November 2018 Comments: Market Observations & ‘Factfulness’

Sam Ngooi Comments

OBSERVATIONS ON NOVEMBER 2018 STOCK and BOND MARKETS Two front page headlines from the NY Times, nine days apart, tell a good deal about November volatility, both up and down, for the US stock markets: On November 19th (NYT, 11/19/18, page A1), “Tech Stocks Dive as Wall Street Loses Gains for Month,” and then November 28th (NYT, 11/28/18, page A1), …

October 2018 Comments: Observations on October Stock Price Declines

Sam Ngooi Comments

During October, US and international stock prices fell sharply, although US stocks continued to outperform international for the year. These Comments will discuss mostly US stocks (we discussed international stocks last month). Using the S&P 500 as a proxy for US stocks, the chart below shows results since Trump’s election in early November 2016, through the end of October 2018. …

Special Memo: Continued US 2018 Stock Price Declines

Sam Ngooi Comments

As stock prices continue their sharp October declines, we are writing to follow up on our October 10-11, 2018 Special Memo, which also discussed these declines. This memo uses the S&P 500 as a proxy for the US stock market, which closed today, October 24, at 2,656. We highlight a few price points for that index since Donald Trump’s surprise …

Special Memo: October 10th Declines

Sam Ngooi Comments

As is our practice when US stock prices experience significant declines, we write to comment on what we think is happening. The declines of October 10th were as follows: S&P 500, down 95 or 3.3%; Dow Jones, down 832 or 3.1%; NASDAQ, down 316 or 4.1%. We suggest putting the declines in the context of recent gains, in this case …

September 2018 Comments: Observations on Developed International & Emerging Markets

Sam Ngooi Comments

While US stock prices have continued to rise, international and emerging stock markets have had a difficult year.  These markets are used by investors to provide global diversification for their portfolios. The results for the last few years, and 2018 year to date are as follows:   2015 2016 & 2017 YTD 2018 Developed International (4.3%) +29.4% (1.6%) Emerging Markets …

August 2018 Comments: Current Financial Markets

Sam Ngooi Comments

US stock prices have continued to rise, reaching historic new highs last attained in late January 2018, while bond prices have stabilized, resulting in positive returns. These currently favorable financial market results have occurred in the context of the following presumed negatives: New tariffs (see July Comments) on China and other parts of the world; Expectations that the Federal Reserve …

July 2018 Comments: Tariffs

Sam Ngooi Comments

In a recent front page article on tariffs (6/20/18), the NY Times wrote in its lead paragraph,  “President Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on almost every Chinese product that comes into the US intensified the possibility of a damaging trade war, sending stock prices tumbling yesterday and drawing a rebuke from retailers, tech companies and manufacturers.”  For the record, the …

June 2018 Comments: Stock Indexes

Sam Ngooi Comments

During the month of June, it was announced that General Electric’s stock would be dropped from the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) of 30 large company stocks. For those of us who remember GE as the largest company by market value in the stock market, this was shocking news.  The stock that people had been told never to sell had …

May 2018 Comments: Political Conflict and its Impact on Financial Market Prices

Sam Ngooi Comments

In our July 2017 Comments, we wrote that….”following Donald Trump’s surprising presidential election victory, the major US stock market indices have registered their own surprising gains, with the S&P 500 increasing from 2,140 on election eve 2016 to 2,470 as of the end of July 2017, a gain of 15.4 %. Without taking any position on the current political situation …

April 2018 Comments: Inflation & Financial Market Prices

Sam Ngooi Comments

Inflation refers to the declining purchasing power of money over time, caused by a general level of rising prices.  In an economy with a 2% annual inflation rate (the favored figure for the US Federal Reserve; see NY Times article cited below), items that cost $10,000 today would have cost $5,000 36 years ago, using that 2% rate. This also …