Monthly Archives: March 2013

3/22/2013 Update

Federal Reserve gives the market a green light

Chairman Ben Bernanke gave a statement on Wednesday indicating the Federal Reserve will continue its quantitative easing program to stimulate the U.S. economy.  He explained that under the committee’s dual mandate of full employment and stable prices they view the U.S. economy as slowly improving while inflation should stay under their target rate of 2%.  As the statement from Bernanke below indicates, they do not have any current plan to take their foot off the gas pedal in the near future.  Continue reading

U.S. Markets Continue to Move Forward – 3/15/13

Thus far in 2013, the S&P 500 and the Dow are up approximately 9.5% and 10.7%, respectively. Health care and financial companies have led the pack in the first few months of the year.   Improvement in economic data as well as companies continuing to report solid earnings has provided support behind the market returns thus far.   Of the 489 S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings, 71% have reported better than expected numbers for 4th quarter 2012.   Looking forward, 16% of these companies have issued negative guidance for first quarter 2013, thereby tempering expectations. Continue reading

3/8/13

U.S. Unemployment Improves in February:

Payrolls increased more than forecast in February and the jobless rate unexpectedly fell to a five-year low of 7.7 percent, a sign U.S. employers were undaunted by the budget impasse in Washington. Employment rose 236,000 last month after a revised 119,000 gain in January that was smaller than first estimated, Labor Department figures showed today.  Hiring in construction jumped by the most in almost six years. In addition to the pickup in construction employment, payrolls climbed at retailers, professional and business services such as temporary help firms, and at health care providers. Continue reading

Washington Failed to Avert the Sequestration – 3/1/13

The spotlight this week was on Washington and the sequestration that is set to go into effect today.   Since Democrats and Republicans failed to reach an agreement, $85 billion in across the board spending cuts will be implemented by the end of the year.  However, the full implementation of these spending cuts will not be realized for at least a few weeks, giving both sides more time to strike a compromise.  This is further proof of the fragmentation in Washington and evidence that both sides seem to be more polarized as we careen through another manufactured political crisis.  Continue reading