Posts by Joe Ray

The New Normal

Life has been incredibly hard in some ways and much simpler in others. We have returned to a life where eating in has replaced restaurants. Social experiences have been replaced by social distancing. A call to check in on friends or family or a Netflix movie has replaced happy hours and concerts. Most people are…

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A Remarkable Year

2019 was a remarkable year for the stock market. Despite the yearlong trade issues with China, the S&P 500 with income was up 31.5% while the technology laden NASDAQ returned a whopping 36.7%. Other issues such as Brexit, impeachment, the failed IPO of WeWorks and slowing profit growth failed to negatively impact stocks as we…

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Saddled with Uncertainty

A relatively flat stock market obscures the volatility and uncertainty that characterized this third quarter. Trade was the biggest issue going into the summer and as we exit the warm weather little progress with China has been made. Same could be said for other important trade issues such as Brexit and congressional passage of the…

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May You Live In Interesting Times

May you live in interesting times…  Forgive me if I have used this phrase in a previous article, but it is again on my mind.  While the phrase is intended to sound like a blessing, it is always used ironically as a curse.  Often attributed to the Chinese, though its origin is debated, it did…

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The Fed Blinks

No one will ever be sure why Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and his associates decided to raise rates on December 19, 2018 in the face of Brexit uncertainty, trade tensions with China, and quantifiable signs of a slowing domestic economy. President Trump had publicly criticized Chairman Powell and the Fed for its seemingly steadfast…

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Crisis of Confidence

The fourth quarter began with Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, making unscripted comments suggesting that the Federal Reserve was on “automatic” pilot. While unscripted and limited, markets began a sharp descent on the belief that these comments were in stark contrast to the Federal Reserve’s traditional stance of data dependency to both inflation and employment.…

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The Third Quarter Was Stellar for Stocks

The  third quarter was stellar for stocks. Despite the imposition of tariffs on China, increasing election uncertainty and a number of trade issues, stocks continue to march forward. There are clearly some changes in leadership in recent weeks as the S&P 500 outperformed the NASDAQ for the first time in a while. The FAANG stocks…

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Benchmarking and Its Challenges

The current stock market environment is a difficult one for even the most experienced of investors. The Federal Reserve has begun to raise interest rates in a period of time when American companies are competing globally against a backdrop of significant trade unrest. These potential headwinds for stocks are mitigated in part by the large…

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Transition

The fact that the stock market remained relatively flat in the first quarter masks the changes going on underneath the indices. Years of NASDAQ leadership represented in large part by the FAANG stocks (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google [now Alphabet]) eroded in the first quarter. Each of the companies faced increased questions and scrutiny…

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