Economic Risk Factor Update: September 2015

September 3, 2015

Once again, it’s time for our monthly update on risk factors that have proven to be good indicators of economic trouble ahead.

There has been some minor weakening of trends from last month, but only at a level that appears reasonable and typical for the news we have had and for this stage of the cycle. Overall, the data hasn’t changed much.

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Market Thoughts for September 2015 [Video]

September 3, 2015

In my latest Market Thoughts video, I review the recent, surprising declines in U.S. and international markets and what contributed to them. I also provide an update on U.S. economic performance, highlighting an increase in job growth and consumer spending.

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China’s Role in the U.S. Market Correction

September 2, 2015

In thinking about the ongoing U.S. market correction, it occurred to me that, in one respect at least, it really is different this time. Historically, when we have experienced a correction—and, remember, we haven’t had one for years—it was either due to systemic factors or to events here in the U.S. That is not the case today.

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With Further Market Declines Likely, Keep the Long Run in Mind

September 1, 2015

August was the worst month for U.S. markets in more than three years, so say the headlines. I suspect it was also the worst month in at least that long for many international markets as well. And, as today’s numbers show us, we aren’t done yet. As I write this, U.S. markets are down about 2.5 percent, and European markets closed down around 3 percent.

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Monday Update: Back to Normal

August 31, 2015

Looking at today’s news, the lack of worrisome economic headlines is remarkable. Considering all that’s happened in the past couple of weeks—not to mention that markets are closing out their worst month in years—this seems to reinforce the idea that things here in the U.S. really are moving back to normal.

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China and the U.S. Stock Market

August 28, 2015

Now that things seem to have calmed down a bit, it’s a good time to discuss why the past week has been so turbulent. The usual explanations—the Chinese currency devaluation and stock market crash—are certainly valid, but there’s more to the story.

Let's take a closer look at the connection between the news from China and U.S. stock prices.

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Good Economic News May Not Curb Market Turbulence

August 27, 2015

If you’ve been reading my posts over the past week, you’ve probably noticed a key theme: despite ongoing market turbulence, U.S. economic fundamentals remain strong.

Today’s data underlined that point again. Economic growth for the second quarter was revised up substantially, from 2.3 percent to 3.7 percent—not only above expectations, at 3.2 percent, but beyond the higher end of the range of estimates.

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Certain sections of this commentary contain forward-looking statements that are based on our reasonable expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets. All indices are unmanaged and investors cannot invest directly into an index.

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