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2019 Barron’s “The Trader” Columns and WSJ Stock Market Data

Dec 27

The Dow Is Closing Out 2019 With a Bang. Good Luck in 2020.

With hopes high and risks minimized, the stock market will likely have a hard time living up to 2019. Here’s what could go wrong.

S&P 500: 3240.02

Dec 20

The S&P Is Heading for Its Best Year Since 2013. What Fueled the Rally.

Last year at this time, stocks were sinking to dismal depths. Now, it seems, they can’t stop hitting new highs.

S&P 500: 3221.22

Dec 13

Lots Went Right for Investors Last Week. The Dow Still Ended Friday on a Flat Note.

Sometimes your dream comes true and you realize you weren’t dreaming big enough. That was true for the stock market this past week.
S&P 500: 3168.80

Dec 6

The Jobs Numbers Were Great. The Dow Still Finished Down for the Week.

It’s time to pop the Champagne over Friday’s stellar jobs report, even if the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished lower on the week.
S&P 500: 3145.91

Nov 29

The S&P 500 Notches Its 26th Record This Year Before Falling Back

After a strong start to the holiday-shortened week, stocks gave back some of their gains on Friday and retreated from records they set on Wednesday.
S&P 500: 3140.98

Nov 22

The Dow’s Winning Streak Ended With a Whimper as Trade Worries Return

U.S. stock indexes took a breather from their long march toward record highs this past week, as investors got a reminder that trade wars can be hard to win.
S&P 500: 3110.29

Nov 15

The Dow Makes a Dash for Another All-Time High — and Breaks 28,000

“We could have two years left,” says Carmel Wellso, director of research at Janus Henderson Investors. “But we’re at the end of the cycle and one day closer to a recession.”
S&P 500: 3120.46

Nov 8

Is It Time to Shop for Stocks in Europe and Japan?

The news has been largely market-friendly since the start of October, and investors have responded by bidding up U.S. indexes to records.
S&P 500: 3093.08

Nov 1

The S&P 500 Soared to a Record High on Fed Optimism and Jobs Report

It’s a lesson we may all want to take to heart—don’t fight the Fed.
S&P 500: 3066.91

Oct 26

The S&P 500 Closed Out the Week Strong — but Not Strong Enough

After seesawing for much of this past week, stocks moved higher on Friday, lifted by strong showings in financials, energy, and industrials.
S&P 500: 3022.55

Oct 18

The Dow Found a Way to Waste a Perfectly Good Week

Why can’t we have nice things? The week contained enough good news to drive just about any market higher, but instead ended with the Dow Jones Industrial Average lower for the fourth time in five weeks.
S&P 500: 2986.20

Oct 4

The Dow Was Getting Whacked Until It Wasn’t. Here’s Why.

In a world that seems increasingly black and white, investors need to remember the market exists in shades of gray.

S&P 500: 2952.01

Sep 27

The Dow Dropped for the Week. Impeachment Was Only Part of It.

What matters to the market isn’t always the same as what matters to you and me.

S&P 500: 2961.79

Sep 20

Dow Falls as Markets Try to Figure Out What Really Matters

If you guessed that an aborted trip to Montana would be the event that moved the stock market this past week, give yourself a prize.

S&P 500: 2992.07

Sep 13

The Dow’s 1.6% Gain Hid Turmoil Beneath the Market’s Surface

It was a week when everything that had been working stopped working, when losers were suddenly winners. Value and small-cap stocks gained, while momentum stocks fell.

S&P 500: 3007.39

Sep 6

The S&P 500 Finally Busts Out — and Sets Itself Up for More Gains

“Everything’s not awesome,” goes the theme to The Lego Movie2, “but that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless and bleak.” That’s the conclusion the market appears to have reached following a very volatile August.

S&P 500: 2978.71

Aug 30

Stocks Rally 3%, Ending a Bad Month on a Good Note

Despite falling bond yields and continued recession concerns, a Chinese request for “calm” in the trade war lifted the S&P 500 to its best week since June.

S&P 500: 2926.46

Aug 23

The Dow’s Week Turned Ugly After Trump Sparred With China and Powell

This past week was supposed to be about Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s Friday speech in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Instead, Donald Trump and Xi Jinping decided to crash the party.

S&P 500: 2847.11

Aug 16

Stocks Swing Wildly as Yield Curve Flips. Is There a Recession Out There?

Normally, these signs would be enough to make investors plan for the end of the bull market, even if the market has a habit of rising between the first inversion and the start of a bear. But these aren’t normal times.

S&P 500: 2888.68

Aug 9

The Dow, Whipsawed by Trade Tensions, Finishes the Week Down Modestly

What the heck was that?

The simple version: It was a week that began with a global selloff, but after a massive comeback, finished with very little damage done.
S&P 500: 2918.65

Aug 2

The S&P 500 Suffered Its Worst Week of 2019 — and It Might Not Be Finished Falling

Investors entered the week hoping for a repeat of the 1990s. Instead, they might get a rerun of That ’70s Show.

S&P 500: 2932.05

Jul 19

Stock Market Gauges Barely Budge as Fed Decision Looms
An almost eerie calm settled over the stock market this past week.
S&P 500: 2976.61

Jul 12

Stocks Hit Record Highs, and Earnings Could Keep Them There
A curious dynamic has taken hold in the market, one where good news is bad news and bad news is good news.
S&P 500: 3013.77

Jul 5

The S&P 500 Soared Last Week Because a Trade Truce Conquers All
Slowing manufacturing activity and the continued inversion of the yield curve weren’t enough to override the optimism brought on by renewed cooperation between the U.S. and China.
S&P 500: 2990.41

Jun 28

The S&P 500 Just Had Its Best June Since 1955
As volatility at the extremes has increased and decreased, market selloffs have become more violent than they used to be.
S&P 500: 2941.76

Jun 21

The S&P 500 Hit a New High. Start Worrying.
The range is a great home for cowboys. It’s a frustrating one for the stock market.
S&P 500: 2950.46

Jun 14

The Dow Gains Again as a Decision Looms for the Federal Reserve
Bad news poured down this past week, yet the market kept on dancing in the rain.
S&P 500: 2886.98

Jun 7

The Dow’s Big Rally Last Week Was Scary. And Not in a Good Way.
It has been a while since a massive stock market rally has frightened us this much.
S&P 500: 2873.34

May 31

Dow Drops for Sixth Week Because Tariffs Aren’t Just for China Anymore
President Trump announced he was imposing 5% tariffs on Mexican imports. To say that the market was caught by surprise would be an understatement.
S&P 500: 2752.06

May 24

The Dow Celebrates Five Weeks of Futility
“The bond market is telling you that the stock market needs to readjust its expectations,” says one portfolio manager.
S&P 500: 2826.06

May 17

What Does It Take to Trigger a Stock-Market Selloff, Anyway?
Investors have become accustomed to central banks stepping in to bail out the market. Has something fundamentally changed?
S&P 500: 2859.53

May 10

Dow Drops 2.1% as Tariffs Unexpectedly Return
The U.S. and China are playing a game of chicken with trade—and there may be no winners.
S&P 500: 2881.40

May 3

After the S&P’s Hot Start to 2019, Risks Loom Larger
Investors are breathing a sigh of relief. They might want to buckle up for a wild ride instead.
S&P 500: 2945.64

Apr 26

S&P, Nasdaq Set New Records as Earnings, GDP Offer Pleasant Surprises
The Dow was the only big index to decline during a week when earnings were mostly positive surprises and GDP growth rose more than expected.
S&P 500: 2926.17

Apr 19

The Stock Market Did Nearly Nothing This Week. Why That’s a Good Thing
Being called boring is almost never a compliment. For investors, though, it’s a dream come true.
S&P 500: 2905.03

Apr 15

‘Playing Not to Lose.’ Investors Are Sitting Tight as Stocks Near Record Highs
Watching the Dow Jones Industrial Average last week was a lot like taking in a production of Waiting for Godot—nothing much happens.
S&P 500: 2907.41

Apr 5

This Bull Market Has No Expiration Date
The bull market recently celebrated its 10th birthday. Can it rally for another 10?
S&P 500: 2892.74

Mar 29

The S&P 500 Is Off to Its Best Start Since 1998
It has been decades since the market glowed this green to start the year—even as several signs start to flash red.
S&P 500: 2834.40

Mar 22

The Dow Drops 347 Points as Bonds Throw Market a Curve
On Friday, the yield curve inverted. An “inversion” has been a reliable indicator of a looming recession and the end of a bull market.
S&P 500: 2800.71

Mar 15

S&P 500 Gains 2.9% for the Week Because Up Is the New Down
Buying the dip is alive and well. The market came roaring back this past week after suffering its worst week of 2019, even though it had every excuse to keep falling.
S&P 500: 2822.48

Mar 8

This Stock Market Still Looks Good, Even After 10 Years
Ten years after the crash, there’s still no reason for investors to panic.
S&P 500: 2743.07

Mar 1

The Dow Just Had Its Best Two Months in Years — and There Could Be More to Come
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 11.1% in January and February, its best two months since August 2009.
S&P 500: 2803.69

Feb 22

Stocks’ Winning Streak Rolls On
In a fairly tranquil week for stocks, the major U.S. indexes edged higher.
S&P 500: 2792.67

Feb 15

Dow Gains 777 Points Because Sellers Have Become Buyers
Dow gains 3.1% for eighth straight up week, its longest winning streak since November 2017. Given those gains, we’d expect a heaping helping of good news, but not much was forthcoming.
S&P 500: 2775.60

Feb 8

Dow Notches Seventh Straight Winning Week
Looking at the major indexes, it would appear not much happened last week. The S&P 500 rose 0.05%, the Dow 0.17%, and the Nasdaq 0.5%. The S&P 500’s gain almost wasn’t, however.
S&P 500: 2707.88

Feb 1

Dow Gains 327 Points as Powell Powers Market
The Federal Reserve swooped in to save the stock market last week—and perhaps not a moment too soon.
S&P 500: 2706.53

Jan 25

The S&P 500 Goes Nowhere After Its Big Runup
What do you do after you have the best start to a year since 1987? If you’re the S&P 500, you take a break.
S&P 500: 2664.76

Jan 18

Dow Gains 3% for Its Best Start Since 1997
Hope about the prospect for a trade deal lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its best start to a year in more than a decade. Now, stocks will have to earn it.
S&P 500: 2670.71

Jan 11

Nasdaq Gains 3.5% in a Fit of Extreme Buying
The world is neither as frightening as we fear nor as safe as we hope—and that’s something investors should keep in mind as the market whipsaws from extreme losses to sizable gains.
S&P 500: 2596.26

Jan 4

Dow Gains 370 Points as Recession Fears Recede
The market is acting like a teenager, responding to every rumor about their crushes with pure emotion. Is it finally ready to grow up?
S&P 500: 2531.94