Shelter from These Storms in the Distance

In South Florida, we call the dog days of summer the “mean season,” as vicious thunderstorms move over the Everglades every afternoon and attack the east coast with lightning strikes and blinding downpours. We keep our fingers crossed that the storms won’t morph into hurricanes that can sweep the ocean over the land and cause catastrophic destruction.

After a period of intense hurricane activity in the early 2000s, it’s been ten years since we’ve been hit by any serious storms, and we are being told that strong El Nino conditions will likely protect us again this season. But we know that sooner or later our luck will run out, and we will be back in the eye of dangerous winds and storm surges. And, at least for a moment, we’ll wish we lived somewhere other than in paradise.

Stock market investors are experiencing similar feelings after a six-year hiatus from reality, courtesy of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Paradise is starting to give way to a very mean season…

The Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced its longest losing streak in four years, falling for seven trading days in a row. The Dow lost 1.79% on the week to close at 17,373.38 and has lost 1,000 points since its May 19 high of 18,312.39. The Dow is now down 2.52% on the year. Other indices are holding up better. The S&P 500 lost 1.25% to close at 2,077.57 and is now up 0.91% on the year, while the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 1.65% to close at 5,043.34 and is up 6.49% year to date.

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In July, Investors Were Guests at the Market’s “Red Wedding”

The simultaneous blood baths in commodities and U.S. stocks continued in July but failed to penetrate the skulls of U.S. stock investors who continue to allow themselves to be brainwashed into believing that they can only make money by owning an overbought market.

The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) recovered all of its June losses, gaining 2.1% in July including 1.2% last week to close the month at 2103.92, not far off its record closing high of 2,134.72. The index is now up 2.2% (excluding dividends) for the year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is showing greater recognition of the troubled state of the world. And after last week’s 0.7% gain to 17,689.86, it is down -0.7% year-to-date.

The Nasdaq Composite Index (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC), powered by stocks such as Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and other biotech and social media names, is outpacing the other indices with a year-to-date gain of +7.6% after adding 0.8% last week to close at 5128.28.

At this point, investors can no longer ignore the fact that the knives are coming out…

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