Market Commentary October 2021

September has presented the latest challenge to this bull market. The “September Effect”, as it is sometimes called, is often attributed to investors returning from holiday and starting to position for year-end. These investors may sell shares to lock in gains or capture tax losses to offset gains. Some may also be selling to acquire school gear for their children, which is not so much pens and notebooks these days but PCs and tablets. Why does this happen so often you may ask – if calendar events are so known, why are they not arbitraged away? It is because investor’s knowledge of past market patterns can make for self-fulfilling prophecies. This year, we view the September selling as a healthy and likely overdue shakeout of market excesses.

Gibraltar Chronicle September 2021

Our latest article on the stock market, as published in the Gibraltar Chronicle.

Market Commentary September 2021

This year, saying “all-time highs” has started to sound like a broken record. Nothing has seemed to rattle the market much in 2021, with volatility at historic low levels. But after the summer lull, things to tend to get exciting again for investors in September in what is historically the worst-performing month of the year, with the FTSE 100 falling on average 1.2%. However, although the average return is bad for the month, about half of all Septembers have positive returns. The problem is that when the market does fall in this month, the falls can be very large.

Market Commentary August 2021

When investors are disillusioned with the stock market, they tend to sell any rallies. And when they are willing to let the good times roll, they tend to buy any dips. So far, 2021 has been a year of buying the dips. During any trading year, a major index such as the S&P 500 routinely will dance above and below its 20-day moving average trendline. A more-meaningful sign of a dip is when the index approaches or falls below its 50-day moving average, regarded as intermediate-term support. On 18th June, the index fell under its 50-day m/a at 4,166. Within one week, it had recovered and hit a new all-time high, and stocks have been sailing ever since. In fact, the market could probably use a dip, just so investors can buy it.

Gibraltar Chronicle July 2021

Our latest article on the stock market, as published in the Gibraltar Chronicle.

Market Commentary July 2021

It is the eternal mystery – the days are long, but the years are short – and 2021 is no exception, with the months whizzing by and the mid-year already here. History will likely remember 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic year, and 2021 as the recovery year. The health recovery is clearly underway, thanks to vaccines. Yet vaccination rates vary widely country by country. Politics is a factor, along with suspicion about treatments that were developed so quickly. The economic recovery is equally underway, aided by government stimulus. People-facing industries are seeing a return to something like the pre-pandemic normal, although a shortage of workers is slowing the process. And it’s not just workers that are in short supply; everything from semiconductors to bricks are subject to lengthening lead times, with subsequent price rises leading many to fret about the inflationary implications.

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Gibraltar Chronicle June 2021

Our latest article on the stock market, as published in the Gibraltar Chronicle.

Market Commentary June 2021

Stocks have been marching to a steady drumbeat of good news, reflecting vaccine distribution, general reopening optimism, and plenty of government stimulus to get a creaky economy back in gear. The parade stopped cold for a moment, however, before lurching back at an unsteady pace. The cause was inflation, which is as nefarious to markets as a reality as it is as a fear. The Consumer Price Index rose 1.6% in the 12 months to April 2021, up from 1% growth to March. Economists always say that a single month of data can be misleading, and that may have been the case with April’s inflation data. However, the CPI captures pricing trends across the economy, from the cost of raw goods to the consumer reaching for his or her wallet. The data may not be an indication of inflation getting “out of the bag”, but it cannot be ignored either.

Gibraltar Chronicle May 2021

Our latest article on the stock market, as published in the Gibraltar Chronicle.