Posts in Market Commentary
April 2013 Market Commentary

The Economy

The U.S.

Now five years past the height (or trough, as it were) of the sub-prime crisis, the U.S. economy continues to fight on.  Like a weary boxer enduring countless rounds of punches, the economy battles through bad headlines and government uncertainty.  The latest data revealed that the U.S. economy grew at a 2.5% annual pace in the first quarter of 2013.  While this growth is higher than other recent readings, it was nonetheless below expectations

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February 2013 Market Commentary

The Economy

The U.S.

Addressing the House and Senate in the final week of February, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reported mixed progress on the U.S. economy.  Bernanke noted that “we are gaining some traction” in residential housing, automobiles and other durable goods.  He also defended the Fed’s continued stimulative monetary policy, including near-zero short term interest rates and ongoing quantitative easing.  Due to a persistently weak job market and a lack of wage growth, the U.S. consumer’s health is in question.

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January 2013 Market Commentary

The Economy

The U.S.

The economy sputters along here in the U.S., though at times offering brief glimpses of hope.  Economic data were again mixed for the month, though the economy is generally heading in the right direction.  We have now settled into winter time here in Colorado, as January brought us cold weather and short days.  Like the ephemeral January sun that gives us just a hint of warmth and encouragement, so too do the latest economic reports give us some belief in better days ahead.  Poet John Updike describes the nature of this daylight in his poem, January:      

The days are short,

The sun a spark

Hung thin between

The dark and dark…

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September 2012 Market Commentary

The Economy: More of the Same

The U.S.

The U.S. economy continues along the path of too-slow growth. In September, we learned that Q2 GDP growth in the U.S. was revised downward to 1.3% from a previous estimate of 1.7%. While 1.7% growth was fairly abysmal to start with, the revision to 1.3% indicates a significant stalling of economic activity here at home. Though several one-time events (like the drought in the Midwest this summer) dragged down the data, Wall Street and Main Street alike cannot help but recognize that economic conditions are stagnant.  

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July 2012 Monthly Market Commentary

The Economy: Slow Growth Here to Stay

The U.S.

Once again the U.S. economy continues to sputter along in low-growth fashion.  This summer, economists and Wall Street analysts alike have begun lowering their estimates for total GDP growth in 2012.  We recently learned that for the first half of the year the U.S. economy grew at a rate of 1.7%, much slower than the Fed’s official forecast in January.  For the full year, we are not likely to see growth above 2%.

The story of The Little Engine That Could comes to mind when thinking about the U.S. economy, though not for the right reasons.  

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May 2012 Market Commentary

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The Economy: An Ample Supply of Bad News

The U.S.

May was simply a bad month for the U.S. economy, any way you cut it.   Since the 2008 recession, our country has been able to rebound with generally positive economic data (albeit more slowly than anyone would like).  This was not the case in May, as economic data now point to a flattening of growth in the U.S., coupled with macroeconomic events that give investors far more reason to be cautious.  All the while, events in Europe and an impending “fiscal cliff” here at home provide a darkening outlook. 

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April 2012 Market Commentary

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The Economy: Treading Water
The U.S.

April represented mixed results for the health of the U.S. economy. While the trends in growth are still positive, several economic indicators declined somewhat for the month. The second derivative of growth (the change in the pace of the economic expansion) has slowed since the end of 2011. Optimism was higher several months ago at the prospect of an accelerating expansion story for our country. Unfortunately, sustained and strong growth has yet to materialize on a broad scale. All of this provides support for our overall view of the U.S. economy: an improving economic picture that will take several years to return to a full recovery.

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March 2012 Market Commentary

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The Economy: A Good Start to 2012

The U.S.

Economic conditions ended the first quarter of 2012 on a high note. Financial markets largely reflected the increase in optimism, delivering higher equity prices and further credit spread tightening. While the mood in the U.S. is far from jubilant, economic data are suggesting that better days are ahead of us. Headwinds still exist, however, which could derail the still-fragile recovery.

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February 2012 Market Commentary

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The Economy: A Brighter Picture

The U.S.

February was a positive month for the economic outlook and for financial markets.  The country’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow on February 2nd.  As a result, six more weeks of winter were predicted.  The U.S. economy did not see its shadow, however, as we witnessed continued signs of economic progress. 

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