July 2015 - Mid Year for Review for Investors

In January we wrote:

Events we expect for 2015

  • Commodity prices stabilize near current levels, start rising again.
  • The US dollar rises another 15-20% against world currencies, then resumes a long term slide.
  • The Eurozone fractures, with basket case countries such as Greece leaving the Euro to achieve the devaluation that makes their economy competitive again.  Even Spain and Italy are candidates for abandoning the Euro.  If this happens, Germany will plunge into recession as her primary export markets dry up.
  • The 70 month bull market in US stocks finally runs out of steam.  US large cap stocks which did so well in 2013 and 2014 may return nothing in 2015.  Earnings at small and mid-sized corporations continue to expand, enabling the small and mid-cap indexes to outperform large caps
  • 2015 ends up like 2011 where the S&P 500 gained only 2.1%.

At mid year we note:

  • The Commodities Research Bureau Index ended 2015 at 230.0, bottomed at 208.8 in March, last at 224.4.  Oil (WTI) bottomed at $44 in February and March, most recently at $58.34.
  • The US dollar rallied another 7.2% against world currencies through March, since then has been flat to lower.
  • Greece is on the verge of exiting the Euro.
  • US stocks traded since January in an extremely tight trading range of up 1%-up 4%, up 1.3% though June 30th.
  • Stocks SHOULD have sold off 5-10% sometime during the first half of the year as the employment situation and corporate earnings failed to impress.  With both poised for improvement in the second half of the year, we now lift our expectations of S&P 500 gains to 6% for 2015.

Read the entire commentary here.