Boltwood Capital Management | Weekly Reads: 05/22/2017
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Weekly Reads: 05/22/2017

The Week’s Best Articles: Week of May 22nd, 2017

Politics: Trump vs. Obama and Their Views on the Arab World – click here
The Telegraph outlines some of the differences (and the similarities) of how both presidents views toward the Middle East have evolved.  What is interesting, and not surprising, is that much of the campaign rhetoric has been tempered over time.

Commodities: Maine Drowning in Lobster? – click here
Commodity markets are complicated and difficult for many to make sense of.  In the case of the state of Maine the lobster industry is booming and there is very little explanation of why.

Personal Finance: The Surprising Loans Holding Back Some Americans – click here
America’s obsession with debt has been well documented.  It seems that everyday there is a new article highlighting the size of outstanding student loans and credit card debt.  Yet for many more sanguine services such as cell phones, medical expenses and utilities are causing financial strain.

Retail: A Looming Bailout? – click here
Forbes highlights the difficulty that retail employees have in making a decent wage.  These “tough” jobs along with the rise of Amazon and the financial pressures they are putting on traditional retailers potentially sets up a deadly future for many traditional retailers.

Stocks: Record Amount Pulled out of Small-Cap Stocks – click here
In a classic sign of how volatile stock markets can be the largest US Small Cap ETF had the largest outflow of cash in over a decade.  This should come as no surprise given that smaller companies are more sensitive to growth than their larger cousins.

Fixed Income: How New York’s Plan to Pay for College Influences the Bond Market – click here
Many universities in the U.S. issue bonds to help fund their operations.  This article looks at the impact that New York state’s program to pay for community college for those making less than $125,000 a year may impact the return of bonds issued by small universities.

Politics: Trump’s Optimism Higher than Reagan? – click here
An interesting comparison to the Trump presidency and that of Ronald Reagan.  Whenever optimism (or pessimism) gets to extreme the markets find reaching these expectations to be unreasonable.

Markets: A Pavlovian Reflex: Buy the Dip – click here
The WSJ examines the seemingly unavoidable habit of buying any dip in the current market and waiting for things to stabilize.  The last few bouts of market weakness have been fleeting and often resulted in a relatively quick rebound back to or beyond prior market highs.