News & Information
2nd Quarter 2018 in Review

In our last newsletter we said “For now though, the intermediate picture has improved. While we would avoid extreme aggressiveness in stocks, our indicators no longer suggest taking excessive caution.” In fact, major stock indices moved ahead and we saw smaller stocks start to take the lead. This was a good sign. The economy has been rocking along with some strength. The Atlanta FED’s GDP Now* shows an estimate of almost 4% growth in the second quarter. Employment has been strong and earnings in the first quarter were up almost 24% on the S&P500. Tax cuts seem to have spurred business investment and we have seen a significant uptick in companies using the repatriated cash to buy back shares.

Market Outlook

The Federal Reserve continues to boost short term rates and have indicated they will continue to do so later this year. It is amazing to note short term rates are now above the dividend yield on stocks. We finally see competition and even some money market funds are boasting better rates. This gives investors some pause and we have seen sentiment shift from very positive to somewhat negative over the last six months. Trade wars currently overshadow economic news and the drumbeat of more tariffs is getting louder. This is the one eventuality which could give stocks another pause.


* S&P 500 is a leading indicator of US equities and is meant to reflect the risk/return characteristics of the large cap universe. Dow Jones Industrial Average is a priceweighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq. Typical Stock refers to median stock in the JIR universe which follows over 8,000 stocks.

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