This Market Insights video explains why January is just another month for stocks.
The broken gauge's new milestone is meaningless for investors.
What does Prime Minister Theresa May’s recent speech mean for Brexit?
Whether up or down, stocks are not tied to whatever passes through the President’s head.
Valuations are telling only at extremes; we aren’t there yet.
It’s time to look back at some of last year’s top worries—and how they failed to live up to the hype.
Worries about Chinese bond markets are all part of the same ol’ yarn.
Why a Fed rate hike should be fine for stocks.
Stock moves attributed to Trump are overrated next to positive underlying fundamentals.
This MarketMinder Minute evaluates the overstated importance of Black Friday.
Black Friday gets eyeballs, but the retail industry overall seems in fine shape.
Election-night volatility led to wildly incorrect market forecasts, showing the folly of trading around major news events.
The bevy of recent recession fears seems JUST a bit outside.
Rising prices in September aren’t evidence of a crisis averted.
Recent fretting over slow US economic growth is—and has been—overwrought, in our view.
More than two months after Brexit, the British economy marches on.
The hunt for high dividends isn’t fueling this bull market.
July’s UK retail sales report is yet more evidence sentiment surveys aren’t as predictive as many think.
P/E ratios and other valuations are overrated, not overvalued.
Beware of politicians bearing statistics.
Recent UK economic data are insufficient to draw any conclusion about the impact of June 23’s vote to leave the EU.
False fears don’t scare stocks.
Historically low global bond yields don’t mean stocks are in trouble.
Clash of the Financial Pundits shows why investors shouldn’t get hung up on sensational headlines.
Manufacturing’s most recent soft patch may have passed.
Even with bond yields near historic lows, investors needn’t flock to exotic alternatives to find a decent return.
Pundits flip-flop on stock buybacks but still don’t see reality.
In the heated debate over the UK's referendum on EU membership, the economic impact is commonly overstated.
The eurozone economy is on much more solid footing than is widely appreciated.
Department stores’ recent woes aren’t a sign the US economy is headed for recession.
Getting closer to an election won’t automatically roil stocks.
In which we debunk three flawed “analyses” of election-year returns.
Energy stocks have outperformed lately, but they still face many headwinds.
Jobs data aren’t a useful market input.
An antidote to markets’ mythological summertime blues.
While growth was slow in Q1, it isn’t a harbinger of worse to come.
That investors are flocking to passive investment products in droves doesn’t make them passive investors.
Brexit risk didn’t take a bite out of UK job markets.
Bank living wills likely won’t prevent future bailouts or make the next crisis less severe.
Contrary to Presidential candidates’ and pundits’ claims, a trade war likely would wreak economic havoc.
Recent data reinforce the notion Britain doesn’t need booming heavy industry to grow.
Different corporate earnings measures don’t tell wildly different stories.
Markets often send distress signals long before the bad outcomes materialize.
It’s almost impossible to call market lows, and it’s not necessary to do so to reap stocks’ growth over time.
There is no such thing as safe yield or risk-free return.
European bank stocks took a pounding, but Lehman comparisons miss the mark.
A widely watched gauge of global shipping costs hit a record low Monday. Here is some quick-hitting perspective.
You might not know it from the media coverage, but January PMI surveys show the US and UK services sector grew.
Some candidates won, the polls lost, and it’s still too early to handicap November’s race.
Digging into US Q4 2015 GDP growth.
Industrial production’s recent contractions don’t mean recession is nigh.
The Fed never really penciled in four rate hikes this year.
How meaningful is oil and stocks’ recently high correlation?
The current spate of China fears are the same as the past ones.
Analyzing media for you to add in crucial missing context.
A look at the various factors most pundits allege are behind this week’s volatility.
Learn from some of the year’s biggest misperceptions.
The global economy is in better shape than many figure.
Whether or not stocks rise around the holidays isn’t important or predictive.
Rumors of the Fed’s impact on Emerging Markets are greatly exaggerated.
There is no mystery behind persistently low inflation readings.
Trouble at a few junk bond funds renewed long-running bond market liquidity and contagion fears, but there are some mitigating factors.
This MarketMinder Minute examines the impact of initial Fed rate hikes on stocks.
Data reinforcing one sector’s well-known struggles don’t mean trouble for the broader economy.
Answer: With Caution.
Black Friday’s economic importance is overstated.
Gold isn’t a reliable buffer during times of uncertainty.
First folks feared the end of quantitative easing, then the first rate hike. Up next: the shrinking of the Fed’s balance sheet.
The IMF adding the yuan to the SDR will not dethrone the dollar as the world’s preferred reserve currency.
Currency moves just don’t have much influence on trade.
An initial Fed rate hike doesn’t automatically mean a stronger dollar.
Political rhetoric on China doesn’t overlap much with reality.
Are stocks really overvalued?
It is far too early to start gaming the ramifications of a potential “Brexit.”
Like a bad movie sequel, we suggest paying little heed to the latest debt ceiling chatter.
Falling commodity prices are skewing global economic data downward, but they are not actually a net negative economically.
A projected downtick in S&P 500 profit margins is not a prophecy of doom.
Attempting to find the correction’s bottom is a futile endeavor, whether you use technical indicators or not.
There is more to an economy than just building stuff.
The unemployment rate is a terrible indicator of where the economy and stocks are headed.
US deficits and debt are not problematic for the economy.
Some highlights from Wednesday’s financial headlines.
Forecasting Fed moves is an exercise in futility, as two financial writers illustrated Thursday.
Stagnating headline earnings aren’t the full story.
Bringing back quantitative easing (QE) would be more harmful than beneficial.
Corrections are trying, but markets usually reward patience.
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.
Many unnecessarily fret the government is out of ammunition to fight the next recession, whenever it arrives.
Don’t fret flat returns—they aren’t predictive.
This MarketMinder Minute evaluates the pending Greek bailout and what it means for global stocks.
The yuan’s depreciation doesn’t spell doom for the world.
Whether or not private tech firms are partying like it’s 1999, their high valuations shouldn’t imperil the global bull market.
Puerto Rico’s troubles don’t presage trouble for broader markets.
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.
Don’t let the falling labor force participation rate fool you.
Has the endgame finally arrived?
While market valuations do not predict forward returns, they are a useful gauge of sentiment.
Price-weighted market indexes like the Dow Jones Industrial Average are too flawed to describe the stock market.
Everything you need to know about Greece this week.
Markets are not ignoring supposed negatives—they are weighing them against vast positives.
Volatility is spiking as Greece’s latest deadline approaches, but the longer-term risks for global markets likely remain small.
A flattish start to 2015 has some pundits wondering where US stocks go from here.
Corporations aren’t masking weakness with flashy mergers.
Housing is no more of an economic headwind today than it was when housing fears perked earlier in this expansion.
Investors are not yet euphoric, suggesting the bull market likely has room to run.
The dollar’s status as the world’s primary reserve currency is neither in jeopardy nor is it the benefit many folks think.
Diving into Energy stocks still seems premature.
Pundits offer plenty of explanations for bond market volatility, but bond markets aren’t very volatile by historical standards.
Contrary to conventional griping, stock buybacks don’t detract from long-term investment in research and development.
Selling in May is a not a recipe for boosting returns.
This bull market holds some valuable lessons for investors who base investment decisions on P/Es or dividends alone.
False fears still run rampant in this bull market.
False fears still run rampant in this bull market.
Q1 earnings defied the strong-dollar doomsayers.
Worried about funding your retirement in an era of low yields? The solution is changed thinking.
This typical bull market isn’t brought to you by the Fed.
Stocks have plenty of ammo to pierce an arbitrary line on a chart.
We would suggest patience before you buy into the theory a bond bear looms.
Here are 10 graphs and charts showing why we don’t believe Greece is a threat to the bull market.
Corrections do not operate on schedules, so they are never “due” or “overdue.”
Is the bond market drying up?
The UK economy doesn’t need its politicians’ help.
Stocks are back to record highs, but are they actually high, or low?
Let’s reassess longstanding fears the dollar will lose its status as the world’s primary reserve currency.
The eurozone has been doing fine without the ECB’s QE.
While most attention paid to the rising dollar frets its potential impact on multinationals’ revenues, there is a benefit most aren’t noticing.
Is the eurozone at risk of a Greek contagion?
Whether caused by the dollar or not, March’s weak job gains hold little insight into the US economy and stocks’ future.
The US Treasury makes a market forecast.
Q4 GDP was revised again Friday, but the real story here is analysts' low expectations for Q1.
The media's mixed message on the Fed's deletion of patience illustrates the folly of Fed timing.
How Saturday Night Live contributed to an economic freak-out.
Perennial economic stability is impossible in the real world.
Once again, headlines read way too much into Fed communications.
All-time-high household net worth doesn't mean much for stocks.
Should investors steer clear of regions that look pricey?
The story of three centuries' worth of UK debt shows why today's occasional debt doom-mongering is pretty far-fetched.
It's fashionable to say America's economic system needs fixing if we want faster growth, but some simple facts don't support this.
Stocks’ gangbusters February doesn’t mean March must be a stinker.
If Greece fears haven't derailed the bull market yet, the likelihood they do the enxt time they pop up is teensy.
A check-in beyond the headlines at 2015 to date.
Are subprime auto loans going to drive the next financial crisis?
Greek and eurozone leaders said some things and made some plans.
The hunt for a new safe haven to replace those just proven unsafe is on again.
Are we in a currency war today?
What January’s jobs report does and doesn’t mean.
We investigate the claim that a strong dollar will kill large-cap US stocks.
When all news is bad, it's a sign stocks have more wall of worry to climb.
Do recent US and UK economic data show weakening growth?
ECB QE is a thing and we expect similar results as the US, UK and Japanese versions: Misperceptions galore and little economic stimulus.
Is a missed growth target a troubling sign for the world’s second largest economy?
We sift through the latest on Switzerland so you don’t have to.
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.
How central bankers say they’ll act on economic data won’t tell you when the next rate hike is coming.
Friday’s wage numbers looked dim, but other income growth figures tell a different story.
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.
Contrary to fears otherwise, the global economy is growing just fine.
Politicking over a Greek exit from the euro resumes.
Neither we, nor anyone else, can possibly know whether Santa will bring investors treats, a lump of coal or more volatility in 2015.
Here is your user guide for oil-related hyperbolic news stories.
What can investors take away from December's swings?
What should investors make of the Russian ruble’s recent plunge?
Did the Fed just tell you when short-term rates will rise?
Did economic reform in Japan just become more likely?
Is the high yield bond market giving clues about stocks' future?
Does Greek political turmoil mean the euro crisis has returned?
Some say the stronger dollar will cause big problems for Emerging Markets. Are they right?
What to make of recent IMF estimates that show, by one measure, China’s economy will be larger than America’s this year.
Working through some misperceptions surrounding lower oil prices.
The global economy continues to grow against a backdrop of fears it won’t.
Some say falling oil and metals prices are a sign global demand is sinking, but a closer look suggests the truth is much brighter.
Sentiment can swing on some pretty crazy factors, as Thursday’s action illustrated.
Fears of deflation doom seem like typical correction ghost stories.
Should investors be concerned about the recent spate of scary eurozone headlines?
It has been a bouncy start to October, but equity investors must focus on longer time periods than seven trading sessions.
Headlines holler about the dollar, but for investors, it’s all just noise.
Contrary to the old Wall Street saying, the Fed’s interest rate moves often mean little for stocks.
Volatility can be pretty volatile sometimes, but at the moment, this is not one of those times.
A check-in on market leadership by size.
As our boss, Ken Fisher, once wrote, “The older an argument is, the less power it has.”
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.
It was a Fed-filled week, here’s a look back.
Don’t waste your time overthinking Fed forward guidance—it is merely marketing spin.
As we remember the events of September 11, 2001, we take a look back at how terrorism has historically impacted stocks.
Was any of Monday’s big news really big?
Don't believe the hype surrounding the so-called “September Swoon.”
The number of passive investment products vastly exceeds the ranks of actually passive investors.
Is the ECB sleepwalking its way into a deflationary spiral?
Folks have a dismal record timing corrections, but in our view, it’s a fruitless endeavor.
To see what real euphoria looks like, we journey back to 2000.
Contrary to what some believe, today’s bull shouldn’t detract from future stock returns.
All-time highs aren’t a good enough reason to avoid stocks.
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?
Small cap’s historical long-term returns don’t tell the full story.
Can investors predict future volatility just by looking at “volatility” and “stress” gauges?
Will stocks keep bouncing sideways?
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 trading is back in the spotlight—how do its pros and cons really weigh?
Can mutual funds and money managers be too big to fail?
China’s recent trade data sparked hard-landing fears among investors. But is fundamental weakness really to blame?
Headlines warn of a gloomy Q1 earnings season, but we don’t see much reason for investors to get the blues.
What does a flattish first quarter mean for the rest of the year?
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?
Is Bitcoin a viable currency?
The downward revision to Q4 US GDP growth had a big silver lining, but how will the Fed see it?
Is growing income inequality an economic and stock market risk, as some say?
A misleading chart concluding a 1929-style crash looms has gone viral—a sign there is likely much more bull market to come.
Nasty weather can impact the economy, but the effect is usually fleeting.
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.
Headlines about US and Chinese manufacturing reports seemed to rankle investors Monday, but the actual data reports were benign.
Did the Fed cause an Emerging Markets currency contagion?
Does the Santa Claus Rally matter much for long-term investors?
There’s been a lot of chatter about a stock market bubble—is investor concern warranted?
When headlines predict big short-term moves, long-term investors should stay cool.
How do you measure that which is uncertain?
Don’t sweat Congress’s latest shenanigans—we still won’t default.
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?
A common indicator of market volatility is the VIX, but investors needn’t give it much weight.
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.
Many in the media fret employment is improving primarily due to an increase in part-time jobs—but do the data bear that out?
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.
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.
Housing fears are bubbling up, but data broadly show the sector is doing better than many realize.
How should you invest in the Age of Austerity/Stimulus/Uncertainty/Bernanke/Bubbles?
September gets a bad rap, but history shows it isn’t inherently bad for stocks.
Many doubt the strength of the US economy—are those concerns justified?
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.
Economic growth has been smokin’ lately, yet some still fear there is a fire to put out.
Historically, geopolitical tensions move stocks less than you might think.
Should investors be concerned about the size of US debt?
Some headlines say a bond bear market is in the offing. What should long-term investors do?
Chinese July trade data pleasantly surprised many investors by trouncing expectations and June’s figures—but is there more to the story?
June’s trade report is getting applause, but not for the reasons it should.
The S&P 500 hit a new all-time high Thursday, but in our view, that says nothing about what lies ahead for stocks.
Detroit is bankrupt, and investors and officials alike have been questioning the future of general obligation bonds.
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.
As the Fed eyes QE tapering, how should investors think about bonds?
S&P thinks the US economy is doing fine, but we didn’t need an outlook upgrade to tell us that.
The dreaded Hindenburg Omen flashed Friday, but evidence shows little reason to fear this technical indicator.
Theories presuming assured stock market doom when the Fed dials back on QE are missing a few important considerations.
If no calamity or even remotely negative consequence ensued from suspending the debt ceiling for three months, why should it return?
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 seemingly Xeroxed Moody’s arbitrary rationale in downgrading the UK’s credit rating Friday.
The reaction to Friday’s US Employment Situation report was far from exuberant.
Lately, we’ve seen claims stocks’ rally is a Fed-fueled bubble—but strong earnings and other fundamentals show that’s not the case.
Wall Street saw another record Tuesday, but is it all Dow from here?
The UK’s downgrade isn’t great news, but it shouldn’t much impact one of the world’s healthiest debt markets.
The nonpartisan CBO’s projections seem to be most useful to very partisan politicians.
The sequester debate will be massive but the actual fallout vastly smaller.
There are plenty of reasons to be bullish for 2013—but they aren’t the “good news” you often find in the headlines.
With 2012 in the rearview, a look back at widely prognosticated things that didn’t happen.
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.
Recent data suggest those fearing a “hard landing” in China should pause for reconsideration.
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.
As the election nears and the year winds down, fiscal cliff rhetoric is heating up. So how to read between the hype’s lines?
Investing in stocks requires a keen eye for what to fret and what not to—and at times, an iron stomach.
The latest on Greek budget negotiations and Germany’s upcoming court ruling on the ESM.
Neither market history nor current events should give investors an automatic reason to fear September.
Brazil announced new stimulus measures Wednesday—but they’re strikingly reminiscent of measures being deployed in the eurozone under a far different name.
Headlines today are dominated by negative news—but that’s fairly normal and not indicative of trouble.
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?
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’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?
Headline news covering economic results Thursday was a bit mixed in our view. Here’s a look at the stories that caught our eyes.
Chinese inflation notched a 29-month low in June, renewing hard-landing jitters—but officials’ pro-growth efforts should keep the economy afloat.
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?
The actual economic and market impact of ratings agencies’ opinion changes doesn’t match their influence on the media’s rhetoric.
Markets have undoubtedly challenged investors’ patience recently—but in our view, such markets require resolve, particularly considering extant underlying economic resilience.
A brief round-up of European news dominating Wednesday’s headlines and some thoughts on how to potentially frame the latest developments.
In the rush to pile on a hyped IPO, there are some serious lessons.
Decelerating growth rates aren’t necessarily indicative of a looming correction. In fact, they’re more likely a sign of pattern recognition.
Ill-defined aphorisms like “sell in May” lack credible supporting evidence.
A look at some historical facts in honor of 2012’s tax day.
Some have fretted rising gas prices are likely to derail the economy—but is there an actual connection to economic activity?
As Q1 comes to an end, a review of some highlights and what to expect moving forward.
What should one take from mathematical attempts at forecasting?
While many focus on oil prices’ potential demand-side effects, there is another side to this story.
Upon closer inspection, fears of manufacturing’s long-term decline are unfounded.
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.
Oil prices have risen lately, resurrecting some old theories regarding their impact.
The Dow touched 13,000 Tuesday—an interesting but insignificant signpost.
Eurozone GDP for Q4 2011 came out Wednesday but probably surprised very few—thereby lessening the likelihood it surprises markets much either.
Eurozone officials continue to show ample willingness to forestall a sudden and disorderly euro breakup.
Greek debt talks are down to the wire. But what does that mean?
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.
A look at falling Italian and Spanish debt yields.
A look at some misperceptions we came across in our regular internet perusal Tuesday.
With January’s returns positive thus far, the “January effect” seems to have vanished from consciousness.
While fears of US manufacturing’s decline remain prevalent in the media, data paint a markedly different picture.
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.
Bullish or bearish, technical indicators have some serious, deep-rooted flaws.
As 2011 comes to a close, here’s our look at the top things that didn’t happen.
Gold prices have been rocky lately to the bewilderment of many whose views hinge on mythological views of the yellow metal.
Is a still-high unemployment rate that unusual?
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.
The latest on Greece and Italy.
US companies are on track for eight straight quarters of earnings growth.
A Halloween tour of the financial press.
Germany tempered the world’s expectations for an overnight eurozone fix, keeping with the gradual approach we’ve seen thus far.
Assessing current media headlines helps illuminate the good and bad of media coverage.
Friday concluded a choppy quarter for stocks, with some fearing a new recession as a result. But do economic data support the thesis?
We survey the latest Greek headlines and sift between those stories with substance…and those without.
While peripheral Europe is often referred to collectively, this obscures the fact the issues confronted are different in magnitude, severity, potential resolutions and progress.
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?
Greece was in the news—again—last week. Some still await a dramatic end, but is that a likely conclusion?
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?
The idea of protecting manufacturing has grown in media popularity lately. Let’s examine the issue—and some proposed remedies.
Amid heightened rumors of a Greek debt default, a look at Monday’s flurry of Greece-centric headlines.
Markets seemed to cheer Germany’s Wednesday court ruling supporting recent eurozone bailouts—but what does that tell you about stocks’ longer-term outlook?
A collection of stories making headlines around the web Tuesday.
Though most recent news has a negative slant, there are incremental positives out there—even if they’re largely overlooked.
There are two ways to think about recent market negativity—forward or backward. Let’s consider both.
Is the blame often heaped on high-frequency trading for stoking volatility proven beyond a reasonable doubt?
As the free-floating dollar turns 40, we survey the web’s reaction.
A smattering of news stories from around the web. And a link.
Stocks seesawed wildly Tuesday, finishing the day solidly in the black.
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.
Understanding and separating the negatives from the positive realities can help guide your investing decisions.
Bond markets have some interesting wisdom to share regarding current weak economy and credit ratings fears.
Even if Congress passes a debt ceiling extension, don’t expect markets to sound the “all clear.”
With the abundance of news sources today, discerning what’s important and what’s not is more crucial than ever.
Ratings agencies are getting a lot of attention lately, but let’s look at some facts before assuming they’re all that credible.
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?
Eurozone bank stress test results were released recently to widespread criticism.
US manufacturing is alive and well, making government claims there’s a need for a “national strategy” dubious at best.
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.
Three stories dominated headlines Thursday—all of them outside financial news. What does that say for markets?
Before understanding if a double dip is likely, it’s important to understand what one actually is.
The impact of Japan’s earthquake, which has recently dampened global growth rates, appears to be abating.
A primary risk to investors is overemphasizing something old or wrong.
If it’s risks you’re assessing, it’s a mistake to stop at headline news.
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 gap between expectations and reality is a vitally important area for investors to consider.
Despite some negative headlines, the latest reports indicate expansion continues for the US economy.
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.
With June’s arrival comes the last month of the Fed’s second round of quantitative easing purchases.
The OECD’s biannual report Wednesday indicated global recovery’s on track, though threats remain. What should investors take from such forecasts?
News out of Europe on Monday refreshed PIIGS worries.
Hunting bubbles is a popular pastime these days, but is it timely?
2011 was predicted to be the year of the municipal bond default—but how has that played out so far?
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.
Chinese investment abroad seems set to rise in the coming decade, bringing desirable capital—and undeserved fear.
Unemployment’s continued sluggishness has some proposing rather radical government solutions—which would likely do more harm than good.
US manufacturing, long thought dead, is actually much healthier than rumored.
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.
May has arrived, and along with it, the often-repeated investing advice to sell and go away.
Silver’s on a tear, but history suggests it’s both a poor inflation hedge and long-term investment.
The Fukushima nuclear accident was upgraded to level 7—on par with Chernobyl—but that’s likely where the similarities end.
The Fed’s latest stress test will permit select banks to increase their dividends. Hooray! But are the tests asking the right question?
Two events Friday highlight why investing based solely on what’s possible is wrong.
Greece’s credit rating took another hit Monday—but what’s really news is what’s happening in the rest of the eurozone.
Recent comparisons of our national debt to corporations are a welcome, though flawed, addition to the debt conversation.
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.
Private sector employment exceeded expectations Wednesday, but what does that say about the global recovery’s direction?
Investors should take a cue from stock markets and ignore when indexes hover at round number thresholds.
Recent food price increases have many fearing inflation. But foodflation and inflation aren't necessarily one and the same.
Unrest in Egypt continues, but don't overestimate its potential to impact global markets.
Sharp food price swings are stoking inflation in some countries, but monetary policy likely isn't the answer.
Tensions in Egypt escalated over the weekend as riots continued—but global economic fundamentals remain strong.
|Is unemployment really the paramount economic indicator?|
|What should investors take away from 2010? |
|Some are again concerned with the rising price of oil—but higher prices are mostly a reflection of a growing global economy.|
|Protectionist measures endanger prosperity—and are often based on misleading official data. |
|PIIGS fears remain in headlines, but US economic data are encouraging. |
|Counterintuitively, that the US unemployment rate ticked up slightly in Friday's report isn't bad news. |
|Ireland moved closer to a bailout Thursday—and while the media fretted, markets cheered. |
|Gold and inflation may move in sympathy at times, but the relationship is more coincidental than causal. |
|Forget technical indicators, patterns, signals, lines in the sand, etc.—none are consistently reliable predictors of stock market direction.|
|Double-dip recession concerns are in vogue these days—but let's stop and measure before jumping to conclusions.|
|Closely watched economic data are showing signs of improvement.|
|New and existing home sales data for May disappointed—but the expiring housing tax credit likely played a role.|
|"Crisis” has worked its way into our lexicon all too frequently in the recent past—so frequently that its meaning has been lost. |
|Eurozone debt concerns have led to a lot of speculation, rumor, and talk lately—some of it rather ironic hot air. |
|Unemployment news recently is trending more positive—but expect the unemployment rate to remain high for awhile as more people start seeking jobs. |
|Bankers deserve their share of the blame for 2008, but why solely them?|
|Greece is once again making headlines, with government bond yields hitting historical highs this week.|
|Is all the fuss over China's currency policy warranted?|
|Amid recent stock market volatility, it's easy to forget why this bull market will continue. Allow us to jog your memory. |
|Gold can be emotionally comforting when markets get volatile, but it boasts poor long-term returns compared to stocks. |
|Friday's employment report might seem a mixed bag, but it shows progress overall. |
|Markets finished January in the red, but that doesn't tell investors much about the year.|
|Sad news is everywhere, but don't believe everything you read.|
|December's job losses may discourage, but they're just another brick in the bull market's wall of worry. |
|TARP's extension Wednesday was largely irrelevant—along with other emergency programs, it's already prevented the worst-case scenario. |
|The ol' pension blues are back—but they needn't rob investors of holiday cheer.|
|European worries over Greece's large deficit underscore some of the EU's structural issues and possible risks surrounding the euro. |
|CIT's bankruptcy filing is a story reminiscent of last year's financial horrors—one with less power to move markets.|
|The global stock rally busted many investing myths so far this year, but don't expect universal acknowledgment any time soon. |
|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. |
|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. |
|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. |
|Despite investing myths to the contrary, September isn't a cursed month for investors. |
|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. |
|Beware extrapolating past stock returns to predict future ones. |
|Relax, high-frequency trading isn't necessarily an enemy to everyday investors.|
|Investors would do well to ignore silly, numerical milestones.|
|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.|
|China swallowed a hard dose of reality as two recent government debt auctions failed to attract enough investors.|
|Bankruptcy looks inevitable for GM. |
|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. |
|You can sweat the small stuff—or look at the bigger picture. |
| Investors should ignore seasonal investing myths. |
|Investors reacting to swine flu fears is an example of markets trading on sentiment, not fundamentals.|
|The UK budget isn't bloated—substantial government spending is appropriate in today's economic environment.|
|Focusing on today's negative data to gauge economic progress is a fool's errand. |
|Concerns foreigners will cease to finance the US's growing debt are nothing new. |
|Markets falling to previous lower levels doesn't necessarily portend poor returns ahead. |
|The heavy emphasis on the latest housing data belies its light GDP weight. |
|Current protectionist talk is likely no more than political huffing and puffing. |
|Those seeing negative economic data today should remember the stock market prices in future expectations.|
|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.|
|Looming rate resets on various adjustable rate mortgages are causing some to fear another subprime-like fallout. |
The Madoff scandal is an unfortunate demonstration of Wall Street hucksterism, but red flags were aplenty.
|Despite the gloomy headlines, there are plenty of companies reporting positive earnings. |
|Though today's financial panic may seem Great Depression-like, the real economic consequences don't have to be. |
|"Could” and "might” aren't news. Investors should be wary of opinions masquerading as journalism. |
|Investing based on how you wish you could have six months ago is typically a good way to make a larger error.|
|For this year's celebration of independence, it's time to ask why we feel so bad while the world keeps getting better. |
|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. |
|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. |
|Take criticisms of current CEOs and Fed activity with a grain of salt—especially when coming from predecessors. |
|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.|
|Investors fear Carlyle Capital's troubles signal larger problems surrounding agency mortgage securities, but Carlyle's woes aren't systemic.|
|A dead cat bounce or a renewed bull? Whatever it is, investors will never escape uncertainty.|
|Today's economic headlines contain all sorts of conspiracy theories and superstitions, but don't use them to make investment decisions.|
|Predictions about rising bond default rates seem too dour and highly unlikely. |
|A look back at the top market stories of 2007.|
|2007 was a year of political rhetoric in the US where virtually nothing got done.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Long-term rates have been moving lower lately, a remarkable story almost entirely ignored by the media.|
|Two days of stock market weakness spawned resurgence in well-worn fears…and little more.|
|Similarities between today and October 1987 abound. But for as many superficial similarities the media highlights, there are as many or more fundamental differences.|
|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.|
|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. |
|Questioning common media storylines can prevent some potentially costly investing errors. Frequently, news stories are built on hype and conjecture, not historically valid data.|
|The media's sentiment hasn't improved, which is good news for a market driven by strong positive fundamentals.|
|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. |
|Troubled British lender Northern Rock isn't evidence of systemic woes in Britain or elsewhere. |
|The media's contradictory views are driven more by fear than fundamentals. Investors are better served by focusing on fundamentals over the long term.|
|Today's jobs report was indeed negative, but when the hype is cleared away it doesn't amount to much.|
|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.|
|When media gloom disengages from positive economic reality (like today), it's usually a great time to buy stocks.|
|No matter what the media claims, recession is not in the eye of the beholder.|
|Think the US or UK has too much debt? Think again.|
|When media headlines are uniformly dour, it's not proof of hard times ahead. Rather, it's likely just the opposite!|
|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.|
|Has the market jumped the shark? Tune in to find out.|
|Every so often, when financial headlines become particularly histrionic, it's good to revisit MarketMinder's principles for navigating the media.|
|As the stock markets work through jitters about a credit crunch and subprime, recent aggregate economic news has been very encouraging.|
|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.|
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.
|Markets climb a wall of worry, but how can investors tell worries to ignore from legitimate worries? |
|We're pretty hard on the media here at MarketMinder.|
|The investing worry du jour is the arrival of global inflation.|
|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.|
|Outlined against a blue-gray October sky .|
|Today, Chinese officials announced Chinese commercial banks will be allowed to make foreign stock investments.|
|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.|
|Remember the kerfuffle over the pesticide DDT? Turns out, DDT doesn't hurt you, your pets, or anything at all, except mosquitos.|
"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.
|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.|
|We're not much for conspiracy theories.|
|As one of the financial community's most prominent retirees, Alan Greenspan can't seem to let the spotlight go.|
- 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!
|We've been noticing a common theme emerging in the popular press lately, one that we can't quite get our heads around.|
|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).|
|Some things you just don't question in life.|
|Dominating headlines today is our bearded buddy Bernanke's Congressional testimony about the dangers of a retiring baby boomer generation.|
|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: |
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.
- 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
|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.|
|What's a bubble? A small globule, typically hollow and light? A small body of gas within a liquid? Well, technically yes.|
|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.|
|We're a bit tired of hearing of the over-extended consumer.||
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