Politics Take the Backseat, for Now
Posted on July 25, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report
As earnings season gets into full swing, several SSR holdings reported earnings this week, so we are keeping the introduction short and sweet. Markets were shaken up on Monday on concerns of violence in Gaza and Ukraine, but investors were soothed after President Obama issued statements calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. He also said that Russia will be closely watched as investigators seek to get to the bottom of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was shot down last week.
Macroeconomic events were on the back burner throughout the rest of the week, allowing investors to focus on improving company earnings and pushing the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 index toward record highs. The S&P 500 finished Wednesday at an all-time high, the 26th record close for the year. According to FactSet, approximately one-third of the S&P 500 companies have reported earnings for the quarter and remain on track to increase earnings 6.6% from a year earlier. Analysts projected a 4.9% gain before the unofficial start of reporting season.
Geopolitical Concerns Spook U.S. Markets
Posted on July 18, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report
The Federal Reserve‘s Monetary Policy Report submitted to Congress this week included concerns about overvaluation in social media and biotech stocks. The report said, “Valuation metrics in some sectors do appear substantially stretched, particularly those for smaller firms in the social media and biotechnology industries, despite a notable downturn in equity prices for such firms early in the year.”
Earnings Season Returns
Posted on July 11, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve released minutes from its June meeting. The Fed committee announced that if the economy continues its improvement, the Fed bond-purchasing program will end in October. The program has been in place since September 2012; now that there is some clarity regarding its endpoint, investors will turn their attention toward estimating when the Fed will raise interest rates.
A Short Week for U.S. Markets
Posted on July 3, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report
U.S. markets closed at 12:00 p.m. CST on Thursday in observance of Independence Day. Despite the shortened week, investors pushed the Dow Jones industrial average above the 17,000 threshold for the first time. Following the Dow’s lead, the S&P 500 also hit a record-setting level of 1,982 on Thursday.
A Mixed Week for the Markets
Posted on June 27, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report
The government released information showing that new home sales rose more than 18% in May. The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence increased to 85.2 in May from 82.2 in April, suggesting that consumers remain optimistic. Unfortunately, this optimism wasn’t enough to lift the market. The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day down 0.7%—the biggest one-day percentage decrease for the index in over a month.
The Fed Moves Market to New Highs
Posted on June 20, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report
he much-anticipated Federal Reserve meeting ended Wednesday. One of the main takeaways from the post-meeting announcement is that the central bank expects the unemployment rate to fall to 6% by the end of this year, inching closer to the goal of 5%. Although there is a decline in sight, the unemployment rate still remains elevated.
Oil Markets Spook Investors, Just in Time for Friday the 13th
Posted on June 13, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report
Oil markets were in focus this week due to surging oil futures. Kurdish forces took control of Kirkuk, a provincial capital city and oil production hub in northern Iraq. This move was in response to Sunni militants taking over Mosul (Iraq’s second-largest city) earlier in the week, sending Iraq head-first into a possible civil war. Iraq is the world’s eighth-largest producer of oil and ranks second in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The U.S. Job Market Erases Losses From 2008
Posted on June 6, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report
The Department of Labor reported that the U.S. economy added 217,000 jobs in May. With this job growth, there are now more jobs in the country than ever before. The last time we saw this type of employment was in January of 2008, right before massive layoffs swept the country.
A Record Setting Week, Plus Changes to the SSR Portfolio
Posted on May 30, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report
The June SSR Monthly Report is now available at the SSR website. There are two new portfolio deletions and new two portfolio additions to announce.
An Overall Optimistic Week for U.S. Markets
Posted on May 23, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report
The week began with a slow start for U.S. markets, with much of the focus on retail stocks. There was a lack of economic news to sift through this week. Investors reacted negatively to words from Philadelphia Federal Reserve president Charles Plosser, who insinuated that the Fed’s current pace of curbing its monthly asset purchases might not be aggressive enough.