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America's earnings recession is getting ugly

February 8, 2016

S&P 500 companies continue to see earnings decline, with the energy sector taking it particularly hard on the chin. Oil's woes are a major problem for earnings growth. It's not just about excelling on the field for two Carolina Panthers. Punter...

Goldman, JPMorgan go Jekyll and Hyde on state of the markets

January 26, 2016

Near simultaneous reports by JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs illustrate how confused Wall Street is by the current market environment. The dead cat bounce and the buying opportunity. China has been trying to fuel its private economy by refining oil....

Oil gets its groove back, for now

January 25, 2016

The price of oil has bounced off the bottom, but it's still a long way from a supply-demand balance. “I think panic took over common sense, and now we're starting to get a grip on reality.” Meanwhile, there's that strange new reality of...

The world is increasing its focus on China's currency devaluation

January 22, 2016

The weakening of China's currency is starting to take center stage. Keeping the yuan in perspective. Just because oil is cheap doesn't mean you can't make some money off that fall. Morgan Stanley CEO tells you how to make a killing in oil. The...

U.S. stocks close lower after late-day rally

January 20, 2016

U.S. stocks surged back to pare the biggest one-day selloff in five months, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average cutting a loss of 550 points by two-thirds as investors speculated the rout that's wiped more than $15 trillion from global equities...

Investors are fixated on the stock market's August lows

January 20, 2016

Investors are now obsessed with the stock market's dreaded August bottom. Then what? Getting closer to that magic number. What you might want to know about Iran's oil coming to market. The global oil market could drown in over-supply. The hedge...

Buckle in for cheap oil and keep buying that cheap gasoline

January 14, 2016

Anyone who has put gas in their car recently can certainly relate to the immediate benefits of cheap oil. And since consumer spending represents about 70% of the U.S. economy, many of the big thinkers are leaning hard on the argument that lower...

Corporate earnings season expected to be the worst since 2009

January 14, 2016

As the fourth-quarter earnings season kicks off this week, results for S&P 500 companies are expected to show a decline in profits for a third quarter in a row, confirming that corporate America has slipped into an earnings recession. Profits...

Hillary Clinton ups the ante with new plans to tax the rich

January 12, 2016

Hillary Clinton ups the ante on rival Bernie Sanders with a new “Fair Share Surcharge” to tax the wealthiest Americans. The 4% surcharge would raise $150 billion over 10 years. Pinning the plight of cheap oil not on a worldwide glut of the...

Amidst the market carnage, liquid alt funds lived up to their promise

January 11, 2016

While most investors and financial advisers might still be trying to shake off the shock of the stock market's historically-bad opening week, the true-believers in alternative investments are almost gloating. “We've been using managed futures...

What early stock market volatility means for the year ahead

January 8, 2016

There's no particular reason the start of a new calendar year should represent the start of a new mood in the financial markets — but that's sort of what's happening. On two of the first four trading days of 2016, U.S. equity markets suffered...

No point in comparing Bill Gross' performance at Janus to what he did at Pimco

January 5, 2016

Comparing Bill Gross' past and present performance is like comparing apples and oranges. While it might be tempting to pit the Bond King's new Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund (JUCAX) against the Pimco Total Return Fund (PTTRX), they are...

Economic forecasters predict market volatility in 2016

December 29, 2015

What do all the really smart economic forecasters see for 2016? Volatility, baby. Take advantage of stock price swings. The Fed's tiny little rate hike isn't likely to be enough to derail corporate America's borrowing binge. Next year is expected...

What we'll remember about the markets in 2015

December 29, 2015

Reflecting on 2015, I'm inclined to dub it the year of “It's about time.” After years of taunting and teasing, the Federal Reserve finally pulled the trigger in December with the most hyped 25-basis-point interest-rate hike in history, leading...

The bullish outlook for 2016

December 27, 2015

Forget about all that cheap-oil, rising-rates, strong-dollar business, because there are still plenty of arguments for a strong stock market in the year ahead. The bullishness requires a long-term perspective. There's a bit of optimism in the...

Making the case for market-timing with humility

December 23, 2015

After recently referring to market-timers as “circus clowns minus the funny suits,” Morningstar's John Rekenthaler is backtracking and/or clarifying just a bit. Sometimes, today isn't the best day to invest. Those closely-watched Apple shares...

Cheap oil presents new investment opportunities

December 21, 2015

Even as the price of oil falls to an 11-year low, market watchers advise against trying to time the bottom, and instead encourage either buckling in for the long-term or avoiding the commodity altogether. “If you're trying to trade in the...

Rough week doesn't derail the outlook for ETFs

December 18, 2015

Nagging market disruptions in the form of an historic Fed rate hike, plunging commodity prices, and the sudden collapse of the Third Avenue junk bond fund might require some portfolio rejiggering, but not enough to derail the positive momentum...

The bond market selloff has sparked fears that the Fed might not hike rates today

December 16, 2015

Say it ain't so. After seven years at zero, and a full 18 months of teasing about a hike, there's now a real possibility that the Fed might not be able to pull the trigger this afternoon. This is exhausting. Three scenarios replace what was...

The junk-bond selloff is raining on the Fed's rate-hike parade

December 15, 2015

Just when the Fed felt it was safe to move off a zero-rate policy, suddenly all kinds of heck is busting loose in the high-yield bond market. Is it too late for the Fed to change course about a rate hike this week? The junk-bond rout still has...

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