US Equities: Performance Review

The US stock market continues to set new highs, but the bull market in equities comes in a variety of flavors. Yes, prices are higher across the board, but there’s a fair amount of variation to the party. The implication: the opportunity to add value with rebalancing within the equity allocation is knocking. Before we […]

How to Boost Your Dividend Yield

If the Fed is spiking the punch, why can’t we? In my “Weighing the Week Ahead” series, I always include some suggestions for individual investors. I try to share with the do-it-yourself investor what I am doing for my clients. I have suggested that investors who have been out of the market can step in gradually […]

2014 Investment Preview

[This post originally appeared on Seeking Alpha last week.  I enjoy a wide following there, and I appreciate the opportunity to participate in their annual series.  As I note at the beginning of the interview, this is a very valuable resource.  I share the interview with readers of “A Dash” with the permission of Seeking […]

Can Earnings Growth Propel Stocks Higher?

If you could know one thing about stocks in the coming year, it would be what to expect from corporate earnings. The Q4 2013 reports will provide a preview, with attention starting this week. Has the improvement in economic strength translated into higher corporate profits? Last Week Recap Last week I suggested that with the return of […]

The Rebound in Stock Prices and Inflation Expectations

The stock market is up sharply and inflation expectations have been stable in the low-2% range. That’s just what the monetary doctors have been prescribing and the markets have complied. This is the sweet spot that looked unlikely last spring. But a lot can happen when a determined central bank sticks to its plan for […]

Why Slow US Growth Isn’t Impacting Stocks—Yet

There is a reason why asset management firms don’t employ legions of economists to do their investing. Providing accurate economic forecasts is very useful, but financial markets generally don’t reflect the state of the world. US stock markets have rallied strongly over the last two years, while economic growth has been weak. Appetite for stocks […]

Pondering the Small-Cap Risk Premium

It’s been a great year for US stocks, and an even better one for US small-cap stocks. If there’s any doubt about the small-cap premium’s validity, recent history has dispatched the skeptics to the woodshed. For example, small caps (Russell 2000 Index) are up 32% this year through Dec. 13, a handsome premium over the […]

Macro-Markets Risk Index: 12.2%

The US economic trend has rebounded in early November after slumping during the past two months, according to a markets-based profile of macro conditions. The Macro-Markets Risk Index (MMRI) closed at 12.2% on Wednesday, Nov. 6—a level that suggests that business cycle risk remains low. One interpretation of the benchmark’s revival is that it reflects […]

The Week Ahead: An End to the Debt-Limit Stalemate?

In chess, a stalemate is a drawn game. Chess players study endgames, where small advantages become big wins. Computers have now solved these endgames – all of them! Some require dozens of precise moves. A mistake converts a draw into a win or a loss. Humans make mistakes. Political processes are inherently human. It is […]