Great Expectations

January 17th, 2017|

By Pete Biebel, Vice President

The “Make America Great Again” promise of the incoming administration propelled the stock market’s post-election rally from early November into the holiday season. The rush of buying came on very optimistic expectations of the winning party’s campaign promises ultimately leading to higher earnings, higher interest rates, less regulation and a stronger […]

Lighting Up the Christmas Tree

January 9th, 2017|

By Pete Biebel, Vice President

When I last published one of these commentaries, I suggested that the market’s forward drive might be losing traction (see Oh Come All Ye Salt Trucks). The market’s relatively steep run up since Election Day had been showing signs of stalling and backsliding. We now know that the instant the lights […]

Oh Come All Ye Salt Trucks

December 19th, 2016|

By Pete Biebel, Vice President

Over the past several days, and just before the official beginning of winter, millions of drivers from Kansas to Connecticut were forced to reacquaint themselves with their winter driving skills, or lack thereof. With much of the Northeast experiencing freezing rain, sleet and snow, many highways, streets and cul de sacs […]

The Gomer Pyle Rally

December 12th, 2016|

By Pete Biebel, Vice President

The first surprise was not just that Mr. Trump won the election, but also that the election resulted in an across-the-board Republican victory. The second surprise was that, instead of plunging on Mr. Trump’s election, the market actually rallied; in fact, it rallied a lot. Then, in what may be the […]

The Haves and the Half Knots

November 28th, 2016|

By Pete Biebel, Vice President

The major averages all gained about another 1.5% last week, pushing their cumulative increase of the past three weeks into the 6-7% range, and, as you may have heard, lifting them to record high levels. While a rising tide typically lifts all boats, the post-election flows have been considerably more selective. […]

Trump and Circumstance

November 21st, 2016|

By Pete Biebel, Vice President

With the commencement of trading last Monday, the stock market and interest rates both continued their march higher. Small cap stocks took the honors again with the largest gain for the week. The Russell 2000 Index (RUT, +2.88%) graduated to its highest level ever, finally surpassing its 2015 peak. Among the […]

Hey Luuucy, You Got Some Splainin’ To Do!

November 14th, 2016|

By Pete Biebel, Vice President

What just happened? Trump beat Clinton and the market rallied! I think it’s the Cubs baseball team’s fault—winning the World Series apparently transported the world into a new space/time continuum.

The old National Public Radio (NPR) weekly “Car Talk” show had a segment called “Stump the Chumps.” The pre- and post-election market […]

Two Wrongs Don’t Make ‘em Right

November 7th, 2016|

By Pete Biebel, Vice President

Two misconceptions have been swirling in the financial media recently. The magnitude and the regularity of last week’s market sell-off makes these theories plausible, but the popularity of these delusions doesn’t necessarily make them accurate. The convenience of these notions may give the impression of credulity, but it may also mask […]

I Ain’t Scared

October 17th, 2016|

By Pete Biebel, Vice President

Halloween is still two weeks away, but conditions got a lot more frightening last week. Through most of the summertime the market’s journey forward was uneventful. The averages hung near their highs, skipping merrily along without a care. There was very little deviation from the narrow path. Rising interest rates caused […]

In the Eye of the Storm

October 10th, 2016|

By Pete Biebel, Vice President

Last week I wrote that recent market action was similar to a hula dancer figurine on a car’s dashboard: a lot of motion back and forth, but no net movement (see Shake, Rattle and Roll). In the week just ended, it felt like more of the same. For the week, the […]