The Bizarro Market in Europe

1 June, 2017 by Mark O'Brien in Commentary
The chart below is amazing.  It originates from Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch and shows the yield of European stocks currently exceeding the yield of European junk bonds. So why do I think this state of affairs is “amazing?”  First there is one’s reaction or ... read more...

Thoughts on Our ‘Tranquil’ Markets

19 May, 2017 by Mark O'Brien in Commentary
“Investor fear gauge lowest since 1993,” said a recent Wall Street Journal headline (5.8.17). While I am a tad skeptical about trying to quantify sentiment (what is an “investor fear gauge” anyway?), I am prepared to accept the central thesis that investors feel pretty ... read more...

2016 Year-End Market Review

9 January, 2017 by Matthew O'Brien, Ph.D. in Commentary
Below is a review of market sectors in the fourth quarter of 2016 jointly written by our investment team. Energy Energy stocks were the best performers for the year, posting gains of 25%.  In the fourth quarter, the energy sector was up 8%.  Over 100 oil and gas produces have declared ... read more...

Predicting the Staying-Power of the Trump Rally

13 December, 2016 by Matthew O'Brien, Ph.D. in Commentary
Broken clocks have the virtue of being right twice a day.  What about broken stock market strategists?  They’re usually worse than broken clocks, because most of them change their predictions after they fail to materialize.  Thus I read today this snippet in the Wall Street Journal: ... read more...

Post-Election Reflections

10 November, 2016 by Mark O'Brien in Commentary
What If Trump wins which, we are told, is more likely than the polls would suggest?  The result could be a bit like the aftermath of the Brexit vote:  a sharp selloff, and then a rebound as investors rediscover that the president is part of a much larger system of overlapping and competing ... read more...