The Independent Market Observer

Monday Update: Retail Sales Growth Continued in April

May 23, 2022

We saw the release of several important economic updates last week. The April retail sales report was a highlight and showed that sales growth came in strong during the month while March’s growth was revised upward. This will be another interesting week for updates, with reports on durable goods orders, the minutes from the most recent Fed meeting, and personal income and spending growth in April.

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A Step Back for Summer

May 20, 2022

Hi, everybody. It has been a busy week. Even though the market continues to drop, frankly I don’t have much to say that I haven’t already said. So, this will be a very short post!

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Are Market Declines Setting the Stage for Future Growth?

May 19, 2022

When we look at yesterday’s market performance, something stands out. It’s not just the magnitude of the decline, bad though it was, but the speed. And it wasn’t just yesterday, as this past month has seen pretty much all of the decline for the past quarter and well over half of the decline for the year. In other words, the market has essentially been down all year. It started to stabilize in March and April—only to collapse again in May. That’s scary.

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A Quick Look at the Markets

May 18, 2022

This will be a short post as I am back from a Commonwealth conference and catching up. There are lots of things to think about, on both a professional and personal level, and I will share more going forward. As always, it was great to see my Commonwealth friends, old and new, and do some really cool stuff including a cooking class (didn’t see that coming, did you?) and a Red Sox game with Tim Wakefield, who very nicely signed a hat for my wife. She did very well out of the conference, with the hat and a signed pastry cookbook. You have to take care of the home front.

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Challenging Our Assumptions

May 17, 2022

Today, I’m attending the Commonwealth Chairman’s Retreat conference. Of course, we’ll spend some time discussing business and the markets, but we’ll also get the chance to look at issues beyond that and into our own lives. Longtime readers may remember my column on gratitudes, where I talked about a Chairman’s presentation by psychologist Shawn Achor on how simply writing down three gratitudes a day could change your life for the better. I tried it, and it worked. I have now written down my gratitudes every day for several years, and there is no doubt it has made a very positive difference.

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Monday Update: Inflation Slowed in April

May 16, 2022

All eyes were on last week’s release of the consumer and producer inflation reports for April. They showed that inflationary pressure moderated during the month following a surge in March, but there is still a lot of work to be done to get rising prices under control. This will be a busy week of economic updates, with reports scheduled that will cover retail sales, industrial production, and the housing sector.

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What Can Investors Do in a Down Market?

May 13, 2022

Much of the discussion around the market decline so far this year has been, first, why is it happening and, second, how far will it go? Most people are looking at the market as an independent entity, trying to second-guess how it will act in the future. Most people will, inevitably, be wrong.

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Monthly Market Risk Update: May 2022

May 12, 2022

My colleague Sam Millette, manager, fixed income on Commonwealth’s Investment Management and Research team, has helped me put together this month’s Market Risk Update. Thanks for the assist, Sam!

Markets dropped in April, reversing the gains from March. The S&P 500 lost 8.72 percent during the month, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped 4.82 percent. The Nasdaq Composite saw the largest decline during the month, as the technology-heavy index fell 13.24 percent in April. The sell-off in April is a reminder that risks remain, and they should be monitored going forward.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: May 2022

May 11, 2022

My colleague Sam Millette, manager, fixed income on Commonwealth’s Investment Management and Research team, has helped me put together this month’s Economic Risk Factor Update. Thanks for the assist, Sam!

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Worries Rise as Markets Drop

May 10, 2022

Yesterday was another bad down day in the markets. Not only that, but other assets are getting hit as well, with bitcoin getting hit even more than the general financial markets. As worries rise, when will the bleeding stop? 

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Important Update, 5/27/2022

After announcing last Friday that I might take a day off here and there over the summer, I've been unable to produce new material this week due to unforeseen circumstances. I hope to be back next week. Wishing you all the best. 

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