The Independent Market Observer

Digesting the Fed: Progress Made, But More Work Ahead

June 13, 2024

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) met this week and voted unanimously to hold rates steady for the seventh consecutive meeting, leaving its policy range at 5.25 percent to 5.5 percent. This decision was widely anticipated, with futures markets pricing in a near-zero percent chance of a rate cut in the days and weeks leading up to the meeting.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: June 2024 [SlideShare]

June 12, 2024

May’s reports showed signs of continued economic growth. Hiring accelerated during the month, with 272,000 jobs added. Service sector and consumer confidence both improved in May, while the yield curve inversion widened.

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Economic Release Snapshot: Hiring Accelerates in May

June 10, 2024

Each week, we break down the latest U.S. economic reports, including what the results mean for the overall health of the economy. Here, you will find how economists’ forecasts compare with actual results, key takeaways to consider, as well as a list of what’s on tap for the week ahead.

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Looking Back at the Markets in May and Ahead to June 2024

June 7, 2024

Markets rallied in May, with U.S. stocks up mid-single digits for the month. This was an encouraging rebound following the declines we saw in April, and both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose to new record highs during the month. International markets were also positive in May, with developed and emerging markets ending the month with gains. Even fixed income did well, as falling interest rates supported bond prices in May.

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Q1 2024 Earnings Season Review: Building Expectations

June 4, 2024

When a Cinderella story comes out of nowhere to win a championship, fans are ecstatic (just like I was watching Tom Brady win his first Super Bowl against the heavily favored Rams). But once teams have experienced success, the bar will continue to rise—and teams must also rise to meet the next challenge.

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Market Thoughts for June 2024 [Video]

June 4, 2024

Most stock indices were up from 3 percent to 6 percent in May, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq reached new all-time highs. The April employment report and declines in consumer and business confidence helped calm investor concerns about inflation and took interest rates down a bit. Companies showed strong earnings growth, providing a solid foundation for the market.

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Economic Release Snapshot: Personal Spending and Income Growth Slows

June 3, 2024

Each week, we break down the latest U.S. economic reports, including what the results mean for the overall health of the economy. Here, you will find how economists’ forecasts compare with actual results, key takeaways to consider, as well as a list of what’s on tap for the week ahead.

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Economic Release Snapshot: Durable Goods Orders Improve in April

May 28, 2024

Each week, we break down the latest U.S. economic reports, including what the results mean for the overall health of the economy. Here, you will find how economists’ forecasts compare with actual results, key takeaways to consider, as well as a list of what’s on tap for the week ahead.

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Headlines, Sentiment, or Data: How to Gauge a Country’s Health

May 23, 2024

With nearly half the world’s population set to face national elections this year, including here in the U.S., it’s a time of questioning for many. People want to know who their next leader will be, how changing policies may affect them, what the economic implications will be, and what place their country or region will have in the world.

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Monthly Market Risk Update: May 2024 [SlideShare]

May 22, 2024

Markets pulled back in April, as all three major U.S. indices were down for the month. The S&P 500 declined 4.08 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 4.92 percent. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.38 percent during the month. The sell-off followed a strong first quarter for stocks and was largely due to rising interest rates in April. 

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The information on this website is intended for informational/educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice, a solicitation, or a recommendation to buy or sell any security or investment product. Please contact your financial professional for more information specific to your situation.

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 in an index.

The MSCI EAFE (Europe, Australia, Far East) Index is a free float‐adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets, excluding the U.S. and Canada. The MSCI EAFE Index consists of 21 developed market country indices.

One basis point (bp) is equal to 1/100th of 1 percent, or 0.01 percent.

The VIX (CBOE Volatility Index) measures the market’s expectation of 30-day volatility across a wide range of S&P 500 options.

The forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio divides the current share price of the index by its estimated future earnings.

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