North Star Financial Services

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So far North Star Financial Services has created 44 blog entries.


Last Week: Pessimism has taken root, as the impact of the “trade war” on global economies has become manifest. In a sporting contest there is usually a winner and a loser. You strategize to beat your opponent. Global trade is not a sporting contest. Quite to the contrary, you want your trading partners’ economies to be robust, so that they can buy more of your goods, and produce the goods they [...]

2018-12-17T14:03:06+00:00December 17th, 2018|

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Last Week: Baby, it’s cold outside, and on Wall Street. Parenthetically, the Frank Loesser classic holiday song of that title (the “Elf” rendition is my favorite) has been banned from certain radio stations, but that’s a topic for a different forum. The glow from the warmth of the weekend Trump/Xi G20 meeting quickly faded, as details of any U.S./China trade agreement proved sketchy at best, leading to nearly an 800-point drop [...]

2018-12-17T14:07:18+00:00December 10th, 2018|

Bears Take a Bye Week

Last Week: In the NFL, the Chicago Bears had a bye on Sunday, which means they didn’t get to play. Apparently, the Wall Street Bears followed suit, as the S&P 500 staged an impressive 4.85% rally without meeting much resistance. It was the S&P 500’s best weekly performance since 2011. Consumers were feeling bullish, as Cyber Monday sales topped $7.9 Billion, a 19.7% increase from last year according to Adobe Analytics, [...]

2018-12-17T14:16:23+00:00December 3rd, 2018|

Bear Down

Last Week: In Chicago and on Wall Street, it was a very good week for the Bears. For the former, there were wins on Sunday versus the Vikings and Thursday versus the Lions. For the latter, there were steep declines on Monday and Tuesday which resulted in a 3.8% loss in the S&P 500, which wiped out the remaining gains for 2018. Whereas just two months ago the primary concern was [...]

2018-12-17T14:19:45+00:00November 26th, 2018|

Downward Drift

Last Week: The market resumed its downward trend, with the S&P 500 shedding 1.61% and the Russell 2000 declining 1.42%. All ten sectors experienced losses, with Oil & Gas shares faring the worst as crude oil prices dropping for a record 12 straight days to settle at $56.46 down 26% since Oct. 3. The sharp decline in energy prices have stoked concerns over a global slowdown, but a feature article in [...]

2018-12-17T14:23:42+00:00November 19th, 2018|

A Cautious Rebound

Last Week: On Tuesday night, the mid-term elections went pretty much as planned, and the market responded with an impressive rally on Wednesday. Perhaps there was relief that the Democrats didn’t take control of both the House and the Senate, or perhaps there was enthusiasm over the prospects of a big infrastructure bill (yippee, more debt!), something that both Democrats and Republicans seem to support. The rally fizzled on Friday with [...]

2018-12-17T14:31:19+00:00November 12th, 2018|

Trick or Tweet

Last Week: A bagful of earnings, economic data, and tweets, left investors to digest whether these were tricks or treats. By Friday’s close the verdict was primarily treats, as the S&P 500 snapped its losing streak to finish +2.42%. Nevertheless, there were a few rotten fruits in the bag, most notably Apple’s weaker than expected guidance for the fourth quarter. Friday’s blockbuster payroll report, showing that the U.S. added 250,000 jobs [...]

2018-12-17T14:35:20+00:00November 5th, 2018|

The Pendulum Swings

Last Week: Ouch. The previous week’s sideways bottoming action gave way to a nasty sell-off, with the S&P 500 surrendering its remaining gains for 2018 after declining 3.9%. The Pendulum has quickly swung from greed to fear as the Volatility Index spiked to its highest level since early February. It wasn’t the actual earnings reports that fostered the selling wave, instead it was the more cautionary tone within the reports, particularly [...]

2018-12-17T14:39:28+00:00October 29th, 2018|

3rd Quarter Market Update

3rd QTR Market Update The U.S. economy continued to show momentum during the Third Quarter of 2018.  Corporate earnings were strong, unemployment declined, inflation remains tame and most indicators show improving financial conditions. The stock market had a good quarter, as measured by the S&P 500, with a 7.2% return.  Small stocks, as measured by the Russell 2000, returned 3.13% during the last three months. Growth stocks continued to outpace Value stocks [...]

2018-10-25T15:28:39+00:00October 25th, 2018|


Last Week: Earnings season got back on track, and the market responded with a nice rebound early in the week, only to have the gains dissipate with the market finishing flat to slightly lower by the close on Friday. So far, major bank earnings in particular are looking very good, both the level of earnings and the quality of the earnings. I believe that as interest rates rise, the large, multi-regional [...]

2018-12-17T14:41:47+00:00October 22nd, 2018|