Week in Review

CaptureAfter racking up double-digit gains for 2013, stocks ended the first week of trading of the New Year with modest losses, with the Dow Jones Industrials off less than 0.1% and the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the NASDAQ both down about 0.6%. Other than a wicked winter storm that rocketed the Northeast and putting a damper on trading volume, it was a relatively quite holiday shortened week. Of note, the dollar volume for initial public offerings in 2013 of $61.8 billion was the highest since 2007 when the figure came in at $65.4 billion, according to Dealogic. I would not be surprised in 2014 brings in a similar amount, although elevated IPO activity can signal a market top. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday delivered his final prepared speech as head of the central bank as he reflected on his tenure and what rests ahead for the U.S. economy. Specifically he said “The U.S. recovery appears to be somewhat ahead of those of most other advanced industrial economies, but nevertheless, I see some grounds for cautious optimism abroad as well.” Bernanke is expected to step down at the end of his term, which expires this month, and would be succeeded by Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen who is expected to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Monday. The upcoming week will kick-off the fourth quarter earnings season, beginning with aluminum giant Alcoa, but I don’t expect any of thebuttonwoodproject names reporting much before the week of January 13 starting with JPMorgan Chase. I will sum up Part 3 of my Year in Review early in the week with the aggressive portfolio names and assuming I can find a suitable replacement for Con Edison, I will add another position to the income portfolio. Stay warm.

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