FOMO Drives Stocks

A small percentage of stocks account for most of the market’s gains, putting pressure on investment managers. This according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. “Fear of being left behind is a powerful force among fund managers,” the article says, “even if it means taking big risks.” The article notes that in the first six months of this year, technology shares accounted for all of the S&P 500’s gains, adding that “managers… Read More

Stocks Facing the Economy Versus a World in Turmoil

The stock market has “some things going for it right now,” says a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, citing rising corporate earnings and economic growth as contributing factors. However, it adds, “what they hadn’t anticipated were the other risks that would weigh on stocks,” such as an aggressive Fed, slowing growth overseas and looming trade conflicts. Policy makers are leaning toward two more rate hikes this year, the article reports, and increasing inflation… Read More

Sears’ Troubles Make Indexing More Attractive

It’s harder than ever for stock investors to beat an index fund because of what has become a “Winner Take All” economy in which relatively few large players are dominating the market–and such companies are increasingly hard to find. This according to a recent article in MarketWatch. Over the past year alone, the article reports, the number of publicly traded U.S. corporations has dwindled by more than 100 to a total of less than 3,500.… Read More

Will Tech Stocks Continue Their Rapid Growth?

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, columnist Jason Zweig talks about the growth in tech stocks and the outlook for their continued upward trend. “At their lows this week,” writes Zweig, “the technology shares that have until recently been the stock market’s darlings—Facebook, Amazon.com, Netflix, Google’s parent company Alphabet and other giants—had fallen more than 17% since March 13. Over the same period, U.S. stocks overall fell 8%.” Although Zweig points out that the… Read More

Are U.S. Capital Markets as Healthy as They Look?

A recent article in U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation discusses the capital market conditions behind the now nine-year-old U.S. bull market, including the shrinkage in the number of publicly-listed firms to “just one half what it was in the mid-1990s.” Over the past twenty years, the article reports, “U.S. companies bought back vastly more stock than they issued,” to the tune of $3.6 trillion. IPOs have also dropped off considerably, the article points out, citing… Read More

Stock Market Correction Lessons

Just because market corrections are normal, that doesn’t mean they’re painless. This according to a recent article in Bloomberg. The article points out that the present bull market has seen five corrections before the most recent one, and “it’s taken around seven months on average for equities to climb out of their hole. Based on that path, the current jitters won’t be fully eradicated until August.” Since 2009, the article reports, the average correction in… Read More

Investors Shouldn’t be Fooled by Market Calm

 Now isn’t the time for investors to get comfortable, says a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. The underlying economic environment, it says, is “muddier” than it was in January, with some survey data suggesting that growth may have peaked while inflation is “likely to pick up.” The article suggests that investors should learn from the past market events, specifically the “credit correlation blowup of 2005” when auto makers Ford and General Motors were downgraded… Read More

Cliff Asness Hedges Regarding Hedge Funds

In a recent Bloomberg article, AQR’s Cliff Asness argues that the opinion pendulum on hedge funds has swung too far, that “all you read about today is that hedge funds are a failure and investors are fleeing.” This overreaction, he explains, comes in part from; (1) a failure to understand how to measure hedge-fund returns, and the fact that (2) the last few years have been a “mild disappointment and they have given critics enough… Read More

Ritholtz on Market Trends

In a recent interview with NYU professor and research firm L2 founder Scott Galloway, Bloomberg columnist Barry Ritholtz shares insights about investing, current market trends and what may lie ahead. Here are some highlights: Ritholtz points out that 2017 was an unusual year for the market given the extremely low level of volatility. The recent correction he says, is normal. “Risk is a two-sided coin,” he argues. “If you want potential upside, you must be… Read More

Leon Cooperman Talks Market Movements

In a CNBC interview held last week, billionaire Leon Cooperman shared insights regarding recent market trends and influences. The billionaire founder of Omega Advisors made the following points: FAANG stocks, which he says represent about 10% of his portfolio, have sound valuations based on expected earnings. The biggest threat, argues Cooperman, is the U.S. government, which wants to “pick their pockets.” Inflation, Cooperman contends, is a “plus for common stocks” since higher costs become incorporated… Read More