Market Perspectives

by Ken South, Founder/CEO

Ken's Latest Article

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures...Is That The Case Now?

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures...Is That The Case Now?

September 28, 2022 --

To say that 2022 has been a tough year would be a gross understatement. From remnants of COVID mandates to delayed air travel to spiking interest rates, this has been a year of numerous and never-before-seen combinations of issues...

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2022

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures...Is That The Case Now?

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures...Is That The Case Now?

September 28, 2022 --

To say that 2022 has been a tough year would be a gross understatement. From remnants of COVID mandates to delayed air travel to spiking interest rates, this has been a year of numerous and never-before-seen combinations of issues...

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The Dog Days of Summer Close

The Dog Days of Summer Close

September 21, 2022 --

At present we are clearly in a battle. On one hand, we have the Federal Reserve trying to rein in inflation by raising interest rates and on the other side, we have the economy as measured by the GDP and the stock market. The Fed keeps raising rates, and the GDP has turned negative as has the stock market.

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Market Showing Impressive Strength; Now Needs to Hang On

Market Showing Impressive Strength; Now Needs to Hang On

September 14, 2022 --

Friday's market was the third day in a row that the equity market, as evidenced by the S&P 500, moved higher. This is occurring in the face of extreme negative readings from Institutional investor polls as well as numbers from the weekly AAII (American Association of Individual Investors) polls. The stock market seems to be underscoring that it may be “OK” (for now) and it could be...

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The Dog Days of Summer Close

The Dog Days of Summer Close

September 7, 2022 --

I don’t know about you, but the long 3-day weekend surrounding Labor Day makes me stop and enjoy that last bit of Summer. That pause is important to help take a deep breath and appreciate the memories and laughs that were shared while enjoying the warmer days that made everything just feel better...

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President Biden's Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Fiasco

President Biden's Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Fiasco

August 31, 2022 -- In last week's note, I gave numerous charts and tables explaining why I believe that the market decline had run its course from January 4 through June 16th of this year. In actuality, there are many leading companies that actually began to show some level of...


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Positive Q2 Earnings Turn Eyes Toward Jackson Hole

Positive Q2 Earnings Turn Eyes Toward Jackson Hole

August 24, 2022 -- In past reports, I discussed the personality of mid-term election years coupled with the consequences of the Fed raising interest rates. From January 4th to June 16th, the S&P 500 incurred a 26% decline. In my note last week, I discussed...


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The Inflation v. Recession Tug-O-War Gets Muddier

The Inflation v. Recession Tug-O-War Gets Muddier

August 17, 2022 -- After inflation readings came in higher than had been seen in 40 years, last week we got CPI and PPI numbers that were far more manageable, and as a result, the new "fear de jour" became that of a drastic recessionary slowdown as a result...


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A 3% Interest Rate May Feel High When It Started At Zero...

A 3% Interest Rate May Feel High When It Started At Zero...

August 10, 2022 -- In this week’s note, I’m going to go over two main points. First, I believe that the relationship between the employment numbers of last week combined with the Fed’s course of interest rates has a direct effect on the...


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The Dog Days Of Summer Are Upon Us

The Dog Days Of Summer Are Upon Us

August 3, 2022 -- The massive amount of money that was thrown at the US economy in 2020 & 2021 fueled the expansion of markets in virtually all asset classes. Crypto continued its ascent, real estate continued rising to new levels (never before seen might I add),..


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Is The Fed Getting Ready To Rip Off The Band-Aid?

Is The Fed Getting Ready To Rip Off The Band-Aid?

July 27, 2022 -- Today, the frictional buzz is now all about inflation and recession. It feels quite strange that the Fed would be raising interest rates as the economy is supposedly racing into the jaws of a recession. As I often like to say...


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The Dog Days Of Summer Are Upon Us

The Dog Days Of Summer Are Upon Us

August 3, 2022 -- The massive amount of money that was thrown at the US economy in 2020 & 2021 fueled the expansion of markets in virtually all asset classes. Crypto continued its ascent, real estate continued rising to new levels (never before seen might I add),..


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Is The Fed Getting Ready To Rip Off The Band-Aid?

Is The Fed Getting Ready To Rip Off The Band-Aid?

July 27, 2022 -- Today, the frictional buzz is now all about inflation and recession. It feels quite strange that the Fed would be raising interest rates as the economy is supposedly racing into the jaws of a recession. As I often like to say...


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Whispers On Wall St... But Which Do You Listen To?

Whispers On Wall St... But Which Do You Listen To?

July 20, 2022 -- Last week looked like it was going to be another disaster of a week until it turned on a dime Thursday and was up strong on Friday. This week started out on the upside and then turned when Apple mentioned that it was going to reduce employee hiring....


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The June Jobs Report Does Not Show The Big Picture

The June Jobs Report Does Not Show The Big Picture

July 13, 2022 -- The big news that came out since the last note I wrote was the employment number that was released last Friday. On the surface, it looked strong. As a result, rates rose (due to economic strength), the US Dollar rallied to another...


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Price Stability Is The Federal Reserve's Mandate

Price Stability Is The Federal Reserve's Mandate

July 6, 2022 -- In the June Federal Reserve meeting (when it raised interest rates by 75 basis points, or 0.75%), it issued an updated economic forecast based on incoming economic data. It is currently looking for the economy (GDP) to grow by 1.5-1.9%...


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The Federal Reserve And The Bullwhip Economy

The Federal Reserve And The Bullwhip Economy

June 29, 2022 -- Over the past few weeks, the economic indicators have been showing that the fear of inflation seems to be easing. As all financial news followers should know, the Fed’s primary mandate is to sustain an orderly economy. This means that they want to keep...


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What To Consider During A Market Correction

What To Consider During A Market Correction

June 22, 2022 -- It is clear that we are in a market correction. During corrections, the markets tend to exhibit similar characteristics that we assume will exhaust themselves, and usually, they do. At times, though, instead of the small, digestible moves, the markets experience a "correction..."


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Could Mortgage Rates Be The Canary In The Coal Mine?

Could Mortgage Rates Be The Canary In The Coal Mine?

June 15, 2022 -- As we see it, inflation is the manifestation of what is happening after the dust settles from the massive influx of capital from the Federal Government during the COVID economic shutdown. The weaning of the economy off of this sugar high is difficult for...


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No Hurricane...Yet

No Hurricane...Yet

June 7, 2022 -- Last Friday, JP Morgan CEO, Jamie Dimon made one of the most irresponsible public displays I've seen in some time. He talked about a "hurricane" hitting the US economy. The drama of this is clearly typical with social media being what it is today, but the equity markets of the world are discounting...


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Rubber Band Snap Back?

Rubber Band Snap Back?

May 31, 2022 -- After seven down weeks back-to-back, the markets finally had a positive one! Unfortunately, this is how Bear Market rallies usually work. They tend to be swift and sharp, a manner which catches most investors flat-footed and then scared to get back to looking for upside.... 


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Is The Bear Market Getting Tired?

Is The Bear Market Getting Tired?

May 25, 2022 -- Last Friday I put out a special report titled, "Market at a Crossroad." To my analysis and the various market measurements that I have been presenting the last few weeks, it was sort of looking very extended to the downside. This is why I brought up the point that it was at a crossroads...


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Stocks at a Crossroads

Stocks at a Crossroads

May 20, 2022 -- In the spotlight today: economic expectations due to domestic retailer weakness, sentiment, and valuations — here are the big things you need to know...


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Plan for the Week

Plan for the Week

May 18, 2022 -- In this week’s letter, I believe that we have enough meat on the bone to address a few of the different issues that have been plaguing markets and set up a road map for an investor going forward....


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Perspective on Market Decline

Perspective on Market Decline

May 11, 2022 -- This week I really don't have a whole lot to share with you. I really don’t need to restate that we have a market that has a number of different issues raining on its parade. So, I am going to put some things into perspective as this is really what we should be doing now more than ever, but daily as well...


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Is the Fed "Hiking" into an Economic Slowdown?

Is the Fed "Hiking" into an Economic Slowdown?

May 4, 2022 -- Last Thursday, when the Commerce Department announced that the 2022 first-quarter GDP dropped 1.4%, many market commentators voiced surprise. As many observers should know, after so many negative concerns this should have been far from...


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We've Come (Back) a Long Way Since 2019

We've Come (Back) a Long Way Since 2019

April 27, 2022 -- There's nothing like a brace of uncertainty to cause a surge of worry. Thus far, 2022 has been a year in which equities and bonds have had the proverbial "kitchen sink" hurled at them. Given all this, the US equity market is about where it should be; beat up but not dead...


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Commodities - Opportunity, Diversifier, or Waste of Time?

Commodities - Opportunity, Diversifier, or Waste of Time?

April 22, 2022 -- After a decade of robust market gains, 2022 has begun much differently, with inflationary fears and conflict in Ukraine sapping the strength from animal spirits and sending US markets to their first negative quarter since COVID began in early 2020...


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Russia, Ukraine and Commodities

Russia, Ukraine and Commodities

April 20, 2022 -- At the end of last week, we started getting the parade of earnings for the first quarter of 2022beginning with the large money center banks, regional banks, and investment banks. It appears that almost across the board the numbers are coming in better than expected. Even still, the financial sector and the financial technology companies are still in a significant decline...


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Only Time Will Tell

Only Time Will Tell

April 13, 2022 -- Last week, I went into extensive detail on what I am noticing and paying attention to. We are in quite a precarious situation here stateside, but there is a far more precarious situation in developed Europe and parts of Asia and Africa. I believe that they are on the cusp of some very painful times when it comes to their economies trying to recover, yet they are faced with skyrocketing...


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Stock Market Final Four

Stock Market Final Four

April 6, 2022 -- It's clear that the buzz of the last few weeks has been college basketball's Sweet Sixteen tournament, and Monday of this week was the last game of the season's Final Four. Needless to say, it was very exciting with Kansas coming from the largest first-half deficit in tournament final history to win! Let’s hope the markets do the same after a dreadful first quarter....


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Inflation or Economic Growth: Which One Wins?

Inflation or Economic Growth: Which One Wins?

March 30, 2022 -- Domestic growth continues to be strong. Since our economy is very diverse, growth can be categorized in many ways. Some are growing off the charts (commodities), some are growing at normal rates...


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A Bad Start To A Year Isn't A Death Sentence

A Bad Start To A Year Isn't A Death Sentence

March 22, 2022 -- In today's newsletter, I am going to cover what I believe to be the important points to cover that should be focused on instead of focusing on the continued death and destruction being espoused by the media. As far as I see it, these...


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The Market Seems To Be Losing Velocity On The Downside

The Market Seems To Be Losing Velocity On The Downside

March 15, 2022 -- Vladimir Putin's diabolical invasion of Ukraine has succeeded in turning Russia into a rogue state, and with his nuclear threats, he is playing an insanely dangerous game. The nations of Europe have placed themselves in a...


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Did Warren Buffet Help Describe A Bottoming Process?

Did Warren Buffet Help Describe A Bottoming Process?

March 9, 2022 --There is so much going on right now that I’m not even sure where to begin. By now, anyone plugged into the news and financial markets should have a rough idea of what has been happening: The war in Ukraine...


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News Aside, Can We Please Get to the Root Of the Problem?

News Aside, Can We Please Get to the Root Of the Problem?

March 8, 2022 -- As humans, we are inherently emotional animals. As such, right, wrong, or indifferent, we want an answer to a problem. Why did it happen? How bad will it get? How do we fix it? This year has not been pretty for the broad markets...


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Should We Fear The Ides of March?

Should We Fear The Ides of March?

March 1, 2022 -- It has been some time since we have had the “darlings” of Wall Street be the “heels” of the market for such an extended period of time. It could have been due to their unabated runs higher or maybe their...


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Fear Worked Better Than Greed last Week

Fear Worked Better Than Greed last Week

February 24, 2022 -- As the heat held strong on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I have to wonder if Putin and China’s Xi bought index puts against the US stock market to benefit from the decline experienced last week? Most textbooks omit the chapter...


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What If Democrats Lose Seats

What If Democrats Lose Seats

February 22, 2022 -- One of the most popular questions we’ve received lately is what could happen in the upcoming midterm election? Although we are a long way away from Election Day, it is important to note that a new president has historically...


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Is It Time To Buy Buy Or Bye Bye?

Is It Time To Buy Buy Or Bye Bye?

February 15, 2022 -- By any number of measures, the markets have taken quite a hit. For example, as of January 25th, 2022, the average stock in the Russell 2000 Index has experienced a drawdown of almost 40%, and in the NASDAQ Composite, the average stock...


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It's Okay I'm A Retired Lifeguard

It's Okay I'm A Retired Lifeguard

February 8, 2022 -- Before I dive into this week’s focus, I want to take a moment and talk about some major policy items that people should be aware of: First, I want you to remember that the markets (stock, bond, currency, and commodity markets)...


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Does An 8 Year Low In Retail Sentiment Lead To Violent Upside?

Does An 8 Year Low In Retail Sentiment Lead To Violent Upside?

February 1, 2022 -- If I’m being honest – last week was brutal. I know I wasn’t the only one who was looking for a bag of frozen peas to help numb the pain of losing the octagon match against the Market. But hopefully, no one’s...


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Is It Hot In Here, Or Is It Just Me?

Is It Hot In Here, Or Is It Just Me?

January 27, 2022 -- Normally when you think of January you think cold temperatures or winter. But as of late, the markets have been heating us up and not in a good way. Maybe we can compare it to when you’re wearing a thick turtleneck that you...


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Don't Fear Uncertainty, Embrace It

Don't Fear Uncertainty, Embrace It

January 20, 2022 -- This past week certainly wasn't the destroyer that the first week of the year was, but after a promising bounce following the Monday morning punch to new short-term lows on the major indexes, the sellers did come back to try and finish...


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Sometimes The Clash Gets It Right

Sometimes The Clash Gets It Right

January 25, 2022 -- By any number of measures, the markets have taken quite a hit. For example, as of January 25th, 2022, the average stock in the Russell 2000 Index has experienced a drawdown of almost 40%, and in the NASDAQ Composite, the average stock...


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Have We Hit Some Market Headwinds?

Have We Hit Some Market Headwinds?

January 12, 2022 -- Many analysts were disappointed by last Friday's job report for December, but we think the headline masks an overall report that shows continued improvement in the labor market and a possible surge in small-business start-ups. On the...


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It Makes Complete Sense Now: Bad Is Good And Good Is Bad

It Makes Complete Sense Now: Bad Is Good And Good Is Bad

January 5, 2022 -- 2021 was the year of a continued virus, rising inflation, and the promise of higher interest rates from the Fed. Not a trifecta of great things, yet the market had its best year out of the last three really good years! So that means...


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2021

Santa Claus Is Staying In Town

December 28, 2021 -- Now that 2021 is about done, the next logical question is where will the S&P 500 be at the end of 2022. Regarding this logical yet elusive question, it is clear that one could guess, but given how strange the environment has been for...


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It Feels Like The Market Is Looking In A Mirror

December 21, 2021 -- To me, this current market is starting to feel a lot like it did when COVID first hit in 2020, yet this time we know what happened. In 2020, there were very severe cases that, to many, became lethal. There was no vaccine as of yet, and...


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Is Jerome Powell Going to Be Naughty or Nice?

December 14, 2021 -- If there haven't been enough interruptions already, this week should be the last big week of the year, with five major central banks scheduled to meet and nine more from emerging market countries. And yesterday's PPI was not the most...


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Santa’s North Pole Takeoff was a Little Rocky This Year

December 8, 2021
At the close on Friday, the NASDAQ Composite Index was down 6.1% and the S&P 500 was down 3.5%, from their recent all-time record highs. The 10-year US Treasury yield had cratered from 1.71% to 1.34%, a decline in the 10-year...


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Institutional Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sales Extravaganza

December 1, 2021 -- I know it may sound strange, but I really think that the markets needed a day like Friday. Was it painful? Was it a shock? Was it based on a new variant? I think it was something totally different altogether. I believe we had a...


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Not Everyone Should Be a Turkey

November 23, 2021 -- Today’s report will be a little different than usual. There once again isn’t much new to say about the short-term setup in the market, so while I will discuss that a little, the main emphasis will be on the bigger picture...


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Real Earnings Show Wage Gains Consumed By Inflation

November 17, 2021 -- "Critical Thinking is the desire to seek patience, to doubt fondness, to meditate slowness, to assert readiness, to consider carefulness, to dispose and set in order and hatred of every kind of imposter" — Francis Bacon, 1605...


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Don't Suffer from a Pandemic Hangover of Pessimism

November 10, 2021 -- Exiting last week, roughly 90% of the S&P 500 constituents have reported their quarterly results, with 82% of them beating on EPS and 68% beating on revenue, which compares to an average of 79% beating on EPS and 65% beating on revenue...


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Here Come the Best Days of the Year

November 3, 2021 -- Brother wind, rain, a broken supply chain, rising inflation, slowing GDP, flattening bond yield curve, Cushing oil supply hitting critical point, slowing incomes (due to ending of Government subsidies), flagging sentiment, nor...


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The End Draws Near for an Era of Low Inflation

October 27, 2021 -- When I am asked what I worry about in the financial markets, the answer usually is "nothing and everything,” because everyone else in the market seems to spend an inordinate amount of time worrying, and so all of the relevant...


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Let's Talk About Inflation

October 20, 2021 -- In the face of the greatest stimulus in the history of mankind, it is a small wonder that it is leading to the US adding as much debt in the last 18 months as was in place up until 2006 for the whole history of this country. There can...


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Is October 15, 2021, the New April 15, 2021?

October 13, 2021 -- This week is set to begin earnings season for the third quarter of this year. It should be kicked off with earnings reports from large money center banks. If one were to look at the markets from a week ago, things were starting to look...


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The Waiting Game

October 5, 2021 -- Investors have become preoccupied with Federal Reserve monetary policy with regard to the anticipated tapering of the Quantitative Easing bond-buying program, along with continuing concerns about the virus and the variant. With the...


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Are Storm Clouds Brewing Or Is It A Storm In A Teacup?

September 29, 2021 -- It's important to understand where the market has come from over the past couple of weeks. As I have noted in recent missives, the rally that we're seeing following Monday of last week's gap-down panic break on the "supposed"...


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So Who Is Really Driving This Bus?

September 22, 2021 -- I've spoken about the major economic and international elements that seem to be shaping the direction of our US equity markets, but this week seems to be a little more tenuous. In my September 8th missive, I started out by talking...


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Is a 2-3% Correction Considered a Crash?

September 15, 2021 -- Valuation is a perfect example of something that investors are told matters a great deal, but I have not seen any real evidence to support that in practice. Those who disagree with me will try to tell me otherwise, but you have to...


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Final 3rd of a Very Interesting Year, What Does a Race to the Finish Look Like?

September 8, 2021 -- For the last two weeks, every time it looked like the stock market might correct a bit deeper it (once again) just came right back. As it stands, the only real hook to hang a hat on for the widely expected September swoon is the...


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Powell Says Little New and Stocks Like What They Don't Hear

August 31, 2021 -- I plan on talking a bit about where the markets are as they seem to continue to go to all-time highs: the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, New York Stock Exchange, and the NASDAQ Growth Index. Yet the negativity and...


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Is the Market Strong or Simply Pushing on a String?

August 27, 2021 -- "Secular bull markets tend to last 15-20 years and sometimes longer. So, a case can be made that we are approximately 12 years into this bull market and there is no reason not to expect this one to extend for years to come. In fact,...


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Summer Doldrums Post Covid, Please Tell Me It Isn't So

August 19, 2021 -- The Producer Price Index surges to all-time highs, and the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average does as well, hmmmm, that's a little strange. Inflation at the producer level is rising at never-before-seen levels and the indexes...


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