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Small Business Optimism And Equity Market Return One Year Later

 December 21 2017     David Templeton
When the NFIB Small Business Optimism reading for December 2016 was announced in January, the December reading jumped 7.4 points to 105.8. At that time the optimism reading was the fifth highest reading recorded by NFIB. Prior instances of strong optimism readings were followed by positive stock market returns in the subsequent twelve months. NFIB's Small Business Optimism report last week closed ...

Is Optimism Too High?

 December 21 2017     David Templeton
One of my more regular topics that I write about on the blog from time to time is an update on sentiment measures, both individual and business. Sentiment might be viewed as the third leg of a stool, with the other two being the economy and business financial health or earnings growth. Without positive sentiment from businesses and investors, the economy is more likely to see lackluster growth. Wh...

If Cash Is King

 December 19 2017     David Templeton
Much has been written about the stock market's advance since the end of the financial crisis in 2009. Without getting into the valuation issues, as I have written about that for maybe too many times, the recent return, nearly past two years, has been pretty remarkable and has occurred with a very low level of volatility.Business and consumer optimism is high, institutional investor optimism is hig...

Companies Begin Highlighting Earnings Benefit From Tax Reform

 December 19 2017     David Templeton
It seems a day does not go by where the market's valuation is a front and center topic of discussion. Suffice it to say that I believe, and have written as such recently, that the market does not correct simply because it may be trading at an elevated valuation. Although market declines or pullbacks have been few and far between, when the next pullback occurs, a factor in the the magnitude of the ...

Taxing Bitcoin

 December 18 2017     Anna Pfaehler
There are a number of TV sets in our office tuned to financial news. For the last few weeks each program has dedicated a corner of the display to show the price of Bitcoin. I do not own any Bitcoin, but it is hard to ignore its meteoric rise when you see the price for 8 hours a day. With all the attention, I have received a few questions. In particular, if I sell Bitcoin is it taxed? The short an...

A Spike Higher In Bullish Investor Sentiment

 December 14 2017     David Templeton
Today the American Association of Individual Investors reported results of their Sentiment Survey for the week ending 12/13/2017. The report shows individual investor bullish sentiment jumped 8.1 percentage points to 45.0%. Most of the jump in bullish sentiment was a result of a 6.1 percentage point decline in bearish sentiment. This has resulted in the bull/bear spread widening to 16.9%, the thir...

The Eleventh Hour

 December 12 2017     Anna Pfaehler
While my children eagerly await the holidays (i.e. presents), I eagerly await the details of tax reform. Not because it will benefit me personally – my taxes will increase – but because for the past two years clients have been questioning the likelihood of tax reform and I have not had an answer. I could only give my understanding as it stood that day. Even an iota of clarity, although...

A Continued Surge In Small Business And Consumer Optimism

 December 12 2017     David Templeton
Sentiment for both consumers and small businesses continues to soar. Today the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index was reported at 107.5. I highlighted the surge in consumer sentiment at the end of November.NFIB notes in its report,"Not since the roaring Reagan economy has small business optimism been as high as it was in November, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)...

Earnings, Not Multiple Expansion, The Key To Favorable 2018 Equity Returns

 December 10 2017     David Templeton
It seems like an eternity since the S&P 500 Index experienced a pullback of more than 5%. In fact, the last greater than 5% pullback occurred over a year ago during the period of June 8, 2016 to June 27, 2016. This lack of downside volatility has taken place during a nearly uninterrupted increase in the market that began in February last year. Additionally, the market advance since the end of the ...

Giving Nicely

 November 30 2017     Anna Pfaehler
A favorite read for my children is The Nice Book by David Ezra Stein. The book gives simple examples of what it means to be nice. One of my favorites is “if you have more than you need, share.” As an adult, sharing moves beyond treats and toys with schoolmates. It develops into causes, charitable organizations with varying structures and maximizing impact. The holidays create an atmo...
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