The Independent Market Observer

Market Thoughts for January 2022 [Video]

January 4, 2022

The year closed on a strong note, with the Dow and S&P showing gains. The Nasdaq struggled a bit, but it ended December in the green. On the medical front, the omicron variant drove COVID cases to new highs. Still, the economic data kept getting better. Consumer confidence numbers bounced back, and consumer spending kept growing. Further, business confidence and investment remain very high.

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Market Thoughts for December 2021 [Video]

December 1, 2021

After a strong October, November saw generally weak performance in the markets. In the U.S., the Nasdaq showed a small gain, but the S&P and the Dow were down. These results were driven by the emergence of the Omicron variant and the Fed’s announcement that it would start to normalize monetary policy. Still, hiring for October was healthy, and layoffs dropped to pre-pandemic levels in November.

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Market Thoughts for November 2021 [Video]

November 2, 2021

After a difficult September, the markets saw a bounce in October. Both the Nasdaq and the S&P gained more than 7 percent, and the Dow was up almost 6 percent. These results were driven by the stabilization of key economic data. Job growth declined in September, but a higher October result is expected as labor demand remains strong. Plus, consumer confidence has stabilized.

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Market Thoughts for October 2021 [Video]

October 4, 2021

September was a bad month for the markets. In the U.S., all three major indices were down. Developed markets dropped, and emerging markets did worst of all. These declines resulted from the weakening of the economic data, driven by the spread of the Delta wave of the virus. Job growth was down, layoffs trended up, and consumer confidence dropped.

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Market Thoughts for September 2021 [Video]

September 1, 2021

August was another very good month for the financial markets. In the U.S., both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 showed material gains, while developed markets also did well. On the medical front, the virus continued its spread. There are signs that the rising medical risks are starting to appear in the data, with consumer confidence dropping significantly in August.

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Market Thoughts for August 2021 [Video]

August 2, 2021

July was a generally good month for the markets, with all three major U.S. indices up by more than 1 percent. But emerging markets were hit hard and ended the month down significantly. On the economic front, the data remains positive, although business and consumer confidence declined. Further, medical risks are on the rise, with the Delta variant hitting the unvaccinated population.

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2021 Midyear Outlook [Video]

July 7, 2021

As we head into the second half of 2021, the virus appears to be contained at the national level. The declining medical risks have been good for the economy, with consumer and business activity back to pre-pandemic levels. Markets have celebrated the good news by hitting all-time highs. We're on the road back to normal—but will risks like labor shortages, supply-chain gaps, and inflation derail the recovery? Watch my 2021 Midyear Outlook video to find out.

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Market Thoughts for July 2021 [Video]

July 2, 2021

June was a mixed month for the markets. In the U.S., the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 were up, but the Dow ticked down. We saw the same trend internationally, with developed markets falling even as emerging markets moved ahead. On the economic front, business confidence remains at or close to all-time highs. Still, the problems of success (labor shortages and supply chain issues) loom large.

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Coronavirus Update: June 11, 2021 [Video]

June 11, 2021

This will be the last of the Coronavirus Update videos, at least for the foreseeable future. There will be one more written update, which will be posted on the blog on June 25.

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Market Thoughts for June 2021 [Video]

June 2, 2021

It was a mixed bag for the markets in May, with the Dow up more than 2 percent, the S&P 500 up slightly, and the Nasdaq down. On the medical front, case growth and death rates declined, and more than 4 of 10 people are now fully vaccinated. With fading medical risks, the economy continued to improve. Layoffs are trending down, and consumer confidence remains close to pre-pandemic levels.

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