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Market Commentary


Tech Sector Changes & NIRP

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: May 3, 2016

We did some realignment of our tech-sector holdings, as our clients know from their portfolio reviews. The changes are nuances within the ETF strategy. We sold XLK. It is the classic large-cap sector spider for tech. XLK has a year-to-date performance of about zero but is up about 9% from the February 8th low. Its […]

Sell in May. But Don’t Go Away

Author: Leo Chen, Post Date: May 2, 2016

In finance, we call those abnormal returns that can’t be explained by known factors anomalies – they include things like the January effect, Days of the week effect (e.g. better returns on Friday than on Monday), etc. An anomaly defies the market efficiency hypothesis by persisting over time. The very next anomaly that will fall […]

More Revealed in Illinois

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: April 29, 2016

We are pleased to offer a guest column by Adam Andrzejewski (CEO) with Matthew Tyrmand (Deputy Director) of OpenTheBooks.com. OpenTheBooks.com is the world’s largest private repository of public spending. Recently at Forbes, they covered the ‘Pension Palace’ of Illinois Legislators and the ‘Big Dogs’ of Illinois Municipal Government. New Tool Maps The Unsustainable Illinois Pension […]

April FOMC

Author: Robert Eisenbeis, Post Date: April 28, 2016

As widely expected, the FOMC left rates unchanged at its April meeting. The one takeaway from the Committee’s statement was removal of the reference to international concerns as a source of downside risk. But don’t make too much of this omission, since international developments are mentioned later on in the statement, where the Committee lists […]

Half Empty or Half Full?

Author: Robert Eisenbeis, Post Date: April 26, 2016

Much was made of last Thursday’s release of new claims for unemployment insurance. The weekly total of 247,000 was reported to be the lowest since the fall of 1973. Clearly, this must be interpreted as a sign of an improving labor market, as more and more people are employed. Most recent BLS data show that […]

Akerlof – Balchunas – Cohen – Shiller

Author: David Kotok, Post Date:
Akerlof – Balchunas – Cohen – Shiller

In today’s commentary, we offer three recommendations for an early start on this year’s summer reading. Though all three books are scholarly and extensively researched, they are also eminently readable. Here they are, in alphabetical order by author. Nobel laureates George Akerlof and Robert Shiller, both of whom I’ve had the opportunity to meet, are […]

Sweden and the Riksbank Surprise

Author: Bill Witherell, Post Date: April 25, 2016

Sweden’s central bank surprised the markets Thursday by extending its quantitative expansion program by 45 billion krona during the second half of 2016 – 30 billion of nominal government bonds and 15 billion of inflation-linked government bonds. The dovish move was unexpected, as the Swedish economy is strengthening. Indeed, in the words of the Riksbank, […]

DOL New Rules & Pay to Play – Part 2

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: April 22, 2016

Things are moving quickly. We recently wrote about the new Department of Labor rules that apply to ERISA investments held in accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs. You may find our comments on www.cumber.com. Political forces are working intensely to stop the new DOL rule. For some political insight we asked our friend and Washington […]

International Financial Crime and the Panama Papers

Author: Bill Witherell, Post Date: April 20, 2016

The recent leak of 11.5 million documents from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca revealed how offshore bank accounts and shell companies are being used by the world’s rich and powerful, as well as criminals, to conceal wealth, avoid taxes, and launder money; and the disclosure continues to have repercussions around the globe. The papers […]

A Case Study

Author: David R Kotok, Post Date: April 19, 2016

Dear Clinton, Cruz, Kasich, Sanders, & Trump (CCKS&T): While you fire bullets, darts, diatribes, and accusations at each other, many of our neighbors face the real world. Here is a case study, a real story about a real person. We are withholding her identity, but we have been given permission to tell her story. Sarah […]

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For a list of all equity recommendations for the past year, please contact Thérèse M. Pantalione at 800-257-7013, ext. 315. It is not our intention to state or imply in any manner that past results and profitability is an indication of future performance. All material presented is compiled from sources believed to be reliable. However, accuracy cannot be guaranteed.