Monthly Archives: August 2015

This week in the Market

Markets extended their volatility into this week after the Dow closed down 5.8% last week. On Monday, the Dow was down 1,089 points at one point, the largest intraday drop in history. To illustrate the size of the swings seen on Monday, we need to look no further than just a few stocks. For example, GE was down 21% intraday before closing down 3%. Apple dropped 13%, recovered and was up nearly 3%, then closed down 2.5%. Ford was just one of many stocks that was briefly halted from trading due to “extreme volatility”. Continue reading


Global financial markets finished lower today and capped off their worst week of 2015 amid concerns that the global economy may begin to slow down. Most of the recent uncertainty can be attributed to China. They devalued their currency last week which has caused a rippling effect across global currency markets. China also released its weakest manufacturing data since the global financial crisis in 2008. Continue reading

Matt Schaller has Passed Level III of the CFA exam

I would like to announce that Matt Schaller has achieved another important milestone in his professional career and has passed Level III of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam. The CFA exams test a range of investment management related topics, such as security analysis, portfolio management, economics, corporate finance, and financial reporting and ethics. It is considered the “gold standard” for investment analysts in the financial profession. Continue reading

China Devalues Currency

China shocked the markets this week when they announced they will devalue the Yuan, which had previously been pegged to a basket of currencies. This caused the currency to decline in value (vs. the US Dollar) by over 4% in just a few days. As no one was expecting this, the markets reacted unfavorably and stocks fell on the news. U.S. stocks that do a large amount of business in China were hit especially hard, as a devaluing Yuan makes U.S. goods appear more expensive. However, the market recovered once it was realized that the devaluation was merely to manage the pace of trade rather than outright devaluation. Put another way, the Chinese government is still keeping a peg on the currency, but it simply provided a little slack so that the Yuan can move a little bit based on market conditions. Continue reading

U.S. Gains 215,000 Jobs In July

The U.S. Department of Labor released its monthly jobs report this morning and it showed the U.S. added 215,000 new jobs in July. This was slightly ahead of the 212,000 number that economists were expecting. The trade and transportation sector posted the largest gain with 60,000 jobs added, followed by professional/business services at 40,000, retail at 36,000, leisure/hospitality at 30,000, health care at 28,000, manufacturing at 15,000, construction at 6,000, and government at 5,000. Continue reading

GDP Grows in the Second Quarter:

The spring saw a bit more activity than the winter as the second quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a measure of goods and services produced across the economy, grew at a 2.3% annualized rate. The first quarter’s number was revised upwards from negative 0.2% to a positive 0.6% annualized rate, putting the first half of 2015’s “pace” at a 1.5% GDP expansion. Should this year finish at 1.5% expansion, it would represent very modest growth compared to the last few years, when GDP grew by 2% annually. Continue reading