Financial Insights

Best Quarter for Stocks Since Q4 2013

According to LPL Research, “Investors endured a flurry of trade headlines and emerging market turmoil in the third quarter, but that didn’t slow down U.S. stocks. The S&P 500 Index rose 7.2% during what has historically been the most volatile quarter of the year (7.7% including dividends), its biggest quarterly gain since the fourth quarter of 2013, its best performance in a third quarter since 2010, and the 11th gain in the past 12 quarters.” Key takeaways include: We’ve just wrapped up the best quarter for the S&P 500 Index since the fourth quarter of 2013, despite a variety of challenges. Continued strength in the U.S. economy and impressive growth in corporate America were key drivers of stock market performance last quarter. The third quarter was a challenging one for the bond market, with the Bloomberg Barclays Aggregate Bond Index flat over the three months. To read more from John Lynch, Chief Investment Strategist, and Jeffrey Buchbinder, CFA Equity Strategist, LPL Financial, click here.

The Dow Joins the Party

September 25, 2018 | posted in: Blog, Financial Insights, LPL Weekly Market Commentary | by

According to LPL Research, The Dow joined the S&P 500 in reaching fresh new highs last week. The record came after a drought lasting nearly eight months. The blue chip index has lagged the S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq Composite this year amid escalating trade tensions, which have weighed on the larger multinational U.S. companies that make up most of the 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow). This week, we’ll discuss the impact of the Dow’s new high and whether stocks have enough support from economic growth and corporate profits to build on recent gains.   Read More  »

Midterm Elections and Stocks: Friends or Foes?

September 18, 2018 | posted in: Blog, Financial Insights, LPL Weekly Market Commentary | by

As LPL Research explains, “2018 continues to be a solid year for U.S. equities, even in the face of many well-documented concerns (we’re looking at trade worries and the flattening yield curve here). Want some good news? The calendar may quickly become a bull’s best friend.”  Click here to read more about why.

Another Impressive Show from Corporate America

According to LPL Research, “Second quarter earnings season was outstanding by many measures. The numbers were strong even without the boost from the new tax law, while guidance was generally positive despite tariffs and trade policy uncertainty. In this week’s commentary, we recap an outstanding second quarter earnings season and highlight three key takeaways.” Key takeaways include: Second quarter earnings season was quite impressive, with S&P 500 Index earnings growing 25% year over year. A pickup in economic growth, strong manufacturing activity, tax cuts, and a weaker U.S. dollar versus the year-ago quarter were the biggest drivers of strong growth. Looking ahead, guidance was generally positive despite tariffs and trade policy uncertainty To read more from John Lynch, Chief Investment Strategist, and Jeffrey Buchbinder, CFA Equity Strategist, LPL Financial, click here.

“Re-Partnering”? (As Opposed To Re-Marrying)…A Growing Trend Among Older Couples

August 21, 2018 | posted in: Blog, Financial Insights | by

ESTATE PLANNING IS KEY FOR SUCH COUPLES
In recent years we were introduced to the concept of “conscious uncoupling” (divorce!) and now demographers are studying “re-partnering” and its rise among older Americans. “Grey divorce” has doubled since the 1990’s and the number of people over 50 who cohabit with unmarried partners has jumped 75% from 2007-2016, per a recent Pew Research report.* Unlike youthful cohabitation, which is often a prelude to marriage, it seems that in later life, making it official doesn’t always hold the same attraction. While many see financial advantages to remaining unmarried, as financial advisors we stress that without proper estate planning and documentation of desires, unmarried couples are particularly vulnerable to default state laws that determine who can make financial and health care decisions for incapacitated persons, and to whom property devolves in the absence of a valid will or revocable trust. In addition to establishing wills and health care advance directives, these are among the additional steps frequently put in place for unmarried partners:   Read More  »

Longest Bull Market Ever

As LPL Research states, “The bull market continues to defy the skeptics and is now nearing a major milestone. On August 22, 2018, this bull market can overtake the bull market of the 1990s as the longest ever. From tariffs to trade wars to inflation to a flattening yield curve to a global economic slowdown, the headlines continue to cast doubt on the sustainability of this economic cycle and bull market. Although we see several potential stumbling blocks, we continue to believe this economy and stock market rally have plenty of fuel left in the tank.” Key takeaways include: This bull market may soon become the longest in history. The U.S. economy remains quite strong, with plenty of room for continued growth in our view. Recent stock market gains may be an indication of continued bullish momentum over the rest of 2018. To read more from John Lynch, Chief Investment Strategist, and Ryan Detrick, CMT Senior Market Strategist, LPL Financial, click here.