Published: Fri, 20 May 2022 20:45:37 +0000
Friday, May 20, 2022 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities U.S. Markets Finish Lower The U.S. major market indexes finished lower for the seventh straight week, the longest such streak in over ten years as the S&P … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 20 May 2022 16:00:29 +0000
Friday, May 20, 2022 “Our tools don’t really work on supply shocks.” The quote above was one of the most important statements Chair Jerome Powell made at the recent press conference after the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided to … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 19 May 2022 16:00:19 +0000
Thursday, May 19, 2022 This is a macro driven market. So even as the S&P 500 Index nears a bear market, until we get better news on the macro front, volatility will likely continue. There is a long list of … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 18 May 2022 16:00:23 +0000
Wednesday, May 18, 2022 It has been a historically bad year so far for stocks, with many names in bear markets. Thus far though, the S&P 500 Index has avoided a bear market (classified as a 20% decline from recent … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 17 May 2022 16:09:13 +0000
Tuesday, May 17, 2022 One of the value propositions of owning core bonds is that they tend to act as a diversifier during equity market drawdowns. That is, core bonds have tended to outperform equities during equity market selloffs, which … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 13 May 2022 21:49:46 +0000
Friday, May 13, 2022 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Markets Finish Lower Amid another volatile week for the markets, the U.S. major market indexes finished lower for the sixth straight week. This hasn’t happened since 2011. … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 13 May 2022 16:04:54 +0000
Friday, May 13, 2022 It’s been a tough year so far for a traditional “60/40” portfolio, a portfolio of 60% stocks and 40% bonds. Using the S&P 500 Index and the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index (“Agg”) to represent stocks … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 12 May 2022 16:00:33 +0000
Thursday, May 12, 2022 This is one of the worst starts to a year ever and now we have to worry about Friday the 13th. That’s right, tomorrow, May 13, will be the first Friday the 13th since August 2021. … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 11 May 2022 18:00:40 +0000
Wednesday, May 11, 2022 View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Stocks lost ground in April, reversing all of the March gains as the S&P 500 Index tumbled 8.8%. The latest resinous inflation reports and corresponding hawkish response from the … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 11 May 2022 16:00:10 +0000
Wednesday, May 11, 2022 Moderating Inflation Should Provide Boost in Consumer Confidence A slight moderation in inflation will likely provide some needed boost in consumer confidence but we may have to wait another month. The April inflation report was not … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 10 May 2022 16:00:53 +0000
Tuesday, May 10, 2022 The unrelenting move higher in U.S. Treasury yields continued last week with the yield on the 10-year Treasury up another 15 basis points (0.15%). Moreover, 10-year Treasury yields have doubled this this year with 130 basis … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 06 May 2022 20:15:20 +0000
Friday, May 6, 2022 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Markets Finish Lower Amid a volatile week for the markets around the Federal Reserve (Fed) policy meeting, the U.S. major market indexes finished lower for the fifth … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 06 May 2022 16:00:21 +0000
Friday, May 6, 2022 The U.S. economy added 428,000 jobs in April, matching job growth last month after revisions. The LPL Chart of the Day shows the 3-month average gain dipped from the highs from last year. “A softer trend … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 05 May 2022 16:00:39 +0000
Thursday, May 5, 2022 The Federal Reserve (Fed) ended its two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting yesterday and the outcome was broadly in line with market expectations. As expected, the Committee raised short-term interest rates by 50 basis points … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 04 May 2022 16:22:17 +0000
Wednesday, May 4, 2022 2022 has been one of the worst starts to a year ever for stocks and bonds. The reasons for the rough start, which are widely known, include inflation, a hawkish Federal Reserve (Fed), soaring yields, the … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 03 May 2022 16:24:07 +0000
Tuesday, May 3, 2022 We know stocks have gotten cheaper on traditional valuation metrics as a result of the latest market correction. The most commonly used valuation tool, the price-to-earnings ratio (P/E), has fallen from over 21 to under 18 … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 29 Apr 2022 20:37:42 +0000
Friday, April 29, 2022 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Markets Finish Lower For the fourth straight week, the U.S. market indexes finished lower as investors remain concerned over inflation’s potential grip on future corporate profits as … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 29 Apr 2022 16:00:37 +0000
Friday, April 29, 2022 With the S&P 500 Index in correction territory (down more than 10% from the previous peak) while the market faces a number of big threats, including inflation, a hawkish Federal Reserve, soaring yields, and war in … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 28 Apr 2022 16:00:22 +0000
Thursday, April 28, 2022 The U.S. economy shrank at an annualized rate of -1.4% in Q1, partially hindered by the COVID-19 Omicron variant during the first month of the year, but mainly due to a huge trade deficit. Underlying demand … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 27 Apr 2022 16:00:22 +0000
Wednesday, April 27, 2022 The selloff continued on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 Index down 7.8% in the usually bullish month of April. With three days to go, this could go down as the worst April since a 9.0% drop … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 26 Apr 2022 16:00:40 +0000
Tuesday, April 26, 2022 In this week’s Weekly Market Commentary (found here) we took a closer look at some of the economic data to see if it is signaling a near-term recession. For us, recessionary risks have increased this year … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 22 Apr 2022 20:38:18 +0000
Friday, April 22, 2022 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Markets Finish Mixed For the third straight week, the U.S. market indexes finished lower as the continued Eastern European conflict along with inflation concerns renewed investor worries … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 22 Apr 2022 16:00:30 +0000
Friday, April 22, 2022 Today marks the 52nd Earth Day, with this year’s theme “Invest in Our Planet.” We took this opportunity to look at some of the risks relating to global climate change. While from the top down governments … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 21 Apr 2022 16:29:43 +0000
Thursday, April 21, 2022 According to LPL Research’s analysis of the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) recently released Beige Book, Main Street sentiment is confronting an expanding number of risks but remains positive overall. Words related to uncertainty reached their highest level … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 20 Apr 2022 16:00:02 +0000
Wednesday, April 20, 2022 Inflation continues to soar, dominating conversation and stretching consumer wallets. Last week’s inflation data saw consumer prices up 8.5% year over year, the most since the early 1980s, while producer prices were up 11.2%, the most … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 19 Apr 2022 16:00:16 +0000
Tuesday, April 19, 2022 The unrelenting move higher in U.S. Treasury yields continued last week making it the 15th week (out of the past 16 weeks) that the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury security ended the week higher. Moreover, … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 14 Apr 2022 18:26:00 +0000
Thursday, April 14, 2022 Index Performance Performance is as of 2:00 PM ET View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Markets Finish Mixed For the second straight week, the majority of U.S. market indexes finished lower as the continued Eastern … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 14 Apr 2022 16:00:32 +0000
Thursday, April 14, 2022 Earnings season unofficially got underway yesterday with results from Blackrock, JPMorgan Chase, and Delta Airlines. The results were mixed, with JPMorgan Chase shares selling off on the results amid a sizable Russia-related writedown, Blackrock shares little … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 13 Apr 2022 16:00:46 +0000
Wednesday, April 13, 2022 One of the most prominent economic stories of the past year has been the supply shortage of semiconductors. As COVID-19 shut down chip making facilities across the globe, and consumers shifted their consumption from services to … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 12 Apr 2022 16:16:15 +0000
Tuesday, April 12, 2022 Inflation in March was mostly driven by categories already reverting in April March 2022 inflation metrics soared to highs last seen in December 1981, when the S&P 500 Index was at 123 (versus a little under … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 08 Apr 2022 20:33:05 +0000
Friday, April 8, 2022 Index Performance U.S. and International Equities Markets Finish Mixed Investors sold off equities amid the continued Russia-Ukraine conflict along with its effects on inflation. This week’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes added concerns over monetary … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 08 Apr 2022 16:21:39 +0000
Friday, April 8, 2022 Rising mortgage rates alone will not squash the housing market but will definitely slow exuberance The historic spike in mortgage rates instigated chatter across the country that the housing market is a bubble that will soon … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 07 Apr 2022 16:00:18 +0000
Thursday, April 7, 2022 This year’s Masters Golf Tournament starts today at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. As usual, the world’s top players will be competing for the coveted green jacket, but as often also seems to be … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 06 Apr 2022 16:00:20 +0000
Wednesday, April 6, 2022 One of the biggest stories over the past few weeks has been the inversion of various points on the U.S. Treasury yield curve. The more well-known 2-year/10-year yield curve spread inverted on April 1, 2022 for … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 05 Apr 2022 18:00:53 +0000
Tuesday, April 5, 2022 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Most equity markets worldwide gained ground, reversing two straight months of declines. The present geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe have added to the market’s “wall of … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 05 Apr 2022 16:00:52 +0000
Tuesday, April 5, 2022 The shape of U.S Treasury yield curve is often looked at as a barometer for U.S. economic growth. More specifically, it reflects how the Federal Reserve (Fed) intends to stimulate or slow economic growth by cutting … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 01 Apr 2022 20:22:33 +0000
Friday, April 1, 2022 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Markets Finish Mixed As has been the major market theme since late February, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and its effects on inflation added to this year’s concerns over … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 01 Apr 2022 16:43:16 +0000
Friday, April 1, 2022 Summary The U.S. economy added 431,000 jobs in March and February job estimates were revised higher, pushing the 3 month average gain to 562,000. Unemployment ticked down to 3.6 percent, indicating a tightening labor market. Gains … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 31 Mar 2022 16:00:41 +0000
Thursday, March 31, 2022 Stocks have rallied back nicely over the past couple of weeks, with the S&P 500 up more than 10% off its March 14 low. While some would suggest that the market is sniffing out a potential … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 31 Mar 2022 13:19:08 +0000
Thursday, March 31, 2022 The real change in March consumer confidence masked by February revisions. According to the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, consumer confidence “increased” in March to 107.2, but that is based off the sizable downward revision to … Continue reading →
A stock represents a share of ownership in a business. When you hold one or more shares of stock in a company, you actually own a piece of that company. Your percentage of ownership will depend on how many shares you hold in relation to the total number of shares issued by the company. Investors who purchase stock are known as the company's stockholders or shareholders. The price of shares reflects the public's level of interest in owning the shares. If a lot of investors want to buy shares, they bid against one another, driving up the market price of the stock. If interest is low, competing bids are few and far between, and the price of shares is likely to fall. You may hold the stock in the form of a stock certificate, which identifies you as the owner of the stock and the number of shares you own. Alternatively, shares may be held in an account with a brokerage firm.
Your percentage of ownership in a company represents your share of the risks taken and profits generated by the company. If the company does well, your share of the total earnings will be proportionate to how much of the company's stock you own. The flip side, of course, is that your share of any loss will be similarly proportionate to your percentage of ownership, though you are not personally financially responsible for any share of the liabilities of the company in which you hold an equity interest. Beyond that, depending on the company and the types of shares you have, stock ownership may carry other benefits. Specifically, you may be entitled to dividend payments (which you can generally receive either in cash or additional shares), capital gains payouts, voting rights, and other corporate privileges. For example, common stockholders have the right to vote for candidates for the board of directors and on other important issues.
From the standpoint of the company, issuing and selling stock enables it to raise capital needed to expand, conduct research, modernize, pay off creditors, and meet other corporate expenses. When you give a company capital by buying its shares, you acquire equity in that company. Just as your equity in a home represents the portion that you actually own relative to the amount you owe on the mortgage, equity in a company represents your ownership stake. That's why stocks are sometimes referred to as equities.
Many investors never venture beyond the world of cash alternatives--bank accounts, CDs, money market accounts, and Treasury bills. They take comfort in knowing that these investment vehicles provide relative safety coupled with liquidity that allows them to access their money easily if they need it. However, while these investments are relatively low risk, they generally yield minimal returns; some may not even keep pace with inflation. At some point, most investors want the potential for greater returns, which is where stocks enter the picture. A variety of factors motivate people to invest in stocks. Many view equity investments as an opportunity to accumulate wealth or to prevent inflation from eventually reducing the purchasing power of their money. They generally take a long-term view, hoping their stocks will appreciate in value over time. They may also be interested in the dividends that some stocks pay, which shareholders may accept in cash or (in some cases) reinvest in additional shares of the company. Dividends and any increases or drops in the stock's price combine to produce the stock's total return. Investors with a gambler mentality may be attracted by the thrill of playing the market. They may trade actively, sometimes buying and selling the same issue within a few days or a few hours. These day traders try to take advantage of small, intra-day price movements in volatile stocks or indexes.
Investors who purchase stock hope to make money in one of two ways--through dividend payments and/or capital gains.
Some investors buy stocks because they seek regular income from dividends. Dividends represent distributions of corporate earnings to shareholders. The company's board of directors decides whether to distribute a dividend to shareholders; payment of a dividend is by no means mandatory. Dividends, if distributed, are usually paid out to investors in cash. However, a company may also pay dividends in the form of additional stock, known as stock dividends, or in property (this is rare). Some companies allow investors to buy stock through an automatic dividend reinvestment plan. A brokerage commission may or may not apply. Qualifying dividends received by an individual shareholder from domestic corporations (and qualified foreign corporations) are taxed at long-term capital gains tax rates, making dividends more attractive to many investors. As of January 1, 2013, those rates range from 0% for individuals in the 10% and 15% marginal income tax brackets to 20% for individuals in the highest marginal tax bracket of 39.6%. In addition, a 3.8% Medicare contribution tax applies to the investment income (including qualified dividends) of individuals with income that exceeds $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly). Not all stock dividends qualify for capital gains tax treatment. Dividends that are ineligible will be taxed at ordinary income tax rates. These include:
Further, dividends paid on hybrid preferred stock (i.e., stock that is reported as debt) are also ineligible for capital gains tax treatment.
Capital gains represent increases in stock prices. Investors looking for capital gains hope to buy a company's stock at a low price and sell it when the price has risen. Stock prices can increase for many reasons, including company profitability, a good economic environment, or rumors of a takeover. Conversely, stock prices may decline for many reasons, including poor earnings reports, poor management, lawsuits, faulty or out-of-date products, competition, bad publicity, or an overall poor economy. Prices also can be affected simply by the investment community's view of the stock market as a whole. Capital gains from selling stock result in taxable income; however, such gains, if long term, will generally be taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income tax rates, as was discussed above in connection with dividends. Also, in any given year, any capital loss you sustain can be used at tax time to offset capital gains. Finally, if unused capital losses remain, they can be used to offset up to $3,000 ($1,500 if married filing separately) of ordinary income for that year or can be carried forward to future years. Caution: Capital losses cannot be used to offset dividend income taxed at long-term capital gains rates.
The decision to invest in stocks is a personal one that should depend on your individual situation. Before taking this step, and before selecting specific types of stocks to add to your portfolio, there are some issues you should take into account.
One of the main factors to consider before buying stock is your attitude toward risk. How much financial risk, if any, are you willing to accept? If the thought of even a small amount of risk makes you anxious, you probably would be considered risk averse, in which case stocks might not be an appropriate investment for you. If you can handle some risk, you still need to tailor the stock portion of your portfolio to your particular level of risk tolerance. Though past performance is no guarantee of future results, stocks as a whole have historically offered relatively high potential reward over the long term compared to most other types of investments. As a result, stocks generally have a higher level of risk compared to other investments. You can lose a portion of your investment in stocks--or even your entire investment. Among the factors that affect the level of risk you face with stocks are:
Different kinds of stocks carry different degrees and types of risk and are therefore suited to different types of investors. For example, if you are fairly conservative and prefer minimal risk, you might think about stable, relatively safe blue-chip stocks. If you are very aggressive, however, you may want to consider riskier investments like aggressive growth and microcap stocks. Although an investor can screen for potential risks before making an investment, it is virtually impossible to plan for every conceivable contingency that could affect a business. For this reason, stock investors must be prepared for some degree of risk.
How much of a profit do you hope to make on your stock investments? If you seek the potential for better returns than cash alternatives and most fixed-income securities such as bonds or notes can offer, and you don't want the management responsibility of real estate or partnerships, you should probably at least investigate investing in stocks. Their potential for higher returns than many other investments means that stocks as a whole have a better chance at staying ahead of inflation, thus preserving your money's purchasing power over the long term. If you are certain that you want to pursue the highest returns possible, the stocks that you should consider are very different from those suitable for an investor who would be happy with modest returns. Of course, you should always weigh your desired return against the amount of risk you are willing to assume, because the potential for higher returns also means greater potential for loss. It can be challenging to strike the right balance.
First and foremost, your finances will determine whether you are in a position to invest in stocks and, if so, what types of stocks are appropriate for you. If even a small loss would have a meaningful impact on your finances, stocks may not be a viable option for you. If you have relatively limited resources, the types of stocks you choose and the amounts you invest will probably differ from those of an investor with substantial assets. Also, make sure you consider your finances in relation to your income and other personal circumstances. For example, if you have $200,000 available to invest but also have a child who will be attending college within a couple of years, the choices you make about stocks probably won't be the same as those of someone who has the same amount of investable assets but no significant near-term financial obligations.
Stocks are typically a long-term investment. The reason is that stocks can be volatile. If you're counting on a stock's price going up, it may take several years of ups and downs to reach your desired selling point--if indeed it ever does. But there is another reason. The sale of stock held for one year or less results in short-term capital gain or loss, and short-term capital gains are taxed at ordinary income tax rates. By comparison, the sale of stock held more than one year results in long-term capital gains, and long-term capital gains generally are taxed at lower rates than ordinary income. For example, if you are in the 28 percent tax bracket for ordinary income, your long-term capital gains are generally taxed at 15 percent.
Your investment choices will naturally be affected by the various factors discussed previously: your attitude toward risk, your desired return, and your financial and personal circumstances. Other factors may come into play as well, but these are the most common ones. Based on these very important considerations, you and your financial professional will be able to choose investments that match your situation. Different stocks may have very different strengths and weaknesses in terms of how they attempt to achieve a return. For example, you may want short-term gains, long-term capital appreciation (growth in value), steady income, or some combination.
No one, not even the most esteemed expert, can forecast with any certainty what the stock market will do from day to day or from year to year. It's not for a lack of trying, however. It seems there are always a number of conflicting theories floating around that attempt to predict or explain the market. You may have your own theories as to how the market works or will perform in the future. If so, such beliefs will likely influence your decisions about which stocks to invest in or whether to invest in stocks at all. In addition, your research into specific companies may guide you toward certain stocks and steer you away from others.
As you probably know, hundreds of millions of shares of stock trade daily on the stock market. The stock market is a general term referring to the organized trading of stocks and other securities through various exchanges, including the over-the-counter market. Stocks are generally bought through intermediaries, known as securities brokers and dealers. Investors can also purchase a group of stocks indirectly by owning shares of a mutual fund or an exchange-traded fund (ETF).
Most stocks are traded on various stock exchanges. Two major U.S. exchanges are the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the American Stock Exchange (AMEX). The Nasdaq is an equally important U.S. exchange, although there is no trading floor—the stocks are bought and sold over a broker-dealer computer network. In most cases, when you buy or sell stock, you go through a broker rather than deal directly with the issuer of the stock. This is true for most transactions, including initial public offerings (IPOs) and secondary offerings. In exchange for brokerage services, you ordinarily have to pay your broker (including discount brokers) a commission based on the dollar value of a particular transaction or the number of shares purchased. Many brokerage firms also offer so-called wrap fee programs, which are all-inclusive accounts whose fee structure includes commissions and investment advisory services.
In addition to the major exchanges, you can buy and sell stocks on the over-the-counter (OTC) market. Stocks that trade on the OTC market are generally those of smaller companies that don't trade on the NYSE and the AMEX because they don't meet the listing requirements of those exchanges. In recent years, however, many companies that qualify for listing have chosen to remain with OTC trading because they prefer this system to the centralized approach of the major exchanges.
An IPO occurs when a corporation decides to go public by offering shares of its stock to the general public for the very first time. Only the first issue of stock made available to the public is considered an IPO; subsequent issues by a public corporation are called public secondary offerings.
There are several ways that investors can evaluate the financial health of a company, as well as its prospects for the future. These methods may include an examination of factors specific to the individual company, or they may pertain to the industry as a whole.
The stock market is enormous; there are many different types of stocks from which you can choose. This should come as no surprise, given the number of companies worldwide that sell stock to the public. The types of stocks that you ultimately pick should depend on your individual circumstances. In narrowing the field to appropriate stocks for your portfolio, your financial professional can be immensely helpful. Very broadly speaking, stocks can be divided into two general categories--common stock and preferred stock. In many cases, a single company will make both kinds of stock available to investors. Each has its own particular strengths and weaknesses. Stocks can be further broken down into voting stock and nonvoting stock. Beyond that, there are stocks for investors of all types. For the more conservative investor who wants to keep risk to a minimum, there are blue chip stocks and conservative, income-oriented stocks. For the very aggressive investor who sits at the other end of the spectrum and is more interested in the potential for greater returns, there are aggressive growth stocks, microcap stocks, and emerging market stocks, among others. If you fall somewhere in between these two extremes, you may find a fit with midcap stocks, value stocks, and growth stocks. If you closely follow current economic conditions, cyclical stocks may be an appropriate option, just as international stocks may be a good match for an investor who stays attuned to foreign markets and is willing to accept the added risks of foreign investing.
There are several strategies you can adopt to get the most out of your stock investments. These range from very basic strategies appropriate for a novice, to more complex strategies that a sophisticated investor might be inclined to use. Some of the most common strategies available to you include buy low/sell high, buy and hold, and dollar cost averaging.
Contact a VyStar Investment Services Financial Advisor today by phone (904) 908-2495 or email VISMarketing@vystarcu.org.
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