Stock & Bond Market Analyses (3/16 - 3/20)

Stock Market Analysis

“The pen is mightier than the sword,” at least that is true for the market when the pen holder has an unlimited credit card - that is the Federal Reserve. Strangely, a lack of “patience” is seen as a good thing coming from the Fed. The Dow rallied 2.1% last week, recovering the recent losses and putting the Dow ahead 2.3% for the year. The smaller cap Russell 2000 did even better, up 2.8% for the week and more than doubling the Dow for the year. This is in keeping with what we said in our Economic Outlook – “The market is likely to undergo style rotation as smaller cap stocks are now cheaper than large cap stocks and this has been favorable for them historically.”

What happened in the stock/bond markets last week (3/9-3/13)?

Stock Market Analysis

At first blush, it was a difficult week for stocks. Popular indexes such as the Dow, S&P 500 and the NASDAQ all fell by half a percent or more. Additionally, more stocks declined than advanced. However, there were a few bright spots. Small stocks, like those in the Russell 2000, advanced over 1%. Further, sectors had divergent paths. Healthcare, Utilities and Financials managed gains. Areas posting the biggest losses included Technology and Energy securities which fell over 2.5%.

3/2 - 3/6 Market Commentary by James Investment Research

Stock Market Analysis

One could hardly describe the past week as “strong” with just about every stock index showing declines, the Nasdaq composite losing less than one percent while the Dow Utilities lost more than four percent. Trading volume was highest Friday, the day of a large decline. While Utility stocks led the way down losses were seen in every major sector. Declines were also seen among the major commodity indexes with heating oil off 5.1%; crude revived a bit after a large decline and was about even for the week.

Recent Market Commentary by James Investment Research (2/23 -2/27)

Stock Market Analysis

The S&P 500 set a new high earlier in the week but was unable to sustain the gains as the index fell in the final days to close down 0.24%. Smaller companies of the Russell 2000 index were able to edge out a gain as they advanced 0.16%. Non-Cyclical stocks led all sectors while the energy sector fell nearly 2%; right in line with oil which fell 2%. The U.S. Dollar remained strong and was up 1.6% versus the Euro.

Stock & Bond Market Update (2/16-2/20)

Stock Market Analysis

February continues to bring miserably cold weather but toasty stock returns. Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year seemed to usher in a holiday mood last week as the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Russell 2000 indices all closed at record highs. Not coincidentally, they all also rose around 0.7%. Advancing stocks barely outpaced declining ones but we still had almost ten times as many new highs as new lows. Our indicators had improved early in February and we are glad to see our increased equity levels paying off for now.

Here's what happened in the stock/bond markets last week (2/9-2/13)

Stock Market Analysis

Love was in the air as the Dow sent an early Valentine’s present, rising 1.26% last week. Even better, the S&P 500 reached record highs and has now risen almost 250% from the lows in 2009. Even smaller cap stocks participated as the Russell 2000 rose 1.5%. Again, we saw about twice as many stocks rise as fall in price and new yearly highs have swamped new lows. None of this is alarming and we have found rising prices often beget further rises in prices.

Market Commentary by: James Investment Research (2/2 - 2/6)

Stock Market Analysis

It was a strong week for stocks. The large cap S&P 500 Index was up about 3% and the small cap Russell 2000 Index gained almost 3.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial average led the major indices with a gain of just under 4% and this was its best week since early 2013.

With the peak flu season upon us, we note that the health of the market seems to be weak in some areas. Towards the end of last year we saw many small stocks that were down more than 20% from their 52-week highs even though many popular indexes were still advancing. While small stocks have improved somewhat, it seems large stocks have now caught the bug.

Market Commentary by: James Investment Research (1/26 - 1/30)

Stock Market Analysis

Even with strength during some of the days last week, stocks managed to move lower, with more stocks declining than advancing. Additionally, volume was heavier on the downside days.

Stock & Bond Market Analyses (1/19 - 1/23)

Stock Market Analysis

The President spoke, but Congress is not listening. Ideas for higher taxes are a non-starter and neither is a lot more economic stimulus. The markets seemed to like the standoff, the Dow rose 0.94% while the small cap Russell 2000 added 1.05%. Twice as many stocks advanced as fell and over 500 stocks set new 52 week highs. This was a solid rebound from the weak start to the year and, in fact, was the first weekly advance for the S&P 500 in 2015.

What happened in the stock/bond markets last week (1/12-1/16)?

Stock Market Analysis

It was a difficult week for the stock market. The large capitalization S&P 500 fell 1.2% and smaller issues such as the Russell 2000 declined almost 0.8%. On average, more stocks declined than advanced. Overall, financial and technology stocks had the most difficulties with both sectors down 2.5% or more.

There were a few bright spots. Utilities, acting as a bond proxy, gained 2.6%. Further, volume for the market was heaviest on Friday when stocks advanced.

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