More on Related Themes
2015-01-07 00:00:00 Recession Probability Models - January 2015 by Ted Kavadas of StratX, LLC
There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession. While I don?t agree with the methodologies employed or probabilities of impending economic weakness as depicted by the following two models, I think the results of these models should be monitored.
2015-01-06 00:00:00 Hurts So Good: When Exactly Are Falling Prices Bad? by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital
The sudden fall in the price of oil provides a unique opportunity to examine the widely held belief that deflation is economic poison. As many governments and central banks have vowed to fight deflation at all costs in 2015, the question could hardly be more significant. While falling prices may strike the layman as cause for celebration, economists believe that it can kick off a nasty, and often inescapable, negative cycle, which many believe leads inevitably to a prolonged recession, or even a depression.
2015-01-05 00:00:00 Paul Krugman and the Obama Recovery by Jeffrey Sachs of Project Syndicate
The Nobel laureate economist is a great economic theorist and a great polemicist. But he should replace his polemical hat with his analytical one and reflect more deeply on recent experience: rather than throwing the US back into recession, deficit reduction has been accompanied by recovery, job creation, and lower unemployment.
2014-12-22 00:00:00 A Look Back at 2014 (and a 2015 Preview) by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management
At the beginning of this year, we had three broad thoughts about what it would look like. First, we expected U.S. economic growth would accelerate moderately. Second, we believed Federal Reserve tapering would occur slowly and that global monetary policy would remain accommodative. And third, we forecasted that the U.S. equity market would grind higher due to central bank liquidity, modest economic acceleration, solid corporate earnings, contained inflation and an improving fiscal situation. These views formed the basis for the predictions we made in January. And at this point, we can offer a
2014-12-21 00:00:00 Your Time is Gonna Come: From Considerable Time to Patient by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab
Regardless of the obsession around the specific words used, the statement is somewhat par-for-the-course; and supports our consistent view that rates should begin rising at some point in mid-year 2015, that the US dollar will remain strong, and that the yield curve should continue to flatten (as a result of benign inflation keeping longer-term rates fairly low). Although our view is that the stock market will be at the mercy of more frequent mood swings, the secular bull market we believe began nearly six years ago should persist in 2015.
2014-12-19 00:00:00 5 Things To Ponder: Variegated Contemplations by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live
Yes, it is that magical week leading up to Christmas and the subsequent low volume push into the new year. For individuals, it is "magic time" as hopes are high that "Santa Claus" will come to WallStreet.
2014-12-11 00:00:00 The Fed, Jobs, and the Financial Markets by Scott Brown of Raymond James
Looking ahead to 2015, the labor market is expected to play the key part in the Feds path to policy normalization. However, as we learned from New York Fed President Dudley last week, the Fed will also consider the reaction in financial markets.
2014-12-05 00:00:00 Monetary Policy Outlook by Scott Brown of Raymond James
The minutes of the October 28-29 Federal Open Market Committee meeting suggested that there is still no consensus opinion among senior officials regarding when the Fed will begin raising short-term interest rates. There is strong agreement that monetary policy moves will be data-dependent. However, policymakers differ in their views on the amount of slack in the job market.
2014-12-03 00:00:00 Recession Probability Models - December 2014 by Ted Kavadas of StratX, LLC
There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession. While I dont agree with the methodologies employed or probabilities of impending economic weakness as depicted by the following two models, I think the results of these models should be monitored.
2014-11-25 00:00:00 Monetary Policy Outlook by Scott Brown of Raymond James
The minutes of the October 28-29 Federal Open Market Committee meeting suggested that there is still no consensus opinion among senior officials regarding when the Fed will begin raising short-term interest rates. There is strong agreement that monetary policy moves will be data-dependent.
2014-11-24 00:00:00 Equities Benefit as U.S. Growth Solidifies by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management
The dominant news story last week was President Obamas announcement of new executive actions on immigration policy, but investors chose to look past any political risks and focused on the positives. Specifically, markets reacted well to signs that the European Central Bank would expand its monetary easing and to a surprise interest rate cut in China.
2014-11-20 00:00:00 The U.S. Labor Market - Show Me the Money by Marie Schofield of Columbia Management
The U.S. labor market data has improved in the last six months now that many measures have reached cyclical highs. For the Federal Reserve though, this is not enough. They want to see this data feed through to a broader rise in incomes and wages, and ultimately spending. This will be necessary to bend the economic trajectory toward sustainably higher growth.
2014-11-13 00:00:00 The October Employment Report by Scott Brown of Raymond James
The headline figures from the September jobs report were better than expected. However, the details were more consistent with moderate growth and a continued high degree of slack. Fed officials arent going to jump to any conclusions.
2014-11-05 00:00:00 QE Worked, But Not As Advertised by Zach Pandl of Columbia Management
Last week the Federal Reserve announced the end of its bond-buying program, which has been running with only brief interruptions for the last six years. Besides its ultimate size and duration, the striking thing about the Feds experiment with quantitative easing (QE) is that there is still not a firm consensus on exactly how it worked. Academic economists will be busy with this question for years. But from a bond investors point of view, theres enough evidence to make a few tentative conclusions.
2014-11-05 00:00:00 Recession Probability Models - November 2014 by Ted Kavadas of StratX, LLC
There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession. While I dont agree with the methodologies employed or probabilities of impending economic weakness as depicted by the following two models, I think the results of these models should be monitored.
2014-10-24 00:00:00 5 Things To Ponder: To QE Or Not To QE by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live
Over the last few weeks, the markets have seen wild vacillations as stocks plunged and then surged on a massive short-squeeze in the most beaten up sectors of energy and small-mid capitalization companies. While "Ebola" fears filled mainstream headlines the other driver behind the sell-off, and then marked recovery, was a variety of rhetoric surrounding the last vestiges of the current quantitative easing program by the Fed. As I have shown many times in the past, there is a high degree of correlation between the Fed's liquidity programs and the advance in the markets.
2014-10-17 00:00:00 A Moody Market by Doug MacKay, Bill Hoover of Broadleaf Partners
For those that may not have noticed, stock market volatility has been on the rise in October, with more up and down 1-2% days and powerful intraday moves than we've seen since the Great Recession. Weak overseas economies, fears over what rapid declines in energy prices could mean, and Ebola are just a few of the factors that have been used to explain the disappointing action.
2014-10-14 00:00:00 Finally, a Five Handle! by Brian Andrew of Cleary Gull
Last Fridays jobs report was significant in that for the first time since July of 2008 the unemployment rate dipped below 6%. The September report indicated that the unemployment rate fell from 6.1% to 5.9%. While we have seen improvement in labor markets for some time now, the Fed still seems to want to take their time reducing stimulative policy.
2014-10-10 00:00:00 The September Employment Report by Scott Brown of Raymond James
The headline figures from the September jobs report were better than expected. However, the details were more consistent with moderate growth and a continued high degree of slack. Fed officials arent going to jump to any conclusions.
2014-10-08 00:00:00 Recession Probability Models - October 2014 by Ted Kavadas of StratX, LLC
There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession.
2014-10-07 00:00:00 Most Risk Assets Should Continue to Find Support by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management
Equity prices continued to slide in the face of uncertainty over global growth and pending changes to monetary policy. U.S. growth is continuing to improve, and shows further signs of divergence from the rest of the world. Markets may remain sloppy for a while, but fundamentals suggest most risk assets should continue to perform well.
2014-09-30 00:00:00 The Fed Trap by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate
The US Federal Reserve is grappling with the disparity between its unconventional policy's success in preventing economic disaster and its failure to foster a robust recovery. Given that this disconnect has fueled financial-market excesses, the exit will be all the more problematic especially for the market-fixated Fed.
2014-09-19 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust
The choice for Europe: coming together or breaking apart; Scotland votes nay; The dollar has been the beneficiary of global uncertainty
2014-09-18 00:00:00 A New Fed Playbook for the New Normal by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital
While many economists and market watchers have failed to notice, we have entered a new chapter in the short and checkered history of central banking. This paradigm shift, as yet unaddressed in the textbooks, changes the basic policy tools that have traditionally defined the sphere of macroeconomic decision-making.
2014-09-18 00:00:00 Mind Your Language! by Scott Brown of Raymond James
The Federal Open Market Committee is widely expected to take another trip to Taper Town on Wednesday, reducing the monthly pace of asset purchases by another $10 billion, one step closer to ending the program in late October. The more interesting issue is whether well see any change in the Feds forward guidance on short-term interest rates specifically, whether the FOMC will jettison the considerable time language.
2014-09-16 00:00:00 Of Kilts, Ballots, Bankers and Dots by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors
Kristina Hooper breaks down the hairy mix of economic data, central bank policy and geopolitical events, including Scotland's potential exit from the UK, that markets are combing through right now.
2014-09-04 00:00:00 Global: Recovery Continues, but Headwinds Persist by Keith Wade of Schroders Investment Management
Keith Wade, Chief Economist at Schroders, discusses why Schroders has trimmed global growth projections for 2014 and 2015.
2014-08-29 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust
Flexible labor markets are key to recovering from recession; Wage trends present a challenge for the Fed; Bank settlements are sizeable, but the benefit to housing has been limited
2014-08-26 00:00:00 Yellen at Jackson Hole by Zach Pandl of Columbia Management
I must have heard it on the radio recently, because Janet Yellens speech at this years Jackson Hole conference brought to mind lyrics from one of my favorite Beatles songs.
2014-08-23 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter by Ron Muhlenkamp of Muhlenkamp & Company
Sometimes, Im tempted to write same as last time. This is one of those times.
2014-08-21 00:00:00 Fed Revises Down Potential GDP In More Hawkish Minutes by Team of GaveKal Capital
In our latest quarterly presentation in July, we noted how spare capacity in the economy may be much smaller than is generally perceived. We found out today the FOMC came to similar conclusions in their latest FOMC meeting.
2014-08-12 00:00:00 What a Credit-Shy Consumer Means for Growth by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors
Consumers have been cautious about running up credit-card debt since the financial crisis. But is that necessarily bad for the economy? Kristina Hooper breaks it down.
2014-08-06 00:00:00 What Asset Class Rallied Last Week amid the Sell-Off? by Luciano Siracusano III of WisdomTree
Last Thursdays sell-off in U.S. stocks (the Dow was down 317 points, the S&P 500 Index was down nearly 2%) marked the biggest stock market decline in nearly four months. The S&P 500 Index closed at 1,930 after it broke its 50-day moving average for the first time since April.
2014-08-05 00:00:00 Mixed Signals by Brian Andrew of Cleary Gull
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to take in baseball tryouts. I know you are thinking it is August so what tryouts would be taking place in the middle of the season? These tryouts were for U-8 boys. For the uninitiated, this is when boys aged 7 and younger try out for next seasons teams. My son spent two days at a baseball camp and then finished yesterday with team tryouts. During tryouts there were six stations covering the fundamentals of the game.
2014-08-05 00:00:00 So, What Did We Learn? by Scott Brown of Raymond James
The busy week of economic news left investors uneasy. The 4.0% GDP growth figure contributed to concerns that the Fed may be forced to raise short-term interest rates sooner rather than later. However, while the economic data reports, and even the Fed policy statement, had something for everybody, the outlook for monetary policy should be essentially unchanged.
2014-08-04 00:00:00 Mounting Pressure Weighs on Equities by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management
U.S. equities experienced a sharp pullback last week, with the S&P 500 Index falling 2.7%, its largest weekly decline in over two years. A number of factors contributed to the downturn, including rising geopolitical tensions, concerns over Federal Reserve policy, Argentinas debt default, a slowdown in the housing recovery and a sense that the market rally has been getting tired. Not all of the news was negative, however, since we also saw some strong economic and earnings data and increasing merger and acquisition activity.
2014-07-19 00:00:00 Bull Stumbles by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Michelle Gibley of Charles Schwab
Any near-term correction would be healthy in the context of an ongoing secular bull market. Trying to time the market is always difficult, even though the market is in a potentially weak phase, both in terms of the annual and election cycles. And while sentiment is elevated in the United States, both Europe and China provide opportunities to invest where the mood is decidedly less enthusiastic.
2014-07-11 00:00:00 Why The Fed Needs You To Sell Your Bonds by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management
Today I will attempt to explain why longer-term interest rates have fallen significantly this year when almost everyone expected rates to rise. This discussion focuses on the fact that there is a shortage of Treasury securities in the marketplace today, especially in maturities of 10 years or longer. The shortage is due to a combination of factors that I will discuss below
2014-07-08 00:00:00 Blowout Jobs Data Wont Trigger Quicker Rate Hike by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors
The markets are digesting a stellar jobs report, which may fuel debate over when the Fed will start raising rates. But its important for investors to understand the Feds holistic approach in order to avoid a kneejerk reaction, writes Kristina Hooper.
2014-07-08 00:00:00 Volatility Takes a Sabbatical by Mark Oelschlager of Oak Associates
The theme of the second quarter was low volatility, as stocks continued to grind higher. As June ended, the S&P 500 had gone 51 consecutive trading sessions without moving 1% or more in either direction. Not since April 16 has the index moved at least 1% in a given day. This is a remarkable streak and quite a contrast with the volatility of recent years. Naturally, when something like this happens, the inclination is to try to figure out what it means for the market going forward.
2014-06-25 00:00:00 The Feds Outlook: Optimistic? Or Just Hopeful? by Scott Brown of Raymond James
As expected, Federal Reserve policymakers left short-term interest rates unchanged, did not alter the forward guidance on the federal funds target rate, and trimmed the monthly pace of asset purchases by another $10 billion (to $35 billion beginning in July). In its policy statement, the FOMC was a bit more optimistic about a pickup in growth. Fed officials forecasts of 2014 GDP growth were revised lower, but implicitly, forecasts for the final three quarters of 2014 remained strong.
2014-06-24 00:00:00 A Mosaic Approach to Raising the Fed Funds Rate by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors
The Federal Reserve is using a wide swath of economic data and anecdotal evidence to determine when to raise its benchmark interest rate. While prudent, it may stir up anxiety and volatility for equity investors, writes Kristina Hooper.
2014-06-14 00:00:00 Whos Afraid of Low, Low Rates? by James T. Tierney, Jr. of AllianceBernstein
Falling yields on Treasuries are often seen as a signal of a weakening economy that could undermine stocks. We think there are other explanations that dont threaten the outlook for equities.
2014-06-12 00:00:00 An Intriguing Six Point Three by Zach Pandl of Columbia Management
The latest jobs report may look pretty bland on the surface, but I can assure you that it will generate plenty of intrigue among close observers of the Fed. After falling sharply in April, the unemployment rate held at 6.3%, in contrast to expectations that it would partially reverse course.
2014-05-15 00:00:00 Thoughts on Investing in Convertible Securities by Alan Muschott of Franklin Templeton Investments
Changes and potential changes in monetary policy across the globe, along with increased volatility in currency and equity markets, have thrown a spotlight on convertible securities, described by some as offering the best of both worlds in terms of stock and bond characteristics. But what are they, how do they work, and how can they play a part in a diversified investment portfolio in todays market? Alan Muschott, portfolio manager for Franklin Convertible Securities Fund, who has been investing in convertible securities for more than a decade, provides his take.
2014-05-13 00:00:00 Equity Markets Remain Mixed as Fundamentals Slowly Improve by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management
U.S. equities finished mixed last week as the Dow Jones Industrial Average was the only major index to end in positive territory. The overall macro narrative appears favorable despite the lack of market direction. Scrutiny of beaten-down momentum stocks resurfaced, although broader market spillover remained muted.
2014-05-09 00:00:00 Thoughts on Investing in Convertible Securities by Alan Muschott of Franklin Templeton Investments
Changes and potential changes in monetary policy across the globe, along with increased volatility in currency and equity markets, have thrown a spotlight on convertible securities, described by some as offering the best of both worlds in terms of stock and bond characteristics. But what are they, how do they work, and how can they play a part in a diversified investment portfolio in todays market? Alan Muschott, portfolio manager for Franklin Convertible Securities Fund, who has been investing in convertible securities for more than a decade, provides his take.
2014-05-09 00:00:00 New Dawn for Peripheral Europe? by Darren Williams, Dennis Shen of AllianceBernstein
When Mario Draghi pledged to do whatever it takes to save the euro in July 2012, nobody expected things to change so quickly. Peripheral bond markets have since turned around sharply, supporting the European economic recovery. But can the improvements be sustained after countries exit their bailouts?
2014-05-09 00:00:00 You Gotta Have Heart by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James
Secretariat (3-30-70 10-4-89) is considered the greatest American racehorse of all time. In 1973 he became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years, and in the process he set records in all three races that still stand today. In the Kentucky Derby his time was 1:59 2/5, in the Preakness it was 1:53, and in the Belmont Stakes 2:24.
2014-05-06 00:00:00 Weekly Market Update by Team of Castleton Partners
US Treasury yields declined across the entire maturity spectrum last week, as renewed geopolitical risk more than outweighed a strong employment report. With inflation remaining well below the Fed?s target rate of 2%, long dated Treasury yields continued to decline at a faster rate than shorter dated yields, further flattening the yield curve.
2014-05-06 00:00:00 The U.S. Economy Reached a Turning Point in April by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management
U.S. equities finished higher last week with the S&P 500 advancing nearly 1.0%. Positive sentiment has been supported by growing traction for the economic recovery, key economic data and corporate commentary. Although the upbeat dynamics were mentioned in the latest FOMC statement, policy normalization expectations have not changed. Another widely discussed tailwind was M&A headlines. Although tensions continue in Ukraine, geopolitical risks were mostly on the back burner.
2014-04-28 00:00:00 Equities Awaiting Stronger Growth Before Next Move by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management
U.S. equities finished modestly lower last week with the S&P 500 nearly unchanged. Most of the damage occurred on Friday when escalating tensions surrounding Ukraine weighed on sentiment. Positive dynamics included an improvement in first quarter earnings metrics, a notable pickup in M&A activity and deal speculation. A broader macro narrative reflects better traction for the recovery and gradual policy normalization. With momentum plays under renewed scrutiny, several internet, software and biotech companies sold off despite an expected cushion from solid first quarter results.
2014-04-25 00:00:00 A Creative Approach to Revitalize South Korea?s Economy by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments
South Korea has been an exciting country to follow since Templeton started investing in emerging markets in 1987. The country represents one of the great success stories of the modern age, rising from extreme poverty at the end of the Korean War to become an affluent, democratic and highly technologically advanced country. However, we believe recent years have seen signs that the methods and structures that gave rise to the years of dramatic economic progress have started to lose their effectiveness.
2014-04-24 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter by Ron Muhlenkamp of Muhlenkamp & Company
Most of the economic and market trends we've been discussing for the past few years remain in place. Russia's action in the Ukraine/Crimea may have long-term implications, particularly for Europe, but the near-term economic implications are modest. It remains to be seen whether this gets added to our long-term worry list or not.
2014-04-16 00:00:00 An Uncomfortable Discussion by Scott Brown of Raymond James
Income inequality is a touchy subject. It?s hard to have a polite conversation, but like it or not, we are going to have a discussion this year. I will not take a position here (this is largely a political question). Rather, I will try to illustrate what the data say and to present the different points of view.
2014-04-15 00:00:00 Equity Market Insight by Thomas Faust, Jr. of Eaton Vance
After a powerful rally in 2013, the first quarter of 2014 saw the bull market demonstrate a measure of resilience in the face of several headwinds. In the latter half of January, stocks fell sharply on emerging-market concerns, with volatility spiking to more "normal" post-financial crisis levels. The market bounced back strongly in February and went on to record a new all-time closing high on March 7. Performance was choppy in the final few weeks of the quarter, as investors digested mixed economic reports, geopolitical issues and the latest U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting.
2014-04-14 00:00:00 Economic Insight: Fed Policy Goes Back to the Future by Thomas Luster of Eaton Vance
We fully expected the strength the economy showed in late 2013 to carry over into 2014; however, that simply was not the case. Instead, we saw weaker-than-expected economic data across a wide range of economic indicators. Not surprisingly, interest rates fell modestly during the quarter rather than continuing their trend higher from last year, while U.S. stocks (as measured by the S&P 500) reacted similarly ? barely advancing after a 32% gain in 2013.
2014-04-12 00:00:00 In the End, Time is Everything by Doug MacKay of Broadleaf Partners
While some will claim that valuations are to blame for the large selloff in growth stocks, high growth stocks almost always have premium valuations. In some sectors of the market, weve found that it makes more financial sense to pay up for a company of the future than to pay down for one in the past. As Warren Buffet has said, "Price is what you pay, but value is what you get."
2014-04-11 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter by Ron Muhlenkamp of Muhlenkamp & Co.
Most of the economic and market trends we?ve been discussing for the past few years remain in place. Russia?s action in the Ukraine / Crimea may have long-term implications, particularly for Europe, but the near-term economic implications are modest. It remains to be seen whether this gets added to our long-term worry list or not.
2014-04-10 00:00:00 The March Employment Report by Scott Brown of Raymond James
Last week began with a speech by Janet Yellen. The Fed Chair was not expected to say much of consequence, but instead, she continued to emphasize the large amount of slack in the labor market and the Fed?s strong commitment to reduce it. The clear implication is that short-term interest rates are not going up anytime soon. This message may have been meant to counter misconceptions taken away from her recent press conference.
2014-04-08 00:00:00 Cementing Europe?s Recovery by Mohamed El-Erian of Project Syndicate
Europe?s renewed sense of hope and confidence, however encouraging, is not yet sufficient to produce appreciable gains for current and future generations. A few things need to happen over the next several weeks and months if Europe is to minimize the risk of another prolonged period of under-performance and financial risk.
2014-04-03 00:00:00 Yellen?s Labor Market Dashboard by Scott Brown of Raymond James
In her years as a Federal Reserve official (governor, district bank president, and vice chair), Janet Yellen expressed a greater concern about job conditions than her peers. As expected, that emphasis has continued into her tenure as Fed chair.
2014-03-31 00:00:00 Will Jobs Benefit From a Spring Thaw? by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors
The upcoming jobs report, a bellwether for the health of the US economy, could reveal that the harsh winter has created a coiled spring in the labor market, writes Kristina Hooper.
2014-03-28 00:00:00 Fed on Target to Raise Interest Rates in the Spring of 2015 by Kevin Mahn of Hennion & Walsh
Last Wednesday, Janet Yellen presided over a press conference as the new Chairman of the Federal Reserve (Fed) following the conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committees (FOMCs) two day meeting and their release of the official FOMC statement. Markets hung on every word and some confusion was created afterwards as Yellen offered a more transparent look at the Feds timeline for raising interest rates.
2014-03-28 00:00:00 What Investors Should Know About Fed Forward Guidance by Zach Pandl of Columbia Management
Last week, at Janet Yellen?s first meeting as Fed Chair, the FOMC revised its forward guidance for the funds rate, dropping its reference to 6.5% unemployment and instead stressing the committee?s qualitative assessment of the economy. The change was a symbolically important step, but did not alter the broader outlook for policy rates, in our view.
2014-03-26 00:00:00 Yellen Speaks, Do the Financial Markets Listen? by Scott Brown of Raymond James
No surprise, the Federal Open Market Committee tapered the monthly rate of asset purchases by another $10 billion and altered the language in its forward guidance on the federal funds rate. In its policy statement, the FOMC indicated that ?it likely will be appropriate to maintain the current target range for the federal funds rate for a considerable time after the asset purchase program ends.?
2014-03-26 00:00:00 Unleashing Africa?s Potential by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton
Many investors who have never traveled in Africa probably have preconceived ideas about it, perhaps as a land of safaris and political strife, rich in coveted natural resources that have failed to bring widespread wealth and development to the continent. Many also might not realize how diverse the landscape, the economies and the people are on the continent, which boasts more than 1,000 languages spoken in more than 50 countries and climates ranging from hot deserts and tropical rainforests to frozen glaciers.
2014-03-24 00:00:00 Stocks Rise as Economic Backdrop Slowly Improves by Bob Doll of Nuveen Asset Management
U.S. equities finished higher last week, with the S&P 500 increasing 1.4%. Ukraine seemed to be receding in investors? minds. Despite the volatility and sharp increase in bond yields on Wednesday, the hawkish takeaways from the FOMC meeting were not a lingering overhang.
2014-03-19 00:00:00 The Fed Policy Outlook by Scott Brown of Raymond James
Much of the recent economic data have been distorted by adverse weather, which makes it difficult to gauge the underlying strength. However, while economic activity appears to have slowed in early 2014, the longer-term outlook hasn?t changed. Growth should pick up.
2014-03-18 00:00:00 Can the Fed Fend Off the Ides of March? by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors
Mid-March hasn?t been associated with much good luck in Europe historically. And with Ukraine mired in conflict, this year?s no different. But investors should resist the urge to react to geopolitical uncertainty and expect steady guidance from the Fed.
2014-03-16 00:00:00 Inequality and Opportunity by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors
Today we will continue our thinking about income inequality, and I will respond to some of your letters, as they make good launching points for further discussion of the topic.
2014-03-12 00:00:00 Housing: An Oft Forgotten Pivot Point by Matt Lloyd of Advisors Asset Management
Today we got the newly released data on the state of the economy in the form of the Fed Flow of Funds. We have often cited it as a way of corroborating certain trends and potential reversal of trends when warranted.
2014-03-12 00:00:00 High and Sustainable Profitability by William Smead of Smead Capital Management
To understand our third criteria for selecting stocks, you need to imagine athletes who have found the fountain of youth. Consider this: Robinson Cano has been one of the most consistently successful baseball players over the last ten years, and the Seattle Mariners just signed Cano to a 10-year contract for $240 million. Companies, however, don't have ten to twenty-year careers, because the average company in the S&P 500 Index lasts 50 years.
2014-03-10 00:00:00 With Fed in Charge, 5-Year Bull Run Poised to Continue by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors
The Federal Reserve?s loose monetary policy and gradual improvement in the economy are two big reasons the stock market can keep moving higher, says Kristina Hooper. Will it be reflected in this week?s consumer sentiment and spending data?
2014-03-09 00:00:00 The Problem with Keynesianism by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors
Keynes himself would appreciate the irony that he has become the defunct economist under whose influence the academic and bureaucratic classes now toil, slaves to what has become as much a religious belief system as it is an economic theory. Men and women who display an appropriate amount of skepticism on all manner of other topics indiscriminately funnel a wide assortment of facts and data through the filter of Keynesianism without ever questioning its basic assumptions. And then some of them go on to prescribe government policies that have profound effects upon the citizens of their nations.
2014-03-06 00:00:00 Weekly Commentary & Outlook by Tom McIntyre of McIntyre, Freedman & Flynn
February ended up being a strong month for stocks despite the growing perception of a slow economic start to the year 2014.
2014-03-04 00:00:00 A Century of Policy Mistakes by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners
A century ago Argentina ranked as one of the wealthiest countries in world. Today it is a shadow of its former self. A long string of policy errors explain the long slide from riches to rags. Europe, like Argentina 100 years ago, is facing enormous challenges - as well as potential pitfalls - and the management of those challenges will define the welfare path for many years to come. Unfortunately, the early signs are not good. Our political leaders, afraid to face public condemnation, have so far chosen to ignore them.
2014-02-28 00:00:00 Bounce Back by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Michelle Gibley of Charles Schwab
US stocks have bounced and the markets still attractive and in the midst of a secular bull market. But there are likely to be bumps along the way; notably given that this is a midterm election year; which are known for first-half pullbacks. A diversified portfolio is important and both European and Chinese stocks appear to have upside, while Japan continues to frustrate with a two-steps forward, two-steps back sort of approach. And a final reminder not to replace fixed income assets with equities in search of higher income without recognizing the risk profile of a portfolio has changed.
2014-02-21 00:00:00 Investing in an M&A Boom by James Tierney, Jr. of Alliance Bernstein
Equity markets got off to a rough start in 2014, but a resurgence of corporate dealmaking has given investors reason to cheer. With executives? confidence increasing, and companies sitting on a mountain of cash, we think that the stage has been set for a sustained recovery of US takeover activity.
2014-02-18 00:00:00 Market Outlook by Scotty George of Alexander Capital
The new thinking amongst market analysts is that one must respond to every news flash, every short-term nuance, any variable that creates a daily ripple in prices or attitude, or risk having your portfolio drift in obscurity and underperformance. The new "keeping up with the Jones" demands that we stay tuned to business news programming 24/7 to see if were conforming to expectations.
2014-02-15 00:00:00 The Economic Singularity by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors
Today, let’s think about central banks and liquidity traps and see if we agree that central bankers are driving the car from the back seat based upon a fundamentally flawed theory of how the world works. That theory helped produce the wreck that was the Great Recession and will have its fingerprints all over the next one.
2014-02-13 00:00:00 Rich Man, Poor Man! by Jeff Saut of Raymond James
Last week was a pretty wild week starting out with Monday?s 90% Downside Day where 90% of total Up/Down Volume, and total Up/Down Points traded, were recorded on the downside (read: negative), leaving the S&P 500 (SPX/1797.02) down ~41 points. It was the second 90% Downside Day in the past two weeks with the first occurring on January 24th, which broke the SPX below its first support zone of 1808 ? 1813, thus now that level becomes an overhead resistance level.
2014-02-10 00:00:00 Growth and Policy Uncertainty Cause Choppy Markets by Bob Doll of Nuveen Asset Management
U.S. equities closed with modest gains last week, as the S&P 500 overcame Monday?s decline, the largest one-day percentage loss since June 2013. The weaker-than-expected ISM manufacturing and vehicle sales data drive the sell-off on Monday, exacerbating the focus on slowing momentum for the U.S. recovery. The impact of adverse weather complicates the picture. Also, although January non-farm payroll missed expectations, there were more upbeat indications for the household survey.
2014-02-05 00:00:00 The Fed's Forced Feeding Will End Badly by Dawn Bennett of Bennett Group Financial Services
This financial market reminds me of when we were kids sitting at the dinner table and the one thing almost all of us heard back in the 1970s was "that plate better be clean by the time I get back or else." This left us with images of torture that would follow the "or else."
2014-01-30 00:00:00 FOMC Sticks With the Tapering Plan by Team of Northern Trust
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) at the conclusion of its meeting today announced a further $10 billion reduction in its monthly rate of asset purchases. The increment was similar in size and composition to the first tapering step taken in December.
2014-01-28 00:00:00 Emerging Market Issues Weigh on U.S. Equities by Bob Doll of Nuveen Asset Management
U.S. equities finished lower last week as the S&P 500 declined 2.6% and suffered the largest weekly pullback since June of 2012. U.S. stocks are down approximately 3.0% both year to date and from all-time highs. In 2014, lack of direction in the market has been a focus, and the waning influence of macroeconomic news caused a notable shift late last week.
2014-01-27 00:00:00 America's False Dawn by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate
Financial markets and the so-called Davos consensus are in broad agreement that something close to a classic cyclical revival in the US economy may finally be at hand. But, while the celebration may seem warranted at first glance, the champagne should be kept on ice.
2014-01-23 00:00:00 Economic Growth is Likely to Improve in 2014 by Derek Hamilton of Ivy Investment Management Company
We believe a global economic upturn is likely in 2014, although the overall growth rate will remain sluggish. We think developed countries will show the largest improvement, which in turn will help support growth rates in emerging markets.
2014-01-18 00:00:00 Forecast 2014: 'Mark Twain!' by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors
The surface of the market waters looks smooth, but the data above suggest caution as we proceed. Perhaps slowing the engine and taking more frequent soundings (or putting in closer stops!) might be in order. The cry should be "Mark twain!" Let’s steam ahead but take more frequent readings and know that a course correction may soon be necessary.
2014-01-16 00:00:00 A Flight to Quality by Ben Fischer of Allianz Global Investors
CIO NFJ Ben Fischer delivers his 2014 outlook, focusing on the Feds tapering of its bond-buying program and how high-quality, dividend-paying stocks should respond.
2014-01-16 00:00:00 Let the taper begin! Fixed Income Investment Outlook by Team of Osterweis Capital Management
At the December meeting, the Federal Reserve (the Fed) decided to reduce its purchases of Treasury and mortgage securities (a.k.a. quantitative easing/QE) beginning in January 2014. This answered the question of when the taper would begin, and the markets reacted predictably. Two questions remain, however: How long until the Fed completely winds down QE; and when will short rates begin to reflect the improving economy? We feel it may be sooner on the former and could be quite some time on the latter.
2014-01-13 00:00:00 Stocks Rise Modestly in First Full Week of Trading by Bob Doll of Nuveen Asset Management
U.S. equities finished mostly higher for the first full week of the year, with the S&P 500 gaining approximately 0.6%. There were no meaningful directional drivers behind the price action, which is a dynamic that has been prevalent so far in 2014.
2014-01-10 00:00:00 Yellen's Inheritance: Monetary Policy in Flux by Joseph Carson, Darren Williams of AllianceBernstein
Evolving economic challenges are transforming central banking around the world. The new monetary-policy doctrine is likely to put greater emphasis on asset-price developments. But, without a true monetary anchor, central banks could still risk a repeat of the recent boom/bust cycle.
2014-01-07 00:00:00 Where are Margins Headed? by Mark Oelschlager of Oak Associates
The fourth quarter was another good one for stocks, with the S&P 500 returning 10.5%, and 32.4% for the year. This was the best calendar-year performance by the index since 1997. All four quarters of 2013 produced positive returns, with the first and fourth quarters, typically the strongest seasonally, both hitting double-digits. For the year Consumer Discretionary and Healthcare were the standout sectors, while Utilities and Telecom lagged. The laggards are not surprising, as they are income-oriented - an area of the market that was hurt by the backup in bond yields.
2013-12-24 00:00:00 A Spoonful of Sugar by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital
The press has framed Ben Bernankes valedictory press conference last week in heroic terms. Its as if a veteran quarterback engineered a stunning come-from-behind drive in his final game, and graciously bowed out of the game with the ball sitting on the opponents one-yard line. In reality, Bernanke has merely completed a five-yard pass from his own end zone, and has left Janet Yellen to come off the bench down by three touchdowns, with no credible deep threats, and very little time left on the clock.
2013-12-24 00:00:00 Fed Taper Brings Us Back to the Future by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors
A return to normal economic conditions is now more palpable following the Feds decision to start unwinding QE and early signs of a revival in consumer spending, growth and jobs, writes Kristina Hooper.
2013-12-21 00:00:00 Start Me Up: Fed Announces a Much-Anticipated Taper by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab
The Fed decided to begin tapering its QE-related bond purchases with a reduction of $10 billion; split evenly between Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. In a sign that tapering was already priced in, the stock market surged on the announcement; while bond yields remained quite tame. The Fed announced slightly sunnier economic forecasts, suggesting quantitative easing could wind down within a year.
2013-12-21 00:00:00 What Has QE Wrought? by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors
Now that we have begun tapering, we will soon see lots of analysis about whether QE has been effective. What will the stock market do? The US economy seems to be moving in the right direction, but the Fed has forecast Nirvana (seriously) - do we dare hope they can finally get a forecast right? Or have they jinxed us?
2013-12-19 00:00:00 A Dovish-Bullish Taper by Brian Wesbury, Bob Stein of First Trust Advisors
They finally did it. At Chairman Bernankes next to last meeting, the Federal Reserve announced a modest tapering of quantitative easing, reducing its monthly purchases of Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities by $5 billion each ($10 billion total) to $75 billion starting in January. As a result, the size of the Feds balance sheet will continue to rise, but slightly more slowly than before.
2013-12-17 00:00:00 2013 A Pretty Good Year by Mike Temple of Pioneer Investments
This time last year we were bullish about equities and positive on the slow but steady strengthening of the economy. The market did not disappoint. The economy was almost heroic, you might say, with its performance enduring government sequestrations and higher taxes almost a 2% drag on GDP but comporting with our expectations of 2 - 2.5% growth. 2013 is ending with GDP and the markets coming fairly close to what we thought theyd achieve. Now the year is almost out, so lets take stock of 2013 but look ahead to 2014.
2013-12-17 00:00:00 Taper Time? by Scott Brown of Raymond James
There are many arguments for and against an initial reduction in the Feds monthly rate of asset purchases, but the balance has shifted toward a December taper. It appears to be a very close call, but even if the Fed decides to delay again, we all know (or should know) that QE3 is going to wind down in 2014.
2013-12-10 00:00:00 Fiscal Policy and Monetary Policy - Update by Scott Brown of Raymond James
Market participants expected the November Employment Report to be the deciding factor on whether the Federal Reserve would begin to slow its rate of asset purchases this month. However, officials arent going to react to any one piece of data. The best argument for tapering is that it has to start sometime. However, the key factors that delayed the tapering in September and October are still with us to some extent.
2013-12-09 00:00:00 America's Partisan Peril by Mohamed El-Erian of Project Syndicate
Many Americans started 2013 with high hopes that congressional leaders would overcome, even if only partly, the polarization and political dysfunction that had slowed recovery. But optimism foundered over the course of 2013, while frustration soared.
2013-12-09 00:00:00 Pessimists Get Desperate by Brian Wesbury, Bob Stein of First Trust Advisors
Payrolls keep growing. Economic data stays positive. The stock market makes new highs. Its been consistent for nearly five years. And so has the pessimism. In fact, the pouting pundits of pessimism get more determined each month, trying to prove that things are really bad out there.
2013-12-06 00:00:00 To Taper Or Not To Taper? Digging In To Today's Employment Report by Team of GaveKal Capital
Todays employment and personal income and outlays reports may be strong enough for the Fed to begin tapering later this month. November employment came in at 203k jobs and the unemployment report dipped to a 5-year low (7%). The net revisions for September and October were also 8k higher.
2013-12-06 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Team of Northern Trust
The U.S. employment report puts taper onto the table. Dont expect further rate cuts from the ECB or the Fed. Auto sales have been a bright spot amid sluggish consumer spending.
2013-12-04 00:00:00 An Agenda to Save the Euro by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate
It has been three years since the outbreak of the euro crisis, and only an inveterate optimist would say that the worst is definitely over. It is not, and it wont be unless and until the eurozones structure is fundamentally reformed.
2013-12-03 00:00:00 Looking Out on the Horizon for Equities by Bob Doll of Nuveen Asset Management
U.S. equities finished higher for an eighth consecutive week as the S&P 500 increased 0.1%, representing the longest positive streak since 2004. Inertia may have carried markets forward in a relatively quiet trading week without major headlines. Retail news appeared fairly positive in anticipation of a strong start to the Thanksgiving shopping weekend. Economic data was mixed.
2013-11-28 00:00:00 Five Reasons Inflation Is Still Missing by Chun Wang of Leuthold Weeden Capital Management
Apart from a couple of market-oriented drivers that could reverse course on a short-term basis, we are not seeing convincing evidence of an imminent pick-up in inflation. Let us be clear. There is most definitely inflation in the financial markets, but that does not seem to benefit the average person in the U.S. The liquidity injected by various central banks went mostly into the financial markets first and foremost; only a small fraction of it trickled down to the average person. That is why all this money printing has not been reflected in various inflation measures.
2013-11-24 00:00:00 Game of Thrones - European Style by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors
The Eurozone crisis is not over, and it will not end quickly or soon. Even if it seems to unfold in slow motion - like the slow build-up in a Game of Thrones storyline to violent internecine clashes followed by more slow plot developments but never any resolution, the Eurozone debacle has never really gone away. The structural imbalances have still not been fixed; politicians and central bankers have still not agreed to solve major fiscal problems; the overall economy still disintegrates; unemployment is staggeringly high in some countries and still rising; and the people are growing restless.
2013-11-21 00:00:00 Looking Beyond Inventories by Team of Northern Trust
Inventories have the habit of offering surprises in reports of real gross domestic product (GDP). The third quarter GDP report was one such occurrence, with inventories making an unexpectedly hefty contribution. A reversal of this event is most likely to influence the headline GDP number in the final three months of the year.
2013-11-20 00:00:00 Yellen: Farther To Go by Scott Brown of Raymond James
Janet Yellen gave a balanced assessment of how monetary policy will be conducted during her tenure as Fed chair. However, the financial markets perceived a dovish tilt. She stressed that conditions in the labor market are still far from normal and noted that inflation has been running below the Feds goal of 2% and is expected to do so for some time. However, Yellen noted that there were risks of removing support too late as well as too soon. QE3 cant go on forever.
2013-11-19 00:00:00 A Glimpse of a Yellen-Led Fed by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors
Kristina Hooper highlights some key takeaways from incoming Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellens testimony before the Senate last week, including when the Fed is likely to taper its bond-buying program.
2013-11-17 00:00:00 The Unintended Consequences of ZIRP by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors
Two recently released papers make an intellectual and theoretical case for an extended period of very low interest rates and, in combination with other papers from both inside and outside the Fed from heavyweight economists, make a strong case for beginning to taper sooner rather than later, but for accompanying that tapering with a commitment to an even more protracted period of ZIRP. We are going analyze these papers, as they are critical to understanding the future direction of Federal Reserve policy. Secondly, we’ll look at some of the unintended consequences of long-term ZIRP.
2013-11-13 00:00:00 Fed Research on Policy Rules by Zach Pandl of Columbia Management
In a paper for last weeks IMF annual research conference, William English (head of the Federal Reserve Boards Monetary Affairs division) discussed current monetary policy strategy, with a focus on threshold rules and forward guidance. The paper caused a stir in markets but we do not think it signals a fundamental change in Fed communication. Small changes to the so-called Evans Rule are possible, but the basic framework will probably remain in place even as QE tapering begins.
2013-11-12 00:00:00 Markets Vacillate Between Stronger Economy and Fed Accommodation by Bob Doll of Nuveen Asset Management
U.S. equities finished mostly higher last week as the S&P 500 increased 0.6%, ending higher for the fifth straight week. The return of central bank action was a primary concern. The European Central Bank (ECB) surprised investors with a 0.25% rate cut, while the debate over the Federal Reserves impending tapering decision continued in earnest.
2013-11-12 00:00:00 Taper Talk by Brian Wesbury, Bob Stein of First Trust Advisors
Taperingplease bring it on. We wanted it yesterday, or last month, or even years ago. We never thought QE helped the economy and certainly dont think keeping it around is a good idea. Its created uncertainty at an unprecedented level.
2013-11-12 00:00:00 Will 39% Hike in Minimum Wage Tank The Economy? by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management
President Obama called for a whopping 39% increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour last Thursday. There is already a bill working its way through in the Senate to do the same thing. If this legislation passes, the minimum wage will be increased 95 cents each year for the next three years starting this year, to bring it to $10.10 by 2015.
2013-11-11 00:00:00 Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! by Scott Brown of Raymond James
The economic data were mostly stronger than anticipated last week. GDP growth exceeded expectations, although the details were a bit troublesome. With everyone anticipating some impact from the partial government shutdown, nonfarm payrolls accelerated in October. Moreover, revisions to August and September, painted a much stronger picture of job growth. What does this mean for the Fed and its decision to taper?
2013-11-08 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Team of Northern Trust
The ECBs rate cut signals concerns about deflation. The U.S. job numbers provide an upside surprise. How reliable are the U.S. employment data?
2013-11-05 00:00:00 Geo Scores and Election Predictions by Gregg Bienstock of Lumesis
Its the economy, stupid. Im sure many of us remember that statement from a few years back. With a couple of gubernatorial and many mayoral elections at hand, I thought it might be fun to provide our call on these races by looking at how the economies of those States and cities have fared over the past year. If it is indeed the economy, stupid, the below may provide some insight into where incumbents are safe and where change may come. This report will print longer due to the inclusion of more tables than usual.
2013-11-05 00:00:00 Even Economists Get Stuck Looking in the Rearview Mirror by Bill Smead of Smead Capital Management
Will the US economy grow in an above-average way in the next ten to twenty years or do we need to resign ourselves to an era of anemic economic growth? Two pieces of information came out this week, adding to existing information on the subject and speak to this core debate in the US stock market. The first piece was called Slowing to a Crawl by Jonathan Laing from Barrons.
2013-11-04 00:00:00 Why Wealth Taxes Are Not Enough by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate
The IMF is right on grounds of both fairness and efficiency to raise the idea of temporary wealth taxes in many countries. But, as appealing as such taxes may seem at first sight, a closer look reveals that the revenues are lower, and the costs higher, than calculations used to promote them would imply.
2013-10-29 00:00:00 Is This the New Normal'? by Sam Wardwell of Pioneer Investments
Markets Settle into a New Normal All sorts of economic data were released last week, but volatility has dropped: rightly or wrongly, market forecasts about the pace of quantitative easing (QE) and earnings growth in the U.S. appear to have coalesced around an outlook for slow growth with ongoing QE.
2013-10-28 00:00:00 Beyond the Noise, More of the Same? by Scott Brown of Raymond James
Delayed economic data reports have begun to arrive. The figures point to a disappointing 3Q13 (relative to expectations) and the partial government shutdown is unlikely to help in 4Q13. The recovery had been poised for improvement this year, but fiscal policy has been a major headwind. Economic figures will be distorted in October (due to the government shutdown) and in November (due to the rebound from the shutdown). Yet, beyond the noise, the underlying pace of growth is likely to remain disappointing in the near term. Is there hope for 2014?
2013-10-26 00:00:00 A Code Red World by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors
The heart of this week’s letter is the introduction of my just-released new book, Code Red. It is my own take (along with co-author Jonathan Tepper) on the problems that have grown out of an unrelenting assault on monetary norms by central banks around the world.
2013-10-23 00:00:00 Lackluster Employment Report Leaves Fed on Hold by Team of Northern Trust
The sluggish hiring pace visible in the September employment report justifies the Federal Reserves decision to postpone tapering of asset purchases. Data for the September report were gathered prior to the government shutdown, but October employment numbers will contain distortions arising from not collecting data during the typical survey period, rendering comparisons difficult.
2013-10-23 00:00:00 Investment Bulletin: Global Equity Strategy by Team of Bedlam Asset Management
The portfolio enjoyed another index-beating month with a gain of 0.9% versus 0.6%, so improving further the long term numbers. As noted in previous Bulletins, correlations between growth and equity market returns are low. Investors remain fixated otherwise, but some confusion is reasonable given that growth in earnings per share is also slowing. Yet strong equity markets can be justified by the Free Lunch Theory.
2013-10-22 00:00:00 Washington Strikes a No-Surprise Deal - Now What? by Sam Wardwell of Pioneer Investments
Congress called a time-out in the budget/debt fight last week, striking a deal to avoid default and fund the U.S. government through January 15, 2014 and raise the debt limit through February 7, 2014. While the parties agreed to budget talks, they did not commit to reaching an agreement (technically, Paul Ryan and Patty Murray, the House and Senate budget committee chairs will begin a process of fiscal negotiations, due to wrap up by mid-December).
2013-10-21 00:00:00 Winners and Losers - Pensions and Food Stamps by Gregg Bienstock of Lumesis
To the brink they went and a deal was had. I dont know if I call it much of a deal I kind of feel like Ive seen this B movie before. I could go on but that would put me in the same stature as the talking heads on the left and right news channels that prophesize to their viewers without regard for the rest of us. That said, one quick digression.
2013-10-21 00:00:00 Fourth Quarter Investment Outlook by Bob Doll of Nuveen Asset Management
The macro theme of the fourth quarter and early 2014 is monetary reflation and global growth resynchronization. The Feds surprising decision to postpone tapering its QE program will likely encourage further risk-taking. In the meantime, we observe increasing signs of a synchronized improvement among the four important economies - the United States, Europe, Japan and China.
2013-10-21 00:00:00 Europe Turning a Corner? by Brandon Odenath of J.P. Morgan Funds
Since late last year, investors have seen periods of strong outperformance by assets from the most impacted parts of Europe, leaving many observers wondering if Europe is turning a corner. Intervention by the ECB and the ability of those liquidity injections to stop the bleeding in the economy has helped. The reduction of austerity and drag coming from fiscal policy should be the key to faster economic growth.
2013-10-17 00:00:00 Politics Secondary to US Equity Fundamentals by Grant Bowers of Franklin Templeton
Its easy to get caught up in the tense drama surrounding the government shutdown and the debt ceiling squabble between Congressional Republicans and Democrats, but Grant Bowers, portfolio manager of Franklin Growth Opportunities Fund, maintains that looking beyond the political posturing and focusing instead on US corporate fundamentals is his preferred approach. Read on for more from Bowers on how he views the issues at hand, and why, even in the face of another political showdown in the Capitol, he thinks the US still presents a strong investment case.
2013-10-16 00:00:00 Economic Assessment Without Government Reports by Team of Northern Trust
The very near-term economic outlook is unclear and will remain so until the political impasse in Washington over the government shutdown and debt ceiling is settled. If differences are resolved in a day or two, the damage could be about 0.2 percentage points to fourth quarter real gross domestic product (GDP). A failure to raise the debt ceiling would more of a calamity, which we hope not to encounter.
2013-10-14 00:00:00 House Republicans Determined to Burn Country to the Ground (In Order to Save It!) by David Edwards of Heron Financial Group
Whenever our financial markets commentary strays into the realm of politics, were guaranteed to offend at least half of our clients and readers. So let us state up front that our job is NOT to choose sides but to evaluate how politics will affect the US economy and by extension corporate earnings, which are the bedrock of stock market performance. By that measure, the current tactics of House Republicans to shutdown the non-essential parts of the federal government and block raising the debt ceiling is an unmitigated disaster. Businesses crave predictability and reliabi
2013-10-14 00:00:00 No Sign of Economic Problems by Brian Wesbury, Bob Stein of First Trust Advisors
With the federal government partially shut for the past couple of weeks, the normal steady stream of economic indicators has slowed to a trickle. Weve missed reports on employment, construction, retail sales, international trade, and inventories.
2013-10-08 00:00:00 The Only Story in Town by Brian Wesbury, Bob Stein of First Trust Advisors
Its strange times in the United States. The government is partially shut down and isnt releasing any statistics. Even John Muir wouldnt be allowed to hike in a national park. All the while, the President and the Treasury Secretary are predicting an economic calamity for the US (and maybe the globe) if the debt ceiling isnt raised. Yet, they refuse to negotiate to prevent that from happen.
2013-10-08 00:00:00 Listen to the 10th Man by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors
Theres no shortage of short-term risks in todays market or conventional wisdom on how they will play out. But prepping for the unexpected could limit the number of surprises and better insulate investors portfolios, writes Kristina Hooper.
2013-10-04 00:00:00 The Fed and Its Big Thumb by Ron Muhlenkamp of Muhlenkamp & Co.
Weve seen what happens when prices get ahead of the economy reality. The bubbles in the dot-coms in 2000 and the housing market in 2007 were such effects. We fear that the apparent Fed desire to continue to manipulate interest rates may engender more bubbles.
2013-10-02 00:00:00 And That's The Week That Was by Rob Brounes of Brounes & Associates
Move over Ben BernankeTed Cruz has the floor. (Somehow investors seem more interested when Dr. B speaks.) With politicos facing debates on debt ceilings and budget funding, few have confidence that they can act reasonably and with compromise (and the Cruz debacle did not help matters). Stocks fell over five consecutive days as portfolio managers set up positions for the next quarter. Labor and manufacturing releases highlight a hectic week on the economic calendar, but shenanigans from DC may steal the headlines.
2013-09-27 00:00:00 Read My Lips... by Dimitri Balatsos of Tesseract Partners
Chairman Ben Bernankes press conference this week, commenting on the decision by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) not to taper, reminded us of the famous slogan of Presidential hopeful George H.W. Bush at the 1988 Republican National Convention Read my lips: no new taxes. Yet, after he won the election, he raised taxes in an effort to reduce the public deficit.
2013-09-25 00:00:00 Surprise! No Tapering and More Budget Progress than Meets the Eye by Sam Wardwell of Pioneer Investments
On Monday, Larry Summers exited the pool of candidates for the next Federal Reserve (Fed) chairman. (Only the timing was really a surprise.) On Wednesday, the Fed didnt taper and de-emphasized several of the targets theyd set earlier. (Big surprise versus consensus - not central bank best practices). Municipal bond offerings by Puerto Rico, California, and Illinois were met with strong investor demand.
2013-09-25 00:00:00 Muni Market Resurgent by Andrew Clinton of Clinton Investment Management
In light of the recent recovery in fixed income markets and the outperformance of the municipal bond market in particular, I thought I would send a note to provide a brief update since we last sent our market observations in July and August. As you may recall, we stated in the clearest terms that we felt the recent rise in interest rates provided an attractive entry point for municipal bond investors.
2013-09-23 00:00:00 America's Labor Market by the Numbers by Mohamed El-Erian of Project Syndicate
Net monthly job creation in the US was up in August, while unemployment was down. But, to get a real sense of the American labor markets health, we need to look at other indicators, and what these numbers have to tell us about both the present and the future is far from reassuring.
2013-09-23 00:00:00 Loose and Looser by Brian Wesbury, Bob Stein of First Trust Advisors
Larry Summers took his name out of the hat and wont be considered for the top spot at the Federal Reserve. And while nothing is a slam dunk, it looks very much like current Vice Chair Janet Yellen is going to get the call from President Obama to step up and replace Bernanke.
2013-09-23 00:00:00 Post Fed, Expect More Surprises by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors
Kristina Hooper says investors should brace for more big market swingsand some fiscal curveballsin the wake of the FOMCs decision not to taper in September. But the economy is throwing some good surprises our way too.
2013-09-21 00:00:00 Rich City, Poor City by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors
This week we will conclude our look at pension plans for the nonce with a 30,000-foot overview of the states and then take a deeper dive into one city: mine. This will give you at least one version of how to do your own homework about your own hometown. But fair warning, depending on your locale, you may need medical help or significant quantities of an adult beverage after you finish your research.
2013-09-19 00:00:00 When Doves Cry, "Not Yet" by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab
The Fed surprised markets and the consensus by maintaining its full QE bond buying program; while both stocks and bonds soared on the news.
2013-09-18 00:00:00 Weekly Market Commentary by Scotty George of du Pasquier Asset Management
Depending upon where you reside, or on which side of the issues you fall, it was a good week last week. We averted a military strike on Syria by the U.S., at least temporarily; we had reasonable adjustments to economic growth statistics; and most made some money in their portfolios. While cyclical dynamics are relatively benign, the broader secular outlook continues to build a solid foundation for recovery.
2013-09-16 00:00:00 FOMC Preview: Taper Likely To Be Deferred or Minimal by Team of Northern Trust
Market participants have been working overtime to refine their expectations of what the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) might do at its meeting next week. Many are calling for a cut in the Feds pace of asset purchases from the current level of $85 billion per month.
2013-09-13 00:00:00 Waiting for Clarity From the Fed and Congress by Team of Northern Trust
U.S. economic growth averaged roughly 2.0% in the first half of the year and the average gain of real gross domestic product (GDP) during the entire 16-quarter economic recovery is 2.2%. Real GDP is projected to grow close to this trend in the second half of the year.
2013-09-11 00:00:00 Demand and Supply Fundamentals Point to Continued Price Growth by Adam Artunian of John Burns Real Estate Consulting
Will home price appreciation remain strong in the face of modest job growth and the recent uptick in mortgage rates?
2013-09-10 00:00:00 Notable Lines by Michael Kayes of Willingdon Wealth Management
One of President Obamas most notable lines, "you didnt build that," sent chills up my spine when I first heard it. As an entrepreneurial-minded business owner, I found that statement shocking, to be honest. But maybe there is some truth to it...
2013-09-09 00:00:00 The Shape of Things to Come by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors
With a week to go before the September FOMC meeting, theres little that stands in the way of Fed tapering. Fridays jobs report didnt impress but it probably wasnt bad enough to stop central bankers from pulling some punch, writes Kristina Hooper.
2013-08-28 00:00:00 On Tapering, All Signs Point to “Maybe” by Scott Brown of Raymond James
Investors looking to the July 30-31 Fed policy meeting minutes for clear clues on future moves were left disappointed. Nearly all senior Fed officials expect that a reduction in the pace of asset sales is likely to be warranted by the end of the year. However, they appear evenly divided on whether that will be sooner (September) or later (December). The economic data remained mixed, suggesting that the decision will be a close call.
2013-08-26 00:00:00 The Case for More Mortgage QE by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors
Disappointing new home sales dont mean that tapering is less likely to occur in September. Rather, it may only mean that when tapering begins, the Feds likely to start small and only trim Treasuries.
2013-08-25 00:00:00 France: On the Edge of the Periphery by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors
Charles de Gaulle said that "France cannot be France without greatness." The current path that France is on will not take it to renewed greatness but rather to insolvency and turmoil. Is France destined to be grouped with its Mediterranean peripheral cousins, or to be seen as part of the solid North Atlantic core? The world is far better off with a great France, but France can achieve greatness only by its own actions.
2013-08-20 00:00:00 Part-Timers and the Labor Market by Brian Wesbury, Bob Stein of First Trust Advisors
Over the past few weeks we keep getting the same two questions about the labor market. Basically, investors want to know whether the labor market is really improving if so many of the jobs are going to part-timers and if the more expansive definition of the unemployment rate (the one that includes discouraged workers and part-timers who want to work full-time) is about double the regular unemployment rate.
2013-08-20 00:00:00 The Speed of Fed Rate Hikes by Zach Pandl of Columbia Management
For the last several months, talk of tapering has dominated the Fed debate. Although there remains some uncertainty around the detailssuch as how large the initial step might bemost observers now expect the Federal Reserve to begin slowing the pace of quantitative easing (QE) at the September 17-18 meeting. Attention is now turning to another major issue on next months agenda: the publication of Fed officials forecasts for the funds rate in 2016. The Fed rolls forward the Summary of Economic Projections (SEP) by one year each September.
2013-08-19 00:00:00 A Bear Market Is Here: In Bonds! by Brian Wesbury, Bob Stein of First Trust Advisors
While it certainly hasnt made the headlines that it should have, the bond market has been kicked in the teeth. After bottoming at 1.61% on May 1, the yield on the 10-year Treasury Note hit 2.84% on Friday, its highest level in two years the worst bear market move in bonds since the end of the 2008-09 financial panic.
2013-08-14 00:00:00 Why GDP Deserves Less Attention by Zach Pandl of Columbia Management
Before joining Columbia Management I worked for several years as an economist at a few of the large broker-dealers in New York. One of my primary functions was to maintain an ongoing estimate of growth in the nations gross domestic product (GDP)a so-called GDP bean count. Most investors use GDP as their primary summary measure of overall economic performance, so they are keenly interested in how incoming data are likely to impact the estimates. Our running tally of GDP growth for the current quarter was one of the most sought after pieces of research we produced.
2013-08-13 00:00:00 So Now What? by Scott Brown of Raymond James
What did we learn last week? The Fed may not be in any hurry to begin reducing the rate of asset purchases. The economic data suggest a mixed picture.
2013-08-10 00:00:00 We Can't Take the Chance by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors
What would it have been like to be a central banker in the midst of the crisis in 2008-09? You’d know that you won’t have the luxury of going back and making better decisions five years later. Instead, you have to act on the torrent of information that’s coming at you, and none of it is good. Major banks are literally collapsing, the interbank market is nonexistent and there is panic in the air. Perhaps you feel that panic in the pit of your stomach. This week we’ll perform a little thought experiment to see if we can extrapolate what is likely to happen in when the nex
2013-08-06 00:00:00 The Employment Situation and A Look at Housing by Gregg Bienstock of Lumesis
This week, we start with a return to our tidbits and then insight and thoughts around the Employment Situation as reported on Friday and our take on that and related data. We also take a look at Homeownership data and wonder if the glass is half full or empty.
2013-08-06 00:00:00 Equities Grind Higher as the Economy Continues to Muddle Through by Bob Doll of Nuveen Asset Management
U.S. equities advanced last week, with the S&P 500 increasing 1.10%.1 For the month of July, the S&P gained 5.09%, and equities have increased 21.33% year to date. Second quarter earnings season is nearly complete, and there has not been a material change in estimated earnings for the balance of the year or 2014. Revenues were slightly ahead of expectations, and earnings per share were approximately 3% higher than expected, annualizing at about $110 per S&P 500 share.
2013-08-02 00:00:00 The Federal Reserve in a Time for Doves by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate
The battle is on to replace current US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and two of the leading candidates, Lawrence Summers and Janet Yellen, display a dovish bias regarding inflation. In normal times, that would be a handicap; under current conditions, it is an advantage.
2013-07-30 00:00:00 Result of Japan's Upper House Election by Team of Nomura Asset Management
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and New Komeito coalition have secured an upper house majority by winning 76 seats in the July 21st House of Councilors election to reach the total of 135 seats together with the seats that were not contested this time (out of a total 242 seats). This has ended the state of a divided National Diet, allowing more stable management by the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cabinet and the ruling coalition parties.
2013-07-27 00:00:00 A Lost Generation by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors
This week we will briefly look at why weak consumer spending is going to become an even greater problem in the coming years, and we will continue to look at some disturbing trends in employment.
2013-07-19 00:00:00 Fixed Income Fed Insight: It's All About Employment by Christopher Molumphy of Franklin Templeton Investments
We can try to guess what the Fed is thinking, but ultimately the Fed is driven by inflation and the labor markets. With inflation seemingly under control, its really the labor markets that dominate. So if you want to know what the Feds going to be doing, look at the labor markets how many jobs we create each month and, most importantly, the unemployment rate.
2013-07-18 00:00:00 What's Next for the U.S. Dollar? by Nic Pifer of Columbia Management
Global government bonds have performed poorly so far this year. Year to date through July 13, the Barclays Global Treasury Index, which covers 30 investment grade domestic government bond markets, is down 5.5% in unhedged U.S. dollar terms. The same index hedged back to U.S. dollars is down 0.6% year to date. This difference in returns highlights a key point.
2013-07-17 00:00:00 The Bernanke Guessing Game by David Wismer of Flexible Plan Investments
There can be little doubt that US equity markets have become more dependent than ever, at least in the short-term, on the every utterance of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his fellow FOMC members.
2013-07-16 00:00:00 AdvisorShares Weekly Market Review by AdvisorShares Research of AdvisorShares
The market increased again last week and both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached record highs by the end of the week. The Nasdaq Composite Index also rose significantly, hitting a 12 year high.
2013-07-16 00:00:00 Bernanke Still Trying To Get The Message Across by Scott Brown of Raymond James
Economists view the Federal Reserves communications with the public as being consistent over the last several weeks. There has been no change in the monetary policy outlook. The Fed had been expected to reduce the pace of asset purchases later this year. The financial markets, however, seem to be hearing different things at different times.
2013-07-16 00:00:00 Arc of a Diver: The Budget Deficit's Plunge by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab
The budget deficit has been cut by more than halffrom over 10% of GDP to less than 5% today. June saw a budget surplus! The health of the private sector (given its deleveraging since 2007) more than offsets the drag from public sector deleveraging.
2013-07-15 00:00:00 And That's the Week That Was by Ron Brounes of Brounes & Associates
After weeks of naysaying and fear-mongering about the Fed, investors finally embraced news from Bernanke and friends and equities moved back into record-setting territory. While most accept the fact that the Fed has entered the beginning-of-the-end of its bond-buying stimuli, the minutes from the latest policy meeting and a few comforting comments from Dr. B. himself helped calm the masses that the program would not end yesterday.
2013-07-13 00:00:00 The Bang! Moment Shock by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors
This week we resume our musings about Cyprus, to see what that tiny island can teach us about our own personal need to engage in ongoing critical analysis of our lives and investment portfolios. Cyprus is not Greece or France or Spain or Japan or the US or (pick a country). I get that. No two situations are the same, but there may be a rhyme or two here that is instructive.
2013-07-12 00:00:00 Weekly Market Review-Highlights of the Prior week by AdvisorShares Research of AdvisorShares
Stocks moved higher but volume was notably low over the holiday shortened trading week. This week for a change, positive economic data, not speculation about the Federal Reserves tapering of Quantitative Easing drove the market in the US.
2013-07-10 00:00:00 3 Risks that Could Derail the Market Rally by Russ Koesterich of iShares Blog
Stocks can withstand moderate rate increases, as we saw last Friday when they rallied despite a sell-off in bonds. But Russ K warns that they may not withstand these three other scenarios.
2013-07-09 00:00:00 The Germans Deserve Credit for Extending Credit by Sam Wardwell of Pioneer Investments
Germanys government agreed to (indirectly, via guarantees) provide Spains government-run ICO development banks with the funding to make up to 800 million of low-interest loans to small and medium-sized businesses.
2013-07-05 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust
The odds of a September tapering have increased but are conditional on labor market conditions continuing to evolve at least as favorably as viewed at the present time. The important caveat is that the Feds forward guidance has stressed the importance of improvements in the outlook of the labor market and inflation to consider tapering, which implies that economic data between now and the September FOMC meeting will play an important role in the timing of tapering of asset purchases.
2013-07-03 00:00:00 The Fed's Prisoner Dilemma: Interest Rates Too Low for Too Long by Mike Temple of Pioneer Investments
The Prisoner Dilemma is based on the example of two prisoners who are told that if one testifies against the other, the one who testified will go free, but if both testify against the other, both will be jailed a conundrum about courses of action that dont result in the ideal outcome. We believe the Federal Reserve (Fed) will try to manage expectations so that the Treasury yield curve does not adjust too violently.
2013-07-02 00:00:00 Investors Gear Up for Earnings Post-Taper by Chris Maxey, Ryan Davis of Fortigent
Following a few weeks of FOMC-induced turmoil, investors are looking forward to getting back to the fundamentals.Second quarter earnings season are set to kick off July 8 with Alcoa, in what will mark an important reporting period for financial markets.Given the now much telegraphed intentions of the Fed, investors are scrutinizing whether the US economy and corporate sector is ready to stand on its own feet.
2013-07-01 00:00:00 "This Country is Different" by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors
Cyprus is a very small country, some 800,000 people. Among the leadership, everyone knows everyone. There is much to admire, as we will see. But Cyprus has had a gut-wrenching crisis, proportionately more dire than any in other European countries recently; and precedents are being established here for how future problems will be dealt with in the Eurozone and elsewhere.
2013-06-27 00:00:00 What We've Got Here is (a) Failure to Communicate by Scott Brown of Raymond James
In his press briefing following the June 19 FOMC meeting, Fed Chairman Bernanke outlined how the evolution of the economic outlook will drive policy decisions in the months ahead. The key messages are that monetary policy will remain data-dependent, that tapering is not tightening, and that higher short-term interest rates are still a long way off.
2013-06-25 00:00:00 Weekly Commentary & Outlook by Tom McIntyre of McIntyre, Freedman & Flynn
All markets came under pressure last week (and this morning) over the dual concerns of a slowing global economy coupled with the Federal Reserves suggestion that things are improving and thus tapering might start by the end of the year.
2013-06-21 00:00:00 Outlook for the Global Bond Market by Nic Pifer of Columbia Management
The global economy continues to expand, but seems stuck on a moderate, below-trend trajectory. Lately, the story seems to be more about a growth rotation across regions than a clear-cut acceleration or deceleration at the global level. Looking to 2014, however, we still expect the global economy to accelerate to a more trend-like pace.
2013-06-20 00:00:00 Fed Slightly More Optimistic by Brian Wesbury, Bob Stein of First Trust Advisors
The Federal Reserve made only slight changes to the text of its statement, but those it did make signal slightly more optimism. It said labor market conditions show further improvement, rather than some improvement and sees diminished downside risks for the broader economy.
2013-06-19 00:00:00 3 Reasons to Consider Spanish Stocks by Russ Koesterich of iShares Blog
While Europe is not out of the woods yet, Russ is less concerned about the Spanish market.
2013-06-17 00:00:00 Keynesian Model Blew It Again by Brian Wesbury, Bob Stein of First Trust Advisors
If theres one economic conclusion we can make from recent data, its that the Keynesian model has failed - again.
2013-06-15 00:00:00 Economists Are (Still) Clueless by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors
The economic forecasts of mainstream economists are quite positive, if not enirely optimistic, reflecting the current data. Should we not take heart from that? Alas, no. This week we look at some of our recent musings on that topic, triggered by a letter from a very serious economist who took umbrage when I wrote disparagingly about economists and forecasting a couple months ago.
2013-06-12 00:00:00 Silver Lining: Fed's Tapering Signals Stronger Economy by Eric Takaha of Franklin Templeton Investments
The Federal Reserves warning that it planned to scale back purchases of Treasuries sparked a storm on Wall Street, bringing instability to what had been a pleasant May in the US markets. Almost lost in the noise, however, is a silver lining: the Fed thinks the economy may be healthy enough to fly on its own.
2013-06-11 00:00:00 Weekly Commentary & Outlook by Tom McIntyre of McIntyre, Freedman & Flynn
The last few weeks have seen volatility emerge as concerns about the Feds policy of quantitative easing and the timing of changing it have taken center stage.
2013-06-08 00:00:00 Banzai! Banzai! Banzai! by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors
In practice it may be harder for Japan to grow and generate inflation than it might be for other major nations. Today we’ll focus on Japanese demographics. While the letter is full of graphs and charts, it does not paint a pretty picture. The forces of deflation will not go gently into that good night.
2013-06-06 00:00:00 Inflation Is Still the Lesser Evil by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate
The worlds major central banks continue to express concern about inflationary spillover from their recession-fighting efforts. That is a mistake: given the political, social, and economic risks of continued slow growth, policymakers should encourage a sustained burst of moderate inflation.
2013-06-01 00:00:00 After the Gold Rush by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate
The run-up in gold prices in recent years from $800 per ounce in early 2009 to above $1,900 in the fall of 2011 had all the features of a bubble. And now, like all asset-price surges that are divorced from the fundamentals of supply and demand, the gold bubble is deflating.
2013-05-31 00:00:00 The American Consumer is Not Okay by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate
The spin-doctors are hard at work arguing that falling unemployment, rising home values, and record stock prices mean that the American consumer the major drag on the economy in the post-crisis period is finally back. The facts say otherwise.
2013-05-28 00:00:00 Taking Stock by Bob Doll of Nuveen Asset Management
U.S. and global equities were under pressure last week, with all major U.S. indices lower for only the fourth time this year. With discussion of the Fed tapering its stimulus, market uncertainty gained momentum. The S&P 500 was down 1.0% for the week.1 We consider the market pullback technical in nature since the mention of a Fed quantitative easing exit likely created a natural point to take profits after the recent rally.
2013-05-22 00:00:00 Is Japan's Economic Rebound For Real? by Daisuke Nomoto of Columbia Management
The two phrases Abenomics and the BOJs Shock and Awe Monetary Easing are all over the headlines about Japan. Prime Minister Abe unveiled his economic policy late last year calling for a 3% annual nominal gross domestic product (GDP) growth target and an aggressive monetary easing by the BOJ (The Bank of Japan) to achieve 2% inflation. The BOJ unleashed the worlds most intense burst of monetary stimulus last month promising to double the monetary base to 270 trillion yen ($2.7 trillion) by the end of 2014 to defeat deflation.
2013-05-20 00:00:00 Bernanke's JEC Testimony by Scott Brown of Raymond James
On Wednesday, May 22, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will testify on The Economic Outlook. The next monetary policy meeting is four weeks away, but Bernanke is likely to provide a preview of what will be discussed at that time specifically, on the issue of when to begin reducing the rate of asset purchases. The short answer may be it depends.
2013-05-15 00:00:00 And That's the Week That Was by Ron Brounes of Brounes & Associates
Fiscal Cliff. Sequester. Different names for similar budgetary issues that both basically resulted in games of Congressional kick the can. Now in a stroke of luck for non-compromising politicos, the budget deficit is shrinking as higher payroll taxes and paybacks from previously bailed out entities (thanks Fan) have enhanced government revenues since the beginning of the year.
2013-05-14 00:00:00 The Budget Deficit by Scott Brown of Raymond James
The Monthly Treasury Statement showed a large budget surplus for April. Some of that may prove to be temporary. Income was pulled forward into 2012 ahead of expected tax increases in 2013 and that was reflected in higher tax payments in April. Some of it is payback from the bailouts of a few years ago (for example, earnings from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). However, much of the improvement reflects a rebound from a severe recession. Tax revenues are recovering and recession-related expenses are trending lower.
2013-05-06 00:00:00 The Economy: Why Interest Rates Shouldn't Rise Anytime Soon by Ron Sloan of Invesco
Real is irrelevant. The US Federal Reserve (the Fed) is unconcerned about real GDP the inflation-adjusted measurement of US economic growth. Rather, without inflation in our economy, the Fed is focused on raising nominal GDP. And that priority means that interest rates should stay low for the foreseeable future.
2013-05-06 00:00:00 All's Well That Ends Well by Scott Brown of Raymond James
The economic data reports were decidedly mixed last week. However, the April Employment Report exceeded expectations, which provided a good excuse for share prices to move higher. Bonds were whipsawed, encouraged by the view that the Fed was less likely to taper its asset purchases, but then hit hard by the better-than-expected payroll figures.
2013-05-06 00:00:00 Beyond the Headlines: Job Growth, Exports and Housing by Gregg Bienstock of Lumesis
Congress has done something for the American public. FAA, sequester, flight delays we can fix that! While I would usually take a cynical swipe at Congress (something like, did they act because they, too, were impacted by their own stubbornness), Ill let well enough alone and simply pass on a heartfelt thanks. Perhaps this is the start of something. I hear they are working closely on immigration reform and an exemption for Congress and their staff from the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Ok, so two of three initiatives garnering bi-partisan support are purely self-ser
2013-04-30 00:00:00 Zebras?! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James
We saw many outside zebras gorging themselves on stocks in late 2007 as the D-J Industrial Average (DJIA) made a new all-time high and then registered a Dow Theory sell signal in November 2007. Subsequently, those outside zebras ended up as lion lunch when the senior index shed an eye-popping 53% over the ensuing 17 months.
2013-04-29 00:00:00 The Trapdoors at the Fed's Exit by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate
It may be too soon to say that many risky assets have reached bubble levels, and that leverage and risk-taking in financial markets is becoming excessive. But the reality is that credit and asset/equity bubbles are likely to form in the next two years, owing to loose US monetary policy.
2013-04-26 00:00:00 The Sustainability of U.S. Interest Rates Rising by Paresh Upadhyaya of Pioneer Investments
Investors are growing concerned, with good reason, we think, that yields have bottomed for the 10-year Treasury and will surge as the economy gains strength. Prices, which move inversely to yields, would fall, and the question is whether rising rates in 2013 could trigger a bond bear market along the lines of the Great Bond Bear Market of 1994. We dont think so.
2013-04-25 00:00:00 The End of “Expansionary Austerity?” by Scott Brown of Raymond James
A few years ago, an economic paper by Harvard professors Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff helped fuel the push for austerity. It was met with some criticism from economists, but was widely embraced by the press and by politicians on both sides of the Atlantic. The study has now been demonstrated to have had serious flaws, but will those in power fold? Or will they double down on bad economic policy?
2013-04-23 00:00:00 Federal Funds, Interest Rates and Defaults and Bankruptcies by Gregg Bienstock of Lumesis
This week we focus on Federal Funds delivered to the States and consider some interesting data points to contemplate as folks pretend to get a bit more serious about addressing fiscal issues at the National level. We move on to an interesting and surprising quote on rates and then a look at some facts and figures around bankruptcies and defaults.
2013-04-22 00:00:00 Weekly Market Commentary by Scotty George of du Pasquier Asset Management
The deadly bombings in Boston last week, along with a spate of senseless killings in Newtown and Aurora, should highlight for those consumed by economics and financial market statistics the fragility of life and a sense of perspective about helping those in need at their darkest hour. How noble that on the day of the U.S. equity markets most damaging point collapse in years, our focus was on Boston and not on our wallets or portfolios.
2013-04-20 00:00:00 Austerity is a Consequence, not a Punishment by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors
Austerity is a consequence, not a punishment. A country loses access to cheap borrowed money as a consequence of running up too much debt and losing the confidence of lenders that the debt can be repaid. Lenders don’t sit around in clubs and discuss how to “punish” a country by requiring austerity; they simply decide not to lend. Austerity is a result of a country’s trying to entice lenders into believing that the country will change and make an effort to restore confidence.
2013-04-18 00:00:00 Inflation and Interest Rates by Scott Brown of Raymond James
The Federal Reserve began its first asset purchase program in the fall of 2008, during the depth of the financial panic. Some observers feared that the Feds actions would fuel higher inflation. However, the Fed is now well along in its third asset purchase program and inflation (as measured by the PCE Price Index) has remained low. In fact, Fed officials expect that inflation will trend at or below the 2% target for the next couple of years. That hasnt stopped the inflation worrywarts from predicting that inflation is still just around the corner.
2013-04-15 00:00:00 Housing Is it Getting Better, A Second Look by Gregg Bienstock of Lumesis
This week we take a quick look at some of what is in the Presidents budget and then focus on the housing market (the title harkens back to something we wrote a few months back). You may sense, as you read on, Im a bit cranky this week. As you read through the housing section youll understand why.
2013-04-15 00:00:00 Keynes And Retail Sales by Brian Wesbury, Bob Stein of First Trust Advisors
No, just because retail sales fell 0.4% in March does not mean Keynes was right. Sequestration did not cause the decline. Nor did the end of the temporary 2% payroll tax cut, back in January, cause it either.
2013-04-10 00:00:00 Economic Slowdown Halts Equity Rally by Bob Doll of Nuveen Asset Management
The latest softness in economic indicators probably means that more consolidation in the equity markets is required before we can advance beyond the recent all-time highs. During March, nearly all of the activity for the S&P 500 was within 1% of 1550. Equities may move lower due to deteriorating technical conditions and the possibility of weak first quarter earnings reports.
2013-04-09 00:00:00 BLS Revisions Include 464K More Jobs Than Previously Reported by Ali Wolf of John Burns Real Estate Consulting
The largest 358 metros created 464,000 more jobs in 2012 than the 1,472,000 jobs previously estimated, a 32% increase from initial employment gain figures. 310 of the 358 metros showed job growth.
2013-03-28 00:00:00 Today's Good News Isn't Bad for US Stocks by Daniel Loewy of AllianceBernstein
Believe it or not, recent US housing market gains, the slight reduction in jobless rates and other signs of a revival in US economic growth are making some investors bearish about US stocks. We think their fears are misplaced.
2013-03-25 00:00:00 Fed Outlook: Cautiously Optimistic or Just Hopeful? by Scott Brown of Raymond James
The Federal Open Market Committees latest policy meeting generated few surprises. The FOMC maintained its forward guidance on the federal funds rate target, which is still not expected to start rising until 2015, and did not alter its asset purchases plans ($40 billion per month in agency mortgage-backed securities and $45 billion in longer-term Treasuries). However, in his press briefing, Bernanke indicated that the pace of asset purchases could be varied as progress is made toward the Feds goals or if the assessment of the benefits and potential costs of the program were to cha
2013-03-22 00:00:00 Is Plan B for Cyprus an Exit from the Euro? by Michelle Gibley of Charles Schwab
Having rejected an initial bailout package that would have imposed a levy on bank deposits, Cyprus now faces some difficult choices in exchange for continued emergency bank funding.
2013-03-21 00:00:00 Global Markets Time Factor by Mohamed El-Erian of Project Syndicate
In recent months, the dichotomy between booming financial markets and sluggish economies (and dysfunctional politics) has loomed large. The critical element of time and who controls it could well mean the difference between an orderly global resolution of todays ongoing financial problems and a return to serious trouble.
2013-03-20 00:00:00 Spending Patterns Paint Half Truth by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital
On March 13th, the Commerce Department announced a 1.1 percent increase in food and services retail sales, doubling a prior Dow Jones survey of economists that forecast an increase of just 0.6 percent. This new data has led to a fresh wave of enthusiastic commentaries that the US economy is set for a strong recovery. Less examined were the underlying factors that supported the increase.
2013-03-19 00:00:00 How Strong? by Scott Brown of Raymond James
The recent economic reports have been mixed. The stock market seems to have embraced the strength and ignored the weakness. The bond market typically approaches the information in a more balanced way. How might the differences between the two markets be resolved?
2013-03-18 00:00:00 And That’s the Week That Was by Ron Brounes of Brounes & Associates
Move over Dow Jones, here comes the S&P. What few thought possible a year ago is coming to fruition as the major indexes continue to push toward record territory. The S&P 500 is close (but no cigar) to besting its personal high set in late 2007, before this whole banking mess emerged and sent equities into a tailspin. Confident investors seemed to be overlooking the numerous concerns (budget/sequester, payroll taxes, Europe, China) so they can participate in the record run.
2013-03-18 00:00:00 Conflicting Data and Market and Credit Risk by Gregg Bienstock of Lumesis
Conflicting data and information is everywhere. The equity markets make new highs, the talking heads on the various business shows talk of the new bull run, unemployment is down and a recent article in Barrons highlights the fact that State tax revenues have increased for 11 quarters running fueled by a recovery in home prices (citing BlackRock). Others challenge the recently released employment numbers saying the headlines do not tell the whole story and, once the Fed steps back and the inevitable budget cuts (less increases) come, the economys true status will b
2013-03-13 00:00:00 Dow--Then and Now by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is making record highs, knocking the 2007 peak off its pedestal, but investors arent celebrating.
2013-03-12 00:00:00 Weekly Commentary & Outlook by Tom McIntyre of McIntyre, Freedman & Flynn
Stocks rose each day last week as the notion of a ho-hum global economy was reassuring to those who fear either a recession or a surge in economic activity.
2013-03-11 00:00:00 The Job Market: Not As Strong As It Looks by Scott Brown of Raymond James
With headwinds fading, the U.S. economic recovery appeared poised to pick up more substantially in 2013. Unfortunately, fiscal policy is going in the wrong direction.
2013-03-04 00:00:00 What is Italy Saying? by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate
The outcome of the Italian elections should send a clear message to Europe's leaders: the austerity policies that they have pursued are being rejected by voters. Indeed, it will take a decade or more to recover the losses that austerity has wrought.
2013-03-01 00:00:00 What Are The FOMC Minutes Telling Us? by Zach Pandl of Columbia Management
The release of the minutes of the January Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve (Fed) caused a tremor in the bedrock of investor euphoria last week. The minutes confirmed that the cost/benefit analysis of quantitative easing (QE) is at center of policy debate right now. However, the minutes did not provide a definitive signal that the program may be cut short. In particular, it is not clear where Chairman Bernanke and Vice Chair Yellen stand. I believe the level of debate slightly raises the odds that QE will end this year.
2013-02-27 00:00:00 Singapore A Wise Owl Among Currency Snakes by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital
As China enters the "Year of the Snake," Singapore stands as a beacon of sound currency in a world gone mad. China's renminbi remains pegged to the US dollar, while even steadfast Switzerland has followed the US, UK, EU, and Japan into an impoverishing strategy of currency debasement. Singapore, alone, has been able to sustain genuine economic growth in the context of a strong national currency.
2013-02-25 00:00:00 Fed Will Make Excuses About Inflation by Brian S. Wesbury and Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors
Inflation is tame. For now. The CPI was flat in January and is up only 1.6% from a year ago. The PPI rose a small 0.2% in January and is up just 1.4% from a year ago. And even though energy prices spiked in February, the year ago comparisons are likely to stay tame. The consensus expects the February CPI to rise 0.6% - the largest in 44 months. Nonetheless, it would still show just 1.9% inflation in the past year, which is still below the Federal Reserves target of 2%. This wont last. With the Fed loose; we expect consumer prices to rise toward 3% during 2013.
2013-02-21 00:00:00 Fed Must Tune in to Changing US Economy by Joseph Carson of AllianceBernstein
With each passing month, more questions are being asked about the sluggish US economic recovery. Why has growth been subdued since the recession ended in mid-2009? What's changed in the economy? How long can loose monetary policies persist before promoting more inflation or creating a new bubble?
2013-02-19 00:00:00 On Competitive Devaluations by Scott Brown of Raymond James
Aggressive monetary policy moves in recent years have been accompanied by a growing fear of a currency war. In a currency war, or competitive devaluation, countries attempt to weaken their currencies to boost exports, but each devaluation leads to counter devaluations. That's not what's going on now. However, whether a country is purposely devaluing its currency or is merely pursuing accommodative monetary policy is irrelevant, the consequences are the same. The recent meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bankers highlights the lack of coherent policies to boost growth.
2013-02-11 00:00:00 When to Worry About Inflation by Russ Koesterich of iShares Blog
Though the Fed continues to flood the US economy with money, Russ explains why inflation isn't likely to be a problem until 2014 and what investors can do in the meantime to prepare.
2013-02-08 00:00:00 World War C: Neosho Capital On The Currency War by Chris Richey of Neosho Capital
This summer, Brad Pitt will star in a new film called "World War Z", an action-horror film about a post-zombie apocalypse Earth, hence the "Z" in the title. Zombie films are not our cup of tea at Neosho (we thought the genre was dead), so it is debatable whether we will see this film, but one thing is clear to us, we are perched on the precipice of "World War C", where "C" stands for "currency".
2013-02-06 00:00:00 The Job Market Data and the Fed by Scott Brown of Raymond James
Nonfarm payrolls fell by 2.8 million in January before seasonal adjustment, that is. Adjusted, payrolls advanced 157,000, about as expected. However, annual benchmark revisions showed a more rapid pace of job growth over the last two years a pace at odds with the Household Survey data. How might the Fed view the range of job market data?
2013-02-06 00:00:00 What Happens When the Fed Loses Money by Zach Pandl of Columbia Management
The Federal Reserve's exit from ultra-easy monetary policy still looks very far offby most accounts, rate hikes will not begin for more than two years and asset sales for even longer. However, the exit strategy could matter for markets well before that point. Fed officials have said that they will consider the costs and risks associated with quantitative easing (QE) when deciding how long to continue their purchases, and one factor they will be looking at will be whether the program could "complicate the Committee's efforts to eventually withdraw monetary policy accommodation."
2013-02-05 00:00:00 The 2030 Outlook by Bill O'Grady, Kaisa Stucke of Confluence Investment Management
Over the next several weeks we will look into the more distant future, to the year 2030. We will explore the long-term strategic alternative world development scenarios as laid out by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) and present our views regarding the developments. The NIC forecasts the likely paths that are either currently underway or are forecast to occur in the future. The NIC projects four possible global political and economic states based on these expected trends.
2013-02-05 00:00:00 2012 Equity Market Market Year in Review by Natalie Trunow of Calvert Investment Management
Equities started the year strong as global inflation remained tame, and aggressive, accommodative monetary policy by central banks around the globe helped equity markets rally hard off their lows posted in the fall of 2011. Continuously improving U.S. economic data, strong corporate earnings, and policy steps toward mitigation of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe also provided support for the equity markets worldwide.
2013-01-29 00:00:00 Investment Basics by Michael Kayes of Willingdon Wealth Management
I've always been curious about how famous people would have done had they pursued completely different careers. Some of our former presidents make excellent examples. For instance, Abe Lincoln towered over his contemporaries. I wonder how he would have fared as a basketball player had the game existed during his life. Our heaviest president, William Howard Taft weighed well over 300 pounds. Had football risen to prominence a few decades earlier, could gridiron greatness have been part of his resume?
2013-01-24 00:00:00 Beggar Thy Currency Or Thy Self? by Mohamed El-Erian of Project Syndicate
One need not be an economist to figure out that, while all currencies can depreciate against something else (like gold, land, and other real assets), by definition they cannot all depreciate against each other. Yet, when push comes to shove, country after country is being dragged into a negative dynamic of competitive depreciation.
2013-01-23 00:00:00 Inflated Expectations? by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors
Investors should prepare themselves for higher long-term inflation because the market may be ignoring it, a mistake that could come back to haunt. On the heels of encouraging economic data, central bankers are projecting only modest price increases for goods and services over the next 10 years. But history tells us that an inflation spike is inevitable when governments print money so aggressively. As such, investors with long-term time horizons should have substantial exposure to inflation-hedging asset classes. Now, more than ever, real returns matter.
2013-01-22 00:00:00 Equities Set to Break Out of the Bear Trap by Catherine Wood of AllianceBernstein
In the face of significant uncertainties, US and global equities rallied in 2012 and at the start of the New Year. We think there might be more to come as stocks break out of the bear trap.
2013-01-22 00:00:00 Consumer Staples: Don't Overpay for Safety by Russ Koesterich of iShares Blog
Many investors have flocked to the perceived safety of defensive sectors over the past few years, including consumer staples. But Russ gives three reasons they might want to think twice about the sector now.
2013-01-17 00:00:00 Rehab: An Update on Housing Recovery by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab
The National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index has staged a record-breaking run higher. Home prices have been rising and are feeding into real mortgage rates, consumer confidence, household net worth...and pushing fence-sitters off the fence. Housing's contribution to job growth could push the unemployment rate down more quickly than many believe.
2013-01-15 00:00:00 Inflation, Still Not Taking Off Anytime Soon by Scott Brown of Raymond James
A few years ago, amid exceptionally large federal budget deficit and extraordinarily accommodative Fed policy, a number of pundits warned of impending hyperinflation. Instead, inflation has stayed low. That hasn't stopped the inflation worrywarts. It's just a matter of time, they say. Inflation "has to show up at some point." That's not an argument. There are a number of reasons to expect inflation to stay low.
2013-01-14 00:00:00 Bond Market Review & Outlook by Thomas Fahey of Loomis Sayles
The ?nal quarter of 2012 was the icing on the cake of an exceptional year for the credit sectors. Fourth quarter credit gains stemmed in part from uncommonly aggressive monetary policy responses in the third quarter. As economic growth continued to undershoot expectations, major central banks made clear that they were dissatis?ed with the status quo of tepid economic growth and high unemployment. The Federal Reserve went so far as to tie its monetary policy to the level of the unemployment rate.
2013-01-11 00:00:00 Charting the U.S. Employment Situation by Matt Lloyd of Advisors Asset Management
The continuing jobless claims relative to past measurements has been a chart we like to detail to show the more psychological impact of where we stand and the sentiment about the employment situation. As we have shown, the current level is just below the high points of past recessions (recessions denoted by gray rectangles). Although we are approaching the long-term average, currently 6.7% above the 30-year average, the negative sentiment is understandable.
2013-01-08 00:00:00 The Cliff, the Fed, and the Economy by Scott Brown of Raymond James
The budget deal removes a major uncertainty for the financial markets. We now know what tax rates will be. However, the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) has a number of drawbacks. The December 11-12 FOMC policy meeting minutes showed a split among Fed officials, but that doesn't necessarily mean that asset purchases will end any sooner. The economic data reports have been mixed but generally indicate that the recovery is in reasonable shape.
2013-01-07 00:00:00 Weekly Commentary & Outlook by Tom McIntyre of McIntyre, Freedman & Flynn
The stock market has started the New Year in fine shape, relieved that President Obama's threat to raise taxes to the moon on capital gains and dividends were thwarted with the deal agreed to on New Year's Day.
2010-04-09 00:00:00 Interest Rates are Creeping Up by Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust
The Fed is on hold in the near term, with nearly all its emergency programs either closed or expired. The effective federal funds rate has moved up in recent weeks, to an average of 16 bps in March, as have yields on other Treasury securities. The upward trend of Treasury market yields places the Fed is a tight spot, because the objective of easy monetary policy is defeated if Treasury market yields continue to move up and raise the cost of credit. Northern Trust's best bet is that interest rates will decline somewhat in the weeks ahead as bearish economic news comes out.
2010-04-05 00:00:00 No Double-Dip For Housing by Brian S. Wesbury and Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors
While the end of the Federal Reserve's massive mortgage purchasing program will certainly not help the housing market, it probably will not result in a double dip for housing of the economy. Instead, home building, home sales and home prices should all be up nationwide a year from now versus today. Perhaps the most important reason for this is that the labor market, the last of the lagging economic indicators, has finally turned positive.
2010-03-19 00:00:00 Jobless Claims, Inflation and Retail Pricing Power by David A. Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff
Jobless claims are down to 457,000, the same place they were in late 2001 after the terrorist attacks. Sustained job creation does not occur, however, until claims drop below 400,000. The headline inflation rate was 2.1 percent in February and the core was 1.3 percent, the lowest core inflation rate since February 2004. Pricing trends suggest that airlines, shipping and hospital services have retained pricing power, while restaurants, home improvement, apparel, movies, telecoms, books and newspapers have not.
2010-03-16 00:00:00 Latest Unemployment Report Reveals the Growing Problem of the Long-Term Unemployed by Team of American Century Investments
Four out of 10 unemployed workers are designated as long-term unemployed, meaning that they have been seeking a job for at least six months. This rate exceeds any other since the 1940s. As we have evolved towards a service- and knowledge-based economy, people with at least an undergraduate degree have fared better both in terms of lower unemployment rates and higher wages. This trend has become even more pronounced during the recession that began in December 2007 relative to the past two periods of peak unemployment in June 1992 and 2003.
2010-03-15 00:00:00 Weekly Commentary and Outlook by Tom McIntyre of McIntyre, Freedman & Flynn
The conventional wisdom seems to be that the worst is over and a slow but self-sustaining recovery is taking place. A very quiet and slow week of trading produced yet another advance in the stock market. Concerns over Greece and other sovereign debt issues receded, while evidence on the global economy was mixed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.5 percent while the NASDAQ gained 1.8 percent over excitement generated by the new product line by Apple.
2010-03-08 00:00:00 Weekly Commentary and Outlook by Tom McIntyre of McIntyre, Freedman & Flynn
Stocks rallied last week as evidence continued to show that even though unemployment is lagging, the rest of the economy is doing better. While the unemployment rate stayed constant at 9.7 percent, falling labor costs allowed companies to increase profit margins, and thus buoy stocks through solid fundamentals. If interest rates stay low, conditions will be perfect for stocks, because stock markets respond to prospects for profits and interest rates. McIntyre also examines the possible impact of health care reform, and the recent performance of Dow Chemical and Boeing.
2010-03-05 00:00:00 Economic Update by Justin S. Anderson of Cambridge Advisors
In the coming months it will be important to track the changing dynamics in both the domestic labor market and international sovereign debt markets as these represent, quite possibly, the two most significant headwinds to growth in the US economy and stock markets in general.
2010-02-22 00:00:00 Inflation is Contained, Fed Focus on Growth and Jobs Remains in Place by Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust
The January consumer price index report shows no inflationary pressures. The CPI rose 0.2 percent last month following similar gains in the previous four months. The Federal Reserve will continue to focus on economic growth and jobs, while eliminating emergency measures put in place as the economic crisis unfolded in August 2007.
2010-02-22 00:00:00 DC's Economy Went South, Despite Government Hiring by John Burns of John Burns Real Estate Consulting
Contrary to industry buzz, the Washington, D.C. economy is not on the mend. Local job markets posted solid losses as 2009 progressed. D.C. could be one of the first housing markets to stabilize, however, due to improved affordability, a lack of new home construction and relatively few foreclosures.
2010-02-20 00:00:00 The Fed Tests the Waters by Brian S. Wesbury and Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors
The Federal Reserve took a big first psychological step toward a tighter monetary policy yesterday when it raised the discount rate to 0.75 percent, from 0.50 percent. The Fed wants to make sure, however, that markets understand that a rising discount rate does not necessarily entail higher federal funds rate.
2010-02-16 00:00:00 G7 Weekly Economic Prospects by Christopher Probyn and Geoffrey Somes of State Street Global Advisors
Christopher Probyn and Geoffrey Somes of State Street Global Advisors say in their weekly economic commentary that US retail sales rose 0.5 percent in January, but consumer confidence fell 0.7 points, to 73.7. Investor risk appetites improved following assurances that the EU will stand behind Greek fiscal reforms.
2010-02-12 00:00:00 Net Interest Outlays in the U.S. Federal Budget - Let the Picture Speak for Itself by Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust
Asha Bangalore says in Northern Trust's daily global commentary that the U.S. federal government's debt service burden is a problem, but that it is not as bad Moody's recent warning made it out to be. The country's net interest outlays are projected to peak at 3 percent of GDP by 2017, from 1.3 percent in 2009.
2010-02-08 00:00:00 Cautiously Pessimistic by John P. Hussman of Hussman Funds
Hussman notes that he foresaw the market decline in his comments a few weeks ago, and that it would be a mistake to attribute that decline to a single piece of news. His most significant concern is a ?significant second wave of defaults,? and he says those concerns (other than issues pertaining to Greece) have not been the focus of analysts? attention. Hussman believes the decline in the unemployment rate to 9.7% is an ?anomaly,? and expects unemployment to rise to 11-12%.
2010-01-28 00:00:00 "Extended Period" of Low Rates Starting to Lose Support by Brian S. Wesbury and Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors
The Federal Reserve made no direct changes to the stance of monetary policy today, leaving the target range for the federal funds rate at 0% to 0.25%. However, one member dissented from the Fed?s comm
2010-01-22 00:00:00 Reflections Across the Pond by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital
Having been among the economic engines of Europe for much of the past decade, it appears as if the British economy has run out of steam. Inflation is rising while bankruptcies and unemployment continu
2010-01-14 00:00:00 Recent Fed Rhetoric and Highlights of Beige Book by Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust
In speeches late yesterday, Fed Presidents Plosser and Fisher of Philadelphia and Dallas, respectively, were of the opinion that unemployment rate is most likely to trend higher than the December jobl
2010-01-11 00:00:00 Inflation Expectations Approach Pre-Crisis Range by Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust
Inflation expectations as measured by the difference between yields of the nominal U.S. 10-year Treasury note and the 10-year inflation protected security are now at levels seen prior to the onset of
2009-12-30 00:00:00 Monetary Policy: Inflation-Deflation, Debt, Excess Reserves, Currency Volatility by Michael J. Schussele of Michael J. Schussele, CPA
2009-12-17 00:00:00 Shifting Gears by MacKay of Broadleaf Partners