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So far North Star Financial Services has created 164 blog entries.

Big Bad Bond Market

Last Week: On Monday all 11 sectors rallied and the S&P posted its biggest daily gain since June, as the combination over the previous weekend of the positive vaccine news from Johnson & Johnson, the approval of the stimulus plan by the House, and a decline of 5 basis points in the yield on the Ten-Year Treasury set the trading tone. I can’t remember another trading session with as strong an [...]

2021-03-08T12:40:50-06:00March 8th, 2021|

Too Much Good News

Last Week: We were often reminded during the recent challenging economic period that the market climbs the wall of worry.  The inverse proposition might caution that the market can slide down the chute of good cheer. Following up on our most recent commentary, the vectors on the economy, the pandemic, and government policies all pointed up the arc of optimism. Initial claims for unemployment fell sharply, while personal income and spending skyrocketed. [...]

2021-03-01T12:12:27-06:00March 1st, 2021|

Arc of Modest Optimism

Last Week: Where are we and where do we go from here? Reflecting on the current status of the economy and markets, I find myself swaying back and forth on the optimism/pessimism pendulum. Although on balance trending more towards the arc of optimism. Certain data points suggest the economy is faring much better than expected, as evidenced by a 5.3% jump in retail sales in January from December and 7.4% from [...]

2021-02-22T12:15:23-06:00February 22nd, 2021|

Rally, Rinse, Repeat

Last Week: In the Kuby’s Commentary version of “Rally, Rinse, Repeat,” we once again report that the market set new record highs, the economic data was mixed, the battle with COVID-19 raged on, and the politicians were mired in debate over the size and scope of additional stimulus. True to the script for another week, all the major stock averages advanced, with small-cap Russell 2000 index leading the charge with a [...]

2021-02-16T10:46:13-06:00February 16th, 2021|

The Bulls are Back

Last Week: The Bulls are back, and I am not talking about the Chicago Bulls. The stock market rebounded from its brief slump to post its best weekly gains since November, with the S&P 500 bouncing 4.65%. Small cap stocks continued their recent surge, as the Russell 2000 soared 7.7%. The market advanced and the VIX (CBOE Volatility Index) declined all five trading days, the latter reaching its lowest level of [...]

2021-02-08T13:09:10-06:00February 8th, 2021|

Bubble Trouble

Last Week: Trading was extremely volatile with the VIX surging over 50% to 33.09 and the S&P 500 shedding 3.31%. It seems worth noting that these spikes in volatility and sell-offs in equities occur regularly and should not be alarming. What is alarming is the continuation of the trend for stock prices to become decoupled from traditional, time-tested valuation methodologies that relate to cash flows. For the last several years high-profile [...]

2021-02-01T11:55:14-06:00February 1st, 2021|

Quarterly Commentary 2020 Year End

If anyone thought the economic review was mundane, then 2020 should make you reevaluate that point of view. The fourth quarter of 2020 was perhaps THE most interesting quarter in the economy in modern history. It is quite challenging to develop an economic outlook for 2021 given these extraordinary times.  So, let’s start by reviewing the fourth quarter of 2020. Economic Update Review of the major aspects of the economy which include [...]

2021-01-28T13:00:58-06:00January 28th, 2021|

New Administration, New Records

Last Week: The stock market reached a new record high on Thursday, fueled by optimism over the Biden administration’s priorities of coordinating a national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing payments to struggling individuals and businesses, and continuing expansive monetary policies. As was the case of most of 2020, the market remained more of a beauty contest than a valuation examination with the alluring tech stocks and the most speculative segment [...]

2021-01-25T12:02:08-06:00January 25th, 2021|

Mixed Bag

Last Week: It was a mixed bag of tricks and treats for stocks, with the S&P 500 suffering its worst decline since Halloween at -1.5%, while the Russell 2000 gained 1.5%, and 1827 advancing issues outnumbered 1402 decliners.  The dollar, gold, and interest rates were all largely unchanged. I guess you could call it a “quiet” week in the market. The economic data continued to soften, with Retail Sales for December [...]

2021-01-18T15:03:54-06:00January 18th, 2021|

What a Week

Last Week: Cheers! The Wall Street party raged on as the S&P 500 rose 1.8%, to 3824.68, Nasdaq Composite gained 2.4%, and the Russell 2000 surged 5.9%. It was the best start to a year for small caps since 1987 (causing a party on North Star Street). On the other hand, partygoers found a sober and somber setting on Bourbon Street, Rush Street, and other restaurant and bar hot spots. New [...]

2021-01-11T11:39:54-06:00January 11th, 2021|
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