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So far North Star Financial Services has created 169 blog entries.

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|

The Ball Dropped

Last Week: If a ball drops in Time’s Square but the public is not invited, then is it still New Year’s Eve? In any event, the party on Wall Street raged on, with the S&P 500 gaining 1.43% to finish at a new record high. Profit-taking hit the small caps, as the Russell 2000 declined 1.45%, but still posted its best quarter ever. The dollar finished at a two-year low, gold [...]

2021-01-04T17:59:24-06:00January 4th, 2021|

Long Strange Year

Last Week: Welcome to the last week of 2020. One might say it done come and gone, and my oh my what a long strange trip it has been indeed. The fiscal stimulus saga, which first grabbed headlines in June, took another twist as Congress finally passed a $900 billion fiscal stimulus bill on Tuesday, but before the ink could dry, President Trump refused to sign it. Spoiler alert: Skip to [...]

2021-01-04T18:03:48-06:00December 28th, 2020|

Help! Might Be Coming

Last Week: “Help!” Apparently, our representatives in Washington were unable to “Come Together” and pass a bill to provide the needed funds to give the economy a desperately needed shot in the arm. The damage was reflected in applications for U.S. state unemployment benefits which unexpectedly jumped to the highest level in three months, suggesting the labor market’s recovery is faltering amid the surge in Covid-19 cases and widening business restrictions. [...]

2021-01-04T18:04:33-06:00December 21st, 2020|

Gloom But No Doom

Last Week: The wintertime blues seem to be settling in as this very strange year comes to a close. Perhaps my mood is colored by the Chicago Bears' inexplicable loss the previous Sunday, or the grey skies and blustery weather, but the news on Main Street seemed pretty downbeat as the week progressed. The surge in COVID-19 cases raged on, with record new cases and deaths. The $908 billion stimulus package [...]

2021-01-04T18:05:13-06:00December 14th, 2020|

The Half-Full Tipped-Over Glass

Last Week: All three major large cap stock market indexes closed at all-time highs Friday as Congress appeared to make progress toward passing a COVID-19 stimulus bill. A weaker than expected rise in November non-farm payrolls had the bad-news-is-good-news effect on equities as investors concluded that the weak numbers will lead to compromise on a near-term relief package. One has to start to question this “glass is half full” mentality in [...]

2020-12-07T10:50:52-06:00December 7th, 2020|
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