The Independent Market Observer

Monday Update: Hiring Remained Strong in April

May 9, 2022

There were several important economic data releases last week, with reports covering business confidence, international trade, the results from the Fed’s May meeting, and the April employment report. The jobs report was a highlight, as it showed continued strong hiring in April despite the headwinds created by rising labor costs and tighter monetary policy. This will be another busy week of updates, with a focus on the April inflation reports.

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Stock Market Continues to Slide

May 6, 2022

Yesterday saw another significant drop in stock markets, more than reversing the bounce we saw the prior day. Up, down, up, down, but largely down—it looks like the market is headed down indefinitely.

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What You Need to Know: Is Renewed Growth Ahead?

May 5, 2022

One of the key things I do as an analyst is figure out what can be safely ignored. In today’s environment, with so many “different this time” events going on—the pandemic, the Ukraine war, and the 40-year high in inflation—what can we safely disregard? Finding the right answer is not as simple as it was a couple of years ago.

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Looking Back at the Markets in April and Ahead to May 2022

May 4, 2022

April was a hard month for the markets. For the month, U.S. markets were down between 5 percent for the Dow and 14 percent for the Nasdaq, and international markets fell between 5 percent and 7 percent. Fixed income was also down for the month—there was truly nowhere to hide.

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Market Thoughts for May 2022 [Video]

May 3, 2022

April was one of the worst months for the markets since the start of the pandemic.U.S. markets were down between 5 percent for the Dow and 14 percent for the Nasdaq, while international markets fell between 5 percent and 7 percent. Rising interest rates drove the declines, with the Fed signaling it intended to keep tightening monetary policy. Still, the U.S. economic news was positive. Hiring remained strong, supporting consumer confidence, and business confidence and investment remained healthy.

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Monday Update: Economy Contracts in the First Quarter

May 2, 2022

Last week was a busy period for economic updates, with several important data releases that covered wide areas of the economy. The advanced estimate for first-quarter GDP growth showed that the economy surprisingly contracted to start the year, but the underlying data had some positive signs for growth ahead. This will be another busy week of updates, with highlights including business confidence, international trade, the results from the Fed’s May meeting, and the April employment report.

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Is the Economy Shrinking?

April 29, 2022

Chalk another point up on the board for the importance of context. Yesterday’s economic data release showed that the economy actually shrank in the last quarter, down by 1.4 percent at an annual rate. This result was down from 6.9 percent in the prior quarter and well below the expected 1 percent growth rate.

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The 100K Project: Takeaways for Investors

April 28, 2022

This will be the last post on the 100K project because I finished it a couple of days ago, 364 days after I started. For those coming in fresh, the 100K project was a decision I made, 364 days ago, to start tracking my daily calorie balance—consumed less burned—over time. The goal was to get a net loss of 100,000 calories down, over an indefinite time period. You could think of it as taking 100,000 calories out of the fat bank.

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Putting Market Declines in Perspective

April 27, 2022

Following up on yesterday’s post about the recent market declines, I thought it would make sense to talk not just about the declines themselves (where they came from and where they are going), but also about what the declines mean from a larger portfolio perspective. To take the emotion out of it for a bit, and see what the larger picture can tell us.

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Why Is the Market Going Down?

April 26, 2022

The economy seems to be doing well, with job growth still at high levels, consumer spending still healthy, and businesses continuing to invest. But the stock market—which is supposedly a barometer of that economy—is acting very differently. The market has fallen significantly from its peak at the start of the year and, more recently, has taken a sharper drop. What’s going on here, and will it continue?

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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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