The Independent Market Observer

Jobs Report Signals Good News for Economic Recovery

March 5, 2021

This morning, we got some very good news about the recovery. The headline number of the jobs report, with 379,000 jobs created, was excellent—and almost double the expected 200,000. This is good news. When you look into the details, the news is even better. Clearly, the reopenings around the country have made a big difference in the job market. Looking forward, that trend will give us a real tailwind as vaccinations accelerate.

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Looking Back at the Markets in February and Ahead to March 2021

March 3, 2021

February looks to have been the start of our recovery from the pandemic. The medical news improved markedly, and the vaccination deployment finally got traction. Consumer confidence and spending turned around, and business investment continued to improve. Markets moved up. It was a good month all around. While some areas of concern became apparent at month-end, the progress was real—and significant.

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Does Market Turbulence Make Sense?

February 26, 2021

We have had some turbulence in the market over the past couple of days. The bond market briefly seized up, with interest rates up by surprising amounts. This, in turn, shook the stock market, taking it down from the highs by about 4 percent for the S&P 500 and almost 8 percent for the Nasdaq. On top of all that, we have had events such as the ongoing GameStop show and the explosion of SPAC offerings. With everything that is going on, the recent pullback, and the signs of frenzy, is it time to worry? My take: not yet.

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Markets Hold Gains Despite Rising Rates

February 25, 2021

*I will be alternating the text and video versions of this update on a weekly basis. This week is text, next week will be video, and so forth. As always, thanks for reading and watching.

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Own the Future: Looking at a Growth Portfolio

February 24, 2021

I am sitting down with an advisor and a client this afternoon to discuss a portfolio. Usual enough. But in this case, the portfolio looks a bit different. It has a large number of individual stocks, most of which are in the tech space. Of course, it has done very well over the past year or more.

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What Do Higher Interest Rates Mean?

February 23, 2021

One of the most common types of questions I have gotten recently has been around interest rates. Rates are going up, and the concern has largely been whether this is a sign of pending inflation. As both my colleague Anu Gaggar and I have written recently, the answer is no, higher rates do not mean inflation is coming. They do mean several other things, however—some bad and some good.

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Economic News Showing Surprising Strength

February 18, 2021

*Starting next week, February 25, I’ll be publishing my coronavirus update every other week.

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