Bulls Retreat During Mixed Week

Weekly Market Summary U.S. stocks struggled to find direction this week, with some of the major indexes moving in a tight range while still eking out new all-time highs. Meanwhile, technology suffered through its worst slump in several months and consumer staples companies were rocked at the end of the week by the surprising news…

 

Market Shrugs Off “New Normal” of Rising Interest Rates

To the surprise of almost no one, the Federal Reserve announced this week that it would raise short-term interest rates and offered greater details of its plans to shrink its $4.5 trillion portfolio of bonds and other assets, which it expects to start later this year. The Fed said it would increase its benchmark federal…

 

The Fed-Trump Divergence

To the surprise of almost no one, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced that it raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points (0.25%) to the range of 0.75% to 1.0%. This was the third interest rate hike in a decade, but the second since December. This seems to signal that the Federal…

 

U.S. Indexes Mark 25-Year Milestone

Please note that U.S. markets will be closed on Monday, February 20, in observance of Washington’s Birthday (President’s Day). AAII offices will also be closed. This week saw several market indexes notch multiple all-time highs. The Dow Jones industrial average recorded its fifth consecutive record close on Wednesday, the second such streak in roughly two…

 

AAII Sentiment Survey: Bull-Bear Spread Tightest Since August 2016

The percentage of individual investors describing their short-term market outlook as “bearish” rose over last week, while optimism pulled back, according to the latest AAII Sentiment Survey. This change has now pushed the bull-bear spread (bullish sentiment minus bearish sentiment) to 0.7%, its tightest range since August 24, 2016. Bullish sentiment, expectations that stock prices…

 

Fed Raises Short-Term Rates for First Time in a Year as Dow Flirts with 20,000

After going a year since its last rate increase, the Federal Reserve surprised almost no one by announcing this week that it was raising the benchmark federal funds rate by a quarter percentage point—to between 0.50% and 0.75%—and that officials now expect to raise short-term rates more often in 2017. That it has been a…

 

AAII Sentiment Survey: Lowest Neutral Sentiment Since November 2014

The percentage of individual investors describing their market outlook as “neutral” is now at its lowest level in more than two years, according to the latest AAII Sentiment Survey. Pessimism extended its rebound, and optimism is higher as well. Bullish sentiment, expectations that stock prices will rise over the next six months, rose 1.5 percentage points…

 

CI Market Dashboard: Bulls Tighten Grip in Post-Election Rally

Weekly Market Summary This week saw U.S. stocks, for the most part, continue their upward march in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory. Major indexes hit record highs and the U.S. dollar, as measured by the U.S. Dollar Index, climbed to a 13-year high. It also seems a near certainty that the Federal…

 

Too Much Confidence Is Bad for Your Portfolio

Higher levels of confidence about one’s ability to invest lead to worse returns. I realize that this may seem counterintuitive to some of you, but this is the conclusion of a study accepted by the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance (an earlier version of the study is available on SSRN). It’s yet another example of…

 

The Earnings Quality Indicator Used by ETFs

Look under the hood of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) incorporating a quality factor and you will often find accruals being used. An accrual is an accounting entry recorded at the time a transaction occurs, regardless of whether not payment has been made. Accrual accounting allows businesses to report their sales and earnings performance without being beholden…