The Markets

Jan 6, 2015 | Blogs, Daily Financial

Terrry Sawchuk Financial Advisor Terry Sawchuk
Founder & Chairman

The Markets

Greetings and Happy New Year!  In many ways, 2014 turned out to be a pleasant surprise.  Overall, we saw modest economic improvement and the stock market finished on a high note with the S&P 500 index rising by 13.69% for the year.  But that was last year, this year already things are starting off a little shaky.  For now it appears that headline risk is driving the markets, perhaps giving traders the opportunity to take a few chips off the table following a nice year in 2014. Greece is back in the news, again, prompting some concern that this time the country might actually exit the Eurozone. China is still sluggish, but at least stimulating, and Russia is still feeling the boa constrictor-like effects of the economic sanctions being imposed on them. There will always be things to worry about.

Oil has been a fascinating case study. It’s clear that the Saudi’s are doing their best to push the price of oil down low enough to force some of their competitors to cut production. So far it seems to be working. As Bill recently pointed out to me, after oil shot all the way up to 148 dollars per barrel, it subsequently fell all the way to 36 before it started up again. It’s hard to say whether it will fall quite that low again, but it certainly is possible. Even if it does, one would think that oil wouldn’t stay that low for very long. We think this could be a pretty good entry point, and that even if it did drop all the way down to around 35, it probably wouldn’t be too long before it bounces back significantly. So much of the trading today is driven by computers, when the algorithms see prices that low they just might buy them right back up.

Bill and I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks again for your patience during our transition to the new broker dealer, NFP Advisor Services LLC. It was a big project, and there were a few bumps along the way, but the transition is now complete and things are moving along quite nicely. Back by popular demand, the beer and wine tastings will continue in full force for 2015. We can gather and mourn our Detroit Lions abrupt exit from the playoffs, thanks to an inexplicable non-penalty call that cost them the game!!! Or we could celebrate the arrival of Jim Harbaugh, savior of the University of Michigan football program!!! Either way, you will have ample opportunity this year to join us at these regular events.

We will follow up soon with a more in-depth look at the markets, as there are seasonal and secular trends that may be in place for us to discuss. In the meantime, for you snow-birds we hope you’re enjoying warm temperatures and sunny blue skies. For the rest of us, we will stay back and complain about the weather until its warm again. Either way, you can rest assured knowing that Bill and I are working very hard to find and take advantage of good opportunities, and if necessary, take evasive action to avoid unwanted volatility. We hope the day brings peace and happiness, and perhaps some decent profits along the way.

Best regards,

Terry Sawchuk

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* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

* The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks.

* The Nasdaq Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System.

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