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The Best of What They Said and I Read week ending 10/8/2017

Short excerpts from articles I found interesting.

I may not agree with the author and the following material is not intended as investment advice.


 The Wall Street Journal – October 6, 2017 – Stocks Extend Record Run, Investors Wonder How It Ends – by Daniel Kruger and Akane Otani

  • “…The S&P 500 closed at its sixth consecutive record Thursday, its longest streak of highs since 1997.  A gauge of expected swings in the index to an all-time low.  Investors don’t see many worries ahead:  The economy keeps growing at a slow but steady pace, corporate earnings remain healthy and investors are betting a tax overhaul will further boost profits.”
  • "…It’s kind of like the 1996 moment where Alan Greenspan himself called stocks irrationally exuberant” and the rally continued for three more years, said Jason Pride, director of investment strategy at Glenmede, which has about $37 billion in assets under management.  Stocks are expensive now, but they “are not at extremes,” he said.”
  • “The S&P 500’s current record streak is the longest since the eight highs ending June 17, 1997, during the dot.com boom.”
  • “Stock market gains have been broad, spanning regions and sectors.  Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average closed at its highest since August 2015 on Thursday.  The Stoxx Europe 600 rose for nine straight trading days Tuesday, its longest winning streak in more than two years.”   

 Barron’s – October 6, 2017 – Stocks Hit New Highs as the Bull Trots Steadily On – by Ben Levisohn

  • “After another week of strong gains for stocks, the fear of missing out could drive this bull market even higher.  Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 368.58 points, or 1.6%, to 22,773.67, its fourth consecutive week of gains. The Nasdaq Composite gained 1.5% to 6590.18, a record high, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 1.2% to 2549.33.”
  •  “…Speaking of slow: The S&P 500 has now gone 332 days without a 5% drop, second only to the 333-day rally that began on Nov. 23, 1994, notes William O’Neil strategist Randy Watts. (Yes, that means that if we make it through Tuesday without a selloff, it will be the longest such streak on record.)”
  • “But that’s so 12-months-from-now. Wellington Shields technical analyst Frank Gretz points out that bull markets generally see a “blowoff” move from at least one market sector before all is said and done. He points to 2007 and the rally in oil stocks—the energy sector gained 32% that year as the market was topping—and I’d add the tech sector’s 78% rise in 1999.”
  • “This time around, Gretz recommends keeping an eye on the FANGs— Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Alphabet, né Google—biotech, and even the financials. But whichever it turns out to be, the bull market probably isn’t done yet, especially if investors decide they just have to buy more stocks. “They call this an unloved bull market,” Gretz say. “But it will be loved before it’s over...”

 The Wall Street Journal – October 4, 2017 – White House Explores Alternatives to SSN – by Yuka Hayashi

  • “The Trump Administration is exploring ways to replace the Social Security number with a safer system based on modern technology in the wake of the Equifax Inc. hack, the White House cybersecurity czar said Tuesday. “
  • “Rob Joyce, the White House’s cybersecurity coordinator, said one possibility is using crypto graphic keys, or a combination of long random numbers, to unlock personal data.  The merit of such numbers is that they could be revoked once they are found to be compromised, he said.”

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