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As we arrive at mid-May (although the temperature feels far from that here in Chicago), so far 91% of companies in the S&P 500 index have reported quarterly earnings. According to Thomson Reuters, the blended (reported and estimated) first-quarter 2015 quarterly earnings growth...

This week markets reacted to comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that equity valuations are “quite high.” On top of Yellen’s comments, an upbeat U.S. service-industry release and a rally in crude oil prices sent the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield soaring to its...

This week was full of economic reports and earnings releases. Now we wait to see if investors will follow the adage “sell in May and go away.” U.S. investors typically sell their stocks in May and stay away from the market until the end of October. S&P Capital IQ’s U.S....

The NASDAQ Composite index surpassed its all-time closing high for the first time in 15 years on Thursday, posting a close above the 5,048.62 reached at the height of the dot-com bubble on March 10, 2000. Read more »  ...

There are many reasons that a company may consider a merger or acquisition (M&A). Some make economic sense, and others do not. Anticipated synergies (making the combined company worth more than the two companies operating separately) are the source of many M&A motivations....

We have commented on the fact that companies have shown an increase in cash balances over the last year. In fact, cash and short-term investments in the S&P 500 (ex-financials) settled at a record high at the end of 2014. The majority of companies are using this additional...

After announcing portfolio changes during each of the previous three months, we have none to announce for April. There were simply few companies passing our minimum criteria for consideration, and none that were attractive enough to warrant a portfolio change. Plus given our goal...

Markets took a turn for the worse this week (narrowly escaping a five-day decline), but how much of it is due to news versus noise? We are currently heading into a quiet time period: The end of the quarter is near, and the next Fed meeting won’t be held until late April. In time...

This time last year, U.S. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen asserted that the central bank would no longer use unemployment as a target to determine interest rates. For well over a year, there has been speculation as to when the first rate hike would occur. Read more »  ...

We are happy to see the large return of capital to shareholders so soon after its addition to the DI portfolio. While our preference is for dividend increases over buybacks, we acknowledge that there can be advantages to buybacks. Read more »  ...