Second Quarter

30 July, 2013 by Mark O'Brien in Quarterly Letters
  The quarter just ended was a so-so one for stocks, collectively up about 2% in price.  The real stock story was that stocks managed to hang onto the big gains of the quarter before, when prices soared in contradiction of fears over Cyprus, Greece, the EU and especially the Fiscal Cliff ... read more...

First Quarter

31 March, 2013 by Mark O'Brien in Quarterly Letters
Yes, stocks were up 10% for the quarter and, yes, the S&P 500 reached an all-time high.  The latter peak was scaled the last trading day of the quarter, which added to the aura of improbability about the period. From the very first day of the quarter there was mounting disbelief that a ... read more...

Fourth Quarter Letter

31 December, 2012 by Mark O'Brien in Quarterly Letters
I am of course delighted that stocks and bonds made money last year.  I thought they would, though I must confess there were times when I had my doubts.  But I am not altogether happy how the markets made money.  Politics took charge of the stock and bond markets.  By “politics” I mean ... read more...

Third Quarter

22 October, 2012 by Mark O'Brien in Quarterly Letters
In summary form, the price changes in the broader stock and bond markets in the quarter appear below:   I normally try not to predict the next twist or turn in stock prices, but in my last appraisal letter, at the end of June, I strayed from that practice and made a prediction that proved ... read more...

Second Quarter

11 July, 2012 by Mark O'Brien in Quarterly Letters
It’s not surprising that, following the record-setting first quarter, stocks gave up ground in the second quarter. Indeed, the market could have trouble hanging onto the rest of that big first quarter gain given all that we have to get through before year end. In terms of what’s straight ahead, ... read more...