The Independent Market Observer

Thanksgiving Food for Thought: The Parable of the Turkey

November 27, 2020

Once upon a time, a turkey hatched in the dead of winter. He lived in a nice warm coop, had plentiful corn and seeds to eat, and spent much of his poult-hood playing with all of the other little turkeys.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Coronavirus Update: November 25, 2020 [Video]

November 25, 2020

Today, I'd like to provide an update on the coronavirus, including the economic and market implications. On the medical front, we’ve seen significant improvements. Case growth has shown signs of topping, indicating the third wave may be about to crest. Further, three vaccines were announced as effective and safe in the past two weeks. While the pandemic is still in force and there is a potential risk from Thanksgiving gatherings, the trends may be starting to reverse.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Are We Seeing Cracks in the Consumer Economy?

November 24, 2020

This weekly update is appearing a couple of days early, due to Thanksgiving. We will go back to the regular Thursday schedule next week. I hope everyone has a terrific holiday. As always, I am grateful for all of you my friends and readers.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Monday Update: October Retail Sales Disappoint

November 23, 2020

Last week saw a number of important economic data releases, with a disappointing October retail sales report and strong housing market updates serving as highlights. This week will be busy, as well as holiday-shortened, with a focus on November’s consumer confidence reports, the first look at durable goods orders in October, and the monthly personal income and spending reports.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Is the Recession About to End?

November 20, 2020

Right now, the headlines are dominated by pandemic news, with the number of new cases continuing to hit all-time highs. But there is also growing worry that in addition to the tragic medical damage, we might see the economic recovery roll over as well. While this is a legitimate fear, the data is showing something different—that we may well be close to the end of the recession and back into a sustainable expansion.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Markets Rally on Vaccine News

November 19, 2020

As expected, the medical news continues to get worse. New infections hit all-time highs last week as the third wave of the pandemic has accelerated around the country. Case growth in many states remains at levels that threaten health care systems.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Monthly Market Risk Update: November 2020

November 18, 2020

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

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Economic Risk Factor Update: November 2020

November 17, 2020

My colleague Sam Millette, senior investment research analyst on Commonwealth’s Investment Management and Research team, plays a key role in putting together the Economic and Market Risk Factor Updates. We are now working on updating the format, and you will see some changes this month and in coming months. Thanks for the great work, Sam!

The economy showed continued growth in October; however, the indicators we track in this piece showed varied results. Despite the mixed nature of the reports, the continued signs of economic growth during the month were encouraging, given the uncertainty created by rising coronavirus case counts and the election. The October jobs report was a highlight, as both the number of new jobs added and the unemployment rate came in better than expected. Business and consumer confidence, however, declined slightly during the month, though they still remain well off the lows. Overall, this was a month that showed continued improvement, as well as the ongoing risk the pandemic represents to the recovery as we head into the end of the year.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Monday Update: Inflation Remains Muted in October

November 16, 2020

Last week was relatively quiet on the economic update front, with a focus on October’s inflation reports, the weekly initial claims report, and the first look at consumer confidence in November. This week will be busier, with releases on retail sales, industrial production, and housing.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Coronavirus Update: November 13, 2020 [Video]

November 13, 2020

Today, I'd like to provide an update on the coronavirus, including the economic and market implications. On the medical front, case growth continues to accelerate, and new cases have reached all-time highs. This is something we need to watch, as the third wave is at a level where the national risks are material.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Appearance on Yahoo Finance’s The Final Round, November 12, 2020 [Video]

November 13, 2020

Yesterday I appeared on Yahoo Finance’s The Final Round to discuss the impact of the coronavirus vaccine news on the market. Listen in to hear more.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Medical Risks Rise, Markets Rally

November 12, 2020

As expected, the medical news continues to get worse. The third wave of infections has accelerated around the country. Case growth has again moved to new highs, and the geographic spread of this wave of outbreaks continues to deepen. Case growth in many states remains at levels that threaten health care systems, and several states are moving back to lockdown mode.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

What the Election Means for Investors Today

November 11, 2020

The other day, I wrote about my initial reaction to the election. At the time, a winner had not been called. But the fact that the election had gone smoothly—with none of the disruptions that had been feared—was a very good sign, and that was likely to be a tailwind for the markets.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Looking Back at the Markets in October and Ahead Through November 2020

November 10, 2020

A lot has changed in the past week. I normally try and get this post up earlier in the month, but with everything that has happened—and which has demanded comment—this is the earliest I could fit it in. But that is a good thing, as the ”looking forward” piece is now going to be rather different than it would have been last week. So, let’s take a look back and then forward, and try and figure out where we are going in the next couple of weeks.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Monday Update: September Employment Exceeds Expectations

November 9, 2020

Last week saw a number of important economic updates, with a focus on October’s business confidence and employment reports. The job report was a highlight, as more jobs were added during the month than expected and unemployment fell notably. This week will be relatively quiet, with updates focusing on inflation, the weekly jobless claims report, and the first look at consumer sentiment for November.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

The Jobs Report and the Pandemic

November 6, 2020

The most important economic report—the jobs report—came out this morning, and it was surprisingly strong. This strength was not so much in the headline number, but in the details. Let’s start out with the headlines and drill down to what this report means for the economy going forward, especially in light of the ongoing pandemic.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Election Risks Subside, But Medical Risks on the Rise

November 5, 2020

The big news this week was the election. Although the outcome remains unresolved, the fact that the election itself went without a hitch has substantially reduced the perceived political risks. While we still have weeks or possibly months of litigation ahead, the worst risks are now off the table. Markets have been cheering this shift over the past two days.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

First Thoughts About the Election

November 4, 2020

“It will take as long as it takes,” a reported quote from the Pennsylvania attorney general about the vote count, can also apply to the election itself. Indeed, from where we stand right now, the Pennsylvania vote count will determine the election. We don’t know what the final answer is, and we don’t know when we will know. So, are we any further along than yesterday?

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Peak Globalization or Peak “Chinaization”?

November 4, 2020

Brad here. As my colleague Anu Gaggar reflects below, we’ve seen many pandemic-inspired obituaries for globalization during this year’s crisis. She asks: Will COVID be the last nail in the globalization coffin? Or will global trade continue to evolve? Over to you, Anu!

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Monday Update (on Tuesday): Economic Data Shows Continuing Recovery

November 3, 2020

Last week was filled with economic updates, with reports that touched on various important sectors of the economy. The data was largely positive, with better-than-expected results for durable goods orders, the third-quarter GDP report, and September’s personal income and spending reports serving as highlights. This week will be another busy one for updates, with a focus on business confidence and the October jobs report.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Market Thoughts for November 2020 [Video]

November 2, 2020

October was a tough month for the markets. They started out strong but rolled over on rising medical risks. Fortunately, the impact was cushioned by better economic news.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Subscribe via E-mail

Crash-Test Investing
Commonwealth Independent Advisor

Hot Topics

New Call-to-action

Conversations

Archives

see all

Subscribe

Disclosure

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 into an index.

The MSCI EAFE Index (Europe, Australasia, Far East) 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.  

Third party links are provided to you as a courtesy. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these websites. Information on such sites, including third party links contained within, should not be construed as an endorsement or adoption by Commonwealth of any kind. You should consult with a financial advisor regarding your specific situation.

Member FINRASIPC

Please review our Terms of Use

Commonwealth Financial Network®