Contact Us Today!

For a free, no obligation consultation!


Morgan Kenwood Newsletter

Subscribe for Weekly Commentary on the latest economic developments and updates on our Firm.

Weekly Market Commentary October 31, 2022

Weekly Market Commentary

October 31, 2022


The Markets


Some companies are doing better than others – a lot better.


It’s earnings season; the time when companies share how well they performed during the previous quarter. Earnings reports are important because they provide information about a company’s financial health. Shareholders pay particular attention to earnings, which are company profits after expenses have been subtracted.


At the end of last week, slightly more than half of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index had reported results for the third quarter of 2022. The blended earnings growth rate* for the S&P 500 was 4.1 percent, year-over-year, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.


The worst performing sector was communication services, which includes some big technology names. Earnings for the sector were down 20.9 percent for the third quarter. At the other end of the spectrum was the energy sector with year-over-year earnings growth of about 136 percent. The sector was led by big oil companies, some of which posted record profits, reported Sabrina Valle and Ron Bousso of Reuters.


The weaker performance of technology companies helps explain why the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow), an index that includes some of the nation’s large blue-chip companies, has outperformed the Nasdaq Composite Index, which reflects the performance of the technology sector, recently, reported Ben Levisohn of Barron’s.


“And what a four weeks it has been. The Dow has jumped 14.4% in October and is on pace for its best month since January 1976, when the blue-chip benchmark surged 14.41%. The other indexes have fallen short of those gains: The Russell 2000…has climbed 11%, the S&P 500 has gained 8.8%, and the Nasdaq Composite has risen a paltry 5%.”


Investors were also encouraged by last week’s economic data. The Personal Consumption Expenditure Price Index (PCE), which is the Federal Reserve’s favored measure of inflation, “…increased 4.2 percent [in the third quarter], compared with an increase of 7.3 percent [in the second quarter]. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 4.5 percent [in the third quarter], compared with an increase of 4.7 percent [in the second quarter].”


Investors hope evidence that price increases are not accelerating will cause the Fed to reevaluate the pace of rate hikes, reported Jacob Sonenshine and Jack Denton of Barron’s.


While recent stock market gains have been a respite for investors, corporate earnings are not as strong as the top line numbers suggest. When the energy sector is excluded, the blended corporate earnings rate was down 3.5 percent for the third quarter.


Last week, major U.S. stock indices rose, and yields for many maturities of U.S. Treasury moved lower.


*The blended rate combines actual earnings/profits for companies that have reported with consensus estimates for companies that haven’t yet reported.

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods. 

Sources: Yahoo! Finance; MarketWatch;; U.S. Treasury; London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.


WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT ECONOMICS? Adam Smith defined economics as “an inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations.” Alfred Marshall offered an alternative option: Economics is the study of humans “in the ordinary business of life.” No matter how you define it, economics shapes and influences our lives. Test your knowledge of all things economic by taking this brief quiz.


1.   The first version of the board game Monopoly was created to help people understand the:

a.   Harm done by monopolies

b.   Advantages of monopolies

c.    How family members think and collaborate

d.   None of the above


2.   What is the paradox of thrift?

a.   Saving more can lead to economic growth

b.   Shoppers can find valuable items in thrift stores

c.    Saving more can lead to economic slowdown

d.   Spending less today could mean having more in retirement


3.   Which of the following is not thought to cause prices to increase?

a.   The Fed raising rates

b.   Consumer spending

c.    Demand for goods increasing

d.   People thinking prices will move higher


4.   Generally, macroeconomics considers the role of governments in a market economy. What historical event led to the study of macroeconomics?

a.   The Credit Crisis of 1772

b.   World War II

c.    The Great Depression

d.   The Oil Crisis of 1973


The answers can be found below.


Weekly Focus – Think About It

“Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.”

—John Kenneth Galbraith, economist




1)   A. Originally called “The Landlord’s Game”, Monopoly was created by Elizabeth Magie to demonstrate what she considered to be the destructive effect of monopolies.

2)   C. While saving is good for the individual, it can be detrimental to a nation’s economy. When people save more and spend less, national economic growth tends to slow.

3)   A. The Fed raises rates to reduce demand, which can help bring prices down, lowering inflation.

4)   C. The Great Depression led to the study of macroeconomics.


Continue reading
212 Hits

Weekly Market Commentary October 24, 2022

Weekly Market Commentary

October 24, 2022


The Markets


Markets turned – again.


Markets continue to be volatile. Last week, stocks headed north. Nicholas Jasinski of Barron’s reported the change of direction reflected investors’ desire for the market to finally hit bottom. He may be right, but corporate earnings suggest we are not there yet, according to Bob Pisani of CNBC.


Corporate earnings season is underway. It’s the time when management tells shareholders how their companies performed during the previous quarter. With 20 percent of S&P 500 companies reporting actual results for the three-month period that ended September 30, the blended* earnings growth rate was 1.5 percent. That’s a slower pace of growth than we saw during the previous quarter, but earnings are still growing. The blended net profit margin was 12 percent, which is above the five-year average, reported John Butters of FactSet. 


Yields for United States Treasury bonds rose several times last week, too, although they moved a bit lower on Friday. The yield on a two-year U.S. Treasury note was 4.49 percent at week’s end. In fact, yields for many maturities of U.S. Treasuries were above four percent last week.


That’s important for investors who need their savings and investments to deliver income. During the past decade, with bond yields hovering at very low rates, some income investors added higher-risk bonds and dividend stocks to their portfolios to meet their income goals. Now, those investors may be able to find the income they need in investments with less risk – and that could push the stock market lower as investors move money out of stocks and into bonds.


“Stocks are certainly cheaper than they were at the start of the year, when the S&P 500 traded at 21 times forward earnings. It has since seen its multiple contract to less than 16 times [forward earnings]. But relative to bonds, equities are more expensive than at the start of the year,” reported Barron’s. “The equity-risk premium – stocks’ earnings yields minus Treasury yields – is around 3.5% today. It was 4% in January and nearly 7% during the 2007-09 financial crisis,” reported Nicholas Jasinski of Barron’s


An equity risk premium is the additional return an investor receives for taking on the higher risk of investing in stocks.


Last week, major U.S. stock indices finished higher. 

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods. 

Sources: Yahoo! Finance; MarketWatch;; U.S. Treasury; London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.


Looking for the perfect holiday gift for a child or young adult? Here’s an idea: Give them a great education. Parents and family members are already educators. One way older generations help educate younger generations is by sharing wisdom and offering guidance and emotional support. Another way to provide education is by funding a 529 Education Savings Plans to help with the expense of K-12 school tuition, college expenses and some types of apprenticeship costs, reported


529 Education Savings Plans have been an attractive way to fund education for a long time. Typically, after-tax contributions to the plans are invested and any earnings grow tax-deferred. If distributions are used to pay qualified education expenses, they may be tax-free.


There was a drawback to these plans: qualified distributions from non-parent-owned 529 plans were treated as untaxed income of the beneficiary. Since a student’s income plays an important role in determining financial aid eligibility, a distribution from a non-parent-owned 529 plan had the potential to reduce the amount of financial aid a student received by 50 percent, reported Kiplinger.


However, the Consolidated Appropriations Act included a simplification of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Beginning with the 2024-25 school year, distributions from 529 plans owned by third parties will no longer be treated as untaxed income, so a student’s financial aid eligibility remains unaffected.


529 plans also can be effective estate and gift planning tools. From a planning perspective, contributions to 529 accounts are gifts to the beneficiary. In 2022, the annual gift tax exclusion, per donee, is $16,000. So, a 529 plan account owner could contribute up to that amount without triggering gift taxes. Alternatively, the IRS allows larger contributions to be made up front and treats them as though the amount was contributed over a five-year period, without incurring gift tax.


If you would like to learn more or gift an education to a child, get in touch.


Weekly Focus – Think About It

“Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”

—Dr. Rita Pierson, educator

Continue reading
127 Hits

Weekly Market Commentary October 17, 2022

Weekly Market Commentary

October 17, 2022


The Markets


We’re not there yet.


Investors are understandably eager for the stock market to hit bottom. Some hoped it happened last week, but it did not. 


Despite the Fed’s rate hikes, last week the Consumer Price Index showed the annual rate for headline inflation was 8.2 percent in September. That’s down from June when the annual inflation rate was 9.1%, but a long way from the Federal Reserve’s two percent target. The core inflation numbers, which exclude food and energy, hit at a 40-year high last month.


The news rocked the markets. “A lot of investors are looking at inflation to get guidance on what the Fed is going to do, to find the bottom in the market once the Fed pivots…But looking at CPI, unemployment, there’s obviously a lot of heat in the economy. Inflation is going to take some time to come down,” said a source cited by Stephen Kirkland and Lu Wang of Bloomberg.


After the news broke on Thursday, the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index fell 2.4 percent. The sharp drop made some investors wonder whether the bear market had finally bottomed. The Index reversed course and finished the day up 2.6 percent, reported Ben Levisohn of Barron’s. That’s a big swing.


Then, on Friday, the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Survey was released. The good news was consumers were feeling slightly more optimistic in September. The bad news was expectations for inflation over the coming year rose slightly. Survey participants anticipated inflation would average 2.9% over the year ahead.


Inflation expectations are important because inflation has a psychological component. If people expect inflation to be higher – and behave that way – then they could cause inflation to move higher. For example, if a company expects higher inflation, it may increase prices at a faster rate than it would otherwise. If workers expect inflation to move higher, they may ask for larger wage increases than they would otherwise. These types of actions push inflation higher.


The S&P 500 headed down again on Friday and finished the week lower. The Nasdaq Composite Index also finished down, but the Dow Jones Industrial Index moved higher as some of the companies in the Index reported solid earnings. Treasury rates rose last week, with the 2-year Treasury yielding 4.48 percent and the 30-year Treasury yielding 3.99 percent.

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods. 

Sources: Yahoo! Finance; MarketWatch;; U.S. Treasury; London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.


FOOD FOR THOUGHT…When markets are volatile, it is difficult to be an investor. Headlines shout about losses. Quarterly statements show a significant drop in the value of savings and investments. It becomes all too easy to focus on short-term market movements and lose sight of long-term financial goals.


When market volatility produces anxiety, it may help to consider the words of people who have spent decades investing successfully through bull and bear markets.


“It’s waiting that helps you as an investor, and a lot of people just can’t stand to wait. If you didn’t get the deferred-gratification gene, you’ve got to work very hard to overcome that.”


Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s right-hand


“Investing isn't a game to be won. At the end of the day, it's a way to achieve your big goals, like buying that home, starting that business, and retiring on your own terms.”


Sallie Krawcheck, investment company CEO


“The stock market is a giant distraction from the business of investing.”


John C. Bogle, the father of index funds


“The most important thing is to stay the course – not to get shaken out of the market during a difficult time.”

John W. Rogers, Jr., investment company Chair and CEO


“Never is there a better time to buy a stock than when a basically sound company, for whatever reason, temporarily falls out of favor with the investment community. When bad things happen to good companies, it must be viewed as a buying opportunity rather than a bailout,”

Geraldine Weiss, the blue chip stock guru


If recent market activity has left you questioning whether investing is a good idea, please get in touch. We’re happy to listen and discuss your experience, concerns, and financial goals.


Weekly Focus – Think About It

Our latest survey finds 40% of money managers bullish about the outlook for stocks over the next 12 months, and 30% bearish. The bullish cohort has increased from 33% since the spring edition of the poll, which found a plurality of managers neutral, but the bearish contingent has also grown from 22%...In interviews, many Big Money managers sound more bullish than survey results suggest. Markets might stay volatile and challenging for the next year, but opportunities abound to scoop up quality stocks at cheap valuations. For investors whose time horizon extends well beyond a year, the current environment looks to be a gift.

—Barron’s Big Money Poll, October 13, 2022

Continue reading
101 Hits

Weekly Market Commentary October 10, 2022

Weekly Market Commentary

October 10, 2022


The Markets


Bah humbug!


Last week, OPEC+, which includes the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied oil producers like Russia, chose to cut production by two million barrels a day. The stated goal is to keep crude oil prices above $90 a barrel. The production cut, which will push gasoline and other prices higher, complicates efforts to fight inflation, reported Salma El Wardany and colleagues at Bloomberg.


According to economic data, the Federal Reserve’s inflation fight has produced mixed results, so far. Like the ghosts that visit Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, economic data offers information about what has happened in the past, what is occurring in the present, and what could happen in the future. Recently, the data has been sending mixed signals. Nicholas Jasinski of Barron’s explained:


“For the early part of this past week, a bad-news-is-good-news mentality ruled as each ‘disappointment’ was greeted with a surge. Fueled by data showing softer manufacturing activity and a sharp decline in job openings, the [Standard & Poor’s 500 Index] put together a 5.7% jump on Monday and Tuesday…It was all downhill from there, though, as hawkish remarks from Fed officials, stronger services data and Friday’s jobs report drove home the point that we’re still a ways away from an economy or labor market that justifies the end of tightening.”


Stock prices are considered to be a leading indicator. They offer information about what investors expect to happen in the future. Last week, investors changed their minds mid-week. Despite price volatility, major U.S. stock indices finished the week higher.


U.S. Treasury yields moved higher last week, too, with the yield on the two-year Treasury finishing the week at 4.3 percent, while the yield on the 10-year Treasury finished at 3.9 percent. When short-term yields are higher than long-term yields, the yield curve is “inverted,” which has historically been a sign that the bond market thinks the U.S. is headed for a recession.


“The shape of the curve is among the most widely watched financial-market barometers because it reflects bondholders’ views of where interest rates and the economy are headed. When the curve inverts, with long yields dropping below short ones, it signals expectations of a slowdown that will drive rates lower in the future,” reported Michael Mackenzie and Ye Xie of Bloomberg.


It’s difficult to know what will happen in the future. That’s why investment portfolios are built around investors’ short- and long-term financial goals. It is easy to lose sight of your goals, though, when markets are volatile. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and uncertain, please get in touch. We’re happy to talk about your concerns and help you find solutions.

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods. 

Sources: Yahoo! Finance; MarketWatch;; U.S. Treasury; London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.


AND THE WINNER IS…They didn’t get as much press as the Nobel Prizes, but 10 Ig Nobel Prize winners were also named recently. The Igs honor “…achievements that make people laugh, then think. Good achievements can also be odd, funny, and even absurd, so can bad achievements. A lot of good science gets attacked because of its absurdity. A lot of bad science gets revered despite its absurdity.”


This year’s winners included scholars of scorpion constipation, duckling swimming, ice cream cryogenics, romantic heart rate synchronization and other scintillating scientific topics. For example,


·        The Biology Prize went to Solimary García-Hernández and Glauco Machado for “Short- and Long-Term Effects of an Extreme Case of Autotomy: Does ‘Tail’ Loss and Subsequent Constipation Decrease the Locomotor Performance of Male and Female Scorpions


To escape predation, some types of scorpions shed their tails, losing a portion of their digestive tracts. This causes constipation. García-Hernández and Machado’s research investigated whether scorpions’ ability to move was affected by the change. They found that running speed was unaffected over the short-term. However, over the longer-term, tail loss and constipation hurt the running speed of males but not females.


·        The Economics Prize went to Alessandro Pluchino, Alessio Emanuele Biondo, and Andrea Rapisarda for “Talent vs. Luck: The Role of Randomness in Success and Failure.”


Western culture often asserts that success is the result of talent, intelligence, hard work, commitment and other personal traits. The research found that luck plays an outsized role. The researchers used mathematics to explain “why success most often goes not to the most talented people, but instead to the luckiest.” This was the second Ig for Pluchino and Rapisarda, whose previous win was for a paper explaining that promoting people at random could make organizations more efficient.


·        The Peace Prize went to Junhui Wu, Szabolcs Számadó, and their co-authors for “Honesty and Dishonesty in Gossip Strategies: A Fitness Interdependence Analysis.”


The researchers investigated gossip and developed a mathematical model for honest and dishonest gossip. During their acceptance speech, the researchers explained, “…gossiping people can be honest or dishonest, depending on how much they value the targets and recipients of gossip.”


Each of the Ig Nobel winners received a $10 trillion Zimbabwean banknote worth about far less than one trillion dollars. The awards were presented by actual Nobel Prize winners.



Weekly Focus – Think About It

"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity."

—Amelia Earhart, aviator


Continue reading
306 Hits

Weekly Market Commentary October 3, 2022

Weekly Market Commentary

October 03, 2022


The Markets


The third quarter marked a change in attitude.


So far, 2022 has been a tough year for investing. We’ve experienced an unusual phenomenon – the simultaneous decline of stock and bond markets. Throughout the third quarter, investors’ concerns focused on global instability, rising prices and the possibility that central bank efforts to tame inflation would cause economic growth to falter. The result has been tremendous volatility in stock and bond markets.


Early in the third quarter, U.S. stock markets gained ground as investors latched onto the idea that inflation had peaked, and the Federal Reserve would soon moderate the pace of rate hikes. Following the release of July’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), Carleton English of Barron’s reported:


“Wall Street got a dose of good news this week. It also got a little ahead of itself. Inflation slowed in July, according to Department of Labor data released on Wednesday…It makes sense that investors would celebrate the easing of prices. But it may be too early to pop the Champagne – inflation standing at 8.5% is still a long way from the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%, and the Fed is likely to continue tightening until it is under control.”


U.S. stock markets trended higher through mid-August when Fed Chair Jerome Powell made it clear the Fed did not share investors’ optimistic inflation outlook. It still viewed inflation as a threat and planned to continue to raise rates aggressively into 2023.


Other central banks concurred. Last week, Katie Martin of Financial Times reported, “In an extraordinary sweep, central banks from the U.S. to Switzerland embarked on what looked like competitive policy tightening…10 central banks delivered a massive combined total of 6 percentage points of rate rises just this week. Several rises, including the latest from the U.S., were of some 0.75 percentage points, three times the usual scale of rate moves.”


Aggressive central bank tightening caused investors to reassess their expectations. The result was a market sell off. “In the month since Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell laid down a hard line on inflation, stocks have suffered double-digit losses, chasms have opened in global currency markets, and yields on the safest U.S. government debt have surged to their highest levels since the dark days of the financial crisis nearly a decade and a half ago,” reported Howard Schneider of Reuters.


There is a concept in financial markets known as capitulation. It occurs when fear takes hold. Investors abandon hope that the stock market will deliver positive returns and they sell. Capitulation often is a sign the market has bottomed, reported Nicholas Jasinski and Jacob Sonenshine of Barron’s. In recent weeks, investors have been selling, but some say the market has not yet reached capitulation. 


If you’re tempted to sell, think carefully. The wiser course may be to stay invested. A recession is at least partly priced into current U.S. stock prices. In addition, the strength of the dollar will help the Fed’s effort to bring inflation down, reported Financial Times.

It’s important to remember that stock markets are leading indicators. They reflect what investors anticipate will happen in the future. As a result, the market often bottoms during a recession and begins to rise before the recession ends, reported Sergei Klebnikov of Forbes.

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods. 

Sources: Yahoo! Finance; MarketWatch;; U.S. Treasury; London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.


THE WEEKLY WRAP-UP. It was a tumultuous week. In the United States, Hurricane Ian pummeled Florida and South Carolina. Analysts estimate the destruction in Florida will cost U.S. insurance companies about $63 billion, although the cost of recovery will be much higher. “The total economic damage will be well over $100 billion, including uninsured properties, damage to infrastructure, and other cleanup and recovery costs,” according to a source cited by Max Reyes of Bloomberg.


In the United Kingdom, fiscal and monetary policies collided last week. Britain’s new government plans to encourage economic growth with a stimulus package to offset energy costs and big unfunded tax cuts. The government’s fiscal stimulus plan could spark at the same time Britain’s central bank is trying to tamp inflation down. Investors showed their disapproval by selling U.K. government bonds, which are known as gilts. As yields surged, gilts rapidly lost value, imperiling the nation’s pension funds. The Bank of England staged an emergency intervention, calming bond markets by promising to continue its bond purchases, reported Brian Swint of Barron’s.


Inflation continued to be a concern around the globe. In the U.S., the Personal Consumption Expenditures Index was released last week. It showed prices rose 6.2 percent year-over-year in August. In the 19-member Eurozone, inflation was up 10 percent in September, largely because energy prices are up more than 40 percent year-over-year, reported Elliot Smith of CNBC. In Argentina, the central bank lifted its benchmark rate for the ninth time – to 75 percent – in an effort to tame inflation.


The war in Ukraine continued to affect food and energy supplies, driving prices higher. The agreement between Russia and Ukraine that allowed some grain exports to Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa in July and August appears to be in jeopardy. Russia is reconsidering the agreement, and has threatened to reject it, which could exacerbate food insecurity in some countries and drive food prices higher. 


On Friday, major U.S. stock indices were in bear territory, closing at 52-week lows, reported Ben Levisohn of Barron’s. The yield on benchmark U.S. Treasury notes rose to a 14-year high before falling back a bit to finish the week at 3.8 percent.


Weekly Focus – Think About It

“Earnings don’t move the overall market; it’s the Federal Reserve Board...focus on the central banks, and focus on the movement of liquidity...most people in the market are looking for earnings and conventional measures. It's liquidity that moves markets.”

—Stanley Druckenmiller, asset manager

Continue reading
107 Hits

Contact Details

Morgan Kenwood Advisors, LLC
5130 West Loomis Road
Greendale, WI 53129-1424
Phone: (414) 423-4020
Fax: (414) 423-4023
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.