The Stock Market Isn’t the Economy

Nick Levinson Comments

Stock market performance in 2022 has been dismal. Through October 31, the S&P 500, a broad measure of large companies in the US, had declined 19%. The causes have been diverse: The highest overall inflation in 40 years. Interest rates that have spiked, with the 10-year US Treasury yield rising from 1.5% at the end of 2021 to over 4% …

Consistent Advice Through Difficult Times

Nick Levinson Comments

After a miserable month of September when stock prices declined 8% and bond prices dropped 4%, we want to provide some context for what’s happened so far in 2022. Accounting for the most recent few days of significant gains in October, the S&P 500 is down a little more than 20% for the year. Bonds have fallen about 15%. The …

What a Difference a Day Makes! (Or Does It?)

Nick Levinson Comments

We were planning to write this commentary on Monday, September 12th. If we had, the story might have mentioned the past four days of positive results for the markets, with the S&P 500 index rising more than 5%. This “mini-recovery” came right after a significant decline that interrupted an earlier potential recovery from late June through mid-August. But we didn’t …

Real Estate as Part of Your Portfolio

Nick Levinson Comments

We’ve written extensively over the last few months about inflation, interest rates, and how recent changes have impacted the stock and bond markets. This month we take up the effects of inflation and interest rate increases on real estate, which, along with an investment portfolio, is one of the largest assets many of us own. First, a little background: We …

Bonds and Stocks Tumble Together

Nick Levinson Comments

You’ve probably seen the headlines about how badly the stock market has performed so far in 2022. “Bear market.” “Worst first half of a year in the last fifty years.” The broadest index of world stocks declined over 21% through June 30, 2022, caused in part by the highest inflation in 40 years and the largest land war in Europe …

Inflation

Tom Levinson Comments

Gas prices above $5 and $6 per gallon. Spiking costs for airfare, cars, rent, and groceries.  Significant declines in the stock and bond markets. Earlier this month, the Department of Labor reported that in May, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) had surged 8.6% from May 2021. This marks the highest inflation rate in the U.S. since December 1981. (CPI is …

Stock Price Declines as of Friday, May 20, 2022

Victor Levinson Comments

Given the continuation of S&P 500 stock price declines in 2022, which briefly touched a new “bear market” on May 20, 2022, we are sharing another set of our Special Comments. As the financial media has been emphasizing recently, bear market means a decline of 20% or more from a previous high. While infrequent, these substantial down markets do happen; …

How the Boston Celtics Saved Their Season

Tom Levinson Comments

Late in the evening of January 6, 2022, Tom sent a text message to a friend. This friend lives in Boston, follows the NBA closely, and is a lifelong Celtics fan. Earlier that evening, after trailing by as many as 25 points, the New York Knicks (a grim, unfortunate passion of Tom’s) had staged a stunning comeback, beating the Celtics …

Stock Price Declines as of Friday, April 22, 2022

Victor Levinson Comments

Whenever the financial markets experience unusual declines, Park Piedmont Advisors has made it a practice to write Special Comments to supplement our regular Monthly Comments. During 2022, we have already written two such Special Comments, the first as of January 21 and the second as of February 24. The S&P 500 stock index closed at 4,272 on April 22, after …

Casey Stengel, Crystal Balls, and the Movement of Stock Prices

Victor Levinson Comments

Hall of Fame baseball manager Casey Stengel is reported to have said, “Never make predictions, especially if they’re about the future.” Stengel’s quip helps us pose our question this month: let’s say you had a crystal ball – and assume for the purpose of this hypothetical it is a functional crystal ball – would knowing the outcome of key events …