Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Almost all investors have at least a general familiarity with the long-term performance record of stocks, bonds and cash equivalents. Over the 90-year span from the end of 1925 to year-end 2015, common stocks provided an average annual total return of 10.0%; Intermediate U.S. Government Bonds 5.3%; and risk-free U.S. Treasury Bills 3.5%. All this […]

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The historic volatility evident since mid-2014 was even more extreme in this year’s first quarter. The dramatic market decline in last year’s third quarter was followed by an equally dramatic fourth quarter rally. An almost identical decline and rally were compressed into the first three months of 2016. Following the worst start to a year […]

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Reduce the Fed’s Mandate

March 31st, 2016

Why do we refuse to call absurdity absurd? Meeting after meeting, news conference after news conference, it becomes increasingly apparent that we have conferred on the Fed Chair the role of economic and securities market orchestrator. Markets typically tip-toe into Fed announcements only to explode into paroxysms of volume as algos move prices violently – […]

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Where’s The Outrage?

March 9th, 2016

In 1976’s Network, Howard Beale famously yelled: “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” The rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders testifies powerfully to the anger felt by large segments of the American population. Tragically, that anger does not extend to the ascension of the Federal Reserve as orchestrator […]

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Markets At A Crossroad

February 22nd, 2016

In a September 8, 2015 blog, I indicated my strong belief that a major worldwide bear market had begun. At the recent February 11 lows, the S&P 500 was about 15% below its May and July 2015 highs. Most foreign markets had suffered more significant declines. The dangerous conditions outlined in that earlier blog remain […]

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2015 disappointed almost all investors. At the start of the year, there was unanimity among strategists from all major investment firms that the Fed-supported stock market rally would continue. It did not, as the average U.S. stock declined and at year-end was 24% below its 52-week high. The strength in a small number of institutional […]

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The vast majority of U.S. stocks began to form a broad, rolling top back in November 2014. Historic price volatility has marked the months since then, as the world’s major central bankers have intervened with verbal or monetary support whenever market prices threatened an uncomfortable decline. Slowing economic fundamentals, however, limited subsequent rallies to the […]

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Worldwide Bear Market? Probably

September 9th, 2015

My most recent blogs – August 10 and August 11 – highlighted the unprecedented volatility that has characterized the U.S. stock market over the past year. I concluded that “…the potential for a major market collapse increases.” The market took out a down payment on such a collapse with its 1100 Dow point freefall in […]

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Volatility Continues

August 11th, 2015

Just a quick follow-up to yesterday’s analysis. Written on the weekend, we posted “Volatility Reigns” yesterday. The equity market volatility and indecisiveness profiled in that analysis was dramatically in evidence again yesterday and today. Before the market opened yesterday, traders celebrated the news that Warren Buffett was making a major purchase of Precision Castparts. The […]

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Volatility Reigns

August 11th, 2015

Through more than 46 years in the investment business, I have never before seen such extraordinary price volatility as has characterized the U.S. stock markets over this past year. In that time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has alternated directions 33 times by amounts ranging from 300 to 2000 points. Twenty-nine of those moves have […]

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