Mid Year Review - Slow but Steady?

Mid Year Review - Slow but Steady?

In our December 2016 year end review we wrote, "No forecast now, no forecast until April.  We can't recall another time in the last 30 years that we were so uncertain about what to expect from the US government, and how that would affect the key drivers of stock market returns - revenues, earnings and interest rates.

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The 2016 Year in Review

The 2016 Year in Review

In January 2016, we projected that the S&P 500 would gain 5% for the year, but we noted we would revisit that estimate in July.  In July, noting that an earnings recession among US corporations was coming to an end, we elevated our forecast to 10%.  For the full year, the S&P 500 rose 12.0%, so close enough.  Full details of US and world Indexes are here.

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"Fear Factor" still high among US investors, but S & P 500 approaching highs for the year

"Fear Factor" still high among US investors, but S & P 500 approaching highs for the year

We have the pleasure of spending quite a bit of time among the "1 percenters" - American families whose annual income exceeds $500K. Our favorite cocktail party question this summer is: "Given everything you've heard recently, do you think the stock market is up or down this year?" 

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Brushwood is to forest fires as leverage is to financial crises

Brushwood is to forest fires as leverage is to financial crises

Two weeks ago, we wrote, "with US stocks up an incredible 79.5% from the March 9th, 2009 low, a pause or even a pullback is to be expected.  Our forecast for the S&P 500 for all of 2010 is only 8%, so reason enough to be cautious 4 ½ months into the year."

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What the heck is going on out there?

What the heck is going on out there?

From a near record close on October 31st, the S&P 500 plunged 6.1% QTD, mostly in the last 24 hours.  Hardest hit are the financial service stocks, with notables such as Citigroup down 29.5% QTD, Merrill Lynch down 25.1%, Freddie Mac down 23.9% and two of our long time favorites AMBAC down 60.8% and MGIC Investment Corp down 42.2% QTD.

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