Back to the Basics on Stocks

October 13, 2015

There are two components to stock markets: earnings and how much investors are willing to pay for them. Recently, much of the commentary has been on valuations, with the implicit assumption that earnings would more or less take care of themselves. Although this has been the case for the past several years, at least on a per-share basis, one of my colleagues and an investment research associate, Sam Millette, recently pulled some figures that gave me pause.

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Monday Update: Generally Positive, But Concerns Ahead?

October 12, 2015

Overall, last week’s data came in generally positive, but in this Monday update, I highlight some economic news in the week ahead that may be cause for concern.

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The Failure of Politics

October 9, 2015

Sometimes, I really hate being right. A few weeks ago, I wrote that the Washington, DC, political environment had deteriorated and that the current go-round on the debt ceiling was likely to be even more contentious than the last one, two years ago. Sure enough, with the resignation of Speaker John Boehner—and the withdrawal yesterday of his heir apparent—the House appears ungovernable. Without some type of Republican internal agreement on at least whom to elect as speaker, it’s hard to see any resolution to the debt ceiling debate, which is likely going to hit in the next couple of weeks.

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More on “Snowdown” Vs. Slowdown: What About the Markets?

October 8, 2015

I wrote yesterday about the economy and how I believe that, while we are seeing some weak data, we are likely experiencing a temporary “snowdown” (much as we saw the past two winters) rather than a true slowdown. Still, we have to ask ourselves, Is the market pullback similarly temporary, or is it the first stage of a deeper correction?

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Are We Really Seeing a Slowdown, or Is It More of a “Snowdown”?

October 7, 2015

There has been a lot of talk in the financial media about an economic slowdown, with a sense—explicit in some cases—that a recession is a real possibility. Some of that talk, I will admit, has come from me. Given some of the recent bad reports, particularly the jobs report, I do feel that there is a possibility that the trend has changed. After giving it a lot of thought, though, I do not think this is what’s actually happening.

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Appearance on Risk & Reward, October 5, 2015 [Video]

October 7, 2015

Is Wall Street bracing for the worst year since 2008? Watch my interview on Fox Business Network’s Risk & Reward to hear my thoughts on the state of the markets and hedge fund performance. 

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Economic Risk Factor Update: October 2015

October 6, 2015

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

We have actually seen some moves worth watching since last month, with signs of slowing, although the overall take remains positive.

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Upcoming Appearances

Tune in to CNBC's Power Lunch on Wednesday, October 14, within the 1 P.M. ET hour to hear Brad discuss the markets. The exact time is yet to be determined. Check your local listings for availability.

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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. The S&P 500 Index is a broad-based measurement of changes in stock market conditions based on the average performance of 500 widely held common stocks. All indices are unmanaged and investors cannot invest directly into an index.


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