ACTIONABLE ADVICE FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS: Newsletters and Commentaries Focused on Investment Strategy

Follow us on
 Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  RSS Feed

    Last 14 days

Most Popular Articles


Most Popular Commentaries

    Last 12 Months

Most Popular Articles


Most Popular Commentaries

More on Related Themes


2016-05-03 00:00:00 Reevaluating Your Investment Philosophy by Teresa Riccobuono (Article)

Many advisors use the beginning of a new quarter as a time to review their investment choices, sometimes called a “pick list.” If you fall into this group, consider including a review of your investment philosophy as part of the overall process.

2016-05-03 00:00:00 Stockbroker Economics and the Value of Diversification by John Coumarianos (Article)

The English journalist and economist Andrew Smithers has called “stockbroker economics” the belief that all news is good news and stocks are always cheap. Advisors recognize the fallacy of that logic and rely on diversification to counter the inevitable asset-class volatility that markets deliver. But, according to many forecasts – including those from GMO – virtually all asset classes are likely to perform poorly over the next decade.

2016-05-02 00:00:00 Weekly Gasoline Price Update: Regular and Premium, WTIC Highest Since November by Jill Mislinski (Article)

It's time again for our weekly gasoline update based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The price of Regular and Premium are up eight cents each from last week and at their highest levels since November. According to GasBuddy.com, California has the highest average price for Regular at $2.80 and San Francisco is averaging $2.94. Oklahoma has the cheapest at $1.95. The WTIC end of day spot price closed at 44.78, up 2.14 from last week.

2016-05-02 00:00:00 S&P 500 Snapshot: Sell in May? Not Today! by Doug Short (Article)

Global markets were a bit erratic on the first trading day of May. The Nikkei did a -3.11% swan dive, the Shanghai and FTSE took a May Day holiday, and the Euro STOXX 50 posted a fractional 0.14% gain. The S&P 500 opened in the shallow green and traded in a narrow range through the morning. It then accelerated its upward trend to its 0.88% intraday high a few minutes before the close. Selling in the final 15 minutes trimmed the gain to 0.78%. A "Sell in May" strategy could emerge at some point this month, but it wasn't the case today.

2016-05-02 00:00:00 The Bank of Japan Leaves Monetary Policy Unchanged by Sean Connery of Invesco

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced at its April 28 policy meeting that it would keep monetary policy unchanged. Invesco Fixed Income has been inclined to think that the BoJ would wait. It was only in January that it eased policy last, and we had anticipated that it would want to fully assess the impact of those actions before easing further. Furthermore, the recent increase in oil prices and weakening in the yen may have bought the central bank some additional thinking time. However, recent polls indicated that many non-Japanese investors had expected easing.

2016-05-02 00:00:00 Metals Don’t Reflect Chinese Demand Growth by Jodie Gunzberg of S&P Dow Jones Indices

After China reported year-over-year first-quarter growth that showed signs of improvement, it overpowered negative news of the Doha oil production meeting failure and sent commodities rallying. Investors’ attention quickly shifted from oil to the other economically sensitive sector, industrial metals.

2016-05-02 00:00:00 Diversification Pays While Low Inflation Stays by Brad Tank of Neuberger Berman

Neither rising rates nor rising defaults would spell the end of opportunistic, diversified fixed income. There is one piece of conventional wisdom you may have heard in recent years. It says that opportunistic fixed income investors have been forced into high yield and emerging market debt because conventional bond yields have been so low, and that “chasing yield” like this always ends badly.

2016-05-02 00:00:00 On My Radar: He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

He sure feels like he’s heavy.  From The Wall Street Journal this morning, “U.S. Growth Starts Year in Familiar Rut.”  “A sharp pullback in business investment and weak global demand dragged down an already-lackluster U.S. economy in the opening months of 2016, the latest setback in a bumpy expansion entering its seventh year.”  That marked the economy’s worst performance in two years.

2016-05-02 00:00:00 Altitude Adjustment: Investing During a Period of Lower Returns and Higher Volatility by Mihir Worah, Geraldine Sundstrom of PIMCO

It can be difficult to adjust to the end of a good run. For years following the financial crisis of 2008, investors benefited from a rally in financial markets facilitated in part by expansionary policies of the Federal Reserve and other central banks around the globe.

2016-05-02 00:00:00 I Think Icahn by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Last Thursday was session 53 in the “buying stampede” and it was going along swimmingly. Well, I guess the surprise “no stimulus” announcement out of Japan caused an early morning stutter-step, but the equity markets seemed to stabilize after a somewhat weak opening. In fact it caused one market wizard to comment, “I love this market. Bad earnings can't take it down. Remember, the move most people least expect is the DJIA going right through all of that overhead supply and making all-time new highs. I'm in the minority camp, expecting major new highs. Buy in May and don't go away!”

2016-05-02 00:00:00 The Economy and Earnings Should Strengthen Later This Year by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets fell last week, with the S&P 500 Index declining 1.2%. Monetary policy was in focus. The Federal Reserve meeting generated debate about the timing of the next rate hike and the Bank of Japan surprisingly failed to move rates even further into negative territory. Earnings were generally weak, while a fall in the value of the dollar led to another rally in commodity prices.

2016-05-02 00:00:00 Relationships Are Complicated: Crude Oil and US Equities by Craig Burelle of Loomis Sayles

Over the last 30 years, the correlation between crude oil prices and the US equity market has been essentially zero. In the first quarter of this year, the correlation rose to 0.58.

2016-05-01 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Equities fell this week, led by an 11% drop in the US's largest stock, Apple. For the first time since the February low, the near-term trend in SPY is weak: the current set up normally leads SPY, through price and time, to its 50-dma and lower Bollinger Band, both currently about 3% lower. Overall, breadth, sentiment, macro, commodities and seasonality support higher equities prices in the week(s) ahead. The month of May typically starts strong and the NDX has been down 7 days in a row: combined, these suggest a positive start to the week is likely.

2016-05-01 00:00:00 Silver Wheaton: The Ultimate Streaming Service by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

As the only pure silver mining company, Silver Wheaton couldn’t have been founded during a more opportune time. The commodities boom was still young. I remember that when the idea was shared with me, what I found most attractive was that it had virtually no competition. Franco-Nevada, which had been acquired by Newmont in 2001, wouldn’t be spun off for three more years. It was a no-brainer to put capital in this new endeavor.

2016-05-01 00:00:00 Great Expectations! by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen and Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Expectations and inflection points matter in investing, often more so than the overall level of any given data set. The besting of low expectations has helped stocks to move higher, but the bar has been raised so we continue to suggest a neutral allocation toward U.S. stocks. Globally, currency moves have played a large part in determining stock market action, and some calming in the currency markets could help stabilize global markets.

2016-04-29 00:00:00 ECRI Weekly Leading Index: WLI Up 0.3 From Last Week, WLIg Up 1.0 by Jill Mislinski (Article)

Today's release of the publicly available data from ECRI (Economic Cycle Research Institute) puts its Weekly Leading Index (WLI) at 135.5, up 0.3 from the previous week. The company's Weekly Leading Index annualized growth indicator (WLIg) is at 4.5, an increase of 1.0 from the previous week, and well off its interim low of -4.7 in January of last year. Year-over-year the indicator is now at 0.95%, up from 0.74% the previous week, and in positive territory for the fifth consecutive week.

2016-04-29 00:00:00 The Big Four Economic Indicators: Real Personal Income for March by Doug Short (Article)

Personal Income (excluding Transfer Receipts) in March rose 0.38% and is up 4.3% year-over-year. When we adjust for inflation using the BEA's PCE Price Index, Real Personal Income (excluding Transfer Receipts) rose 0.33%. The real number is up 3.5% year-over-year. Real PI less TR is one of those indicators that warrants adjustment for population growth to understand the long-term trends.

2016-04-29 00:00:00 Drivers of Oil Prices Prove Slippery to Grasp by Charles Wilson, PhD of Thornburg Investment Management

Currency movements more than a failed "freeze" deal explain volatility in crude prices. But energy market fundamentals will ultimately determine price levels more than currency effects.

2016-04-29 00:00:00 Fiscal Stimulus? Check Your Portfolio’s Inflation Beta by Vadim Zlotnikov of AllianceBernstein

With negative interest rates unlikely to ignite global growth, the debate will soon shift to expansionary fiscal policy. Investors should consider how a potential inflation recovery could impact their portfolios.

2016-04-29 00:00:00 How India Is Stepping Out of China’s Shadow by Sukumar Rajah of Franklin Templeton Investments

A combination of a growing middle class and increased commercialization of the rural sector (and ultimately infrastructure) could potentially set the stage for increased urbanization in years to come.

2016-04-29 00:00:00 5 Charts From April’s Consumer Confidence Report by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

Headline consumer confidence was a bit softer in April. The Consumer Confidence Index fell to 94.2 from 96.2 in March. This was below expectations of 95.8. The weakness in the report came from the expectations component as it fell by 4.3. The present situation component actually rose by 1.6.

2016-04-29 00:00:00 China: Still the World’s Number One Heavy Metal Rock Star by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

There’s a lot to unpack here, but I’ll say upfront that Cornerstone’s analysis is directly in line with our own, especially where the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) is concerned. China’s March PMI reading, at 49.7, was not only at its highest since February 2015 but it also crossed above its three-month moving average—a clear bullish signal, as I explained in-depth in January.

2016-04-29 00:00:00 Dealing with Volatility by Robert Horrocks of Matthews Asia

There has been much concern over market turmoil recently, which begs the question: how do investors deal with volatility? Robert Horrocks, PhD, CIO and Portfolio Manager, discusses how volatility is managed at Matthews Asia.

2016-04-28 00:00:00 A Gold Revaluation Could Transform Your Financial Status – Overnight by David Smith of Money Metals Exchange

As we move through 2016, the Horsemen of the geopolitical, economic, and social apocalypse are on the march.

2016-04-28 00:00:00 Pinnacle’s Q2 Market Review by Rick Vollaro of Pinnacle Advisory Group

The beginning of 2016 started in an emotional frenzy, as world markets dropped sharply out of the gates on fears of a sputtering world economy, plummeting commodity prices, a stubbornly hawkish Federal Reserve, and a decelerating earnings backdrop. The violence of the move in January was stunning, and by early February the number of world markets that had fallen more than 20% from their highs clearly argued that a bear market across the globe was taking place.

2016-04-28 00:00:00 Quarterly Strategy Update: The End of Ricardian Growth? by Steven Vannelli of GaveKal Capital

This quarter, we explore the hypothesis that the modern era of Ricardian growth has ended. We further explore what this means for asset allocation and which types of stocks in particular should do well in this Ricardian hangover.

2016-04-27 00:00:00 The Impeachment Proceedings of Dilma Rousseff by Kaisa Stucke of Confluence Investment Management

Brazil’s lower house recently voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff. The process now moves to the Senate, which is expected to vote in the next few weeks. For almost a year, Rousseff’s opposition has been trying to impeach her for allegedly manipulating the government budget in 2014. A Senate majority vote to impeach could remove her from power, installing her vice president, Michel Temer, as president. This week we look at the circumstances that have led to the Brazilian presidential impeachment proceedings, Brazil’s recent political history and its economic development.

2016-04-27 00:00:00 Technically Speaking: Time To Sell Oil/Energy? by Lance Roberts of Real Investment Advice

Over the last several weeks, in both the daily blog and weekly newsletter, I have been laying out the technical case for a breakout above the downtrend. As I stated, while such a breakout would demand a subsequent increase in equity risk in portfolios, I didn’t like it.

2016-04-27 00:00:00 FOMC Faqs: When Doves Cry? by John Canally of LPL Financial

As the third of eight Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings of 2016 approaches later this week, the market and the Federal Reserve (Fed) again remain deeply divided over the timing and pace of Fed rate hikes.

2016-04-27 00:00:00 Global Economic Outlook - April 2016 by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

If you had somehow fallen asleep last New Year’s Eve and awoken on March 31, you might not have realized that you’d slept through the first quarter. Economic prospects and market levels were little changed from point to point.

2016-04-27 00:00:00 Has The Miner’s Correction Finally Begun? by Avi Gilburt of ElliottWaveTrader.net

While the GDX did not strike its upside resistance, it may have come close enough to consider it having topped. The question now is how do we view the coming “correction.”

2016-04-27 00:00:00 Gold More Productive Than Cash?! by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Is gold, often scoffed at as being an unproductive asset, more productive than cash? If so, what does it mean for asset allocation?

2016-04-27 00:00:00 Why the Manufacturing Recession Still Matters by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

The U.S. economy continues to grow (albeit at a snail’s pace), but Russ discusses why investors ignore the manufacturing recession at their peril.

2016-04-27 00:00:00 Boring Ol' TIPS - Not So Boring Now by Elaine Kan of Loomis Sayles

TIPS seem to be en vogue. Why the interest in this relatively unexciting, high-quality asset class? Some of the recent attention can be attributed to strong TIPS performance so far this year versus last year. But I also suspect that forward-looking investors are intrigued by the asset class as they keep a close eye on some looming market changes.

2016-04-27 00:00:00 Value Comeback? by Burt White of LPL Financial

Value stocks have staged a comeback versus growth after a long losing streak. Based on the Russell 1000 style indexes, growth has outpaced value for the better part of the last decade. Other than the period between April 2012 and July 2013, it’s been all growth all the time since 2006.

2016-04-26 00:00:00 Home Prices Rose 5.3% Year-over-Year in February by Jill Mislinski (Article)

With today's release of the February S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price we learned that seasonally adjusted home prices for the benchmark 20-city index were up 0.7% month over month. The seasonally adjusted year-over-year change has hovered between 4.8% and 5.7% for the last twelve months.

2016-04-26 00:00:00 The "Real" Goods on the March Durable Goods Data by Doug Short (Article)

Earlier today the Census Bureau posted the Advance Report on March Durable Goods New Orders. This series dates from 1992 and is not adjusted for either population growth or inflation. Let's now review Durable Goods data with two adjustments. In the charts the gray line shows the goods orders divided by the Census Bureau's monthly population data, giving us durable goods orders per capita. The blue line goes a step further and adjusts for inflation based on the Producer Price Index for All Commodities, chained in today's dollar value.

2016-04-26 00:00:00 The Portfolio Management Assumptions that Harm Clients by Scott MacKillop (Article)

Far too often, advisors accept beliefs and practices that are detrimental to the financial wellbeing of clients. By reexamining them, you can achieve better outcomes for your clients.

2016-04-26 00:00:00 Ian Bremmer: The Big-Picture Trends Investors Should Watch by Adam Jared Apt (Article)

International affairs always matter to U.S. investors, but recent changes in U.S. attitudes toward foreign policy, accompanying events and policy changes abroad are unsettling our assumptions to a greater extent than at any time since the end of the Cold War. It was therefore timely that the Boston Security Analysts Society featured, as the speaker at its annual Market Dinner in March, Ian Bremmer.

2016-04-26 00:00:00 Equity Investment Outlook April 2016 by John Osterweis, Matt Berler of Osterweis Capital Management

During the first quarter, global markets experienced exceptional volatility. Markets began their nose dive on the first day of trading this year as investors worried about deflationary trends, turmoil in credit markets and the possibility of a global recession. Then, in mid-February, a rebound in oil markets and new data suggesting stronger than expected U.S. growth caused sentiment to reverse and markets to recover. We believe that similar ambivalence and mood swings will persist for some time. Odds seem to favor an extended period of sub-par economic growth both in the U.S. and around the world.

2016-04-26 00:00:00 OPEC and the Ash Heap of History by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Almost twenty-five years ago, President Reagan went to the British House of Commons and said “freedom and democracy will leave Marxism and Leninism on the ash heap of history.” Reagan chose his words carefully, using a phrase – the ash heap of history – very similar to the one used by the Russian Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky against his political enemies. Within a decade, the Berlin Wall was no more and neither was the Soviet Union.

2016-04-26 00:00:00 On My Radar: Glut – The U.S. Economy… in the Age of Oversupply by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Today, my plan was to highlight two of my favorite analysts, Dr. Lacy Hunt and Dr. Gary Shilling.  But that plan has changed and importantly, I believe, what I share this week can give us a better understanding of the structural issues we face.  And how they might be fixed.  Listening to Bloomberg’s Tom Keene early this week, I stood quiet as he interviewed Daniel Alpert.

2016-04-26 00:00:00 Market Cycles and Portfolio Positioning by Team of Litman Gregory

The post-financial-crisis period has been dominated by a few very strong market trends. It is important to view these for what we believe they are—cycles that will eventually turn and may be in the process of turning. In this commentary, we discuss the concept of cycles as well as several very specific cycles we’ve experienced in recent years.

2016-04-26 00:00:00 It’s Waayyy Too Early to Take Profits on Gold & Silver by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

It was no fun investing in precious metals for most of 2011-2015, but the past few months have sure been a blast for buy-and-hold investors. Silver prices are up 22.5% year to date, and gold isn’t far behind.

2016-04-26 00:00:00 Colombia’s Tourism Turnaround by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

If Colombia’s government is able to resolve its budget issues without resorting to burdensome taxation, while moving privatization efforts forward to fund infrastructure developments, we think the future could be very bright for this beautiful nation.

2016-04-26 00:00:00 What Capital Cycles Mean for Investment Performance by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Study an industry and you will observe that it follows a prescribed capital cycle. As prices rise, firms invest to expand production capacity; inevitably, overcapacity results and drives prices down. Investors understand the capital cycle, according to Edward Chancellor, but don’t always heed it. If they did, they would have averted market crashes, such as those following the dot-com and real-estate bubbles.

2016-04-25 00:00:00 U.S. Housing Shines Bright in Global Economy by Daniel Hyman, Emmanuel Sharef of PIMCO

Demographics and new housing starts suggest that the U.S. could face a shortage in the near future.

2016-04-25 00:00:00 Wait Until You Get a Pitch Right Where You Want It! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

One of the most successful investors in history received the only A+ from Professor Benjamin Graham (of Graham and Dodd “Security Analysis” fame) at Columbia: the chairman and chief executive officer at Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., which traded as low as $38 per share in the early 1970s and now trades around $219,000 per share. If you haven’t guessed who by now, it’s Warren Buffett. How does he do it?

2016-04-25 00:00:00 Earnings Remain Key to Equity Forecast by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equities climbed yet again last week, with the S&P 500 Index rising 0.5%. Corporate earnings were mixed, and the biggest market story was ongoing strength in commodities, particularly oil and metals. Bank stocks rallied strongly for a second week, while defensive market segments struggled to keep pace.

2016-04-25 00:00:00 Confusion Reigns by Carl Kaufman, Simon Lee, Bradley Kane of Osterweis Capital Management

Osterweis Capital Management Fixed Income Outlook April 2016

2016-04-25 00:00:00 The Four Totally Bad Bear Recoveries: Where Is Today's Market? by Doug Short (Article)

This chart series features an overlay of the Four Bad Bears in U.S. history since the equity market peak in 1929. They are:

  1. The Crash of 1929
  2. The Oil Embargo of 1973
  3. The 2000 Tech Bubble bust and,
  4. The Financial Bubble and Crisis.

2016-04-24 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

SPY made a new all-time high this week. The short and long term trend is higher. Despite a gain of 16% over the past 10 weeks, the majority of evidence indicates that investors largely remain skeptical and defensive. That, together with strong breadth, implies that higher highs still lie ahead. Shorter term, SPY is back to where it failed, repeatedly, to go higher in the spring, summer and fall of 2015. In the best scenario, attaining and then holding significant gains will likely take time.

2016-04-24 00:00:00 Treasury Yields: A Long-Term Perspective by Doug Short (Article)

Let's have a look at a long-term perspective on Treasury yields. The chart here shows the 10-Year Constant Maturity yield since 1962 along with the Federal Funds Rate (FFR) and inflation. The range has been astonishing. The stagflation that set in after the 1973 Oil Embargo was finally ended after Paul Volcker raised the FFR to 20.06%.

2016-04-24 00:00:00 Can Stocks (finally) Set a New Record? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

We have been taking profits on stocks that hit targets and replacing with new selections. There are many candidates, and we go shopping on dips. We classify stocks three ways: (1) Aggressive upside, but plenty of risk. You need to buy a basket, not a single stock; (2) Great companies with great prospects, currently undervalued, but with potential catalysts. (3) Stodgy, conservative names without a lot of upside. Great candidates for enhancing dividend yield by selling near-term calls. Thinking about opportunities in this way is a good method for the individual investor.

2016-04-23 00:00:00 China: Still the World’s Number One Heavy Metal Rock Star by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

China’s appetite for metals—gold, silver, copper, iron ore and more—is growing, another sign that the Asian giant is in turnaround mode.

2016-04-23 00:00:00 Echoes of 1999: The Tech Bubble and the "Asian Flu" by Rob Arnott of Research Affiliates

Four market conditions now parallel the extremes last experienced in December 1998, setting up 1999 as the first year in a decade of outperformance by inflation-fighting and diversifying assets. Now is the time to rotate into these unloved asset classes.

2016-04-23 00:00:00 The Sorry State of the States by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

In a broader sense, though, we are all living through an ongoing fiscal nightmare. The budget news at the Federal level is troubling enough, as we discussed in February.

2016-04-22 00:00:00 Decision Days: Key Data Points to Watch for in the Week Ahead by Greg Meier of Allianz Global Investors

All eyes are on the Bank of Japan and the Fed as policymakers are set to meet next week—bringing monetary decisions to the forefront for global investors, says US Investment Strategist Greg Meier.

2016-04-22 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: April by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group® of Franklin Templeton Investments

We have some apprehension about the more dovish stance taken by the US Federal Reserve, which in our view may place too great a focus on global factors, despite a relatively tight US labor market and some indications of a pickup in core inflation.

2016-04-22 00:00:00 Earth Day Spotlights Responsible Investing Evolution by Linda Giuliano of AllianceBernstein

As Earth Day celebrations shift into high gear this week, it’s a good time for investors to think about the environment too. Start by mapping out the trade-offs of different approaches to responsible investing.

2016-04-22 00:00:00 Rumpelstiltskin at the Fed by Harley Bassman of PIMCO

Though it seems incredibly farfetched, a massive Fed gold purchase program could echo a Depression-era effort that effectively boosted the U.S. economy.

2016-04-21 00:00:00 Chicago Fed: Economic Growth Below Average in March by Jill Mislinski (Article)

"Index shows economic growth below average in March": This is the headline for today's release of the Chicago Fed's National Activity Index.

2016-04-21 00:00:00 Following the Money in EM Currency Markets by John Canally of LPL Financial

Emerging markets (EM) tantalize investors with the prospects of higher returns; yet the key to these returns may be the value of the U.S. dollar. Currency movements impact all aspects of international investing, starting with the basic impact of adjusting gains for the change in currency value when determining total returns. However, changes in currency also impact areas like corporate earnings, the ability to repay debts, and the overall economic health of the country. These impacts are greater for EM investments, where currencies are more volatile and countries are more economically dependent on trade.

2016-04-21 00:00:00 Corporate Management: Discerning Opportunities and Risks in Asian Credit by Raja Mukherji of PIMCO

The annual movement of wildlife across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in Africa is one of the greatest spectacles in the natural world. The horizon fills with wildebeest, zebra, eland and gazelle migrating for fresh grass, tracked by Africa’s great predators.

2016-04-21 00:00:00 Oil-Price Pessimism May Be Presenting Opportunities by Fred Fromm of Franklin Templeton Investments

Although investors’ overall sentiment toward commodities and natural resources equities improved in the latter half of the first quarter, they seemed to generally remain skeptical that commodity markets were on the mend. We see this scenario as potentially laying the groundwork for further gains going forward.

2016-04-21 00:00:00 The Metal Ratios Are An Ominous Sign For US Inflation Trends by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

The gold/silver ratio recently took out 2009 highs and the gold/copper ratio is at its highest level since 2009. This is a negative signal that US inflation, using CPI, could be headed for another leg lower. Since 2008, the gold/silver ratio has had a -73% correlation to the year-over-year change in US CPI (with a 2-quarter forward lag for the gold/silver ratio) . So as the gold/silver ratio increases, the year-over-year change in the CPI tends to fall.

2016-04-21 00:00:00 Financial Matters: It Pays to Dig Deep by Steve Hussey of AllianceBernstein

Europe’s banks are once again under pressure. This sector-wide weakness is opening up selective buying opportunities—as long as investors understand that the bank bond rulebook is changing.

2016-04-21 00:00:00 April Market Outlook Update by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

The renewed appetite for risk assets continued during the last month, maintaining the strong rally after global equities registered a 20% decline from their highs on February 11. After triggering risk aversion in January, the news out of China is beginning to show some positive effects from their multi-pronged policy approach. The markets have also been supported by more realistic utterances from the Federal Reserve. Not only has the full committee reduced their expectations closer to the market, Fed Chair Janet Yellen has gained some ground in convincing investors that she's in control of policy making at the Fed.

2016-04-20 00:00:00 Treasury Snapshot: Four Months and Counting Since the Fed's Rate Hike by Doug Short (Article)

Let's take a closer look at US Treasuries since the Fed's December rate hike decision, the first increase in a decade. The yield on the 10-year note ended the day yesterday at 1.79%, which is at the lower end of the year-to-date range of 1.68% to 2.25%. The yield on the 2-year note closed yesterday at 0.77%, below its 1.09% interim high set the last week of 2015.

2016-04-20 00:00:00 Taking Stock After the Rally by Burt White of LPL Financial

Stocks have had quite a nice run. Since the February 11, 2016 lows the S&P 500 has gained 14%. The rally has been driven by many factors?—?chief among them, better U.S. economic data, higher oil prices, the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) slower rate hike timetable, increased confidence in China, and more stimulus from overseas central banks. These factors have enabled stocks to trade more on fundamentals than fear, and have pushed the S&P 500 to just 2.4% below its all-time high. Here we assess the likelihood that the rally continues from this point forward, and, if so, how much further it might have to go.

2016-04-20 00:00:00 Global Long/Short Team Perspectives by Michael Grant of Calamos Investments

We don’t see recent data as supporting an apocalyptic view of the U.S. economy. To the contrary, the healing has been substantial and 2016 may ultimately be viewed as another global slowdown, excluding the U.S. And as the economies outside the U.S. eventually recover, this should restart the cycle of earnings growth. This is why stronger global GDP is the necessary underpinning for equities to break sustainably higher.

2016-04-20 00:00:00 9 Fairly Valued Mid-Cap Consumer Discretionary Dividend Growth Stocks: Part 2B by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Mid-cap stocks are often overlooked by investors and not widely covered on Wall Street or many financial websites and blogs. However, I consider it a mistake because there are many mid-size companies that are attractive long-term investment opportunities.

2016-04-20 00:00:00 The New All-Time High in SPY That Was Considered Impossible by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

SPY made a new all-time high on Tuesday despite falling margin debt, the end of QE, negative household fund flows, flat profit growth and a host of other reasons. In other words, exactly as a rationale and objective investor should have expected.

2016-04-19 00:00:00 Gundlach’s Bond Market Outlook (and a Warning for Junk Bonds) by Robert Huebscher (Article)

The first third of 2016 has been good for bond investors, but don’t expect that performance to continue for the remainder of the year, according to Jeffrey Gundlach. It has left many sectors of the bond market overvalued. In particular, junk bond investors should be wary of pending defaults and lower recovery rates.

2016-04-19 00:00:00 On My Radar: First, Do No Harm by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

My 18-year-old son, Matthew, came to me asking about how the economy works.  This summer he will be an intern and task one prior to his start date is to read “How the Economic Machine Works.”  There is much we can learn from history and it makes sense to study the research from some of the brightest amongst us.  From there, he and I will begin a dialogue.

2016-04-19 00:00:00 Invest In Asia, Health Care To Reduce Your Correlation To Oil by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

We have written about the historically high current correlation between oil prices and stock prices several times recently (see here and here). Correlation between oil prices and stock prices continues to increase as the 65-day correlation and 200-day correlation are once again making new highs going back to 1980.

2016-04-19 00:00:00 Why One Analyst Believes Gold Could Hit $3,000 an Ounce by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

After finishing its best quarter in 30 years, gold extended its gains, rising more than 17.2 percent year-to-date to become the best performing asset class among other commodities, U.S. Treasury bonds and major world currencies and equity indices.

2016-04-19 00:00:00 The Fed, the Dollar, and Trade Activity by Scott Brown of Raymond James

Financial markets have some tendency to over-react to news and the increased globalization of financial markets means that things can now get out of hand a lot more quickly on a global scale. Minor shifts in the Fed policy outlook have had a large impact on exchange rates. The strengthening of the dollar has had an outsized impact on commodity prices. However, shifts in the financial markets can themselves have important effects on economic conditions. It’s enough to make your head spin.

2016-04-19 00:00:00 First Quarter 2016 Economic & Capital Market Summary by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

If you are following the presidential election process, you might conclude that the U.S. economy is in crisis and that we are nearing the brink of catastrophe. On both sides of the isle, Democratic and Republic candidates have built messages to the voters that the economy is in decline and that they have solutions to fix it. Yet, the Federal Reserve, which is our loudest voice right now on the outlook for the health of the economy is saying that everything is okay. What should we believe?

2016-04-19 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time to Sell the News? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The economic calendar is moderate. Fed Heads are mostly on the bench. The Doho oil conference (combining OPEC and non-OPEC producers) will be the first major news for the week ahead. Markets have already anticipated the outcome, just as they have the trend of first- quarter earnings. It is a classic test of the theme: Is it time to sell the news?

2016-04-19 00:00:00 Nagorno-Karabakh by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

In early April, fighting erupted in the region around Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed area within Azerbaijan but controlled by Armenia. This region is considered one of the world’s “frozen conflicts,” experiencing periodic unrest. In this report, we discuss the history and geopolitics of the Caucasus region. We examine how the three nations in the area—Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia—have evolved, and how the three larger surrounding powers—Iran, Russia and Turkey—affect the region. Finally, we discuss why this conflict could become a concern for the world, especially the U.S.

2016-04-18 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Q1 2016 Recap: A Turn in Fortunes by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

The first-quarter of the year was marked by a turn in fortunes for emerging markets overall, which saw many investors return to the asset class after a challenging 2015.

2016-04-18 00:00:00 Negative Rates May Be Positive for Gold by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

As 2015 came to a close, most investors believed that 2016 would be a year dominated by a series of Fed rate hikes. That conviction solidified in mid-October when comments from multiple Fed officials convinced many that prior hints that the Fed would stay at zero percent rates had been false alarms. The Fed delivered on its promise in mid-December by actually raising rates by 25 basis points. Based on this, gold declined by 10% from October 14 to the end of the year, nearly matching its six year low. Many on Wall Street thought the declines would continue into 2016. They were decidedly wrong.

2016-04-18 00:00:00 The Market Pendulum by Joseph Amato of Neuberger Berman

Can 2016 earnings justify today’s valuations? Traditionally, equity people are supposed to be more optimistic than bond people, but I am prepared to buck the stereotype just a little as we enter day four of the Q1 earnings season.

2016-04-18 00:00:00 Shad Rowe by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

For years, when I was living in Virginia, I attended the annual Shad Planking. This morning, however, I am not referring to Virginia’s “Shad Planking,” but rather my friend Frederick “Shad” Rowe, captain of the Dallas-based money management firm Greenbrier Partners. Back in the 1970s/1980s I used to read Shad’s sage comments in Forbes Magazine, but regrettably he is no longer a contributor. He now writes an insightful letter to investors in his partnership every month, which I very much look forward to. This month’s letter was no exception.

2016-04-18 00:00:00 Finding a New Balance with Alternatives by Lowell Yura, Kristina Kalebich, Kristi Hanson, John Lennox of BMO Global Asset Management

The paper makes the case for incorporating alternatives in traditional 60/40 portfolios. BMO GAM points to a shift in the 60/40 paradigm, explaining the expected strong bond returns are unlikely in our current low yield environment. To compensate, the firm urges investors to incorporate alternatives into their portfolios for optimum diversification.

2016-04-18 00:00:00 A Tale of Two Markets: Dividend, Low Volatility and Quality Factors Earn Top Spots in Q1 2016 by Nick Kalivas of Invesco Blog

The first quarter of 2016 has come to a close, and what a period it was. The past quarter’s returns were a clear testament to the power of factor investing, and provide further evidence that smart beta strategies can add value to a diversified portfolio.

2016-04-15 00:00:00 The Soft and Frustrating Middle by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen and Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Patience and discipline. Those are the two words to commit to memory in the face of the current environment. A sluggish expansion and a cautious corporate environment leads us to have a neutral view on equities, which means investors should stick with their longer-term objectives and remain committed to their plan. There are glimmers of hope domestically and globally with strong U.S. job growth and U.S. and global manufacturing looking better.

2016-04-15 00:00:00 The Pros and Cons of the “Gig Economy” by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The “gig economy” is terribly difficult to measure. Claims about its size vary widely; the consensus is that employment of this kind remains very modest, but it appears to be growing rapidly.

2016-04-15 00:00:00 If You’re Not Following this Energy Trend, You’re Being Left in the Dust by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

This week our office was visited by my friend, investor and author Gianni Kovacevic, who is at the halfway point of a cross-country book tour to promote the latest edition of “My Electrician Drives a Porsche?” As part of the tour, he’s driving a Tesla Model S from Boston to Palo Alto, California—Tesla’s hometown—to demonstrate the potential of green energy and spread his message that “the future is now.”

2016-04-15 00:00:00 The Big Four Economic Indicators: March Industrial Production Sinks Deeper into Recession by Doug Short (Article)

Today's report on Industrial Production for March shows a month-over-month decline of 0.6 percent (-0.59 percent to two decimal places), which was significantly worse than the Investing.com consensus of a 0.1 percent decline. The previous month's -0.5 percent decline was revised downward to -0.6 percent.

2016-04-15 00:00:00 Four Emerging Markets Topics Investors Should Watch by Anthony Cragg of Wells Fargo Asset Management

International markets posed several challenges for investors in early 2016. But if you look past the headlines, you’ll see pockets of opportunity. Here are four international developments that we think investors should focus on: China’s continuing transition from investment-led growth; dividends becoming more important in a slower-growth world; India’s economy showing growth and resilience; and Brazil’s political and economic situations remaining challenged.

2016-04-14 00:00:00 The Big Four Economic Indicators: March Real Retail Sales Fell 0.4% by Doug Short (Article)

Note: With the release of this morning's Consumer Price Index, we've updated this commentary to include the Real Retail Sales data for March.

Nominal March sales declined 0.3%. Real Retail Sales, calculated with the seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index, declined -0.4% month-over-month ( -0.39% to two decimal places). The chart gives us a close look at the monthly data points in this series since the end of the last recession in mid-2009. The linear regression helps us identify variance from the trend.

2016-04-14 00:00:00 March Consumer Price Index: Both Headline and Core Unadjusted Inflation Decline by Doug Short (Article)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the March CPI data this morning. The year-over-year nonseasonally adjusted Headline CPI came in at 0.85%, down from 1.02% the previous month. Year-over-year Core CPI (ex Food and Energy) came in at 2.19%, down slightly from the previous month's 2.33%.

2016-04-14 00:00:00 Gauging Global Growth by John Canally of LPL Financial

As U.S. corporations begin to report their results for the recently completed first quarter of 2016, global growth will likely take center stage among investors. While comments from corporate managements on business conditions in Europe, Japan, China, and other emerging markets will be closely watched, those comments may be overshadowed. This week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will publish the spring edition of its World Economic Outlook publication.

2016-04-14 00:00:00 Fund Managers' Current Asset Allocation by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

At the panic low in equities in February, fund managers' cash was at the highest level since 2001, higher than at any time during the 2008-09 bear market. Global allocations to equities had fallen from 40% overweight to only 5% in just two months. Since then, equities around the world have risen an average of 14%. Despite this, investors remain defensive. Over the past month, cash balances have risen and allocations to equities have declined. This supports higher equity prices in the month(s) ahead.

2016-04-14 00:00:00 Potential Earnings Improvements Remain a Critical Catalyst by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets retreated last week amid multiple crosscurrents as the S&P 500 Index fell 1.2%. Currency and commodity markets were in focus. The soaring value of the yen complicated the Bank of Japan’s interest rate decisions, while oil prices rose sharply on expectations for improved global economic growth and a possibility of production cuts. Investors also focused on the regulatory environment, as the Treasury Department rolled out restrictive rules governing corporate inversions.

2016-04-14 00:00:00 Negative Rates Are Dangerous to Your Wealth by Chris Brightman of Research Affiliates

Recently enacted NIRP in several major developed economies means not only lower current yields but also lower expected returns—and thus lower accumulated wealth—for investors investing in these markets.

2016-04-14 00:00:00 The Times Are a--Changin' by Team of PIMCO

Dovish comments and actions by central banks, including the Federal Reserve, helped sustain the market’s rally. Fundamentals still indicated tepid growth even as global risk appetite built further through the course of the month. March highlighted that shifts in political trends could feature prominently in the remainder of the year.

2016-04-14 00:00:00 The Challenge of Re-Entry by François Sicart of Tocqueville Asset Management

If you sell when the market no longer represents “value”, when do you buy back?

2016-04-13 00:00:00 Emerging Market Earnings: Is the Tide Turning? by Burt White of LPL Financial

After disappointing investors last year, emerging market earnings forecasts may finally be consistent with what can be delivered. Emerging markets (EM) have underperformed U.S. markets since the summer of 2011. The reasons are numerous, including concerns about the Chinese economy (the largest and most important among EM), the strength of the U.S. dollar, and the decline in commodity prices, just to name a few.

2016-04-13 00:00:00 Intergenerational Forgetfulness by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Recent candidates have made foreign policy statements that signal significant change, displaying ignorance about why current policies are in place and what could occur if they are radically changed. We believe these calls are the result of “intergenerational forgetfulness.” When policymakers implement an initial policy, they tell their successors why such policies were deployed. Eventually, younger policymakers reverse course, only to discover later why the original policy was made. We examine the increasing disenchantment with current policy as an example of intergenerational forgetfulness.

2016-04-13 00:00:00 Emerging Nations Continue To See Huge Capital Outflows by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

If you are wondering why the global economy struggled last year and so far this year, one only has to look at the trend in capital flows of emerging nations. After decades of positive capital inflows to most emerging economies, that trend has reversed sharply in the last few years.

2016-04-13 00:00:00 Can the U.S. consumer continue to hold up the world? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Consumer spending is critical to the economy, yet remains sluggish. Russ Koesterich discusses why that may be the case for some time to come.

2016-04-13 00:00:00 On My Radar: A Powerful and Reliable Determinant of Long-Term Investment Return by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

In my view, the bet today comes down to this: you believe the Fed can hold the market up (aka “the Fed Put”), you believe politicians can accomplish structural reform and you believe that the same holds true in Europe, China and Japan.  Essentially, “whatever it takes” wins.  Alternatively, you believe that extremely high equity market valuations matter, excessive debt is problematic and that it is ultimately impossible for central bankers, try as they might, to repeal economic business cycles.

2016-04-13 00:00:00 Wise Beginnings and Foolish Endings: 1Q 2016 Newsletter by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

The media and most major stock market strategists have been talking lately about beginnings and endings. The S&P 500 Index just celebrated the seventh anniversary of it taking off from its bear market lows on March 10, 2009. We enjoy watching many experts who didn’t participate in the more than tripling of the S&P 500 Index over those seven years comment and make dire predictions about the future. When it comes to negative nabobs, there must be some pretty good money in being the “boy who cried wolf” or the “blind squirrel that finds an occasional nut.”

2016-04-12 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Earnings Spark a Big Move in Stocks? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The economic calendar is moderate. Fed Heads are out in force. More significant is the start of “earnings season.” There is always speculation about earnings, but this time is special. I expect a focus on the question: Will earnings spark a break in the trading range for stocks?

2016-04-12 00:00:00 Looking for Growth in the Right Places by Dan Roarty, James Tierney, Jr. of AllianceBernstein

When the market is fixated on short-term macroeconomic trends, investors should think differently. Look for companies and industries that benefit from distinctive long-term growth trends and that aren’t held hostage by a country’s macroeconomic fortunes.

2016-04-12 00:00:00 A Stronger Yen Is Positive For Gold, US Inflation Expectations by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

Since the financial crisis, a stronger yen has generally been associated with rising inflation and inflation expectations in the United States. The US is a very important export market for Japan as 18% of all Japanese exports are sent to the US. Over approximately the past four years, a weaker yen has kept US import prices about 2-3% lower than they otherwise would have been. However, this dynamic looks like it is shifting again. Our models project that the recent strengthening of the yen will increase US import prices from Japan by about 2% over the next six months.

2016-04-12 00:00:00 Currency Wars: Fed, Brexit, and Yuan Crisis Potential by Jeffrey Baker of HiddenLevers

Thus far, 2016 has shaped up to be an unprecedented year. The old guard of the Republican party has been usurped and a socialist insurgency has taken hold within the Democratic electorate. For the first time since the late 1930s, populist politics are in vogue, taking hold in both major political parties.

2016-04-12 00:00:00 Surging Mining Stocks Point to Big Move Ahead in Gold and Silver by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

Spring has sprung for precious metals mining stocks.The HUI gold stocks index surged 6.2% on Monday to close at a 14-month high. The HUI chart shows a strong base was built from last summer through this January, and from that base a new bull market has begun.

2016-04-11 00:00:00 Energy Bonds: Finding the Silver Lining in Credit Downgrades by Bixby Stewart of Invesco Blog

Several highly punitive credit downgrades of higher-quality energy companies surprised the investment grade bond market recently, with some downgrades representing cuts of four to five notches. But Invesco Fixed Income believes there may be a silver lining to these downgrades: Together with low commodity prices, these moves may be driving a positive shift toward more prudent corporate balance sheet management, largely in favor of creditors. While commodity price volatility, an oversupplied oil market and broader macroeconomic uncertainty cause us to be very cautious about investing in energy-related credit, we believe such volatility and change in corporate behavior may create unique opportunities for active investment managers.

2016-04-11 00:00:00 Oil, the Dollar, Rates: Three Stars Align by Brad Tank of Neuberger Berman

Lower dollar, higher oil could improve prospects for 2016 earnings.

2016-04-11 00:00:00 What Will Drive the Next Emerging-Market Supercycle? by Sammy Suzuki of AllianceBernstein

After lagging for years, emerging equities are back in the winner’s corner. Investors are wondering if the stocks are nearing a durable turn for the better. It’s worth thinking about how the next upcycle may unfold.

2016-04-11 00:00:00 Never on a Friday by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

“Never on a Friday” is one of the mantras that has served me well over the years. Long time readers of these letters know its meaning. To wit, when the equity markets are involved in a pullback attempt they rarely bottom on a Friday. Nope, they tend to give participants time over the weekend to brood about their losses, tell their wives they can no longer buy the new Mercedes Benz (which makes for a pretty tense weekend), and consequently return to The Street of Dreams on Monday/Tuesday in “sell mode.” That sequence typically leads to the phrase “Turning Tuesday” implying the market bottoms either late in Monday’s trading session, or early the next day.

2016-04-11 00:00:00 Recession: Your Time is Gonna Come … But Not Yet by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

Two events recently triggered renewed concerns about a U.S. economic recession. The first was the continued deterioration in Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model—now down to only 0.1% for expected first quarter real gross domestic product (GDP) growth, after being as high as 2.7% in early February. The second was the pronouncement of a pending “very massive recession” by presidential candidate Donald Trump. Shortly after the latter I tweeted that there was little indication we were headed into a “very massive recession,” and boy did that elicit a very massive response from fellow tweeters. Many agreed that a severe recession was unlikely; but at least as many took the Trump side of the argument—with much “passion” I might add.

2016-04-09 00:00:00 Mile-High Merger: Alaska Airlines Buys Virgin America, Expanding Market Reach by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The $2.6 billion deal, awaiting shareholder approval in June, would create the fifth-largest U.S. airline by traffic and result in a much more competitive player, especially on the West Coast. (Alaska is based in Seattle, Virgin in San Francisco.) According to the Wall Street Journal, Alaska’s annual revenue could grow 27 percent because of the deal.

2016-04-08 00:00:00 Tech Innovations: Best in Two Decades? by JP Scandalios of Franklin Templeton Investments

The volatility we have seen this year hasn’t dampened our outlook for tech companies. In fact, in my 20+ years researching technology stocks I haven’t seen a more robust period of innovation than we’re experiencing today.

2016-04-08 00:00:00 Market Overview Q116: Out with the Old by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

Increasingly connected global financial markets and persistently interventionist central bank policies not only make the investment landscape more difficult to navigate, but demand fresh thinking about how to invest.

2016-04-08 00:00:00 Rapid Pace of Change in Many Economic Sectors Creating Investment Challenges, Opportunities by Kim Scott of Ivy Funds

In this commentary, Kim Scott, portfolio manager of the Ivy Mid Cap Growth Fund, discusses how the rapid pace of change currently in motion in many economic sectors is creating investment challenges and opportunities.

2016-04-08 00:00:00 Driving in the Slow Lane, for Now by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

After a turbulent start, the first quarter ended on a calmer note. There were moments when the U.S. economy appeared to defy expectations, and there were moments when the outlook was not rosy. On net, forward momentum remains in place.

2016-04-08 00:00:00 A Tale of Two Halves by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

The first quarter of 2016 is in the record books and for most, including bond investors, it was a tale of two halves. During the first six weeks of the year, domestic economic concerns, worries over the state of China’s economy, and a near 30% decline in the price of oil sparked a strong Treasury rally that drove high-quality bond yields lower—not just in the U.S., but globally as well. Then the last six weeks of the quarter saw a shift for lower-rated bonds, thanks to improving economic data and market-friendly central bank actions. Through all the ups and downs, it was a strong quarter for bond performance; however, we don’t expect this strength to repeat over the remainder of the year.

2016-04-08 00:00:00 Five Unique Themes by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

RBA’s disciplined investment process tends to lead to differentiated positioning within our portfolios. Our focus on profit cycles, liquidity, and sentiment has once again led us to some distinctive investment themes.

2016-04-07 00:00:00 Stocks Climbed In March Amid Subtle Signs of Budding Inflation by Joe Becker, Adam Schenck, Jeff Greco of Milliman Financial Risk Management

Global equity markets sprang into action in March, notching a monthly return ranking among the top 10 in the last 10 years. The price of oil finished the month higher as the US dollar continued its descent.

2016-04-07 00:00:00 You’ll Fall in Love with these Dividend Growth Stocks by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Last week I shared with you the Commerce Departments’ news that fourth-quarter corporate profits, while still at record highs, sank at their fastest pace since the same period in 2008.

2016-04-07 00:00:00 What a Reversal! by Martin Atkin, Matthew Palazzolo of AllianceBernstein

Stock markets around the world rallied strongly in March, continuing the rebound that began on February 12. In the US and emerging markets, the rebound has wiped out the deep losses from the first six weeks of the year, to deliver positive returns for the quarter.

2016-04-07 00:00:00 Harnessing Value in Dislocated Credit by Sai Devabhaktuni of PIMCO

Market volatility, diminishing liquidity and credit imbalances combine to create mispricings and attractive opportunities in leveraged finance.

2016-04-07 00:00:00 10 Mid-Size Stocks for Large-Size Gains: Part 1 by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Small and mid-sized companies are often overlooked by many or even most investors. That’s unfortunate, because there are many excellent investment opportunities that can be found in these equity classes. However, an argument could be made that between the small and mid-cap equity classes, the best and perhaps less risky investment opportunities are found in mid-caps.

2016-04-06 00:00:00 90% Psychological, 10% Logical by Sam Stewart of Wasatch Funds

So here we are with very modest global economic growth, seemingly excessive gains in stocks over the past several years, potentially flawed monetary policies around the world, and mediocre readings on the sentiment indicators I follow. Although this may sound like a prescription for flat—or possibly even falling—stock prices going forward, I continue to be the “nervous bull” that I’ve been for quite a few years.

2016-04-06 00:00:00 Q1 2016 Earnings Preview: No More Excuses by Burt White of LPL Financial

First quarter earnings results will not be very exciting, but the earnings trajectory may be at a trough. We would love to say that this earnings season, which begins on April 11, 2016 (unofficially), will bring better results than recent quarters, but that appears very unlikely.

2016-04-06 00:00:00 U.S. Real GDP Growth Was Very Weak in the First Quarter of 2016 by Robert Lamy of The Forecasting Advisor

Each month, the U.S. Institute for Supply Management (ISM) conducts a survey on the state of the manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries of the U.S. economy and releases data for the previous month. The data are closely followed by the financial media, economists, and wealth portfolio managers as they provide the earliest reading on the state of the economy.

2016-04-06 00:00:00 A White Knuckle Ride by Dr. Richard Michaud of New Frontier Advisors

Market Perspectives Q1 2016: A White Knuckle Ride

2016-04-05 00:00:00 Using Fixed SPIAs and Investments to Create an Inflation-Adjusted Income Stream by Luke F. Delorme (Article)

I consider various return and inflation assumptions to determine an appropriate allocation between bonds and stocks that would enable annual inflation adjustments for fixed SPIAs.

2016-04-05 00:00:00 Brazil’s Olympic Ambitions by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

It’s important to remember that Brazil is still in the early stages of developing a viable political and economic structure, and these types of transitions aren’t always smooth.

2016-04-05 00:00:00 Torrid Quarter. All Well. by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

Finally. The end of a torrid quarter. What seems like a news filled quarter boiled down.

2016-04-05 00:00:00 Greater Gradualism for the Greater Good by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

The case for financial repression remains self-evident based on Fed Chair Yellen’s dovish comments last week, says US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper. In this environment, investors need to be vigilant about the potential for higher inflation.

2016-04-05 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Is the Fed Too Optimistic? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The calendar continues in something of an alternating mode. Last week had plenty of important data; this week has little. Instead we get multiple speeches from Fed Presidents and Governors and the release of the last FOMC minutes. Little data plus lots of Fed news is a natural draw for the punditry. This week they will be asking: Is the Fed too optimistic?

2016-04-05 00:00:00 India’s Central Bank cuts key policy rate by 25bps by Ritesh Jain, Raghupathi Acharya of Tata Asset Management

India’s central bank, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) lowered its repurchase rate by 25 basis points to 6.5% from 6.75% on expected grounds. The RBI also narrowed the policy corridor (repo and reverse repo spread) to 50bps from 100bps. In addition, the central bank also announced changes to the liquidity framework while maintaining its forecast for Gross Value Added (GVA) growth and retail inflation unchanged at 7.6% & 5% respectively for FY2016-17.

2016-04-05 00:00:00 Is Trump’s “Recession Warning” Really All Wrong? by Lance Roberts of Real Investment Advice

Over the weekend, Donald Trump, in an interview with the Washington Post, stated that economic conditions are so perilous that the country is headed for a “very massive recession” and that “it’s a terrible time right now” to invest in the stock market.

2016-04-05 00:00:00 February Trade Deficit Increased from Revised January by Jill Mislinski (Article)

The U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, also known as the FT-900, is published monthly by the Bureau of Economic Analysis with data going back to 1992. The monthly reports include revisions that go back several months. This report details U.S. exports and imports of goods and services.

2016-04-04 00:00:00 Inside Information - March 2016 by Bob Veres (Article)

This is a complimentary issue of Bob Veres' Inside Information. The lead article defines the robo-advisor challenge as nothing more than the next evolution of professional software—I call it Software 2.0—with intelligent built-in capabilities. The article looks at how the venture capitalists who funded the robo-platforms identified three significant weaknesses in the advisor profession they hoped to disrupt. As it turns out, instead of disrupting us, they did us all a big favor. By exposing certain weaknesses, the venture capitalists showed us several ways to increase your top-line revenues without any additional labor from you or your staff.

2016-04-04 00:00:00 Short-Term Narratives vs. Long-Term Fundamentals by Jay Leopold of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

In the short run, simple narratives can form to explain changes in security prices and complex market movements. These narratives can contribute to market volatility — the 30% plunge in oil prices in the first quarter of 2016 was viewed as evidence that global growth was weakening.This year’s market swings have created an opportunity for investors to reassess their portfolio positioning, ensuring it matches their long-term risk and return objectives.

2016-04-04 00:00:00 Charts That Matter: Fifth Edition – April 2016 by Ritesh Jain, Abhishek Sonthalia of Tata Asset Management

This is the 5th edition of the monthly “Charts That Matter” series. We are going through dynamic times and such periods of volatility often throw up some very interesting perspectives. For example, take the example of how India stands to benefit from low crude prices. Im pretty sure we all know the benefits. But did you know that India’s inward remittances dipped 7.4% YoY in 3Q FY16 which has been the worst performing quarter since Mar-09? The correlation between crude prices and inward remittances to India is quite strong; actually stronger than I anticipated until I plotted the graph myself.

2016-04-04 00:00:00 Markets to Investors: It’s ‘Time In,’ Not ‘Timing’ by Erik Knutzen of Neuberger Berman

The old adage says that “time in the market” is more important than “timing the market.” Anyone who needed a reminder of that truth got it in spades during the first quarter of 2016. Who would have thought, on the dark morning of February 12 with the S&P 500 Index down more than 10%, that U.S. equities would finish the quarter up 0.8%?

2016-04-04 00:00:00 On My Radar: Fed Stuck Between Three Rocks and a Hard Place by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“Now these monetary institutions are expected to continue producing miracles. But their ability to repeatedly pull new rabbits out of their policy hats has been stretched to an increasingly unsustainable degree.” -Mohamed A. El-Erian, The Only Game in Town

2016-04-04 00:00:00 Market Thoughts for April 2016 by (Article)

Brad McMillan, Commonwealth Financial Network’s chief investment officer, discusses the markets and economy in March. After two bad months, things appear to be moving in the right direction, as markets were up about 7 percent across the board, and even foreign markets fared well. What happened to cause this reversal? From a rebound in oil prices, to a moderating dollar, to reasonably strong economic fundamentals, Brad explains how these factors have supported consumer confidence and what we might expect going forward. Follow Brad at blog.commonwealth.com/independent-market-observer.

2016-04-04 00:00:00 The Positives Outweigh the Negatives for the U.S. Economy by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The U.S. equity rally resumed last week with the S&P 500 Index climbing 1.8%. Although expectations for the upcoming corporate earnings season are low, investors chose to focus on the positives. Specifically, investors reacted to dovish comments made by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in her speech at the Economics Club of New York, which counteracted some more hawkish comments made by Fed officials the previous week. Other asset classes came under pressure, including commodities and oil, causing some skepticism about the recent rebound. The oil sell-off was due to heightened doubts about the ability of major producers to formalize a production freeze agreement.

2016-04-02 00:00:00 55 Years of Income and Home Values by Jill Mislinski (Article)

Many are tracking the economic plight of younger generations and their reluctance, or rather inability, to buy a home. We decided to take a look at the long-term trends in the cost of living and the associated home prices.

2016-04-02 00:00:00 New Study Cites Big Errors In Government's GDP Reports by Gary D. Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

An in-depth analysis by CNBC of the government's reports on gross domestic product suggests large and persistent errors that should give investors, business executives and policymakers pause in relying on the data for key decisions.

2016-04-02 00:00:00 Gold Had Its Best Quarter in a Generation. So Where Are the Investors? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

he last time gold had a quarter this strong, Ronald Reagan was a year into his second term as president, the Soviet Union was taking its final gasp and the U.S. was still reeling from the Challenger explosion. Year-to-date, the yellow metal has risen 16.5 percent, its best three-month performance since 1986, mostly on fears of negative interest rates and other global central bank policies.

2016-04-02 00:00:00 First Quarter Odds and Ends by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Four months after terrorist attacks struck the streets of Paris, Europe was hit again, at its heart – Brussels. The sophistication of the attacks amid tightened security has once again raised questions around intelligence-sharing across Europe’s borders, and added fuel to the migration debate.

2016-04-02 00:00:00 What a Quarter! What’s Next? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen and Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

The first quarter was the proverbial roller coaster, with stocks experiencing extreme volatility, but ultimately ending up back where they started. We continue to believe U.S. stocks are in a secular bull market; but in a more mature phase which will be dotted with volatility and pullbacks. Corporate earnings likely need to recover before stocks can move demonstrably higher. More clarity from the Fed and a better political environment would help, but both seem unlikely in the near term. However, a more dovish tone from the Fed has aided in some recent dollar weakening, which has boosted emerging markets’ performance. While it is an encouraging development, stay disciplined and diversified as we watch to see if global growth can improve.

2016-04-02 00:00:00 Open Letter to the Next President, Part 4 by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Today we are going to look at what the next president might do in response to recession – and possibly even to prevent a recession. I actually think a positive path can be found, but following it will take an enormous political effort and a big shift in the current environment of noncooperation.

2016-04-01 00:00:00 The Big Four Economic Indicators: March Nonfarm Employment by Doug Short (Article)

Note: This commentary has been updated to include this morning's release of Nonfarm Employment for March. As the adjacent thumbnail of the past year illustrates, Nonfarm Employment remains in its upward trend. The March report of 215K new jobs was above expectations (Investing.com was looking for 205K), and the February number was revised upward by 3K.

2016-04-01 00:00:00 April Fools in March by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific

It may be almost impossible to underestimate the gullibility of professional Fed watchers. At least Lucy van Pelt needed to place an actual football on the ground to fool poor Charlie Brown. But in today's high stakes game of Federal Reserve mind reading, the Fed doesn't even have to make a halfway convincing bluff to make the markets look foolish.

2016-04-01 00:00:00 Driving in Neutral by Team of Neuberger Berman

So far, 2016 has been characterized by stomach churning swerves in market direction with little actual change in levels.

2016-04-01 00:00:00 Real and Alternative Assets Outlook Second Quarter 2016 by Team of Neuberger Berman

Despite challenges, we maintained a slightly overweight view on lower volatility and directional hedge funds; meanwhile certain areas within private debt appear attractive.

2016-04-01 00:00:00 Fixed Income Outlook Second Quarter 2016 by Team of Neuberger Berman

High yield, particularly short-duration issues and higher-rated credits, remains in favor given current prevailing yields and the outlook for credit quality.

2016-04-01 00:00:00 Equity Outlook Second Quarter 2016 by Team of Neuberger Berman

Global equities—particularly those in developed markets outside the U.S.—may provide more opportunities over the coming 12 months.

2016-04-01 00:00:00 How I found Gold in White Water Rapids by Greg Silberman of Atlanta Capital Group

The question of Gold as an investment intrigues me! Nobody it seems is ambivalent to the shiny yellow metal. Either you Hate it! In which case you may be in the camp of a barbarous relic. Or you Love it? In which case you may be a crackpot doomsayer preparing for War against the government. Is there not a middle road when it comes to Gold? Would a smart investor not recognize that in all things investing there is a season? And isn’t it possible that Golds season may just have arrived?

2016-04-01 00:00:00 Wrestling with Negative Interest Rates by Byron Wien of Blackstone

I have long thought that negative interest rates didn’t make sense, but monetarists argue that they are just low interest rates carried further. The theory is that if consumers and corporations have to pay a price to store their cash at banks, they will go out and spend and invest, but it is not clear that is what happens when deposit rates fall below zero. What is clear is that the outcomes vary by the size and importance of the central bank involved. In any case, the effects seem to be more temporary than long-lasting. Perhaps more worthy of examination are the reasons behind the negative rates and what these conditions mean for the long-term economic performance of countries and regions and returns in their financial markets.

2016-03-31 00:00:00 March Employment Report Preview by John Canally of LPL Financial

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor will release its always widely anticipated Employment Situation report for March 2016 on Friday, April 1, 2016.

2016-03-31 00:00:00 The Rise of the Machines—Volatility’s Back by Bob Rice of Neuberger Berman

The markets had a great run until last August—years of rising prices across nearly every asset class. Unfortunately, long-term investing doesn’t stay that easy.

2016-03-31 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Update: Is Now the Time for Emerging Markets? by Roger Edgley, Ajay Krishnan, Andrey Kutuzov, Scott Thomas, Matthew Dreith of Wasatch Funds

Why emerging-market stocks have generally performed poorly over the last five years—and why selectively chosen emerging-market businesses are now attractive in our view. We outline catalysts that could lead to sustainable advances in certain EM stocks and discuss the “new reality” that the opportunity set for truly great emerging-market investments has narrowed. This opportunity set includes high-quality growth companies in Internet technologies, health care, business-process innovation, and products and services for the expanding middle-class consumer segments in emerging markets.

2016-03-31 00:00:00 Is Economic Growth in Its Final Innings? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The start of baseball season is still several days away, but a recent survey conducted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch found that 59 percent of U.S. fund managers believe the current stretch of economic growth is in its “final innings.” This is the highest reading since the financial crisis in 2008.

2016-03-31 00:00:00 Oil: Paving the Road to Recovery by Vinod Chathlani of AllianceBernstein

Oil began its calamitous slide in mid-2014, and there’s been a lot of speculation since then about when—and how quickly—it will recover. By analyzing past oil cycles and their drivers, we can understand what the signs of a sustainable rally might be.

2016-03-31 00:00:00 High Yield Market Technicals by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

As we start to see the high yield market gain some footing, it is important to note the improved market technicals, mainly fund flows and primary market issuance. For the week ending March 16th, we saw high yield retail funds take in another $1.7 bil, making it the fifth consecutive week of inflows.

2016-03-31 00:00:00 A Flat Market Year-To-Date by Jack Rivkin of Altegris Advisors

The noise of the first three months of the year was hard to avoid, and the liquidity trap led to some investors selling at the wrong time. Jack Rivkin, CEO of Altegris Advisors, points out that had investors avoided the noise, they’d see that the equity market has actually been flat YTD.

2016-03-31 00:00:00 Best March For Commodities In 10 Years by Jodie Gunzberg of S&P Dow Jones Indices

In this blog post, Jodie Gunzberg discusses March’s historically big commodity return, which is the biggest since March 2006.

2016-03-31 00:00:00 3 Things: Fed Levitation, Employment, Savings Rate by Lance Roberts of Real Investment Advice

What is going on at the Federal Reserve? On Tuesday, Janet Yellen comes out and announces that despite inflation being on the rise and employment below 5%, she is not going to raise the Fed Funds rate 4-times this year, nor even two times this year, but rather most likely none. Of course, this “one and done” scenario is what I suggested back in December following the first rate hike given the ongoing deterioration in the underlying economic backdrop.

2016-03-31 00:00:00 Staying dynamic: Multi-asset investing in 2016 by Brian Meath of Russell Investments

According to Russell Investments’ strategists, volatility is here to stay in 2016. For investors looking to achieve long-term outcomes, taking a dynamic, multi-asset approach may be one of the keys to success.

2016-03-31 00:00:00 Arnott on All Asset March 2016 by Robert Arnott of PIMCO

Rob Arnott, head of Research Affiliates, shares his firm’s market insights and allocation strategies for PIMCO All Asset strategies.

2016-03-30 00:00:00 Weekly Heating Oil Price Update: US Average Unchanged, Last Update of Season by Jill Mislinski (Article)

The latest price for home heating oil nationwide is $2.13 per gallon, unchanged from last week. This season, heating oil prices on average have dropped 29 cents per gallon in the US. With winter at a close, we are at the end of the heating oil season. This year's winter was warmer than average and saw a continued drop in heating oil prices, but with a slight uptick toward the season close. The end-of-season jump in prices reflects the crude oil uptick we've seen recently.

2016-03-30 00:00:00 Market's March Madness by Burt White of LPL Financial

The NCAA Men’s College Basketball Final Four is set. North Carolina, Oklahoma, Syracuse, and Villanova are headed to Houston, TX to determine this year’s hoops national champion. In that spirit, we share our own Final Four for the stock market this year: China, earnings, the Federal Reserve (Fed), and oil. Stock market investors may not storm the court at the end of this year, but we do continue to expect mid-single-digit total returns for the S&P 500 in 2016 based on our assessment of our “Final Four.”

2016-03-30 00:00:00 Do You Believe in Central Bank Magic? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Markets have rallied from their lows in February, but do the conditions justify the rally? Russ discusses how central banks have cast a spell yet again, but can the magic continue?

2016-03-29 00:00:00 The Power of Dressing Appropriately by Dan Solin (Article)

Whenever I write about the impact of clothes on an advisor’s ability to gather more assets, I note that I’m not a fashion expert. I’m simply conveying the results of peer-reviewed studies. Because the conclusions of those studies are often at odds with commonly held beliefs, advisors will be surprised to learn how impactful their dress can be on the growth of their practice.

2016-03-29 00:00:00 Rumors of the Industrial Sector's Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated by Alex Christensen of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Outside of struggling oil companies, the U.S. industrial sector has a moderately positive outlook — a far cry from the popular narrative of recession. An improving industrial sector would pave the way for the Fed to raise rates faster than the market is currently expecting. As encouraging data keeps rolling in, we think market worries over an industrial recession will evaporate.

2016-03-29 00:00:00 Beyond Measure: The Costs of Terrorism by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

The horrific terrorist attacks of the past week suggest that terrorism is likely to play a more prominent role in the investment landscape, leading to increased volatility for stocks as well as possibly oil prices, writes US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper.

2016-03-29 00:00:00 The Détente Agreement by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“Corporate sector metrics have been disappointing of late… Companies are scaling back expenditures of all kinds (capital expenditures, hiring, and inventory-builds, for example), as their top-line revenues and earnings decelerate. Though first-quarter numbers may come in better than beaten-down forecasts, firms are finding that top line revenues are still hard to grow significantly.” Rick Rieder, Head of Global Fixed Income, BlackRock

2016-03-29 00:00:00 A Golden Opportunity? by Steve Land of Franklin Templeton Investments

We continue to see attractive investment opportunities in gold and precious metals equities, with many companies trading well below what it would cost to build their existing mines today. We believe many gold companies are also well-positioned to survive a weak price environment.

2016-03-29 00:00:00 Looking for Value in High Yield? Avoid ETFs. by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

Are high-yield bonds cheap today? Relative to history, yes. But they’re not all alike. That’s why using a passive exchange-traded fund (ETF) to tap into the market can be costly.

2016-03-28 00:00:00 Global Outlook by (Article)

When diversifying your portfolio, fund correlation may be an important consideration, says John Cole Scott, CIO, CEF Advisors.

2016-03-28 00:00:00 Pre-1965 Silver Pocket Change Provides Investors With an Economic Future by Guy Christopher of Money Metals Exchange

Among all the choices you have for gold and silver bullion, genuinely historic metal is still around at reasonable prices. The runaway classic is ninety-percent U.S. silver coinage.

2016-03-28 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Can Markets Finally Celebrate Good News? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The data calendar continues in something of an alternating mode. This week we have a concentration of the important economic releases. We also have daily appearances by Fed members. This provides a daily opportunity for pundits to interpret the news: Can markets finally celebrate good news?

2016-03-28 00:00:00 Open Letter to the Next President, Part 3 by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Today we continue my series of open letters to the presidential candidates. In the meantime, we’ve drawn a little closer to knowing whom the two major parties will nominate. A few people are vowing to consider minor parties, too.

2016-03-28 00:00:00 Equity Markets: A Pause that Refreshes? by Joseph Amato of Neuberger Berman

Geopolitical events have been occupying the attention of investors, but without much effect on markets.

2016-03-28 00:00:00 Conditions Are Improving, but Investors Remain Skeptical by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities snapped their five-week winning streak and dropped slightly in a holiday-shortened trading week as the S&P 500 Index fell 0.7%. The news was dominated by the terrorist attacks in Brussels, but outside of a short-lived move to safe-haven assets, the horrific events appear to have had limited market impact. Instead, investors appeared to have taken a step back in response to some more hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials and a sense that the strong rally since mid-February may have been overdone.

2016-03-28 00:00:00 Terrror, Debt And Valuation by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

The market took a rest last week. Some of it was pure exhaustion from the prior week’s data. Some of it was positioning, and trader absenteeism ahead of the Easter break in most countries. And some was shock at the horrific actions in Brussels. As of Thursday’s close, the market broke its fifth straight week of gains to close more or less flat. Still, that's up around 10% from February lows and other markets; for example, U.S. Small Cap and Emerging Markets, up by even more.

2016-03-28 00:00:00 Panic? by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

The markets (any market) are seldom surprised by shocking events. But during those rare instances when the market is caught by a surprise a panic may result. My own definition of a panic is this: A panic is a collapse (triggered by fear and unforeseen circumstances) which causes the price of the item to fall precipitously within a short span of time. That’s a loose definition but it will do.

2016-03-27 00:00:00 The Fed's Spring Surprise by John Canally of LPL Financial

As 2016 began and 2015 ended, global financial markets faced plenty of uncertainty in the wake of the first rate hike by the Federal Reserve (Fed) in nearly nine years. Although the rate hike was well anticipated and priced in by many market participants, the Fed’s move forced markets to focus on imbalances in the global economy and financial markets that had been simmering for years. The fears about how (and when, if ever) those imbalances would be resolved led to an extreme bout of financial market volatility over the first few months of 2016.

2016-03-27 00:00:00 Here’s the Cost of Global Terrorism by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

We were saddened this week to hear that at least 30 people were killed and many dozens more injured in ISIS-related suicide bombings that targeted an airport and train station in Brussels. The Belgian and European Union capital joins Paris, San Bernardino, Ankara, Jakarta and too many other cities in the past year alone that have come under fire from the Islamic terrorist group.

2016-03-27 00:00:00 The Collision of Aspiration and Reality in India by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

As China falters somewhat, India has become the world’s new economic darling. Hopes of residents and global investors are lofty, but reality suggests a cautiously optimistic stance.

2016-03-27 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Equities fell for the first time in six weeks. The intermediate-term uptrend remains healthy, but some minor short-term weakness has crept in. SPY could be setting up a trading range between 200 and 206: fading extremes at these levels is probably the set up going forward. Equities are entering a buyback blackout period, but these have had no consistent bias (positive or negative) in the past. April starts Friday: over the past 10 and 20 years, April has been one of the most consistently positive months of the year for stocks.

2016-03-24 00:00:00 Challenges and Opportunities Facing Brazilian Companies by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

Brazil has great potential to improve its economic standing, but we aren’t alone in stating that policies need to change. We can’t predict when this will happen, so investors there need to be patient.

2016-03-24 00:00:00 Two Down – Two to Go by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

The Federal Reserve’s years-long campaign to sheepishly back away from its own policy forecasts continued in earnest last week when it officially reduced the four expected 2016 quarter point hikes, suggested back in December, to just two.

2016-03-24 00:00:00 Tips Tailwind by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

High-quality bonds broadly have enjoyed a good start to 2016, but Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) have particularly benefited recently and, last week, received an added tailwind from the Federal Reserve (Fed).

2016-03-24 00:00:00 U.S. Inflation: The Expectations Game by Michele Mazzoleni of Research Affiliates

The Fed’s inflation model relies heavily on consumer and market-based expectations, both notoriously poor predictors. We propose an alternative bottom-up approach that analyzes the components of CPI, and arrive at a forecast very close to the Fed’s target rate.

2016-03-24 00:00:00 ECRI Weekly Leading Index: WLI Up 0.6 From Last Week, Fifth Week of Increases by Jill Mislinski of Advisor Perspectives (dshort.com)

The WLI annualized growth indicator (WLIg) is at -0.7, an increase of 1.3 from the previous week, and well off its interim low of -4.7 last February. The YoY is now at -0.18%, an increase of 0.54, but still in negative territory.

2016-03-23 00:00:00 Europe - Not Enough Growth by Burt White of LPL Financial

Forecasts for European corporate earnings have become increasingly pessimistic. Analysts have reduced calendar year 2016 expectations to just under 3% earnings per share (EPS) growth, currently from nearly 20% as of the end of September 2015. Even though European stock prices have declined, the collapse in growth expectations suggests that these markets are still fairly valued; few, if any, bargains have been created. Recent aggressive monetary policy by the European Central Bank (ECB) may have boosted stock prices, but the implications for corporate earnings are much less certain.

2016-03-23 00:00:00 Some Surprising Advantages to Owning Gold and Silver Coins by Everett Millman of Gainsville Coins

Precious metals are traditionally seen as a hedge against inflation. Many investors include bullion in their portfolio as a way to prepare for tough economic times. Beyond these tried-and-true strategies, this expert perspective explores the potential advantages offered by legal tender gold and silver coins in terms of investing and avoiding transfer fees when banking abroad. These considerations are especially pertinent amid the global economic slowdown, political turmoil, and softening foreign bank stocks due to negative interest-rate policies (NIRP).

2016-03-23 00:00:00 A More Accommodative Fed by Christopher Molumphy of Franklin Templeton Investments

While market consensus currently seems unconcerned about inflation, we know this could change quickly. Longer term, we certainly think higher-than-anticipated US inflation is a potential risk.

2016-03-23 00:00:00 Mixed Economic Data Supports Gold and Short-Term Munis by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

A batch of mixed economic data was released this week and last that underlines continued strength among U.S. businesses and manufacturers. But consumer confidence still seems to be held back by the global slowdown, central bank policy concerns and other factors. This suggests investors should remain cautious and might want to consider assets that have demonstrated an ability to preserve capital in times of uncertainty—gold and short-term municipal bonds among them.

2016-03-23 00:00:00 Calmer C's Ahead? by Joachim Fels, Andrew Balls of PIMCO

China, Commodities and Central Banks Dominate the Global Outlook. Read our global economic outlook for the near term and implications for asset classes.

2016-03-22 00:00:00 A Dovish Fed? by Scott Brown of Raymond James

The financial markets reacted strongly to the Fed policy statement. However, the announcement, the Fed’s revised economic projections, and Yellen’s press conference contained absolutely no surprises (at least for anybody paying attention).

2016-03-22 00:00:00 The Fed's Disappearing Act by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

A busy last week for economic data, most of it good. The S&P 500 rose for the fifth straight week. The broad market is now up 12% in little over a month, up 2% year to date but still down 2% for the last twelve months. Emerging Markets, bonds, treasuries, TIPS and U.S. Small Company stocks are all positive of the year.

2016-03-22 00:00:00 The Russian Withdrawal by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

On March 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin surprised the world with an announcement of the withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria. The move was unexpected and has raised questions as to whether Russia will really pull its forces out of Syria, and if so, why? In this report, we will examine Russia's initial decision to place forces in Syria and discuss if Putin really means to remove his troops from the country. We will examine what might have prompted the decision to announce the withdrawal and, as always, discuss the market implications of the decision.

2016-03-22 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What’s Up with Housing? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Once again, this week’s economic calendar is very light. There will be plenty of political news and daily doses of FedSpeak. Despite the political stories, I expect the punditry to be asking: What is happening with housing?

2016-03-22 00:00:00 Why Oil Index Investors Should Be Flying High by Jodie Gunzberg of S&P Dow Jones Indices

In this blog post, Jodie Gunzberg discusses how hedging against an oil price rise is a choice rooted in managing risk; an equation that any shareholder can end up on the wrong side of.

2016-03-21 00:00:00 Extinction Burst by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

When a given behavior stops being reinforced, one might expect the behavior to be abandoned. Instead, and particularly when no substitute behavior is available, you’ll actually see an initial “extinction burst” - a nearly frantic increase in the frequency and the intensity of the behavior. Consider central bankers.

2016-03-21 00:00:00 On My Radar: The Fallacy of Overlooking Secondary Consequences by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

It is the fallacy of overlooking secondary consequences that is keeping me up at night. Try telling that one to your spouse.

2016-03-21 00:00:00 Dovish Monetary Policy Signs Push Risk Assets Higher by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The macro backdrop remained positive for risk assets last week. The Federal Reserve issued a surprisingly dovish statement, oil prices continued to climb and the crowded long-dollar trade unwound further. As a result, the S&P 500 Index climbed 1.4% and moved into positive territory for the year.

2016-03-21 00:00:00 Scared of Defaults? Don’t Worry, There’s a Bright Side by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

It’s hard to talk about high-yield bonds today without addressing defaults. So here’s our take on the matter: Default rates will rise over the next few years. But don’t fret: returns are likely to rise, too.

2016-03-21 00:00:00 Ian McAvity by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

“When times get tough, economic nationalism and protectionism tends to rise because it is always easier to blame someone else for self-inflicted problems.”. . . Ian McAvity

2016-03-21 00:00:00 Open Letter to the Next President, Part 2 by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Today we’ll continue our world tour with more advice for the next president.

2016-03-19 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Equities rose for a fifth week in a row. In many important ways, the current uptrend does not fit the profile of a bear market rally. That means that further gains lie ahead and a return to the February low is unlikely. On a shorter timeframe, there are several compelling reasons to expect a retracement of recent gains in the days ahead.

2016-03-19 00:00:00 Has Brazil Bottomed? by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

Last year when I visited Brazil I was cautiously optimistic, and returning again this year, I remain so. We were expecting problems, but we were encouraged to see some signs of change taking place and are hopeful that as host of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games this year, Brazil will have the opportunity to shine. People find it difficult to believe the situation will turn around in a downtrodden market like Brazil, but we have found that, in general, the time of maximum pessimism marks the time when a bottom is near, and that’s the time we want to be investing.

2016-03-19 00:00:00 Rising Global Taxes and Regulations (Indirect Taxation) Are Chipping Away at the Benefits of Low Int by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Compliance and regulation measures have intensified from the financial sector to the food industry, from the U.S. all the way to Brazil. Many CEOs of banks, as well as brokers that I have spoken with recently, have lamented on the financial burden of excessive regulation and the indirect taxation that comes along with this rise in rules on steroids. Regulations are fueled with good intentions; however, the unexpected consequences like slow global growth need to be adjusted.

2016-03-18 00:00:00 Schwab Market Perspective: Sigh of Relief by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Beaten down areas of the market have staged a nice turnaround. Stocks have moved well off the lows and the S&P 500 is now within shouting distance of the flatline for the year. Areas of the market that were some of the hardest hit—such as materials, energy and financials—have posted some of the best gains over the past month.

2016-03-18 00:00:00 ECRI Weekly Leading Index: WLI Up 1.0 From Last Week by Jill Mislinski of Advisor Perspectives (dshort.com)

The WLI annualized growth indicator (WLIg) is at -2.3, an increase of 1.3 from the previous week, and well off its interim low of -4.7 last February. The YoY is now at -0.69%, in negative territory for the majority of the last 52 weeks.

2016-03-18 00:00:00 Biggest Commodity Comeback Ever by Jodie Gunzberg of S&P Dow Jones Indices

In this blog post, Jodie Gunzberg discusses the first time positive return of the S&P GSCI, year-to-date.

2016-03-18 00:00:00 Take Your Eye off the Ball by David Dali of Matthews Asia

When searching for arguments supporting the rationale for market stabilization, it is interesting to draw parallels with other periods of market stress. Asia Weekly explores.

2016-03-18 00:00:00 The Real Reason Markets Are Volatile by Rick Rieder of BlackRock

After years of relative calm, market volatility has picked up over the past year. Rick Rieder explains why, disproving two popular explanations.

2016-03-17 00:00:00 Rates Hikes on the Way by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Mark your calendars for a rate hike on June 15. Although the Federal Reserve cut its estimate of the most likely path for interest rates this year, it still projected two rate hikes for later this year, which suggests one hike in June and then one at the end of the year after the election.

2016-03-17 00:00:00 Fear…Not? by Team of PIMCO

The fears that had cast a pall over January weighed on the markets in early February as well, but sentiment improved sharply as the month progressed. Encouraging U.S. economic data contributed to an improvement in global risk appetite. Investors marveled at yet another V-shaped trajectory in the markets in February, but concerns still lingered.

2016-03-17 00:00:00 Five-Year Outlook: Make Headwinds Your Tailwinds by BMO Global Asset Management of BMO Global Asset Management

This outlook report informs BMO GAM’s longer-term strategic portfolio allocations and has been distilled into three possible scenarios expected to dominate the global economy over the next three to five years. The report helps drive BMO GAM’s investment strategies and often plays a role in guiding active global asset allocation opportunities across the firm’s global investment centers. The firm’s primary case calls for a broadening of U.S.-led global growth into key geographies, particularly Europe and Japan.

2016-03-17 00:00:00 FOMC FAQS: All About the Dots by John Canally of LPL Financial

The Fed holds its second of eight FOMC meetings of 2016 this Tuesday and Wednesday, March 15–16, 2016. The FOMC’s “dot plots” are likely to be at the center of attention. Fed Chair Yellen’s first post-FOMC meeting press conference of 2016 provides an opportunity for the Fed to add color to its view of the economy, inflation, and financial market volatility.

2016-03-17 00:00:00 Seven: Happy Anniversary Bull Market (?) by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

Last week we celebrated the seventh anniversary of the U.S. bull market, which commenced on March 9, 2009 and has since generated a total return for the S&P 500 of 247%. The traditional gift for the seventh anniversary is copper, which is fitting since the strong rally many “risk-on” assets have staged since U.S. stocks bottomed on February 11, has been accompanied (driven?) by a surge in commodities, including copper and more importantly oil.

2016-03-16 00:00:00 Will Eight be Great for the Bull? by Burt White of LPL Financial

The bull market turns seven. Last Wednesday, on March 9, 2016, the bull market officially celebrated its seventh birthday. During that seven-year period, the S&P 500 nearly tripled, gaining 194% in price and producing a total return of 241%. Although our expectations for the stock market in 2016 are for only modest S&P 500 gains, we do not see the warning signs that have signaled the end of past bull markets and would not be surprised at all if the current bull market celebrates its eighth birthday one year from now.

2016-03-16 00:00:00 Will The Fed Raise Rates Tomorrow? Probably Not by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The Federal Reserve’s policy setting body, the Fed Open Market Committee (FOMC), is meeting today and tomorrow, and there is widespread speculation over whether or not the Committee will vote to raise the Fed Funds rate a second time since lift-off in December.

2016-03-16 00:00:00 Global House Prices: Hints of Housing Bubbles by Dmitri Rabin of Loomis Sayles

Over the last 25 years, home prices across a number of major economies have risen faster than local income or inflation levels. Real home prices across these nations are up an average of 25% compared to 1990. In addition, home price-to-rent ratios are also far higher than their long-term averages.

2016-03-16 00:00:00 The Conference by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Last week, we watched a 2012 interview with Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive. Bezos noted that he was frequently asked what he thought was going to change in the next ten years. His response was that the more important question would be “What is not going to change in the next ten years?”

2016-03-15 00:00:00 Gundlach’s Warning for “Risk Assets” by Robert Huebscher (Article)

So-called “risk assets” – securities, like equities, that offer the greatest opportunity for returns but the highest exposure to risk – are priced at levels that are eminently unattractive, according to Jeffrey Gundlach. Indeed, he said that investors in risk assets should expect returns of only 2% versus potential losses of 20% – an ominous 10-to-1 tradeoff.

2016-03-15 00:00:00 A Market Valuation Gauge That Works by Theodore Wong (Article)

In my previous article, I examined many popular metrics that show that U.S. equities have been overvalued for over 20 years. The conventional explanation is that the overvaluation and its unusually long duration is a statistical outlier. But until the anomaly is better understood, naively equating the lack of mean reversion with overvaluation will lead to ill-advised investment strategies.

2016-03-15 00:00:00 Equities Advance Again, But Risks Lurk on the Horizon by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equities posted a fourth consecutive week of gains for the first time since last November. The S&P 500 Index was up 1.2% due in part to yet another increase in oil prices and a positive reaction to the European Central Bank’s policy easing announcement.

2016-03-15 00:00:00 An Early Spring by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

Markets ended last week firmer. The S&P 500 traded 2,000, roughly where it was fourteen months ago but up 7% from February lows. Nearly all markets experienced a bounce from just four weeks ago: Small Caps were up 11%, Emerging Markets up 9% and REITS up 8%. Why?

2016-03-15 00:00:00 When Markets are Quiet—Too Quiet by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich suggests that, given the uneven pace of global growth, there is a potential for a return of volatility.

2016-03-15 00:00:00 An Open Letter to the Next President by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

As the entire world is painfully aware, it is election year in the United States. I realize the images my non-American friends see may not inspire confidence. Our process is messy in the best of circumstances, and this year we are not at our best.

2016-03-15 00:00:00 Newsletter - March 2016 by Harold Evensky of Evensky & Katz / Foldes Financial Wealth Management

Harold Evensky's quarterly letter to his readers.

2016-03-15 00:00:00 Political Punching Bags by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

The United States has one of the most successful biotech/pharmaceutical industries and arguably the premier banking institutions in the world. During the current presidential race, populist politicians on both sides of the aisle have gained a great deal of popularity by turning these two industries into political punching bags.

2016-03-14 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Equities rose the fourth week in a row, led by continued strength in oil. SPY has now rallied 11% and is back above a key support level and its 200-dma. Breadth momentum during this rebound has been stronger than nearly every bear market rally in the past 16 years. Moreover, despite the large gains, investors remain mostly skeptical. Turbulence during the upcoming March OpX week would be normal, but this week is seasonally bullish. Below, we outline what to look for before assuming the rally has come to an end.

2016-03-14 00:00:00 Did Oil Prices Just Find a Bottom? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

On a global scale, oil production is finally dropping—and that’s constructive for prices. In a report released today, the International Energy Agency (IEA) writes that “prices might have bottomed out,” citing a February decline in both OPEC and non-OPEC output and hopes of U.S. dollar weakness.Although I’m cautious, the current recovery is in line with oil’s seasonality trends for the five- and 15-year periods, which show that prices have risen between March and the beginning of the busy summer travel season.

2016-03-14 00:00:00 The ECB’s Race Against Time by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Buffeted first by the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and then by the sovereign debt crisis two years later, the eurozone has struggled to restore prosperity. Real gross domestic product (GDP) has still not recovered to the level recorded eight years ago, and growth has been uneven.

2016-03-14 00:00:00 Bearishness Is Strictly For Informed Optimists by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

The completion of every market cycle in history has taken the most reliable equity valuation measures toward or below their historical norms - levels associated with subsequent total returns approaching 10% annually. That includes two cycle completions since 2000, as well as cycles prior to 1960 when interest rates regularly hovered near present levels. After an unusually extended speculative half-cycle, we doubt that the completion of the present cycle will be any different. It has taken the third speculative bubble in 16 years to bring the nominal total return of the S&P 500 since March 2000

2016-03-14 00:00:00 PSN Top Guns Q4 2015 - Federal Reserve Finally Makes a Move by Ryan Nauman of Informa Investment Solutions

After a less-than-stellar third quarter, U.S. stocks had a nice rebound in the fourth quarter to close out 2015. The broad U.S. equity market, measured by the Russell 3000 index, finished the fourth quarter with a 6.27% gain. In October, strong domestic macroeconomic data and continued low interest rates fueled performance. Momentum slowed by the end of the quarter as the Federal Reserve finally increased interest rates to 0.25% and oil hit an eleven-year low.

2016-03-14 00:00:00 Why We Think Mexico Is a Standout in Latin America by Mark Mobius, Rodolfo Ramos Cevallos of Franklin Templeton Investments

While oil is meaningful to the Mexican government in terms of revenues, Mexico’s reliance on oil is considerably less than is commonly believed.

2016-03-14 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: March by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

We regard the greater stability in commodity prices, along with a lessening of volatility in financial markets, as welcome, and believe it should provide a more stable platform for the global economy, where growth remains acceptable, if lower than desirable.

2016-03-14 00:00:00 Turn, Turn, Turn by Scott Brown of Raymond James

The story goes that tighter Fed policy has strengthened the dollar, the stronger dollar has led to lower prices of oil and other commodities, and the drop in oil prices contributed to stock market weakness in January and February. However, stock market movements cannot be attributed wholly to the price of oil, the price of oil cannot by tied completely to the dollar, and the dollar’s strength has not been due entirely to monetary policy. Examining these links more closely may provide some insight into where we are heading in the months ahead.

2016-03-14 00:00:00 On My Radar: The Draghi Bazooka by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Last week’s mention of the great Art Cashin sent a number of emails my way. The one that touched me most was from Richard who worked for Paine Webber from 1974 to 1987. Back then every broker had a small speaker on his or her desk. We in the industry know it as the “squawk” box.

2016-03-14 00:00:00 Volatility View by (Article)

Market volatility has created potential opportunities for CEF investors, says Brian Buehring, Managing Director, Portfolio Specialist, Nuveen Investments.

2016-03-11 00:00:00 An Alternative View on Volatility by Brooks Ritchey of Franklin Templeton Investments

Based on our current economic outlook, with financial markets still coming to terms with, among other issues, China’s slowing growth rate and uncertainty about global interest rates, we anticipate volatility will be around for some time—and may even escalate.

2016-03-11 00:00:00 What to Trust? Measuring the Chinese Economy by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

The structure of China’s economy has changed so much over the past decade that investors need to reconsider the best metrics for assessing its growth.

2016-03-11 00:00:00 The Fear Factor in Global Markets by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

The phenomenal market volatility of the past year owes much to genuine risks and uncertainties about factors such as Chinese growth, European banks, and the oil glut. Yet, from a macroeconomic perspective, the fundamentals are just not that bad.

2016-03-11 00:00:00 ECRI Weekly Leading Index: WLI Up 1.7 From Last Week by Jill Mislinski of Advisor Perspectives (dshort.com)

The WLI annualized growth indicator (WLIg) is at -3.1, an increase of 0.4 from the previous week, and well off its interim low of -4.7 last February. The YoY is now at -0.91%, in negative territory for the majority of the last 52 weeks.

2016-03-10 00:00:00 TARP Was a Mistake, Not a Success by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Today marks the seventh anniversary of the market bottom in 2009. Government claims that the Troubled Asset Relief Program, TARP for short, has been a massive success, saving the economy and generating $65 billion in government profits in the process.

2016-03-10 00:00:00 The Gold Bull Market Is Back… Will It Last? by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

The gold bull is back. After trending downward for more than four years, gold prices have broken out to the upside with a gain of more than 20% off their December lows.

2016-03-10 00:00:00 High Yield Improvement Trend Appears Entrenched by Matthew Past of BTS Asset Management

The most important indicators for high-yield bond prices are the sector’s own price trends. At present, technical indicators strongly suggest a continuation of the high-yield bond strength that began in mid-February as the flight-to-quality urge faded. In addition to technical price trends, several backdrop indicators also suggest a favorable outlook for high-yield bonds, including GDP, oil, and the dollar.

2016-03-10 00:00:00 The Resilient Economy by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

A Headwinds from China, market turbulence and soft economic reports cast doubt about the strength of U.S. economic fundamentals as 2016 began. But the most recent data provide evidence to the contrary.

2016-03-09 00:00:00 A Banana?! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

When Herb Stein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Gerald Ford administration, was admonished by his boss not to use the word "recession" to describe a recession, he complied, reluctantly. "From now on," he told a group of economic reporters, "I won't use the word recession. I'll say 'banana.' When I say banana, think 'recession'. I think we must be wary of the risks of a banana."

2016-03-09 00:00:00 Peddling Fiction, Ignoring Fact by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

In his seventh, and final, State of the Union address this January, President Obama, clearly looking to bolster his legacy as the president who vanquished the Great Recession, boldly asserted that...

2016-03-09 00:00:00 Beige Book: Window on Main Street by John Canally of LPL Financial

The latest Beige Book suggests that the U.S. economy is still growing near its long-term trend, but that the drag from a stronger dollar and weaker energy prices, along with the slowdown in emerging market (EM) economies—most notably China,?are still having a major impact on the manufacturing sector. In addition, our analysis of the Beige Book confirms that there has been some spillover of weakness from the energy and manufacturing sectors to other parts of the economy in recent months.

2016-03-09 00:00:00 Easing May Not Ease High Debt Levels by Stefan Hofrichter of Allianz Global Investors

Chief Economist Stefan Hofrichter says public debt levels are already so high across the globe, growth stimulus needs to come from a different place: changes to monetary policy and structural reforms.

2016-03-09 00:00:00 The Stock Market: Reasons for Optimism by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

As the market creeps back up, investors may be inclined to doubt the recovery. After all, there must have been a reason for the pullback we just saw. Couldn’t stocks drop again for the very same reason?

2016-03-09 00:00:00 On My Radar: Stick With the Drill – Stay Wary, Alert and Very, Very Nimble by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

I was in Florida this week attending the 32nd Annual Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) Risk Management Conference. Attendees were mostly asset managers and larger pension and endowment managers. Several comments stood out to me; particularly the one above from Paul R.T. Johnson, Jr., Board Member of the State University Retirement System. “42% funded?” He added that the good news is that his is the most funded of all the states. Yikes.

2016-03-08 00:00:00 Bob Doll on His 2016 Predictions by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Bob Doll is a senior portfolio manager and chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management, and prior to that held similar roles at Blackrock, Merrill Lynch Investment Managers and Oppenheimer Funds, Inc. We spoke with Bob to get an update on his 2016 predictions for the financial markets.

2016-03-08 00:00:00 No Rebound Yet by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

The fast cycle phase of markets continued last week. As of Friday morning, and so before the employment numbers, the market was up 3% on the week, up 9% from recent lows but still down 2.5% year to date. Here’s what caught our eye.

2016-03-08 00:00:00 New Gold Bull Market Now Official; Breaking Point in Paper Gold? by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

Gold officially entered a bull market in last week’s trading with prices gaining more than 20% from their December lows. The silver price also put on some very nice gains, but the price needs to reach about $16.40 before watchers can make the same claim.

2016-03-08 00:00:00 When Helping Hurts: What More Can Monetary Policy Accomplish? by Joe Becker, Adam Schenck, Jeff Greco of Milliman Financial Risk Management

Global markets in February followed a path similar to the one they followed in January: selling off through mid-month, only to recover in the second half. Global rates continued their descent, reflecting increased skepticism over the prospects for global growth.

2016-03-08 00:00:00 Beware Trade-Recession Scare Story by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Friday’s robust report on job growth ought to put the nail in the coffin on recent fears about a recession. Payrolls rose 242,000 and civilian employment, an alternative measure of jobs that includes small business start-ups, increased 530,000. In the past year, these two measures are both up approximately 2.7 million. Obviously, we’re not in a recession.

2016-03-08 00:00:00 TIPS and Value Step Up as Stocks March Ahead by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the case for TIPS and value stocks as more evidence of stabilization in the U.S. economy appears.

2016-03-08 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What Does the Election Mean for Financial Markets? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Last week’s economic calendar was the biggest of the year and this week’s is the lightest. In the absence of important economic news and earnings, where will financial media turn to fill that space and time? The Presidential election campaign is providing a lot of zest as well as a little substance. I expect financial pundits to be asking: What Does the Election Mean for Financial Markets?

2016-03-07 00:00:00 March: In Like a Lamb, Out Like a Lion? by Joseph Amato of Neuberger Berman

In the old days, they said that when March comes in like a lamb it goes out like a lion. The proverb is rooted in the reality that, in the northern hemisphere at least, this month’s weather tends to be changeable and unpredictable—volatile, as we might say in the investing industry. At this time of year, winter and spring contend with one another like bears and bulls in financial markets. When it comes to the seasons, however, we may suffer the odd gale, but we know the days will lengthen, the air will warm. The markets are not so easy to forecast.

2016-03-07 00:00:00 No One Ever Grew Wealth Being Scared by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

Current volatility seems to present a great opportunity for investors to better position themselves for growth rather than remain fearful wallflowers. No one ever grew wealth sitting out the dance.

2016-03-07 00:00:00 Our Three Favorite Picks in Taxable Fixed Income by Katherine Nuss of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Volatility has presented us with an opportunity to purchase structured products such as commercial mortgage-backed securities at much more attractive valuations. Risk premiums on investment-grade corporates are now well wide of historical average and approaching levels historically observed during recessions. While we still view high yield as an attractive investment alternative, we do not believe this is the time to stretch for return or reach for yield by adding significant risk to the portfolio.

2016-03-07 00:00:00 Tuning Out the White Noise in High Yield by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

The sound and fury surrounding high yield these days can make it hard for investors to hear themselves think. It’s time to turn down the volume. Here are four things to keep in mind.

2016-03-07 00:00:00 Analyzing Earnings As Of Q4 2015 by Lance Roberts of Real Investment Advice

With the 97.8% of fourth quarter earnings reports for the S&P 500 now in, I can update my quarterly analysis of earnings and estimate trends through the 4th quarter of 2015.

2016-03-07 00:00:00 Equity Prices Advance Again as Negative Signals Diminish by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The “risk-on” trend continued last week, helped mainly by stronger U.S. economic data, heightened expectations for more European Central Bank stimulus and additional stabilization in oil prices. High yield spreads fell and equities rose, with the S&P 500 Index climbing 2.7%. Over the past three weeks, U.S. stocks have nearly recovered all of the ground they lost earlier in the year.

2016-03-07 00:00:00 Market in Free Fall by Don Schreiber of WBI Investments

Since the beginning of 2016, investors have awakened to the limits of central banking monetary policy to increase faltering worldwide economic growth. It appears, the global central bank experiment of zero interest rate policy and quantitative easing over the past seven years has not built a sustainable economic recovery.

2016-03-06 00:00:00 The “Gasoline Dividend” May Not Be That Powerful by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

The price of gas has again burst through a threshold once thought unapproachable. This time, though, the invisible line was at $2 per gallon. But happily, we breached it on the downside.

2016-03-06 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

SPY has now rallied 10%, back to a level that was major support throughout most of 2015. It would be easy to say that the rally ends here, but strong breadth, persistent investor pessimism and strength in other asset classes suggest that further upside ultimately lies ahead. That said, by the end of the week, the advance showed several signs of being overextended; weakness early next week would be normal. In fact, if equities continue with an uncorrected rally, those gains are likely to be given back in the weeks ahead.

2016-03-06 00:00:00 To Jumpstart Its Economy, China Embraces… Reaganomics? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Chinese President Xi Jinping is about to tell millions of government workers: “You’re fired.”

2016-03-06 00:00:00 Schwab Market Perspective: Neutral Does Not Mean Boring by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen and Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

There are two ways to get to a neutral color: 1) just pick the boring beige that we’re all familiar with, or 2) mix a bunch of wild colors together and end up with an altogether bland sort of color—vastly different inputs but relatively the same result. Recently, stocks have resembled the latter scenario as stock indexes have moved out of correction territory but have remained quite volatile, with triple-digit Dow moves more common than not.

2016-03-04 00:00:00 RIP Central Banks: Examining Negative Rate Scenarios by Jeffrey Baker of HiddenLevers

Beneath the turmoil in emerging markets and commodities, global central banks have resorted to unprecedented measures to stoke growth. Interest rates in Japan and parts of Europe are now negative, with Japanese 10 year bonds recently yielding 0%! Despite central banks' best efforts, increasing growth has been close to impossible. Long terms changes to the global economy have made central bankers increasingly irrelevant and sowed the seeds for deflation and slow growth.

2016-03-04 00:00:00 ECRI Weekly Leading Index: WLI Unchanged From Last Week by Jill Mislinski of Advisor Perspectives (dshort.com)

The WLI annualized growth indicator (WLIg) is at -3.5, a decrease of 0.1 from the previous week, and well off its interim low of -4.7 last February . The YoY is now at -0.82%, in negative territory for the majority of the last 52 weeks.

2016-03-03 00:00:00 Gold Is Crushing It So Far this Year by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

This is an exciting time for gold. After another annual loss in 2015, its fourth year in a row, the precious metal has plotted a new course, one that has ferried it to the lead position among all other major asset classes in 2016.

2016-03-03 00:00:00 U.S. Real GDP is Projected to Post a Slight Decline in the First Quarter of 2016 by Robert Lamy of The Forecasting Advisor

Each month, the U.S. Institute for Supply Management (ISM) conducts a survey on the state of the manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries of the U.S. economy and releases data for the previous month. The data are closely followed by the financial media, economists, and wealth portfolio managers as they provide the earliest reading on the state of the economy.

2016-03-03 00:00:00 Good Times Bad Times…and Lots in Between by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

In the world of investing, apocalyptic scenarios abound. You can fit the extreme optimists in a thimble. We sit somewhere in the middle—having had a neutral rating on U.S. stocks since the beginning of 2015. It’s certainly more adrenaline-inducing to have a high-conviction extreme view, but investing is typically more gray than it is black or white. But admit it—you are often more intrigued by the apocalyptic scenario.

2016-03-03 00:00:00 Dividends Don’t Drive Total Return They Contribute To It: Part 1 by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

I believe there is a critical piece of investment wisdom that all investors in common stocks should possess. Every common stock investor should have a clear understanding of where and how long-term common stock returns are generated or come from. When an investor does not possess this knowledge, they can be easily led towards drawing erroneous conclusions about their portfolios and/or the individual stocks that they own. Knowledge is power, and the knowledge of where and how long-term stock returns are generated is incredibly enlightening.

2016-03-03 00:00:00 Look Beyond the Headlines: China's Services Sectors Continue to Grow by John Natale of Wells Fargo Asset Management

China’s economic health is one of the key questions facing investors. The country’s economic growth rate has indeed slowed, edging beneath 7% in 2015 for the first time since the first quarter of 2009. However, investors should note that China’s growth rate remains higher than most other major economies, and its consumer and service sectors are rising drivers of its GDP. Three emerging markets portfolio managers—Dale Winner, Anthony Cragg, and Jerry Zhang—offer their views on investing in China.

2016-03-02 00:00:00 Can Silver See A Lower Low Without Gold and GDX? by Avi Gilburt of ElliottWaveTrader.net

In short, the answer to the question in the title is “yes.” And, since we have different pattern potentials in the different segments of the market, we may have to analyze them separately this week.

2016-03-02 00:00:00 Nothing Recedes Like Recession by Scott Brown of Raymond James

Recent economic data reports have been mixed, but generally consistent with moderate economic growth in the near term. That won’t stop investors from worrying. The overall theme of domestic strength vs. global softness is going to continue. However, there are likely to be some important issues in the job market and dilemma for Fed policy in the months ahead.

2016-03-02 00:00:00 The Slinky US Consumer by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Bolstered by job and wage gains but still somewhat tentative, US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper says US consumers have been less like a tightly coiled spring and more like a Slinky—which moves slowly only to compress and uncoil once again.

2016-03-02 00:00:00 Mexico's Economic Stewards Take Market By Surprise by Pablo Echavarria, CFA of Thornburg Investment Management

Monetary and fiscal measures tighten financial conditions, but the short-term pain bolsters sound economic fundamentals longer-term.

2016-03-02 00:00:00 If Only We Could Blame China by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

“When you combine ignorance and leverage, you get some pretty interesting results.” Warren Buffett. One thing we are exceptionally good at in the West is to blame China for pretty much anything that goes haywire. If you believe various commentators, it is all China’s fault that global equity markets have caught a serious cold more recently and, before that, China was blamed for the extraordinary weakness in industrial commodity prices.

2016-03-01 00:00:00 Four Big Mistakes Hurting Your Firm’s Growth by Damian Ornani (Article)

Growth for an RIA usually means boosting assets under management and/or client count. However, this presents a problem for the diligent RIA: How do you responsibly grow your firm without jeopardizing quality – and, with it, the existing client relationships you cherish? The answers could fill volumes. Avoiding these four big mistakes is a crucial start to grow while maintaining quality.

2016-03-01 00:00:00 Conviction in Volatile Markets: The Value of Loans Across the Credit Cycle by Scott Page, Craig Russ, Christopher Remington of Eaton Vance

The case for loans as a strategic fixed-income allocation has been proven across many credit cycles.

2016-03-01 00:00:00 Why Are All The "Oil Dividends" Missing? Where Have They Gone? by Chuck Self of iSectors

The advance release of the U.S. 4th quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers was disappointing. After running at a 4%+ pace in the middle of 2014 and between 2% and 4% earlier last year, the fourth quarter 2015 GDP rose only 0.7%. Household consumption growth fell and non-residential business fixed investment declined after rising earlier in the year. Government spending has recovered but that was the only bright spot in the report.

2016-03-01 00:00:00 Finding Yield: Difficult, but Not Impossible by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses areas of the market that offer opportunities in the search for yield.

2016-03-01 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Can a Rebounding Economy Support Stock Prices? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

This week’s economic calendar is loaded with all of the most important data. In addition, Super Tuesday might provide a defining event to the political campaign. Oil remains volatile, and Fed Speakers are on the loose. Despite the political stories, I expect the punditry to be asking: Can the strengthening U.S. economy support the rebound in stocks?

2016-03-01 00:00:00 The Investing Implications of Negative Interest Rates by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock's Russ Koesterich and investment strategist Terry Simpson explain how negative interest rates may impact various asset classes.

2016-03-01 00:00:00 Brexit, Banks and Opportunity by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

Stocks eked out a small gain last week (as of pre-open Friday). We’re now up 6% from the market lows we saw two weeks ago. The S&P 500 has settled into a trading range of 1850-1950. The news flow was mixed. Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and a few others agreed to “freeze” oil at current production. Trouble is, “current” production is at an all time high. Iran refused to stand by any agreement and the Saudi Oil Minister casually remarked they are prepared to see oil at $20 bbl. Well, maybe. Here’s what else caught our attention.

2016-03-01 00:00:00 Too Soon for March Madness? by John Canally of LPL Financial

As we enter March, market participants are already looking ahead to the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. While the meeting isn’t until March 15–16, 2016, markets are already trying to decipher how the widening disconnect between what the Fed plans to do with the fed funds rate and what the market thinks the Fed will do will be resolved.

2016-02-29 00:00:00 Ed Hyman: The Next Recession is Five to Six Years Away by Jeffrey Briskin (Article)

The U.S. economy is showing signs of weakness, but the next recession is five to six years away, according to Ed Hyman, the chairman of Evercore ISI, a global economic research and investment banking advisory firm.

2016-02-29 00:00:00 Is Gold Entering a New Bull Market? by Mark Ungewitter of Mark Ungewitter Research

In my annual outlook, I highlighted several big-picture indicators that might corroborate the next bull market in gold bullion. Here’s another market-based indicator which is likely to provide the next important clue.

2016-02-29 00:00:00 Brexit: Boost or Bust? by Leigh Harrison of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

A post-Brexit U.K. would arguably find trade with Europe harder and more costly, resulting in reduced economic growth. Given that 75% of the U.K. market’s earnings base is outside the U.K. a weak currency may substantially offset the impact on investment and business confidence. Brexit is likely to have the biggest impact on banks, retailing, domestic earnings, other financials, insurance and property.

2016-02-29 00:00:00 Muni Outlook: “Broadly Stable” by (Article)

Municipal bonds currently offer a “broadly stable” asset class that may appeal to CEF investors, says John Miller, Co-Head of Fixed Income, Nuveen Investments.

2016-02-29 00:00:00 On My Radar: Expect More Money Printing by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“Time to put 25% to 30% of your wealth in cash.” – Mohammed El-Erian

2016-02-29 00:00:00 Politics and Your Portfolio by Erik Knutzen of Neuberger Berman

Tomorrow is “Super Tuesday” here in the U.S. Last week, all the talk in Europe was about “Brexit.” These newspaper buzzwords rarely figure in investors’ strategy meetings. But a new specter is haunting markets: the specter of political risk.

2016-02-29 00:00:00 2016 May Be a Frustrating Year for Both Bulls and Bears by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities climbed for a second straight week, with the S&P 500 Index rising 1.6%. Investors took solace in a renewed climb in oil prices and a sense that the United States was unlikely to enter a recession.

2016-02-26 00:00:00 Look What’s Happening to Gold Priced in OTHER Currencies [Wow…] by David Smith of Money Metals Exchange

At the close of market on the Wednesday this essay was written, the price of one troy ounce of gold was US$1,229. A troy ounce of silver was trading at US$15.25.

2016-02-26 00:00:00 India: What Makes it Unique? by Sunil Asnani of Matthews Asia

The latest GDP figures of 7.3% year-over-year in India indicate growth is outpacing that of China, and affirms its spot as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. With its vast population and the rapid changes taking place, some liken today’s India to China 20 years ago. We think this comparison is too shallow and does not tell the entire story. India’s evolution has been very different from the rest of the developing world. Here are five aspects unique to the Indian economy.

2016-02-26 00:00:00 Breaking: Golden Cross for Gold by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Today, gold experienced a “golden cross,” a technical indicator that occurs when an asset’s 50-day moving average crosses above its 200-day moving average. It’s the first such movement in nearly two years and is a sign that gold might have further to climb.

2016-02-26 00:00:00 China Faces Capital Punishment by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore | of Northern Trust

The Chinese are presently giving a lot of consideration to gaps in a different kind of barrier, one that restricts the flow of money instead of people. Despite a system of controls, capital has left the country in significant amounts, pressuring Chinese markets and the Chinese currency.

2016-02-26 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Equities gained nearly 2% for the second week in a row. SPY has now rallied to 197, the lower end of the target range we set in early February. If this is just a countertrend rally within a bear market, then risk/reward is now marginal. Despite the steep gains in recent weeks, investor pessimism persists: it would be remarkable if the rally ended without even a hint of FOMO (fear of missing out). Breadth also suggests further upside in the weeks ahead. Meanwhile, recent macro data strongly refutes the notion that economic weakness is the root cause for the fall in equities.

2016-02-26 00:00:00 Whose QE Was it, Anyway? by Carmen Reinhart of Project Syndicate

Years before the 2008 financial crisis, foreign central banks’ ownership of US Treasuries began to catch up with – and then overtake – the Federal Reserve’s share. Indeed, tighter liquidity conditions and increased volatility in financial markets are the byproduct of the reversal in this long cycle of foreign purchases.

2016-02-26 00:00:00 ECRI Weekly Leading Index: WLI Up Slightly From Last Week by Jill Mislinski of Advisor Perspectives (dshort.com)

The WLI annualized growth indicator (WLIg) is at -3.4, a decrease of 0.3 from the previous week, and well off its interim low of -4.7 last February . The YoY is now at -0.86%, in negative territory for the majority of the last 52 weeks.

2016-02-25 00:00:00 The Red Tour: Nanchang to Fuzhou by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

My team and I recently completed a multi-city tour of China, mainly via high-speed rail. We’ve explored cities including Shenzhen, Nanning, Guiyang, Changsha and Wuhan, searching for potential investment opportunities and seeing the economic conditions in China first-hand. This last stop on our tour offers a look at Nanchang and Fuzhou in southeastern China.

2016-02-25 00:00:00 Arnott on All Asset February 2016 by Rob Arnott, Christopher Brightman of PIMCO

Rob Arnott, head of Research Affiliates, and Christopher Brightman, Research Affiliates’ Chief Investment Officer, share their firm’s market insights and allocation strategies for PIMCO All Asset funds.

2016-02-25 00:00:00 An Escalating War on Cash by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

On February 16th, The Washington Post printed the article, "It's time to kill the $100 bill." This came on the heels of a CNNMoney item, the day before, entitled "Death of the 500 euro bill getting closer." The former cited a recent Harvard Kennedy School working paper, No. 52 by Senior Fellow Peter Sands, concluding that the abolition of high denomination notes would help deter "tax evasion, financial crime, terrorist finance and corruption."

2016-02-25 00:00:00 U.S. Recession Talk is Premature by Multi-Asset Solutions Team of BMO Global Asset Management

The recent commentary from the Multi-Asset Solutions Team at BMO Global Asset Management discusses all the commotion surrounding a potential recession. Business confidence has suffered overall, given the strong dollar, declining export demand and outright collapse of many commodity prices.

2016-02-25 00:00:00 The Missing Muni Market Story by Rafael Costas of Franklin Templeton Investments

In 2015, the municipal bond market benefited from the favorable combination of three positive influences that have historically driven performance: supply, demand and credit quality. We see these positive influences likely to continue in 2016.

2016-02-25 00:00:00 Opportunities in Adversity: The Dollar by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

In yesterday’s post, we discussed how the common perception of the oil price decline is significantly out of line with reality. It is just this kind of mismatch that has, historically, created opportunities. Another mismatch situation—with the dollar—offers similar potential.

2016-02-25 00:00:00 Analyzing Despair; Restoring Hope by Byron Wien of Blackstone

While I began this year with a cautious view of the financial markets, I did not expect the swift market declines that we have all experienced. At one point, the Standard & Poor’s 500 was down 10% year-to-date. The recent weakness is clearly supported by some serious economic problems which I will explore. My conclusion, however, is that we will not endure either a bear market or a recession this year, and I will try to defend that position in the course of this essay.

2016-02-24 00:00:00 From Headwind to Tailwind? by John Canally of LPL Financial

Since the middle of 2014—as markets prepared for the start of Federal Reserve (Fed) interest rate hikes and more easing from the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BOJ)—the U.S. dollar has been on a near historic run higher versus the currencies of major U.S. trading partners. I

2016-02-24 00:00:00 The 2016 Election: An Update by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Two years ago we wrote a series on the 2016 election where we suggested rising discontent among the electorate could increase the odds of a president that turns the US away from the superpower role. Some of these trends have come to pass and the underlying cause of discord we identified appear to be the driving force in the current political turmoil.

2016-02-24 00:00:00 Opportunities in Adversity: Oil by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

Following up on last week’s post about real risks and the opportunities that could arise from them, let’s take a look at the energy industry. With oil prices dropping to multiyear lows, companies and countries struggling to stay in business and pay their bills, and new suppliers like Iran reentering the market, the industry has been in better shape.

2016-02-24 00:00:00 The Bullish Case: A Mental Exercise by Doug Ramsey of Leuthold Weeden Capital Management

Our quantitative tools have delivered an emphatic bear warning, and we are subjectively convinced the message is correct. But it’s precisely these times when our conviction level is highest that we find it helpful to entertain the other side of the investment argument. We won’t back off our bear market call unless our model does, but we don’t want overplay our hand, either. The charts and tables herein are the ones we find the most challenging (even frightening) to our bearish stance—the ones that appear during those fitful nights when we worry, “What could go right?”

2016-02-24 00:00:00 Advice for Riding This Market's Rocky Rebound by Dr. Brian Jacobsen, CFA, CFP of Wells Fargo Asset Management

Where should you be positioned in a rocky market rebound? History shows that volatility that occurred during rebounds from corrections was almost always worse than volatility that occurred before. Investors need to consider the fact that—while waiting in cash positions can be comfortable—it can also be costly if you miss out on buying opportunities. Wells Fargo Asset Management’s Dr. Brian Jacobsen offers insights on portfolio positioning, looking at factors such as market capitalization and sector.

2016-02-24 00:00:00 Why Are Stocks and Oil Prices Moving in Tandem? by Sonu Varghese of Convex Capital Management, LLC

Are stocks up or down this week? It seems that is dependent on whether oil prices are up or down.

2016-02-24 00:00:00 Gold Now? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Gold never changes; it's the world around it that does. Why is it that we see a renewed interest in gold now? And more importantly, should investors buy this precious metal?

2016-02-24 00:00:00 The Great Recession Scare of 2016 by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

While choppy markets require a strong stomach, they historically hold the most value.

2016-02-23 00:00:00 This Is Not 2008 by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

The risk aversion across emerging markets appears to have reached a maximum state of unwarranted pessimism, in our view, and we see a vast set of valuation opportunities amid the volatility.

2016-02-23 00:00:00 Monopoly Is Going Cashless. Could We Be Next? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Nearly everyone can recall playing Monopoly as a child, and for many, the game served as their first exposure to handling different denominations of cash. It was exhilarating to have someone land on your Park Place property, complete with hotel, and in turn receive a fistful of $50s and $100s.

2016-02-23 00:00:00 The Escalating War on Cash and What It Means for Metals. by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

Government bureaucrats, central bankers, and Wall Street executives all have their own reasons for hating the cash in your wallet. So, no surprise, they are working closely together to rid you of it.

2016-02-23 00:00:00 Have Currencies Around the World Overshot Fair Value? by Roger Edgley, Ajay Krishnan, Andrey Kutuzov, Scott Thomas, Matt Dreith of Wasatch Funds

We think there’s a case to be made that most emerging-market currencies, along with some developed-market currencies, have seriously overshot in their weakness against the U.S. dollar. A reversal of this trend would be very positive for emerging-market investors. Moreover, we believe such a reversal of the five-year trend may have already started or may be close at hand.

2016-02-23 00:00:00 The Fed's Nightmare Scenario by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Operating under the mistaken belief that a modest dose of inflation is either a prerequisite for, or a by-product of, economic growth, the nation’s top economists have been assuring us for quite some time that inflation will stay very low until the currently mediocre economy finally catches fire. As a result, they believe that the low inflation of the past few months has frustrated Federal Reserve policy makers, who have been supposedly chomping at the bit to keep hiking rates in order to restore confidence in the present and to build the ability to cut rates in the future if the nation were

2016-02-23 00:00:00 The Direct Credits Society? by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Come with me, and Mr. Peabody, in the “Wabac Machine” (Wabac) to a place from a time long ago and galaxy far, far away. It was during the Great Depression in this country (1929 – 1939) when Lawsonomy was proposed by Alfred Lawson. I recalled Lawsonomy while listening to Bernie Sanders over the weekend, who sounds amazingly like Alfred Lawson. Lawson (1869 – 1954) was a man who believed in giving everything in the world to everybody.

2016-02-23 00:00:00 High Yield: Could the 2008 Crisis Repeat Itself? by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

Does the recent stress in high yield mean we’re headed for another financial crisis? We don’t think so. The probability of anything happening in markets is never zero. But in this case, it’s pretty close.

2016-02-23 00:00:00 On My Radar: Ray Dalio and Hussman’s Big “W” by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“If zero or negative interest rates actually fixed what’s broken in the economy, we’d all be living in Paradise after seven years of zero interest rates.” – Charles Hugh Smith

2016-02-23 00:00:00 No Longer to the Rescue by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the implications of a less potent Federal Reserve and other challenges facing investors.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 Are Markets Returning to 'Normal' Behavior? by Scott Wolle of Invesco Blog

The Invesco Global Asset Allocation team doesn’t consider double-digit declines in equity markets to be normal. However, we do see three “typical” characteristics that have returned to the markets over the last few months, characteristics that we believe bode well for a global asset allocation approach.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 The Pre-IPO Investment Opportunity in a Down Market by Alex Wang, Kaylock Yam of EquityZen

Investing in a down market is tricky – not necessarily because it is fundamentally more difficult than investing in an up market, but because, in many ways, making long investments after a correction goes against our human nature. Even novice investors know the mantra, “Buy low, sell high”, but where do you put your money without feeling the fear if the market goes down again the next day, week, or month? In this post, we discuss the opportunity presented by private company investments in a down market.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 A Value Fund That Doesn’t Respect the Style Box by John Coumarianos (Article)

Staking a permanent geographical claim to a part of the style box can be detrimental to a fund’s performance. Being geographically flexible, on the other hand, can be helpful. Recently, for example, avoiding energy exposure and gaining exposure to sectors normally found outside of the value managers’ typical habitats have been a boon for 27-month old value fund, DoubleLine Shiller Enhanced CAPE (DSEEX).

2016-02-22 00:00:00 A Conversation with Mohamed A. El-Erian by Laurence B. Siegel (Article)

In this interview, Mohamed El-Erian discusses the role of the Fed vis-à-vis fiscal policy and how advisors should construct portfolios under the present monetary-policy regime.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 This Time is Different: A Look at the State of Emerging Market Debt by Charles Wilson of Thornburg Investment Management

Lessons learned during the Asian financial crisis helped emerging economies properly prepare for today's currency volatility and drive future growth.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 An Ocean Divides European and U.S. Banks by Brad Tank of Neuberger Berman

We believe U.S. banks are well-capitalized, well-managed and good value.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 CEF Market Update by (Article)

Discount levels present potential opportunity in the currently challenging closed-end fund market, says Allen Webb of RiverNorth Capital Management.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 Signs of Hope Emerge, but Pessimism Remains High by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity prices soared higher last week around the globe. In the United States, the S&P 500 Index climbed 2.9%, and gains in Europe and Asia were even higher. However, U.S. stocks continue to lead the pack year to date. At least some of the gains can be attributed to an oversold bounce and overly negative sentiment. Relative stability in oil prices and in China, along with decent economic and earnings data, helped as well.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 Velocity May Be Picking Up by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

One of the reasons the current economic expansion has been a Plow Horse rather than a Race Horse is the lack of monetary velocity, which is how fast money circulates through the economy.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 A Better Week but Traders Have the Upper Hand by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

A short week and, with China closed the prior week, we thought markets may regroup. And they did. The U.S. market rose around 4%, U.S. small caps by 5% and major international markets by around 4%. We don’t usually like to show weekly market moves...there's a high signal to noise ratio, but here it is.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 Six Questions on Emerging-Equity Turmoil by Laurent Saltiel, Sergey Davalchenko of AllianceBernstein

It’s been a terrible start to the year for emerging-market equities. But by maintaining perspective on long-term trends, investors can gain the comfort to stick with developing stocks, in our view.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 The Fed Prepares to Dive by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

This week’s letter has two parts. The first deals with some of the practical aspects of negative rates and what the Fed is really signaling. The second part, which is somewhat philosophical, deals with why the Fed will institute negative rates during the next recession. This letter is longer than usual, but I think it’s important to understand why we will see negative rates in the world’s reserve currency (and the currency in which most global trade is conducted). This policy trend is truly a foray into unexplored territory.

2016-02-20 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Equities followed through on last week's reversal, gaining 3-4%. Importantly, the rally came on unusually positive breadth: this has a strong propensity to push equity prices higher in the weeks ahead. Further upside also seems likely given extremes in investor pessimism, with fund manager cash levels rising to a 14 year high this month. Aside from the unpredictable path of oil, the biggest watch out is volatility.

2016-02-20 00:00:00 Monopoly Is Going Cashless. Could We Be Next? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Hasbro Gaming just released an “Ultimate Banking” version of the popular board game Monopoly that nixes the funny money in favor of play credit cards and an electronic scanner.

2016-02-20 00:00:00 The Relationship Between Stocks and Oil Prices by Ben S. Bernanke of Brookings Institute

In this post we first confirm the positive correlation between stocks and oil prices, noting that it is not just a recent phenomenon. We then investigate the hypothesis that underlying changes in aggregate demand explain the oil-stocks relationship. We find that an underlying demand factor does account for much of the positive relationship, and that if, in addition, we account for shifts in market risk preferences, we can explain still more.

2016-02-19 00:00:00 Oil Gains This Big Only Happen Around Bottoms by Jodie Gunzberg of S&P Dow Jones Indices

The S&P GSCI (WTI) Crude Oil posted a 3-day gain of 14.4% ending Feb. 17, 2016. This is the biggest 3-day gain in about 6 months for the index, and gains of this magnitude have only happened near oil bottoms.

2016-02-19 00:00:00 How to Find Killer Stocks Amongst the Carnage by Greg Silberman of Atlanta Capital Group

The weekly S&P500 chart is indicating the market is making lower highs and lower lows. Whether we believe it or not, the market trend has changed decisively from up to down until further notice. Certainly the courage of our convictions will be challenged by a spectacular short covering rally, but don’t’ be deceived, we are in correction mode at best or a dreaded bear market at worst.

2016-02-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: February by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

The impact of China’s rebalancing is likely to remain a headwind, particularly for countries that have relied on its appetite for raw materials. But this is likely to be counterbalanced by the continuation of the various accommodative monetary policies that are in place around the world.

2016-02-19 00:00:00 Why Investors Have Reason to Be Optimistic by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

In the midst of the recent market gloom, Russ takes a step back and considers a few reasons for optimism.

2016-02-19 00:00:00 2016 Investment and Market Outlook by Vern Sumnicht of iSectors

In the famous words of Warren Buffet, “be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful,” I think it would be easy to argue that investors are fearful, and therefore, they should be greedy (or buying stocks, not selling them). Currently, it seems as though oil prices are linked at the hip to the stock market.

2016-02-19 00:00:00 Royce Opportunity Fund Review and Outlook by (Article)

Portfolio Manager Bill Hench looks at the factors that impacted Royce Opportunity Fund in 2015, and explains why he is optimistic about this broadly diverse, deep value portfolio for 2016.

2016-02-19 00:00:00 Finding Growth in Asia by David Dali of Matthews Asia

Where can investors find a reasonable investable theme? One thematic idea that I find fairly convincing is that Asia stands out in a world of low economic growth—especially emerging Asia—but, how you access that growth matters. This month, Matthews Asia Client Portfolio Strategist David Dali explores how to tap the growth opportunities within Asia.

2016-02-19 00:00:00 The British Question by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

The relationship between the United Kingdom and European Union (EU) has historically been complex. A significant amount of the British public view EU laws as burdensome, object to inward migration, and take issue with U.K. funds contributing to EU budgets.

2016-02-19 00:00:00 Schwab Market Perspective: Confidence is Key by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

There are many words that could be used to describe the first six weeks of 2016 with regard to stock performance but given that this is a family publication we’ll stick with frustrating. There have been rebounds, including the latest fierce recovery which has taken US stocks out of correction mode; but a lot of confidence has been shattered. These are the times that can make or break an investing plan. Our long-held mantra is that panic is not an investing strategy and that investing should always be a disciplined process over time; never about decisions at moments in time.

2016-02-18 00:00:00 Data-Driven Perspective on a Rough Start to 2016 by Burt White of LPL Financial

It has been a rough start to 2016 for the stock market. In fact, it’s been one of the worst starts to a year in the history of the S&P 500. This week we look at how stocks have done historically after other similarly bad starts, compare current fundamental and technical conditions to prior bear market lows, and discuss some potential catalysts that could help turn stocks around. While recession odds have risen (we place the odds at about 30%), we do not expect the S&P 500, down 12.5% from 2015 highs, to enter a bear market.

2016-02-18 00:00:00 Market Perspectives on High Yield & Liquidity by Kenneth Johnson of Loomis Sayles

High yield bonds are experiencing larger price fluctuations given the low-liquidity environment and lower dealer inventories; the recent drawdown appears to be creating value in the sector.

2016-02-18 00:00:00 Marc Faber on Cashless Society Insanity and Why Wall Street Hates Gold by Mike Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

It is my privilege now to be joined by a man who needs little introduction, Marc Faber; editor and publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report. Dr. Faber has frequently appeared on financial shows across the globe and he's a well-known Austrian school economist, and an investment adviser.

2016-02-18 00:00:00 Confronting Big Fears About Smaller Stocks by James MacGregor, Bruce Aronow, Samantha Lau, Shri Singhvi of AllianceBernstein

Smaller US stocks were hit harder than their large-cap peers during the January sell-off. We think the harsh treatment is unwarranted and a strong recovery could be in the cards when risk appetite returns.

2016-02-18 00:00:00 Dune by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Maybe instead of titling this morning’s report “Dune” I should have titled it “Doom” because it has been the worst stock market start to a new year EVER (Chart 1). The 31 session “selling stampede” (as of last Thursday) has fostered fear among investors. Fear we are headed for a recession. Fear because it is indeed the worst start of the year ever. Fear because there was no Santa Rally.

2016-02-18 00:00:00 Asia-Pacific: A Broader Investment Landscape in 2016 by Eric Mogelof of PIMCO

In the turbulent market environment, five longer-term investment trends stand out for 2016. It has been a turbulent year for Asia’s financial markets. In the following interview, Eric Mogelof, head of Asia-Pacific at PIMCO, puts events in perspective and discusses investment trends in the region for the year ahead.

2016-02-18 00:00:00 How Extreme It Is by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

The 10-year Treasury yield has fallen by 0.6% over the past six weeks, a very rare occurrence. Going back 20 years, such a noteworthy yield decline over such a short period of time has occurred only 2% of the time since February 1996. Figure 1 illustrates not only the rarity of such large yield declines, but also the significant events that pushed high-quality bond prices higher and yields lower. Recessions or global crises are the most frequent catalyst, although the current episode has no single driver. China growth fears, oil prices, sluggish U.S. economic growth, and most recently, bank cr

2016-02-18 00:00:00 Closing Developing Countries’ Capital Drain by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

Developing countries are bracing for a major slowdown this year. And what is important to bear in mind is that the slowdown in China and the deep recessions in the Russian Federation and Brazil only explain part of the broad falloff in growth.

2016-02-18 00:00:00 New Stock Market Crash is Inevitable by Wim Gommen of US Markets

Every stage of production, or any company or other human invention goes through a process called transformation. Transitions are social transformation processes, which involve at least one generation. In this article I will use on the basis of such a transition, where we stand with our current society and that a new stock market crash is inevitable.

2016-02-17 00:00:00 5 Myths About the Recent Decline in the Stock Markets by Jim Atkinson of Guinness Atkinson Funds

The financial news in early 2016 hasn’t been good. When we say the news hasn’t been good what we really mean is that the news media has been hyperbolic in their treatment of the weak market. Here are a few of the adjectives used to describe market activity: nightmarish, plunged, dive, rocked, plummeted. And this is just from a single article! Yes, we know the market is down and frankly we’re not happy about it. But…

2016-02-17 00:00:00 Submerging Markets by Mark Oelschlager of Oak Associates

It has been a dreadful start to the year for stocks, with the S&P 500 Index down more than 10% as we write this. As is usually the case, this correction is being driven by concerns about a slowing economy. The emerging markets and the commodity sectors are the primary culprits this time, and the fear is that the weakness in those areas will spill over into the broader US economy.

2016-02-17 00:00:00 Global Stock Index In Bear Market - What To Do Now by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The plunge in global equity prices that has accelerated this year continued last week. Investors around the world are worried and as usual, many are bailing out of their buy-and-hold strategies. This is nothing new, unfortunately.

2016-02-17 00:00:00 Can the Metals Continue Their Strength to Prove Bullish Again? by Avi Gilburt of ElliottWaveTrader.net

This past week, I had an experience which was quite interesting. As many of you know, I write for Market Watch, and sometimes will post an article about precious metals. Over the last few years, I have been told that my gold articles have been some of the most well read articles published on Marketwatch. In fact, an article I wrote last year on gold was read by hundreds of thousands of people.

2016-02-17 00:00:00 Seeking Solid Ground While Markets Rumble by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the headwinds facing stocks, and how investors should proceed going forward.

2016-02-17 00:00:00 2016 Already Offering a Rocky Ride by Willie Delwiche of Robert W. Baird

After several years of muted volatility, the January roller coaster in the stock market caught many investors off guard. Coming into the year, we thought 2016 held the potential to see an uptick in volatility, but had expected the usually strong seasonal tailwinds to delay significant weakness until after the first quarter.

2016-02-17 00:00:00 5 Reasons to Keep Calm and Stay Diversified by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Recent market turmoil underscores the necessity of active management and the ability to take advantage of volatility. US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper says this is not a time to move to cash, but to take a longer-term view—with confidence—through periods of tumult.

2016-02-16 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

The move into the perceived safe havens of treasuries and gold in 2016 appears to have reached a point of short-term exhaustion. That trend might resume, but odds suggest a pause is ahead. If optimism reached a peak in safe havens, pessimism likely reached a trough for equities. None of this will matter if oil and equities continue to be highly correlated and oil is unable to stop falling. A strong 2-day rally still left oil lower than it was on Tuesday. Unlike last week, equities now have a bottom to trade against.

2016-02-16 00:00:00 Assessing the Risk of a US Economic Recession by Joseph Carson of AllianceBernstein

The severe equity sell-off has raised concerns of recession in the US economy. Continued market disorder would pose a risk to the expansion at some point, but key indicators today suggest the growth cycle is still on track.

2016-02-16 00:00:00 Be A Proactive Investor by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

During volatile times in the market, like what we have been experiencing since May, it’s difficult to see through the disparaging news headlines (Oil is Collapsing! Bear Market in Stocks! US Is In A Recession!) and not to lose sight of the forest for the trees.

2016-02-16 00:00:00 2016 Outlook: A Slow and Gradual Fed is Nothing for Municipal Investors to Fear by David Hammer, Sean McCarthy of PIMCO

The combination of continued U.S. growth, muted global inflationary pressures and gradual Fed tightening bodes well.

2016-02-16 00:00:00 On My Radar: What We See Working by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Let’s begin today with the argument that we are in a long-term “secular” bull market regime and look at a few stats. There have been four secular bull periods dating back to 1921 (1921-1929, 1942-1951, 1982-2000 and 2009-present). Within those four secular bull market periods, there have been eight short-term “cyclical” bear market periods.

2016-02-16 00:00:00 A Recession Remains Unlikely Despite Market Turmoil by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity prices fell again last week, with the S&P 500 Index dropping 2.6% despite a significant bounce on Friday. Investors continued to focus on downside risks and fears of slowing growth. Rising concerns over central banks adopting zero or negative interest rate policies also detracted from market sentiment, drove confidence lower and resulted in a sharp sell-off in banking sector stocks.

2016-02-15 00:00:00 Don’t Count on Your Message to Persuade Prospects by Dan Solin (Article)

I once represented a woman whose farm had been contaminated by oil that leaked from huge tanks across the highway from her property. Opposing counsel was far more experienced in this kind of litigation. But I learned that outcome of the case itself had less to do with the facts than how I conducted myself – a lesson that applies when advisors present to prospects.

2016-02-15 00:00:00 Why the Fed Can’t Tell When a Recession Starts by Harald B. Malmgren (Article)

The Fed’s FOMC finally raised its target rate of interest by 0.25% at the end of last year. But by the time it met again on January 27, widespread public controversy had emerged over whether it had made an historic mistake. Driving that purported mistake were systemic problems that prevented the Fed obtaining reliable and timely data upon which to base its decisions.

2016-02-15 00:00:00 Thornburg Investment Management: Our Unique Investment Approach by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Thornburg Investment Management’s first equity fund, the Thornburg Value Fund, has returned 6.80% since its inception in 1995, versus 5.23% for the S&P 500. On February 8, I spoke with Bill Fries, who is in the process of transitioning to senior advisor this year, Connor Browne, the manager of the Value Fund and who was mentored by Bill when he managed that fund and Jason Brady, president, CEO and the head of global fixed income.

2016-02-14 00:00:00 A Bear Market for Most Global Indexes by Doug Short (Article)

The traditional definitions of a "market correction" and a "bear market" are 10% and 20% declines, respectively. All eight indexes on our global watch list have been in correction territory, and as of the end of last week, seven of the eight had dropped into bear territory. The S&P 500 is the one outlier. It has been hovering in the correction zone since January 13th. The UK's FTSE 100 is a near outlier. It dropped below 20% on February 9th, but after three days of bear stigma, it rallied to a 19.7% decline on Friday.

2016-02-14 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: Data Points To Continued Weak Growth, Not Recession, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Most major economies are OK. Yes, there are potential issues related to emerging market weakness bleeding into larger, advanced economies. But, as of this writing, we’re still in a slow, grinding growth.

2016-02-14 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review: The Data Points To A Slowdown, Not A Recession, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The economy experienced a similar slowdown in the mid-1980s, which did not prove fatal to continued growth. Currently, there are two reasons why the current slowdown will not lead to a recession: the housing market is still improving and consumers not only are in better financial shape but are also (finally) seeing a pick-up in earnings.

2016-02-14 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: Treasuries Continue to Rally, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The Treasury market sees weak growth over the next 6-12 months.

2016-02-14 00:00:00 What are the Biggest Market Worries? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

The economic calendar is again light in a holiday-shortened week. There are a variety of important news items, but no dominant theme. I expect the punditry to seize the opportunity by asking, "What are the biggest market worries?"

2016-02-12 00:00:00 What Do Claims Claim? by John Canally of LPL Financial

Recession fears in the financial markets are mounting, and we have raised the odds of recession from around 10?–?15% at the start of the year to approximately 30% today.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 Why the Federal Reserve Always "Happens" to Be Wrong. by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

The Federal Reserve Board finds itself back in a quandary of its own making. When Fed chair Janet Yellen pushed through an interest rate hike this past December, she confidently cited an "economy performing well and expected to continue to do so."

2016-02-12 00:00:00 What the Heck Is Going On in the Markets? by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

When I woke up this morning, I checked the markets as I usually do, and my first thought was—paraphrased—what the heck? What happened last night to drive Asian and particularly European markets down that hard?

2016-02-12 00:00:00 Is a Bright Spot Emerging in the Global Equity Markets? by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

The question on everyone’s mind is how deep is this going to go? The honest truth is that no one knows, but we are starting to spot a glimmer of hope among an unlikely group that suggests that the world is in fact NOT going to hell in a hand basket. That group is the probably the most hated group of stocks in the world: emerging markets.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 How to Profit from the Oil Price Fall by Lee Robinson of Altana Wealth

In February of last year, I wrote my quarterly piece on profiting from oil. The article is shown on the following page. Oil at the time was hovering just above $50. The December 2020 future was trading around $70. The average price that could be locked in by oil traders over 5 years was therefore around $60. We predicted we would see oil in the 20’s and fast forward to 2016 and oil has fallen to below $30 having been as low as $27 with the forwards at $47 and the average 5 year price now at $38.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 This is a Correction, Not a Recession by Brian Wesbury of First Trust Advisors

With the S&P 500 down 10.5% through February 11th, questions about the health of the economy seem to intensify daily. The concerns typically go something like this: If the financial markets are a predictor of where the economy is headed, has the plow horse finally lost traction? Is a recession looming?

2016-02-12 00:00:00 Inflation: Dead, or Just Forgotten? by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

We believe that widespread underestimation of future inflation, together with the prospective normalization in the relationship between long-term interest rates and nominal GDP growth, sets the stage for a significant correction in Treasury yields.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 Lost in Translation by Teresa Kong of Matthews Asia

The imposition of negative rates on Japan’s bank reserves recently caught the market by surprise. Teresa Kong, CFA, Portfolio Manager, explores the possible implications of this new interest rate policy for Japan and the rest of Asia.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 Trump: We’re Getting Railed by High Taxes and Regulations by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

It’s not the first time Trump has made a wild claim, but in this case he’s right, by one very important measure—the corporate statutory tax rate. Since 1990, this rate has hovered around 39 percent, making it the highest among OECD nations, and for the largest GDP in the world.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 Predicting Recession by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Economic surveys are reflecting a higher possibility that a recession could begin in the next 12 months.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 How Will Low Oil Prices Affect Municipal Bonds? by Cooper J. Howard and Rob Williams of Charles Schwab

We suggest using caution if you're considering investing in bonds issued by a municipality that relies heavily on the oil-and-gas industry—such as areas in Texas and Oklahoma, parts of Wyoming, and western Pennsylvania. We don't believe low oil prices will lead to widespread defaults, but an extended period of low oil prices could lead to ratings downgrades and lower prices for outstanding bonds.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 A Shopping List for Bargain Hunters by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

While stocks overall still aren't cheap, investors looking to bargain hunt may be pleased to know there are certain segments of the market worth considering. BlackRock's Russ Koesterich explains.

2016-02-11 00:00:00 Technically Speaking: Psychology Of Loss by Lance Roberts of Real Investment Advice

In this past weekend’s newsletter, I discussed the formation of a very important “head and shoulders” topping pattern in the market. I know…I know. As soon as I wrote that I could almost hear the cries of the “perma-bull” crowd exclaiming “how many times have we heard that before.” They would be right. The problem with the majority of technical analysis, in my opinion, is that time frames are too short for most investors. When looking at technical price patterns using daily data, there have been numerous occasions where analysts have spotted “Head and Shoulder” patterns,

2016-02-11 00:00:00 Through the Looking Glass on Rates by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

On January 29th, Japan’s central bank governor, Haruhiko Kuroda, announced that the Bank of Japan would introduce a Negative Interest Rate Policy, or NIRP, on bank reserve deposits held in excess of the minimum requisite. The European Central Bank, and central banks in Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden have already partially blazed this mysterious trail. The banks have done so in order to weaken their respective currencies and to light a fire under inflation.

2016-02-11 00:00:00 2016 Economic & Capital Market Outlook by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

This year will likely be a challenging one for both the capital markets and investors. Investors are facing one of the worst stock markets in sixty years as stock prices plunge on news of slowing growth in China and plunging oil prices. We believe the risks in the economy are skewed to the downside and expect to see growing problems in manufacturing and the consumer sector. However, at the same time, this will prove to be a year of opportunity as stock prices of quality companies decline to levels that are now attractive and investors are adequately compensated for taking risk.

2016-02-11 00:00:00 Focus on Economic Fundamentals by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

Adverse financial market developments have led to an overflow of bearish analyses. It is certainly dangerous to ignore market signals, but they aren’t always conclusive. There are some positive fundamentals in place that provide some reassurance around the outlook.

2016-02-11 00:00:00 Watch Out for Falling Angels by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

The potential downgrade of over $100 billion worth of investment-grade rated bonds into the high-yield market looms as the next challenge for corporate bonds. The decline in oil and commodity prices may lead to $120–150 billion worth of bonds leaving the investment-grade corporate bond market and entering the high-yield bond market.

2016-02-11 00:00:00 3 Reasons Why this Gold Rally Is the Real Deal by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Gold prices peaked at $1,900 per ounce in September 2011. It was the end of a spectacular, decade-long bull market, during which the precious metal’s value increased a phenomenal 645 percent.

2016-02-10 00:00:00 Russia's Struggles by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Over the past year, Russia has faced a growing number of challenges that have the potential to weaken President Putin’s hold on the reins of power. In this report, we will discuss recent trends in the country, including the economic problems caused by falling oil prices and the military operations occurring in Ukraine and Syria. We will examine the Putin government’s responses to these issues. As always, we will conclude with market ramifications.

2016-02-10 00:00:00 Fear Trade: Metals Up, Stocks and Jobs Down. by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

Precious metals banked another solid week of gains as investors looked for alternatives to the stock market and U.S. dollar. Both gold and silver pushed through important technical resistance levels. Metals bulls hope to see markets enter a virtuous cycle; improving charts followed by more speculative long interest leading to improved charts.

2016-02-10 00:00:00 The Big Long by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

I recently saw the movie, The Big Short. While the movie entertained as much as the book, the movie’s release coupled with the rough start to the year probably left a lot of investors feeling anxious. As long-duration common stock owners, we at Smead Capital Management believe a review of the circumstances preceding the financial meltdown of 2007-2009 and a comparison to where we are now in the U.S. economy would be helpful. Since residential real estate was the centerpiece of the movie, and traditionally is a centerpiece of our economy, we will dub our current view as "The Big Long."

2016-02-10 00:00:00 Clueless Fed?! by Axel Merk of Merk Funds

"The Fed doesn't have a clue!" - I allege that not only because the Fed appears to admit as much (more on that in a bit), but also because my own analysis leads to no other conclusion. With Fed communication in what we believe is disarray, we expect the market to continue to cascade lower - think what happened in 2000. What are investors to do, and when will we reach bottom?

2016-02-09 00:00:00 Top Silver Mining CEO: Don't Laugh, We Could See $100+ Silver by Mike Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

Exclusive Interview with First Majestic CEO Keith Neumeyer on Metals, Mining, and Manipulation

2016-02-09 00:00:00 A View From the Hill by Team of Cedar Hill Associates

Investors cautious after rocky 2015, but recession appears remote. Investors stomached a white-knuckle ride through much of 2015 as the financial markets searched for direction. Although global equity indices bounced off their September lows during the fourth quarter, returns for the full year proved disappointing.

2016-02-09 00:00:00 How to Show Valentine's Day LOVE with Precious Metals by Chuck Self of iSectors

After a rough start in the stock market this year, it is a relief that Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Market participants, including financial advisors’ clients, can use a little love about now. One of the most tangible ways that advisors can show affection to their clients at this time is to add precious metals exposure to their portfolios.

2016-02-09 00:00:00 The 3 Keys to Active Investing by Neil Dwane of Allianz Global Investors

Neil Dwane, Global Strategist for Allianz Global Investors, says investors must navigate increasingly volatile markets by being more ACTive: agile, confident and thorough. Explore our global outlook and its investment implications in his summary of our latest Investment Forum.

2016-02-09 00:00:00 Spotlight on Yellen by Scott Brown of Raymond James

Fed Chair Janet Yellen will present her semi-annual monetary policy testimony to the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday. She is expected to present a moderately upbeat economic outlook, but she should also note the abundance of downside risks to that outlook. This is an election year, so she is unlikely to receive a warm welcome. If fact, many are likely to criticize the Fed for raising rates in December. She will put up a credible defense, but that’s unlikely to appease the markets.

2016-02-09 00:00:00 Midwinter Forecast: More Volatility Ahead by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses why the elements are in place for more volatility, and ways to help provide some insulation for your portfolio.

2016-02-09 00:00:00 Q&A with Liz Ann Sonders: What’s Behind the Recent Market Volatility? by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

Global markets have been unusually volatile so far this year, including during the past few trading sessions. In light of the market's downward moves, we sat down with Liz Ann Sonders, Chief Investment Strategist for Charles Schwab & Co., to get her take on the recent market action and economic news.

2016-02-09 00:00:00 Stocks You Shouldn't Own by Travis Fairchild, Chris Meredith, Patrick O'Shaughnessy, Ehren Stanhope of O'Shaughnessy Asset Management

Active management has two potential advantages versus an index. The first advantage is the one that most people think of: active stock selection. But this paper instead focuses on the second potential advantage: active stock elimination, or identifying stocks not to own in the portfolio. While owning strong performers is the most obvious source of excess returns versus a benchmark, the stocks that are in an index but not in an active portfolio often explain as much of the active portfolio’s relative returns.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 What Investing Factors Have Worked the Best for Equities Over the Last Year? by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

Factor investing is a well known and utilized means that investors use to allocate capital in hopes of outperforming the market over long stretches. It’s also known that no factor works all the time, and factors go into and out of favor with what can be a menacing frequency. With that said, what factors have worked the best for equity investors over the last year as the market has meandered around all-time highs and settled to multi-years all in twelve short months?

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Mitigating the Financial and Emotional Impact of Market Volatility by Adam Scully-Power of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The era of low volatility may be over, but the need to pursue long-term financial goals is not. Investors should consider both the financial and emotional impact of market volatility. Positive returns are achievable in a volatile environment with the appropriate investment strategy.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Will Oil Prices and Equities Stay Hitched? by James Tierney, Jr. of AllianceBernstein

Equity markets and oil prices are behaving lately as if they’re glued together. Our analysis suggests that the correlation is unjustified and investors should start thinking about what might happen when they become unstuck.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 On My Radar: QE Has Not Worked – Period! by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

U.S. recession signals are intensifying. The QE boost that hasn’t reached Main Street will be taken away from Wall Street in the next recession. I wrote a piece this week for Forbes entitled, U.S. Recession Signals Intensify . The hard reality is we are due (some say overdue) for a recession and evidence suggests the next one is heading our way. Equity market declines are at their worst during recession as you’ll see in the following chart. View the next chart with a stiff drink in hand. To this, as advisors, we must defend!

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Oil Prices & MLPs by (Article)

The oil price crash has affected energy-related Master Limited Partnerships, but David Grumhaus, Jr., of Duff & Phelps, says it’s time for advisors to “take another look” at the MLP sector. Low valuations may present a buying opportunity.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Sustainable and Responsible Investing: Is There a Price to Pay? by Larry Swedroe (Article)

Consumers can use their market power to demonstrate their aversion to certain business activities by choosing not to purchase goods or use services from companies that, in their minds, are selling immoral products. Similarly, investors can decide not to invest in such companies. But do those investors sacrifice returns relative to a broad-based index fund?

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Suffering Stock Market Stress? by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

It would be an understatement to call the recent stock market activity turbulent. High stock price volatility makes investors anxious and some people even become downright frightened. These emotional responses are often exaggerated for people in or near retirement. Therefore, I contend that all investors need to find ways to keep their emotions in check in order to avoid panicking, which typically leads to the making of a devastating financial mistake.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Episodic Volatility by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

“The year ahead will be one of ‘episodic volatility’ – rather than wildly veering highs and lows – an environment that will create opportunities for astute investors.” . . . Simon Ho, Triple 3 Partners

2016-02-08 00:00:00 When Stocks Crash and Easy Money Doesn't Help by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Historically, increases in the Fed’s balance sheet have only been positively associated with increases in the S&P 500, on average, when the S&P 500 was already in an uptrend and investors were already inclined to speculate.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Crude Oil- Lower for Longer? by Joseph Hickey of Cleary Gull

The High Yield market is declining as the magnitude of the capital loss is amplified by the decline in energy prices. Most of the energy debt exposure is held by High Yield mutual funds and Hedge funds, not the banks. This is an important distinction. The High Yield market is designed to withstand a certain level of defaults and restructurings. Potential losses, while painful, should not cause the systemic collapse of the banking system and its ability to extend credit to the U.S economy.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Equities Remain Under Pressure as Investors Focus on the Negatives by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equity prices fell again last week as investors followed the “de-risking” theme that has dominated most of 2016. The S&P 500 Index dropped 3.0% for the week. Oil prices staged a slight rebound last week, as expectations rose for coordinated production cuts from OPEC countries and Russia. The dollar experienced a sell-off last week as well, which provided some support for the hard-hit commodity-related equity sectors.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Is a Recession Looming? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The economic calendar is light and it is the start of the week-long Chinese New Year. This means some media time and space that must be filled. Needing an attention-getter, I expect the punditry to be asking: Is a recession looming?

2016-02-07 00:00:00 Have the Miners Bottomed? by Avi Gilburt of ElliottWaveTrader.net

We opened our doors at Elliottwavetrader.net back in 2011 with our top call in the metals market. Since that time, we have been traversing a complex correction for the last 4+ years. And, as I have been saying since the end of last year, we are very close to its completion. In fact, there are indications that the miners “may” even have bottomed already.

2016-02-07 00:00:00 Markets Are a Mess, but Don't Jump to Conclusions Yet by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

2016 has not been a happy new year for investors thus far, with a January plagued by market volatility and some of the worst index returns observed in years. Have these first few weeks set the stage for disastrous markets throughout the rest of the year?

2016-02-07 00:00:00 Misadventures of Real Economy in Central Banks’ Neoclassical Wonderland by Sebastiao Buck Tocalino of SBTCapital Clube de Investimento

Before you start reading, I want to explain that the term wonderland I used in the title above is much more in the sense of incongruous and defying common sense, than in some cynical reference to the splendid sense of the word.

2016-02-07 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

NDX undercut its January low this week, and Friday's sell off was extreme enough that it is unlikely to mark the low. Negative investor sentiment seems to be feeding on itself, with sell offs leading to historic fund outflows and further sell offs. These extremes have reached a point where they most often reverse. Even if US equities are in a bear market, a rally of 7-10% is likely close at hand. Importantly, there has been no price action that yet suggests a reversal in the short-term trend.

2016-02-06 00:00:00 $100 Trillion Up in Smoke by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

The total value of all the world’s oil reserves is over $100 trillion less than it was just a year and a half ago.

2016-02-06 00:00:00 10 Numbers to Know for the Chinese New Year by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

I’ve put together 10 figures to know as China enters a new year.

2016-02-06 00:00:00 In Search of Solutions to Four Puzzles by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Economic discussions in Washington this week centered on a series of puzzles that are confounding the outlook.

2016-02-06 00:00:00 Watching and Waiting by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen and Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Don’t just do something, sit there! Not panicking can be tough to do in times of increased volatility, but often the best advice to avoid emotional decisions. We continue to expect severe bouts of volatility at least until the trajectory of the U.S. and global economy is more definitive. In the meantime, the Fed is likely to become more dovish in the near-term, which could stabilize the volatility. Recent results for global PMI readings are relatively encouraging and certainly argue against the apocalyptic forecasts so prevalent today.

2016-02-05 00:00:00 Investors to Governments: We'll pay you to Hold Our Money by Joe Becker, Adam Schenck, Jeff Greco of Milliman Financial Risk Management

Markets tumbled out of the gate in early 2016 sending investors fleeing to quality. Rates around the globe plummeted in response, pushing some countries’ yield curves further into negative territory.

2016-02-05 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter by Team of Grey Owl Capital Management

The Grey Owl investment process starts and ends with robust risk management. Our goal with the Grey Owl Opportunity Strategy is to provide equity-like returns, but with lower drawdowns and volatility than the major equity indices. As such, we worry about the downside first. We do not want clients to fear opening their monthly statements, and we certainly do not want to put regular withdrawals at risk, regardless of what the indices are doing.

2016-02-05 00:00:00 The Global Economy’s New Abnormal by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

Since the beginning of the year, the world economy has faced a new bout of severe financial market volatility, marked by sharply falling prices for equities and other risky assets. A variety of factors are at work – and will remain so throughout 2016 and beyond.

2016-02-05 00:00:00 Rich Man, Poor Man by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Given the unmerciful “selling stampede” ushered in with the new year, I thought it would be appropriate to republish one of my strategy reports from a few years ago, because its advice is timeless. Indeed, after 45 years in this business, I have seen a number of cycles and developed a long-term perspective, much like Richard Russell wrote about in “Rich Man, Poor Man.”

2016-02-05 00:00:00 Riding Out Wild Equity Markets by Kent Hargis, Sammy Suzuki, Chris Marx of AllianceBernstein

The market convulsions of the past few weeks have many investors thinking twice about owning stocks. But there’s a way to stay the course in equities without abandoning comfort zones: consider strategies with built-in shock absorbers.

2016-02-05 00:00:00 GMO Quarterly Letter by Ben Inker, Jeremy Grantham of GMO

In a new quarterly letter to GMO's institutional clients, co-head of asset allocation Ben Inker examines U.S. high yield corporate bonds, an "asset class that had a notably bad year," concluding, "at current spreads, high yield seems to be no worse than fair value and probably better than that... In today's environment, that makes it one of the best available risk assets for investors" ("Giving a Little Credit to High Yield").

2016-02-05 00:00:00 Deflation Rears Its Ugly Head by John Osterweis, Matt Berler of Osterweis Capital Management

Several years ago we developed a view that the U.S. economy and its equity market were misunderstood, out of favor and undervalued. The world was infatuated at the time with the mesmerizing growth rates of many emerging market economies while the U.S. was viewed as having been bumped from center stage by the ascendant BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies. Over the five years, 2009-2014, investors moved a stunning $1.6 trillion into emerging market funds.

2016-02-05 00:00:00 No Place to Hide or No Place to Go? by Carl Kaufman, Simon Lee, Bradley Kane of Osterweis Capital Management

2015 was a very frustrating year for investors as there was plenty of volatility, virtually no standouts and quite a few disappointments. Despite relatively steady U.S. economic growth, domestic equities were essentially flat for the year with the exception of some tech and biotech heavy indices. U.S. investment grade bond performance was also essentially flat, while high yield, still under pressure from declining energy and industrial commodity prices, lost money.

2016-02-04 00:00:00 Groundhog Day? by John Canally of LPL Financial

In recent weeks, there have been plenty of “groundhogs” in the financial markets and in the financial media. For some investors, the fear is that the market’s performance in January 2016 will be repeated over and over again, as in the classic 1993 film Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. Other investors fear that 1998 will play out all over again, triggered by central bankers’ policy mistakes, volatile currency markets, wave after wave of currency devaluations, and eventually a sovereign default.

2016-02-04 00:00:00 January Data Point to a Modest Decline in U.S. Real GDP in the First Quarter of 2016 by Robert Lamy of The Forecasting Advisor

Each month, the U.S. Institute for Supply Management (ISM) conducts a survey on the state of the manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries of the U.S. economy and releases data for the previous month. The data are closely followed by the financial media, economists, and wealth portfolio managers as they provide the earliest reading on the state of the economy.

2016-02-04 00:00:00 The Dethroning of Cash: Discouraged, Penalized, Even Banned? by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

Stock market gyrations and deteriorating global economic conditions in the early goings of 2016 sent investors fleeing for safety. Or at least what is commonly thought to be safety.

2016-02-04 00:00:00 Crude Awakening by Jeffrey Baker of HiddenLevers

The price of oil has had a dramatic effect on markets since the start of the year. WTI was down over 9.0% in January and domestic markets followed oil downwards, returning approximately -5.0% the first month of this year. In an effort to break through the noise surrounding oil, HiddenLevers recently analyzed the commodities market and in this post will summarize the good, bad and ugly outcomes for oil and its broader effect on the global economy.

2016-02-04 00:00:00 2016: The Year of Multi-Asset Investing (again) by Jeff Hussey of Russell Investments

Global CIO Jeff Hussey shares at his multi-asset investing resolutions for 2016.

2016-02-03 00:00:00 Gold to Beat Stocks? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

"Stocks beat gold in the long run!" is a 'rallying cry' to buy stocks we have heard lately that gets me riled up. It’s upsetting to me for two reasons: first, an out of context comparison, in my opinion, misguides investors. It might be the wrong assertion in the short to medium term.

2016-02-03 00:00:00 Increasingly Addled by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

Long ago and far away in the adolescent cauldron known as Los Altos High School, I attended a senior U.S. history class with a man-child named Delos Roman. He was appropriately christened it seems, because his body resembled that of Zeus, the God of Thunder, and at 6’4”/230 pounds, he rumbled down the football sidelines like a Mack truck on a downhill mountain road.

2016-02-03 00:00:00 Fear February After Jittery January? by Burt White of LPL Financial

Don’t worry about the January Barometer, which says, “As goes January, so goes the year.” Here we discuss the reliability of this indicator and several factors that may lead to better performance in February. We see opportunities in the stock market in 2016, but suggest caution in the near term as we await clarity on the key issues pressuring investor sentiment.

2016-02-03 00:00:00 What Investors Need to Know About Returns in 2016 by Rick Rieder of BlackRock

Last year wasn't a great one for investors seeking solid returns. With 2016 off to a rocky start, will we see more of the same this year? Rick Rieder weighs in.

2016-02-03 00:00:00 Sub-3% GDP Growth: A Lost Decade For The US Economy by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Whew – January is finally over! Up until the last week or so, the downside carnage in January was the worst New Year’s stock market start in history. Thanks to last week’s rebound, it was only the worst New Year’s start since January of 2009 when the Great Recession was unfolding. Still, it was a hair-raising month for stock investors. And no one knows if the damage is over.

2016-02-03 00:00:00 Bizarre Gold & Silver Movements Occurring Behind-the-Scenes… by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

A lot is riding on the demand side of the equation when it comes to metals' price performance this year. Demand is the bigger wildcard with signals thus far being mixed in gold and silver bullion markets. The outlook for supply is more certain, and it isn't pretty.

2016-02-02 00:00:00 As Markets Swing, Momentum Can Be Deceiving by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the likelihood that markets will remain volatile, and what that means for stocks, particularly for the momentum theme.

2016-02-02 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Is the Correction Over? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Stocks once again made a sharp turnaround late in Wednesday’s session. The “mystery” rebound took the S&P 500 up 3.5% in about two days of trading. Despite the important economic releases and heavy earnings calendar next week, expect the punditry to be asking: Is the correction over?

2016-02-02 00:00:00 On My Radar: The Last Bull Standing by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Today, I share with you some of my high-level notes from this week’s Inside ETFs Conference in Hollywood, Florida. The forward return theme was consistent, from Vanguard to Wharton Professor Jeremy Siegel: expect low equity and fixed income returns. Jeffrey Gundlach left the audience in a state of depression (well the audience, not Gundlach) and Mark Yusko spoke of likely recession citing poor ISM numbers. This left Prof. Siegel to later say, “It appears I’m the only bull at the conference.”

2016-02-01 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

A more than 20% rebound in oil the past 10 days helped equities close higher a second week in a row. Importantly, there were two positive breadth thrusts this week: equities have strong tendency to add to gains over the following weeks. Despite equity's gains, investors remain very bearish, and this is also a tailwind into February. After a powerful move Friday, a giveback early in the week would be unsurprising.

2016-02-01 00:00:00 Thoughts on the Alternative Investing Landscape in 2016 by Marc Gamsin, Greg Outcalt of AllianceBernstein

As 2016 gets under way, investors need to guard against short-term volatility spikes and contagion risks from factors including geopolitical turmoil and pressure on oil prices. How is the environment impacting the risk/return characteristics of various hedge fund strategies?

2016-02-01 00:00:00 The Growth Outlook, Near and Far by Scott Brown of Raymond James

Real GDP rose at a 0.7% annual rate in the advance estimate for 4Q15, roughly what was expected before the release, but a lot lower than was anticipated at the start of the quarter. It’s not as bad as it looks. Growth was held back by foreign trade and slower inventory growth. Domestic demand was mixed, but moderate. The fourth quarter numbers don’t tell us much about the important question: what’s growth likely to be over the course of this year. More troublesome, there are more important concerns about the economy’s long-term prospects.

2016-02-01 00:00:00 The Danger in Emerging Market Debt by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Most observers saw the recent troubles in the high-yield markets – the gating of the Third Avenue and Stone Lion funds – as a precursor to a junk-bond crisis. Instead, investors should be focusing on a potentially bigger problem, according to Russell Napier. Open-end mutual funds holding emerging-market debt are at risk.

2016-02-01 00:00:00 The Big Trap in Casual Conversations by Dan Richards (Article)

Today, I highlight an example of bad advice – focusing on how to engage people who aren’t clients in casual conversation and in particular on how to respond to the question “How’s business?”

2016-02-01 00:00:00 Equities Rally as Oil and Monetary Policy Remain in Focus by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Volatility remained high last week as U.S. equities regained some ground, with the S&P 500 Index rising 1.8%. Stocks soared on Friday in response to the Bank of Japan’s decision to adopt a negative interest rate stance. Oil prices also rose over speculation that global production might fall. Corporate earnings were mixed, as results continued to be held back by the long-term decline in lower oil prices, a soft economic backdrop and the strong dollar.

2016-02-01 00:00:00 Fed Not Going Away by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Close your eyes (well, not literally). Imagine a huge manufacturing economy, in Asia, growing very rapidly. It became the second largest economy in the world, from ruin, in just a few short decades and produced 14% of global output. Now imagine it collapses.

2016-02-01 00:00:00 Tokyo Doubles Down by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

I’ve been busily writing a letter on oil and energy, but in the middle of the process I decided yesterday that I really needed to talk to you about the Bank of Japan’s “surprise” interest-rate move to -0.1%. And I don’t so much want to comment on the factual of the policy move as on what it means for the rest of the world, and especially the US.

2016-01-30 00:00:00 Where to Ride Out the Volatility by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

Recent market volatility is leading many investors to exit stocks. For those that remain, the key question is: Where to hide? Russ Koesterich shares ideas, and opting for defensive sectors isn't one of them.

2016-01-29 00:00:00 Oil’s Well That Ends Well? by Templeton Global Equity Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

With the modest-at-best global economic recovery after the still front-of-mind global financial crisis trauma from 2008-2009 … markets are understandably preoccupied with the scope for unpleasant shocks.

2016-01-29 00:00:00 Crude Oil: The Bane of a Commodity Trader’s Existence by Harish Sundaresh of Loomis Sayles

Oil traders everywhere probably had their fingers crossed that oil’s craziest trading days would not persist into the New Year. In 2015, we watched benchmark oil indices drop over 30% and the sheer number of shuttered commodity hedge funds is testament to how difficult trading ‘black gold’ has been. Unfortunately, I expect 2016 to be no easier – full of fits and starts with lots of volatility in between. However, by end of 2016 I expect crude prices to rise to $45-50 from current levels of just under $30.

2016-01-29 00:00:00 Recession on the Horizon? Look at the Big Picture by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Whether or not a recession is imminent, I believe it's a good idea for investors to be prepared by having a well-diversified portfolio, including assets such as gold and municipal bonds. Gold has tended to have a low correlation with stocks, meaning that even when stocks were tumbling, it's managed to retain its value well. The same can be said for short-term, high-quality munis, which have been shown to offer a greater amount of stability than some other types of securities, even during market downturns.

2016-01-29 00:00:00 Do Interest Rates Know No Bounds? by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Many interest rates in Europe have been below zero for quite a while and are poised to fall further.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview: December 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

While the developed economies remain fairly resilient, economic data from the emerging countries have turned more subdued recently. Export gains remain restricted as global demand is yet to see sustained revival, despite relatively brighter consumer sentiment in the developed countries. Continued weakness in energy and commodity prices is likely to keep Brazil and Russia in recession in 2016, while also hurting the growth prospects of most countries in Latin America, including Mexico.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 Does Market Volatility Bring Opportunities for High-Yield Bonds? by Jennifer Ponce de Leon of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

We believe the recent volatility and selloff in U.S. high yield offers an attractive relative investment opportunity as yield premiums have widened to provide appropriate compensation for today’s market risks. The overall market still warrants a cautious approach for 2016, but we are constructive on much of the non-commodity-related high-yield opportunity set. A disciplined credit selection process should serve investors well in taking advantage of high-yield opportunities.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 On My Radar: The Central Banks, the Market and Wealth Creation by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group, Inc.

Numerous investor behavior studies have been conducted by researchers, and most come to the same conclusion: individual investors tend to buy and sell at the wrong time. Perhaps it is the “fight or flight” in us that gets in the way. “Thinking deeply” – “Reflecting”. A good friend and advisor client said to me this morning, “This business can be a bi&@h.” I told him I was posting a chart today that may speak to his frustration. Here, I share it with you.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 How Low Can Oil Go? by Lee Kayser of Russell Investments

Not too much further we think. As we’ve seen over the first few weeks of 2016, WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude has been down as much as 25% from last year end 2015. Prices per barrel also closed below $30 for the first time since 2003.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 4th Quarter Commentary by John Prichard, Miles Yourman of Knightsbridge Asset Management

When it comes to the stock market, it is clearly a time for much doubt, but perhaps also heroism. As we write, the market is in the midst of a nasty sell-off, the worst start to a year in U.S. stock market history, with every sector down for the year with the exception of utilities. Global stocks have fared even worse, losing $14 trillion since peaking last May and more than $2 trillion during the first week of January alone. The beginning of the year is an especially inauspicious time for a stock market plunge as markets often trend in the direction of the year’s first week.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 Travels in China: Nanning to Guiyang by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

While we’ve heard reports of falling real estate prices in some of the smaller (second- or third-tier) cities in China, we didn’t see widespread evidence of that; sales still seemed generally robust in the regions we toured.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 Saved by the Bell by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

“Saved by the Bell” except in this case we are not referring to the late-1980s TV sitcom that focused on a group of high school teens and their principal, but last Wednesday’s closing bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The day began well enough with the preopening S&P futures only off about 9 points when I slid into my trading turret around 5:30 a.m. From there, however, things got pretty ugly as the D-J Industrial Average (INDU/16093.51) went into a minicrash that would see the senior index shed some 567 points and in the process break below its August 25, 2015 clo

2016-01-28 00:00:00 Oil Stocks: Is Bad News Signaling Good Opportunities? by Kevin Holt of Invesco Blog

As a deep value manager with a long time horizon, I often see opportunities in the midst of gloomy headlines. While crude oil hit a new 12-year low of around $26 a barrel in January, I view this sector as one of my top long-term opportunities.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 Bearish Tendencies (and silver linings) by Team of Pinnacle Advisory Group

2015 had many twists and turns, but from a financial market perspective, it was effectively a road to nowhere when looking across a variety of asset classes. In U.S. equity markets, large company stocks (large cap) barely moved as just a few sectors and stocks were big winners. In the broad market, many stocks performed far worse than the large cap averages and gave investors the false impression that the market was generally flat.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 A Market Correction Isn't Unusual…Look for Growth Later This Year by Vern Sumnicht of iSectors

As we saw at the close of last week’s market and really the entire first half of January, 2016 has had a difficult beginning. There are a number of market concerns that have resulted in a correction in the first half of January and they revolve around.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 Peak Profits by Chris Brightman, Jonathan Treussard, Mark Clements of Research Affiliates

After recovering from the commodity-induced profits recession, aggregate market EPS should advance in the decades ahead much more slowly than the unsustainably rapid rate of the past 25 years.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 FOMC FAQS: Making a Statement by John Canally of LPL Financial

The Fed holds its first FOMC meeting of 2016 this Tuesday and Wednesday, January 26–27, 2016. Without a press conference or a new set of economic and fed funds projections, the Fed must rely on its statement to communicate a complicated message to fragile markets.

2016-01-27 00:00:00 The Challenges Facing Emerging Markets Debt by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

Emerging markets debt (EMD) valuations have cheapened in recent weeks, as weaker Chinese economic data and lower oil prices pushed prices lower and yield spreads higher. The average yield spread closed at 4.6% on Friday, January 15, 2016, essentially matching the post-recession peak of August 2015; and the average yield to maturity rose to 6.25%, the highest since mid-2011 and the height of European debt fears.

2016-01-27 00:00:00 Verbal Intervention From Draghi by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

A better week. In markets that are directional and emotional, few large buyers stepped up. But we heard from Mario Draghi at the ECB that policies would be “reviewed and reconsidered”. Admittedly, the Fed is in a blackout period before its first meeting since it raised rates. So the news from the ECB was welcome and stocks rallied.

2016-01-27 00:00:00 Opportunities in the Evolving Non-Agency Mortgage Backed Security Market by Jason Callan of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The non-agency MBS market has evolved over the past few years with new sectors offering attractive investment opportunities. Non-agency MBS have attractive fundamentals as consumers benefit from a stronger dollar and lower energy prices. Flexible strategies with disciplined credit selection can help take advantage of the evolving non-agency RMBS investment landscape.

2016-01-27 00:00:00 Markets Recover (for Now) as Investors Remain Wary by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equities remained volatile last week as the S&P 500 Index gained 1.4% following two weeks of sharp declines. The rebound didn’t appear to be driven by any fundamental shifts, although rising oil prices and expectations of additional policy support from the European Central Bank and Bank of Japan helped. In some ways, last week’s bounce may have been due to a reaction from oversold conditions, and we are not seeing technical signs that would suggest these gains will have sustained traction. Investors remain skeptical and seem to be looking for the next crisis.

2016-01-27 00:00:00 International Equity Commentary: December 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

International equity prices saw a modest correction in December as the U.S. Federal Reserve announced its first rate hike in several years and indicated further increases in 2016. U.S. economic growth for the third quarter was revised higher and the strong labor market gains suggested that the expansion could continue.

2016-01-27 00:00:00 3 Charts All Investors Should See by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Worried there's a bear market ahead? You'll want to pay attention to these three charts. Russ Koesterich explains.

2016-01-27 00:00:00 Buckle Up by Byron Wien of Blackstone

My list of Ten Surprises for 2016 has a gloomy tone. I generally think of myself as an optimist, but some concepts that I have been brooding about for a while seem to be converging. I have been worrying about the impact of China’s slowdown on the rest of the world, the ramifications of the refugee crisis on the stability of Europe, the peaking of profit margins in the United States, the surfeit of goods around the world coupled with insufficient demand, the dependence of developed economies on central bank monetary easing for growth, the accumulation of public and private debt...

2016-01-27 00:00:00 Multiple Worries Continue To Hammer The Stock Markets by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The major US stock markets have turned in their worst January performance in history, as have many equity markets around the world – and the month is not over yet. As a result, we’ll keep our focus on what is driving this extremely volatile move.

2016-01-27 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: A Dovish Tilt from the Fed? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Stocks managed a mid-day rebound from a 566-point decline in the DJIA. Among the suggested reasons was more help from central bankers. With a light economic calendar, I expect Fed speculation to compete with earnings in the week ahead. Everyone will be wondering: Will the Fed signal a dovish tilt?

2016-01-26 00:00:00 The Best Question to Engage Clients by Dan Richards (Article)

Explicitly asking about the value you provide won’t advance your relationship with most clients – but an alternate question will.

2016-01-26 00:00:00 Finding Bargains After the Selloff by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the recent selloff, which means some bargains are emerging.

2016-01-26 00:00:00 Municipal Bonds: Staying Calm in Turbulent Markets by Team of Lord Abbett

Municipal bonds continue to defy market volatility, offering an oasis of tranquility for investors. Here’s why.

2016-01-26 00:00:00 Will the Tail Wag the Dog? by Scott Brown of Raymond James

Global economic conditions do not appear to be severe enough to justify this year’s adverse market action. However, the adverse market action may pose a risk to the global economic outlook. While the global financial system may currently seem a bit unstable, it’s unlikely that fear will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. At least, that’s the hope.

2016-01-26 00:00:00 Clueless in Davos by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Making their annual pilgrimage to the exclusive Swiss ski sanctuary of Davos last week, the world's political and financial elite once again gathered without having had the slightest idea of what was going on in the outside world. It appears that few of the attendees, if any, had any advance warning that 2016 would dawn with a global financial meltdown.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 Window on Main Street by John Canally of LPL Financial

During periods of economic volatility, investors sometimes abandon the tools for evaluating markets and the economy that had been serving them well before the volatility started. Good tools, however, should continue to provide insight, which is why we are turning, once again, to the latest Beige Book from the Federal Reserve (Fed) as we gauge the health of the broad U.S. economy as 2015 ended and 2016 began.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 Peak Gold and Silver - It’s Here! by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

Have we reached peak precious metals? Many analysts think so. Just to be clear, however, the idea of peak gold and peak silver doesn't refer to a peak prices. The precious metals put in a cyclical price high in 2011. But annual mining production levels may have peaked in 2014-2015. This is what is meant by “peak precious metals."

2016-01-25 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Equities fell to their August/September lows this week and then reversed higher. A retest of the low would be normal, something to keep in mind in the event of an uncorrected rise from here. Any number of breadth and sentiment indicators strongly suggest that prices should rise further in the weeks ahead. The risk comes from oil prices, which remain too volatile to predict and which have been highly correlated to equities for several weeks.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: Downside Risks Increase, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The IMF lowered its global forecast for 2016 and 2017. While they project growth for the US, EU and Japan, the rest of the world will experience weaker prospects.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: A Detailed Look at the Long-Leading, Leading and Coincident Indicator by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

2016 certainly opened with a bang. It started with a massive sell-off in the Chinese market that sent ripples throughout the world. Oil and other commodities continued to plumb new lows. Treasury yields dropped and volatility increased. The combined impact of these events led to an increase in bearish calls for the US economy, which is bolstered by the drop in the Atlanta Fed’s GDP Now and Moody’s High Frequency GDP models. In this article, I’ll take a look at the long-leading, leading and coincident indicators, which will show some weakness exists.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 Annus Horribilis for MLPs by David Chiaro of Eagle Global Advisors

Despite the returns seen recently for MLPs generally, we are very optimistic about the outlook for MLPs in the long-run. Bottom line, we see the demand for midstream services to continue to expand. While we expect the volumes of oil will decline in the coming quarters, we expect the volumes of gas to be produced will still increase. And while oil is in oversupply for the current time, strong demand growth is being spurred by lower prices.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 How Airlines Are Spending Their Record Profits by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

How did you spend your $700? That’s how much the average American driver saved at the pump in 2015, according to a report from J.P. Morgan Chase. The bank also found that the savings fueled consumer spending on non-gas related purchases, which, based on credit and debit card transactions, were higher than previously thought. For every dollar saved, Americans spent roughly $0.80 on other things—restaurant visits, appliances, new gadgets and more.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 New Year, More Volatility—What Can Investors Do? by Martin Atkin, Dianne Lob, Alison Martier of AllianceBernstein

The calendar has changed to 2016, but the volatility story remains. The key concern: weaker global growth and its possible ripple effects, including low oil prices for an extended period. How should investors approach this challenge?

2016-01-25 00:00:00 The First Eagle Portfolio Management Team on the Trends Driving Global Opportunities by Robert Huebscher (Article)

First Eagle’s Global Fund (SGENX) is its flagship fund, with over $45 billion in assets. Since inception (1/1/79), it has returned 13.35% annually, versus 9.50% for the MSCI world index. Over the last 15 years, it has been in the top 2% of its peer group. I recently spoke with its managers about the global trends driving opportunities for their fund.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 Lifting Sanctions on Iran a Mixed Bag by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

From a financial perspective, the New Year has been anything but happy. As of January 20th, the S&P had fallen over 9% since the beginning of the year, to levels not seen since 2014,reflecting a loss of some $2 trillion in market value. Compounding matters was the 30% collapse in oil prices, which brought crude down to the lowest levels in 13 years. The New Year has also seen further evidence of recession in the U.S., which has appeared in a string of bad manufacturing service sector data.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 Buckle Up: More Volatility Ahead by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Investors enter the final week of January wondering if they should sit out the rest of 2016. US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper cautions against such short-term thinking and reminds investors to keep their eyes on long-term goals.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 New Year, A New Start for EM? Not Exactly by Charles Wilson of Thornburg Investment Management

Emerging markets have tripped out of the gate in 2016, tangled in some of the same concerns that dragged down performance last year. But valuations have now become even more attractive.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 Even As Defaults Rise, High Yield Should Stay Afloat by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

The plunge in commodity prices is bad for energy- and metals-sector high-yield bonds. But it’s positive for the majority of issuers. That’s why we expect only a modest rise in the average default rate in 2016.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 On January Barometers and Market Bargains by Templeton Global Equity Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

We are now witnessing historic extremes in the discount afforded to value relative to growth, quality and safety. While this environment has been (and may remain) painful for some time, the eventual normalization of these extremes represents the most compelling opportunities in equity markets today.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 Assassins, Hunters, and Rabbits . . . Oh My by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

It was a few weeks ago that I resurrected a line used in my September 10, 2001 missive from the movie Star Wars that read, “I felt a great disturbance in the force . . . as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”

2016-01-22 00:00:00 Changes: Turn and Face the Strange (Market) by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

The S&P 500 is down 8% since the year began, the worst two-week start to a year ever. There have only been five other years since 1928 when the index fell by more than 5% in the first 10 trading days of the year. As shown in the B.I.G. table below, looking back at the five worst yearly starts, the returns for the rest of January were mixed, while the rest of year returns were more positive (dramatically so in three cases). The only dud was during the financial crisis in 2008.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 Market Macro Myths: Debts, Deficits, and Delusions by James Montier of GMO

In the context of the role that debts and deficits play in overall economic policy, in this paper I focus on the philosophy known as “sound finance,” which includes adherents who believe that governments should seek to balance their budgets. I, however, take a different view, and believe that the role of government when dealing with budget deficits should be one of “functional finance,” which ensures that the policies implemented help to reach the overarching goals of macroeconomic policy (generally held to be full employment and price stability).

2016-01-22 00:00:00 LWM Market Commentary by Jeremy Boynton of Laureate Wealth Management

The S&P 500 is down roughly 9% on the year currently. I thought it might be helpful to briefly review some of the causes for such a poor start to 2016.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 A "Glass-Is-Half-Full" Perspective on the Outlook by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Growth during the current phase has been by far the weakest of the four long expansions the U.S. has enjoyed during the past 50 years. Employment gains have also lagged past precedents.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 Looking for Answers by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen and Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

It can be difficult to stay calm during market declines, but reacting emotionally is rarely beneficial. Investors need to maintain discipline and keep long-term goals in mind. Risks have risen for the U.S. and global economy, but neither a domestic nor global recession appears to be on the imminent horizon. But oil likely needs to stabilize to stem some of the recent volatility. Stay calm, and don’t overreact to the short-term gyrations in the market.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 Comparisons to 2008 Spark Gold’s Fear Trade by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The comparisons to 2008 have triggered gold’s Fear Trade, with many investors scrambling into safe haven assets. Jeffrey Gundlach, the legendary “bond king,” recently made a call that amid further market turmoil, the metal could spike as much as 30 percent, to $1,400 an ounce.

2016-01-21 00:00:00 Hoisington Quarterly Review and Outlook – 4Q2015 by Van Hoisington, Lacy Hunt of Hoisington Investment Management

The economy was supposed to fire on all cylinders in 2015. Sufficient time had passed for the often-mentioned lags in monetary and scal policy to finally work their way through the system according to many pundits inside and outside the Fed. Surely the economy would be kick-started by: three rounds of quantitative easing and forward guidance; a record Federal Reserve balance sheet; and an unprecedented increase in federal debt from $9.99 trillion in 2008 to $18.63 trillion in 2015, a jump of 86%.

2016-01-21 00:00:00 Colombia Shifts to Keep Its Balance Amid Slide in Oil Prices by Pablo Echavarria of Thornburg Investment Management

Accepting short-term fiscal and foreign exchange pain for long-term macroeconomic gains, which may compound with infrastructure investment and possibly peace dividends.

2016-01-21 00:00:00 Another Battle for Investment Survival by Kendall Anderson of Anderson Griggs

It has been over four decades since my discharge from the US Army. During the short time I spent in service to our country, I had the privilege of becoming friends with a number of battle hardened veterans. These were special people who had the ability to face fear, adjust plans and, most importantly, lead others when needed in hopes that all would survive.

2016-01-21 00:00:00 It Feels Worse than It Is by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

There comes a point in the market cycle where all news is good news. This lasts for a while. And then all news becomes bad news. Right now, it’s all bad news.

2016-01-21 00:00:00 Seeking Shelter from the Storm by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the recent volatility and how investors should proceed going forward.

2016-01-21 00:00:00 Managing Chinese Volatility by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

China’s economy continues to decelerate, but gradually and while generating a much bigger incremental expansion in GDP than a decade ago. The old economy is weak, but the consumer and services part—the biggest part of the economy—remains healthy. Recent volatility is likely to continue, as the economy becomes more market-oriented and regulators experiment with unfamiliar tools.

2016-01-21 00:00:00 Low Oil Prices Hammer Markets by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

Oil prices continue to fall and are bringing markets down with them. We talked about why oil prices are dropping last week, so today, let’s take a look at why markets are getting hammered—and whether that is likely to last.

2016-01-21 00:00:00 Advisors Need to Know How to Address Their Clients’ Market Concerns by Chuck Self of iSectors

Given the recent 10% stock market decline from the May 2015 highs, financial advisors are receiving calls and emails from concerned clients. If a client called me, my extended elevator speech would be...

2016-01-21 00:00:00 2016 Marks Worst New Year Start on Record for S&P 500 by Joe Becker, Adam Schenck, Jeff Greco of Milliman Financial Risk Management

Economic weakness and market turmoil in China along with the continued decline in the price of crude oil rattled global markets during the first 10 trading days of 2016.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 What Does the Market Know? by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management

In Thursday’s memo, “On the Couch,” I mentioned the two questions I’d been getting most often: “What are the implications for the U.S. and the rest of the world of China’s weakness, and are we moving toward a new crisis of the magnitude of what we saw in 2008?” Bloomberg invited me on the air Friday morning to discuss the memo, and the anchors mostly asked one version or another of a third question: “does the market’s decline worry you?” That prompted this memo in response.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 Charts Indicating Economic Weakness by Ted Kavadas of RevSD

Throughout this site there are many charts of economic indicators. At this time, the readings of these various indicators are especially notable. While many are indicating economic growth, others depict (or imply) various degrees of economic weakness.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: China Sneezed and We All Caught A Cold, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

What’s behind the Chinese sell-off? It’s partly due to an expensive market. But equity markets are leading economic indicators, meaning a connection exists between the overall Chinese slowdown and its equity market.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 One Weird Trick to Forecast Commodity Trends by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

If you want to know about the past, a good place to start is by looking at GDP. It tells you the dollar value of a country or region’s goods and services over a specific time period. But GDP’s like looking in the rearview mirror, in that it shows you where you’ve been and little more. It’s “blind” to what’s ahead of you.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 A Year of Transition for Financial Assets by Jeffrey Knight of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The rocky start to the year corroborates our belief that 2015 marked a transition in the investment environment. We expect low returns and high volatility to continue in 2016. Two factors that help explain market outcomes in 2015 remain relevant in 2016: 1) financial assets aren’t cheap and 2) Fed tightening eliminates one of the greatest tailwinds for financial markets. Even in this new and challenging environment, we strongly believe that positive returns are achievable with the appropriate investment strategy. Active strategies deserve higher prominence.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 Central Planners Freaking Out about Discussion of Gold’s Role by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

Sound money issues make for good politics these days. The leading Republican candidates have all suggested reforms to our monetary system. The topic is popping up in debates as well as interviews. Predictably, Fed worshippers and proponents of central planning everywhere are snickering and trotting out the usual responses.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 Fear is Overbought by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

The stock market is not the economy, and the economy is not the stock market. Nonetheless, many are convinced that the market correction of the past few weeks is a certain sign of impending recession. Never mind that China just reported 6.9% real GDP growth. Never mind that a barrel of oil costs less than $30, which means consumers are saving hundreds of billions of dollars per year on top of what the drop in natural gas prices has saved them.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 The Sharp Equity Sell-Off Continues as Sentiment Sours by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets remained in free fall last week, with the S&P 500 Index dropping another 2.2%. Mixed economic data, a renewed collapse in oil prices, financial turmoil in China and worries over credit conditions and corporate earnings prompted fears that the U.S. economy may be heading for recession. This put additional downward pressure on equity markets and other risk assets.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 On My Radar: A Cyclical Bear Market (Here’s Why) by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group, Inc.

The speed at which stocks have dropped 10% (defined as a correction) two times in a short period of time has happened just three times in the last 100 years. 1927, 2000 and 2008.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 Why the “Worst Year” Might Be a Good Time to Invest by Team of Lord Abbett

Investors who had a hard time finding returns in 2015 might do well to heed the lessons of two other challenging years—1937 and 1987.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter by Ron Muhlenkamp, Jeff Muhlenkamp of Muhlenkamp & Company

In the fourth quarter, the S&P 500 Index was up a bit over 7% and up 1.38% for the year. Our accounts, on average, were up 3.52% in the quarter and down 5.03% for the year. (Individual performance varies by account.) The gains for the broader Index in the quarter were mostly made by a small number of large capitalization tech stocks, Facebook, Amazon, Netfl ix, Google, and Microsoft among them.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 Stocks Plunge Most On Record Last Week, Oil Down 10% by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

In the first week of 2016, US stocks plunged by more than in any other first week of January since records have been kept (before 1900). The Dow Jones Industrial Index fell over 1,000 points from 17,591 at the close on December 31 to 16,519 at the close last Friday – a loss of over 6% in one week.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Venerated Voices™ 2015 Year-End Rankings by Jill Mislinski (Article)

Here are our Venerated Voices awards for commentaries published in 2015. Rankings were issued in three categories: by firm, by author and by commentary.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Lessons from Billionaires Who’ve Gone Broke by Dan Richards (Article)

Some new Price Waterhouse Coopers research on billionaires who, over the last 20 years, failed to maintain their wealth provides valuable perspective on dealing with risk-prone clients.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Gundlach’s Forecast for 2016 by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Jeffrey Gundlach is a prescient and accurate forecaster. Last week, as he does each January, he offered his market outlook. But unlike prior years, when Gundlach typically offered high-conviction investment ideas, this year he said he would let market movements over the near-term dictate his outlook.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Albert Edwards – Dollar Appreciation and a Global Recession by Robert Huebscher (Article)

As the equity markets have suffered their worst performance ever to start a year, we’ve heard the familiar refrain from the chorus of sell-side analysts: Don’t panic, the economy is fine and the markets will recover. Among the few who are warning that things could get worse – indeed, much worse – is Albert Edwards.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 What, Me Worry? by Scott Brown of Raymond James

Recent economic data releases have been mixed. However, despite strong job figures, most have been on the soft side of expectations. Lower commodity prices are tough for producers of raw materials, but beneficial to the buyers of those materials. However, the bigger concern is why commodity prices are falling. Many view the drop in oil prices as signaling a more pronounced global slowdown and fear that the U.S. domestic economy may not be robust enough to escape that. The anecdotal data from the manufacturing sector is much worse than is suggested by the hard economic data reports.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Pricing Power Adds Pep to Equities by Mark Phelps, Dev Chakrabarti of AllianceBernstein

It’s hard to find companies that can reliably increase earnings while global economic growth remains subdued. In this environment, pricing power can help investors identify companies that are capable of delivering sustainable growth.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Newsletter - Volume 9, No. 1 - January 2016 by Harold Evensky of Evensky & Katz / Foldes Financial Wealth Management

A belated Happy and Healthy New Year! Now for this NewsLetter’s musings…

2016-01-19 00:00:00 CEF Market View by (Article)

Get ready for a bouncy ride. Volatility in the CEF market may continue in 2016, says senior analyst Cara Esser of Morningstar.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: January by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

Though the rest of the world may not be doing as well as the United States, we think global growth remains acceptable and do not anticipate a global recession or global deflation.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Can Earnings Season Provide a Floor for Stocks? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Stocks continued the worst start in history. With little sign of dip-buying and the start of earnings season, everyone will be wondering: Can earnings reports provide a floor for stocks?

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

US equites have dropped some 10% in the past two weeks, returning to their August/September lows. This has triggered a bearish technical pattern. Is the stock market signaling a recession and the start of a bear market? Risk has clearly increased, but on balance, the evidence suggests the answer remains no.

2016-01-17 00:00:00 2016: Surprises & Scenarios by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Today we’ll look at 2016 forecasts from some professionals I trust. I know most of them personally and have been friends with some of them for years. I know they aren’t just “talking their book.” They may turn out to be wrong, but if so, it will be for the right reasons. After we review the forecasts, we’ll look at some common threads among them, as well as important differences.

2016-01-16 00:00:00 On the Couch by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management

I woke up early on Saturday, December 12 – the morning after a day of significant declines in stocks, credit and crude oil – with enough thoughts going through my mind to keep me from going back to sleep. Thus I moved to my desk to start a memo that would pull them together. I knew it might be a long time between inception and eventual issuance, since every time I dealt with one thought, two more popped into my head. In the end, it took a month to get it done.

2016-01-16 00:00:00 One Weird Trick to Forecast Commodity Trends by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Several times in the past, we’ve shown that there’s a high correlation between the global PMI reading and the performance of commodities and energy three months later. When a PMI “cross-above” occurs—that is, when the monthly reading crosses above the three-month moving average—it has historically signaled a possible uptrend in crude oil, copper and other commodities. Our research shows that between January 1998 and June 2015, copper had an 81 percent probability of rising 7 percent, while crude jumped the same amount three-quarters of the time.

2016-01-16 00:00:00 Ill Winds from the Far East by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The new lunar year doesn't begin for another three weeks, but it can't come soon enough for China and its Asian neighbors.

2016-01-16 00:00:00 Market Plunges Deeper, but No Recession in Sight by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

I’ve written over the past couple of days that it's not time to panic, and I still believe that's true. But it appears there may be more short-term damage than I initially thought. Now, the question is, how much worse might it get, and what does that mean for us as investors?

2016-01-16 00:00:00 What We’re Thinking by Doug MacKay and Bill Hoover of Broadleaf Partners

China and energy are the risks and lower for longer is the most likely domestic growth path. No recession is our call. And we’ll sell when we need to, even when we don’t necessarily want to. Discipline is key in times like these.

2016-01-16 00:00:00 Market Overview Q415 by David Robertson, CFA of Arete Asset Management

Several economic trends are converging to meaningfully alter the investment landscape. This suggests it will require a great deal more effort from investors to stay on course.

2016-01-16 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective by Team of Franklin Templeton Investments

• US Fundamentals Look Strong Enough to Cope with Higher Rates • A Softer Growth Backdrop for Much of the Rest of the World • Europe’s Recovery Remains Modest but Inflation Still Weak

2016-01-15 00:00:00 5 Good and 5 Bad Scenarios for 2016 by Neil Dwane of Allianz Global Investors

Peering into the future, Neil Dwane, Global Strategist with Allianz Global Investors, looks at how 10 different scenarios—from a rehabilitated Russia to a global pandemic—could impact the global economy and move markets over the coming year.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 Why Oil Prices Are Declining by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

Now that the equity markets seem to have stabilized a bit, let’s return to what underlies much of the current turmoil: the market for oil. The conversation usually centers on the price of oil, but the price is merely a symptom, not the cause.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 What Saudi-Iranian Tensions Mean for Oil Prices in 2016 by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

A prisoner's dilemma game of sorts between Saudi Arabia and Iran has big implications for oil prices in 2016. Russ and an investment strategist on his team, Terry Simpson, explain.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 A Tale of Two Economies by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

U.S. economic growth appears to have shifted to a lower gear in the final months of 2015. It has left many concerned about the well-being of the economy and raised questions about the Federal Reserve’s recent hike of the policy rate. In this context, it is important to note that the recent slowing reflects a lopsided development not a widespread deceleration of economic activity.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 Stocks Plunge Most On Record Last Week, Oil Down 10% by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

In the first week of 2016, US stocks plunged by more than in any other first week of January since records have been kept (before 1900). The Dow Jones Industrial Index fell over 1,000 points from 17,591 at the close on December 31 to 16,519 at the close last Friday – a loss of over 6% in one week.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 Economic Outlook January 2016 by John Calamos, Sr. of Calamos Investments

In 2015, we saw significant bifurcation between the haves and have-nots (within asset classes, across asset classes and among economies), as well as high volatility. We expect bifurcation and volatility to remain dominant themes in 2016, making positioning especially important. The year has gotten off to a rocky start, but we believe 2016 ultimately will prove to be a low-return environment. We expect elevated volatility as market participants grapple with a range of unknowns.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 Paper Gold: Utopia for Alchemists by John Hathaway of Tocqueville Asset Management

An acute shortage of readily marketable physical gold is developing that we believe will deepen in years to come. This possibility seems to be unrecognized by those who are short the gold market through paper contracts. The relentless dumping of synthetic or paper gold contracts since 2011 by speculators in Western financial markets has caused the shortage. The steady selling has driven down the price of physical gold, hobbled the gold-mining industry, and drained the stores of gold held in the vaults of Western financial centers.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 Asset Allocation 2.0™ by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

Global markets are experiencing a major paradigm shift, which has rendered traditional asset allocation models all but obsolete. In order to attain true diversification investors must abandon the past and embrace the new. Introducing Asset Allocation 2.0™.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 The Saudi Executions by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

On January 2, Saudi Arabia executed 47 people accused of various crimes against the state; 46 were Sunni jihadist radicals and one was a Shiite cleric, whose execution set off protests in Iran and the Saudi embassy in Tehran was sacked. In response, the Saudis broke off diplomatic relations with Iran and several other Sunni nations have either followed suit in breaking off relations or recalled ambassadors in protest. These executions are the result of many important trends affecting Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. In this report, we discuss the executions and the signals they send.

2016-01-13 00:00:00 Frontier Markets in Focus: 2016 and Beyond by Carlos Hardenberg of Franklin Templeton Investments

Frontier markets represent exciting long-term investment opportunities for our team. We see favorable fundamentals including strong economic growth, abundant natural and human resources, favorable demographic profiles, the potential for rapid technological progress, and potential benefits from improving infrastructure and improving standards of governance.

2016-01-13 00:00:00 Is Oil Too Slick for Equity Investors? by Joseph Paul, Jeremy Taylor, Akhil Kapoor of AllianceBernstein

It’s early January and oil is already making news again. We believe that there are effective ways to position an equity portfolio for an eventual oil-price rebound—without getting hurt in the meantime.

2016-01-13 00:00:00 Feeling Abandoned, Saudi Arabia Ups the Ante by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

Last week a major diplomatic crisis developed between Saudi Arabia and Iran over the Saudi execution of Nimr al Nimr, a charismatic Shiite cleric and anti-Sunni political activist. Nimr’s execution was...

2016-01-13 00:00:00 The China Storm: Parsing Sentiment and Substance by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses last week's market rout, and whether it marks the start of a bear market.

2016-01-13 00:00:00 Breaking Up Is Hard To Do by Tony Scherrer of Smead Capital Management

At Smead Capital Management we are in the business of attempting to gain a clear understanding of what we refer to as a “Well Known Fact.” A Well Known Fact is a body of economic information which is known to all market participants and has been acted on by nearly anyone with access to capital.

2016-01-13 00:00:00 EM Loses Footing by Jeffrey Baker of HiddenLevers

The start of the year has been bleak for investors. Domestic equity markets markets have had their worst start to the year ever and equity trading in China has been halted twice after markets in Shanghai cratered.

2016-01-13 00:00:00 The IT Sector: Where Growth and Value Meet by Dr. Brian Jacobsen, CFA, CFP® of Wells Fargo Asset Management

Looking at Information Technology (IT) stocks in 2016, here’s why Wells Fargo’s Dr. Brian Jacobson believes there’s ample opportunity for good growth and a great price.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 A Year-End Letter to Clients: Why I’m Optimistic by Dan Richards (Article)

This is a template for a year-end letter that can be sent to clients. It summarizes 2015 market performance and provides reasons why clients should be optimistic about the period ahead.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Colin Moore of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Interpreting equity declines as relatively “good”, “bad” or “ugly” provides context on how investors should react. We are experiencing a “good” correction as investors have focused on the level of sustainable economic growth and concluded that it is lower than they hoped. I am modestly positive about risk assets and believe investors will get significantly more impact by looking at sectors and individual securities rather than broad markets.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 Macro Concerns... Bottom Up Opportunities? by Jim Tillar, Steve Wenstrup of Tillar-Wenstrup Advisors

A year ago we wrote: "Anyone who scans the investment landscape beyond the S&P 500 should be anxious." Market signals were flashing caution and most financial markets disappointed investors in 2015.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 No More Excuses! by Sam Stewart of Wasatch Funds

What’s really important going forward is not the Fed’s recent decision?—?which was widely conveyed ahead of time?—?but the course of several issues that will play out globally. These issues include the type and duration of monetary policies that will be pursued by the world’s central bankers, and the trends in commodity prices, currency values, credit spreads and longer-term interest rates.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 Psuedo-Economics by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

To paraphrase the late Jude Wanniski – the history of man is a battle between the creation of wealth and the redistribution of wealth. Jude was a Supply-Sider, which means an economist who believes that entrepreneurship and supply (not demand) drives economic growth.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Is It Time to Buy the Dip? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

After the worst start in history for U.S. stocks everyone will be searching for meaning. One strategy has worked for almost seven years, but what about now? Is it time to “buy the dip?”

2016-01-12 00:00:00 Policy Support Amid Sluggish Growth: Asia’s Economies in Transition by Adam Bowe, Luke Spajic, Tadashi Kakuchi of PIMCO

Policy will be critical over the coming year but options are constrained by excessive debt, domestic politics and potential asset bubbles.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 Don’t Put Your Bonds on Autopilot in 2016 by Douglas Peebles of AllianceBernstein

The bond market is probably in for more turbulence in 2016, and investors may have to make some course corrections along the way. Staying airborne in these blustery conditions requires an active strategy.

2016-01-11 00:00:00 January 2016 Flash Update by Clyde Kendzierski of Financial Solutions Group

Stock market performance during the first week of the year has historically been a good indicator of market direction for the year ahead. Strong starts have historically indicated a better than normal outcome. Conversely, weak beginnings are generally ominous (excluding years when the Fed cuts short term rates).

2016-01-11 00:00:00 Economicus Terra Incognita by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Welcome to 2016. Tradition dictates that you spend the first few weeks or so reading forecasts for the coming year. I can say with certainty that most of them will be wrong. A smaller number may hit the target. Unfortunately, no one knows which forecasts will fall into which category.

2016-01-11 00:00:00 A Path to Making Gold and Silver the Currency of the 21st Century. by Stefan Gleason of Sound Money Defense

Several Republican presidential candidates are floating the idea of returning to some form of a gold standard in the U.S., although none have gone into any great detail. So, how might a modern gold standard work?

2016-01-11 00:00:00 China Worries Trigger a Tough Start to the New Year by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equities dropped sharply last week with the S&P 500 index losing 5.9%, its worst first trading week of the year on record.1 Worries about slowing Chinese growth and policy uncertainty were the main culprits for the rout, and sagging oil prices triggered concerns about corporate earnings. Late in the week, markets saw a brief reprieve in light of a strong December jobs report.

2016-01-11 00:00:00 On My Radar: China, Valuation Charts and Recession Watch Charts by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

China marked its currency lower once again yesterday. That makes eight days in a row they lowered the yuan. Last August, they devalued the yuan and that sent global equity markets into a dive. As Yogi Berra would say, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

2016-01-11 00:00:00 Long-Term Thinking in the Midst of Short-Term Volatility by Joe Rodriguez of Invesco Blog

The past year witnessed a significant spike in volatility as the health of the global economy faced uncertainty. Global markets struggled with concerns over growth and stability in China, emerging market weakness and currency devaluation, recession in Japan and the continued need for inflation-targeting policy in Europe. And while the US economy appeared to be the relative picture of health, the equity markets continued to focus on decisions by the Federal Reserve Board (the Fed) and depressed commodity prices.

2016-01-10 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review: Don't Be Too Spooked By the Sell-Off (At Least, Not Yet), Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Overall, this week’s sell-off isn’t surprising in light of the weakening technical and fundamental environment. Prices for riskier equities (IWMs) have been weak for nearly 6 months. Transports – whose price action should theoretically confirm broader upward price movement – have been in a bear market (below the 200 day EMA) for 7 months. The SPYs couldn’t get above the 110-112 price level for all of 2015. And now the QQQs have fallen below their 200 day EMA. And the “average” stock is now in a bear market.

2016-01-10 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: The Yield Curve Continues Narrowing, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

If the bond market shared the Fed’s optimism, we’d be seeing yield spreads widen. We’re seeing just the opposite.

2016-01-10 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: New Year, Same Problems, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

As the new year starts, the world economy is still in a difficult situation. The Chinese slowdown is impacting a number of developing countries, slowing their top-line growth. Deflationary pressures continue. But now, we have an event (the Chinese market drop) that triggered concerns about global, leading to action (a global sell-off). Don't be surprised to see increased volatility in the coming few months.

2016-01-10 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Momentum should carry equities lower, at least intra-week. Important support levels have been broken; these are now first resistance. Breadth is washed out, similar to past lows, and investor sentiment is now very bearish. It's time to be on the lookout for the formation of a base and at least a temporary bounce higher.

2016-01-09 00:00:00 How Gold Got Its Groove Back by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

After five straight positive trading sessions, the yellow metal climbed above $1,100 on a weaker U.S. dollar, its highest level in nine weeks. The rally proves that gold still retains its status as a safe haven among investors, who were motivated this week by a rocky Chinese stock market, North Korea’s announcement that it detonated a hydrogen bomb on Wednesday and rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

2016-01-09 00:00:00 Questions for the New Year by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen and Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

We continue to believe that U.S. and global stocks will continue to experience bouts of volatility and pullbacks; but a major bear market is likely to be avoided. Key determinants of the path stocks will take include central bank policy, inflation, currency volatility and earnings/valuation. We continue to reinforce the benefits of broad and global asset class diversification during a more difficult market environment.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 China’s Conundrum by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

As we see it, there is no question that China should continue to have strong growth this year, but one might say China is facing a bit of a conundrum. On the one hand, the government wants stability, but on the other, it also is striving toward more openness.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 Will Equities See a Sweeter ’16 Ahead? by Ed Perks of Franklin Templeton Investments

Global financial markets still face numerous risks, but the drivers of corporate profitability appear to us to be sustainable in the current business and economic environment.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 FOMC Preview: Liftoff Is Imminent, but What’s the Flight Plan? by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) gathering next week became a “live” meeting when the Fed declined to act in September. Those who follow U.S. monetary policy have, therefore, had to stay close to their desks and stay away from the punch bowl.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 You Cannot Manage New Economies with Obsolete Measuring Tools by Francois Sicart of Tocqueville Asset Management

In his latest piece, Francois Sicart, Founder and Chairman of Tocqueville Asset Management, discusses how misleading macroeconomic averages and aggregates can be as they often consist of components that could both signal either economic weakness or an acceleration with the potential to rekindle inflation.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 The New Geo-Economics by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

Last year was a memorable one for the world economy. Not only was it one of the most disappointing in a long time; more important, it brought profound changes – both for better and for worse – in global economic governance.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 Lackluster Returns Made 2015 a Year Worth Forgetting by Joe Becker, Adam Schenck, Jeff Greco of Milliman Financial Risk Management

After finishing November in marginally positive year-to-date territory, the S&P 500 sold off by nearly 2% in December, finishing the year down 0.73%, its first down year since 2008.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 CIO Newsletter – Jan 2016 by Ritesh Jain, Abhishek Sonthalia of Tata Asset Management

This newsletter has my views on the important developments in the investment world in 2015 and the outlook for 2016. Indeed we are in a very dynamic global environment and volatility is abound. One of the most important developments in 2015 was the depletion of global forex reserves held by central banks and asset sales by petro dollars funded sovereign wealth funds.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 Forecasting Returns: Simple Is Not Simplistic by Jim Masturzo of Research Affiliates

The value of a forecasting model is that it improves on the alternative models available and classifies the forecaster’s knowledge of asset classes into an economically intuitive framework for building portfolios. A yield-based model is simple, but it checks both boxes.

2016-01-07 00:00:00 Franco-Nevada: Royalty of the Gold Industry by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

In 1983, my friends and early mentors Seymour Schulich and Pierre Lassonde founded Franco-Nevada Mining, the world’s first gold royalty company. The two uniquely gifted money managers were on to something big. It was originally Seymour—then an oil analyst at the Canadian investment firm Beutel, Goodman & Company, where he and Pierre met—who recognized that the royalty model used in the oil and gas industry had some of the highest returns on capital.

2016-01-07 00:00:00 Three Things That Matter Most to Markets in 2016: U.S. Interest Rates, Oil Prices, and China by Charles Wilson of Thornburg Investment Management

All three are linked, and hit inflection points in 2015. They all will play key roles in global growth and market performance again this year, but their respective impacts will differ from years past.

2016-01-07 00:00:00 A Happy New Year After All by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

As we return to work after the holidays, a sharp sell off in global equities and escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East beg the question whether this New Year will be a happy one for investors. I believe the recent market swings are no more than passing disruptions. For U.S. equities and credit, in particular, evidence is mounting that 2016 will prove happier than 2015 for investors. In fact, the global factors currently roiling the markets are easy to discount, and could lead to investment opportunities.

2016-01-07 00:00:00 My New Year's Resolution: Don't Confuse Debt with Wealth by Guy Christopher of Money Metals Exchange

If you don't have a magical crystal ball to see the future, then a good history book will do the job. Understanding the past offers a full color panorama to the dangers and opportunities facing you in 2016.

2016-01-06 00:00:00 Betting on Deflation May Be a Huge Mistake. Here’s Why by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

Precious metals investors heading into 2016 worry the dollar will continue marching ahead, right over the top of gold and silver prices. The Fed is telegraphing additional rate hikes throughout the year, and commodity prices – led by crude oil – are falling. There have been tremors in the biggest beneficiary markets of all when it comes to the Fed's QE largesse – U.S. equities and real estate. And the possibility of a recession is growing, both in the U.S. and around the world.

2016-01-06 00:00:00 5 Portfolio Ideas for 2016 by Russ Koesterich, of BlackRock

Amid high prices and high volatility, selectivity will be key to generating returns in 2016. So where should investors look for opportunities? Russ shares five ideas.

2016-01-06 00:00:00 The U.S. Economy Has Slowed in the Fourth Quarter of 2015 by Robert Lamy of The Forecasting Advisor

Each month, the U.S. Institute for Supply Management (ISM) conducts a survey on the state of the manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries of the U.S. economy and releases data for the previous month. The data are closely followed by the financial media, economists, and wealth portfolio managers as they provide the earliest reading on the state of the economy.

2016-01-06 00:00:00 Market Thoughts for January 2016 by (Article)

Brad McMillan, Commonwealth Financial Network’s chief investment officer, looks back at 2015, which was actually the worst year for the markets since the financial crisis, but a solid year for the ongoing economic recovery. In addition to explaining the reasons behind this disconnect, he also discusses what we might expect in 2016, including a couple of headwinds for the markets (low oil prices and a strong dollar) that might disappear. Follow Brad at http://blog.commonwealth.com/independent-market-observer.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 The New Tools to Measure Risk in Your Portfolios by Michael Edesess (Article)

Understanding the risks embedded in a portfolio is central to providing value to clients. Traditionally, risks have been measured statistically – with standard deviation or value-at-risk. The shortcomings of those metrics, however, have been well documented. In response, a new generation of analytical tools has emerged that allow advisors to assess risk through scenario analysis – looking at portfolio outcomes through the lens of a storyteller.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 Liftoff by Dr. Richard Michaud of New Frontier Advisors

Domestic equities were positive for the quarter but mostly flat for the year. In the quarter the S&P 500 gained 4.8%, the Dow Jones Industrials 5.8% and the NASDAQ 6.4%. Year to date the S&P went down by 0.7%, Dow declined by 2.2% but the NASDAQ was up nearly 5.7%. U.S. small caps underperformed large caps; the Russell 2000 index gained 1.9% for the quarter and lost 5.7% for the year. Domestic bond markets were little changed for the quarter and year.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 We Remain Positive About 2016 by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

The Arab Spring is turning into an Islamic Winter, with some added cold wind, reminiscent of the Cold War – as Russia and Iran are seemingly aligned against a US-backed Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The intricacies of the religious, political, military, and historical events taking place are enough to give any normal person a headache. “Outrageously unstable,” is an understatement. Millions of refugees are voting with their feet.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will There Be a January Effect? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

After two weeks of slow, holiday-shortened trading, the A-Teams will (gradually) get back to work. Despite the importance of the data on this week’s schedule, I expect a different sort of fixation on the calendar. We can expect widespread discussion of the question: Will we see a January effect?

2016-01-05 00:00:00 More of the Same in 2016, for Better or Worse by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the outlook for 2016, which will offers challenges similar to the ones investors faced in 2015.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 The Biggest Stories of 2016? by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

Which stories are most likely to clear the front pages of the financial newspapers in 2016? In this month's Absolute Return Letter we take a closer look at that and arrive at the conclusion that three favourites stand out. We discuss all three, and we look at the implications for financial markets, should any of them unfold. Enjoy the read and happy New Year.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 Monkey See, Monkey Do by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

This is how the stock market works: “Once upon a time in a village, a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each. The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10, and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort. He further announced that he would now buy at $20. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further, and people started going back to their farms...

2016-01-05 00:00:00 2015 In Review: It Was A Wild Year In The Markets by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

As we begin another New Year, it is often good to reflect on the year that just passed and what we may have learned from it. Here are some thoughts about the market activity we saw in 2015 and what we may see in 2016.

2016-01-04 00:00:00 Boss Kettering by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Charles “Boss” Kettering was an American automotive engineer, businessman, inventor, and the holder of 186 patents who was the head of research at General Motors. My father met Kettering during the late 1940s and often reminded me of the aforementioned quote. I recalled the quote when I received a pretty nasty email from someone I don’t even know about my call for a “rip your face off rally.” The phrase he kept using was “you failed!”

2016-01-04 00:00:00 The Bond Market Is Raising a Cautionary Flag by Marie Schofield of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note won't rise much above 2.5% in 2016. Fed tightening cycles typically see curves flatten but long rates also typically rise, pricing in faster growth and inflation. The lack of conviction from the bond market that this will be the case represents an important cautionary flag.

2016-01-04 00:00:00 NEW: Money Metals Issues 2016 Gold/Silver Forecast by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

Forecasting today's volatile, high-frequency machine driven and manipulated futures markets using fundamental analysis is futile, as a great many precious metals bulls will attest. To complicate matters, an obsession with Fed policy dominates all markets. Officials at the Federal Reserve are often less than forthcoming and are just as bumbling as the Soviet bureaucrats when it comes to centrally planning our economy.

2016-01-04 00:00:00 Byron Wien Announces Predictions for Ten Surprises for 2016 by Byron Wien of Blackstone

Byron R. Wien, Vice Chairman of Multi-Asset Investing at Blackstone, today issued his list of Ten Surprises for 2016. This is the 31st year Byron has given his views on a number of economic, financial market and political surprises for the coming year. Byron defines a “surprise” as an event that the average investor would only assign a one out of three chance of taking place but which Byron believes is “probable,” having a better than 50% likelihood of happening.

2016-01-04 00:00:00 On My Radar: 2016 Outlook by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

If you haven’t seen the movie The Big Short, go see it. Christian Bale plays Michael Burry in Adam McKay’s adaptation of Michael Lewis’s book about the 2008 financial crisis. Burry was one of the hedge fund managers me and my team knew well. He and others helped us to better understand the approaching sub-prime crisis. I wrote about the issue frequently back then.

2016-01-03 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review: A Closer Look At The Business Sector, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The industrial sector starts the year in a mild recession while the market is becoming defensive in its sector rotation.

2016-01-01 00:00:00 S&P 500 Snapshot by Doug Short (Article)

The link for this frequent update has changed to this URL: http://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/Market-Snapshot Please change your bookmarks accordingly.

2015-12-31 00:00:00 A Year for Value? by Norman J. Boersma and Cindy L. Sweeting of Franklin Templeton Investments

While global equities appear vulnerable to near-term volatility, Templeton Global Equity Group’s Norm Boersma and Cindy Sweeting are optimistic about the year ahead. And, they believe the environment appears favorable for value investing to shine. Read on for the team’s 2016 outlook.

2015-12-31 00:00:00 The Year Ahead - 2016 by Mark Ungewitter of Charter Trust Company

In the spirit of year-end prognostication, here's my annual review of long-term trends and behavioral tendencies that are likely to influence key markets in 2016.

2015-12-31 00:00:00 Emerging Asia Pacific: Economy Trends Update - October 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Among the outperformers, India clung to its top position on the list of the world’s fastest growing large economies while the Philippines remained on track to be one of Asia’s fastest growing economies in 2015.

2015-12-31 00:00:00 How to Get Rich: Fade Drudge by Jared Dillian of Mauldin Economics

I always felt that Matt Drudge was linking to things I found important—things I wanted to read, particularly about surveillance/privacy, which is a hobby horse of his, and mine. As I write this, let’s see what’s going on over at the Drudge Report.

2015-12-31 00:00:00 Hope for the New Year: 3 Asset Classes for 2016 by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Last week, I reflected back on 2015 by revisiting the 10 most popular posts of the year. Today I’d like to look ahead to 2016 by pinpointing three asset classes that I believe hold opportunities for investors.

2015-12-30 00:00:00 Emerging Markets 2016 Outlook by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

In many respects, 2015 was a challenging year for investors in emerging markets. However, we consider many of the factors driving recent volatility to be temporary, and we are optimistic for the longer term due to several factors.

2015-12-30 00:00:00 Somber 2015. Brighter 2016 by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

Thwaites discusses three main influences on capital markets in 2015 and recommendations for your portfolio in 2016.

2015-12-30 00:00:00 Russia’s Strategy by George Friedman of Mauldin Economics

Two things are necessary to understand a nation’s strategy. The first is to view the world through the eyes of that nation… to know what it hopes for and fears. The second is to understand that the nation’s leader is far from a free agent.

2015-12-29 00:00:00 The 10 Most-Read Articles of 2015 by Various (Article)

As is our custom, we conclude the year by reflecting on the 10 most-read articles over the past 12 months. In decreasing order, based on the number of unique readers, those are…

2015-12-29 00:00:00 Let?s Try Again: S&P 2,375 by Brian S. Wesbury and Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

The future exists to keep forecasters humble. And our 2,375 forecast for the S&P 500 at year-end 2015 has done just that. We are humbled, but we do tip our hat to Jim Paulsen at Wells Fargo Asset Management who said that 2015 would be a tough year for US stocks.

2015-12-29 00:00:00 2015: What Worked ?and What Didn't by Team of Lord Abbett

The trends were clear early on, but 2015 still took some unexpected turns, particularly with regard to the intensity of the decline in oil prices.

2015-12-29 00:00:00 What I Got Right (and Wrong) in 2015 by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Keeping with his annual tradition, Russ compares the year that was to the year that he expected.

2015-12-29 00:00:00 Congress Lifts Ban On Crude Oil Exports After 40 Years by Gary D. Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

1. Congress Reverses 40-Year Ban on Crude Oil Exports 2. Gasoline Prices Are Low, But Don’t Get Used To It 3. Texas Company to be First to Export US Crude Abroad 4. Oil Bears Bet on $25 Crude Oil Price, Some Even $15

2015-12-28 00:00:00 Fed Hikes 25 Basis Points, Signals Gradual Path by Rob Waldner of Invesco Blog

On Dec. 16, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) increased the federal funds target rate range from 0-0.25% to 0.25-0.5%, in line with market expectations and Invesco Fixed Income’s baseline scenario. The committee’s “dot projections,” each member’s estimate of the federal funds rate based on personal economic projections, were unchanged for 2016, with a slight shift down thereafter. The median projection is often compared with overall market expectations. The dots signaled a faster pace of interest rate increases than the market had expected before the meeting.

2015-12-28 00:00:00 Innovation in Emerging and Frontier Markets by Ajay Krishnan, Roger Edgley, Laura Geritz of Wasatch Funds

While many investors consider innovation to be the province of Silicon Valley and other high-tech centers in developed markets around the world, the reality is very different. A look at where intellectual property is being created gives us some indication that we have to broaden our horizons as investors if we want to take full advantage of the potential opportunities.

2015-12-28 00:00:00 International Retrospective and Outlook by Roger Edgley, Ajay Krishnan, Andrey Kutuzov, Scott Thomas of Wasatch Funds

The ratio of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index divided by the MSCI World Index (an index of developed markets) is at its lowest level in 10 years, and developed markets have dramatically outperformed since 2010. If we believe most trends eventually reverse course, we may be close to a period of outperformance for emerging markets.

2015-12-27 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: A Look at the Coincident, Leading and Long Leading Indicators by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The Fed wouldn’t have raised rates if they didn’t have confidence that the US economy would be able to handle higher rates. So, let’s take a look at coincident, leading and long leading data to get an idea for the strength of the US economy now, but, more importantly, in the next 12-18 months.

2015-12-27 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: Year End Look as the EU, UK and Canada, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

While both service and manufacturing PMIs continue to show moderate expansion, the Conference Board’s and OECD-s LEIs are showing weakness, largely due to negative contributions from the manufacturing sector. Weak emerging economies and the strong sterling are tamping down global demand. So long as domestic demand remains strong, this shouldn’t lead to a decline in GDP. But industrial weakness is never a good development and should be monitored.

2015-12-24 00:00:00 Why Big Oil Should Kill Itself by Anatole Kaletsky of Project Syndicate

Oil prices are likely to remain low, making it harder for large Western companies to compete with national producers in countries like Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Unless these companies self-liquidate, activist shareholders or corporate raiders could do it for them.

2015-12-24 00:00:00 Where Investors Have Turned Optimistic by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ Koesterich shares his observations from Japan, where investors have turned positive on their domestic market and cautious toward the United States.

2015-12-24 00:00:00 Christmas Edition: 2015 in Review by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Before we reach 2016, I want to reflect back on 2015. Everyone is talking about interest rates and monetary policy right now, but the role fiscal policy plays is just as important—if not more so. As I always say, government policy is a precursor to change, and very recently we saw this firsthand.

2015-12-24 00:00:00 Arnott on All Asset December 2015 by Robert Arnott, Jason Hsu of PIMCO

Rob Arnott, head of Research Affiliates, and Jason Hsu, Research Affiliates’ co-founder and vice chairman, share their firm’s market insights and allocation strategies for PIMCO All Asset funds.

2015-12-23 00:00:00 2016 Investment Playbook by Doug MacKay of Broadleaf Partners

It’s that time of year again. Time to take stock of the year that was and time to try pondering what 2016 could look like.

2015-12-23 00:00:00 Developed Asia Pacific: Economy Trends Update - October 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Thomas White International seeks superior performance by identifying undervalued securities in the U.S. and nearly 45 markets worldwide. Its flagship product is the Thomas White International Fund (TWWDX).

2015-12-23 00:00:00 Interest Rates, Energy, Commodities: The Highs and Lows of Year-End by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

The Fed. Interest rates. A stressed bond market. The Paris climate accords. What do these things have in common, and what does that commonality portend for portfolios?

2015-12-23 00:00:00 The Market Correction In Metals Is Long In The Tooth But Not Likely Over by Avi Gilburt of ElliottWaveTrader.net

For the last 5 months, the miners have basically oscillated within the same general region, while the metals have made lower lows. But none of the charts seem to have completed their respective downside structures.

2015-12-22 00:00:00 2015 Recap and a Look to the Year Ahead by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Sir John Templeton coined the phrase, “Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria.” In 2015, we expected investors to transition from “skepticism” to “optimism” as we experienced (1) solid momentum in U.S. economic growth with low inflation, (2) a pickup in consumer spending based on job growth, confidence and a positive wealth effect, (3) solid earnings growth, (4) stimulus from low commodity prices and financing costs and (5) a still-good liquidity environment aided by stimulus from non-U.S. central banks.

2015-12-22 00:00:00 What’s the Canary in the Financial Coal Mine Saying? by Martin Pring of Pring Turner Capital Group

Credit spreads, which measure the relationship between bonds of different credit ratings, are arguably one of the most overlooked tools in financial market analysis. That is a shame because reversals in the momentum of credit spreads offer reliable signals of changes in the fortunes of bonds, stocks and commodities. Current evidence suggests some of these relationships have reached a critical juncture point, which means further deterioration in junk bonds and their connection with higher quality ones could lead to a crisis prone 2016.

2015-12-22 00:00:00 2015: A blueprint for 2016? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses how the factors that constrained stocks in 2015 are likely to repeat next year.

2015-12-22 00:00:00 Oil Prices—The Asset Allocation Perspective by Multi-Asset Solutions Team of BMO Global Asset Management

The commentary examines the impact of falling oil prices, specifically the possibility of a “risk-off” event created by an unexpected sharp decline in oil prices spilling over into equity and credit markets. Additionally, the recent closing of the Third Avenue credit fund should not trigger a “one size fits all” attitude regarding all high-yield funds. As asset allocators with a long-term time horizon, BMO sees lower energy prices as a net positive for riskier assets such as equities and high-yield bonds.

2015-12-22 00:00:00 Coasting into Year End by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

The Fed made its long awaited increase last week. We think it’s a mistake. The statement was muted and talked about “further improvements” here and there. The only improvement we have seen is in the labor market but, as we mentioned, scratch the surface and it’s not a great picture. At the risk of flogging this to death, we would make two points.

2015-12-21 00:00:00 Can EM Debt Continue to Outperform? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

One investing surprise of 2015: While emerging market assets in general have had a tough year, emerging market debt denominated in U.S. dollars has outperformed. Russ and an investment strategist on his team, Terry Simpson, examine whether this exception can continue.

2015-12-21 00:00:00 Main Themes of 2015 by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

As we all looked back on the past year, the word “eventful” came up often in conversation. Following are our reflections on the main events that influenced economic performance in 2015.

2015-12-21 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: A Parade of Pontificating Pundits! by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Last week’s stock market had a Jekyll and Hyde feeling, setting the background for the two weeks ahead. We will have lighter volume and plenty of people taking vacation during the holiday-shortened weeks. With plenty of explaining to do and a new year ahead, we can expect: A Parade of Pontificating Pundits!

2015-12-21 00:00:00 On My Radar: Henry Hazlitt and Inflation by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

There is a battle going on between deflation and inflation. Right now, deflation is winning. It is winning globally. In the extreme, neither is desired, yet perhaps the worst of the two is deflation as it leads to depression. The global central banks are fighting to create inflation and it is fight that I think they will ultimately win (though it may take years).

2015-12-21 00:00:00 Middle East/Africa: Economy Trends Update -- October 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The three months from July to October turned out to be a reasonably good period for the five economies we cover in the Middle East and Africa region. Although the largest among these economies, South Africa, remained beleaguered by a range of external and domestic problems, there were signs that the country coped well with its difficulties. Israel recorded robust growth after staying depressed for much of the first half of this year while Egypt took further steps to reform its economy.

2015-12-20 00:00:00 Drilling Down for Bargains After Oil’s Decline by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

The recent collapse in oil prices has placed pressure on a range of asset classes related to energy. Russ shares where to look for bargains.

2015-12-20 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review; The Most Telegraphed Rate Hike In History, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The combination of weak labor utilization, weak inflation and an already challenging environment for the industrial sector (that will be made worse by the resulting stronger dollar) provide a strong counter-argument to timing of this rate increase.

2015-12-20 00:00:00 The Seven Fat Years of ZIRP by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

In today’s letter we are going to examine the problematic credit markets, and I want to focus on something that is happening off the radar screen: the continuing rise of credit in private lending. I predicted the rise of private credit back in 2007 and said that it would become a major force in the world, but I got strange looks from audiences when I talked about the arcane subject of private credit. Today the shadow banking system is taking significant market share from traditional banking.

2015-12-19 00:00:00 How Much Oil Is Needed To Power Santa’s Sleigh? by Michael McDonald of OilPrice.com

Every year around the world, hundreds of millions of children wait anxiously for Santa Claus to arrive and bring presents and good cheer. But what if Santa never came? What if this year the reindeer all fall ill, perhaps due to Crazy Reindeer disease (the analog to Mad Cow) and Santa is forced to cancel Christmas? The result would be devastating.

2015-12-19 00:00:00 The Fed Awakens: A New Hike by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

On Wednesday, Chair Yellen announced that, for the first time in seven years, easy money will become slightly less easy. The target rate will be set at between 0.25 and 0.50 percent, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s important that the Fed ease into this cycle cautiously and gradually. Plus, this comes at a time when fellow industrialized nations and economic areas around the globe are considering further monetary easing measures.

2015-12-18 00:00:00 High Yield: Flows Over Fundamentals by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

High-yield bond selling, or the threat of selling, has sparked one of the worst sell-offs in the high-yield bond market since the summer of 2011 and the peak of European debt fears. The origin of high-yield weakness has come from the lowest-rated tiers of the high-yield market but has infected the broader market. Last week’s redemption freeze by an $800 million high-yield strategy, and news of a similar halt by a smaller fund over the weekend of December 12–13, 2015, intensified pressure on the high-yield bond market.

2015-12-18 00:00:00 Interest Rates and Energy: The Highs and Lows of Year-End by (Article)

Interest rates, the high-yield market, collapsing energy and commodity markets – it seems like the markets couldn't resist a last hurrah before closing out 2015. Are these events signaling a potential crisis? This month, we assess the market events of the recent weeks and talk about "The Highs and Lows of Year-End".

2015-12-18 00:00:00 Past vs. Prologue: Cutting Through the Noise of Investment Returns by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

While investors are fortunate to have good data on returns to guide them, the quality of translation of that information into investment advice varies considerably.

2015-12-18 00:00:00 What to Expect in 2016: 4 Investment Outlooks for the New Year by Neil Dwane, Ben Fischer, Doug Forsyth, Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

How will rising rates affect the US economy and markets? Which risks are most worth watching? Our CIOs discuss a range of challenges and opportunities for investors, and Kristina Hooper provides six timely tips on asset allocation.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 How Today's Fed Rate Hike Affects Investors by Dr. Brian Jacobsen of Wells Fargo Asset Management

The Federal Reserve’s (Fed’s) policy move is exactly what the market expected. Wells Fargo’s Dr. Brian Jacobsen, CFA, explores what the Fed’s first rate hike in nine years means for future Fed policy, the markets, and investors.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 One Small Step by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Seven years to the day after bringing overnight interest rates to near zero, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) ended what Chair Janet Yellen termed an “extraordinary period” by moving its targets up by 25 basis points.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Six Lessons We Learned About Bonds in 2015 by Douglas Peebles of AllianceBernstein

In 2015, bond investors faced slower nominal global growth, less liquid markets and a looming US rate hike. But with challenges come lessons: here are some takeaways from 2015 that should remain important in 2016.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 The Fed’s Dilemma by Brandon VanLandingham of Perissos Private Wealth Management

The Fed is expected to raise interest rates this week for the first time in nine years. This could be a turning point in the overall economic landscape. The Fed in its latest meeting has sighted a healthy employment picture and an expectation that inflation will normalize in the near term as the reasons for a rate hike this week. We typically think of low inflation and low unemployment as keys to a healthy economy and this is for the most part true.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Travels in Sri Lanka: The Tourist Trade by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

I encourage travelers to check out Sri Lanka, which has much to offer tourists including warm weather, expansive beaches, and an interesting heritage with many cultural attractions.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Fed Raises Rates for the First Time Since 2006: Our Reaction by Orla O'Brien of Loomis Sayles

The Fed has spoken. Now that we finally have the answer, what does it mean to you and your investors? Read the analysis from two Loomis Sayles strategists who have been following the rate decision play-by-play — every step of the way.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Why the Fed Liftoff Matters by Teresa Kong of Matthews Asia

When the U.S. Federal Reserve finally lifted the key rate by a quarter point on December 16, it was arguably the most widely anticipated rate hike in U.S. monetary history. This Fed liftoff matters precisely because no other major central bank in the world has the ability to do it. This marks the end of ZIRP (zero interest rates policy) for the U.S. But every other central bank is in ZIRP or is heading in that direction.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Silly Myths about Gold during Rising Interest Rates by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

The Fed finally acted this week – upping its benchmark Federal Funds rate by 0.25%. Now that the speculation over whether the Fed will hike has been put to rest, analysts are busily speculating about what the Fed's move means for the economy and markets.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 High Yield: A Challenge and an Opportunity by Sean Slein of First Eagle Investment Management

Liquidity in the high-yield market has been a challenge over the past several quarters, as several structural factors have adversely affected traditional sources of liquidity. Historically, counterparties like banks and brokers served as market-makers, allocating capital to provide down bids in periods of market distress, as they did in 2002 and 2008/09.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Navigating the Current Rate Environment by Giorgio Caputo of First Eagle Investment Management

Low interest rates globally have been an important driver of asset price returns over the past few years and are very much on investors’ minds today. In our conversations with financial advisers, many questions come up: How long can we expect the low-rate environment to continue? What has led rates to be so low in the first place? What are the consequences of global central banks’ quantitative easing (“QE”) policies? Have we definitively slain the specter of inflation?

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Government Funding and Tax Extenders Legislation Affects Investors by Andy Friedman of The Washington Update

After weeks of negotiations, Congress reached agreement on a bipartisan bill to fund the government through September 2016. Following are provisions of particular interest to investors.

2015-12-16 00:00:00 It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas . . . Not by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Many of you know that around this time of year I journey to New York City for the Christmas tree lighting and the Friends of Fermentation (FOF) Christmas party; this year was no exception. However, it sure did not feel much like Christmas in Manhattan. The temperatures were in the 50s and 60s, so the top coat I brought was never used. Such warm climes brought about thoughts of the much discussed topic, “global warming.”

2015-12-16 00:00:00 Liftoff Takes Backseat as Oil Drives Sentiment by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the reasons behind, and implications of, the collapse in oil prices.

2015-12-16 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Is It Finally Time for the Santa Claus Rally? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Last week’s stock results were poor for nearly all funds and sectors. Will this continue? Until Wednesday, we can expect a continuing focus on the Fed. After that announcement we may see a change in tone: Pundits will be asking: Is it finally time for the Santa Claus Rally?

2015-12-16 00:00:00 What Does the High-Yield Sell-Off Mean for Stocks? by Burt White of LPL Financial

High-yield bond weakness has led investors to fear that a recession or bear market may be forthcoming. Widening of high-yield bond spreads (the spread between yields on high-yield bonds and comparable U.S. Treasuries) preceded the start of the stock market downturns in 2000 and 2008, causing many to ask if the latest bout of high-yield weakness portends another downturn. Here we try to answer that question by looking at characteristics unique to the high-yield bond market and prior periods of similar high-yield weakness.

2015-12-16 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: Why The Fed Is About to Make A Mistake In Raising Rates by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The consensus is the Fed will raise rates at their next meeting. The latest employment report all but baked this into the cake. However, I’m not so sure this is a good idea.

2015-12-16 00:00:00 The 2016 Geopolitical Outlook by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

As is our custom, we close out the current year with our outlook for the next one. This report is less a series of predictions as it is a list of potential geopolitical issues that we believe will dominate the international landscape in the upcoming year. It is not designed to be exhaustive; instead, it focuses on the “big picture” conditions that we believe will affect policy and markets going forward. They are listed in order of importance: the Election Transition, Western Populism, Small-Scale Islamic Terrorism, the Weakening of the European Union, and Trouble in the South China Sea.

2015-12-16 00:00:00 Lift Off! by Dimitri Balatsos of Tesseract Partners

With all systems set on “GO,” the broadly-advertised and widely-anticipated lift off by the Federal Reserve from the zero-bound Fed funds rate is expected to take place this Wednesday, December 16. One would hope that the fate of the tragic Danish prince does not befall what comes afterwards. As a skeptic of unconventional monetary policies, we look at the impending action and potential consequences with trepidation.

2015-12-16 00:00:00 Impact Of The First Hike - This Time Might Really Be Different by Chun Wang of Leuthold Weeden Capital Management

This rate hike might really be different as it occurs in an environment where, despite strong job growth, the business cycle has already turned contractionary, disinflation is still dominant, and various risky assets are showing late-stage characteristics. In other words, we are in unchartered territory. Expect the unexpected.

2015-12-16 00:00:00 Fed Set To Pull Trigger Tomorrow - A Good Thing Or Bad? by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The Fed Open Market Committee (FOMC) which sets US monetary policy convened in Washington this morning for its last meeting of 2015. It is widely expected that the Committee will vote to hike the key Fed Funds rate for the first time in almost a decade before the meeting concludes tomorrow.

2015-12-15 00:00:00 Weakness in Oil Puts Downward Pressure on Equity Prices by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities fell sharply last week, with the S&P 500 Index declining 3.7%. This was its largest loss since August and the second-largest downturn of the year. A sharp sell-off in oil prices was the main cause, along with credit and liquidity concerns within the high yield market. The energy sector was the worst performer last week and financials also took a hit. In contrast, more defensive areas such as utilities, consumer staples and health care held up better.

2015-12-15 00:00:00 Monday Update: An Encouraging Week, Overall by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

Although I identified consumer confidence as a yellow light in December’s economic risk factor update, last week’s data releases gave a largely encouraging take.

2015-12-15 00:00:00 Panic, Punts and Reality by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

The biggest single college football play of 2015 happened in Ann Arbor, MI, on October 17th. The ball was at mid-field, it was fourth down with two yards to go and there were only 10 seconds left in the game. The Michigan Wolverines were beating the Michigan State Spartans, 23-21.

2015-12-15 00:00:00 Stock Market Control by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

We saw the chart below in a recent Marketwatch.com column from Mark Hulbert. It shows the likelihood of the stock market going up or down in the next year, based on how it did the prior year. This got us thinking about what you can and can't control in the U.S. stock market. After all, the reason that stocks outperform other liquid asset classes over long stretches of time is the uncertainty and variability of returns. Here is a short list of things which can't be controlled in the U.S. stock market.

2015-12-14 00:00:00 The Slippery Welcome Mat for Rising Rates, by Steven Malin, Ph.D of Allianz Global Investors

The commencement of a policy-rate-hike cycle by the US Federal Reserve has both symbolic and material significance for the US economy and financial system. Gradually unwinding unconventional, ultra-accommodative monetary policies sets in motion the repricing of assets and other long-delayed adjustments in economic, financial and currency markets. Comparing economic and financial outcomes with prior rate-hike cycles provides clues as to the possible outcomes this time around, but they have little predictive power.

2015-12-14 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

The selling on Friday was extreme; there is typically some follow through downward momentum in the day(s) ahead. SPY and NDX are near support and breadth is either washed out or close to being so. Volatility experienced an extreme spike; mean reversion usually follows. Seasonality, especially with December OpEx up next, is very bullish. All things being equal, risk/reward should be skewed higher. The wild card is oil: equity markets are being driven lower by falling oil prices and their impact on high-yield.

2015-12-14 00:00:00 Oil Prices and Global Growth by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

Oil prices were not as consequential for global growth in 2015 as seemed likely at the start of the year, and strong reserve positions and relatively conservative macroeconomic policies have enabled most major producers to avoid falling into crisis. But next year could be different, and not in a good way – especially for producers.

2015-12-14 00:00:00 On My Radar: El-Erian’s 2016 Outlook & The T Junction by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

I spent a few days earlier in the week in Scottsdale, Arizona. I was invited to present on portfolio positioning and best execution at the 20th annual IMN Global Indexing and ETF Conference. One of the big highlights for me was El-Erian’s keynote presentation. Today, I share with you my notes from El-Erian’s speech. He is humble, balanced and brilliant. I have listened to my recording of his presentation several times. Stop-start-rewind-replay-rinse-repeat. Fun for me and well worth the effort. In short, he puts the odds for a good outcome at 50/50 saying he, “hates to say that."

2015-12-14 00:00:00 Deja Vu: The Fed's Real "Policy Error" Was To Encourage Years of Speculation by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Over the past several years, yield-seeking investors, starved for any “pickup” in yield over Treasury securities, have piled into the junk debt and leveraged loan markets. Just as equity valuations have been driven to the second most extreme point in history (and the single most extreme point in history for the median stock, where valuations are well-beyond 2000 levels), risk premiums on speculative debt were compressed to razor-thin levels. By 2014, the spread between junk bond yields and Treasury yields had fallen to less than 2.4%.

2015-12-14 00:00:00 Gundlach: The Fed’s Biggest Problem by Robert Huebscher (Article)

The Fed may be intent on raising interest rates, but a wide range of market indicators should give it pause to reconsider, according to Jeffrey Gundlach. Indeed, he said the biggest challenge to a rate hike is this one piece of data...

2015-12-11 00:00:00 Breaking Down US Energy Valuations by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

It’s not breaking news to say its been a bad year for energy stocks but it might be breaking news that not all energy stocks are trading at cheap valuations. In the United States, the median energy stock is down nearly 29% (the average energy stock is down about 23%). As this first chart shows, energy has clearly been the worst sector by a wide margin.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 2015's Market Correction Uncovered New Valuation Opportunities by Kevin Holt of Invesco Blog

After six years of positive returns and almost four years without a US market correction, August 2015 provided a jolt to investors as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 10% from its peak.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 FOMC Preview: Liftoff Is Imminent, but What’s the Flight Plan? by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) gathering next week became a “live” meeting when the Fed declined to act in September.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 What Was, What Is, and What May Be by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen and Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

With some international central banks expanding their easing programs, assets in areas such as Europe, Japan and general emerging markets look relatively attractive and most investors should have exposure to those regions in a diversified portfolio.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 This Industry Is Set to Post Record Profits on Lower Fuel Costs by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Everyone knows there are winners and losers in any bear market, including the recent commodity rout. Low crude oil prices have definitely hurt explorers and producers. Airlines, on the other hand, appear to be thriving.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 2016 Fixed Income Outlook: New Episode, Same Show by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

We expect a limited return environment may persist in 2016 and the year as a whole may look similar to 2015. High valuations, steady economic growth, and the lingering threat of Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hikes may keep pressure on bond prices in 2016. We do not envision a recession developing, which we believe is ultimately needed for a sustained move higher in bond prices.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 Eurozone 2016 Economic and Capital Market Outlook by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

Six years after the financial crisis, the Eurozone continues to face major challenges in restoring economic growth. Our investment thesis has been that the structural problems facing the European Union are real impediments to sustained economic growth and until they are addressed, sustained growth is elusive. While that does not mean that there are not investment opportunities in Europe, it does mean that as one of three major capital markets in the world, investors need to be careful.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 Crude Oil: Near Bottom by Mark Ungewitter of Charter Trust Company

While the price of oil has tumbled dramatically in recent weeks, its monthly momentum turned positive in October. And since momentum often precedes price, investors should pay close attention to this development.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 December 2015 Market Commentary by Adam Jordan of Paul R. Ried Financial Group

As we are approaching the end of a roller coaster year in most markets, many asset classes are now nearly flat or negative for the year.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 China Takes a Big Step Forward by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

On November 30th the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that it would admit China’s Renminbi currency, commonly known as the Yuan, to the select basket of reserve currencies that make up its Special Drawing Rights (SDR’s). Having been stalled by U.S. influence for many years, the long-awaited IMF decision acknowledges the massive transfer of financial power from the old West to the new East. The move heralds an era of potentially great change with global implications for politics, economics and investments.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 Extreme Leverage in a Gold Futures Market Nearing the Breaking Point by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

The metals markets rallied strongly on Friday – action which came as a surprise to many. The gains snapped a 6-week losing streak for gold, silver, and platinum. Prices rose despite a stronger-than-expected November jobs report raising the odds the Fed will hike interest rates later this month.

2015-12-10 00:00:00 The Paris Climate Negotiations: A World in Transition by BMO Global Asset Management’s Governance and Sustainable Investment team of BMO Global Asset Management

The stage is set in Paris for global leaders to secure a climate change deal, which would aim to curb fossil fuel use. China, India and United States are signaling their willingness to keep global warming to within two degrees Celsius. We have intensively engaged policy makers and companies advocating for reforms, which will result in a smooth transition path to a more sustainable climate.

2015-12-10 00:00:00 Strong Jobs Data Raises Expectations of Fed Rate Hike by Joe Becker, Adam Schenck, Jeff Greco of Milliman Financial Risk Management

The S&P 500 finished November largely unchanged, but not without oscillation along the way as markets absorbed information of higher-than-expected jobs data and its implications for a December rate hike.

2015-12-10 00:00:00 An Illustrated Timeline of the Gold Standard in the U.S. by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Ever since the U.S. left the gold standard for good in 1971, some politicians and investors have called for its return. At one of the Republican presidential debates in October, Texas Senator Ted Cruz became the latest, touting the stability and booming prosperity the U.S. economy enjoyed in the years when the dollar was pegged to the yellow metal.

2015-12-10 00:00:00 Die Another Day: Can the Global Economy Keep Going? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Looking ahead to 2016, will the global economy improve, stabilize or slip into another recession? Russ weighs in.

2015-12-10 00:00:00 GMO Quarterly Letter by Ben Inker, Jeremy Grantham of GMO

In a new quarterly letter to GMO's institutional clients, co-head of asset allocation Ben Inker examines whether emerging-market equities might be a "value trap," and if U.S. equities are "deserving of trading at a premium P/E to the rest of the world" ("Just How Bad Is Emerging, and How Good Is the U.S.?"). In part two of the letter, chief investment strategist Jeremy Grantham provides "a list of propositions that are widely accepted by an educated business audience ... but totally wrong. ...

2015-12-09 00:00:00 Back to a Routine: 2016 Economic Outlook by John Canally of LPL Financial

Our view is that the U.S. economy—as measured by real gross domestic product (GDP)—is likely to post growth of 2.5–3.0% in 2016. This rate is below its post-World War II average of 3.2%, but above the 2–2.5% average growth rate seen in the first six-and-a-half years of this expansion, based on the factors discussed below. Despite the length of the current expansion (already the fourth longest on record), it has not followed what would be considered a routine path.

2015-12-09 00:00:00 2016: The Fed Acts? Consumers Spend? Inflation Returns? Possible Economic Impacts? by Andrew Melnick of The BPV Family of Funds

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets on December 15-16 to consider, among other issues, raising the Federal funds rate. Even the man-on-the-moon, or out of respect to today’s sensitivities—the person-on-the-moon, waits with great anticipation for this well telegraphed decision. The publicity surrounding this decision over the last year seems similar to the noise surrounding Y2K—perhaps with the same muted reaction.

2015-12-09 00:00:00 Steady Is Stellar by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

As we approach the end of the year, it is customary to take stock of major developments. Economic data point to continued forward momentum in the United States. All in, the economy has grown at an average pace of 2.2% during the first three quarters of the year, nearly matching the potential growth rate of the economy. The labor market is in a significantly better spot than it was at the beginning of the year. Inflation is low despite the age of the expansion.

2015-12-09 00:00:00 Mid-Week Update by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

SPY will have a golden cross tomorrow. It follows NDX which had a golden cross in mid-November and is now near a 15-year high. Equity-only put/call ratios jumped on Tuesday; this has preceded upside in the past. Also, some updated views on breadth, macro and valuation.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 An Evolving Investment Landscape May Benefit Equities by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets were volatile last week, losing ground early before rebounding. Sentiment soured over a more modest easing announcement than expected by the European Central Bank (ECB). OPEC’s decision to leave oil production unchanged triggered a drop in energy prices, which also acted as a drag on equities. Additionally, a weak manufacturing report contributed to the gloomy tone. However, a strong jobs report on Friday seemed to pave the way for the Fed to raise rates this month and allowed equity prices to rally strongly.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 Fed’s Rocket Ship Turns Hoverboard by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Over the past year, while the U.S. economy has continually missed expectations, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen has assured all who could stay awake during her press conferences that it was strong enough to withstand tighter monetary policy. In delivering months of mildly tough talk (with nothing in the way of action), Yellen began stressing that WHEN the Fed would finally raise rates (for the first time in almost a decade) was not nearly as important as how fast and how high the increases would be once they started.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 No Pain No Gain: 2016 May Require Tolerance for Volatility by Burt White of LPL Financial

Gains in 2016 may require tolerance for volatility. Stocks historically have offered a tradeoff of higher return for higher risk, the gain of more upside than high-quality bonds versus the pain of market volatility and losses. For the last few years, U.S. stock markets provided below-average pain, while still providing strong returns. Between October 2011 and July 2015, the S&P 500 Index went nearly four years without a “correction” of more than 10%, while climbing an average of 20% a year.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 The Evolution of IS by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

An IS affiliate downed a Russian flight in October. In November, IS-affiliated terrorists launched a series of attacks in Paris. These two events suggest a significant change in IS’s behavior. Prior to the Paris attacks, IS appeared focused on building a caliphate in Syria and Iraq. The shift to terrorist acts suggests a new strategy. In this report, we recap the strategies radical jihadists have employed against the West, highlighting the differences between al Qaeda and IS.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: Is the Fed Getting Inflation Wrong? Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Chairperson Yellen offered her assessment of the US economy in a speech to Economic Club of Washington. First, the good news. Growth, while moderate, is still positive, printing at 2%-2.5% for the first three quarters of 2015. And real final domestic purchases were over 3% in the 3Q. This tells us that consumers continue to spend and businesses are investing.

2015-12-07 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review: Where's the Participation? Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

For the first time in 36 years, the manufacturing sector is contracting; the ISM manufacturing index printed at 48.6. New orders dropped 4 points to 48.9 while production decreased 3.7 points to 49.2. Only 5 of 18 industries expanded.

2015-12-07 00:00:00 No Fireworks from the ECB as Draghi Plays It Cool by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

{Mario) Draghi and his governing council colleagues wanted to avoid rocking the boat too much, preferring instead to keep things moving and to show that they were prepared to act.

2015-12-07 00:00:00 Why You Shouldn’t Fear a Fed Rate Hike by Ashish Shah of AllianceBernstein

The Federal Reserve appears ready to raise interest rates next week. Bond investors fear that could pummel their portfolios. We’re not so sure—and we think moving to the sidelines now is a bad idea.

2015-12-07 00:00:00 More Money Has Been Lost Reaching for Yield than at the Point of a Gun by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

A schizophrenic week, indeed, with a ~10 point loss for the S&P 500 (SPX/2091.69) on Monday followed by a 22 point pop on Tuesday and then 23 point decline on Wednesday and 30 point loss on Thursday, capped by Friday’s 42 point rally.

2015-12-07 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: Why Are We Growing So Slowly? Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Why is the world economy growing below trend? That seems to be the central question economists are asking since the Chinese market intervention over the summer.

2015-12-07 00:00:00 Jeremy Siegel’s 2016 Forecast for Stocks by Robert Huebscher (Article)

In this interview, Wharton professor and stock market historian Jeremy Siegel gives his predictions for the stock market in 2016.

2015-12-07 00:00:00 Four Key Reasons to Consider Market Neutral Investing by Kenneth Masse of Invesco Blog

The market downturn and ensuing volatility in the third quarter of 2015 is a timely reminder about the benefits of diversifying your portfolio with investment strategies that are expected to exhibit little-to-no correlation with the broad equity and bond markets.

2015-12-06 00:00:00 You Have Questions, I Have Answers by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Rather than dive deeply into a single topic today, I will weigh in on some of the week’s top financial stories. I recently did a webinar debate with my friend Frank Trotter, hosted by Robert Huebscher of Advisor Perspectives, on whether the Fed should raise rates in December. I argued they should, for reasons I’ve written about before, so we won’t go into that. But we did get a number of incisive, timely questions during and after the webinar. I will try to answer most of them in this letter.

2015-12-05 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Aside from the upcoming FOMC meeting, there do not appear to be many strong impediments to further gains by year-end for US equities. Three scenarios seem possible. One: a breakout higher now is likely to be a failed move, especially if it occurs prior to the December 16 FOMC meeting. Two: If seasonality drops the market ahead of the FOMC, there is likely to attractive upside into year-end. Three: The most frustrating scenario would be if stocks chop up and down both into and following the FOMC meeting; unfortunately, that has most often been the case at other times the Fed was initiating rat

2015-12-05 00:00:00 Sweden Declares War on Cash, Punishes Savers with Negative Interest Ratesy Market Summary by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Among the endangered species in Sweden are the gray wolf, European otter—and cash. Back in June, I shared with you the story of how, in 1661, the Scandinavian monarchy became the first country in the world to issue paper money. (It was an unmitigated disaster, by the way.) Now it might be the first to ban it altogether.

2015-12-05 00:00:00 Oil Hits a New Low by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Oil prices remain at very low levels, defying the expectations of many analysts.

2015-12-04 00:00:00 The U.S. Economy will Grow Moderately in 2015 Q4 by Robert Lamy of The Forecasting Advisor

Each month, the U.S. Institute for Supply Management (ISM) conducts a survey on the state of the manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries of the U.S. economy and releases data for the previous month. The data are closely followed by the financial media, economists, and wealth portfolio managers as they provide the earliest reading on the state of the economy.

2015-12-04 00:00:00 The December 16th Fed Tightening - Preemptive to a Fault by Paul Kasriel of Econtrarian, LLC

Barring an outright decline in November nonfarm payrolls, the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will raise its policy interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point on December 16. I submit that this tightening will go down in annals of Fed history as one of the most preemptive, if not, the most preemptive. I say this because the December 16th tightening will occur as a U.S. economy, short of full employment, already is losing momentum with no discernible signs of inflationary pressures.

2015-12-03 00:00:00 Malaysia’s Crisis of Confidence by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

While fiscal prudence and stronger commodity prices should help the country, one could argue that Malaysia will need to restore the confidence of its people in its government and of foreign investors in its markets to truly get back on track.

2015-12-03 00:00:00 High Yield, High Opportunity by Andrew Jessop, Anna Dragesic of PIMCO

Valuations have improved and growth should keep defaults low outside of the energy and commodities sectors.

2015-12-03 00:00:00 Safety First: Model Portfolios for the Coming Volatile Year by Chuck Self of iSectors

2016 will likely be a “Jekyll and Hyde” market. As financial advisors meet with their clients at or around the beginning of the new year, they should be mindful of these economic and market trends.

2015-12-03 00:00:00 Breaking News! by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

Tired of reading about the Kardashians? Sick of egocentric politicians? Disgusted with endless war in the Middle East? Getting bored reading these monthly Outlooks? (not that bored or you wouldn’t be reading this). Here’s some “breaking news” that I find really interesting and I hope you will too. It’s a recent summary of some things that scientists have discovered over the last few decades. Prepare to be amazed.

2015-12-02 00:00:00 2016 Market Outlook: 14 Experts On What To Watch by Orla O'Brien of Loomis Sayles

What’s in store for global markets in 2016? We asked analysts, strategists and traders across Loomis Sayles to pinpoint trends and potential trouble spots for the markets next year.

2015-12-02 00:00:00 Black Friday for Gold, Too? by Avi Gilburt of ElliottWaveTrader.net

As many were running out shopping on Black Friday for what they viewed as the “deals of the year,” I sat in my office contemplating the precious metals. And, it made me think about human nature.

2015-12-02 00:00:00 Can Small Caps Rebound? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

One 2015 surprise: A stronger dollar hasn’t led to small-cap outperformance. Russ explains why and what this means for the small-cap tilt heading into 2016.

2015-12-02 00:00:00 Richard Russell by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a strategy report titled “Friends.” In that report I scribed, “Regrettably, too many of my friends’, and stock market icons’, stories have been lost forever. One of the best writers I ever knew on the Street of Dreams was my friend Barton Biggs (Morgan Stanley). . . . Other deceased notables include: Alan “Ace” Greenberg (Bear Stearns), Henry Singleton (Teledyne), Muriel Siebert, Marty Zweig . . . well, you get the idea.” Today, it is with great sadness that I report another icon passed away last week when Dow Theorist Richard Russell left us.

2015-12-02 00:00:00 Plodding Along? A Discussion of Today’s Global Economy by Richard Clarida, Joachim Fels of PIMCO

This year has seen the global economy continue along a path of modest overall trend growth, but the path has been anything but clear, due to the complexities of oil prices, central bank policies and developments in China. In this interview, Richard Clarida, global strategic advisor, and Joachim Fels, global economic advisor, discuss essential questions surrounding the world’s major economies.

2015-12-01 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: Diverging Oil Price Predictions and Rising Junk Yields, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

One of the central debates occurring within the Fed regards the causation of current inflation weakness. Some, like Fed President Bullard and Chairman Yellen argue low oil prices are solely responsible for the weakness. Ohers like President Brainard and Chicago Fed President Evans see a more nuanced picture involving declining international trade negatively impacting a wide swath of commodity prices. Regardless, this week various organizations published stories to support and counter each argument. As for oil prices, Goldman Sachs sees oil prices at $20 in the next 12 months.

2015-12-01 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will the Fed be Data Dependent? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Back from a quiet, holiday-shortened week, market participants face an avalanche of data and plenty of FedSpeak. This is an irresistible combination for pundits, who will parse each economic report with emphasis on what it might mean for the Fed. In light of many Fed promises, they will all be asking: Will the Fed really be data dependent?

2015-12-01 00:00:00 Reasons to Stick with a Pro-Growth Investment Stance by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. markets were relatively quiet last week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Economic data were generally positive and investors seemed less concerned about increasing evidence that the Federal Reserve will raise rates at its policy meeting in December. The S&P 500 Index was up fractionally for the week. Smaller capitalization stocks outperformed, as did the consumer staples and energy sectors. Outside of the United States, Chinese stocks sold off sharply on Friday as investors grew nervous about policymakers’ latest attempts to regulate the Chinese brokerage industry.

2015-12-01 00:00:00 Politics and Performance: Does Control of the White House Really Matter? by David Carroll of Cleary Gull

The standard response is that the market favors Republican candidates due to their more business-friendly posture favoring lower taxes and less regulation. History, however, is on the side of the Democrats. Since 1945, the average annual gain of the S&P 500 under a Democratic president was 9.7%. Whereas, under a Republican in the White House, the average annual return was only 6.7%. What gives?

2015-12-01 00:00:00 Cutting Your Losses? With High-Yield ETFs, Maybe It’s Time by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

If you bought a high-yield exchange-traded fund (ETF) over the past two years and still own it, you’ve probably lost money. But don’t fret. This might be an ideal time to change course.

2015-11-30 00:00:00 US Equity And Economic Review: Moderate Growth and Declining Earnings, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The BEA issued its second GDP report last week, increasing the 3Q GDP estimate to 2.1%. Real gross domestic purchases – a measure of strictly domestic demand – increased 2.8% Y/Y.

2015-11-30 00:00:00 A Silver Lining in China’s Clouds by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

China’s new Five-Year Plan reinforces the government’s pro-growth and reformist credentials. While this may not be enough in itself to reassure worried investors, we see some fundamental trends which provide encouragement for the country’s economic outlook in 2016.

2015-11-30 00:00:00 Consumption in China: From Commodities to Karaoke by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

China isn’t only a consumer of raw commodities—its growing middle class has been exerting formidable purchasing power and spawning new domestic industries that are of keen interest to us as investors, including cosmetics, entertainment (cinemas, music) and more.

2015-11-27 00:00:00 Diversification: A Hedge Against Market Uncertainty by Jeff Hussey of Russell Investments

Global CIO Jeff Hussey takes a look at three key diversification strategies to help hedge against volatility in 2015 and beyond.

2015-11-27 00:00:00 Why Argentina's New Leader Is Good for Latin America and Global Investors by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

This week, Argentina said no, gracias to further leftist rule when it elected conservative businessman and two-term Buenos Aires mayor Mauricio Macri to succeed Cristina Fernández de Kirchner as president. It was an upset victory for the people of Argentina, who have seen their once-prosperous nation deteriorate under decades of Marxist policies. It was also a strong win for investors around the globe. Not since Narendra Modi's election last year has a leader's entry on the world stage inspired such bullishness.

2015-11-27 00:00:00 Thanksgiving amid the Threats by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

For today, in this week’s letter, I’m going to let other people do most of the talking. I gave you my own thoughts on the Paris attacks and Europe’s future last week in “The Economic Impact of Evil.” Today I’ll share some of the most interesting post-Paris analysis that has crossed my path over the last two weeks.

2015-11-25 00:00:00 Surveying The Commodity Carnage by Doug Ramsey of Leuthold Weeden Capital Management

Commodities and commodity stocks have been a disaster in recent years, but fortunately one that our Group Selection (GS) Scores managed to avoid. Underperformance in both the Energy and Materials sectors during the last 12 months in particular (Chart 1) is so severe that any contrarian with a pulse probably can’t help but take a peek. We’ll admit the wreckage is beginning to look interesting, and—what with our cautious stance on the stock market—it would be fun to be bullish about something. But both our GS Scores and our intuition suggest it’s still too early.

2015-11-25 00:00:00 Happy Holidays for Risk Assets by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Risk assets—particularly high-yield bonds and bank loans—are well positioned to enjoy a prosperous road ahead.

2015-11-25 00:00:00 Innovation and Scotch Tape by Tony Scherrer, CFA of Smead Capital Management

In business and economics, a “first-mover advantage” is defined as the benefit accrued to a company whose product is the first to enter a market. These products often create or define an entirely new market opportunity that the world hadn’t known before. Some “first-mover” examples have created very attractive long-duration opportunities. EBAY (EBAY), a company we own in our portfolios, was the first online auction service. It has maintained leadership in that area for the last two decades.

2015-11-25 00:00:00 Mario Draghi: Economic Man of the Year by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

With December just around the corner, awards for full-year achievement are beginning to come out. Sport, politics and the arts are recognizing those who reached the highest heights in 2015.

2015-11-25 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What are the Best Year-End Investments? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

There is a lot of data to be reported in only three full trading days, but it does not rate to signal important economic changes. I expect plenty of participants to take the week off and even more will leave after the first hour on Wednesday. The punditry still has pages and air time to fill, despite the lack of fresh news.

2015-11-25 00:00:00 The World Is Looking More & More Deflationary by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Consumer prices are running well below the 2% inflation target of central banks across the developed world. While central bankers continue to say they expect inflation to return to 2% or thereabouts in the medium-term, there is no evidence of that.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 The Investment Portfolio of the Future by Bob Veres (Article)

I envision a world where advisors are vetting a growing number of nontraditional investments for their clients.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 Reflections on Four Decades of Economic Forecasting by Harald B. Malmgren (Article)

Timeworn economic forecasting methodologies on which we rely -- whether prepared by governments, central banks or private economists -- are gradually becoming less relevant and reliable.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 Why Investors Shouldn't Wait for Rate Hikes by Dr. Brian Jacobsen, CFA of Wells Fargo Asset Management

Don’t let “waiting on the Fed” postpone when you realign your portfolio. The markets have already priced in an interest-rate hike. Learning about how the markets moved before and after past rate increases can help investors.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 Putin and Flight 9268 by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

On October 31, Russian Flight 9268 took off from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, en route to St. Petersburg, Russia. Within 25 minutes, the aircraft had reached its cruising altitude and disappeared from radar over central Sinai. Shortly thereafter, airplane debris was reported over the area. All 224 passengers and crew were lost, making it the worst Russian civilian air disaster in history. In this report, we examine the potential causes of this event. Given that a terrorist group may be the culprit, we discuss the most likely perpetrator and analyze how Russian President Putin will likely react.

2015-11-23 00:00:00 Is Crude Oil Set to Go the way of Copper, Lumber and Gold on a Breakout of the USD? by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

WTI crude oil is at an interesting junction currently. As we write, the USD is on the precipice of a major breakout while WTI crude is just a few percent away from the its late-August lows. Meanwhile, the other most cyclically inclined commodities (copper, lumber) have already breached their earlier lows and the Baltic Dry Index is sitting right at its low.

2015-11-23 00:00:00 The Long-Term Investing Impact of the Paris Attacks by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ explains how the tragedy in Paris could impact the global economy and markets going forward.

2015-11-23 00:00:00 Quantitative Tightening by Ritesh Jain, Abhishek Sonthalia of Tata Asset Management

In the last 15 years, emerging economy central banks have been busy accumulating forex reserves to build a buffer against external shocks after having learnt their lessons in the Asian financial crisis, adding more than $10tn in this period. The swing in global foreign exchange reserves is one key measure of the global liquidity tap flow. However, we are witnessing a reversal of reserve accumulation, something last seen at the height of the global financial crisis for a brief while.

2015-11-23 00:00:00 Asian Market Update by (Article)

China’s evolving economic conditions may affect Asian market CEF strategies, says Rennie McConnochie of Aberdeen Asset Management.

2015-11-23 00:00:00 Forecasting Exchange Rates by Scott Brown of Raymond James

Currency forecasting is inherently difficult. Getting monetary policy right can help in the short-term, but beyond three months, you can’t do any better than a random walk. That aside, the strong dollar (along with softer global economic growth) has played a major role in the slowdown in U.S. corporate profits this year. What can we expect for 2016?

2015-11-22 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review; Bearish Tenor is Growing, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The news continues to move in a bearish direction. Although the UK and Australia are in decent economic shape, neither country is setting growth records. And on the bearish side, Mario Draghi stated the EU recovery is weak and may need additional stimulus while Japan entered a technical recession for the second time in two years. And all this is occurring at time when the global growth juggernaut of China is slowing. Overall, the scales appear to be more and more tipped in a bearish direction.

2015-11-22 00:00:00 US Equity And Economic Review: A Narrowing Rally, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The Conference Board reported the LEIs and CEIs this week: LEIs increased .6% while CEIs rose .2%. The only negative LEI component was the ISM manufacturing new orders index, which subtracted .05% from the total number. But two other leading manufacturing numbers were positive. Perhaps best of all, the average workweek of production workers added to the number. Three of four CEI components expanded; only industrial production contracted.

2015-11-22 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: Why is the Long End Selling Off, Edition? by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

For the bond market, the release of the Fed minutes was this week’s biggest news. The Fed described employment positively. They also noted personal consumption expenditures and capital expenditures were “solid.” Housing was mixed, but continued to show a general, slow recovery. Industrial production was weak, but largely due to the strong dollar and weak international environment. As for inflation, they noted that overall CPI was weak, but expected it to rise with oil and import prices over the next 12-18 months. As for rates, the Fed felt the next hike would be in December:

2015-11-22 00:00:00 The Economic Impact of Evil by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Terrorism is global. So is the economy. We can’t separate them. I’m sure you have spent time reading about the reaction to the terrorist attacks in Paris. I have been reading and thinking a great deal about the effects of recent events on the European Union. Much of what I’ve read seems to miss what I think is the larger context and what may be the real longer-term economic and geopolitical implications of these attacks.

2015-11-21 00:00:00 What We’re Paying Attention to Following the Paris Attacks by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

A week ago today, 129 lives were brutally cut short when assailants affiliated with the terrorist group ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, stormed Paris in a series of coordinated attacks. Along with the rest of the world, we were shocked and saddened as the tragic news unfolded, worsening as the night progressed. Our thoughts are with the victims’ families and friends.

2015-11-21 00:00:00 Lessons from Australia and New Zealand on Debt, Immigration, and Food by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The arc traced by Australian and New Zealand home prices is a source of broad concern. Property values in Sydney, in particular, have risen by 50% over the past 5 years. Observers from near and far fret that the line between fair value and market excess was crossed some time ago.

2015-11-21 00:00:00 Realism Returns by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Stocks have pulled back after their rip higher in October, which we believe is healthy and in keeping with our expectation of continued volatility. The US economic picture is mixed, but the recent robust labor report boosted the odds of a December Fed rate hike. Finally, while difficult to think about financial matters in the face of such horrific events as the Paris attack, the resilience of both people and economies around the world should give us all hope for the future.

2015-11-21 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

The trend is up: equities ended the week about 1% from their highs. Breadth is improving and outperformance from small caps will further bolster participation. Sentiment remains a tailwind, especially for US equities. There's no compelling short term edge, but further upside into year end remains the most likely outcome. Equities have a tendency to give a good entry on weakness during the next 6 weeks; that would likely provide attractive upside potential into year-end.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 Waiting for the Fed by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

The inverse correlation between stocks and high-quality bonds failed to hold over the past week, after holding for October 2015, suggesting other forces are at work. The answer to the bond market’s indifference to risk asset performance may lie in market fixation over a possible Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hike in December 2015. According to fed fund futures pricing, market expectations for the timing of the Fed’s first rate were essentially unchanged, with the probability of a December rate hike marginally lower on the week to 64% from 70%.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 Keystone Pipeline Suffers Rejection Syndrome by Ryan McGrail of Loomis Sayles

Originally proposed in 2005, TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline would have transported over 800,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 The Case for Active Equity Management by Paul Doyle of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The growth of passively managed funds adds to market inefficiency by increasing the prevalence of price indiscriminate buyers and sellers. This can create inefficiencies that active managers can exploit. Weakening global liquidity means that there will no longer be a rising tide of liquidity that lifts all boats, and dispersions in the returns offered by individual stocks are likely to increase.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 5 World Currencies That Are Closely Tied to Commodities by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

For more than a year now, commodity prices have been under pressure from the strong U.S. dollar and slowing global demand. This has made a huge dent in the balance sheet of many net exporters of resources, in turn weakening their currencies.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 Southern Company: Invest While the Yield Is Still High by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

In consideration of today’s low interest rate environment, fixed income securities offer little in the way of return. Moreover, the safety characteristics normally associated with fixed income are also potentially upside down. Since early 1982, the interest rates available with fixed income have been in a continuous freefall. This has presented both good and bad news for the conservative investor desirous of a high and safe income stream on their portfolios.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 Navigating the Energy Landscape by Will Nasgovitz of Heartland Advisors

More than 12 months into the oil slump, the picture for Energy remains unsettled. A mismatch between supply and demand is making for a stubborn bear market in Energy. Tighter lending standards may create a solution to oversupply. Low costs, greater efficiency, and strong balance sheets are likely to be make or break factors for Energy companies. Here is a look at issues, pockets of optimism, and possible approaches to the volatile group.

2015-11-19 00:00:00 Gundlach – The Scariest Indicator in the World by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Those Federal Reserve governors who intend to vote for an increase in rates at their December meeting need to take a close look at some of the charts Jeffrey Gundlach presented on Tuesday. One chart – which Gundlach called his “scariest” – carried a particularly ominous signal for the global economy.

2015-11-19 00:00:00 Friends by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

“Friends” . . . except in this case I am not referring to the 1994 TV sitcom, but the true friends I have met over the past 45 years in this business. I thought about this theme two weeks ago as I was sitting in Bobby Van’s, across from the NYSE, listening to great stories from my friend Art Cashin and Eric Kaufman (captain of the sagacious VE Capital), and other members of Friends of Fermentation (FOF). As I listened to Arthur, I could not shake the feeling that these classic Wall Street stories need to be scribed lest they be lost forever.

2015-11-19 00:00:00 The Commodity Roller Coaster by Carmen Reinhart of Project Syndicate

The details may change, but the global commodity super-cycle follows a familiar pattern. The question now is: Has the ongoing commodity-price downturn run its course, or will the recent break soon be giving way to another drop?

2015-11-19 00:00:00 Tragedy In Paris by Burt White of LPL Financial

Our thoughts are with the victims of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris. Events like this stir up many powerful emotions, including anger, fear, sadness, confusion, and regret, and these emotions are not easily suppressed. It is difficult to shift our attention away from this tragedy and toward the financial markets in times like this, but it is our responsibility to do so. Here we look at the potential stock market impact of Friday’s tragedy.

2015-11-19 00:00:00 Newsletter Volume 8, No. 5 - November 2015 by Harold Evensky of Evensky & Katz / Foldes Financial Wealth Management

AMAZING AND VERY COOL! From my friend Peter: The French restaurant «Le Petit Chef» (The Little Chef) came up with an original way to entertain guests while waiting for their orders — using a projector on the ceiling, animation appears on the table.

2015-11-18 00:00:00 The Dollar Is Peaking Out To A 146-Month High by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

It took about a year of consolidation but it looks like the dollar could be on the verge of another breakout higher. After trading in a fairly tight range since the beginning of this year, the nominal trade-weighted dollar (major currencies) has poked out to its highest level since 9/4/2003.

2015-11-18 00:00:00 Drilling for Oil on Wall Street by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

As long-duration common stock owners and investors, we focus on our bottoms-up stock picking and seek to analyze the micro-economics of each industry involved. However, the importance of oil prices to the economy of the U.S. and its effect on inflation helps determine the intrinsic value of our companies. While we currently own no energy companies in our portfolio, we would like to pause and see what the rhymes of history can tell us about the circumstances of today.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Can the Free Market Protect Consumers? by Michael Edesess (Article)

A new book, Phishing for Phools, by Nobelists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller – respectively, authors of the phrases “market for lemons” and “irrational exuberance” – says that the exact same free-market process that Adam Smith lauded for doing a great job of satisfying mutual self-interests, also incentivizes scamming.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Gundlach – The Psychology of a Rate Hike by Robert Huebscher (Article)

The consensus is building for a Fed rate hike in December. But how the market will react is far less certain. According to Jeffrey Gundlach, that will depend on the context in which the Fed takes action.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Market Focus: Finding Value in the MLP Misfortune by Investment Strategy Group of Neuberger Berman

The brutal selloff in the energy sector has produced a good deal of collateral damage, even among businesses that seemingly have little to do with the price of crude oil.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Equities Decline, But Long-Term Trends Look Positive by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities came under pressure last week, with the S&P 500 Index falling 3.6%, its largest pullback since late August. A number of issues contributed to the decline, including valuation concerns driven by the recent price rally and struggling earnings. Some negative earnings results from department stores and ongoing unease over Fed policy also contributed to souring sentiment. For the week, utilities was the only sector to advance, while energy, technology and consumer discretionary led the way lower.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Yield: One Commodity That’s Still Hot by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses investors’ quest for ample sources of income

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Rising Rates? How About Some Inflation First? by Jeffrey Baker of HiddenLevers

Some pundits have expressed surprise the Fed did not raise rates in September, citing low unemployment and improving GDP numbers as evidence the Fed has gone too far with its dovish policies. Unfortunately, many market commentators gloss over the relationship between interest rates and inflation. HiddenLevers examined the effects of inflation in our End of Inflation webinar, and we have summarized some of our takeaways below.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What is the Message from Falling Commodity Prices? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Attention quickly shifted from the perceived strength in the monthly employment report to the stock market decline. While some blamed this on the expectation of higher interest rates, there was also plenty of focus on the commodity markets. I expect this interest to continue in the week ahead.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Fed Up by Scott Brown of Raymond James

The agonizing over whether the Fed will begin raising short-term interest rates is unlikely to end soon. A 25-basis-point increase shouldn’t have much of an impact on the economy, especially if the Fed makes it clear that it intends to go slow with further rate hikes. However, the financial markets believe this to be a big deal. So it is. Fed officials have continued to signal that it “may be appropriate” to start in December, but they have also continued to signal that this is not a done deal.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Gasoline and Coffee Fuel Our Daily Lives. Can Commodities Also Fuel Our Investment Portfolios? by Bransby Whitton, Klaus Thuerbach, Kate Botting of PIMCO

Commodities are a tangible part of our daily lives. They are the food we eat, the energy that powers our cars and heats our homes, the metals that go into our electrical wiring and our jewelry. Yet investing in commodities can seem elusive.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Why We Believe Emerging-Markets Stocks are Attractive by Rajat Jain of Litman Gregory

There is certainly no arguing that over the short term, investing in emerging-markets stocks can be a bumpy ride. This is especially true if you invested in the asset class during the crisis-prone years of the late 1990s and early 2000s. When asked why we believe in investing in the asset class, we point to our overarching belief that emerging markets' macroeconomic fundamentals are much better now than they were during those crisis-prone years. In this update, we provide further background on our analysis.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Undeniable Truths about Precious Metals (Don't Forget These...) by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

From first to worst. Gold and silver were the best assets to own during the first decade of this century. During this second decade... not so much. Precious metals bulls have endured 4 years of prices drifting lower punctuated by periodic smash-downs and the occasional false-breakout.

2015-11-16 00:00:00 Volatility Takes Center Stage in 2015 by Clas Olsson of Invesco Blog

Looking back over the last three to four years, global market performance has been driven mainly by quantitative easing, with little to no profit growth internationally. This, in turn, has led to significant multiple expansion. Market leadership has been driven by defensive stocks, such as consumer staples, as pricing power and emerging market demand for products and services helped them sustain growth.

2015-11-16 00:00:00 A December Rate Hike Would Not Be the Fed's First Act of Tightening by Alex Christensen of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Investors preparing for the shock on risk-on assets as a result of Fed tightening may be surprised to realize that they have already been feeling these shocks. The impact of a single 25 basis point hike as a part of a slow, years-long rate-rise cycle will likely be modest compared to the impact of the end of QE3. Now that panic has retreated following August and September’s volatility, the view that a rate hike is not a death knell for portfolios, whether risky or not, is emerging once again.

2015-11-16 00:00:00 How to Invest in a Slowing China World by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

The obvious question is then how one positions their portfolio in a world where China is on a structurally slowing growth trajectory. In an effort to not over-complicate things, let’s look at China from the 30,000 foot view. From this perspective we observe two things that will unfold over the next decade.

2015-11-16 00:00:00 Could High-Yield ETFs Be the New CDOs? by Ashish Shah of AllianceBernstein

Passive management strategies in high yield promote lax lending standards and sketchy supply, much as they did during the pre crisis CDO boom. For investors, this could mean lower credit quality and a higher probability of default.

2015-11-16 00:00:00 Little League Trophies by Doug MacKay, Bill Hoover of Broadleaf Partners

The financial markets have worn many masks this year. Like a ping pong ball, wide and powerful swings from Fed pronouncements, movements in the dollar, and the price of oil have contributed to violent and swift changes in mood. Perception and reality are almost entirely a function of macroeconomic news, but for the very brief period in time each quarter when company specific news arrives in the form of earnings season.

2015-11-16 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

After rising 6 weeks in a row, equities fell hard this week. SPY has returned to the bottom of its former trading range. NDX, which is leading, closed an important open gap that should now provide initial support. So far, no foul for either. A number of studies suggest an upside edge in the short term. Overall, however, risk is rising, as the market now has a potentially bearish technical pattern that it didn't have in August.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 ECRI Weekly Leading Index: "The Case of the Wage Inflation Deception" by Jill Mislinski of Advisor Perspectives (dshort.com)

ECRI's latest weekly data point shows a slight decrease from the previous week's number and their latest feature commentary published earlier this week highlights the issue of wage inflation deception.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 A New Era Begins, and Not Just for China by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

As we approach the end of 2016, we’re increasingly of the view that we’re nearing the end of one investment era and the beginning of another. We expect this global trend to be positive for China, but it might have a downside for some risk assets.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 The Bullish Case for Aussie Gold by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

There’s a gold bear market here in North America, where the yellow metal has plunged to a six-year low of $1,083 per ounce on the strong U.S. dollar. But when priced in the weaker Aussie dollar, the precious metal is sitting at $1,520. As recently as last month, it touched $1,642.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 A Rare Do-Over for Equity Investors? by Jay Leopold of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

While the market may still rally to new highs, the late August free fall in stock prices and spike in volatility served as a wake-up call for investors. In the past ten weeks, major equity indices have recovered virtually all the losses experienced during the August swoon. The recent rally gives investors a second opportunity to position their portfolio for an important inflection point in monetary policy as the Fed likely starts raising interest rates.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 Gasoline and Coffee Fuel Our Daily Lives. Can Commodities Also Fuel Our Investment Portfolios? by Bransby Whitton, Klaus Thuerbach, Kate Botting of PIMCO

Commodities are a tangible part of our daily lives. They are the food we eat, the energy that powers our cars and heats our homes, the metals that go into our electrical wiring and our jewelry. Yet investing in commodities can seem elusive.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 Do You Believe that China is “Fixed” as Copper Plunges to New Lows? by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

The last two days have been met with the usual monthly slue of Chinese economic statistics including retail sales (+10.4% YoY), auto sales (+11.8% YoY), industrial production (+5.6 YoY), fixed asset (infrastructure) investment (+10.1% YoY), and bank loans (+15.6% YoY), among others.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 Life in a No Growth World and the Impact on Interest Rates by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

The recent Fed decision seems to provide no more clarity: they left the opening for a December hike but didn’t specifically commit to making a move then. So the question remains, when will the Fed begin raising rates and by how much? It is clear they want to start increasing rates in order to give themselves some flexibility if they need it down the road, all the while fulfilling their dual mandate. However, it seems the “data” for our “data dependent” Fed isn’t getting better globally.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 Americas: Economy Trends Update October 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The fall in energy and commodity prices continues to drive the divergent economic trends in the U.S. and other countries in the region. While the low fuel costs have supported the ongoing healthy U.S. economic expansion, the resource exporting countries in the region continue to struggle. Brazil remains in an economic recession even as political controversies have worsened the outlook for the country. The recent downgrades by the credit rating agencies have led to significant capital outflows from Brazil, making it difficult for domestic corporations to finance growth.

2015-11-12 00:00:00 2 Investing Implications of Higher US Rates by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Real U.S. rates have been climbing, while rates are falling in much of the rest of the world. As Russ explains, this divergence has a number of implications for investors.

2015-11-12 00:00:00 I May Be Making a “Bottom” Call Soon by Avi Gilburt of ElliottWaveTrader.net

For the last 4 years, we have heard most analysts and pundits call the end to the metals correction, only to see the market head lower. And, many of them have done so many times. However, if the market takes a direct route to the lower levels we have been targeting for the last several years then I may finally be calling the bottom myself for the first time. While I will still be looking for “confirmation” with a 5 wave structure off those lows to be more certain, I am going to be viewing the next lower lows as potentially ending this 4+ year correction.

2015-11-11 00:00:00 It's Groundhog Day for the Markets by Mark Burgess of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The likelihood of subdued economic growth means that interest rates will be lower for longer. There will no longer be a rising tide of U.S.-led QE that lifts all boats. We think that a selective approach in equities will pay off as investors focus more on valuations and fundamentals.

2015-11-11 00:00:00 High Yield Energy: Paths of Valuation and Correlated Effects by David Kleinberg of Universal Orbit

An observer may rightly state the bull case for oil and related investment thesis is not one of prescience but only precarious sentiment. True a simple wager on the directional valuation of commodity pricing may set the course, perhaps even amplified by modest use of leverage. In the Energy sector, valuating macroeconomic drivers consistent with the permutations of effects on corporate performance is measurable in degree though often variable in the most desired performance metric—timing.

2015-11-11 00:00:00 Is the Selloff in High-Yield Bonds Warranted? by Jon Adams, John Boritzke, Sandy Lincoln, Alan Schwartz, Lowell Yura of BMO Global Asset Management

The commentary reviews the patterns in the high-yield market over the past few years, particularly how investors have fled the asset class in light of various expected crises, which turned out to be unwarranted. BMO GAM believes investors are once again overestimating default risks, evidenced currently by fears of a global growth scare spurring high yield outflows. Some may feel these outflows and default risks imply a recession is nigh, but the MAST team feels our economy is a long ways off from signaling such an event.

2015-11-11 00:00:00 What To Expect From The Stock Market in 2016 by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

3Q financials have been predictably poor, and 4Q won't be much better. All else equal, 2016 should see a return to growth as the impact from lower oil and a higher dollar may become negligible. Especially for their rate of growth, S&P valuations are high. Even if sales and EPS growth start to pick up, valuations are likely to remain a considerable headwind to equity appreciation in 2016.

2015-11-11 00:00:00 Global Earnings Update: Europe and Japan Coming up Short by Burt White of LPL Financial

Earnings overseas have generally not kept up with the U.S. We spend a lot of time dissecting earnings season in the U.S. because we believe earnings are the single biggest driver of stock prices over the long run. But earnings are not just important for U.S. stocks, they are also important for stocks overseas. This week we provide an earnings update in Europe and Japan, where results thus far have mostly fallen short of those in the U.S.

2015-11-11 00:00:00 The 2016 Outlook: 3 Important Issues by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

I’m working on my 2016 outlook right now—yes, a couple of months before it actually gets here—and am struggling to focus on what will be most important. Developing an idea about the future requires first identifying the most important issues, then making some decisions about how they are likely to evolve, and finally trying to tie them all together.

2015-11-11 00:00:00 ETFs: Before You Buy, Read the Warning Label by Peter Kraus of AllianceBernstein

We don’t hate ETFs. In fact, we use them ourselves and are considering managing client assets in the active ETF space. When used properly, these instruments can be a useful component in a well-diversified portfolio. But ETFs aren’t perfect, and relying heavily on them without understanding their imperfections is risky.

2015-11-10 00:00:00 Do Growth Stocks Still Have Room to Run? by Robert McConnaughey of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

While growth and value stocks have historically traded off leadership roles, we do not think that a decisive shift towards value is in the works. We think that investing in competitively advantaged innovators is extremely important and that the best defense against potentially disruptive changes is to invest in them. While we are always interested in value investing opportunities, we see the overall picture as continuing to favor truly innovative growth.

2015-11-10 00:00:00 Higher Rates, Higher Stocks by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

What’s happened over the past few weeks is not supposed to happen, at least if you use traditional academic-style discount models to assess the stock market. Whether you prefer a dividend discount model or an earnings discount model, both say higher interest rates should reduce the value of equities.

2015-11-10 00:00:00 Digesting the Implications of Higher Rates by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the implications of higher rates for investors.

2015-11-10 00:00:00 The Job Market and the Fed by Scott Brown of Raymond James

The October Employment Report was stronger than expected, but should be seen in its proper context. That is, while October’s payroll gain far exceeded forecasts, it followed softer figures in August and September. The three-month average was moderate. Financial market participants believe that the report makes a December 16 rate hike a lot more likely. However, the Fed had already been signaling that such a move was likely.

2015-11-10 00:00:00 Can Brazil Bounce Back? by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

While the government finally is promoting reform efforts, the nation’s economic and political troubles are likely to stick around.

2015-11-09 00:00:00 Remember Greece? Neither Does the Market. by Tere Alvarez Canida, Alan Habacht, William Canida, Scott Kimball, Daniela Mardarovici of BMO Global Asset Management

Global conditions are absolutely impacting the U.S. markets in known and established manners, but the Fed’s recent introduction of the language confused markets away from a perception of Fed support to one of Fed fear. The resulting move to wider in spreads, which was largely undifferentiated by issuer, caused the past quarter to be a very difficult one for investors. Looking forward, that undiscerning move in spreads has afforded the opportunity to purchase potentially mispriced assets in anticipation of a return to rationality.

2015-11-09 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: It Looks Like They'll Hike, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Despite the persistence of low inflation, the Fed will probably raise rates in December. This begs the question, why? A Bloomberg article last week provides the answer.

2015-11-09 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What Will Higher Interest Rates Mean for Financial Markets? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Friday’s employment report, rightly or wrongly, confirmed expectations for a December shift in Fed policy. There will be a parade of Fed speakers. We can expect daily discussion about the implications. The punditry will be asking: What will higher rates mean for financial markets?

2015-11-09 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Winners and Losers: Q3 2015 by Jackie Lafferty of Loomis Sayles

Investor risk aversion battered emerging market (EM) assets during the third quarter. Local currency and hard currency markets both posted negative gains and EM equities posted double digit losses.

2015-11-09 00:00:00 On My Radar: Resolve To Keep Happy by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“U.S. interest rates are already zero. Japanese interest rates are zero also. European interest rates are negative. All of these central banks have printed trillions of dollars in their respective currencies under various QE programs. They are at the point where they simply cannot print trillions more without risking political backlash or the collapse of confidence in their currencies.” – James Rickards

2015-11-07 00:00:00 Get Ready for Commodity Liftoff: Global Manufacturing Just Made a HUGE Move! by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

As Donald Trump might say: This is going to be huge.

2015-11-07 00:00:00 The Markets’ Teddy Bear by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

The sharp market gains seen over the last month are unlikely to persist at the same pace, and investors should be prepared for more volatility. Uncertainty about interest rates will persist, but the US economy continues to chug along at a decent, although not robust, pace. Similarly, global growth seems to be perking up, and helping to stymie predictions of an impending global recession. There are still pressures on global growth, but we believe the upside surprise potential in Europe should benefit stocks in that region.

2015-11-07 00:00:00 Want High-Yield Exposure? Forget About ETFs by Gershon Distenfeld of Alliance Bernstein

Have a short-term view on high yield? Maybe an exchange-traded fund (ETF) is right for you. But if you want long-term exposure to this market, ETFs are a terrible choice.

2015-11-06 00:00:00 The Defaults Ahead by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

Much has been made about the outlook for defaults in the high yield market. Many have speculated that we are at the beginning of a big upturn in that default cycle and thus, this market should be avoided. While this makes for good headlines, the projections we’ve seen, and our own expectations, don’t add up to a big uptick in default rates. Yes default rates will likely increase, but remain below historical averages for the high yield market.

2015-11-06 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter by Team of Grey Owl Capital

In 2008, most investors were driving a fast car down a country road at night with no headlights. They ignored widening credit spreads and kept their allocation to risk assets too high. Value investors bought financial securities because they seemed cheap relative to book value, and neglected to size the position with any consideration to the idea that these entities had so much financial leverage, a bad quarter could entirely wipe out equity value.

2015-11-06 00:00:00 Prepare for a More Volatile Market Now by Harin de Silva of Analytic Investors, Sub-Advisor of 361 Capital

Q&A with Harin de Silva, President of Analytic Investors. He has seen his share of market selloffs over the years. Yet, with the end of the latest bull market likely nearing, he’s not worried about increased volatility—and investors don’t have to be either, he says.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 Global Growth Should Strengthen Next Year, Lifting Equities by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Markets were mixed last week, but the S&P 500 Index was up 0.2%, posting its fifth consecutive weekly gain. Last week’s highlight was Wednesday’s Federal Reserve meeting. The central bank left rates unchanged, but indicated the possibility of an increase in December. Corporate earnings were also in the news, with several companies posting positive results. The health care sector made a notable turnaround to become the best performing last week while utilities lagged.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 Light This Candle by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

The US stock market reminds us of Alan Shepard in 1961. Exasperated by the long wait in his Mercury Spacecraft “Freedom 7” while NASA engineers fiddled, he said, “Why don’t you fix your little problem and light this candle?” They finally did and he became the first American to go into space.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 No trends. No friends. by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

We’ve said this many times before, but this is a good time to remember diversification.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 El Niño: Winds of Change for Commodity Prices? by Andrea DiCenso of Loomis Sayles

An endless number of factors can influence commodity prices. The headlines this year are focused on the global weather pattern known as El Niño and its potential to impact all areas of the commodity complex.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 6 Reasons To Be Bullish (or Not) On Stocks by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

In between inspecting my kids candy cache for "safety reasons," which is parent code for eating the Snickers bars, I read an interesting piece by Simon Constable via U.S. News.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 Central Bank Divergence Returns by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the impact of the return of divergent central bank policies on stocks and bonds.

2015-11-02 00:00:00 Small Stars Can Shine Bright by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

We have found that as an asset class, emerging-market small cap is one of the most widely misunderstood and underutilized among investors. It is often perceived to be a place to avoid in times of uncertainty, but we see things differently.

2015-11-02 00:00:00 Economic Review and Outlook by John Calamos, John Hillenbrand, David Kalis, Nick Niziolek, Eli Pars of Calamos Investments

The third quarter proved difficult for investors as apprehension about slowing global growth and monetary and fiscal policies converged. Volatility soared while equities declined sharply and commodities plummeted. Heading into the final months of the year, our positioning is cautious but reflects our view that the markets offer many opportunities, particularly among growth-oriented equities and convertibles, along with high yield.

2015-11-01 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review: Where's the Revenue Growth? Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

If the SPYs hit a record high, I don’t see it lasting, barring a change in the underlying fundamentals.

2015-11-01 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: It's A Brave New Policy World, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

From a policy perspective, the decline in Chinese demand and the relative over-supply of commodities within China adds downward pressure to a variety of commodities. This situation is likely to continue.

2015-11-01 00:00:00 Your Own Personal Inflation Rate by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

This week’s letter is all about how we create the sausage that is called inflation. The Fed has a target of 2% inflation. Aren’t we almost there at +1.9% CPI? Not really, as the Fed uses something called the PCE, and it is barely at +1.3%. Which is different again from other measures of inflation. Confused? Hopefully, we can make sense of inflation today and have some fun along the way with crazy government statistics.

2015-10-30 00:00:00 Apples and Oranges: A Random Portfolio Case Study by Adam Butler, Michael Philbrick, Rodrigo Gordillo of ReSolve Asset Management

This article was motivated by a provocative discussion with a thoughtful RIA. Let’s call him Harry. Harry expressed some disappointment with the performance of Global Tactical Asset Allocation (GTAA) strategies over the past few years relative to some popular tactical U.S. sector rotation funds.

2015-10-30 00:00:00 Uncertainties Holding the Market Hostage by Byron Wien of Blackstone

Before August 11, the popular perception was that the United States economy was growing at about a 2% annual rate and the Standard & Poor’s was locked in a trading range between 2040 and 2125. After the Chinese revalued the renminbi by 2%, the trading range was lowered to 1875–2025. Perhaps the key reason for the equity market’s inability to work its way higher is the belief that earnings for the index are likely to be flat in 2015 compared with last year (the view that we are in an earnings recession). The strong dollar and lower oil prices have contributed to this situation.

2015-10-30 00:00:00 Have Commodities Reached an Inflection Point? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

This week the Federal Reserve announced that it would delay the interest rate liftoff yet again, but while everyone seems concerned about nominal rates—the federal funds rate, in this case—real rates have already risen about 5 percent since August 2011. This “invisible” rate hike is much more impactful to commodity prices and emerging markets than a nominal rate hike, which is simply the “tip of the iceberg.”

2015-10-30 00:00:00 ECRI Weekly Leading Index: "Flagging Family Fortunes" by Jill Mislinski of Advisor Perspectives (dshort.com)

ECRI's latest weekly data point shows a fractional decrease from the previous week and their latest feature commentary published earlier this week highlights the declining median household income over the last couple of decades.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 The Weather Will Change for MLPs by David Chiaro of Eagle Global Advisors

The advantages and competitiveness of North American shale assets will only grow over time and we expect production to resume its increase at some point. We believe the recent sell off in MLPs is due to forced selling and a typical equity market cascade and overshoot, which has created a potentially attractive opportunity for investors to allocate to the asset class. Adapting Mark Twain to the MLP market, the reports of its demise are greatly exaggerated.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 Fixed Income Outlook October 2015: Is China Really That Important? by Carl Kaufman, Simon Lee, Bradley Kane of Osterweis Capital Management

Negative sentiment permeated the stock and bond markets this quarter, with August taking September’s usual honor as the worst month of the year, so far, for stocks. In particular, concerns about China weighed on the markets, and the Federal Reserve (Fed) Governors fanned these fears with comments at the September Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, when they voted to hold the federal funds rate steady.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 It's Darkest Before the Dawn – but Is the Time Now 1am or 5am? by Tim Guinness, Will Riley, Jonathan Waghorn of Guinness Atkinson Asset Management

It has been a pretty brutal summer for the energy markets. Brent oil fell from $65 in May to below $40, and the MSCI World Energy Index was down around 25% over the same period, leaving energy as the worst performing sector year-to-date and the most out-of-favour among all the portfolio manager surveys that we see. Long-dated Brent oil has also fallen; having started the year at $78 and traded in a fairly tight $75-$80 range until the end of June, it fell to a low point of just over $60, over 40% off its highs last year.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 On U.S. Growth: Near-Term Concern, Long-Term Optimism by Dr. Brian Jacobsen, CFA, and John Manley, CFA of Wells Fargo Asset Management

The global economic landscape raises near-term concern, but long-term optimism. Wells Fargo’s Dr. Brian Jacobsen, CFA, and John Manley, CFA discuss growth obstacles and prospects, as well as portfolio positioning.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Equity Commentary: September 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Emerging market equity prices declined further in September, as fears about slower global economic growth persisted. External trade data from China was weaker than expected and accentuated investor concerns that the world’s second largest economy could miss current growth targets. Nevertheless, retail sales in China continued to expand at a healthy pace in August as the central bank’s interest rate cuts and other policy measures lifted domestic consumer sentiment.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 Will Gold Soar with EU QE? by Avi Gilburt of ElliottWaveTrader.net

I am amazed at how investors have such short memories. Yet, it probably explains why the the public makes the same mistakes over and over when it comes to investing. When QE3 was announced in 2012, everyone cried in unison “gold is going to the moon.” However, we, at Elliottwavetrader.net, cried “short it like there is no tomorrow.” And, now, as silver has lost as much as 75% of its value, we clearly understand that QE did not have the effect the market believed it would have on metals.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 Equity Investment Outlook October 2015: Global Growth Scare: Is it Warranted? by John Osterweis, Matt Berler of Osterweis Capital Management

During the third quarter, global markets were roiled by heightened investor uncertainty and downright fear that China’s slowing economic growth might tip the global economy into recession. The selling pressure that took hold in mid-August had all the elements of a mini panic. The only assets that held their value or posted gains were cash and investment grade bonds. The further out one looked on the risk spectrum, the worse the decline.

2015-10-28 00:00:00 4Q 2015 Outlook: Key Issues Have Not Changed Much This Year by Michael Avery, Cynthia Prince-Fox, Chace Brundige of Ivy Investment Management Company

As the final quarter of 2015 begins, we are reminded of several topics of focus from the start of the year: concerns that global central bankers are stuck with their current monetary policies because the global economy now depends on them; market acceptance that higher U.S. interest rates are inevitable, even if they rise only slightly; and favorable prospects for U.S. consumers, who benefit from a stronger labor market and lower energy prices. If the topics sound familiar now, it is because little has changed in these areas while global risks have increased for several reasons.

2015-10-28 00:00:00 The Obama Doctrine: Moneyball America by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Over the past three years, we have witnessed what appears to be a steady erosion of American power. In this report, we will examine President Obama’s foreign policy, using the construct of Ian Bremmer’s recent book, Superpower. After discussing President Obama’s foreign policy and the potential effects, we will examine how the next president may shift from the current policy. As always, we will conclude with potential market ramifications.

2015-10-28 00:00:00 Schwab Market Perspective: Bulls, Bears…and Hippos? by Liz Ann Sonders Brad Sorensen Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

When trying to describe our view of the market, we realized that bullish and bearish were quite limiting and could cause confusion. Bullish, for example, could mean anything from skyrocketing markets to very modest gains—one word, very different environments. So, we are introducing a new animal descriptor that should more accurately describe our view of the stock market—the hippo. While not initially obvious, we think this is the perfect descriptor, and who doesn’t love hippos?

2015-10-28 00:00:00 On My Radar: I’m Rooting For Ray by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

There is a great deal of research around investor behavior. For example, our brains notice when a group provides an answer that is different from ours, the disparity is unpleasant. For many, aligning with the group is more rewarding for the brain than being independent and correct.

2015-10-27 00:00:00 Conditions Remain Uneven, but Equities Again Charge Higher by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets climbed for the third consecutive week, with the S&P 500 Index gaining 2.1%.1 Much of the strength came from additional signs of easing from the European and Chinese central banks. Corporate earnings were mixed, with some health care and retail industries coming under pressure, while the technology sector provided impressive results. Overall, however, the majority of companies reported better-than-expected earnings results, which added to improved market sentiment.

2015-10-27 00:00:00 The Fed's Dilemma by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate rise history reveals a familiar dilemma—previous delays led to inflated asset prices and recessions.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 The Changing Dynamics of Eurozone Inflation by Andrew Bosomworth of PIMCO

Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and its governments’ responses to it have changed the relationship between inflation and economic slack in a way that is causing inflation to undershoot the ECB’s forecast.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 Dan Fuss: Rates Will Rise (and so will taxes) by Robert Huebscher (Article)

If there truly were a “bond king,” it would not be Bill Gross or Jeffrey Gundlach. It would be Dan Fuss, whose tenure in the fixed-income markets has spanned more than half a century. In a talk last week, Fuss warned investors to expect higher interest rates along with higher taxes.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 Global Banks – Who Is Swimming Naked? by Julian Wellesley of Loomis Sayles

The outlook for most large banks around the world remains favorable, and one reason is that many global banks have been reporting unusually low non-performing loan disposal costs for a couple of years. Why? A financial crisis, like the one we had in 2008, is often followed by a period of low loan growth. But there are some early warning signs of trouble brewing out there.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will the Fed Put the Brakes on the Breakout? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The week ahead is loaded with data reports and earnings news. The FOMC has another meeting and rate decision. It occurs in the context of a nice stock rebound. The punditry will be asking: Will the Fed put the brakes on the breakout?

2015-10-26 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: Analysts Converge, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Normally, analysts’ projections diverge somewhat around a statistical norm. That is, it’s usual for a group of 40 analysts to project the upcoming quarterly GDP growth rate between 1% and 3%. Currently, however, there is a fair degree of uniformity among analysts regarding the outlook. And that’s not a good sign.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 Preparing for Stormy Markets by Tracy Fielder of Invesco Blog

It’s the heart of hurricane season, and here on the coast, every tropical weather system brings with it a flood of speculation: Will this turn into a major storm? When will it make landfall? Where will it hit?

2015-10-24 00:00:00 Someone Is Spending Your Pension Money by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

We are going to talk about the slow-motion train wreck now taking shape in pension funds that is going to put pressure on many people who think they have retirement covered. Please feel free to forward this to those who might be expecting their pension funds to cover them for the next 30 or 40 years. Cutting to the chase, US pension funds are seriously underfunded and may need an extra $10 trillion in 20 years. This is a somewhat controversial letter, but I like to think I’m being realistic. Or at least I’m trying.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 Indexing the Past by Bob Rice of Neuberger Berman

Today’s financial world disputes many of the most basic assumptions of yesteryear’s investing “truths.” Globalization, the rise of a “winner take all” digital economy and markets led by policymakers have redrawn the investing map in profound ways.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 The Seven Biggest Lies Told (and Believed) about Gold by Guy Christopher of Money Metals Exchange

It’s hard to say which lie about gold is the biggest whopper. Many widely held beliefs about gold are lies – propaganda hammered home to have us believe the only true measure of wealth is government-issued debt.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 Liquidity Premiums In High Yield Investing by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

There is no denying that liquidity has become a well-publicized concern in today’s high yield market, with much focus specifically on high yield ETFs. With the post financial crisis regulation that has curtailed market making activity by the large investment banks and dealer inventory, liquidity has decreased and volatility increased. However, we believe that arguments that liquidity concerns within the ETF space will lead to the high yield market’s demise are overblown.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: October by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

Overall, while there are plenty of ‘problem children’ in the emerging-market space, there are undoubtedly assets and currencies being beaten down by broad-brush assessments of economic prospects that merit renewed attention.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 The “Oprah Effect” and Gold by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Many short sellers of Weight Watchers no doubt felt too down to look in the mirror this week after company stock unexpectedly ballooned nearly 170 percent. You can thank (or blame) Oprah.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 Follow the Leaders: Learning from ETFs, BCA and the New PM by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending an intensive daylong ETF conference in Austin, just up the road from our office in San Antonio. Hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, the conference was designed for institutional investors.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 Can Household Finances Be Saved? by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

While the data suggest that Americans may be saving more than we thought, most aren’t saving nearly enough.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 India: Interest Rates, Inflation and Manufacturing Ambitions by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

We have high hopes for India’s future, so we remain quite interested in India and continue to seek out investment bargains there. We are looking to diversify our exposure to Indian equities through a mix of commodities-oriented, export-oriented and domestic companies.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 Four Strategies for Navigating the Equity Environment Ahead by Andrew Pyne of PIMCO

Recent market turmoil suggests we could be at a turning point for equities. After several years of high returns and low volatility as the market rebounded off the lows of 2009, supported by unprecedented monetary policies, investors are faced with broadly full valuations, global growth that is still uneven and the prospect of rising rates in the U.S. In this environment we suggest four simple approaches that could enhance returns while potentially reducing risk.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 Is It Time To Get Bullish Or Bearish Of Metals And Miners? by Avi Gilburt of ElliottWaveTrader.net

In our everyday lives, we are so focused on finding the best prices for anything we want to purchase. We expend a significant amount of effort into finding the “deal” on televisions, cars, jewelry, furniture, or anything else that carries a high price tag.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 Global Economic Outlook - October 2015 by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore, Victoria Marklew, Ieisha Montgomery, Marshall Birkey, Ben Trinder of Northern Trust

It has been a challenging interval for the world economy. The summer saw challenges in Greece, heightened uncertainty over China and renewed concern over emerging markets. At its recent meetings, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) further downgraded its outlook for global growth.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 Why Have the Markets Been so Volatile Recently? by Wendy Stojadinovic of Cleary Gull

U.S., European and Japanese central banks have all been running with easy monetary policies for years and all have engaged in quantitative easing (QE). We are seeing growth in all three countries, with the U.S. doing the best, as a result. However, QE tends to lead to currency depreciation, which is difficult to see when everyone is doing it.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 Time to Buy Gold? by Mark Ungewitter of Charter Trust Company

After a bruising four-year decline, gold is showing nascent signs of strength. But it has not yet triggered a major buy signal.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 The US Bond Market: A Welcome "Nonstory" During August's Turmoil by Payson Swaffield of Eaton Vance

Overall, the bond market functioned relatively well in the risk-off month of August – it did its job in reflecting relative value among sectors.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 Reshuffling the Deck in the Mideast by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

The U.S. presence in the Middle East, which for years provided some control over one of the world’s most volatile regions, appears to have dissolved into chaos. By removing Saddam Hussein from power, the U.S. removed his tyrannical but stabilizing hand from the powder keg that always existed in the poorly designed nation state of Iraq. Rather than attempting to repair the damage, President Obama appears intent on leaving what he terms “a quagmire.”

2015-10-21 00:00:00 U.S. Labor: A Slow-Working Recovery by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

The pace of improvement is nowhere near as rapid as in past rebounds. Here’s a look behind the numbers.

2015-10-21 00:00:00 An Important Rebalancing Milestone by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

Third quarter macroeconomic data shows that Chinese consumers shrugged off the A-share market fall, with a small acceleration in spending. While many headlines may declare that China’s 6.9% GDP growth was the slowest since 2009, it should be noted that this pace of growth was on a base that is about 300% bigger than it was a decade ago (when GDP growth was 10%), meaning that the incremental expansion in China’s economy this year is about 60% bigger than it was back in the day.

2015-10-21 00:00:00 Third-Quarter Earnings Report: Industrial Worries by Tom West of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Lower energy prices are not a noticeable tailwind for industrial companies close to contraction in the North American energy sector. It is hard to picture enough good news this quarter to cause a significant change in sentiment for stocks in the industrial sector. The rest of this year may be tough in industrials, and 2016 may not be that great either, but I think we can avoid more dire scenarios.

2015-10-20 00:00:00 Chart Toppers: Diversification, China and the Fed’s Dual Mandate by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

From time to time, instead of diving into a singular topic in these reports, I am going to do a“Chart Toppers” review, where I share some of the more interesting and relevant charts I’ve put together or seen on a variety of topics.

2015-10-20 00:00:00 Will Gold Finish 2015 with a Gain? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

After its stellar performance last week, gold might do something it hasn’t done since 2012—that is, end the year in positive territory. You can see past returns for yourself in our perennially popular Periodic Table of Commodities Return.

2015-10-20 00:00:00 Four Takeaways on Alternative Opportunities Today by Marc Gamsin, Greg Outcalt of AllianceBernstein

Dispersion among asset classes and individual stocks and bonds will likely increase, and that’s only one trend reshaping the landscape and redefining alternative investing opportunities. Here are four things investors should consider.

2015-10-19 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Can Strong Housing Data Give An "All Clear" Signal for the U.S. Economy? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

It is a very unusual week for data, with many of the major housing reports on tap and not much else. China’s GDP will be a big story over the weekend, and important earnings news will continue. Despite this, pundits will turn their attention to housing, asking: Can a housing rebound signal “all clear” for the U.S. economy?

2015-10-19 00:00:00 Where to Look for Outperforming Active Managers by Bob Veres (Article)

Not all stock-pickers are winners, and winning funds tend to be scattered all over the various sectors of the market. Is there a way to analyze the different segments of the global opportunity set, and determine the best places to look for those outperforming managers?

2015-10-19 00:00:00 Venerated Voices™ for Q3 of 2015 by Jill Mislinski (Article)

Here are our Venerated Voices awards for articles published in the third quarter of 2015. Rankings were issued in three categories: The Top 25 Venerated Voices by Firm, The Top 25 Venerated Voices by Author and The Top 10 Venerated Voices by Commentary.

2015-10-19 00:00:00 The Rally Continues, but Equities Appear Stuck in a Trading Range by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets continued to advance last week, with the S&P 500 Index climbing 0.9%. Third quarter earnings results were mixed, and investors focused on stabilization in China and the upside of the Federal Reserve holding rates steady. The utilities sector was the best-performing, while industrials lagged.

2015-10-17 00:00:00 Charting the Market's Course by Burt White, Jeffrey Buchbinder of LPL Financial

This week we highlight seven key charts to watch that may determine the stock market’s near-term direction. The charts cover a wide range of topics including manufacturing sentiment, earnings, oil, and high-yield bonds. We believe these charts can help investors navigate the market’s course for the balance of 2015 and into 2016.

2015-10-17 00:00:00 Third Quarter 2015 Economic & Capital Market Summary by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

On the one hand, the domestic economic story is playing out pretty much as we had thought. Economic growth is muddling along in the 2% area. The unemployment rate is low, but job growth is still limited to service sector jobs which pay lower wages. Inflation is barely rising as commodity prices continue to plunge and wage growth has been flat. The Federal Reserve is poised to raise interest rates, but has deferred making the first increase in over nine years under pressure from global economies who fear that an increase in short term interest rates will impair the fragile global growth.

2015-10-17 00:00:00 Is Reserve Bank of India ignoring household inflation expectations? by Ritesh Jain, Abhishek Sonthalia of Tata Asset Management

Inflation expectations has played an important role in the monetary policy framework of RBI governor Raghuram Rajan. But this seems to be changing; in its interest rate easing path, RBI has cut policy rates twice on high and rising household inflaitonary expectations including the 50 bps bazooka rate cut which Dr. Rajan delivered in his last monetary policy meeting in September 2015. Is the RBI abandoning inflationary expectations in its monetary policy framework?

2015-10-17 00:00:00 Will Gold Finish 2015 with a Gain? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

After its stellar performance this week, gold might do something it hasn’t done since 2012—that is, end the year in positive territory. You can see past returns for yourself in our perennially popular Periodic Table of Commodities Return.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 Retirees: The Risks, Dangers and Advantages of Reaching For Yield: Part 2B by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

There is an undeniable fact that differentiates investing when in retirement versus investing while you are still working. When you are employed, you are working for your money. However, once a person truly enters their retirement years, the situation reverses itself. When in retirement you begin the stage in your life where your money must work for you. In my opinion, this changes the investing dynamic considerably.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 Why There’s a Disconnect Between Economic Data and Performance by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Recent weak economic data have confirmed everyone’s worst fears: The global economy is indeed decelerating. Yet risky assets have been advancing. Russ explains why and whether this can continue.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 Tocqueville Gold Strategy Investor Letter Third Quarter 2015 by John Hathaway of Tocqueville Asset Management

Financial market turmoil has been what was needed to rekindle investment interest in gold, as we have argued in our investor letters this year. The onset of a bear market is what we envisioned in making this statement. A preliminary glimpse of what is what is needed to turn the tide for the gold market occurred in the 3rd quarter with a sharp decline in all global equity markets. On a year to date basis, most of the leading stock market averages are now in the red.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 Looking for Enduring Franchises by (Article)

Royce Premier Fund seeks quality-oriented companies, those with a proven ability to compound wealth over long periods of time, structural advantages within their industry, and high, consistently strong returns on invested capital.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 Hoisington Quarterly Review and Outlook – 3Q2015 by Van Hoisington, Lacy Hunt of Hoisington Investment Management

Future business activity will reflect two economic realities: 1) the over-indebted state of the U.S. economy and the world; and 2) the inability of the Federal Reserve to initiate policies to promote growth in this environment.

2015-10-15 00:00:00 South Africa’s Sporting and Economic Scorecard by Johan Meyer of Franklin Templeton Investments

Dubbed the “rainbow nation” after the end of apartheid in 1994, South Africa had much to be hopeful about. In 2010, it achieved heightened recognition among investors when it became the fifth member of the “BRICS” grouping of emerging market economies, along with Brazil, Russia, India and China. While its economy and demographics differ from other BRIC countries, it has one thing in common with Brazil, Russia and China: It has hosted major global sporting events over the years. South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup five years ago, and it hosted and won the Rugby World Cup 20 years ago

2015-10-15 00:00:00 83 Attractive Dividend Growth Stocks for Your Retirement Portfolios: Part 2A by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

I recently completed a 3 part series of articles offered to assist retired investors in designing the equity portion of their retirement portfolios. In part 1 of this series found here I presented Peter Lynch’s 6 broad categories of stocks (businesses) that he wrote about in his best-selling book “One Up On Wall Street.” The primary objective of this first article was simply to provide the reader a general idea of the various categories of common stocks that were generally available to choose among.

2015-10-15 00:00:00 Is it Time to “Buy” Inflation? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

While there's little evidence that inflation is going to come roaring back anytime soon, current estimates may be too low. Russ explains.

2015-10-15 00:00:00 Squiggly Line Cartoons by Andrew Adams of Raymond James

In last Thursday’s Morning Tack, Jeff Saut referenced an opinion piece on MarketWatch that was essentially the literary equivalent of someone shooing away a stray dog. The author scoffed at the recent Dow Theory sell signal and laid out several reasons why he believed it to be wrong in this case. And I have no problem with that; we have, after all, also decided to ignore it for now because of the extreme circumstances it took to provide such a signal.

2015-10-15 00:00:00 3rd Quarter Commentary by John Prichard, Miles Yourman of Knightsbridge Asset Management

The third quarter produced the worst return for the S&P 500 Index in four years, wiping out the prior year’s gains. Peak to trough declines from 2014-15 index highs to recent lows were even greater.

2015-10-15 00:00:00 Gauging Global Growth: An Update for 2015 & 2016 by John Canally of LPL Financial

The market continues to expect that global gross domestic product (GDP) growth will accelerate in 2015 (3.0%), 2016 (3.4%), and 2017 (3.4%) from 2014’s 2.0% pace, aided by lower oil prices and stimulus from two of the three leading central banks in the world.

2015-10-14 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review: Will the Rebound Last, Edition? by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The main US news this week was not economic, but political: Kevin McCarthy withdrew his bid to become Speaker of the House. As of this writing, several candidates have announced their desire to seek the position, but there is no clear front-runner. This couldn’t happen at a worse time: within the next 60 days, the debt ceiling must be raised and Congress must vote on a budget. And the leadership vacuum is occurring when 3Q US growth is projected to be weak.

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Emerging Market Debt: An End to the Agony? by Jim Cielinski of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Capitulation by many EMD investors has created opportunities in many of the more resilient countries. We favor countries moving down the reform path and where there is significant impetus to reign in excessive government spending. Valuations have reached the extremes that allow a selective approach to EM to now represent a key part of an income-oriented portfolio.

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Signs of Healing in the Markets Are Slowly Starting to Appear by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Signs of economic stabilization in China and improvements in commodity markets helped U.S. equities recover some ground last week. Diminishing concerns over the delay in Federal Reserve rate hikes also aided sentiment. For the week, the S&P 500 Index jumped 3.3%, with the energy, materials and industrials sectors leading the way. Health care, in contrast, struggled.

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Air Pockets! by Sam Stewart of Wasatch Funds

Global Stock Prices Dropped on Headline Concerns. But What Were the Underlying Causes? And Where Are the Opportunities?

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Earnings recession coming? Does it matter? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Despite a full slate of data, continuing international events, Washington maneuvering, and a possible record in Fed speeches, a new subject will command attention this week: Will there be an earnings recession, and should we worry?

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Upcoming Debt Ceiling Fight Could Get Really Ugly by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Here we go again – another debt ceiling battle will play out between now and November 5 when the Treasury says it will run out of “extraordinary measures” to fund the government without exceeding the current debt limit of just over $18 trillion. If the debt ceiling is not increased, the US government will default on its debt.

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Gaps, Growth and Headwinds by Richard Clarida of PIMCO

Global growth is uninspiring. The global economy plods along with aggregate GDP growth of around 3 per cent to 3.5 per cent and similar levels of inflation. This has been true for the past several years and many expect it to continue for at least the next couple. This is partly because trend growth rates in major economies appear to have slowed from the pre-crisis pace. But slow growth is not just a supply-side condition.

2015-10-13 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: When Doves Cry, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The latest Fed Minutes noted the US is still in fairly good shape. The US consumer continues spending, unemployment is low, retail sales are expanding moderately, and purchases of durables goods (vehicles and houses) are positive. The primary negative is weak wage growth. But the strong dollar, weak overseas economies and slowdown in the oil patch is hurting the manufacturing sector.

2015-10-13 00:00:00 Beware the Allure of One Data Point by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

The stock market continued cheering the bad-news September jobs report last week, glossing over other glum headlines in the hopes it would nix a 2015 rate hike. US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper says investors shouldn’t make the same leap of logic.

2015-10-13 00:00:00 Stocks Push Higher, But Earnings May Be a Roadblock by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the catalysts for last week's stock rally, the specter of weak earnings ahead, and asset classes we favor.

2015-10-13 00:00:00 5 Things to Know Now by David Ginther of Ivy Investment Management Company

The last four major oil cycles have one thing in common: Falling prices, increasing demand, and pressure on supply. Growing demand and declining supply then tend to push prices higher.

2015-10-12 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: Now the IMF Lowers Growth Projections, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

This week, it was the IMFs turn to downgrade their global growth projections, which they did on October 6: The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) foresees lower global growth compared to last year, with modest pickup in advanced economies and a slowing in emerging markets, primarily reflecting weakness in some large emerging economies and oil-exporting countries.

2015-10-12 00:00:00 Describing Liquid Alts Common Requirements under the Investment Company Act of 1940 by Michael Breitenbach of Larkin Point Investment Advisors LLC

Liquid alternative mutual funds have become a popular investment category, but they are not easily described by a single label. “Liquid alts” tend to exhibit risk, return, and regulatory characteristics unique to particular strategies.

2015-10-12 00:00:00 Money Printing Lessons from the French Revolution by Michael Lebowitz (Article)

The events leading up the French Revolution are likely unfamiliar to most. Yet money printing and a debauched French currency played no small part in this history. The story is not a forecast for what may happen, but a powerful reminder of what has repeatedly happened in the past.

2015-10-10 00:00:00 How these 12 TPP Nations Could Forever Change Global Growth by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The current members include Canada, the United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.After nearly seven years of negotiations, the TPP promises to deliver unprecedented free and fair global trade among the 12 participant nations.

2015-10-10 00:00:00 Europe's Immigrants May Solve Native Problems by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The aging of Europe's postwar generation has placed the working-age population on a downward trajectory.

2015-10-10 00:00:00 The Failure of Politics by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

Sometimes, I really hate being right. A few weeks ago, I wrote that the Washington, DC, political environment had deteriorated and that the current go-round on the debt ceiling was likely to be even more contentious than the last one, two years ago. Sure enough, with the resignation of Speaker John Boehner—and the withdrawal yesterday of his heir apparent—the House appears ungovernable. Without some type of Republican internal agreement on at least whom to elect as speaker, it’s hard to see any resolution to the debt ceiling debate, which is likely going to hit in the next couple of week

2015-10-10 00:00:00 Fourth Quarter Comeback? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

A disappointing year to this point for the US stock market has a chance to end on a better note, with good seasonality and a still-growing economy as supports. Consumers are in good shape, the Fed remains accommodative, and the much-larger service side of the US economy is still healthy. But Fed uncertainty, Congressional budget battles, and Chinese growth concerns will remain as headwinds and will likely contribute to continued bouts of volatility. Across the pond, the European fight against deflation appears to be working, although more QE may be needed, to the potential benefit of Europe/

2015-10-09 00:00:00 A Lens on Latin America by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

We think the manner in which Brazil’s government institutes reforms to utilize its resources most effectively will be key to its economic transformation. Within the next three to five years we could see tremendous changes—if the will is there.

2015-10-09 00:00:00 Earnings Preview by Burt White of LPL Financial

Third quarter earnings season will potentially look a lot like the second quarter. This quarter’s earnings preview could almost be a copy and paste of the second quarter preview: It looks like we will get meager earnings growth, if we get any at all. The media will again tout earnings recession, which we discussed on April 6, 2015. The big headwinds from energy sector weakness and a strong U.S. dollar remain. And the big overseas worries are again unlikely to have much impact on earnings overall, as business conditions in the U.S.?—?outside of the energy sector?—?are pretty good.

2015-10-09 00:00:00 Investing versus Flipping by Chris Brightman of Research Affiliates

Newport Beach may be known as home to PIMCO (and, of course, Research Affiliates). Locally, however, the business of Newport Beach is real estate finance. Many of my local friends have made a bundle in recent years flipping houses in Orange County (the OC). I have also purchased some houses over recent years, but as an investment rather than as a flip. In this article, I explain the difference between investing and speculating by sharing my personal experience investing in residential real estate.

2015-10-08 00:00:00 China and the Fed by Dr. Richard Michaud of New Frontier Advisors

The third quarter of 2015 was marked by significant losses in capital values and an increase in volatility. The S&P 500 lost 7.55% in the quarter and 6.71% year-to-date; NASDAQ dropped 7.77% quarterly and 2.26% for the year; Dow Jones Industrial average declined 8.15% in the quarter and 8.68% year-to-date. The VIX fear measure closed the quarter at 24.50, an increase of 42.6% since the beginning of the quarter and 37.7% since the beginning of the year.

2015-10-08 00:00:00 Rainmakers by Rick Lear of Lear Investment Management

The onslaught of financial events in the past several months created massive confusion and uncertainty in the global financial markets. Much of the confusion revolves around economic factors - interest rates, currency, energy prices and growth policy. Several economic factors are influenced by policy makers and central banks. Our goal this month is to slice through the confusion and find direction for the remaining months of 2015.

2015-10-08 00:00:00 Done in By Biases? by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

Howard Gold had a post at MarketWatch noting research that shows baby boomers have too much in equities relative to when they would be likely to retire. He talks about this being poor asset allocation strategy, that it plays into some behavioral finance issues, says that many people need to admit they can’t manage their own money and concludes that everyone should put their 401k money into the target date fund in their 401k most suited to their intended retirement date.

2015-10-08 00:00:00 September Jobs & Manufacturing Reports Disappoint Again by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

As is becoming increasingly frequent, we will touch on several bases today, given that there’s so much going on these days. (Speaking of bases, How ‘bout them Texas Rangers!!) Hitting several topics in a single E-Letter makes it more interesting and fast-paced for me, and I hope the same is true for you. After all, YOU are what this is all about. That’s why I always value your input, positive or negative, so much.

2015-10-08 00:00:00 Dot-Communism by Robert Stimpson of Oak Associates

In this commentary, Portfolio Manager Robert Stimpson discusses the effect the sharp correction in Chinese equities, the unwinding of the commodity supercycle, and the Federal Reserve’s decision to delay interest rate increases have had on US markets. Whether China’s own equity market China Syndrome will cause lasting damage to global markets - or simply a short-term spike in volatility and poor investor sentiment - is difficult to assess. Underlying fundamentals continue to suggest that corporate earnings are strong.

2015-10-08 00:00:00 Why Are You So Angry? by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Mass layoffs are being announced. The U.S., Central America, South American countries, etc. are all economic disasters. Major currencies are falling and raw materials companies are seeing huge order reductions around the world. Plant production has been reduced to 66% in the first half of 2015; there are fields of idle construction equipment that China is not buying. Look for Korea to dump products into the U.S. Wholesale raw sugar prices dropped from $0.36/pound to $0.11/pound leaving Brazilian sugar cane companies ready to file for Chapter 11.

2015-10-08 00:00:00 Global Market Outlook: Potential Currency Opportunities for Investors by Rob Balkema of Russell Investments

Rob Balkema takes a look at what potential currency opportunities for investors may be out there in light of Russell Investments’ recent quarterly outlook.

2015-10-07 00:00:00 Putin and Syria by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Last month, Russia moved a significant amount of military hardware into areas of Syria controlled by the Assad regime. The action caught the Obama administration by surprise and raises questions about what Russian President Putin is trying to accomplish. In this report, we will examine Russia’s short-term geostrategic goals and the tactics Putin is using to achieve these aims. As always, we will conclude with potential market ramifications.

2015-10-07 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What is Behind the Recent Market Volatility? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The recent market volatility has led to a lot of head scratching. Even the Pundit-in-Chief seems to be struggling to make his daily morning and evening observations fit with observed reality. With a light economic calendar and earnings reports just getting started market observers will be asking: What’s the cause of the market volatility?

2015-10-07 00:00:00 On My Radar: Defaults Will Breach the Historical High Next Year – The Fed is the “Wild Card” by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“The Fed is the “wild card” that has the power to determine how quickly the current credit cycle ends.” – Ed Altman

2015-10-07 00:00:00 Mom and Investment Underdogs by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

I was talking with a friend the other day about troubles in his family. At one point he remarked, “A mother is only as happy as her saddest child.” It’s a saying that has been attributed to Jackie Kennedy (and that is certainly understandable), but I think it goes much further back in time. My wife said her mother used to say it when she was growing up.

2015-10-07 00:00:00 Innovation and Investment in “short-termist” America by Robert McConnaughey of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The aggregate decision-making around capital allocation would appear to continue to support a strong global competitive position for U.S. companies. Leading American companies are making long-term investments and investors are giving the most compelling of them a lot of credit for those long-term choices. While many continue to underestimate the power of American innovative strengths, the speed of disruptive new developments will only increase the cost to those who do so.

2015-10-06 00:00:00 Money Glut: More to Come, Still Effective by Joachim Fels of PIMCO

Given global lowflation pressures, the central-bank-fueled money glut is likely to increase further before year-end.

2015-10-06 00:00:00 Failure to Launch by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

The popular belief that the U.S. economy has been steadily recovering has endured months of disappointing data without losing much of its appeal. A deep bench of excuses, ranging from the weather to the Chinese economy, has been called on to justify why the economy hasn't built up any noticeable steam, and why the Fed has failed to move rates off zero, where they have been for seven years. But the downright dismal September jobs report that was released last Friday may prove to be the flashing red beacon that even the most skilled apologists can't explain away.

2015-10-06 00:00:00 Under Pressure: Earnings Recession Warning; Economic Recession Watch by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

Many of the questions I’ve been getting recently at client events are around earnings, and whether the expected move into negative territory for earnings growth is a signal of a pending economic recession.

2015-10-06 00:00:00 Equity Outlook Fourth Quarter 2015 by Neuberger Berman Asset Allocation Committee of Neuberger Berman

The Committee upgraded our view on U.S. large cap equities following the recent correction, and maintained a slightly overweight view on European equities. Our view on MLPs has also improved following a challenging year.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 Rethinking 'Safe Haven' Assets in a Multi-Asset Portfolio by Sponsored Content from Invesco (Article)

• Correlations have risen between perceived ‘safe haven’ assets and equities • Volatility has been a positive performer in falling equity markets, and we see it as a diversification tool in multi-asset portfolios • We look for areas where we think the markets' implied relative risk is an opportunity

2015-10-05 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For Sep. 28-Oct 2; The Bull Needs Stronger Earnings, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

This week’s economic news was mostly positive. Manufacturing is still expanding and consumers are still spending, especially on durable goods. But the stronger dollar and weaker international environment are clearly taking their toll, as the ISM is just barely in expansionary territory. The markets are in somewhat precarious shape as we enter earnings season; they remain expensive and therefore need to see topline revenue growth. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be coming.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 Provise Bullets by Team of ProVise Management Group

The 3rd quarter is now behind us and the major indexes did not fare well through the dog days of the summer. For the quarter the S&P 500 was down 6.44%, the DJIA was down even more at 6.91%, the Russell 2000 was down 11.92%, and the MSCI EAFE index was down 10.23%. The Barclays Aggregate Bond Index was able to post a small gain of 1.23%. Year to date the indexes are -5.29%, -6.88%, -7.73%, -5.28% and +1.13% respectively. As disappointing as these benchmark returns were, a look behind the scenes reveals an even more somber picture.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 The Case for Gold to Protect Clients’ Wealth Shorting the Federal Reserve by Michael Lebowitz (Article)

This article presents the case for an asset that will help managers protect their clients and uphold their fiduciary duty owed to them. I’ll explain why gold is a powerful hedge that will protect your clients’ wealth, but first I’ll look at the history of trade and currencies and how gold evolved to become a global store of wealth.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 September 2015 Market Commentary by Joe Becker, Adam Schenck, Jeff Greco of Milliman Financial Risk Management

In the second half of Q3, higher volatility was the rule rather than the exception as markets wrestled with the implications of a global economy in flux.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review; Did the Window Close, Edition? by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

A rate hike of at least 25 basis points was a done deal a few months ago. But recent global and domestic events have greatly lowered that possibility. It began with the Chinese equity sell-off followed by the surprise yuan devaluation. Recent Chinese manufacturing weakness adds to the mix. Although some recent US news has been positive, continued price weakness, lower industrial production and a recent employment slowdown show the US is not immune to the slowing international environment.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 U.S. Economic Growth Slowed Sharply in 2015 Q3 by Robert Lamy of The Forecasting Advisor

At the start of each month, the U.S. Institute for Supply Management (ISM) releases data on the state of the manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries of the U.S. economy for the previous month. The data are closely followed by economists, portfolio wealth managers, and the financial media as they provide the earliest reading on the current state of the economy.

2015-10-04 00:00:00 Recession Watch by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

If recovery from a banking crisis can take ten years and we are only seven years in, I expect (barring aliens) that we have a few more years to go. A slow, muddle-through recovery may not be exciting – but it’s better than the alternatives. As I noted at the beginning, I am quite worried about the possibility of a recession in our slow-growth, barely limping along at stall speed economy.

2015-10-03 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review for Sept. 28-Oct.2; Japan Flashing Yellow, Edition by Urban Carmel of Hale Stewart

Overall, the tone of news continues to lean negative. China continues to slow. Japan is clearly having problems regaining momentum after last year’s sales tax increase and Canada just missed being in a technical recession. The EU and UK are growing moderately, but not impressively. And it appears even the US is starting to import some of the global weakness.

2015-10-03 00:00:00 The 10 Most Competitive Countries in the World by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

No new countries have entered or exited this exalted list, and there was very little rank-shuffling. For the seventh consecutive year, Switzerland is the most competitive country. For the fifth straight year, Singapore is number two. The U.S. comes in at number three for the second year. And so on.

2015-10-03 00:00:00 Better Times are Ahead by Byron Wien of Blackstone

The best recent period for investing in equities may have been 1982–1999, but I still think reasonable risk-adjusted returns for equities are likely in the years ahead, and that Treasurys and high-quality corporate bonds are less attractive.

2015-10-02 00:00:00 India Issues Its First Sovereign Gold Coin… to Curb Gold Imports October 1, 2015 by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Gold tends not to leave India once it enters. As the world’s largest importer, the country consumes massive quantities of the yellow metal—it’s on track to take in 900 tonnes of the stuff this year—where it remains in private families’ coffers, mostly in the form of jewelry and decorative heirlooms. It’s estimated that less than 10 percent of all Indian gold demand is in bars and coins.

2015-10-02 00:00:00 When Markets Get Volatile, You’ve Got Options by Josh Lisser, Ben Sklar of AllianceBernstein

Last month’s simultaneous volatility spike and stock downturn were unpleasant surprises for investors. But in the spirit of making lemons into lemonade, we see them as reminders to think broadly about downside protection.

2015-10-02 00:00:00 Master Limited Partnerships: Where To Next? by Investment Strategy Group of Neuberger Berman

Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) have seen sharp declines this year, underperforming not only broad equity markets but also other income-producing assets such as utility stocks and real estate investment trusts.

2015-10-02 00:00:00 The 80/20 Rule Is Crushing The Economy by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

In business, the 80/20 rule states that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. In an economy that is more than 2/3rds driven by consumption, such an imbalance of the "have" and "have not's" impedes real economic growth.

2015-10-01 00:00:00 A Fragile Transition Supported by (Further) Policy Accommodation by Adam Bowe, Isaac Meng, Tadashi Kakuchi of PIMCO

n the following interview, Portfolio Managers Adam Bowe, Isaac Meng and Tadashi Kakuchi discuss conclusions from PIMCO’s quarterly Cyclical Forum, in which the company’s investment professionals debated the outlook for global economies and markets. They share our views on economies and investment implications across the Asia-Pacific region over the next 12 months.

2015-10-01 00:00:00 Have Commodities Bottomed? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Though commodities have been the worst performing asset class of 2015, Russ explains why it’s still too early to call a bottom.

2015-09-30 00:00:00 Forget “Active vs. Passive”: It’s All About Factors by Adam Butler, Michael Philbrick, Rodrigo Gordillo of ReSolve Asset Management

We just love a good debate, and there seems to be quite a heated debate at the moment about the relative utility of passive versus active investing. Perhaps this debate is as timeless as investment management itself, but a flurry of recent studies may have finally armed passive advocates with enough ammunition to settle the argument once and for all.

2015-09-30 00:00:00 Playing the Odds or Trying to Beat the Odds? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Our firm is built around the core principle of always seeking to put the odds on the side of our clients’ investment success. And yet ...

2015-09-30 00:00:00 El Niño Update by Kaisa Stucke of Confluence Investment Management

Meteorologists have been calling for an El Niño event since last year. Current forecasts place the likelihood of an El Niño this winter at over 90%. Water temperatures in the Pacific, one of the first signs of a looming El Niño, have measured much higher than normal. In fact, water temperatures have been on par with the most severe El Niño event from the past 30 years. This report looks at how an El Niño develops and its possible climate, economic and geopolitical effects on the global economy. As always, we outline the potential investment implications of this event.

2015-09-30 00:00:00 Speaker Boehner Readies Final Sellout As Debt Ceiling Debacle Looms by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

It's campaign season, and that means non-stop media coverage of candidate polls, quips, gaffes, tweets, emails, controversies, lies, and scandals. It all makes for a good soap opera. Unfortunately, it's almost all irrelevant in the big picture.

2015-09-30 00:00:00 Faint or Feint?! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

“Janet’s faint causes stocks to feint.” Friday began with a surprise Zip-a-Dee-Doo Dah resignation from House Speaker John Boehner, Janet’s soothing words from the night before, some good earnings announcements, higher crude oil and world market prices, a stronger U.S. dollar, all combined with our expected upward revision to 2Q15’s GDP (+3.9%). Most importantly, there were very positive improvements in the entrails of the GDP revision.

2015-09-29 00:00:00 Annual Outlook by Mary Ellen Stanek of Baird Advisors

In an environment of low rates and heightened uncertainty, the U.S. has experienced sub-par growth during this economic cycle relative to past expansions. But compared to the rest of the world, the U.S. has been a strong performer. And even with only moderate growth, the U.S. economy has experienced healthy job creation – 11 million jobs since the bottom of the recession, 3 million created last year, the highest since 1999, and 2.5 million this year.

2015-09-29 00:00:00 A Call for Quality as Volatility Turns Up the Volume by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses why volatility is likely to remain elevated, and how investors should manage the risks in their portfolio.

2015-09-29 00:00:00 The High Yield Market: A Look at Past Recessions by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

The Fed interest rate decision came and went with relatively little market reaction. They pushed out an increase in rates, citing concerns about global economic conditions. Like many, we do share their concerns about the global economy, as we expect that it will result in muted growth here at home (and as we have noted in prior writings over the past several months, we’d expect that muted growth to ultimately result in a very moderate move in rates). But some market participants are voicing concerns that this global weakness will lead to a U.S. recession.

2015-09-29 00:00:00 What’s the Market's Biggest Risk? by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

When meeting with clients throughout the country, investors ask if we are worried about various well-vetted and well-known negatives. The list includes what the Federal Reserve Board might or might not do, China's slowdown, emerging market struggles, plummeting commodities, dollar strength and the uncertainty over who will become President of the U.S. in 2017. We think investors are really asking us, “what’s the market’s biggest risk?”

2015-09-28 00:00:00 Staley Cates on Why Active Management Wins in the Long Term by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Staley Cates is president and chief investment officer of Southeastern Asset Management, manager of the Longleaf funds. In this interview, he says, “the passive movement is not just a big trend. It is a bubble.” He explains why passive investing has made it hard for value investors to outperform.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 Nearing Normalization / Shutdown Shuffle – Part 2 by Scott Brown of Raymond James

Fed Chair Janet Yellen downplayed concerns about the rest of the world and indicated that she was among the majority of Fed officials expected to raise short-term interest rates this year. Meanwhile, while John Boehner’s resignation as House Speaker may signal an agreement on the budget, Congress has moved further away from future compromise.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 Is China “Fixed”? Short Answer: Financial Markets Say No by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

The rally in stocks off of the August low has in some respects alleviated worst case fears about the fate of the Chinese economy. After all, in hindsight it is pretty clear that the selloff was driven by a simultaneous rerating of Chinese growth expectations by market participants combined with the possibility of higher short rates in the US to boot. These fears resulted in vast under performance of growth sensitive asset prices throughout the correction and then a sharp rally in those assets in the days following its terminus.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 The Hidden Cost of Zero Interest Rate Policies by Laurence B. Siegel and Thomas S. Coleman (Article)

Zero interest rates are a massive transfer of wealth from investors and savers to governments and other borrowers around the world. We’ll show how big the scale of the transfer is.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will global weakness drag down the U.S. economy? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The recent Fed non-decision on interest rates increased worries about global economic weakness. Trading in commodity markets underscores a widespread perception of a potential recession. The week ahead is packed with fresh economic data, including the most important reports. The punditry will be asking: Will the U.S. economy succumb to global weakness?

2015-09-28 00:00:00 Describing Liquid Alts: Global Macro and Tactical Asset-Allocation Strategies by Michael Breitenbach of Larkin Point Investment Advisors LLC

Several types of strategy groups invest across multiple asset classes, dynamically adjusting relative exposures at the discretion of the manager. Two commonly offered dynamic asset-allocation strategies are tactical and global macro.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 Equities May Remain Trendless Until More Clarity Emerges by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Sentiment was negative for most of last week, as investors focused on continued uncertainty over Federal Reserve policy, slowing growth in China and emerging markets and ongoing weakness in commodities. Stock prices bounced on Friday following comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen that a rate increase was looking more likely in 2015. Nevertheless, equities finished in negative territory, with the S&P 500 Index falling 1.4%. The health care, materials and industrials sectors came under pressure, while utilities, consumer staples and financials finished higher.

2015-09-26 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: The Commodity Super-Cycle Explained, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Despite recent financial turmoil, no one has provided a concise explanation of the commodity super-cycle, one of the primary macro-economic forces causing recent volatility. That is, until now. In a September 21 speech, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz offered the following explanation:”

2015-09-26 00:00:00 Balloons in Search of Needles by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

It would be hard to miss an analogy to the stock market. Everything’s peaceful and calm, you’re drinking some fabulous wine, eating some fantastic fresh game and fish, looking at all the beautiful animals as you drift easily with the current. Anybody can steer the boat in a bull market. Until the rapids hit and the bottom falls out.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 Developed Europe: Economy Trends Update July 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Euro-zone Sustains Recovery on the Back of Robust Growth in Italy, Export Surge in Germany

2015-09-25 00:00:00 Stop and Savor by Michael Kayes of Willingdon Wealth Management

Pausing, amidst any difficult journey, can lead to a new perspective, and just the potential for a new perspective, is a hopeful thought. So, let’s pause and savor, for a moment, the potential...

2015-09-25 00:00:00 In Search of the Phillips Curve by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Macroeconomics students spend a good bit of class time learning about the Phillips curve, and it is probably etched permanently in their minds. The Phillips curve suggests that there is an inverse relationship between inflation and unemployment in the short run.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 Are the Bulls Regaining Their Footing? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Uncertainty surrounding the Federal Reserve continues after its punt of rate hikes at its most recent meeting. But as the market gets more clarity on monetary policy and given a still-growing US economy, the bull market should slowly reestablish itself, albeit with bouts of volatility. Further support should come from global growth in areas that are net beneficiaries of the plunge in commodity prices.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 How Will These Leaders of 4 Billion People Change the World? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

This week the U.S. played host to three prominent and illustrious leaders to billions of people: Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pope Francis. Among them, they lead—either politically or spiritually—nearly 4 billion people worldwide, more than half of everyone living on the planet right now.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 Chart of the Week: Chinese Construction & Land Acquisition Falling by Joseph Taylor of Loomis Sayles

Over the last 10 years, the Chinese economy was drugged into growth through excessive amounts of investment. At its peak, capital expenditure made up 48% of GDP, an unprecedented level, and in my view, represented a massive misallocation of capital. Slowing levels of investment (mostly construction) have driven declines in related areas, including commodities, machinery and cement production.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 China, Commodities, and Crisis: What’s Next for Emerging Markets by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

China’s growth story fueled global markets for years, and the recent market rout raises concerns that the spigot may be tapping out. But is it really? Emerging markets, currently out of favor with investors, are showing signs of domestic economic growth driven by an expanding middle class. Could these economies, along with China, re-emerge as bright spots in the global markets?

2015-09-24 00:00:00 It’s Not Easy by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management

In 2011, as I was putting the finishing touches on my book The Most Important Thing, I was fortunate to have one of my occasional lunches with Charlie Munger. As it ended and I got up to go, he said something about investing that I keep going back to: “It’s not supposed to be easy. Anyone who finds it easy is stupid.”

2015-09-24 00:00:00 One Year, Three Lessons by David Katz of Larch Lane Advisors

As the category of liquid alts funds has exploded this year with numerous launches, there has been a healthy dose of skepticism about the products and the true ability to perform well in down markets. The following article from David Katz, who is President and COO of Larch Lane Advisors LLC, which is a leader in early stage hedge fund investing. The firm formed a joint venture with Rothschild Asset Management to manage the Rothschild Larch Lane Alternatives Fund.

2015-09-24 00:00:00 The Liquidity Crunch—It’s About Supply and Demand by Douglas Peebles, Ashish Shah of AllianceBernstein

Investors fear that new banking regulations are drying up bond market liquidity. But this overlooks several market trends that are making the liquidity situation worse and that could deepen—or even trigger—the next financial crisis.

2015-09-24 00:00:00 Fed Implications by Burt White of LPL Financial

The Federal Reserve’s (Fed) decision not to raise interest rates at its September 17 policy meeting was undoubtedly the biggest event of last week. Although not a big surprise, besides Donald Trump (and perhaps China), the Fed is all that anyone is talking about these days. This week we share some of our perspective on what the Fed’s decision may mean for the stock market and offer some investment ideas.

2015-09-23 00:00:00 With the Fed Holding, an Opportunity to Make Moves by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses how the recent selloff has made some parts of the market look attractive.

2015-09-23 00:00:00 Balancing Risks and Opportunities in the Multi-Speed World by Richard Clarida, Andrew Balls of PIMCO

Read our global economic outlook for the near term and implications for asset classes.

2015-09-22 00:00:00 Middle-East / Africa: Economy Trends Update: July 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

During the second quarter and July, the countries under our coverage in the Middle East and Africa region continued to battle global macroeconomic problems and, in some cases, hurdles specific to their own economies. The largest among these countries, resource-rich South Africa, struggled to boost growth amid the downturn in the global commodities market and a power shortage at home.

2015-09-22 00:00:00 On My Radar: “Dammit Janet” by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Whatever you can do, or dream you can… begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

2015-09-22 00:00:00 The Uber-Dove vs Black Swans by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

You couldn’t have missed it. Only stages full of GOP presidential candidates or the Super Bowl have ever had more media attention. Yes, we are talking about the Federal Reserve’s thundering announcement on Thursday – of nothing. The Fed decided to keep interest rates at zero, for at least the next few months, after holding them near zero for over six years.

2015-09-22 00:00:00 US High Yield: Energy Is Lagging, but Consumers Are Set to Spend by Scott Roberts and Rahim Shad of Invesco Blog

Weak commodity prices have made this year’s US high yield story a “tale of two markets.” Year-to-date returns for the overall high yield market were a meager three basis points (0.03%) through Aug. 31. However, if you peel back energy and metals and mining, the rest of the asset class delivered a respectable 2.6% total return over the same period.

2015-09-22 00:00:00 Go Opposite to Hysteria by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Going against the panic plunge of August 24th was pretty easy, especially if you heeded the market’s warning message in early July that Mr. Market was going into a period of contraction. The ensuing post August 24th “throwback rally” was also pretty easy to anticipate. From there, however, things have become much more difficult.

2015-09-21 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For Sept. 14-18; Weak 3Q Numbers On the Horizon, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The U.S.’ immunity to international economic weakness continues. In their latest policy statement, the Fed once again described U.S. growth as “moderate.” With the exception of industrial production, this week’s economic releases confirm that assessment.

2015-09-21 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Has the Fed Assumed a Third Mandate? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Despite many signs of economic improvement, the Fed chose to maintain policy accommodation at emergency levels. In a week that is light on data and long on speeches, this news will be enough to keep Fed policy at the forefront.

2015-09-21 00:00:00 Federal Reserve Kicks the Can on Interest Rates by Christopher Molumphy of Franklin Templeton Investments

We were a little disappointed the Fed didn’t take action, primarily because we think the longer the Fed stays on hold the longer we will have uncertainty in the marketplace.

2015-09-21 00:00:00 How to Generate Alpha without Selecting Superior Funds by Bob Veres (Article)

In Part I of my series on active investment management, I described two types of research that attempted to help advisors uncover above-average talent: identifying conditions where you are more likely to find outperformers, and better ways to identify above-average managers. As it turns out, there’s a third possibility. Instead of identifying superior funds, you identify superior combinations of funds – which, of course, includes a fund-selection process, but then takes it one step further.

2015-09-19 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review For Sep. 14-18; Asian Slowdown, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Analysts’ recent adjustments lowering global growth projections are in line with recent events; China’s economy continues slowing. This lowers commodity prices, which decreases economic growth of commodity exporting countries. Hence, the primary causation of Australia’s below trend growth and Japan’s weaker economic performance. The US is somewhat immune; Chinese trade accounts for a fraction of US GDP, limiting the impact. The EU is a bit more exposed, due to their increased reliance on trade.

2015-09-19 00:00:00 Here Are Two Ways Investors Can Take Advantage of the Fed's Uncertainty by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Although interest rates could still be hiked in one of the two remaining times the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets this year, I’m inclined to think they’ll stay near zero until at least 2016. The decision is a welcome one for both gold demand and new home purchases. When rates rise, gold becomes less attractive for some investors, who are encouraged to exchange their no-yielding gold for income-producing assets.

2015-09-19 00:00:00 Annual Outlook Address by Mary Ellen Stanek of Baird Advisors

The uncertainty caused by speculating on when the Fed will raise rates is almost worse that the move itself. We think the Fed needs to forecast where the U.S. economy will be in terms of full employment and inflation a year or two down the road given the long and variable lags of the impact of their policy changes. We think they have been too optimistic in terms of the expected growth of the economy.

2015-09-19 00:00:00 Merkel Opens the Gates by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

This is all well and good for nations like Germany that need immigrants, but much of Europe is really not in need of new workers, given their present severe unemployment problems. Not to mention that in those countries budgets are already strained and taking on the task of housing tens of thousands of immigrants and refugees is not cheap.

2015-09-18 00:00:00 A Fed Move Could Be Good News for Emerging Markets by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

If in coming months the Fed feels confident enough in the US economy to raise interest rates, it could be viewed as positive news for emerging markets, particularly those with export ties that benefit from a strengthening US economy.

2015-09-18 00:00:00 Should Emerging Market Investors Fight the Fed? by Burt White of LPL Financial

Emerging market stocks have not won much lately, but the Fed may be a winnable fight. The Federal Reserve, which announces its policy decision on September 17, 2015, is on the verge of starting a rate hike cycle for the first time in more than 10 years. We have previously written that the start of Fed rate hikes has not marked an impending end to bull markets for U.S. stocks (despite the popular Wall Street adage “don’t fight the Fed.”) In reality, the first rate hike has told us we are about halfway through the cycle as discussed in our Weekly Market Commentary of August 25, 2014.

2015-09-18 00:00:00 The Fed Holds by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) concluded its meeting today with no change in interest rates.

2015-09-18 00:00:00 Why the Fed Kept Rates ‘Lower for Longer’ Yet Again by Kristina Hooper, Steve Malin, Greg Meier of Allianz Global Investors

As a divided FOMC continues sitting on its collective hands, we’ve analyzed what’s going on behind the scenes and outlined the investment implications of the Fed’s latest inaction. Read the new report from Allianz Global Investors’ US Capital Markets & Strategy team.

2015-09-17 00:00:00 Should You Actually Worry About Gold Confiscation? by Guy Christopher of Money Metals Exchange

Most gold owners are familiar with worries of forced government gold confiscation – that one day black-ops shock teams will toss homes to find that stash of coins and bars.

2015-09-17 00:00:00 How Much, How Far, How Fast, Not When? by John Canally of LPL Financial

The policymaking arm of the Federal Reserve (Fed), the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), will hold its sixth of eight meetings of the year this week. On Thursday, September 17, 2015, at the conclusion of the two-day meeting, the FOMC will release a statement and a new economic and interest rate forecast. In addition, Fed Chair Janet Yellen will conduct her third post-FOMC meeting press conference of the year.

2015-09-17 00:00:00 Provise Bullets by Team of ProVise Management Group

Speculation abounds about whether the Fed will raise interest rates for the first time since June 2006. Yes, it was almost a decade ago. Hard to believe that would have ever happened, but it has.

2015-09-17 00:00:00 More Volatility on U.S. Horizon Has Sights Turning to Asia by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

After weeks of struggling, global equities stabilized last week. In the U.S., the S&P 500 Index rose 2.08% to 1,961, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 2.05% to 16,433, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index advanced an even stronger 2.97% to end the week at 4,822. Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year Treasury rose from 2.13% to 2.19%, as its price correspondingly fell.

2015-09-17 00:00:00 Fed Keeps Interest Rates Near Zero a Little Longer by Paul Eitelman of Russell Investments

Paul Eitelman delves into today’s Fed announcement on interest rates. What might it mean for the U.S. economic growth outlook?

2015-09-16 00:00:00 New Study: We're Nowhere Near Peak Coal Use in China and India by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Resource investors, take note: By 2025, just 10 years from now, energy consumption in Asia will increase a whopping 31 percent. A whole two-thirds of that demand, driven largely by China and India, will be for fossil fuels, most notably coal.

2015-09-16 00:00:00 Don’t Submit to Market Distortions by Sharon Fay of AllianceBernstein

After years of steadily rising markets, distortions have become embedded in the landscape. We believe there are several large market imbalances that investors may be exposed to in passive portfolios today.

2015-09-16 00:00:00 Where Will Crude Oil Go From Here? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

While recent oil price movements have been extraordinary, Russ explains why crude oil should remain range bound going forward.

2015-09-16 00:00:00 It’s Someone Else’s Money by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Indeed, due to expensive valuations, lack of revenue/earnings growth, slow GDP, China, politics, etc., the stock market had been in a virtual stalemate paralysis until the middle of July, having crossed above/below “go” so many times the only way to make money was to erect a toll gate at “go” (think the game Monopoly). And no wonder, frustration has reigned through the first six months of the year.

2015-09-16 00:00:00 Stock Market Indicator Alert by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

On Friday our Classic strategy’s timing signal switched to a sell. This is the first time in two years that both its high risk and timing components have aligned to create a sell signal.

2015-09-16 00:00:00 September 2015 Economic Update by Team of Cambridge Advisors

In August, stocks started out trading within the range they had traded in for most of the year. Mid-month, investors were shaken when stocks stumbled and posted their worst monthly decline since August 2011.

2015-09-16 00:00:00 The Fed's Dilemma by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate rise history reveals a familiar dilemma—previous delays led to inflated asset prices and recessions.

2015-09-16 00:00:00 Will She or Won’t She . . . Raise Rates, That Is? by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

The big news this week is the Federal Reserve’s rate-setting meeting tomorrow and Thursday. This is one of eight meetings held each year, approximately every six weeks. The remaining ones in 2015 are in October and December. The reason this matters is because, once again, the Fed has to decide whether to start raising rates or not. I have argued before that, economically, it doesn’t really matter that much, but from an investor confidence perspective—and thus for the markets—it does.

2015-09-16 00:00:00 China, Commodities, and Crisis: What's Next for Emerging Markets? by (Article)

China’s growth fueled global markets for years, and recent events raise concerns about other emerging markets, heavily dependent on Chinese demand and already out of favor with investors. This month, we consider "China, Commodities, and Crisis: What’s Next for Emerging Markets?"

2015-09-15 00:00:00 The Nazrudin Project – Bending the Profession Since 1995 by Richard Vodra, JD (Article)

The financial planning profession is only a few decades old, and is continuing to discover how it can best serve its clients. This is the story of one group and its process that has had an outsized impact for change over the last 20 years.

2015-09-15 00:00:00 Gundlach on Donald Trump, China and Fed Policy by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Despite grabbing most of the headlines and leading in many of the polls, Donald Trump is not expected to win the Republican nomination. But Jeffrey Gundlach said that Trump has done the electorate a “big favor by bringing up issues that have been conveniently buried for quite some time.”

2015-09-15 00:00:00 Stuck in the Middle with You by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

Unless you have been asleep on the floor for the last six weeks, you’ve noticed that the U.S. stock market has gone down. Even before stocks sold off in August, the average common stock had been performing poorly relative to the S&P 500 Index. In August, the market officially declined more than 10% from peak to trough. An anthem for situations like this comes from the one-hit wonder, Stealers Wheel, who penned the song “Stuck in the Middle with You.”

2015-09-15 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: To Hike, or not to Hike? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

After many years of standing pat on interest rates, there is finally a genuine chance of a shift in Fed policy. The punditry will be asking: To hike, or not to hike?

2015-09-15 00:00:00 We Aren't Getting by with a Little Help from the Fed by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

Long term investors would do well to avoid getting caught up in the guessing game of when the Fed will raise interest rates. Economic theory and empirical evidence both point to the reality that there is precious little the Fed can do sustainably improve economic outcomes. Instead, it is far better to keep an eye on income and investment.

2015-09-15 00:00:00 FOMC Preview: First, Do No Harm by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

Next week’s meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is one of the more highly anticipated central bank sessions in years. A couple of months ago, the policy decision that will emerge next Thursday afternoon seemed clear.

2015-09-15 00:00:00 Describing Liquid Alts: Risk Parity by Michael Breitenbach of Larkin Point Investment Advisors LLC

The risk-parity portfolio technique offers an alternative portfolio construction methodology to heuristic rules such as “60/40” and traditional quantitative portfolio construction techniques such as mean-variance optimization. Proponents of risk-parity portfolios argue that the traditional 60/40 allocation historically has exposed investors disproportionately to equity market risk and that volatility in these historical returns has been driven primarily by variation in equity market prices.

2015-09-15 00:00:00 The Fed: More Noise Than Meaning by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Get on with it already! Don’t get us wrong, we know this is the “Super Bowl” for business journalism (anyone have tix to the ESPN party?), but raising rates from 1/8th to 3/8ths of 1%, after six years of economic recovery should be a no-brainer. Our suggestion: spend the week analyzing companies and investment products. Don’t get sucked into the idea that there is some genius trading strategy for how to deal with this. That’s right; ignore it. Don’t read the statement and don’t watch the press conference.

2015-09-15 00:00:00 Market Unease May Continue for Some Time by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Markets calmed last week relative to recent turmoil, but investor sentiment remains fragile. The focus on Federal Reserve policy, weakness in China and concerns about economic growth continued to drive sentiment. The S&P 500 Index gained 2.1%, commodities were flat and bond yields rose. Technology and health care posted the best results, while energy lagged.

2015-09-14 00:00:00 Schwab Market Perspective: Now What? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”—Mike Tyson. We don’t often quote Mike Tyson, but his words resonate lately. Investors are wondering what to do—buy the dips, sell the rallies, or sit tight? First, investment decisions should never be made on emotion, which tends to dominate at times like this. It can be difficult to stomach moves such as we’ve seen recently. But investors who have an investing plan in place should indeed just sit there, let things calm down, and continue with the plan already put in place.

2015-09-14 00:00:00 A Turn of the Tide Revisited by Martin Pring of Pring Turner Capital Group

US equities reached a major inflexion point in the year 2000. It was historic because it represented both a secular and primary reversal. A primary trend revolves around the business cycle and typically lasts 2-3 years, whereas a secular one lasts much longer and embraces several cycles. Our objective here is to revisit an article published earlier this year in which we pointed out some ominous signs for US equities. At that time some trend reversal signals, such as negative long-term moving average crossovers, were required as confirmation.

2015-09-12 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review For Sept. 7-11 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

There has been a slight but important shift in news coverage over the last few months. It started with the wild gyrations of the Chinese stock market, which, in retrospect, granted journalists permission to write more negative stories about the global economy. Since then, we’re seen more discussion about EM capital flight, the fiscal troubles of Brazil and the potential issues related to Russia. The news is hardly catastrophic; it simply represents the natural ripples flowing out from China’s attempt to change its economic model and the potential Fed rate hike coming down the pike.

2015-09-12 00:00:00 Life Is Uncertain and So Are Interest Rates by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Right now, a lot of investors are wondering about the uncertainty of rising interest rates—the causes, effects and possible ramifications. Many people have been saying for weeks and months now that a rate hike is imminent and that September is the anticipated takeoff. I’ve been skeptical of this, and now a chart from highly-respected market analyst Jeff deGraaf confirms my skepticism.

2015-09-12 00:00:00 Active Versus Passive – Understanding the Debate by Charles Batchelor of Cleary Gull

The purpose of this series of blog posts is not to add to the already massive number of studies, whitepapers, presentations, academic papers, blogs, etc. that attempt to prove which overriding type of investment product, “active” or “passive,” is “better.” Furthermore, I am not going to give you my opinion on which product type is superior. Rather, my primary goals are to better define what is being debated, spend time on what I do not believe has been discussed nearly enough during the “active vs. passive” debate.

2015-09-12 00:00:00 The Case for (Carefully Selected) High Yield by Chad Gunther of Ivy Investment Management Company

The second half of summer has challenged high-yield fixed income investors with volatility fueled by developments on a number of fronts. That volatility, however, may have created some potential opportunities. Chad Gunther, portfolio manager of Ivy High Income Fund, shares his views.

2015-09-12 00:00:00 Needed at the Fed: An Inverse Volcker by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

I believe the Federal Open Market Committee should hike rates ASAP. A number of very astute analysts and Fed observers agree with me. On the other hand, an equal-sized army of similarly smart analysts think they should not. It seems to me this recovery is getting long in the tooth. The Fed needs to give itself some room to stimulate when the economy turns down again. As it stands now, their only weapons are to take interest rates negative or to resume quantitative easing. We don’t want either of those.

2015-09-11 00:00:00 Beige Book: Windo on Main Street by John Canally of LPL Financial

The latest Beige Book suggests that the U.S. economy is still growing at or above its long-term trend, indicating that some of the “transitory factors” that held the U.S. economy back in the first quarter of 2015 have faded. Comments also indicate that concern over China’s impact on the U.S. economy has increased and that some upward pressure on wages is beginning to emerge.

2015-09-11 00:00:00 Solon’s Warning by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets is a book by written by Nassim Taleb that discusses the fallibility of human knowledge. Taleb’s main premise is that modern humans are mostly unaware of the existence of “randomness,” believing that random outcomes are non-random. Randomness is the lack of a pattern, or predictability, in events; a random sequence of events that has no order and does not follow an intelligible pattern.

2015-09-11 00:00:00 An Expert’s Guide to Market Volatility by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ shares three themes that have emerged from his conversations with numerous clients following the market drama in recent weeks.

2015-09-11 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: September by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

While the [US] Fed is facing an extremely delicate task ... it is still our belief that the US economy remains sufficiently strong to be able to bear a gradual increase in short-term rates in the coming months.

2015-09-11 00:00:00 Protecting Against Inflation In a Deflationary World by Steven Malin Ph.D. of Allianz Global Investors

Powerful global deflationary forces will continue to put downward pressure on the prices of inputs and outputs for months, if not years, to come. Even if the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England raise policy interest rates over the months ahead, inflation risk premiums built into market interest rates will remain small. In the absence of strong wage increases, unprecedented global growth in the supply of resources and outputs relative to demand will linger—and inflation will remain constrained.

2015-09-10 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review for Aug 31-Sept. 4 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The Federal Reserve released the latest Beige Book on Wednesday which showed a modestly expanding economy. While construction, aerospace and the auto industry led to manufacturing growth, cheap imported substitutes and the strong dollar continue providing headwinds. Retail, tourism and service sectors reported moderate growth. Housing sales and construction continue growing, but low inventory is driving prices higher. The imminent Fed rate increase is pulling some projects forward. The overall trend of loan growth and declining delinquencies continues.

2015-09-10 00:00:00 Describing Liquid Alts: Alternative-Asset Beta (FX, Commodities, MLPs and beyond) by Michael Breitenbach of Larkin Point Investment Advisors LLC

The alternative-asset beta family of related liquid alternative strategies invests in alternative assets such as foreign exchange, commodities, and energy infrastructure. Ideally, these investments will provide attractive risk-adjusted returns that are uncorrelated with traditional equity and fixed-income markets.

2015-09-10 00:00:00 U.S. Labor: The Fear of Wages by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Not only are U.S. employment costs accelerating but also worker output per hour is decelerating. Could this spur inflation concerns at the U.S. Federal Reserve?

2015-09-10 00:00:00 Uncertainty = Opportunity® by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

While market volatility is currently making front-page headlines in the media, we argue that investors must look past the noise and objectively focus on the fundamentals. Before you decide on a drastic asset allocation shift, learn what opportunities we see in these uncertain markets.

2015-09-10 00:00:00 Did you miss it? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

As kids in Michigan head back to school today, I’m sure many students are asking, “What happened to summer? Did I miss it?” When I was that age, it always seemed like the school year was so long and that summer just flew by. Because the last week before Labor Day is one of the most popular vacation weeks, many investors were probably only vaguely aware of the financial market actions last week. With the extreme market swings of the previous week, they doubtless just wanted to lie down on a sandy beach, soak up some end-of-summer rays, and read some diverting summer fiction.

2015-09-10 00:00:00 The U.S. Economy Is Not Holding Back the Fed by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

The Federal Reserve’s rate-setting committee meets next week, and there is more uneasiness than usual surrounding the event. Much has changed in the past few weeks, and the Fed’s likely course of action is being examined from a multitude of angles.

2015-09-10 00:00:00 What Might Tax Liability Mean to You? by Frank Pape of Russell Investments

Understanding tax liability and being able to explain it to your clients can be important. Frank Pape provides ways to be more tax aware.

2015-09-09 00:00:00 Competing with the Alpha and the Omega by Cole Smead, CFA of Smead Capital Management

In the Bible, Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” While Jesus infers that he is at both the beginning and the end of time, we as investors can only operate in the present with a knowledge of what has come before. To better understand today's commodity market circumstances, we believe investors should examine the herd mentality and the psychological backing that may lead to contrarian investment opportunities.

2015-09-09 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time to Revise Year-End Market Estimates? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Sometimes the calendar dictates the agenda. The Labor Day weekend marks the official end of a summer that was eventful for markets. The punditry will be asking: What is your (revised) EOY target for stocks?

2015-09-09 00:00:00 Everything's Not Bad by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Have you noticed? Everything’s bad these days. On February 25, 2015, the Washington Post wonkblog posted a piece titled “Why rising wages might be bad news.” Last week, on September 1st, after another strong month of car and truck sales, the Wall Street Journal published a story “The Bad News in Strong Car Sales.”

2015-09-09 00:00:00 Markets Remain in Turmoil, but Should Stabilize Eventually by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Global equity markets fell last week with the S&P 500 Index down 3.4% and some non-U.S. markets declining even more. The sell-off is a continuing reflection of the ongoing turmoil that started a few weeks ago when China devalued its currency on August 11.

2015-09-09 00:00:00 A Time to Take Stock – and Advantage of Pockets of Value by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Another week, another selloff. Stocks tumbled again last week with the S&P 500 Index falling 3.37% to 1,921 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declining 3.25% to 16,102. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index struggled as well, down 3.00% to 4,683. Meanwhile, bond yields were relatively unchanged, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury slipping from 2.18% to 2.13%, as its price correspondingly rose.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 Making Sense of Market Volatility by Sponsored Content from Invesco (Article)

• On Aug. 21, the Dow Jones Industrial Average entered a correction and reminded investors what volatility looks like. • Several Invesco senior investment leaders discuss their views of market volatility. • They share how it affects, or doesn’t affect, the opportunities they see.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 Curb Your Mind by Rick Lear of Lear Investment Management

With the recent events in China and Greece causing volatility in the global markets, we think it is more important than ever to take a moment to reflect on how capital markets function. People trade stocks; and an understanding of the human thought processes is at the foundation of markets. The recent gyration of the world’s markets reminds us how quickly greed can turn to fear and how investors can begin to make mistakes. We find that heightened emotions often lead to mistakes that can be easily avoided.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 Investment Grade Bonds Power Explosion in M&A by Jacob Habibi of Invesco Blog

New bond issuance in the US investment grade (IG) market has exploded in 2015 as companies look to finance mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and Invesco Fixed Income sees no signs of this trend slowing down through the end of the year.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 On My Radar: A Bumpy Ride? How Bumpy? And For How Long? by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Volatility and uncertainty are nothing new in financial markets. QE4 may right the ship but that is the bet. No guarantees in this game.

2015-09-06 00:00:00 Muddling Through Shanghai by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

China is in transition, a transition that was clearly telegraphed if you have been paying attention. Our recent book on China (A Great Leap Forward?) clearly laid out this new path. Today we are going to talk about this precarious, difficult transition, which may impose profound impacts on much of the rest of the world. This transition is going to change the way global trade has worked in the past. There will be winners and losers.

2015-09-05 00:00:00 The Art of Capital Flight by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

For emerging-market investors, art has become a critical tool for moving and hiding wealth, which has been a major factor in the spectacular rise in auction prices of the last several years. So, with emerging-market economies from Russia to Brazil mired in recession, and China slowing rapidly, is the art bubble about to burst?

2015-09-05 00:00:00 Meet QT; QE's Evil Twin by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

There is a growing sense across the financial spectrum that the world is about to turn some type of economic page. Unfortunately no one in the mainstream is too sure what the last chapter was about, and fewer still have any clue as to what the next chapter will bring. There is some agreement however, that the age of ever easing monetary policy in the U.S. will be ending at the same time that the Chinese economy (that had powered the commodity and emerging market booms) will be finally running out of gas.

2015-09-04 00:00:00 Here’s Your Guide to What the Influencers Are Saying about Commodities by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

A few legendary influencers in investing are making huge bets right now on commodities, an area that’s faced—and continues to face—some pretty strong headwinds. What are we to make of this?

2015-09-04 00:00:00 Unpopularity Contest by Herbert and Randall Abramson of Trapeze Asset Management

With central banks focused on growth and generating inflation, and their pedals to the metal, we believe the ultimate outcome will be inflationary growth, or even stagflation. But, inevitably, a boost for depressed commodities and the depressed share prices of their currently unpopular producers. A particular opportunity when the correction phase ends and the bull market resumes. Time to be contrarian. And patient value investors should clearly be rewarded.

2015-09-04 00:00:00 Will Unsettled Markets Unsettle the Federal Reserve? by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The question of how events in the Far East will affect the Fed has come up frequently in recent conversations. At the outset, it should be noted that central banks do not center their policies on the levels of asset markets or the level of volatility.

2015-09-04 00:00:00 Unfazed by the Turmoil by Byron Wien of Blackstone

Overall, my sense of this year’s lunches is that the participants were still basically optimistic, as they generally are. I wonder if there were something big and negative brewing out there, whether the group would be able to anticipate it.

2015-09-04 00:00:00 ECRI Weekly Leading Index: "Cheap Labor" by Jill Mislinski of Advisor Perspectives (dshort.com)

ECRI's latest article argues that the improvement in employment is illusory and a misleading indicator of the labor market. The jobs recovery since the Great Recession has been spearheaded by cheap labor.

2015-09-04 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review For Aug. 31-Sept. 4 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The potential negative impact of China’s slowdown is sinking into policy maker’s decision making process and trader’s analysis. Money is flowing from emerging to developed economies; emerging markets and currencies are underperformers relative to developed markets. The potential for China to export deflation is being discussed. And central bankers are acknowledging the slowdown by lowering growth forecasts and opening speculating about additional monetary stimulus. As we leave the summer doldrums and enter the last four months of trading, the environment has clearly changed.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 12 Questions for a 12% Correction by Burt White of LPL Financial

The recent market downdraft and related uncertainty in China have led to many investor questions. The strong 6.5% rebound in the S&P 500 over the last three trading sessions (August 26, 27, 28, 2015) has cut the S&P 500’s losses from the 2015 peak (2130 on May 21, 2015) to 6.7%. In response to the S&P 500’s recent 12% correction?—?the first decline of more than 10% since 2011?—?we answer 12 investor questions. Bottom line, we do not expect the latest correction and China uncertainty to lead to the end of the U.S. economic expansion or the end of the six-and-a-half-year old bull

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Commodities, China and Currencies Oh My! by Rudolph-Riad Younes of R Squared Capital Management

Recent market events confirm our big picture view. We are and have been bearish on commodities and emerging markets. The spike in commodity prices during the so-called supercycle and the ZIRP (zero interest rate period) in the U.S. created irrationally exuberant conditions in many emerging markets. We are moving from a virtuous circle to a vicious cycle.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Inflation - It Will Get Worse by Chun Wang of Leuthold Weeden Capital Management

The dollar real effective exchange rate and the 10-year real yield are great proxies for monetary conditions. Stronger dollar and higher real yields are both indications of tighter monetary conditions. Unfortunately, this is what is happening right now. In other words, the markets are doing the tightening job for the Fed. This is why we think the Fed would be much better off postponing the rate hike.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Look Out Below? by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

Are we experiencing a healthy correction or something more? After a long-period of relative calm, risk assets sold off meaningfully in response to global growth concerns. Our Chief Investment Strategist analyzes the fundamental picture in the wake of the recent downturn and what investors should do now.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Market Worries, Real and Imagined by Scott Brown of Raymond James

Financial market participants were beset with a number of worries in August. However, as a general theme, investors often worry about things they shouldn’t worry about and don’t worry about the things that they should worry about.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Searching for Sustainable Growth in Malaysia by Dilip Badlani of The Royce Funds

As an active manager with a value orientation, Portfolio Manager Dilip Badlani seeks to locate inexpensive companies helmed by management teams that have demonstrated an ability to consistently execute plans to grow their business irrespective of economic conditions. Though not without its challenges, Malaysia's history of perseverance makes it an attractive market for disciplined and patient investors.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Inflation, the Fed, and the Big Picture by Carmen Reinhart of Project Syndicate

Inflation was the theme of this year’s international conference of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. But, while policymakers are right to prepare for future risks to price stability, they did not place these concerns in the context of recent inflation developments at the global level – or within historical perspective.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 The Next Financial Crisis May Be Already Unfolding by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

Is an epic financial meltdown about to commence? Predictions that a crash will occur in the fall of 2015 have been gaining traction. They are bolstered by some of the market events of this summer, which suggest that something big is indeed unfolding.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Defensive Expectations by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

Last week there was an article in the WSJ noting the performance struggles of one of the larger liquid alternative mutual funds. I am not going to link to the article or name the fund because any fund can do very well, attract a lot of assets, then do poorly and lose the assets which is the arc of this fund’s story but instead want to focus on avoid that sort of loop or at least recognizing the potential for that sort of loop so that no one is surprised if/when it happens.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 A Sharp Slowing in U.S. Economic Growth is Projected For 2015 Q3 by Robert Lamy of The Forecasting Advisor

At the start of each month, the U.S. Institute for Supply Management (ISM) releases data on the state of the manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries of the U.S. economy. The data are closely followed by economists, stock market brokers and the media as they provide the earliest reading on the current state of the economy.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Portfolio Strategy: China September 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The current global market volatility has made some investors skittish and, presumably, many are contemplating curtailing the equity exposure in their portfolios. But before throwing in the towel, they will do well to ask themselves: Who is buying all the stocks amid this selloff?

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Vietnam-EU Agreement: A Good Deal for Southeast Asia by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

As investors in Vietnamese stocks, the primary constraint we face is one of liquidity and limited choices in which to invest, but we are hopeful that will soon change. Vietnam has had a fast-growing economy, and we have found good companies there, including some that are state-owned.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 The Many Uses of Gold by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Gold’s many qualities make it one of the most coveted metals in the world. Not only can it be beautifully shaped and sculpted, the yellow metal also conducts electricity, doesn’t tarnish and is biocompatible (meaning it’s not harmful to our tissue). These qualities make it the metal of choice in a wide variety of industries, including dentistry and medicine, electrical engineering, construction and aerospace manufacturing.

2015-09-02 00:00:00 Provise Bullets by Team of ProVise Management Group

There is a big debate within the financial services industry regarding who should be required to be a fiduciary. Basically a fiduciary puts their clients’ interests ahead of their own, a philosophy ProVise has espoused since our founding in the mid-80s. The Department of Labor has proposed a rule which would require ALL who give advice on retirement plans to do so at a fiduciary standard of care.

2015-09-02 00:00:00 Equities Endure Intense Volatility, but the Bull Market Survives by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities experienced extreme volatility last week. Prices plummeted on Monday morning due to concerns over slowing growth in China as well as uncertainty surrounding Federal Reserve policy. The sell-off was likely exacerbated by trading halts, liquidity pressures and systematic investing programs. Markets recovered later in the week as investors viewed conditions as oversold, and as oil and other commodity prices stabilized and advanced. For the week, the S&P 500 Index gained 1.0%. The energy, technology and consumer discretionary sectors led the way while utilities sold off sharply.

2015-09-02 00:00:00 Bremmer’s Choices by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Last week, we wrote our first formal book review as a Weekly Geopolitical Report. The book, Superpower: Three Choices for America’s Role in the World, is a recently published book by Ian Bremmer in which he discusses three models for American foreign policy. In our closing comments last week, we promised to take a deeper look at Bremmer’s foreign policy models to examine their costs and benefits. In this report, we analyze his three models of exercising the superpower role, Indispensable America, Independent America and Moneyball America, and discuss which model is the most likely choice.

2015-09-02 00:00:00 August 2015 Commentary by Joe Becker of Milliman Financial Risk Management

As August wound down and families enjoyed the last few lazy days of summer, financial markets clearly had another idea in mind. After trading in a relatively tight range for most of the summer, the last two weeks of August were marked by volatility, the likes of which haven’t been seen since 2011. We attribute this heightened volatility to the confluence of global macro conditions with technical factors.

2015-09-01 00:00:00 Oil Prices: The Drill Is Gone by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

The nuclear deal with Iran is not yet settled, but it definitely points to, among many other things, lower oil prices. Once sanctions lift, Iran, desperate for cash, will sell all the oil it can, increasing global supplies and likely driving down prices. This one-time supply surge will, no doubt, take a while to have its full effect, until mid-2016 in all likelihood, but thereafter, slowdowns in production elsewhere in the world, including shale and tar sands in North America, should again begin to put upward pressure on the global price of crude.

2015-09-01 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What Are the Lessons from the Market Turmoil? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Dramatic events reset agendas. People re-evaluate probabilities about what is possible as well as the personal implications. Because the recent market story is so big and so fresh the week will start with the punditry asking: What are the lessons from the market turmoil?

2015-09-01 00:00:00 Risk Is Like the Air We Breathe by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

A couple of months ago I wrote an article about how risk, like death and taxes, is always with us. That was written as the market made new all-time highs, and I wanted to make it clear that such highs did not mean that risk was absent. Risk is always with us—like the air we breathe.

2015-09-01 00:00:00 Near-Term Headwinds Offer Attractive Buying Opportunities by (Article)

With many companies in more economically sensitive sectors of the small-cap market poised for incremental margin expansion and accelerated earnings growth as the U.S. economy continues down the path of normalization, Portfolio Managers Steven McBoyle and Lauren Romeo are trying to take advantage of current headwinds that should ultimately reverse with more robust economic growth.

2015-09-01 00:00:00 The Swing of the Pendulum: A Snapshot of the Market by Pamela Rosenau of HighTower Advisors

In the beginning of the year, I had written a prediction that developed markets would outperform developing (or emerging) markets for 2015. While the prediction may be correct, it has yet to be profitable. Nevertheless, I am encouraged as we approach the end of the year that we will move much closer to positive territory. When we encounter significant volatility in markets, it is always important to separate fact from fiction.

2015-09-01 00:00:00 Five Reasons Now is the Time to Hold Equities by Steven Vannelli of GaveKal Capital

After the recent correction, many investors are asking how to respond in their portfolios. I’m recommending clients hold on to equity exposure, even consider increasing it. Below, I run through my case.

2015-09-01 00:00:00 Is a Recession Coming? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ Koesterich explains why fears of an imminent U.S. recession may be overblown.

2015-08-31 00:00:00 Making Sense of Market Volatility by Karen Dunn Kelley of Invesco Blog

On Aug. 21, the Dow Jones Industrial Average entered a correction, falling 10% from its most recent peak, and reminded investors what volatility looks like after almost four correction-free years. While volatility exposes weaknesses in the market, in my opinion it also reveals the strength of high conviction managers who are skillfully navigating the market. Active management and smart beta strategies seek to surpass the “market averages” offered by traditional benchmarks, providing the potential not only for higher returns, but also for a smoother ride.

2015-08-31 00:00:00 The Active-Passive Debate Revisited by Bob Veres (Article)

Asset flows to passively managed funds are surging. But, as often happens, advisors are embracing a trend just as debunking information is arriving in the marketplace. New research is showing that selecting above-average active funds may not be the impossible task that the academic research has suggested.

2015-08-31 00:00:00 On My Radar: We Didn’t Start The Fire by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Risk is high. For equity exposure, hedge or raise cash on rallies and let your tactical and alternative strategies follow their processes. Put in place the processes. Now is the time.

2015-08-31 00:00:00 Managed Futures - Describing Liquid Alts by Michael Breitenbach of Larkin Point Investment Advisors LLC

Managed futures strategies date back several decades to the emergence of commodity trading advisors, which were first formally defined as a structure by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Act of 1974 (CFTC). This type of strategy is also often offered through commodity pool operator vehicles, which are a similar and inter-related designation also primarily regulated by the CFTC.

2015-08-31 00:00:00 Dog Days Are Over: What a Week! by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

Volatility … and the volatility of volatility … hit record levels last week. We believe this is just a correction; not the beginning of a new bear market. Weeks like last week provide valuable lessons for investors about crowd psychology and the benefits of diversification and rebalancing.

2015-08-30 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Waterfall events like the current one tend to most often reverberate into the weeks ahead. Indices will often jump 10% or more higher and also attempt to retest the lows. Volatility will likely remain elevated for several months. But the fall in equity prices, which has knocked investor sentiment to its knees, opens up an attractive risk/reward opportunity for investors. Further weakness, which is quite possible, is an opportunity to accumulate with an eye toward year-end. However, a quick, uncorrected rally in the next week or two would likely fail.

2015-08-30 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For August 24-28 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The strongest news of the week was the upward revision of 2Q GDP from 2.3% to 3.7% (Q/Q). All sectors contributed. Personal consumption expenditures increased 3.1% with contributions from durable goods purchases (+8.2%) and non-durable goods (+4.1%). Residential construction increased 7.8% while non-residential was up 3.1%. Equipment was down .4%, but this can be attributed to oil sector’s weakness. Finally, exports increased 5.2%. Overall, this report was very encouraging, especially considering 1Q weakness.

2015-08-30 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For August 24-28 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The fundamentals overall are slightly positive because they give companies an environment where they can grow top line revenue. The problem is most companies are just barely doing so. Even excluding the energy sector, top line revenue was only up 1.1% last quarter. Yes, it’s positive, which is obviously better than the alternative. But with market is already pricey; a 1.1% revenue increase doesn’t add a lot of upside room.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 China’s Currency Devaluation by Team of Wasatch Funds

After years of small-scale strengthening against the U.S. dollar, the coordinated devaluation of the Chinese yuan has come when China’s economy is seeing more signs of weakness. In our view, it’s hard to believe that the recent devaluation of the yuan will significantly help the Chinese economy. In addition, relative to the last several years, the yuan is still strong against the euro and the yen. This raises the question: Is there more devaluation to come?

2015-08-28 00:00:00 Doodles from an Eventful Summer by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

This month's Absolute Return Letter is a little different. It was a very eventful summer with many incidents impacting financial markets and we have compiled all these topics into one letter. China is, not surprisingly, a core subject. If the Chinese economy is slowing (and it is), we don't think China is in for a hard landing. If anyone is in the near term - and this may surprise you - we think the U.S. and the euro zone are far more likely candidates.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 On Market Corrections, and Keeping a Calm Head by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

Despite recent market volatility, we consider the long-term outlook for China’s market and economy to be good. We don’t view this recent correction as the start of any sort of economic or market collapse underway, and it doesn’t change our view on investing there.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 Feeling Old Yet? Incoming College Freshmen Have Always Known Google by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

I use Google every day, and yet I still marvel at how amazing a tool it is. Part of this amazement stems from the fact that most of my life was spent in the dark ages before the search giant changed human knowledge forever. I appreciate it in a way 19th-century, transcontinental travelers must have appreciated steam locomotives’ ability to shave days and weeks from their covered-wagon travel time. Except Google is more like a rocket ship than a locomotive.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 Cheap Oil and Global Growth by Anatole Kaletsky of Project Syndicate

The standard explanation is weak Chinese demand, with the oil-price collapse widely regarded as a portent of recession, either in China or for the entire global economy. But this is almost certainly wrong: On all recent occasions when the oil price was halved, faster global growth followed.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 Schwab’s Perspective on Recent Market Volatility by Team of Charles Schwab

Global markets may have swung wildly in recent days, but we think the recent selloff in stocks and commodities is not a sign of imminent global recession. However, it may prompt the Federal Reserve (Fed) to postpone raising U.S. interest rates for a while longer. In the meantime, the basics of successful investing remain the same: Sticking to your long-term investment plan and maintaining a well-diversified portfolio should help you weather the market storm.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 If China Lands Hard, It Won’t Be Alone by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The news from China has been volatile and disconcerting. There is a general sense that the carnage would be far worse if not for active intervention from Chinese authorities.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 Weapons of Economic Misdirection by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

This week’s letter will deal with the problems of determining what GDP really is, and I’ll throw in a few quick remarks on what the recent GDP revision means for the Fed and whether they’ll raise rates.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 China’s Economy Is Undergoing a Huge Transformation That No One’s Talking About by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Misconception and exaggeration are circling China’s economy right now like a flock of hungry buzzards. If you listen only to the popular media, you might believe that the Asian giant is teetering on the brink of economic disaster, with the Shanghai Composite Index’s recent correction and devaluation of the renminbi held up as “proof.”

2015-08-27 00:00:00 Solidifying a Case for Liquid Alternatives by David Saunders of Franklin Templeton Investments

Skeptics may be surprised to learn that the majority of hedge fund managers focus on providing capital appreciation with lower volatility than the broad markets.

2015-08-27 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: The Start of Something Big? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The big market decline has the attention of everyone, even those who do not closely follow the markets. The week will start with the punditry will be asking: Is the market decline the start of something big?

2015-08-27 00:00:00 Special Provise Bullet by Team of ProVise Management Group

The uncertainty concerning the Chinese economy, which escalated following the sudden devaluation of the Yuan, has raised the specter of a global slowdown and set world stock markets into a tailspin.

2015-08-27 00:00:00 Trying to Restore Order by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

It has been an unsettling month for the financial markets. The challenges faced by China, which have been amplified by inconsistent responses from policy makers, have heightened uncertainty.

2015-08-27 00:00:00 Global Market Chaos Amidst Worries About China, Etc. by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

There is so much to write about today it’s hard to know where to start. Equity markets around the world are plunging on worries about China, a possible Fed interest rate hike next month, the worsening bear market in commodities, economic and currency weakness in emerging markets, etc., etc.

2015-08-27 00:00:00 Should You Adjust? by Jim Tillar, Steve Wenstrup of Tillar-Wenstrup Advisors

Is it time for a correction? That is the question that has been on the mind of many investors for some time now. Those who have ridden the wave since the ugly market bottom of March 2009 can afford to be worried as they weathered an uncertain recovery in the market and have generally seen their assets grow quite well. Unfortunately the fires of gloom were hot after the financial crisis with the media fanning the flames of pessimism. Therefore many late arrivers to the market may still be struggling to reestablish their previous portfolio values.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 A Macro View of Recent Market Volatility by Michael Hasenstab and Sonal Desai of Franklin Templeton Investments

When we look at how much market panic there has been, you’d be under the impression China is headed full-speed into full-blown recession. That is not our call. We expect moderation in China’s growth and continue to see it as healthy.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 As Market Fears Grow, Stay Focused on the Long Term by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

One bad day doesn’t make a bear market. Two bad days, however, and the prospect of more to come, may well signal one.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 Markets Crashing, Gold Rising by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

U.S. Investors are on edge following last week’s and today’s sell-off in stocks around the globe. The carnage impacted equity markets in Asia, Europe, and the U.S. Interestingly, the U.S. dollar also weakened. And bonds and gold are getting most of the safe-haven buying.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 Why a 500-Point Sell-off Isn’t “Massive” by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

While I was training early this morning, I was forced to endure two hours of CNBC’s seemingly permanent headline across the bottom of the screen that screamed that the markets were heading for a “massive sell off.” At the time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down about 500 points. When the markets opened at 9:30, the Dow did open down about 500 points (thereafter it actually was down about 1,000 points) before bouncing back to its opening levels.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 Earnings Voids and the Emergence of Plausible Risk by Doug MacKay, Bill Hoover of Broadleaf Partners

We had put the finishing touches on a market update celebrating our first ten years in business, but were rudely interrupted by the first violence in the markets we’ve seen in nearly a year. Yes, a year.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 Turning an Oxymoron into an Opportunity by François Sicart of Tocqueville Asset Management

For my part, I feel in total harmony with the contrarian and value disciplines that have guided my investments for 40 years. At the same time, I also claim (and aim) to be a long-term investor. Yet, almost from the start of my career, I have had the somewhat uncomfortable feeling that, in practice, these claims may be contradictory.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 Building Corridors to the Future in Pakistan by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

We have been investing in Pakistan for a number of years, and see it as an overlooked investment destination with very attractive valuations due to negative macro sentiment.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 Get Real! Offsetting Inflation Risks in Your Glide Path by Daniel Loewy, Christopher Nikolich of AllianceBernstein

We’ve had a remarkable 30-year run of declining interest rates and modest inflation. As a result, few target-date glide paths were constructed with any inflation protection. We think it’s time to act.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 Finding Value in the Selloff Rubble by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the catalysts for the brutal equity selloff and its key takeaway for long-term investors.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 The Fed Is Spooking the Markets Not China by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Fasten your seat belts, this ride is getting interesting. Last week the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 1,000 points, notching its worst weekly performance in four years. The sell-off took the Dow Jones down more than 10% from its peak valuations, thereby constituting the first official correction in four years. One third of all S&P 500 companies are already in bear market territory, having declined more than 20% from their peaks. Scarier still, the selling intensified as the week drew to a close, with the Dow losing 530 points on Friday, after falling 350 points on Thursday.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 The Correction May Not Be Over, but the Bull Market Should Persist by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The S&P 500 Index fell 5.7% last week, its biggest weekly pullback since September 2011. Equities have been under pressure for some time, and it appears that investors finally gave in.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 This Correction is Technical, Not Fundamental by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

The only people more giddy with anticipation are the stock market pundits looking for The Big Short – II. It’s an eagerly anticipated sequel of the Panic of 2008. The S&P 500 is tumbling again today, more than 10% below the peak in May.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 On My Radar: An Optimist Sees The Opportunity In Every Difficulty by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

2015-08-24 00:00:00 Risk Turns Risky: Unpleasant Skew, Scale Dilation, and Broken Lines by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Over the years, I’ve observed that overvalued, overbought, overbullish market conditions have historically been accompanied by what I call “unpleasant skew” – a succession of small but persistent marginal new highs, followed by a vertical collapse in which weeks or months of gains are wiped out in a handful of sessions.

2015-08-24 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For August 17-22 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

For the last several months, I have expressed three concerns regarding the markets. The high current and forward PEs of the major averages were the first. This was followed by the declining top line revenue of the S&P 500 companies. And third were deteriorating market technicals; a weakening advance/decline line, fewer stocks participating in rallies and various averages (the transports, IWCs and IWMs) declining. All of those factors came home to roost this week as the markets sold-off in a fairly sharp manner.

2015-08-22 00:00:00 Playing the Chinese Trump Card by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Donald Trump wants to “rein in” China. Exactly how will anybody rein in anything if we tumble into another global recession, when it will be every country for itself? Not even Donald Trump knows how to make trouble on that scale.

2015-08-21 00:00:00 These Billionaire Investors Just Made Massive Bets on Gold and Airlines by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

I always advise investors to follow the smart money, and two people high on the list are Stanley Druckenmiller and Warren Buffett. Second-quarter regulatory filings show that Stanley Druckenmiller, the famed hedge fund manager, just placed more than $323 million of his own money into a gold ETF, at a time when sentiment toward the yellow metal is in the basement. Meanwhile, Buffett announced this week that Berkshire Hathaway is purchasing aircraft parts supplier Precision Castparts for $32 billion.

2015-08-21 00:00:00 Gold Glimmers as Global Market Fear Grips Investors by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Gold this week broke above its 50-day moving average as a fresh round of negative news from around the globe rekindled investors’ interest in the yellow metal as a safe haven. The Fear Trade, it seems, is in full force.

2015-08-21 00:00:00 Today's Market Action: S&P 500 and Dow more than down 3% by Jeremy Boynton of Laureate Wealth Management

What is causing the market to drop so significantly? The answer in one word: China.

2015-08-21 00:00:00 Schwab’s Perspective on Recent Market Volatility by Team of Charles Schwab

Global financial markets endured their worst week of the year this past week amid concerns over slowing economic growth and currency woes in China and other emerging markets, among other reasons. At times like these it is easy to start thinking short term, but keep in mind that the foundations of investing success are well established (have a plan, keep a close eye on expenses, stay diversified, and make sure your portfolio composition is lined up with your tolerance for risk and the timetable for when you’ll need to start drawing down the portfolio).

2015-08-20 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Equity Commentary: July 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Emerging market equity prices declined further in July, as concerns about slower growth in China as well as lower energy and commodity prices hurt investor optimism. Chinese equity markets, which had seen significant gains over the last one year, corrected despite the government’s efforts to stabilize the market.

2015-08-20 00:00:00 Commodities: A Crude Awakening by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

Commodities investors face numerous short-term challenges – falling demand, falling prices and a strong dollar – but this may present long-term opportunities for patient investors. Our Chief Investment Strategist, Jim McDonald, explains in his latest Investment Strategy Commentary: Commodities – A Crude Awakening.

2015-08-20 00:00:00 Summer Quartet by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

Music from four players continues to influence events in the bond market this summer: the Federal Reserve (Fed), China, oil prices, and the U.S. dollar. The music from these four players has led to a mixed response in the bond market: disturbing for short-term securities, melodic for long-term bonds.

2015-08-20 00:00:00 Global Energy: Adapting to New Realities by Suken Patel of Diamond Hill Capital Management, Inc.

The recent slide in oil prices is symptomatic of large fundamental shifts taking place across the energy sector. The current volatility is nothing new to oil markets as their self-correcting nature has frequently resulted in a sequence of deep boom and bust cycles. While we can anticipate and prepare for these cycles, much like with earthquakes, the timing and consequences can still be surprising. In times like these, maintaining a long-term perspective is essential to place current events in the proper context.

2015-08-20 00:00:00 Unattractive ‘Glamour Stocks’ Lead the Way in Asia Pacific by Brent Bates of Invesco Blog

Economic growth continues to decelerate across the Asia Pacific region. Domestic economies have not been robust enough to offset weakness in commodities and exports, and both revenue and earnings expectations were adjusted downward by 1% during the second quarter. Because growth is scarce, investors have been crowding into the highest-growth and highest-quality stocks; within Asia and Japan, this group of stocks is now trading at the highest premium to the rest of the market that we’ve seen in the past 20 years.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: August by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

We believe sound headline job creation figures point to rate increases by a [US] Fed that would like to begin to ‘normalize’ monetary policy when possible. The US economy is no longer in the emergency room, as it was in December 2008.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Why Care About Commodity Stocks? by Henry D'Auria, Michelle Dunstan of AllianceBernstein

Commodities haven’t been kind to investors in recent years. But we believe that shifting the frame of reference away from underlying price trends of metals and raw materials can reveal surprising opportunities in select commodity stocks.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Signs of a Struggling Economy? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

For many investors, China’s surprise devaluation of its currency reinforced global growth fears. Russ puts the move in context, and explains why to expect more volatility ahead.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 The One Percent by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

I don’t need to defend Mr. Landry. Mr. Landry does just fine on his own. But coming from me – someone who is my own biggest critic as well as a critic of Wall Street – you best realize that Mr. Landry is in the top 1% of people on Wall Street. He is clear, he is concise, and he is right more than he is wrong. AND more importantly, when he is wrong he doesn’t just sit there and fight the tape. He adjusts unlike [many] of the bonehead strategists on Wall Street; stop reading and listening to him at your own risk.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview: July 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

While some of the emerging economies continue to face slow growth from lower commodity exports, the outlook for most developed economies has brightened in recent months. The U.S. slowdown during the first half of this year was not as bad as thought earlier, while economic trends from the Eurozone remain stable. Helped by sustained labor market gains, U.S. consumer sentiment is picking up again and should help aggregate growth during the second half of the year.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For August 10-14 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Retail sales increased .6% M/M. But this statistic has shown some weakness over the last year: The best news in the report was the 6.9% Y/Y increase in auto sales. But over the last 12 readings, 6 have either been negative or 0%. And some of the increases have been small, totaling .4% and .5%. While the .6% was OK, this data series continues to point to a US consumer who is a bit more concerned about the overall economic situation, to the point where he is slowing his purchases.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Strong Dollar: A Headwind for Trade by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

A stronger U.S. currency likely will continue to weigh on exports and boost imports. What does this mean for future U.S. growth?

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Are MLPs Still a Good Investment? by Alan Cole, Chris Engelman of Cedar Hill Associates

Despite continuing to deliver solid earnings and dividend distribution growth, the prices of many Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) have declined by about 20% over the past year. Here, President Alan Cole and Managing Director Chris Engelman discuss why MLP prices have been under pressure, as well as the steps Cedar Hill takes when investments like these fall out of favor to determine whether to hold, exit or add to the investment.

2015-08-18 00:00:00 China’s Currency Moves by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

The recent action in China’s stock market and its currency has caused a heightened attention to Chinese government policy decisions. All this attention certainly demonstrates how important China has become within the global economy at large.

2015-08-18 00:00:00 International Equity Commentary: July 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

International equity prices were mostly unchanged during the month of July as gains in Europe were offset by losses in Asia and select other markets such as Canada. Further improvement in economic trends from the Euro-zone and the tentative agreement to provide additional financial support to Greece brightened investor sentiment in the region.

2015-08-18 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Price action in US equities is weak. Two potential opportunities to kick off a rally failed this week. Despite this, short term sentiment and seasonality support a move to the upper end of the range. Ultimately, lower lows are still ahead over the coming weeks.

2015-08-18 00:00:00 China’s Currency Moves Spark Volatility and Uncertainty by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities endured high levels of volatility last week, dropping sharply in the first few days of trading before recovering to end the week slightly higher. The main focus was China’s surprising decision to devalue the yuan, which raised concerns about a weaker global growth backdrop, deflationary trends, the prospects of a currency war and what the move would mean for the U.S. Federal Reserve and U.S. monetary policy.

2015-08-17 00:00:00 A Study of Real Real Returns Now in its Third Decade by Team of Thornburg Investment Management

If generals always fight the last war, investors all too often chase past performance and mistime the market. Despite the age-old admonition to buy low and sell high, few actually do, to the detriment of their portfolios and wealth. Why? No one wants to be the first to the party or the last to leave. Yet upswings in one asset class may not be all that apparent until well under way. By the time many market analysts and financial media notice, relative valuations may already have reached lofty levels. Loathe to miss out, investors pile in anyway, hoping there may be some steam left.

2015-08-17 00:00:00 Debt-Financed Buybacks Have Quietly Placed Investors On Margin by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

When corporations and even developing countries experience debt crises, one of the primary means of restructuring is the debt-equity swap. This sort of transaction involves canceling out debt of the company or government in return for equity of the company, or privatization of some of the assets of the country. Corporate debt-equity swaps typically result in severe dilution of the equity claims of existing shareholders, and in some cases, can wipe those claims out as creditors take control of the company.

2015-08-17 00:00:00 ‘Rough Year’ For CEFs by (Article)

Concerns on multiple fronts have led to wider discounts in the CEF market this year, says Maury Fertig of Relative Value Partners

2015-08-17 00:00:00 You Worked to Have It... Now Work to Keep It by Guy Christopher of Money Metals Exchange

Some folks had good news about gold over the past few weeks, and some had bad news. The good news is a treasure hunter working the waters off the Florida coastline with a metal detector found a million bucks worth of gold coins and chains from a 300-year-old wrecked Spanish galleon. Under U.S. salvage laws, he'll keep 80% of what he found.

2015-08-17 00:00:00 Charts for the Beach 2015 by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

We’ve put together five of our favorite non-consensus charts that are perfect reading material for a sunny day at the beach.

2015-08-17 00:00:00 On My Radar: China’s Surprise – Power To The Dollar by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“Something is deeply wrong if an economy is not growing, because it means these natural processes are impeded. That is why around the world, since the Dark Ages, lack of growth has been a signal of political oppression or instability. Absent such sickness, growth occurs.”– Adam Posen, “Debate: The Case for Slower Growth”

2015-08-17 00:00:00 Emerging Europe: Economy Trends Update July 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The resolution of the Greek imbroglio dominated the news during the quarter, highlighting the crisis of confidence for the Euro-zone. The resolution of the Greek crisis and its third bailout deal is beneficial for countries such as Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, which depend on the euro-zone for most of their exports. Meanwhile, big oil exporter Russia benefited during the second quarter as energy prices increased moderately despite the Ukraine crisis and the ongoing economic sanctions that continue to cloud the outlook for the economy.

2015-08-17 00:00:00 Why High Yield Still Has a Role to Play by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ Koesterich and an investment strategist on his team, Terry Simpson, weigh in on the case for including high yield in a portfolio.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 On the Winners and Losers of the Great Chinese Rebalance by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

Change can be hard, but change can also be good. At this very moment we are living through one of the largest and potentially destabilizing periods of economic change in the last century. It is the mirror image and reversal of the last great economic paradigm shift. It is China’s shift from an investment driven growth model to a consumption driven growth model. For some it is painful. For others who are correctly positioned it is extremely lucrative. It is affecting all of us whether we know it or not. But most of all, it is inevitable.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 Will a Democrat Win the White House in 2016? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

He might be leading in the polls right now, but Donald Trump is unlikely to be elected president in 2016, if a time-tested election forecast turns out to be accurate.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 The US Federal Reserve’s Brakes Do Work by Wayne Godlin of AllianceBernstein

Over the past three decades, the Federal Reserve has raised the official short-term rate when the US economy has shown signs of overheating. When the Fed moves, savvy bond investors also move—toward opportunity.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 Oil’s New Normal by Mohamed A. El-Erian of Project Syndicate

At the end of the day, no swing producer controls the fate of today’s oil prices. A sustained price recovery requires a healthier global economy that combines faster inclusive growth and greater financial stability.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 Should You Take Some Off The Table? by Jim Tillar, Steve Wenstrup of Tillar-Wenstrup Advisors

Is it time for a correction? That is the question that has been on the mind of many investors for some time now. Those who have ridden the wave since the ugly market bottom of March 2009 can afford to be worried as they weathered an uncertain recovery in the market and have generally seen their assets grow quite well. Unfortunately the fires of gloom were hot after the financial crisis with the media fanning the flames of pessimism. Therefore many late arrivers to the market may still be struggling to reestablish their previous portfolio values.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 The Shot Not Heard Around the World by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

China’s recent move to devalue the yuan has sent shock waves through the global financial markets and has convinced most observers that a new front in the global currency wars has begun. The move has caused...

2015-08-14 00:00:00 China Not Immune to Contagious Quantitative Easing and Massive Printing of Cheap Money by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

First it was the U.S. Federal Reserve. Then, in 2013, Japan launched what became known as Abenomics. The European Central Bank (ECB) followed suit in 2014. And now the People’s Bank of China has joined the parade. All of them in some way stimulated economic growth by initiating monetary quantitative easing (QE) programs.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 China Currency Devaluation Update by Teresa Kong of Matthews Asia

What are the factors that prompted Chinese authorities to recently devalue the renminbi? Matthews Asia Portfolio Manager Teresa Kong, CFA, examines the lead up and implications of this development.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 Riding the Energy Wave to the Future by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Today I’ll tell you about some big shifts in the energy industry. These shifts are about as positive as can be, unless you need high oil prices to run your country. In the long run, these changes are bullish for the whole world, which I think this will surprise many of you. And though we’ve been used to thinking about energy and technology as two different facets of modern life, today they are inextricably linked.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 The Tortoise Wins Again? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

The narrow trading range for US stocks continues, but there are some concerning signs such as seasonality and technical issues that make us a bit more cautious in the near term. We don’t think the bull market is in danger of ending, but there could certainly be a pullback and we don’t believe investors need to be in a great hurry to put money to work. In the immediate aftermath, China’s move on its currency rattled markets, but we don’t think it’s the start of a currency war, and hope that this is part of a herky-jerky path to freer markets.

2015-08-13 00:00:00 Americas: Economy Trends Update -- July 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Even as the U.S. is recovering from stagnant growth during the initial months of the year, most other economies in the Americas region are struggling with slow growth. Prices of oil and other commodities have dipped again after a short recovery, restricting the ability of governments to increase spending. Many countries in the region depend on revenues from exports of energy and other commodities for financing a substantial part of their budgets.

2015-08-13 00:00:00 3 Things: Freight, Deflation, No Hike by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

We often look at broad measures of the economy to determine its current state. However, we can often receive clues about where the economy may be headed by looking at data that feeds into the broader measures. Exports, imports, wage growth, commodity prices, etc. all have very important ties to the health of the consumer which is critical to an economy that is nearly 70% driven by their consumption.

2015-08-13 00:00:00 What We Can Learn by Going Back to School by Burt White of LPL Financial

The summer has flown by and some children are already going back to school this week. The back to school shopping session is considered the second most important selling season for retailers (after the Christmas/winter holidays), which we think is a good reason to check in on the health of the U.S. consumer and provide our latest thoughts on the consumer discretionary sector. Expectations for this season are low, but several consumer spending tailwinds suggest the sector may be poised to outperform over the rest of the 2015.

2015-08-13 00:00:00 Recession?! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

We begin this morning’s strategy report with the aforementioned quote from the business manager of a large commercial sprinkler company, which has 700+ plus contractors nationwide, because his comments are always a good “window” on the economy. To be sure, nothing really big is ever built without a sprinkler system. I also include said quote because there has been much talk over the past few months of slowing economic statistics telegraphing an impending recession.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Winners and Losers: Q2 2015 by Jackie Lafferty of Loomis Sayles

Following positive performance in the first quarter, emerging markets (EM) came under pressure from macroeconomic factors in the second quarter, resulting in mixed returns for the asset class.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 Turkey’s Predicament by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

It is our view that over the next few decades Turkey is well positioned to return to its status as a dominant regional power; however, the situation is much less clear in the near term. Turkey has been trying to run a foreign policy of having “no problems” with its neighbors. This stance has become impossible to maintain. Unfortunately for President Erdogan, Turkey is encircled by instability and is struggling to develop a response.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 Walls are Not Perfect by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

I spent part of this summer on a family vacation in four of the six nations that were once republics of the socialist state of Yugoslavia. Many have asked me “Why,” and I simply replied that I had heard it was beautiful and had always wanted to go there. It didn’t hurt that my barber of 40 years and my employer during law school, Marv Esch, a congressman from Ann Arbor, MI, were both of Yugoslavian heritage.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 Global Economic Slowdown - Implications For US Stocks by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The global economy is rolling over to the downside for the most part. The question is, will this global slowdown take the US economy down with it? While no one knows for sure, that possibility simply cannot be ruled out. If the softening in the global economy leads to a slowdown in the US, that will almost certainly result in a weakening of our stock markets.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 High Yield Default Outlook by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

With the energy markets once again taking a turn downward, we are seeing concern for the high yield market again escalating and talk of a spike in default rates heating up. Yes, the energy industry does make up a large portion of the high yield market, in fact the largest industry holding within the space at about 14-17% depending on the index used. We do expect defaults to increase in this industry.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 What You Need to Know About Silver Supply and Premiums by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

Lower precious metals prices on Wall Street aren't necessarily bringing lower prices on Main Street. The retail market for gold and silver coins, bars, and rounds has been swamped with high demand since mid June. Both the U.S. Mint and the Royal Canadian Mint continue to run into serious issues keeping up with retail silver coin demand.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 Iran: Open for Business? by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

We think relief from economic sanctions could accelerate Iran’s growth rate by removing barriers to the nation’s oil exports, bringing in more foreign capital, and ending the isolation of its banks from the global financial system.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 The Dollar Is Marching Higher Again And This Has Consequences by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

The real trade-weighted USD exchange rate (using a narrow and a broad definition) moved to 12.5-year highs in July after the exchange rate moved above March’s level. The more timely nominal trade-weighted USD exchange is basically at March’s high level as of 8/7 and given the currency moves of the last couple of days should be breaking out to a new multi-year high over the next several days.

2015-08-11 00:00:00 New Ideas for Client Segmentation by Beverly Flaxington (Article)

We’re struggling to decide which factor should determine our categories for client segmentation. Do we base it purely on asset size? Or do we do a profitability analysis? One of my advisors wants to categorize by “irritation factor;” those clients who call too much and ask for the world without paying for it would drop to the bottom of the list first.

2015-08-11 00:00:00 Commodities Remain a Valuable Portfolio Allocation by Bransby Whittion, Klaus Thuerbach, Kate Botting of PIMCO

While the last few years of commodity returns are not an aberration, they are also not the norm.

2015-08-11 00:00:00 The Idolatry of Interest Rates Part II: Financial Heresy by James Montier, Ben Inker of GMO

In many ways this is perhaps my most personal essay, not because I’m about to share some deep and dark personal revelation (I can almost hear the collective sigh of relief), but rather because this essay reflects my views and mine alone. Others at GMO should not be tarred with the brush of my beliefs, and I have no doubt that many will disavow any association with the views I express here. In fact, my colleague Ben Inker’s “rebuttal” follows this piece.

2015-08-10 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review For Aug. 3-7 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The week started off poorly with the Chinese PMI dropping from 49.4 to 47.8. The overall trend for this indicator is clearly lower.

2015-08-10 00:00:00 IMF Can't End Dollar's Reign by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Ever since Quantitative Easing began, a group of so-called Monetarist/Austrian thinkers have predicted “hyper-inflation” and the demise of the dollar as the world’s “reserve currency.”

2015-08-10 00:00:00 Is the Small-Cap Market Out of Joint? by Chuck Royce, Chris Clark, Francis Gannon of The Royce Funds

While results for most stocks in the first half were decidedly bullish, the primary drivers of performance continue to be unsettling—especially for those with an active, risk-conscious approach who’ve lagged in an environment that has often shown favor to highly levered, non-earning, and more speculative businesses. The question is—when will the speculative bubble burst?

2015-08-07 00:00:00 China’s Secret Gold Hoarding Strategy by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

China’s recent stock market gyrations have some analysts now calling China the biggest bubble in history. But those who write off China because of market volatility are missing a more important long-term trend of Chinese geopolitical and monetary ascendancy. That trend shows no signs of abating.

2015-08-07 00:00:00 What Airlines Can Teach the Energy Sector about Adversity by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

If you’ve studied psychology, and specifically behavioral finance, you might be familiar with the concept of adversity quotient (AQ), which measures how well someone is able to face and cope with, well, adversity. It looks at how we use the tools given to us in order to survive and recover from setbacks.

2015-08-07 00:00:00 Gold Holds Its Own Against These Media Darlings by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

A recent Bloomberg article points out that the gold rout has cost China and Russia $5.4 billion, an amount that would sound colossal were it not for the fact that U.S. media companies such as Disney and Viacom collectively lost over $60 billion for shareholders in as little as two days this week. Below are the weekly losses for just a handful of those companies. Compared to many other asset classes, gold has held up well, even after factoring in its price decline.

2015-08-07 00:00:00 Is the United States Insulated from China’s Economic Distress? by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The Chinese economic slowdown, following decades of spectacular growth, is more than noticeable now. Also, the world is watching the recent turbulence in Chinese equity markets closely. These developments have triggered many questions. We address the most popular query in our inbox: What are the potential spillovers to the United States from weaker growth in China?

2015-08-07 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For August 3-7 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The ISM’s US manufacturing number decreased from 53.5 to 52.7, but remained above the key 50 level. New orders and production continued their lengthy periods of expansion. 11 of 18 industries grew. The anecdotal comments are interesting:

2015-08-06 00:00:00 Global Growth Forecast - Q3 (Infographic) by Rick Harrell of Loomis Sayles

Every quarter, we update our forecast map. What's different this time? We have shaved our US GDP forecast down to 2.3% from 2.9%, mostly on account of weaker exports, a strong dollar and the decline in oil prices. In emerging markets, we still believe Asia Pacific is currently a bright spot - but we expect China to slow further as easing measures fail to gain traction.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 The Three Gluts by Joachim Fels of PIMCO

While the global savings glut is likely the main secular force behind the global environment of low growth, lowflation and low interest rates, both the oil glut and the money glut should help lift demand growth, inflation and thus interest rates from their current depressed levels over the cyclical horizon.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 The Euro Isn't Dead by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

While the world can count dozens of important currencies, when it comes to top line financial and investment discussions, the currency marketplace really comes down to a one-on-one cage match between the two top contenders: the U.S. Dollar and the Euro.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 Is Chevron Cheap? by Mark Ungewitter of Charter Trust Company

The performance of energy stocks is clearly related to the price of oil. The attached chart, based on thirty years of data, compares the price of Chevron (relative to the broad market) with the inflation-adjusted price of crude oil.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 Dog Days by Brian Andrew of Cleary Gull

As we enter the lazy days of August, historically one of the worst months for stock market performance, we are likely to experience increased market volatility, gyrating interest rates on every piece of economic data and low volume. August tends to be a month without much conviction as the number of investors in the market wanes due to summer vacations. It is generally a low volume, volatile and not usually positive performance month.

2015-08-05 00:00:00 Investment Silver Demand Draining COMEX Vaults by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

If there are words to characterize the precious metals markets for July, it would be “divergences” and “shortages.” There was heavy selling in the leveraged futures market and extraordinary buying demand and shortages in physical coins, rounds, and bars.

2015-08-05 00:00:00 Reflections on the Iran Deal by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Last month, the P5+1 and Iran concluded negotiations on a nuclear deal. In this report, we will offer some reflections on the agreement, including why it occurred, and the major reason why the U.S. negotiated this agreement and the underlying issues. As always, we will conclude with market ramifications.

2015-08-05 00:00:00 Market Review by Rick Vollaro of Pinnacle Advisory Group

The summer heat has finally arrived, and it’s naturally coincided with lower volume markets that are prone to the rumor mill and news flow. The second quarter of 2015 was choppy, but included some reversals in behavior across asset classes. Domestic equity markets bounced around in a flat range, while broad emerging equity markets declined slightly on the quarter.

2015-08-05 00:00:00 Investors Traveling a Mountainous Road? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Now’s the time when many of us are off enjoying a well-earned summer vacation. This week I was remembering one of my favorites that occurred a few years ago. It was great; we hosted a family reunion in a large, rented house on Big Bear Lake in Southern California with spectacular weather and scenery.

2015-08-05 00:00:00 Earnings Update: Corporate Resilience by Burt White of LPL Financial

Once again, earnings season highlights corporate America’s resilience. Investors were braced for an earnings decline in the second quarter of 2015 but will almost certainly end up with another quarterly earnings gain despite the significant drags from the oil downturn and strong U.S. dollar, largely thanks to effective cost controls that have propped up profit margins. With more than two-thirds of S&P 500 companies having reported second quarter 2015 results, we provide an earnings update.

2015-08-04 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Soft Economic Data Confirm the Commodity Price Message? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Recent weeks have emphasized markets (especially declining commodity prices) as a read on the economy. This week’s full slate of data will provide a reality check on that interpretation.

2015-08-04 00:00:00 Reasons to Stay with an Equity-Focused Investment Stance by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

A number of issues garnered attention last week, including falling oil prices, a sell-off in Chinese equities, ongoing corporate deal activity and mixed economic and earnings data.

2015-08-04 00:00:00 China: Are You Missing The Opportunities In The Market Noise? by Team of Thomas White International

In March, spring was upon the Chinese equity markets — they soared with the promise of a summer of good cheer and bounty. But come June, the markets plunged, just as dramatically as they had surged less than two months back. And now, with the sell-off continuing, many investors are wondering if it is indeed the beginning of a long period of hibernation for Chinese stocks.

2015-08-04 00:00:00 Why to Expect More Volatility Ahead by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

While stocks rebounded last week, Russ explains why the good times may not last for long.

2015-08-04 00:00:00 China’s Command Economy: The Gift That Keeps on Giving by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

With Beijing being selected to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, we at Smead Capital took a moment to reflect on China. We concluded that posturing against China’s attempt to defy business cycles could be one of the best decisions we have made and could be the gift that keeps on giving. Warren Buffett once observed that you get to make approximately 20 major business decisions in your life. As long-duration common stock pickers, we think what you avoid can be just as important as what you select.

2015-08-03 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review: Weaker Breadth Indicators, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The Fed’s policy statement was the main economic event this week; its opening paragraph began, “Growth in household spending has been moderate and the housing sector has shown additional improvement; however, business fixed investment and net exports stayed soft.”

2015-08-03 00:00:00 Schwab Market Perspective: The Calm Between the Storms by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Peak earnings season is behind us, Greece is not in imminent danger of exiting the euro, Europeans have headed out on vacation and the US Congress won’t be far behind. After a volatile start, the US market appears to be settling into a more typical summer pattern—for now.

2015-08-03 00:00:00 Retired Investors Don’t Buy Bonds Until? by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

The primary attractions supporting investing in bonds or other fixed income instruments have traditionally been high income and safety. People invest their principal in bonds and receive a stated interest rate (coupon) over the life of the bond and are given the promise of having their principal returned at maturity. Under normal times, bonds would typically pay a higher rate of interest than the dividend rate on stocks. Consequently, bonds have acquired the reputation as low risk and high income instruments.

2015-08-03 00:00:00 Tax-Sensitive Ideas by (Article)

Beyond municipal bond funds, tax-sensitive closed-end fund investors may want to consider MLP and covered call funds, says John Cole Scott of CEF Advisors.

2015-08-02 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: Emerging Market Exodus, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

One of the biggest stories to emerge has been the decline in Emerging Market Currencies. The IMF noted this in their latest World Economic Outlook.

2015-08-02 00:00:00 Fear of the Fed Is Rising by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore, Ben Trinder of Northern Trust

My youngest daughter has an acute case of arachnophobia; even the tiniest spider sets her off. When a daddy longlegs appeared in the bathroom of a vacation home we were renting, she covered herself in the shower curtain and ran straight out the front door. It’s gotten so bad that the mere mention of a spider upsets her; the fear is almost worse than the reality

2015-08-02 00:00:00 Europe: Back to Business by Philippe Brugere-Trelat of Franklin Templeton Investments

The main very positive consequence of the Greek rescue agreement—even if nobody in Greece or in the eurozone at large seems to like it—is that Greece appears to be staying in the eurozone and the construct has been safeguarded.

2015-08-02 00:00:00 When China Stopped Acting Chinese by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Much of the world is focused on what is happening in Greece and Europe. A lot of people are paying attention to the Middle East and geopolitics. These are significant concerns, for sure; but what has been happening in China the past few months has more far-reaching global investment implications than Europe or the Middle East do. Most people are aware of the amazing run-up in the Shanghai stock index and the recent “crash.” The government intervened and for a time has halted the rapid drop in the markets.

2015-08-01 00:00:00 Gold on Sale, Says the Rational Investor by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The leveraged gold futures derivatives market is knocking down the precious metal, yet in massive contrast, this drop has ignited a shopping frenzy according to gold coin dealers. I spoke with several friends and industry experts this week who confirmed the record sales numbers for the month. In fact, American Gold Eagle sales reached 161,500 ounces in July, the highest monthly figure since April 2013. What gives?

2015-07-31 00:00:00 Aligning Beliefs: 7 Tenets of Russell Investments Target Date Funds by John Greves of Russell Investments

Russell Investments’ John Greves examines 7 tenets in constructing target date funds.

2015-07-31 00:00:00 September Hike Still on the Table by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

No one expected the Federal Reserve to make any changes to monetary policy at today’s meeting and there were no surprises.

2015-07-31 00:00:00 Why the Dollar’s Strength Can Continue by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Though currency market volatility is likely to continue, Russ sees the greenback continuing to move higher for these reasons.

2015-07-30 00:00:00 Solomon's Long Duration Investment Wisdom by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

Storm clouds seem to build by the day. Many investors have an ongoing love affair with a few large-cap and more futuristic companies, yet they have corrected the prices of any stock with disappointing earnings or an attachment to the production of commodities.

2015-07-30 00:00:00 A Midyear Look at Global Real Estate by Ivy Global Real Estate Team of Ivy Investment Management Company

There are many drivers of recent short-term price changes for publicly traded real estate companies in the current market environment. These include changes in the market’s outlook for economic growth, for interest rate movements, for central bank actions and even the issues surrounding Greece and Ukraine.

2015-07-30 00:00:00 U.S. Dollar Still Stands Tall by Burt White of LPL Financial

The U.S. dollar remains strong, defying some skeptics. As has been the case since late 2008 when the Federal Reserve (Fed) began its quantitative easing (QE) program, there has been a great deal of concern recently among some market participants that the dollar is on the verge of a significant decline. Although the dollar may have lost some market share relative to other global currencies in recent decades, it remains the dominant global currency (often referred to as a reserve currency) and we expect it to remain so for the foreseeable future.

2015-07-30 00:00:00 Rising Rates: Threat or Opportunity by Eric Stein, Andrew Szczurowski of Eaton Vance

Investors should take an active approach to duration management and favor assets that have historically benefited from a rising rate environment.

2015-07-30 00:00:00 Is it Time to Buy Commodities? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ Koesterich explains what's behind the recent commodity rout and whether it represents an opportunity for investors.

2015-07-29 00:00:00 Inflation Deniers Emboldened by Gold's Struggles by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

The vultures are circling. Precious metals bulls, laid flat by gold and silver prices dropping for the 5th week in a row, are watching deflationists such as Harry Dent and the financial media squawk about the imminent demise of precious metals.

2015-07-29 00:00:00 Ten Quick Topics to Ruin Your Summer by Jeremy Grantham of GMO

Chief investment strategist Jeremy Grantham reviews "10 topics that really matter, at least in my opinion. They can all be viewed as problems: potential threats to our well-being"

2015-07-29 00:00:00 Laudato Sí by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Last week, the Vatican held a meeting of the mayors of some of the world’s largest cities to discuss climate change. This meeting was part of Pope Francis’s efforts to add to the discussion of climate change, which was the subject of a recent encyclical, Laudato Sí. In this report, we will begin with our position on climate change, discuss the encyclical and try to measure its potential impact on the direction of climate change policy. As always, we will conclude with market ramifications.

2015-07-29 00:00:00 Embrace, Don’t Fear, Illiquid Asset ETFs by Richard Bernstein of Richards Bernstein Advisors

Our research suggests that while many are fearful of the unknown, investors should embrace, not fear, illiquid asset ETFs.

2015-07-29 00:00:00 Diversify and Conquer: Enhancing Equities in Your Glide Path by Daniel Loewy, Christopher Nikolich of AllianceBernstein

Equities take a lead role in any target-date glide path because they’re the most reliable engine for investment growth. But even that engine could use some help in the future.

2015-07-28 00:00:00 Greed and Genius?! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Greed is always hard to measure. Certainly we have seen some signs of it in the Big Bio-Bubble and the new issue market.

2015-07-28 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What is the Message of the Market? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

As I have noted for the last two weeks, this earnings season carries a special significance. It provides an alternative to the official data on the economy.

2015-07-28 00:00:00 Equities Retreat, but Long-Term Prospects Should Improve by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

At the beginning of July, it became clear that Greece and European policymakers would come to at least a temporary debt agreement. Since that time, U.S. equity prices jumped, with the S&P 500 Index climbing more than 4% by the beginning of last week.

2015-07-28 00:00:00 What Volatility Really Means by Greg Tournant of Allianz Global Investors

Despite predictions of a jump in 2015, the VIX has historically shown the ability to stay lower than many believe possible. Greg Tournant, CIO US Structured Products at Allianz Global Investors, explains the root causes and implications of volatility in today’s market environment.

2015-07-27 00:00:00 On My Radar: Grantham, HY and the Cyclical Bear in Gold by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

If you’re young, take the whack [and] if you’re old, pray for the Fed to keep going.”– Jeremy Grantham

2015-07-27 00:00:00 The Nuclear Deal is Mostly about Oil by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

The recent nuclear non-proliferation agreement between Iran and the U.S. has created a firestorm debate in the Middle East and both sides of the Atlantic. While the deal is supposedly all about nuclear power and nuclear bombs, its practical implications are all about oil. But the conclusions we should make about its impact on the energy sector are far from clear. A ratification of the deal would allow Iran to make lucrative long term production and distribution contracts with foreign energy firms.

2015-07-26 00:00:00 Mid-Year Update: A Look at the High Yield Market by Tim Gramatovich of AdvisorShares

I have seen every cycle since 1985 and while this cycle which began in 2009 has not been without a few warts, it has also been very different and far more conservative than many of these prior cycles. The majority of issuance was and continues to be for refinancing activity. This lowers interest expense and improves credit metrics for companies. Case in point, as noted below, high yield interest coverage (cash flow, or earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortization divided by interest expense) has steadily improved and at the highest levels we have seen over the past 15 years.

2015-07-26 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review: Transports Still Concerning, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The Conference Board released the leading and coincident indicators, both of which provide an excellent summation of current and future activity.

2015-07-26 00:00:00 European Drama Hasn’t Derailed US Growth by Ed Perks of Franklin Templeton Investments

We believe headwinds to growth have been easing and what the current leg of the US expansion has perhaps lacked in intensity may very well be made up for by a transition to a more durable or lengthy expansion.

2015-07-25 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: IMF Lowers Growth Projections, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

At the macro level, the IMF lowered their global growth outlook. The first quarter slowdown in the developed world (largely the US but to a lesser extent Canada) led to decreased 2H15 projections, while the commodity slowdown will negatively impact the developing world. As further evidence of this, note that Latin American currencies are broadly selling off. Low inflation gives central banks plenty of policy room. The wild cards continue to be the cumulative impact of the Chinese slowdown along with certain geopolitical factors such as the Middle East turmoil and Greek situation.

2015-07-25 00:00:00 3 Reasons Why Gold Isn’t Behaving Like Gold Right Now by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The last time the metal descended this quickly was 18 months ago, on January 6, 2014, when someone brought a massive gold sell order on the market before retracting it in a high-frequency trading tactic called “quote stuffing.”

2015-07-25 00:00:00 Should We Offer More Help to Homeowners? by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

• Should We Offer More Help to Homeowners? • The Dodd-Frank Act Observes Its Fifth Anniversary • Canada Looks South for Economic Support

2015-07-24 00:00:00 The Rise of the Renminbi: Will China’s Yuan Become a Global Reserve Currency? by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

Reserve currency status and RMB internationalization could confer a number of significant benefits on China, including potentially lowering borrowing costs and facilitating overseas expansion by Chinese companies.

2015-07-24 00:00:00 Do Transport Stocks Signal a U.S. Selloff? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ Koesterich and an investment strategist on his team, Kurt Reiman, explain what the recent divergence between Dow Transports and Dow Industrials signals for the broader market.

2015-07-24 00:00:00 Is Gold Dead? by Treesdale Partners of AdvisorShares

Gold hit $1080 per ounce Sunday night which was the lowest price level since February 2010. Gold in U.S. dollar (USD) terms has a three-year annualized return of -11.1%. It is no wonder that money managers currently carry the smallest net long positions in gold.

2015-07-24 00:00:00 Dark Clouds Clearing by Byron Wien of Blackstone

We are at a point when various macroeconomic events could have a significant impact on the financial markets. Here are my thoughts on recent events in Greece, the Iran negotiations, China and the United States.

2015-07-23 00:00:00 Tocqueville Gold Strategy Investor Letter: Q2 2015 by John Hathaway of Tocqueville Asset Management

What is required to restore investor interest in gold? In our opinion, a prolonged bout of financial-market adversity would suffice. After all, the cornerstone of coordinated central-bank policy since 2008 has been the levitation of financial assets via Zero Interest-Rate Policy (ZIRP) and Quantitative Easing (QE) by forcing investors into risky assets. We believe that nothing would serve better to undermine confidence in central bankers than a bear market in bonds and equities. The roof above the dollar gold price has been built brick by brick from confidence in central bankers.

2015-07-23 00:00:00 Are MLPs Waiting for Godot? by David Chiaro of Eagle Global Advisors

Like the absurdist play where two characters Vladimir and Estragon wait for a mysterious Godot who never shows up, investors in MLPs continue to wait for definitive answers to the "big questions" facing MLPs: when will interest rates rise and what will happen with future oil production and prices?

2015-07-23 00:00:00 Mid-Year Market Outlook - July 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

At the end of 2014, “why international?” was the prevailing investor sentiment. After all, foreign stocks had lagged U.S. equities yet again, underperforming four out of the five years between 2010 and 2014. The consensus outlook was that U.S. markets would outperform their foreign peers in any case, and so, would it really serve any purpose to hold international equities in a portfolio? Many investors followed the crowd.

2015-07-23 00:00:00 Summer Quarterly Commentary by John Prichard, Miles Yourman of Knightsbridge Asset Management

Greece is much in the headlines again. As we stated in our Spring 2013 letter, “The European debt crisis will not be over until either: 1) the debt goes away (read: default or substantial inflation) or 2) these governments start producing actual surpluses with which to pay the debt down.” So far, every subsequent deal has failed to produce either of these two scenarios, and so each time news media builds up another weekend summit or referendum, the running joke around here is, “Don’t worry, it will all be resolved this weekend.”

2015-07-23 00:00:00 Mid-Year Outlook: Global Economy Likely to Withstand China, Greece by John Calamos, Sr. of Calamos Investments

The global markets and economy should be able to move higher for the remainder of the year, with accommodative monetary policy and well-contained inflation providing tailwinds. The U.S. looks set to extend its not-too-hot, not-too-cold recovery, while Japan is benefiting from stimulus and pro-market reforms. Although economic conditions in Europe remain fragile and uneven, growth looks to be accelerating overall, and we believe the European Union has the tools to prevent a broader Europe contagion should the Greek bailout resolution fall apart.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 The BOJ’s Policy: What’s Next, More Easing? Or Something Else? by Tomoya Masanao of PIMCO

Investors are now debating what the next step will be for the Bank of Japan. It is a dramatic turn, isn’t it? Earlier this year, the consensus view was that the BOJ would move forward with additional easing – the question was ‘when’, not ‘if’.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 Corporate Earnings Outlook: Why Are Expectations so Low? by Tom West of Columbia Threadneedle

Corporate reporting for the second calendar quarter started last week with a lead group of early reporters. Looking forward to the body of earnings season, I think results are likely to be, on average, a bit soft. And despite valuations that are on the high side relative to history, it just doesn’t seem that expectations are that high. In many industries, investors seem willing to accept that better results are shimmering out in the future, provided management teams can make a good case for what they are doing to position the company for that future.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 July 2015 Economic Update by Robert Cron of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild

The U.S. economy continues to plod its way forward at a slow and steady pace. Short-term setbacks seem to be the norm, but a general sense of an improving economy is seen through many sectors. The focus on month-to-month indicators has been de-emphasized recently by the scale of global headlines that seems to be driving markets and investor sentiment. Having a steady economic backdrop is very helpful during a period of global challenges.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 Mid-Year Commodities Update: Is It Time To Buy? by Saurabh Lele of Loomis Sayles

Commodities have been falling, mainly due to concerns over the Chinese stock market crash, economic turmoil in Greece and the recent Iran nuclear deal. So could this be a good time to buy commodities? Not all of them. Here’s my updated forecast.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 Currencies Depend on Faith, Gold Doesn’t by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

In his July 17th Blog, Let's Get Real About Gold, author and Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Zweig likened investor interest in gold with the "Pet Rock" craze of the 1970's, when consumers became convinced that a rock in a box would provide continuous companionship, elevate their social standing, and give them something hip to talk about at parties. Zweig asserts that investor faith in gold, which he argues is just another inert mineral with good marketing, is similarly irrational, and has kept people from putting money in the much more lucrative stock market.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 Who's Right - Commodities Or Fed? by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

I have been suggesting for quite some time that the Federal Reserve is stuck in a "liquidity trap" which makes it very difficult for monetary policy to be effective. More importantly, beginning in January of this year, I have suggested that the Fed is being forced to choose between the "lesser of two evils."

2015-07-22 00:00:00 Global Economic Outlook by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Economists and the financial markets have been almost exclusively focused on events in Greece and China over the past several months. These situations merited attention but pushed more-positive economic developments into the background.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 The Upside to Low Liquidity Bond Markets by Multisector Full Discretion Team of Loomis Sayles

As structural and cyclical factors reduce bond market liquidity, the Multisector Full Discretion team explains how they are positioning portfolios.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 Bottom Pick These Commodity ETFs At Your Own Risk by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

Last week Bryce highlighted that commodities continue to get decimated and this post prompted a question: should the contrarian investors out there start taking a closer look at commodities? The short answer is investors are much better off keeping their capital in the equity market rather than trying to scoop up a few commodity ETFs.

2015-07-21 00:00:00 Secular Outlook: Implications for Asia-Pacific Investors? by Eric Mogelof, Alan Isenberg of PIMCO

We hope you have had the opportunity to review the summary from our secular forum in May: “The New Neutral Revisited,” written by PIMCO’s Group CIO Dan Ivascyn, Global Fixed Income CIO Andrew Balls an?d Global Strategic Advisor Rich Clarida. In this analysis, the authors identify the six key themes that emerged from our discussion, as well as six risks.

2015-07-21 00:00:00 Jobs, Inflation, and Wage Pressures by Scott Brown of Raymond James

In her monetary policy testimony to Congress, Fed Chair Janet Yellen made it clear that the central bank remains on track to begin raising short-term interest rates later this year. However, she gave herself an out, indicating that Federal Reserve officials’ projections of the federal funds rate are “based on the anticipated path of the economy, not statements of intent to raise rates at any particular time.”

2015-07-21 00:00:00 Markets Show Life While Consumers Hold Back by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses why consumer spending remains sluggish, and what it means for the market.

2015-07-21 00:00:00 Jason Zweig Is Wrong About Gold by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

Jason Zweig’s latest post is titled Let’s Be Honest About Gold: It’s A Pet Rock and attempts to debunk most of the reasons people own gold but oddly skips over the one I believe to be most important and is still wholly intact.

2015-07-20 00:00:00 Two-Tier Markets, Full-Cycle Investing, and the Benefits and Costs of Defense by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

“The Nifty Fifty appeared to rise up from the ocean; it was as though all of the U.S. but Nebraska had sunk into the sea. The two-tier market really consisted of one tier and a lot of rubble down below. What held the Nifty Fifty up? The same thing that held up tulip-bulb prices long ago in Holland - popular delusions and the madness of crowds. The delusion was that these companies were so good that it didn't matter what you paid for them; their inexorable growth would bail you out.” Forbes Magazine during the 50% market collapse of 1973-74

2015-07-20 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of July 13-17; Earnings Season Begins, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The Federal Reserve issued two important documents last week: the Beige Book and Chairperson Yellen’s latest Congressional testimony. The Beige Book was largely positive. Non-financial service growth is moderate. Real estate is growing and the employment picture was generally positive. Strong demand for autos sales helped increase consumer spending. The only negative was manufacturing which was uneven due to the strong dollar and weak energy sector.

2015-07-20 00:00:00 On My Radar: Black Widow Returns by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“When it does happen, it’s usually not the first-derivative event that people are caught off guard by. They’re caught off guard by the second, third and fourth derivative events. It’s ‘Oh yeah, when interest rates go up, that happens.”– Gary Cohn, Goldman Sachs’ President and COO

2015-07-20 00:00:00 Iranian Oil to Fuel Further Price Drop? by Norman MacDonald of Invesco Blog

As part of the intensely negotiated nuclear agreement with Iran announced on July 14, Western financial and economic sanctions in place since 2011, including an oil embargo imposed on Iran by the US and the European Union, will be lifted. With a deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in the rearview mirror, observers are questioning the return of Iranian oil to the world market: When will it happen, and how much will it be?

2015-07-20 00:00:00 Release the Condor! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there was an advertising company trying to come up with a video commercial to introduce Buick’s new car. After a number of the ad company’s proposals were turned down, they came up with the idea of the car cruising on a road down the side of a mountain with an eagle superimposed flying over it. Buick loved it! There was, however, one problem; you cannot capture, or tame, an eagle. Therefore it was decided to use a condor.

2015-07-20 00:00:00 Equities Rise as the Focus Returns to Fundamentals by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities experienced their largest one-week gain since late March last week, with the S&P 500 Index rising 2.4%. Much of the gain came from an easing of Greece’s debt problems and a calming of volatility in China’s equity market. In both cases, policymakers achieved some breathing room, but fundamental issues remain. Greece must still engage in some serious structural reforms and the Chinese economy is still experiencing a significant slowdown.

2015-07-20 00:00:00 Shopping for Bargains in Russian Retailers by Henry D'Auria, Justin Moreau of AllianceBernstein

Russian equities are among the cheapest in the world amid political and economic controversy. Yet investors might be surprised to discover that the rapidly developing retail industry offers undervalued opportunities with attractive return potential.

2015-07-20 00:00:00 5 Reasons Puerto Rico Is in Debt Trouble by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Kristina Hooper, US Investment Strategist for Allianz Global Investors, breaks down the key drivers that have led to a mounting debt crisis in Puerto Rico—one that, in some ways, rivals what has happened in Greece.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 Is This the Big One? What to Do in a Financial Crisis by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

Events in Greece, China’s massive market sell-off, and the temporary shutdown of the NYSE remind us that change and crisis shift the narrative of what today holds and the future portends. Investors may at first want to run for the exit, but the wiser choice may be to stand calmly and let the storm pass.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 Schwab Market Perspective: Slow Summer?! by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Summer is supposed to be a time of slow trading, light news, and an opportunity for vacations. But the past several weeks have been anything but slow. Greece—a country representing 0.38% of the world economy based on gross domestic product (GDP), has dominated attention; China’s recent stock market plunge also dented sentiment among US investors. It’s meant the “running to stand still” characteristic of this year’s first half is persistent. In fact, the first half of the year saw the S&P 500 trade in its narrowest range in history.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 Crude Oil Is the Best-Performing Commodity of 2015 So Far by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The widest expansion this year was made by none other than crude oil, the worst-performing commodity of 2014. As of June 30, oil posted gains of over 11 percent, rising to $59.47 per barrel. After falling more than 50 percent since last summer, though, it had little else to go but up. That oil claimed the top spot just highlights the reality that commodities are in a depressed state right now.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 Europe Needs to Form a More-Perfect Union by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Mario Draghi, ECB president, observed this week that Europe is an imperfect union. Flaws and gaps in treaties must be filled by trust among members. Having failed to follow the dictates of past bailout programs, the Greeks lost the trust of their eurozone partners and will now be subject to very close fiscal oversight.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: Kicking the Greek Can Down the Road, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Obviously, the big news this week was the Greek deal. This only delayed the inevitable. The plan calls for additional austerity measures, which have been completely ineffective. Greek unemployment is over 25%; the economy is in the middle of a depression, and the debt/GDP ratio increased from 105% in 2008 to 177% currently. The country will simply continue on this path for the foreseeable future, leading to another inevitable conflict with the lending troika. The ECB also issued its policy statement this week, which kept rates unchanged.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 Northern Trust Perspective by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

Last month we said that the odds favored some sort of “kick the can down the road” agreement between Greece and its creditors, and it looks like that may be coming to pass. While there’s still much work to be done, the tone of the current agreement seems focused on avoiding a euro exit and debt write-downs, while ignoring growth-oriented policies. With the hard decisions yet again put off for another day, this should be euro-weakening, all else equal.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 ECRI Weekly Leading Index: "Recoveries Remain Resilient" by Doug Short of Advisor Perspectives (dshort.com)

ECRI currently features an article suggesting that concern over negative trend growth is no reason to panic. Recession is not imminent as we are not yet in a "window of vulnerability." The article also discusses Spain's recent cyclical upturn and warns that one shouldn't assume that a cyclical upturn also means positive long-term trend growth. The overall message is not to "fret about recession just yet".

2015-07-16 00:00:00 U.S. Economy Slouches toward Recession as Eurozone Crisis Widens by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen may have missed her window of opportunity to raise interest rates. The economic data no longer paint a picture of even a tepid recovery. Since the start of the year, key indicators for the economy began pointing toward recession.

2015-07-16 00:00:00 Sometimes Waterfalls Aren’t Beautiful by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Over 25 years ago I took my family (my wife, Pat, and two sons, Michael and David) to the big island of Hawaii. It was a dream comes true. We’d been to Honolulu, Kauai, and Maui, but not to the Big Island. Our family spent two weeks in a car circumnavigating the isle on our own. It was a joy not to be forgotten. Early on in our trip, it became apparent that the major island attractions (after the live volcano that is) were the waterfalls. We seemed to race from one waterfall to another as we circled the island.

2015-07-16 00:00:00 Q2 Earnings Preview by Burt White of LPL Financial

Q2 earnings season could potentially look a lot like Q1. The Thomson-tracked consensus is calling for a 3% year-over-year decline in S&P 500 earnings for the second quarter, dragged down once again by the energy sector and a strong U.S. dollar.

2015-07-16 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter – July 2015 by Ron Muhlenkamp, Jeff Muhlenkamp of Muhlenkamp & Company, Inc.

Ron and Jeff Muhlenkamp discuss their observations of domestic and global economic activity and the impact it has on the markets.

2015-07-16 00:00:00 Five Portfolio Moves for the Second Half by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

After a relatively calm few months, market volatility is back. In recent weeks, stocks have swung between ups and downs, as investors have attempted to digest the latest news out of Greece, the recent bear market in China and the growing likelihood that the Federal Reserve (Fed) will hold off on raising rates until after its September meeting.

2015-07-15 00:00:00 Trying to Profit from Low Expectations by (Article)

Portfolio Manager Jay Kaplan talks about how he manages risk, the advantages of knowing a company's history well, where he is currently finding value in the small-cap market, portfolio positioning, and more.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Our Bipolar Economy by Edward Perkin of Eaton Vance

In the U.S., the consumer economy is strengthening, while the industrial economy continues to struggle. What does it mean for equities?

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Millennial Prosperity by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

Many media organizations and smart money managers are postulating that today’s 22-35 year old age group (millennials) might be the first generation since World War II to not marry, have children, buy cars and buy houses at high enough percentages to help us fully recover from the financial meltdown of 2007-09.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 How Likely is Hyperinflation in the U.S? Part Two by Seaborn Hall (Article)

My previous article covered hyperinflation's history, process, effects, definition, types and causes. Part Two answers the questions of how to gauge the likelihood of hyperinflation in the U.S., what the emerging dangers are, how it might happen here and how to prepare if it does.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Putting the Greece Deal in Context by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Now that Greece and its creditors have reached a tentative deal, Russ discusses the two investing themes that are likely to dominate the second half of 2015.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Risks from China Overtake Concerns About Greece by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equity volatility spiked last week, driven by escalating concerns over Greece’s debt problems and a sharp volatility in Chinese equities. The Chinese stock market experienced a dramatic sell-off in recent weeks before staging a comeback toward the end of last week. Early last week, the possibility of additional Greek defaults and a potential messy exit from the eurozone intensified. By the end of the week, however, Greek officials and policymakers seemed to be approaching an agreement.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Falling Earnings Sink the Stock Market? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

There is special interest in 2nd quarter earnings both as a read on the economy and trends in costs and margins. Ordinarily the focus would be Fed Chair Yellen’s House testimony on Wednesday and the reprise on Thursday. She has stated her viewpoint so frequently – rate hike possible, data dependent, expecting better growth – that a surprise is unlikely.

2015-07-13 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of July 6-10: The Fed Speaks, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Aside from two Federal Reserve releases, the only major news announcement was the ISM services index, which printed a very strong 56% headline number. New orders were a bullish 58.3 while employment was 52.7.

2015-07-13 00:00:00 The Black Widow Returns by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

Strategies based on stretching for yield have a long history of surprising investors with unanticipated risks.

2015-07-13 00:00:00 Politicians Should Stop Giving Investment Advice by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

For the past six years, the conventional wisdom has predicted the end of the world. On the left, they say “Tea Party austerity” is a catastrophe and an “income divide” spells doom. On the right, the election of President Obama made collapse inevitable. Anything and everything that could be spun negatively, has been.

2015-07-11 00:00:00 Global Investors: You Should Be Paying Attention to this Economic Indicator by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

In addition to our own macro models, BCA Research , a highly respected independent research company, pointed out that PMIs in developing economies have plunged to new lows. The International Monetary Fund also revised downward its global growth forecast for 2015. On this account, bad news is good news, as central bankers are scrambling to stimulate economic growth.

2015-07-11 00:00:00 Signs the U.S. Recovery is Solid by Rick Rieder of BlackRock Investment Management

Rick Rieder dispels pessimistic evaluations of the U.S. economy, explaining why the U.S. recovery is actually stronger than headline data would have you believe.

2015-07-11 00:00:00 Themes from the First Half of 2015 and Questions for the Second Half by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The weekly commentary is a review of current activity in global financial markets, with an emphasis on the U.S. fixed income market.

2015-07-11 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review for July 6-10; It's all Greek to Me, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Greece is obviously the big story of the week. As of this writing, it appears a compromise might be in play. But this is a very fluid situation, so that could change within an hour. Several weeks ago, I noted that given the massively high unemployment rate and GDP contraction, there is little left for Greece to cut without becoming a failed state. Be that as it may, it appears even more cuts are coming.

2015-07-10 00:00:00 What Do High-Yield Maturities Tell Us About Timing the Credit Cycle? Another Take on the Wall by Ara Lovitt of GMO

Not only did the maturity wall tell investors to be complacent right before the market was about to sell off, it told investors to be more cautious just as the market was about to rebound. The point is not that debt maturities are irrelevant. Rather, based on the experience of the last three credit cycles, there seems to have been much larger forces at work that ultimately caused the cycle to turn. From the perspective of an investor trying to formulate a high-yield outlook, it seems to GMO that focusing too much on the maturity wall is probably unhelpful.

2015-07-10 00:00:00 Is This the Big One? What to Do in a Financial Crisis by (Article)

If it seems we've focused on crises for years, that's because we have. Are the events of the past few weeks simply another temporary shock to the global financial system, or indicative of something much bigger?

2015-07-09 00:00:00 Five Questions on Risk in Concentrated Equities Today by Mark Phelps, Dev Chakrabarti of AllianceBernstein

As equity markets cope with fresh volatility from China to Europe, managing risk is a top priority. In our view, concentrated portfolios stand up to scrutiny on risk—even in today’s complex market conditions.

2015-07-09 00:00:00 CIO Newsletter by Ritesh Jain of Tata Asset Management

In this edition of my newsletter, I have tried to address one of the most common questions that investors have been asking me these days; what to make of the noise surrounding us and how India is placed to weather this volatility. Let me tell you, it's not going to be a smooth ride. In the last 6 months, there has been too much going on worldwide.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 A First-Half Letter to Clients: Robert Shiller on the Valuation Quandary by Dan Richards (Article)

Since 2008, I have posted a template for a client letter each quarter as a starting point for advisors who want to send clients an overview of the period that just ended and some thoughts looking forward. This quarter’s letter addresses one of today’s most taxing questions for advisors and investors alike: How to deal with the quandary presented by today’s valuation levels on U.S. stocks.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Asia Better Positioned to Handle a Hike by Sponsored Content from Invesco (Article)

It’s no surprise investors are concerned about whether a Fed rate hike will cause a replay of 2013’s taper tantrum meltdown in Asia. In our view, Asian markets are better positioned today to withstand short-term deterioration in global sentiment when the Fed decides to hike rates.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will FedSpeak Interrupt the Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

In one sense, the week ahead should be a quiet, dull semi-vacation. As Nat King Cole explained, the Lazy-Hazy-Crazy days of summer – pretzels, beer, and bikinis that never got wet. It is the lull before earnings and includes a light economic calendar. Will the A-Team need to return from the beach because of Greece? Or will it be a quiet week, disturbed only by an avalanche of FedSpeak and consequent punditry? One way or another, I think we will (finally) put the Greek drama behind us and resume the familiar debate about the Fed.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Emerging-Market Stocks: Back on the Map by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

After the volatility of the past few years, conditions once again appear favorable for this asset class.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 A Greek Play by Dr. Richard Michaud of New Frontier Advisors

The second quarter of 2015 experienced heightened bond market volatility in anticipation of the Fed’s first rate increase as well as international equity volatility involving Greek debt and Chinese equities. Despite whipsawed volatility, the major domestic and international equity indices ended close to where they started.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Are You Really Keeping Your Eye on the Ball? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

I was playing catch with my great-nephew, Bryson, over the weekend. He is just two years old and is a charmer. As we tossed the ball back and forth, he caught it and threw it back on target more times than he missed.

2015-07-06 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of June 29-July3; Some Weakness Technical Emerging by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The biggest news last week was the employment report, which contained a headline number (223,000) a bit weaker than we’ve gotten used to. But, there is a very reasonable explanation.

2015-07-06 00:00:00 The Big Picture by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

The past four years or so have been extremely frustrating for investors like me who have structured their portfolios around the belief that the current experiments in central bank stimulus, the anti-business drift in Washington, and America's mediocre economy and unresolved debt issues would push down the value of the dollar, push up commodity prices, and favor assets in economies with relatively low debt levels and higher GDP growth. But since the beginning of 2011, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied 67% while the rest of the world has been largely stuck in the mud.

2015-07-03 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review For June 29-July 30; Greece and Canada Creating Problems, Edit by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Greece is obviously the big wild card going into next week. And while the damage appears to be contained for now, there is no guarantee we won't see a negative feedback loop filter out into the market and EU economy. Canada's four months of GDP contraction are also getting a bit concerning. Even though we knew this was coming, it's still a most unwelcome development. However, other economies are at least holding their own for now.

2015-07-02 00:00:00 Investor Outlook: Trends are Looking Neutral by Andrew Pease of Russell Investments

Russell Investments’ Andrew Pease highlights insights from the investment strategists’ latest investor outlook and explains what may be in store for investors next quarter.

2015-07-02 00:00:00 Investors Take Shelter as Greek Referendum Nears by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

American industrialist J. Paul Getty once said: “If you owe the bank $100, that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.” And when the amount is $1.73 billion, it’s everyone’s problem. Greece is officially in arrears for missing its scheduled payment Tuesday to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Expecting this, American stocks had their largest one-day drop of 2015 on Monday. Market volatility, as measured by the VIX, spiked sharply.

2015-07-02 00:00:00 Looking for Income in All the Right Places by Morgan Harting, Martin Atkin of AllianceBernstein

Investors and advisors know they can’t depend solely on the old standbys—bonds, high-dividend stocks and cash—to produce income today, and they’re ready to try a new approach. But which one?

2015-07-02 00:00:00 The Business Cycle—Middle-Aged or Elderly? by Erik Knutzen of Neuberger Berman

When it comes to the duration of the business cycle, 50 is the new 40. Much the way that better diet, health care and exercise have helped double life expectancy over the past century, central banks have prolonged the current expansion using new elixirs such as zero interest rates and quantitative easing. At 72 months, the business cycle has well surpassed the 58.4-month average of the modern era and is now more than twice the length of the pre-WWII average.

2015-07-02 00:00:00 Home of the Free, Land of the Entrepreneur by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Where else but in America can a startup such as Uber be valued at $50 billion, higher than 80 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 Index, only six years after its founding? Where else but in America can someone reach billionaire status by inventing a new type of hosiery, as Sara Blakely did with Spanx? Before her now-ubiquitous undergarments were worn by women—and now men—all over the globe, Blakely was so broke that she had to write her own patent without the help of an attorney.

2015-07-01 00:00:00 The Smartest Man is Wild about Innovation by Byron Wien of Blackstone

For the past fifteen years I have written annually about a person I have come to call “The Smartest Man in Europe.” For new readers, he is a finance person in his 80’s who has built his reputation by identifying important trend changes early and putting serious money behind his conclusions. Descended from a mercantile family that operated canteens selling food and weather protection along the Silk Route, he was educated in Europe, trained in New York and returned home to take advantage of the wealth-creating opportunities resulting from the post-war recovery.

2015-07-01 00:00:00 The 2015 Mid-Year Geopolitical Outlook by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

As is our custom, at mid-year, we update our geopolitical outlook for the rest of the year. This report is less a series of predictions as it is a list of potential geopolitical issues that we believe will dominate the international situation into year’s end. It is not designed to be exhaustive; instead, it focuses on the “big picture” conditions that we believe will affect policy and markets going forward. They are listed in order of importance.

2015-07-01 00:00:00 More Volatility: A Positive Environment for Active Managers by Chuck Royce, Francis Gannon of The Royce Funds

Dating from the year-to-date low for the 10-Year Treasury on January 30 through the end of the first half, we have observed promising signs that the market may be taking greater strides toward normalization. CEO Chuck Royce and Co-CIO Francis Gannon discuss how higher rates might benefit bottom-up stock pickers, the potential for quality companies to regain leadership as volatility increases, the possible consequences of global economic recovery for both domestic and non-U.S. small-cap stocks, and the favorable landscape for consumers and its effect on our portfolio positioning.

2015-07-01 00:00:00 Growth Matters by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

We have found that companies in the consumer or retail space with a high market share can benefit from rising consumption and GDP per capita. These investments are particularly attractive if profit margins can be improved.

2015-06-30 00:00:00 A Mid-Year Assessment of Our Ten Predictions by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

We have described 2015 as the year when investors transition from disbelief to belief, or from skepticism to optimism. Sir John Templeton coined the phrase, “Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria.” We believe we are entering the “optimism” phase.

2015-06-29 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of June 22-26; Getting Ready For a Move Higher? Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

First quarter economic data was largely bearish, as confirmed by last week’s third revision to GDP data. While the .2% decrease was better than the -.7% in the second revision, it was still negative.

2015-06-29 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Greek Ripples or Economic Fireworks? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The elements are in place for a week of fireworks. Barring some unlikely last-minute news, we are expecting a Greek bank holiday and capital controls on Monday, followed by one of the biggest weeks of the year for economic data, all crammed into a holiday shortened week. Will it be…

2015-06-29 00:00:00 On My Radar: Buffett Burgers and The Hallelujah Chorus by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

"People are habitually guided by the rear-view mirror and, for the most part, by the vistas immediately behind them.”– Warren Buffett

2015-06-29 00:00:00 Grantham: Stocks Will Continue Upward until the Election by Justin Kermond (Article)

Jeremy Grantham says equity valuations are heading toward the “two-sigma” level that is the requisite threshold for a true bubble. At some point – which is not imminent – he says a “trigger” will precipitate the reversion back to mean levels. The market will continue to deliver positive returns until the next election, according to Grantham.

2015-06-27 00:00:00 $8 Trillion Alternative Energy Boom Is a Win for Copper by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

As the world’s population continues to grow, and as more people in developing and emerging countries gain access to electricity, the role alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal play should skyrocket. Between now and 2040, a massive $8 trillion will be spent globally on renewables, about two thirds of all energy spending, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Solar power alone is expected to draw $3.7 trillion.

2015-06-26 00:00:00 International Economic Week In Review For the Week of June 22-26; More Good News, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

It appears more and more likely that Japan has shaken off the negative impact of the sales tax hike from a year ago. The EU appears to be growing. Australia, while still growing at a ~2% clip, is feeling the negative impact of the commodity bear market. The US has shaken off the weak 1Q number.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 Unconstrained Global Investing in an Extraordinary Monetary Policy Enviornment by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

As we see it, it is only a matter of time before US wages start to rise to levels where inflation is triggered. Using the Fed’s own estimates, we are quite close to what’s considered to be full employment. To us, this does not justify 0% interest rates.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 Gaining Greater Lift in Your Glide Path by Daniel Loewy, Christopher Nikolich of AllianceBernstein

Target-date funds have always promoted the mantra of diversification (“don’t put all your eggs in one basket”). Now it’s time to preach—and practice—an even wider diversification strategy.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 Batteries Not Included: Midyear Stock Market Outlook by Burt White, Jeffrey Buchbinder of LPL Financial

Expect the bull market to continue through 2015. In the stock market, 2015 has felt like déjà vu. In 2014, the year began with a tough first quarter and finished strong. After a weak start to the year, we believe that corporate America will provide a much needed boost for the second half and 2015 may also finish strong?—?providing the seventh year of positive returns, in the 5?–?9% range we forecast.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 Diversification: A Better Way to Avoid Portfolio Gridlock by Tracy Fielder of Invesco Blog

Every morning as I drive into the office, I see my fellow commuters darting from lane to lane, trying to choose the fastest one. The problem is, traffic in the “fast” lane inevitably slows down as cars crowd into it, and the slower lanes suddenly become the place to be. So in the long run, despite their risky maneuvers, these drivers don’t usually get much farther ahead than anybody else.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 Building for the Future: Infrastructure in Emerging Markets by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

Emerging economies in general have experienced stronger economic growth trends than developed markets over the past decade, a trend that I expect to continue. That growth, combined with rising populations and a trend toward urbanization, requires more infrastructure.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 Inflation Outlook: Approaching Target by Mihir Worah of PIMCO

Over the next three to five years, PIMCO expects the global economy will continue along a New Neutral path in which major economies tend to drift along at modest growth rates. At our annual Secular Forum last month, our global investment professionals rigorously debated the longer-term, or secular, outlook for the global economy and markets, and the broad conclusions we reached are detailed in “The New Neutral Revisited.”

2015-06-24 00:00:00 Putting the Pieces Together: Midyear Economic Outlook by John Canally Jr. of LPL Financial

We continue to expect that the U.S. economy will expand at a rate of 3% or slightly higher over the remainder of 2015, once economic conditions recover from yet another harsh winter—and other transitory factors—that held back growth in the early part of 2015. This forecast matches the average growth rate over the past 50 years, and is based on contributions from consumer spending, business capital spending, and housing, which are poised to advance at historically average or better growth rates in 2015. Net exports and the government sector should trail be hind.

2015-06-24 00:00:00 Handicapping Bubbles and Shocks by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Kristina Hooper, US Investment Strategist for Allianz Global Investors, explains the results of the 2015 Allianz Global Investors RiskMonitor Survey, a global study of prevailing views on portfolio construction, asset allocation and risk among a cross-section of institutional investors.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 How Likely is Hyperinflation in the U.S? Part One by Seaborn Hall (Article)

Since the great financial crisis, perhaps the most talked about scenario for the next crisis to hit the U.S. has been hyperinflation due to high levels of Treasury debt and Federal Reserve Bank liabilities. Fortunately, the logic that produces this chain of events is specious.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 Looking Beyond the Babble over Bubbles by Serena Perin Vinton of Franklin Templeton Investments

Longer term, we do not think an increase in interest rates would necessarily be a negative for equity markets, particularly because a return to normal rates would be regarded as a sign of the Fed's confidence in the strength of the US economy and its belief that the economy could stand on its own.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 Equities Gather Momentum on Positive Indicators by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities finished higher last week as the S&P 500 increased 0.8%, recording its highest weekly gain since April. The dovish message from Wednesday’s FOMC announcement boosted markets. Contagion from Greece appears relatively contained. The sell-off in equities in China did not impact global markets. The health care, consumer staples and utilities sectors rallied. Financials lagged as banking lost momentum and energy underperformed.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 Stocks Are Still Cheap by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

You know those TV shows – the ones about ice trucking, fishing in Alaska, or digging for gold. They’re made to bring out these interesting jobs, but also the danger. They leave you hanging, and break for commercial, just when the truck starts to slide on a bridge, or just when a huge wave is approaching.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What Does the Greek Crisis Mean for Financial Markets? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The calendar shows a fair amount of economic data in the coming week, but attention is likely to be focused abroad. After many years (some would say decades) of percolating, the issue of Greece and the Eurozone is coming to a conclusion.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 Cyber Security and Terrorism: Case Studies by Kaisa Stucke of Confluence Investment Management

This week we will look at two case studies of cyber attacks aimed at sovereign nations, the Estonian cyber attacks in 2007 that spanned three weeks and the multi-faceted attacks in Georgia in 2008. We will then look at the current state of international cyber attack research, readiness and cooperation. We have had the pleasure of talking to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Center of Excellence about their work and will communicate their vision and challenges.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 Why VBINX is the Wrong Benchmark For Global Tactical Asset Allocation Strategies by Adam Butler, Michael Philbrick, Rodrigo Gordillo of BPG & Associates

We recently came across a couple of articles making the sensational claim that TAA is nothing more than a repackaged and dressed-up version of market timing. Both articles – and others, we’ve subsequently learned – point to a Morningstar study showing that TAA has underperformed the Vanguard U.S. 60/40 balanced fund over the past few years.

2015-06-22 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of June 15-19; Better News But Still A Touch Slog by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Let’s start by looking at the leading indicators which were up .7. The breadth of the LEIs was very positive; there were no negative numbers while only 1 (the average work week) was 0.0.

2015-06-22 00:00:00 Global Review and Equity Commentary: May 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The decline in U.S. economic activity during the first quarter was more than earlier estimates, and appears to have weakened business sentiment in other parts of the world. Most of the fall in U.S. aggregate output was due to temporary factors such as adverse weather and port disruptions that led to delayed export shipments. The stronger dollar also reduced the earnings growth of large U.S. corporations with a global footprint.

2015-06-22 00:00:00 On My Radar: Three-Way Asset Strategy by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“The probability of loss is no more measurable than the probability of rain. It can be modeled, and it can be estimated (and by experts pretty well), but it cannot be known.”– Howard Marks, Chairman, Oaktree Capital

2015-06-22 00:00:00 Clarifying the Fed Policy Outlook by Scott Brown of Raymond James

There was nothing unexpected in the Fed’s monetary policy statement or in the revised economic projections of senior officials. Chair Yellen covered no new ground in her press conference. However, many investors appear to be unsure of the monetary policy outlook and the implications for the financial markets. So, to clear things up...

2015-06-20 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: Pretty Darn Positive, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

As with any Fed week, this week’s news was dominated by the Federal Reserve’s policy announcement. But, after 2:15 EST on Wednesday, everybody realized nothing had changed; the Fed was still waiting for better unemployment numbers and higher inflation. In other words, the dovish stance persisted. Other US news was mixed. News from Europe was positive; the EU and UK continue expanding, the latter solidly so. Finally, Japan (finally) appears to have gotten over the sales tax problems.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 How to Play the Fed’s Big News Day by Kristina Hooper, Steve Malin, Greg Meier of Allianz Global Investors

Although the FOMC tried hard not to make headlines, there’s still plenty to parse in its latest communications. Bonds are likely to exhibit more volatility as we near liftoff, which is likely to happen in September. And based on the Fed’s “dots” forecast, we may even see two rate hikes in 2015.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: June by Team of Franklin Templeton Investments

In spite of lingering concerns about Greece’s fate, the European economy would appear to have hit a sweet spot marked by steadily improving growth and inflation figures along with declining unemployment.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Gold in the Age of Soaring Debt by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Ever wonder how much gold has ever been exhumed in the history of the world? The GFMS Gold Survey estimates that the total amount is approximately 183,600 tonnes, or 5.9 billion ounces. If we take that figure and multiply it by the closing price on June 16, $1,181 per ounce, we find that the value of all gold comes within a nugget’s throw of $7 trillion.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 The Perils of Low Liquidity and High Leverage by Michael DePalma of AllianceBernstein

Diversify. It’s a cardinal rule of sound investing. But what’s an investor to do when a well-diversified portfolio won’t protect him? It’s time to start thinking about an answer.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 4 Healthcare REITs For A Healthier Retirement Portfolio by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

To be considered prudent investors we must recognize and accept the undeniable reality that all true investing is done in future time. Consequently, the key to long-term investment success is to forecast the future as accurately as we possibly can. Of course, we must simultaneously recognize and accept that forecasting the future can only be accomplished within a reasonable degree of accuracy. Forecasting the future, and investing for that matter, can never be a game of perfect. Nevertheless, our investing success will ultimately be achieved based on how good our forecasts turn out to be.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Joining the Dots: Fed Keeps Rates Unchanged While Lowering “Dots” by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) kept the fed funds rate unchanged from its 0-0.25% range, where it’s been since 2008. The decision was unanimous. The Fed did raise its assessment of the economy and labor market, which reinforces the view—shared by us—that the Fed will begin hiking rates in September, barring a significant change in the trajectory of the economy, jobs or inflation. It would be the first interest rate increase in almost 10 years.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Lies, Damned Lies and Equity Skew? by Jason Goldberg of PIMCO

Equity skew, which at its most basic purports to measure the difference in the value of stock options with different strike prices, is one of the most used (and abused) sentiment measures in the equity options market. While skew measures can occasionally offer valuable information on the flows within equity derivatives, they can also be highly misleading.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Gold and Health Care Stocks Get a Clean Bill of Health by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Even though the Federal Reserve announced this week that it would wait a little longer to raise rates, spooked investors fled to gold bullion, helping to drive prices above $1,200 an ounce. It was the greatest single-session surge by percentage in nearly a month and a half for the yellow metal, widely seen as a safe-haven investment. As I told MarketWatch yesterday, $1,200 is an important threshold for gold miners because it helps increase profitability and spur production.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Federal Reserve, Abenomics, Trans-Pacific Partnership by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Central banks around the world have held interest rates at or near zero for quite a while. This action was justified in the wake of the financial crisis. But there are those who think that zero, in this setting, has become a dangerous concept.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Northern Trust Perspective by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

While we expect U.S. growth to see some improvement from the slow start to the year, we think optimists are likely to be disappointed at the overall pace of growth. The U.S. economy has averaged 2.2% growth since the financial crisis, and we don't see a material acceleration during the near-to-intermediate term. The prospect of a pending increase in the Fed funds rate has contributed to a rise in interest rates and strengthening of the dollar, both of which serve as a constraint on growth. We also don't see much upside to the U.S. economy through materially better growth outside the U.S.

2015-06-18 00:00:00 Stop the Fed?! by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

We are concerned the Fed causes both economic and political stability to deteriorate. And, no, this is not about discouraging the Fed to hike rates. This analysis is about pointing out that the road to hell may be paved with the best of intentions. For the economy to prosper, we need a re-thinking not just at the Fed, but also with some Fed critics. Let me elaborate...

2015-06-18 00:00:00 Picking U.S. Energy, Housing and Other Credit Sectors for the Long Haul by Mark Kiesel of PIMCO

Persistent trends in economies around the world are providing opportunities for focused, long-term investors in the credit markets. Mark Kiesel, Chief Investment Officer Global Credit, discusses promising themes PIMCO sees over the next three to five years, including the U.S. energy revolution, the rising Asian consumer, the ramifications of global banking regulation and latent demand in the U.S. housing market. PIMCO’s global investment professionals gathered in May at our annual Secular Forum to discuss our long-term, or secular, views of economies and markets around the world.

2015-06-18 00:00:00 Concerned About Rising Interest Rates? Consider These Four Alternative Investments by Walter Davis of Invesco Blog

As I travel across the country meeting with financial advisors and their clients, a common concern I hear voiced is “how can I position my portfolio for when the inevitable happens and interest rates start to rise?” In response, I state that certain types of alternative investments are well suited to help prepare portfolios for rising interest rates in the future, while also potentially adding value in the present.

2015-06-17 00:00:00 Double Trouble for Investors? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

When I think of doubles, on the positive side I think of my years of playing doubles tennis, Miguel Cabrera winning a Tigers game with one, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble band, and even those commercial spots that started in 1959. You know the ones I’m talking about – the Doublemint® gum commercials.

2015-06-17 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: A Market Message for the Fed? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

While few expect a change in Fed policy at this week’s FOMC meeting, it will still be the center of attention. With last week’s interest rate jump, I expect the theme to be: Is the market sending the Fed a message?

2015-06-16 00:00:00 Rate Hikes: Investor Risk Perceptions and Historical Context by Matthew Pasts of BTS Asset Management

During a recent quarterly webcast for financial advisors, we asked the audience about their clients’ biggest concerns for the remainder of 2015. The four options were: - Losing money on their equity allocations; - Not earning enough income; - Not keeping up with the stock market; - Losing money on their fixed income allocations. Of these, “losing money on their equity allocations” was by far the most popular response, at just under 40%. In our view, bond market risks are greater than many people realize.

2015-06-16 00:00:00 Mid-Year Investment Outlook: 10 Experts on What to Watch by Orla O'Brien of Loomis Sayles

We spoke with 10 Loomis Sayles investment experts about the most pressing issues and provocative investment themes for the remainder of 2015. What are they watching? Read on for their insights.

2015-06-15 00:00:00 Luxury Spending in China by Winnie Chwang of Matthews Asia

Over the past decade, conspicuous consumption has been seen across China and Hong Kong, emerging as a natural by-product of an economy experiencing rapidly rising levels of affluence. Across China, there have been stories of unbelievable extravagance, from diamond-studded smartphone cases to gold-plated sport cars and replicas of homes that resemble the White House. However, these days of excessive spending in China may already have waned. Asia Weekly explores.

2015-06-15 00:00:00 June Economic Update by John Richards of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild

A drop in exports, poor weather, and shipping yard difficulties led the U.S. economy back into negative territory after GDP was revised downward to -0.7%. Many economists believe this is a similar situation to what we saw in 2014 with a drop in GDP during the first quarter, and a subsequent rebound in the following quarters. However, the strong dollar effect has continued into April and May and will continue to provide a headwind for GDP. The preference by consumers to save additional earnings instead of spend is also putting downward pressure on growth.

2015-06-14 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of June 8-12; Yes, the Rally Is Getting Long In the Tooth by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Although there were few economic numbers this week, what was released was positive. Retail sales bounced back and the JOLTs survey continued to show an improving labor market. But additional signs of stock market topping emerged. Ideally, the market still needs an expanding economy that translates into higher revenue growth rather than margin expansion to move meaningfully higher.

2015-06-12 00:00:00 Breaking from the Gold Standard Had Disastrous Consequences by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

About 100 years ago, in his testimony before Congress, banking giant J.P. Morgan famously stated: “Gold is money, and nothing else.” At the time, this was true in every sense of the word “money,” as the U.S. was still on the gold standard.

2015-06-12 00:00:00 U.S. Economy Turns on the Afterburners-Is a Rate Hike Next? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

So when will rates be raised again? Next Wednesday the world will tune in to see if Fed Chair Janet Yellen can answer that question. Though it's anyone's guess what she'll say, there's no denying that many of the economic indicators the Fed is keeping an eye on have sharply improved lately.

2015-06-12 00:00:00 Are We Mismeasuring the Economy? by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The problem may not be with growth but rather the way we measure it.

2015-06-12 00:00:00 Retired With Money To Invest? Consider Playing Defense With Utilities by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Prudent investors might consider investing in fairly valued utility stocks if they need income, and if they are concerned about safety and capital preservation. Utility stocks can also serve as a viable alternative for parking cash. This last point is especially relevant when the valuations of other equity options are extended as they are today.

2015-06-12 00:00:00 Luxury Spending in China by Winnie Chwang of Matthews Asia

Over the past decade, conspicuous consumption has been seen across China and Hong Kong, emerging as a natural by-product of an economy experiencing rapidly rising levels of affluence. Across China, there have been stories of unbelievable extravagance, from diamond-studded smartphone cases to gold-plated sport cars and replicas of homes that resemble the White House. However, these days of excessive spending in China may already have waned. Asia Weekly explores.

2015-06-12 00:00:00 Tug of War by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

The current stalemate in the US market could continue for some time, with bouts of volatility and pullbacks expected as the market anticipates the initial rate hike. Be prepared by staying diversified and consider buying protection, but we would view such an event as the pause that refreshes and help set up the next sustainable bull run. Investors should also look overseas as the aggressive stimulus measures being taken by the ECB appear to be beneficially impacting the economy, and may help equities perform better in the coming months.

2015-06-11 00:00:00 Staying Grounded as Rates Drift Higher by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist, Russ Koesterich, considers ways to ride out this change in the rate regime.

2015-06-11 00:00:00 Using Investment Manager Styles to Navigate Markets by Brian Andrew of Cleary Gull

Investment manager styles, like markets, move in cycles. So as investment advisors, we try to identify where we are in the market cycle to choose the best managers. Decision making should not be binary – “I like the market or I don’t like the market,” with a resulting buy or sell decision. In downturns, the normal reaction is to sell out of the market rather than looking at how to stay in the market and become more defensive. In fact, being out of the market negatively impacts results over time.

2015-06-11 00:00:00 IMF Urges Fed Not To Raise Interest Rates Until 2016 by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

On Thursday of last week, the International Monetary Fund downgraded its forecast for US economic growth this year from 3.1% earlier in the year to only 2.5% now. That is not surprising in light of the mainly disappointing economic reports we’ve seen recently, and other forecasters have been revising their estimates lower as well.

2015-06-11 00:00:00 Developed Europe: Economy Trends Update April 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

After ending the year 2014 on a positive note, the Developed Europe economies gained further momentum in the early months of 2015. Between January and March, the region’s 19-country single currency bloc, the Euro-zone, expanded its GDP 0.4 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2014 and 1 percent from the year-ago period, recording its fastest pace of growth in nearly two years. Economists and commentators though had expected GDP to increase 0.5 percent for the quarter and 1.1 percent on an annual basis.

2015-06-10 00:00:00 Places to Consider Riding out the Rate Regime Change by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

With some of the classic safe havens currently providing little protection, Russ shares two stock sectors to consider as rates drift higher.

2015-06-10 00:00:00 Bears Gather Around the Goldilocks Eurozone by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

The eurozone is currently offering what we would regard as an ideal environment to generate growth, so we’d certainly be slightly concerned if the economy there was not growing.

2015-06-10 00:00:00 Energizing Returns From Dividend Stocks by Greg Powell of AllianceBernstein

Dividend cuts make unsettling headline news for income-seeking investors. But we believe that focusing on which companies will cut or raise dividends is a diversion from the search for stronger returns in a diversified equity income portfolio.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 Does It Make My Portfolio Better? by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

Cliff Asness posted a commentary a few days ago that includes the following; One of the most basic lessons of investing is to think about how each investment impacts your overall portfolio not just its characteristics stand alone. You don’t evaluate your other investment options based on, “Would I trade my whole portfolio for this?” but rather on, “Does it make my portfolio better?”

2015-06-09 00:00:00 U.S. Consumer: Nay, Big Spender by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

The Great Recession of 2008–09 seems to have fundamentally changed the American consumer. For at least 30 years prior to that economic and financial upheaval, households in this country could only be described as financially aggressive. They spent freely, accrued debt at a rapid pace, and relegated savings to the status of an afterthought. In so doing, they helped propel rapid overall economic growth.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 The Importance of FIFA by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Swiss authorities recently arrested several top officials affiliated with FIFA on various charges, mostly related to corruption. The ongoing investigation continues to unfold, so we will not spend much time on arrests or new charges. Instead, we offer a short overview of the arrests and the election and resignation of FIFA President Blatter, discussing FIFA’s structure and how the organization is prone to corruption. We follow this discussion with the most important part of the report, the extension of U.S. law enforcement into the international realm as a function of the superpower role.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 Beige Book: Window on Main Street by John Canally of LPL Financial

The latest Beige Book suggests that the U.S. economy is still growing at a pace that is at or above its long-term trend, indicating that some of the “transitory factors” that held the U.S. economy back in the first quarter of 2015 have faded and that some upward pressure on wages is beginning to emerge. Overall, the Beige Book described the economy as expanding at a “modest or moderate” pace in most districts. In general, optimism regarding the economic outlook far outweighed pessimism throughout the Beige Book, as it has for the past two years or so.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 Developments in the Reform of China’s State-Owned Enterprises by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

Investors’ interest in China’s SOEs has no doubt been piqued by guidance from sources close to the government that reform plans foreshadowed in the government’s November 2013 program could soon begin to assume more concrete shape, helping drive the recent gains in the Shanghai and Hong Kong share markets.

2015-06-08 00:00:00 As the Economy Grows, Bonds Struggle and Equities Tread Water by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. economic data last week seemed to confirm that the country is rebounding from a weak first quarter. Manufacturing, construction, sales figures and the labor market all showed signs of improvement.

2015-06-08 00:00:00 Middle East/Africa: Economy Trends Update -- April 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The five economies under our coverage in the Middle East and Africa region did not see any noteworthy change in their economic situations during early 2015. Soon after overcoming a long phase of industrial unrest, South Arica faced another crisis in the form of a massive power shortage. The Israeli economy slowed to a more modest pace of growth after its surge in the previous quarter while Egypt continued to benefit from low oil prices and reform initiatives by its government.

2015-06-08 00:00:00 Emerging Asia Pacific: Economy Trends Update -- April 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

During the first quarter, news from emerging Asia was dominated by the deep slowdown in China and its adverse impact on a host of other Asian economies, such as South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and Taiwan. In other developments, India grew faster than China, Korea saw a large decline in its exports, and Indonesia struggled to jumpstart its economy.

2015-06-07 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of June 1-5; Are the Weekly Charts Topping Out? Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The Federal Reserve released the latest Beige Book, which offered the following overview of the economy.

2015-06-06 00:00:00 Thoughts from the Frontline: Cleaning Out the Attic by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

My goal is to present a simple outline of the policies we need to pursue as a country in order to get us back to 3–4% annual GDP growth.

2015-06-05 00:00:00 Recovery Rallies, Is Six Years Enough by Craig Callahan of ICON Advisers, Inc.

Contrary to the bearish headlines, we at ICON believe that we are in the midst of a long-term recovery. With our valuation methodology as our guide, we believe there is enough value in the market to sustain a continued recovery. Furthermore, as we saw with the post 1987 market recovery, bull markets can last longer than 6 years. We believe there is still room for market growth in the current environment.

2015-06-05 00:00:00 America Is Woefully Unprepared for Retirement by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Solutions are elusive. We cannot turn back the clock and increase our saving rates or invest with the benefit of hindsight. But from here forward, we need to take a hard look at the structure of public and private retirement systems and reinforce financial literacy among beneficiaries.

2015-06-05 00:00:00 Employment, Wages and Housing Leading The Economy Higher by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

The majority of US economic data points to strength. Employment growth is the best since the 1990s. Wages and compensation are growing at the highest rates since the recession ended. And housing, both new construction and sales, are the best in 8 years. The overall economic trend remains positive.

2015-06-05 00:00:00 Billions and Billions Pour into India and China by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

It’s been a little over a year since Narendra Modi took office in India, and so far the results have been mostly positive for the South Asian country and the surrounding region. Among other achievements, Modi’s government has managed to enact important policy reforms, increase public investments in infrastructure, lower food inflation and generally open India up to business on a global scale.

2015-06-04 00:00:00 Why Oil Price Rally Isn’t a Surprise, but Iron Ore’s Price Should Stay Low by Tucker Scott of Franklin Templeton Investments

While oil has dealt with a relatively recent increase in supply, iron ore has been suffering through a long-term glut. And, based on our analysis of future supply/demand trends, we expect the abundance of iron ore to continue—and possibly increase.

2015-06-04 00:00:00 U.S. Oil Production Dynamics: Now and To Come by Tim Gramatovich of AdvisorShares

In our last commentary (“Energy Markets: There Will be Winners and Losers), we gave our current thoughts on long-term US oil production and the vulnerable sub-sectors within the energy industry. So far this year, US production has been resilient even with rig counts falling over 50% from their highs and capex budgets being slashed

2015-06-03 00:00:00 Our $1.3 Trillion Government-Assisted Student Loan Crisis by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

I have been wanting to address our exploding student loan crisis for over a year now, but the topic didn’t seem to fit into the normal themes I tackle. Yet in fact, it does: It represents just one more financial/debt crisis facing our country that will surely impact the economy and the investment markets at some point.

2015-06-03 00:00:00 No Quarter: GDP Goes Into Reverse Again by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

Although last week was shortened by the Memorial Day holiday, it was busy on the economic front. Last in, first out: The expected downward revision to first quarter real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) brought it into negative territory, for a reading of -0.7%—albeit better than the -0.9% consensus expectation. More on that in a minute.

2015-06-03 00:00:00 Are You a Carousel or Coaster Investor? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Historically, in the Midwest and Northeast, Memorial Day weekend has been the kickoff for amusement park re-openings. From rollercoasters to merry-go-rounds, the plunges and whirls begin in earnest with the unofficial beginning of summer.

2015-06-02 00:00:00 Why the Housing Market Collapse is Set to Resume by Keith Jurow (Article)

New home sales are still at one-third the level of the bubble years. Existing home sales have never come close to peak-year levels. Let me explain why the housing collapse is ready to resume in earnest.

2015-06-02 00:00:00 State of Emerging Markets: All About Those [Central] Banks by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

Moving into the second quarter of 2015 and beyond, we believe a complex global background appears broadly favorable for emerging markets.

2015-06-02 00:00:00 Where to Look for Yield in a Low-Yield World by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ Koesterich discusses where to look for yield in today's “low-for-long" interest rate environment.

2015-06-02 00:00:00 Economic and Earnings Growth Appear Poised to Move Higher by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities were fairly volatile last week as investors focused on potential Federal Reserve action and concerns over Greece’s debt problems resurfaced. Merger and acquisition activity also gathered headlines in the technology and health care sectors.

2015-06-02 00:00:00 Are Bond Investors Crying Wolf? by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

Since we last wrote to you there has been quite a dramatic increase in interest rates in most markets and in Germany in particular. In this letter we look into whether this is the beginning of something much bigger. For those of you with too little time on your hands we conclude that it is NOT. Economic growth will stay low for many years to come, and central banks have no intention of suddenly flooding the bond market with sell orders.

2015-06-01 00:00:00 Three Reasons Why We Like Brazil’s Prospects by Mark Jason of Invesco Blog

Strong headwinds in Brazil have recently blown its stock market off course. In the first quarter of 2015, Brazilian equities fell more than 15% in US dollar terms, as measured by the Bovespa Index. While current forecasts do not see these storms abating any time soon, our team finds reasons for optimism over the long term.

2015-06-01 00:00:00 Oil Prices: 4 Factors to Watch as Iran Increases Energy Exports by Saurabh Lele of Loomis Sayles

Iran eagerly awaits the opportunity to escalate its oil exports. A final agreement on the country's nuclear capabilities is expected this summer: sanctions will start to be peeled back and Iran will be able to increase production. Within 12 -18 months, they will likely be producing an additional one million barrels per day. It’s also likely that Saudi Arabia, now producing well above its quota, will be called on by OPEC members to reduce its production in order to accommodate Iran's higher output.

2015-05-31 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of May 25-29; Can't Hold Onto New Highs, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Clearly, this expansion has matured. Corporate after-tax earnings are slowing while the combination of the strong dollar and oil price drop is hurting industrial expansion. The lack of stimulus from the oil dividend indicates consumers still aren’t very confident, even though they have more money to spend and unemployment is nearing “full” employment levels. The markets continue to have problems holding onto new highs, which means traders are at minimum cautious about future growth prospects.

2015-05-31 00:00:00 Behold the Power of Buybacks and Dividends by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Buybacks and dividends. The mere mention of either one is often enough to make some investors’ hearts race with excitement and embolden them with confidence that company management is being a better steward of capital.

2015-05-31 00:00:00 Reflections From a Whirlwind Tour of Asia by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Reflections From a Whirlwind Tour of Asia; Roads and Ports are Pathways to U.S. Prosperity

2015-05-28 00:00:00 World War D—Deflation by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Everywhere I go I’m asked, “Will there be inflation or deflation? Are we in a bull or bear market? Is the bond bulk market over and will interest rates rise?" The flippant answer to all those questions is “Yes.” And that can be the correct answer as well, but it depends on what your time frame is and what tools you use to measure the markets and inflation.

2015-05-28 00:00:00 The Importance of Liquidity by Byron Wien of Blackstone

Since the axiom “Don’t fight the Fed” came into common parlance, we have all been aware that central bank policy is an important component of market performance. Most of us started out as security or business analysts and believed that fundamental factors like the pace of the economy, earnings growth and interest rates were the drivers of equity values.

2015-05-28 00:00:00 Valuing Stocks Requires a Human Touch by Kevin Simms, Joseph Paul of AllianceBernstein

Following pure valuation metrics today could leave equity portfolios with severe imbalances—especially in financials. But by studying patterns of the past, investors can gain insight into investing in underappreciated stocks by applying a human touch.

2015-05-28 00:00:00 Easy?! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

My father first introduced me to Justin Mamis’ work by giving me a few of the books he had written like When to Sell: Inside Strategies for Stock-Market Profits, How to Buy: An Insider’s Guide to Making Money in the Stock Market, and my favorite, The Nature of Risk. Justin penned his last stock market letter at the age of 85 and his work is missed to this day. He was a stock market historian, author, strategist, and a technician’s technical analyst. I quoted him this morning because the stock market this year has been anything but “easy.”

2015-05-28 00:00:00 Half Full or Half Empty by Herbert Abramson, Randall Abramson of Trapeze Asset Management

The ultimate question for investors. Is the glass half full, that is to say are economic backdrops improving to support attractive valuations, or to the contrary, half empty, deteriorating and threatening full valuations?

2015-05-27 00:00:00 The Market and U.S. Economy from a Small-Cap Perspective by (Article)

Portfolio Manager and Principal Jay Kaplan discusses current market and economic conditions and what he's hearing from company management teams, the effect energy prices are having on some of his holdings, and Royce's competitive advantage within the small-cap space.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: May by Team of Franklin Templeton Investments

Having come through 2015’s first quarter with virtually no growth, the US economy is generally expected to pick up during the rest of this year. Indeed, as we move into a new quarter and shake off the effects of a significant West Coast dock strike and severe winter weather, forward indicators have pointed toward better growth.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 Moment of Truth For Non-U.S. Markets by Mark Ungewitter of Charter Trust Company

The FTSE All World Ex-US index (VEU) is testing multi-year resistance in both dollar and gold terms. (See Chart 1 below.) Dollar-based investors are obviously interested in dollar thresholds, but why monitor relative strength in gold terms? Because gold provides an alternative base “currency” that measures confidence in the institutions of money and credit. A market making higher highs versus gold is exhibiting organic strength independent of local-currency devaluation or unsound credit expansion.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 The Uncorrelated by David Kleinberg of Universal Orbit

Once deemed uncorrelated, sovereign energy policies combine infrastructure development with corporate capital investment accounting for both scalability of renewable sources over the next 25 years and commodity strip pricing in the short-term. Reflecting continued private investment in public policy, simple audit of global multinational corporate profiles features integrated wind and solar operations—a dedication of business segments operations within industrial portfolios including oil and gas.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 The Slowly-Growing Economy Should Persist for Some Time by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

There was little meaningful direction in equity markets last week. Global bond yields generally rose and economic data was mixed.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 How Is Capital Spending Trending? by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

The current pace of expenditures on property, plant, and equipment dampens the likelihood of an accelerated economic recovery.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 China Surpasses America As World's Largest Economy by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

For the first time in history, the People’s Republic of China’s Gross Domestic Product exceeded the GDP of America, as measured by purchasing power, in 2014. According to the International Monetary Fund, China’s purchasing power GDP hit $17.6 trillion last year versus $17.4 trillion in the US.

2015-05-26 00:00:00 Disproving the Four Themes Behind Gold Bearishness by Trey Reik (Article)

The resurgent bear thesis for gold rests on four key assumptions. Because each of these assumptions is already in the process of being disproved, Western investment demand for gold will surge dramatically in coming years.

2015-05-25 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of May 18-22; Housing Rebounds But the Markets Continue G by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Last week’s fundamental news was encouraging. Although we’re still in a shallow industrial recession, other sectors of the economy are printing solid results. However, large multi-nationals face sufficient headwinds from a strong dollar, weak international environment and declining oil prices to prevent a sustained advance.

2015-05-23 00:00:00 Rate Hike Ahead? Here’s How to Get Your Portfolio Ready by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Many experts and analysts believe a June rate hike seems very unlikely, but today, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen hinted that one might happen as soon as the end of this year.

2015-05-23 00:00:00 Can Emerging Markets Survive Lower Commodity Prices? by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Can Emerging Markets Survive Lower Commodity Prices?; Some Central Banks Are Playing the Market; Australia – Real Estate Is Too Frothy for Regulator’s Tastes

2015-05-23 00:00:00 Northern Trust Perspective by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

Our monthly Perspective newsletter keeps you apprised of current market and economic conditions across an array of topics including: US, European and Asian markets, global real estate and commodities.

2015-05-23 00:00:00 Schwab Market Perspective: As the World Turns by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

A market that grinds higher isn’t all bad as it allows time for earnings to catch up to prices; but complacency must be reined in. Sharp movements could and should come as we move closer to a potential Federal Reserve rate hike. We believe the US economy will rebound from the weak soft first quarter, helping to support stocks and a rate hike, but the turn needs to gain traction. Meanwhile, Congressional approval of fast track trade authority could pave the way for improvements in the Japanese recovery.

2015-05-21 00:00:00 Global Review and Equity Commentary: April 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

As expected, the global economy slowed during the first quarter but should gain momentum in the coming months. The U.S. economy almost came to a standstill during the first three months of the year as adverse winter weather limited activity. Consumer spending moderated and construction activity slowed, while lower oil prices discouraged businesses in that sector from capital investments. The stronger dollar and labor disputes at some of the seaports limited export gains, and led to a widening of the U.S. trade deficit.

2015-05-21 00:00:00 Time to Go Active by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

Earlier this week we saw one of the major financial publications feature an article about how active management has outperformed passive management so far in 2015. While their article and data focused on equity funds, we believe that the same sort of opportunity for active fixed income managers exists over the balance of 2015.

2015-05-20 00:00:00 The Idolatry of Interest Rates Part I: Chasing Will-o’-the-Wisp by James Montier of GMO

First is the idolatry of the “equilibrium/natural/neutral” rate of interest displayed by central bankers around the world. The second idolatry is the modern-day belief in the world’s greatest con: that monetary policy matters.

2015-05-20 00:00:00 Economy is "Good Enough" for Stocks by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

With economic data remaining mixed, BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist, Russ Koesterich, discusses why investors should continue to favor stocks over bonds.

2015-05-20 00:00:00 Why US Economic Growth May Disappoint Again In 2015 by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Our main topic today is how the US economy continues to disappoint expectations, and 2015 looks to be no exception. Forecasts for GDP growth this year continue to be downgraded, and there is at least a small possibility that the US economy is slipping into recession.

2015-05-19 00:00:00 Gundlach - Beware of CNBC Pundits by Robert Huebscher (Article)

On issues as central as the effect of quantitative easing or Fed tightening on interest rates, Jeffrey Gundlach says you shouldn't trust the pundits on CNBC.

2015-05-19 00:00:00 Crescendo or Consolidation? by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

The S&P 500 (SPX/2122.73) has basically been locked in a trading range between 2040 and 2100 since early February of this year. Some technical analysts term the subsequent chart pattern a wedge and others call it a rising wedge. While pundits can debate the difference between the two, the important point is which way said chart pattern will be resolved with either an upside breakout, or a downside breakout.

2015-05-19 00:00:00 Equities Push Ahead Despite Softening Economic Growth by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The continued advance in global bond yields dominated the financial story again last week, although this trend eased slightly by the end of the week. Economic data featured a relatively weak retail sales report.

2015-05-19 00:00:00 U.S. Economy: A Variable-Speed Recovery by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

A flat first quarter likely will be followed by one or two quarters of accelerated growth. Then it’s back to the muddle.

2015-05-18 00:00:00 Investor Sentiment Around the World by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

We certainly don’t want to jump to any conclusions about potential market performance based on investor sentiment (or any one indicator for that matter), but it reminds me of the late Sir John Templeton’s famous words: ‘Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism and die on euphoria.

2015-05-18 00:00:00 ProVise Bullets by Ray Ferrara of ProVise Management Group

As the snow finally began melting in the North, the negative impact on the economy also began to melt away. While the weak jobs number for March was revised downward from 126,000 to only 85,000, the April jobs number bounced back with 223,000 non-farm jobs. Private jobs, primarily represented by services, healthcare, and construction, produced all but 10,000 jobs which were created by government. The headline unemployment number dropped to 5.4%, the lowest since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008.

2015-05-18 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will the Interest Rate Spike Threaten Stock Prices? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

This week’s economic calendar includes the most important housing data, but the market context will prove irresistible to the pundits. Stocks continue at the top of the trading range, and even broke through for a few minutes. Even more interesting is the bond market. Interest rates decisively broke their trading range and also showed a lot of volatility.

2015-05-18 00:00:00 Constructively Dissatisfied by Keith McCullough of Hedgeye Risk Management

Say I was constructively dissatisfied with how last week went for Global Macro markets. Constructive because I think we made the right research pivot on Dollar Down, Commodities Up. Dissatisfied because devaluing the Dollar isn’t the answer for America’s stagnating economy.

2015-05-17 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of May 11-15; A Really Unimpressive New High, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Last week’s economic news continued to disappoint. Retail sales were weak, industrial production was flat and capacity utilization decreased. As we near the end of the earnings season, the S&P 500 revenue numbers show a decline. While the SPYs made a new high, the mid-caps, small caps and transports failed to confirm, indicating the large cap move higher stands little chance of meaningful follow-through.

2015-05-16 00:00:00 Secular Versus Cyclical: Notes from SIC 2015 by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

The consensus I’m hearing and reading from the 500+ attendees at the recent Strategic Investment Conference is that this was the best ever. It was certainly intense, with more divergent views presented this year than at previous conferences. Plus, the range of topics was rather dramatic. This year I was able to listen to all but one of the presentations, and I want to share with you my notes and takeaway thoughts.

2015-05-16 00:00:00 Wall Street Underestimates the Great American Earnings Machine by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

With a little over 90 percent of S&P 500 companies having reported, it looks as if the index has risen a modest 2 percent for the first quarter. That might not seem significant, but as LP Financial Services Chief Investment Officer Burt White points out in a recent Barron’s piece, “given the steep uphill climb that corporate America faced due to the twin drags of the oil downturn and strong U.S. dollar, this is actually a good result.”

2015-05-16 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

US indices are in an uptrend. But what they have lacked is the ability to sustain upward momentum for more than a week or two. With SPY at a new ATH, another test of strength has again arrived. There's room for price to move higher, but we suspect that any gains are likely to be short lived.

2015-05-16 00:00:00 Why Some Investors are Tilting Toward TIPS by Matthew Tucker of BlackRock Investment Management

With Treasury yields hovering near record lows, and many believing they are set to rise, Matt Tucker explains why Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) may be worth another look.

2015-05-16 00:00:00 Align the Design: Considering and Evaluating Target-Date Glide Paths by Stacy Schaus and Ying Gao of PIMCO

Few responsibilities are as important to defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors as selecting a default glide path that best maximizes a participant’s odds of retiring on time and with sufficient lifetime income. The goal, put simply, is to maximize asset returns while minimizing volatility relative to the retirement liability – precisely what Objective-Aligned Glide Paths aim to achieve.

2015-05-16 00:00:00 Explaining the Rise in Long-Term Interest Rates by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Explaining the Rise in Long-Term Interest Rates; Consumers Should Overcome Higher Gas Prices; OPEC and the U.S. Face Off in the Oil Markets

2015-05-15 00:00:00 “Wrestling with Something Else”: Why this Gold Bear Market Is Different by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure to appear on Jim Puplava’s Financial Sense Newshour radio program and discuss the state of the gold market. Along with my peers John Doody of the Gold Stock Analyst and Ross Hansen of Northwest Territorial Mint, I shared my thoughts on how we arrived in the current bear market, what factors might help us get out of it and the role real interest rates play in prices.

2015-05-15 00:00:00 Can Crude and Copper Keep Rallying with China Slowing? by Team of GaveKal Capital

Yesterday saw the monthly slue of Chinese economic stats and the key feature among them was the continued broad-based weakness. The weakness in some of these statistics has been so pronounced (some things like IP and retail sales are at levels near or below those seen at the depths of the financial crisis) that it has us wondering if the price of oil and copper can continue to rally in the face of an increasingly slower China?

2015-05-15 00:00:00 Monetary Policy at Warp Speed by Harley Bassman of PIMCO

An imaginative twist on theoretical physics forms the premise of the science fiction series “Star Trek”: An engine called a warp drive enabled the Starship Enterprise to travel faster than the speed of light, going beyond known space to uncharted, exciting new worlds. The confounding detail was managing the sheer power inherent in the warp drive, including its potential to behave in unexpected ways.

2015-05-14 00:00:00 The Momentum Mob by Keith McCullough of Hedgeye Risk Management

In markets, the momentum mob constantly cares about one thing – #charts. Lots and lots and lots of charts. The linear moving average ones are the simplest to scare you with.

2015-05-14 00:00:00 Bearish on the U.S. Markets, Yusko Looks to Japan and Russia for Growth by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

This week Professor Siegel and Jeremy Schwartz chatted with Mark Yusko, Chief Investment Officer of Morgan Creek Capital, about his thoughts concerning extended U.S. valuations and global markets that may offer abundant potential beyond that of the United States.

2015-05-14 00:00:00 Developed Asia Pacific: Economy Trends Update April 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Though Japanese exports exceeded imports in March 2015, weak domestic spending appears to have impacted the country’s nascent economic recovery. Wage growth needs to trickle down to workers employed in smaller Japanese firms, which would also push up inflation. Thankfully, the Bank of Japan has said it will hold its stimulus program in place until economic growth picks up pace.

2015-05-14 00:00:00 What's Driving M&A in the Healthcare Space? by (Article)

Portfolio Manager Carl Brown believes that cash-rich corporate balance sheets and increased competitiveness in the healthcare universe will make smaller companies attractive targets for M&A activity.

2015-05-14 00:00:00 Risk Parity: Reducing Our Bond Exposure by Scott Wolle of Invesco Blog

Every month, the portfolio management team for the Invesco Balanced-Risk Allocation strategy examines the market’s signals for stocks, bonds and commodities, and makes tactical adjustments in an effort to enhance returns. In recent weeks, our tactical signals for government bonds have led us to substantially reduce our exposure and adopt an underweight position.

2015-05-13 00:00:00 The Next Generation by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Saudi King Salman recently announced a set of changes to his cabinet and the order of royal succession. We believe these changes are significant, perhaps the most critical since the first royal succession in 1953. In this report, we detail the changes announced by King Salman and provide a short history of the important succession plan that was established in 1964. With this background, we show how the king’s announcement represents the first change in the program and discuss how these changes could affect the future stability of the kingdom.

2015-05-13 00:00:00 The Happening by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

“The Happening” . . . except in this case I am not referring to the 1967 movie, whose title song was sung by the Supremes, but last Thursday’s “Friends of Fermentation” (FOF) gathering at Bobby Van’s across from the NYSE.

2015-05-13 00:00:00 Stocks Look Expensive…and Still Attractive by Ilya Figelman of AllianceBernstein

Developed-market equity valuations seem a bit expensive today—but we still think they’re worth an overweight in multi-asset strategies. A wider view shows that stocks remain attractive globally.

2015-05-13 00:00:00 Earnings Recap: Good Enough? by Burt White of LPL Financial

The first quarter 2015 earnings season is virtually over and the results relative to lowered expectations were quite good. Investors were braced for an earnings decline and the possible start of an “earnings recession,” but it looks like they will end up with a better than feared, year-over-year earnings growth rate of about 2%, according to Thomson Reuters data. This pace is impressive considering the significant drags from the oil downturn and strong U.S. dollar. Here we recap the first quarter 2015 earnings season and share our earnings outlook for the rest of 2015.

2015-05-13 00:00:00 Energy, Interest Rates, and Risk Management Today by (Article)

Chuck Royce discusses some of the events that helped shape the first quarter and the prospects for risk management in a more normalized environment.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Louis-Vincent Gave: The World's Most Crowded Trade by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Investors are paid to adapt, not to forecast, according to Louis-Vincent Gave, and three changes are occurring globally that all portfolios must accommodate. One of them is a position that is missing from virtually every investor's allocation.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Jim Bianco's Unconventional Ideas by Robert Huebscher (Article)

According to Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger, when it comes to investing, everything important is counterintuitive; everything obvious is wrong. In that spirit, Jim Bianco offered a series of unconventional ideas on the stock market, Fed policy and oil prices.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Q1 Letter by Team of Grey Owl Capital Management

Grey Owl’s strategies all performed well in the first quarter. The good performance came despite US GDP growth of just 0.2%, continually lowered earnings expectations, and volatile equity and bond markets. Below we discuss the current environment including the now absolute fixation by investors on every Fed comment, our continued focus on an all-weather approach, and our best and worst performing securities during the quarter.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Has Sales Growth Peaked for the Cycle? by Team of GaveKal Capital

Sales growth estimates for companies around the world began sliding towards the middle of 2014 as the price of oil began its months-long setback. In the first chart below we show the average and median company's next 12 month sales growth estimate for the MSCI World Index which shows that the level of expected sales growth took a significant step down into the first quarter of 2015.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 What's next for Gold? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Will gold zoom higher with Greece on the brink of default? Or will it crash as the Fed pursues an “exit?” Why has gold not rallied with the recent retreat of the dollar? To understand where gold may be heading, keep in mind that this shiny metal isn’t changing; it’s the world around it that is. We contemplate why investors may want to hold gold as part of their portfolio.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Time to look at South Korea by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

Our global investments continue to focus on the secondary effects of the deflating global credit bubble. The bubble’s deflation has left the world awash in capacity, and we expect countries to fight for market share as a result of that overcapacity.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 As Volatility Rises, Momentum Loses by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

With volatility rising, BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses implications for the markets, especially momentum stocks.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 High Yield: Handling Headline Risk by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Market movements caused by the sharp drop—and subsequent recovery—in oil prices provide insight on successfully navigating the high-yield market.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Are We Headed for a Hangover? by Gibson Smith of Janus Capital Group

It’s late, and the punch bowl is half full. With central banks around the globe still in accommodative mode, the threat that the Federal Reserve (Fed) will pull away the punch bowl sets up the markets for some real disruption. Until then, let the party continue.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Economic & Capital Market Summary – First Quarter 2015 by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

Our belief is that a market is simply a clearinghouse for the price of risk and the quantitative easing programs of the central banks of developed countries are distorting the price of risk in our capital markets. As a result, valuations in bonds, stocks, real estate and other assets are distorted.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Strategic Allocaiton to High Yield Corporate Bonds – Why Now? by Matthew Kennedy of Rainier Investment Management

The demand for higher yielding fixed income investments has never been greater. In the current environment of low yields, from the virtually non-existent rate offered on savings accounts and CDs to the declining, and in some cases negative, yields on global government debt securities, investors are searching for attractive income¬ generating alternatives.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 On My Radar: Life is Great! by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

The primary need of investors is shifting and the risk dynamics has changed. Gone are those wonderful defined benefit plans. This is the first generation of retirees retiring with control of their financial assets. That’s good news for your advisory business, yet, with zero bond rates and 10-year forward returns for equities in the 2% to 4% range, the challenges loom large.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Attention Contrarians – Time to Look at Emerging Markets by Christopher Gannatti of WisdomTree

Often when it becomes difficult to even consider discussing—much less investing in—particular markets, it might be time to take another look. History is full of examples of investors with strong stomachs making out quite well by buying some of the most unloved markets, sectors or companies in the world.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Corporate Earnings and Inflation by Clyde Kendzierski of Financial Solutions Group

A few months ago our 2015 forecast emphasized several points we began making late last year. Taken together, those points differed dramatically from the prevailing wisdom of the time. As we begin May, they are falling into place.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Roadblocks to Equity Gains May Start to Fade by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Investors had a lot to react to last week, with the biggest story being a continued rise in global bond yields. The Conservative Party secured an unexpectedly decisive victory in the U.K. elections and Fed Chair Janet Yellen commented about higher equity valuations.

2015-05-10 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of May 4-8; Mid-Caps Break Trend, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Last week’s economic releases provided much needed bullish news with strong headline numbers from the ISM Services Index and the monthly employment report. But the 1.9% Q/Q decline in productivity was concerning. On the earnings front, with a little over 90% of the S&P 500 companies reporting, total revenues are off 4.1% Y/Y. Adding to the negative backdrop is that future earnings projections continue to move lower. This weak performance on the company level sent the markets lower, with the small caps consolidating recent declines while mid-caps joined in recent trend-breaking.

2015-05-08 00:00:00 MLPs: Providing Growth and Income Potential Despite Low Oil Prices by Joe Rodriguez, Darin Turner, Walt Stabell III of Invesco Blog

With oil prices down around approximately 50% since June 2014, investors are increasingly wary of the entire energy sector. Even given this environment, master limited partnerships (MLPs) represent an energy investment that we believe may weather short-term volatility in energy prices, benefit from the US’s long-term infrastructure needs, and provide attractive income potential for investors.

2015-05-08 00:00:00 Made In Europe by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

A weak finish to the month of April 2015 was “made in Europe” as expectations of better global growth weighed on bonds. On Monday, May 4, 2015, the 10-year German government bond yield closed at 0.45%, more than quadrupling over the past two weeks. European strength combined with a dovish Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting outcome continued to arrest U.S. dollar strength, a primary driver of the steady decline in inflation and investors’ inflation expectations from mid-2014 through the first quarter of 2015.

2015-05-08 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview and Equity Commentaries: March 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The global economy is facing subdued growth in the short term, as adverse weather and a stronger currency have slowed the pace of U.S. expansion. Unusually severe winter weather on the U.S. East coast restricted business and consumer activity during the first three months of the year.

2015-05-08 00:00:00 Watching and Waiting by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Patience can be tough, especially in investing, but that is what is needed at the present time. While a sharp upward move in equities seems unlikely, and the risk of pullbacks is elevated; a grind higher is not something most investors should miss out on. Economic data and the Fed will continue to be in the spotlight, and we expect improvement that will lead to both a Fed rate hike and increased equity volatility—so be prepared. Across the pond, political uncertainty exists, but money supply should be the main focus, which could bode well for the possibility of future European equity gain

2015-05-08 00:00:00 Americans Take 3-Trillion-Mile Road Trip, Dollar Corrects and Commodities Rebound by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The busy summer travel season is at our doorstep, starting this Mother’s Day weekend, and with that comes stronger fuel demand.

2015-05-08 00:00:00 Automation Can Inspire, But Also Intimidate by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

• Automation Can Inspire, But Also Intimidate • The United States Gets Back to Work • Disability Is Not a Refuge for the Unemployed

2015-05-07 00:00:00 For trading, not eating! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Trading sardines indeed, except I have seen a lot of folks attempting to trade this market over the past few months all to no avail. What has typically happened is that one day they are able to make some money, but the next day they give that profit back.

2015-05-07 00:00:00 What Rising Yields Mean for U.S. Stocks by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Last week’s bond selloff provided a foreshadowing of the U.S. stock segments likely to suffer as the eventual Federal Reserve (Fed) rate liftoff nears.

2015-05-07 00:00:00 Oil & Water: Their Possible Impact on State Fiscal Health by Charles Kishpaugh of Loomis Sayles

Two situations stand out as having the potential to disrupt the fiscal health of important states: the deepening drought in California and the impact of low oil prices on states where oil production revenue is vital.

2015-05-07 00:00:00 Emerging Markets May Make a Good Draft Pick to Add to Portfolios by Burt White of LPL Financial

The evaluation process NFL football teams go through to prepare for the NFL draft, which took place this past weekend, is not unlike the investment decision-making process.

2015-05-07 00:00:00 What's Next for the Dollar and Currencies? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

In anticipation of higher U.S. rates and lower rates elsewhere, the greenback had enjoyed a dramatic rally. Has the tide turned, or is the dollar merely taking a breather? We believe there are threats and opportunities hidden underneath recent market action. Below is a closer look in an effort to allow investors to better understand the dynamics that might be unfolding.

2015-05-06 00:00:00 International Equities: Another Turn of the Wheel by David Ruff of Forward Investing

It’s a truism that markets move in cycles and that the ideal time to invest is right at or near the start of an upswing. Diversification is another key tenet of Investing 101. Yet inertia and the pull of the crowd often lead investors to concentrate assets in markets that may be nearing their peak while ignoring potentially more promising opportunities.

2015-05-06 00:00:00 Can Assad Survive? by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Rebels in Syria have been making steady gains against forces loyal to the Assad regime and these gains have recently accelerated. The recent rebel victories are raising questions about the Assad regime’s ability to survive. In this report, we recap the problems the Syrian government faces, including internal dissent and military losses. We discuss the growing evidence of a Turkey-Saudi axis that may be aiding the rebels to weaken or eliminate Assad and pressure Iran. From there, we examine the potential Iranian and American responses to the rebel gains and support from Riyadh and Ankara.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 David Rosenberg - Bullish on Stocks by Robert Huebscher (Article)

The consensus narrative is negative for the economy and U.S. equity markets. But according to David Rosenberg, that is wrong. A recession is three years away, he said, and even if the Fed raises rates, equities will perform strongly this year.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 Waiting on the Turn by Scott Brown of Raymond James

The economy slowed in the first quarter, reflecting a variety of restraints. Most of these should give way, leading to stronger growth in the second quarter. However, Federal Reserve officials and financial market participants will want to see proof.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 Who Is Afraid of the Inflation Ogre? by Liz Ann Sonders, Christian Menegatti of Charles Schwab

When many commentators and investors show a high conviction about something, it is perhaps a good time to explore how things could move in the opposite direction. After several trillions of quantitative easing (QE) from the major global central banks, and with trillions of QE likely ahead, the consensus appears spooked by the specter of global disinflation and deflation. The possibility of a higher inflation scenario seems to have fallen completely off the radar.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 Americas: Economy Trends Update - April 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Lower oil and commodity prices as well as changes in currency rates continue to be the main drivers of economic trends in the Americas. The weak export outlook for energy and commodities have hurt the prospects of large economies such as Brazil, which is expected to see a decline in economic output this year.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 Re-Emerging Markets? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

With emerging markets showing surprising resilience, BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses why investors should consider including EM equities in their portfolios.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 How to Dress for a Rainy Day by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

The answer is the Lollapalooza effect. The question you may recall from last month’s Absolute Return Letter - what’s the opposite of a perfect storm, or put another way, what do you call it when an unusual combination of constructive factors creates an outcome which is extraordinarily positive? A reader was kind enough to provide the answer, which was coined by Charles Munger years ago. As a non-American, the answer was at first complete gobbledygook to me, but a quick Google search convinced me that the answer is absolutely legitimate. Thank you.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 Too Late to Invest in EM? by Heidi Richardson of BlackRock

While emerging market stocks have had a good 2015 so far, this may still be an attractive time to invest for invest for investors who have been sitting on the EM sidelines.

2015-05-04 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Can Employment News Change the Fed’s Course? by Jeffrey Miller of New Arc Investments

This week’s economic news is mostly jobs-related. The Fed has cited employment as the most important factor in future rate decisions. There is plenty of FedSpeak on tap. Pundits love to talk about the Fed. Voila!

2015-05-03 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of April 27-May 1: Weak GDP Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The market has been trading at fairly expensive levels since the first of the year. With a current PE of nearly 21, it clearly needs economic and earnings growth to move higher. Unfortunately, last week’s news and the general earnings backdrop are not cooperating. First quarter GDP was reported at a meager .2% while Y/Y revenue growth contracted 4.1%. This led to small caps (both the IWM and IWC) breaking uptrends while the larger averages continued to languish. We’re again left with a picture of markets starved for bullish news and not receiving any.

2015-05-03 00:00:00 Show Me the Stocks, Not the Cash, Say Optimistic CEOs by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

In early March, I made the case that there’s no greater vote of confidence in a company’s growth prospects than when its top officers put some skin in the game and buy their own company stock. Among the examples I used were Warren Buffett, who owns millions of shares in Berkshire Hathaway; Elon Musk, who purchased over $100 million worth of Tesla stock in 2013; and myself, the largest shareholder of U.S. Global Investors. Another example of how bullish an executive is on his own company is when he chooses to forego a base salary entirely and instead be compensated in company stock.

2015-05-02 00:00:00 Pondering Halftime Adjustments by Rick Vollaro of Pinnacle Advisory Group

At the beginning of the year, we wrote about an aging bull market that we thought could be ridden, but with the caveat that one wouldn’t want to take too much risk given the magnitude of the move, current valuation levels in the U.S., and an overall evidence profile that was clearly mixed with pockets of both strength and weakness. When weighing the evidence, our dashboards offered no reason to reach for additional risk this late in the cycle, but instead we tried to focus on some big picture themes that could help us find attractive opportunities to position for.

2015-05-02 00:00:00 Companies Are Doing Much Better Than 1Q Financials Show by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Companies are doing much better than 1Q financial figures show. Energy sector EPS has fallen 60% in the past year; for the remaining 90% of the S&P, EPS is growing 7.5%. Only energy has seen a meaningful drop in margins; among the other large weighted sectors, margins are either close to flat or higher than a year ago. If oil prices can rise to $70 by the end of the 2015, the year over year impact of falling energy profit margins on total S&P EPS will become negligible.

2015-05-01 00:00:00 QE Posted On The Wall? by Sebastiao Buck Tocalino of SBTCapital Clube de Investimento

Pondering On Inflation, Corporate Debt, Dollar Exchange Rates, Oil Prices, NYSE Margin Debt, T-Bonds, China and Past QEs.

2015-05-01 00:00:00 Cross Currents by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

Cross currents continue to push and pull the bond market, leaving bond prices and yields range bound ahead of another Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting and key batch of monthly economic reports. Intermediate to long-term Treasury yields increased by 0.01% to 0.11% for the week ending April 24, 2015, despite weaker economic data.

2015-05-01 00:00:00 Greece: Stuck in the Middle by J. Brooks Ritchey of Franklin Templeton Investments

Opinion polls show that many Greek voters support Athens's tough negotiation tactics. But the polls also show that most Greeks want their country to remain in the eurozone—but to do so would require agreeing with the zone's austerity demands. I think this would be the definition of a pickle.

2015-05-01 00:00:00 After the Market Crisis: Does Diversification Still Work? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Diversification may not have worked during the last market crisis, but this isn’t an argument for skipping exposure to international stocks.

2015-04-30 00:00:00 Analysts Love to Talk about China but Should Focus on South Korea by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

This week Professor Siegel and Jeremy Schwartz chatted with Jeff Weniger, Investment Strategist at BMO Global Asset Management. We spoke at length about the impact of the U.S. dollar on global markets. I found our conversation about the impact of easy monetary policy on economies such as China and South Korea particularly noteworthy.

2015-04-30 00:00:00 Being There by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Spring has definitely sprung here in Florida as pollen is in the air and raindrops fall on my tin roof with the sound of golf balls. “Tra la! It's May! The lusty month of May! That lovely month when ev'ryone goes blissfully astray,” to steal a line from the play Camelot. But many market pundits are worried about the softening economic reports, prompting me to dredge up my annual missive about the book “Being There” by author Jerzy Kosinski. The story revolves around a simple-minded man named Chance “the gardener,” who knows only gardening and what he sees on television.

2015-04-30 00:00:00 The Ideology of IS by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Atlantic Magazine recently published an article about Islamic State (IS) that examined its theology and ideology. This article along with a paper from the Brookings Institute form the basis of our report. In our report this week, we examine the intellectual foundations of IS, showing how it evolved from two different sources of thought. We follow with an analysis of the concept of the Caliphate and the critical importance it has in Islamic theology, along with an examination of the eschatology of IS. We discuss the consequences of IS’s ideology and conclude with potential market ramification

2015-04-30 00:00:00 Are We the Stranded Asset? by Jeremy Grantham of GMO

In part two of the letter, chief investment strategist Jeremy Grantham examines the factors behind declining estimates of U.S. and overseas GDP growth, and offers an outlook for the coming years ("Are We the Stranded Asset? (and other updates)").

2015-04-29 00:00:00 Why It’s Good to Be Young in Japan by Christopher Gannatti of WisdomTree

At the Japan Society event “The Sun Also Rises?: Japan’s Potential in the Post-Crisis Global Economy,” we heard panelists talk about how they thought that Japan could incentivize growth in productivity. One area of note was that Japan’s largest industrial employer shifting from seniority-based pay to pay for performance was a very big step.

2015-04-29 00:00:00 MLPs Waxing not Waning by David Chiaro of Eagle Global Advisors

We view the recent sell off of MLPs/midstream energy infrastructure companies as a buying opportunity. Our long-term evaluation of the total return prospects of these companies is very good, especially on a risk adjusted basis.

2015-04-29 00:00:00 Risk Marches On by Burt White of LPL Financial

The latest data releases pointing to weak U.S. new home sales and manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) have investors guessing about the possible messaging coming out of this week’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.

2015-04-29 00:00:00 China Officials Dig in on Stronger RMB by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

Recent events in China provide yet more support for our view that the renminbi (RMB) will continue to appreciate steadily—and that the country will proceed more rapidly with its reforms than most people expect.

2015-04-28 00:00:00 Q1 2015 Venerated Voices™ by Jill Mislinski (Article)

We announced our Venerated Voices awards for articles published in Q1 of 2015. Rankings were issued in three categories: The Top 25 Venerated Voices by Firm, The Top 25 Venerated Voices by Author and The Top 10 Venerated Voices by Commentary.

2015-04-28 00:00:00 The Fed's Countdown to Liftoff by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Kristina Hooper, US Investment Strategist for Allianz Global Investors, previews the upcoming FOMC meeting and its implications for the first interest-rate hike since 2006: "Suffice it to say that the Taylor Rule, which fairly accurately predicted the fed funds rate from 1988 through 2008, might as well be in my attic with my Duran Duran albums, Benetton rugbies and other vestiges of the '80s and '90s..."

2015-04-28 00:00:00 Equities Should Push Higher Along a Bumpy Road by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Investors mostly focused on the positives last week. Corporate earnings generally beat expectations and merger and acquisition activity remained solid. Despite disappointing economic data, this trend reinforced the perception that the Federal Reserve would hold off on rate hikes for the time being. The turmoil in Greece rattled investors, but remains relatively contained.

2015-04-27 00:00:00 Fair Value on the S&P 500 Has Three Digits by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

We continue to classify market conditions among the most hostile expected return/risk profiles we identify. The current profile joins rich valuations with continued evidence of a subtle shift toward risk aversion among investors, which we infer from market internals (a variant of what we used to call “trend uniformity”), credit spreads, and other risk-sensitive measures.

2015-04-27 00:00:00 Stock Splitting Caused Stock Market Crash 1929 by Wim Grommen of Transfer Solutions

This article explains why the introduction of stock splitting on December 31st, 1927 eventually caused the crash of 1929. The frequent splitting of shares into very large proportions gave a massive boost to the stock market boom, making the stock market crash of 1929 equally violent.

2015-04-27 00:00:00 Spring Quarterly Commentary by John Prichard, Miles Yourman of Knightsbridge Asset Management

Charlie Munger, firmly ensconced in the investor hall of fame, remains, at age 91, one of our favorite purveyors of worldly wisdom on subjects investment related and otherwise. He is also known to be blunt and humorous, offering the above response to a question regarding money-printing, interest rates and unintended consequences at the Daily Journal shareholder meeting a few weeks ago. When a genius like Charlie is confused...then things indeed are confusing.

2015-04-27 00:00:00 Airlines Report on Q1 Earnings by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

A recent Deutsche Bank report projects a total airline industry first-quarter pretax profit of $3.5 billion, up from $700 million this time last year—a 400-percent improvement.

2015-04-27 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time for an Upside Breakout? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

We have the makings of a volatility cocktail! It is a huge week for economic data. It is the heart of earnings season, with Apple’s report leading off the week. The Fed has a two-day meeting culminating with a policy announcement. Global economic threats continue. Which of these will be the theme?

2015-04-27 00:00:00 Growth Is Becoming More Valuable by Frank Caruso, Christopher Kotowicz of AllianceBernstein

Precious gems, Old Masters artwork and certain brands of scotch: scarcity makes them more desirable and adds to their value. The same can be said of organic growth. As the economic cycle matures, we expect the stocks of companies that have it—and can maintain it—to become increasingly prized.

2015-04-26 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of April 20-24: Is This Another False Break-Out?, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

After a series of first quarter economic disappointments, last week’s financial news provided much needed ammunition for optimism. The latest new and existing home sales numbers indicated the housing market is healing while the slight uptick in durable goods orders stopped that data series’ recent set of declines. The markets rallied as a result, printing at or close to new highs. The market’s technical picture, however, is still unconvincing; the SPYs chart looks like a short term top while the Transports and Dow’s failure to confirm the QQQ’s recent advance adds to the caution.

2015-04-24 00:00:00 Asian Markets Host Potential for Long Term Growth by (Article)

In this latest video update, Sanjeev Lakhani, CFA, Co-Portfolio Manager of the International Select Equity Fund, highlights a recent trip to Asia and discusses why India, Indonesia, China and Japan offer long term growth. Historically, China has been a difficult market to invest in, however, there do appear to be signs that it is changing. India and Indonesia both have reform-minded leaders who plan to invest in their countries infrastructure. India has reduced its account deficient and has benefited from low oil prices.

2015-04-24 00:00:00 Global Divergence, the Federal Reserve and the Impact on U.S. Insurers by David Braun, Scott Millimet of PIMCO

Insurance publication SNL Financial recently sat down with members of PIMCO’s Financial Institutions Group to discuss PIMCO’s latest views on global divergence, the Federal Reserve and the impact on U.S. insurers in their investment portfolio positioning.

2015-04-24 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary: The Eurozone Is Seeing Green Shoots but Isn’t Out of the Woods by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The Eurozone Is Seeing Green Shoots but Isn't Out of the Woods; Gauging a Country's Potential for Growth; The Trans-Pacific Partnership Might Actually Happen

2015-04-24 00:00:00 Schwab Market Perspective: Heads, Bulls Win; Tails, Bears Lose? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

The bears can’t seem to grab hold of this market, but that doesn’t mean full-speed ahead for the bulls either. Grinding generally higher with increased volatility seems to be the course for now, but the possibility of a correction still exists. Diversification, discipline and patience is required. International equity exposure should be part of most investors’ portfolios, to a level commiserate with risk tolerance. European risks related to Greece seem to have lessened, while the Chinese stock market doesn’t appear grossly overvalued, although a pullback from the recent run is possi

2015-04-23 00:00:00 U.S. Consumers Gaining Ground by John Osterweis, Matt Berler of Osterweis Capital Management

In early 2015 global financial markets continued to be buoyed by a combination of low interest rates, central bank liquidity and positive, albeit modest, economic growth. For some time we have been talking about the "Goldilocks" backdrop of slow growth, low inflation and low interest rates that has been very rewarding for financial assets.

2015-04-23 00:00:00 Meandering Continues for Silver & Gold by Avi Gilburt of ElliottWaveTrader.net

While the metals continue to meander, I still remain bullish over the next few months, and bearish into later this year. And, yes, I still believe that lower lows will be seen, as the final lows to the 3+ year correction have not yet been seen.

2015-04-23 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Winners and Losers: Q1 2015 by Jackie Lafferty of Loomis Sayles

2015 kicked off with a rocky start for emerging markets: pending US rate hikes, falling commodity prices, quantitative easing in Europe, and idiosyncratic country risks all soured investor sentiment and caused the US dollar to soar. This led to substantial weakness in emerging market (EM) foreign exchange, pummeling US-based investors in many local currency bond markets. Despite that pain, EM credit performed well, and along with EM sovereign debt, posted positive gains.

2015-04-23 00:00:00 To Hedge or Not To Hedge by Treesdale Partners of AdvisorShares

There have been several blogposts on the merits of buying currency hedged ETFs for foreign equity exposure versus unhedged exposure. The arguments against unhedged ETFs are weak and often false, like “the companies hedge their currency exposure already”.

2015-04-23 00:00:00 Lower Oil Prices Have Varied Effect on Municipal Bond Market by Stephanie Larosiliere of Invesco

The decline in oil prices since the summer of 2014 continued throughout the first quarter, as oil supply surpassed demand and we saw substantial price declines. This is of particular interest to municipal bond investors, as many US state and local budgets have a substantial dependence on oil production and exploration revenue, and lower oil prices can influence economic growth and inflation, which can affect Treasury and municipal yields.

2015-04-22 00:00:00 Uncertainty by Scott Brown of Raymond James

We live in an uncertain world. Policymakers have to sift through a wide range of data, much of which is subject to statistical error and measurement difficulties. Financial market participants deal with much of the same data, but also have to account for the uncertainty in how policymakers will interpret the data and respond. There are longer-term questions, which won’t be resolved anytime soon. So where do we stand now?

2015-04-22 00:00:00 Activity Versus Inactivity by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Plainly there are times for investors/traders to be active. But there are also times for them to be inactive, despite the trait of human nature to be “active;” and, for the past few months inactivity has been the best overall strategy.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 Profit Margins - Is the Ladder Starting to Snap? by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Since mid-2014, the broad market as measured by the NYSE Composite has been in a broad sideways distribution pattern, with an increasing tendency in recent months for advances to occur on weaker volume and declines to follow on a pickup in volume. While capitalization-weighted indices have done somewhat better since mid-2014, the S&P 500 Index is unchanged since late-December.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 Roller Coaster Quarter by Jim Tillar and Steve Wenstrup of Tillar-Wenstrup Advisors

Volatility continues to be the theme for stocks. The S&P 500 was down big in January, rallied even bigger in February and went down again in March ending the quarter up 0.95%. The real action was in Europe where stocks clocked double-digit returns.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 Rear-View Mirror Shows Ugly Q1 by Brian S. Wesbury and Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

We know Plow Horses don’t have rearview mirrors, but economists do. So, let’s not beat around the bush: the economy barely grew last quarter. Right now, we’re forecasting that real GDP expanded at a 0.7% annual rate in Q1.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 Can Lumber Be Worth It's Weight in Gold? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Well, maybe not literally. But figuratively-speaking, one can make the case. And two very bright, young investment advisors have done just that.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 QE: The Silver Lining of Slower Growth by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Stocks struggled last week amid more evidence that economic growth is not accelerating as expected. In the United States, the S&P 500 Index fell 0.99% to 2,081, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.28% to 17,826, and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 1.30% to close the week at 4,931.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 The AIIB by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

China has founded the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to compete with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. The U.S. has opposed the creation of this bank but, despite administration opposition, 57 nations have joined. A chorus of commentators have suggested that the founding of this bank may mark the end of U.S. hegemony. In this report, we describe the AIIB, including its members and capitalization. Next, we cover the conventional wisdom surrounding the bank, and follow up with our analysis of the real impact of the bank. We conclude with potential market ramifications.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 Stay Patient Against the Consensus Trade of 2015 by Kathleen Gaffney and Matt Hildebrandt of Eaton Vance

When making moves that are against a crowded trade, does it pay to be a patient, opportunistic income investor?

2015-04-21 00:00:00 Good Things To Life by Brian Andrew of Cleary Gull

Last Thursday, General Electric announced that they were selling a $26 billion real estate portfolio and substantially reducing the size of their financing arm, GE Capital. This announcement has a number of broader implications beyond GE’s own company and stock price. It may be an indication of what large multi-national companies must do at this point in the market cycle to show earnings growth.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 The Charge Of The Monetary Light Brigade - Neosho Capital On The European Central Bank And Negative by Chris Richey of Neosho Capital

A paper on European Monetary Easing, which we feel is a well-meaning, but misguided effort, to solve demographic, cultural, and political problems with massive monetary manipulations of exchange rates and securities markets.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 Has The US Dollar Topped Out, Or Headed Much Higher? by Gary D. Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The US dollar’s value has been on a tear since last summer, with the greenback’s value surging more than 20% against a basket of major foreign currencies.

2015-04-20 00:00:00 Pockets of Value in the Stock Market by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Given the headwinds facing U.S. stocks, investors may want to consider tilting their stock portfolios toward these sectors and geographies offering relative value.

2015-04-20 00:00:00 On My Radar: The Speech at Lost Tree Club by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

You and I are in a tough business. It is based on probabilities and involves imperfection. The mismatch between customer expectations and practical reality is challenging. Art Cashin said, That to survive 50 years in this business, you learn that the first thing you do when you enter a room is look for the exit sign. It is with this thinking that I also share a great piece on investing and risk from Ned Davis.

2015-04-20 00:00:00 Drags on the Economy and Earnings Should Slowly Fade by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Investors focused on the negatives last week, including some disappointing U.S. economic data and growing concerns over what will happen with Greece’s debt problems.

2015-04-20 00:00:00 Emerging Europe: Economy Trends Update – April 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

With the exception of energy exporter Russia, economic conditions appear to have taken a turn for the better in emerging Europe.

2015-04-20 00:00:00 Thoughts from the Frontline: Half a Bubble Off Dead Center by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Central banks, in their valiant, unceasing efforts to restore liquidity and growth, have unleashed numerous unintended consequences that are beginning to show up in earnest. Today we are going to review the well-meaning behavior of central banks for clues about our near future.

2015-04-19 00:00:00 US Equity And Economic Review For the Week of April 13-17; False Break-Out Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

After consolidating since the beginning of March, it appeared that SPYs broke out on Wednesday. It was a false break-out. Wednesday’s daily candle was weak, with a small body and high shadow. Rather than continuing the move higher, Thursday printed a similar candle. The markets gapped lower on Friday, sending the daily chart back into its previous consolidation pattern. Several weak economic numbers contributed to the markets sell-off, including industrial production, further weakness in retail sales and increasing negativity in the LEIs components.

2015-04-19 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: A Geopolitical Risk to U.S. Stocks? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

I expect the supposed worries of Friday to prove unwarranted – an idea supported by late-day Friday trading. The real focus will quickly turn to earnings and housing data.

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Hoisington Quarterly Review and Outlook – First Quarter 2015 by Lacy Hunt and Van Hoisington of Hoisington Investment Management

Over the more than two thousand years of economic history, a clear record emerges regarding the relationship between the level of indebtedness of a nation and its resultant pace of economic activity. The once flourishing and powerful Mesopotamian, Roman and Bourbon dynasties, as well as the British empire, ultimately lost their great economic vigor due to the inability to prosper under crushing debt levels.

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Irrational Expectations by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

Do we have irrational expectations for the Chinese economy? On the one hand, we asked China to restructure and rebalance its economy, and it has delivered. It shrunk its state sector, and privately owned firms now account for more than 80% of employment and almost all new job creation. Almost all prices are set by the market. Investment growth is slowing and consumption is now the engine of economic expansion. China’s service sector is now larger than its manufacturing and construction sectors.

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Who will get caught skinny-dipping? by Edward Perkin of Eaton Vance

More than six years into a bull market for all major asset classes, are there any true investment bargains left?

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Are Commodities And EM Stocks Becoming Less Sensitive To The Dollar? by Team of GaveKal Capital

Are commodities becoming less sensitive to changes in the USD? The surge in the dollar has negatively affected commodities somewhat but not nearly as much as one might have expected given that the real trade-weighted dollar is 19% higher than it was in July. Commodities are about 19% lower during this time. However, when the dollar surged by 14% in 2008, commodities fell by 39%.

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Key Themes for Navigating Credit Markets in Alternatives Strategies by Joshua Anderson of PIMCO

Against a backdrop of low volatility and tight spreads, 2014 turned out to be a challenging year for many alternative investors as they watched their trades become crowded, and reverse quickly when expected returns were not realized. One such example was the positioning among investors in advance of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) Asset Quality Review announcement; many had increased their exposure in anticipation of a tightening of European bank-related securities.

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Sharpen Your Pencils: Why Low Rates Challenge Traditional Security Analysis Methods by Edward Talisse of Chelsea Global Advisors

Now that we are dealing with near-zero, and in certain instances, negative short-term interest rates, is it worth retaining the highly cherished Sharpe Ratio as a tool of investment performance? Measuring and ranking the intersection of risk and reward is a foundational principle of investment management, first introduced by Noble Laureate William F. Sharpe back in 1966.

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Junior Mining Companies Have Taken a Senior Role by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

For the past decade, junior mining companies have outperformed senior miners at finding new mineral deposits and generating wealth for investors.

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary: Countries Can’t Devalue Their Way to Prosperity by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Countries Can't Devalue Their Way to Prosperity; Central Banks Are Doing Some Interesting Rebalancing; Paying for the Energy Dividend

2015-04-16 00:00:00 Q1 Review by (Article)

Closed-end funds got off to a strong start in Q1 2015 and senior loan funds reversed a trend, says Mike Taggart of Nuveen Investments.

2015-04-16 00:00:00 Stock Market Boom and Crash: Cause and Effect by Wim Grommen of Transfer Solutions

This article explains, based on transition properties, why a stock market boom occurs during the acceleration phase of a transition, inevitably followed by a stock market crash in the stabilization phase of a transition.

2015-04-16 00:00:00 A New Way Forward for Nigeria? by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton

Perhaps the biggest long-term challenge for Nigeria going forward is to develop government leadership that will be intent on economic development and utilizing the country’s resources to develop infrastructure.

2015-04-16 00:00:00 Finding Value in Declining Commodity Prices by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

I’m going to begin with a bit of good news. Below is our China Region Fund (USCOX). As you can see, not only has it broken above its 50- and 200-day moving averages, but it’s also trading at four-year highs. And since this chart was created early last week, the fund has climbed even higher, to $9.53 as of this writing.

2015-04-16 00:00:00 The Unexpected Ripple Effect of New Bank Capital Requirements by Libby Cantrill, William G. De Leon, Tracey Jordal, Courtney A. Walker of PIMCO

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, lawmakers and regulators promulgated sweeping regulations that sought to reduce systemic risk and promote market stability.

2015-04-16 00:00:00 Gauging Global Growth: An Update For 2015 & 2016 by John Canally of LPL Financial

Global growth is likely to be a recurring theme for investors this week. The health of the global economy and key regions (U.S., Eurozone, Japan, China, etc.) is likely to get plenty of attention from corporate managements as they discuss Q1 2015 results and provide guidance for the rest of the year. In addition, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will release the spring 2015 edition of its widely read World Economic Outlook on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, and China will release its Q1 2015 gross domestic product (GDP) that same day.

2015-04-15 00:00:00 China Finally Stops Fighting the Stock Market by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Although China's economy has been leading the world in annualized growth since the days that mobile phones had retractable antennas, there have always been some aspects of the country's commercial and financial system that loudly broadcast the underlying illogic of a Communist Party's firm control of burgeoning capitalism. China's stock markets were one such venue where things just didn't add up...literally.

2015-04-15 00:00:00 Despite Volatility, Global Economy Looks Stronger by Hank Herrmann of Ivy Investment Management Company

So far this year, the financial markets have given us a volatile ride. But it’s a ride that has left us just about where we started. It’s not exactly that nothing happened, of course, but the S&P 500 Index ended the first quarter essentially flat. The volatility stems largely from two things: since January we’ve seen a steep decline in energy prices and a sharp rally in the dollar.

2015-04-15 00:00:00 Managing Risk by Jeffery Saut of Raymond James

Most people acknowledge that losses will happen regardless of the type of business venture. A light bulb manufacturer knows that two out of three hundred bulbs will break. A fruit dealer knows that two out of one hundred apples will rot. Losses per se don’t bother them; unexpected losses and losing on balance does. Acknowledging that losses are part of business is one thing; taking and accepting those losses in the markets is something else entirely. In the markets, people tend to have difficulty actively taking losses. This is because all losses are treated as failure; in every other area o

2015-04-14 00:00:00 Gundlach - The Bond Market is at a Pivotal Point by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Jeffrey Gundlach turned defensive on the U.S. bond market at the end of January, almost precisely when yields were at their lowest point. Whether his outlook changes hinges on the direction of the 30-year bond and if it retests its low yield of 2.45%.

2015-04-14 00:00:00 Tocqueville Gold Strategy Investor Letter by John Hathaway of Tocqueville Asset Management

John Hathaway, manager of the Tocqueville Gold Fund (TGLDX), looks back at the performance of gold over the first quarter, noting that "Gold and gold mining shares appear to be as contrarian today as in 1999, before a decade?plus run in which bullion rose nearly seven?fold in US dollar terms."

2015-04-14 00:00:00 Expect Further Divergence in Emerging Market Economies by Michael Gomez, Lupin Rahman of PIMCO

Each quarter, PIMCO investment professionals from around the world gather in Newport Beach to discuss the firm’s outlook for the global economy and financial markets. In the following interview, portfolio managers Michael Gomez and Lupin Rahman discuss PIMCO’s cyclical outlook for the emerging markets (EM).

2015-04-14 00:00:00 The Case for Not Currency Hedging Foreign Equity Investments: A U.S. Investor’s Perspective by Catherine LeGraw of GMO

In a new white paper, Catherine LeGraw of GMO's asset allocation team explains GMO's approach to currency hedging, a topic which has gained relevance as the U.S. dollar has strengthened.

2015-04-14 00:00:00 China: New Year, New Opportunity? by Burt White of LPL Financial

China will release its first quarter 2015 gross domestic product (GDP) report this week on April 14, 2015, with the market expecting a 7% year-over-year increase. Regardless of whether China hits that target, its stock market has already been positive so far this year. In this year of the goat in 2015, global investors have not been sheepish about buying Chinese stocks, powering the Shanghai Composite 25% higher so far in 2015 amid prospects for more monetary stimulus and policy reforms.

2015-04-14 00:00:00 The Iran Framework by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

On April 2, the P5+1 and Iran announced a framework to deal with Iran’s nuclear program. The framework is a roadmap to establishing a final agreement in June and could be a major step toward delaying Iran’s entry into the “nuclear club.” This report begins with a short history of Iran’s nuclear program. Next, we review the details of the framework and address the broader policy issues surrounding Iran’s nuclear program. An analysis of the real issue, regional hegemony, follows along with a review of the political factors of the deal. We conclude with the potential market effects.

2015-04-14 00:00:00 Waiting for the Right Pitch by John Loesch, CFA of Diamond Hill Capital Management, Inc.

Patience is a virtue, both in life and in investing. As a long-term investor in a short-term focused world (and a father of three young children), I know that remaining patient is not always easy. At Diamond Hill, we keep the advice of both Warren Buffett and legendary hitter Ted Williams in mind and try to wait for the “right pitch.”

2015-04-14 00:00:00 Yield Curve Flattening and Volatility LIkely to Continue in 2015 by Payson Swaffield of Eaton Vance

In the first quarter of 2015, we continued to see a trend toward a flatter yield curve, shaped by rising rates at the short end and a relatively tethered long end, against the backdrop of higher volatility.

2015-04-14 00:00:00 Second Quarter Market Commentary 2015 by The CCR Wealth Management Investment Committee of CCR Wealth Management

Over a year ago in our January 2014 Outlook commentary, we cited European markets as attractively priced relative to the US equity markets. Most market observers at the time were expecting a nascent recovery from the 2012 EU recession to get a boost from the European Central Bank (ECB). We even boosted our non-US developed market (and European-specific) allocation—though cautiously—in anticipation. Please note that we still think these markets are most attractively valued.

2015-04-13 00:00:00 Liquid Alternative Strategies as Mutual Funds by Michael Winchell of Larkin Point Investment Advisors LLC

The recent growth of mutual funds offering a wide array of liquid alternative strategies has raised questions among many advisors about the possible drawbacks of attempting alternative strategies within a 1940 Act vehicle.

2015-04-13 00:00:00 Global Economic Risks Remain but Appear to Be Diminishing by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Investors reacted to a range of data and news last week that included a further digesting of the relatively weak March jobs data, ongoing merger and acquisition news, signs of weakening corporate earnings and further evidence of upward pressure on wages. Amid all of the crosscurrents, U.S. equities finished higher, with the S&P 500 Index gaining 1.7%.1 Most international markets advanced as well, while Treasury yields and the U.S. dollar rose.1 Industrials, health care and energy stocks led the way while telecommunications, utilities and financials lagged.

2015-04-13 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter – April 2015 by Ron Muhlenkamp, Jeff Muhlenkamp of Muhlenkamp & Company, Inc.

Ron and Jeff Muhlenkamp discuss their views on the U.S. stock market, then briefly touch on some broader U.S. and global issues, then close with a summary of how it all ties together.

2015-04-13 00:00:00 June Rate Hike Still on Tap by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

According to a recent survey by the Wall Street Journal, most economists think a June rate hike is unlikely. In fact, four times as many think the Federal Reserve won’t start raising rates until September or later as currently think the Fed will start in June.

2015-04-12 00:00:00 Are We Doomed to Weaker Growth by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Any rally still faces strong headwinds. With a PE of 20.47, equities are already expensive. The strong dollar and weaker overseas economies are hampering general earnings growth while oil’s price drop is decimating the energy sector. And the percentage of NASDAQ and NYSE stocks about the 50 day EMA is approaching overbought levels. Without a meaningful change in either the earnings or valuation environment, any advance appears limited to at most 5%. That places a premium of stock picking and allocation.

2015-04-12 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: The Start of an Earnings Recession? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

The year-over-year growth rate for forward earnings has once again turned positive. We can and should be on the watch for a true recession – the source of major earnings declines. The talk about an “earnings recession” should not be a source of worry.

2015-04-11 00:00:00 Finding Value in Declining Commodity Prices by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

So what’s the deal with Chinese equities right now? After all, China’s economic growth for the first quarter of the year cooled to a six-year low of 7 percent. The market surge is mostly attributable to monetary easing and government policy changes such as housing stimulus and modernization of the country’s financial structure. But there’s more at work.

2015-04-11 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Today’s Oil Retreat Is at Odds with Long-Term Trends; A New Bank Creates Controversy in Asia; Solving the U.S. Wage Conundrum

2015-04-11 00:00:00 Slip Sliding Sideways by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Volatility will likely continue and more sideways action could be in store for the US equity market. We believe US economic data will start to rebound, helping push stocks higher in the second half of the year. The Fed remains in focus, but a rate hike is not likely until the latter half of 2015, which has helped slow the dollar’s upward momentum; potentially comforting the market and letting businesses better react. Better near-term opportunities may exist overseas as the Eurozone economy is improving and Japan seems poised to rebound from soft data.

2015-04-10 00:00:00 Words with Friends by John Canally of LPL Financial

Words matter. As investors brace for the unofficial start of the S&P 500 earnings reporting season for first quarter 2015 (see this week’s Weekly Market Commentary, “Earnings Recession?” April 6, 2015, for details), the financial media is swirling with words and phrases like “rig count,” “strong dollar,” “port strike,” and even “bad weather.”

2015-04-10 00:00:00 Using Options Strategies to Mitigate Volatility by George Hashbarger, Jr. of The BPV Family of Funds

The current bull market in U.S. stocks has now entered its seventh year and continues chugging along. In such a market environment, which has lacked a meaningful correction in either magnitude or duration, it’s easy to become complacent. However, the pull back last October and the choppiness markets experienced in December and January should serve as a reminder that the long period of low volatility has likely ended.

2015-04-10 00:00:00 Key Themes for Navigating Credit Markets in Alternatives Strategies by Joshua Anderson of PIMCO

??We believe the current investment environment provides extensive opportunities for alternative investors.

2015-04-08 00:00:00 The 'Perfect Storm' by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

This month's Absolute Return Letter is about the highly unusual set of circumstances which have underpinned the equity bull market of the last 35 years. Not one of the factors we identify did exceptionally well - they all did and, between them, they created the perfect breeding ground for exceptional equity performance. So far so good. Unfortunately a reality check is required as it is exceedingly unlikely that those circumstances will be repeated in our lifetime. We should prepare for more modest returns ahead.

2015-04-08 00:00:00 Earnings Recession? by Burt White of LPL Financial

Earnings season kicks off this week (April 6?–?10) with Alcoa set to report first quarter 2015 earnings on Wednesday, April 8. This earnings season has received a great deal of attention in recent weeks because it may produce the first year-over-year decline in S&P 500 operating earnings since the tail end of the financial crisis during the third quarter of 2009. We preview earnings season and highlight reasons not to fear a potential decline.

2015-04-08 00:00:00 Why The US Unemployment Rate May Be Wrong by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Last Friday’s unemployment report for March was a stunner, no doubt about it. After 12 consecutive months of new job creation above 200,000 per month, the Labor Department reported that only a meager 126,000 new jobs were created in March.

2015-04-08 00:00:00 Policy Paranoia by Robert Stimpson of Oak Associates

The present version of policy paranoia encompasses concerns over impending interest rate hikes, the rapid appreciation of the US dollar, a bloated US government balance sheet, weak international economies and increased probability of a crisis in certain Latin American countries. While legitimate, we do not believe the current ghosts are any more imminently destructive today than over the past six years.

2015-04-08 00:00:00 Economists in Glass Houses by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

For many economists, the chicken and egg question is, which came first, consumption or production? What drives growth? Let’s continue with our series on debt, in which I have been contrasting my views with those of Paul Krugman.

2015-04-08 00:00:00 U.S. and Canada: Continued Recovery With Some Potential for Headwinds by Ed Devlin, Mike Cudzil of PIMCO

?Each quarter, PIMCO investment professionals from around the world gather in Newport Beach to discuss the firm’s outlook for the global economy and financial markets. In the following interview, portfolio managers Ed Devlin and Mike Cudzil discuss PIMCO’s cyclical outlook for Canada and the U.S..

2015-04-07 00:00:00 Behind Arnott's Strategy for PIMCO's All Asset Funds by John Coumarianos (Article)

If you thought a stretch of subpar performance would shake a fund manager's confidence, you'd be wrong in the case of Rob Arnott. Through Research Affiliates, his Newport Beach firm most famous for its fundamental indexing strategies, Arnott manages PIMCO's All Asset funds. These include PIMCO All Asset (PAAIX) and PIMCO All Asset All Authority (PAUIX).

2015-04-07 00:00:00 A Q1 Letter to Clients: Ben Bernanke on Interest Rates by Dan Richards (Article)

Every quarter since 2008, I have posted a template for a client letter. This letter can be used as a starting point to provide an overview of the period that just ended and thoughts looking forward. This quarter's letter addresses questions from clients about why interest rates are so low and when they are likely to rise.

2015-04-07 00:00:00 How to Defend Your Fees by Beverly Flaxington (Article)

There must be a way to more effectively illustrate the value we provide for the fees our clients pay. How have other advisors done this?

2015-04-07 00:00:00 Don't "Dread" The Plow Horse by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

“Dread” is the perfect word for what many investors have felt in recent years. Some have experienced it daily since the bottom in March 2009. Some experience it whenever the stock market falls.

2015-04-07 00:00:00 The New World Order: Part IV by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

The final installment of our series examines how, in light of winning the Cold War, policymakers have been unable to settle on a set of key priorities and offers glimpses of a new policy emerging. The US never wanted to be a superpower; its founding story is one of wresting independence away from a colonial power. Now that the existential threat of communism is over, the political class has struggled to create a foreign policy that can simultaneously provide the required hegemonic global public goods and create a working economic policy and political coalition that will build domestic harmony.

2015-04-06 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Correction Looming? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

After a week loaded with economic data there are plenty of fresh economic worries. In addition, the Fed seems ready to act in spite of some weak data. This means that good news is (finally) good news, and bad news will be bad. For economic and market skeptics, it signals a market shift that they see as long overdue.

2015-04-06 00:00:00 Brobdingnagian Top? by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

According to Wikipedia, “Brobdingnag is a fictional land in Jonathan Swift's satirical novel about Gulliver's Travels whose land is occupied by giants. Lemuel Gulliver visits the land after the ship he is travelling on is blown off course and he is separated from a party exploring the unknown land.” I thought of Brobdingnag as I stared at a chart of the D-J Transportation Average ($TRAN/8605.31) last week, which looks like it is making what a technical analyst would term a giant broadening top, or in my terms a “Brobdingnagian Top?”

2015-04-06 00:00:00 March Employment Report – Fear vs. Hope by Scott Brown of Raymond James

The nonfarm payroll data for March were disappointing. Job growth was substantially less than expected and figures for the first two months of the year were revised lower. These data fit in with the general theme of other recent economic reports.

2015-04-06 00:00:00 Improving Growth Should Eventually Push Equities Higher by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

On the heels of a somewhat rough first quarter, many investors are questioning the state of economic growth and wondering if equities still hold value. Our view is that an improving global economy should (eventually) allow for a renewed upturn in earnings prospects, and in equity markets. As such, we believe investors should remain patient.

2015-04-05 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Correction Looming? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

No one has a good, verifiable, real-time track record at predicting small corrections. Meanwhile, many investors get sidelined because they read an article or saw a chart suggesting that “the big one” was right ahead. Some people have been waiting for years for the correction so that they can get back in the stock market. Even when the correction finally comes they will be losers – and that assumes the ability to pull the trigger when things look bad!

2015-04-05 00:00:00 US Equity Market Review For the Week of March 30 - April 3; Economic News Weighing Negatively, Editi by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

True, the XLKs, XLIs and XLYs are consolidating at the top of a rally, implying the current price movement could simply be a pause before a move higher. But this would be occurring against a weakening economic backdrop, already expensive market valuations and declining corporate earnings. This makes a sustained move higher improbable unless the fundamentals change to a more bullish posture or earnings surprise to the upside.

2015-04-04 00:00:00 Lack Of Oxygen Causing a Feeding Frenzy? by Jerry of Flexible Plan Investments

Yesterday I awoke to a scene right out of a WWI or WWII aviation epic. The sky was filled with hundreds of flying objects, circling, swerving, and maneuvering for the best position. No human airport could possibly have dealt with the number of minute-by-minute, repeated takeoffs and landings, stretched in a panorama before me. Adding to the chaos, every few seconds one of the white-and-grey projectiles would crash into the lake with a vengeance.

2015-04-03 00:00:00 Central Bank Dominance by Richard Michaud of New Frontier Advisors

The policies of the central banks are theoretically aligned in that they all have the objective of managing private economies with modern monetary macroeconomic principles. But, all four major economies are in different stages of recovery and disruptions are nearly inevitable. However, a positive view is that central banks are all focused on managing growth and that significant investment opportunities may be available for thoughtful investors and managers.

2015-04-03 00:00:00 Is a Lost Decade for Performance Coming? by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

Game plan the composition of your portfolio for the long term. There will be periods of generally good performance in the market (this will be most of the time) and the occasional declines (12-18 months is a normal duration) and a portfolio’s strategy and composition need to account for cycles and rotating performance leadership. No segment of the market can be the best for all times.

2015-04-03 00:00:00 Soft U.S. Employment Data: Not the End of a Trend by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The headline numbers of the March employment report are disappointing against the backdrop of consistently strong reports for past several months. But putting things in perspective suggests that we have not completely forfeited the positive momentum in America’s labor market.

2015-04-02 00:00:00 Market's March Madness by Burt White of LPL Financial

With the NCAA Final Four set, we share our own Final Four for stock market investing: economy, earnings, technicals, and valuations. With valuations above average and the economy slowing during first quarter of 2015, our championship game comes down to earnings and technicals. Based on our assessment of these four factors, we expect stock market investors will be “cutting down the nets” due to potential mid- to-high-single-digit stock market gains in 2015.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 Chuck Royce on 1Q15: Will Rising Rates Benefit Active Stock Pickers? by Chuck Royce of The Royce Funds

With a rise in interest rates on the horizon, and economic recovery firmly underway, CEO Chuck Royce believes the market may be on the cusp of rewarding disciplined and risk-conscious approaches.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 Running to Stand Still: Wild Swings Taking Market Nowhere by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

Stocks have gone 28 trading days without back-to-back gains; a very unique experience historically. Uncertainty abounds, associated with Fed policy, economic surprises on the weak side, and earnings which have dropped into negative territory. Investor sentiment is swinging more wildly than is normally the case.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 Euphoria and Reality in European Stocks by Michele Patri of AllianceBernstein

Euro-area stock markets have rebounded as the ECB has launched its QE program. In our view, investors should take a pragmatic approach that aims to capture the gains—but with eyes wide open to reality.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 Things That Go Bump in the Night by Dwaine Van Vuuren of RecessionALERT.com

The U.S economy appears unstoppable right now. Just about every leading and co-incident indicator you can think of is pointing to positive growth. Among the hundreds of indicators we follow for our models on a daily basis, we have discovered a few that are displaying worrying trends and flagging a future recession. It should be pointed out that a handful of indicators flagging recession should not mean we have to push the panic button. A large raft of indicators all concurring is what you should be looking for, and right now a large raft of indicators is confirming economic growth.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 That’s So Overrated: How Credit Ratings Do Damage by Jeff Skoglund of AllianceBernstein

Credit rating agencies are a capital-markets fixture; the ratings they assign to the debt of corporations and governments are widely used by investors as a standard measure of credit risk. But agency credit ratings aren’t perfect—and shouldn’t be a substitute for investors doing their own analysis.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 Recessionary Level in Credit Conditions by Alexander Giryavets of Dynamika Capital L.L.C.

The Credit Managers Index deteriorated significantly over the last two months and current readings stand at the recessionary levels not seen since 2008. There is a very serious financial stress in the amount of credit extended to the businesses and the amount of credit applications rejected. The speed of deterioration is shocking.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 Geopolitical Risk — The Fear and Reality for Financial Markets by Colin Moore of Columbia Management

Given the threat of geopolitical risk, it is reasonable to question why global financial markets remain so buoyant. The answer may partly be the constant nature of geopolitical risk. Consider the French proverb “plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose” (the more things change, the more they stay the same).

2015-04-01 00:00:00 Why Fed Patience on Rate Hikes Is Likely to Continue by John P. Calamos, Sr. and Gary Black of Calamos Investments

John and Gary discuss how lackluster economic data and low inflation could influence the Fed’s timetable for raising short-term interest rates.

2015-03-31 00:00:00 U.S. Isolated in Opposition to Chinese Bank by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

Over the past few decades while the economic power of the Chinese has grown exponentially, many observers have been surprised by the relative willingness of China to operate within the financial and economic framework established by the dominant Western order. But it should now be blatantly clear that Beijing prefers to act slowly, deliberately and quietly to advance its agenda.

2015-03-31 00:00:00 Should Liquid Alts Be Part of the Core Allocation? by Michael Winchell of Larkin Point Investment Advisors LLC

Many advisors may view alternative investments as diversifiers in portfolios: satellite investments added to a portfolio of stocks and bonds in an attempt to “hedge,” or counterbalance a specific risk the advisor believes is not completely addressed by the stock/bond core. For example, real assets such as gold and real estate are alternatives that may be added to portfolios for inflation protection because advisors expect real assets to rise in value with any overall increase in wages and prices.

2015-03-31 00:00:00 Exploring Four Myths by Byron Wien of Blackstone

In talking with investors, I find four concepts prevail among the consensus that I believe may be wrong. In the interest of full disclosure, it is fair to say that at various points in time I have subscribed to each of these ideas. They are: 1. American Exceptionalism is a thing of the past. 2. The price of oil is likely to stay low for a long time. 3. Europe’s economy is in a slow growth deflationary trap. 4. Abenomics is not working, and Japan is in danger of falling back into a recession. I decided to explore each of these

2015-03-31 00:00:00 On My Radar: Going Forward with Great Purpose! by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

The Fed tried to talk down the dollar last Wednesday. Essentially firing a warning shot (downgrading estimates for growth, inflation and short-term interest rates). The ultra-low rates in Germany and Japan vs. the U.S. favor the dollar. Anything that points to the Fed raising rates enhances the attractiveness of U.S. bonds and attracts further capital flows.

2015-03-31 00:00:00 Corporate Bonds Offer Opportunities in the Slowing Economy by Tracy Chin and Aaditya Thakur of PIMCO

Lack of corporate leveraging and investment among Australian companies may provide a macro headwind to economic growth and, hence, future prospects for equity investors, but from a creditor's perspective, this should keep credit metrics relatively healthy. PIMCO's bottom-up analysis has helped identify several opportunities, even within the resources sector, where strong balance sheets, competitive industry positions and sound management build a compelling case for credit investors despite the challenging period ahead.

2015-03-31 00:00:00 Fit & Focused by Mark R. Kiesel of PIMCO

Many powerful forces are driving markets and asset prices; chief among them are global monetary policy, technicals and fundamentals. We use rigorous top-down and bottom-up analysis to identify the best sectors and companies around the world. We see opportunities in the U.S. (cyclical consumer and housing sectors), Europe (equities, bank capital securities, high yield bonds and corporate hybrids), China (property, technology and Macau) and Japan (cyclical industries, exporters and financials).

2015-03-31 00:00:00 The New World Order: Part III by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

In the third installment of our series, we examine how policymakers coped with the superpower role. We examine how policymakers attempted to resolve the tensions created between the desires of domestic constituencies and foreign superpower obligations. We offer a history of how the U.S. managed these differences, with an analysis of Roosevelt’s political configuration and how the Reagan Revolution adjusted to the failures of the first program, detailing these periods with charts. We explain the capability and willingness of the U.S. to continue providing the global public goods to the world.

2015-03-31 00:00:00 Signs of Life in the Eurozone by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

The latest economic data from the eurozone suggest that recovery may finally be at hand. But a more robust and sustained upturn in job creation and income growth still faces a broad array of daunting challenges.

2015-03-30 00:00:00 Eating Our Seed Corn: The Causes of U.S. Economic Stagnation, and the Way Forward by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

The U.S. has become a nation preoccupied with eating its seed corn; placing consumption over investment, outsourcing its jobs, hollowing out its middle class, and accumulating increasing debt burdens to do so. What our nation needs most is to adopt fiscal policies that direct those seeds to productive soil, and to reject increasingly arbitrary monetary policies that encourage the nation to focus on what is paper instead of what is real.

2015-03-30 00:00:00 Further Equity Gains Await Earnings Recovery by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Downward pressure on U.S. equities returned last week, with the S&P 500 Index falling 2.2%. This marked the second-largest weekly downturn of the year and the fourth negative week in the last five. Some of the decline can be attributed to fading positive sentiment that came in the wake of the recent Federal Reserve meeting. Ongoing negative earnings forecasts have taken their toll as well. All market sectors were in negative territory last week, with financials, technology and industrials losing the most ground and consumer staples and energy holding up the best.

2015-03-30 00:00:00 Should Liquid Alts Be Part of the Core Allocation? by Michael Winchell of Larkin Point Investment Advisors LLC

Many advisors may view alternative investments as diversifiers in portfolios: satellite investments added to a portfolio of stocks and bonds in an attempt to “hedge,” or counterbalance a specific risk the advisor believes is not completely addressed by the stock/bond core. For example, real assets such as gold and real estate are alternatives that may be added to portfolios for inflation protection because advisors expect real assets to rise in value with any overall increase in wages and prices.

2015-03-30 00:00:00 International Equity CEFs by (Article)

International equity closed-end funds may provide access to “best in class” companies in local markets, says Jonathan Morgan of Canadian General Investments.

2015-03-29 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time for an Economic Spring Thaw? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

In the absence of real data it is easy and tempting to speculate. Unlike last week, the week ahead features an avalanche of data – more in both quantity and importance than we have seen in a month. With some recent significant reports showing economic improvement we expect a change of focus.

2015-03-29 00:00:00 US Equity Market Review For the Week of March 23-27; Hey, We're Still Consolidating, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Writing about market consolidation is very difficult. There are no strong rallies, massive volume spikes or huge losses to get the reader excited. Instead, the entire analysis focuses on prices pin-balling between two trend lines, usually on decreasing volume and weakening technical indicators. So if you’re looking for an article the grabs your attention by telling a story of an incredibly strong surge in bullish price action, move elsewhere. Because this week we again have a market that is consolidating.

2015-03-28 00:00:00 International Equity Commentary: February 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

International equity prices gained during February on expectations that the central banks in Europe and Japan would continue their quantitative easing programs, while the U.S. Federal Reserve could possibly delay its interest rate hikes. At the same time, economic trends from most major economies remained relatively stable. After two quarters of robust gains, the U.S. economy expanded at a slower pace during the fourth quarter of 2014, as expected.

2015-03-28 00:00:00 Living in a Free-Lunch World by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

I believe the fundamental imbalances we are seeing in the world (highlighted in the two papers mentioned above) are the result of the massive increases in global debt and misunderstandings about the use and consequences of debt. Too much of the wrong kind of debt is going to be the central cause of the next investment crisis.

2015-03-27 00:00:00 Liquidity by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management

My wife Nancy’s accusations of repetitiveness notwithstanding, once in a while I think of something about which I haven’t written much. Liquidity is one of those things. I’m not sure it’s a profound topic, and perhaps my observations won’t be either. But I think it’s worth a memo.

2015-03-27 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Equity Commentary: February 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Emerging Market Equities Emerging market equity prices advanced during the month of February on signs of improvement in global economic trends as well as expectations about quantitative easing in Europe and Japan. Encouraged by reduced inflation risks after the oil price decline, some of the emerging market central banks have also lowered interest rates in recent months.

2015-03-27 00:00:00 In a Challenging Environment, Policy Easing Sweeps Through Asia by Adam Bowe, Tomoya Masanao, Isaac Meng of PIMCO

The key change to our cyclical outlook for Asia: We have further downgraded our growth forecast for China to the low-6% range as real borrowing rates remain elevated. In Japan, we expect growth to recover from last year's technical recession, following the delay in the next value-added tax (VAT) hike and the increase in the Bank of Japan's easing program.

2015-03-27 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

After Slow Start, the U.S. Should Regain Steam; Greece: The Debt Elephant in the Room; How Can Governments Keep Borrowing Under Control?

2015-03-27 00:00:00 Will a Spring Thaw Lead to a Stock Surge? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

US economic data has been soft, repeating a trend we’ve seen in recent first quarters. But we believe growth will again bounce back as some of the temporary weights drop off. US stocks should continue to grind generally higher—but with heightened volatility—aided by better data and a still-dovish Federal Reserve. But investors shouldn’t ignore international opportunities. Global growth generally appears to be improving and foreign central banks are largely easing monetary policy, potentially benefiting risk assets.

2015-03-26 00:00:00 Investment Times Are A Changin’: New Landscape and New Approaches by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

Significant changes over the past 30-40 years make it very likely the next 30-40 will be very different than the last. Investors who are able to discard old assumptions and adapt to the new environment will be best suited to succeed and those who can’t or won’t will struggle. One thing that will have to change is that investors will need better access to high level investment expertise.

2015-03-26 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview: February 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The global economic outlook improved in February, helped by encouraging data from some of the largest countries as well as supportive monetary policy measures. Monthly job additions in the U.S. exceeded expectations in February, continuing the robust trend from last year. Though wages are yet to see meaningful growth, the strengthening labor market should help the U.S. economy sustain the current pace of expansion.

2015-03-26 00:00:00 Why This Airline Just Landed in the S&P 500 Index by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

For the first time in its 84-year history, American Airlines was cleared for landing in the S&P 500 Index.

2015-03-26 00:00:00 Breaking Up is Hard to Do by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

The high-yield energy sector has kept pace with the broader high-yield bond market in 2015 even as oil prices weakened, a notable difference from 2014. Although we don’t believe the high-yield bond market will return to the June 2014 peak, the current yield spread may still represent good value given still strong corporate fundamentals and low defaults.

2015-03-25 00:00:00 The Dollar Isn't the Peso Anymore (Part II) by Richard Bernstein of Eaton Vance

In May 2013, Richard wrote a report titled “The Dollar isn’t the Peso anymore.” He rebutted the argument that the U.S. dollar (USD) was weak. The data showed that the USD had actually troughed in the spring of 2008. For seven years now, the USD has been gaining strength and is today a standout among the world’s currencies.

2015-03-25 00:00:00 US Economy Badly Disappoints Analysts' Expectations by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Today we will talk about an economic indicator that I have not written about before, which is compiled and reported monthly by CitiGroup, the American multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Manhattan.

2015-03-25 00:00:00 Five Reasons Why Interest Rates Will Stay Low by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Last week we focused on investors’ waiting game with the Federal Reserve. Would their policy statement following last Wednesday’s meeting, like last month’s Groundhog Day sighting, suggest more weeks of winter in the form of rising interest rates?

2015-03-25 00:00:00 Silver and Gold: I Really Want to Look Up by Avi Gilburt of ElliottWaveTrader.net

For the last several weeks, I have provided you, and, sometimes even entertained you, with my perspective of a very evil pattern to play out in the metals. Such a pattern was supposed to test the 2014’s lows (and potentially even break them), and then rally to the 2015 highs to set up the final decline to the lower lows to end the 3+ year correction in silver.

2015-03-25 00:00:00 Can ECB Policy Heal Europe’s Ills? by Mike Amey, Andrew Bosomworth, Lorenzo Pagani of PIMCO

In this interview, Managing Directors Mike Amey, Andrew Bosomworth and Lorenzo Pagani discuss the conclusions from PIMCO’s quarterly Cyclical Forum in March 2015 and how they influence our European investment strategy. They also delve into the impact of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) balance sheet expansion on growth and inflation and reflect on Europe’s improving economic health.

2015-03-25 00:00:00 The Dollar's Ripple Effect by Burt White of LPL Financial

In technical analysis, “intermarket analysis” looks at the way in which various markets interact. Intermarket analysis primarily looks at four market sectors: currencies, commodities, bonds, and stocks. From a technical analyst’s perspective, focusing our attention on only one market without considering what’s happening in the others leaves us in danger of missing vital directional clues and potential profits. The dollar, which has appreciated 24.4% since June 30, 2014 (as of March 19, 2015), has had an unusually strong intermarket effect of late.

2015-03-25 00:00:00 Active vs. Passive Redux by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Most of you know I spend my days gathering “thin reeds” and try to weave them into a favorable “investment bouquet.” As Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot by just watchin’!”

2015-03-25 00:00:00 Fed Policy Outlook - in *Retrograde? by Scott Brown of Raymond James

The question of whether the Fed would abandon the “patient” language should have not been an issue, but the financial press always tries to generate some level of tension. However, while the Federal Open Market Committee appeared to move closer to tightening monetary policy, it indirectly signaled that it would likely be much less aggressive.

2015-03-24 00:00:00 The Economic Outlook by George Mokrzan of Huntington National Bank

The United States forecast is for solid average annual economic growth of 3.1% in 2015 -- fastest in the economic recovery to date overall, although areas of the economy with high energy or international exposure will likely encounter headwinds. Strengthening employment conditions, continual improvements in consumer finances and steadily rising housing markets are likely to reestablish the consumer’s lead role in the U.S. economy in 2015.

2015-03-24 00:00:00 March Economic Update by Kevin Moloney of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild

With the unemployment rate dropping to 5.5% in early March, the economy has reached the upper limits of the Federal Reserve’s estimate of long-run normal unemployment (5.2% - 5.5%). GDP growth remains stable, with a current estimate of 2.2% growth for the fourth quarter of 2014. The housing market recovery continues at a slow-but-steady pace, with prices rising twice as much as inflation during 2014 (+4.5%) according to the 20 city Case-Shiller Index. The most uncertain aspect of the economic recovery in the U.S. remains the consumer.

2015-03-24 00:00:00 US Equity Market Review For the Week of March 16-20: Small and Mid-Caps Outperform, Edition by Hale Stewart of XE Currency Blog

Last week, both the small and mid-cap ETFs broke through upside resistance and printed new highs. The IWCs were up 2.5% for the week, closing at 80.49 while the IJHs rose 4.5% and closed at 153.69. This continues a trend that started in early October where the small and mid-cap sectors outperformed the mega-cap stocks.

2015-03-24 00:00:00 A Relatively Dovish Fed Statement Helps Equities Recover Ground by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Last week featured some disappointing economic data and further downward revisions of corporate earnings estimates, but investors focused heavily on last week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting. The Fed’s statement was more dovish than expected, and investors interpreted the comments as an indication that rate increases would not happen as soon as some anticipated.

2015-03-24 00:00:00 The New World Order: Part II by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

In the second installment of our four-part series we focus on two themes. First, we examine the global public goods the superpower provides, and second, we analyze how the U.S. has done so. The global hegemon often faces tensions between the desires of domestic constituencies and its foreign obligations. Every superpower negotiates these pressures and each tends to have its own ways of meeting both objectives. However, no superpower can subjugate the goals and aspirations of its citizens indefinitely. If the cost of hegemony becomes too high, a nation may be unable to maintain the position.

2015-03-24 00:00:00 U.S. Trade: Shortchanged by a Strong Dollar? by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Worries that the elevated value of the greenback will crimp U.S. exports—and hurt corporate profits—are overstated.

2015-03-24 00:00:00 Give'em the Old Razzle Dazzle by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Janet Yellen channels Billy Flynn? Last week the Fed Chairwoman treated us to a master class of rhetorical misdirection which produced some memorable examples of doublespeak, including the soon to be classic "Just because we removed the word 'patient' does not mean we're going to be 'impatient."' But perhaps more surprising than her new heights of verbal dexterity was the market's euphoria at being so blatantly manipulated. Never has the financial world enjoyed a lie so thoroughly.

2015-03-23 00:00:00 Monetary Policy and the Economy: The Case for Rules Versus Discretion by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Deviations in monetary policy from what one would have predicted (using past non-monetary variables alone) have zero correlation or ability to explain subsequent GDP growth (versus the levels that would have been predicted by past non-monetary variables alone). In other words, once we allow for the component of monetary policy captured by a fixed linear rule (the Taylor Rule comes close – and currently indicates an appropriate Fed funds rate of about 3% here), one can find no evidence in the historical record that additional activist monetary policy is useful.

2015-03-23 00:00:00 Central Bank Policies And Market Distortions by Sebastiao Buck Tocalino of SBTCapital Clube de Investimento

Recurrent countercyclical monetary policies have given way to several distortions in the economy. It is believed that printed dollars have inflated both stocks and bonds in the US, but that is a misunderstanding! Still attractive, US Treasury Bonds may provide the basis for a sustained appreciation of the US dollar against foreign currencies. Once more, the widely anticipated interest rate hike by the FOMC may get postponed… further into oblivion!

2015-03-21 00:00:00 Beating the Emerging Benchmark Blues by Morgan Harting of AllianceBernstein

It’s been another tough start to the year for emerging-market equities, amid growing concern about political risk and economic growth. But we believe the seeds have been sown for a recovery that can best be captured through a selective investing approach to avoid the risks of a benchmark.

2015-03-21 00:00:00 Five Reasons to Hold High Yield in 2015 by K. Sean Clark of Clark Capital Management Group

We believe that the high yield market may reward investors who adopt a tactical approach. Here are five reasons we anticipate a reemergence of opportunities in the high yield space in 2015.

2015-03-21 00:00:00 Optimism, Pessimism and Opportunity by Ed Perks of Franklin Templeton

Given that the S&P 500 has been on a tear since 2008, logging double-digit returns in five of the past six years, and US Treasury rates remain near historical low levels, many investors are questioning their prospects for long-term total return. Ed Perks, chief investment officer and portfolio manager, Franklin Equity Group®, offers his views on why he remains optimistic about the US market’s prospects, and where he’s looking for investment opportunities today.

2015-03-20 00:00:00 Northern Trust Perspective by Team of Northern Trust

The long-telegraphed launch of quantitative easing by the European Central Bank (ECB) has added some accelerant to financial market trends in place so far this year. European stocks, which had been strong performers in local currencies, have continued their strong performance while European bond yields have declined even further.

2015-03-20 00:00:00 Key Questions for China Investors in 2015—Part III by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

In this final installment of a three-part Sinology series, Andy Rothman, Matthews Asia Investment Strategist, answers the question: is China’s property market heading for a crash? He also discusses what he believes are the biggest long-term risks to growth and stability—an absence of the rule of law and trusted institutions.

2015-03-19 00:00:00 Patiently Waiting by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

The Fed faces a number of obstacles now and may require greater justification to suggest raising interest rates as soon as June. Bond market reaction to recent Fed meetings has been initially bearish but muted overall. Maintaining the word “patient” could have different implications for segments of the bond market.

2015-03-19 00:00:00 Dollar Strength is a Symptom, Not a Cause by Burt White of LPL Financial

We do not think the strong U.S. dollar will derail the bull market. The dollar itself is not a key driver of market performance; it is a symptom.

2015-03-19 00:00:00 Dropping the "Patient" Word Does Not Mean the Fed Is "Impatient" by Team of Northern Trust

Markets sometimes hang on every word from the Federal Reserve. In recent weeks, they had been hanging on a single word: “patient.” This term had been used to describe the prospective approach to policy tightening in recent statements; analysts speculated that removing the term would be a strong signal that rates would be heading up soon.

2015-03-19 00:00:00 Meet the world’s worst economic forecasters – The Fed by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

I have been tracking the Federal Reserves forward looking projections ever since they begin releasing their forecasts. The purpose of tracking these projections was to compare the Fed's forecasts with what eventually became reality. The record is now clear...they are the worst economic forecasters...ever.

2015-03-18 00:00:00 The Surging U.S. Dollar - Good For Some, Bad For Others by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The US dollar has been surging against most other currencies over the last year. The question is, is the rising US dollar good for the economy and the investment markets, or not? No doubt, the rising dollar has been buffeting the US equity and bond markets this year and is increasingly cited as the main culprit. That is what we will delve into today.

2015-03-18 00:00:00 Keep it Simple: India is Outperforming Because Oil is Crashing and Inflation is Tame by Team of GaveKal Capital

India has for years battled high levels of inflation which has in many ways kept the country from realizing its full economic potential. Over the last year though, basically since the price of oil stopped going up, Indian inflation has remained tame. As global growth has continued to muddle through, the further collapse of the price of oil has been a major tailwind for India since global growth has not collapsed in lockstep.

2015-03-18 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: March by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group® of Franklin Templeton Investments

IN THIS ISSUE: United States Prepares for Interest-Rate Hikes; But Much of the World Is Still in Monetary Easing Mode; European Outlook

2015-03-17 00:00:00 Gundlach - Don't Bet on Higher Rates by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Even if the Fed raises short-term interest rates as many expect it to, longer-term bond investors won't face a decline in prices, according to Jeffrey Gundlach. Indeed, the market may have already priced in the effect of rate hikes, he said.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 Prognosis Excellent for Health Care by Sponsored Content from Invesco (Article)

Three years of outperformance is rare; a fourth would be unprecedented. Parts of the health care sector are more defensive, but opportunities to outperform exist even in an up market. Biopharmaceutical pipelines, M&A activity and reform will help drive longer-term health care outperformance.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 MLPs Will Weather the Storm by Sponsored Content from ClearBridge Investments (Article)

A significant decline in oil prices has led to increased MLP volatility. However, their fundamentals remain robust. Our latest white paper examines the economics of the U.S. oil and natural gas markets and their impact on the outlook for MLPs.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 Do Liquid Alts Justify Their Costs? by Robert J. Martorana, CFA (Article)

Liquid alts are complex and expensive, so it is natural for advisors to ask if they worth the time and trouble. In this article, I answer this question. I evaluate returns with special emphasis on 2014, when managed futures (notably the AQR Managed Futures Strategy Fund - AQMIX) soared and the largest global macro fund, MainStay Marketfield (MFLDX), stumbled.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 Monetary Policy Concerns Continue to Weigh on Markets by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Investors continued to focus on global monetary policy last week. The divergence between the start of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing program and the pending shift in the Federal Reserve’s policy stance caused the euro to fall, the U.S. dollar to rally and acted as a drag on U.S. equities. Concerns over a weakening corporate earnings environment acted as an additional headwind for stock prices. the S&P 500 Index declined 0.8% for the week.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 FOMC Preview: When, How Often, and How Much by John Canally of LPL Financial

What the FOMC says, if anything, about the rising dollar and its implications, could have ramifications for monetary policy over the next several quarters and beyond. In addition to “when,” market participants may start asking “how much” and “how fast” rates may increase once the Fed begins to raise the rates. We are watching several factors to gauge when the Fed may begin to hike rates, including wages, the output gap, inflation, and inflation expectations.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 The Airline Industry Ascended to New Records in 2014 by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Just as the U.S. economy is in full-recovery mode, so too is the airline industry. It’s lately made an impressive about-face from only a decade ago and, in 2014, soared to several new benchmarks.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 Waiting for the Squirrel by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Spring has finally begun to show itself here in Michigan. It has been a brutal winter. Molly, our six-year-old, loveable mutt (of “Where’s Molly” fame), loves the new freedom that warmer weather brings. She bounds from the door each chance she gets and instead of the quick return that the winter’s cold elicited, she is gone for hours. Where does she go? First there is a quick reconnaissance of the property, carefully sniffing every square inch it seems. Then, she’s caught the scent. A flash of movement catches her eye. It’s her arch nemesis - the squirrel.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 Should You Buy in to Oil’s Secular Bear Market? by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

March 10th is one of my favorite days of the year. The tech bubble of the late 1990's burst on March 10th of 2000 and the biggest bear market of my career (2007 peak to 2009 low) bottomed on March 10th of 2009. There is a great deal to learn from those two dates in history as it pertains to the way secular bear markets work and how long it takes to move from the most popular investment in the world to being completely out of favor.

2015-03-16 00:00:00 An Overview of Nontraditional Assets by Michael Winchell of Larkin Point Investment Advisors LLC

We review a collection of nontraditional assets and acknowledge the growing attempts to offer more liquid instruments with market exposure to these assets. However, it is our opinion that these assets will ultimately represent a small portion of the overall allocation to alternative investments.

2015-03-16 00:00:00 Ingredients Missing for a Turnaround in Brazil by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Brazil has struggled in the past years, bogged down by unfavorable economic conditions including a collapse in growth. A recovery would hinge upon some much needed structural reforms.

2015-03-16 00:00:00 Brazil: Macro Headwinds Are Strengthening by Sean Newman of Invesco Blog

Invesco Fixed Income’s outlook on Brazil as a sovereign credit is deteriorating. Downside risks to growth have increased given the country’s deteriorating fiscal position, rising interest rates, lower commodity prices, global growth headwinds, water and electricity shortages, among other challenges. The key for markets, in our view, will be the administration’s ability to deliver on promised fiscal adjustments.

2015-03-14 00:00:00 Ingredients Missing for a Turnaround in Brazil by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Brazil has struggled in the past years, bogged down by unfavorable economic conditions including a collapse in growth. A recovery would hinge upon some much needed structural reforms.

2015-03-14 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

China Moves Cautiously Toward a New Normal; Deleveraging Is Unfinished in the Industrialized World; Will Lower Borrowing Costs in Europe Be a Boon for U.S Firms?

2015-03-14 00:00:00 The Airline Industry Ascended to New Records in 2014 by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Just as the U.S. economy is in full-recovery mode, so too is the airline industry. It’s lately made an impressive about-face from only a decade ago and, in 2014, soared to several new benchmarks. This industry is flying high again.

2015-03-14 00:00:00 The U.S. Dollar: Is Strength a Weakness? by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

The U.S. dollar has seen strong upward moves in the past 9 months. What would continued dollar strength mean for economic growth, earnings and asset class performance? Find out more in Jim McDonald's latest strategy piece.

2015-03-14 00:00:00 Will Dipping Data Lead To Dramatic Drop? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

US stocks have been resilient, although there has been an uptick in volatility. Economic data has shown some softening, but we believe it is temporary in nature. However, the risk of a correction is elevated in our view and investors should be prepared for such a possibility by having a diversified portfolio and keeping a close eye on rebalancing opportunities after pullbacks. Meanwhile, investors should also look overseas for global diversification opportunities as monetary policy easing should help to bolster asset values.

2015-03-13 00:00:00 Prospect of U.S. Fed Hike & its Effect on Asian Assets, Part I by Gerald Hwang of Matthews Asia

How close are we to a U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hike? How would a hike affect Asian securities? These are the questions we explore in this two-part series of Asia Insight.

2015-03-13 00:00:00 Could the Search for Income Lead to Instability? by Daniel Loewy, Morgan Harting of AllianceBernstein

Years of quantitative easing has pushed yields on government bonds down to record lows, and income-starved investors are being pushed out the risk spectrum, forced to choose between more volatile assets to find income. Finding acceptable levels of income exposes portfolios to greater instability ahead—we believe a multi-asset approach can help.

2015-03-12 00:00:00 Beige Book Suggests Continued Modest Economic Growth by John Canally of LPL Financial

The latest Beige Book suggests that the U.S. economy is still growing at a “modest or moderate” pace that is at or above its long-term trend, and that some upward pressure on wages is beginning to emerge. Optimism on Main Street remains high despite the recent barrage of bad news on the economy. Over the past three Beige Books, the BBB averaged +85, in-line with the +89 average reading in all of 2014.

2015-03-11 00:00:00 Metals May Have an Evil Intent by Avi Gilburt of ElliottWaveTrader.net

From an anecdotal sentiment perspective, before I go into this week’s analysis, I would like to give you a little feedback from this year’s Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) annual convention. I was honored at being a featured speaker there this year, and discussed how I viewed us as being on the cusp of the next great bull market in the investment world. But, the most common comment I received from all those with whom I spoke was that the attendance had been quite underwhelming.

2015-03-11 00:00:00 The Expansion Settles, but Its Foundation Is Strong by Team of Northern Trust

Growth in the U.S. economy tapered a bit in the fourth quarter, but the outlook ahead remains very positive. Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 2.2% in the fourth quarter after a 5.0% increase in the third quarter, but some special factors were at play that should ease as the first quarter of 2015 winds down.

2015-03-11 00:00:00 Worries about the Looming Fed Hike Spill Over by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Many investors are anxious about a possible bubble in stock markets, but those fears seem overblown to us. The greater near-term danger may be a more aggressive Federal Reserve.

2015-03-11 00:00:00 A Contrarian Case for Brazil by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

Many investors in Brazil, including us, have been a little frustrated over the past couple of years with its lack of growth and progress. Gross domestic product (GDP) in Brazil grew a mere 0.2% in 2014 (estimated), a far cry from the 7.5% it saw in 2010. However, we believe Brazil has all the elements in place to achieve much higher rates of growth if the political will is there.

2015-03-10 00:00:00 Curiouser and Curiouser... by Sponsored Content from Legg Mason (Article)

Though historically low, U.S. interest rates are actually high in comparison to the rest of the developed world. U.S. bonds appear overpriced on domestic fundamentals, but they are a bargain based on global valuations.

2015-03-10 00:00:00 President Obama's 2016 Federal Budget Proposal by Tim Steffen (Article)

Both parties are focused on passing some type of tax reform this year, and in order to do that Republicans will likely have to concede on at least some of the president's wishes. Which of those may survive remains to be seen, but it's now up to the Republicans in Congress to respond with a proposal of their own.

2015-03-10 00:00:00 Stranded in NYC by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

The week began well enough as I arrived Sunday a week ago in Orlando for the 36th annual Raymond James Institutional Investors conference. As previously stated, there were more than 1,000 portfolio managers (PMs) and analysts there to listen to some 300 companies’ presentations. In addition to the PMs and their analysts, our analysts anchored the presentations by the CEOs and CFOs of those companies.

2015-03-10 00:00:00 The 6th Anniversary of 676 by David Edwards of Heron Financial Group

On March 9th, 2009, the S&P 500 made an intra-day and 20 year low at 676.53. Millions of Americans drew a straight line from the mid-September 2008 failure of Lehman Brothers through that March low and projected that the S&P 500 would be zero by June. Armed with that projection, average investors liquidated hundreds of billions of dollars in stock investments, never to return. Those investors will never be able to retire.

2015-03-10 00:00:00 Good luck, Jonathan. Good luck, Nigeria. by Kaisa Stucke of Confluence Investment Management

This week we look at the upcoming Nigerian presidential election and how the persistent threat of the Boko Haram terrorist movement has complicated the democratic process. The election promises to be a close one between the incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan, and a former military leader, Muhammadu Buhari. In turn, we look back at the 2011 presidential election and analyze how that election facilitated the rapid spread of Boko Haram. Exacerbating matters further, the country suffers from a deepening divide between the Christian south and the Islamic north, which we discuss in detail in this report.

2015-03-10 00:00:00 Q&A with Jeff Knight: What’s in store for 2015? by Jeff Knight of Columbia Management

I believe we are still going through a process that is flattering to financial market returns. But after six years and a tripling of the stock market, recognize that we're getting late in the game. Does Europe hang together? Do events in the Ukraine or Greece disrupt the economic recovery in Europe? Is the Fed’s tightening appropriate, or does it represent a threat to financial markets? Will those who come out on the short end of oil’s dramatic repricing emerge as a threat to capital markets either through default and bankruptcies, or worse through geopolitical tensions?

2015-03-10 00:00:00 Never Smile at a Crocodile by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

We will briefly survey my worry closet today before resuming our series on debt, in which we’ll encounter Paul Krugman’s lament that “Nobody understands debt.”

2015-03-09 00:00:00 An Overview of Alternative Investments by Michael Winchell of Larkin Point Investment Advisors LLC

If you have been thinking about adding alternative investments to your clients’ portfolios, it’s important to step back and analyze the various types of investments available to you—which, despite being lumped together in the same category, have become increasingly varied.

2015-03-09 00:00:00 The Dollar isn’t the Peso anymore (Part II) by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

The US dollar rally is in its seventh year and we expect this trend to continue. Many observers, including the Fed, continue to worry about inflation. However, we think a strong USD and disinflation/deflation seem more likely than inflation so long as global overcapacity forces nations to fight for market share and depreciate their currencies.

2015-03-09 00:00:00 Why Is the Fed’s James Bullard Optimistic about the U.S. Economy? by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

On February 20, Professor Jeremy Siegel and I had the pleasure of speaking to St Louis Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) president James Bullard, who is a member of the Fed monetary policy committee. 2015 is shaping up to be an interesting year for monetary policy, with the Fed expected to hike interest rates.

2015-03-08 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Is Good News Now Bad for Investors? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

Anyone who wants to speculate on what the Fed is thinking must include some actual evidence from past transcripts. If, for example, you want to suggest that the Fed “wants a market correction” (you can’t make this stuff up) then you have to find at least one historical example where some participant raised that idea. Otherwise, shut up!

2015-03-07 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Quantitative easing comes to the eurozone; U.S. job growth is strong, but wage growth is not; The California port strike has troubled trade... and economists

2015-03-07 00:00:00 The Strong USD Is Negatively Impacting US Trade by Team of GaveKal

Exports have been a solid contributor to US GDP growth for the last few years, while consumption and residential investment have been more restrained. Recently, with consumption firming and likely to improve further from the tail-wind of lower oil prices, and exports faltering, it appears the drivers of the US economy are trading places. It appears that we should expect trade to subtract from growth in the coming quarters.

2015-03-07 00:00:00 Trampled Under Foot: Earnings Estimates Crushed; But Not Stocks by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

The pace of earnings estimate cuts by Wall Street analysts and companies has been well sharper than the norm, suggesting the bar has now been set so low as to make it easier to hurdle. That’s what investors can hope for heading into the next earnings season; but the risk around earnings and valuation is unquestionably higher than it’s been in some time.

2015-03-06 00:00:00 Taking a Multi-Asset Approach to Inflation by Duy Nguyen of Invesco Blog

With more than two decades of stable inflation in the US and forecasts calling for moderate inflation in the short term, many investors have become complacent about the risk of inflation to the real value of their portfolios. But inflation can change unexpectedly, and although we don’t believe that change is necessarily imminent, investors should remain vigilant about addressing this risk.

2015-03-06 00:00:00 Hot and Cold Bonds by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

January 2015 was the best month for high-quality bonds since December 2008. In February 2015, high-quality bonds posted their worst monthly performance since June 2013 and the taper tantrum sell-off. High-yield bonds experienced ups and downs thus far in 2015. After a muted January, high-yield bonds returned 2.4% in February, the largest single month gain since October 2013. After a wild first two months, we expect more muted returns over the remainder of 2015.

2015-03-06 00:00:00 Market Fragility and Opportunity by Jim Tillar, Steve Wenstrup of Tillar-Wenstrup Advisors

Investing is a funny business. It is usually wise to invest the opposite of how the market feels to you. Six years ago stocks had fallen by 50%, the financial institutions that underlie our global economy were buckling, and the economy was in shambles. Investors were running from the stock market in droves. But because prices and expectations were low and because all the major central banks flooded the world with liquidity it was actually a great time to invest.

2015-03-05 00:00:00 The High Yield Default Outlook by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

We see default risk as the most prominent risk for credit investors. As we look forward, a benign default environment is projected over the next few years.

2015-03-05 00:00:00 India the Best-Performing Emerging Market by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

India had an incredible banner year. The world’s largest democracy, home to 1.25 billion people, was the best-performing emerging market in 2014, delivering over 29 percent. It was followed by the Philippines in second place and Indonesia in third.

2015-03-05 00:00:00 Greek Problems Born from Socialism by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

Like many of the important discussions in the economic world today, the negotiations between Greece and its European creditors has become increasingly absurd . Late on Friday, February 20, in a tense meeting between the new Greek Finance Minister and a host of ministers from 19 Eurozone countries, Germany apparently 'authorized' negotiators to accept a four-month extension of the $272 billion bailout so long as the Greeks promised to make a series of difficult fiscal steps needed to stay solvent over that time frame.

2015-03-04 00:00:00 Municipal Market Perspectives by Fixed Income Team of SMC Fixed Income Management

A much colder than normal winter throughout the United States has impacted daily activities. Folks are remaining indoors and waiting for the March thaw. Not only are there fewer pedestrians, but runners are a rare sight. The logical inference is that many dedicated exercisers have retreated to the warmth of their basements or local health clubs for exercise, and are instead logging miles on stationary treadmills.

2015-03-04 00:00:00 January Inflation Turns Negative - Is Deflation Upon Us? by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Consumer prices fell in January for the third straight month, while inflation over the past 12 months turned negative for the first time since 2009, largely because of cheaper gasoline. In January, the Consumer Price Index sank by a seasonally-adjusted 0.7%, the biggest one-month drop since the end of 2008, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

2015-03-04 00:00:00 The Misery Index by John Canally of LPL Financial

Reports on the CPI and unemployment rate for January 2015 sent the Misery Index down to 5.6%, its lowest level in 56 years. Despite the low reading of the index, headlines and polls indicate the index may not be capturing the nation’s mood. Wage growth may be the key to improving consumer sentiment about the state of the U.S. economy.

2015-03-04 00:00:00 Tigers in Africa by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

This month's Absolute Return Letter is about unrealistic expectations which is something we are all guilty of from time to time. We look at why it is unrealistic to expect equity returns to be in the double digit range over the next several years, why central banks are not printing money like many believe, plus a few other topics.

2015-03-03 00:00:00 Howard Marks on Luck and Skill in Investing by Justin Kermond (Article)

When Howard Marks graduated from the Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago, he was turned down for the one job he really wanted. That, he said, was the luckiest moment of his career. The firm that turned him down was Lehman Brothers.

2015-03-03 00:00:00 Are DFA's Funds Active or Passive? by John Coumarianos (Article)

Larry Swedroe's recent critique of Graham and Dodd value investing mischaracterized DFA's value funds as "passive." Beyond that, he misread James Montier's discussion of "perfect" value investors, made unfair comparisons among funds and didn't measure risk properly.

2015-03-03 00:00:00 The Return of the Comeback: Is 2015 the Year for International Stocks? by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

For several years, many professional investors and advisers have been bullish about the prospects for investing outside the United States. Calls to overweight European stocks or global stocks have been typical each January for the past years, and this year is no different.

2015-03-03 00:00:00 Yemen: A Land with a Rich Past and a Poor Present by Kaisa Stucke of Confluence Investment Management

The country of Yemen is slowly dissolving in the midst of an ongoing civil war. The Houthi movement has aggressively secured territories in the north, while al-Qaeda has widened its activities in the south. Outside powers are watching these developments closely. Yemen’s neighbor and U.S. ally, Saudi Arabia, would like to see the Houthi insurgency stopped as the group is widely viewed as a proxy for Iran. At the same time, the U.S. has been a partner to Yemen in fighting al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, but the fall of its government has left the U.S. without a formal partner.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 Going to the Dogs by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

If you were a dog, what kind would you be? I can’t say I’ve thought about it a lot myself, but it is an interesting, possibly introspective question considering the theory that many dog owners pick a breed that looks or perhaps acts like themselves.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 Why We Invest in Royalty Companies by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Royalty companies basically serve as specialized financiers that help fund cash-strapped miners’ exploration and production projects. In return, they receive either royalties on whatever the mine produces or what’s known as a “stream,” which is a commitment to an agreed-upon number of ounces of gold or other precious metal per year.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 States Feel Impact of Oil Price Collapse by Joseph Rosenblum of AllianceBernstein

Crude oil prices have fallen sharply since last summer, a bright spot for American consumers. Major oil-producing states aren’t as happy, because the loss in tax revenue is impacting budgets and economies. Some states will face real hardship; others will emerge relatively unscathed.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 Markets Pause While Awaiting Federal Reserve Activity by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities were mixed last week, with the S&P 500 declining -0.2%. The Federal Reserve (Fed) had a busy week, as the nuanced debate continues around when to begin policy normalization. The global policy divergence grabbed headlines, but the focus was mainly on negative yields in Europe and inflows to non-U.S. equities.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 Royce Premier Fund: Reviewing 2014 and Positioning for 2015 by (Article)

Portfolio Manager Lauren Romeo talks about the relative performance challenges for Royce Premier Fund and the types of businesses we are emphasizing and avoiding.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 Bill Hench on Consumer and Tech Stocks by (Article)

A bottom-up stock picker, Portfolio Manager Bill Hench is finding compelling valuations in the semiconductor industry. Bill also believes many Consumer Discretionary stocks are poised to benefit from the recent decline in energy prices.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 Nevis & NASDAQ 5000 by Doug MacKay, Bill Hoover of Broadleaf Partners

Fifteen years ago, the tech-stock heavy, dot-com laden NASDAQ hit 5000, a level it hasn't seen since - until today - March 2nd, 2015. Whether or not it will maintain a closing price above 5000 remains a work in progress, but in all likelihood, we'll get there.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 The Herd Can Be Blind by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Going into 2015 the economic outlook held by the U.S. investment establishment could not have been much more positive, and more unified. Pundits saw all the variables aligning to create the best of all investment worlds, a virtual "no-brainer" of optimism. Many believed that the 5.0% annualized growth in 3rd quarter would stay strong in the 4th Quarter and then usher in a strong 2015, which many believed would be the best economic year since the crash of 2008. The only question that divided most forecasters was how good the year would be.

2015-03-01 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will the Economic News Alter Fed Policy? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

The exact timing of the first Fed rate increase does not matter. There is a difference between tight monetary policy and slightly less accommodative policy. Markets do quite well in the early stages of rising rates, especially when starting from a low initial point. This will be ignored by many who will invoke “Don’t fight the Fed.” This will be the fundamental battleground between traders and investors, bears and bulls, and various political types – perhaps lasting for years. The end of the business or stock market cycle is not imminent. Bull markets do not die of old age.

2015-03-01 00:00:00 Plan to Exit Stocks Within the Next 8 Years? Exit Now by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Unless we observe a rather swift improvement in market internals and a further, material easing in credit spreads – neither which would relieve the present overvaluation of the market, but both which would defer our immediate concerns about downside risk – the present moment likely represents the best opportunity to reduce exposure to stock market risk that investors are likely to encounter in the coming 8 years.

2015-02-27 00:00:00 Are Expectations Too High? by Burt White of LPL Financial

The market’s continued ascent has caused some to ask if the stock market reflects excessive optimism. The pace of economic surprises as measured by the Citigroup Economic Surprise Index suggests expectations remain reasonable. We view recent economic disappointments as largely temporary, and would expect the surprise index may reverse recent declines as expectations have come down, providing support for cyclical sectors.

2015-02-27 00:00:00 Recession is On the Way: Questioning One's Sanity; Beat the Crowd, Panic Now! by Mike "Mish" Shedlock of Sitka Pacific Capital

In 2006-2007 I called for a recession. We got a big one. I called for another one in 2011, as did the ECRI. That recession never happened. 50% is not a very good recession predicting track record except in comparison to consensus economic opinions that have never once in history predicted a recession. Consensus opinion is batting a perfect 0.00%

2015-02-27 00:00:00 Could Apple Buy a Third of the World’s Gold? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

So what’s Apple’s next trick? How about moving the world’s gold market?

2015-02-27 00:00:00 Focusing on the Three Ds by Byron Wien of Blackstone

Looking forward several years, there will be three important factors that will determine the economic and investment outlook. They are decoupling, deflation and demand.

2015-02-27 00:00:00 With the Bank of Canada, Is the Canadian Economy in Good Hands? by Ed Devlin of PIMCO

A disorderly decline in energy prices could spill over into consumer and business sentiment, which would worsen any drop in Canada's economic output. More rate cuts this year are likely a part of the Bank of Canada's base case scenario. Investors may be able to improve their returns by buying bonds with high-quality credit spreads, including Canadian bank senior debt and Ontario bonds.

2015-02-27 00:00:00 We're Having "Flation" by Rob Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research

We decided to look back at the last four years and get a sense of what is happening with prices. And, like so many investment discussions these days, our conclusions are not uniform. In the case of consumer prices, we are having inflation, disinflation depending on which major component of the CPI you watch. Conclusion: just as the broad stock market can have many underlying sub-trends within it, so too can that be the case for consumer prices. “Flation” – it is everywhere and of all three types in today’s consumer world.

2015-02-27 00:00:00 On the Long Bond and Why the Widow Maker is Alive and Well by Team of GaveKal

Perhaps one of the most important questions investors need to answer today is whether we've seen the low in the long bonds yields or whether the trend lower is firmly intact. The recent spike in the 10-year bond yields from 1.65% at the end of January to 2.14% just two weeks later has no doubt complicated the situation. In this piece we'll try to layout one case for lower yields still.

2015-02-27 00:00:00 China’s New Generation of Entrepreneurs II by Beini Zhou of Matthews Asia

China has long been perceived to be a breeding ground for business copycats, and has struggled with rampant intellectual piracy. Many businesses there have indeed been founded based on business models that originated in the U.S. or Europe. But what’s been overlooked in recent years is China’s rising “innovation machine.” More favorable government policies toward R&D have helped. This month, Asia Insight takes a look at developments in China’s grassroots-level entrepreneurship.

2015-02-27 00:00:00 Hasenstab on Global Growth: Headwinds or Tailwinds? by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton

While some forecasters predict gloomy global growth this year, the contrarian-minded Dr. Michael Hasenstab, chief investment officer, Templeton Global Macro Group (formerly known as Templeton Global Bond Group), has a different view. He aims to counter what he sees as “excessive pessimism” surrounding the global economy and outlines why he believes the recent plunge in oil prices could prove a tailwind, not only for economic growth in the United States, but also in Europe. He also offers his scorecard regarding Japan’s monetary policy experiment dubbed “Abenomics.”

2015-02-27 00:00:00 Rhyming…but not Repeating. by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Stocks have recovered their January losses and have continued to move higher. While economic growth remains solid and we remain secular bulls, investors should be prepared for increased volatility and the potential for a near-term correction. Also, European stocks may be due for at least a pause and we suggest looking to add exposure to emerging market positions if needed. Staying well diversified and keeping an eye on rebalancing is the recommended strategy.

2015-02-27 00:00:00 Reconnecting with Energy Stocks by Sharon Fay of AllianceBernstein

Plunging oil prices since mid-2014 have led many equity investors to shun energy stocks. We think that’s a mistake. By studying the aftermath of previous oil shocks, we believe investors can gain insight to prepare for a possible rebound.

2015-02-26 00:00:00 Gathering Thin Reeds? by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Many of you know that I spend time gathering “thin reeds” and try to weave them into a favorable “investment bouquet.” This is a strategy Fidelity’s Peter Lynch took to its zenith in an era gone by. Recall the story Peter told about how he stumbled into Magellan Fund’s (FMAGX/$96.12) investment in Hanes, when he first heard his wife rave about a new product called pantyhose.

2015-02-26 00:00:00 Monetary Policy Matters by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

This year we expect the divergence in monetary policy among the world’s central banks to be a key theme and a likely driver of asset flows. For now, the scorecard seems to be tilted toward monetary easing since in the first month of 2015 alone, 14 central banks engaged in some form of monetary policy loosening, generally in the form of interest rate cuts or asset purchases.

2015-02-26 00:00:00 Why Does Louis Vuitton Like a Weaker Euro? by Christopher Gannatti of WisdomTree

In an article published January 31, 2013, Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of LVMH, was quoted as saying, “The cloud on the horizon … is the evolution of currencies, [and a strong euro] would have an impact on French exporters and for our group …”

2015-02-25 00:00:00 Complexity, Critical States and Tributaries of Uncertainty by Brooks Ritchey of Franklin Templeton Investments

For long periods of time, the markets can advance relatively smoothly until a sudden onset of chaos occurs, a “tipping point” that quickly changes the picture. Some might say the recent drop in oil would be a case in point. Brooks Ritchey, senior managing director at K2 Advisors, Franklin Templeton Solutions, explores the tipping points that trigger dramatic market turns, and ponders whether he thinks global equities may be teetering on the edge of one today.

2015-02-25 00:00:00 Lower Lows Still to Come for Silver & Gold by Avi Gilburt of ElliottWaveTrader.net

Yes, I want to be abundantly clear, as some still question my perspective, even though I have reiterated this time and again: I believe metals will see lower lows before this 3+ year correction will end. And, simply because I noted that I was keeping an open mind in January as to the market proving me wrong by completing an impulsive move off the November lows did not change my primary perspective. So, I believe I have been rather consistent and clear that my expectation was and has been that lower lows have yet to be seen to complete this 3+ year correction.

2015-02-25 00:00:00 The Strange World of Negative Interest Rates by Lowell Yura of BMO Global Asset Management

This article examines explanations for negative bond yields. The article argues that central bank policies may be one of the causes. The article also suggests that to make sense of low Treasury yields, investors should be mindful of global yield correlations.

2015-02-24 00:00:00 Gundlach to the Fed: "Dont Raise Rates" by Robert Huebscher (Article)

The Fed should reject its inclination to raise rates, according to Jeffrey Gundlach. It's rare that he agrees with Larry Summers, but in this case the two believe that the fundamentals in the U.S. economy do not justify higher interest rates.

2015-02-24 00:00:00 Municipal bonds in 2015: Time to get back to basics by Municipal Insight Committee of Eaton Vance

In this insight, our Municipal Insight Committee examines why munis remain compelling in 2015 after a year of robust performance.

2015-02-24 00:00:00 Finally, At Least One Financial Media Person Gets It by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

I spent the last two weeks on a Caribbean island (as I always say: Timing is everything!). We rented a house and had lots of visitors from “Up North” (my wife will be there a month and during that time we will have had seventeen people staying in the house!).

2015-02-24 00:00:00 Détente with Iran: An Update by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

This report is an update to a similarly titled piece we published in 2013. In this report, we delve further into what appears to be an evolving policy change by the U.S. with Iran, discussing the basic goals of the U.S. and Iran. With this background, we examine America’s alternatives to achieving our aims in the region, followed by a full examination of U.S. difficulties in making a historic policy change with Iran. We discuss the recent policy pattern in the region and how it supports the notion that improving relations with Iran is probably the reason for this pattern.

2015-02-24 00:00:00 Is Gold Risk Free? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

I’ve long argued that there may not be any safe asset anymore and that investors may want to take a diversified approach to something as mundane as cash. But what about gold? When I mentioned in a recent interview that not even gold is ‘risk free,’ it raised some eyebrows in the gold community. Let me elaborate.

2015-02-23 00:00:00 Exploring for High Yield Energy Opportunities Amid Ailing Oil Prices by Scott Roberts of Invesco Blog

Energy is a popular topic of conversation in the high yield bond space, with many observers warning of a wave of defaults to come due to the plunge in oil prices. While there will likely be some defaults in the sector, we believe that the market’s pessimism has been overly broad, and we view energy as a potential source of opportunity in 2015. Having a clear understanding of macro drivers in energy, paired with careful security selection, will be key to successfully navigating this volatile space, in our view.

2015-02-23 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

SPX has risen two weeks in a row for the first time in 2 1/2 months. For the week, SPX gained 2%, DJIA 1% and RUT 1.5%. The big winner was the previously worrisome laggard, NDX, which gained 3.7%.

2015-02-23 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Help for the Economy from Housing? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

The economic calendar includes much more housing data than we normally see in a single week. With Fed Chair Yellen’s Congressional testimony and the GDP revisions also on tap, I expect many observers to be linking these topics. They will ask:

2015-02-23 00:00:00 Global Reflation Should Allow Equities to Push Higher by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Financial markets reacted well to the provisional Greek bailout extension, but risks for Europe remain elevated. Wages appear to be starting to climb, which would increase pressure on the Fed to begin rate increases this summer. There is a valid bearish case to be made, but we think the positives for equities outweigh the negatives.

2015-02-21 00:00:00 International Equity Commentary: January 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

International equity prices were mostly unchanged during January as gains in both developed and emerging Asian markets were offset by weakness in Canada and select markets in Europe. Investors turned more cautious after the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank lowered their global growth forecasts for the current year, contrary to expectations.

2015-02-21 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview: January 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Concerns about the sharp fall in capital investments and earnings growth in select sectors resulting from lower oil prices continue to cloud the global economic outlook. While the decline in fuel prices is revitalizing consumer spending across all the major countries, the energy and mining sectors have already started curtailing their capital outlays.

2015-02-21 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Equity Commentary: January 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Emerging market equity prices outperformed in January on expectations that economic conditions in large Asian countries such as China and India could brighten this year. Fourth quarter GDP growth in China met expectations, helped by higher industrial production and consumer spending.

2015-02-20 00:00:00 Developed Asia Pacific: Economy Trends Update January 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Japan, the biggest of the developed economies in the region, stands to benefit from cheaper oil as it should boost domestic demand and help some of the country’s key industries reduce costs. Still, the bigger advantage for the country seems to be the re-election of Prime Minister Abe, which has ensured continuity of the fiscal and monetary policies pursued by the government for the last two years.

2015-02-20 00:00:00 Middle East/Africa: Economy Trends Update January 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

This year likely promises mixed prospects for the Middle East and Africa. Among the five economies under our coverage in this region, oil exporters U.A.E. and Qatar are expected to remain under pressure amid the oil price slump. On the other hand, oil-importing South Africa will probably benefit from the downtrend in oil prices as a potential rise in domestic consumption should help the beleaguered economy deal with its various problems.

2015-02-20 00:00:00 A Stable Outlook for US Banks: 6 Factors to Watch by Elizabeth Schroeder of Loomis Sayles

Overall, my outlook for US banks remains stable with some hope for a positive turn later in 2015. The game changer will be the Federal Reserve. Should the Fed begin to take steps towards higher rates this year, bank earnings could improve.

2015-02-20 00:00:00 Global GDP Tracker by John Canally of LPL Financial

The top 25 global economies make up 90% of global gross domestic product (GDP). Through Friday, February 13, 2015, 13 of these economies (including countries and political unions) have already reported Q4 2014 GDP results, including the four largest economies (U.S., Eurozone, China, and India). As this commentary was being prepared for publication, Japan, the world’s fifth-largest economy, released Q4 GDP results.

2015-02-20 00:00:00 Mardi Gras Market by Brian Andrew of Cleary Gull

Geo-political concerns in the Middle East and Ukraine don’t seem to be able to keep the market down, nor do the tepid economic growth numbers coming from Europe and China. Finally, corporate earnings expectations have been moderated significantly for 2015 and that doesn’t seem to matter to stock prices either. Perhaps the explanation is in the sentiment.

2015-02-19 00:00:00 Mistakes Must Service a Purpose by Francois Sicart of Tocqueville Asset Management

In his latest piece, Francois Sicart, Founder and Chairman of Tocqueville Asset Management, examines some investment mistakes he's made in the past. He details five investments, explaining the rationale behind the purchase, what went wrong, and what he learned.

2015-02-19 00:00:00 Energy Sector Outlook: What We Are Watching by Burt White of LPL Financial

No sector is getting more attention right now than energy. Market participants are attracted to the potential upside after both oil and the energy sector suffered substantial declines in recent months. Many see the sector as cheap, something that is not easy to find these days in the U.S. equity market. We drive by gas stations every day where we see prices have been cut in half, serving as a constant reminder of how cheap oil is. In this commentary, we discuss what we are watching to assess the opportunity in energy.

2015-02-19 00:00:00 2015 Annual Forecast by Clyde Kendzierski of Financial Solutions Group

It’s already February, but for many readers this is the first communication of 2015 so, Happy New Year! It’s been a great 6 weeks so far and we’re looking forward to many more to come. Let’s get into it…

2015-02-19 00:00:00 February 2015 Economic Update by John Richards of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild

Consumers in the U.S. are showing their optimism by pushing a key consumer sentiment indicator to its highest level in over a decade. Despite a drop-off in Q4 GDP to a 2.6% annualized growth rate and three consecutive months of slowing manufacturing expansion, the U.S. economy still seems to be on strong footing.

2015-02-19 00:00:00 Brighter Days Ahead for the Global Economy? by Team of Thomas White International

After seven years of uneven growth trends following the 2008 financial crisis, we believe the global economy is likely to see a moderate acceleration in 2015. While several risks remain, we are reasonably confident that there are now enough growth drivers in place to help most major economies advance.

2015-02-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview: December 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

After the initial optimism about lower energy prices supporting a healthier global economic growth outlook, investors and analysts have become more apprehensive as the price decline has been remarkably steep.

2015-02-19 00:00:00 International Equity Commentary: December 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

International equity prices corrected during the month as fears about the negative economic and political fallout of the steep drop in oil prices on energy producing countries unnerved investors. Brent crude oil prices fell to a six-year low during the month, a decline of more than 50 percent in four months.

2015-02-19 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Equity Commentary: December 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

Emerging market equity prices corrected during the month on concerns that the steep fall in crude oil prices could hurt the outlook for select countries.

2015-02-19 00:00:00 Emerging Europe: Economy Trends Update -- January 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Emerging European economies witnessed renewed volatility as the New Year unfolded. Russia, the largest of the economies covered in this review, appeared particularly vulnerable as President Putin has not yielded his stance on Ukraine despite the damage inflicted to his country by the Western sanctions and plunging oil prices.

2015-02-18 00:00:00 On My Radar: Schumpeter’s Creative Destruction by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

This week let’s take a look at debt around the globe. I share a great piece from McKinsey & Company that shows just how much more debt, county by country, has been piled on since the 2007 debt induced financial crisis. Evidence is apparent in the commodity market and I also share a few ideas how you may risk manage those allocations.

2015-02-18 00:00:00 A World of Uncertainty by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

After spending over 32 years working in and around the financial services industry, I have come to a realization about one of the most important attributes for investors.

2015-02-18 00:00:00 Can Trees Really Grow to the Sky? by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

I stopped my rental car in the middle of a cluster of giant sequoia trees while driving to one of my speaking engagements in northern California last week. I have always been overwhelmed with these beautiful “beasts” and last week was no exception. As I lay supine at the base of the behemoth the visual fallacy actually made it look like this monster was indeed growing to the sky. The surreal sensation brought to mind the old stock market axiom, “Trees don’t grow to the sky!”

2015-02-18 00:00:00 Africa Could Mine Its Way to Prosperity if It Addressed Instability by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Last week I attended the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa, as both a presenter and a student seeking opportunities. One of the highlights of the conference was former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s keynote address, during which he offered some crucial advice to African governments: To attract and foster a robust mining sector, a commitment to fiscal stability must be made.

2015-02-18 00:00:00 Demystifying - and Defeating - Deflation by Donald Taylor of Franklin Templeton Investments

Consumers who have been raised to fear inflation may find it hard to understand why falling prices could ever be negative. Like many things in life, however, too much of a seemingly good thing sometimes can spell trouble. Donald Taylor, president and chief investment officer, Franklin Equity Group®, US Value, explains why, much like a football or basketball, an economy grappling with deflation is not in its optimal condition.

2015-02-18 00:00:00 Euro-Area Growth: Reasons to be Cheerful by Darren Williams of AllianceBernstein

There are good reasons to be concerned about the medium-term outlook for euro-area growth. But that doesn’t mean the business cycle is dead. We think the conditions for a cyclical rebound in regional growth are currently better than they’ve been at any time since the global financial crisis.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Why We’re Cautious on Credit by Rob Waldner of Invesco Blog

In the current environment of rising global volatility and potentially weak US corporate earnings growth, Invesco Fixed Income is cautious on US and European credit. While European investment grade credit may be supported by the European Central Bank’s (ECB) program of quantitative easing (QE), we believe US investment grade would likely underperform US Treasuries in the current environment, although we would expect it to perform better than riskier assets.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Gary Shilling - Why You Should Own Bonds by Robert Huebscher (Article)

If you followed Gary Shilling's advice for the last 30 years, you would be very wealthy. Since 1981, Shilling has consistently advocated owning long-dated Treasury securities. In a talk last week, he reiterated that advice as one piece of his three-part asset-allocation strategy for the coming year.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Search for Strength: EM Downturn Puts Focus on Fundamentals by Sponsored Content by Invesco (Article)

  • Corporate earnings deterioration and a decline in return on capital have held back emerging market performance.
  • Reversing weak performance depends on a return to stronger corporate earnings.
  • Downside risks could lead to disappointing earnings growth, but positive fundamentals are unfolding.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Wide Disparity in 2014 Stock Returns Shows the Importance of Diversification by Team of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild

With another calendar year in the books, investors can look back to 2014 and see the vast disparity between asset classes, with the U.S. markets leading the way for a second consecutive year. Why not just invest in the S&P 500 Index? The answer is that we don’t know which asset class will be the top performer from year to year. Looking back on the past 15 years, the U.S. has only led three times, with all three coming since 2011, hence the reason for the initial question.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Extreme Overvaluation and the Inventory Problem by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Current equity markets are no place for long-term investors, and even a resumption of risk-seeking investor preferences would demand a considerable safety net.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Shut off the Noise, Hear the Risks by Gibson Smith of Janus Capital Group

Janus Fixed Income CIO Gibson Smith believes volatility in the fixed income market may represent a greater risk than a sustained increase in rates.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Keynesian Contrarianism: Where is the Minority Today? by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

To get a good feel for where the largest pools of money are invested around the world and to identify the minority, we draw from the NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments in North America. This year’s survey included $516 billion in investable assets. The results for the fiscal year ended June 30th of 2014 are listed below. Pay particular attention to the largest endowments, because we believe they represent the asset allocation of the largest worldwide institutions.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 EM Sector Featuring Ryan Paylor by (Article)

The emerging market sector, especially Latin America, presents potential opportunity to CEF investors, says Ryan Paylor, of Thomas J. Herzfeld Advisors.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 High Yield Bond CEFs Featuring John Cole Scott by (Article)

High yield bond closed-end funds may be “overdone” by investors, says John Cole Scott of CEF Advisors.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Investor Sentiment Is Strengthening by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities finished higher for a second straight week, with the S&P 500 Index gaining 2.1% as it ended the week at a record high.1 Investors largely shrugged off disappointing retail sales figures and chose to focus on the positives.

2015-02-15 00:00:00 Self-Sustaining US Economy…So What Now? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

The US economy appears to be in a self-sustaining phase of the expansion, which could mean more volatility as the Fed embarks on a tightening cycle. We remain confident the secular bull market is intact, but volatility has risen and we suggest investors who are over-exposed to US equities consider global diversification, with a preference for emerging markets. Europe appears to be stealthily improving, but Greece remains a flash point and Eurozone equity markets may have gotten ahead of themselves a bit.

2015-02-15 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Energy Stocks Support the Market Breakout? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

I do not know whether we have reached a bottom in energy prices, but I have identified two important themes.

2015-02-14 00:00:00 The Fat Pitch Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

So there are a number of positives that suggest indices will continue broadly higher. But there a few other considerations that are potentially negative.

2015-02-14 00:00:00 The Daily X-Change - 3 Things - Uncomfortable Facts, 25-54 Employment, Houston RE by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

While the media and mainstream analysts discount the negative economic impact of falling energy costs, I have personally witnessed it in the mid-80's, the late 90's and just prior to 2008. In all cases, the negative outcomes were far worse than predicted which left economists scratching their heads as to what went wrong with their models. Of course, considering the BLS only saw a loss of 1900 manufacturing (oil and gas) jobs in January when there were 26,000 layoffs may explain part of the problem.

2015-02-14 00:00:00 Alternate Current: The Power of Diverse Return Sources by Christine Johnson of Alli