about recent market negativity—forward or backward. Let’s consider both.

The High-Frequency Debate

08/22/2011

Is the blame often heaped on high-frequency trading for stoking volatility proven beyond a reasonable doubt?

Golden Years

08/16/2011

As the free-floating dollar turns 40, we survey the web’s reaction.

A Glance Around the Web

08/15/2011

 A smattering of news stories from around the web. And a link.

Volatility, Continued

08/10/2011

Stocks seesawed wildly Tuesday, finishing the day solidly in the black.

Veritable Volatility

08/08/2011

Markets continued their roller coaster ride Friday but basically ended flat—a useful illustration of recent market action in general and one reason to avoid knee-jerk reactions to uncomfortable volatility.

Corrective Action

08/05/2011

Understanding and separating the negatives from the positive realities can help guide your investing decisions.

The Elocution of Bond Yields

08/04/2011

Bond markets have some interesting wisdom to share regarding current weak economy and credit ratings fears.

Ceilings and Seesaws

08/02/2011

Even if Congress passes a debt ceiling extension, don’t expect markets to sound the “all clear.”

Exercising Caution With Cougars, Countdowns and Congress

08/01/2011

With the abundance of news sources today, discerning what’s important and what’s not is more crucial than ever.

Confused About Credibility?

07/28/2011

Ratings agencies are getting a lot of attention lately, but let’s look at some facts before assuming they’re all that credible.

Reading Chinese Tea Leaves

07/22/2011

Bifurcated sentiment about China’s economic present and future speaks largely to overall sentiment in 2011—but how to read the tea leaves when truly assessing China?

Grading on a Curve

07/19/2011

Eurozone bank stress test results were released recently to widespread criticism.

Breaking News-US Manufacturing Isn’t Dead

07/18/2011

US manufacturing is alive and well, making government claims there’s a need for a “national strategy” dubious at best.

Fisher Investments On Debt Ceilings and Downgrades

07/14/2011

The US was warned its debt rating is on review, tied mostly to a political debate over an arbitrary marker—something that has happened before with no ill effect.

Fisher Investments on What Casey Anthony, News of the World and Apple’s iPhone 5 Mean for Markets

07/08/2011

Three stories dominated headlines Thursday—all of them outside financial news. What does that say for markets?

Defining Double Dip

07/07/2011

Before understanding if a double dip is likely, it’s important to understand what one actually is.

A Rising Sun

06/30/2011

The impact of Japan’s earthquake, which has recently dampened global growth rates, appears to be abating.

Not So Breaking News

06/27/2011

A primary risk to investors is overemphasizing something old or wrong.

Below the Radar

06/20/2011

If it’s risks you’re assessing, it’s a mistake to stop at headline news.

Economic Predestination

06/16/2011

It seems the release of every economic data point brings fresh comparisons to the Great Depression—but they just don’t hold up. Nor do they tell us much about where we’re headed next.

The Great Expectations Gap

06/15/2011

The gap between expectations and reality is a vitally important area for investors to consider.

Recycled Financial Headlines

06/06/2011

Despite some negative headlines, the latest reports indicate expansion continues for the US economy. 

The Great Non-Depression

06/02/2011

A recent slowdown in some economic data has the media bemoaning we’re on the verge of the next Great Depression—but the numbers just don’t support that.

Cue the Curtain for QE2?

06/01/2011

With June’s arrival comes the last month of the Fed’s second round of quantitative easing purchases.

On Economic Calls and Data

05/26/2011

The OECD’s biannual report Wednesday indicated global recovery’s on track, though threats remain. What should investors take from such forecasts?

Indebted Europe

05/24/2011

News out of Europe on Monday refreshed PIIGS worries.

What Bubble Hunters Miss

05/20/2011

Hunting bubbles is a popular pastime these days, but is it timely?

Attack of the Muni Monsters

05/19/2011

2011 was predicted to be the year of the municipal bond default—but how has that played out so far?

Breaking the Debt Ceiling

05/17/2011

On Monday, the US hit the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, stressing the need for Congress to raise the debt ceiling—which will likely happen eventually.

Capital Wanted: Invest Within

05/13/2011

Chinese investment abroad seems set to rise in the coming decade, bringing desirable capital—and undeserved fear.

WPA, Reductio Ad Absurdum

05/12/2011

Unemployment’s continued sluggishness has some proposing rather radical government solutions—which would likely do more harm than good.

Dawn of the Not So Dead

05/11/2011

US manufacturing, long thought dead, is actually much healthier than rumored.

Rumors and Bailouts

05/10/2011

S&P once again downgraded Greece’s rating—but EU officials are likely to continue to provide financial support as necessary to avoid a collapse of the euro currency.

April Showers Bring May Myths

05/02/2011

May has arrived, and along with it, the often-repeated investing  advice to sell and go away.

Not So Sterling Silver

04/28/2011

Silver’s on a tear, but history suggests it’s both a poor inflation hedge and long-term investment.

Level 7, by Label Only

04/13/2011

The Fukushima nuclear accident was upgraded to level 7—on par with Chernobyl—but that’s likely where the similarities end.

Stressing Over Banks?

03/21/2011

The Fed’s latest stress test will permit select banks to increase their dividends. Hooray! But are the tests asking the right question?

It’s Not What’s Possible That Counts

03/14/2011

Two events Friday highlight why investing based solely on what’s possible is wrong.

Greek Prologue

03/07/2011

Greece’s credit rating took another hit Monday—but what’s really news is what’s happening in the rest of the eurozone.

A Welcome, Yet Flawed Addition

03/07/2011

Recent comparisons of our national debt to corporations are a welcome, though flawed, addition to the debt conversation.

Muni Meltdown Myths

03/04/2011

Fears of a US muni market meltdown are spreading, but even if defaults reached their worst levels historically, the fallout would likely be relatively limited.

Help Wanted?

03/03/2011

Private sector employment exceeded expectations Wednesday, but what does that say about the global recovery’s direction?

Indicator Acrophobia

02/25/2011

Investors should take a cue from stock markets and ignore when indexes hover at round number thresholds.

Fearing Foodflation

02/18/2011

Recent food price increases have many fearing inflation. But foodflation and inflation aren't necessarily one and the same.

Egyptian Flip-Flop

02/11/2011

Unrest in Egypt continues, but don't overestimate its potential to impact global markets.

Distribution or Inflation?

02/04/2011

Sharp food price swings are stoking inflation in some countries, but monetary policy likely isn't the answer.

Egyptian Unrest

02/01/2011

Tensions in Egypt escalated over the weekend as riots continued—but global economic fundamentals remain strong.

A Tale of Two Unemployment Rates

01/10/2011
Is unemployment really the paramount economic indicator?

A Resolution Good Enough to Keep

01/03/2011
What should investors take away from 2010?

Oil Oozing Up

12/21/2010
Some are again concerned with the rising price of oil—but higher prices are mostly a reflection of a growing global economy.

Creativity Counts

12/17/2010
Protectionist measures endanger prosperity—and are often based on misleading official data. 

Pain in Spain, But Gains in US

12/16/2010
PIIGS fears remain in headlines, but US economic data are encouraging.

A Lesson In Government Math

12/06/2010
Counterintuitively, that the US unemployment rate ticked up slightly in Friday's report isn't bad news.

Getting Hibernia Out of Hock

11/19/2010
Ireland moved closer to a bailout Thursday—and while the media fretted, markets cheered.

Cause and Effect?

11/11/2010
Gold and inflation may move in sympathy at times, but the relationship is more coincidental than causal.

Un-charted Territory

08/26/2010
Forget technical indicators, patterns, signals, lines in the sand, etc.—none are consistently reliable predictors of stock market direction.

Dripping Away at the Double Dip

08/23/2010
Double-dip recession concerns are in vogue these days—but let's stop and measure before jumping to conclusions.

A Watched Pot Still Boils

08/05/2010
Closely watched economic data are showing signs of improvement.

Housing Tax-Credit Hangover

06/24/2010
New and existing home sales data for May disappointed—but the expiring housing tax credit likely played a role.

Crisis-Gate

06/04/2010
"Crisis” has worked its way into our lexicon all too frequently in the recent past—so frequently that its meaning has been lost.

A Crisis of Irony

05/28/2010
Eurozone debt concerns have led to a lot of speculation, rumor, and talk lately—some of it rather ironic hot air.

Upbeat on Unemployment

05/06/2010
Unemployment news recently is trending more positive—but expect the unemployment rate to remain high for awhile as more people start seeking jobs.

To Burn or to Stone…

04/23/2010
Bankers deserve their share of the blame for 2008, but why solely them?

Greece Got Your Goat?

04/08/2010
Greece is once again making headlines, with government bond yields hitting historical highs this week.

Whose Side Are Yuan?

04/06/2010
Is all the fuss over China's currency policy warranted?

Remind Me

02/16/2010
Amid recent stock market volatility, it's easy to forget why this bull market will continue. Allow us to jog your memory.

Gold’s Safety Blanket Myth

02/12/2010
Gold can be emotionally comforting when markets get volatile, but it boasts poor long-term returns compared to stocks.

A Tale of Two Surveys

02/08/2010
Friday's employment report might seem a mixed bag, but it shows progress overall.

Flipping the January Argument on Its Head

02/02/2010
Markets finished January in the red, but that doesn't tell investors much about the year.

Pessimism of Disbelief

01/25/2010
Sad news is everywhere, but don't believe everything you read.

Another Brick in the Wall

01/11/2010
December's job losses may discourage, but they're just another brick in the bull market's wall of worry.

TARP Controversy

12/10/2009
TARP's extension Wednesday was largely irrelevant—along with other emergency programs, it's already prevented the worst-case scenario.

The Ol’ Pension Blues

12/02/2009
The ol' pension blues are back—but they needn't rob investors of holiday cheer.

More Countries, More Problems

11/12/2009
European worries over Greece's large deficit underscore some of the EU's structural issues and possible risks surrounding the euro.

Bedtime Stories to Scare Investors

11/03/2009
CIT's bankruptcy filing is a story reminiscent of last year's financial horrors—one with less power to move markets.

Fall Classic

11/02/2009
The global stock rally busted many investing myths so far this year, but don't expect universal acknowledgment any time soon.

Change Ain’t Easy in DC

10/15/2009
Some Democrats want to expand the current stimulus—but investors needn't fear, it's unlikely any sweeping new stimulus measures will get approved anytime soon.

The Dollar’s Doom Looms?

10/08/2009
Rumors are flying that a few countries want to stop pricing oil in US dollars, raising fears about the dollar as the world's dominant currency.

FDIC Out of Cash?

09/03/2009
The financial crisis was a big test, but there's little need to fear the FDIC will run out of money—even as bank failures continue rising.

Stay in September

08/28/2009
Despite investing myths to the contrary, September isn't a cursed month for investors.

Alphabet Soup Recovery

08/20/2009
Contrary to popular belief, the stock market and the economy don't move in lockstep. Markets can recover in a V—even while the economy L's, W's, or Q's for a bit.

Bangladeshi Butter Indicator

08/11/2009
Beware extrapolating past stock returns to predict future ones.

Attack of the Machines!

08/06/2009
Relax, high-frequency trading isn't necessarily an enemy to everyday investors.

Misleading Milestones

07/24/2009
Investors would do well to ignore silly, numerical milestones.

CIT’s Private Reprieve

07/21/2009
CIT may have secured a reprieve from bankruptcy court—for now—but the bigger news is its rescue is being backed by private financing rather than the government.

A Dose of Reality

07/14/2009
China swallowed a hard dose of reality as two recent government debt auctions failed to attract enough investors.

Out With a Thud

05/28/2009
Bankruptcy looks inevitable for GM.

Small Potatoes

05/22/2009
The UK risks losing its AAA sovereign credit rating due to rising public debt, but worrying over credit ratings is small potatoes next to righting the economy.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

05/20/2009
You can sweat the small stuff—or look at the bigger picture.

Pop Quiz, Hotshot

05/06/2009
 Investors should ignore seasonal investing myths.

This Little Piggy

04/28/2009
Investors reacting to swine flu fears is an example of markets trading on sentiment, not fundamentals.

Packing on the Pounds

04/23/2009
The UK budget isn't bloated—substantial government spending is appropriate in today's economic environment.

Fool’s Errand

04/02/2009
Focusing on today's negative data to gauge economic progress is a fool's errand.

Debt-jà Vu

03/18/2009
Concerns foreigners will cease to finance the US's growing debt are nothing new.

Odds Are

02/26/2009
Markets falling to previous lower levels doesn't necessarily portend poor returns ahead.

Housing Wobble

01/26/2009
The heavy emphasis on the latest housing data belies its light GDP weight.

Made in _______

01/13/2009
Current protectionist talk is likely no more than political huffing and puffing.

What You See May Not Be What You Get

12/29/2008
Those seeing negative economic data today should remember the stock market prices in future expectations.

Fisher Investments MarketMinder: Shifted Balance

12/26/2008
During crises, it's not surprising to see balance shift in favor of government over capitalism. But ultimately, capitalism, not government, drives most economic progress.

Toxic Mortgages: Act II?

12/23/2008
Looming rate resets on various adjustable rate mortgages are causing some to fear another subprime-like fallout.

To Err Is…

12/16/2008

The Madoff scandal is an unfortunate demonstration of Wall Street hucksterism, but red flags were aplenty. 

 

There Are Positive Earnings

10/23/2008
Despite the gloomy headlines, there are plenty of companies reporting positive earnings.

The Benefit of Bad Memories

10/08/2008
Though today's financial panic may seem Great Depression-like, the real economic consequences don't have to be.

It Could Happen to You

09/04/2008
"Could” and "might” aren't news. Investors should be wary of opinions masquerading as journalism. 

What Now?

07/22/2008
Investing based on how you wish you could have six months ago is typically a good way to make a larger error.

The Paradox of Pursuit

07/03/2008
For this year's celebration of independence, it's time to ask why we feel so bad while the world keeps getting better.

Bye-Bye Bear Stearns

05/30/2008
The approval of Bear Stearns' sale to JPMorgan turned out to be a snooze-fest, revealing the true shallowness of the so-called financial crisis.

Analyzing Analysts’ Analysis

04/23/2008
Analysts play an important role in capital markets' evolution. However, their end result—ratings, estimates and price targets—should be taken with a grain of salt.

Everyone’s a Critic

04/18/2008
Take criticisms of current CEOs and Fed activity with a grain of salt—especially when coming from predecessors.

The Good, the Bad, and the Not So Bad

04/03/2008
Ben Bernanke's congressional testimony on Wednesday seemingly supports calls for recession in 2008. Scaling the problems reveals slower growth, but a recession remains unlikely.

The Trouble with Carlyle

03/07/2008
Investors fear Carlyle Capital's troubles signal larger problems surrounding agency mortgage securities, but Carlyle's woes aren't systemic.

Never A Dull Moment

02/29/2008
A dead cat bounce or a renewed bull? Whatever it is, investors will never escape uncertainty.

Conspiracy Theories

02/21/2008
Today's economic headlines contain all sorts of conspiracy theories and superstitions, but don't use them to make investment decisions.

Junk Bonds and Green Skies

01/09/2008
Predictions about rising bond default rates seem too dour and highly unlikely.

Top Market Stories of 2007

12/31/2007
A look back at the top market stories of 2007.

Did Nothing

12/21/2007
2007 was a year of political rhetoric in the US where virtually nothing got done.

Feel the Flow

12/11/2007
Investors dread decreasing home prices will translate to lower net worth and slower consumer spending. But the Federal Reserve's latest report on the US household reveals the largely unappreciated strength and vigor of the American consumer.

Super Ben, Part Deux

12/03/2007
As the FOMC prepares to meet, the media predicts they'll drop rates again to help "save” the economy from a credit crunch. We continue to view credit crisis fears as overblown and largely psychological.

Credit Crunch II: A Box Office Flop!

11/06/2007
A new narrative has emerged from the media hype machine: Credit Crunch Part II. Like all bad sequels, this one has even less substance than the original.

The Real Credit Story

10/22/2007
Long-term rates have been moving lower lately, a remarkable story almost entirely ignored by the media.

Same Old Song and Dance

10/16/2007
Two days of stock market weakness spawned resurgence in well-worn fears…and little more.

Ghost of October Past

10/15/2007
Similarities between today and October 1987 abound. But for as many superficial similarities the media highlights, there are as many or more fundamental differences.

What a Week!

10/05/2007
While headlines about Britney losing custody of her kids dominated front pages, few are taking note of stocks' stellar run. But it's not all good news—rising protectionist sentiment is also lurking in the background.

October Horrors

10/01/2007
Is another Black Monday waiting for investors this October? Probably not, but expect to see endless headlines warning of coming trouble tied to the 20th anniversary.

Ask the Question

09/25/2007
Questioning common media storylines can prevent some potentially costly investing errors. Frequently, news stories are built on hype and conjecture, not historically valid data.

Hug a Journalist

09/21/2007
The media's sentiment hasn't improved, which is good news for a market driven by strong positive fundamentals.

The Could Headlines

09/20/2007
With the faux credit crisis quickly becoming yesterday's news, the financial press is scrambling to find the next great fear-mongering and speculative story.

Britain Rocked

09/17/2007
Troubled British lender Northern Rock isn't evidence of systemic woes in Britain or elsewhere.

Main Street, Bling Street?

09/10/2007
The media's contradictory views are driven more by fear than fundamentals. Investors are better served by focusing on fundamentals over the long term.

Belaboring Labor

09/07/2007
Today's jobs report was indeed negative, but when the hype is cleared away it doesn't amount to much.

Our Callous Economy

09/06/2007
News about increasing foreclosures may not be as bad as you think because weakness in the housing sector isn't enough to materially hamper America's economy.

Peeling the Onion

09/05/2007
When media gloom disengages from positive economic reality (like today), it's usually a great time to buy stocks.

Recession Risks? Inconceivable!

09/04/2007
No matter what the media claims, recession is not in the eye of the beholder.

Partners in Debt

08/29/2007
Think the US or UK has too much debt? Think again.

Grumpy Journos, Happy Market

08/28/2007
When media headlines are uniformly dour, it's not proof of hard times ahead. Rather, it's likely just the opposite!

They’d Rather Be in the Casket

08/27/2007
A recent survey shows folks fear an impending credit crunch more than the specter of terrorism. Meanwhile, T-bill rates are climbing back toward the Fed Funds rate—both very bullish signals.

Jump the Shark

08/22/2007
Has the market jumped the shark? Tune in to find out.

Market Efficiency and the Bard

08/15/2007
Every so often, when financial headlines become particularly histrionic, it's good to revisit MarketMinder's principles for navigating the media.

In the Meantime

07/31/2007
As the stock markets work through jitters about a credit crunch and subprime, recent aggregate economic news has been very encouraging.

The (Credit) Party We Weren’t Invited To

07/27/2007
For all of this week's hubbub about credit problems and their wider implications for the economy, a dearth of real facts have emerged to corroborate the notion. Corporate balance sheets are in great shape and liquidity remains plentiful.

News Update

07/17/2007

Meaningful bullish news emerged from just about all corners of the economy today. Remember talk just six months ago about a recession? Hard landings? Soft landings? Those stories seem to be a thing of the past.

Wall of Worries

07/16/2007
Markets climb a wall of worry, but how can investors tell worries to ignore from legitimate worries?

Anecdote Is no Antidote

06/21/2007
We're pretty hard on the media here at MarketMinder.

Kaizen!

06/12/2007
The investing worry du jour is the arrival of global inflation.

Yen Carry What?

05/29/2007
Remember Y2K? Or rather, remember the Y2K hysteria? Planes would fall out of the sky, ATMs stubbornly refuse to cough up cash, computers melt, and all of modern life's little conveniences suddenly implode in one, awesome, anarchy-inducing ball of over-digitized apocalyptic flames.

Group Dynamics

05/23/2007
Outlined against a blue-gray October sky .

I Dream of China

05/11/2007
Today, Chinese officials announced Chinese commercial banks will be allowed to make foreign stock investments.

Flying Off a Cliff

05/08/2007
Just about every time the markets hit new highs the financial media dig up a veritable cornucopia of old stories from the last time it happened, change the numbers around a bit, and republish them almost verbatim.

Dead Horse. Stick.

04/18/2007
Remember the kerfuffle over the pesticide DDT? Turns out, DDT doesn't hurt you, your pets, or anything at all, except mosquitos.

Stagflation and Lava Lamps

04/12/2007
Stagflation.

Jelly Bean Investing

04/05/2007

"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" says Homer Simpson, one of our favorite sages. Rarely has such wisdom come from one so yellow and two-dimensional.

A Pandemic of Fear

04/02/2007
In 1918, a few cases of the flu meandered out of a Kansas army camp, ended a war, paralyzed commerce, and slaughtered tens of millions.

A Conspiracy of Hammers

03/26/2007
We're not much for conspiracy theories.

Retired Presidents Society

03/20/2007
As one of the financial community's most prominent retirees, Alan Greenspan can't seem to let the spotlight go.

Fun With Numbers

02/22/2007
  • Over 100 million Americans drink coffee every day…that's over 36.5 billion cups in a year! At about 50 beans per cup, that's over 1,825,000,000,000 beans a year! At that rate, how could we possibly hope to re-grow enough beans for the next year's brew? It's too much of a strain!

When Things Go Too Well

02/21/2007
We've been noticing a common theme emerging in the popular press lately, one that we can't quite get our heads around.

Still In Flight

01/31/2007
Back in November, we provided a list of worries keeping overall sentiment cautious about the economy (see our past commentary "Skyscraper of Worry" for the full list).

As Sure as the Sunrise

01/30/2007
Some things you just don't question in life.

Ben's Doomsday Prediction

01/18/2007
Dominating headlines today is our bearded buddy Bernanke's Congressional testimony about the dangers of a retiring baby boomer generation.

Burning Questions; Scorched Investors

12/26/2006
The WSJ Online recently held an online survey to answer this burning question: "What proportion of your holiday gift spending did you do online this year?" The results? As of December 26th:
  • 31% of shoppers do 75% to 100% of their shopping online
  • 24% of shoppers do 50% to 75% of their shopping online
  • 15% of shoppers do 25% to 50% of their shopping online
  • 30% of shoppers do less than 25% of their shopping online
So, according to the survey, over 70% of people do some shopping online for the holidays, and well over half do more than 50% of their shopping online! Given such strong numbers, we ought to go out and buy up all the internet retailers like Amazon and ebay, right? Maybe.

Rise of the Supervillains

12/18/2006
Remember the good old days, where every CEO was a visionary, a patriot, an innovator…a superhero! In the late 90s, triumphant executives would grace the covers of business periodicals with big smiles and statuesque poses.

Bamboozled by Bogus Bubbles

11/22/2006
What's a bubble? A small globule, typically hollow and light? A small body of gas within a liquid? Well, technically yes.

No News is Good News

11/03/2006
Here's a smattering of today's mass-media, front-page headlines:"Study: Ocean's edible species fading," USA Today"Wildfire Murder Charges Filed," cnn.

The Savings Rate Myth

11/02/2006
We're a bit tired of hearing of the over-extended consumer.

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