Month: May 2013

May
28

Provided by: Jon McGraw

The Fed and the Taxman

The Markets Like guests feeling the first rain drops at a Memorial Day barbeque, markets responded uncertainly to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke’s congressional testimony and the newly released Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes last week. Generally, both Bernanke’s comments and the FOMC minutes reiterated what the Fed has been saying for some…

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May
28

Provided by: Jon McGraw

Economic Notes – May 28, 2013

Labor Markets (+) The initial jobless claims number after seasonal adjustment was 340,000 in the week ending May 18, slightly lower than the expected 345,000.  Filing for first-time unemployment insurance benefits fell by 31,000 compared to the same time last year.  The 4-week moving average of initial claims was 339,500 versus 370,250 in 2012. (+)…

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May
20

Provided by: Jon McGraw

Mixed Signals & Psychology of Markets

The Markets Much like elementary school children trying to capture the attention of someone they have a crush on, the American economy sent lots of mixed signals last week. Conflicting reports emerged about consumer sentiment during the week. The Conference Board, a non-profit research organization, reported consumers remained somewhat pessimistic about the direction of the…

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May
20

Provided by: Jon McGraw

Economic Notes – May 20, 2013

There was a lot of ground covered in last week’s economic reports. (+) Retail sales came in quite a bit better than expected for April, with a slight gain of +0.1% for the month relative to a forecasted decline of -0.3%.  In addition, February and March sales were revised upward a few tenths of a percent. …

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May
13

Provided by: Jon McGraw

Sell in May, Retirement Living & Western Art

The Markets ‘Sell in May and Go Away’ is a trading maxim which, according to Investopedia, encourages an investor to “sells his or her stock holdings in May and get back into the equity market in November…” Traders who adhere to that adage may be pondering averages and exceptions right now. During the first two…

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May
13

Provided by: Jon McGraw

Economic Notes – May 13, 2013

So much economic data was packed into the previous week, last week appeared quite light by comparison. (+) The Federal Reserve’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey, which polls 68 U.S. banks and 21 domestic branches of foreign banks, has tended to be a good predictor of upcoming business investment. Over the months between the last…

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May
06

Provided by: Jon McGraw

New Highs and Happiness?

The Markets Like athletes testing their limits, the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Dow Jones Industrials Indices both hit new highs last week. The S&P closed the week above the 1,600 level for the first time, while the Dow climbed above the 15,000 mark on Friday before closing lower. Strong corporate earnings, gains in…

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May
06

Provided by: Jon McGraw

Economic Notes – May 6, 2013

It was a busy week from an economic standpoint. (+) The ISM index for April was a bit better than expected, despite a decline from March’s 51.3 to 50.7 (consensus called for 50.5). The employment component fell 4 points; however, the look-ahead new orders and production segments rose. Inventories also declined a bit, which could…

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