Is This Normal?

August 11, 2017

Events of the past couple of days have me thinking about the entire concept of normal. “Normal,” by definition, means “usual, average, or typical.” It’s a good definition. But when you actually apply it to what we see around us, that definition makes you consider whether the current “normal” meets those conditions—and thus deserves the term.

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North Korea and the Markets: Should We Be Worried?

August 10, 2017

After a dip and recovery yesterday, the markets were down this morning. It is clear that the developing situation between the U.S. and North Korea is rattling financial markets. Should we be worried? If so, what should we do?

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10 Years Later: Looking Back at the 2007 Financial Crisis

August 9, 2017

Ten years ago today, the global financial system started to crack with the decision by the French bank BNP Paribas to block withdrawals from hedge funds that invested in U.S. mortgage securities. That, as we now know, led to a widening crisis of confidence over what securities were really worth, which in turn called into question the basic solvency of many financial institutions. Unable to know who was safe—or what collateral was worth—the financial system went into gridlock, leading to the crisis we have been recovering from ever since.

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Monthly Market Risk Update: August 2017

August 8, 2017

Market risks come in three flavors: recession risk, economic shock risk, and risks within the market itself. Let’s take a closer look at all three to assess what the risk levels look like this month.

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Monday Update: Strong Jobs Suggest Recovery Continues

August 7, 2017

We saw a wide range of economic news last week, including a detailed look at consumer income and spending; business confidence in both the manufacturing and service sectors; the international trade report; and, most important, the July jobs report. While there are some areas of concern, the jobs report suggests that the recovery continues.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: August 2017

August 4, 2017

July’s data was largely positive, with improvements in employment and consumer confidence leading the way. With unemployment at a 16-year low and no signs of slowing, the strength of the labor market is continuing to power the current recovery. While business confidence showed some signs of softening, overall conditions remain healthy. 

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Dow 22K: Are We Seeing a Pattern?

August 3, 2017

It seems like just a couple of months ago that I was writing about record highs for the Dow. In fact, looking at the data, it was only a few months ago, on January 26, that I wrote about Dow 20K. Reviewing that post, it notes that I last discussed stock market records 58 days before that. Are we seeing a pattern here?

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