What is the outlook for stocks in the fall of 2014? We’re entering what is traditionally the weakest month of the year for stocks, but this promises to be an interesting quarter for investors. Russ Koesterich of BlackRock offers a forecast for the remainder of the year. One possibility for the markets is a melt-up in equities. The chief investment officer at Schwab, Liz Ann Sonders, explains her views on the situation. Meanwhile, investors continue to be anxious about what will happen when the Federal Reserve begins to tighten monetary policy. The best way to tell how this will effect the markets is to look at the last two times the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates. Market Watch covers the story.

Two Notes Of Caution As Fall Arrives– Russ Koesterich, the chief investment strategist for BlackRock, believes, “First, conditions are ripe for further increases in volatility.  Second, we are approaching an historically soft period for equities.  Still, a strengthening economy, low inflation and moribund Treasury yields suggest that stocks can and probably should move higher by year’s end.” http://www.blackrock.com/investing/insights/weekly-commentary

A Possible Melt-Up In Equities – Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment officer at Schwab, and her team remain optimistic about stocks for the foreseeable future.  They say, “The main reasons for our continued optimism are the improving economy, higher earnings growth and still-reasonable valuations.  Stocks typically haven’t suffered bear markets unless a recession was imminent, and we see no indications of that—in fact, quite the opposite.”

This Is What The S&P 500 Did The Last 2 Times The Fed Started Hiking Rates– Investors spend a lot of time fretting about when the Federal Reserve will begin hiking interest rates.  A researcher for Market Watch writes that, “While there is significant angst surrounding the beginning of Fed tightening, today investors should keep in mind that tightening is the Fed’s way of saying that it thinks the economy is on better footing.” http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2014/08/27/this-is-what-the-sp-500-did-the-last-2-times-the-fed-started-hiking-rates/

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John R. Day, Bill Ennis, Stephanie Davidson and Matt Heller

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