December 3, 2015

THE MONTH IN BRIEF
While the Russell 2000 and Nasdaq Composite advanced significantly in November, the S&P 500 did not – the broad U.S. benchmark rose a mere 0.05%. Terrorists took hundreds of lives in France, Lebanon, Nigeria, Mali and Tunisia during the month, and the fear in the wake of those attacks was felt in the investment markets. Federal Reserve policy minutes contained strong hints that the central bank could raise interest rates in December, a signal investors accepted without disillusionment. Oil, gold and many other major commodities retreated. Key consumer confidence, consumer spending and manufacturing indicators disappointed,...

November 10, 2015

THE MONTH IN BRIEF
October was the least dramatic month the stock market had seen in some time – no sudden shocks, very little chance of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, earnings taking center stage. All this was just what the bulls needed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed a spectacular 8.47% during the month, its ascent mirrored by big gains for other benchmarks overseas. Oil and gold posted monthly advances. Housing sector news was mixed and some other key fundamental economic indicators continued to fall short of expectations, but investors seemed largely unperturbed. Even the situation in China seemed less alarming.1

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September 9, 2015

THE MONTH IN BRIEF
Fears about the health of China’s economy rocked Wall Street and other stock markets last month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 6.57% in August, and other major U.S. equity indices followed it into correction territory. Not one consequential foreign benchmark posted an August gain. The anxiety also sent prices of oil and other commodities lower; oil rebounded before the end of the month, but many other commodity futures did not. The housing sector and a few encouraging U.S. economic indicators offered bright spots, but they were not enough to divert attention from concerns about China's economic woes.1
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