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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Watch What the Fed Watches

 What constitutes a substantial improvement in the labor market? On Wednesday, March 20, 2013, Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman Ben Bernanke held the first of four press conferences scheduled for this year at the conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) meetings on March 20, June 19, September 18, and December 18, 2013. While Bernanke’s Q&A session generated plenty of headlines (and tweets), he really did not say anything the market…

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Watch What the Fed Watches

10 Indicators to Watch for a Spring Slide in the Stock Market

One year ago, we provided our list of the 10 indicators to watch that seemed to precede the stock market declines in 2010 and 2011 and accurately warned of another spring slide in 2012. We again look to these indicators for signs of a potential spring slide in the stock market this year. In early 2010, 2011, and 2012, run-ups in the stock market, similar to this year, pushed stocks…

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10 Indicators to Watch for a Spring Slide in the Stock Market

The Inflation Situation Revisited

We last wrote about the inflation outlook in the September 24, 2012 edition of the Weekly Economic Commentary: The Inflation Situation. Since then, while inflation and inflation expectations in the United States have remained in check, the Federal Reserve (Fed) has begun another round of bond purchases, known as quantitative easing (QE). This decision — along with the recent run-up in consumer gasoline prices and recent comments from some members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) that the costs of QE may soon…

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The Inflation Situation Revisited

The Market’s March Madness

It has been a sweet sixteen weeks for the S&P 500. The broad stock market index has had only three down weeks out of the past sixteen. While this stretch is tied by the same period a year ago, it is important to note that there has not been a sixteen-week period with fewer weeks of losses in over 20 years…

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The Market’s March Madness

Back to the Highs

Bond yields are back to the highs of the year after gains from the prior week were more than erased. A stronger-than-expected employment report, continued stock market strength, and reduced fiscal uncertainty pushed the 10-year Treasury yield back to 2.06%. The municipal bond market, struggling with its own unique circumstances…

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Back to the Highs

Dow: The Great and Powerful

The film, Oz: The Great and Powerful, the prequel to The Wizard of Oz, premiered last week. The story of how the wonderful wizard overcame the risks and prevailed worked its magic on moviegoers and proved popular with a strong box office showing. In the same week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) proved popular with investors as it powered its way to a new all-time high, as it overcame many risks to reach the fourth anniversary of the start of the current bull market from the low point on March 6, 2009…

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Dow: The Great and Powerful

Growing Gap Between Health of Consumers and Businesses

Last week’s data highlighted the growing gap between the health of businesses and consumers that is starting to contribute to a widening gap in the performance of consumer and business-driven stocks, as well. The economic reports released last week covering the time period of January and February 2013 for orders of equipment by businesses and manufacturing activity point to…

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Growing Gap Between Health of Consumers and Businesses