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

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2016-05-05 00:00:00 Consumers Feeling Less Confident About the Future by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Last week, several consumer sentiment readings were released that show further weakness in confidence. As we move into May, the consumer is down—begging the question of whether the consumer is on the way out.

2016-05-05 00:00:00 China’s Slowing; So What? May 2016 by Byron Wien of Blackstone

By this time there is not a business person in the western world who doesn’t know that the Chinese economy is not moving ahead at the torrid pace of five years ago. China has grown to become the second largest economy in the world and the law of large numbers is in its way. In the first quarter, it reported 4.5% real GDP growth, the lowest since 2010. In order to reach the annualized rate of 6.7%, growth in the next two quarters would need to be 7.4%, which seems hard to achieve. I have been projecting (guessing) overall Chinese real growth of 4.5% and arguing with clients and analysts about whether I am too low or too high. The real question is, how much does this matter?

2016-05-05 00:00:00 Smart Beta = Dumb Beta + Marketing by Jeff Davis of LMCG Investments

This title was my favorite takeaway from a conference I attended in Cincinnati recently. I don’t know who to credit it to, but the cynical formula is quickly being absorbed into the investment world’s body of insider jokes.

2016-05-04 00:00:00 The Geopolitics of Helicopter Money: Part 1 by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Since 2008, developed economy central banks have been implementing unconventional policy measures. Although they likely prevented deeper financial calamity, the central banks’ actions have not led to strong economic recovery. One remaining policy virtually guaranteed to lift inflation and would likely boost growth is to use monetary policy to directly fund fiscal spending, called “monetary funded fiscal spending” (MFFS) and often referred to as “helicopter money.” However, it’s a potentially dangerous policy appropriate only in the most extreme circumstances. In Part 1, we describe MFFS and barriers to its use.

2016-05-03 00:00:00 Abnormalities in the New Normal by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

Certain investment dynamics are behaving very differently post the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Understanding these changes are important as they can provide opportunities for investors. In this month's Absolute Return Letter, we will look at the impact of some of these 'abnormalities' and how investors can profit from them. Enjoy the read.

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

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

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

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

2016-05-02 00:00:00 Are Investors in Europe Stuck in Bonderland? by John Taylor of AllianceBernstein

Like Alice when she fell down the rabbit hole, Europe’s bond investors find themselves in “curiouser and curiouser” terrain. That’s because souped-up ECB bond-buying is creating confusing new oddities—plus potential risks and opportunities.

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

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

2016-05-02 00:00:00 Apple vs The Fed by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Honest question: How much time does the Apple Inc. Board of Directors spend debating whether the Federal Reserve will hike rates once or twice more in 2016? We don’t really know the answer, but we would guess the best answer is zero.

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

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

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

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

2016-05-01 00:00:00 The Plaza Accord Cannot be Reincarnated by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Thirty-one years ago, the finance ministers from Japan, France, West Germany, Britain and the United States met to synchronize economic policy in support of global objectives. The “Plaza Accord” set the stage for significant shifts in world markets.

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

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

2016-05-01 00:00:00 Delta Force by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Today we are going to explore how demographic change impacts growth.

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

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

2016-04-29 00:00:00 Is a Bear Market Looming? by Erik Ristuben of Russell Investments

Chief Investment Strategist Erik Ristuben looks at the fundamentals of what could trigger a bear market.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-04-28 00:00:00 Welcome to the Pale Gray Dot by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

In February 1990, the Voyager 1 space probe reached the outer edge of our solar system. NASA commanded it to take a last image of Earth from 3.7 billion miles away. The planet is only a small speck from that distance.

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

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

2016-04-27 00:00:00 Second-Longest Bull Market Ever, Yet Investors Remain Skittish by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

If the US stock markets don’t collapse between now and Friday, this will be the second-longest bull market on record. Really. The current bull market began in March 2009 and will have lasted for 2,608 days (7.2 years) on Friday. If so, it will top the former second-longest bull market which ran from 1949 to 1956 (2,607 days). That’s quite impressive.

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

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

2016-04-26 00:00:00 Bruce Greenwald: The Crisis Bigger than Global Warming by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Manufacturing is dying on a global basis, according to Bruce Greenwald, and its collapse will mean the demise of economies – like China – that are highly dependent on exported goods. Contrary to what Robert Gordon and others have contended, productivity is growing in the manufacturing sector – roughly twice as fast as the demand for those products. If third-world countries don’t adjust their economies to reflect this reality, Greenwald said it would be a “crisis greater than global warming.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Osterweis Capital Management Fixed Income Outlook April 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-04-22 00:00:00 Relative Volatility Springs Higher by Jennifer Thomson of GaveKal Capital

If we take the differential between volatility in the Stoxx 600 (Europe) versus that of the S&P 500 (United States) as a proxy for relative levels of market fear, it might be useful to note that it broke to an all-time high on Monday–surpassing levels reached in 2011 and last year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-04-20 00:00:00 Factor Investing: Good in Theory, Difficult in Practice by Haran Karunakaran, Joe Steidl of PIMCO

Although factor investing can potentially deliver a return above that of the broader equity market, poor implementation can lead to unexpected outcomes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-04-18 00:00:00 Global Emerging Markets: Headwinds and Tailwinds by Irina Miklavchich of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Global growth looks increasingly sluggish. Countries that are not dependent on commodity exports are well-positioned to benefit from domestic-led growth. We expect sustainable growth from Eastern Europe, Mexico and India.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-04-15 00:00:00 Staying the Course by Kenneth Lowe of Matthews Asia

This is an era in which central bankers influence markets to an ever greater degree, high debt levels need to be dealt with, greater fiscal policy may become more commonplace and liberalization in Asia must continue apace to ensure that the region’s prior 20 years of solid economic and institutional development is continued into the next 20. But how do investors continue to strive to find those companies that can deliver, and potentially even further enhance, their positioning during such challenging times?

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

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

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

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

2016-04-15 00:00:00 What Condition My Condition Is In by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

In this week’s letter we will take a quick look at the condition of a slowing global economy (the IMF just downgraded its own forecast this last week). Then we’ll grapple with a Plan B scenario, because I have a confession of sorts: I am not entirely optimistic that Congress and the new president can get their act together, so I offer a proposal from former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn as to what we, the people, can do to actually change the country’s direction without having to depend on a Congress that may prove dysfunctional. Again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-04-13 00:00:00 Hoisington Quarterly Review and Outlook – 1Q2016 by Van R. Hoisington and Lacy H. Hunt, Ph.D. of Hoisington Investment Management

The prospects for the Treasury bond market remain bright for patient investors who operate with a multi-year investment horizon. As we have written many times, numerous factors can cause intermittent increases in yields, but the domestic and global economic environments remain too weak for yields to remain elevated.

2016-04-12 00:00:00 What Tools Does the Fed Have Left? Part 3: Helicopter Money by Ben Bernanke of Brookings Institute

“Let us suppose now that one day a helicopter flies over this community and drops an additional $1,000 in bills from the sky, which is, of course, hastily collected by members of the community. Let us suppose further that everyone is convinced that this is a unique event which will never be repeated." (Milton Friedman, “The Optimum Quantity of Money,” 1969)

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

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

2016-04-12 00:00:00 ZIRPs and NIRPs and Unintended Consequences by Brooks Ritchey of Franklin Templeton Investments

There are countless examples in history, some more hubristic than others, in which man’s efforts to address a problem or control a system have resulted in miserable failure?regardless of best-laid plans or intentions.

2016-04-11 00:00:00 Bringing Europe’s Migration Crisis Under Control by George Soros of Project Syndicate

The EU’s first expulsion of refugees has exposed the fundamental flaws in its new migration policy. While the forcible return of asylum-seekers to Turkey has caught the world’s attention, an equally troubling issue has hardly been discussed: the underfunding of Europe’s response to the crisis.

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

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

2016-04-11 00:00:00 European Bank Regulation: Expect a Shift by Joshua Anderson of PIMCO

Regulatory uncertainty will create opportunities for private capital as banks retrench from some lending markets.

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

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

2016-04-11 00:00:00 Where Are We Now? Looking for Value in Emerging Markets After the Recent Rally by Charles Wilson of Thornburg Investment Management

After a rough start to the year the MSCI Emerging Markets Index is up sharply – What's next?

2016-04-11 00:00:00 In Volatile Times, a Case for Quality Investing by Dr. Brian Jacobsen, CFA, CFP® and Jo Lee, CFA of Wells Fargo Asset Management

We conducted research on how five investment styles have performed during volatile periods throughout history. Here’s why we’re making a case for the quality investing style.

2016-04-10 00:00:00 Open Letter to the President, Part Five by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Without significant changes in tax and incentive structures, the US will almost assuredly enter a recession within the next few years. Then, if we lose tax revenues only to the extent we did in the last couple of recessions, we’ll be saddled with a deficit of over $1.3 trillion, and the deficit won’t fall below $1 trillion as far out as the eye can see, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

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

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

2016-04-09 00:00:00 Should Central Banks Call in the Helicopters? by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

For the past eight years, major central banks used unconventional monetary policies to promote economic growth and lift inflation. But success is incomplete on these fronts, and there is an active debate about whether forward guidance, negative interest rates and quantitative easing (QE) remain potent. It may be time for “helicopter money.”

2016-04-08 00:00:00 Preparing for Rising Medical Costs in Retirement - 2016 by Andrew Friedman, Jeff Bush of Eaton Vance

The Affordable Care Act (commonly known as the “ACA” or “Obamacare”) has had a significant effect on retiree health care costs and retirement planning, and those effects are likely only to increase in the years ahead. People nearing or in retirement need to understand the extent to which their medical expenses are likely to increase, and steps they can take now to help ensure they will be able to afford medical care after they retire.

2016-04-08 00:00:00 Global Outlook – Q2: A Multi-Asset Solutions PM Weighs-In by Doug Gordon of Russell Investments

Doug Gordon takes a look at his team may take advantage of the market insights in our strategists’ Global Market Outlook – Q2 Update.

2016-04-08 00:00:00 Not Your Father's Dividend Stocks by Edward Perkin of Eaton Vance

Dividend investing ain’t what it used to be. What’s the best approach in today’s market?

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

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

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

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

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

Market Perspectives Q1 2016: A White Knuckle Ride

2016-04-05 00:00:00 A Value Fund with a Long-Term Success Record by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Tim Hartch has been a co-manager of the BBH Global Core Select fund (BBGRX) since inception and has also co-managed the BBH Core Select fund (BBTEX) since October 2005. I spoke with Tim about his management philosophy and how he has been able to outperform his benchmark over a long time period.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-04-01 00:00:00 A Different Take on Brexit by Team of Absolute Return Partners

With 2 1/2 months to go before the Brexit referendum it is anybody's guess what the outcome will be. In this month's Absolute Return Letter we take the rare opportunity to comment on a political event. Regardless of where you reside, the result is likely to be important for you. Like most things in life, the choices are not black and white. Enjoy the read.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-03-31 00:00:00 Dynamite Comes in Small Packages: 10 Small Caps for Explosive Returns by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Investing in small-cap stocks is not for everyone. My definition of small-cap is a company whose market is $5 billion or less. However, for those brave souls that are willing to assume a little more risk, they can, under the right conditions, be a very profitable choice. Nevertheless, and in the general sense, small caps offer both advantages and disadvantages that I believe should be clearly understood before utilizing this asset class.

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

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

2016-03-31 00:00:00 The Archetypes of American Foreign Policy: A Reprise by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

In this report, we briefly describe and discuss the four archetypes of American foreign policy as detailed in Walter Russell Meade’s book, Special Providence. By using these archetypes of American foreign policy, one can more easily anticipate how a candidate might act if they were to occupy the Oval Office. With presidential elections less than eight months away, I hope this discussion will assist readers in examining the candidates and their potential foreign policy positions, using these archetypes as a guide. The report concludes with my characterization of the current leading candidates.

2016-03-30 00:00:00 Passive-Aggressive: Index Funds and Risk in European Bond Benchmarks by Scott Spalding, Andrew Bosoworth of PIMCO

In our view, using a bond index fund today exposes portfolios to greater interest rate risk without commensurate compensation in the form of yield.

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

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

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

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

2016-03-27 00:00:00 25 Years of Investing in Asia by Robert Horrocks, Sharat Shroff of Matthews Asia

Matthews Asia has reached a milestone in its history—25 years of investing in Asia. What have been the biggest challenges? What lessons have been learned? This month’s Asia Insight features Robert Horrocks, PhD, and Sharat Shroff, CFA, who share their thoughts on the investing disciplines they have formed in the two decades since Asia has evolved from “interesting but obscure” to a frontline asset class.

2016-03-27 00:00:00 Investment Outlook Update: Market Volatility is Here to Stay by Andrew Pease of Russell Investments

Russell Investments’ Global Market Outlook quarterly looks at global economies through the lens of value, cycle and sentiment to help investors see what might be ahead.

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

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

2016-03-27 00:00:00 What Tools Does the Fed Have Left? Part 2: Targeting Longer-Term Interest Rates by Ben Bernanke of Brookings Institute

Although the U.S. economy appears to be on a positive trajectory, history suggests that at some time in the next few years we may again face a slowdown, with a weakening job market and possibly declining inflation. Given that the historically low level of short-term interest rates is likely to limit the scope for conventional rate cuts, how would the Federal Reserve respond?

2016-03-24 00:00:00 Long-Term Underperformance of European Active Management Continues to Play out in the Active Versus by Daniel Ung of S&P Dow Jones Indices

In this blog post, Daniel Ung discusses European Active Management, how it is continuing on its long-term track of underperformance and how this is playing out in the ongoing active versus passive debate.

2016-03-24 00:00:00 As Western Europe Struggles with Growth, Central Europe Sets a Good Pace by Inbok Song of Thornburg Investment Management

Growth in four of the region's main economies is tracking above 3%, while balance sheet and fiscal profiles have improved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-03-22 00:00:00 Money Misperceptions by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

1 – The Panic of 2008 was not caused by tight monetary policy. 2 – Zero percent interest rate policy (ZIRP) and Quantitative Easing (QE) did not save the US or global economies. 3 – Monetary policy in the US is getting looser as the Fed hikes rates, and, 4 – negative interest rates in Japan and Europe are not working.

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

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

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

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

2016-03-21 00:00:00 Think Positive: Three Reasons We’re Unlikely to See Negative Interest Rate Policy in the US by Laurie Brignac of Invesco Blog

There has been fresh speculation that the US Federal Reserve (Fed) might implement a negative interest rate policy (NIRP) in its quest to boost the economy. While negative interest rates are not a new phenomenon, we’ll explain three main reasons why Invesco Fixed Income believes this scenario is highly unlikely in the short to medium term.

2016-03-21 00:00:00 Global Outlook by (Article)

European equities appear attractive to US investors, says Rennie McConnochie, Head of Global Banks, Aberdeen Asset Management.

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

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

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

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

2016-03-21 00:00:00 An Ugly Deleveraging by Andrew Bosomworth of PIMCO

For the European Central Bank to orchestrate a beautiful deleveraging, the economy needs the right mix of growth and inflation.

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

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

2016-03-19 00:00:00 What tools does the Fed have left? Part 1: Negative interest rates by Ben S. Bernanke of Brookings Institute

The Fed is not out of ammunition, and monetary policy could help cushion a possible future slowdown. That said, there are signs that monetary policy in the United States and other industrial countries is reaching its limits, which makes it even more important that the collective response to a slowdown involve other policies—particularly fiscal policy. A balanced monetary-fiscal response would both be more effective and also reduce the need to use unconventional monetary tools.

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

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

2016-03-19 00:00:00 The Economy and the Election by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The number one question I have been asked during the first quarter is: what will the American election mean for the economy?

2016-03-18 00:00:00 China’s Low-Key Growth Plan May Pack a Punch by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

For most investors, China’s formal announcement of its 2016 economic and fiscal targets was a non-event, because officials had already released many key points publicly. In our view, however, the plan could be a game-changer.

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

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

2016-03-18 00:00:00 Fed Is Desperately Seeking… Inflation? by Kristina Hooper, Steve Malin, Greg Meier of Allianz Global Investors

The FOMC showed patience by holding rates steady at their last meeting, says Allianz Global Investors US Capital Markets Research and Strategy Team, but stubbornly low inflation persists. Investors should watch a range of inflation measures for clues about the next hike.

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

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

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

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

2016-03-16 00:00:00 Global Stakes for the Brexit Vote by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

On February 20th, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the 'in/out EU referendum' he had promised in the campaign for the last parliamentary vote would finally take place on June 23rd. The outcome of the long-promised vote could have a tremendous impact not merely on the future of Mr. Cameron and his coalition but on the economic future of Great Britain and much of the world, including the European Union (EU) and the United States. It's arguable that the referendum will be the most significant vote the world will see between now and the U.S. presidential ballots in November.

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

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

2016-03-16 00:00:00 Changing Political Trends: The U.S. and Europe by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

The news here in the U.S. is all about the election. In Europe, it’s all about the migrant crisis and the politics surrounding it, at both the national and EU levels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-03-11 00:00:00 ECB Stimulus: A Desperate Move? by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

I wrote the other day about the next crisis and why it might well come from Europe. The news from the European Central Bank this morning reinforces my convictions. Although markets seem to be cheering the announcement of more stimulus, to me it looks like one more sign of increasing systemic stress.

2016-03-11 00:00:00 What Goes UP in EMEA as ECB Assets Rise? by Jennifer Thomson of GaveKal Capital

Ahead of tomorrow’s monetary policy meeting at the ECB, a majority of respondents expect both a cut in interest rates and an increase in the amount of monthly purchases in the Public Sector Purchase Program (PSPP) that began about a year ago. Speculation that markets may be disappointed should not come as a surprise, however.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-03-08 00:00:00 Growth Is the Answer to Everything by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

In this business we spend a lot of time thinking about problems. What if we could wave a magic wand and make them all go away? Maybe we can.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-03-06 00:00:00 Myths to Ignore in Emerging Markets by Sammy Suzuki of AllianceBernstein

Investors are fleeing emerging equities en masse. We think they need a new playbook. Great investments can still be found across the developing world—just not in the usual places.

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

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

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

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

2016-03-03 00:00:00 An International Perspective by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

International factors can help explain the relative resilience of longer-term bonds from mid-February to the start of March. Since Treasury yields bottomed on February 11, 2016, the 2-year Treasury yield has increased by 0.15% compared with a more muted 0.09% rise in the 10-year Treasury yield. The relative resilience of longer-term .

2016-03-02 00:00:00 Brexit by Kaisa Stucke of Confluence Investment Management

Despite the EU’s founding premise that members should seek an ever closer union, the U.K. is questioning the net benefits of its membership. Following a recent increase in public opinion asking to separate from the EU, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron set a referendum on membership for June 23. Cameron supports remaining in the EU; however, several other highly visible members of the Conservative Party have stepped out in support of leaving the EU. In this week’s report, we will take a look at the main factors leading to the call for Brexit and their impact on the economy and the markets.

2016-03-02 00:00:00 Why Europe Is Wrong to Ignore the Threat of Brexit by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

Many European investors seem to think this so-called 'Brexit' decision is an issue that will only affect the United Kingdom. We think they’re mistaken and that Brexit has significant implications for investment markets in Europe as a whole.

2016-03-01 00:00:00 Currency Mayhem by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

With both the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan moving to a Negative Interest Rate Policy (NIRP), conventional wisdom says the US dollar will continue to strengthen. After all, the Fed is tightening while everyone else seems to be working overtime to ease policy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-02-28 00:00:00 China’s Volatile Growth by Michael Spence of Project Syndicate

Uncertainty about China’s economic prospects is roiling global markets – not least because so many questions are so difficult to answer. In fact, China’s trajectory has become almost impossible to anticipate, owing to the confusing – if not conflicting – signals being sent by policymakers.

2016-02-28 00:00:00 ZIRP & NIRP: Killing Retirement As We Know It by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

The zero interest rate and now negative interest rate policies of our central banks are gumming up the global retirement machinery. The Federal Reserve and other central banks have spent so many years subsidizing debt and punishing savings that it is now extremely difficult to guarantee future income streams at a reasonable present cost. And future income streams are the very heart and soul of retirement. Without adequate future income streams, retirement as we know it today is off the table.

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

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

2016-02-26 00:00:00 Evaluating the Brexit Threat by Darren Williams of AllianceBernstein

Britain’s debate on staying in the European Union has moved into overdrive, weighing heavily on the pound. If Britain does vote to leave, the impact on the UK economy could be profound—and felt well beyond its borders.

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

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

2016-02-26 00:00:00 Competition and Cooperation: Balancing Family and Firm Models in Family Businesses by Robert Holton of Cleary Gull

Families and business ownership can intersect in fascinatingly complex ways. How family and business leaders think about family dynamics and corporate objectives may influence decisions more than what they think about. In short, the mental model of this crucial intersection matters. Research around how successful families build successful companies recognizes the push and pull of these different interests. There is even an entire industry of consultants working with family owned businesses to overcome these challenges…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-02-23 00:00:00 Euro On the Move? by Jennifer Thomson of GaveKal Capital

Financial news outlets are abuzz with today’s sharp decline in the British Pound.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-02-19 00:00:00 Do a Grouch a Favor by Colin Moore of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Investors should consider rebalancing their portfolios away from trying to maximize return in favor of maximizing consistency of the return. I would also strongly favor strategies that aim to directly manage the volatility of a portfolio rather than the return. While such strategies may result in lower projected returns, investors who employ them are more likely to achieve those returns because lower volatility goes hand in hand with staying invested.

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

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

2016-02-19 00:00:00 Checking Vital Signs of European Banks by Tawhid Ali, Philippos Philippides of AllianceBernstein

European banks are once again facing fears of a meltdown. While current risks require careful scrutiny, a thorough checkup suggests that relatively healthy lenders can be found in the market today.

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

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

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

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

2016-02-19 00:00:00 More About Negative Interest Rates by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

My post the other day about negative interest rates in Japan sparked some questions from readers, so let’s dig a bit deeper. (We’ll return to our analysis of global risks and opportunities next week.) This actually isn’t a new topic. My own discussions of negative rates go back to mid-2014, when the European Central Bank first introduced them. In a sign of how quickly strange things get normalized, I didn't comment on negative rates again until a year ago. Although I wouldn’t say that negative rates are now normal, there’s no question that they’re much less abnormal than they used

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-02-18 00:00:00 Central Banking Goes Negative by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate

In what could well be a final act of desperation, central banks are abdicating effective control of the economies they have been entrusted to manage. Indeed, the shift to negative rates will only compound the risks of financial instability and set the stage for the next crisis.

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

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

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

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

2016-02-16 00:00:00 When Sideways Is Good by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

You know how it is when you take a reflex test? A doctor thwacks you on the knee and 400 milliseconds later you involuntarily react. You can try it here. Markets are on the same track these days and, as we wrote a back in January, news comes in and there’s a spontaneous reaction.

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

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

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

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

2016-02-12 00:00:00 CoCos Are a No-Go for Calamos by Eli Pars of Calamos Investments

Contingent convertible bonds (“CoCos”) have been in the news lately. And not in a good way. As several European banks have reported poor earnings recently, investors have become concerned again about banks. Cocos have been ground zero for those fears.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 Trump: We’re Getting Railed by High Taxes and Regulations by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

It’s not the first time Trump has made a wild claim, but in this case he’s right, by one very important measure—the corporate statutory tax rate. Since 1990, this rate has hovered around 39 percent, making it the highest among OECD nations, and for the largest GDP in the world.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 Are Unicorns for Real? by Lee Robinson of Altana Wealth

The world is a rapidly changing place. We see lots of disruption with many losers and winners. For asset owners, spotting and removing those stocks and bonds that could fall 80-100% is just as important as finding those new winners. Arguably the former is much easier than the latter.

2016-02-11 00:00:00 2016 Economic & Capital Market Outlook by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

This year will likely be a challenging one for both the capital markets and investors. Investors are facing one of the worst stock markets in sixty years as stock prices plunge on news of slowing growth in China and plunging oil prices. We believe the risks in the economy are skewed to the downside and expect to see growing problems in manufacturing and the consumer sector. However, at the same time, this will prove to be a year of opportunity as stock prices of quality companies decline to levels that are now attractive and investors are adequately compensated for taking risk.

2016-02-11 00:00:00 3 Reasons Why this Gold Rally Is the Real Deal by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Gold prices peaked at $1,900 per ounce in September 2011. It was the end of a spectacular, decade-long bull market, during which the precious metal’s value increased a phenomenal 645 percent.

2016-02-10 00:00:00 Russia's Struggles by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Over the past year, Russia has faced a growing number of challenges that have the potential to weaken President Putin’s hold on the reins of power. In this report, we will discuss recent trends in the country, including the economic problems caused by falling oil prices and the military operations occurring in Ukraine and Syria. We will examine the Putin government’s responses to these issues. As always, we will conclude with market ramifications.

2016-02-10 00:00:00 70 Is the New 65: Demographics Still Support 'Lower Rates for Longer' by Matthew Tracey, Joachim Fels of PIMCO

The so-called demographic cliff remains at least a decade away; meanwhile, global demographics should continue fueling the savings glut.

2016-02-09 00:00:00 Top Silver Mining CEO: Don't Laugh, We Could See $100+ Silver by Mike Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

Exclusive Interview with First Majestic CEO Keith Neumeyer on Metals, Mining, and Manipulation

2016-02-09 00:00:00 Midwinter Forecast: More Volatility Ahead by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses why the elements are in place for more volatility, and ways to help provide some insulation for your portfolio.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Volatility in Europe May Reveal New Investment Opportunities in 2016 by Richard Nield of Invesco Blog

The end of 2015 didn’t bring any dramatic changes to European fundamentals. However, there have been some subtle shifts that the Invesco International and Global Growth team is keeping an eye on in 2016. While our strategy did not initiate any new positions in Europe during the fourth quarter, recent volatility has brought some of our “watch list” names closer to the point where we would add them to the portfolio.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Learning from Taylor by Brian Andrew of Johnson Bank

While attending one of my son’s downhill ski races over the weekend, I found myself riding the chairlift back to the top of the hill listening to the fifth Taylor Swift song in a row, blaring from the loud speakers. I thought, isn’t it possible that we’ve had too much of Taylor Swift? I mean she is everywhere on country and pop radio and has been for many years. And that had me thinking about last week’s news from central bankers, here in the U.S. and abroad.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 When Stocks Crash and Easy Money Doesn't Help by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Historically, increases in the Fed’s balance sheet have only been positively associated with increases in the S&P 500, on average, when the S&P 500 was already in an uptrend and investors were already inclined to speculate.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Equities Remain Under Pressure as Investors Focus on the Negatives by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equity prices fell again last week as investors followed the “de-risking” theme that has dominated most of 2016. The S&P 500 Index dropped 3.0% for the week. Oil prices staged a slight rebound last week, as expectations rose for coordinated production cuts from OPEC countries and Russia. The dollar experienced a sell-off last week as well, which provided some support for the hard-hit commodity-related equity sectors.

2016-02-06 00:00:00 10 Numbers to Know for the Chinese New Year by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

I’ve put together 10 figures to know as China enters a new year.

2016-02-06 00:00:00 Watching and Waiting by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen and Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Don’t just do something, sit there! Not panicking can be tough to do in times of increased volatility, but often the best advice to avoid emotional decisions. We continue to expect severe bouts of volatility at least until the trajectory of the U.S. and global economy is more definitive. In the meantime, the Fed is likely to become more dovish in the near-term, which could stabilize the volatility. Recent results for global PMI readings are relatively encouraging and certainly argue against the apocalyptic forecasts so prevalent today.

2016-02-05 00:00:00 Investors to Governments: We'll pay you to Hold Our Money by Joe Becker, Adam Schenck, Jeff Greco of Milliman Financial Risk Management

Markets tumbled out of the gate in early 2016 sending investors fleeing to quality. Rates around the globe plummeted in response, pushing some countries’ yield curves further into negative territory.

2016-02-05 00:00:00 The Global Economy’s New Abnormal by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

Since the beginning of the year, the world economy has faced a new bout of severe financial market volatility, marked by sharply falling prices for equities and other risky assets. A variety of factors are at work – and will remain so throughout 2016 and beyond.

2016-02-05 00:00:00 Riding Out Wild Equity Markets by Kent Hargis, Sammy Suzuki, Chris Marx of AllianceBernstein

The market convulsions of the past few weeks have many investors thinking twice about owning stocks. But there’s a way to stay the course in equities without abandoning comfort zones: consider strategies with built-in shock absorbers.

2016-02-05 00:00:00 GMO Quarterly Letter by Ben Inker, Jeremy Grantham of GMO

In a new quarterly letter to GMO's institutional clients, co-head of asset allocation Ben Inker examines U.S. high yield corporate bonds, an "asset class that had a notably bad year," concluding, "at current spreads, high yield seems to be no worse than fair value and probably better than that... In today's environment, that makes it one of the best available risk assets for investors" ("Giving a Little Credit to High Yield").

2016-02-05 00:00:00 Deflation Rears Its Ugly Head by John Osterweis, Matt Berler of Osterweis Capital Management

Several years ago we developed a view that the U.S. economy and its equity market were misunderstood, out of favor and undervalued. The world was infatuated at the time with the mesmerizing growth rates of many emerging market economies while the U.S. was viewed as having been bumped from center stage by the ascendant BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies. Over the five years, 2009-2014, investors moved a stunning $1.6 trillion into emerging market funds.

2016-02-05 00:00:00 No Place to Hide or No Place to Go? by Carl Kaufman, Simon Lee, Bradley Kane of Osterweis Capital Management

2015 was a very frustrating year for investors as there was plenty of volatility, virtually no standouts and quite a few disappointments. Despite relatively steady U.S. economic growth, domestic equities were essentially flat for the year with the exception of some tech and biotech heavy indices. U.S. investment grade bond performance was also essentially flat, while high yield, still under pressure from declining energy and industrial commodity prices, lost money.

2016-02-04 00:00:00 The Dethroning of Cash: Discouraged, Penalized, Even Banned? by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

Stock market gyrations and deteriorating global economic conditions in the early goings of 2016 sent investors fleeing for safety. Or at least what is commonly thought to be safety.

2016-02-04 00:00:00 Negative on Japan’s Negative Interest Rates by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

One of the most interesting (and surprising) pieces of news on the economics front has been the Bank of Japan’s decision to take rates to negative levels—in other words, to charge depositors to keep their money in the bank. This is not an unprecedented move, as negative rates have been in place for a while in some European countries, but it’s still somewhat unusual.

2016-02-04 00:00:00 2016: The Year of Multi-Asset Investing (again) by Jeff Hussey of Russell Investments

Global CIO Jeff Hussey shares at his multi-asset investing resolutions for 2016.

2016-02-03 00:00:00 Fear February After Jittery January? by Burt White of LPL Financial

Don’t worry about the January Barometer, which says, “As goes January, so goes the year.” Here we discuss the reliability of this indicator and several factors that may lead to better performance in February. We see opportunities in the stock market in 2016, but suggest caution in the near term as we await clarity on the key issues pressuring investor sentiment.

2016-02-02 00:00:00 As Markets Swing, Momentum Can Be Deceiving by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the likelihood that markets will remain volatile, and what that means for stocks, particularly for the momentum theme.

2016-02-02 00:00:00 What the Bank of Japan's Negative-Rate Policy Means for Investors by Daisuke Nomoto of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The Bank of Japan’s new negative interest rate policy should benefit Japanese exporters and high-dividend stocks, but could have an adverse effect on banks. We believe this policy should provide the Japanese economy and equity market with more positives than negatives. We encourage investors to look for opportunities in high-quality Japanese companies to take advantage of the recent sell-off.

2016-02-02 00:00:00 On My Radar: The Last Bull Standing by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Today, I share with you some of my high-level notes from this week’s Inside ETFs Conference in Hollywood, Florida. The forward return theme was consistent, from Vanguard to Wharton Professor Jeremy Siegel: expect low equity and fixed income returns. Jeffrey Gundlach left the audience in a state of depression (well the audience, not Gundlach) and Mark Yusko spoke of likely recession citing poor ISM numbers. This left Prof. Siegel to later say, “It appears I’m the only bull at the conference.”

2016-02-01 00:00:00 A Frail New World by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

In this month's Absolute Return letter we argue why the long-term outlook for GDP growth and for returns on risk assets is uninspiring. We are often 'accused' of allowing the negative long-term demographic outlook to colour our view on risk assets in general, but in the February letter we argue why the demographic outlook is only one of (at least) four factors, which will hold back GDP growth as well as returns on risk assets in the years to come.

2016-02-01 00:00:00 Tokyo Doubles Down by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

I’ve been busily writing a letter on oil and energy, but in the middle of the process I decided yesterday that I really needed to talk to you about the Bank of Japan’s “surprise” interest-rate move to -0.1%. And I don’t so much want to comment on the factual of the policy move as on what it means for the rest of the world, and especially the US.

2016-01-29 00:00:00 Denmark Is THE Bright Spot? by Jennifer Thomson of GaveKal Capital

With ~80% of all stocks down since last May’s highs, and market sentiment fairly (shall we say?) stressed, we sometimes find it helpful to take a step back and try to look at the bigger picture. Regular readers are familiar with our use of a proprietary point-and-figure methodology that we use to help us avoid underperformers in our stock selection (or, where appropriate, DE-selection) process.

2016-01-29 00:00:00 Crude Oil: The Bane of a Commodity Trader’s Existence by Harish Sundaresh of Loomis Sayles

Oil traders everywhere probably had their fingers crossed that oil’s craziest trading days would not persist into the New Year. In 2015, we watched benchmark oil indices drop over 30% and the sheer number of shuttered commodity hedge funds is testament to how difficult trading ‘black gold’ has been. Unfortunately, I expect 2016 to be no easier – full of fits and starts with lots of volatility in between. However, by end of 2016 I expect crude prices to rise to $45-50 from current levels of just under $30.

2016-01-29 00:00:00 Recession on the Horizon? Look at the Big Picture by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Whether or not a recession is imminent, I believe it's a good idea for investors to be prepared by having a well-diversified portfolio, including assets such as gold and municipal bonds. Gold has tended to have a low correlation with stocks, meaning that even when stocks were tumbling, it's managed to retain its value well. The same can be said for short-term, high-quality munis, which have been shown to offer a greater amount of stability than some other types of securities, even during market downturns.

2016-01-29 00:00:00 Do Interest Rates Know No Bounds? by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Many interest rates in Europe have been below zero for quite a while and are poised to fall further.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview: December 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

While the developed economies remain fairly resilient, economic data from the emerging countries have turned more subdued recently. Export gains remain restricted as global demand is yet to see sustained revival, despite relatively brighter consumer sentiment in the developed countries. Continued weakness in energy and commodity prices is likely to keep Brazil and Russia in recession in 2016, while also hurting the growth prospects of most countries in Latin America, including Mexico.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 Peak Profits by Chris Brightman, Jonathan Treussard, Mark Clements of Research Affiliates

After recovering from the commodity-induced profits recession, aggregate market EPS should advance in the decades ahead much more slowly than the unsustainably rapid rate of the past 25 years.

2016-01-27 00:00:00 International Equity Commentary: December 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

International equity prices saw a modest correction in December as the U.S. Federal Reserve announced its first rate hike in several years and indicated further increases in 2016. U.S. economic growth for the third quarter was revised higher and the strong labor market gains suggested that the expansion could continue.

2016-01-27 00:00:00 Buckle Up by Byron Wien of Blackstone

My list of Ten Surprises for 2016 has a gloomy tone. I generally think of myself as an optimist, but some concepts that I have been brooding about for a while seem to be converging. I have been worrying about the impact of China’s slowdown on the rest of the world, the ramifications of the refugee crisis on the stability of Europe, the peaking of profit margins in the United States, the surfeit of goods around the world coupled with insufficient demand, the dependence of developed economies on central bank monetary easing for growth, the accumulation of public and private debt...

2016-01-27 00:00:00 Multiple Worries Continue To Hammer The Stock Markets by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The major US stock markets have turned in their worst January performance in history, as have many equity markets around the world – and the month is not over yet. As a result, we’ll keep our focus on what is driving this extremely volatile move.

2016-01-26 00:00:00 Municipal Bonds: Staying Calm in Turbulent Markets by Team of Lord Abbett

Municipal bonds continue to defy market volatility, offering an oasis of tranquility for investors. Here’s why.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 Annus Horribilis for MLPs by David Chiaro of Eagle Global Advisors

Despite the returns seen recently for MLPs generally, we are very optimistic about the outlook for MLPs in the long-run. Bottom line, we see the demand for midstream services to continue to expand. While we expect the volumes of oil will decline in the coming quarters, we expect the volumes of gas to be produced will still increase. And while oil is in oversupply for the current time, strong demand growth is being spurred by lower prices.

2016-01-24 00:00:00 China’s Year of the Monkees by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

China isn’t the only reason markets got off to a terrible start this month, but it is definitely a big factor (at least psychologically). Between impractical circuit breakers, weaker economic data, stronger capital controls, and renewed currency confusion, China has investors everywhere scratching their heads.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 On January Barometers and Market Bargains by Templeton Global Equity Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

We are now witnessing historic extremes in the discount afforded to value relative to growth, quality and safety. While this environment has been (and may remain) painful for some time, the eventual normalization of these extremes represents the most compelling opportunities in equity markets today.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 Global Greying and Demographic Drags by Bruce Campbell of BMO Global Asset Management

The report examines the changing demographics of global workforces. The report notes that birth rates are dropping everywhere, workforce growth is dramatically slowing, and the median age is rising as people are living longer. BMO warns that the likely repercussions include inadequately funded pension and social security plans, strain on health care and retirement facilities, and uncertainty surrounding government budget forecasts due to slowing GDP growth.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 Surviving Chinese Volatility by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

2016 is likely to be a year of volatility in China. This month’s Asia Insight explains how this volatility can create opportunities for investors, especially when dire headlines incorrectly assume that weak performance by outdated market indexes signal an economic hard landing.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 Comparisons to 2008 Spark Gold’s Fear Trade by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The comparisons to 2008 have triggered gold’s Fear Trade, with many investors scrambling into safe haven assets. Jeffrey Gundlach, the legendary “bond king,” recently made a call that amid further market turmoil, the metal could spike as much as 30 percent, to $1,400 an ounce.

2016-01-21 00:00:00 Hoisington Quarterly Review and Outlook – 4Q2015 by Van Hoisington, Lacy Hunt of Hoisington Investment Management

The economy was supposed to fire on all cylinders in 2015. Sufficient time had passed for the often-mentioned lags in monetary and scal policy to finally work their way through the system according to many pundits inside and outside the Fed. Surely the economy would be kick-started by: three rounds of quantitative easing and forward guidance; a record Federal Reserve balance sheet; and an unprecedented increase in federal debt from $9.99 trillion in 2008 to $18.63 trillion in 2015, a jump of 86%.

2016-01-21 00:00:00 Managing Chinese Volatility by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

China’s economy continues to decelerate, but gradually and while generating a much bigger incremental expansion in GDP than a decade ago. The old economy is weak, but the consumer and services part—the biggest part of the economy—remains healthy. Recent volatility is likely to continue, as the economy becomes more market-oriented and regulators experiment with unfamiliar tools.

2016-01-21 00:00:00 Low Oil Prices Hammer Markets by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

Oil prices continue to fall and are bringing markets down with them. We talked about why oil prices are dropping last week, so today, let’s take a look at why markets are getting hammered—and whether that is likely to last.

2016-01-21 00:00:00 What’s Missing in the Debate About Thomas Piketty? by Hans-Jörg Naumer of Allianz Global Investors

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century offered passing insights on economic inequality, but Hans-Jörg Naumer, Global Head of Capital Markets & Thematic Research for Allianz Global Investors, says a more lasting solution lies in the relationship between labor and capital.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 One Weird Trick to Forecast Commodity Trends by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

If you want to know about the past, a good place to start is by looking at GDP. It tells you the dollar value of a country or region’s goods and services over a specific time period. But GDP’s like looking in the rearview mirror, in that it shows you where you’ve been and little more. It’s “blind” to what’s ahead of you.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 It’s Time to Reevaluate Risk in Your Portfolio by Don Schreiber of WBI Investments

In response to the 2008 Financial Crisis, governments around the world led by the U.S. Federal Reserve adopted zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) and quantitative easing (QE) monetary policy tools to try to stabilize the financial system.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 On My Radar: A Cyclical Bear Market (Here’s Why) by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group, Inc.

The speed at which stocks have dropped 10% (defined as a correction) two times in a short period of time has happened just three times in the last 100 years. 1927, 2000 and 2008.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 Why the “Worst Year” Might Be a Good Time to Invest by Team of Lord Abbett

Investors who had a hard time finding returns in 2015 might do well to heed the lessons of two other challenging years—1937 and 1987.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter by Ron Muhlenkamp, Jeff Muhlenkamp of Muhlenkamp & Company

In the fourth quarter, the S&P 500 Index was up a bit over 7% and up 1.38% for the year. Our accounts, on average, were up 3.52% in the quarter and down 5.03% for the year. (Individual performance varies by account.) The gains for the broader Index in the quarter were mostly made by a small number of large capitalization tech stocks, Facebook, Amazon, Netfl ix, Google, and Microsoft among them.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Albert Edwards – Dollar Appreciation and a Global Recession by Robert Huebscher (Article)

As the equity markets have suffered their worst performance ever to start a year, we’ve heard the familiar refrain from the chorus of sell-side analysts: Don’t panic, the economy is fine and the markets will recover. Among the few who are warning that things could get worse – indeed, much worse – is Albert Edwards.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Pricing Power Adds Pep to Equities by Mark Phelps, Dev Chakrabarti of AllianceBernstein

It’s hard to find companies that can reliably increase earnings while global economic growth remains subdued. In this environment, pricing power can help investors identify companies that are capable of delivering sustainable growth.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: January by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

Though the rest of the world may not be doing as well as the United States, we think global growth remains acceptable and do not anticipate a global recession or global deflation.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

US equites have dropped some 10% in the past two weeks, returning to their August/September lows. This has triggered a bearish technical pattern. Is the stock market signaling a recession and the start of a bear market? Risk has clearly increased, but on balance, the evidence suggests the answer remains no.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Economists on the Refugee Path by Robert Shiller of Project Syndicate

Under today’s haphazard and archaic asylum rules, refugees must take enormous risks to reach safety, and the costs and benefits of helping them are distributed capriciously. Economists can help spur reform by testing which international rules and institutions are needed to improve an inefficient and often inhumane system.

2016-01-17 00:00:00 2016: Surprises & Scenarios by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Today we’ll look at 2016 forecasts from some professionals I trust. I know most of them personally and have been friends with some of them for years. I know they aren’t just “talking their book.” They may turn out to be wrong, but if so, it will be for the right reasons. After we review the forecasts, we’ll look at some common threads among them, as well as important differences.

2016-01-16 00:00:00 On the Couch by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management

I woke up early on Saturday, December 12 – the morning after a day of significant declines in stocks, credit and crude oil – with enough thoughts going through my mind to keep me from going back to sleep. Thus I moved to my desk to start a memo that would pull them together. I knew it might be a long time between inception and eventual issuance, since every time I dealt with one thought, two more popped into my head. In the end, it took a month to get it done.

2016-01-16 00:00:00 One Weird Trick to Forecast Commodity Trends by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Several times in the past, we’ve shown that there’s a high correlation between the global PMI reading and the performance of commodities and energy three months later. When a PMI “cross-above” occurs—that is, when the monthly reading crosses above the three-month moving average—it has historically signaled a possible uptrend in crude oil, copper and other commodities. Our research shows that between January 1998 and June 2015, copper had an 81 percent probability of rising 7 percent, while crude jumped the same amount three-quarters of the time.

2016-01-16 00:00:00 Market Plunges Deeper, but No Recession in Sight by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

I’ve written over the past couple of days that it's not time to panic, and I still believe that's true. But it appears there may be more short-term damage than I initially thought. Now, the question is, how much worse might it get, and what does that mean for us as investors?

2016-01-16 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective by Team of Franklin Templeton Investments

• US Fundamentals Look Strong Enough to Cope with Higher Rates • A Softer Growth Backdrop for Much of the Rest of the World • Europe’s Recovery Remains Modest but Inflation Still Weak

2016-01-15 00:00:00 5 Good and 5 Bad Scenarios for 2016 by Neil Dwane of Allianz Global Investors

Peering into the future, Neil Dwane, Global Strategist with Allianz Global Investors, looks at how 10 different scenarios—from a rehabilitated Russia to a global pandemic—could impact the global economy and move markets over the coming year.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 Why Oil Prices Are Declining by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

Now that the equity markets seem to have stabilized a bit, let’s return to what underlies much of the current turmoil: the market for oil. The conversation usually centers on the price of oil, but the price is merely a symptom, not the cause.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 What Saudi-Iranian Tensions Mean for Oil Prices in 2016 by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

A prisoner's dilemma game of sorts between Saudi Arabia and Iran has big implications for oil prices in 2016. Russ and an investment strategist on his team, Terry Simpson, explain.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 Economic Outlook January 2016 by John Calamos, Sr. of Calamos Investments

In 2015, we saw significant bifurcation between the haves and have-nots (within asset classes, across asset classes and among economies), as well as high volatility. We expect bifurcation and volatility to remain dominant themes in 2016, making positioning especially important. The year has gotten off to a rocky start, but we believe 2016 ultimately will prove to be a low-return environment. We expect elevated volatility as market participants grapple with a range of unknowns.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 Asset Allocation 2.0™ by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

Global markets are experiencing a major paradigm shift, which has rendered traditional asset allocation models all but obsolete. In order to attain true diversification investors must abandon the past and embrace the new. Introducing Asset Allocation 2.0™.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 Should Investors Worry About China Selling U.S. Bonds? by Matthew Pasts of BTS Asset Management

At BTS we often say investors should increase the level of attention they pay to the price side of bonds, because we believe the risk of principal loss, especially in a low?interest rate environment, is higher than many people realize. It’s important to focus on supply and demand factors as part of that focus on bond prices.

2016-01-13 00:00:00 Frontier Markets in Focus: 2016 and Beyond by Carlos Hardenberg of Franklin Templeton Investments

Frontier markets represent exciting long-term investment opportunities for our team. We see favorable fundamentals including strong economic growth, abundant natural and human resources, favorable demographic profiles, the potential for rapid technological progress, and potential benefits from improving infrastructure and improving standards of governance.

2016-01-13 00:00:00 Will Lower Interest Rate Volatility Last? by Vicky Zhao of PIMCO

Though volatility has diminished in recent years, U.S. interest rates are unlikely to be structurally less volatile going forward.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 A Year-End Letter to Clients: Why I’m Optimistic by Dan Richards (Article)

This is a template for a year-end letter that can be sent to clients. It summarizes 2015 market performance and provides reasons why clients should be optimistic about the period ahead.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Colin Moore of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Interpreting equity declines as relatively “good”, “bad” or “ugly” provides context on how investors should react. We are experiencing a “good” correction as investors have focused on the level of sustainable economic growth and concluded that it is lower than they hoped. I am modestly positive about risk assets and believe investors will get significantly more impact by looking at sectors and individual securities rather than broad markets.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 Macro Concerns... Bottom Up Opportunities? by Jim Tillar, Steve Wenstrup of Tillar-Wenstrup Advisors

A year ago we wrote: "Anyone who scans the investment landscape beyond the S&P 500 should be anxious." Market signals were flashing caution and most financial markets disappointed investors in 2015.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 No More Excuses! by Sam Stewart of Wasatch Funds

What’s really important going forward is not the Fed’s recent decision?—?which was widely conveyed ahead of time?—?but the course of several issues that will play out globally. These issues include the type and duration of monetary policies that will be pursued by the world’s central bankers, and the trends in commodity prices, currency values, credit spreads and longer-term interest rates.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 Policy Support Amid Sluggish Growth: Asia’s Economies in Transition by Adam Bowe, Luke Spajic, Tadashi Kakuchi of PIMCO

Policy will be critical over the coming year but options are constrained by excessive debt, domestic politics and potential asset bubbles.

2016-01-11 00:00:00 Economicus Terra Incognita by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Welcome to 2016. Tradition dictates that you spend the first few weeks or so reading forecasts for the coming year. I can say with certainty that most of them will be wrong. A smaller number may hit the target. Unfortunately, no one knows which forecasts will fall into which category.

2016-01-11 00:00:00 Thinking International by (Article)

Closed-end funds may appeal to investors thinking about international strategies for portfolio diversification, says John Cole Scott of CEF Advisors.

2016-01-11 00:00:00 China Worries Trigger a Tough Start to the New Year by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equities dropped sharply last week with the S&P 500 index losing 5.9%, its worst first trading week of the year on record.1 Worries about slowing Chinese growth and policy uncertainty were the main culprits for the rout, and sagging oil prices triggered concerns about corporate earnings. Late in the week, markets saw a brief reprieve in light of a strong December jobs report.

2016-01-11 00:00:00 On My Radar: China, Valuation Charts and Recession Watch Charts by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

China marked its currency lower once again yesterday. That makes eight days in a row they lowered the yuan. Last August, they devalued the yuan and that sent global equity markets into a dive. As Yogi Berra would say, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

2016-01-11 00:00:00 Long-Term Thinking in the Midst of Short-Term Volatility by Joe Rodriguez of Invesco Blog

The past year witnessed a significant spike in volatility as the health of the global economy faced uncertainty. Global markets struggled with concerns over growth and stability in China, emerging market weakness and currency devaluation, recession in Japan and the continued need for inflation-targeting policy in Europe. And while the US economy appeared to be the relative picture of health, the equity markets continued to focus on decisions by the Federal Reserve Board (the Fed) and depressed commodity prices.

2016-01-10 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Momentum should carry equities lower, at least intra-week. Important support levels have been broken; these are now first resistance. Breadth is washed out, similar to past lows, and investor sentiment is now very bearish. It's time to be on the lookout for the formation of a base and at least a temporary bounce higher.

2016-01-09 00:00:00 How Gold Got Its Groove Back by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

After five straight positive trading sessions, the yellow metal climbed above $1,100 on a weaker U.S. dollar, its highest level in nine weeks. The rally proves that gold still retains its status as a safe haven among investors, who were motivated this week by a rocky Chinese stock market, North Korea’s announcement that it detonated a hydrogen bomb on Wednesday and rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 Money Market Reform and DC Plans Time Is Almost Up by Brett Gorman, Brian Leach of PIMCO

SEC reforms will make money market funds far less attractive but sponsors have several capital preservation alternatives to consider.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 Lackluster Returns Made 2015 a Year Worth Forgetting by Joe Becker, Adam Schenck, Jeff Greco of Milliman Financial Risk Management

After finishing November in marginally positive year-to-date territory, the S&P 500 sold off by nearly 2% in December, finishing the year down 0.73%, its first down year since 2008.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 CIO Newsletter – Jan 2016 by Ritesh Jain, Abhishek Sonthalia of Tata Asset Management

This newsletter has my views on the important developments in the investment world in 2015 and the outlook for 2016. Indeed we are in a very dynamic global environment and volatility is abound. One of the most important developments in 2015 was the depletion of global forex reserves held by central banks and asset sales by petro dollars funded sovereign wealth funds.

2016-01-06 00:00:00 5 Portfolio Ideas for 2016 by Russ Koesterich, of BlackRock

Amid high prices and high volatility, selectivity will be key to generating returns in 2016. So where should investors look for opportunities? Russ shares five ideas.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 Liftoff by Dr. Richard Michaud of New Frontier Advisors

Domestic equities were positive for the quarter but mostly flat for the year. In the quarter the S&P 500 gained 4.8%, the Dow Jones Industrials 5.8% and the NASDAQ 6.4%. Year to date the S&P went down by 0.7%, Dow declined by 2.2% but the NASDAQ was up nearly 5.7%. U.S. small caps underperformed large caps; the Russell 2000 index gained 1.9% for the quarter and lost 5.7% for the year. Domestic bond markets were little changed for the quarter and year.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 More of the Same in 2016, for Better or Worse by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the outlook for 2016, which will offers challenges similar to the ones investors faced in 2015.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 The Biggest Stories of 2016? by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

Which stories are most likely to clear the front pages of the financial newspapers in 2016? In this month's Absolute Return Letter we take a closer look at that and arrive at the conclusion that three favourites stand out. We discuss all three, and we look at the implications for financial markets, should any of them unfold. Enjoy the read and happy New Year.

2016-01-04 00:00:00 Where Are Valuations At Heading Into 2016? by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

The average price to cash flow value for a company in the developed world currently sits at 13.67x while the median value is lower at 10.18x. Europe has some of the most expensive and cheapest valuations out there based on price to cash flow.

2016-01-04 00:00:00 The Europe Question in 2016 by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

At the cusp of the new year, we face a world in which geopolitical and geo-economic risks – in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia – are multiplying. Yet it is Europe that may turn out to be the ground zero of geopolitics in the coming 12 months.

2016-01-04 00:00:00 Byron Wien Announces Predictions for Ten Surprises for 2016 by Byron Wien of Blackstone

Byron R. Wien, Vice Chairman of Multi-Asset Investing at Blackstone, today issued his list of Ten Surprises for 2016. This is the 31st year Byron has given his views on a number of economic, financial market and political surprises for the coming year. Byron defines a “surprise” as an event that the average investor would only assign a one out of three chance of taking place but which Byron believes is “probable,” having a better than 50% likelihood of happening.

2016-01-04 00:00:00 On My Radar: 2016 Outlook by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

If you haven’t seen the movie The Big Short, go see it. Christian Bale plays Michael Burry in Adam McKay’s adaptation of Michael Lewis’s book about the 2008 financial crisis. Burry was one of the hedge fund managers me and my team knew well. He and others helped us to better understand the approaching sub-prime crisis. I wrote about the issue frequently back then.

2016-01-03 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review: A Closer Look At The Business Sector, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The industrial sector starts the year in a mild recession while the market is becoming defensive in its sector rotation.

2016-01-01 00:00:00 S&P 500 Snapshot by Doug Short (Article)

The link for this frequent update has changed to this URL: http://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/Market-Snapshot Please change your bookmarks accordingly.

2015-12-31 00:00:00 A Year for Value? by Norman J. Boersma and Cindy L. Sweeting of Franklin Templeton Investments

While global equities appear vulnerable to near-term volatility, Templeton Global Equity Group’s Norm Boersma and Cindy Sweeting are optimistic about the year ahead. And, they believe the environment appears favorable for value investing to shine. Read on for the team’s 2016 outlook.

2015-12-31 00:00:00 The Year Ahead - 2016 by Mark Ungewitter of Charter Trust Company

In the spirit of year-end prognostication, here's my annual review of long-term trends and behavioral tendencies that are likely to influence key markets in 2016.

2015-12-31 00:00:00 Developed Europe: Economy Trends Update October 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The 19-country Euro-zone, which forms a substantial part of the Developed Europe region under our coverage, lost a bit of its growth momentum during the third quarter, signaling that the slowdown in the developing world is likely taking a toll on the export-focused single-currency bloc.

2015-12-31 00:00:00 Hope for the New Year: 3 Asset Classes for 2016 by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Last week, I reflected back on 2015 by revisiting the 10 most popular posts of the year. Today I’d like to look ahead to 2016 by pinpointing three asset classes that I believe hold opportunities for investors.

2015-12-30 00:00:00 Which China are You Looking At? by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

Few investors recognize that this is almost certain to be the third consecutive year in which the manufacturing and construction part of China’s economy will be smaller than the consumption and services part. What else have we learned about China in 2015? Sinology examines.

2015-12-30 00:00:00 Russia’s Strategy by George Friedman of Mauldin Economics

Two things are necessary to understand a nation’s strategy. The first is to view the world through the eyes of that nation… to know what it hopes for and fears. The second is to understand that the nation’s leader is far from a free agent.

2015-12-29 00:00:00 2015: What Worked ?and What Didn't by Team of Lord Abbett

The trends were clear early on, but 2015 still took some unexpected turns, particularly with regard to the intensity of the decline in oil prices.

2015-12-29 00:00:00 What I Got Right (and Wrong) in 2015 by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Keeping with his annual tradition, Russ compares the year that was to the year that he expected.

2015-12-29 00:00:00 How to Fight Jihadi Terrorism by George Soros of Project Syndicate

The Islamic State’s leaders know that their days in Iraq and Syria are numbered, which is why they are transferring their forces to Libya and stepping up attacks in the West. As 2016 gets underway, the most important imperative faced by the West is to disarm the trap ISIS has set, by resisting the siren song of fear.

2015-12-29 00:00:00 Congress Lifts Ban On Crude Oil Exports After 40 Years by Gary D. Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

1. Congress Reverses 40-Year Ban on Crude Oil Exports 2. Gasoline Prices Are Low, But Don’t Get Used To It 3. Texas Company to be First to Export US Crude Abroad 4. Oil Bears Bet on $25 Crude Oil Price, Some Even $15

2015-12-24 00:00:00 2016 Global Market Outlook: A Tussle Between Bulls and Bears? by Andrew Pease of Russell Investments

Our annual global market outlook looks at global economies through the lens of value, cycle and sentiment to help investors see what might be ahead.

2015-12-24 00:00:00 Christmas Edition: 2015 in Review by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Before we reach 2016, I want to reflect back on 2015. Everyone is talking about interest rates and monetary policy right now, but the role fiscal policy plays is just as important—if not more so. As I always say, government policy is a precursor to change, and very recently we saw this firsthand.

2015-12-22 00:00:00 2015 Recap and a Look to the Year Ahead by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Sir John Templeton coined the phrase, “Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria.” In 2015, we expected investors to transition from “skepticism” to “optimism” as we experienced (1) solid momentum in U.S. economic growth with low inflation, (2) a pickup in consumer spending based on job growth, confidence and a positive wealth effect, (3) solid earnings growth, (4) stimulus from low commodity prices and financing costs and (5) a still-good liquidity environment aided by stimulus from non-U.S. central banks.

2015-12-22 00:00:00 Oil Prices—The Asset Allocation Perspective by Multi-Asset Solutions Team of BMO Global Asset Management

The commentary examines the impact of falling oil prices, specifically the possibility of a “risk-off” event created by an unexpected sharp decline in oil prices spilling over into equity and credit markets. Additionally, the recent closing of the Third Avenue credit fund should not trigger a “one size fits all” attitude regarding all high-yield funds. As asset allocators with a long-term time horizon, BMO sees lower energy prices as a net positive for riskier assets such as equities and high-yield bonds.

2015-12-21 00:00:00 Chinese Railway Stays On Track by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The Chinese railway system has changed dramatically since I last visited the Asian nation. I can remember taking the high-speed train from Shanghai to Beijing during a visit in 2011; at the time it was a fresh, dedicated line covering 819 miles in a little less than five hours.

2015-12-21 00:00:00 Main Themes of 2015 by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

As we all looked back on the past year, the word “eventful” came up often in conversation. Following are our reflections on the main events that influenced economic performance in 2015.

2015-12-20 00:00:00 The Seven Fat Years of ZIRP by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

In today’s letter we are going to examine the problematic credit markets, and I want to focus on something that is happening off the radar screen: the continuing rise of credit in private lending. I predicted the rise of private credit back in 2007 and said that it would become a major force in the world, but I got strange looks from audiences when I talked about the arcane subject of private credit. Today the shadow banking system is taking significant market share from traditional banking.

2015-12-19 00:00:00 The Fed Awakens: A New Hike by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

On Wednesday, Chair Yellen announced that, for the first time in seven years, easy money will become slightly less easy. The target rate will be set at between 0.25 and 0.50 percent, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s important that the Fed ease into this cycle cautiously and gradually. Plus, this comes at a time when fellow industrialized nations and economic areas around the globe are considering further monetary easing measures.

2015-12-18 00:00:00 What to Expect in 2016: 4 Investment Outlooks for the New Year by Neil Dwane, Ben Fischer, Doug Forsyth, Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

How will rising rates affect the US economy and markets? Which risks are most worth watching? Our CIOs discuss a range of challenges and opportunities for investors, and Kristina Hooper provides six timely tips on asset allocation.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Rising Interest Rates, Part 2: Exploring the Gap by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

In part 1 of this series, I explored what interest rates would look like if they returned to their natural level and determined they would be approximately 5 percent on a nominal basis (assuming 2-percent inflation). As the Federal Reserve (Fed) has determined that 2 percent is the target inflation rate, this approximation of the natural rate seems reasonable. Current interest rates, however, are well below 3 percent, resulting in an obvious gap between where the rate is now and where it should be.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview: November 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The upward revision in third quarter U.S. economic growth and buoyant consumer sentiment supports a more stable global economic outlook for the next few quarters. Consumer optimism also remains healthy in Europe, though the Euro-zone economy expanded less than expected during the third quarter. The Japanese economy declined during the July-September period, according to initial estimates, but the data could be revised higher as capital investments for the period were greater than initially calculated.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Why the Fed Liftoff Matters by Teresa Kong of Matthews Asia

When the U.S. Federal Reserve finally lifted the key rate by a quarter point on December 16, it was arguably the most widely anticipated rate hike in U.S. monetary history. This Fed liftoff matters precisely because no other major central bank in the world has the ability to do it. This marks the end of ZIRP (zero interest rates policy) for the U.S. But every other central bank is in ZIRP or is heading in that direction.

2015-12-16 00:00:00 It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas . . . Not by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Many of you know that around this time of year I journey to New York City for the Christmas tree lighting and the Friends of Fermentation (FOF) Christmas party; this year was no exception. However, it sure did not feel much like Christmas in Manhattan. The temperatures were in the 50s and 60s, so the top coat I brought was never used. Such warm climes brought about thoughts of the much discussed topic, “global warming.”

2015-12-16 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: Why The Fed Is About to Make A Mistake In Raising Rates by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The consensus is the Fed will raise rates at their next meeting. The latest employment report all but baked this into the cake. However, I’m not so sure this is a good idea.

2015-12-16 00:00:00 The 2016 Geopolitical Outlook by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

As is our custom, we close out the current year with our outlook for the next one. This report is less a series of predictions as it is a list of potential geopolitical issues that we believe will dominate the international landscape in the upcoming year. It is not designed to be exhaustive; instead, it focuses on the “big picture” conditions that we believe will affect policy and markets going forward. They are listed in order of importance: the Election Transition, Western Populism, Small-Scale Islamic Terrorism, the Weakening of the European Union, and Trouble in the South China Sea.

2015-12-16 00:00:00 Lift Off! by Dimitri Balatsos of Tesseract Partners

With all systems set on “GO,” the broadly-advertised and widely-anticipated lift off by the Federal Reserve from the zero-bound Fed funds rate is expected to take place this Wednesday, December 16. One would hope that the fate of the tragic Danish prince does not befall what comes afterwards. As a skeptic of unconventional monetary policies, we look at the impending action and potential consequences with trepidation.

2015-12-16 00:00:00 Fed Set To Pull Trigger Tomorrow - A Good Thing Or Bad? by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The Fed Open Market Committee (FOMC) which sets US monetary policy convened in Washington this morning for its last meeting of 2015. It is widely expected that the Committee will vote to hike the key Fed Funds rate for the first time in almost a decade before the meeting concludes tomorrow.

2015-12-15 00:00:00 Weakness in Oil Puts Downward Pressure on Equity Prices by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities fell sharply last week, with the S&P 500 Index declining 3.7%. This was its largest loss since August and the second-largest downturn of the year. A sharp sell-off in oil prices was the main cause, along with credit and liquidity concerns within the high yield market. The energy sector was the worst performer last week and financials also took a hit. In contrast, more defensive areas such as utilities, consumer staples and health care held up better.

2015-12-14 00:00:00 The Slippery Welcome Mat for Rising Rates, by Steven Malin, Ph.D of Allianz Global Investors

The commencement of a policy-rate-hike cycle by the US Federal Reserve has both symbolic and material significance for the US economy and financial system. Gradually unwinding unconventional, ultra-accommodative monetary policies sets in motion the repricing of assets and other long-delayed adjustments in economic, financial and currency markets. Comparing economic and financial outcomes with prior rate-hike cycles provides clues as to the possible outcomes this time around, but they have little predictive power.

2015-12-14 00:00:00 How to Diversify into International Growth Cycles by Jeff Everett, Dale Winner, and Venk Lal of Wells Fargo Asset Management

When it comes to portfolio diversification, the dialogue tends to focus on the domestic side of investing, from market-cap size to stocks versus bonds. What’s often missed is the need to think regionally. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of positioning your portfolio to capture overseas opportunities, through international diversification strategy. We’ll also highlight three types of companies that position themselves to capitalize on improving business climates.

2015-12-14 00:00:00 Gundlach: The Fed’s Biggest Problem by Robert Huebscher (Article)

The Fed may be intent on raising interest rates, but a wide range of market indicators should give it pause to reconsider, according to Jeffrey Gundlach. Indeed, he said the biggest challenge to a rate hike is this one piece of data...

2015-12-11 00:00:00 George Friedman’s World of Geopolitics by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

In today’s letter, I have transcribed a conversation George Friedman and I had a few days ago. In it, we talk about how our new joint effort came about and why George has left Stratfor to create his new firm, Geopolitical Futures.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 What Was, What Is, and What May Be by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen and Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

With some international central banks expanding their easing programs, assets in areas such as Europe, Japan and general emerging markets look relatively attractive and most investors should have exposure to those regions in a diversified portfolio.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 This Industry Is Set to Post Record Profits on Lower Fuel Costs by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Everyone knows there are winners and losers in any bear market, including the recent commodity rout. Low crude oil prices have definitely hurt explorers and producers. Airlines, on the other hand, appear to be thriving.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 Eurozone 2016 Economic and Capital Market Outlook by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

Six years after the financial crisis, the Eurozone continues to face major challenges in restoring economic growth. Our investment thesis has been that the structural problems facing the European Union are real impediments to sustained economic growth and until they are addressed, sustained growth is elusive. While that does not mean that there are not investment opportunities in Europe, it does mean that as one of three major capital markets in the world, investors need to be careful.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 China Takes a Big Step Forward by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

On November 30th the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that it would admit China’s Renminbi currency, commonly known as the Yuan, to the select basket of reserve currencies that make up its Special Drawing Rights (SDR’s). Having been stalled by U.S. influence for many years, the long-awaited IMF decision acknowledges the massive transfer of financial power from the old West to the new East. The move heralds an era of potentially great change with global implications for politics, economics and investments.

2015-12-10 00:00:00 The Paris Climate Negotiations: A World in Transition by BMO Global Asset Management’s Governance and Sustainable Investment team of BMO Global Asset Management

The stage is set in Paris for global leaders to secure a climate change deal, which would aim to curb fossil fuel use. China, India and United States are signaling their willingness to keep global warming to within two degrees Celsius. We have intensively engaged policy makers and companies advocating for reforms, which will result in a smooth transition path to a more sustainable climate.

2015-12-10 00:00:00 Strong Jobs Data Raises Expectations of Fed Rate Hike by Joe Becker, Adam Schenck, Jeff Greco of Milliman Financial Risk Management

The S&P 500 finished November largely unchanged, but not without oscillation along the way as markets absorbed information of higher-than-expected jobs data and its implications for a December rate hike.

2015-12-10 00:00:00 GMO Quarterly Letter by Ben Inker, Jeremy Grantham of GMO

In a new quarterly letter to GMO's institutional clients, co-head of asset allocation Ben Inker examines whether emerging-market equities might be a "value trap," and if U.S. equities are "deserving of trading at a premium P/E to the rest of the world" ("Just How Bad Is Emerging, and How Good Is the U.S.?"). In part two of the letter, chief investment strategist Jeremy Grantham provides "a list of propositions that are widely accepted by an educated business audience ... but totally wrong. ...

2015-12-09 00:00:00 2016: The Fed Acts? Consumers Spend? Inflation Returns? Possible Economic Impacts? by Andrew Melnick of The BPV Family of Funds

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets on December 15-16 to consider, among other issues, raising the Federal funds rate. Even the man-on-the-moon, or out of respect to today’s sensitivities—the person-on-the-moon, waits with great anticipation for this well telegraphed decision. The publicity surrounding this decision over the last year seems similar to the noise surrounding Y2K—perhaps with the same muted reaction.

2015-12-09 00:00:00 Want High Income? Time to Expand Your Horizons by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

As we look ahead to 2016, we still see attractive opportunities for investors who need their portfolios to deliver a high level of income. CCC-rated corporate bonds are not one of them.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 Investing Without the Solace of Central Bank Support by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the impact of less central bank actions and financial conditions outside the U.S. on investors.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 An Evolving Investment Landscape May Benefit Equities by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets were volatile last week, losing ground early before rebounding. Sentiment soured over a more modest easing announcement than expected by the European Central Bank (ECB). OPEC’s decision to leave oil production unchanged triggered a drop in energy prices, which also acted as a drag on equities. Additionally, a weak manufacturing report contributed to the gloomy tone. However, a strong jobs report on Friday seemed to pave the way for the Fed to raise rates this month and allowed equity prices to rally strongly.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 Want High Income? Time to Expand Your Horizons by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

As we look ahead to 2016, we still see attractive opportunities for investors who need their portfolios to deliver a high level of income. CCC-rated corporate bonds are not one of them.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 Extending the Cycle by Erik Knutzen of Neuberger Berman

At our most recent (fourth-quarter) Asset Allocation Committee meeting, perhaps the single most important issue we considered was whether the then-fresh decline of risk assets indicated a needed bull market correction, or something far more serious. Our analysis suggested short-term weakness, but for a while, the noise around China’s devaluation, Federal Reserve policy and concern about emerging markets and commodity prices had many investors very worried.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 The Evolution of IS by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

An IS affiliate downed a Russian flight in October. In November, IS-affiliated terrorists launched a series of attacks in Paris. These two events suggest a significant change in IS’s behavior. Prior to the Paris attacks, IS appeared focused on building a caliphate in Syria and Iraq. The shift to terrorist acts suggests a new strategy. In this report, we recap the strategies radical jihadists have employed against the West, highlighting the differences between al Qaeda and IS.

2015-12-07 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review: Where's the Participation? Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

For the first time in 36 years, the manufacturing sector is contracting; the ISM manufacturing index printed at 48.6. New orders dropped 4 points to 48.9 while production decreased 3.7 points to 49.2. Only 5 of 18 industries expanded.

2015-12-07 00:00:00 No Fireworks from the ECB as Draghi Plays It Cool by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

{Mario) Draghi and his governing council colleagues wanted to avoid rocking the boat too much, preferring instead to keep things moving and to show that they were prepared to act.

2015-12-07 00:00:00 Why You Shouldn’t Fear a Fed Rate Hike by Ashish Shah of AllianceBernstein

The Federal Reserve appears ready to raise interest rates next week. Bond investors fear that could pummel their portfolios. We’re not so sure—and we think moving to the sidelines now is a bad idea.

2015-12-07 00:00:00 Jeremy Siegel’s 2016 Forecast for Stocks by Robert Huebscher (Article)

In this interview, Wharton professor and stock market historian Jeremy Siegel gives his predictions for the stock market in 2016.

2015-12-06 00:00:00 You Have Questions, I Have Answers by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Rather than dive deeply into a single topic today, I will weigh in on some of the week’s top financial stories. I recently did a webinar debate with my friend Frank Trotter, hosted by Robert Huebscher of Advisor Perspectives, on whether the Fed should raise rates in December. I argued they should, for reasons I’ve written about before, so we won’t go into that. But we did get a number of incisive, timely questions during and after the webinar. I will try to answer most of them in this letter.

2015-12-05 00:00:00 Sweden Declares War on Cash, Punishes Savers with Negative Interest Ratesy Market Summary by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Among the endangered species in Sweden are the gray wolf, European otter—and cash. Back in June, I shared with you the story of how, in 1661, the Scandinavian monarchy became the first country in the world to issue paper money. (It was an unmitigated disaster, by the way.) Now it might be the first to ban it altogether.

2015-12-05 00:00:00 Oil Hits a New Low by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Oil prices remain at very low levels, defying the expectations of many analysts.

2015-12-04 00:00:00 From Brutish to a Brouhaha: Shifting Winds and the Demographic Payback by Michael Aked of Research Affiliates

Continued pension reform inaction combined with a falling worker-to-retiree support ratio is leading to an inevitable economic and social clash between employees, employers, and their governments.

2015-12-03 00:00:00 Quantitative Easing: Draghi and the ECB Opt for Moderate Approach by Wouter Sturkenboom of Russell Investments

So the divergence of central banks continues. On Dec. 3 the European Central Bank (ECB) took the widely anticipated step of providing more stimulus to the European economy. It’s the first move in a December pas de deux that we expect will include a hike in U.S. interest rates after the Dec. 15-16 meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s (the Fed) Federal Open Market Committee.

2015-12-02 00:00:00 2016 Market Outlook: 14 Experts On What To Watch by Orla O'Brien of Loomis Sayles

What’s in store for global markets in 2016? We asked analysts, strategists and traders across Loomis Sayles to pinpoint trends and potential trouble spots for the markets next year.

2015-12-01 00:00:00 Getting Smart About Beta by Sponsored Content from Invesco (Article)

Due to its simplicity, market-cap weighting has long been a popular means of calculating the value of market indexes. But as an investment strategy, market-cap weighting has limitations – frequently resulting in outsized proportions of overvalued stocks, and less-than-optimal exposure to undervalued stocks. Smart beta solutions seek to expand investors’ options by providing exposure to objective, rules-based methodologies that harvest returns from specific investment factors or deliver broad market exposure through alternative weighting strategies.

2015-12-01 00:00:00 Reasons to Stick with a Pro-Growth Investment Stance by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. markets were relatively quiet last week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Economic data were generally positive and investors seemed less concerned about increasing evidence that the Federal Reserve will raise rates at its policy meeting in December. The S&P 500 Index was up fractionally for the week. Smaller capitalization stocks outperformed, as did the consumer staples and energy sectors. Outside of the United States, Chinese stocks sold off sharply on Friday as investors grew nervous about policymakers’ latest attempts to regulate the Chinese brokerage industry.

2015-12-01 00:00:00 Are we celebrating the Christmas eve of 2007 or 2004? by Josh Wong of Atlas Asset Management

It’s been seven years since the last great financial crisis in 2008. For those of us who remembered, 2007 was going nowhere, being at the tail-end of a bull market cycle. It had its own mini-crash in Aug (down over 9%), quickly rallied back up to break new highs (barely), before plunging 10% again in Nov. It finally ended the year up 3.5% (sounds familiar?).

2015-11-30 00:00:00 Europe’s Barbarians Inside the Gate by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

For Europe, solidarity begins at home. That means supporting aggregate demand and pro-growth reforms to ensure a more resilient recovery of jobs and incomes – and thereby beating back the populists and nationalists currently gaining ground throughout the continent.

2015-11-30 00:00:00 What Is the Credit Cycle Telling Us About 2016? by Tony Wong of Invesco Blog

As investors anticipate the beginning of a new year, we at Invesco Fixed Income are anticipating a new phase in the credit cycle for several bond asset classes. In this post, I will highlight a few areas where we’re seeing substantial changes in asset classes’ fundamentals or operating environment. We believe these areas could influence the broader market in 2016.

2015-11-27 00:00:00 Diversification: A Hedge Against Market Uncertainty by Jeff Hussey of Russell Investments

Global CIO Jeff Hussey takes a look at three key diversification strategies to help hedge against volatility in 2015 and beyond.

2015-11-27 00:00:00 Why Argentina's New Leader Is Good for Latin America and Global Investors by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

This week, Argentina said no, gracias to further leftist rule when it elected conservative businessman and two-term Buenos Aires mayor Mauricio Macri to succeed Cristina Fernández de Kirchner as president. It was an upset victory for the people of Argentina, who have seen their once-prosperous nation deteriorate under decades of Marxist policies. It was also a strong win for investors around the globe. Not since Narendra Modi's election last year has a leader's entry on the world stage inspired such bullishness.

2015-11-27 00:00:00 Thanksgiving amid the Threats by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

For today, in this week’s letter, I’m going to let other people do most of the talking. I gave you my own thoughts on the Paris attacks and Europe’s future last week in “The Economic Impact of Evil.” Today I’ll share some of the most interesting post-Paris analysis that has crossed my path over the last two weeks.

2015-11-25 00:00:00 Happy Holidays for Risk Assets by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Risk assets—particularly high-yield bonds and bank loans—are well positioned to enjoy a prosperous road ahead.

2015-11-25 00:00:00 Mario Draghi: Economic Man of the Year by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

With December just around the corner, awards for full-year achievement are beginning to come out. Sport, politics and the arts are recognizing those who reached the highest heights in 2015.

2015-11-25 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What are the Best Year-End Investments? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

There is a lot of data to be reported in only three full trading days, but it does not rate to signal important economic changes. I expect plenty of participants to take the week off and even more will leave after the first hour on Wednesday. The punditry still has pages and air time to fill, despite the lack of fresh news.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 A Warm Pineapple for Wall Street by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Last week's stock rally seems to point to a shift to more positive sentiment as markets warm to the idea of a possible December rate hike, says Kristina Hooper, US Investment Strategist for Allianz Global Investors. That said, don't dole out the goodwill just yet, there's more data to come.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 The Back-and-Forth Continues as Equities Gain Ground by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities climbed sharply last week, with the S&P 500 Index advancing 3.3%, essentially erasing losses from the prior week.1 Somewhat surprisingly, investors did not focus on the terrorist attacks in Paris, paying more attention to the positives. The October Federal Reserve minutes seemed to strike the right balance between raising expectations for a December rate liftoff and maintaining a measured pace. Merger and acquisition headlines were also in the news and there were some bright spots on the corporate earnings calendar.

2015-11-23 00:00:00 The Three Towers by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

All three major central banks held policy meetings in October and recently published minutes. Here’s what they said.

2015-11-23 00:00:00 The Long-Term Investing Impact of the Paris Attacks by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ explains how the tragedy in Paris could impact the global economy and markets going forward.

2015-11-23 00:00:00 Forecasting Exchange Rates by Scott Brown of Raymond James

Currency forecasting is inherently difficult. Getting monetary policy right can help in the short-term, but beyond three months, you can’t do any better than a random walk. That aside, the strong dollar (along with softer global economic growth) has played a major role in the slowdown in U.S. corporate profits this year. What can we expect for 2016?

2015-11-23 00:00:00 On My Radar: Global Recession a High Probability by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“I have long made the claim that the transnational nature of Europe cannot be sustained. The divergent economic interests of EU countries, some with unemployment over 20 percent, some with it under 5 percent, meant that it was impossible for all of them to live not only under the same monetary regime, but under the same trade regime, which we cannot call free trade with agriculture, among other things, being protected. This would lead to a focus on national interest and on a resurrected nation-state.” -George Friedman

2015-11-22 00:00:00 The Economic Impact of Evil by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Terrorism is global. So is the economy. We can’t separate them. I’m sure you have spent time reading about the reaction to the terrorist attacks in Paris. I have been reading and thinking a great deal about the effects of recent events on the European Union. Much of what I’ve read seems to miss what I think is the larger context and what may be the real longer-term economic and geopolitical implications of these attacks.

2015-11-21 00:00:00 What We’re Paying Attention to Following the Paris Attacks by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

A week ago today, 129 lives were brutally cut short when assailants affiliated with the terrorist group ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, stormed Paris in a series of coordinated attacks. Along with the rest of the world, we were shocked and saddened as the tragic news unfolded, worsening as the night progressed. Our thoughts are with the victims’ families and friends.

2015-11-21 00:00:00 Lessons from Australia and New Zealand on Debt, Immigration, and Food by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The arc traced by Australian and New Zealand home prices is a source of broad concern. Property values in Sydney, in particular, have risen by 50% over the past 5 years. Observers from near and far fret that the line between fair value and market excess was crossed some time ago.

2015-11-21 00:00:00 Realism Returns by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Stocks have pulled back after their rip higher in October, which we believe is healthy and in keeping with our expectation of continued volatility. The US economic picture is mixed, but the recent robust labor report boosted the odds of a December Fed rate hike. Finally, while difficult to think about financial matters in the face of such horrific events as the Paris attack, the resilience of both people and economies around the world should give us all hope for the future.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 Stop “QE” Insanity by Don Schreiber, Jr of WBI Investments

In response to the 2008 Financial Crisis, governments around the world led by the U.S. Federal Reserve developed a series of monetary policy tools to try to stabilize the financial system. The two primary policy tools they have employed are a zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) and quantitative easing (QE). We believe that these policies have created a high-risk paradigm for investors who have come to believe that easy monetary policy can drive asset prices higher, forever.

2015-11-19 00:00:00 Gundlach – The Scariest Indicator in the World by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Those Federal Reserve governors who intend to vote for an increase in rates at their December meeting need to take a close look at some of the charts Jeffrey Gundlach presented on Tuesday. One chart – which Gundlach called his “scariest” – carried a particularly ominous signal for the global economy.

2015-11-19 00:00:00 Political Turmoil in Portugal by Kaisa Stucke of Confluence Investment Management

Portugal held parliamentary elections in which the incumbent center-right Social Democratic Party received the most votes but fell short of an outright majority. The president tasked the party with forming a government. However, the center-left opposition party and some far-left parties have formed a coalition, together garnering a majority of votes and currently awaiting presidential approval to form a government and take control from the center-right party. This week, we look at Portugal’s current political environment, election results, change in coalition powers and path going forward.

2015-11-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: November by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

While China’s manufacturing sector—which drove China’s rise to its place as the world’s second-largest economy—has been losing steam, it is being supplanted by a domestic, consumer-led economy propelled by a rising middle class with growing income. Other Asian countries are on a similar trajectory.

2015-11-19 00:00:00 The Commodity Roller Coaster by Carmen Reinhart of Project Syndicate

The details may change, but the global commodity super-cycle follows a familiar pattern. The question now is: Has the ongoing commodity-price downturn run its course, or will the recent break soon be giving way to another drop?

2015-11-19 00:00:00 Tragedy In Paris by Burt White of LPL Financial

Our thoughts are with the victims of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris. Events like this stir up many powerful emotions, including anger, fear, sadness, confusion, and regret, and these emotions are not easily suppressed. It is difficult to shift our attention away from this tragedy and toward the financial markets in times like this, but it is our responsibility to do so. Here we look at the potential stock market impact of Friday’s tragedy.

2015-11-19 00:00:00 Newsletter Volume 8, No. 5 - November 2015 by Harold Evensky of Evensky & Katz / Foldes Financial Wealth Management

AMAZING AND VERY COOL! From my friend Peter: The French restaurant «Le Petit Chef» (The Little Chef) came up with an original way to entertain guests while waiting for their orders — using a projector on the ceiling, animation appears on the table.

2015-11-18 00:00:00 European Union Challenged from Right and Left by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

The heinous ISIS attack in Paris is a game changer in Europe. In addition to the horrific amount of individual casualties, the attack has also threatened severe damage to the long term survivability of the European Union as a political entity. Based on the unpopularity and unfeasibility of immigration controls under the EU's Schengen Plan, the events have opened up the Union to renewed attacks from the right, just as its support from the left is crumbling as a result of opposition to EU-mandated fiscal austerity. This two-front onslaught may be too much for the Union to endure.

2015-11-18 00:00:00 Why Reforms Are Sparking Growth in These Two Regions by Jeff Everett, Dale Winner, Venk Lal of Wells Fargo Asset Management

In the U.S., we see other countries’ economic developments play out in news snapshots or opinion pieces—often focusing on short-term data or what’s perceived to be wrong. But here’s what the headlines may not be telling you: Non-U.S. regions from Asia to Europe are home to economic comebacks and companies that are growing their earnings. Let’s take a closer look at developments in Japan and Italy and then contrast the risk/reward dynamic with the current market environment in the U.S.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Gundlach – The Psychology of a Rate Hike by Robert Huebscher (Article)

The consensus is building for a Fed rate hike in December. But how the market will react is far less certain. According to Jeffrey Gundlach, that will depend on the context in which the Fed takes action.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Equities Decline, But Long-Term Trends Look Positive by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities came under pressure last week, with the S&P 500 Index falling 3.6%, its largest pullback since late August. A number of issues contributed to the decline, including valuation concerns driven by the recent price rally and struggling earnings. Some negative earnings results from department stores and ongoing unease over Fed policy also contributed to souring sentiment. For the week, utilities was the only sector to advance, while energy, technology and consumer discretionary led the way lower.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 How to Kill a Unicorn by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

The market was strange last week. No real direction in credit or equities. The Fed turned from mildly dovish to decidedly hawkish with several Governors advocating the December rate rise. It's like watching a debate team convince themselves that they are absolutely right, so let’s do it right? All with me? There were also announcements of new Fed governors. Next year’s voters are more hawkish which means we’ll hear less about “one and done” and more about stepped increases through 2016.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Yield: One Commodity That’s Still Hot by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses investors’ quest for ample sources of income

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Gasoline and Coffee Fuel Our Daily Lives. Can Commodities Also Fuel Our Investment Portfolios? by Bransby Whitton, Klaus Thuerbach, Kate Botting of PIMCO

Commodities are a tangible part of our daily lives. They are the food we eat, the energy that powers our cars and heats our homes, the metals that go into our electrical wiring and our jewelry. Yet investing in commodities can seem elusive.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Why We Believe Emerging-Markets Stocks are Attractive by Rajat Jain of Litman Gregory

There is certainly no arguing that over the short term, investing in emerging-markets stocks can be a bumpy ride. This is especially true if you invested in the asset class during the crisis-prone years of the late 1990s and early 2000s. When asked why we believe in investing in the asset class, we point to our overarching belief that emerging markets' macroeconomic fundamentals are much better now than they were during those crisis-prone years. In this update, we provide further background on our analysis.

2015-11-16 00:00:00 Volatility Takes Center Stage in 2015 by Clas Olsson of Invesco Blog

Looking back over the last three to four years, global market performance has been driven mainly by quantitative easing, with little to no profit growth internationally. This, in turn, has led to significant multiple expansion. Market leadership has been driven by defensive stocks, such as consumer staples, as pricing power and emerging market demand for products and services helped them sustain growth.

2015-11-16 00:00:00 A December Rate Hike Would Not Be the Fed's First Act of Tightening by Alex Christensen of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Investors preparing for the shock on risk-on assets as a result of Fed tightening may be surprised to realize that they have already been feeling these shocks. The impact of a single 25 basis point hike as a part of a slow, years-long rate-rise cycle will likely be modest compared to the impact of the end of QE3. Now that panic has retreated following August and September’s volatility, the view that a rate hike is not a death knell for portfolios, whether risky or not, is emerging once again.

2015-11-16 00:00:00 Are Emerging Markets Turning a Corner? by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

We consider many of the factors driving recent volatility in emerging markets to be temporary in nature and compounded by typically low summer liquidity—thus we believe we have grounds to be optimistic longer term.

2015-11-16 00:00:00 On My Radar: Poking At The Beehive by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“The European Central Bank is likely to continue negative rates, extend and enlarge QE, and acquire more balance sheet assets over time. ECB policy influences other nearby non-euro jurisdictions. Essentially, all short-term interest rates of higher-credit-grade and mid-grade countries in Europe are negative, and the policy of negative rates is spreading as the rates go even lower (more negative).” – David Kotok

2015-11-13 00:00:00 Germany’s Responsibility to Europe by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Since 2008, Europe has lurched from one crisis to another. One country emerged as the figurehead for Europe during this time, leading international discussions and fighting to keep the single currency area united.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 The Bullish Case for Aussie Gold by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

There’s a gold bear market here in North America, where the yellow metal has plunged to a six-year low of $1,083 per ounce on the strong U.S. dollar. But when priced in the weaker Aussie dollar, the precious metal is sitting at $1,520. As recently as last month, it touched $1,642.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 Gasoline and Coffee Fuel Our Daily Lives. Can Commodities Also Fuel Our Investment Portfolios? by Bransby Whitton, Klaus Thuerbach, Kate Botting of PIMCO

Commodities are a tangible part of our daily lives. They are the food we eat, the energy that powers our cars and heats our homes, the metals that go into our electrical wiring and our jewelry. Yet investing in commodities can seem elusive.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 Life in a No Growth World and the Impact on Interest Rates by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

The recent Fed decision seems to provide no more clarity: they left the opening for a December hike but didn’t specifically commit to making a move then. So the question remains, when will the Fed begin raising rates and by how much? It is clear they want to start increasing rates in order to give themselves some flexibility if they need it down the road, all the while fulfilling their dual mandate. However, it seems the “data” for our “data dependent” Fed isn’t getting better globally.

2015-11-12 00:00:00 2 Investing Implications of Higher US Rates by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Real U.S. rates have been climbing, while rates are falling in much of the rest of the world. As Russ explains, this divergence has a number of implications for investors.

2015-11-12 00:00:00 The End of Fiscal Obstruction by Joachim Fels of PIMCO

Fiscal policy in the U.S., eurozone and Japan looks set to become (mildly) supportive for growth.

2015-11-12 00:00:00 A Wooden Horse Full of Acorns? by Gary Stroik of WBI Investments

Today’s investor doesn’t have to look far to find someone predicting dire consequences just around the bend. Forecasts of impending doom have been around a long time. According to legend, Cassandra was a Trojan princess cursed by the god Apollo with the ability to see the future, but to have no one believe her.

2015-11-11 00:00:00 Is the Selloff in High-Yield Bonds Warranted? by Jon Adams, John Boritzke, Sandy Lincoln, Alan Schwartz, Lowell Yura of BMO Global Asset Management

The commentary reviews the patterns in the high-yield market over the past few years, particularly how investors have fled the asset class in light of various expected crises, which turned out to be unwarranted. BMO GAM believes investors are once again overestimating default risks, evidenced currently by fears of a global growth scare spurring high yield outflows. Some may feel these outflows and default risks imply a recession is nigh, but the MAST team feels our economy is a long ways off from signaling such an event.

2015-11-11 00:00:00 Global Earnings Update: Europe and Japan Coming up Short by Burt White of LPL Financial

Earnings overseas have generally not kept up with the U.S. We spend a lot of time dissecting earnings season in the U.S. because we believe earnings are the single biggest driver of stock prices over the long run. But earnings are not just important for U.S. stocks, they are also important for stocks overseas. This week we provide an earnings update in Europe and Japan, where results thus far have mostly fallen short of those in the U.S.

2015-11-11 00:00:00 Financial Festival by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

I first met Minyanville’s Todd Harrison more than 10 years ago. Subsequently the first “Minyans in the Mountains” confab was held in Crested Butte, Colorado. Todd’s Minyanville idea was to create a financial community whose participants would bond over the years and share investment themes, strategy, and investment ideas. Minyanville also tried to advance the financial education of children. The “glue” that seemed to tether everyone together was dubbed “The Buzz and Banter” where all of us could contribute to the ongoing financial blog.

2015-11-10 00:00:00 Digesting the Implications of Higher Rates by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the implications of higher rates for investors.

2015-11-10 00:00:00 U.S. Rates, ECB Asset Purchases Driving Euro Lower by Jennifer Thomson of GaveKal Capital

The euro fell 3 cents last week– a significant decline, certainly, but not the most extreme weekly drop witnessed so far this year: Most of the fuss associated with the rapid retreat of the euro can be attributed to the level of the currency in relation to important levels of recent support.

2015-11-09 00:00:00 Remember Greece? Neither Does the Market. by Tere Alvarez Canida, Alan Habacht, William Canida, Scott Kimball, Daniela Mardarovici of BMO Global Asset Management

Global conditions are absolutely impacting the U.S. markets in known and established manners, but the Fed’s recent introduction of the language confused markets away from a perception of Fed support to one of Fed fear. The resulting move to wider in spreads, which was largely undifferentiated by issuer, caused the past quarter to be a very difficult one for investors. Looking forward, that undiscerning move in spreads has afforded the opportunity to purchase potentially mispriced assets in anticipation of a return to rationality.

2015-11-09 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Winners and Losers: Q3 2015 by Jackie Lafferty of Loomis Sayles

Investor risk aversion battered emerging market (EM) assets during the third quarter. Local currency and hard currency markets both posted negative gains and EM equities posted double digit losses.

2015-11-07 00:00:00 Get Ready for Commodity Liftoff: Global Manufacturing Just Made a HUGE Move! by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

As Donald Trump might say: This is going to be huge.

2015-11-07 00:00:00 Bad News Is Good News, Once Again by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Central banks’ aversion to any downturn should support the current rebound in risk assets through the end of the year.

2015-11-07 00:00:00 The Markets’ Teddy Bear by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

The sharp market gains seen over the last month are unlikely to persist at the same pace, and investors should be prepared for more volatility. Uncertainty about interest rates will persist, but the US economy continues to chug along at a decent, although not robust, pace. Similarly, global growth seems to be perking up, and helping to stymie predictions of an impending global recession. There are still pressures on global growth, but we believe the upside surprise potential in Europe should benefit stocks in that region.

2015-11-07 00:00:00 Crime in the Jobs Report by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

In today’s letter, we are going to look briefly at the latest employment numbers. Then we’ll explore some of the deeper, less understood facets of the employment data. For some of you this may be a lot of detail, but for those of us who think about employment (and you should, as it is THE ultimate driver for your business and investments), understanding how the numbers work and what they mean is important.

2015-11-06 00:00:00 A Step in China's Economic Journey by Robert Horrocks of Matthews Asia

We emerge from the recent Chinese Communist Party Plenum with sketches of a new “five-year-plan.” Hurrah! There is always much fanfare around these events—not least in the investment community. We will no doubt hear the sentiment that China is a policy-driven stock market and so all the short-term traders are keen to see which sectors and industries are in favor. Then begins the game of who might get a subsidy, a contract or beneficial regulation.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 On My Radar: Defending Diversification by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“Whatever the form of risk and risk measurement one uses, the important thing to know is that diversification reduces risk and can be used to reduce risks without reducing returns.” – Ray Dalio

2015-11-03 00:00:00 No trends. No friends. by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

We’ve said this many times before, but this is a good time to remember diversification.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 Central Bank Divergence Returns by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the impact of the return of divergent central bank policies on stocks and bonds.

2015-11-02 00:00:00 Should FIFAA Be Red-Carded? by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

No, I haven’t gone bonkers – the focus of the Absolute Return Letter has not all of a sudden switched to football. Nor have I lost the ability to spell correctly, although I am sure that there are one or two like-minded readers out there who would also like to see the rear side of Sepp Blatter one final time.

2015-11-02 00:00:00 Chuck Royce on the Current State of the Small-Cap Market by (Article)

The small-cap market finished 3Q15 with a double-digit decline, in many ways similar to the correction investors saw around this same time last year. CEO Chuck Royce sits down with Co-CIO Francis Gannon to discuss why he believes corrections are a sign of healthy market behavior, the importance of risk management in the small-cap space, and why he thinks a new market cycle will favor companies with earnings.

2015-11-01 00:00:00 Your Own Personal Inflation Rate by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

This week’s letter is all about how we create the sausage that is called inflation. The Fed has a target of 2% inflation. Aren’t we almost there at +1.9% CPI? Not really, as the Fed uses something called the PCE, and it is barely at +1.3%. Which is different again from other measures of inflation. Confused? Hopefully, we can make sense of inflation today and have some fun along the way with crazy government statistics.

2015-10-30 00:00:00 Uncertainties Holding the Market Hostage by Byron Wien of Blackstone

Before August 11, the popular perception was that the United States economy was growing at about a 2% annual rate and the Standard & Poor’s was locked in a trading range between 2040 and 2125. After the Chinese revalued the renminbi by 2%, the trading range was lowered to 1875–2025. Perhaps the key reason for the equity market’s inability to work its way higher is the belief that earnings for the index are likely to be flat in 2015 compared with last year (the view that we are in an earnings recession). The strong dollar and lower oil prices have contributed to this situation.

2015-10-30 00:00:00 Have Commodities Reached an Inflection Point? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

This week the Federal Reserve announced that it would delay the interest rate liftoff yet again, but while everyone seems concerned about nominal rates—the federal funds rate, in this case—real rates have already risen about 5 percent since August 2011. This “invisible” rate hike is much more impactful to commodity prices and emerging markets than a nominal rate hike, which is simply the “tip of the iceberg.”

2015-10-29 00:00:00 It's Darkest Before the Dawn – but Is the Time Now 1am or 5am? by Tim Guinness, Will Riley, Jonathan Waghorn of Guinness Atkinson Asset Management

It has been a pretty brutal summer for the energy markets. Brent oil fell from $65 in May to below $40, and the MSCI World Energy Index was down around 25% over the same period, leaving energy as the worst performing sector year-to-date and the most out-of-favour among all the portfolio manager surveys that we see. Long-dated Brent oil has also fallen; having started the year at $78 and traded in a fairly tight $75-$80 range until the end of June, it fell to a low point of just over $60, over 40% off its highs last year.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 China & Fed Lift-Off Dominate Market Trends - Why? by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Is it just me, or does it seem like the global markets are preoccupied with two things: China’s economy and when the Federal Reserve will raise US interest rates? Sure, there are other things going on, but these two topics seem to be driving the financial markets more than any others this year.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 Europe’s Politics of Dystopia by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

The recent victory of the conservative Law and Justice party in Poland confirms a recent trend in Europe: the rise of illiberal state capitalism, led by populist right-wing authoritarians. Failure to act decisively now will lead to the eventual failure of the EU and the rise of dystopian nationalist regimes.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Equity Commentary: September 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Emerging market equity prices declined further in September, as fears about slower global economic growth persisted. External trade data from China was weaker than expected and accentuated investor concerns that the world’s second largest economy could miss current growth targets. Nevertheless, retail sales in China continued to expand at a healthy pace in August as the central bank’s interest rate cuts and other policy measures lifted domestic consumer sentiment.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 World prognosis (2 of 3): Japan & Europe by (Article)

?In this second segment of a three part “world prognosis” series of videos, Bill McQuaker, Co-Head of Multi-Asset, discusses the European and Japanese responses to the global financial crisis and how policy intervention has proven positive for investors.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 Equity Investment Outlook October 2015: Global Growth Scare: Is it Warranted? by John Osterweis, Matt Berler of Osterweis Capital Management

During the third quarter, global markets were roiled by heightened investor uncertainty and downright fear that China’s slowing economic growth might tip the global economy into recession. The selling pressure that took hold in mid-August had all the elements of a mini panic. The only assets that held their value or posted gains were cash and investment grade bonds. The further out one looked on the risk spectrum, the worse the decline.

2015-10-28 00:00:00 The Inherent Problem Of Eternal Bullishness by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

This past weekend, Akin Oyedele penned an article via Business Insider entitled "I went to a seminar with one of the world's largest banks and almost everything said there was really bearish." Akin seems genuinely shocked the data suggests economic growth may not be on the cusp of surging and stocks might fail to deliver double-digit returns. However, since I was long ago excised by the media for allowing the "data to speak," let me clarify, for both you and Akin, why HSBC is likely correct in their analysis.

2015-10-28 00:00:00 4Q 2015 Outlook: Key Issues Have Not Changed Much This Year by Michael Avery, Cynthia Prince-Fox, Chace Brundige of Ivy Investment Management Company

As the final quarter of 2015 begins, we are reminded of several topics of focus from the start of the year: concerns that global central bankers are stuck with their current monetary policies because the global economy now depends on them; market acceptance that higher U.S. interest rates are inevitable, even if they rise only slightly; and favorable prospects for U.S. consumers, who benefit from a stronger labor market and lower energy prices. If the topics sound familiar now, it is because little has changed in these areas while global risks have increased for several reasons.

2015-10-28 00:00:00 The Obama Doctrine: Moneyball America by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Over the past three years, we have witnessed what appears to be a steady erosion of American power. In this report, we will examine President Obama’s foreign policy, using the construct of Ian Bremmer’s recent book, Superpower. After discussing President Obama’s foreign policy and the potential effects, we will examine how the next president may shift from the current policy. As always, we will conclude with potential market ramifications.

2015-10-28 00:00:00 On Mutual Fund Liquidity, SEC Headed in Right Direction by Ashish Shah of AllianceBernstein

Investors trust open-ended mutual funds because they promise easy entry and exit. We think proposed new liquidity rules should help fund managers deliver on that promise.

2015-10-28 00:00:00 Under the Tuscan Sun by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Obviously we are back, back from two weeks in Tuscany with 32 of our best and dearest friends. The group included industrialists, the heads of European operations for two of the largest clothing/shoe companies in the world, an L.A.-based reality TV producer, tax attorneys, the CEO of a large title insurance company . . . well, you get the idea.

2015-10-28 00:00:00 On My Radar: I’m Rooting For Ray by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

There is a great deal of research around investor behavior. For example, our brains notice when a group provides an answer that is different from ours, the disparity is unpleasant. For many, aligning with the group is more rewarding for the brain than being independent and correct.

2015-10-27 00:00:00 Conditions Remain Uneven, but Equities Again Charge Higher by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets climbed for the third consecutive week, with the S&P 500 Index gaining 2.1%.1 Much of the strength came from additional signs of easing from the European and Chinese central banks. Corporate earnings were mixed, with some health care and retail industries coming under pressure, while the technology sector provided impressive results. Overall, however, the majority of companies reported better-than-expected earnings results, which added to improved market sentiment.

2015-10-27 00:00:00 Tread Carefully Even as Stocks Run by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the trend towards differentiation in the equity market, and where he sees opportunities.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 The Changing Dynamics of Eurozone Inflation by Andrew Bosomworth of PIMCO

Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and its governments’ responses to it have changed the relationship between inflation and economic slack in a way that is causing inflation to undershoot the ECB’s forecast.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 Dan Fuss: Rates Will Rise (and so will taxes) by Robert Huebscher (Article)

If there truly were a “bond king,” it would not be Bill Gross or Jeffrey Gundlach. It would be Dan Fuss, whose tenure in the fixed-income markets has spanned more than half a century. In a talk last week, Fuss warned investors to expect higher interest rates along with higher taxes.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will the Fed Put the Brakes on the Breakout? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The week ahead is loaded with data reports and earnings news. The FOMC has another meeting and rate decision. It occurs in the context of a nice stock rebound. The punditry will be asking: Will the Fed put the brakes on the breakout?

2015-10-26 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: Analysts Converge, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Normally, analysts’ projections diverge somewhat around a statistical norm. That is, it’s usual for a group of 40 analysts to project the upcoming quarterly GDP growth rate between 1% and 3%. Currently, however, there is a fair degree of uniformity among analysts regarding the outlook. And that’s not a good sign.

2015-10-24 00:00:00 Someone Is Spending Your Pension Money by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

We are going to talk about the slow-motion train wreck now taking shape in pension funds that is going to put pressure on many people who think they have retirement covered. Please feel free to forward this to those who might be expecting their pension funds to cover them for the next 30 or 40 years. Cutting to the chase, US pension funds are seriously underfunded and may need an extra $10 trillion in 20 years. This is a somewhat controversial letter, but I like to think I’m being realistic. Or at least I’m trying.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 Indexing the Past by Bob Rice of Neuberger Berman

Today’s financial world disputes many of the most basic assumptions of yesteryear’s investing “truths.” Globalization, the rise of a “winner take all” digital economy and markets led by policymakers have redrawn the investing map in profound ways.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: October by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

Overall, while there are plenty of ‘problem children’ in the emerging-market space, there are undoubtedly assets and currencies being beaten down by broad-brush assessments of economic prospects that merit renewed attention.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 Follow the Leaders: Learning from ETFs, BCA and the New PM by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending an intensive daylong ETF conference in Austin, just up the road from our office in San Antonio. Hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, the conference was designed for institutional investors.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 Global Economic Outlook - October 2015 by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore, Victoria Marklew, Ieisha Montgomery, Marshall Birkey, Ben Trinder of Northern Trust

It has been a challenging interval for the world economy. The summer saw challenges in Greece, heightened uncertainty over China and renewed concern over emerging markets. At its recent meetings, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) further downgraded its outlook for global growth.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 Why Have the Markets Been so Volatile Recently? by Wendy Stojadinovic of Cleary Gull

U.S., European and Japanese central banks have all been running with easy monetary policies for years and all have engaged in quantitative easing (QE). We are seeing growth in all three countries, with the U.S. doing the best, as a result. However, QE tends to lead to currency depreciation, which is difficult to see when everyone is doing it.

2015-10-21 00:00:00 The TPP by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

On October 6, trade negotiators announced a final agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a multilateral trade deal between 12 Pacific Rim nations in both the eastern and western hemispheres. In this report, we will begin by discussing the nations involved. We will examine some of the details of the treaty. An analysis of the geopolitics will follow along with a look at specific political factors surrounding the treaty. As always, we will conclude with potential market ramifications.

2015-10-21 00:00:00 Contentiousness Du Jour by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

John Templeton started his investment career in 1939 by buying every stock on the New York Stock Exchange trading under a dollar. He argued that you wanted to buy securities at what he called, “the point of maximum pessimism.” Still reeling from the depression and with war looming in Europe, he certainly found a point of pessimism. Additionally, he noted that “If you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is probably too late.”

2015-10-20 00:00:00 Will Gold Finish 2015 with a Gain? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

After its stellar performance last week, gold might do something it hasn’t done since 2012—that is, end the year in positive territory. You can see past returns for yourself in our perennially popular Periodic Table of Commodities Return.

2015-10-20 00:00:00 European Deleveraging Continues: Alternatives Investment Themes for 2016 by Joshua Anderson of PIMCO

With European bank deleveraging expected to continue for the foreseeable future, there are several developing opportunities to look to take advantage of.

2015-10-19 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Can Strong Housing Data Give An "All Clear" Signal for the U.S. Economy? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

It is a very unusual week for data, with many of the major housing reports on tap and not much else. China’s GDP will be a big story over the weekend, and important earnings news will continue. Despite this, pundits will turn their attention to housing, asking: Can a housing rebound signal “all clear” for the U.S. economy?

2015-10-19 00:00:00 The Rally Continues, but Equities Appear Stuck in a Trading Range by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets continued to advance last week, with the S&P 500 Index climbing 0.9%. Third quarter earnings results were mixed, and investors focused on stabilization in China and the upside of the Federal Reserve holding rates steady. The utilities sector was the best-performing, while industrials lagged.

2015-10-17 00:00:00 Third Quarter 2015 Economic & Capital Market Summary by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

On the one hand, the domestic economic story is playing out pretty much as we had thought. Economic growth is muddling along in the 2% area. The unemployment rate is low, but job growth is still limited to service sector jobs which pay lower wages. Inflation is barely rising as commodity prices continue to plunge and wage growth has been flat. The Federal Reserve is poised to raise interest rates, but has deferred making the first increase in over nine years under pressure from global economies who fear that an increase in short term interest rates will impair the fragile global growth.

2015-10-17 00:00:00 Asia Lens on Global ESG by Vivek Tanneeru of Matthews Asia

For Asia’s vast, newly minted middle classes, quality of life issues are increasingly becoming front and center. Governments and regulators are increasingly tackling Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues and taking these problems more seriously. For investors looking to make investment decisions based upon ESG factors, Asia represents one of the best opportunities to gain exposure to companies that can make a long-term difference to the region and the world.

2015-10-17 00:00:00 Will Gold Finish 2015 with a Gain? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

After its stellar performance this week, gold might do something it hasn’t done since 2012—that is, end the year in positive territory. You can see past returns for yourself in our perennially popular Periodic Table of Commodities Return.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 Eyeing Up the Infrastructure Investment Opportunity by Gerry Jennings of AllianceBernstein

There’s intense demand for capital to build and modernize the world’s infrastructure. That’s good news for investors, but accessing the opportunities isn’t a straightforward proposition.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 How NOT to Wipe Out with Momentum by Chris Brightman, Vitali Kalesnik, Engin Kose of Research Affiliates

Momentum investors are like the surfers we watch from beaches along the Pacific coast. Both must catch a wave. Both attempt to ride it as it breaks. But the ability to glide away smoothly before being caught inside the inevitable crash(ing wave) that follows is what determines success.

2015-10-15 00:00:00 A New Leadership Group in Europe? by Jennifer Thomson of GaveKal Capital

Year-to-date, the best performing sectors in developed Europe have been Consumer Discretionary (10.94%), Consumer Staples (10.78%), and Health Care (7.83%).

2015-10-15 00:00:00 3rd Quarter Commentary by John Prichard, Miles Yourman of Knightsbridge Asset Management

The third quarter produced the worst return for the S&P 500 Index in four years, wiping out the prior year’s gains. Peak to trough declines from 2014-15 index highs to recent lows were even greater.

2015-10-15 00:00:00 Gauging Global Growth: An Update for 2015 & 2016 by John Canally of LPL Financial

The market continues to expect that global gross domestic product (GDP) growth will accelerate in 2015 (3.0%), 2016 (3.4%), and 2017 (3.4%) from 2014’s 2.0% pace, aided by lower oil prices and stimulus from two of the three leading central banks in the world.

2015-10-14 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review: Will the Rebound Last, Edition? by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The main US news this week was not economic, but political: Kevin McCarthy withdrew his bid to become Speaker of the House. As of this writing, several candidates have announced their desire to seek the position, but there is no clear front-runner. This couldn’t happen at a worse time: within the next 60 days, the debt ceiling must be raised and Congress must vote on a budget. And the leadership vacuum is occurring when 3Q US growth is projected to be weak.

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Signs of Healing in the Markets Are Slowly Starting to Appear by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Signs of economic stabilization in China and improvements in commodity markets helped U.S. equities recover some ground last week. Diminishing concerns over the delay in Federal Reserve rate hikes also aided sentiment. For the week, the S&P 500 Index jumped 3.3%, with the energy, materials and industrials sectors leading the way. Health care, in contrast, struggled.

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Air Pockets! by Sam Stewart of Wasatch Funds

Global Stock Prices Dropped on Headline Concerns. But What Were the Underlying Causes? And Where Are the Opportunities?

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Catalonia, a New State within Europe? by Kaisa Stucke of Confluence Investment Management

“Catalonia, a new state within Europe” is the slogan of the pro-independence movement in the Spanish region of Catalonia. The federal government has made it clear that it will not hold secession negotiations and, in fact, even holding an independence referendum is considered unconstitutional. This week, we look at the separatist movement in Catalonia, starting with a brief overview of the region’s history and politics. We explore the probability of independence, the potential future relationship between the region and the central government, and the roles of the EU and the Eurozone.

2015-10-13 00:00:00 Stocks Push Higher, But Earnings May Be a Roadblock by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the catalysts for last week's stock rally, the specter of weak earnings ahead, and asset classes we favor.

2015-10-13 00:00:00 The Fed DID NOT Save the Economy by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Last week the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) opinion page published a piece by former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The title was “How the Fed Saved the Economy.”

2015-10-12 00:00:00 Smart Beta 2.0: A Disruptive Innovation by Steven Vannelli of GaveKal Capital

At the beginning of every major disruptive innovation, fear, uncertainty and doubt reign supreme. Consumers are fearful of the unknown, uncertain of the benefits and doubt the durability of the innovation. But, in the end, fear, uncertainty and doubt give way to confidence, understanding and acceptance. The fund management industry is on the cusp of a major disruptive innovation.

2015-10-12 00:00:00 Why the Finance Industry is Destroying America’s Economy by Michael Edesess (Article)

According to a Harvard study, the percentage of GDP attributable to the financial industry tripled from 1950 to the 2000s. The percentage attributable to asset management alone increased by more than a factor of ten just since 1980. Has any of this increase improved the services rendered by the financial services industry to the real economy? If it hasn’t, why not? If the increase in activity has in fact been harmful rather than beneficial, what can be done about it?

2015-10-12 00:00:00 Bob Zenouzi Discusses Delaware’s Dividend Income Fund by Robert Huebscher (Article)

In this interview, Bob Zenouzi, manager of the Delaware Dividend Income Fund (DDIAX), discusses how he strives to provide investors with a yield that is competitive with fixed income, while achieving a premium yield to equities with better downside protection.

2015-10-10 00:00:00 How these 12 TPP Nations Could Forever Change Global Growth by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The current members include Canada, the United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.After nearly seven years of negotiations, the TPP promises to deliver unprecedented free and fair global trade among the 12 participant nations.

2015-10-10 00:00:00 Europe's Immigrants May Solve Native Problems by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The aging of Europe's postwar generation has placed the working-age population on a downward trajectory.

2015-10-10 00:00:00 Fourth Quarter Comeback? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

A disappointing year to this point for the US stock market has a chance to end on a better note, with good seasonality and a still-growing economy as supports. Consumers are in good shape, the Fed remains accommodative, and the much-larger service side of the US economy is still healthy. But Fed uncertainty, Congressional budget battles, and Chinese growth concerns will remain as headwinds and will likely contribute to continued bouts of volatility. Across the pond, the European fight against deflation appears to be working, although more QE may be needed, to the potential benefit of Europe/

2015-10-09 00:00:00 Hasenstab Sees Once-in-a-Multi-Decade Opportunities by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

There are a handful of countries that are being caught up in the current market turmoil that we think are the diamonds in the rough—multi-decade opportunities, once-in-the-history of some of these countries—opportunities.

2015-10-09 00:00:00 The ECB’s ABS Purchases – Catalyst or Dud? by Felix Blomenkamp of PIMCO

Given the limited scope and focus of its ABS purchases, the ECB has not yet revived Europe’s lackluster ABS market.

2015-10-08 00:00:00 China and the Fed by Dr. Richard Michaud of New Frontier Advisors

The third quarter of 2015 was marked by significant losses in capital values and an increase in volatility. The S&P 500 lost 7.55% in the quarter and 6.71% year-to-date; NASDAQ dropped 7.77% quarterly and 2.26% for the year; Dow Jones Industrial average declined 8.15% in the quarter and 8.68% year-to-date. The VIX fear measure closed the quarter at 24.50, an increase of 42.6% since the beginning of the quarter and 37.7% since the beginning of the year.

2015-10-08 00:00:00 Rainmakers by Rick Lear of Lear Investment Management

The onslaught of financial events in the past several months created massive confusion and uncertainty in the global financial markets. Much of the confusion revolves around economic factors - interest rates, currency, energy prices and growth policy. Several economic factors are influenced by policy makers and central banks. Our goal this month is to slice through the confusion and find direction for the remaining months of 2015.

2015-10-08 00:00:00 Dot-Communism by Robert Stimpson of Oak Associates

In this commentary, Portfolio Manager Robert Stimpson discusses the effect the sharp correction in Chinese equities, the unwinding of the commodity supercycle, and the Federal Reserve’s decision to delay interest rate increases have had on US markets. Whether China’s own equity market China Syndrome will cause lasting damage to global markets - or simply a short-term spike in volatility and poor investor sentiment - is difficult to assess. Underlying fundamentals continue to suggest that corporate earnings are strong.

2015-10-07 00:00:00 Putin and Syria by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Last month, Russia moved a significant amount of military hardware into areas of Syria controlled by the Assad regime. The action caught the Obama administration by surprise and raises questions about what Russian President Putin is trying to accomplish. In this report, we will examine Russia’s short-term geostrategic goals and the tactics Putin is using to achieve these aims. As always, we will conclude with potential market ramifications.

2015-10-06 00:00:00 Money Glut: More to Come, Still Effective by Joachim Fels of PIMCO

Given global lowflation pressures, the central-bank-fueled money glut is likely to increase further before year-end.

2015-10-06 00:00:00 Equity Outlook Fourth Quarter 2015 by Neuberger Berman Asset Allocation Committee of Neuberger Berman

The Committee upgraded our view on U.S. large cap equities following the recent correction, and maintained a slightly overweight view on European equities. Our view on MLPs has also improved following a challenging year.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 Provise Bullets by Team of ProVise Management Group

The 3rd quarter is now behind us and the major indexes did not fare well through the dog days of the summer. For the quarter the S&P 500 was down 6.44%, the DJIA was down even more at 6.91%, the Russell 2000 was down 11.92%, and the MSCI EAFE index was down 10.23%. The Barclays Aggregate Bond Index was able to post a small gain of 1.23%. Year to date the indexes are -5.29%, -6.88%, -7.73%, -5.28% and +1.13% respectively. As disappointing as these benchmark returns were, a look behind the scenes reveals an even more somber picture.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 Key Themes for the Fourth Quarter and 2016 by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Since the Great Recession, the global economy has grown sporadically at a below-trend pace. This is unlikely to change in the short-term, but we expect ongoing improvement, led by growth in the United States.

2015-10-03 00:00:00 The 10 Most Competitive Countries in the World by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

No new countries have entered or exited this exalted list, and there was very little rank-shuffling. For the seventh consecutive year, Switzerland is the most competitive country. For the fifth straight year, Singapore is number two. The U.S. comes in at number three for the second year. And so on.

2015-10-03 00:00:00 Better Times are Ahead by Byron Wien of Blackstone

The best recent period for investing in equities may have been 1982–1999, but I still think reasonable risk-adjusted returns for equities are likely in the years ahead, and that Treasurys and high-quality corporate bonds are less attractive.

2015-10-02 00:00:00 World CPI Proxy Breaks Below 1% by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

There’s been a lot of of deflationary data recently (see here, here and here). The plunge in our simple World CPI proxy to the lowest level since October 2009 doesn’t really catch us off guard. The fact that one third of the 33 countries in our proxy are currently are seeing year-over-year declines in consumer prices is a bit eye-opening, however. Switzerland is leading the deflationary wave as Swiss consumer prices are down -1.4% year-over-year, more than they were at any point during the financial crisis. The year-over-year decline is the largest on record since 1959 for Switzerland.

2015-10-02 00:00:00 The Real Burden of Low Interest Rates by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

Almost the entire world is concerned about the high levels of debt, should interest rates begin to rise again, but we are not. Don't get us wrong; a meaningful increase in debt service burdens could do substantial damage to a global economy so loaded with debt. We just don't think it is going to happen. Economic growth and inflation are likely to stay comparatively low for many years to come, and so are interest rates, but that raises another question. What damage can very low interest rates for an extended period of time actually be expected to do?

2015-10-01 00:00:00 It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over by Burt White of LPL Financial

Yogi Berra passed away last week at the age of 90. One of the greatest baseball players of all time, Berra was probably known more for his funny sayings (so-called “Yogi-isms”) than he was for his impressive career as a New York Yankee that lasted from 1946 until 1963 and included 3 MVP awards and 10 World Series championships. Some of these Yogi-isms are relevant for investors, including: 1) it ain’t over ‘til it’s over, 2) déjà vu all over again, and 3) the future ain’t what it used to be. Berra also famously once said, “Make a game plan you can stick to…unless it’s not w

2015-09-30 00:00:00 Forget “Active vs. Passive”: It’s All About Factors by Adam Butler, Michael Philbrick, Rodrigo Gordillo of ReSolve Asset Management

We just love a good debate, and there seems to be quite a heated debate at the moment about the relative utility of passive versus active investing. Perhaps this debate is as timeless as investment management itself, but a flurry of recent studies may have finally armed passive advocates with enough ammunition to settle the argument once and for all.

2015-09-30 00:00:00 El Niño Update by Kaisa Stucke of Confluence Investment Management

Meteorologists have been calling for an El Niño event since last year. Current forecasts place the likelihood of an El Niño this winter at over 90%. Water temperatures in the Pacific, one of the first signs of a looming El Niño, have measured much higher than normal. In fact, water temperatures have been on par with the most severe El Niño event from the past 30 years. This report looks at how an El Niño develops and its possible climate, economic and geopolitical effects on the global economy. As always, we outline the potential investment implications of this event.

2015-09-30 00:00:00 Speaker Boehner Readies Final Sellout As Debt Ceiling Debacle Looms by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

It's campaign season, and that means non-stop media coverage of candidate polls, quips, gaffes, tweets, emails, controversies, lies, and scandals. It all makes for a good soap opera. Unfortunately, it's almost all irrelevant in the big picture.

2015-09-29 00:00:00 A Call for Quality as Volatility Turns Up the Volume by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses why volatility is likely to remain elevated, and how investors should manage the risks in their portfolio.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 Staley Cates on Why Active Management Wins in the Long Term by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Staley Cates is president and chief investment officer of Southeastern Asset Management, manager of the Longleaf funds. In this interview, he says, “the passive movement is not just a big trend. It is a bubble.” He explains why passive investing has made it hard for value investors to outperform.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 Equities May Remain Trendless Until More Clarity Emerges by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Sentiment was negative for most of last week, as investors focused on continued uncertainty over Federal Reserve policy, slowing growth in China and emerging markets and ongoing weakness in commodities. Stock prices bounced on Friday following comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen that a rate increase was looking more likely in 2015. Nevertheless, equities finished in negative territory, with the S&P 500 Index falling 1.4%. The health care, materials and industrials sectors came under pressure, while utilities, consumer staples and financials finished higher.

2015-09-26 00:00:00 Rebuilding the Asylum System by George Soros of Project Syndicate

European leaders emerged from yet another summit this week, having made only modest progress towards definitively addressing a refugee crisis that has caused enormous human suffering and shaken the EU to its core. The time for partial measures is long past; a comprehensive plan is needed.

2015-09-26 00:00:00 Balloons in Search of Needles by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

It would be hard to miss an analogy to the stock market. Everything’s peaceful and calm, you’re drinking some fabulous wine, eating some fantastic fresh game and fish, looking at all the beautiful animals as you drift easily with the current. Anybody can steer the boat in a bull market. Until the rapids hit and the bottom falls out.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 Developed Europe: Economy Trends Update July 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Euro-zone Sustains Recovery on the Back of Robust Growth in Italy, Export Surge in Germany

2015-09-25 00:00:00 How NOT to Wipe Out with Momentum by Chris Brightman, Vitali Kalesnik, Engin Kose of Research Affiliates

Enabled by modern technology, investors can now enhance a pure value strategy by using momentum to improve timing, measuring quality to avoid value traps, and diversifying active bets into less efficiently priced small stocks.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 Are the Bulls Regaining Their Footing? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Uncertainty surrounding the Federal Reserve continues after its punt of rate hikes at its most recent meeting. But as the market gets more clarity on monetary policy and given a still-growing US economy, the bull market should slowly reestablish itself, albeit with bouts of volatility. Further support should come from global growth in areas that are net beneficiaries of the plunge in commodity prices.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 How Will These Leaders of 4 Billion People Change the World? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

This week the U.S. played host to three prominent and illustrious leaders to billions of people: Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pope Francis. Among them, they lead—either politically or spiritually—nearly 4 billion people worldwide, more than half of everyone living on the planet right now.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 The Case for Credit by Mark Kiesel of PIMCO

Three reasons why the outlook for developed credit markets remains constructive.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 China, Commodities, and Crisis: What’s Next for Emerging Markets by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

China’s growth story fueled global markets for years, and the recent market rout raises concerns that the spigot may be tapping out. But is it really? Emerging markets, currently out of favor with investors, are showing signs of domestic economic growth driven by an expanding middle class. Could these economies, along with China, re-emerge as bright spots in the global markets?

2015-09-24 00:00:00 Global Economic Forecast: An Inflection Point, Not a Turning Point by Andrew Pease of Russell Investments

Andrew Pease delves into Russell’s global economic forecast for the coming quarter.

2015-09-23 00:00:00 Shake Portfolios up after a Market Shakedown by Dr. Brian Jacobsen, John Manley of Wells Fargo Asset Management

Dr. Brian Jacobsen, CFA, and John Manley, CFA look at the history of previous corrections to determine what cap sizes, styles, and sectors performed best in the medium to long term after a correction.

2015-09-23 00:00:00 On The Fed, Deflation, Government Shutdown & The Moon by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Once again this week, we touch on a variety of topics that piqued my interest over the last week. We begin with some further analysis of the Fed’s controversial decision to hold interest rates near zero last Thursday.

2015-09-22 00:00:00 On My Radar: “Dammit Janet” by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Whatever you can do, or dream you can… begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

2015-09-22 00:00:00 Meet Jeremy Corbyn by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

On September 12, Jeremy Corbyn, a longtime Member of Parliament, was elected as the new leader of the UK’s Labour Party. In this report, we begin with a short biography of Corbyn followed by a description of how he won his party’s leadership role. With this background, we explore Corbyn’s long held policy positions and their potential impact on UK policy. We offer our reflections on Corbyn’s win, including an examination within the context of other political developments in the West. As always, we conclude with potential market ramifications.

2015-09-21 00:00:00 Refugees and Reform in Europe by Mohamed El-Erian of Project Syndicate

Europe’s refugee crisis is a historic challenge that offers historic opportunities. The question is whether Europe’s politicians – who have failed to deliver on far less complicated issues over which they had a lot more control – can seize the moment.

2015-09-21 00:00:00 Federal Reserve Kicks the Can on Interest Rates by Christopher Molumphy of Franklin Templeton Investments

We were a little disappointed the Fed didn’t take action, primarily because we think the longer the Fed stays on hold the longer we will have uncertainty in the marketplace.

2015-09-21 00:00:00 Equities Fall After the Fed Fails to Raise Rates by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities were little changed last week, with the S&P 500 declining 0.1%. Stocks posted gains early in the week before falling on Thursday and Friday after the Federal Reserve announced it would hold rates steady. For the week, utilities, consumer staples and health care outperformed, while materials, telecommunications and financials came under pressure.

2015-09-19 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review For Sep. 14-18; Asian Slowdown, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Analysts’ recent adjustments lowering global growth projections are in line with recent events; China’s economy continues slowing. This lowers commodity prices, which decreases economic growth of commodity exporting countries. Hence, the primary causation of Australia’s below trend growth and Japan’s weaker economic performance. The US is somewhat immune; Chinese trade accounts for a fraction of US GDP, limiting the impact. The EU is a bit more exposed, due to their increased reliance on trade.

2015-09-19 00:00:00 Here Are Two Ways Investors Can Take Advantage of the Fed's Uncertainty by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Although interest rates could still be hiked in one of the two remaining times the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets this year, I’m inclined to think they’ll stay near zero until at least 2016. The decision is a welcome one for both gold demand and new home purchases. When rates rise, gold becomes less attractive for some investors, who are encouraged to exchange their no-yielding gold for income-producing assets.

2015-09-19 00:00:00 Merkel Opens the Gates by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

This is all well and good for nations like Germany that need immigrants, but much of Europe is really not in need of new workers, given their present severe unemployment problems. Not to mention that in those countries budgets are already strained and taking on the task of housing tens of thousands of immigrants and refugees is not cheap.

2015-09-18 00:00:00 Should Emerging Market Investors Fight the Fed? by Burt White of LPL Financial

Emerging market stocks have not won much lately, but the Fed may be a winnable fight. The Federal Reserve, which announces its policy decision on September 17, 2015, is on the verge of starting a rate hike cycle for the first time in more than 10 years. We have previously written that the start of Fed rate hikes has not marked an impending end to bull markets for U.S. stocks (despite the popular Wall Street adage “don’t fight the Fed.”) In reality, the first rate hike has told us we are about halfway through the cycle as discussed in our Weekly Market Commentary of August 25, 2014.

2015-09-17 00:00:00 Should You Actually Worry About Gold Confiscation? by Guy Christopher of Money Metals Exchange

Most gold owners are familiar with worries of forced government gold confiscation – that one day black-ops shock teams will toss homes to find that stash of coins and bars.

2015-09-17 00:00:00 Economic Surprises Are Turning Back Over In The US by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

The Citi Economic Surprise Index for the US is at two-month low and squarely back in negative territory. The US has spent almost the entire year not meeting expectations.

2015-09-17 00:00:00 Fed Keeps Interest Rates Near Zero a Little Longer by Paul Eitelman of Russell Investments

Paul Eitelman delves into today’s Fed announcement on interest rates. What might it mean for the U.S. economic growth outlook?

2015-09-16 00:00:00 Correlations Have Spiked In The US, Less So Around The World by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

The correlation between US stocks and the MSCI World Index has once again spiked as volatility has increased. In the chart below, we show 20-day, 65-day, and 200-day rolling correlation between US stocks and the MSCI World Index. The 20-day correlation has increased to 0.82 which is the highest level since 9/7/2011 and it surpasses any level hit during the financial crisis.

2015-09-16 00:00:00 Don’t Submit to Market Distortions by Sharon Fay of AllianceBernstein

After years of steadily rising markets, distortions have become embedded in the landscape. We believe there are several large market imbalances that investors may be exposed to in passive portfolios today.

2015-09-15 00:00:00 Market Unease May Continue for Some Time by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Markets calmed last week relative to recent turmoil, but investor sentiment remains fragile. The focus on Federal Reserve policy, weakness in China and concerns about economic growth continued to drive sentiment. The S&P 500 Index gained 2.1%, commodities were flat and bond yields rose. Technology and health care posted the best results, while energy lagged.

2015-09-15 00:00:00 Checking China's Real Crisis by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

The unwinding of China’s property boom will weigh on its economy and finances, but the consequences shouldn’t be dire.

2015-09-14 00:00:00 Schwab Market Perspective: Now What? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”—Mike Tyson. We don’t often quote Mike Tyson, but his words resonate lately. Investors are wondering what to do—buy the dips, sell the rallies, or sit tight? First, investment decisions should never be made on emotion, which tends to dominate at times like this. It can be difficult to stomach moves such as we’ve seen recently. But investors who have an investing plan in place should indeed just sit there, let things calm down, and continue with the plan already put in place.

2015-09-12 00:00:00 Life Is Uncertain and So Are Interest Rates by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Right now, a lot of investors are wondering about the uncertainty of rising interest rates—the causes, effects and possible ramifications. Many people have been saying for weeks and months now that a rate hike is imminent and that September is the anticipated takeoff. I’ve been skeptical of this, and now a chart from highly-respected market analyst Jeff deGraaf confirms my skepticism.

2015-09-12 00:00:00 Needed at the Fed: An Inverse Volcker by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

I believe the Federal Open Market Committee should hike rates ASAP. A number of very astute analysts and Fed observers agree with me. On the other hand, an equal-sized army of similarly smart analysts think they should not. It seems to me this recovery is getting long in the tooth. The Fed needs to give itself some room to stimulate when the economy turns down again. As it stands now, their only weapons are to take interest rates negative or to resume quantitative easing. We don’t want either of those.

2015-09-11 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: September by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

While the [US] Fed is facing an extremely delicate task ... it is still our belief that the US economy remains sufficiently strong to be able to bear a gradual increase in short-term rates in the coming months.

2015-09-11 00:00:00 Protecting Against Inflation In a Deflationary World by Steven Malin Ph.D. of Allianz Global Investors

Powerful global deflationary forces will continue to put downward pressure on the prices of inputs and outputs for months, if not years, to come. Even if the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England raise policy interest rates over the months ahead, inflation risk premiums built into market interest rates will remain small. In the absence of strong wage increases, unprecedented global growth in the supply of resources and outputs relative to demand will linger—and inflation will remain constrained.

2015-09-10 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review for Aug 31-Sept. 4 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The Federal Reserve released the latest Beige Book on Wednesday which showed a modestly expanding economy. While construction, aerospace and the auto industry led to manufacturing growth, cheap imported substitutes and the strong dollar continue providing headwinds. Retail, tourism and service sectors reported moderate growth. Housing sales and construction continue growing, but low inventory is driving prices higher. The imminent Fed rate increase is pulling some projects forward. The overall trend of loan growth and declining delinquencies continues.

2015-09-09 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time to Revise Year-End Market Estimates? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Sometimes the calendar dictates the agenda. The Labor Day weekend marks the official end of a summer that was eventful for markets. The punditry will be asking: What is your (revised) EOY target for stocks?

2015-09-09 00:00:00 Markets Remain in Turmoil, but Should Stabilize Eventually by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Global equity markets fell last week with the S&P 500 Index down 3.4% and some non-U.S. markets declining even more. The sell-off is a continuing reflection of the ongoing turmoil that started a few weeks ago when China devalued its currency on August 11.

2015-09-09 00:00:00 Immigration: A Political and Economic Issue by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

Donald Trump has successfully placed immigration at the center of the U.S. Presidential election. But while the issue is still largely a debating point in the United States, it has quickly and violently become a life and death issue for the European Union, which is in the midst of the most significant immigration and refugee crisis since the Second World War.

2015-09-09 00:00:00 A Time to Take Stock – and Advantage of Pockets of Value by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Another week, another selloff. Stocks tumbled again last week with the S&P 500 Index falling 3.37% to 1,921 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declining 3.25% to 16,102. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index struggled as well, down 3.00% to 4,683. Meanwhile, bond yields were relatively unchanged, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury slipping from 2.18% to 2.13%, as its price correspondingly rose.

2015-09-09 00:00:00 Dividend & Income Builder Celebrates 3-Year with 5 Stars by (Article)

Ben Lofthouse, Co-Portfolio Manager of the Dividend & Income Builder Fund, provides an update on the Fund’s performance and positioning and notes its recent 5-star Morningstar rating. Ben comments that the biggest driver of the Fund’s performance has been stock selection; they have seen improving economic growth from a low base in the US, UK and Europe. Ben notes they’ve seen good dividend growth; the team continues to focus on dividend growth and cash flow generation. The team believes they are well-positioned for medium term capital growth and importantly, income growth.

2015-09-09 00:00:00 Newsletter - September 2015 by Harold Evensky, of Evensky & Katz / Foldes Financial Wealth Management

Harold Evensky's quarterly letter to his readers.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 Making Sense of Market Volatility by Sponsored Content from Invesco (Article)

• On Aug. 21, the Dow Jones Industrial Average entered a correction and reminded investors what volatility looks like. • Several Invesco senior investment leaders discuss their views of market volatility. • They share how it affects, or doesn’t affect, the opportunities they see.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 On My Radar: A Bumpy Ride? How Bumpy? And For How Long? by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Volatility and uncertainty are nothing new in financial markets. QE4 may right the ship but that is the bet. No guarantees in this game.

2015-09-06 00:00:00 Muddling Through Shanghai by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

China is in transition, a transition that was clearly telegraphed if you have been paying attention. Our recent book on China (A Great Leap Forward?) clearly laid out this new path. Today we are going to talk about this precarious, difficult transition, which may impose profound impacts on much of the rest of the world. This transition is going to change the way global trade has worked in the past. There will be winners and losers.

2015-09-04 00:00:00 Here’s Your Guide to What the Influencers Are Saying about Commodities by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

A few legendary influencers in investing are making huge bets right now on commodities, an area that’s faced—and continues to face—some pretty strong headwinds. What are we to make of this?

2015-09-04 00:00:00 Unfazed by the Turmoil by Byron Wien of Blackstone

Overall, my sense of this year’s lunches is that the participants were still basically optimistic, as they generally are. I wonder if there were something big and negative brewing out there, whether the group would be able to anticipate it.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 12 Questions for a 12% Correction by Burt White of LPL Financial

The recent market downdraft and related uncertainty in China have led to many investor questions. The strong 6.5% rebound in the S&P 500 over the last three trading sessions (August 26, 27, 28, 2015) has cut the S&P 500’s losses from the 2015 peak (2130 on May 21, 2015) to 6.7%. In response to the S&P 500’s recent 12% correction?—?the first decline of more than 10% since 2011?—?we answer 12 investor questions. Bottom line, we do not expect the latest correction and China uncertainty to lead to the end of the U.S. economic expansion or the end of the six-and-a-half-year old bull

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Commodities, China and Currencies Oh My! by Rudolph-Riad Younes of R Squared Capital Management

Recent market events confirm our big picture view. We are and have been bearish on commodities and emerging markets. The spike in commodity prices during the so-called supercycle and the ZIRP (zero interest rate period) in the U.S. created irrationally exuberant conditions in many emerging markets. We are moving from a virtuous circle to a vicious cycle.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Look Out Below? by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

Are we experiencing a healthy correction or something more? After a long-period of relative calm, risk assets sold off meaningfully in response to global growth concerns. Our Chief Investment Strategist analyzes the fundamental picture in the wake of the recent downturn and what investors should do now.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Portfolio Strategy: China September 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The current global market volatility has made some investors skittish and, presumably, many are contemplating curtailing the equity exposure in their portfolios. But before throwing in the towel, they will do well to ask themselves: Who is buying all the stocks amid this selloff?

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Time to Ditch the Bond Benchmark? by John Taylor of AllianceBernstein

Bond indices’ limitations as investable strategies are evident when taking a closer look at a key proxy for global investment-grade bonds—the global aggregate index.

2015-09-02 00:00:00 Provise Bullets by Team of ProVise Management Group

There is a big debate within the financial services industry regarding who should be required to be a fiduciary. Basically a fiduciary puts their clients’ interests ahead of their own, a philosophy ProVise has espoused since our founding in the mid-80s. The Department of Labor has proposed a rule which would require ALL who give advice on retirement plans to do so at a fiduciary standard of care.

2015-09-02 00:00:00 Keeping Firm Perspective as Markets Gyrate by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses why it is important to maintain perspective amidst the recent volatility, and how the selloff has created some areas of value.

2015-09-02 00:00:00 Equities Endure Intense Volatility, but the Bull Market Survives by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities experienced extreme volatility last week. Prices plummeted on Monday morning due to concerns over slowing growth in China as well as uncertainty surrounding Federal Reserve policy. The sell-off was likely exacerbated by trading halts, liquidity pressures and systematic investing programs. Markets recovered later in the week as investors viewed conditions as oversold, and as oil and other commodity prices stabilized and advanced. For the week, the S&P 500 Index gained 1.0%. The energy, technology and consumer discretionary sectors led the way while utilities sold off sharply.

2015-09-02 00:00:00 Bremmer’s Choices by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Last week, we wrote our first formal book review as a Weekly Geopolitical Report. The book, Superpower: Three Choices for America’s Role in the World, is a recently published book by Ian Bremmer in which he discusses three models for American foreign policy. In our closing comments last week, we promised to take a deeper look at Bremmer’s foreign policy models to examine their costs and benefits. In this report, we analyze his three models of exercising the superpower role, Indispensable America, Independent America and Moneyball America, and discuss which model is the most likely choice.

2015-09-02 00:00:00 Market Reset, Not Recession by John Calamos of Calamos Investments

In our view: Neither the U.S. or global economy is headed for recession; instead, we are seeing a market reset that is not entirely unexpected. Markets are likely to be extremely choppy over these next months, and we may see additional corrections. Over the near term, energy and commodity prices will remain volatile, with global interest rates and currency turmoil adding to the headwinds. Market dislocations are providing us with select opportunities to establish and build positions in fundamentally strong companies, worldwide—including in emerging markets.

2015-09-02 00:00:00 August 2015 Commentary by Joe Becker of Milliman Financial Risk Management

As August wound down and families enjoyed the last few lazy days of summer, financial markets clearly had another idea in mind. After trading in a relatively tight range for most of the summer, the last two weeks of August were marked by volatility, the likes of which haven’t been seen since 2011. We attribute this heightened volatility to the confluence of global macro conditions with technical factors.

2015-09-01 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What Are the Lessons from the Market Turmoil? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Dramatic events reset agendas. People re-evaluate probabilities about what is possible as well as the personal implications. Because the recent market story is so big and so fresh the week will start with the punditry asking: What are the lessons from the market turmoil?

2015-08-31 00:00:00 Making Sense of Market Volatility by Karen Dunn Kelley of Invesco Blog

On Aug. 21, the Dow Jones Industrial Average entered a correction, falling 10% from its most recent peak, and reminded investors what volatility looks like after almost four correction-free years. While volatility exposes weaknesses in the market, in my opinion it also reveals the strength of high conviction managers who are skillfully navigating the market. Active management and smart beta strategies seek to surpass the “market averages” offered by traditional benchmarks, providing the potential not only for higher returns, but also for a smoother ride.

2015-08-31 00:00:00 Vinson Walden on the Thornburg Global Opportunities Fund by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Vinson Walden is the co-portfolio manager, along with Brian McMahon, of the Thornburg Global Opportunities Fund (THOAX). Within Morningstar’s World Stock category, THOAX ranked among the top-performing funds over the last one, three and five years. I spoke with Vin about how he constructs the fund and his outlook for the future.

2015-08-30 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Waterfall events like the current one tend to most often reverberate into the weeks ahead. Indices will often jump 10% or more higher and also attempt to retest the lows. Volatility will likely remain elevated for several months. But the fall in equity prices, which has knocked investor sentiment to its knees, opens up an attractive risk/reward opportunity for investors. Further weakness, which is quite possible, is an opportunity to accumulate with an eye toward year-end. However, a quick, uncorrected rally in the next week or two would likely fail.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 Doodles from an Eventful Summer by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

This month's Absolute Return Letter is a little different. It was a very eventful summer with many incidents impacting financial markets and we have compiled all these topics into one letter. China is, not surprisingly, a core subject. If the Chinese economy is slowing (and it is), we don't think China is in for a hard landing. If anyone is in the near term - and this may surprise you - we think the U.S. and the euro zone are far more likely candidates.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 Don't Panic: Putting Market Turbulence in Context by Tom Fahey of Loomis Sayles

Sharp declines in China’s equity markets have heightened fears about the country’s economic prognosis and what it might mean for global growth. While concerns center on the emerging markets, the tumult has spilled across global financial markets. Our advice: don’t panic.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 On Market Corrections, and Keeping a Calm Head by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

Despite recent market volatility, we consider the long-term outlook for China’s market and economy to be good. We don’t view this recent correction as the start of any sort of economic or market collapse underway, and it doesn’t change our view on investing there.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 12 Attractive Fast-Growing Dividend Growth Stocks for High Total Return by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

The current market environment is presenting many challenges to the conservative retired investor in need of current income. Interest rates are near all-time lows and the valuations of many blue-chip dividend growth stocks have become extended. Consequently, it is becoming very difficult to find quality investment opportunities that can provide safety through sound valuation, attractive yield and the potential to fight inflation.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 Cheap Oil and Global Growth by Anatole Kaletsky of Project Syndicate

The standard explanation is weak Chinese demand, with the oil-price collapse widely regarded as a portent of recession, either in China or for the entire global economy. But this is almost certainly wrong: On all recent occasions when the oil price was halved, faster global growth followed.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 Times Like This by Robert Horrocks of Matthews Asia

Times like this in the markets can be unsettling. We are accustomed to dealing with risk, or at least familiar with “normal” market swings from year to year. But when there is a sudden abrupt fall in markets, investors are often left to wonder “What is going on?” Are we seeing a repeat of 1997? 2013? Matthews Asia’s Chief Investment Officer Robert Horrocks, PhD, offers his views on recent developments, drawing from historical context but also noting the instances in which history can be misleading.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 China’s Economy Is Undergoing a Huge Transformation That No One’s Talking About by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Misconception and exaggeration are circling China’s economy right now like a flock of hungry buzzards. If you listen only to the popular media, you might believe that the Asian giant is teetering on the brink of economic disaster, with the Shanghai Composite Index’s recent correction and devaluation of the renminbi held up as “proof.”

2015-08-27 00:00:00 Superpower by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Our subject is a new book titled Superpower: Three Choices for America’s Role in the World, by Ian Bremmer, a political scientist who writes often on geopolitical issues. At some point, the US will need to select a workable foreign policy for the post-Cold War era and determine how to handle the superpower role. In this report, we review Bremmer’s book, starting with his premise that no president since the fall of the Berlin Wall has developed a coherent foreign policy.

2015-08-27 00:00:00 ESG Investing – do managers invest consistently? by Veronique Botton of Russell Investments

Veronique Botton takes a look at Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing and examines if managers who have tilts towards ESG investing today might have the same tilts tomorrow.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 China Commentary by John Calamos: Market Reset, Not Recession by John Calamos Sr. of Calamos Investments

The global market selloff of these past days has tested the mettle of many investors—particularly as the turmoil has followed an unusual period earlier this year, where equities delivered healthy advances with very little volatility. While we’ve gone on record saying that we expected volatility to persist (including in our most recent Outlook), we have been surprised by how severe the downturn has been. However, experience teaches that there can be many opportunities in volatile markets.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 As Market Fears Grow, Stay Focused on the Long Term by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

One bad day doesn’t make a bear market. Two bad days, however, and the prospect of more to come, may well signal one.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 Markets Crashing, Gold Rising by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

U.S. Investors are on edge following last week’s and today’s sell-off in stocks around the globe. The carnage impacted equity markets in Asia, Europe, and the U.S. Interestingly, the U.S. dollar also weakened. And bonds and gold are getting most of the safe-haven buying.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 Earnings Voids and the Emergence of Plausible Risk by Doug MacKay, Bill Hoover of Broadleaf Partners

We had put the finishing touches on a market update celebrating our first ten years in business, but were rudely interrupted by the first violence in the markets we’ve seen in nearly a year. Yes, a year.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 Finding Value in the Selloff Rubble by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the catalysts for the brutal equity selloff and its key takeaway for long-term investors.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 The Fed Is Spooking the Markets Not China by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Fasten your seat belts, this ride is getting interesting. Last week the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 1,000 points, notching its worst weekly performance in four years. The sell-off took the Dow Jones down more than 10% from its peak valuations, thereby constituting the first official correction in four years. One third of all S&P 500 companies are already in bear market territory, having declined more than 20% from their peaks. Scarier still, the selling intensified as the week drew to a close, with the Dow losing 530 points on Friday, after falling 350 points on Thursday.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 The Correction May Not Be Over, but the Bull Market Should Persist by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The S&P 500 Index fell 5.7% last week, its biggest weekly pullback since September 2011. Equities have been under pressure for some time, and it appears that investors finally gave in.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 On My Radar: An Optimist Sees The Opportunity In Every Difficulty by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

2015-08-22 00:00:00 Playing the Chinese Trump Card by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Donald Trump wants to “rein in” China. Exactly how will anybody rein in anything if we tumble into another global recession, when it will be every country for itself? Not even Donald Trump knows how to make trouble on that scale.

2015-08-21 00:00:00 Gold Glimmers as Global Market Fear Grips Investors by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Gold this week broke above its 50-day moving average as a fresh round of negative news from around the globe rekindled investors’ interest in the yellow metal as a safe haven. The Fear Trade, it seems, is in full force.

2015-08-21 00:00:00 Was the Euro a Good Idea? by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The creation of the euro was done for political reasons; as long as it is politically less costly for its members than the alternatives, the euro is here to stay.

2015-08-21 00:00:00 Pressure Mounts on China to Act by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Weak manufacturing data out of China indicate that its policymakers will have to act drastically to reverse its decline.

2015-08-21 00:00:00 International Economic Week In Review For Aug. 17-22 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The most important overarching story of the week was the emerging market capital flight, which is occurring at startling pace.

2015-08-20 00:00:00 Why We Believe the Eurozone is a Land of Opportunity by Robert Sharpe, Mike Jolin of Heartland Advisors

After years of unattractive valuations and outlook, Europe appears to be poised for a change. Here are some reasons we think there are plenty of opportunities in the region.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: August by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

We believe sound headline job creation figures point to rate increases by a [US] Fed that would like to begin to ‘normalize’ monetary policy when possible. The US economy is no longer in the emergency room, as it was in December 2008.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Why Care About Commodity Stocks? by Henry D'Auria, Michelle Dunstan of AllianceBernstein

Commodities haven’t been kind to investors in recent years. But we believe that shifting the frame of reference away from underlying price trends of metals and raw materials can reveal surprising opportunities in select commodity stocks.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview: July 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

While some of the emerging economies continue to face slow growth from lower commodity exports, the outlook for most developed economies has brightened in recent months. The U.S. slowdown during the first half of this year was not as bad as thought earlier, while economic trends from the Eurozone remain stable. Helped by sustained labor market gains, U.S. consumer sentiment is picking up again and should help aggregate growth during the second half of the year.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Fundamental Truths by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

When policymakers tell you one thing and the data tell you something different, heed the data. Markets that are in the midst of transition do not behave according to script, despite the best efforts of policymakers to script them. Last week, China loosened control of its currency, resulting in its biggest one-day loss in two decades, compounded by additional losses over the following days. As of this writing, the renminbi (RMB) has depreciated by close to 3 percent since the start of last week.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Strong Dollar: A Headwind for Trade by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

A stronger U.S. currency likely will continue to weigh on exports and boost imports. What does this mean for future U.S. growth?

2015-08-18 00:00:00 International Equity Commentary: July 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

International equity prices were mostly unchanged during the month of July as gains in Europe were offset by losses in Asia and select other markets such as Canada. Further improvement in economic trends from the Euro-zone and the tentative agreement to provide additional financial support to Greece brightened investor sentiment in the region.

2015-08-18 00:00:00 China’s Currency Moves Spark Volatility and Uncertainty by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities endured high levels of volatility last week, dropping sharply in the first few days of trading before recovering to end the week slightly higher. The main focus was China’s surprising decision to devalue the yuan, which raised concerns about a weaker global growth backdrop, deflationary trends, the prospects of a currency war and what the move would mean for the U.S. Federal Reserve and U.S. monetary policy.

2015-08-17 00:00:00 A Study of Real Real Returns Now in its Third Decade by Team of Thornburg Investment Management

If generals always fight the last war, investors all too often chase past performance and mistime the market. Despite the age-old admonition to buy low and sell high, few actually do, to the detriment of their portfolios and wealth. Why? No one wants to be the first to the party or the last to leave. Yet upswings in one asset class may not be all that apparent until well under way. By the time many market analysts and financial media notice, relative valuations may already have reached lofty levels. Loathe to miss out, investors pile in anyway, hoping there may be some steam left.

2015-08-17 00:00:00 Chinese Yuan Depreciates Further: What is the Endgame? by Rob Waldner of Invesco Blog

After China’s surprise devaluation of the yuan by 1.9% last Tuesday, the Chinese currency was devalued by another 1.6% on Wednesday. Policymakers appear to be following a pattern of setting the daily fix, which sets the center point for trading during that day, with reference to the market price at the close of the previous day. Invesco Fixed Income believes that further devaluations are likely as the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, acquiesces to market pressure and price movements over time.

2015-08-17 00:00:00 On My Radar: China’s Surprise – Power To The Dollar by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“Something is deeply wrong if an economy is not growing, because it means these natural processes are impeded. That is why around the world, since the Dark Ages, lack of growth has been a signal of political oppression or instability. Absent such sickness, growth occurs.”– Adam Posen, “Debate: The Case for Slower Growth”

2015-08-17 00:00:00 Emerging Europe: Economy Trends Update July 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The resolution of the Greek imbroglio dominated the news during the quarter, highlighting the crisis of confidence for the Euro-zone. The resolution of the Greek crisis and its third bailout deal is beneficial for countries such as Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, which depend on the euro-zone for most of their exports. Meanwhile, big oil exporter Russia benefited during the second quarter as energy prices increased moderately despite the Ukraine crisis and the ongoing economic sanctions that continue to cloud the outlook for the economy.

2015-08-17 00:00:00 Big Data Analytics: Investing in Technology Themes by Paul Meeks of Saturna Capital

With big data analytics we can quickly and efficiently comb through a mammoth store of data for many business insights that just keep coming.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 China Not Immune to Contagious Quantitative Easing and Massive Printing of Cheap Money by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

First it was the U.S. Federal Reserve. Then, in 2013, Japan launched what became known as Abenomics. The European Central Bank (ECB) followed suit in 2014. And now the People’s Bank of China has joined the parade. All of them in some way stimulated economic growth by initiating monetary quantitative easing (QE) programs.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 Riding the Energy Wave to the Future by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Today I’ll tell you about some big shifts in the energy industry. These shifts are about as positive as can be, unless you need high oil prices to run your country. In the long run, these changes are bullish for the whole world, which I think this will surprise many of you. And though we’ve been used to thinking about energy and technology as two different facets of modern life, today they are inextricably linked.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 Turkey’s Predicament by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

It is our view that over the next few decades Turkey is well positioned to return to its status as a dominant regional power; however, the situation is much less clear in the near term. Turkey has been trying to run a foreign policy of having “no problems” with its neighbors. This stance has become impossible to maintain. Unfortunately for President Erdogan, Turkey is encircled by instability and is struggling to develop a response.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 Walls are Not Perfect by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

I spent part of this summer on a family vacation in four of the six nations that were once republics of the socialist state of Yugoslavia. Many have asked me “Why,” and I simply replied that I had heard it was beautiful and had always wanted to go there. It didn’t hurt that my barber of 40 years and my employer during law school, Marv Esch, a congressman from Ann Arbor, MI, were both of Yugoslavian heritage.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 Global Economic Slowdown - Implications For US Stocks by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The global economy is rolling over to the downside for the most part. The question is, will this global slowdown take the US economy down with it? While no one knows for sure, that possibility simply cannot be ruled out. If the softening in the global economy leads to a slowdown in the US, that will almost certainly result in a weakening of our stock markets.

2015-08-11 00:00:00 Bank Hybrids Bloom Globally—with Subtle Variations by Matthew Minnetian, Shrut Vakil of AllianceBernstein

The market for financial hybrid securities is growing as banks worldwide implement stringent new capital rules. But not all hybrids are alike, so investors can’t afford to take a one-size-fits-all approach.

2015-08-11 00:00:00 The Curious Case of Dollar Strength by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

U.S. equities finished in the red last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.79% to 17,373, the S&P 500 Index slipped 1.28% to 2,077 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.66% to close the week at 5,043. Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell from 2.20% to 2.17%, as its price correspondingly rose.

2015-08-10 00:00:00 Down Gaps Have Doubled In the Last Month by Jennifer Thomson of GaveKal Capital

One of many market internal indicators that we use– the number of stocks that are gapping lower at the open of trading– is signaling an increase in emotional selling behavior over the last month or so, quickly jumping from 1,000 to 2,000 (blue line, axis inverted) for the MSCI World Index. While this move is not without precedent, the historic correlation between an increase in down gaps and a decline in the market warrants attention– especially in light of how quickly the number of down gaps can accelerate as market prices decline.

2015-08-10 00:00:00 Sentiment Should Eventually Improve, Lifting Equities by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Investors remained focused on Federal Reserve policy last week. Economic data continue to be mixed, but suggest that Fed action should occur sooner rather than later.

2015-08-07 00:00:00 What Airlines Can Teach the Energy Sector about Adversity by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

If you’ve studied psychology, and specifically behavioral finance, you might be familiar with the concept of adversity quotient (AQ), which measures how well someone is able to face and cope with, well, adversity. It looks at how we use the tools given to us in order to survive and recover from setbacks.

2015-08-07 00:00:00 In Europe the Winners Remain Unchanged by John Bennett, Head of European Equities (Article)

John Bennett, Head of European Equities at Henderson, discusses the value opportunities created by the Greek crisis, whether the recovery in Europe is sustainable and who may be the potential winners. He also reviews the pharmaceuticals sector and discusses whether he believes that quality growth stocks are now over-priced.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 3 Warnings For Market Bulls by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

3 Things: Major strategist sees bull market coming to an end in 4-6 months, Tom McClellan sends a warning and M&A activity is sounding an alarm.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 The Three Gluts by Joachim Fels of PIMCO

While the global savings glut is likely the main secular force behind the global environment of low growth, lowflation and low interest rates, both the oil glut and the money glut should help lift demand growth, inflation and thus interest rates from their current depressed levels over the cyclical horizon.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 Dog Days by Brian Andrew of Cleary Gull

As we enter the lazy days of August, historically one of the worst months for stock market performance, we are likely to experience increased market volatility, gyrating interest rates on every piece of economic data and low volume. August tends to be a month without much conviction as the number of investors in the market wanes due to summer vacations. It is generally a low volume, volatile and not usually positive performance month.

2015-08-05 00:00:00 Reflections on the Iran Deal by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Last month, the P5+1 and Iran concluded negotiations on a nuclear deal. In this report, we will offer some reflections on the agreement, including why it occurred, and the major reason why the U.S. negotiated this agreement and the underlying issues. As always, we will conclude with market ramifications.

2015-08-05 00:00:00 What, No More Bubble Wrap?! by Michael Kayes of Willingdon Wealth Management

I’ve been a bit troubled lately as I toil away researching and contemplating the state of and future prospects for the markets. For example, I recently learned that Charlotte-based manufacturer, Sealed Air Corporation, had developed a lighter, more economical packaging material to replace bubble wrap. While I applaud the technological advancement, I am saddened by the demise of such a fun product to handle.

2015-08-05 00:00:00 Market Review by Rick Vollaro of Pinnacle Advisory Group

The summer heat has finally arrived, and it’s naturally coincided with lower volume markets that are prone to the rumor mill and news flow. The second quarter of 2015 was choppy, but included some reversals in behavior across asset classes. Domestic equity markets bounced around in a flat range, while broad emerging equity markets declined slightly on the quarter.

2015-08-05 00:00:00 Earnings Update: Corporate Resilience by Burt White of LPL Financial

Once again, earnings season highlights corporate America’s resilience. Investors were braced for an earnings decline in the second quarter of 2015 but will almost certainly end up with another quarterly earnings gain despite the significant drags from the oil downturn and strong U.S. dollar, largely thanks to effective cost controls that have propped up profit margins. With more than two-thirds of S&P 500 companies having reported second quarter 2015 results, we provide an earnings update.

2015-08-04 00:00:00 Reasons to Stay with an Equity-Focused Investment Stance by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

A number of issues garnered attention last week, including falling oil prices, a sell-off in Chinese equities, ongoing corporate deal activity and mixed economic and earnings data.

2015-08-03 00:00:00 A Look at Reported Results, and Subsequent Price Performance by Jennifer Thomson of GaveKal Capital

With slightly more than half of the constituents in the MSCI World Index having reported 2Q results, we thought it would be useful to take a look at the trend in sales and earnings so far. In the developed world, about 54% of those companies that have reported sales results have surprised positively, led by the Health Care and Financials sectors. The most negative sales surprises have been concentrated in the Consumer Staples, Materials, and Industrials sectors.

2015-08-03 00:00:00 Schwab Market Perspective: The Calm Between the Storms by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Peak earnings season is behind us, Greece is not in imminent danger of exiting the euro, Europeans have headed out on vacation and the US Congress won’t be far behind. After a volatile start, the US market appears to be settling into a more typical summer pattern—for now.

2015-08-02 00:00:00 China's Dilemma: Is it 1987 or 1929? by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

If Chinese policymakers don’t alter course soon, the current Chinese equity market correction could turn into a stock market plunge similar to what happened in the United States in 1929.

2015-08-02 00:00:00 Europe: Back to Business by Philippe Brugere-Trelat of Franklin Templeton Investments

The main very positive consequence of the Greek rescue agreement—even if nobody in Greece or in the eurozone at large seems to like it—is that Greece appears to be staying in the eurozone and the construct has been safeguarded.

2015-08-02 00:00:00 When China Stopped Acting Chinese by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Much of the world is focused on what is happening in Greece and Europe. A lot of people are paying attention to the Middle East and geopolitics. These are significant concerns, for sure; but what has been happening in China the past few months has more far-reaching global investment implications than Europe or the Middle East do. Most people are aware of the amazing run-up in the Shanghai stock index and the recent “crash.” The government intervened and for a time has halted the rapid drop in the markets.

2015-08-01 00:00:00 Gold on Sale, Says the Rational Investor by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The leveraged gold futures derivatives market is knocking down the precious metal, yet in massive contrast, this drop has ignited a shopping frenzy according to gold coin dealers. I spoke with several friends and industry experts this week who confirmed the record sales numbers for the month. In fact, American Gold Eagle sales reached 161,500 ounces in July, the highest monthly figure since April 2013. What gives?

2015-07-30 00:00:00 How Hemlines Affect The Market by Tyler Howard of Saturna Capital

George Taylor's "Hemline Index Theory" has persisted since 1926, but is it true? If you search long enough, or mine enough data, you are bound to find correlations that, while statistically robust, have no meaningful explanatory power.

2015-07-30 00:00:00 A Midyear Look at Global Real Estate by Ivy Global Real Estate Team of Ivy Investment Management Company

There are many drivers of recent short-term price changes for publicly traded real estate companies in the current market environment. These include changes in the market’s outlook for economic growth, for interest rate movements, for central bank actions and even the issues surrounding Greece and Ukraine.

2015-07-30 00:00:00 Greece and China: The New Not Ready For Primetime Players by Chris Richey of Neosho Capital

A paper on the present Greek and Chinese capital market crises, which have their roots in policies carefully crafted over the past two decades meant to bring about the integration of their respective economies into that of the wider world.

2015-07-30 00:00:00 U.S. Dollar Still Stands Tall by Burt White of LPL Financial

The U.S. dollar remains strong, defying some skeptics. As has been the case since late 2008 when the Federal Reserve (Fed) began its quantitative easing (QE) program, there has been a great deal of concern recently among some market participants that the dollar is on the verge of a significant decline. Although the dollar may have lost some market share relative to other global currencies in recent decades, it remains the dominant global currency (often referred to as a reserve currency) and we expect it to remain so for the foreseeable future.

2015-07-30 00:00:00 Rising Rates: Threat or Opportunity by Eric Stein, Andrew Szczurowski of Eaton Vance

Investors should take an active approach to duration management and favor assets that have historically benefited from a rising rate environment.

2015-07-29 00:00:00 Some Overseas Markets May Prove More Resilient by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ explains why he believes European and Japanese equities can continue to outperform U.S. stocks.

2015-07-29 00:00:00 Price-Insensitive Sellers by Ben Inker of GMO

In a new quarterly letter to GMO's institutional clients, co-head of asset allocation Ben Inker examines the impact on a range of global asset classes of "price-insensitive market participants" who may "buy assets for reasons other than the expected returns those assets may deliver."

2015-07-29 00:00:00 Ten Quick Topics to Ruin Your Summer by Jeremy Grantham of GMO

Chief investment strategist Jeremy Grantham reviews "10 topics that really matter, at least in my opinion. They can all be viewed as problems: potential threats to our well-being"

2015-07-28 00:00:00 Equities Retreat, but Long-Term Prospects Should Improve by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

At the beginning of July, it became clear that Greece and European policymakers would come to at least a temporary debt agreement. Since that time, U.S. equity prices jumped, with the S&P 500 Index climbing more than 4% by the beginning of last week.

2015-07-27 00:00:00 Global Equity Income Fund, Quarterly Review and Outlook by Job Curtis, Director of Global Equity Income (Article)

Job Curtis, Director of Global Equity Income, provides a portfolio and economic update for the Henderson Global Equity Income Fund (HFQAX). Broadly speaking, with growth picking up in Europe and well established in the US, he believes the outlook for equity markets is reasonably good. There is plenty of dividend yield out there and we are able to find companies with a combination of dividend yield and dividend growth.

2015-07-27 00:00:00 The Nuclear Deal is Mostly about Oil by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

The recent nuclear non-proliferation agreement between Iran and the U.S. has created a firestorm debate in the Middle East and both sides of the Atlantic. While the deal is supposedly all about nuclear power and nuclear bombs, its practical implications are all about oil. But the conclusions we should make about its impact on the energy sector are far from clear. A ratification of the deal would allow Iran to make lucrative long term production and distribution contracts with foreign energy firms.

2015-07-26 00:00:00 European Drama Hasn’t Derailed US Growth by Ed Perks of Franklin Templeton Investments

We believe headwinds to growth have been easing and what the current leg of the US expansion has perhaps lacked in intensity may very well be made up for by a transition to a more durable or lengthy expansion.

2015-07-25 00:00:00 3 Reasons Why Gold Isn’t Behaving Like Gold Right Now by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The last time the metal descended this quickly was 18 months ago, on January 6, 2014, when someone brought a massive gold sell order on the market before retracting it in a high-frequency trading tactic called “quote stuffing.”

2015-07-24 00:00:00 Dark Clouds Clearing by Byron Wien of Blackstone

We are at a point when various macroeconomic events could have a significant impact on the financial markets. Here are my thoughts on recent events in Greece, the Iran negotiations, China and the United States.

2015-07-24 00:00:00 Europe: Running on Borrowed Time by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Rather than wander deep into the weeds looking at financial indications, however, we are going to explore what I think is a very significant nonfinancial factor that will impact the future of Europe. If it was just money, then Prodi would be right – they could just create new economic policy instruments, whatever the heck those might be. But what we’ve been seeing these last few months is symptomatic of a far deeper problem than can be addressed with just a few trillion euros, give or take.

2015-07-23 00:00:00 Summer Quarterly Commentary by John Prichard, Miles Yourman of Knightsbridge Asset Management

Greece is much in the headlines again. As we stated in our Spring 2013 letter, “The European debt crisis will not be over until either: 1) the debt goes away (read: default or substantial inflation) or 2) these governments start producing actual surpluses with which to pay the debt down.” So far, every subsequent deal has failed to produce either of these two scenarios, and so each time news media builds up another weekend summit or referendum, the running joke around here is, “Don’t worry, it will all be resolved this weekend.”

2015-07-23 00:00:00 Mid-Year Outlook: Global Economy Likely to Withstand China, Greece by John Calamos, Sr. of Calamos Investments

The global markets and economy should be able to move higher for the remainder of the year, with accommodative monetary policy and well-contained inflation providing tailwinds. The U.S. looks set to extend its not-too-hot, not-too-cold recovery, while Japan is benefiting from stimulus and pro-market reforms. Although economic conditions in Europe remain fragile and uneven, growth looks to be accelerating overall, and we believe the European Union has the tools to prevent a broader Europe contagion should the Greek bailout resolution fall apart.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 July 2015 Economic Update by Robert Cron of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild

The U.S. economy continues to plod its way forward at a slow and steady pace. Short-term setbacks seem to be the norm, but a general sense of an improving economy is seen through many sectors. The focus on month-to-month indicators has been de-emphasized recently by the scale of global headlines that seems to be driving markets and investor sentiment. Having a steady economic backdrop is very helpful during a period of global challenges.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 Currencies Depend on Faith, Gold Doesn’t by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

In his July 17th Blog, Let's Get Real About Gold, author and Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Zweig likened investor interest in gold with the "Pet Rock" craze of the 1970's, when consumers became convinced that a rock in a box would provide continuous companionship, elevate their social standing, and give them something hip to talk about at parties. Zweig asserts that investor faith in gold, which he argues is just another inert mineral with good marketing, is similarly irrational, and has kept people from putting money in the much more lucrative stock market.

2015-07-20 00:00:00 Release the Condor! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there was an advertising company trying to come up with a video commercial to introduce Buick’s new car. After a number of the ad company’s proposals were turned down, they came up with the idea of the car cruising on a road down the side of a mountain with an eagle superimposed flying over it. Buick loved it! There was, however, one problem; you cannot capture, or tame, an eagle. Therefore it was decided to use a condor.

2015-07-20 00:00:00 Equities Rise as the Focus Returns to Fundamentals by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities experienced their largest one-week gain since late March last week, with the S&P 500 Index rising 2.4%. Much of the gain came from an easing of Greece’s debt problems and a calming of volatility in China’s equity market. In both cases, policymakers achieved some breathing room, but fundamental issues remain. Greece must still engage in some serious structural reforms and the Chinese economy is still experiencing a significant slowdown.

2015-07-19 00:00:00 Imperial Germany by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Last week, we analyzed the Greek/Eurozone negotiations using game theory as an explanatory tool. In this report, we will review the basic geopolitics of Europe, the political response and the evolution of the Eurozone. Using this background, we will examine Germany’s actions in the most recent Greek crisis. As always, we will conclude with market ramifications.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 Eurozone Looks to Heal Its Greek Crisis Rifts by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

Bringing eurozone countries closer together will be the focus of the region’s leaders for the next couple of years. So, if we have another crisis in the region, hopefully this drawn-out, painful scenario isn’t repeated.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 The Future is Already Here by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

A good idea of what the future will look like for bond investors is already here. The three-year average annualized total return of the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index, a broad measure of high-quality bond performance, stood at a very modest 1.8% at the end of June 2015. This is an average return, and shorter-term returns have been both higher and lower over the past three years, but it provides an approximation of what investors may expect over a longer time frame.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 Is This the Big One? What to Do in a Financial Crisis by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

Events in Greece, China’s massive market sell-off, and the temporary shutdown of the NYSE remind us that change and crisis shift the narrative of what today holds and the future portends. Investors may at first want to run for the exit, but the wiser choice may be to stand calmly and let the storm pass.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 Crude Oil Is the Best-Performing Commodity of 2015 So Far by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The widest expansion this year was made by none other than crude oil, the worst-performing commodity of 2014. As of June 30, oil posted gains of over 11 percent, rising to $59.47 per barrel. After falling more than 50 percent since last summer, though, it had little else to go but up. That oil claimed the top spot just highlights the reality that commodities are in a depressed state right now.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 Will the Selloff in China Hurt the Global Economy? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

Russ explains why volatility in China's stock market is unlikely to have a material impact on either the global or Chinese economy.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 Europe Needs to Form a More-Perfect Union by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Mario Draghi, ECB president, observed this week that Europe is an imperfect union. Flaws and gaps in treaties must be filled by trust among members. Having failed to follow the dictates of past bailout programs, the Greeks lost the trust of their eurozone partners and will now be subject to very close fiscal oversight.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 Northern Trust Perspective by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

Last month we said that the odds favored some sort of “kick the can down the road” agreement between Greece and its creditors, and it looks like that may be coming to pass. While there’s still much work to be done, the tone of the current agreement seems focused on avoiding a euro exit and debt write-downs, while ignoring growth-oriented policies. With the hard decisions yet again put off for another day, this should be euro-weakening, all else equal.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 If the Fed Raises Policy Interest Rates in 2015, It's Likely to Be One and Done by Paul Kasriel of Econtrarian, LLC

Last week, Fed Chairperson Yellen indicated that the Fed was likely to raise its policy interest rates sometime before year end. Given the behavior of the sum of commercial bank credit and depository institution reserves at the Fed in the past three quarters, it is a mystery to me why the Fed would be contemplating a policy interest rate increase at this juncture. But if this is something the Fed just has to get out of its system, then the first increase is unlikely to be followed by a second interest rate increase for some time.

2015-07-16 00:00:00 Q2 Earnings Preview by Burt White of LPL Financial

Q2 earnings season could potentially look a lot like Q1. The Thomson-tracked consensus is calling for a 3% year-over-year decline in S&P 500 earnings for the second quarter, dragged down once again by the energy sector and a strong U.S. dollar.

2015-07-16 00:00:00 Navigating Market Signals in Multi-Asset Portfolios by Rob Balkema of Russell Investments

Russell Investments’ Rob Balkema provides insights on how a portfolio manager looking at Japan might use market signals to manage multi-asset class funds.

2015-07-16 00:00:00 Five Portfolio Moves for the Second Half by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

After a relatively calm few months, market volatility is back. In recent weeks, stocks have swung between ups and downs, as investors have attempted to digest the latest news out of Greece, the recent bear market in China and the growing likelihood that the Federal Reserve (Fed) will hold off on raising rates until after its September meeting.

2015-07-15 00:00:00 Volatile Estimates in Europe by Jennifer Thomson of GaveKal Capital

Changes in sales and earnings estimates have historically ranked fairly high in our factor analysis– a methodology we employ to gauge which variables have the greatest influence on/ correlation with moves in the overall market.

2015-07-15 00:00:00 Greek Games: An Update by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

We update our views on the Greek situation using game theory as a theoretical construct. We used a similar construct in an earlier report on Greece but, in light of the referendum and subsequent negotiations, we believe that further clarification is necessary. And so, we will review the “game of chicken,” which we believe best describes this situation. We will then discuss in detail the particular aspects of this game and why it leads to rash and aggressive behaviors in participants.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Greece: Chaos or Orderly Resolution? by Brent Schutte of BMO Global Asset Management

Greece has found itself in dire financial straits for the last few years (its first bailout was back in 2010), but the situation has become critical in recent weeks. The impetus for this was the election in January 2015 of a radical left government that wished to reopen negotiations with creditors. Much of the response and commentary that we have seen from European politicians and central bankers has been political posturing that has masked the harsh reality: without significant debt restructuring, Greece will never be able to pay back its debts.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Gundlach v. Yellen: Will the Fed Raise Rates? by Robert Huebscher (Article)

On Friday, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said that the nine-year wait for an interest-rate increase would likely end this year. Three days earlier, though, Jeffrey Gundlach said that a rate increase this year is unlikely, given the mix of bad news and uncertainty in the world markets. Which view prevails will be the focus of bond market participants in the months ahead.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Innovation – Too Much, or Too Little of a Good Thing? by Michael Lebowitz (Article)

New innovations save us a lot of time and effort but, believe it or not, they do little to generate sustainable economic growth. Sustainable economic growth depends on productivity. Despite these new innovations, domestic productivity is flat lining.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Correlation Among Stocks, Especially In Europe, Have Shot Higher by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

Over the past several weeks, correlations among stocks have been increasing which makes it increasingly difficult for stock pickers to outperform. The most dramatic example of this is happening in Europe.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Putting the Greece Deal in Context by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Now that Greece and its creditors have reached a tentative deal, Russ discusses the two investing themes that are likely to dominate the second half of 2015.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Risks from China Overtake Concerns About Greece by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equity volatility spiked last week, driven by escalating concerns over Greece’s debt problems and a sharp volatility in Chinese equities. The Chinese stock market experienced a dramatic sell-off in recent weeks before staging a comeback toward the end of last week. Early last week, the possibility of additional Greek defaults and a potential messy exit from the eurozone intensified. By the end of the week, however, Greek officials and policymakers seemed to be approaching an agreement.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Greece: Four Fateful Factors by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

While we await the disposition of Greece’s latest fiscal rescue, here are the issues that could influence the nation’s future—bailout or no.

2015-07-13 00:00:00 Greece and the King of Asteroid 325 (and The One Lesson to Learn Before a Market Crash) by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Last week, the price of Greek government debt soared on hopes of an 11th hour stick-save bailout by the European Union. Unfortunately, that price jump still left Greek bonds priced to reflect a default probability of 100% at every maturity. The jump only reflected an increase in the amount that bondholders evidently expect to recover in default, raising the implied recovery rate from the recent low near 30% to something closer to 50%. Put another way, the bond market has fully priced in the likelihood of a default coupled with a major haircut on Greek debt.

2015-07-11 00:00:00 It’s Not Over Till the Fat Lady Goes on a P/E Diet by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

The answer to the seemingly arcane question of whether we are in a secular bull or bear market makes a great difference in the proper positioning of your portfolios. And getting it wrong can have serious consequences.

2015-07-11 00:00:00 Global Investors: You Should Be Paying Attention to this Economic Indicator by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

In addition to our own macro models, BCA Research , a highly respected independent research company, pointed out that PMIs in developing economies have plunged to new lows. The International Monetary Fund also revised downward its global growth forecast for 2015. On this account, bad news is good news, as central bankers are scrambling to stimulate economic growth.

2015-07-11 00:00:00 Signs the U.S. Recovery is Solid by Rick Rieder of BlackRock Investment Management

Rick Rieder dispels pessimistic evaluations of the U.S. economy, explaining why the U.S. recovery is actually stronger than headline data would have you believe.

2015-07-11 00:00:00 China Market Update by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

China’s equity markets have steadily declined for weeks, raising a torrent of questions and concerns. Given that China accounts for more global growth than the U.S., Europe and Japan combined, this week Andy Rothman, Investment Strategist at Matthews Asia, answers some of your most pressing questions.

2015-07-10 00:00:00 Greece’s Precarious Position by Norman Boersma, Cindy Sweeting, Heather Arnold of Franklin Templeton Investments

Given how fluid this situation is currently, attempting to assign probabilities to a Greek exit scenario remains a moving target on a daily basis.

2015-07-10 00:00:00 China Has Tools to Manage Stock Sell-Off by Anthony Chan, Stuart Rae of AllianceBernstein

Chinese equities are undergoing a sharp correction, and the volatility could last for some time. But we think policymakers have both the tools and the resolve to support the broader Chinese economy.

2015-07-10 00:00:00 China Market Update by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

China’s equity markets have been in steady decline for several weeks, raising a lot of questions about the potential impact on the world’s second-largest economy. Given that China accounts for more global growth than the U.S., Europe and Japan combined, this is an important topic for investors.

2015-07-09 00:00:00 Greece Playbook by Burt White of LPL Financial

Greece’s critical referendum took place this weekend and the Greek people resoundingly voted “no”?—?rejecting the latest bailout deal from creditors. The referendum result, which some interpreted as a vote to exit the Eurozone, throws Greece’s future in the currency union firmly in doubt. The unexpected result has led to a roughly 2% decline in the broad European indexes but only a modest decline in the S&P 500 (as of 3 p.m. ET today, July 6, 2015). The negative market reaction in Europe is not surprising, given polls heading into the weekend suggested a vote for the bailout was

2015-07-09 00:00:00 Greece: Closer to the Brink by Carl Tannenbaum, Victoria Marklew of Northern Trust

Greek voters declared an overwhelming “no” on Sunday – by a margin of 61% to 39%. Whether they were rejecting the notion of reform for aid or perceived German bullying is not clear, but the message to the rest of Europe was clear.

2015-07-09 00:00:00 While Attention Has Been On China, EM Latin America Keeps Taking It On The Chin by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

EM Latin America stocks are by far the worst performing stocks in the world this year. So even though all eyes are on China at the moment, as Bryce recently pointed out, the Chinese stock market doesn’t matter much for non-Chinese investors.

2015-07-09 00:00:00 Five Questions on Risk in Concentrated Equities Today by Mark Phelps, Dev Chakrabarti of AllianceBernstein

As equity markets cope with fresh volatility from China to Europe, managing risk is a top priority. In our view, concentrated portfolios stand up to scrutiny on risk—even in today’s complex market conditions.

2015-07-09 00:00:00 CIO Newsletter by Ritesh Jain of Tata Asset Management

In this edition of my newsletter, I have tried to address one of the most common questions that investors have been asking me these days; what to make of the noise surrounding us and how India is placed to weather this volatility. Let me tell you, it's not going to be a smooth ride. In the last 6 months, there has been too much going on worldwide.

2015-07-09 00:00:00 The Greek Crisis Takes a New Turn by Toby Nangle, Martin Harvey of Columbia Threadneedle

Talks between Greece and its creditors collapsed over the weekend. The Greek government has called a referendum on July 5 to accept or reject its creditors' terms — a move almost universally considered to be a poll on the continued membership of the euro area. The timing of this latest turn may have taken many by surprise, but like watching a slow-motion train wreck, few could say they didn’t see it coming.

2015-07-08 00:00:00 How We View the Big Picture by Team of Litman Gregory

We are regularly asked for our take on the broad macroeconomic topics of the day. Two of the more noteworthy big-picture subjects we have been asked about recently are the Greek debt crisis and the timing of the U.S. Federal Reserve rate hike. In most cases, we don’t believe we have new insights to add beyond the reams of commentary these topics typically inspire, and given the dynamic nature of these two topics, it is quite possible that new information will unfold as we publish this or shortly thereafter.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 A First-Half Letter to Clients: Robert Shiller on the Valuation Quandary by Dan Richards (Article)

Since 2008, I have posted a template for a client letter each quarter as a starting point for advisors who want to send clients an overview of the period that just ended and some thoughts looking forward. This quarter’s letter addresses one of today’s most taxing questions for advisors and investors alike: How to deal with the quandary presented by today’s valuation levels on U.S. stocks.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Update on Greece by Henderson Global Investors of Henderson Global Investors

What happens next in Greece? The immediate impact of the referendum will be to greatly intensify financial and economic pressures in Greece. Now without a bailout, Greece will struggle to find the cash to pay for pensions and public sector wages. The government’s only option may be to make these payments in some form of IOUs in the weeks ahead.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Earning an Illiquidity Premium in Private Credit by Joshua Anderson, Tom Collier of PIMCO

With low yields and tight spreads prevalent in traditional liquid fixed income markets, many institutional investors are considering whether higher returns are available by assuming credit risk in private or illiquid form. We believe this type of alternative credit strategy may enhance portfolio returns, but investors should be extremely judicious when giving up liquidity, particularly today.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Staring into an Abyss by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

With a resounding "NO" vote on the Greek referendum to accept the terms of Europe's proposed "bailout", market pundits are out in force talking about the coming turmoil. I think investors and policymakers alike would be wise to step back and put this unexpected outcome into perspective for the long term.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Emerging-Market Stocks: Back on the Map by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

After the volatility of the past few years, conditions once again appear favorable for this asset class.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Are You Really Keeping Your Eye on the Ball? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

I was playing catch with my great-nephew, Bryson, over the weekend. He is just two years old and is a charmer. As we tossed the ball back and forth, he caught it and threw it back on target more times than he missed.

2015-07-06 00:00:00 Exporting the “Bacon Genie” and Other Reasons to Be Bullish by Brooks Ritchey of Franklin Templeton Investments

From “Bacon Genies” to “Snuggies,” there’s little doubting Americans have a thirst for consumer goods, even those that don’t always appear to serve much practical purpose. Brooks Ritchey, Senior Managing Director at K2 Advisors®, Franklin Templeton Solutions®, explores how an evolving consumer culture is spreading throughout the globe, and how he and his team are positioning their portfolios with these types of macro considerations in mind.

2015-07-06 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of June 29-July3; Some Weakness Technical Emerging by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The biggest news last week was the employment report, which contained a headline number (223,000) a bit weaker than we’ve gotten used to. But, there is a very reasonable explanation.

2015-07-06 00:00:00 Strategic Income: Positioning & Opportunities by (Article)

John Pattullo, Co-Head of Retail Fixed Income, discusses the Strategic Income Fund’s positioning and the current market environment. He notes the macro environment remains benign with some volatility spikes which can provide opportunities. John adds the deflation scare is broadly out of the way and Europe now in a better place with some growth coming through, which is encouraging.

2015-07-04 00:00:00 A Week of Unseen Things by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

We Americans are celebrating our Independence Day this weekend. The news our ancestors read on this day in 1776 wasn’t so great – but the US survived its rough start. China, Puerto Rico, and Greece will survive, too. But the decisions their government make, just like the ones our fledgling government made all those years ago, will make a great deal of difference. Let’s get past the gloom and doom to see if we can find some good news.

2015-07-03 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review For June 29-July 30; Greece and Canada Creating Problems, Edit by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Greece is obviously the big wild card going into next week. And while the damage appears to be contained for now, there is no guarantee we won't see a negative feedback loop filter out into the market and EU economy. Canada's four months of GDP contraction are also getting a bit concerning. Even though we knew this was coming, it's still a most unwelcome development. However, other economies are at least holding their own for now.

2015-07-02 00:00:00 Investor Outlook: Trends are Looking Neutral by Andrew Pease of Russell Investments

Russell Investments’ Andrew Pease highlights insights from the investment strategists’ latest investor outlook and explains what may be in store for investors next quarter.

2015-07-02 00:00:00 Investors Take Shelter as Greek Referendum Nears by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

American industrialist J. Paul Getty once said: “If you owe the bank $100, that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.” And when the amount is $1.73 billion, it’s everyone’s problem. Greece is officially in arrears for missing its scheduled payment Tuesday to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Expecting this, American stocks had their largest one-day drop of 2015 on Monday. Market volatility, as measured by the VIX, spiked sharply.

2015-07-02 00:00:00 Eurozone Contagion Fears Flare as Greek Crisis Enters Crucial Phase by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

Whatever the outcome of the Greek referendum on Sunday (July 5), the result is likely to mean more uncertainty and possibly pain for the people of Greece. So far, according to David Zahn, head of European Fixed Income, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, the economic fallout of the crisis appears to be mostly contained within Greece, and the likelihood of longer-term contagion to other eurozone economies seems to be limited.

2015-07-02 00:00:00 Greek Default is Everyone’s Fault by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

We do not expect widespread global contagion, but reducing the risk of this outcome will require renewed cooperation between Greece and its creditors. They created the problem together, and neither side can claim the high ground. It is about time that they came back down to earth and worked this thing out.

2015-07-02 00:00:00 The Business Cycle—Middle-Aged or Elderly? by Erik Knutzen of Neuberger Berman

When it comes to the duration of the business cycle, 50 is the new 40. Much the way that better diet, health care and exercise have helped double life expectancy over the past century, central banks have prolonged the current expansion using new elixirs such as zero interest rates and quantitative easing. At 72 months, the business cycle has well surpassed the 58.4-month average of the modern era and is now more than twice the length of the pre-WWII average.

2015-07-02 00:00:00 Home of the Free, Land of the Entrepreneur by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Where else but in America can a startup such as Uber be valued at $50 billion, higher than 80 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 Index, only six years after its founding? Where else but in America can someone reach billionaire status by inventing a new type of hosiery, as Sara Blakely did with Spanx? Before her now-ubiquitous undergarments were worn by women—and now men—all over the globe, Blakely was so broke that she had to write her own patent without the help of an attorney.

2015-07-01 00:00:00 The Smartest Man is Wild about Innovation by Byron Wien of Blackstone

For the past fifteen years I have written annually about a person I have come to call “The Smartest Man in Europe.” For new readers, he is a finance person in his 80’s who has built his reputation by identifying important trend changes early and putting serious money behind his conclusions. Descended from a mercantile family that operated canteens selling food and weather protection along the Silk Route, he was educated in Europe, trained in New York and returned home to take advantage of the wealth-creating opportunities resulting from the post-war recovery.

2015-07-01 00:00:00 The 2015 Mid-Year Geopolitical Outlook by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

As is our custom, at mid-year, we update our geopolitical outlook for the rest of the year. This report is less a series of predictions as it is a list of potential geopolitical issues that we believe will dominate the international situation into year’s end. It is not designed to be exhaustive; instead, it focuses on the “big picture” conditions that we believe will affect policy and markets going forward. They are listed in order of importance.

2015-07-01 00:00:00 Greek Contagion Fears Likely Overblown by Gary Black of Calamos Investments

We remain bullish on global equities despite the expected near-term volatility, as we believe the Greek situation will be resolved in a manner that the markets will view constructively. Although the Greek debt drama has veered off script over the past few days, we believe investors have overdiscounted the impact of Greece defaulting on its IMF loan. We expect volatility will stay high in the run up to the Greek austerity referendum scheduled for July 5.

2015-07-01 00:00:00 A Return to Fundamentals? by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

June was a very eventful month, in particular here in Europe. Greece went from bad to worse, and the Greek people have now been asked to vote on their own destiny in a referendum scheduled for Sunday 5 July, which we expect to return in a 'Yes' vote. However, Greece is not the only subject in the July Absolute Return Letter. Financial markets have in many ways behaved oddly since the near meltdown in 2008. The objective of this month's letter is to look at whether we are finally beginning to see some sort of normalisation - as in a return to the conditions we had prior to 2008...

2015-07-01 00:00:00 More Volatility: A Positive Environment for Active Managers by Chuck Royce, Francis Gannon of The Royce Funds

Dating from the year-to-date low for the 10-Year Treasury on January 30 through the end of the first half, we have observed promising signs that the market may be taking greater strides toward normalization. CEO Chuck Royce and Co-CIO Francis Gannon discuss how higher rates might benefit bottom-up stock pickers, the potential for quality companies to regain leadership as volatility increases, the possible consequences of global economic recovery for both domestic and non-U.S. small-cap stocks, and the favorable landscape for consumers and its effect on our portfolio positioning.

2015-07-01 00:00:00 Greece and Puerto Rico Spark Global Volatility by K. Sean Clark of Clark Capital Management Group

More than five years after first entering investors’ view, the Greek drama has again hit center stage and has investors fretting about a market collapse.

2015-07-01 00:00:00 Greece: Weighing the Risks by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

It seems Greece has chosen default and capital controls. Even so, Athens can still cut a deal that would relieve both. Either way, it will remain unclear for a while whether the country stays in the common currency. In some respects, this situation is entirely manageable. That fact has fostered a dangerous complacency, for in other respects, this situation carries considerable risk—for the eurozone, for European finance in general, and for global finance.

2015-06-30 00:00:00 Greek Moves Test ECB Resolve on Europe by Darren Williams of AllianceBernstein

Greece’s five-year debt crisis is escalating fast. A default on the IMF now looks almost certain and the country is taking a big step toward a possible exit from the euro area. What really matters now, though, is the impact on other countries—and how the ECB will respond.

2015-06-30 00:00:00 A Mid-Year Assessment of Our Ten Predictions by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

We have described 2015 as the year when investors transition from disbelief to belief, or from skepticism to optimism. Sir John Templeton coined the phrase, “Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria.” We believe we are entering the “optimism” phase.

2015-06-30 00:00:00 Ignore Greece by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Don’t let anyone tell you Greece is sticking up for its "dignity" by fighting “austerity.” The current Greek government is sticking up for socialism by fighting reality.

2015-06-29 00:00:00 Don’t be Surprised - Speech to CFA Society of Chicago by Stephen Romick of FPA Funds

I’m reminded of a gentleman who discovers a genie in a bottle. Granted one wish only – apparently even genies have pricing power – the man asks for peace in the Middle East. The genie backs away and says, “That’s way too difficult. Give me something easier.” The man ponders his options and asks the genie instead, to help him pick a good mutual fund. The genie quickly responds, “Let me get to work on the Middle East.”

2015-06-29 00:00:00 Europe’s Attack on Greek Democracy by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

The rising crescendo of bickering and acrimony within Europe might seem to outsiders to be the inevitable result of the bitter endgame playing out between Greece and its creditors. In fact, European leaders are finally beginning to reveal the true nature of the ongoing debt dispute, and the answer is not pleasant.

2015-06-29 00:00:00 On My Radar: Buffett Burgers and The Hallelujah Chorus by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

"People are habitually guided by the rear-view mirror and, for the most part, by the vistas immediately behind them.”– Warren Buffett

2015-06-27 00:00:00 Shoot the Dog and Sell the Farm by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

The Greek situation is presently caught in those two bubbles on the bottom. European leaders held summit meetings this week to consider new breakthrough concessions offered by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Let the champagne flow. Except those concessions were rejected, and the Greeks rejected the counteroffer as of this afternoon. But it’s not quite midnight yet.

2015-06-27 00:00:00 The Most Likely Outcome for Greece by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

Russ provides his short- and long-term outlook for Greece, explaining why the country will likely continue to be a source of headline risk for the foreseeable future.

2015-06-27 00:00:00 Not Too Hot… by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Despite the narrow range for US stocks this year, things can change quickly. We believe volatility will pick up over the next several months as we head toward the Fed’s initial rate hike. Across the pond, the best we may be able to hope for with regard to Greece is another “kick-the-can” solution. But any potential damage should be relatively contained due to the work done in the Eurozone over the past five years.

2015-06-26 00:00:00 Shelter from the Storm in Europe by Mohamed El-Erian of Project Syndicate

To secure a prosperous future, Europe must confront three distinct challenges: the Greek crisis, Russia’s incursion in Ukraine, and the rise of populist political parties. While Europe could address each of these challenges individually with relatively little risk, all three must be addressed simultaneously.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 Unconstrained Global Investing in an Extraordinary Monetary Policy Enviornment by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

As we see it, it is only a matter of time before US wages start to rise to levels where inflation is triggered. Using the Fed’s own estimates, we are quite close to what’s considered to be full employment. To us, this does not justify 0% interest rates.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 Global Investing is Changing by Richard Bernstein of Eaton Vance

International investing was easy for U.S.-based investors for many years because the U.S. dollar was either declining in value or was stable. U.S. dollar-based investors’ non-US equity and fixed-income returns were generally enhanced by the falling dollar so that U.S. investors actually tended to outperform the local currency benchmarks. Of course, investment managers took credit for the resulting “alpha” despite that out performance was more likely attributable to currency than to asset selection.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 Yields Skyrocket! Really? by Brian Andrew of Cleary Gull

It is hard to pick up a paper, read an investment blog (mine excluded), or listen to a financial news program without hearing about the global bond market rout. Yields (interest rates) on government bonds in the U.S. and Europe have been on the rise and the financial media is trying to whip everyone into a frenzy about it. Here is why I think you should be celebrating rather than worrying.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 Uncertainty Now; Opportunity Later: 2015 Economic & Stock Market Outlook, Mid-Year Update by Bruce Bittles, William Delwiche of Robert W. Baird & Co.

The message at mid-year is caution now, but opportunity later. It is not difficult to envision a more constructive environment as we move through the second half. If and when the Fed finally raises rates, conviction in a gradual tightening process could raise Fed policy back to bullish, and better seasonal patterns (and perhaps improved momentum) could be in store in the fourth quarter. On the other hand, a quick return of investor optimism and/or further breadth deterioration could add downside pressure in the near term.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 Inflation Outlook: Approaching Target by Mihir Worah of PIMCO

Over the next three to five years, PIMCO expects the global economy will continue along a New Neutral path in which major economies tend to drift along at modest growth rates. At our annual Secular Forum last month, our global investment professionals rigorously debated the longer-term, or secular, outlook for the global economy and markets, and the broad conclusions we reached are detailed in “The New Neutral Revisited.”

2015-06-25 00:00:00 The Market Continues to Vote for Japan Over Europe by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

Despite Japanese stocks outperforming European stocks by 7% YTD and 14% over the last year, the investment community has continued to basically ignore Japan in the commentary we read. But, for those who have been overweight Japan it has been a good ride.

2015-06-24 00:00:00 Putting the Pieces Together: Midyear Economic Outlook by John Canally Jr. of LPL Financial

We continue to expect that the U.S. economy will expand at a rate of 3% or slightly higher over the remainder of 2015, once economic conditions recover from yet another harsh winter—and other transitory factors—that held back growth in the early part of 2015. This forecast matches the average growth rate over the past 50 years, and is based on contributions from consumer spending, business capital spending, and housing, which are poised to advance at historically average or better growth rates in 2015. Net exports and the government sector should trail be hind.

2015-06-24 00:00:00 Handicapping Bubbles and Shocks by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Kristina Hooper, US Investment Strategist for Allianz Global Investors, explains the results of the 2015 Allianz Global Investors RiskMonitor Survey, a global study of prevailing views on portfolio construction, asset allocation and risk among a cross-section of institutional investors.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 How Small Mistakes Can Boost Your Credibility by Dan Richards (Article)

An advisor struggled to convert meetings with prospects into clients. Then he began describing how he’d helped existing clients in a way that made him more credible and sincere.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 Equities Gather Momentum on Positive Indicators by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities finished higher last week as the S&P 500 increased 0.8%, recording its highest weekly gain since April. The dovish message from Wednesday’s FOMC announcement boosted markets. Contagion from Greece appears relatively contained. The sell-off in equities in China did not impact global markets. The health care, consumer staples and utilities sectors rallied. Financials lagged as banking lost momentum and energy underperformed.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 Central Banks Still Hold the Keys by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

U.S. stocks and bonds were cheered last week by soothing comments from the Federal Reserve. For better or for worse, says BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist, Russ Koesterich, the world's central banks continue to drive market swings.

2015-06-22 00:00:00 Greek Drama: Act 2 by Chris Brightman, Shane Shepherd of Research Affiliates

The old saying, “You can’t squeeze blood from a stone,” vividly describes the futility of trying to extract more resources from something than it has to give. The expectations the Greeks have for renegotiating their debts requires them to do exactly this, squeeze blood from a stone. Only by increasing tax collections can Greece reverse the painful reduction in government spending, services, and employment known as austerity.

2015-06-22 00:00:00 Global Review and Equity Commentary: May 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The decline in U.S. economic activity during the first quarter was more than earlier estimates, and appears to have weakened business sentiment in other parts of the world. Most of the fall in U.S. aggregate output was due to temporary factors such as adverse weather and port disruptions that led to delayed export shipments. The stronger dollar also reduced the earnings growth of large U.S. corporations with a global footprint.

2015-06-20 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: Pretty Darn Positive, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

As with any Fed week, this week’s news was dominated by the Federal Reserve’s policy announcement. But, after 2:15 EST on Wednesday, everybody realized nothing had changed; the Fed was still waiting for better unemployment numbers and higher inflation. In other words, the dovish stance persisted. Other US news was mixed. News from Europe was positive; the EU and UK continue expanding, the latter solidly so. Finally, Japan (finally) appears to have gotten over the sales tax problems.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: June by Team of Franklin Templeton Investments

In spite of lingering concerns about Greece’s fate, the European economy would appear to have hit a sweet spot marked by steadily improving growth and inflation figures along with declining unemployment.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Europe in the Next Five Years by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

Yesterday, I talked about several major trends that are poised to at least pause (and quite possibly reverse) over the next couple of decades. One major area we didn’t discuss is Europe, which is likely to see more change in the next 5 years than it has in the past 20.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Gold and Health Care Stocks Get a Clean Bill of Health by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Even though the Federal Reserve announced this week that it would wait a little longer to raise rates, spooked investors fled to gold bullion, helping to drive prices above $1,200 an ounce. It was the greatest single-session surge by percentage in nearly a month and a half for the yellow metal, widely seen as a safe-haven investment. As I told MarketWatch yesterday, $1,200 is an important threshold for gold miners because it helps increase profitability and spur production.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Connecting the Dots by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

A stream of positive data supports a September rate hike, but summer storms loom on the horizon.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Northern Trust Perspective by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

While we expect U.S. growth to see some improvement from the slow start to the year, we think optimists are likely to be disappointed at the overall pace of growth. The U.S. economy has averaged 2.2% growth since the financial crisis, and we don't see a material acceleration during the near-to-intermediate term. The prospect of a pending increase in the Fed funds rate has contributed to a rise in interest rates and strengthening of the dollar, both of which serve as a constraint on growth. We also don't see much upside to the U.S. economy through materially better growth outside the U.S.

2015-06-18 00:00:00 Stock Markets Have Stalled Since March – Now What? by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

I get asked fairly frequently what I think about the stock markets and specifically, whether I believe this unprecedented bull market can continue. My typical answer is, I don’t have a clue. I don’t understand how a country that has increased its national debt from $10.6 trillion in January 2009 (when President Obama took office) to over $18 trillion in January of this year could see its major stock markets more than double during the same period.

2015-06-18 00:00:00 Stop the Fed?! by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

We are concerned the Fed causes both economic and political stability to deteriorate. And, no, this is not about discouraging the Fed to hike rates. This analysis is about pointing out that the road to hell may be paved with the best of intentions. For the economy to prosper, we need a re-thinking not just at the Fed, but also with some Fed critics. Let me elaborate...

2015-06-18 00:00:00 Picking U.S. Energy, Housing and Other Credit Sectors for the Long Haul by Mark Kiesel of PIMCO

Persistent trends in economies around the world are providing opportunities for focused, long-term investors in the credit markets. Mark Kiesel, Chief Investment Officer Global Credit, discusses promising themes PIMCO sees over the next three to five years, including the U.S. energy revolution, the rising Asian consumer, the ramifications of global banking regulation and latent demand in the U.S. housing market. PIMCO’s global investment professionals gathered in May at our annual Secular Forum to discuss our long-term, or secular, views of economies and markets around the world.

2015-06-18 00:00:00 Sell The Rumor, Buy The News by Robert Kleinschmidt of Tocqueville Asset Management

Investors have been selling the rumors lately, inverting the old adage. Rumors of a Greek default and a Fed rate hike have sent investors panicking for the nearest exits. But, will they buy the news? Who knows, but they should.

2015-06-17 00:00:00 An Alternative to Gandhi by Kaisa Stucke of Confluence Investment Management

India’s Prime Minister Modi recently made comments praising Veer Savarkar, Indian independence fighter and father of the Hindu nationalist radicalism movement. This week, we will look at the resurgence of the Hindu nationalist movement. We will start by briefly describing the political history of independent India, looking at Gandhi and Savarkar’s conflicting ideals. Next, we will look at contemporary politics and explore the Hindu movement and its likely forms under Modi’s rule. As always, we will conclude with market ramifications, both within India and for international markets.

2015-06-17 00:00:00 Geopolitics Will Trump Economics in Greece by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

Based on the continued failure of the negotiating parties to make any substantive progress in the talks over Greek debt payments, the financial world is tied up in knots over a possible Greek exit from the European Union. The uncertainty has manifested in both high and low finance, with a sharp sell-off in bonds, particularly EU and Greek government debt, and heightened retail withdrawals from Greek banks as depositors become wary of capital controls that would be imposed in the case of an exit. All concerned parties should likely breathe easier.

2015-06-17 00:00:00 Need Income? Let’s Talk by Alison Martier of AllianceBernstein

Investors and their advisors know how tough it is to generate income in today’s low-interest-rate world. Forthright and frequent conversation about how far they’re willing to go to boost returns can help.

2015-06-16 00:00:00 One Step Closer to Normal by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

The recent spike in interest rates, and corresponding drop in bond prices, has left longer-term U.S. bonds looking more reasonable. But will there be more rate volatility?

2015-06-16 00:00:00 Mid-Year Investment Outlook: 10 Experts on What to Watch by Orla O'Brien of Loomis Sayles

We spoke with 10 Loomis Sayles investment experts about the most pressing issues and provocative investment themes for the remainder of 2015. What are they watching? Read on for their insights.

2015-06-16 00:00:00 Stay with Equities, but Prepare for Turbulence by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities were up fractionally last week, with the S&P 500 Index up 0.1% as seven out of ten sectors traded higher. Strong retail sales figures kept the focus on the Federal Reserve and the prospect of higher interest rates. Concerns over Greece’s debt problems pushed volatility levels higher. The banking industry performed well, while cyclical areas of the market such as transportation lagged.

2015-06-16 00:00:00 Rising Rates and the Rebirth of Global Stockpicking by John Remmert, Donald Hubert of Franklin Templeton Investments

Once the efforts of various central banks start to bear fruit and the global economy becomes healthier, we expect to see a potential reduction in the pursuit of unconventional monetary policies. That should enable equity markets to return to what we view as a more rational level of behavior.

2015-06-15 00:00:00 Is the European Insurance Sector in a State of Emergency? by Matthieu Louanges of PIMCO

Europe’s insurance industry has responded to profound challenges with a high degree of agility and innovation on both sides of their balance sheets.

2015-06-15 00:00:00 Bonds: Can’t Live With Them, but How Do You Live Without Them? by Joe Becker of Milliman Financial Risk Management

For generations of investors, conventional wisdom regarding managing portfolio risk relied on the cardinal rule of diversification. In its simplest form, this meant holding high quality bonds in an attempt to generate income, and offset volatility and drawdowns in the stock market.

2015-06-14 00:00:00 The People’s Republic of Debt by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Among the most important questions for all investors and businessmen is, how will China manage its future and the problems it faces? There are many problems, some of them monumental – and at the same time there is an amazing amount of opportunity and potential. Understanding the challenges and deciphering the likely outcomes is itself an immense challenge.

2015-06-12 00:00:00 Breaking from the Gold Standard Had Disastrous Consequences by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

About 100 years ago, in his testimony before Congress, banking giant J.P. Morgan famously stated: “Gold is money, and nothing else.” At the time, this was true in every sense of the word “money,” as the U.S. was still on the gold standard.

2015-06-12 00:00:00 U.S. Economy Turns on the Afterburners-Is a Rate Hike Next? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

So when will rates be raised again? Next Wednesday the world will tune in to see if Fed Chair Janet Yellen can answer that question. Though it's anyone's guess what she'll say, there's no denying that many of the economic indicators the Fed is keeping an eye on have sharply improved lately.

2015-06-12 00:00:00 Are We Mismeasuring the Economy? by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The problem may not be with growth but rather the way we measure it.

2015-06-12 00:00:00 Tug of War by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

The current stalemate in the US market could continue for some time, with bouts of volatility and pullbacks expected as the market anticipates the initial rate hike. Be prepared by staying diversified and consider buying protection, but we would view such an event as the pause that refreshes and help set up the next sustainable bull run. Investors should also look overseas as the aggressive stimulus measures being taken by the ECB appear to be beneficially impacting the economy, and may help equities perform better in the coming months.

2015-06-11 00:00:00 Stock Picks in the European Technology Sector by Steven Vannelli of GaveKal Capital

For the last five years the European technology sector has been locked in a trading range relative to the MSCI All Country World Index (USD). Recently, however, European technology stocks have been performing quite well. On an equal weighted basis, they have been the second best performing group in Europe year-to-date.

2015-06-11 00:00:00 Global Investing is Changing by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

The global investing landscape is changing and your portfolio should as well. A strong US dollar can have significant consequences for US dollar-based investors' foreign exposure and now is the time to consider the impact currency can have in a global portfolio.

2015-06-11 00:00:00 Developed Europe: Economy Trends Update April 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

After ending the year 2014 on a positive note, the Developed Europe economies gained further momentum in the early months of 2015. Between January and March, the region’s 19-country single currency bloc, the Euro-zone, expanded its GDP 0.4 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2014 and 1 percent from the year-ago period, recording its fastest pace of growth in nearly two years. Economists and commentators though had expected GDP to increase 0.5 percent for the quarter and 1.1 percent on an annual basis.

2015-06-10 00:00:00 Low Valuations Tough to Come By, Wherever You Look by Jennifer Thomson of GaveKal Capital

It is no secret that, whichever way we look at valuations, we think stocks are expensive. One of the more unique methodologies we employ to get a sense of where equity valuations are is to look at them grouped according to ‘buckets’ designated by pertinent levels.

2015-06-10 00:00:00 Bears Gather Around the Goldilocks Eurozone by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

The eurozone is currently offering what we would regard as an ideal environment to generate growth, so we’d certainly be slightly concerned if the economy there was not growing.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 The Importance of FIFA by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Swiss authorities recently arrested several top officials affiliated with FIFA on various charges, mostly related to corruption. The ongoing investigation continues to unfold, so we will not spend much time on arrests or new charges. Instead, we offer a short overview of the arrests and the election and resignation of FIFA President Blatter, discussing FIFA’s structure and how the organization is prone to corruption. We follow this discussion with the most important part of the report, the extension of U.S. law enforcement into the international realm as a function of the superpower role.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 Beige Book: Window on Main Street by John Canally of LPL Financial

The latest Beige Book suggests that the U.S. economy is still growing at a pace that is at or above its long-term trend, indicating that some of the “transitory factors” that held the U.S. economy back in the first quarter of 2015 have faded and that some upward pressure on wages is beginning to emerge. Overall, the Beige Book described the economy as expanding at a “modest or moderate” pace in most districts. In general, optimism regarding the economic outlook far outweighed pessimism throughout the Beige Book, as it has for the past two years or so.

2015-06-08 00:00:00 As the Economy Grows, Bonds Struggle and Equities Tread Water by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. economic data last week seemed to confirm that the country is rebounding from a weak first quarter. Manufacturing, construction, sales figures and the labor market all showed signs of improvement.

2015-06-08 00:00:00 Emerging Asia Pacific: Economy Trends Update -- April 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

During the first quarter, news from emerging Asia was dominated by the deep slowdown in China and its adverse impact on a host of other Asian economies, such as South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and Taiwan. In other developments, India grew faster than China, Korea saw a large decline in its exports, and Indonesia struggled to jumpstart its economy.

2015-06-08 00:00:00 My Top 3 Fabulous Pharma Stocks by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

I am a fervent believer that investment decisions should be made based on the relative merits of each individual investment under consideration. However, my anecdotal observations and experience suggests that many investors do not embrace that approach. This is especially true regarding investment decisions on common stocks. Instead of focusing on the opportunities and valuations available from select individual businesses, many investors are obsessed, and I allege blinded by generalized views or beliefs about the overall market and/or the economy.

2015-06-07 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of June 1-5; Are the Weekly Charts Topping Out? Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The Federal Reserve released the latest Beige Book, which offered the following overview of the economy.

2015-06-07 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

US equities have refused to become either oversold or overbought during the past several months. They are now down two weeks in a row and at point similar to where there has recently been a bounce higher. Failure to do so now would mark a change in character for this rangebound market. Ultimately, the washout low probably still lies ahead.

2015-06-05 00:00:00 It’s Japan, not Europe, that Continues to Lead in 2015 by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

Despite the popular news media focusing all their attention on European reflation, Draghi’s QE, Grexit or no Grexit, etc, the real story for investors remains in the seemingly forgotten Japan. Indeed, year to date Japan has outperformed Europe by more than 7% in USD terms and Portugal and Italy are the only two developed market countries to have outperformed Japan. Put another way, the largest stock markets in Europe have all underperformed Japan by a wide margin.

2015-06-05 00:00:00 Europe’s Last Act? by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

Greece has met its creditors’ demands far more than halfway. Yet Germany and Greece’s other creditors continue to demand that the country sign on to a program that has proven to be a failure, and that few economists ever thought could, would, or should be implemented.

2015-06-05 00:00:00 Recovery Rallies, Is Six Years Enough by Craig Callahan of ICON Advisers, Inc.

Contrary to the bearish headlines, we at ICON believe that we are in the midst of a long-term recovery. With our valuation methodology as our guide, we believe there is enough value in the market to sustain a continued recovery. Furthermore, as we saw with the post 1987 market recovery, bull markets can last longer than 6 years. We believe there is still room for market growth in the current environment.

2015-06-05 00:00:00 Bond Tug-of-War by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

The bond market tried to end the month of May on a high note but did not quite make the mark. The last 10 days of May 2015 witnessed fairly steady improvement in high-quality bond prices after a difficult five weeks, but it was still not enough to offset losses for the month. The broad Barclays Aggregate Bond Index still finished 0.24% lower in May and posted consecutive monthly declines for the first time since the last two months of 2013.

2015-06-05 00:00:00 Billions and Billions Pour into India and China by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

It’s been a little over a year since Narendra Modi took office in India, and so far the results have been mostly positive for the South Asian country and the surrounding region. Among other achievements, Modi’s government has managed to enact important policy reforms, increase public investments in infrastructure, lower food inflation and generally open India up to business on a global scale.

2015-06-04 00:00:00 Emerging Market Currencies: All About That Base by Esty Dwek of Loomis Sayles

The case for investing in emerging local currency debt over the long haul is well-documented: as developing countries improve productivity, their economies globalize and their currencies appreciate.But this is a long-term theory and the current reality may differ somewhat. Indeed, amid the current US dollar strength, many US dollar investors have been disappointed by EM local debt returns -- which have fallen more than 5% each year of the last two years. But what happens if we look at emerging market (EM) local debt returns through the lenses of different currencies?

2015-06-04 00:00:00 China in the Spotlight by Eswarie Subrahmanyam Balan of WisdomTree

While 2014 was a challenging year for emerging markets, the story in 2015 has been substantially different so far. At a country level, both China and Russia have been primary contributors to this recovery.

2015-06-03 00:00:00 Are You a Carousel or Coaster Investor? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Historically, in the Midwest and Northeast, Memorial Day weekend has been the kickoff for amusement park re-openings. From rollercoasters to merry-go-rounds, the plunges and whirls begin in earnest with the unofficial beginning of summer.

2015-06-02 00:00:00 State of Emerging Markets: All About Those [Central] Banks by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

Moving into the second quarter of 2015 and beyond, we believe a complex global background appears broadly favorable for emerging markets.

2015-06-02 00:00:00 Economic and Earnings Growth Appear Poised to Move Higher by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities were fairly volatile last week as investors focused on potential Federal Reserve action and concerns over Greece’s debt problems resurfaced. Merger and acquisition activity also gathered headlines in the technology and health care sectors.

2015-06-02 00:00:00 Greece: An Update by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

In February, we reported on the situation in Greece. Over the past few months, there has been no resolution to Greece’s debt problem, despite numerous deadlines and meetings. In our earlier report, we framed the conflict between Greece and the EU in terms of game theory. In this report, we will begin by recapping our earlier analysis. Using this framework, we will discuss how a third option has evolved which will likely force PM Tsipras to acquiesce to the EU. As always, we will conclude with potential market ramifications.

2015-06-02 00:00:00 Are Bond Investors Crying Wolf? by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

Since we last wrote to you there has been quite a dramatic increase in interest rates in most markets and in Germany in particular. In this letter we look into whether this is the beginning of something much bigger. For those of you with too little time on your hands we conclude that it is NOT. Economic growth will stay low for many years to come, and central banks have no intention of suddenly flooding the bond market with sell orders.

2015-06-01 00:00:00 Stocks Still Have Some Room to Grow by Vadim Zlotnikov of AllianceBernstein

Stocks have been on a pretty strong run in recent years, and some investors are nervous that the market could run out of steam. We think there’s still more upside potential.

2015-06-01 00:00:00 Oil Prices: 4 Factors to Watch as Iran Increases Energy Exports by Saurabh Lele of Loomis Sayles

Iran eagerly awaits the opportunity to escalate its oil exports. A final agreement on the country's nuclear capabilities is expected this summer: sanctions will start to be peeled back and Iran will be able to increase production. Within 12 -18 months, they will likely be producing an additional one million barrels per day. It’s also likely that Saudi Arabia, now producing well above its quota, will be called on by OPEC members to reduce its production in order to accommodate Iran's higher output.

2015-06-01 00:00:00 Prick Up Your Ears, People Of The World! by Sebastiao Buck Tocalino of SBTCapital Clube de Investimento

I used to draw a lot when I was growing up. My thoughts would travel on overdrive while I sketched to the sound of classic rock on vinyl. It was introspective, but very entertaining.

2015-06-01 00:00:00 On My Radar: Inflation and The Big (Bigger) Short by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

"Negative-yield bonds now account for some €1.5 trillion of debt issued by governments in the euro area, equivalent to almost 30% of the total outstanding. Many expect even more of the global bond market to fall into negative yield territory. Half of all government bonds in the world today yield less than 1%.”– John Mauldin

2015-05-31 00:00:00 The Liquidity Time Bomb by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

Advanced countries’ central banks have managed to keep interest rates low, reduce the volatility of bond markets, and lift many asset prices. But a series of recent shocks suggests that macro liquidity has become linked with severe market illiquidity.

2015-05-31 00:00:00 Behold the Power of Buybacks and Dividends by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Buybacks and dividends. The mere mention of either one is often enough to make some investors’ hearts race with excitement and embolden them with confidence that company management is being a better steward of capital.

2015-05-28 00:00:00 World War D—Deflation by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Everywhere I go I’m asked, “Will there be inflation or deflation? Are we in a bull or bear market? Is the bond bulk market over and will interest rates rise?" The flippant answer to all those questions is “Yes.” And that can be the correct answer as well, but it depends on what your time frame is and what tools you use to measure the markets and inflation.

2015-05-28 00:00:00 The Importance of Liquidity by Byron Wien of Blackstone

Since the axiom “Don’t fight the Fed” came into common parlance, we have all been aware that central bank policy is an important component of market performance. Most of us started out as security or business analysts and believed that fundamental factors like the pace of the economy, earnings growth and interest rates were the drivers of equity values.

2015-05-28 00:00:00 Tantrum Potential at Home, Opportunity Overseas by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

U.S. equities continue to climb, but BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist, Russ Koesterich, discusses why the best opportunities may reside outside the United States, which, in fact, has been the case so far this year.

2015-05-28 00:00:00 Yellen on Interest Rates and Equities, Grabs Attention by Paul Eitelman of Russell Investments

Paul Eitelman compares recent comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen to historical commentary and also provides an update on Russell Investments’ outlook on the U.S. economy.

2015-05-28 00:00:00 Brexit Signs: Envisioning an EU Without the UK by David Zahn, Heather Arnold, Philippe Brugere-Trelat of Franklin Templeton Investments

In my view, the big risk for the United Kingdom of exiting the EU would be marginalization, not just economically, not just financially but also politically … I would even go so far as to suggest that the status of the United Kingdom as a large world financial center could be at risk if it were to leave the EU.

2015-05-28 00:00:00 Half Full or Half Empty by Herbert Abramson, Randall Abramson of Trapeze Asset Management

The ultimate question for investors. Is the glass half full, that is to say are economic backdrops improving to support attractive valuations, or to the contrary, half empty, deteriorating and threatening full valuations?

2015-05-27 00:00:00 Macro Is Not the Markets: The Global Economy and the Resulting Investment Environment by Jeremy DeGroot of Litman Gregory

In a recent client Q&A event, Litman Gregory chief investment officer Jeremy DeGroot shared his thoughts on the global economy. He pointed out that, historically, macroeconomic cycles and financial-market cycles have not coincided, which has implications for asset allocation. Investors need to analyze the stock market separately from the economy.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 Don’t Fear Rising Rates — Embrace Them by Scott Eldridge of Invesco Blog

Interest rates have been on the march since late January, thanks largely to global rate markets and a looming US Federal Reserve. In general, bonds are vulnerable to falling market prices as a result of higher rates, but there are income investments that can be used to take advantage of, rather than fall victim to, rising rates. They’re known as floating rate instruments.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: May by Team of Franklin Templeton Investments

Having come through 2015’s first quarter with virtually no growth, the US economy is generally expected to pick up during the rest of this year. Indeed, as we move into a new quarter and shake off the effects of a significant West Coast dock strike and severe winter weather, forward indicators have pointed toward better growth.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 What America Can Learn from China’s Infrastructure by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

As one of the greatest nations on the planet, the United States excels in a number of areas, innovation and entrepreneurship foremost among them. But something you might be hard-pressed to find at the top of anyone’s best-of list is infrastructure—specifically roads, rail and mass transit.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 Moment of Truth For Non-U.S. Markets by Mark Ungewitter of Charter Trust Company

The FTSE All World Ex-US index (VEU) is testing multi-year resistance in both dollar and gold terms. (See Chart 1 below.) Dollar-based investors are obviously interested in dollar thresholds, but why monitor relative strength in gold terms? Because gold provides an alternative base “currency” that measures confidence in the institutions of money and credit. A market making higher highs versus gold is exhibiting organic strength independent of local-currency devaluation or unsound credit expansion.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 The Slowly-Growing Economy Should Persist for Some Time by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

There was little meaningful direction in equity markets last week. Global bond yields generally rose and economic data was mixed.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 Actively Manage Your Activist Credit Risk by Jeff Skoglund, Susan Hutman of AllianceBernstein

Bondholders fret about leveraged buyouts (LBOs) late in the credit cycle. But this time around, with new federal lending rules slowing LBO activity, shareholder activism is stealing the spotlight—and the cash flows. The threat to bond portfolios is just as serious.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 China Surpasses America As World's Largest Economy by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

For the first time in history, the People’s Republic of China’s Gross Domestic Product exceeded the GDP of America, as measured by purchasing power, in 2014. According to the International Monetary Fund, China’s purchasing power GDP hit $17.6 trillion last year versus $17.4 trillion in the US.

2015-05-26 00:00:00 Disproving the Four Themes Behind Gold Bearishness by Trey Reik (Article)

The resurgent bear thesis for gold rests on four key assumptions. Because each of these assumptions is already in the process of being disproved, Western investment demand for gold will surge dramatically in coming years.

2015-05-23 00:00:00 Rate Hike Ahead? Here’s How to Get Your Portfolio Ready by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Many experts and analysts believe a June rate hike seems very unlikely, but today, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen hinted that one might happen as soon as the end of this year.

2015-05-23 00:00:00 Northern Trust Perspective by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

Our monthly Perspective newsletter keeps you apprised of current market and economic conditions across an array of topics including: US, European and Asian markets, global real estate and commodities.

2015-05-23 00:00:00 Schwab Market Perspective: As the World Turns by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

A market that grinds higher isn’t all bad as it allows time for earnings to catch up to prices; but complacency must be reined in. Sharp movements could and should come as we move closer to a potential Federal Reserve rate hike. We believe the US economy will rebound from the weak soft first quarter, helping to support stocks and a rate hike, but the turn needs to gain traction. Meanwhile, Congressional approval of fast track trade authority could pave the way for improvements in the Japanese recovery.

2015-05-21 00:00:00 Global Review and Equity Commentary: April 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

As expected, the global economy slowed during the first quarter but should gain momentum in the coming months. The U.S. economy almost came to a standstill during the first three months of the year as adverse winter weather limited activity. Consumer spending moderated and construction activity slowed, while lower oil prices discouraged businesses in that sector from capital investments. The stronger dollar and labor disputes at some of the seaports limited export gains, and led to a widening of the U.S. trade deficit.

2015-05-21 00:00:00 Slow Growth: A Tale of Two Theories by Shane Shepherd of Research Affiliates

Global demand is dragging. Savings far exceeds investment. The combination is a surefire recipe for long-term low to negative growth in the developed markets—and core U.S. asset returns of 1% or lower over the next decade.

2015-05-19 00:00:00 Gundlach - Beware of CNBC Pundits by Robert Huebscher (Article)

On issues as central as the effect of quantitative easing or Fed tightening on interest rates, Jeffrey Gundlach says you shouldn't trust the pundits on CNBC.

2015-05-19 00:00:00 On My Radar: Valuations and Forward Return by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

This week let’s take a look at current market valuations (high) and what they are telling us about probable 10-year forward returns (low).

2015-05-19 00:00:00 Equities Push Ahead Despite Softening Economic Growth by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The continued advance in global bond yields dominated the financial story again last week, although this trend eased slightly by the end of the week. Economic data featured a relatively weak retail sales report.

2015-05-19 00:00:00 On the Road to Normal by Charlie Dreifus of The Royce Funds

While conflicting signs of economic strength are, for the time being, stalling a rise in rates, Portfolio Manager Charlie Dreifus continues to believe that active stock picking remains an attractive approach in the current environment.

2015-05-19 00:00:00 The U.K. Elections by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

The recent UK elections shocked pollsters, who had predicted a hung parliament. Instead, the Conservatives (Tories) won an outright majority in the legislature, allowing the party, led by David Cameron, to form a government without a coalition. We begin by recapping the election results and discuss the campaigns and what they indicate for future U.K. policy. An examination of the impact of the election follows, beginning with an analysis of the geopolitics of Britain and ending with how the election affects the country’s geopolitical situation.

2015-05-18 00:00:00 Two Blows to Broadband: 4 Implications of Tougher Regulation by Janet Sung of Loomis Sayles

The broadband industry is reeling from the one-two punch delivered by recent rulings that signal the advent of a much harsher regulatory landscape for internet service providers (ISPs).

2015-05-18 00:00:00 Investor Sentiment Around the World by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

We certainly don’t want to jump to any conclusions about potential market performance based on investor sentiment (or any one indicator for that matter), but it reminds me of the late Sir John Templeton’s famous words: ‘Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism and die on euphoria.

2015-05-18 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will the Interest Rate Spike Threaten Stock Prices? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

This week’s economic calendar includes the most important housing data, but the market context will prove irresistible to the pundits. Stocks continue at the top of the trading range, and even broke through for a few minutes. Even more interesting is the bond market. Interest rates decisively broke their trading range and also showed a lot of volatility.

2015-05-18 00:00:00 Constructively Dissatisfied by Keith McCullough of Hedgeye Risk Management

Say I was constructively dissatisfied with how last week went for Global Macro markets. Constructive because I think we made the right research pivot on Dollar Down, Commodities Up. Dissatisfied because devaluing the Dollar isn’t the answer for America’s stagnating economy.

2015-05-16 00:00:00 Secular Versus Cyclical: Notes from SIC 2015 by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

The consensus I’m hearing and reading from the 500+ attendees at the recent Strategic Investment Conference is that this was the best ever. It was certainly intense, with more divergent views presented this year than at previous conferences. Plus, the range of topics was rather dramatic. This year I was able to listen to all but one of the presentations, and I want to share with you my notes and takeaway thoughts.

2015-05-16 00:00:00 Wall Street Underestimates the Great American Earnings Machine by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

With a little over 90 percent of S&P 500 companies having reported, it looks as if the index has risen a modest 2 percent for the first quarter. That might not seem significant, but as LP Financial Services Chief Investment Officer Burt White points out in a recent Barron’s piece, “given the steep uphill climb that corporate America faced due to the twin drags of the oil downturn and strong U.S. dollar, this is actually a good result.”

2015-05-16 00:00:00 Strange Machinations by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

What to make of markets that are no longer on speaking terms with their fundamentals.

2015-05-15 00:00:00 “Wrestling with Something Else”: Why this Gold Bear Market Is Different by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure to appear on Jim Puplava’s Financial Sense Newshour radio program and discuss the state of the gold market. Along with my peers John Doody of the Gold Stock Analyst and Ross Hansen of Northwest Territorial Mint, I shared my thoughts on how we arrived in the current bear market, what factors might help us get out of it and the role real interest rates play in prices.

2015-05-15 00:00:00 UK Election Result Fuels Vote for Smaller Stocks by Alan Connery, Liliana Castillo Dearth of AllianceBernstein

Britain’s Conservative party’s election win has buoyed smaller companies. The vote of confidence offers an opportunity to take a closer look at UK small- and mid-cap (SMID) stocks, which are highly profitable versus European peers.

2015-05-15 00:00:00 Monetary Policy at Warp Speed by Harley Bassman of PIMCO

An imaginative twist on theoretical physics forms the premise of the science fiction series “Star Trek”: An engine called a warp drive enabled the Starship Enterprise to travel faster than the speed of light, going beyond known space to uncharted, exciting new worlds. The confounding detail was managing the sheer power inherent in the warp drive, including its potential to behave in unexpected ways.

2015-05-15 00:00:00 Taper Tantrum Redux by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

After a brief reprieve at the end of last week (May 4–8, 2015), the global bond sell-off resumed Monday, May 11, 2015, with 10- and 30-year Treasury yields rising to year-to-date highs of 2.28% and 3.04%, respectively. Treasury yields have now broken out of their recent ranges and have done so quickly.

2015-05-15 00:00:00 The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (for Japanese Equities) by Christopher Gannatti of WisdomTree

March 31 marks the end of Japan’s fiscal year, making it a very important point from which to gauge how Japanese stocks are behaving and, ultimately, whether Abenomics is having any real impact. Based on what we’re seeing so far, we remain extremely excited for the prospects of Japanese equities.

2015-05-14 00:00:00 Bearish on the U.S. Markets, Yusko Looks to Japan and Russia for Growth by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

This week Professor Siegel and Jeremy Schwartz chatted with Mark Yusko, Chief Investment Officer of Morgan Creek Capital, about his thoughts concerning extended U.S. valuations and global markets that may offer abundant potential beyond that of the United States.

2015-05-14 00:00:00 Developed Asia Pacific: Economy Trends Update April 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Though Japanese exports exceeded imports in March 2015, weak domestic spending appears to have impacted the country’s nascent economic recovery. Wage growth needs to trickle down to workers employed in smaller Japanese firms, which would also push up inflation. Thankfully, the Bank of Japan has said it will hold its stimulus program in place until economic growth picks up pace.

2015-05-13 00:00:00 The Happening by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

“The Happening” . . . except in this case I am not referring to the 1967 movie, whose title song was sung by the Supremes, but last Thursday’s “Friends of Fermentation” (FOF) gathering at Bobby Van’s across from the NYSE.

2015-05-13 00:00:00 Earnings Recap: Good Enough? by Burt White of LPL Financial

The first quarter 2015 earnings season is virtually over and the results relative to lowered expectations were quite good. Investors were braced for an earnings decline and the possible start of an “earnings recession,” but it looks like they will end up with a better than feared, year-over-year earnings growth rate of about 2%, according to Thomson Reuters data. This pace is impressive considering the significant drags from the oil downturn and strong U.S. dollar. Here we recap the first quarter 2015 earnings season and share our earnings outlook for the rest of 2015.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Louis-Vincent Gave: The World's Most Crowded Trade by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Investors are paid to adapt, not to forecast, according to Louis-Vincent Gave, and three changes are occurring globally that all portfolios must accommodate. One of them is a position that is missing from virtually every investor's allocation.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 The Future of Investing ESG Portfolios: Changing Beliefs, Perceptions and Goals by Sponsored Content by ClearBridge Investments (Article)

Investing consistent with environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles can no longer be dismissed as a short-term fad. Assets under management are growing steadily, accompanied by a rise in the number and type of investment options across asset classes. Clearbridge's research explores how institutions are investing with impact today.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 A Wild Ride for Global Bond Yields by Seth Masters of AllianceBernstein

Bond yields in key markets around the world have been on something of a roller-coaster ride, moving up quickly in recent months. Ten-year Treasury rates closed at 2.28% on May 11, up from 1.65% at the end of January.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Are We Headed for a Hangover? by Gibson Smith of Janus Capital Group

It’s late, and the punch bowl is half full. With central banks around the globe still in accommodative mode, the threat that the Federal Reserve (Fed) will pull away the punch bowl sets up the markets for some real disruption. Until then, let the party continue.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 British Election: Repercussions for America by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

The British General Election, on May 7th, was an epic in two respects. First, in spite of polls forecasting a hung parliament, David Cameron’s Conservative Party was given unexpectedly large support, winning 331 seats, or 51 % for an overall majority of four, and showing once again the failure of left wing parties to make traction in Europe.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Economic & Capital Market Summary – First Quarter 2015 by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

Our belief is that a market is simply a clearinghouse for the price of risk and the quantitative easing programs of the central banks of developed countries are distorting the price of risk in our capital markets. As a result, valuations in bonds, stocks, real estate and other assets are distorted.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Taming Longevity Risk by Patrick Drum of Saturna Capital

"In spite of the cost of living, it's still popular." - Kathleen Norris. These words offered by Kathleen Norris decades ago carry more weight than ever before, particularly within the realm of financial planning and saving for retirement.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 On My Radar: Life is Great! by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

The primary need of investors is shifting and the risk dynamics has changed. Gone are those wonderful defined benefit plans. This is the first generation of retirees retiring with control of their financial assets. That’s good news for your advisory business, yet, with zero bond rates and 10-year forward returns for equities in the 2% to 4% range, the challenges loom large.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Corporate Earnings and Inflation by Clyde Kendzierski of Financial Solutions Group

A few months ago our 2015 forecast emphasized several points we began making late last year. Taken together, those points differed dramatically from the prevailing wisdom of the time. As we begin May, they are falling into place.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Western Politics’ Locust Years by Mohamed El-Erian of Project Syndicate

Many mainstream political parties in the West are so busy playing defense that they are forgoing the strategic thinking needed to re-energize growth models, anchor financial stability, and ensure that technological innovation enables broad-based prosperity. As a result, Western economies may be undermining their future potential.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Roadblocks to Equity Gains May Start to Fade by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Investors had a lot to react to last week, with the biggest story being a continued rise in global bond yields. The Conservative Party secured an unexpectedly decisive victory in the U.K. elections and Fed Chair Janet Yellen commented about higher equity valuations.

2015-05-08 00:00:00 Inequality, Immigration, and Hypocrisy by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

Europe’s migration crisis exposes a fundamental flaw, if not towering hypocrisy, in the ongoing debate about economic inequality. Wouldn’t a true progressive support equal opportunity for all people on the planet, rather than just for those of us lucky enough to have been born and raised in rich countries?

2015-05-08 00:00:00 Made In Europe by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

A weak finish to the month of April 2015 was “made in Europe” as expectations of better global growth weighed on bonds. On Monday, May 4, 2015, the 10-year German government bond yield closed at 0.45%, more than quadrupling over the past two weeks. European strength combined with a dovish Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting outcome continued to arrest U.S. dollar strength, a primary driver of the steady decline in inflation and investors’ inflation expectations from mid-2014 through the first quarter of 2015.

2015-05-08 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview and Equity Commentaries: March 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The global economy is facing subdued growth in the short term, as adverse weather and a stronger currency have slowed the pace of U.S. expansion. Unusually severe winter weather on the U.S. East coast restricted business and consumer activity during the first three months of the year.

2015-05-08 00:00:00 Watching and Waiting by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Patience can be tough, especially in investing, but that is what is needed at the present time. While a sharp upward move in equities seems unlikely, and the risk of pullbacks is elevated; a grind higher is not something most investors should miss out on. Economic data and the Fed will continue to be in the spotlight, and we expect improvement that will lead to both a Fed rate hike and increased equity volatility—so be prepared. Across the pond, political uncertainty exists, but money supply should be the main focus, which could bode well for the possibility of future European equity gain

2015-05-08 00:00:00 The U.K. Election Surprises Everyone by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Will the United Kingdom remain united? And will it choose to continue its economic alliance with the rest of the continent? These are key questions not just for Britain, but for the rest of the world. Whatever happens next, this election will certainly prove to be as important as it was billed to be, but perhaps not for the reasons originally thought.

2015-05-07 00:00:00 What Rising Yields Mean for U.S. Stocks by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Last week’s bond selloff provided a foreshadowing of the U.S. stock segments likely to suffer as the eventual Federal Reserve (Fed) rate liftoff nears.

2015-05-07 00:00:00 Be Vigilant - not Paranoid - about CyberSecurity by David Edwards of Heron Financial Group

Sony, JP Morgan Chase, Target, Home Depot attacked. Russian, Chinese, North Korean, stateless hackers blamed. Stories about identity theft, e-mail hacks, and elder abuse blanket the news. No wonder many of our clients fear it's just a matter of time before the cyber criminals attack them personally. Fortunately, with a reasonable amount of vigilance, you can avoid becoming a victim.

2015-05-07 00:00:00 Emerging Markets May Make a Good Draft Pick to Add to Portfolios by Burt White of LPL Financial

The evaluation process NFL football teams go through to prepare for the NFL draft, which took place this past weekend, is not unlike the investment decision-making process.

2015-05-07 00:00:00 Region Insights – Europe – Investment Opportunity in Europe is Compelling by Derrick Tzau of Rainier Funds

While Europe abounds in world-class companies, macro concerns in 2014 obscured compelling opportunities for price appreciation and earnings power that we believe will surprise to the upside in 2015. Investors have woken up to the opportunity in the first two months of 2015 and many European exchanges are off to a fast start. We think more gains are ahead, particularly in small- to mid-size companies in Europe.

2015-05-07 00:00:00 What's Next for the Dollar and Currencies? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

In anticipation of higher U.S. rates and lower rates elsewhere, the greenback had enjoyed a dramatic rally. Has the tide turned, or is the dollar merely taking a breather? We believe there are threats and opportunities hidden underneath recent market action. Below is a closer look in an effort to allow investors to better understand the dynamics that might be unfolding.

2015-05-07 00:00:00 The End of Short-Termism is Long Overdue by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

For the past forty years, Wall Street and corporate boards increasingly have focused on short-term profits. Quarterly earnings determine the fate of a company’s share price, and demonstrating a robust trajectory of short-term earnings growth is rewarded above all else. Signs suggest that this trajectory is shifting, and if it does, that will bolster a long-term approach to investing and managing money.

2015-05-06 00:00:00 International Equities: Another Turn of the Wheel by David Ruff of Forward Investing

It’s a truism that markets move in cycles and that the ideal time to invest is right at or near the start of an upswing. Diversification is another key tenet of Investing 101. Yet inertia and the pull of the crowd often lead investors to concentrate assets in markets that may be nearing their peak while ignoring potentially more promising opportunities.

2015-05-06 00:00:00 Can Assad Survive? by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Rebels in Syria have been making steady gains against forces loyal to the Assad regime and these gains have recently accelerated. The recent rebel victories are raising questions about the Assad regime’s ability to survive. In this report, we recap the problems the Syrian government faces, including internal dissent and military losses. We discuss the growing evidence of a Turkey-Saudi axis that may be aiding the rebels to weaken or eliminate Assad and pressure Iran. From there, we examine the potential Iranian and American responses to the rebel gains and support from Riyadh and Ankara.

2015-05-06 00:00:00 Buying Time: Why We Think M&A Is Here to Stay by Cindy Sweeting of Franklin Templeton Investments

In an environment of still-moderate global economic growth that may not promise great rewards for new investment or capital expenditure, the market appears more prepared to accept that well-thought-out M&A, financed by lower-cost capital and low interest rates, could be quickly accretive.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 Will China's Shadow Banking System be its Ruin? by Michael Edesess (Article)

A great deal of concern has focused on China's shadow banking system, and whether that system is reliant on a real estate bubble that will ultimately collapse, bringing the economy down with it. The recent global financial crisis, in which the U.S., the U.K. and other world leaders tripped and fell, makes this scenario seem very possible.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 Who Is Afraid of the Inflation Ogre? by Liz Ann Sonders, Christian Menegatti of Charles Schwab

When many commentators and investors show a high conviction about something, it is perhaps a good time to explore how things could move in the opposite direction. After several trillions of quantitative easing (QE) from the major global central banks, and with trillions of QE likely ahead, the consensus appears spooked by the specter of global disinflation and deflation. The possibility of a higher inflation scenario seems to have fallen completely off the radar.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 Re-Emerging Markets? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

With emerging markets showing surprising resilience, BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses why investors should consider including EM equities in their portfolios.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 How to Dress for a Rainy Day by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

The answer is the Lollapalooza effect. The question you may recall from last month’s Absolute Return Letter - what’s the opposite of a perfect storm, or put another way, what do you call it when an unusual combination of constructive factors creates an outcome which is extraordinarily positive? A reader was kind enough to provide the answer, which was coined by Charles Munger years ago. As a non-American, the answer was at first complete gobbledygook to me, but a quick Google search convinced me that the answer is absolutely legitimate. Thank you.

2015-05-04 00:00:00 The Long Reach of Technology in Taiwan by Jim Harvey, Dilip Badlani of The Royce Funds

Taiwan is one of the high-tech epicenters of the world, and while it headquarters some of the industry's most dominant players, the country is also home to a large and diverse group of smaller companies that provide a vital supporting role to the growing demands of the global markets.

2015-05-03 00:00:00 SPY's Trading Range is as Tight as December Before a 5% Drop by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

The trading range for SPY is tighter now than at any time since December before a 5% drop. SPY's trading range is likely to expand and, on balance, it seems more likely that the expansion will be to the downside rather than the upside. That has been the most common outcome in the past and there are a number of supporting reasons to suggest that it will be the case this time as well.

2015-05-03 00:00:00 Show Me the Stocks, Not the Cash, Say Optimistic CEOs by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

In early March, I made the case that there’s no greater vote of confidence in a company’s growth prospects than when its top officers put some skin in the game and buy their own company stock. Among the examples I used were Warren Buffett, who owns millions of shares in Berkshire Hathaway; Elon Musk, who purchased over $100 million worth of Tesla stock in 2013; and myself, the largest shareholder of U.S. Global Investors. Another example of how bullish an executive is on his own company is when he chooses to forego a base salary entirely and instead be compensated in company stock.

2015-05-02 00:00:00 Pondering Halftime Adjustments by Rick Vollaro of Pinnacle Advisory Group

At the beginning of the year, we wrote about an aging bull market that we thought could be ridden, but with the caveat that one wouldn’t want to take too much risk given the magnitude of the move, current valuation levels in the U.S., and an overall evidence profile that was clearly mixed with pockets of both strength and weakness. When weighing the evidence, our dashboards offered no reason to reach for additional risk this late in the cycle, but instead we tried to focus on some big picture themes that could help us find attractive opportunities to position for.

2015-05-01 00:00:00 QE Posted On The Wall? by Sebastiao Buck Tocalino of SBTCapital Clube de Investimento

Pondering On Inflation, Corporate Debt, Dollar Exchange Rates, Oil Prices, NYSE Margin Debt, T-Bonds, China and Past QEs.

2015-05-01 00:00:00 Cross Currents by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

Cross currents continue to push and pull the bond market, leaving bond prices and yields range bound ahead of another Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting and key batch of monthly economic reports. Intermediate to long-term Treasury yields increased by 0.01% to 0.11% for the week ending April 24, 2015, despite weaker economic data.

2015-05-01 00:00:00 Greece: Stuck in the Middle by J. Brooks Ritchey of Franklin Templeton Investments

Opinion polls show that many Greek voters support Athens's tough negotiation tactics. But the polls also show that most Greeks want their country to remain in the eurozone—but to do so would require agreeing with the zone's austerity demands. I think this would be the definition of a pickle.

2015-05-01 00:00:00 The Dollar Joins the Currency Wars by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

Until recently, US policymakers were not overly concerned about the dollar’s strength; America’s growth prospects were stronger than in Europe and Japan. But things look different today, and officials' exchange-rate jitters are becoming increasingly pronounced.

2015-04-30 00:00:00 Celebrating Romania by Greg Konieczny of Franklin Templeton Investments

Ten years ago, Fondul Proprietatea (Fondul) was established to compensate Romanians whose properties were confiscated by the former communist government, and we were selected as its investment manager in September 2010. My colleague Grzegorz Konieczny, based in Bucharest, spearheaded the effort to list Fondul on the Bucharest Stock Exchange in 2011, and now Fondul is making its debut on the London Stock Exchange on April 29. In honor of the occasion, I’ve asked Greg to share his thoughts on investing in Romania today, and the exciting changes that have taken place there in the past few years

2015-04-30 00:00:00 The Ideology of IS by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Atlantic Magazine recently published an article about Islamic State (IS) that examined its theology and ideology. This article along with a paper from the Brookings Institute form the basis of our report. In our report this week, we examine the intellectual foundations of IS, showing how it evolved from two different sources of thought. We follow with an analysis of the concept of the Caliphate and the critical importance it has in Islamic theology, along with an examination of the eschatology of IS. We discuss the consequences of IS’s ideology and conclude with potential market ramification

2015-04-30 00:00:00 Finding Large Opportunities in Small-Cap Stocks by Jason Holzer of Invesco Blog

While the world’s expectations for US earnings growth have weakened into nearly single digits, Europe is finally seeing some positive developments after years of headwinds. At the same time, European valuations are about 40% cheaper than those in the US on the basis of the Schiller price-to-earnings ratio.1 As we survey the brightening landscape in Europe, looking for companies that meet our criteria for earnings, quality and valuations (EQV), an especially interesting area for us is in the small-cap market.

2015-04-30 00:00:00 Finding Opportunities in Dividend Paying Equities by (Article)

Alex Crooke provides a portfolio and economic update for the Henderson Global Equity Income Fund (HFQAX). Alex notes that he is currently favoring defensive sectors on valuations as well as income and has been increasing the Fund’s allocation to Europe. Broadly speaking, Alex sees the world growing at a reasonable rate with unemployment is falling in many markets which should lead to better/greater consumer spending. He notes that though equity prices are higher than they have been, there is still good value and strong dividend growth in many sectors and regions.

2015-04-30 00:00:00 Breaking Out of Bondage by Ben Inker of GMO

In a new quarterly letter to GMO's institutional clients, co-head of asset allocation Ben Inker provides the basis for future bond returns: "For while it is unlikely that stock investors are going to achieve anything like as strong a return over the next 30 years as they did over the last, it is basically impossible for bond investors to duplicate their feat." ("Breaking Out of Bondage").

2015-04-30 00:00:00 Are We the Stranded Asset? by Jeremy Grantham of GMO

In part two of the letter, chief investment strategist Jeremy Grantham examines the factors behind declining estimates of U.S. and overseas GDP growth, and offers an outlook for the coming years ("Are We the Stranded Asset? (and other updates)").

2015-04-29 00:00:00 Why It’s Good to Be Young in Japan by Christopher Gannatti of WisdomTree

At the Japan Society event “The Sun Also Rises?: Japan’s Potential in the Post-Crisis Global Economy,” we heard panelists talk about how they thought that Japan could incentivize growth in productivity. One area of note was that Japan’s largest industrial employer shifting from seniority-based pay to pay for performance was a very big step.

2015-04-29 00:00:00 Do More Americans Feel Confident About Retirement? by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

More Americans say they are feeling more confident about their retirement. That’s according to the results of the latest “Retirement Confidence Survey” conducted each year by the non-profit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). The Washington-based EBRI is the leading source for data on savings, retirement, health and related issues.

2015-04-29 00:00:00 Risk Marches On by Burt White of LPL Financial

The latest data releases pointing to weak U.S. new home sales and manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) have investors guessing about the possible messaging coming out of this week’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.

2015-04-28 00:00:00 Equities Should Push Higher Along a Bumpy Road by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Investors mostly focused on the positives last week. Corporate earnings generally beat expectations and merger and acquisition activity remained solid. Despite disappointing economic data, this trend reinforced the perception that the Federal Reserve would hold off on rate hikes for the time being. The turmoil in Greece rattled investors, but remains relatively contained.

2015-04-28 00:00:00 M&A: Bubble Trouble Ahead? by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Talk of an unsustainable surge in mergers and acquisitions is premature. The current level of activity suggests that corporate managers will continue to buy rather than build.

2015-04-27 00:00:00 Spring Quarterly Commentary by John Prichard, Miles Yourman of Knightsbridge Asset Management

Charlie Munger, firmly ensconced in the investor hall of fame, remains, at age 91, one of our favorite purveyors of worldly wisdom on subjects investment related and otherwise. He is also known to be blunt and humorous, offering the above response to a question regarding money-printing, interest rates and unintended consequences at the Daily Journal shareholder meeting a few weeks ago. When a genius like Charlie is confused...then things indeed are confusing.

2015-04-27 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time for an Upside Breakout? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

We have the makings of a volatility cocktail! It is a huge week for economic data. It is the heart of earnings season, with Apple’s report leading off the week. The Fed has a two-day meeting culminating with a policy announcement. Global economic threats continue. Which of these will be the theme?

2015-04-27 00:00:00 On My Radar: Recession Watch – Keep an Eye on This Chart by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Understanding when a recession might begin is important to our long-term financial health. Why? The stock market declines approximately 40% during recessions.

2015-04-26 00:00:00 The Third and Final Transformation of Monetary Policy by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

My good friend Dr. Woody Brock makes the case that an unintended consequence of QE is that the Federal Reserve’s normal transmission of monetary policy through periodic changes in the fed funds rate has been vitiated. He contends that soon we will no longer care about the fed funds rate and will be focused on other sets of rates.

2015-04-25 00:00:00 Why International Diversification Matters Today by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

The tendency of U.S. investors to invest close to home is understandable, but it’s not optimal. Russ has three reasons why international diversification matters now more than ever for U.S. investors.

2015-04-25 00:00:00 Sustaining The New Highs in Equities Might Prove Difficult by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

New price highs are usually bullish as all investors are in a profitable position and not in need of selling. We don't like to be cautionary when price is bullish, but the reality is that prior moves to new highs have failed in the past year and several measures of breadth, sentiment and volatility suggest that is likely to be the case again now.

2015-04-24 00:00:00 Searching for Clarity Among the Dots by Carl Kaufman, Simon Lee, Bradley Kane of Osterweis Capital Management

In 1886 Georges Seurat finished his most famous painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Seurat used a new technique, Pointillism, in which small dots of color are applied to the canvas to express an image. More recently, Janet Yellen and the Federal Open Market Committee (the FOMC) updated their own version of Pointillism to express an image called the dot plot – a graphical representation of each FOMC member’s forecast of future federal funds (fed funds) rates.

2015-04-24 00:00:00 Global Divergence, the Federal Reserve and the Impact on U.S. Insurers by David Braun, Scott Millimet of PIMCO

Insurance publication SNL Financial recently sat down with members of PIMCO’s Financial Institutions Group to discuss PIMCO’s latest views on global divergence, the Federal Reserve and the impact on U.S. insurers in their investment portfolio positioning.

2015-04-24 00:00:00 Sine of the Times by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Powerful secular and fundamental forces at work signal that the risk to U.S. interest rates remains to the downside.

2015-04-24 00:00:00 Stand and Deliver: Will the US Economy Rebound as Expected in the Second Quarter? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

Most market watchers are blaming another bad winter for this year’s rough start, and they’re assuming a strong second-quarter rebound. One obscure economic statistic calls that view into question.

2015-04-23 00:00:00 Where Banks Are Performing Well In The World by Team of GaveKal Capital

There is an old belief that when bank stocks are doing well, the economy must be doing well also. With this in mind, we decided to take a look how the banking sectors have performed in seven different countries: USA, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Japan, China, Brazil.

2015-04-23 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Winners and Losers: Q1 2015 by Jackie Lafferty of Loomis Sayles

2015 kicked off with a rocky start for emerging markets: pending US rate hikes, falling commodity prices, quantitative easing in Europe, and idiosyncratic country risks all soured investor sentiment and caused the US dollar to soar. This led to substantial weakness in emerging market (EM) foreign exchange, pummeling US-based investors in many local currency bond markets. Despite that pain, EM credit performed well, and along with EM sovereign debt, posted positive gains.

2015-04-23 00:00:00 To Hedge or Not To Hedge by Treesdale Partners of AdvisorShares

There have been several blogposts on the merits of buying currency hedged ETFs for foreign equity exposure versus unhedged exposure. The arguments against unhedged ETFs are weak and often false, like “the companies hedge their currency exposure already”.

2015-04-22 00:00:00 Gimme Shelter: The U.S. Dollar Trade and Its Risks by Michele Mazzoleni of Research Affiliates

By selling foreign currencies to take advantage of the dollar’s appreciation, U.S. investors are increasing their exposure to the risk of an economic slowdown at home.

2015-04-22 00:00:00 Is Volatility Making a Comeback in Europe? by Team of GaveKal Capital

Having fallen from the recent highs earlier this year, various metrics of volatility in Europe have risen abruptly in the last few days-- especially when viewed in the context of a rather subdued VIX (a measure of expected market volatility conveyed by S&P 500 options prices; represented by the light blue line below).

2015-04-22 00:00:00 One Silver Lining of Slower Global Growth by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ explains why today’s economic environment, characterized by monetary stimulus meant to combat slower-than-expected economic growth, is helping many of the large, global financial firms.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 Roller Coaster Quarter by Jim Tillar and Steve Wenstrup of Tillar-Wenstrup Advisors

Volatility continues to be the theme for stocks. The S&P 500 was down big in January, rallied even bigger in February and went down again in March ending the quarter up 0.95%. The real action was in Europe where stocks clocked double-digit returns.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 QE: The Silver Lining of Slower Growth by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Stocks struggled last week amid more evidence that economic growth is not accelerating as expected. In the United States, the S&P 500 Index fell 0.99% to 2,081, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.28% to 17,826, and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 1.30% to close the week at 4,931.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 The AIIB by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

China has founded the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to compete with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. The U.S. has opposed the creation of this bank but, despite administration opposition, 57 nations have joined. A chorus of commentators have suggested that the founding of this bank may mark the end of U.S. hegemony. In this report, we describe the AIIB, including its members and capitalization. Next, we cover the conventional wisdom surrounding the bank, and follow up with our analysis of the real impact of the bank. We conclude with potential market ramifications.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 Stay Patient Against the Consensus Trade of 2015 by Kathleen Gaffney and Matt Hildebrandt of Eaton Vance

When making moves that are against a crowded trade, does it pay to be a patient, opportunistic income investor?

2015-04-21 00:00:00 Something To Keep In Mind During Earnings Season... by Team of GaveKal Capital

As we enter the heart of the S&P 500 1Q earnings season, and the CNBCs of the world focus on the number of companies that (surprise) beat earnings expectations once again, remember this fact: earnings expectations have been beaten down over the past six months. Let's take a quick tour of the developed world to illustrate this point.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 The Charge Of The Monetary Light Brigade - Neosho Capital On The European Central Bank And Negative by Chris Richey of Neosho Capital

A paper on European Monetary Easing, which we feel is a well-meaning, but misguided effort, to solve demographic, cultural, and political problems with massive monetary manipulations of exchange rates and securities markets.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 Has The US Dollar Topped Out, Or Headed Much Higher? by Gary D. Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The US dollar’s value has been on a tear since last summer, with the greenback’s value surging more than 20% against a basket of major foreign currencies.

2015-04-20 00:00:00 On My Radar: The Speech at Lost Tree Club by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

You and I are in a tough business. It is based on probabilities and involves imperfection. The mismatch between customer expectations and practical reality is challenging. Art Cashin said, That to survive 50 years in this business, you learn that the first thing you do when you enter a room is look for the exit sign. It is with this thinking that I also share a great piece on investing and risk from Ned Davis.

2015-04-20 00:00:00 Picking Stocks in the Tech Sector by Chaitanya Yaramada of Robert W. Baird & Co.

Technology is an important sector for growth portfolios - it carries a significant weight in major growth benchmarks, and more importantly, tends to be a ripe area for stock picking. The technology sector represents nearly 15% of the Russell Midcap Growth benchmark and 24% of the Russell 3000 Growth benchmark. The percentage is even higher when including Internet stocks that are categorized into the Consumer Discretionary sector.

2015-04-20 00:00:00 Drags on the Economy and Earnings Should Slowly Fade by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Investors focused on the negatives last week, including some disappointing U.S. economic data and growing concerns over what will happen with Greece’s debt problems.

2015-04-20 00:00:00 Emerging Europe: Economy Trends Update – April 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

With the exception of energy exporter Russia, economic conditions appear to have taken a turn for the better in emerging Europe.

2015-04-20 00:00:00 Thoughts from the Frontline: Half a Bubble Off Dead Center by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Central banks, in their valiant, unceasing efforts to restore liquidity and growth, have unleashed numerous unintended consequences that are beginning to show up in earnest. Today we are going to review the well-meaning behavior of central banks for clues about our near future.

2015-04-19 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: A Geopolitical Risk to U.S. Stocks? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

I expect the supposed worries of Friday to prove unwarranted – an idea supported by late-day Friday trading. The real focus will quickly turn to earnings and housing data.

2015-04-18 00:00:00 Today's NFP Miss Means Little For Equities and The Economy by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Failed sell offs lead to failed rallies. This has been the recurrent pattern for the past four months. There is unlikely to be a sustained move higher until there is a more complete sell off lower. Risk remains to the downside.

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Hoisington Quarterly Review and Outlook – First Quarter 2015 by Lacy Hunt and Van Hoisington of Hoisington Investment Management

Over the more than two thousand years of economic history, a clear record emerges regarding the relationship between the level of indebtedness of a nation and its resultant pace of economic activity. The once flourishing and powerful Mesopotamian, Roman and Bourbon dynasties, as well as the British empire, ultimately lost their great economic vigor due to the inability to prosper under crushing debt levels.

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Key Themes for Navigating Credit Markets in Alternatives Strategies by Joshua Anderson of PIMCO

Against a backdrop of low volatility and tight spreads, 2014 turned out to be a challenging year for many alternative investors as they watched their trades become crowded, and reverse quickly when expected returns were not realized. One such example was the positioning among investors in advance of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) Asset Quality Review announcement; many had increased their exposure in anticipation of a tightening of European bank-related securities.

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Greek Drama Extends Its Run by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

Greece’s debt problems have retaken center stage, as payment deadlines approach and negotiations with creditors continue. The money-strapped country and Syriza, its radical left-wing ruling party, are back in the headlines and on the minds of investors, as predictions that Greece could leave the eurozone abound. David Zahn, head of European Fixed Income, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group®, offers his perspective on Greece’s dramatic debt saga, as well as the orderly beginning of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing program.

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Sharpen Your Pencils: Why Low Rates Challenge Traditional Security Analysis Methods by Edward Talisse of Chelsea Global Advisors

Now that we are dealing with near-zero, and in certain instances, negative short-term interest rates, is it worth retaining the highly cherished Sharpe Ratio as a tool of investment performance? Measuring and ranking the intersection of risk and reward is a foundational principle of investment management, first introduced by Noble Laureate William F. Sharpe back in 1966.

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Junior Mining Companies Have Taken a Senior Role by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

For the past decade, junior mining companies have outperformed senior miners at finding new mineral deposits and generating wealth for investors.

2015-04-16 00:00:00 Global Business Cycle Deceleration and US Conundrum by Alexander Giryavets of Dynamika Capital L.L.C.

The Global Business Cycle is decelerating while the regional Asian and European Subcycles are recovering. This poses the US between a hammer and a hard place as it gets hurt by each single one of them. Will it get crushed or stand strong in this global interplay?

2015-04-16 00:00:00 Three Portfolio Moves to Consider Now by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

While the first quarter largely played to script, there were a few surprises. Russ explains, noting three portfolio moves to consider as the second quarter kicks off.

2015-04-16 00:00:00 Can The Marriage of Two Knowledge Followers Produce a Knowledge Leader? by Team of GaveKal Capital

Most of our readers are familiar with our process that seeks to identify what we refer to as Knowledge Leaders or, quite simply, companies that consistently invest in knowledge-intensive activities such as research & development, advertising, and employee training. Common attributes of knowledge leaders include, but are not limited to, less volatile earnings and sales growth, lower adjusted ROE, and a larger stock of intangible capital on their balance sheets.

2015-04-16 00:00:00 Implications of a Fed Funds Rate Hike on Asian Securities by Gerald Hwang of Matthews Asia

The prospect of a higher U.S. federal funds rate can make U.S. cash and short duration Treasurys look more attractive vs. risky assets. The effect of higher U.S. short rates is felt across all asset classes, regardless of the pattern of cash flows or currency of denomination. We can expect some market reallocation out of risky assets and into risk-free assets. But why does the market seem to fear a wholesale shift out of risky assets and why might that view be unjustified? In the second installment of a two-part series, Matthews Asia Portfolio Manager Gerald Hwang, CFA, examines the ways in wh

2015-04-15 00:00:00 Despite Volatility, Global Economy Looks Stronger by Hank Herrmann of Ivy Investment Management Company

So far this year, the financial markets have given us a volatile ride. But it’s a ride that has left us just about where we started. It’s not exactly that nothing happened, of course, but the S&P 500 Index ended the first quarter essentially flat. The volatility stems largely from two things: since January we’ve seen a steep decline in energy prices and a sharp rally in the dollar.

2015-04-15 00:00:00 The Long-Term Outlook: Secular Stagnation or Not? by Scott Brown of Raymond James

The good news is that the output gap, the difference between real Gross Domestic Product and its potential, has narrowed. The bad news is that’s largely because potential GDP has declined. The big question now is whether the economy is on a permanently lower track. The answer is not so clear.

2015-04-15 00:00:00 Managing Risk by Jeffery Saut of Raymond James

Most people acknowledge that losses will happen regardless of the type of business venture. A light bulb manufacturer knows that two out of three hundred bulbs will break. A fruit dealer knows that two out of one hundred apples will rot. Losses per se don’t bother them; unexpected losses and losing on balance does. Acknowledging that losses are part of business is one thing; taking and accepting those losses in the markets is something else entirely. In the markets, people tend to have difficulty actively taking losses. This is because all losses are treated as failure; in every other area o

2015-04-14 00:00:00 Ukraine: Mass Corporate Debt Restructuring Looks Likely by Sponsored Content from Invesco (Article)

Ukraine's biggest economic problem is its deep recession. We expect gross domestic product to contract by about 7% this year, as the conflict with Russia has devastated Ukraine's vital industrial corridor in the east, interest rates and inflation are soaring, and its currency teeters on collapse.

2015-04-14 00:00:00 Expect Further Divergence in Emerging Market Economies by Michael Gomez, Lupin Rahman of PIMCO

Each quarter, PIMCO investment professionals from around the world gather in Newport Beach to discuss the firm’s outlook for the global economy and financial markets. In the following interview, portfolio managers Michael Gomez and Lupin Rahman discuss PIMCO’s cyclical outlook for the emerging markets (EM).

2015-04-14 00:00:00 The Iran Framework by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

On April 2, the P5+1 and Iran announced a framework to deal with Iran’s nuclear program. The framework is a roadmap to establishing a final agreement in June and could be a major step toward delaying Iran’s entry into the “nuclear club.” This report begins with a short history of Iran’s nuclear program. Next, we review the details of the framework and address the broader policy issues surrounding Iran’s nuclear program. An analysis of the real issue, regional hegemony, follows along with a review of the political factors of the deal. We conclude with the potential market effects.

2015-04-14 00:00:00 Yield Curve Flattening and Volatility LIkely to Continue in 2015 by Payson Swaffield of Eaton Vance

In the first quarter of 2015, we continued to see a trend toward a flatter yield curve, shaped by rising rates at the short end and a relatively tethered long end, against the backdrop of higher volatility.

2015-04-14 00:00:00 Second Quarter Market Commentary 2015 by The CCR Wealth Management Investment Committee of CCR Wealth Management

Over a year ago in our January 2014 Outlook commentary, we cited European markets as attractively priced relative to the US equity markets. Most market observers at the time were expecting a nascent recovery from the 2012 EU recession to get a boost from the European Central Bank (ECB). We even boosted our non-US developed market (and European-specific) allocation—though cautiously—in anticipation. Please note that we still think these markets are most attractively valued.

2015-04-13 00:00:00 Top 10 Considerations for June to September Liftoff by Bradley Krom of WisdomTree

One of the top stories of 2015 so far has been the anticipated liftoff from the zero bound interest rate target of the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed). As market forecasters continue to debate June vs. September, we share some observations from previous hiking cycles to guide your views.

2015-04-13 00:00:00 Global Economic Risks Remain but Appear to Be Diminishing by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Investors reacted to a range of data and news last week that included a further digesting of the relatively weak March jobs data, ongoing merger and acquisition news, signs of weakening corporate earnings and further evidence of upward pressure on wages. Amid all of the crosscurrents, U.S. equities finished higher, with the S&P 500 Index gaining 1.7%.1 Most international markets advanced as well, while Treasury yields and the U.S. dollar rose.1 Industrials, health care and energy stocks led the way while telecommunications, utilities and financials lagged.

2015-04-13 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter – April 2015 by Ron Muhlenkamp, Jeff Muhlenkamp of Muhlenkamp & Company, Inc.

Ron and Jeff Muhlenkamp discuss their views on the U.S. stock market, then briefly touch on some broader U.S. and global issues, then close with a summary of how it all ties together.

2015-04-12 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

US markets once again look set-up to continue higher, as they have multiple times in the past four months. Each time in the past, however, they have instead reversed lower. Equities may continue higher this week - they are not overbought - but it seems unlikely that the largely trend-less environment has ended once and for all. Sentiment and volatility suggest unfavorable risk/reward on a one-month timeframe.

2015-04-11 00:00:00 It’s the Weather…! by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Investors anticipating first-quarter GDP growth should revisit the data—a replay of 2014’s weather-induced economic downturn is more likely.

2015-04-11 00:00:00 Slip Sliding Sideways by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Volatility will likely continue and more sideways action could be in store for the US equity market. We believe US economic data will start to rebound, helping push stocks higher in the second half of the year. The Fed remains in focus, but a rate hike is not likely until the latter half of 2015, which has helped slow the dollar’s upward momentum; potentially comforting the market and letting businesses better react. Better near-term opportunities may exist overseas as the Eurozone economy is improving and Japan seems poised to rebound from soft data.

2015-04-10 00:00:00 An Open Letter to the Eurozone by Harley Bassman of PIMCO

As it has once again become fashionable to send an open letter to foreign dignitaries, now is certainly a propitious moment to help focus attention upon dissolving a perplexing financial impediment. For while limiting nuclear proliferation and reducing armed conflict are headline grabbers, the more mundane topic of cleansing the channels of global finance is in fact a public policy good that can create a positive social impact in real time. As such, I now respectfully offer my thoughts on ways to enhance the effectiveness of the current policy path.

2015-04-10 00:00:00 Words with Friends by John Canally of LPL Financial

Words matter. As investors brace for the unofficial start of the S&P 500 earnings reporting season for first quarter 2015 (see this week’s Weekly Market Commentary, “Earnings Recession?” April 6, 2015, for details), the financial media is swirling with words and phrases like “rig count,” “strong dollar,” “port strike,” and even “bad weather.”

2015-04-10 00:00:00 Key Themes for Navigating Credit Markets in Alternatives Strategies by Joshua Anderson of PIMCO

??We believe the current investment environment provides extensive opportunities for alternative investors.

2015-04-10 00:00:00 China for Sale? by Robert Horrocks of Matthews Asia

In recent years, some China watchers have been wondering where the “smart money” is going? How telling are the real estate transactions of the region’s tycoons? And do concerns still exist over the growth in loans to the corporate sector? Matthews Asia’s CIO Robert Horrocks, PhD, explores.

2015-04-10 00:00:00 Favorable growth in European bond markets by Phil Apel (Article)

Phil Apel, Head of Fixed Income, reviews European current fixed income market trends and provides an outlook for the bond market throughout 2015. Apel reflects that during Q1, global bond markets were positively driven by the actions of the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB) resulting in bonds yields generally falling, and good returns for government bond markets.

2015-04-10 00:00:00 Where Positive Economic Surprises Are (And Aren't) Happening by Team of GaveKal Capital

There is a geographic disparity amongst the Citi Economic Surprise Index. Economies, both developed and emerging, are surprising to the upside in Asia and Europe while economies in the western hemisphere are not doing as well (at least in terms of meeting and exceeding expectations). Below we show some of the more interesting charts.

2015-04-09 00:00:00 Supply-Side Yellenomics Is (Slowly) Losing Its Grip on Markets by Tony Crescenzi of PIMCO

Should investors worry about the possibility that the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates this year? How about the negative economic consequences of the rally in the U.S. dollar? “Hawkish” Fed mistakes?

2015-04-09 00:00:00 When Will the Bull Market End? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ explains why the stock market rally can continue, at least for another year.

2015-04-08 00:00:00 Equity Cyclical Outlook: Between Fed lift-off and living in the New Neutral by Virginie Maisonneuve, Mark Richards of PIMCO

Virginie Maisonneuve, PIMCO’s CIO Global Equities, and equity macroeconomic analyst Mark Richards provide an update on PIMCO’s views on equity markets.

2015-04-08 00:00:00 Earnings Recession? by Burt White of LPL Financial

Earnings season kicks off this week (April 6?–?10) with Alcoa set to report first quarter 2015 earnings on Wednesday, April 8. This earnings season has received a great deal of attention in recent weeks because it may produce the first year-over-year decline in S&P 500 operating earnings since the tail end of the financial crisis during the third quarter of 2009. We preview earnings season and highlight reasons not to fear a potential decline.

2015-04-08 00:00:00 Policy Paranoia by Robert Stimpson of Oak Associates

The present version of policy paranoia encompasses concerns over impending interest rate hikes, the rapid appreciation of the US dollar, a bloated US government balance sheet, weak international economies and increased probability of a crisis in certain Latin American countries. While legitimate, we do not believe the current ghosts are any more imminently destructive today than over the past six years.

2015-04-08 00:00:00 Economists in Glass Houses by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

For many economists, the chicken and egg question is, which came first, consumption or production? What drives growth? Let’s continue with our series on debt, in which I have been contrasting my views with those of Paul Krugman.

2015-04-07 00:00:00 A Q1 Letter to Clients: Ben Bernanke on Interest Rates by Dan Richards (Article)

Every quarter since 2008, I have posted a template for a client letter. This letter can be used as a starting point to provide an overview of the period that just ended and thoughts looking forward. This quarter's letter addresses questions from clients about why interest rates are so low and when they are likely to rise.

2015-04-07 00:00:00 Currencies Are a 2-Way Street by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Humans are funny animals. There are many events, experiences, environments, and data points in the world shaping our perception. There is a psychological phenomenon called the recency effect, although it is known in the investment world as recency bias. Without delving into the psychological science as to why this happens, I think you will agree that most people tend to place a greater emphasis on more recent events.

2015-04-07 00:00:00 The New World Order: Part IV by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

The final installment of our series examines how, in light of winning the Cold War, policymakers have been unable to settle on a set of key priorities and offers glimpses of a new policy emerging. The US never wanted to be a superpower; its founding story is one of wresting independence away from a colonial power. Now that the existential threat of communism is over, the political class has struggled to create a foreign policy that can simultaneously provide the required hegemonic global public goods and create a working economic policy and political coalition that will build domestic harmony.

2015-04-06 00:00:00 Brobdingnagian Top? by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

According to Wikipedia, “Brobdingnag is a fictional land in Jonathan Swift's satirical novel about Gulliver's Travels whose land is occupied by giants. Lemuel Gulliver visits the land after the ship he is travelling on is blown off course and he is separated from a party exploring the unknown land.” I thought of Brobdingnag as I stared at a chart of the D-J Transportation Average ($TRAN/8605.31) last week, which looks like it is making what a technical analyst would term a giant broadening top, or in my terms a “Brobdingnagian Top?”

2015-04-06 00:00:00 Improving Growth Should Eventually Push Equities Higher by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

On the heels of a somewhat rough first quarter, many investors are questioning the state of economic growth and wondering if equities still hold value. Our view is that an improving global economy should (eventually) allow for a renewed upturn in earnings prospects, and in equity markets. As such, we believe investors should remain patient.

2015-04-04 00:00:00 On The Economy, The Environment & Income Tax Time by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The combination of topics for today’s E-Letter might seem unusual, and it is – the economy, the environment and income tax time. How do those fit together? They don’t really, but I think you will find today’s discussion on each to be interesting.

2015-04-03 00:00:00 Less Than Zero: The Implications of Negative Interest Rates by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

Many bonds, mainly in Europe, are trading with a negative yield, meaning creditors are paying in order to lend money. Russ K explains, providing three implications for investors.

2015-04-03 00:00:00 Central Bank Dominance by Richard Michaud of New Frontier Advisors

The policies of the central banks are theoretically aligned in that they all have the objective of managing private economies with modern monetary macroeconomic principles. But, all four major economies are in different stages of recovery and disruptions are nearly inevitable. However, a positive view is that central banks are all focused on managing growth and that significant investment opportunities may be available for thoughtful investors and managers.

2015-04-02 00:00:00 Market's March Madness by Burt White of LPL Financial

With the NCAA Final Four set, we share our own Final Four for stock market investing: economy, earnings, technicals, and valuations. With valuations above average and the economy slowing during first quarter of 2015, our championship game comes down to earnings and technicals. Based on our assessment of these four factors, we expect stock market investors will be “cutting down the nets” due to potential mid- to-high-single-digit stock market gains in 2015.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 Will the UK Election Derail the Recovery? by Mike Amey of PIMCO

While the economic outlook for the UK is not without risk, most notably if there is an extended period of political paralysis, the UK recovery is much better shape than during the last general election in 2010 and should stay its course. We believe the benign inflationary backdrop will aid economic growth that saw GDP gains of 0.6% for the final quarter of 2014. In an environment of subdued underlying inflationary pressures and sterling appreciating relative to its major trading partners, the Bank of England can afford to wait to tighten monetary policy.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 The Coming Chinese Crackup? by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

Prominent China scholar David Shambaugh has turned bearish on the Middle Kingdom, which offers us the chance to review our own thinking about China’s prospects. As head of the China Policy Program at The George Washington University, Shambaugh is a respected analyst of Chinese Communist Party affairs, so his WSJ op-ed, “The Coming Chinese Crackup,” has received much attention. This issue of Sinology explores how Shambaugh’s view now is an about face from his prior analyses, and why his current arguments may be flawed.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 In the Know: Europe’s Capital Markets Union by Norm Boersma of Franklin Templeton Investments

Templeton Global Equity Group’s Norm Boersma discusses the European Commission’s newly unveiled proposals for Capital Markets Union.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 How Europe’s QE Could Be a Stimulus for U.S. based Investors by Heidi Richardson of BlackRock Investment Management

Heidi Richardson sees several catalysts that point to strong investment opportunities in Germany and the broader eurozone.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 Euphoria and Reality in European Stocks by Michele Patri of AllianceBernstein

Euro-area stock markets have rebounded as the ECB has launched its QE program. In our view, investors should take a pragmatic approach that aims to capture the gains—but with eyes wide open to reality.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 For Canadian Pension Funds, It’s Time to Go Global by Erin Bigley of AllianceBernstein

Pension funds in Canada have long relied on a simple fixed-income strategy: buy Canadian. And for a long time, this worked wonders. But times are changing, and our research suggests that swapping a Canada-only approach for a more globalized portfolio will provide better risk-adjusted returns in the future.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 Geopolitical Risk — The Fear and Reality for Financial Markets by Colin Moore of Columbia Management

Given the threat of geopolitical risk, it is reasonable to question why global financial markets remain so buoyant. The answer may partly be the constant nature of geopolitical risk. Consider the French proverb “plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose” (the more things change, the more they stay the same).

2015-03-31 00:00:00 Beware Momentum Stocks in Sheep’s Clothing by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the risks in the so-called momentum stocks—as well as some that have been acting that way.

2015-03-31 00:00:00 Exploring Four Myths by Byron Wien of Blackstone

In talking with investors, I find four concepts prevail among the consensus that I believe may be wrong. In the interest of full disclosure, it is fair to say that at various points in time I have subscribed to each of these ideas. They are: 1. American Exceptionalism is a thing of the past. 2. The price of oil is likely to stay low for a long time. 3. Europe’s economy is in a slow growth deflationary trap. 4. Abenomics is not working, and Japan is in danger of falling back into a recession. I decided to explore each of these

2015-03-31 00:00:00 On My Radar: Going Forward with Great Purpose! by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

The Fed tried to talk down the dollar last Wednesday. Essentially firing a warning shot (downgrading estimates for growth, inflation and short-term interest rates). The ultra-low rates in Germany and Japan vs. the U.S. favor the dollar. Anything that points to the Fed raising rates enhances the attractiveness of U.S. bonds and attracts further capital flows.

2015-03-31 00:00:00 Fit & Focused by Mark R. Kiesel of PIMCO

Many powerful forces are driving markets and asset prices; chief among them are global monetary policy, technicals and fundamentals. We use rigorous top-down and bottom-up analysis to identify the best sectors and companies around the world. We see opportunities in the U.S. (cyclical consumer and housing sectors), Europe (equities, bank capital securities, high yield bonds and corporate hybrids), China (property, technology and Macau) and Japan (cyclical industries, exporters and financials).

2015-03-31 00:00:00 The New World Order: Part III by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

In the third installment of our series, we examine how policymakers coped with the superpower role. We examine how policymakers attempted to resolve the tensions created between the desires of domestic constituencies and foreign superpower obligations. We offer a history of how the U.S. managed these differences, with an analysis of Roosevelt’s political configuration and how the Reagan Revolution adjusted to the failures of the first program, detailing these periods with charts. We explain the capability and willingness of the U.S. to continue providing the global public goods to the world.

2015-03-30 00:00:00 Dividend Value Investing: No Time for Suspension of Disbelief, Part 2 by Meggan Walsh of Invesco Blog

While investors may be riveted by Hollywood’s surprise endings and cliffhangers, they generally aren’t fond of unexpected plot twists in the market. So here’s a spoiler alert. The operating results of companies in the current cycle have been quite strong, and many investors expect this to continue. But we’ve seen enough plot twists over time to know this can be a risky assumption.

2015-03-30 00:00:00 Last Chance for Ukraine and Europe by George Soros of Project Syndicate

Ukraine has reached a critical point in its survival struggle; but so, too, has the European Union. And the line beyond which all possible scenarios worsen – for Ukraine and the EU alike – may be just days or weeks away.

2015-03-30 00:00:00 Further Equity Gains Await Earnings Recovery by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Downward pressure on U.S. equities returned last week, with the S&P 500 Index falling 2.2%. This marked the second-largest weekly downturn of the year and the fourth negative week in the last five. Some of the decline can be attributed to fading positive sentiment that came in the wake of the recent Federal Reserve meeting. Ongoing negative earnings forecasts have taken their toll as well. All market sectors were in negative territory last week, with financials, technology and industrials losing the most ground and consumer staples and energy holding up the best.

2015-03-29 00:00:00 The Fat Pitch Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

The largely trend-less environment of the past four months continues. Despite the fall this week, US equities are not oversold and sentiment is still heady. This suggests that a rally early in the week would likely fail. While April is one of the best months of the year, the first half of the month has been weak. If this pattern continues this year, there would likely be a more attractive entry point mid-month.

2015-03-28 00:00:00 International Equity Commentary: February 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

International equity prices gained during February on expectations that the central banks in Europe and Japan would continue their quantitative easing programs, while the U.S. Federal Reserve could possibly delay its interest rate hikes. At the same time, economic trends from most major economies remained relatively stable. After two quarters of robust gains, the U.S. economy expanded at a slower pace during the fourth quarter of 2014, as expected.

2015-03-28 00:00:00 Living in a Free-Lunch World by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

I believe the fundamental imbalances we are seeing in the world (highlighted in the two papers mentioned above) are the result of the massive increases in global debt and misunderstandings about the use and consequences of debt. Too much of the wrong kind of debt is going to be the central cause of the next investment crisis.

2015-03-27 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Equity Commentary: February 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Emerging Market Equities Emerging market equity prices advanced during the month of February on signs of improvement in global economic trends as well as expectations about quantitative easing in Europe and Japan. Encouraged by reduced inflation risks after the oil price decline, some of the emerging market central banks have also lowered interest rates in recent months.

2015-03-27 00:00:00 Global Economic Outlook Involves More than Fed News by Andrew Pease of Russell Investments

Andrew Pease outlines the key economic outlook points and key watch points going forward.

2015-03-27 00:00:00 Japanese 10-Year Rates Double in 2015, Rise Above German Bunds by Bradley Krom of WisdomTree

Since reaching historic lows in mid-January, Japanese government bond (JGB)yields have doubled over the last several weeks. In the process, they have eclipsed German 10-year bund yields for the first time in over 20 years.

2015-03-27 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

After Slow Start, the U.S. Should Regain Steam; Greece: The Debt Elephant in the Room; How Can Governments Keep Borrowing Under Control?

2015-03-27 00:00:00 The Monetary Illusion by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The long-term consequences of global QE are likely to permanently impair living standards for generations to come while creating a false illusion of reviving prosperity.

2015-03-27 00:00:00 Will a Spring Thaw Lead to a Stock Surge? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

US economic data has been soft, repeating a trend we’ve seen in recent first quarters. But we believe growth will again bounce back as some of the temporary weights drop off. US stocks should continue to grind generally higher—but with heightened volatility—aided by better data and a still-dovish Federal Reserve. But investors shouldn’t ignore international opportunities. Global growth generally appears to be improving and foreign central banks are largely easing monetary policy, potentially benefiting risk assets.

2015-03-27 00:00:00 Deglobalization Redraws the Investment Map by Hayden Briscoe and Vincent Tsui of AllianceBernstein

Divergence between economies and financial markets has been a key macroeconomic trend over the last few years, and reflects in part the deglobalization of the worldwide supply chain. We expect the big winners to be countries and regions with large internal markets; the losers will be smaller countries which have yet to move up the export value chain.

2015-03-26 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview: February 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The global economic outlook improved in February, helped by encouraging data from some of the largest countries as well as supportive monetary policy measures. Monthly job additions in the U.S. exceeded expectations in February, continuing the robust trend from last year. Though wages are yet to see meaningful growth, the strengthening labor market should help the U.S. economy sustain the current pace of expansion.

2015-03-26 00:00:00 Dove or Ivory? A Case Study on Currency Impacts by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

Given the divergence of central bank policies, currencies are among the most important investment topics today. If the U.S. dollar continues to strengthen, it may be a headwind to U.S. multinationals earning revenue abroad, while boosting foreign companies that are earning revenue in the United States.

2015-03-25 00:00:00 Can ECB Policy Heal Europe’s Ills? by Mike Amey, Andrew Bosomworth, Lorenzo Pagani of PIMCO

In this interview, Managing Directors Mike Amey, Andrew Bosomworth and Lorenzo Pagani discuss the conclusions from PIMCO’s quarterly Cyclical Forum in March 2015 and how they influence our European investment strategy. They also delve into the impact of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) balance sheet expansion on growth and inflation and reflect on Europe’s improving economic health.

2015-03-25 00:00:00 The Dollar's Ripple Effect by Burt White of LPL Financial

In technical analysis, “intermarket analysis” looks at the way in which various markets interact. Intermarket analysis primarily looks at four market sectors: currencies, commodities, bonds, and stocks. From a technical analyst’s perspective, focusing our attention on only one market without considering what’s happening in the others leaves us in danger of missing vital directional clues and potential profits. The dollar, which has appreciated 24.4% since June 30, 2014 (as of March 19, 2015), has had an unusually strong intermarket effect of late.

2015-03-25 00:00:00 Active vs. Passive Redux by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Most of you know I spend my days gathering “thin reeds” and try to weave them into a favorable “investment bouquet.” As Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot by just watchin’!”

2015-03-24 00:00:00 The Economic Outlook by George Mokrzan of Huntington National Bank

The United States forecast is for solid average annual economic growth of 3.1% in 2015 -- fastest in the economic recovery to date overall, although areas of the economy with high energy or international exposure will likely encounter headwinds. Strengthening employment conditions, continual improvements in consumer finances and steadily rising housing markets are likely to reestablish the consumer’s lead role in the U.S. economy in 2015.

2015-03-24 00:00:00 A Relatively Dovish Fed Statement Helps Equities Recover Ground by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Last week featured some disappointing economic data and further downward revisions of corporate earnings estimates, but investors focused heavily on last week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting. The Fed’s statement was more dovish than expected, and investors interpreted the comments as an indication that rate increases would not happen as soon as some anticipated.

2015-03-24 00:00:00 The New World Order: Part II by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

In the second installment of our four-part series we focus on two themes. First, we examine the global public goods the superpower provides, and second, we analyze how the U.S. has done so. The global hegemon often faces tensions between the desires of domestic constituencies and its foreign obligations. Every superpower negotiates these pressures and each tends to have its own ways of meeting both objectives. However, no superpower can subjugate the goals and aspirations of its citizens indefinitely. If the cost of hegemony becomes too high, a nation may be unable to maintain the position.

2015-03-24 00:00:00 U.S. Trade: Shortchanged by a Strong Dollar? by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Worries that the elevated value of the greenback will crimp U.S. exports—and hurt corporate profits—are overstated.

2015-03-23 00:00:00 A Body at Rest by Brian Andrew of Cleary Gull

As the temperature rises above 50 for the first time in several months, I am reminded of this Newtonian law that a body at rest will stay at rest unless an outside force acts on it. Perhaps the warm-up in weather is the “outside force” we all need to get moving again. I believe that the current market environment is similar to my body coming out of winter.

2015-03-23 00:00:00 Central Bank Policies And Market Distortions by Sebastiao Buck Tocalino of SBTCapital Clube de Investimento

Recurrent countercyclical monetary policies have given way to several distortions in the economy. It is believed that printed dollars have inflated both stocks and bonds in the US, but that is a misunderstanding! Still attractive, US Treasury Bonds may provide the basis for a sustained appreciation of the US dollar against foreign currencies. Once more, the widely anticipated interest rate hike by the FOMC may get postponed… further into oblivion!

2015-03-23 00:00:00 Euro: Parity Like It’s 1999 by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Europe stands to benefit as the euro nears parity with the U.S. dollar; the Fed knows the U.S. economy faces a winter soft patch; the outlook for equities and fixed income remains fundamentally strong.

2015-03-21 00:00:00 Beating the Emerging Benchmark Blues by Morgan Harting of AllianceBernstein

It’s been another tough start to the year for emerging-market equities, amid growing concern about political risk and economic growth. But we believe the seeds have been sown for a recovery that can best be captured through a selective investing approach to avoid the risks of a benchmark.

2015-03-21 00:00:00 Five Reasons to Hold High Yield in 2015 by K. Sean Clark of Clark Capital Management Group

We believe that the high yield market may reward investors who adopt a tactical approach. Here are five reasons we anticipate a reemergence of opportunities in the high yield space in 2015.

2015-03-21 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

What Is Full Employment, and Are We There Yet?; Negative Interest Rates Are Spreading Across Europe; The Return of the U.S. Debt Ceiling

2015-03-21 00:00:00 The Fat Pitch Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Strong price and breadth suggest the uptrend from the March low has further to go. A dip early in the week is a high probability buy set up. But gains from here are likely to be short lived; nibble traders may want to sell into strong gains on the expectation of weakness over the next month.

2015-03-20 00:00:00 Northern Trust Perspective by Team of Northern Trust

The long-telegraphed launch of quantitative easing by the European Central Bank (ECB) has added some accelerant to financial market trends in place so far this year. European stocks, which had been strong performers in local currencies, have continued their strong performance while European bond yields have declined even further.

2015-03-19 00:00:00 Growth in the Euro Zone: Europeans Consuming Again by Laura Sarlo of Loomis Sayles

Euro area growth appears set to outperform in 2015, thanks in part to a stronger consumer. Consumers are feeling more confident about their own economies, and in some spots, job growth and wage increases provide an additional boost. Here are some of the major consumer trends I have noticed across the euro zone.

2015-03-18 00:00:00 The Surging U.S. Dollar - Good For Some, Bad For Others by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The US dollar has been surging against most other currencies over the last year. The question is, is the rising US dollar good for the economy and the investment markets, or not? No doubt, the rising dollar has been buffeting the US equity and bond markets this year and is increasingly cited as the main culprit. That is what we will delve into today.

2015-03-18 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: March by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group® of Franklin Templeton Investments

IN THIS ISSUE: United States Prepares for Interest-Rate Hikes; But Much of the World Is Still in Monetary Easing Mode; European Outlook

2015-03-17 00:00:00 Gundlach - Don't Bet on Higher Rates by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Even if the Fed raises short-term interest rates as many expect it to, longer-term bond investors won't face a decline in prices, according to Jeffrey Gundlach. Indeed, the market may have already priced in the effect of rate hikes, he said.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 Do Liquid Alts Justify Their Costs? by Robert J. Martorana, CFA (Article)

Liquid alts are complex and expensive, so it is natural for advisors to ask if they worth the time and trouble. In this article, I answer this question. I evaluate returns with special emphasis on 2014, when managed futures (notably the AQR Managed Futures Strategy Fund - AQMIX) soared and the largest global macro fund, MainStay Marketfield (MFLDX), stumbled.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 Monetary Policy Concerns Continue to Weigh on Markets by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Investors continued to focus on global monetary policy last week. The divergence between the start of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing program and the pending shift in the Federal Reserve’s policy stance caused the euro to fall, the U.S. dollar to rally and acted as a drag on U.S. equities. Concerns over a weakening corporate earnings environment acted as an additional headwind for stock prices. the S&P 500 Index declined 0.8% for the week.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 The Messy Politics of Economic Divergence by Mohamed El-Erian of Project Syndicate

The world is increasingly characterized by divergence – in economic performance, monetary policy, and thus in financial markets. Though there is a broad consensus on what must be done to rebalance the global economy, political leaders remain unwilling to fulfill their economic-governance responsibilities.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 The New World Order: Part I by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

We have focused for several years on the issue of the uncertainty surrounding America’s superpower role. It has been our position that the U.S. has lacked a coherent foreign policy since the Cold War ended in the early 1990s. Although we cannot definitely say that a new policy is in place, the trappings of one appear to be emerging. The focus of this paper is how policy seems to be evolving and why. This will be a four-part report. Part I begins with the evolution of U.S. foreign policy, focusing on the 25-year cycle pattern between the adaptations to new circumstances.

2015-03-16 00:00:00 Extremes in Every Pendulum by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Whether or not it is fully appreciated, we are observing extremes in nearly every pendulum of the global financial markets. The situation is likely to be seen in hindsight as one of the broadest points of financial distortion in history.

2015-03-16 00:00:00 Welcome to the World of Taxes! A Philosophical Introduction for New Taxpayers by Francois Sicart of Tocqueville Asset Management

In his latest piece, Francois Sicart, Founder and Chairman of Tocqueville Asset Management, discusses his philosophy on taxes for the high net worth, especially from an international perspective.He notes "two waves" of investors who are new to tax planning.

2015-03-16 00:00:00 This Too Shall Pass by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Behavioral finance reminds us that ignoring daily volatility roiling the market is wise. Instead, investors should focus on the positive, fundamental outlook for equities and fixed income.

2015-03-16 00:00:00 Should Greece Stay or Go? by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

Professor Jeremy Siegel and I spoke with University of Texas professor James Galbraith on February 27. Professor Galbraith has an inside look on the ongoing Greek debt dynamics, as he became friendly with the current Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis as a colleague at the University of Texas.

2015-03-14 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

China Moves Cautiously Toward a New Normal; Deleveraging Is Unfinished in the Industrialized World; Will Lower Borrowing Costs in Europe Be a Boon for U.S Firms?

2015-03-14 00:00:00 The Airline Industry Ascended to New Records in 2014 by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Just as the U.S. economy is in full-recovery mode, so too is the airline industry. It’s lately made an impressive about-face from only a decade ago and, in 2014, soared to several new benchmarks. This industry is flying high again.

2015-03-14 00:00:00 The U.S. Dollar: Is Strength a Weakness? by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

The U.S. dollar has seen strong upward moves in the past 9 months. What would continued dollar strength mean for economic growth, earnings and asset class performance? Find out more in Jim McDonald's latest strategy piece.

2015-03-14 00:00:00 Will Dipping Data Lead To Dramatic Drop? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

US stocks have been resilient, although there has been an uptick in volatility. Economic data has shown some softening, but we believe it is temporary in nature. However, the risk of a correction is elevated in our view and investors should be prepared for such a possibility by having a diversified portfolio and keeping a close eye on rebalancing opportunities after pullbacks. Meanwhile, investors should also look overseas for global diversification opportunities as monetary policy easing should help to bolster asset values.

2015-03-13 00:00:00 Charting The Winners And Losers Of The Latest Surge In The USD by Team of GaveKal Capital

On March 4th we wrote in The Dollar Is Breaking Out Again And What It Means For Stocks that "for a variety of cyclical and structural reasons...stocks in North America tend to be the relative beneficiary of USD strength while stocks in other regions generally, but not always, tend to underperform. The negative correlation is especially strong for European stocks." Well, since then the USD has surged another 6% so we thought we'd review how things have played out.

2015-03-13 00:00:00 Keep it Short? The Limited-Term Fixed Income Market by Mark Otterstrom, Susan Regan of Ivy Investment Management Company

Concern about interests rates has made fixed income investors more aware of the potential for interest rate risk – or the risk that a rise in rates will reduce the value of their longer-maturity securities. This risk, which is often expressed as a bond or bond fund’s “duration,” has led some investors to consider investments believed to have less potential risk. These securities, which are considered to have a lower duration, are seen as less vulnerable to market volatility.

2015-03-12 00:00:00 Beige Book Suggests Continued Modest Economic Growth by John Canally of LPL Financial

The latest Beige Book suggests that the U.S. economy is still growing at a “modest or moderate” pace that is at or above its long-term trend, and that some upward pressure on wages is beginning to emerge. Optimism on Main Street remains high despite the recent barrage of bad news on the economy. Over the past three Beige Books, the BBB averaged +85, in-line with the +89 average reading in all of 2014.

2015-03-12 00:00:00 Cutting Through the Currency Fog by Mark Phelps, Dev Chakrabarti of AllianceBernstein

With the euro sliding deeper against the dollar this week, equity investors have been getting nervous. But why is everyone so surprised when known currency fluctuations derail earnings? In our view, a sharper focus on company exposures can help create a “natural” currency hedge in global equity portfolios.

2015-03-10 00:00:00 Curiouser and Curiouser... by Sponsored Content from Legg Mason (Article)

Though historically low, U.S. interest rates are actually high in comparison to the rest of the developed world. U.S. bonds appear overpriced on domestic fundamentals, but they are a bargain based on global valuations.

2015-03-10 00:00:00 America's China Codependency by Michael Edesess (Article)

The massive Chinese investment in Treasury securities helps keep interest rates extremely low. This hugely increases the incentive for Americans to borrow. All that is needed is "collateral," and Americans will go out and borrow to their hearts' content and buy Chinese goods.

2015-03-10 00:00:00 On My Radar: Rut Ro Rastro by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

At the beginning of each month, I like to look at a series of valuation metrics: Median PE, Price to Sales and Price to Operating Earnings. Let’s look at them today. The logic, of course, is simple. When expensively priced, reduce exposure and reduce return expectations. When inexpensively priced, overweight exposure and increase return expectations. Let’s also take a look at what has been driving the market higher. Some argue that individual investors are still on the sidelines. I don’t think so and I show evidence that they are almost as fully invested as they were at the 2000 and

2015-03-10 00:00:00 The 6th Anniversary of 676 by David Edwards of Heron Financial Group

On March 9th, 2009, the S&P 500 made an intra-day and 20 year low at 676.53. Millions of Americans drew a straight line from the mid-September 2008 failure of Lehman Brothers through that March low and projected that the S&P 500 would be zero by June. Armed with that projection, average investors liquidated hundreds of billions of dollars in stock investments, never to return. Those investors will never be able to retire.

2015-03-10 00:00:00 Q&A with Jeff Knight: What’s in store for 2015? by Jeff Knight of Columbia Management

I believe we are still going through a process that is flattering to financial market returns. But after six years and a tripling of the stock market, recognize that we're getting late in the game. Does Europe hang together? Do events in the Ukraine or Greece disrupt the economic recovery in Europe? Is the Fed’s tightening appropriate, or does it represent a threat to financial markets? Will those who come out on the short end of oil’s dramatic repricing emerge as a threat to capital markets either through default and bankruptcies, or worse through geopolitical tensions?

2015-03-09 00:00:00 Why Is the Fed’s James Bullard Optimistic about the U.S. Economy? by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

On February 20, Professor Jeremy Siegel and I had the pleasure of speaking to St Louis Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) president James Bullard, who is a member of the Fed monetary policy committee. 2015 is shaping up to be an interesting year for monetary policy, with the Fed expected to hike interest rates.

2015-03-07 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Quantitative easing comes to the eurozone; U.S. job growth is strong, but wage growth is not; The California port strike has troubled trade... and economists

2015-03-06 00:00:00 Opportunities in Global Financial Disintermediation by Dave Gallagher of Calamos Investments

Increasing financial disintermediation is a strong secular theme providing tailwinds in several financial industries, but a likely arduous and complicated process warrants the need for a disciplined focus on both risk and reward. The financial system essentially performs one basic function—the direct or indirect movement of funds from savers to borrowers or investors. Although financial disintermediation is formally defined as the shifting of funds from indirect to direct financing, the term is more commonly used to describe the increasing role of non-bank intermediaries.

2015-03-06 00:00:00 ECB Asset Purchases = (Big) Equity Decline? by Team of GaveKal Capital

We have commented quite a bit on the dismal revisions to sales and earnings estimates (see here, here, and here for just a few examples). As we have noted, European stocks have excelled in the downgrade department, led by the Energy sector.

2015-03-05 00:00:00 The Dollar Is Breaking Out Again And What That Means For Stocks by Team of GaveKal Capital

The ICE US dollar index looks to have broken out of what has been a rather short-lived consolidation after the massive move since the middle of 2014. If this is in fact the start of another round of dollar strength, then stock investors should carefully consider where in the world to deploy cash into stocks. For a variety of cyclical and structural reasons, certain regions of the world tend to outperform in periods of USD strength and others lag. We'll try to shed some light on that with the below charts.

2015-03-05 00:00:00 Searching for Yield Down Under by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

The persistence of low yields has had investors searching for income high and low for a while now. Recently, investors are expanding their hunt to some less than obvious places.

2015-03-05 00:00:00 India the Best-Performing Emerging Market by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

India had an incredible banner year. The world’s largest democracy, home to 1.25 billion people, was the best-performing emerging market in 2014, delivering over 29 percent. It was followed by the Philippines in second place and Indonesia in third.

2015-03-04 00:00:00 January Inflation Turns Negative - Is Deflation Upon Us? by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Consumer prices fell in January for the third straight month, while inflation over the past 12 months turned negative for the first time since 2009, largely because of cheaper gasoline. In January, the Consumer Price Index sank by a seasonally-adjusted 0.7%, the biggest one-month drop since the end of 2008, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

2015-03-04 00:00:00 Tigers in Africa by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

This month's Absolute Return Letter is about unrealistic expectations which is something we are all guilty of from time to time. We look at why it is unrealistic to expect equity returns to be in the double digit range over the next several years, why central banks are not printing money like many believe, plus a few other topics.

2015-03-03 00:00:00 Dan Fuss - The New Factor in the Bond Markets by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Dan Fuss' career in the bond market has spanned over 50 years. During that time, Fuss has spoken regularly at CFA luncheons. Last week in Boston, he began by warning that what he had to say would be markedly different from any of his previous talks.

2015-03-03 00:00:00 Is Japan Zimbabwe? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Is Japan Zimbabwe? How preposterous: Japan is an advanced economy that cannot possibly suffer the same fate as Zimbabwe. Right? Or could Japan get hyperinflation? Below I explain why Japan, and with it investors’ portfolios, might be at risk.

2015-03-03 00:00:00 The Return of the Comeback: Is 2015 the Year for International Stocks? by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

For several years, many professional investors and advisers have been bullish about the prospects for investing outside the United States. Calls to overweight European stocks or global stocks have been typical each January for the past years, and this year is no different.

2015-03-03 00:00:00 The Euro: How Low Can It Go? by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

Recently, Professor Jeremy Siegel and I sat down with Brown Brothers Harriman currency strategist Marc Chandler. Given the European Central Bank’s (ECB) recent activities, most of the discussion centered around the euro.

2015-03-03 00:00:00 Yemen: A Land with a Rich Past and a Poor Present by Kaisa Stucke of Confluence Investment Management

The country of Yemen is slowly dissolving in the midst of an ongoing civil war. The Houthi movement has aggressively secured territories in the north, while al-Qaeda has widened its activities in the south. Outside powers are watching these developments closely. Yemen’s neighbor and U.S. ally, Saudi Arabia, would like to see the Houthi insurgency stopped as the group is widely viewed as a proxy for Iran. At the same time, the U.S. has been a partner to Yemen in fighting al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, but the fall of its government has left the U.S. without a formal partner.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 Why We Invest in Royalty Companies by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Royalty companies basically serve as specialized financiers that help fund cash-strapped miners’ exploration and production projects. In return, they receive either royalties on whatever the mine produces or what’s known as a “stream,” which is a commitment to an agreed-upon number of ounces of gold or other precious metal per year.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 What’s Really Driving the Value of the Euro and Yen? by Bradley Krom of WisdomTree

With a majority of developed markets rallying strongly over the last several years, we think the single biggest determinant for investors actually being able to capture those returns has hinged on their ability to manage currency risk.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 Markets Pause While Awaiting Federal Reserve Activity by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities were mixed last week, with the S&P 500 declining -0.2%. The Federal Reserve (Fed) had a busy week, as the nuanced debate continues around when to begin policy normalization. The global policy divergence grabbed headlines, but the focus was mainly on negative yields in Europe and inflows to non-U.S. equities.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 Royce Premier Fund: Reviewing 2014 and Positioning for 2015 by (Article)

Portfolio Manager Lauren Romeo talks about the relative performance challenges for Royce Premier Fund and the types of businesses we are emphasizing and avoiding.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 A Greek Tragedy Averted - for Now by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

While the Tsipras government has bought itself some time, the possibility of a Greek exit from the eurozone remains quite real—as does the risk to global financial markets.

2015-02-28 00:00:00 The Negative Way to Growth? by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

Monetary policy has become increasingly unconventional in the last six years, with central banks implementing zero-interest-rate policies, quantitative easing, credit easing, forward guidance, and unlimited exchange-rate intervention. But now we have come to the most unconventional policy tool of them all: negative nominal interest rates.

2015-02-27 00:00:00 Are Expectations Too High? by Burt White of LPL Financial

The market’s continued ascent has caused some to ask if the stock market reflects excessive optimism. The pace of economic surprises as measured by the Citigroup Economic Surprise Index suggests expectations remain reasonable. We view recent economic disappointments as largely temporary, and would expect the surprise index may reverse recent declines as expectations have come down, providing support for cyclical sectors.

2015-02-27 00:00:00 Recession is On the Way: Questioning One's Sanity; Beat the Crowd, Panic Now! by Mike "Mish" Shedlock of Sitka Pacific Capital

In 2006-2007 I called for a recession. We got a big one. I called for another one in 2011, as did the ECRI. That recession never happened. 50% is not a very good recession predicting track record except in comparison to consensus economic opinions that have never once in history predicted a recession. Consensus opinion is batting a perfect 0.00%

2015-02-27 00:00:00 Could Apple Buy a Third of the World’s Gold? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

So what’s Apple’s next trick? How about moving the world’s gold market?

2015-02-27 00:00:00 Focusing on the Three Ds by Byron Wien of Blackstone

Looking forward several years, there will be three important factors that will determine the economic and investment outlook. They are decoupling, deflation and demand.

2015-02-27 00:00:00 On the Long Bond and Why the Widow Maker is Alive and Well by Team of GaveKal

Perhaps one of the most important questions investors need to answer today is whether we've seen the low in the long bonds yields or whether the trend lower is firmly intact. The recent spike in the 10-year bond yields from 1.65% at the end of January to 2.14% just two weeks later has no doubt complicated the situation. In this piece we'll try to layout one case for lower yields still.

2015-02-27 00:00:00 China’s New Generation of Entrepreneurs II by Beini Zhou of Matthews Asia

China has long been perceived to be a breeding ground for business copycats, and has struggled with rampant intellectual piracy. Many businesses there have indeed been founded based on business models that originated in the U.S. or Europe. But what’s been overlooked in recent years is China’s rising “innovation machine.” More favorable government policies toward R&D have helped. This month, Asia Insight takes a look at developments in China’s grassroots-level entrepreneurship.

2015-02-27 00:00:00 Hasenstab on Global Growth: Headwinds or Tailwinds? by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton

While some forecasters predict gloomy global growth this year, the contrarian-minded Dr. Michael Hasenstab, chief investment officer, Templeton Global Macro Group (formerly known as Templeton Global Bond Group), has a different view. He aims to counter what he sees as “excessive pessimism” surrounding the global economy and outlines why he believes the recent plunge in oil prices could prove a tailwind, not only for economic growth in the United States, but also in Europe. He also offers his scorecard regarding Japan’s monetary policy experiment dubbed “Abenomics.”

2015-02-27 00:00:00 Rhyming…but not Repeating. by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Stocks have recovered their January losses and have continued to move higher. While economic growth remains solid and we remain secular bulls, investors should be prepared for increased volatility and the potential for a near-term correction. Also, European stocks may be due for at least a pause and we suggest looking to add exposure to emerging market positions if needed. Staying well diversified and keeping an eye on rebalancing is the recommended strategy.

2015-02-26 00:00:00 Family-Owned Businesses: One More Reason Not to Neglect Emerging Markets by David Ruff of Forward Investing

At the end of a year in which the U.S. handily led the world’s equity markets, many dividend investors find it hard to rouse any interest in emerging markets at all. “Why even bother?” seems to be the prevailing sentiment.

2015-02-26 00:00:00 Gathering Thin Reeds? by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Many of you know that I spend time gathering “thin reeds” and try to weave them into a favorable “investment bouquet.” This is a strategy Fidelity’s Peter Lynch took to its zenith in an era gone by. Recall the story Peter told about how he stumbled into Magellan Fund’s (FMAGX/$96.12) investment in Hanes, when he first heard his wife rave about a new product called pantyhose.

2015-02-26 00:00:00 Why Does Louis Vuitton Like a Weaker Euro? by Christopher Gannatti of WisdomTree

In an article published January 31, 2013, Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of LVMH, was quoted as saying, “The cloud on the horizon … is the evolution of currencies, [and a strong euro] would have an impact on French exporters and for our group …”

2015-02-25 00:00:00 At a Standstill? - The Debate Over "Secular Stagnation" by Team of Northern Trust

During one particularly stormy day recently, I asked my daughter to unearth herself from the couch and help me clear the snow from the driveway. Unfortunately, the prospective reward of industry was no competition for the television remote, and I was left to fend for myself.

2015-02-25 00:00:00 China Levels the Global Playing Field by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

It’s a powerful vision for the world’s future. The US and China: two growth powerhouses; two major currencies.

2015-02-25 00:00:00 The Strange World of Negative Interest Rates by Lowell Yura of BMO Global Asset Management

This article examines explanations for negative bond yields. The article argues that central bank policies may be one of the causes. The article also suggests that to make sense of low Treasury yields, investors should be mindful of global yield correlations.

2015-02-24 00:00:00 On My Radar: A $9 Trillion Dollar Crisis by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Here is the main point of today’s OMR: According to the Bank of International Settlements, non-bank borrowers outside the U.S. have borrowed, in dollars, $9 trillion. This is an increase of $4.5 trillion since the financial crisis and it places that $9 trillion on the wrong side of the dollar bet. The dollar debt is an example of how the Fed’s tightening will impact the world economy. This is a pressure cooker and the pot is starting to boil.

2015-02-24 00:00:00 While the World Is Not Flat, Distributions May Be by William De Leon, Courtney Walker of PIMCO

?Investors have long relied on the assumption that asset returns are normally distributed with correlations that are slow to change. Based on our analysis, however, we now have flat distributions and correlations that are much less stable; a fat-tailed event to either the left or the right is as likely to occur as a non-event. Active management that recognizes and adapts to these changes will be essential to seeking strong returns in the future.

2015-02-24 00:00:00 U.S. Economy: Will Growth Be Roaring, or Boring? by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Here’s a look at key indicators—and what they signal for the pace of U.S. economic activity.

2015-02-24 00:00:00 Détente with Iran: An Update by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

This report is an update to a similarly titled piece we published in 2013. In this report, we delve further into what appears to be an evolving policy change by the U.S. with Iran, discussing the basic goals of the U.S. and Iran. With this background, we examine America’s alternatives to achieving our aims in the region, followed by a full examination of U.S. difficulties in making a historic policy change with Iran. We discuss the recent policy pattern in the region and how it supports the notion that improving relations with Iran is probably the reason for this pattern.

2015-02-23 00:00:00 Global Reflation Should Allow Equities to Push Higher by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Financial markets reacted well to the provisional Greek bailout extension, but risks for Europe remain elevated. Wages appear to be starting to climb, which would increase pressure on the Fed to begin rate increases this summer. There is a valid bearish case to be made, but we think the positives for equities outweigh the negatives.

2015-02-23 00:00:00 Why the Bond Market Is Yielding Negative and What Negative Yields Mean for You by Vineer Bhansali, Ben Emons of PIMCO

Negative yields on bonds are no longer unicorns. In Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and several other European countries, government bonds are trading at negative nominal yields. There are four potential reasons that can explain the negative yield conundrum and can also illustrate the trade-offs between different investment strategies.

2015-02-21 00:00:00 International Equity Commentary: January 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

International equity prices were mostly unchanged during January as gains in both developed and emerging Asian markets were offset by weakness in Canada and select markets in Europe. Investors turned more cautious after the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank lowered their global growth forecasts for the current year, contrary to expectations.

2015-02-21 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview: January 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Concerns about the sharp fall in capital investments and earnings growth in select sectors resulting from lower oil prices continue to cloud the global economic outlook. While the decline in fuel prices is revitalizing consumer spending across all the major countries, the energy and mining sectors have already started curtailing their capital outlays.

2015-02-21 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Equity Commentary: January 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Emerging market equity prices outperformed in January on expectations that economic conditions in large Asian countries such as China and India could brighten this year. Fourth quarter GDP growth in China met expectations, helped by higher industrial production and consumer spending.

2015-02-20 00:00:00 The Case for Global Investing by Team of Litman Gregory

As U.S. stocks have outperformed developed international and emerging-markets stocks in recent years, we’re starting to hear more people question the benefit of investing outside of the United States. This is an important question, and we acknowledge that owning foreign stocks has been an unsatisfying experience over the past couple of years. Moreover, given some of the current economic and geopolitical forces, it can appear likely to continue this way.

2015-02-20 00:00:00 Mardi Gras Market by Brian Andrew of Cleary Gull

Geo-political concerns in the Middle East and Ukraine don’t seem to be able to keep the market down, nor do the tepid economic growth numbers coming from Europe and China. Finally, corporate earnings expectations have been moderated significantly for 2015 and that doesn’t seem to matter to stock prices either. Perhaps the explanation is in the sentiment.

2015-02-19 00:00:00 2015 Annual Forecast by Clyde Kendzierski of Financial Solutions Group

It’s already February, but for many readers this is the first communication of 2015 so, Happy New Year! It’s been a great 6 weeks so far and we’re looking forward to many more to come. Let’s get into it…

2015-02-19 00:00:00 Great Expectations for Small-Cap Active Management by Chuck Royce, Chris Clark, and Francis Gannon of The Royce Funds

Widening credit spreads, increasing volatility, and decreasing stock correlation should allow stock pickers the chance to emerge as performance leaders. We continue to see good times ahead for active managers who focus on business fundamentals.

2015-02-19 00:00:00 Brighter Days Ahead for the Global Economy? by Team of Thomas White International

After seven years of uneven growth trends following the 2008 financial crisis, we believe the global economy is likely to see a moderate acceleration in 2015. While several risks remain, we are reasonably confident that there are now enough growth drivers in place to help most major economies advance.

2015-02-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview: December 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

After the initial optimism about lower energy prices supporting a healthier global economic growth outlook, investors and analysts have become more apprehensive as the price decline has been remarkably steep.

2015-02-19 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Equity Commentary: December 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

Emerging market equity prices corrected during the month on concerns that the steep fall in crude oil prices could hurt the outlook for select countries.

2015-02-19 00:00:00 Emerging Europe: Economy Trends Update -- January 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Emerging European economies witnessed renewed volatility as the New Year unfolded. Russia, the largest of the economies covered in this review, appeared particularly vulnerable as President Putin has not yielded his stance on Ukraine despite the damage inflicted to his country by the Western sanctions and plunging oil prices.

2015-02-18 00:00:00 On My Radar: Schumpeter’s Creative Destruction by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

This week let’s take a look at debt around the globe. I share a great piece from McKinsey & Company that shows just how much more debt, county by country, has been piled on since the 2007 debt induced financial crisis. Evidence is apparent in the commodity market and I also share a few ideas how you may risk manage those allocations.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Why We’re Cautious on Credit by Rob Waldner of Invesco Blog

In the current environment of rising global volatility and potentially weak US corporate earnings growth, Invesco Fixed Income is cautious on US and European credit. While European investment grade credit may be supported by the European Central Bank’s (ECB) program of quantitative easing (QE), we believe US investment grade would likely underperform US Treasuries in the current environment, although we would expect it to perform better than riskier assets.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Gary Shilling - Why You Should Own Bonds by Robert Huebscher (Article)

If you followed Gary Shilling's advice for the last 30 years, you would be very wealthy. Since 1981, Shilling has consistently advocated owning long-dated Treasury securities. In a talk last week, he reiterated that advice as one piece of his three-part asset-allocation strategy for the coming year.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 The Question that Quadrupled Response Rates by Dan Richards (Article)

Last week, my article described how an advisor uses case studies on tax saving strategies to get in front of prospects. Today, I will discuss the tactic that quadrupled participation in a Red Cross blood drive, and how this technique could increase your success when talking to existing and prospective clients.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Wide Disparity in 2014 Stock Returns Shows the Importance of Diversification by Team of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild

With another calendar year in the books, investors can look back to 2014 and see the vast disparity between asset classes, with the U.S. markets leading the way for a second consecutive year. Why not just invest in the S&P 500 Index? The answer is that we don’t know which asset class will be the top performer from year to year. Looking back on the past 15 years, the U.S. has only led three times, with all three coming since 2011, hence the reason for the initial question.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 European Forecast: Clouds Lifting by Matt Lloyd of Advisors Asset Management

We understand the general public’s concern with regard to Europe. Just when you get your hands around a cease fire in Ukraine, the “Greexit” hits the newsstands with hardline headlines. If this Greek drama ever ends - which is unlikely as we noted two weeks ago detailing Greece’s restructuring –-rescheduling or outright default on debt occurs over 45% of the time since 1800, one still has to deal with the constant threat of a deepening recession.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Investor Sentiment Is Strengthening by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities finished higher for a second straight week, with the S&P 500 Index gaining 2.1% as it ended the week at a record high.1 Investors largely shrugged off disappointing retail sales figures and chose to focus on the positives.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 QE and Currency Wars: A Theory With No Evidence by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Some analysts think that central bank policy (specifically, quantitative easing) is the only thing that matters. They overlook innovation, investment, and just plain old hard work and argue that stock prices, interest rates and economic performance are driven by central bank stimulus. These analysts say the world has returned to a Depression-era game of competitive devaluation (some call it “currency wars”).

2015-02-15 00:00:00 Self-Sustaining US Economy…So What Now? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

The US economy appears to be in a self-sustaining phase of the expansion, which could mean more volatility as the Fed embarks on a tightening cycle. We remain confident the secular bull market is intact, but volatility has risen and we suggest investors who are over-exposed to US equities consider global diversification, with a preference for emerging markets. Europe appears to be stealthily improving, but Greece remains a flash point and Eurozone equity markets may have gotten ahead of themselves a bit.

2015-02-15 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Energy Stocks Support the Market Breakout? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

I do not know whether we have reached a bottom in energy prices, but I have identified two important themes.

2015-02-15 00:00:00 Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Pension Fund Managers by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

We do not have to look to Greece to find massively underfunded obligations. Here in the US we can find hundreds of examples, willingly created by politicians and businessmen who proclaim they are working for the public good. We call them pension funds, but they’re just another form of unfunded debt. A sovereign bond is a promise to pay a certain amount of money over time.

2015-02-12 00:00:00 Europe: The Road to Recovery? by John Canally of LPL Financial

Although it is too soon to gauge the effectiveness of QE in the Eurozone, key readings and data are beginning to show improvement, and consensus expectations are for continued growth in 2015. However, Market participants looking for an immediate and sustained response by the Eurozone economy to QE may be disappointed. The renewed political and fiscal uncertainty in Greece will be watched closely by market participants in the coming weeks and months.

2015-02-11 00:00:00 Will China’s Year of the Goat Bring Out the Market Bulls? by Eddie Chow of Franklin Templeton Investments

According to the Chinese calendar, 2015 is the Year of the Goat (or sheep), creatures that are typically peaceful in nature but can also be stubborn, while exhibiting herd-like behavior. I’ve invited my colleague Eddie Chow, senior executive vice president and managing director, Templeton Emerging Markets Group, to share his perspective on some key themes our team is watching in 2015 for China, and whether we think market bulls, bears or goats can be friends this year.

2015-02-11 00:00:00 Earnings Season Highlights and Lowlights by Burt White of LPL Financial

In this commentary we look at some of the highlights and lowlights of fourth quarter earnings season. Despite the massive drag from the energy sector and the negative impact of a strong U.S. dollar, fourth quarter 2014 earnings are on track to exceed prior estimates. We maintain our 5?-?10% earnings growth forecast for 2015* and believe cheaper energy costs will help us get there.

2015-02-11 00:00:00 Deflation Is Spreading In Europe - Is America Next? by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

US consumer prices fell in December by the largest amount in six years, reflecting another big monthly decline in gas prices and providing further evidence of falling inflation pressures. The Labor Department said Friday that its Consumer Price Index dropped 0.4% in December, the largest one-month drop since December 2008. It was also the second straight monthly decline in prices with both months reflecting big decreases in gasoline prices.

2015-02-11 00:00:00 Repression Investing: Got Gold? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Gone are the ZIRP days – the ‘Zero Interest Rate Policy’ is being replaced by negative interest rates in various countries. ZIRP is a form of financial repression, where savers earn less than the inflation rate to discourage saving. Pundits suggest the U.S. has chosen a different course, as ‘liftoff’ may soon take U.S. rates higher. We’ll try to separate reality from fiction, discussing investment implications for the U.S. dollar and gold.

2015-02-11 00:00:00 Positive Economic Surprises in Europe, Negative in the U.S. by Team of GaveKal Capital

The Citi Economic Surprise index is a quick way to get a high-level look at the condition of economic data around the world. Calculated as a diffusion index, values generally range between 100 and -100 for the overall index, which is currently right in the middle of that range.

2015-02-11 00:00:00 China Just Crossed a Landmark Threshold by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Back in July 2013, the think tank Heritage Foundation predicted that China’s outbound investment “could very well exceed $80 billion [by the end of the year] and is on course to breach $100 billion by about 2016.”

2015-02-10 00:00:00 Mohamed El-Erian: Beware the Bubble in Liquidity by Robert Huebscher (Article)

In 2000, it was technology stocks. In 2007, it was real-estate prices. Among today's overvalued asset classes, which one will crash most spectacularly when the bubble bursts? Mohamed El-Erian, the chief economic advisor at Allianz, thinks he knows the answer.

2015-02-10 00:00:00 Why Building Trust is the Top Priority in 2015 by Robin Powell (Article)

I have long advocated using high-quality, engaging content to build trust and attract and retain more clients. Your content reflects - or should reflect - you and your values and it has to take center stage in your firm's marketing strategy.

2015-02-10 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time for “Risk On?” by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

With a modest schedule of data releases, we can expect more analysis of last week’s news. Trading in several markets changed course rather abruptly. With traders poised to spot any change in trend, the question will be whether this shift is for real.

2015-02-10 00:00:00 Greece Dependency Has Created Dangerous Illusions by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

Once again the crisis in Greece is threatening the unity of the entire euro zone. Many analysts are asking what must be done to restore viability to the Union's weakest link. Lost in this discussion is that modern Greece, formed in 1830, has never really been required to stand on its own. Generations of support from abroad, typically given for strategic reasons, has created a false sense of prosperity in the country and has prevented the Greeks from accepting the realities of their current situation.

2015-02-10 00:00:00 Greek Games by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

After the Syriza party won 149 of the 300 seats in the Jan. 24th Greek elections, European markets have been roiled by worries over another crisis developing. In this report, we use game theory to describe the situation between Greece and the EU/Germany/ECB. This method shows how misunderstandings can develop and how catastrophic mistakes are made. Using this structure, we will outline the positions and perceptions of both sides and describe how this situation could lead to another crisis. As always, we will finish with market ramifications.

2015-02-10 00:00:00 Currencies: What to Watch for after the Swiss Surprise by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Switzerland’s decision to scrap the franc-euro peg has grabbed the headlines, but the bigger story remains the continued dominance of the U.S. dollar.

2015-02-10 00:00:00 Riding An Aging Bull (Market) by Rick Vollaro of Pinnacle Advisory Group

The year has begun in roller coaster fashion, and our team has been busy reading and digesting the many 2015 outlooks that come across our desks. But reading is the easy part, and now it’s our turn to distill the many facets of our process into a workable thesis that allows us to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns in this maturing market cycle.

2015-02-09 00:00:00 Surprises in 2014 and Expectations for 2015 by (Article)

Portfolio Manager and Principal Charlie Dreifus talks about the global slowdown in 2014 and its effects on interest rates in the U.S. and abroad, how data points for the U.S. economy and quantitative easing in the eurozone will play a big role in shaping the investment landscape in 2015, and how - with interest rates so low - wage inflation could have a positive impact on the markets.

2015-02-09 00:00:00 Outlook and Positioning by Alex Crooke (Article)

Alex Crooke, Head of Global Equity Income, provides a review of the Henderson Global Equity Income Fund's (HFQAX) recent performance and current positioning as well as providing an update on recent events in Europe. Alex notes that the action of the ECB (European Central Bank) starting a quantitative easing (QE) program as the most significant factor driving markets over the next 6 months. While he believes the program will be a slow modest start with monthly purchases around 60trillion Euros, it should gain traction over the next year or two.

2015-02-09 00:00:00 Bonds or Jeter? by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

In baseball, batters choose to either swing for the fences in hopes of a home run or go for more consistent base hits. These same principles are highly relevant to the current market environment and long-term investment success. So, see if you really want home run hitters in your portfolio?

2015-02-09 00:00:00 The International Ramifications of ECB QE by Andrew Bosomworth of PIMCO

By engaging in quantitative easing, the European Central Bank is pursuing its inflation mandate with a vengeance. Overall, we think the combination of quantitative easing, investment and lower oil prices will help eurozone growth reach approximately 1.3% in 2015. Global central bank balance sheets continue to expand: Although the Federal Reserve stopped purchasing assets in 2014, the Bank of Japan and now the ECB have stepped up buying bonds where the Fed left off.

2015-02-09 00:00:00 Leaning in to Headwinds and Headlines by Matt Dennis of Invesco Blog

There’s been no shortage of headlines focused on European volatility lately, and the current consensus is that Europe is the last place investors want to put money. The risk for investors in my mind, however, is that they follow the headlines and exit Europe now instead of leaning into the headwinds of consensus and building positions.

2015-02-08 00:00:00 The Eurozone: Collateral Damage by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Now we're watching another Greek drama that could have significant unintended consequences – far beyond anything the market has priced in today. Then again, maybe not. Maybe the market is right this time. When we enter unknown territory, who knows what we will find? Fertile valleys and treasure, or deserts and devastation? Today we look at the situation in Europe and ponder what we don't know. Greece provides a wonderful learning opportunity.

2015-02-07 00:00:00 The Power of Lower Oil Prices by Byron Wien of Blackstone

The Ten Surprises of 2015 have two prevailing themes. The more dominant is that the decline in the price of oil is generally a positive for the world. It puts money in the pockets of consumers everywhere and it is likely to force Iran and Russia to be more conciliatory in geopolitical negotiations because both countries are suffering not only from the drop in the oil price, but also from the sanctions imposed on them. The second theme is that in spite of notable economic problems in Europe, China and Japan, the United States equity market will have another good year.

2015-02-06 00:00:00 The Good News Behind GDP's Decline by Team of Guggenheim Partners

As the U.S. economy maintains its momentum and with the euro zone showing signs of improvement, all eyes are now on the Fed’s next move on rates.

2015-02-06 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter by Team of Grey Owl Capital Management

Over the past seven months the price of oil has plunged from a peak above $100/barrel to the mid-$40s today. This is just the most extreme version of the market volatility and divergence we began highlighting in our second quarter letter. A cautious investment stance remains the prudent choice.

2015-02-06 00:00:00 Metaphors and the message: Searching for deeper understanding of investment information by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

Metaphors have a powerful influence on how we think about things and even on the evidence we consider important. Investors should be aware of this influence and how it shapes the way we perceive various messages and data points. An important application is to focus on metaphors that are consistent with your investment goals and philosophy.

2015-02-06 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Not everyone is happy about the dollar’s recent strength; Debt negotiations between Greece and its creditors are off to a rocky start; Wages may finally be reflecting the strong U.S. employment picture

2015-02-06 00:00:00 Should I Stay or Should I Go: Global Diversification Could be 2015’s Winner by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

Last year ended on a weak note for US equities; and January continued the trend; Divergences will remain a theme and likely keep volatility elevated; US investors haven’t felt the need to diversify globally…they should

2015-02-06 00:00:00 Worried About US Stocks? by Joseph G. Paul of AllianceBernstein

After a jittery January, investors in US equities are gritting their teeth. But even if equities lose some steam after last year’s rally, we think company fundamentals and the interest-rate environment should support a resilient market in 2015.

2015-02-05 00:00:00 Macro View: Good Company, Bad Stock by Team of Guggenheim Partners

The U.S. economy is strong relative to other countries, but its equity valuations mean less upside potential for long-term investors than other areas of the world.

2015-02-05 00:00:00 The 2015 Economic Outlook: Opportunities and Risks by Derek Hamilton of Ivy Investment Management Company

In 2014, the global economy grew at roughly the same pace as the prior year. However, the composition was notably different. Developed market economies grew at a faster pace, while growth slowed in emerging market economies. The dollar strengthened and commodity prices weakened. Overall, we expect these trends to continue in 2015.

2015-02-05 00:00:00 Germany's "Time Pressure" Thesis; Noose Tightens on Europe by Mike Shedlock of Sitka Pacific Capital Management

Today German Chancellor Angela Merkel proclaimed Greek Diplomatic Offensive Is Failing. Merkel’s Christian Democratic-led bloc in parliament has agreed not to give in to any “bad compromise that “defacto adds up to a debt writedown,” Hans-Peter Friedrich, a deputy leader of the caucus, said in an interview today.

2015-02-05 00:00:00 Ditch the Good, Buy the Bad and the Ugly by Ben Inker of GMO

In a new quarterly letter to GMO's institutional clients, co-head of asset allocation Ben Inker provides background on why, "as the New Year begins, we in Asset Allocation find ourselves slowly selling down even our beloved U.S. quality stocks in favor of the various problem children of the investing world" ("Ditch the Good, Buy the Bad and the Ugly").

2015-02-04 00:00:00 Why global currency investing still makes sense by Michael A. Cirami, Eric Stein, John R. Baur, Matthew F. Murphy, Jr., Bradford Godfrey of Eaton Vance

Why global currency investing still makes sense – even amid a strong dollar We believe there are three reasons why many investors should remain committed to a diversified global currency strategy – even if the US dollar remains strong.

2015-02-04 00:00:00 The Opportunity in Volatility by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

While 2014 was characterized largely by the lack of volatility for most the year, and active management suffered as a result, we see those tables turning in 2015 as we expect this volatility to continue. As we sit today, we see an attractive entry point into the high yield market for active managers who can parse through the space to determine where there is value to be had, and where there are value-traps.

2015-02-04 00:00:00 Australia Coming Apart at the Seams by Mike Shedlock of Sitka Pacific

With the huge spotlight on Europe, Greece, the US Dollar, Canada, Switzerland, and China, it's easy to lose track of major things outside of mainstream attention. Like what? Like Australia. Australian Government on Brink of Collapse

2015-02-04 00:00:00 The Absolute Return Letter - January 2015 by Team of Absolute Return Partners

In large parts of the financial community there is a strongly held belief that the problems which caused the credit crisis back in 2008-09 have never been properly addressed, causing many to suspect that it is only a matter of time before the ‘end game’ is upon us – the credit crisis Mk. II so to speak. I will in the following pages look at various ways the end game might unfold but, before I do so, I shall return to one of the subjects I discussed in the January letter – the end of cheap oil – which caused a flurry of comments and questions.

2015-02-04 00:00:00 Developed Europe: Economy Trends Update by Team of Thomas White International

Thomas White International seeks superior performance by identifying undervalued securities in the U.S. and nearly 45 markets worldwide. Its flagship product is the Thomas White International Fund (TWWDX).

2015-02-04 00:00:00 What's Up? Quantitative Easing and Inflation by Chris Brightman of Research Affiliates

The Fed has ceased its program of quantitative easing (QE) and may soon begin to raise interest rates. Japan has embarked on an even more aggressive program of QE. The European Central Bank (ECB) has just begun QE. In a related development, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) recently stopped pegging the Swiss franc to the euro. Many investors are asking, “What does all this monetary turmoil mean?”

2015-02-04 00:00:00 Greek Drama by Chris Brightman of Research Affiliates

Alexis Tsipras, the new prime minister of Greece, was elected because he and the Greeks who voted for him oppose the austerity imposed by Greece’s creditors. Apparently, markets were shocked by this turn of events: Greek bond yields spiked and bank stock prices plunged as euros began flowing out of the country. But should this scene have been a surprise?

2015-02-03 00:00:00 Facing Reality by Questioning Some Common Beliefs by Ron Surz (Article)

I've decided to do something different in this quarterly commentary. I begin as usual with a review of first quarter market performance. Then I turn my attention to some commonly held beliefs that I regard as mistaken, as shown in the figure below.

2015-02-03 00:00:00 A Greek Morality Tale by Joseph E. Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

When the euro crisis began a half-decade ago, Keynesian economists predicted that the austerity imposed on Greece and the other crisis countries would fail. Now that it has, what is needed is not structural reform in Greece so much as a fundamental reform of the eurozone's design and policy frameworks.

2015-02-03 00:00:00 Deflation: Consternation Not Elation by Matt Lloyd of Advisors Asset Management

Deflation has been around ever since there was an excess supply of something or when demand had plummeted. The term “deflation” has now become mainstream in the general public’s lexicon, though the understanding of the declining economic growth that corresponds with it is often disregarded until it wreaks havoc on the consumer’s paycheck. When we see deflation permeating global economics, market movements and NFL games, the general public will become acutely aware of the other major impact from deflation, the increasing symbiotic nature of all the global economies.

2015-02-03 00:00:00 Seeking Value Amid Volatility by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Stocks struggled last week, and once again the losses were most pronounced in the United States. Financial markets remain highly volatile, with violent swings in the oil price and interest rates adding to the angst. With the Fed likely to start removing monetary accommodation, 2015 was bound to be a more volatile year than last.

2015-02-02 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will the data deluge signal economic weakness? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

This is a landslide week for economic data, and earnings season is in full swing. Last week’s Q4 GDP report and overall market tone has revived deflation concerns. I expect market participants to be watching each economic release closely, asking: Are there signs of incipient economic weakness?

2015-02-02 00:00:00 Why the Rest of 2015 May Not Look Like January by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

January was a rough month for equity markets. Volatility increased and stocks endured some notable setbacks. For the month, the S&P 500 Index fell 3.0% after declining 2.8% last week. We believe, however, that the same factors pushing stock prices lower will actually support longer-term economic growth. We expect markets will stabilize and recover in the coming months, and believe that by the end of 2015 equity prices will be at a higher level than where they began the year.

2015-02-02 00:00:00 Portfolio Strategies 2015: Investing in an Age of Divergence by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Everyone is worried about being blindsided by a significant downdraft in the markets when maybe we should be thinking about making sure we don’t miss a bull market somewhere. These and several dozen other topics were on the table when the Mauldin Economics writing team gathered here in Dallas for 3½ days of intensive talk, interviews, and planning. Today we’ll go over a few of the highlights of this last week, and I’ll share a few reasons to be optimistic about 2015.

2015-01-30 00:00:00 PIMCO Extends Its Dividend Suite With Two New Regional Strategies by Brad Kinkelaar, Adam Muller of PIMCO

As is the case with our other dividend strategies, we are unconstrained by benchmarks and focused on generating yield and capital appreciation by finding attractively valued companies that pay appealing dividends today and have an ability and willingness to grow dividends over time.

2015-01-30 00:00:00 The Next Act in the Greek Drama by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

The outcome of Greece’s election suggests a prolonged period of heightened tensions and difficult negotiations with the troika. Compromises are possible, but reform efforts could fall by the wayside.

2015-01-29 00:00:00 What's Up? Quantitative Easing and Inflation by Chris Brightman of Research Affiliates

In a recent piece from Research Affiliates, Chris Brightman, chief investment officer, provides "Central Banking 101," noting that just within the last several months the Fed has ceased its program of quantitative easing (QE) and may soon begin to raise interest rates, Japan has embarked on an even more aggressive program of QE and the European Central Bank (ECB) has just begun QE. In a related development, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) recently stopped pegging the Swiss franc to the euro. Many investors are asking, ?What does all this monetary turmoil mean??

2015-01-29 00:00:00 A Year to Think Small by Ted Baszler of Heartland Advisors

The current economic environment here and abroad could be setting up to benefit small-cap equities.

2015-01-29 00:00:00 Municipal Market Update: What's Ahead in 2015 by Joseph Deane, Julie Callahan, Sean McCarthy of PIMCO

Municipal bonds ended 2014 as one of the best-performing asset classes - buoyed by investors’ search for yield in a low interest-rate environment. For 2015, we are positioned cautiously for greater volatility in the fixed income markets. We currently prefer revenue-backed bonds over most general obligation (GO) debt, as these sectors typically benefit from dedicated revenue streams and do not have the pension challenges that many state and local governments face.

2015-01-29 00:00:00 3 Things - Fed Mistake, ECB QE, Housing by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve made their latest monetary policy announcement. Janet Yellen, the current Chairwoman, made several statements that led the markets to believe that they remain on course for increasing the overnight lending rate this year.

2015-01-28 00:00:00 Sell-off in Corporate Credit Creates Income Opportunities for 2015 by Payson Swaffield of Eaton Vance

In this insight, Payson puts last year?s bond market volatility and performance in perspective and points out potential investment opportunities across market sectors in 2015.

2015-01-28 00:00:00 European Central Bank Embraces QE, For Better Or Worse by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Last Thursday, European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi announced the much-anticipated launch of a sovereign bond buying program at the rate of ?60 billion ($70 billion) per month known as ?quantitative easing.? The amount of the monthly purchases was slightly higher than had been expected.

2015-01-28 00:00:00 Is There A Case For German Equities? by Team of GaveKal Capital

With the highest productivity in Europe, a sizeable current account surplus and rock bottom interest rates, is there a case to made for German equities? Germany's competitiveness, export performance and trade surplus should increase as the Euro weakens helping German exporters in markets outside of the Euro bloc.

2015-01-28 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: January by Christopher Molumphy, Michael Materasso, Roger Bayston, Michael Hasenstab, John Beck of Franklin Templeton Investments

After a much better-than-expected annualized growth rate of 5% in the third quarter of 2014, the stars would seem to be fairly much aligned for continued US growth in the months ahead. Job growth has continued apace, interest rates and energy prices have remained low, and consumer and business confidence has been buoyant. As we start the new year, the main areas of uncertainty would seem to be the pace of growth and the implications of recent price and employment trends for the timing of monetary tightening by the US Federal Reserve (Fed).

2015-01-28 00:00:00 Why European Euphoria Isn?t Likely to Last by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

The ECB took definitive action against deflation fears with a broad asset purchase program that impressed the markets. Here is a quick analysis of its impact on stocks and bonds beyond the short term.

2015-01-27 00:00:00 Key Issues for 2015: The View from Western Asset by Sponsored Content from Legg Mason Investor Services LLC (Article)

The U.S. represents a bright spot in a global recovery best characterized as "two steps forward, one step back." Sector and issue selection remain crucial in this environment, but so do macroeconomic strategies, which may help provide ballast when the pace of recovery slows.

2015-01-27 00:00:00 GDP, Strong Again by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

With all the focus on Europe in general and Greece in particular, it?s important to keep in mind that the US economy continues to move forward. After real GDP dropped in the first quarter of last year, some analysts were predicting another recession. By contrast, we said the drop was due to unusually harsh winter weather and the economy would rebound quickly.

2015-01-27 00:00:00 Is Cheap Oil Here to Stay? by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

The answer to that question depends on three key factors. Here?s a closer look at each.

2015-01-27 00:00:00 Global Equities 2015: Fasten Your Seat Belt for a Multi-Speed World by Virginie Maisonneuve, Mark Richards ? of PIMCO

We sat down recently with Virginie Maisonneuve, PIMCO?s CIO Global Equities, and equity macroeconomic analyst Mark Richards to discuss PIMCO?s global equity outlook for the coming year.

2015-01-27 00:00:00 Europe: A look at what lies ahead by Stephen Peak (Article)

Stephen Peak, Director of International Equities, comments on the recent ECB action of quantitative easing and how it provides another necessary ingredient for Europe to progressively improve during 2015. He sees the ECB action as a necessary component of what lies ahead for Europe – with the other components already in place that occurred through the second half of last year. He notes that while it has been a dramatic start to the year, the overall case for international markets looks decent and he believes that Europe will defy the doubters.

2015-01-27 00:00:00 No Deflating the U.S. Dollar by Burt White of LPL Financial

The latest leg up for the U.S. dollar has been driven by anticipation and arrival of QE by the ECB. The dollar has been strong for a number of reasons, all of them good things. Though not the end all and be all, currency is an important consideration when determining asset allocation.

2015-01-26 00:00:00 How Global Interest Rates Deceive Markets by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

When it comes to interpreting what current interest rates are telling us about the markets in various countries, I have to say that I do not think they mean what the market seems to think they mean. In fact, buried in that list of bond yields is ?false information? ? information so distorted and yet so readily misunderstood that it leads to wrong conclusions and decisions ? and to bad investments.

2015-01-26 00:00:00 Is Q-ECB a Favorable Development? by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

It?s not entirely clear what will happen in the near term, but the financial markets are already pushed to extremes by central-bank induced speculation.

2015-01-26 00:00:00 Unknown Unknowns by Michael Kayes of Willingdon Wealth Management

How accurate are annual predictions about the market? What are the key drivers for stocks this year? Read on to find out..

2015-01-26 00:00:00 The Consumption of Davos by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Europe?s central bank took bold action this week, consuming the conversation at the World Economic Forum?s Annual Meeting, but will it be enough?

2015-01-26 00:00:00 Global Economic Growth Should Gradually Begin to Improve by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets reacted to both positive and negative forces last week, but the positive factors won out in the end. Corporate earnings sentiment was lackluster and investors continued to focus on the negative effects of falling oil prices. However, markets experienced a significant tailwind from a more aggressive-than-expected quantitative easing announcement from the European Central Bank (ECB). For the week, the S&P 500 Index climbed 1.6%, snapping a three week losing streak.

2015-01-25 00:00:00 There?s More to the Gold Rally than European Market Fears by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Even though gold was down last year, it still ranked as the second-best-performing currency, following the U.S. dollar. The metal has risen about 10 percent year-to-date, and on Tuesday, for the first time since mid-August, it broke through the $1,300 mark.

2015-01-25 00:00:00 Equity Investment Outlook: More of the Same by Team of Osterweis Capital Management

We are of the view that the conditions for further gains in the bull market that began in early 2009 are still intact and that the conditions for a true bear market are not. The market could, of course, be subject to corrections ? it always is ? but we believe the trend is still upward.

2015-01-25 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The ECB Faces Fact; United States: Federal Budget Check-Up; Are Risk Management Techniques Adding to Market Risk?

2015-01-25 00:00:00 Decoding The ECB?S QE Paradox by Jeffrey Rosenberg of BlackRock

The ECB?s launch of its one trillion euro rescue plan this week has implications for investors everywhere. Jeffrey Rosenberg dissects two critical comments Mario Draghi made after the announcement.

2015-01-25 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

It's safe to say that US indices have been acting very differently over the past two months than they have at any other time in the past 3 years. This oscillating pattern of sharp falls and rebounds suggests equities are searching for direction. In the past 5 years, this has been a prelude to a change in trend.

2015-01-25 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time to Focus on Europe? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

This week?s potential themes all defy prediction. I do not know what will happen in Greece. I question the preliminary analysis of the ECB moves. The earnings stories have been a bit better than market forecasts, but with little reaction.

2015-01-23 00:00:00 3 Things - The Fed, Rig Counts And Employment, ECB by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

Yesterday, I wrote a fairly lengthy discussion on the biggest fear of the Fed is deflation. As I stated: "The biggest worry of the Federal Reserve, and frankly every Central Banker on the planet, is deflation. The reason is that deflation, as an economic pressure, is dangerous and once entrenched becomes difficult to break."

2015-01-23 00:00:00 U.S. Lodging: The Recovery Checks In for an Extended Stay by Ray Huang, Amit Arora of PIMCO

Relatively high occupancy levels should drive room rate growth in the hotel sector over the next several years, despite some supply entering the market. We see opportunities in certain segments, such as premium hotels and C-corporations, due to high barriers to entry and pricing power.

2015-01-23 00:00:00 ECB Review: Blowing on the Embers of a Reflationary Fire by Andrew Bosomworth of PIMCO

?Not to pursue our mandate would be illegal? is how Mario Draghi ended his last press conference of 2014. Mr. Draghi?s first press conference of 2015 began with the announcement of a quantitative easing (QE) programme that pursues the European Central Bank?s (ECB) inflation mandate with a vengeance. And rightly so, for the disinflationary trends in the eurozone had become all the more precarious as economic output and the price of oil continued to fall.

2015-01-23 00:00:00 Tsunamis Most Often Come Without Warning by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

On Thursday, January 15th, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) discontinued its three year effort to maintain its minimum currency floor of the Swiss franc. In a single day the move sent the Swiss Franc (SWF) climbing a massive 21% against the U.S. dollar and 41% against the euro. The move sent shockwaves of unprecedented ferocity through the massive foreign exchange (FX) market, which is by far the largest, and most highly levered, trading market in the world.

2015-01-23 00:00:00 Quarterly Review and Outlook by Van Hoisington, Lacy Hunt of Hoisington Investment Management

Commodity price declines were the symptom of sharply deteriorating economic conditions prior to the 1920-21 depression. To be sure, today?s economic environment is different. The world economies are not emerging from a destructive war, nor are we on the gold standard, and U.S. employment is no longer centered in agriculture and factories (over 50% in the U.S. in 1920). The fact remains, however, that global commodity prices are in noticeable retreat.

2015-01-22 00:00:00 Wait and See at the Bank of England by Mike Amey of PIMCO

UK growth looks to be sustainable, with encouraging domestic demand, though we need to see business investment continue to pick up. Although inflation hovering below the 1% lower tolerance band of the Bank of England (BOE) remains a concern, we think it actually gives the central bank welcome breathing room during a period of uncertainty for the global economy. Looking ahead, we see compelling investment value in the intermediate part of the UK yield curve, namely five- to 10-year bonds, as the BOE plays the waiting game.

2015-01-22 00:00:00 Fixed Income in 2015: Lower for Longer? by Jonathan Heckscher of Pennsylvania Trust

2014 surprised many bond investors as interest rates fell dramatically on the longer end while they rose as expected on the short end. The result was another solid year of returns for investors that remained in longer-duration bonds, and was adequate for most investors that shortened their duration.

2015-01-22 00:00:00 A few words on Europe by Tim Stevenson (Article)

Tim Stevenson, Director of Pan European Equities, comments on the recent revaluation of the Swiss Franc, political uncertainty and the ECB’s actions in terms of monetary easing. He also notes the recent outperformance of European markets and provides his near term expectations.

2015-01-21 00:00:00 Buy the Rumor, Sell the News by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Economic strength in the U.S. and the announcement of QE in Europe could spell the end of the recent bond rally.

2015-01-21 00:00:00 Swiss Franc's Surge = Chaos In Global Currency Markets by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Last Thursday, the Swiss National Bank stunned the financial world by decoupling the Swiss franc from the euro. This surprise move sent the franc up almost 40% against the euro in one day, although it didn?t close that high (up 19%). Nevertheless, many currency traders, banks and brokerages were left with devastating losses.

2015-01-21 00:00:00 Switzerland Wins As Its Central Bank Surrenders by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

If anyone had any doubt how severely the global economy has been distorted by the actions of central bankers, the "surprise" announcement last week by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to no longer peg the Swiss franc to the euro should provide a moment of crystal clarity.

2015-01-21 00:00:00 Saudi Succession by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was recently hospitalized with pneumonia. In light of his advanced age and declining health, an analysis of royal succession in Saudi Arabia is in order. We will begin with a history of Saudi kings and follow with an examination of the current Saudi succession, focusing on the Crown Prince and who remains as potential kings among the ?second generation? of the Saudi Royal Family. We will analyze the challenges facing the kingdom and how the succession issue will likely complicate the way these issues are resolved, and conclude with potential market ram

2015-01-21 00:00:00 Greece's Perilous Odyssey by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

At best, the black sheep of the eurozone family is a troubling source of uncertainty for policymakers and global markets?at worst, it?s a potential disaster.

2015-01-21 00:00:00 European Head Fake? by Burt White of LPL Financial

The much anticipated European Central Bank (ECB) policy meeting this week may include a quantitative easing (QE) program announcement. Although we would view a potentially bold QE program from the ECB as an incremental positive, the ongoing growth and deflation challenges in Europe leave us still with a strong preference for the U.S.

2015-01-21 00:00:00 Investor implications of QE by the ECB by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Is European Central Bank (ECB) head Draghi?s determination to purchase government bonds turning Europe into a banana republic? What are the implications not only for the euro and U.S. dollar, but gold, stocks and bonds? Our analysis shows that conventional wisdom may be proven wrong in more than one way.

2015-01-20 00:00:00 A Year-End Letter to Clients: How the World's Wealthiest Families Invest by Dan Richards (Article)

Here are the components of the year-end letter for 2014: An overview of 2014 performance; Some context on market valuations and how wealthy families are investing today; and brief thoughts for the period ahead.

2015-01-20 00:00:00 The Swiss Release the Kraken! by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

In an era when central bankers are supposed to be more open, collaborative, and communicative, what would make the Swiss National Bank decide to turn on a dime and shock the markets ? to release the Kraken, as it were? Note that in fact all hell did break loose. Rather than delivering hints accompanied by a few well-placed leaks, the Swiss decided it would be best to completely surprise the markets. It will be a long time before we get the full story on what must have been going through their heads as they reached the decision.

2015-01-20 00:00:00 5 Things To Ponder: A View Of A Correction by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

It has been a rough start to a new year as all of the gains following the end of the Federal Reserve's flagship "QE-3" campaign have been erased.

2015-01-20 00:00:00 The Politics of Economic Stupidity by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

In 2014, the world economy remained stuck in the same rut that it has been in since emerging from the 2008 global financial crisis. But we know how to escape our current malaise, which suggests that the big problem facing the world in 2015 is political, not economic.

2015-01-20 00:00:00 Despite Escalating Volatility, U.S. Fundamentals Remain Sound by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities declined for a third straight week, with the S&P 500 Index dropping 1.2%. Defensive areas such as utilities and telecommunications were the best-performing sectors, while the financial sector was hit the hardest. Notwithstanding last week?s decision by the Swiss National Bank to remove its currency peg, the fundamental backdrop has not changed much in recent weeks. We attribute the fall in equity prices to ongoing worries about the collapse in oil prices and the ripple effect on the global financial system.

2015-01-20 00:00:00 Swiss Surprise: National Bank Ends Currency Cap by Rob Waldner, Nicholas Wall, Ray Uy of Invesco Blog

On Jan. 15, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) unexpectedly abandoned its policy to cap the value of the franc at 1.2 euros.1 Over the past few years, the SNB has had to sell billions of francs to buy euros to prevent an excessive appreciation of the domestic currency - a too-strong currency could dent the country?s export business.

2015-01-20 00:00:00 Navigating the Oil Slick by Team of Calamos Investments

GDP growth for 2015 is likely to be 2.0%-2.5% globally and 2.5%-3.0% in the U.S. Oil prices may fall further but are likely to stabilize over the next several months. The ECB is likely to ramp up QE in the first quarter. These next months are likely to be volatile, but equities have more room to run. Low corporate borrowing costs and high dividend yields should encourage continued M&A and buyback activity, providing support to equity valuations. With the U.S. in the middle innings of the recovery, the case for secular and cyclical growth companies remains strong.

2015-01-20 00:00:00 Seeking Strong Int'l Growth Stocks Amid Mixed Macro Signals by Sponsored Content from Invesco (Article)

Previously stretched valuations have become reasonably constructive in Europe's stalled economy. China's structural reforms and corruption crackdown could be positive in the long term. The commodity cycle downturn hurts resource-dependent emerging markets but benefits net commodity importers.

2015-01-18 00:00:00 QE and the ECB: "Authorize" is a Slippery Word by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

The ECB will authorize a large QE program this week, but my impression is that the details will leave the ECB itself responsible for executing only a fraction of the announced program, with the remaining majority of the program (perhaps 60-75%) being nothing more than the option for each national central bank to purchase its own country?s government bonds, at its own discretion, and its own risk. Moreover, that option is likely to be limited to something on the order of 25% of the outstanding government debt of each respective country.

2015-01-18 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: The Message from Fourth Quarter Earnings by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

I do not know how earnings season will play out this week. My list of things to watch is good, but the market seems to be demanding a parlay of positive indications: Beating the whisper number for earnings; Beating the revenue expectations; Business growth ?organic, not from mergers or purchases; Solid ?quality of earnings? with no gimmicks or accounting moves; A credible, positive outlook.

2015-01-17 00:00:00 Clock Will Be Ticking for Greece?s New Government by Darren Williams and Dennis Shen of AllianceBernstein

Greece is holding early parliamentary elections on January 25. A victory for the anti-austerity Syriza party would probably trigger tense negotiations with the country?s official lenders and fresh volatility in Greek government bond markets. But the expected launch of ECB QE should mitigate contagion to the rest of the periphery.

2015-01-17 00:00:00 Looking Ahead: What the ECB Might Do by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

The next European Central Bank policy setting meeting could bring about a new quantitative easing program. Would it be able to keep the eurozone from falling into a deflationary trap?

2015-01-17 00:00:00 Palladium Was the Winner in 2014 by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Palladium, 2014?s top commodity, performed relatively according to script. For the year it was up 11.35 percent, compared to its 10-year annualized returns of 14 percent. Much like nickel, palladium was spurred by extenuating circumstances. Between January and June, a labor strike in South Africa, the world?s second-largest producer of the metal following Russia, halted production, which depleted reserves and sent palladium to a three-year high of $850 an ounce.

2015-01-17 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

?Francogeddon? ? ?tsunami? ? ?carnage? ? The hyperbole after the Swiss National Bank (SNB) unexpectedly ended its three-year currency ceiling peg to the euro yesterday was not misplaced. The immediate impact has been profound across a range of markets. The longer-time ripples are only beginning to become apparent. This is what we?ve gleaned so far:

2015-01-16 00:00:00 QQE2: Japan?s Monetary Banzai Charge by Chris Richey of Neosho Capital

In this Age of Monetary Policy, it is impossible to ignore the macro. As much as we would like to focus only on individual enterprises, the mind-boggling scale of $5 trillion of monetary intervention in the U.S., Japan, and Europe renders such cloistered thinking imprudent. Not only must Benjamin Graham?s enterprising investor understand individual stocks, but they must also be keenly cognizant of the role the world?s largest central banks actively play in the value of currencies, bonds, stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and derivatives of all kinds.

2015-01-16 00:00:00 The Year Ahead by Jack Rivkin of Altegris

It is once again time to put down in print in one place some pretty specific speculations on what could happen next year. We do this every year with the intent of trying to get investors to think about what could happen and factor that into their decisions on how to adjust their portfolios to take advantage of opportunities while at the same time being aware of the risks.

2015-01-16 00:00:00 Managed Futures, Quantitative Easing and Volatility by Jack Rivkin of Altegris

Mark Melin, writing for ValueWalk, picked out some of the points in our Altegris Perspectives piece, ?What to Expect in 2015??. Mark asked some questions expanding on topics scattered throughout the piece, specifically relating to Managed Futures and the persistence of dispersion; Quantitative Easing (QE) and the lack of continuing discussion about it; and Volatility and its impact on relative values.

2015-01-16 00:00:00 The Swiss National Bank?s Unpleasant Experience of Sleeping Next to an Elephant by Sachin Gupta, Thomas Kressin of PIMCO

On 15 January 2015, the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) unexpectedly exited its minimum exchange rate regime, which it had adopted back in September 2011 when it was fighting sharp appreciation of the Swiss franc in the midst of the eurozone sovereign debt crisis.

2015-01-16 00:00:00 2015 Economic & Capital Market Outlook by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

The domestic economy is growing at 3.0% to 3.5% pace. The budget deficit is plummeting and currently is less than 2.8% of GDP. The price of oil is in a freefall now below $55 per barrel and inflation is virtually nonexistent. The rate of unemployment is below 6.0%. These are idyllic conditions for any economy, especially five years after the largest financial crisis since the Great Depression. So, what?s the problem?

2015-01-15 00:00:00 Seizing Credit Opportunities When Oil Prices Are Sliding by Mark Kiesel, David Linton of PIMCO

?We believe we are moving into an extended period of lower oil prices, and we are actively managing our clients? energy exposure with an eye toward benefiting from recent events. Differentiation between the winners and losers across countries, sectors and individual companies is essential. We currently favor subsectors and companies with strong asset quality, high barriers to entry, solid production profiles and strong balance sheets and liquidity profiles.

2015-01-15 00:00:00 The Long Growth Drag From Financial Market Tinkering? by William De Leon of PIMCO

Central bankers and regulators have greatly underestimated the negative impact their actions may have on the economic ?multiplier.? Over the next two to three years this miscalculation may settle into a permanent drag on global growth. Forget fears of bloated central bank balance sheets and their potentially inflationary effects ? rather than generating credit in the consumer sector, much of that ?liquidity? is being used to meet new capital requirements.

2015-01-15 00:00:00 Outlook 2015: Global Equities by Alex Tedder of Schroders Investment Management

We see 2015 as being characterized by an ongoing divergence in global growth and monetary policy that will create attractive pockets of investment opportunity for stockpickers.

2015-01-15 00:00:00 Is the Euro the New Yen? Increasingly So by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

There is recent evidence that Europe is becoming more Japan-like in displaying negative correlations between its equity markets and its currency moves. This negative correlation in Europe is not a new phenomenon.

2015-01-13 00:00:00 European Populism by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

In our 2015 Geopolitical Outlook, one of the risks we discussed was the rise of populism. In this week?s report, we will focus on European populism. The recent attack on the employees of Charlie Hebdo in France makes this a timely topic. In this report, we will define populism, examine why populism has developed in the West, note the particular characteristics of European populism and identify the effects it could have on general geopolitics in the future. As always, we will conclude with potential market ramifications.

2015-01-13 00:00:00 Central Banks' Power Shortage by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

The Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank face significant limitations on what they can do to solve economic problems.

2015-01-13 00:00:00 Market Outlook 2015: Double Digit Gain...Thank You, May I Have Another? by K. Sean Clark of Clark Capital Management Group

The U.S. stock market finds itself in rare territory as we enter 2015. For only the sixth time in the past 150 years, the U.S. stock market has registered a double-digit gain for three consecutive calendar years from 2012 to 2014. We will try to answer the question: ?Can the U.S. stock market post a fourth year of double-digit gains??

2015-01-13 00:00:00 High-Yield and Bank Loan Outlook by Team of Guggenheim Partners

Investment-grade and high-yield spreads widen as energy plunges.

2015-01-12 00:00:00 Equity Market Surprise in 2015? by (Article)

45-year industry veteran Thomas S. White, Jr. reveals what he feels will surprise investors in 2015.

2015-01-12 00:00:00 Rethinking Europe?s Deflation Dilemma by Darren Williams of AllianceBernstein

December?s negative inflation print has led to a cacophony of headlines proclaiming that the euro area has finally succumbed to deflation. We think concerns about modest declines in consumer prices are overdone. But the structural weakness of nominal growth remains a major concern.

2015-01-12 00:00:00 International Equity Commentary: November 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

International equity prices saw modest gains during the month of November, helped by hopes of additional quantitative stimulus measures from the European Central Bank (ECB) as well as more robust U.S. economic data.

2015-01-12 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Equity Commentary: November 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

Emerging market equity prices saw a moderate correction during the month as markets in Latin America and Europe slipped. Countries where exports are dominated by energy and commodities saw the worst declines as oil prices continued to tumble.

2015-01-12 00:00:00 Europe at War by George Soros of Project Syndicate

Assisting Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression would have a stimulative effect not only on Ukraine, but also on Europe. That is why the EU ought to be even more committed to helping Ukraine than it is to imposing sanctions on Russia.

2015-01-12 00:00:00 Markets May Be Choppy, but Equities Should Advance in 2015 by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The year started off with equity markets experiencing volatile trading. Stock prices dropped sharply in the first few trading days before recovering, while oil prices plummeted and bond yields fell. Last week, U.S. equities lost ground and the S&P 500 Index declined 0.6%.

2015-01-12 00:00:00 A Five-Year Global Financial Forecast: Tsunami Warning by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

It is the time of the year for forecasts; but rather than do an annual forecast, which is as much a guessing game as anything else (and I am bad at guessing games), I?m going to do a five-year forecast to take us to the end of the decade, which I think may be useful for longer-term investors.

2015-01-11 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: A Message from the Bond Market? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

There are many reasons for some to own bonds, but the extremely low interest rates suggest something beyond that. I suggest a leveraged arbitrage with Europe and Japan. Please note: This is basically the opposite of the 1998 carry trade.

2015-01-10 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

After hitting new all-time highs in the days after Christmas, US equities have now fallen two weeks in a row, an auspicious way to start the new year.

2015-01-10 00:00:00 Bad News Is Good News: A Contrarian View of China Investing by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

I asked Xian Liang, portfolio manager of our China Region Fund (USCOX), to outline a few of the most compelling cases to remain bullish on the Asian giant.

2015-01-10 00:00:00 Five Things To Ponder: What This Way Cometh by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

This week's reading list is a smattering of reads about 2015. As a contrarian investor by nature, it was interesting to note how hard it was to find views that were NOT bullishly biased. It seems we may have now entered a market realm where Unicorns and Bears are only things of legend.

2015-01-10 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Greece's renewed drama is more noise than signal; U.S. job growth rolls merrily along

2015-01-09 00:00:00 A Tale of Two Earnings Seasons by Burt White of LPL Financial

The fourth quarter of 2014 will be a tale of two earnings seasons: the best of times and the worst of times. Despite a substantial drag from the energy sector, we expect another good earnings season overall. We expect more winners from cheap oil than losers, although the energy sector faces significant challenges.

2015-01-09 00:00:00 The Wild, Wild East: Risks and Opportunities in Russia by Chris Brightman, Vitali Kalesnik of Research Affiliates

Investors in Russian companies are exposed to political and economic risks that raise the odds of default. But Russia needs western capital and is willing to pay up for it. Long-term investments in Russian equities might prove rewarding.

2015-01-09 00:00:00 Pie in the Sky? by Team of Absolute Return Partners

January each year brings with it a host of forecasts, many of which are 'pie in the sky' - silly predictions on equity markets, interest rates and currency movements. We are not in that game, but this is the first time we have written a letter in January. Why? Because we think investors should be focusing on longer term structural trends when analysing the future.

2015-01-09 00:00:00 Grease and Greece by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

With the energy sector and Eurozone concerns dominating the financial industry?s outlook on 2015, see what RBA believes to be the real issues facing both Greece and Grease.

2015-01-08 00:00:00 Global Economic Outlook by Team of Northern Trust

Re-entry to the workplace after the holiday season isn't exactly like a satellite descending from earth's orbit.

2015-01-08 00:00:00 Europe?s Lapse of Reason by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

If Europe does not change its ways ? if it does not reform the eurozone and repeal austerity ? a popular backlash will become inevitable. Though Greece may stay the course following its early election later this month, democracy will not permit the economic madness to continue.

2015-01-08 00:00:00 Averages Won't Keep You Warm...or Wisely Invested by Jack Tierney of Invesco Blog

When investors build their portfolio allocations, they correctly look at long-term average returns for the asset classes they?re considering, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, cash and alternatives. After looking at the returns for asset classes below, though, an investor may be tempted to invest everything in emerging market securities and real estate investment trusts (REITs), as they have the highest average annual returns over the last 10 years.

2015-01-07 00:00:00 Action and Reaction by Team of Heartland Advisors

A summary of Newton?s third law may best describe the effects of the macro events that surrounded 2014 and brought it to a close: Nothing happens in a vacuum. The trick is to anticipate what the consequence of any action might be.

2015-01-07 00:00:00 2015 Investment Outlook: Emerging Markets Still Global Growth Drivers by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

We at Templeton Emerging Markets Group believe high economic growth rates will remain a key attraction of many emerging markets in 2015. Even with major economies like Brazil and Russia slowing down, overall economic growth in emerging markets during 2015 is expected to be comfortably in excess of developed markets, with China and India likely to drive the Asian region to particularly strong growth.

2015-01-07 00:00:00 A Quick Look at the World Economy by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

An assessment of where the different world economies stand, including a look at the United States, Europe and Asia.

2015-01-07 00:00:00 Health Care Stocks Pick Up in 2015 Where They Left Off in 2014 by Team of GaveKal Capital

Across two of the three regions in the MSCI World Index, the health care sector has been the best performer over the last year. In North America, measured in USD, health care stocks are up 29.13% over the last year, while they were up 5.96% in Europe and 2.53% in Asia/Pacific.

2015-01-07 00:00:00 Transition to the Cloud: Do-or-Die Time For Laggards by Paul Meeks of Saturna Capital

Saturna places considerable emphasis on technology, especially in growth strategies. Amana Growth and Sextant Growth Funds sport tech heavy allocations well in excess of their benchmarks.

2015-01-06 00:00:00 2015: More Investment and Profits, Higher Rates, Dollar and Stocks by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Contrary to popular opinion, business investment is a key factor behind the current recovery. Productive investments have boosted profits to record highs and, in turn, those profits have driven stock prices to record highs. They should continue to do so.

2015-01-06 00:00:00 Volatility May Bring Opportunity and Challenges by Burt White of LPL Financial

As the economic and market cycles progress, increased volatility[1] should be expected; however, none of our Five Forecasters show elevated reason for concern, indicating a recession is unlikely in 2015.

2015-01-05 00:00:00 Tips for Navigating The Market in 2015 by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

As the calendar turns to 2015, its time to assess the investing landscape and your investment portfolio to ensure youre well positioned for the New Year. The BlackRock List can help.

2015-01-05 00:00:00 Energy: Technology Disruption, but not to all by Matt Lloyd of Advisors Asset Management

Disruptive Technologies are the gold vein every entrepreneur seeks, but rarely find. Clayton M. Christensen, the patriarch of observing disruptive technologies, noted in his seminal book The Innovators Dilemma in 1997 that each breakthrough can be categorized as either disruptive or sustaining.

2015-01-04 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time for the January Effect? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

I am not a big fan of seasonal effects unless there is a logical underlying reason. The Presidential cycle logic rests upon taking unpopular actions early in the term while emphasizing economic stimulus later. That does not have much relevance in the current environment. The January tax loss effect is more persuasive, especially in years where there are some clear losers to sell. That was true in many sectors this year.

2015-01-04 00:00:00 Why the World Needs the US Economy to Struggle by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

In this weeks letter, my associate Worth Wray explores what a rising dollar means for emerging markets and what central banks are likely to do in response. Can they smooth the ride, or will it be the worlds scariest roller coaster? This letter will print long because of the number of fabulous charts Worth provides. I might make a brief comment or two at the end. Heres Worth.

2015-01-03 00:00:00 Flying High in the Sky, Looking for Opportunities in 2015 by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Savvy investors know to be patient with their holdings and not easily give in to the prevailing culture of instant gratification. Ive run multiple marathons over the years and am intimately familiar with the personal rewards of going the distance. A similar investing strategy can come with the same rewards.

2015-01-02 00:00:00 2015 Investment Outlook: EuropeThe Saga Continues by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

David Zahn, head of European Fixed Income and portfolio manager, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, gives his perspective on what he thinks may lie ahead as the eurozones drama continues into 2015.

2015-01-02 00:00:00 Where Will All the Workers Go? by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

In the years ahead, technological improvements in robotics and automation will boost productivity and efficiency, implying significant economic gains for companies. Yet, unless the proper policies to nurture job growth are put in place, it remains uncertain whether demand for labor will continue to grow as technology marches forward.

2014-12-31 00:00:00 Structural Reforms in Asia by Sharat Shroff of Matthews Asia

The global investment community continues to deliberate about the impact of quantitative easing stemming from Europe, and more recently from Japan, as a means to revive domestic demand. Meanwhile, several Asian economies are embarking on a different kind of stimulus, aimed at boosting long-term productivity and investment spending, through structural changes to the underlying economies.

2014-12-31 00:00:00 2015 Global Market Outlook: Exploring the Growth Landscape by Simon Fennell, Olga Bitel of William Blair

For much of 2014, the financial press was filled with dire headlines warning of global stagnation and deflation. These demoralizing reports seemed to paralyze policy makers. The facts behind the headlines, however, suggested the reality was not nearly as gloomy or pessimistic as it seemed. This paper outlines a more optimistic outlook for 2015 where the world economy is expected to remain resilient and where the outlook for sustainable corporate returns remains strong.

2014-12-30 00:00:00 2015 Investment Outlook - Stay Tactical! by Stephen Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

I wrote often throughout 2014 about the danger signals flashing from an excessive run up in debt and derivatives. We have a repeat of the scenario we suffered in 2008, only much worse. The budget recently passed by Congress put taxpayers on the hook for a 2008-like derivatives failure. The potential losses could exceed the previous financial meltdown as other world market conditions exacerbate a bad situation.

2014-12-29 00:00:00 Unsettling Interplay of Leading Indicators by Alexander Giryavets of Dynamika Capital L.L.C.

We review in details where we stand in terms of the US and World leading indicators and point to some of the unsettling recent developments which should be watched carefully over the coming months.

2014-12-29 00:00:00 Chicken Little Economics by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Its now been more than six years since the failure of Lehman Brothers when the sky fell in and economic panic seized the land. Since then, Chicken Little Economics has inflicted fear and loathing on many investors.

2014-12-29 00:00:00 The Lessons of Oil by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital

I want to provide a memo on this topic before I and hopefully many of my readers head out for year-end holidays. Ill be writing not with regard to the right price for oil about which I certainly have no unique insight but rather, as indicated by the title, about what we can learn from recent experience.

2014-12-27 00:00:00 Epic Price Reversal for Commodities in 2014 by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

If you want to know what happened in 2014 with regard to gold and oil, it?s important to appreciate the inverse relationship between the U.S. dollar and commodities.

2014-12-27 00:00:00 Perspective on 2015: Maintain Yours by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

In 2014, interest rates remained low, U.S. equities stayed strong, mid-year geopolitical events barely shook the markets, and a sudden, late-year drop in oil prices took many by surprise. What should investors expect in 2015?

2014-12-27 00:00:00 Sungarden's 2015 Investor Preview by Robert Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research

2014 is nearly behind us. And since we tend to not want to do things the way the Wall Street herd does, our 2015 outlook is formatted this way: we list a group of potential scenarios, and then assign our best guess probability that they will happen next year. This is about considering the possibilities, not making outright predictions.

2014-12-27 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: December by Christopher Molumphy, Michael Materasso, Roger Bayston, Michael Hasenstab & John Beck of Franklin Templeton Investments

With 321,000 jobs added, the initial US nonfarm payroll report for November was much stronger than markets expected and brought job growth this year close to levels last seen in the late 1990s. Added to upward revisions in September and October jobs data, the nonfarm payrolls data reinforces the view that whatever is occurring in the rest of the world, the US economy appears to remain firmly on track to record reasonably strong growth in the months ahead. And while fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth this quarter for the United States is expected to be lower than the third-quart

2014-12-24 00:00:00 Municipal Market Perspectives by Fixed Income Management Team of SMC Fixed Income Management

"Constructive but cautious is our 2015 mantra. Price appreciation has been a major contributor to portfolio performance as evidenced by the yield curve shift from the beginning of the year. 2015 market performance should largely be determined by income, with less support from declining yields.

2014-12-24 00:00:00 10 Stock Market Questions for 2015? by Burt White of LPL Financial

With 2015 almost here, this week we pose and respond to 10 key stock market questions for 2015. Look for more on these and other topics throughout the year.

2014-12-24 00:00:00 2015 Outlook: Watching Our Overweights by Team of Northern Trust

Asset class returns were much more differentiated this year than last, with yield-oriented assets and U.S. equities being the standout performers. We entered 2014 overweight risk tactically, but made several changes as the year progressed.

2014-12-23 00:00:00 Setting the Scene for 2015 by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Market prospects in the coming year would seem to hinge on four major considerations. One is geopolitics, inherently unpredictable but potentially disruptive, especially these days. Another is the Federal Reserves plan to raise interest rates along a gentle path beginning sometime in the middle of the year. Third is the perennial question of where value lies within and between markets. Fourth is the state of the U.S. economy.

2014-12-22 00:00:00 Come and Listen to a Story About a Man Named Jed by Ted Ake of Willingdon Wealth Management

For those that were around in the 1960s, the Beverly Hillbillies were a highlight of lowbrow humor. Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs played the theme song that I still sing today. The story of a poor mountain family that strikes it rich when oil is found on their land, made millions of us laugh as they moved to a huge mansion in Beverly Hills.

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

2014-12-22 00:00:00 The US Dollar and the Cone of Uncertainty by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

For the past two letters weve been looking at the global scene and trying to figure out which issues will help us outline scenarios for 2015. We finish the series today by looking at the impact of the dollar bull market on the probabilities for various 2015 developments.

2014-12-21 00:00:00 2014 In Review: A Good Year to Avoid Performance Envy by Robert Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research

2014 has been an odd year in many ways. Easy money has continued to be the rule for central governments across the world, and this has created false sense of security that is going on six years (following the end of the financial crisis-induced stock market decline that ended in March, 2009). To us, it was a year of waiting: for an end to the suppression of interest rates to aid retirees, for the U.S. Congress to do something productive, and for investors to start taking risk more seriously and stop falling for Wall Street come-ons.

2014-12-21 00:00:00 Iceberg at the Starboard Bow by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Market history, including the series of bubbles and crashes over the past 15 years, does not teach that valuation is irrelevant, but instead that a key distinction affects whether stability or instability is likely to prevail. When rich valuations are coupled with tame credit spreads and uniform strength across a broad range of market internals and security types, one can infer that investors remain tolerant toward risk. In that environment, risk premiums may be low, but theres no particular pressure for them to normalize, even if the speculation is driven by mindless yield-seeking.

2014-12-21 00:00:00 European QE Draws Attention to Irish Bonds by John Taylor and Dennis Shen of AllianceBernstein

Europes bond markets are starting to focus on the potential impact of ECB sovereign-bond purchases. While we expect QE to prompt a further narrowing of peripheral European sovereign-bond spreads, its important to stay focused on country fundamentals when selecting exposure.

2014-12-21 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

On balance, there seem to be good reasons to expect the indices to trade higher over the next two or three weeks. This period also corresponds to the holidays.

2014-12-20 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

I recently revisited the economic projections we made last January, as part of my performance appraisal. I dread the experience, as it tends to highlight my frailty as a forecaster. This year wasnt too bad, though. Allowing for the polar vortex, we got U.S. growth just about right. We had been skeptical about Europe, and thought that China would moderate. Our call on how the Federal Reserve would progress was spot on. However, a number of things that transpired during 2014 caught us quite by surprise. Here is our roster of the most unexpected events and trends of the year.

2014-12-20 00:00:00 The $330 Billion Global Tax Break by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

According to an article by Jon Markman titled The Saudi Stimulus, the global economy is looking to save hundreds of billions of dollars on an annual basis: "According to EIA data, consumption of crude oil during the latest 12 months was 6.9 billion barrels. So the price drop from $107/barrel at the June 2014 high to $59 today represents a total presumptive savings of $332 billion per year." In a time when China, the European Union and other major markets are trying to jumpstart their economies, a $330 billion tax break can only come as good news. It should help in stimu

2014-12-20 00:00:00 The Lessons of Oil by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital

I want to provide a memo on this topic before I and hopefully many of my readers head out for year-end holidays. Ill be writing not with regard to the right price for oil about which I certainly have no unique insight but rather, as indicated by the title, about what we can learn from recent experience.

2014-12-19 00:00:00 A Rising Tide Lifts Most Boats by Saumil Parikh, Daniel Ivascyn of PIMCO

PIMCO expects global growth to accelerate in 2015, reaching about +2.75% year-over-year, with the majority of this improvement due to the (predominantly supply-driven) decline in oil prices. However, there will be large differences in growth dynamics among countries. While fiscal and monetary policies in most developed countries will stimulate growth in 2015, the U.S. Federal Reserve will attempt to break from the pack.

2014-12-19 00:00:00 Testing the Limits of Monetary Policy Without Fiscal Union by Andrew Balls, Andrew Bosomworth, Lorenzo Pagani of PIMCO

Over the next 12 months, we expect eurozone growth to accelerate from the current annualised run rate of 0.5% to a still-very-weak pace of approximately 1%, while the ultra-low inflation tells us there is a demand problem. With the ECB set to expand its balance sheet over the cyclical horizon, the biggest risk to growth is if the ECB buys large quantities of government bonds but the governments do nothing. We expect to remain overweight European peripherals and overweight European corporate credit, with the focus on financials.

2014-12-19 00:00:00 Outlook for the Global Credit Markets in 2015 by Mark Kiesel of PIMCO

The combination of fundamentals, technicals, valuations and global central bank policies drives our overall constructive outlook for global credit in 2015. Economic growth dynamics, including an improving outlook in the U.S., along with likely changes in global central bank policies, continued energy price volatility and the potential for more shareholder-friendly actions by companies inform our credit views and strategies.

2014-12-19 00:00:00 Will 2015 Remain a Central Bankers World? by Andrew Pease of Russell Investments

Central bankers have dominated the outlook for global markets for the past five years. Theyve lowered interest rates to zero and implemented unorthodox policies like quantitative easing and forward guidance.

2014-12-18 00:00:00 Will the European Union Reindex Stock Markets to 100 points? by Wim Grommen of Transfer Solutions

The introduction of the euro brought the citizens of Europe many advantages, including uniformity. It would be nice if that uniformity also applied to the comparison of the various stock exchanges. An index point is not a fixed unit in time and does not have any historical significance, so the European citizen may therefore not attach any significance for the future. Comparing index points to their history and also comparing the various stock exchanges makes no sense. The time is ripe to reindex European stock exchanges to 100 points.

2014-12-18 00:00:00 Why We Expect Japan to Regain Favor with Investors by Robert Sharpe of Heartland Advisors

Despite the consensus view that Japanese stocks are inexpensive, investors have generally avoided the space, perhaps because Japan has disappointed in the past. We think the tide is about to change, and Portfolio Manager of the Heartland International Value Fund Robert C. Sharpe explains why.?

2014-12-18 00:00:00 A Tale of Two Markets by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

A solid run of domestic data has set the United States apart from a beleaguered world.

2014-12-18 00:00:00 2014 Year End Letter by John Osterweis, Matt Berler, Carl Kaufman of Osterweis Capital Management

As 2014 comes to a close, we want to provide an update on the energy sector. Energy has been making headlines as oil prices have reached unexpected lows. As discussed below, while the decline in oil prices is creating volatility in the energy sector, we believe that there continues to be opportunity in this sector and that the low oil prices should prove beneficial to U.S. and global economic growth.

2014-12-18 00:00:00 Volatility Response Featuring Alexander Reiss by (Article)

Volatility is a normal part of investing and in response long-term CEF investors may see opportunity, says Alexander Reiss of Stifel, Nicolaus.

2014-12-17 00:00:00 Plunging Oil Prices Spark Fears of Global Recession by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Today, we touch on several bases. No doubt everyone reading this noticed that stocks tanked last week, and now seem to be moving in lockstep with oil prices. While consumers welcome cheaper gas and heating oil prices, there is a growing fear that the collapse in oil prices may be a harbinger of a global recession.

2014-12-17 00:00:00 The Median Stock Is Once Again Negative YTD by Team of GaveKal Capital

The median year-to-date performance in the MSCI World Index with two weeks of trading left is -1%. The median stock was up 20% at this point last year and was up 13% at this point in 2012.

2014-12-16 00:00:00 Europe Flash PMI Better, Not Fabulous by Team of GaveKal Capital

While today's better than expected rise in the flash PMI indicator (black line) for the euro zone is a welcome surprise, it would seem that it will take quite a bit more improvement before we can reasonably expect substantial progress in the recovery of important metrics such as GDP or industrial production.

2014-12-16 00:00:00 More Turbulence Ahead? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Stocks and other risky assets experienced particularly violent moves last week, and given uneven global growth and the impending tightening of U.S. monetary conditions, I think we are likely to see more turbulence ahead. As I discuss in my weekly commentary, there are two forces driving the volatility.

2014-12-16 00:00:00 Oil, Employment, and Growth by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Last week we started a series of letters on the topics I think we need to research in depth as we try to peer into the future and think about how 2015 will unfold. In forecasting US growth, I wrote that we really need to understand the relationships between the boom in energy production on the one hand and employment and overall growth in the US on the other.

2014-12-15 00:00:00 Why Does Everyone Keep Asking Us About Great Value Buys in Europe? by Team of GaveKal Capital

While attending a conference last week and hearing questions and comments such as, "Europe's pretty cheap right now, isn't it?", "Where are you finding the best deals in Europe?", and "I bet you are finding a lot of value in Europe these days", we felt as though it might be appropriate/ necessary to quickly review where European valuations stand at the moment (short answer: the perception that an abundance of relatively inexpensive stocks may be found in Europe is largely misguided).

2014-12-15 00:00:00 A Sensible Proposal and a New Adjective by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

The FOMC is well-served by Richard Fishers proposal to consider terminating the current policy of reinvesting proceeds from Fed balance sheet holdings as those securities mature. That shift would not imply any rush to raise the federal funds rate or otherwise normalize policy rates.

2014-12-15 00:00:00 Falling Oil Prices Cause Jitters, but the Economy Stays on Track by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The dominant financial story last week was the concern over the continued slide in oil prices, which have dropped close to 40% so far this year.1 Worries about the growing power of the Greek opposition party Syriza, and the potential effect on European policy should it assume control over the government, also contributed to investor unease.

2014-12-14 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Crashing Oil Prices Change the Feds Course? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

The investment conclusion is opportunity in non-energy cyclical stocks, including basic materials, technology, and consumer discretionary. There are also energy names that are part of the knee-jerk reaction, but which do not necessarily suffer from lower oil prices. These include refiners and some of the large integrated oil companies that need to replace reserves. (Barrons also suggests oil tanker stocks storage needed!)

2014-12-13 00:00:00 Glancing Back but Focusing Forward by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

The US stock market appears set for further gains into at least the first half of next year, although risks are elevated with valuations no longer discounted and looming rate hikes. There is hope that ongoing easy monetary policy by global central banks can help to bolster economic activity is areas such as the Eurozone, China, and Japan. But we are somewhat skeptical about stock market performance in developed international countries and favor emerging markets to start out the New Year.

2014-12-13 00:00:00 China Wants to Conduct the World's High-Speed Rail Market by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The Chinese want to return to the railroad business. This time, however, they strive to become the world?s leading go-to provider of high-speed rail and exporter of mass transit technology.

2014-12-13 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The Fed prepares to take a "considerable" step. We could be in for another round of emerging market volatility.

2014-12-13 00:00:00 Bulls, Bears and Pigs by Robert Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research

So, the global stock markets have your attention. Whether you are focused on declining economic prospects in Europe, Emerging Markets weakness or the recent slide in the U.S. stock market, we are all forced to contemplate something that may now be driving up beside us, not merely in the rear-view mirrora stock bear market.

2014-12-12 00:00:00 Oil, Roil, and Turmoil by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The free fall in oil prices is roiling markets. There are near-term benefits of lower energy prices, but darker clouds are gathering for the global economy.

2014-12-12 00:00:00 Asia, Looking to 2015 and Beyond by Robert Horrocks of Matthews Asia

Over the next decade, I expect Asias econo-mies to continue to raise living standards and to narrow the income gap between its own citizens and those in the U.S. or Europe.

2014-12-12 00:00:00 Europe: Look for Value, Expect Volatility by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Greeces ruling coalition is at risk of losing its grip on power, which sent the countrys stocks and bonds dramatically down. Is this the beginning of another Greek crisis?

2014-12-11 00:00:00 European Small-Caps: Focus on Companies, Not Countries by Liliana Castillo Dearth, Alan Connery of AllianceBernstein

Growth in the euro area has slowed sharply, but thats not true for all companies in the region. We think worries about Europes recovery may offer investors the chance to buy quality, small-cap stocks for less than they would pay for similar-caliber companies elsewhere.

2014-12-10 00:00:00 2015 Year Ahead: Continuing to Deflate the Global Credit Bubble by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

Stock market leadership virtually always changes when volatility significantly spikes, and the 2008 bear market was no exception. Credit-related asset classes led the markets for the decade prior to 2008 as the global credit bubble inflated. Since 2008?s bear market, however, leadership has significantly changed and credit-related asset classes have generally underperformed plain, old-fashioned stocks.

2014-12-10 00:00:00 Dealing with Divergence by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

From the Age of Recovery to the Age of Divergence, we look forward to 2015 with an overview of the investment world and explore the different themes that will matter in the New Year.

2014-12-10 00:00:00 Follow the ECB Compass by Eve Tournier of PIMCO

As the European Central Bank continues to expand its balance sheet to counter low growth and ?low inflation, we believe European duration should remain relatively well-anchored and European assets should be well supported. Looking ahead, in a world of low yielding European core rates, we believe credit will continue to attract investors. We continue to see spread compression opportunities in peripheral sovereign, fundamentally improving banks and high yield.

2014-12-10 00:00:00 November Jobs Report Wasn't So Great After All by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Last Fridays unemployment report for November was a stunner, at least on the surface. US businesses ramped-up hiring across the board in November, putting 2014 on pace to be the best year for job growth since 1999.

2014-12-09 00:00:00 Germany and France: Looking for Quality in the Eurozone by Jim Harvey, Dilip Badlani of The Royce Funds

While concerns over economic growth in Europe have been escalating, Royce International Micro-Cap Fund Portfolio Managers Jim Harvey and Dilip Badlani are finding small-cap opportunities with long-term benefits.

2014-12-09 00:00:00 Designing Balanced DC Menus: Considering Equity Investments by Stacy Schaus, Ying Gao of PIMCO

Defined contribution investment lineups typically provide numerous equity choices but still may lack adequate diversification and return potential. Participants may benefit by accessing high-growth markets such as emerging markets and tapping in to dividend-paying stocks. Retirement outcomes could improve further by including portfolios structured using fundamental measures rather than market capitalization.

2014-12-09 00:00:00 An Improving Economy Justifies a Pro-Growth Investment Stance by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities advanced again last week with the S&P 500 Index climbing 0.4%, extending its winning streak to seven weeks. Investors responded well to improving economic data and focused on the positive aspects of declining oil prices. In China, equities moved sharply higher and notched their best weekly performance in seven years as investors speculated that Chinese officials were on the verge on enacting additional policy support.

2014-12-09 00:00:00 Hungary's PM: Madman or Geopolitical Genius? by Kaisa Stucke of Confluence Investment Management

Hungarys Prime Minister Viktor Orban is one of the first European leaders to turn friendly toward Russia, noting that geopolitics are changing and Eastern European countries should redefine their international policies according to these changes. This report explores the differences between the rules of the geopolitical game being played by Hungary, the West and Russia. We will describe the history of Hungarys balancing act between the powers of the East and West and how this history affects its current politics. We will discuss the most likely outcomes and their international si

2014-12-08 00:00:00 Inflection Points by Guy Scott of Janus Capital Group

U.S. equities surged over the last six years as the economy regained its footing after the financial crisis, and companies underwent substantial cost cuts to improve profitability. Today, many international companies and regional economies are early in the process of making similar positive, transformative changes.

2014-12-07 00:00:00 Macroeconomics Finally Gets Interesting by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

2015 may be the year that macroeconomics really becomes interesting again, if it hasnt already. After a long period of relatively coordinated central bank policies and remarkably low volatility, the macro scene is becoming more dynamic. Thats great for those who live and die by dramatic long-term shifts in global markets, but it should be terrifying for emerging-market policymakers, currency carry traders, Texas oil men, and, frankly, the average investor. King Volatility is back on his throne.

2014-12-06 00:00:00 Dont Let Market Motion Sickness Keep You From Missing the Boat by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Despite all of the good news, the recent threat of market volatility, which weve seen plenty of in commodities and emerging markets, seems to have pushed close-to-retirement folks away from equity securities. The August and October downturns, not to mention the decline in gold and oil prices, have understandably heightened consumer fears.

2014-12-06 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Oil isn't the only commodity enduring a significant correction; The European Central Bank moves closer to QE; The U.S. is nearing full employment, but inflation holds the key to monetary policy

2014-12-06 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time for a Santa Claus Rally? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

The schedule for data releases is lighter than usual. The calendar year is about to end. The market continues to set records. The stage is set for the annual question: Will there be a Santa Claus rally in stocks?

2014-12-05 00:00:00 Outlook 2015: Multi-Manager by Marcus Brookes, Robin McDonald of Schroders Investment Management

Investors need to prepare for lower returns in the next few years, with a focus on capital preservation appearing prudent in the current environment.

2014-12-05 00:00:00 The Dark Side to Falling Oil Prices by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The slump in oil prices could stifle global growth and force some oil-dependent economies into recession.

2014-12-05 00:00:00 2015? by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Year-end letters are always difficult to write because there is a tendency to discuss the year gone by, or worse, try and predict what is going to happen in the New Year. I mean really, at this time last year who predicted Russia would invade Crimea, that ISIS would effectively take over a significant portion of Iraq, or the Republicans would sweep Congress.

2014-12-05 00:00:00 Three Reasons Why Municipal Bonds May Offer More Than Just Tax-Exempt Income by Stephanie Larosiliere of Invesco Blog

Tax-exempt income historically has been the main reason why investors buy municipal bonds. As a result of newer tax laws, including several provisions that expired at the end of 2013, tax bills for high-income earners have increased in recent years.

2014-12-05 00:00:00 A Mix of Central Bank Action and Oil by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Central bank action and plunging oil prices have been wielding big influence over market movements in recent months. Russ K explains why the impact is likely to continue.

2014-12-05 00:00:00 The Great Escape?? by Tony Crescenzi of PIMCO

Since the financial crisis, the Fed has engaged both conventional and unconventional tools in a colossal effort to smooth the deleveraging process, help put Americans back to work and boost wage growth. The Fed has achieved two out of three "escapes": 1) Escape from a liquidity trap: Get banks to lend. 2) Escape from quantitative easing: Stop the bond buying program. 3) Escape from the zero bound: Hike the policy rate above zero. Over the longer term, portfolios should be positioned for low policy rates not only in the U.S., but also in Europe and Japan.

2014-12-05 00:00:00 Are Oil Prices Ready to Break out of the Trough? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

American business holds up the rest of the world.In ancient Greek mythology, the Titan Atlas was charged with holding up the world. Today, that task largely falls on the shoulders of American businesses.

2014-12-05 00:00:00 Why OPEC Will Tolerate Cheap Oil by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

Despite falling oil prices, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) voted on November 27th not to cut production in order to boost prices. The key to this decision appears to have been the attitude of Saudi Arabia, which has long been the first among equals in the coalition.

2014-12-04 00:00:00 Exchange Rate 101: A Primer For International Investors by Bryce Fegley of Saturna Capital

A solid grasp of exchange rates and how they impact various asset classes can help international investors make better-informed decisions. The asset class most likely to be impacted negatively by a strengthening dollar is non-dollar fixed-rate bonds.

2014-12-04 00:00:00 What's Next for the Dollar and Gold? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Who would have predicted oil prices in the sixty-dollar range a year ago? Something is not right about these markets. Our take: dont get burned when markets add fuel to the fire. Heres what to watch out for as we head into 2015; ignore at your own peril.

2014-12-03 00:00:00 Unintended Consequences of Staying Early Termination Rights by William De Leon, Tracey Jordal, Libby Cantrill, Courtney Walker of PIMCO

The topic of too big to fail has been an intense area of focus for policymakers and market participants, and for good reason: Everyone has a vested interest in avoiding a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis and its corresponding aftershocks.

2014-12-03 00:00:00 Can Stocks Deliver the Goods in 2015? by Burt White of LPL Financial

We believe stocks will deliver mid- to high-single-digit returns in 2015. We expect earnings, and not valuations, to do the heavy lifting in producing potential stock market gains for investors in 2015. Monetary policy is in transit in 2015, when stocks will face a shift from the very loose monetary policy of the Federal Reserves (Fed) quantitative easing (QE) program to an environment in which the Fed begins to hike interest rates.

2014-12-03 00:00:00 Digging Deeper for Market Valuations by Robert McConnaughey of Columbia Management

Nobody buys a house without looking inside. And nobody should make investment decisions without doing their due diligence on the underlying fundamentals. But that is exactly what happens in an investment world increasingly driven by high-level asset allocation and utilization of passive, index-based products or strategies. Pundits look at aggregate index data and declare one country cheap (or some other action-inducing characteristic) vs. another. Maybe they are right, but maybe they are missing something too.

2014-12-03 00:00:00 A Brave New World by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

In the the last two Absolute Return Letters I have argued why one should expect global GDP growth to be below average over the next decade or so, why interest rates should, as a consequence, remain low and why equity returns should also disappoint. Not as in negative returns but below the levels we have grown accustomed to over the past 30 years. If you have read those two letters, none of this should come as a surprise.

2014-12-03 00:00:00 Outlook 2015: Convertible Bonds by Martin Kuehle of Schroders Investment Management

The equity market is likely to be the main driver of convertibles in 2015, when diligent research will once again be crucial.

2014-12-03 00:00:00 The ECBs Shifting Regimes by Andrew Bosomworth of PIMCO

The European Central Bank (ECB) is likely to commence a broad-based asset purchase programme, i.e., quantitative easing (QE), in the first quarter of 2015. As it stands, the eurozone is stuck in a liquidity trap, the risk of deflation is rising and inflation expectations are deviating from their long-term anchor. With the private sector deleveraging and the policy rate near zero, additional easing will require expanded asset purchases.

2014-12-02 00:00:00 Making Sense of Dollar Strength by Bradley Krom of WisdomTree

Over the last several months, investors and economists alike have started to take note of the broad-based appreciation of the U.S. dollar. However, we believe the magnitude of this years move tells only a portion of the story. In our view, this summers rally does not represent a correction or near-term adjustment, but rather the continuation of a broader trend that started in the middle of 2011.

2014-12-01 00:00:00 Is Bitcoin the Future? by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Worth Wray has written this weeks letter as a summary of what we know about Bitcoin. Delving into its history and bringing us up to date, he also offers a glimpse of the future. At the end of the letter I offer a few of my own thoughts on the relationships among gold, fiat money, Bitcoin, and financial transactions. If nothing else, Bitcoin offers a provocative way to think of the future of money.

2014-12-01 00:00:00 Monetary Tectonics by John Hathaway of Tocqueville Asset Management

John Hathaway, manager of the Tocqueville Gold Fund (TGLDX), examines in his latest piece "the very meaningful difference between the dollars relative and absolute strength, and look(s) at the widening fissures beneath the faade of strength fissures that, as yet, appear to have had little impact upon the investment consensus."

2014-12-01 00:00:00 Hard-Won Lessons and the Bird in the Hand by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

The S&P 500 is more than double its historical valuation norms on reliable measures (with about 90% correlation with actual subsequent 10-year market returns), sentiment is lopsided, and we observe dispersion across market internals, along with widening credit spreads. These and similar considerations present a coherent pattern that has been informative in market cycles across a century of history including the period since 2009. None of those considerations inform us that the U.S. stock market currently presents a desirable opportunity to accept risk.

2014-11-29 00:00:00 Giving Thanks to the Innovators and Creators of Capital by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Im grateful to live in a society that monetarily rewards such innovation and problem-solving, in addition to the intrinsic rewards entrepreneurs receive for improving the lives of others.

2014-11-26 00:00:00 The Tortoise and the ECB by Harley Bassman of PIMCO

It is curious that the ECB continues to slumber while the eurozones trading partners move steadily ahead. While not a certainty, it seems highly unlikely that the ECB will indefinitely allow its main trading partners to competitively devalue versus the euro. And since there is no reason to reinvent the wheel, Europes policymakers will likely unveil a familiar-looking and expansive QE policy designed to accelerate asset velocity and, in turn, reflate their equity market.

2014-11-26 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Team of Northern Trust

Someone observed recently that the holidays are starting late this year, as the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is shorter than usual. You could have fooled me; judging by store displays and TV advertising, the commercial side of the season is already two months old.

2014-11-26 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: November by Christopher Molumphy, Michael Materasso, Roger Bayston, Michael Hasenstab & John Beck of Franklin Templeton Investments

Steady improvements in US employment and relatively good economic growth figures mean that debate over when the US Federal Reserve (Fed) will begin to tighten policy continues to be the order of the day. US job growth increased at a fairly brisk pace in October, and numbers for the previous two months (already good) were revised higher. Since the start of 2014, US employers have added more than 220,000 workers on average each month, which should be sufficient to sustain economic momentum after an initial reading showed annualized gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 3.5% in the third quarter

2014-11-25 00:00:00 Why Cant Investing Be as Simple as Going from Here to There? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

After traveling more than 20,000 miles over the last month, my mind is overflowing with strong impressions gained from my travels. The richness of the culture, the beauty of the lands, and the friendliness of the people in Australia and New Zealand cannot be overstated. As Americans, we tend to think of ourselves as the youngest kid on the block with a freshness and youthfulness that puts Europes stodginess to shame. Yet down under there is a land as big as the USA with a history half as long and economies just in the earliest stages of expansion.

2014-11-25 00:00:00 Reflections on the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Part 2 by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Last week, we began our two-part series on the fall of the Berlin Wall with an examination of the end of Marxism. In this report, we will examine the rest of the important consequences from the fall of the Berlin Wall. These are: the Collapse of the U.S.S.R., the Onset of the U.S. Unipolar Moment, and the Impact of German Unification. We will conclude our comments with potential market ramifications.

2014-11-25 00:00:00 Middle East/Africa: Regional Economic Review - Q3 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

Despite continuing geopolitical tensions and subdued oil prices, the Middle East and Africa region had a largely positive third quarter. South Africa, the largest economy in this region, saw its labor problems diminish while Egypt reported a string of encouraging data, signaling that it is steadily recovering from a long phase of political and economic turbulence.

2014-11-25 00:00:00 Developed Europe: Regional Economic Review - Q3 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

Developed Europe remained bogged down by deflationary conditions all through the third quarter. Annual inflation in the regions 18-member single-currency bloc, the Euro-zone, slipped from 0.4 percent in July to 0.3 percent in September, its lowest level since October 2009.

2014-11-25 00:00:00 Jeremy Siegel - Fair Value for the S&P 500 is 2,300 by Robert Huebscher (Article)

During the post-financial crisis period, no person has been more accurate at forecasting U.S. equity market returns than Jeremy Siegel, the Russell E. Palmer Professor of Finance at the Wharton School. In this year's interview, he explains why the fair value of the S&P 500 is 11% higher than its valuation today.

2014-11-25 00:00:00 Thanksgiving Recipe by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Begin with a turkey chilling in a sink for a few hours. Mix in the Bank of Japans shock and awe announcement of a week ago. Add the U.S. unemployment claims that are at a 14-year low and stir well, include housing prices that are better by +6%, fold in the Leading Economic Indicators advancing by 7%, the ECB announcement by Draghi about a bazooka of Quantitative Easing (QE), and the Thanksgiving dinner result . . . new highs for equity prices!

2014-11-24 00:00:00 On the Verge of Chaos by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

In this weeks letter were going to explore some of the ramifications of the currency war that Japan is precipitating. It is more than just Germany, Korea, and China having issues and needing to contemplate their own competitive devaluations. If the yen goes too far too fast, there will be geopolitical repercussions far beyond the obvious first-order connections.

2014-11-24 00:00:00 A Most Important Distinction by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Quantitative easing only works to the extent that default-free, low interest liquidity is viewed as an inferior holding. When investor psychology shifts toward increasing risk aversion which we can reasonably measure through the uniformity or dispersion of market internals, the variation of credit spreads between risky and safe debt, and investor sponsorship as reflected in price-volume behavior default-free, low interest liquidity is no longer considered inferior. Its actually desirable, so creating more of the stuff is not supportive to stock prices.

2014-11-24 00:00:00 Japan Dips into Recession as Japan, Inc. Profits Set New Highs by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

When investors buy Japanese equities, they dont really buy a slice of that economy; they buy shares in corporations that operate both in Japan and around the world. Japan, Inc. (i.e., Japanese corporations) is showing a profit picture that differs dramatically from the countrys economic growth rate.

2014-11-24 00:00:00 Supportive Outlook for Credit Conditions in Europe by John Pattullo (Article)

The market backdrop in Europe remains familiar; low economic growth, low inflation, relatively low defaults and volatility with the odd spike. This environment is attractive for corporate bond investing. Seasonals will soon start to kick in, helping credit markets to rally into Christmas and the early months of the new year. However, going forward bouts of volatility should be expected. This year alone there have been two volatility spikes; a 'valuation shakeout' in August and a 'position shakeout' in October. John Pattullo explains what lay behind each event.

2014-11-24 00:00:00 International Equity Commentary: October 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

International equity prices saw large price swings during the month of October as fears about slower global growth led to an appreciable decline during the first two weeks. Equity prices recovered subsequently as better than expected U.S. economic data helped allay global growth fears.

2014-11-24 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview: October 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

Regional growth trends diverged further during the month of October as data from the U.S. and China were positive, while activity in the Euro-zone remained subdued. The U.S. economy expanded faster than expected during the third quarter, helped by higher government spending.

2014-11-24 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Equity Commentary: October 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

Emerging market equity prices turned volatile during October as concerns about weak global growth and the impending close of bond purchases by the U.S. Federal Reserve unnerved investors. Still, some of the large emerging markets in Asia rebounded strongly during the second half of the month.

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.

2014-11-24 00:00:00 Let's Finally Fix The CBO by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

If they came back today, the Founders of the United States wouldnt recognize the government they created 225 years ago. They put safeguards in place separation of powers, a bicameral legislature and reserved powers for the states to prevent it from growing so large.

2014-11-24 00:00:00 The Clock is Ticking in Switzerland by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

For most of my career in international investing, I had always placed a great deal of faith in Switzerland's financial markets. In recent years, however, as the Swiss government has sought to hitch its wagon to the flailing euro currency and kowtow increasingly to U.S.-based financial requirements, this faith has been shaken.

2014-11-23 00:00:00 Chinas Monetary-Policy Surprise by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate

In economic policy, as in most other areas, actions speak louder than words. By cutting its policy benchmark interest rates, the Peoples Bank of China has underscored the tactical focus of Chinese governments stabilization policy: it aims to set a floor of around 7% on GDP growth.

2014-11-23 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Are Investors Too Complacent? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

There is no investment edge from repeating what you read in the morning paper. Here was my list still worth watching: Geo-political that is not on the current radar a true black swan. An increase in the PCE index that was not accompanied by strong economic growth. Wage increases that were not accompanied by strong economic growth. Declining profit margins that were not accompanied by strong economic growth and increased revenues. An increase in the chances for a business cycle peak (the official definition of a recession). Remote at this point. An increase in financial stress t

2014-11-22 00:00:00 Solar Energy Powers Record Silver Demand by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Silver demand in the fabrication of solar panels is set to outpace photography, if it hasn?t already done so.

2014-11-22 00:00:00 Rolling AlongFor Now by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

We remain optimistic that US stocks will likely continue to move higher, but warn against getting overly complacent as a pullback is always a possibility. The US economy is improving, the Fed is erring on the side of dovishness, and both corporate and consumer confidence are growing. The fall in oil should be a net positive for the US and global economy, and we are in a traditionally seasonally positive time of the year for equities. Global economies remain weak, but we are seeing a glimmer of hope from stepped up responses from foreign central banks.

2014-11-22 00:00:00 A Tale of Two Worlds by Doug MacKay and Bill Hoover of Broadleaf Partners

We are in a Tale of Two Worlds. One worlds success is highly dependent on the outlook for oil and other commodities, while the others is far less exposed and perhaps even a beneficiary of a more bearish climate. Commodity dependent countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and Australia are hurt by falling oil prices, weak global demand and new sources of supply, while the United States, with a far larger consumer driven economy, experiences an overall net benefit, as perhaps seen in earnings from the likes of Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Lowes in recent days.

2014-11-22 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Mixed fortunes drive the outlook for holiday spending; The Fed and Bank of England are working harder to achieve consensus; The dollar has a long way to strengthen before it impairs U.S. growth

2014-11-21 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Opportunity Still Emerging by Burt White of LPL Financial

We believe emerging markets (EM) fundamental conditions are set for improvement in 2015, based on our outlooks for economic growth, earnings, and policy. Valuations are compelling and EM may be situated to recapture some of their relative losses from a technical perspective, particularly in Asian markets. However, somewhat mixed fundamental and technical pictures suggest a better opportunity may be forthcoming

2014-11-21 00:00:00 If German Yields Break To New Lows, European Cyclicals Will Likely Follow by Team of GaveKal Capital

European cyclicals continue to be the weakest segment of developed global equity markets, and there doesn't appear to be much sign of that changing. We refer to the extremely strong relationship between German 10 year bond yields and the relative performance of European cyclical sectors.

2014-11-21 00:00:00 The Implications of Easing by Mark Mobius, Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

Just as the US Federal Reserve (Fed) announced the conclusion of its long-running quantitative easing (QE) program, the Bank of Japan surprised markets by announcing the expansion of its own easing regime. Mark Mobius, Executive Chairman, Templeton Emerging Markets Group, and Michael Hasenstab, Chief Investment Officer, Global Bonds, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, weigh in on the implications of these central bank actions, as well as current European Central Bank (ECB) policy, and what they could mean for investors on both the equity and fixed income side.

2014-11-21 00:00:00 Still A Winning Hand by Scott Mather, Mark Kiesel, Mihir Worah of PIMCO

The U.S. is finally enjoying a self-sustaining economic recovery, but slow global growth remains a concern and financial markets are bouncing up and down by the day. So what exactly does this U.S. recovery mean for investors?

2014-11-21 00:00:00 Falling Gas Prices Fuel Holiday Cheer by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Rising equities and falling prices at the pump will bring holiday cheer, but be aware of potential headwinds as we head into 2015.

2014-11-20 00:00:00 Outlook 2015: European Equities by Rory Bateman of Schroders Investment Management

Monetary policy remains loose in Europe but governments could do more to boost demand. Meanwhile, the weaker euro and stronger banking sector should help support European equities in the coming year.

2014-11-20 00:00:00 The Abenomics Death Spiral by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

As Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe has turned his country into a petri dish of Keynesian ideas, the trajectory of Japans economy has much to teach us about the wisdom of those policies. And although the warning sirens are blasting at the highest volumes imaginable, few economists can hear the alarm.

2014-11-19 00:00:00 Global Economy Worsening, But America is on Top by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

With President Obama making controversial moves on several fronts this month, it is tempting to go all politics this week. The president is threatening to grant defacto amnesty to five or six million illegal aliens, via Executive Order, even though he knows this is unpopular among the American people. Its as if hes in full denial regarding the landslide midterm election results.

2014-11-19 00:00:00 Next 12 Month Sales Estimates For MSCI North America Lowest Since 2009 by Team of GaveKal Capital

Last week we looked at how sales growth estimates for the next fiscal year are now negative for five of the 10 MSCI World Index sectors. Today, we are again looking at estimates but this time from a forward 12-month perspective. Sales for the MSCI World Index are only expected to grow by 3% over the next 12 months according to estimates (blue line below). This is about 2% lower than expected in July. EPS for the MSCI World Index are expected to grow by 9% over the next 12 months which is about 1.5% lower than expected in July.

2014-11-18 00:00:00 Deflation Fears Are A Distraction by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

No matter what happens these days, deep fears, driven by breathless newscasters, take things to the extreme. As a result, slight gains in inflation create forecasts of hyper-inflation, while slowing or low inflation leads to fears of deflation.

2014-11-18 00:00:00 Creativity, Corporatism, and Crowds by Robert Shiller of Project Syndicate

Ultimately, economic progress depends not on saving and the accumulation of capital, but on creativity. That is why fear of secular stagnation in todays advanced economies has many wondering how creativity can be spurred.

2014-11-18 00:00:00 Has Europes Recovery Story Turned Back a Page? by Heather Arnold of Franklin Templeton Investments

The European economy at large had been moving forward in the wake of the 20072009 global financial crisis and subsequent sovereign debt crisis, spurred by European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghis pledge to do whatever it takes to save the euro in 2012 and the implementation of austerity measures in the eurozone periphery. In recent months, the recovery seemed to have stalled, with some countries, including the eurozones engine of growth- Germany - flirting with recession.

2014-11-18 00:00:00 The Beginning of the End of the Fossil Fuel Revolution (From Golden Goose to Cooked Goose) by Jeremy Grantham of GMO

The quality of modern life owes almost everything to the existence of fossil fuels, a massive store of dense energy that for 200 years had become steadily cheaper as a fraction of income. Under that stimulus, the global economy grew ever larger, more complex, more inter-related and, I believe, more fragile. Then around the year 2000 the costs of finding oil start to rise at over 10% a year, and with the global economy growing at only 4% oil starts to fall behind in affordability.

2014-11-18 00:00:00 Putins World: Why Russias Showdown with the West Will Worsen by Vitaliy Katsenelson of Investment Management Associates

I grew up hating America. I lived in the Soviet Union and was a child of the cold war. That hate went away in 1989, though, when the Berlin Wall fell and the cold war ended. By the time I left Russia in 1991, the year the Soviet Union collapsed, America was a country that Russians looked up to and wanted to emulate. Twenty-three years later, a new version of cold war is back, though we Americans haven't realized it yet

2014-11-17 00:00:00 Economic Data Continues to Impress, Driving Equities Higher by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Once again, a combination of solid economic data, decent earnings results and receding fears of global deflation pushed stock prices higher. The S&P 500 Index rose for a fourth consecutive week, gaining 0.4%. The telecommunications and technology sectors showed particular strength while utilities and energy lagged.

2014-11-15 00:00:00 Explore and Discover the Winners When Gas Prices Fall by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil for December delivery is currently priced at $75 per barrel, Brent for January delivery at $78 per barrel. Many investors, publications and news sources focus only on the drawbacks to falling oil and gas prices-don't get me wrong, there are many-but today we're going to give the spotlight to the biggest winners and beneficiaries.

2014-11-15 00:00:00 Hard to Hit Two Targets at Once: The ECB ABS Asset Purchase Programme by Felix Blomenkamp of PIMCO

We believe that reviving the asset-backed securities (ABS) market is a better near-term goal, and the primary target of the European Central Banks (ECB) buying programme should be the new issuance market. Sizeable purchases by the ECB in the European ABS market carry the possible risks of crowding out established investors and suppressing interest in this asset class. By not crowding out existing investors while making the asset class more attractive to issuers and investors alike, the ECB has an opportunity to reach its ultimate goal to spur lending.

2014-11-14 00:00:00 High-Yield Bonds & Oil Prices by Team of LPL Financial

The decline in oil prices and its impact on the high-yield market has been cited as a concern for investors. This week we stay on the topic of high-yield bonds and take a closer look at the potential impact of oil prices on the high-yield bond market and whether recent concerns are justified.

2014-11-14 00:00:00 Global Investing: Are Foreign Stocks Attractive? by Mark Ungewitter of Charter Trust Company

One of todays most glaring inter-market divergences is the relative performance of US versus non-US equities. For dollar-based investors, non-US stocks have underperformed US stocks by a whopping 40% over the past five years. But are foreign stocks attractive at current prices? And if so, how much of my portfolio should I allocate abroad?

2014-11-13 00:00:00 Dash Dash...Dot Dot by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Dash, Dash ... Dot, Dot is all about Morse Code where the dash is three times the duration of the dot. According to Wikipedia, Each character (letter or numeral) is represented by a unique sequence of dots and dashes. Each dot or dash is followed by a short silence, equal to the dot duration.

2014-11-13 00:00:00 The ETF Trader Interview Series: Ken Dolan, Jefferies & Company by David Abner of WisdomTree

In this edition, Dave Abner, Head of Capital Markets at WisdomTree, speaks with Ken Dolan, Senior Vice President on the ETF trading desk at Jefferies & Company, Inc. Ken joined the desk in 2011 after spending nine years at LaBranche & Co. as a Managing Director and Head of ETF Trading. In addition to his ETF trading experience, Ken has nine years of trading experience across equities, fixed income and emerging markets at Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Lehman Brothers. He received a BS from Providence College and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

2014-11-12 00:00:00 Oil Prices: Good News by the Barrel by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Ignore the pessimists. Declining petroleum prices likely will give an overall boost to the U.S. economy.

2014-11-12 00:00:00 Four Questions on Investors Minds Today by Chris Engelman of Cedar Hill Associates

From the strengthening U.S. dollar to Bill Gross departure from Pimco, a few common questions have been coming up in Cedar Hills meetings with clients during the past few months. In this article, Managing Director Chris Engelman shares the firms thoughts on these timely issues.

2014-11-12 00:00:00 Octobers Market Ups and Downs Put Into Perspective by Ed Perks, Don Taylor, Peter Langerman of Franklin Templeton Investments

Global equity markets went on a rollercoaster ride in October, although given the cauldron of global issues that were brewing for some time and the months history of big moves, it shouldnt be all that shocking many investors got spooked. While much of the media focused on the short-term panic, long-term investors used such pullbacks to search for bargains.

2014-11-11 00:00:00 The Last Argument of Central Banks by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

In this weeks letter I have for you a brief essay on the topic of deflation. Depending on your view, you might find some of my thoughts controversial, but I will try to make my case clear, at least. Please note this is the 30,000-foot view and is nowhere close to definitive.

2014-11-11 00:00:00 The Return of the Dollar by Mohamed El-Erian of Project Syndicate

The recent dollar rally, the result of genuine economic progress and divergent policy developments, could contribute to the rebalancing that has long eluded the global economy. But that outcome is far from guaranteed.

2014-11-11 00:00:00 Switzerland: Vote Yes on Gold Initiative by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

On November 30th, the Swiss are voting whether to amend their countrys constitution on an initiative entitled Save our Swiss Gold. The Swiss gold initiative appears widely misunderstood, both inside and outside of Switzerland. We discuss implications for gold, the Swiss franc and Switzerland as a whole.

2014-11-10 00:00:00 Eurozone 2015 Economic & Capital Market Outlook by Gregory Hahn, Marco Carvajal of Winthrop Capital Management

Five years after the financial crisis, the Eurozone is facing major challenges in restoring economic growth. The Eurozone is faced with numerous structural problems, high unemployment, excess capacity, stagnant wages, slow banking reform, declining manufacturing, low level of capital investment and the uncertainty of Russian foreign policy. The result is that member countries are struggling to comply with the original terms of the European Union and running budget deficits in order to stimulate growth within their countries.

2014-11-10 00:00:00 Three Reasons Why Commodity-Related Debt May Hold Value Under Pressure by Kathleen Gaffney of Eaton Vance

In this timely Insight, Kathleen Gaffney discusses how a flexible multisector bond strategy can be a great way to gain exposure to, and take advantage of, potential value opportunities in hard-hit commodity related debt.

2014-11-08 00:00:00 And the Winner isInvestors? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

The pullback seen in October is now just a memory and stock indexes are again pushing into record territory. Seasonality and the election cycle are lining up with still solid earnings growth and an expanding economy to help support further gains. Complacency is a risk but we continue to believe the trend in US stocks is higher.

2014-11-07 00:00:00 Knowing What You Can't Know, Knowing What You Don't Know, and Staying Disciplined in Your Investment by Team of Litman Gregory

In our investment analysis and decision-making, we try to focus on what is knowable with a reasonable degree of certainty or within a reasonable range of outcomes. We also recognize the importance of staying within our circle of competency, which means not investing in things we don't fully understand. And while our investment discipline requires us to adapt and change our views if the facts and circumstances change, it also protects us against getting swept up in the short-term noise and emotions of the markets.

2014-11-07 00:00:00 Central Planners Are In A State of Panic by Chris Martenson, PeakProsperity.com of PeakProsperity.com

By the time a central bank is behaving as recklessly as Japan, it's time to edge towards the exit, because the chance of a flash fire in the building has grown uncomfortably high. That is, instead of providing comfort, these most recent moves should invoke greater worry for those of us alert enough to see them for what they are: acts of panic:

2014-11-07 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter by Ron Muhlenkamp of Muhlenkamp & Company

My first draft of this letter, which I wrote three weeks ago began with: Europe has not solved its problems; Nor has Japan; Nor has China; Nor has the U.S. The rest of that draft is now obsolete. Since mid-September, several items have changed-some economic, some market-related, some psychological.

2014-11-07 00:00:00 Winners and Losers of the Dollars Recent Ascent by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

The dollar recent rally can be attributed to a number of factors including a relatively solid U.S. economy, diverging central bank policies (the U.S. is preparing to tighten while the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan are easing), and long-term changes in trade flows, particularly around the energy sector. We expect most of these trends to continue, and here are three key implications of a rising dollar.

2014-11-07 00:00:00 'Risk On' for Now by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

U.S. high-yield bonds, leveraged credit, and equities will likely outperform in the coming months, but there are obstacles ahead.

2014-11-06 00:00:00 Will Rates Rise, Stay Steady or Fall Further? by Steve Rumsey of Optimus Advisory Group

As interest rates fell over the past 30 years, bond investors enjoyed substantial gains due to the subsequent rise in bond prices.

2014-11-06 00:00:00 Believing Anything by Keith McCullough of Hedgeye Risk Management

For those of you who didnt know that Cockburn was a British journalist and proponent of communism , now you know. His aforementioned quote was cited by Jim Rickards at the beginning of an excellent chapter titled Prophesy in The Death of Money.

2014-11-06 00:00:00 Emerging Europe: Regional Economic Review - Q3 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

While Russia has been experiencing a slowdown for quite some time, the new round of sanctions imposed by the West has hit the economy even harder.

2014-11-06 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview: September 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

Global economic growth concerns resurfaced during the month of September, as data from the Euro-zone suggested that select large counties yet again face recession. Even Germany, the bulwark that shielded the common currency area during the fiscal crisis, has slowed down as subdued external demand has taken a toll on exports.

2014-11-06 00:00:00 What Stimulus Overseas could mean for U.S. Investors by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Could the end of easy money in the United States be the beginning of even more stimulus everywhere else? Russ explains.

2014-11-05 00:00:00 Japan's Kaput?! by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Japans economy is down but not yet out. The worlds third largest economy wont go quietly. Both these statements are merely my opinion, but if you believe theres a risk that Im right, you may want to pay attention to what the implications may be.

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 Hong Kong: Looking at Commercial Rental Prices and Automotive Demand by Dilip Badlani of The Royce Funds

Hong Kong is a very important market to Royce's international efforts, though its economy has seen a significant slowdown over the past several years. Royce International Micro-Cap Fund Portfolio Manager Dilip Badlani discusses why he returned after having recently visited earlier in the year and what he learned from his meetings with company management teams.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 The Six Biggest Washington Myths by Justin Kermond (Article)

If you think Washington is hopelessly broken or that the Federal Reserve is bitterly divided between hawks and doves, you're wrong, according to Greg Valliere. These were two of six common assertions Valliere challenged in a talk last week.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 Martin Wolf on the Financial Crisis: The Fire Next Time by Michael Edesess (Article)

If you think the global financial crisis of 2007-2009 was a one-time event caused by lax regulation and a financial industry run riot, then Financial Times chief economics commentator Martin Wolf has some bad news for you. Wolf, one of the world's most respected economists, says these circumstances were only part of its proximate cause and that the financial crisis was the inevitable product of the global economic system. If that system does not undergo radical change, says Wolf, financial crises may keep on recurring until the world economic order collapses.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 The Race by Brian Andrew of Cleary Gull

While some may wish for a Democratically controlled Congress because we have a Democrat in the White House, the reality is that some dysfunction between Congress and the Administration is welcome by markets. Near-term, many believe that the regulatory environment created by a Democratic Senate and Administration creates uncertainty and restricts corporate growth. While that may be true, it is hard to argue with the stock market returns over the last several years. The reality is that markets appreciate some dysfunction in Washington.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 Snail Trail Vortex by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

The world is undergoing a radical shift towards lower economic growth at the moment. Some of the dynamics driving growth down are structural in nature (e.g. demographics), and even the most extreme monetary or fiscal policy will not change that. We are in for a period of lower, but still positive, global growth whether we like it or not. Despite the somewhat muted outlook, we continue to expect significant regional variations in growth and therefore also in interest rates and equity returns.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 The Macro Playbook by Darius Dale of Hedgeye Risk Management

The Hedgeye Macro Playbook aspires to present investors with the robust quantitative signals, well-researched investment themes and actionable ETF recommendations required to dynamically allocate assets and front-run regime changes across global financial markets. The securities highlighted above represent our top ten investment recommendations based on our active macro themes, which themselves stem from our proprietary four-quadrant Growth/Inflation/Policy (GIP) framework.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 So What Happened Last Month? by Team of GaveKal Capital

October was certainly a rollercoaster ride in the equity markets but it was a ride that ended right where it started. The average stock in the MSCI World Index was up 13 basis points over the past month.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 Consumer Confidence Hit a 7-Year High in October... But by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The two most widely-followed indicators of consumer confidence jumped to the highest levels in seven years last week. The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index climbed to 94.5 in October, the strongest reading since October 2007 before the economy entered the Great Recession.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 Rhyme and Reason by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

We?ll revisit the phenomenon of October as a month of negative market surprises. It actually has its roots in the interplay between farming and banking.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Equity Commentary: September 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

Emerging market equity prices corrected in September on concerns about weaker global growth even as the U.S. Federal Reserve is set to wind down its bond purchases. Signs of yet another downturn in the Euro-zone economy are likely to hurt the export outlook for the major emerging countries that had seen a modest improvement in exports in recent months.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 International Equity Commentary: September 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

International equity prices corrected in September as investors became concerned about slower global growth and the continued withdrawal of monetary stimulus by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Stronger than expected U.S. growth could support the global economy in the coming quarters, but has made investors anxious of early interest rate hikes. The Euro-zone economic recovery is faltering yet again as growth has slipped in most large countries.

2014-11-03 00:00:00 Economy, Earnings and Policy Push Equities to New Heights by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

A combination of receding global growth fears, strong corporate earnings results and continued monetary policy support helped U.S. equities rise for a second week, with the S&P 500 Index climbing 2.7%.

2014-11-02 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What the End of QE Means for the Individual Investor by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

Pulling this all together, Abnormal Returns explains what the individual investor should do create a personal margin of safety. Tadas uses his broad knowledge and experience to pull together advice from several leading sources. If you had followed this approach over the last few years, you would have been able to stick with your program during the tough times. It will be of equal help in the future.

2014-11-01 00:00:00 The Single-Engine Global Economy by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

The global economy is like a jetliner that needs all of its engines operational to take off and steer clear of clouds and storms. Unfortunately, only one of its four engines is functioning properly, the pilots must navigate menacing storm clouds, and fights are breaking out among the passengers.

2014-11-01 00:00:00 Point and Go Figure by Robert Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research

I will admit that Point and Figure (P&F) charting is not something I have spent years studying. I do know that according to Investopedia and other sources I have read recently, it is gaining followers. P&F charts tend to be longer-term in their view, and they project and name an actual price target for the stock or index you are tracking.

2014-11-01 00:00:00 Dont Be Spooked by Market VolatilityOpportunity Is Still Knocking! by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

One of the greatest fears this Octoberpossibly the most volatile month of the yearhas been the correlation between the S&P 500 Indexs ascent in the first three quarters of the year and the possible ramifications of the end of quantitative easing (QE).

2014-10-31 00:00:00 Trick or Treat? Slow Global Growth Hits Cyclical Sectors Hardest by Francis Gannon of The Royce Funds

As of October 13, the small-cap Russell 2000 Index was down 12.9% from its 2014 high on July 3a double-digit correction not seen in more than three years. With the U.S. economy slowly improving and Fed tapering winding down as scheduled, what is driving this pullback? Co-Chief Investment Officer Francis Gannon talks about economic growth beyond our borders and how it has been playing a role in shifting investor sentiment.

2014-10-31 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Team of Northern Trust

Stress testing is performed in a number of arenas. Tools and parts are stressed to ensure that they will stand up to extreme conditions. Medical patients are stressed to detect heart disease. Computer systems are stressed to ensure that they can operate stably at peak times.

2014-10-30 00:00:00 Recovery Reality by John Canally of LPL Financial

The U.S. economy is improving, and in many cases is back to normal, but it remains stubbornly weak in some areas. Real world indicators that point to the health of the economy include crane rental rates and customer traffic in restaurants. Economic uncertainty -- likely a drag on economic growth in 2011, 2012, and 2013 -- has faded as a concern in 2014, consistent with the Feds most recent Beige Book.

2014-10-30 00:00:00 Europe Must Act Now by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Things in Europe are bad and policymakers appear already to have fallen behind the curve. The reality is the ECB will need to purchase at least another 1.5 trillion in assets, and even that may not be enough to avert a severe slowdown.

2014-10-29 00:00:00 Corporate Calm by Burt White, Jeffrey Buchbinder of LPL Financial

We remain confident in corporate Americas ability to generate solid earnings growth in the current global economic environment despite the slowdown in Europe (and to a lesser extent, China). A number of U.S. companies have performed relatively well in Europe, with some not yet seeing signs of a slowdown in their business. The business environment overseas appears to be good enough for companies to largely maintain their outlooks for the rest of the year and into 2015.

2014-10-29 00:00:00 A Low in Positive European Earnings Revisions? by Team of GaveKal Capital

It's tough to find a great deal of optimism in or about European equities these days.

2014-10-29 00:00:00 Does Stock Picking Still Work in Emerging Markets? by Sammy Suzuki of AllianceBernstein

Many things have changed in emerging markets (EMs) over the last two decades. Markets are more efficient than they used to be. But we believe that developing countries still provide fertile ground for finding stocks poised to outperform.

2014-10-29 00:00:00 On Top of the Market by Team of AMG Funds

The third quarters seventh straight gain for the S&P 500 did not come easy. Investors wrestled with geopolitical turmoil in Ukraine and the Middle East, and the eventual end of the Federal Reserves (the Fed) bond buying program. U.S. small-cap stocks were volatile and fell into negative territory, year-to-date.

2014-10-28 00:00:00 Third Quarter Review 2014 by Clark M. Blackman II (Article)

The following is a letter to clients that readers may adapt for their own use.

2014-10-28 00:00:00 Under the Magnifying Glass by Brian Andrew of Cleary Gull

Recent market volatility has investors trying to sort through the little things to determine what is most important to the future of asset prices. Securities markets move up and down on a daily basis based on many different factors, some more relevant than others. The markets during October have proven that little things can lead to greater volatility as investors attempt to sort out the most relevant facts from those with less meaning. Our objective, and that of our investment managers, is to sift through these details to discern what has relevance and what is noise during the trading day.

2014-10-28 00:00:00 Euro Banks: Stressed Out? by Mark Ungewitter of Charter Trust Company

Are unhealthy European banks dragging the market down? Not according to behavioral evidence. European financial stocks have generated relative strength versus broad Europe since mid July, indicating that banking woes are not the root cause of the recent correction.

2014-10-28 00:00:00 The Echo of Wirtschaftswunder by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Economic problems in the Eurozone continue to periodically emerge. Complicating matters significantly is German opposition to fiscal and monetary stimulus measures. We believe the experience after WWII and the Wirtschaftswunder (economic miracle) that lasted into the early 1960s has played a large role in shaping current German policy. This week we discuss German history with a focus on how German leaders shaped the economy and rebuilt the nation after the war, paying particular attention to the economic model and how the Merkel government is trying to impose that model on the entire Eurozone.

2014-10-27 00:00:00 Four Investor Takeaways from the Recent Volatility Spike by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Last week market volatility spiked to the highest level since 2011. To some degree, this should not come as a shock; weve been in an unusually quiet period that was due to end at some point and now has.

2014-10-27 00:00:00 Equities Recover Some Ground and Still May Have Room to Run by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

With global deflation and growth fears fading, U.S. equities snapped their four-week losing streak last week with the S&P 500 Index gaining 4.1%. This advance marked the largest weekly gain since January 2013. Following the correction from the mid-September to mid-October, the S&P 500 has now rallied 8%, leaving it only 3% from its all-time high.

2014-10-27 00:00:00 Fall Quarterly Commentary by John Prichard, Miles Yourman of Knightsbridge Asset Management

Born in the city of Lemberg in the Austrian-Hungarian empire (present-day Ukraine) (future-day Russia?), Ludwig von Mises would be a familiar figure to those interested in the intellectual underpinnings of economic libertarianism. He was an important contributor to the Austrian school of economic thought, which, while ultimately losing mainstream support to the Keynesians and their followers, has still remained influential in certain circles as an alternative.

2014-10-26 00:00:00 A Scary Story for Emerging Markets by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

The all-too-predictable effects of a rising dollar on emerging markets that have been propped up by hot inflows and the dollar carry trade will spread far beyond the emerging markets themselves. This is another key aspect of the not-so-coincidental consequences that we will be exploring in our series on what I feel is a sea change in the global economic environment.

2014-10-26 00:00:00 Plot Twistor a Different Book? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Volatility could continue but equity investors should keep the longer-term picture in mind, which we believe is positive. The U.S. economy is improving and monetary policy remains quite loose. The international picture is more concerning but diversification is important across asset classes. We currently favor emerging markets within a diversified international portfolio.

2014-10-25 00:00:00 As the Eurozone Stalls, China Cuts the Red Tape by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

France and Germanys industrial production has turned down recently. Their purchasing managers index (PMI) numbers are below the 50-mark line, indicating contraction. This trend is especially worrisome because Europe is a bigger trading partner with China than the U.S. is. So whats the solution? The EU would do well to look east, specifically to China.

2014-10-25 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Inflation is falling, but it won't go through the floor; Income inequality is affecting consumption categories; Do new mortgage lending rules strike the right balance?

2014-10-24 00:00:00 Short-Term Optimism, Longer-Term Caution by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

U.S. stocks will likely move higher as pension fund managers go bargain hunting in an effort to put seasonal cash inflows to work.

2014-10-24 00:00:00 Steady as She Goes by John Osterweis, Matt Berler of Osterweis Capital Management

For some time now we have been making the case for a long-term bull market in U.S. equities. This has rested on the prediction of a gradual economic recovery devoid of inflationary pressures, played out against a very accommodative monetary backdrop. So far, this is exactly what has occurred. But as we all know, trees dont grow to heaven and nothing lasts forever. Therefore the relevant questions we ask ourselves every day are: (1) what could go wrong and (2) when should we start to worry? We shall devote this quarters Outlook to the things we worry about.

2014-10-24 00:00:00 Japanese Style Deflation Coming? Fed Falling Behind the Curve? by Mike "Mish" Shedlock of Sitka Pacific

There's some interesting discussion points in the UK-based Absolute Return Partners October 2014 Letter, by Niels C. Jensen, most of which I agree with, others not.

2014-10-23 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter by Ron Muhlenkamp of Muhlenkamp & Company

Since mid-September, several items have changedsome economic, some market-related, some psychological.

2014-10-23 00:00:00 Quarterly Review and Outlook by Team of Hoisington Investment Management

The U.S. economy continues to lose momentum despite the Federal Reserves use of conventional techniques and numerous experimental measures to spur growth. In the first half of the year, real GDP grew at only a 1.2% annual rate while real per capita GDP increased by a minimal 0.3% annual rate. Such increases are insufficient to raise the standard of living, which, as measured by real median household income, stands at the same level as it did seventeen years ago

2014-10-23 00:00:00 How Consensus Thinking Works Against Investors by Bob Andres of Andres Capital Management

Over the past several years we have used this newsletter to voice our concerns regarding the macro-economic landscape, while attempting to provide practical solutions for investors. Since our venture into financial commentary, we have questioned the veracity of consensus opinion and how it tends to be wrong, especially in regards to interest rates.

2014-10-23 00:00:00 No More Black Mondays by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

In a true demonstration of impeccable and apropos timing given the recent volatility we have experienced, yesterday marked the 27th anniversary of one of the stock markets most infamous and chronicled events. Black Monday, October 19, 1987 was one of those multiple standard deviation occurrences that statisticians will tell you are not supposed to ever really happen, but as is the case more frequently than most realize, it of course did happen, and its impact is still being felt today even as there are fewer and fewer investors around that actually had to suffer through it.

2014-10-23 00:00:00 Risk and Uncertainty, Confidence and Fear by Scott Brown of Raymond James

In recent weeks, the financial markets appear to have been reacting less to weaker expectations of global growth and more to the increased downside risks that is, to the fear that things could get a lot worse. The downside risks to Europe are considerable, but America is much less dependent on exports than most other countries and the prospects for moderately strong growth into 2015 remain promising.

2014-10-22 00:00:00 The Eighth Default of Argentina by Kaisa Stucke, Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Very few countries have seen as spectacular of a decline in its economic standing over the past 100 years as Argentina has. Argentina has been in the international headlines recently due to its sovereign debt default, the eighth default in the history of the country. This week we will look at Argentina, its long history of economic booms and busts, its political background, and its extensive chronicle of sovereign debt defaults. As always, we will conclude with market ramifications.

2014-10-22 00:00:00 Oil Hits the Skids by Burt White of LPL Financial

We believe the oil sell-off is overdone and expect the commodity to find a floor in the low $80s. We expect firming global growth to increase the markets confidence in global oil demand despite weakness in Europe. Energy service stocks are particularly oversold and may be attractive as the services-intensive U.S. energy renaissance continues.

2014-10-22 00:00:00 Despite Volatility, This Bull Is Likely to Charge Higher by John Calamos, Gary Black of Calamos Investments

As the fourth quarter begins, the market has found itself engulfed in anxiety. Volatility has surged in the equity markets while the 10-year Treasury yield has dropped to 2%-leading some to question whether this bull market is breathing its last breath. We believe: * Global GDP growth will likely be in the 2.0%-3.0% range. * The U.S. is in the 5th or 6th inning of recovery, with slow but improving growth. * Despite the surge in volatility, this bull market has more room to run. * A balance of secular and cyclical growth companies presents the most attractive portfolio for this mid-cycle phase.

2014-10-21 00:00:00 The Price We Will Pay for Cheap Oil by Richard Vodra (Article)

Suddenly in June, oil prices started dropping, reaching levels unseen since 2010. What is going on? Why does the price of oil matter to financial advisors? What might these fluctuations mean to the price and supply of oil for the rest of the decade? Isn't oil just another commodity?

2014-10-21 00:00:00 Loomis Sayles Core Plus Bond Fund: Navigating Dynamic Markets with Tactical Flexibility by Sponsored Content from Loomis Sayles (Article)

The global economic cycle is a perpetual force influencing interest rates, credit availability and capital markets. For core plus managers who seek to generate total return by balancing liquidity and risk, these undulations pose a clear challenge.

2014-10-21 00:00:00 The Skinny on Fatter Tails for Fed Policy by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Kristina Hooper comments on escalating fears that a slowdown in global growth could hamstring the US recovery and what that means for monetary-policy outcomes in the United States.

2014-10-21 00:00:00 Turkey's Position on ISIL Misunderstood by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

As territory in the Middle East falls under control of the brutal fanatics of ISIL, many Americans may be wondering how this could happen in the backyard of major U.S. allies. In particular, frustration with Turkey's reluctance to move against ISIL, even as it massacres civilians and creates instability on the Turkish border, is growing rapidly. Turkey's political calculation with respect to the crisis reveals just how complex and intractable the crisis may become.

2014-10-21 00:00:00 Opportunities Amid Divergence by Michael Gomez of PIMCO

As in developed markets, the trends of increasing growth and policy dispersion will be borne out in emerging markets over the next 12 months. Brazil has some of the highest interest rates in the world, which presents an opportunity for investors, and we expect the next four years will be marked by a better mix of fiscal and monetary policy. Because our outlook for China has moderated somewhat, we are focusing attention on trade and financial linkages and how the ripple effects of a slower China might unfold.

2014-10-21 00:00:00 Can You Panic and Still be an Investor? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Quite a week we just had, regardless of asset class. By Wednesday the Dow had fallen 688 points by mid-day, thanks to a 480-point morning decline. The problem was a lack of liquiditya buyers strike (no buyers in the market)as we used to call it. In response, stocks fell, as did commodities (with the exception of gold) and yields plunged on bonds.

2014-10-21 00:00:00 The Flat Debt Society by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Since at least the beginning of 2006, the most asked question I get after a speech is Do you think we will have inflation or deflation? In an attempt at humor, my answer has been Yes.

2014-10-20 00:00:00 Equity Losses Continue, but This Correction May Be Ending by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Markets endured a sharp pullback and higher volatility, but technical factors suggest we may be nearing the end of the current correction. Long-term, we believe fundamentals remain sound, the U.S. economy should continue to grow and equities should be able to grind higher.

2014-10-20 00:00:00 Stock Valuations Remain Near Record High Including in Europe and EM by Team of GaveKal Capital

Even as stock prices have corrected in recent weeks with only 36% of stocks having positive performance over the last 200 days and the average stock 19% from its one year high, we are reminded that stock valuations are still stretched pretty much everywhere.

2014-10-20 00:00:00 A Treasury Market Disconnect by Roger Bayston of Franklin Templeton Investments

As the US economy continues to show signs of strength and the US Federal Reserve (Fed) continues to wind down its quantitative easing (QE) program, one would think the US Treasury markets would start reflecting a potential rise in inflation, and the eventuality of Fed monetary policy tightening. However, there has been a bit of disconnect in terms of behavior on the long end of the Treasury yield curve.

2014-10-20 00:00:00 Five Things You Should Know About U.S. Small-Caps by Francis Gannon of The Royce Funds

Co-Chief Investment Officer Francis Gannon offers five statistics we think every investor should know about U.S. small-caps in the current volatile investment environment.

2014-10-19 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Team of Northern Trust

The markets correction has many scratching their heads. Russias economy is feeling a pinch but not real pain. Long-term remedies will be needed to secure U.S. budget health.

2014-10-19 00:00:00 What the Strong Dollar Does to Yellow and Black Gold and Why We're Seeing Green by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The United States is doing better than it has in years. Jobs growth is up, unemployment is down, our manufacturing sector carries the rest of the world on its shoulders like a wounded soldier and the World Economic Forum named the U.S. the third-most competitive nation, our highest ranking since before the recession.

2014-10-19 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Is the Correction Over? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

Was that the bottom? Nearly everyone is trying to time the market, so the financial media will focus on remaining risk versus signals of a bottom.

2014-10-17 00:00:00 Disinflation Infatuation by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

Inflation expectations have fallen sharply in recent weeks, driven by European disinflation, lower energy prices, and overall growth concerns. The persistence of low inflation expectations may intensify the lower for longer theme via lower growth expectations and delays to potential Federal Reserve (Fed) interest rate hikes.

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.

2014-10-17 00:00:00 Seasonal Factors Ready to Turn Positive by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

After a volatile week in markets, U.S. equities are now oversold and investors should be alert for seasonal factors that should soon turn positive.

2014-10-17 00:00:00 Pullback Perspective by Burt White of LPL Financial

We see the recent increase in volatility as normal within the context of an ongoing bull market. We do not believe the age of the bull market, at more than 5.5 years old, means it should end. We maintain our positive outlook for stocks for the remainder of 2014 and into 2015.

2014-10-16 00:00:00 Global Worries (And Some Benefits) by Scott Brown of Raymond James

In the latest update of its World Economic Outlook, the IMF revised lower its expectations of global growth in 2014 and 2015. None of that should have surprised anyone. At this point, the IMF expects that European GDP will be relatively weak in 2014 (+0.8% 4Q14/4Q13) and should improve in 2015 (+1.6% 4Q15/4Q14). However, risks are weighted predominately to the downside. Weaker European growth and a stronger dollar will have a significant impact on many U.S. firms, but may have some benefits for the economy as a whole.

2014-10-16 00:00:00 The Right Question by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

In this business it has been said, Sometimes knowing the right question is more important than actually knowing the answer. Over the years I have found that old Wall Street axiom to serve me well. One example would be reading the footnotes in a companys annual report.

2014-10-16 00:00:00 Europe: Draghi's Deflation Desperation by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

The specter of falling prices in the eurozone is making the ECB chiefs job even harder.

2014-10-16 00:00:00 Governments Need Inflation, Economies Don't by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

In an article in the UK's Telegraph on October 10, veteran economic correspondent Ambrose Evans-Pritchard laid bare the essential truth of the nearly universal current embrace of inflation as an economic panacea. While politicians, CEOs and economists talk about demand stimulus and the avoidance of a deflationary trap, Evans-Pritchard reminds us that inflation is all, and always, about debt management.

2014-10-16 00:00:00 Global Carry a.k.a. Risk Parity by Alexander Giryavets of Dynamika Capital L.L.C.

It is customary to think of Risk Parity Asset Allocation and Carry Trading Strategy as two different things. We explain that the Risk Parity after the Global Financial Crisis is nothing else but a hugely successful Global Carry Trade funded in Japanese Yen, Dollar and Euro. The performance of this trade is fantastic, the allocation is huge (100s of blns of $) and the risk of crash that will precipitate the next financial crisis is growing day by day. But for now the music is still playing.

2014-10-16 00:00:00 Global Evolution a Game Changer for Real Estate by Patrick Brophy of Janus Capital Group

As investors consider rising rates and the impact on yield-based assets, it is time to address a couple of common misperceptions about real estate. Patrick Brophy, Portfolio Manager of the Janus Global Real Estate Fund, explains why rising rates are not directionally bad for real estate equities. He also explains why real estate can be more than just a source of income for portfolios.

2014-10-15 00:00:00 The Sell-Off Continues, But an Opportunity Appears by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

In recent weeks, investors have been contending with two trends: anxiety over a change in Fed policy and evidence of a slowdown in the global economy. While global growth is likely to remain below historic norms, it is not collapsing. This suggests that investors should be positioned for a slow growth environment, not another recession. This, in turn, implies taking some selective risk in asset classes that have become less expensive as a result of the sell-off. One example of an asset that warrants another look: U.S. high yield bonds.

2014-10-15 00:00:00 How Over-Regulation Hurts Us - Some Eye-Popping Numbers by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The study entitled Federal Regulation and Aggregate Economic Growth was published by the Journal of Economic Growth. Among other things, the Journal conducts research on how over-regulation hurts the economy. The Journal calculates that over-regulation has shaved at least 2% off of annual economic growth since 1949.

2014-10-14 00:00:00 Sea Change by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

The final chapter and conclusion pretty much end as you would expect: the demise of monetary policys ability to soothe the soul of the markets and the return of volatility. We hopefully get a full-fledged restructuring of the sovereign debt markets. The Fed and sister central banks will try the same tired tools they have been using. Except they have already been to the zero rate boundary and have wasted the opportunity they had to increase rates so that they could lower them later. Another round of quantitative easing?

2014-10-14 00:00:00 The Eurozone Plots Its Long Road to Recovery by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

Growth in much of Europe is slow - some observers even say the economy is moving sideways. Lately, the eurozone seems to have more in common with Japan, whose economy has been idling for years, than it does with the UK or the United States.

2014-10-14 00:00:00 Can The Market Make A Comeback? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Although Im a Detroit Lions fan and thoroughly enjoyed my teams rare, 19-to-7 triumph over Green Bays football team last month, Ive always respected the Packers. (Maybe because as a Lions season ticket holder since the 80s, I probably have seen the Lions lose to them more than anyone else.) They epitomize what football is all about.

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.

2014-10-13 00:00:00 Europe: Draghi's Deflation Desperation by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

The specter of falling prices in the eurozone is making the ECB chiefs job even harder.

2014-10-13 00:00:00 Inconceivable by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

The point is that there are many risks investors should not ignore. Making up losses is much harder than reinvesting stored capital once a clearer picture emerges. While the current belief that a correction of magnitude in the markets is "inconceivable," I am not sure that word means what they think it means.

2014-10-12 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Can Corporate Earnings Reports Reverse the Stock Market Decline? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

Last week featured a low signal to noise ratio speech after speech, but little fresh information. This week heralds the start of earnings season. While we have a normal measure of government data, market participants will carefully parse the announcements and conference calls. This week will be all about earnings.

2014-10-11 00:00:00 Warning: Market Correction This Week? Did You See the Opportunity? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

While stocks fell around the world this week amid growing concerns over global economic growth, Europes slowdown cant stop emerging market population growth that drives long-term commodity demand. If the short-term market volatility concerns you, a solution is short-term tax-free municipal bonds. Check out the 5 Reasons Why.

2014-10-11 00:00:00 Global Fears by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, Michelle Gibley & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Volatility could continue but equity investors should keep the longer-term picture in mind, which we believe is positive. The U.S. economy is improving and monetary policy remains quite loose. The international picture is more concerning but diversification is important across asset classes. We currently favor emerging markets within a diversified international portfolio.

2014-10-11 00:00:00 Five Things To Ponder: Through The Looking Glass by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

Is this the beginning of a bigger correction, or just a respite before the next advance? This is the first correction, since the beginning of the Federal Reserves latest round of quantitative easing, where the market has broken decisively through its shorter term moving average as shown below.

2014-10-11 00:00:00 Setting Global Standards for Central Clearinghouses by William G. De Leon, Tracey Jordal, Libby Cantrill of PIMCO

While a possible central counterparty (CCP) failure is a very remote event, there is no one single solution that alone will prevent it. However, PIMCO believes that if several conditions are met, including 1) a CCP is capitalized correctly and sufficiently with its own skin in the game, 2) segregation of client assets are consistent across cleared derivatives, 3) CCPs have a way to access cash easily to manage liquidity and 4) stress tests are consistently performed and reviewed, a CCP will be much more likely to recover than to be forced into a resolution process.

2014-10-10 00:00:00 Practical Policy Prescriptions to Help Offset Geopolitical Uncertainties by Scott Mather, Greg Sharenow of PIMCO

We believe Europe should relax fiscal budget constraints to allow for fiscal stimulus to offset any economic drag, while maintaining extremely accommodative monetary policy. The U.S. and its relatively newfound energy renaissance can also play an important role in supporting Europe and the global economy by signaling its intention to compete for energy market share.

2014-10-10 00:00:00 That Was the Week That Was... by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

A week ago yesterday I arrived in New York City just in time to have dinner with some friends. Avra Estiatorio is arguably the best Greek seafood restaurant in the city and it is located 20 steps from my hotel of choice, the Hyatt 48 lex, which is aptly named since it sits on the corner of Lexington and 48th street.

2014-10-10 00:00:00 Divergent Returns by Jim Tillar, Steve Wenstrup of Tillar-Wenstrup

The theme for this newsletter is volatility. Not only are we seeing volatility in financial prices, but also in economic data and in some indicators we use to gauge the market's risk level.

2014-10-09 00:00:00 Tocqueville Gold Strategy Investor Letter by John Hathaway of Tocqueville Asset Management

John Hathaway, manager of the Tocqueville Gold Fund (TGLDX), states in his latest quarterly letter on gold that "On a near term basis, this looks and feels like a bottom to us. On a longer term view, we are more bullish than ever." He goes on to write that "Expanding earnings and valuations, the underpinnings of the four year bull market in financial assets, may be approaching an inflection point. A reversal of this cycle would in our opinion restore interest in gold."

2014-10-09 00:00:00 2014 Outlook Update: A Year of Validation Indeed by Andrew Pease of Russell Investments

Andrew Pease, Global Head of Investment Strategy, outlines the economic and markets predictions by the team of Russell strategists at the end of the third quarter and going into the fourth quarter, comparing these forecasts to the firms Annual Global Outlook from last December.

2014-10-09 00:00:00 Rethinking Core Fixed Income in a Rising-Rate Environment by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

Michael Hasenstab, chief investment officer, Global Bonds, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, says it is time for fixed income investors to think outside traditional boxes. He believes that with todays market environment and the prospect of rising US interest rates on the horizon, investors need to rethink their core fixed income portfolio. He makes the case for an actively managed, global, unconstrained fixed income strategy.

2014-10-09 00:00:00 Putting the Pieces Together: An In Depth Chart Review of Global Financial Markets by Team of GaveKal Capital

One of our favorite grounding exercises is to peruse our chart library and review what has happened in the global financial markets so we can opine about what those prices and patterns are telling us about the world. We'll save the opining for another time, so we present the following charts with little commentary.

2014-10-08 00:00:00 The State of Small-Cap Valuations and Holding High-Confidence Names by Jay Kaplan of The Royce Funds

With the U.S. economy and employment rate slowly improving, small-cap valuations may not see a correction significant enough to offer attractively discounted share prices any time soonat least at the levels that Royce typically seeks. Portfolio Manager and Principal Jay Kaplan discusses how he's been managing his portfolios in a market environment that's been largely unkind to value investors and talks about some names he likes going forward.

2014-10-08 00:00:00 Letter to a Chinese "Little Emperor": It’s Nice To Be the King, but Not Always Easy by Francois Sicart of Tocqueville Asset Management

In his latest piece, Francois Sicart, Founder and Chairman of Tocqueville Asset Management, imagines writing to a privileged child of the "new" China, comparing such a child's coming-of-age with his own, in booming post-World War 2 France. He goes on to discuss "the curse of early money," and the pitfall it can cause for friendships and for personal development.

2014-10-07 00:00:00 How We See Europe Panning Out by Stephen Peak (Article)

Stephen Peak, Director of International Equities, notes that overall, it's been an interesting year so far for European markets and economies. He adds that what started out as a reasonable start to the year, later began to look more doubtful as we hit mid-year. As to the markets themselves, Stephen believes good valuation opportunities exist in Europe - and notes that principally, he takes comfort in the attractiveness in multiples in Europe, specifically on a cyclically adjusted basis.

2014-10-07 00:00:00 A Q3 Letter to Clients: How to Navigate Rough Waters by Dan Richards (Article)

Each quarter I post a template for a client letter, as a starting point for advisors who want to send clients an overview of the three months that just ended and an outlook for the period ahead. Be sure to customize the letter to reflect your views, especially when it comes to recommendations for the period ahead.

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.

2014-10-06 00:00:00 The Most Important Chart in the World by Mark Ungewitter of Charter Trust Company

One of todays most glaring inter-market divergences is the relative performance of US versus non-US equities. For dollar-based investors, non-US stocks have underperformed US stocks by an astounding 40% over the past five years.

2014-10-05 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will global weakness drag down the US economy? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

Last week was all about data. This week will be the opposite. The calendar already dished up the big news, and the major earnings reports are still a week away. Meanwhile, we have more conferences and speeches than I can remember seeing for many months. For those of us who think of data as the signal and politicians and pundits as noise, we must get ready for a low ratio! This week will emphasize commentary rather than data, with world leaders, Fed types, and pundits all joining in.

2014-10-04 00:00:00 The Wayback Machine Birthday Tour by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Ive been writing this letter for some 15 birthdays now, well over 10,000 pages of collected work. Every word is still at my website a history, if you will, of what I was thinking at the time. I asked my longtime (and long-suffering) editor, Charley Sweet, to go back over this past decade and a half and give us a review of what I was saying my birthday week.

2014-10-04 00:00:00 600 Million Reasons to Keep Your Eyes on India by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

In the wake of his rock star reception at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphatically announced to our nation's top corporate and political leaders that India is now open for business. Between September 26 and 30, he met with not only President Barack Obama and other high-profile politicians but also the CEOs of some of our nation's largest and most successful companies.

2014-10-03 00:00:00 China’s Inscrutable Contraction by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

As China shifts to a more domestic-demand driven, services-oriented economy, a transition to slower trend growth is both inevitable and desirable. But the challenges are immense, and no one should take a soft landing for granted.

2014-10-02 00:00:00 Will Risk Parity Performance Persist? by Chris Maxey, Brian Payne of Fortigent

With risk parity portfolios on the whole having outperformed traditional 60/40 allocations since the trough of the financial crisis, one must be mindful of the risks that lie ahead when determining the efficacy of such an approach.

2014-10-02 00:00:00 Voya Fixed Income Perspectives September 2014 by Christine Hurtsellers, Matt Toms of Voya Investment Management

Change is in the air, and its evident beyond the riot of color overwhelming our natural landscape. Market dynamics, too, are shifting, with the yield on the U.S. two-year Treasury inching higher and the U.S. dollar appreciating. Both not only suggest markets are pricing in a stronger U.S. economy, they are also potential harbingers that the end of zero interest rate policy is near.

2014-10-02 00:00:00 PIMCO Cyclical Outlook for the Americas: Recovery Remains Intact, Yet Uneven by Ed Devlin, Mike Cudzil, Lupin Rahman of PIMCO

U.S. growth can potentially exceed expectations over the cyclical horizon, in part bolstered by a healing consumer and a very accommodative Federal Reserve. While real growth in Canada has been modest in recent years, it increased to 3.1% in the second quarter and we expect that positive momentum to continue this year. In Latin America, we expect growth will pick up for the region as a whole with outperformance by smaller economies like Colombia and Panama.

2014-10-02 00:00:00 Six Months of Nothing by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

Political problems have escalated over the past seven months. Russia has been aggressive and so have extremists in certain Muslim countries. Having said that, financial markets seem to care about nothing but QE. Despite a growing disconnect in some markets between equity valuations and economic fundamentals, we expect the low interest rate environment to carry the equity bull market for a little longer, but eventually it will end in tears.

2014-10-02 00:00:00 Correction Awakens Sleeping Bears, Plunging Oil and Dollar Spikes by Lance Roberts of STA Wealth Management

Since the end of 2012, the S&P 500 has been on an inexhaustible rise despite rising geopolitical tensions, extremely cold weather and weak economic data. The driver, of course, has been the massive liquidity inflows from the Federal Reserve that have catapulted the markets from their previous upward bullish trend into an accelerated push. This is shown in the chart below.

2014-10-01 00:00:00 Making Sense of the Bond Market by Phelps McIlvaine of Saturna Capital

A persistent reduction in the US inflation rate and well-anchored inflation expectations continue to contradict the common understanding that interest rates have reached a cyclical floor.

2014-10-01 00:00:00 Forget Active vs. Passive: It's All About Factors by Adam Butler, Mike Philbrick, Rodrigo Gordillo of Butler|Philbrick|Gordillo & Associates

We just love a good debate, and there seems to be quite a heated debate at the moment about the relative utility of passive versus active investing. Perhaps this debate is as timeless as investment management itself, but a flurry of recent studies may have finally armed passive advocates with enough ammunition to settle the argument once and for all.

2014-10-01 00:00:00 UK Joins U.S. Bombing, Courting Danger by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

On September 26th, the English Parliament voted to join the U.S.-led bombing of ISIL, at least in Iraq. The news was received with relief by most in the Anglosphere world and throughout Europe. However, very little regard has been paid to the relative benefits and costs. The military actions that the UK has committed herself to conduct will have a low probability of achieving the stated objective of "degrading and destroying" ISIL. However, there is a much higher likelihood that air strikes from the UK will increase ISIL's stated objective of projecting fear and terrorism deeper into

2014-09-30 00:00:00 The Client Calls You Need to Make Today by Dan Richards (Article)

It's understandable that advisors get frustrated when clients panic after small declines in the market. Here some strategies to minimize the disruption and actually turn market downturns to your advantage.

2014-09-30 00:00:00 Asset Allocation in a Time of Complacency by Dimitri Balatsos of Tesseract Partners

Complacency is a dangerous mindset, especially for investors. Having been generously rewarded beyond their expectations, investors were coddled in the arms of complacency as 2013 drew to a close.

2014-09-29 00:00:00 Slower Growth in China and Japan Pressures the Region by Scott Mather, Tomoya Masanao, Adam Bowe of PIMCO

Our forecast for the global economy is below consensus mainly because of our views for regions outside of the U.S., including Asia, the emerging markets and Europe, although higher growth in the U.S. should offset some of the slowdown we see coming from China. Japan made a kick start under so-called Abenomics with massive monetary and fiscal reflation policies, but the recent data suggest to us that the effectiveness of those cyclical policies are already challenged by secular and structural headwinds.

2014-09-29 00:00:00 Looking Past the Risks, Equities Still Appear Attractive by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Last week featured some positive economic news, but equity markets sank nonetheless, with the S&P 500 Index falling 1.3%. On the bright side, we saw some strong data from the housing market and an upward revision to second-quarter gross domestic product growth (GDP).

2014-09-29 00:00:00 The Ingredients of a Market Crash by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Market peaks often go through several months of top formation, so the near-term remains uncertain. Still, it has become urgent for investors to carefully examine all risk exposures. When extreme valuations on historically reliable measures, lopsided bullishness, and compressed risk premiums are joined by deteriorating market internals, widening credit spreads, and a breakdown in trend uniformity, its advisable to make certain that the long position you have is the long position you want over the remainder of the market cycle.

2014-09-28 00:00:00 The End of Monetary Policy by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Lets explore the limits of monetary policy and think about the evolution and then the endgame of economic history. Not the end of monetary policy per se, but its emasculation.

2014-09-27 00:00:00 5 Reasons Why Short-Term Municipal Bonds Make Sense Now by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Although short-term bonds might not be as sexy as common stocks in fashionable brands like Apple and Tesla, they play an important role in any serious investor's portfolio. Below are five reasons why investing in municipal bonds makes sense now more than ever.

2014-09-27 00:00:00 Clear Sailingor Choppy Seas? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, Michelle Gibley & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

We are at a tenuous point in the market seasonally speaking and a pullback is quite possible. We dont recommend trying to time a potential correction, however, as that is virtually impossible and exposes investors to missed upside opportunities waiting on the sidelines. Elsewhere, the international picture looks a little shaky, but diversification is important and we do favor emerging markets within an international portfolio.

2014-09-26 00:00:00 ECRI Recession Watch: Weekly Update by Doug Short of Advisor Perspectives (dshort.com)

The Weekly Leading Index (WLI) of the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) is at 134.9, down slightly from the previous week's 135.6. The WLI annualized growth indicator (WLIg) is at 2.0, down slightly from the previous week's 2.1. On Wednesday, September 10th, Lakshman Achuthan appeared on Wall Street Journal Live, where he stated that Japan is on track for another recession. He included comments about what that means for Europe and the United States.

2014-09-25 00:00:00 Dont Fight the ECB? Part 2 by Burt White of LPL Financial

Last week we discussed why buying European stocks now, following the recent stimulus announced by the ECB, is very different from buying U.S. stocks during periods of Fed stimulus in recent years. This week we take a deeper dive into the investment opportunity in Europe and evaluate fundamentals, valuations, and technicals. We recommend that investors fight the ECB. We do not believe the additional stimulus is enough for us to recommend European equities over U.S. equities at this time.

2014-09-25 00:00:00 Europe’s Commercial Real Estate Deleveraging: ‘Not Too Fast, Not Too Slow’? by Tareck Safi, Tom Collier of PIMCO

As European bank deleveraging accelerates, we expect that commercial real estate (CRE) will continue to constitute a significant proportion of bank assets to be sold, albeit with a shifting geographical mix. We believe CRE opportunities remain in the form of single assets and complex structured transactions in particular; but a disciplined approach will be key given competition in specific types of assets and in certain jurisdictions. This will require flexible capital, local investment expertise and hands-on asset management, in addition to strategic sourcing capabilities.

2014-09-25 00:00:00 Three Reasons to Consider EM Asia by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Though EM stocks have been struggling of late, Russ still believes investors should have emerging market exposure, particularly in emerging Asia. He provides three reasons why.

2014-09-25 00:00:00 Global Equities Stay Thirsty for Liquidity by Rick Golod of Invesco Blog

Taking a step back from the usual economic and market insights, my September commentary is devoted to a topic that Ive been long overdue in addressing. Financial advisors have frequently asked about my approach to asset allocation, and Ive outlined my strategy for diversifying within the US equity space in my commentary, Harnessing the Markets Natural Rotation: An Asset Allocation Strategy. Here, Id like to provide a summary of my outlook, which remains unchanged from the previous month.

2014-09-24 00:00:00 Equities: Finding the Path to Value? by Virginie Maisonneuve, Anne Gudefin of PIMCO

Going forward, earnings growth and stock selection - more than multiple expansion and beta - will likely play a bigger role in driving positive returns. Our research has uncovered numerous examples of stocks trading below our estimate of intrinsic value - notably in Europe and various special situations. Investors with the capacity for deep, fundamental research and a long-term unconstrained equity strategy may be positioned to capitalize on these opportunities.

2014-09-24 00:00:00 Fed Forecasts Sub-3% Economy for the Next Three Years by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The Feds policy committee announced last Wednesday that it will end its massive QE bond buying program at the end of next month, thus paving the way for the first Fed funds rate increase sometime next year. This was not a surprise. The Feds gargantuan balance sheet will peak near $4.5 trillion in Treasury and mortgage-backed bonds at the end of October.

2014-09-24 00:00:00 Bull Market Mirage by Team of GaveKal Capital

On an equal weighted basis, the MSCI World index is up 2.58% YTD, is down 3.39% QTD and down 3.01% MTD. The equal weight index gives us a better idea of our chances of picking stocks that outperform.

2014-09-23 00:00:00 Why "Healthspan" Trumps "Lifespan" for Clients by Dan Richards (Article)

Advisors spend a great deal of their time with clients who ask, "Will I run out of money?" As a result, few issues get more attention than the sustainable withdrawal rate in today's environment. But new research shows that an equally pressing question is, "How can I enjoy life in my 60s, before health issues creep in?"

2014-09-23 00:00:00 The U.S. Dollar is Rising, Interest Rates Could Be Next by Rick Harper, Bradley Krom of WisdomTree

Since bottoming July 1, the U.S. dollar has mounted an impressive rally against virtually every major foreign currency. While many analysts have been predicting a secular appreciation in the U.S. dollar on account of stronger economic fundamentals, the current rally has caused even casual market participants to take notice.

2014-09-23 00:00:00 Stocks Rally Following Janet Yellens Conference and Scotlands Historic Referendum by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Interest rates cant stay zero forever, but for now its more of the same.

2014-09-23 00:00:00 Sisyphus Succeeds! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

I have been reminded of the Greek mythology character Sisyphus since mid-July as investors tried to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down. In this case the boulder in question has been the D-J Industrial Average (INDU/ 17279.74), which since late July has tried seven times to better its all-time high of 17138.20 made on July 16th of this year.

2014-09-22 00:00:00 A Lack of Surprises Helps Equity Markets Make Gains by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets rose again last week, with the S&P 500 Index climbing 1.3% and reaching another record high. Bond yields and the U.S. dollar drifted higher, while emerging market equities and commodities struggled. Two major events that resulted in a continuation of the status quo helped market sentiment.

2014-09-22 00:00:00 Two Themes Investors Should Focus on Now by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

With countries growth, monetary policy and market performance increasingly diverging, Russ shares two themes investors should focus on as year-end approaches.

2014-09-22 00:00:00 Alternative Approaches for Managing Emerging Market Equity Portfolios by Roger Edgley, Laura Geritz, Andrey Kutuzov, and Ajay Krishnan of Wasatch Funds

The shortcomings of indexing are especially evident in frontier markets, where some very small markets have significant weights. This paper discusses three approaches for targeting inefficiencies in emerging markets. These approaches are designed to fit together and complement each other within an investment portfolio. Overlap is generally minimal, so investors may reasonably employ all three.

2014-09-22 00:00:00 Certainty is Not the Same as Precision: What Feels Like Stability Often Is Only an Ephemeral Equilib by Francois Sicart of Tocqueville Asset Management

In his latest piece, Francois Sicart, Founder and Chairman of Tocqueville Asset Management, looks at the seemingly stable state of the current bull market and examines research on how and when such "stability" erodes. Hint: very quickly and without discernible warning. He explores the "Black Swan" and "Fingers of Instability" research by Nassim Taleb and John Mauldin respectively, noting that: "even experts who have analyzed how shocks to the system might strike have failed to offer precise warning systems."

2014-09-21 00:00:00 Wheres the Growth? by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Call me a heretic, but I take a different view than the economists in charge. To my mind, the sluggish recovery is a sign that central banks, governments, and, quite frankly, the textbook economists (despite their best intentions) are part of the problem. As Detlev Schlichter commented in his latest blog post (Keynes was a failure in Japan No need to embrace him in Europe), To the true Keynesian, no interest rate is ever low enough, no quantitative easing program ever ambitious enough, and no fiscal deficit ever large enough. It&r

2014-09-20 00:00:00 Stocks Rally Following Janet Yellen's Conference and Scotland's Historic Referendum by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

This news gives stocks reason to rally for a considerable time, or at least until the Fed gives us a more concrete timeframe for a rate hike.

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

2014-09-19 00:00:00 A Revolutionary Idea: Investing in Europe (even Russia) by Tucker Scott of Franklin Templeton Investments

The eurozone appeared to have emerged from a prolonged recession when conflict in Ukraine intensified earlier this year with Russias annexation of Crimea. The continued complexity of the crisis in Ukraine now threatens to derail Europes fragile economy, and European stocks have suffered. That said, more attractive valuations in Europe may lure investors back to European stocks, according to Tucker Scott, portfolio manager and executive vice president, Templeton Global Equity Group. He sees opportunity through the fog of crisis and makes a case for finding value in Europe&m

2014-09-18 00:00:00 What the Scottish Referendum & Fed News Could Mean for Investors by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Last weeks stock losses were partly a reflection of investors looking ahead to the Scottish independence vote this Thursday and the Federal Reserve (Fed)s statement on Wednesday. Russ weighs in on the investing implications of these two big news events.

2014-09-17 00:00:00 Markets Rose-Tinted World by Mohamed El-Erian of Project Syndicate

This has been an unusual year for the global economy, characterized by a series of unanticipated economic, geopolitical, and market shifts and the final quarter is likely to be no different. So why are financial markets behaving as if they were in a world of their own?

2014-09-17 00:00:00 Will the Scottish Vote on Independence Be the "Black Swan"to Financial Markets? by Dawn Bennett of Bennett Group Financial Services

I wonder if the issue of an independent Scotland would actually be something of a black swan for the U.S. and world financial markets? According to Reuters, the international news agency, investors this past month, August 2014, have pulled approximately $27 billion out of UK financial assets. This is the biggest capital outflow since the Lehman crisis in 2008.

2014-09-16 00:00:00 Gundlach on Today's Surprising Driver of Bond Prices by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Inflationary pressures could ultimately trigger an uncontrollable spike in interest rates, according to Jeffrey Gundlach, but such predictions are likely at least five years too early. In the short run, he identified the key driver that will keep rates low - the strong performance of European bond markets.

2014-09-16 00:00:00 Authoritarianism versus Democracy: The Key Challenge to Chinese Ascendancy by Michael Edesess and Kwok L. Tsui (Article)

An intense debate has been underway for more than a decade about whether the East - China in particular - is in the ascendancy. Some argue this is so and that the West is in decline. Others say China's flawed political institutions will limit its monumental growth and render it precarious. This an especially opportune time to address these questions.

2014-09-16 00:00:00 Weekly Market Update by Team of Castleton Partners

After a strong summer rally, the first two weeks of September have not been kind to US financial markets, with both stock and bond markets generating negative returns. In the month to date, ten year Treasury yields have risen twenty five basis points to 2.60%, the highest such level since the first week of July.

2014-09-16 00:00:00 Indonesia by Kaisa Stucke, Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

The recent presidential election in Indonesia has attracted international interest as both candidates platforms included promises of import substitutions, export restrictions and retention of production processes in Indonesia. Although Indonesia holds substantial growth promise for foreign investors, the potential trade restrictions are making international companies nervous. This report discusses Indonesia, briefly describing its history, economy and political landscape. It delves into the election, promises made on the campaign trail and the implications of the results on foreign inve

2014-09-15 00:00:00 Implications of European Central Bank actions by Phil Apel and James McAlevey (Article)

Phil Apel, Head of Fixed Income and James McAlevey, Head of Interest Rates examine the implications of the recent European Central Bank (ECB) monetary stimulus measures where policy rates were cut by 10bp while a program of asset-backed securities and covered bond purchases was announced. With the ECB taking up the QE baton, Europe is clearly decoupling from the US, intensifying the contrasting fortunes of the two markets. Phil and James share their views and explain how their portfolios are positioned in light of the recent market trends.

2014-09-15 00:00:00 Bulls Charge Despite Weak Data by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

As the U.S. Federal Reserve debates withdrawing accommodation the doves have the upper hand, but that does not mean they wont make a concession to hawks and hike sooner than the market expects.

2014-09-15 00:00:00 The Economy: September Viewpoint by Bruce Laning of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild

The U.S. economy experienced a robust summer for economic expansion and job growth, however recent consumer data is casting doubt as to whether the current level of activity can be sustained. Our position is to maintain an emphasis on higher-quality bonds and be prepared for short-term rate increase(s) in the months to come. The road ahead for stocks continues to look positive, but it would be prudent to keep in mind the inevitable speed bumps that will likely present themselves down the road, as we have not had a meaningful pullback since 2011.

2014-09-15 00:00:00 The U.S. Is Diverging From Other Developed Markets by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities fell amid a relatively quiet week, with the S&P 500 Index dropping 1.1%. The upcoming Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting drew quite a bit of attention amid increased speculation that the Federal Reserve may start signaling its long-awaited move to increase rates.

2014-09-15 00:00:00 How Quality Can Lead in the Small-Cap Market by Chris Clark and Chuck Royce (Article)

While quantitative easing has allowed financially leveraged companies to improve their fiscal health over the past several years, Chuck Royce sees signs of small-cap leadership for quality moving forward.

2014-09-14 00:00:00 Whats on Your Radar Screen? by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

So lets look at whats on my radar screen today. First up (but probably not the most important in the long term), I would have to say, is Scotland. What has not been widely discussed is that the voting age was changed in Scotland just a few years ago. For this election, anyone in Scotland over 16 years old is eligible. Think about that for a second. Have you ever asked 16-year-olds whether they would like to be more free and independent and gotten a no answer? They dont think with their economic brains, or at least most of them dont.

2014-09-13 00:00:00 Patiently Waiting for Mean Reversion by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Because small caps tend to have higher beta than blue chips, you would expect them to outperform in a generally rising market?which we?re currently in. So it appears that a major rotation out of these riskier, more volatile stocks has inexplicably occurred, leading to the wide bifurcation between small and large companies. The good news is that, based on 20 years of historical data, stocks in the Russell 2000 tend to rally in the fourth quarter and continue steadily until around the end of the first quarter. Over this 20-year period ending in December 2013, the Russell has generat

2014-09-13 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The implications of Scottish independence; U.S. consumer spending outlook remains positive.

2014-09-13 00:00:00 Will the Russia-Ukraine Crisis Chill Europe’s Recovery? by Philippe Brugere-Trelat of Franklin Templeton Investments

As the crisis in Ukraine and resulting geopolitical tensions between Russia and the West continues with no durable solution yet, many investors have responded by exiting European companies with exposure to the Russian economy. But even as evidence mounts that the Ukraine crisis is taking a toll on many European economies, it would be imprudent for long-term investors to give up on investing in Europe. Strong corporate earnings momentum, high dividend yields and the possibility of additional support from the European Central Bank (ECB) are just some of the reasons why he remains confident that,

2014-09-12 00:00:00 Schwab Market Perspective: Diverging Paths…Growing Risks? by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

The U.S. stock market continues to reach new highs but sentiment is extended and we are entering a period that has historically seen weakness. We believe the ultimate trend is higher, but bumps could get more pronounced in the near future. The U.S. economy is improving, with data suggesting self-supporting expansion is taking hold. Whether this means accelerated Fed interest rate hikes is being closely watched, while midterm elections often inject some more uncertainty into the market. The European Central Bank (ECB) finally acted, but structural issues and lack of demand remain problems.

2014-09-11 00:00:00 Doubling Down on Inflation by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Friday's release of disappointing August payroll numbers should have been a jarring wake-up call warning Wall Street that the economy has been treading on thin ice. Instead the alarm clock was stuffed under the pillow and Wall Street kept sleeping.

2014-09-11 00:00:00 Calm Down 2 by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

In last Fridays Morning Tack I referenced some sage advice from the legendary Dow Theorist Richard Russell of Dow Theory Letters fame.

2014-09-11 00:00:00 The Leapfrog: The Role of Technology in Accelerating Emerging Markets Growth by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

The potential for emerging and frontier markets to realize accelerated economic growth as a result of new technology transfer comes up regularly in our research findings. We have been increasingly excited about a new developmentthe capacity for new technology, particularly related to data over the Internet, to completely bypass swathes of older technology and business activity. We think this could lead to even more dramatic economic progress. In effect, the emerging markets are leapfrogging over the old technology and taking advantage of the newest technology today.

2014-09-11 00:00:00 Mind the Gap-- or Absence Thereof! by Team of GaveKal Capital

In spite of recent headlines and developments at the ECB, market action has remained fairly subdued, as evidenced by the number of stocks that jump (in a positive or negative direction) at the open of trading.

2014-09-11 00:00:00 ECB Measures Highlight Draghis Determination by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

The reduction in eurozone interest rates announced on September 4 by European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi came as a bit of a surprise to some market players. But David Zahn, Head of European Fixed Income and portfolio manager, believes that this move, along with the confirmation of the commencement of the banks asset-backed securities purchase program, is very much in line with its previous action and suggests a central bank president who is in control and determined to get the eurozones economy back on track.

2014-09-11 00:00:00 Parallels to 1937 by Robert Shiller of Project Syndicate

The depression that followed the 1929 stock-market crash took a turn for the worse eight years later, and recovery came only with the enormous economic stimulus provided by World War II, a conflict that cost more than 60 million lives. The global situation today is not nearly so dire, but there are parallels, particularly to 1937.

2014-09-10 00:00:00 High Yield Bonds and Interest Rates by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

Over the last month, we have seen the equity markets hit all-time highs, all the while bond investors seem to be indicating there are reasons to be concerned, sending the 10-year Treasury to the lowest yields seen over the past year.

2014-09-10 00:00:00 A Global Growth Slowdown? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

As 2014 is shaping up to be another year of below-trend economic growth, many investors are wondering: Is economic growth once again slowing? Russ explains why his answer is no.

2014-09-09 00:00:00 Current Opportunities in International Small-Caps by (Article)

International Smaller-Companies Portfolio Manager and Director of International Research David Nadel tells Co-Chief Investment Officer Francis Gannon where he is finding opportunities in the international small-cap market.

2014-09-09 00:00:00 Divergence by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

A widening gap in monetary policy in the United States and Europe reveals the disparity in economic growth that exists. Kristina Hooper explains the implications for investors and what history reveals about periods of Fed tightening.

2014-09-09 00:00:00 Is it Time to Take the Euro Out of Europe? by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

On September 4, the European Central Bank (ECB) took further accommodation to support the economic growth environment in Europe. As a result, the euro collapsed about 1% immediately after the news, while European stocks rose on prospects for more monetary policy easing. This reaction mirrors what we saw in Japan in 2013, and it strengthens the case for taking the euro out of Europe.

2014-09-09 00:00:00 Staying Ahead of the Curve by Chris Diaz of Janus Capital Group

Investors could soon face an environment of rising U.S. interest rates and heightened rate volatility. Already, the Federal Reserve has begun setting the stage by tapering its quantitative easing program. Once rates start to rise, its difficult for a fixed income portfolio to make up lost ground if its not already positioned for higher rates. We think its crucial for investors to diversify their yield curve exposure by investing abroad.

2014-09-08 00:00:00 Only 37% of Companies Are Seeing Rising Sales Estimates by Team of GaveKal Capital

Yesterday we noted the fact that EPS estimates have fallen versus 3 months ago for most stocks in the developed world. In a similar vein, today we note that top line estimates are rising for only 37% of stocks in the MSCI developed world index, meaning they are falling for 63% of stocks. The only region in which more than half of stocks are seeing rising sales estimates is North America, where 62% of companies have seen top line estimates rise versus three months ago.

2014-09-08 00:00:00 A Choppy Path Stretches Ahead, but It Could Favor Equities by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities continued their winning ways, with the S&P 500 Index advancing 0.2% last week. Although the August employment data were somewhat disappointing, investors were cheered by strong manufacturing trends. Events outside of the U.S. also contributed to the positive tone.

2014-09-07 00:00:00 Europe Takes the QE Baton by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

This week well look at what is happening across the pond in Europe, where the above-mentioned negative rates are only one ingredient in a big pot of Bizarro soup. And well think about what it means for the US Federal Reserve to be so close to the end of its quantitative easing, even as the ECB takes the baton to add 1 trillion to the worlds liquidity. And meanwhile, Japan just keeps plugging away.

2014-09-06 00:00:00 The New Challenges of Price Discovery by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

In the past few years, price discoveryor the act of finding the right price for a securityhas become much more challenging because of falling stock volume and widening bid-ask spreads. These challenges are directly attributable to the infiltration of high-frequency traders into the market, not to mention the expansion of dark pools and non-exchange trading.

2014-09-06 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Can the eurozone avoid Japanification?; U.S. employment: Less rosy than expected; The U.S. capital spending outlook is promising

2014-09-05 00:00:00 Markets Climb as World Faces Crisis by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

On August 28th while the geographical area formerly known as Iraq descended further into chaos, President Obama announced to the world "We don't have a strategy, yet." A few days later, another brave American journalist was brutally beheaded by a slickly televised cockney-accented jihadist. Clearly things are not going well outside the bubbly confines of the S&P 500.

2014-09-05 00:00:00 Will Russia Derail the Eurozone Recovery? by Nicola Mai of PIMCO

Geopolitical tensions from Ukraine and the evolving trade war with Russia are threatening what is already a weak recovery in Europe, and could shave approximately 0.3%0.4% off eurozone growth. Should the situation escalate, we could expect an even greater drag with potential to push the eurozone back into recession. Looking ahead, we see attractive opportunities in peripheral bonds and favour an underweight currency position in the euro.

2014-09-05 00:00:00 Voya Global Perspectives Market Update by Douglas Cot of Voya Investment Management

A hawk in doves clothing, Yellen will likely be ahead of the curve when it comes to hiking rates. Driven by strength in manufacturing and a revitalized consumer, corporate America is thriving. The euro zone is an economic basket case, forcing Draghi to reach for another bazooka solution, to the likely benefit of risk assets. Broad, globally diversified portfolios can help protect investors against the volatility that policy normalization may bring.

2014-09-05 00:00:00 A Letter to My Grandson About Entering the Working Life by Francois Sicart of Tocqueville Asset Management

In his latest piece, Francois Sicart, Founder and Chairman of Tocqueville Asset Management, shares a letter he wrote to his 21-year-old grandson, who is entering his final year in college. "I then realized that some of this advice might also come in handy to several of my younger clients those who belong to the third generation of the families whose fortunes I manage on three continents."

2014-09-04 00:00:00 Developed Europe: Regional Economic Review - Q2 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

Europes ability to sustain its economic recovery is back in the spotlight. The latest second quarter estimates of statistics agency Eurostat, which were released in mid-August, show that compared to the first quarter, GDP merely inched up 0.2 percent in the 28-country European Union (EU) but failed to grow at all in the 18-member Euro-zone.

2014-09-04 00:00:00 International Equity Commentary: July, 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

International equity prices saw a modest correction in July as geopolitical tensions worsened in Ukraine and the Middle East. The risk of these conflicts spreading to wider areas and pulling in more countries unnerved the markets.

2014-09-04 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Equity Commentary: July, 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

Emerging market equity prices continued to outperform the developed markets in July and ended the month with moderate gains. Markets in Asia significantly outperformed during the month, helped by signs of stabilizing economic growth in major markets such as China.

2014-09-04 00:00:00 Central Banks Pump Up the Volume by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Aggressive central bank accommodation from Europe to Japan and a dovish Federal Reserve bode well for equities and bond prices.

2014-09-04 00:00:00 What's Next for the Dollar and Gold? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

One reason markets tend to get a little nervous in September is that its time for investors to ponder about their asset allocation for the remainder of the year and beyond. With the markets at or near record highs and the US dollar on a roll, what could possibly go wrong? Lets look at whats next for the dollar, gold, and currencies.

2014-09-03 00:00:00 Voya Fixed Income Perspectives August 2014 by Christine Hurtsellers, Matt Toms of Voya Investment Management

Like the buzz of the alarm clock on the first day of school, the July/early August market selloff awoke investors to the fact that the lazy, carefree days cant last forever. Though a single catalyst for the latest shift in sentiment is tough to identify, there are a number of suspects: ample geopolitical uncertainty, the possibility that strong U.S. economic data may hasten fed funds rate normalization and Fed rhetoric about froth in certain markets.

2014-09-03 00:00:00 S&P Hits the 2,000 Mark by Ryan Davis of Fortigent

Equity markets moved modestly higher last week, with the S&P 500 closing above the 2,000 level for the first time. The S&P 500 added 80 bps on the week and now stands up 9.9% on the year following a 4% gain in August. Bonds also rallied last week, rising in tandem with European sovereigns. The rate on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.33% by weeks end.

2014-09-03 00:00:00 International Developed and Emerging Markets by Riad Younes of R Squared Capital Management

This commentary explores what the author believes to be the best opportunities in international investing along with challenges facing investors in developed and emerging markets.

2014-09-03 00:00:00 All Eyes on the ECB as Europes Recovery Remains Fragile by Matthew Dennis of Invesco Blog

While the European Central Bank (ECB) has successfully eased financial market stress over the past two-plus years, Europes long-awaited recovery still remains fragile and imbalanced.

2014-09-02 00:00:00 The Exaggerated Death of Inflation by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

Modern central banking has worked wonders to bring down inflation. Ultimately, however, a central banks anti-inflation policies can work only within the context of a macroeconomic and political framework that is consistent with price stability.

2014-09-02 00:00:00 Banking on BRICS by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

In July, leaders of the five emerging market countries known as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) met in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza and announced the creation of a New Development Bank (NDB).

2014-09-02 00:00:00 Stronger Growth Should Push Equities Higher by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

A rash of positive news propelled stock prices higher for the fourth consecutive week, marking the longest winning streak for equities since last November. The S&P 500 Index pushed above the 2,000 level for the first time as it gained 0.8% for the week.

2014-09-01 00:00:00 Growth by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

This week I will respond to the second part of David Brins letter. Please note that David and I characterize our conversations as joyous deliberations, excited parry and thrust in the realm of ideas. I especially appreciate David because he forces me to think about many of my casual assumptions, although in a battle of wits with David I often feel as if Im bringing a knife to a gunfight. (Every writer needs a few David Brins in his life. Sometimes I think I have more than my share.)

2014-08-30 00:00:00 Anticipate Before You Participate: Patterns in Trading by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The primary unit of time measurement for high-frequency traders might be the microsecond, but for normal retail traders, it?s vital to know the best months, days and even half-hours of the day to make market transactions.

2014-08-30 00:00:00 Sound Familiar? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Michelle Gibley of Charles Schwab

Stocks seem likely to continue their upward momentum although volatility could increase with Federal Reserve interest rate uncertainty combined with midterm elections and geopolitics. An improving economy, decent valuations and a still-accommodative Fed leave us confident that dips should be viewed as buying opportunities. Conversely, Europe is looking worse and we would be cautious in adding new cash at this time, concentrating additional international exposure instead on China and to a lesser degree Japan, always with a diversified portfolio in mind.

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

2014-08-28 00:00:00 I Cant Save Europe Alone Mario Draghi at Jackson Hole by Bob Andres of Andres Capital Management

Janet Yellen began her prepared speech on monetary policy and the labor markets in Jackson Hole at 10:00am on Friday. Within minutes, analysts were offering insights into future interest rate policy. The equity markets dipped slightly only to recover quickly to pre-speech levels. The consensus view, which emerged after sifting through the release, was that Ms. Yellens view on interest rates may be a tad less dovish than previously expressed. With no video feeds emanating from the conference and with tepid market reaction, we asked ourselves, Is she whispering or is she Yellen?&rd

2014-08-27 00:00:00 From the Alps to the Tetons by Brian Andrew of Cleary Gull

Central bankers seem to be the focus once again. If the global economy were strong enough to stand on its own, we wouldnt spend every waking moment worrying about what Fed Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and her European Central Bank counterpart Mario Draghi are going to do next. The fact that these bankers are front and center again in investors minds, is a function of both how sluggish the global economy is and how persistent the hangover from the mid-2000s real estate party continues to be.

2014-08-27 00:00:00 The Stall-Speed Syndrome by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate

As tempting as it may be to attribute developed economies' latest growth slowdown to idiosyncratic factors, weakening performance in the US, Europe, and Japan is not so easily dismissed. In all of these cases, the post-recession rebound has not been nearly large enough to alter the sluggish underlying trend.

2014-08-26 00:00:00 Why Germany's Economy is So Strong by Marianne Brunet (Article)

After spending more than a month this summer living in a rural part of Eastern Germany, I discovered that the source of Germany's economic strength extends far beyond the fields at the World Cup.

2014-08-26 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview: July 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

Recent economic data from the developed world have shown divergent trends while growth in the emerging economies appears to be stabilizing. The U.S. economy expanded at a faster than expected pace during the second quarter, more than offsetting the first quarter decline, which revised estimates show was not as severe as thought earlier.

2014-08-26 00:00:00 A Nation of Shopkeepers by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

One of the great pleasures of writing this letter is the fascinating correspondence and the relationships that develop along the way. The internet has allowed me to meet a wide range of people all over the world something that never happened to me pre-1999. Not only do I get to meet a wide variety of people, I also come into contact with an even wider range of knowledge and ideas, much of which comes my way from readers who send me work they think Ill have an interest in. I have a bountiful, never-ending source of thoughtful material, thanks to you.

2014-08-26 00:00:00 International Opportunities - a look at the bigger picture by Stephen Peak (Article)

Stephen Peak takes a look at the bigger picture and provides commentary on the world as we see it. He discusses expectations of rising interest rates and notes that geopolitical tensions in Europe and the Middle East are causing uncertainty and hesitation among investors. Stephen believes we are in a process of change and that clients should consider their international allocations, and at the margin, increase them subject to the needs of individual clients.

2014-08-25 00:00:00 Equities Climb as Investors Focus on Fundamentals by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equities have recovered all of the losses experienced in July through early August. The Fed appears to be slowly paving the way for interest rate increases, but were not expecting any immediate changes. The global economy is growing, but remains weak. In this environment, we believe investors should be more selective.

2014-08-25 00:00:00 New US Bank Rules a Boon for Bond Investors by Jeff Skoglund, Shrut Vakil of AllianceBernstein

US banks have come a long way since the financial crisis, and thats good news for fixed-income investors. We think better fundamentals and stricter regulations are creating a good formula for banks preferred securities.

2014-08-23 00:00:00 Managing Expectations by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The third part of this series on managing expectations is devoted to fundamental resource stock evaluation. I?ll discuss some of the statistical tools we use to pick quality stocks during a treacherous bear market, such as what we?ve seen in gold stocks the last three years

2014-08-23 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The View from Jackson Hole; U.S. Auto Sales: Tailwinds Will Prevail; The Mystery of Long-Term Bond Yields

2014-08-23 00:00:00 An Unconstrained View of Corporate Credit Amid the Rate Debate by Eric Takaha of Franklin Templeton Investments

July 2014 brought a summer swoon to the US high-yield sector, as selling pressure hit despite what many analysts by and large dubbed a respectable second-quarter corporate earnings season. Whatever the reason, many investors became suddenly spooked. Eric Takaha, director of the Corporate & High Yield Group and senior vice president, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, is not terribly concerned by what he views as short-term market volatility. He sees the recent selloff as not necessarily unhealthy, and he still sees supportive long-term fundamentals for corporate credit. He takes a

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.

2014-08-22 00:00:00 Stock Indexes Break to New Highs on Less Participation from Individual Stocks (Again) by Team of GaveKal Capital

Earlier this week we touched on the fact that new highs in individual stocks have not expanded much despite the continued new highs all year in the headline indices.

2014-08-21 00:00:00 Touring the Investment Landscape in the Czech Republic by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

My team and I have been touring Central and Eastern Europe this summer, and our travels recently took us to the Czech Republic. Its a country with an interesting history, and from our perspective, it also holds a variety of interesting potential investment opportunities, too.

2014-08-21 00:00:00 Skittishness by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, Michelle Gibley of Charles Schwab

Stocks suffered some of their bigger daily and weekly declines of the year recently with geopolitical and Fed concerns the likely culprits. We dont believe this was the start of a sustainable downtrend, although there could be further selling to come in the near-term. The U.S. economy appears to be strengthening, leaving us optimistic on the longer-term outlook for stocks. Likewise, worries over the Fed and the timing of the first rate hike have increased, but the initial stages of a tightening cycle tend to be positive for equities.

2014-08-20 00:00:00 Is a Big Equity Correction Imminent? Not Yet by Vadim Zlotnikov of AllianceBernstein

Many investors think US stocks are due for a correction: They feel that the market has run too far, that the Fed has been slow to act, that complacency has created pockets of excess. Do these gut feelings mean a major equity correction looms? Not yet, in our view.

2014-08-19 00:00:00 Bad News is Good A Hard Habit for Investors to Kick by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Last weeks market performance proved that investors are having a hard time kicking a certain habit: treating bad news as good. Russ explains, suggesting that investors continue to focus on relative value.

2014-08-19 00:00:00 European Bank Stocks: Time to Buy, or Bail? by Cindy Sweeting of Franklin Templeton Investments

In recent months, European banks have been under increased regulatory scrutiny, meeting the ire of regulators (in the United States in particular) for a range of alleged improprieties, resulting in sizable financial penalties. Throw in a bailout-inducing crisis at Portugals Esprito Santo bank, and its perhaps no surprise that share prices of many bank stocks in Europe have languished this year. These developments have provided investors with a stark reminder of the risks associated with investing in the banking sector.

2014-08-19 00:00:00 Macro backdrop in Europe by Stephen Peak (Article)

Stephen Peak discusses the macro backdrop in Europe noting that while we've seen some signs of recovery coming through, we're now in one of those more difficult transition phases. We've seen positive progress in the UK with expectations on GDP upwards of 3% from some commentators and unemployment in Spain is below 25% for the first time in years. Additionally, Stephen touches on currencies, geopolitical tensions and where he sees opportunity in the region. Stephen believes there is still money to be made between now and the end of the year.

2014-08-19 00:00:00 Strange Days Indeed by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

In the dog days of summer, investors are buying both US stocks and Treasuries. Why the pull toward two asset classes that normally diverge? It could be a simultaneous expression of bullishness and hedge against risk, writes Kristina Hooper.

2014-08-19 00:00:00 Europe Taking a Negative Turn by Chris Maxey, Ryan Davis of Fortigent

Among the highlights of a busy calendar of economic data last week was the flash estimate of second quarter Eurozone GDP. The region has come under greater scrutiny in recent months amid a disinflationary trend and slowing economic data. As we discussed a few weeks ago, the high profile failure of Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo has also inflamed worries that Europes financial system remains vulnerable to a systemic shock.

2014-08-19 00:00:00 Republic or Empire? An Update, Part 1 by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

This topic was last discussed in our report from 2012. We have expanded sections of it in this update and, due to length, will present it in two parts. Over the past two years, how American society answers this question is becoming increasingly critical. There is a steady undercurrent in American politics that seeks to withdraw the U.S. from world affairs. In this report, we will discuss how the American republic began, how it evolved into an empire and how America conducted this role. Next week, we will finish our analysis and discuss market ramifications.

2014-08-18 00:00:00 Why Gilead Is The Most Exciting Growth Opportunity In 2014 by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Earnings drive stock price in the long run and Gilead Sciences Inc (GILD) is entering a remarkable period of what could only be called astounding future earnings growth. This has not gone unnoticed by the market, as the stock price has been on a steady ascent for the past several months.

2014-08-18 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: August by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group® of Franklin Templeton Investments

The US economy seemed to move into a higher gear during the second quarter, when gross domestic product (GDP) growth reached an estimated annual rate of 4%, supported by personal consumption and inventory build-up. Its first-quarter downturn also was not quite as severe as previously thought, falling by an annual rate of 2.1% instead of the 2.9% initially reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

2014-08-18 00:00:00 Tug of War Continues Between Fundamentals and Geopolitics by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Important progress in the global recovery, U.S. labor market and corporate earnings has been masked by geopolitical tensions. The conflict involving Russia could have a significant impact on the eurozone and global growth. Market volatility is likely to increase in the short term, causing headwinds for risk assets.

2014-08-16 00:00:00 The Unfortunate Truth About the Bond Market? by Bob Andres of Andres Capital Management

During the past four years, we investors have been inundated by financial commentators, strategists, economists and equity gurus prognosticating the coming collapse of the bond market. I can say with confidence that they have been woefully wrong during this period I can also say with confidence that if they keep saying it, they will eventual get it right. These negative views on interest rates gained momentum in August of 2010 when Jeremy Siegel and Jeremy Schwartz authored, The Bond Bubble and the Case for Equities.

2014-08-16 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

I have to digest a great deal of written material to keep up with the global economy. When I have free time to read, I often choose to decompress by enjoying the cartoons in The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes Treasury or the food pictures in Bon Apptit. I know that sounds shallow, but it helps keep me sane.

2014-08-16 00:00:00 Managing Expectations - Part III by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

In the first of this three-part series on managing expectations, I discussed the role cycles play in the investment management process. At U.S. Global Investors, we actively monitor both short- and long-term cycles, from the annual seasonality of gold to four-year presidential elections, in order to manage expectations based on historical patterns.

2014-08-15 00:00:00 Lifted by Germany and China by Alexander Giryavets of Dynamika Capital L.L.C.

We briefly review the interplay of the global and regional (Europe and Asia) business cycles and where we stand. It turns out that the global business cycle is muddling through, continuing deceleration of China is still trying to find bottom and Germany recently turned the corner and is back to deceleration. While this state of affairs is no news the interesting aspect of this regional interplay which we want to bring to your attention is that US is helped and lifted by deceleration of both neighbors. That said US itself is in a mixed state.

2014-08-13 00:00:00 How Are Tigers Like Bears? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

I left home for my niece Kendells birthday party at my brother Charlies, and my Tigers were ahead 5-0 over the Blue Jays at the end of the 5th inning. Our newly acquired ace, a Cy Young winner three seasons ago, was on the mound. There was nothing to worry about, right?

2014-08-13 00:00:00 Municipal Market Perspectives by Portfolio Team of SMC Fixed Income Management

Heightened international unrest and the likelihood of accelerating economic weakness in Europe will provide further support for fixed income securities. It is unlikely central banks will move from their current accommodative monetary positions anytime soon. Since we do not anticipate a meaningful upward move in Treasury rates, municipal bond prices should also benefit. Yields are likely to remain close to current levels and even possibly move lower. Strong market technical factors will also provide support.

2014-08-13 00:00:00 Toward the Sounds of Chaos by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

Stock market volatility is always a scary thing. Investors nearing retirement fear their nest eggs will evaporate. Younger investors saving for a home or a childs college education fear their families futures might be in doubt. However, history suggests that allowing volatility to overrule a good investment plan tends to lead to poor performance. Its not volatility itself that generally leads to poor longer-term performance, but rather it appears to be investors emotional reactions to volatility that ultimately lead to poor performance.

2014-08-13 00:00:00 August Economic Update and Trends by Bruce Laning of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild

Bronfman E.L. Rothschild President Bruce Laning provides commentary on the economy, the bond market and stocks for August 2014. His article includes an analysis of various indicators, their trends, and Bronfman E.L. Rothschilds resulting outlook.

2014-08-12 00:00:00 Baseball, Hot Dogs, and Apple Pie by Michael Kayes of Willingdon Wealth Management

What really is, or perhaps isn't, economic patriotism? Read on to find out how this issue is impacting our economy and markets.

2014-08-12 00:00:00 Reflections on WWI: Geopolitics and Markets by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

WWI was a devastating conflict and the postwar effects were substantial. From a market perspective, measuring the impact of geopolitics is difficult. Some events are short-term; others are more substantial but mostly cyclical. There are also events that permanently change the investing landscape. This report gives a short recap of the onset of WWI, and examines the problem that comes from induction, the logical process of observing the world and predicting the future. From there, we discuss the lessons learned from the post-WWII and post-Cold War era with an analysis of what may

2014-08-12 00:00:00 International Equity Commentary: June-2014 by Team of Thomas White International

International equity prices advanced further in June on expectations that the major developed economies are likely to see healthier trends during the second half of this year. Japan and Canada saw robust gains during the month while markets in Europe underperformed.

2014-08-12 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview: June 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

Recent data from the major countries suggest that the global economy is emerging out of the slower growth period experienced at the beginning of this year. Though the Euro-zone economy continues to see softer trends, data from the U.S. has become more positive.

2014-08-11 00:00:00 Transformation or Bust, Part 2 by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Envisioning a clear path through the issues from where we are today is not easy, though China certainly has more options than the world had with subprime by the middle of 2008, when there was so much toxic waste on the balance sheets of banks all over the world and there was no turning back. As we have emphasized in the past and will do today, China does have options. But each of the options has costs associated with it, and those costs are going up every day. Who pays and when is the simple question that most readers want to have answered, but therein lies the conundrum.

2014-08-11 00:00:00 Dynamic and Durable Growth Part 3: The Mobile Data Tsunami by Ido Cohen of Invesco Blog

This is the third in a four-part series examining dynamic and durable growth themes that affect the US economy and present opportunities for investors. The first post explored the biotech revolution, and the second looked at the enormous implications of shale energy. The final post will examine the coming mobile advertising boom.

2014-08-11 00:00:00 A Strengthening Case for European Bonds by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

The pace of the eurozones economic recovery has been so slow that many people are now asking whether quantitative easing (QE) is inevitable to support a recovery and prevent deflation. But David Zahn, portfolio manager for Franklin Global Government Bond Fund, thinks recent European Central Bank (ECB) interventions in the European financial markets already amount to QE. More importantly, he thinks the extensive set of measures that the ECB has announced not only may support Europes economic recovery, but bring a highly favorable backdrop for European fixed income investments gene

2014-08-11 00:00:00 Is the Improving Economy a Good Sign for Active Managers? by Chuck Royce, Chris Clark, Francis Gannon of The Royce Funds

There are still enough opportunities out there to keep returns in positive territory through the end of 2014. This could make the market's next act a very happy one for active small-cap managers.

2014-08-09 00:00:00 Managing Expectations by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Financial markets are influenced by relatively predictable cycles, a lesson we at U.S. Global Investors rely on to help us manage expectations and be effective stewards of your money. This is a theme I've frequently written about and discussed in investor presentations, one of which, Anticipate Before You Participate, is a classic that I often use to remind investors of these timeless principles.

2014-08-09 00:00:00 What in the World?! (Sungarden’s Thoughts on Current News Headlines) by Robert Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research

Summer slowdown? No way! The news is full of compelling story lines. Some of them have investment implications, some do not. Here, we briefly sort them out.

2014-08-09 00:00:00 Summer Void by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Michelle Gibley of Charles Schwab

Although Wall Street and other corners of the business and political world may empty over the next few weeks, risks of a pullback in U.S. equities have gone up. Although we believe it would represent a buying opportunity and are optimistic longer term due to improving economic growth, nervous investors may want to consider a hedging strategy. China's stock market performance has improved and we remain positive, while European economic data has been more concerning, although the stocks still look attractively valued in our view.

2014-08-08 00:00:00 The Potential Impacts of Geopolitical Risks on Financial Markets by Team of Manning & Napier

As a global investment management firm, it is critically important that we monitor any and all varieties of risk that could threaten the performance of financial markets both domestically and abroad. Today, developments in a number of regions, particularly the Middle East and Eastern Europe, have brought geopolitical risk to the forefront of our minds. Below we describe some of the issues, why risks are rising, and how they may impact financial markets.

2014-08-08 00:00:00 Finding Smart Beta in the Factor Zoo by Jason Hsu, Vitali Kalesnik of Research Affiliates

In the latest piece from Research Affiliates, Jason Hsu, Co-Founder and Vice Chairman, and Vitali Kalesnik, head of equity research, look at how the "publish-or-perish" syndrome and the smart beta movement have motivated academics and practitioners to come up with a spate of new investment factors. How can investors determine which ones are legitimate and how to use them in their equity portfolios?

2014-08-08 00:00:00 Yellenization by Cliff Draughn of Excelsia Investment Advisors

On Thursday, July 31st, the market had a one-day sell-off of 2%, the most negative day since June, 2012. You heard the market pundits and the talking heads of CNBC opine that the reason for the selloff was the convergence of geopolitical risks.

2014-08-07 00:00:00 Federal Reserve Tapering Part I: Emerging Market Currency Performance by Bradley Krom of WisdomTree

While many investors tend to focus on changes of currency spot rates, a primary reason we have long advocated that investors allocate to EM currencies is the income potential driven by the higher interest rates in many emerging market countries. In todays yield-starved environment, EM currencies remain one of the most significant means of generating income in a portfolio while limiting interest rate risk.

2014-08-07 00:00:00 With US Volatility on the Upswing, Take a Look at Asia by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

While the U.S. economy appears to be gaining steam, lofty stock prices and rising geopolitical risks are finally taking a toll. Russ discusses one area that still represents an opportunity: Asia, both developed and emerging.

2014-08-07 00:00:00 Detailing The European Correction by Team of GaveKal Capital

Over the last 50 days European equity markets have taken a beating. The average stock in Europe is down 6%, and both Portugal and Austria are down more than 10%--putting them in correction territory. Down almost 9%, Germany isn't far behind.

2014-08-05 00:00:00 Use the Rule of Reciprocity to Gather AUM by Dan Solin (Article)

Advisors seeking to convert prospects into clients commonly overlook the rule of reciprocity. The rule states that a debt must be repaid. What's fascinating is how far people will go to pay what they perceive to be a "debt," even when they didn't incur that debt voluntarily.

2014-08-05 00:00:00 Banco Espirito Santo: Opportunity for the ECB? by Ryan Davis, Brian Payne of Fortigent

Over the weekend, it was announced that Portugals Banco Espirito Santo (BES) would be split into a good bank and bad bank. This came after the Bank of Portugal assured that BES could raise enough money from private investors to recover from the banks first-half loss of 3.58 billion.

2014-08-04 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The dynamics of the world energy market have changed dramatically since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries first restricted the supply of crude oil. Today, there are many more producers, many more consumers and many more alternatives than anyone could have imagined 40 years ago.

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.

2014-08-02 00:00:00 Transformation or Bust by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

China continues to be front and center on my list of concerns, even moreso than the latest Federal Reserve press release or fluctuation in the Dow (although you should pay attention). I believe China is the single biggest risk to world economic equilibrium, even larger than Japan or Europe. This week my young associate Worth Wray provides us with a keenly insightful essay on what is currently happening in China. I will admit to not having written about China very much in the past five years, primarily because, prior to Worths coming to work with me I really had no secure understanding o

2014-08-01 00:00:00 A Tear for Argentina by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

Argentinas latest default poses unsettling questions for policymakers. Though the countrys periodic debt crises are often the result of self-destructive macroeconomic policies, the default has been triggered this time by a significant shift in the international sovereign-debt regime.

2014-08-01 00:00:00 Second Quarter 2014 Investment Commentary by Team of Litman Gregory

Overall, our macro view and assessment of the risks and returns across the major asset classes has not changed meaningfully since last quarter. We continue to see the U.S. and global economies on a slow path of recovery from the 2008 financial crisis. ... Despite our more positive fundamental outlook, we also continue to view the markets as too dependent on central bank largesse, too short-term focused, and too complacent about the risks and imbalances that remain in the global economy in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

2014-08-01 00:00:00 Russias Eurasian Vision by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

The escalating conflict in Ukraine between the Western-backed government and Russian-backed separatists has focused attention on the Kremlins long-term objectives. Though Russian President Vladimir Putins immediate goal may have been limited to retaining some influence in Ukrainian affairs, his longer-term ambition is much bolder.

2014-07-31 00:00:00 Opportunities in Developed International Equities by Christopher Gannatti of WisdomTree

Each year, WisdomTree screens the universe of dividend payers in developed international markets so that we can refocus the weights of constituents back to relative value and away from simply holding increasing amounts of stocks that have performed well. The rebalance was recently completed, suggesting that this is an opportune time to review the positioning of our broad developed international Indexes.

2014-07-31 00:00:00 The Chinese Wall of Worry: Uncertainty Rhymes with Opportunity by Francois Sicart of Tocqueville Asset Management

In his latest piece, Francois Sicart, Founder and Chairman of Tocqueville Asset Management, looks at the over-valued global market environment and points out that "While we wait for the day of reckoningwe should not be oblivious to potential opportunities, wherever they may exist. China may be a case in point." Digging deeper, Sicart looks at the negative media perception of China and believes "Many of the problems invoked in the headlines are real. But they are neither new nor, I believe on investigation, as catastrophic as implied."

2014-07-31 00:00:00 Are You Concerned about Small-Cap Valuations? by Tripp Zimmerman of WisdomTree

Stocks often move more than is justified by changes in their underlying fundamentals, and as a result, investors run the risk of paying too much for stocks that have become more expensive relative to their fundamentals.

2014-07-30 00:00:00 Anything Built By the FED, Can Also Be Destroyed by Edward Talisse of Chelsea Global Advisors

Bond Investors have had a great run so far in 2014. It's time to take some profit. Inflation expectations are rising, should we be worried? Why has the Japanese Yen been strengthening against the USD?

2014-07-30 00:00:00 The Outlook for MLPs and Midstream Energy Infrastructure Continues to Look Bright by David Chiaro of Eagle Global Advisors

The quarter saw a number of positive developments that underpin our long term positive outlook on MLPs. Firstly, the need for new midstream infrastructure remains significant, and a number of announcements of large new projects highlighted that this need is not abating. Also, a significant new development in the quarter was the emergence of new export markets for ethane and condensate which will entail associated infrastructure development and other possible profit opportunities for MLPs.

2014-07-29 00:00:00 Thomas White's 2014 Mid-Year Market Outlook by Thomas White (Article)

45-year industry veteran Tom White offers a review of current global economic trends and the outlook for the second half of 2014, with insights on the investment opportunities that may arise in the near future. Listen to why he sees "interest rates continuing to fall" and why "we are positive about what is going on" in the global economy.

2014-07-29 00:00:00 The Great War, the NYSE and a Legacy of Strength by Andrew D. Martin (Article)

A century ago this week the NYSE closed for four months. Most would dismiss this as a natural response to the beginning of World War I. But no war before or after has shuttered the exchange for more than 10 days in its 222-year history. I will discuss why it was necessary to close the exchange and what lessons we can draw from the events of 100 years ago.

2014-07-29 00:00:00 Strengthening the Euros Governance Structure? by Andrew Bosomworth of PIMCO

?Todays relative tranquillity in eurozone financial markets owes largely to the ECBs willingness to hold the single currency together. However, history suggests the eurozones citizens ultimately will have to choose between returning to a regime of flexible exchange rates or retaining the single currency and deepening political and fiscal integration.

2014-07-29 00:00:00 Blowback: The Tragedy of Flight MH-17 by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

On July 17, a Malaysian Airlines passenger plane was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 persons aboard. Evidence suggests that Russian-backed rebels fired the rocket, inadvertently attacking the civilian aircraft. In this report, we will discuss the recent escalation of tensions in Ukraine that led to the mistaken attack. We will examine the use of proxies in warfare between nuclear powers, both the costs and benefits. In terms of cost, the problem of blowback will be analyzed, with a focus on how this situation affects President Putin. We will conclude with market ramificat

2014-07-29 00:00:00 Fed Exit a Blue Pill? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

While we are busy arguing whether the Feds exit will consist of rising rates, reverse repos or the trimming of its massive portfolio, the Fed may well be fooling all of us. Investors must have been swallowing lots of blue pills not to see the illusion hiding in plain sight.

2014-07-29 00:00:00 How to Blend In a Currency Hedge by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

Looking across developed markets today, a common thread is that central bank policies have pushed interest rates to very low levels to support their economies.

2014-07-28 00:00:00 Second Quarter Economic & Capital Market Summary by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

It seems there is a growing disconnect between what the financial markets are discounting and the reality of what is transpiring in the domestic and global economies. While economic growth has the potential to increase during the second half of the year we are not expecting a dramatic acceleration since there are still structural problems in the economy. The result is slow private credit expansion, a lack of fixed investment and a slow rate of business formation.

2014-07-28 00:00:00 Emerging Europe: Regional Economic Review - Q2 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

During the second quarter of the year, the Emerging Europe region appeared to be displaying divergent trends. The fallout of the Ukraine crisis was not as damaging to the Russian economy as feared, with the economy even expanding during the review period. However, as the IMF pointed out, the sanctions imposed by the West appear to have dented investor confidence.

2014-07-26 00:00:00 Mid-Year Outlook: Beware that Peaceful, Easy Feeling by Andrew Pease of Russell Investments

Has a sense of unfounded complacency settled in among investors as we move through the second half of 2014? In our Strategists 2014 Global Outlook Third Quarter Update, we discuss the possibilities.

2014-07-25 00:00:00 The 401(k) Event Horizon by Scott Klimo of Saturna Capital

Who would have guessed in 1973 that Roger Waters' meditation on life's fleeting passage would describe the dilemma faced by many today as they consider how best to save for retirement? The good news is that missing the starting gun doesn't prevent you from joining the race. We have all seen the calculations of how big our nest eggs could be if we started saving and investing at a young age, but those unable to do so still have an opportunity to build substantial savings.

2014-07-24 00:00:00 Instability is the New Normal? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Once upon a time, there were safe havens in this world, places where investors could hide when the going got rough. If you believe this fairy tale world will persist, pinch yourself. In our assessment, not only are there no safe havens left, but instability may be the new normal. Is your portfolio ready?

2014-07-24 00:00:00 Standing By Convictions in European Equities by Philippe Brugere-Trelat of Franklin Templeton Investments

European equities have garnered a fair share of attention lately as leading indicators suggest economies in the region are starting to recover from years of crisis and austerity-induced recessions. While some observers will point to recent equity market volatility as a sign that investors should remain defensive when selecting stocks in the region, Philippe Brugere-Trelat, executive vice president and portfolio manager, Franklin Mutual Series, says hes encouraged by recent developments.

2014-07-23 00:00:00 It’s Not Time to Pull the Portfolio Ripcord… Yet by Rick Vollaro of Pinnacle Advisory Group

The second quarter started in somewhat choppy fashion as small cap and other high flying momentum stocks continued to face pressure as investors decided to shed stocks with swollen valuation multiples. The major averages fared better than their risky counterparts, and after a brief dip stocks began their ascent towards record breaking highs on the back on improving economic data, decent earnings growth, and continuing liquidity support from global central banks.

2014-07-23 00:00:00 The German Spy Scandal by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Last year, Edward Snowden revealed documents indicating the NSA was actively gathering information on Americans and foreigners to the point where German Chancellor Merkel's cell phone was monitored. This revelation greatly unsettled relations between the U.S. and Germany. In this report, we will reiterate the "German Problem," the geopolitical situation that has shaped German behavior since its inception. We will delve into the recent spy scandal in more detail, discuss the underlying issues that are affecting American/German relations, and conclude with market ramifications.

2014-07-23 00:00:00 Does Active Management Succeed in International Small-Caps? by Team of The Royce Funds

Divergent conclusions about the relative success of active management in the international small-cap universe prompted us to do our own examination, which stresses the importance of choosing the appropriate benchmark and evaluating the consistency of a fund's performance over long-term time periods.

2014-07-23 00:00:00 Long Commodities, Short Contango via Commodity Currencies by Rick Harper of WisdomTree

On the back of a resurgence in Chinese economic data and rising geopolitical risk in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, increases in global commodity prices have reinvigorated investor interest in allocating to commodity-based investment strategies.

2014-07-23 00:00:00 Should EMC Corp Break Itself Apart?: FAST FUNdamental Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

On Monday a Wall Street Journal article reported that the hedge fund Elliott Management Corp has taken a more than $1 billion stake in EMC Corp (EMC) and revealed that it intends to petition the company to break itself apart. Elliott believes that this would unlock shareholder value. Implicit in that thesis would be the idea that EMC Corp is not receiving full value from the market. This article is offered as an in-depth analysis of the fundamental value of EMC Corp in relation to how the market is evaluating its business.

2014-07-21 00:00:00 Smart Beta in Action: Taking Chips Off the Small-Cap European Table by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

European equity markets performed strongly throughout much of 2013 and into the first five months of 2014. While it is difficult to time market tops and bottoms for individual stocks on a consistent basis, we believe there are benefits to undertaking a disciplined practice to rebalance weight based on changes in relative valuation.

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.

2014-07-19 00:00:00 The Municipal Bond World, According to John Derrick by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

I sat down with Director of Research John Derrick, who also manages our Near-Term Tax Free Fund (NEARX), to get his thoughts on interest rates, the bond market and what investors should pay attention to as we move into the second quarter of 2014.

2014-07-19 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

From the Suez Canal, to Japanese bullet trains, to the American interstate highway system, to the Millennium Bridge to the Three Gorges Dam, the grandeur of infrastructure is on full display the world over. Awe-inspiring and beautiful to some, these fixtures also play a critical role in the functioning of the global economy. The choices nations make in the area of infrastructure can bear critically on prosperity.

2014-07-19 00:00:00 Perspectives from the Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group by Christopher Molumphy, Michael Materasso, Roger Bayston, Michael Hasenstab, and John Beck of Franklin Templeton Investments

In early July, there was a noticeable disconnect between the median forecast of Fed officials for interest rates by end-2015 and the markets forecast, as expressed in the federal funds futures rate. But if unemployment continues to decline and inflation to pick up in the coming months, the danger for bond market participants is that their predictions for interest rates may be too low and will have to be adjusted.

2014-07-18 00:00:00 Fireside Chats by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

While I was in the Pacific Northwest and Canada most of last week, I did have the privilege of listening to J.P. Morgans (JPM/$55.80/Strong Buy) Chief Market Strategist last Monday. Dr. David Kelly has long been known for his keen insights on the equity markets, with JPMs senior portfolio managers like George Gatz and Tom Luddy steering their mutual funds, on said strategic views, to outsized gains for many years.

2014-07-18 00:00:00 Why We Favor Owning Gold in Euro Terms by Ade Odunsi of AdvisorShares

In this discussion piece we discuss the rationale for why investors looking to buy gold as a defensive asset during these uncertain times should consider buying gold in euro terms. When an investor buys gold in dollars they are expressing the view that they expect the price of gold to increase relative to the dollar. Similarly when an investor buys gold in euro, they express the view that they expect the value of gold to increase relative to the euro.

2014-07-18 00:00:00 Summer Essays by Jeremy Grantham of GMO

In a new quarterly letter to GMO's institutional clients, co-head of asset allocation Ben Inker uses the evolving Boston culinary landscape as a backdrop to examine the tendency of investors to pursue a "free lunch," when they should be looking for the "investing equivalent of an inexpensive and tasty food truck meal instead." In his section, chief investment strategist Jeremy Grantham looks back at investing mistakes made over his 47-year career, paying special attention to his formative investing years and the "painful lessons" learned therein.

2014-07-17 00:00:00 Municipal Market Perspectives by Team of SMC Fixed Income Management

Financial market conditions were as good as could be expected during the first half of the year, as evidenced by positive investment performance across all asset classes.

2014-07-17 00:00:00 How the Europe Small-Cap Portfolio Changed at the Rebalance by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

A key differentiator of the WisdomTree Index methodology is our annual rebalance to focus on changes in relative value. In this blog, we will zoom in on how this approach led to changes in exposure in the WisdomTree Europe SmallCap Dividend Index (WT Europe Small).

2014-07-17 00:00:00 Quarterly Review and Outlook, Second Quarter 2014 by Van Hoisington, Lacy Hunt of Hoisington Investment Management

Hoisington and Hunt review the second quarter in their regular review.

2014-07-16 00:00:00 U.S. Now Worlds Largest Producer of Oil & Gas by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Recent reports have confirmed that the US is now the worlds largest producer of crude oil with output exceeding 11 million barrels per day in the 1Q of this year. This surpasses the daily oil production of Russia and Saudi Arabia.

2014-07-15 00:00:00 The Fed Announces Its Intentions by Chris Maxey, Ryan Davis of Fortigent

Minutes from the mid-June FOMC meeting were released last week, offering keen insight to the Federal Reserves current thinking on the economy. While the Fed suggests that the economic outlook is benign, the minutes offered guidance on the Feds exit path, which is expected to arrive by the end of the year.

2014-07-15 00:00:00 The Dollar Weapon by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Over the past few years, various prosecutorial arms of U.S. government entities have brought charges against foreign banks that have violated U.S. sanctions that were placed on different countries. In this report, we will discuss the general nature of U.S. sanctions and how these banks violated American law. From there, we will reiterate the dollars reserve currency role from both a historic and theoretical perspective and show how this role makes the currency and the U.S. financial system pivotal in the global economy. We will conclude with market ramifications.

2014-07-15 00:00:00 Booming Until It Hurts? by Robert Shiller of Project Syndicate

In recent months, concern has intensified among the worlds financial experts and news media that overheated asset markets real estate, equities, and long-term bonds could lead to a major correction and another economic crisis. The general public seems unbothered, but the experts' concern is healthy.

2014-07-15 00:00:00 Is the Euro the New Yen? by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

Currency-hedged equity strategies broke onto the exchange-traded fund (EFT) investment scene in late 2012 following significant weakening of the yen, which led to a wide disparity in performance between unhedged and currency-hedged Japanese ETFs.

2014-07-15 00:00:00 High-Yield and Bank Loan Outlook by Team of Guggenheim Partners

Certain areas of leveraged credit are overvalued, particularly CCC-rated bonds and bank loans, but often some of the best profits come in the final phase of a cycle. Low yields on U.S. Treasury bonds and European sovereign debt have kept the global search-for-yield theme alive and have lured more capital into U.S. credit markets, helping the ongoing rally in high-yield bonds and bank loans, which gained 2.4 percent and 1.2 percent (as represented by the Credit Suisse High Yield Index and Credit Suisse Institutional Leveraged Loan Index) in the second quarter of 2014, respectively.

2014-07-14 00:00:00 Rising Rates and the U.S. Dollar by Bradley Krom of WisdomTree

While interest rates in the U.S. have fallen so far year-to-date, we continue to believe that rates may be poised to rise in the second half of 2014. Over the last several weeks, we have seen increased interest from clients about how best to prepare their portfolios for an eventual rise in U.S. interest rates.

2014-07-14 00:00:00 Risk of European Counter-Cyclical Underperformance in 2H2014 by Team of GaveKal Capital

Last week, we noted the outperformance of European counter-cyclicals and the group's relationship to the German Bund (here). A quick look at sector performance in Europe so far this year shows the top three market leaders have indeed been the counter-cyclicals (with the exception of the Consumer Staples sector).

2014-07-14 00:00:00 Economic Signals Are Improving, Which Should Help Equity Prices by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities lost ground last week, with the S&P 500 Index dropping just under 1%, its largest weekly loss since early April.1 Cyclical sectors lagged, while defensive areas (chiefly utilities and telecommunications) led the way. A number of factors could be blamed for the decline, including signs of slowing European growth and lingering debt problems, as well as some downward revisions in corporate earnings guidance. In our view, however, the most reasonable explanation for the pullback may simply be fatigue and consolidation following the multi-week price advance.

2014-07-12 00:00:00 2014 Commodities Halftime Report by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

What a difference six months can make. After a disappointing 2013, the commodities market came roaring back full throttle, outperforming the S&P 500 Index by more than 4 percentage points and 10-year Treasury bonds by more than 6.

2014-07-10 00:00:00 Europes Dividend Growth Explained by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

An interesting aspect of the WisdomTree annual rebalance process is identifying trends in aggregate regional Dividend Stream of major markets. As we just rebalanced our developed world Indexes, including Europe, we wanted to provide some insight into how Europes dividends grew in the 12 months prior to the rebalance.

2014-07-09 00:00:00 Choosing Winners in Asian Credit: Key Trends and Themes by Raja Mukherji, Ronie Ganguly of PIMCO

Key trends include Asian credit supply, which is on track for another record year in 2014, and China's priority to promote cleaner and more efficient energy. Our bottom-up research and careful risk assessments informed by macroeconomic perspectives have us favoring select investments in several sectors of Asian credit markets, including state-owned enterprises in China and Korea, investment grade new issues and Basel III Tier 2 bank capital bonds. ?

2014-07-09 00:00:00 And That's the Quarter That Was by Ron Brounes of Brounes & Associates

The dismal winter weather is finally in the rearview mirror and stocks continued their record-setting ways.

2014-07-09 00:00:00 U.S. & European Flows: Potential Opportunity in European Debt? by Bradley Krom of WisdomTree

In discussions with our clients, we often notice their interest in hearing where WisdomTree or the industry is seeing inflows in order to gain new ideas for investment. As the market for global exchange-traded products continues to evolve, we believe that investors will increasingly look to global ETP flows for investment ideas.

2014-07-08 00:00:00 GMO versus Blackrock: Divergent Views of Global Markets by Justin Kermond (Article)

GMO's Ben Inker says he wouldn't touch U.S. small-capitalization stocks "with a 10-foot pole" - and says he sees no asset class that is attractively priced. That isn't the way Blackrock, the world's largest asset manager, views things. Blackrock's Dennis Stattman likes Japanese equities and gold and isn't afraid of rising rates.

2014-07-08 00:00:00 The Power of Share Repurchases by Patrick O'Shaughnessy of O'Shaughnessey Asset management

One of the most effective stock selection strategies in the U.S. over the past several decades has been to buy stocks that are in the midst of repurchasing significant quantities of their sharesbut just blindly following buybacks isnt always the best strategy. While many companies that are repurchasing large quantities of their shares make for great investments, others are dangerous and should be avoided. There are several important factors that should be considered when evaluating a stock with impressive buybacks.

2014-07-08 00:00:00 Slow but Steady Growth by Richard Michaud of New Frontier Advisors

In the second quarter of 2014 major asset class performance was positive. The Dow was up 2.4%, the S&P up 4.7%, and the NASDAQ up 5%. International equities nearly kept pace with US equities; the MSCI ACWI ex US was up 3.8%.

2014-07-08 00:00:00 Will Latest Jobs Report Force the Fed to Act? by Chris Maxey, Ryan Davis of Fortigent

After a reasonably bleak winter, labor markets are on the rebound, just in time for the Federal Reserve to decide when they should stop asset purchases. Recent figures suggest that labor markets are very near Fed targets, raising the possibility that interest rate hikes could begin sooner than expected.

2014-07-07 00:00:00 Europes Debt Wish by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

It is difficult to see how Europe can revive economic growth without significant debt restructuring or rescheduling. But Europes politicians seem utterly unable to contemplate this scenario, thus placing a huge burden on the ECB.

2014-07-05 00:00:00 I'm Grateful to Live in America. Here's Why. by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

An important principle of our investment process at U.S. Global Investors is a belief that government policies are a precursor to change. As a result, we closely monitor the fiscal, monetary and other impactful governmental policies of the worlds largest countries, both in terms of economic stature and population. Were always listening for the proverbial shot heard around the world. As we approach Americas Independence Day, this belief rings especially true.

2014-07-05 00:00:00 2014 Mid-Year Outlook Update: Living Actively Forecast Continues by Stephen Wood of Russell Investments

Does 2014 at mid-year remain a year of living actively for investors as outlined in Russells 2014 Annual Global Outlook issued last December? In that report, my colleagues on the global team of investment strategists agreed on the macro-view that 2014 would be better represented as a year of validation than a year of appreciation. And now, as we examine the underlying fundamentals in the macro- data at mid-year, I dont see a reason yet to alter our year of validation call.

2014-07-03 00:00:00 Mid-Year Emerging Markets Update: Recovery Phase by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

As Ive often said, investing in emerging markets requires patience, long-term perspective, and selective stock-picking. I think many investors focus too much on the short-term. As long-term investors, we view short-term bouts of volatility as an opportune time to find potential bargains for our portfolios, and we certainly experienced that in the first half of the year.

2014-07-03 00:00:00 The Outlook for Yields by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

As U.S. economic growth gathers pace, yields on 10-year U.S. Treasuries should shift higher over the next two to three years, eventually moving as high as 3.75-4 percent.

2014-07-01 00:00:00 The 2014 Mid-Year Geopolitical Update by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

As is our custom, we take the middle of the year to reflect on the current geopolitical situation. This report is less a series of predictions as it is a list of potential geopolitical issues that we believe will dominate the international landscape for the rest of the year. It is not designed to be exhaustive; instead, it focuses on the big picture conditions that we believe will affect policy and markets going forward. They are listed in order of importance: Americas Strategic Drift, Chinese Maritime Expansion, The German Problem, and The Remaking of the Middle East.

2014-07-01 00:00:00 Fixed Income Markets Cruise - What's Next? by Chris Maxey, Brian Payne of Fortigent

For the better part of twelve months, fixed income markets have been in a rather benign state. After receiving a scare in early summer 2013 during the taper tantrum, volatility subsided, and normalcy returned to the world of fixed income. As money continues to pour into fixed income markets, there is growing concern that the investment opportunity is stretched and the time to rebalance is now.

2014-06-30 00:00:00 The New Normal of Healthcare Spending by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

A rather interesting shockwave came across the newsfeeds this week. I was actually doing a TV interview when the host announced that GDP was down 2.9% for the first quarter. There was not much else I could do but note that that was a really bad, ugly, terrible, not very good number.

2014-06-30 00:00:00 Taking a Balanced View of Equities by Lisa Myers of Franklin Templeton Investments

With the US S&P 500 Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average advancing into record territory this year and some European equity benchmarks likewise nearing new highs, some investors may be wondering whether its still wise to be jumping into the market at this stage. Lisa Myers, executive vice president, Templeton Global Equity Group, thinks that a long-term investment horizon, supported by bottom-up analysis, can reveal hidden value.

2014-06-28 00:00:00 Health Care Sector Spurred by Population Growth and M&As by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Recently I spoke with John Derrick, director of research here at U.S. Global, to pick his brain about what he thought was the most interesting sector right now. You might expect him to have said energy, perhaps because of the intensifying violence in Kurdistan Iraq, a major oil producer. But instead, he said that he had his eyes on health care.

2014-06-26 00:00:00 Stock Picking Matters in the Current Market Climate by Whitney George of The Royce Funds

Has the current market environment begun to favor less speculative companies and investment managers with a more active orientation? Director of Investments, Managing Director, and Portfolio Manager Whitney George talks about valuations, sectors and industries that he believes look promising, and some names in which he has high conviction.

2014-06-25 00:00:00 World Cup and World CPI Are Heating Up, Risking Mistakes by Key Players by Jeffrey Kleintop of LPL Financial

Just as the World Cup has been heating up, increasing the risk of player mistakes, the world consumer price index (CPI) has also been heating up, complicating the task for policymakers at the worlds central banks and increasing the risk of mistakes that could have market implications.

2014-06-25 00:00:00 Where the Equity Opportunities Are by Russ Koesterich of iShares Blog

Given that U.S. stocks are no longer cheap and most stock market bargains are now found overseas, Russ believes that U.S. investors should look abroad for equity opportunities.

2014-06-24 00:00:00 Red Sky in the Morn', Junk Bond Investors Be Warn'd. by Bryce Fegley of Saturna Capital

Investor appetite for income has pushed yields and spreads on high-yield bonds to very low levels, while corporate borrowers have fed that demand with record issuance of new debt. On top of low yields and heavy issuance, bond dealers have retreated from corporate bonds in response to new financial regulations. As a result of these factors, we believe now is a particularly risky time to invest in high-yield bonds. Here we offer some of our suggestions for seeking income and yield with less risk.

2014-06-24 00:00:00 Equities Rally on Surprise-Free Fed by Chris Maxey, Ryan Davis of Fortigent

The Federal Reserve held its regularly scheduled meeting last week, and equity markets raced to their strongest daily gain of the week after the announcement was released. There were few surprises, as the Fed chose to maintain its course, while painting a cautious economic picture.

2014-06-24 00:00:00 The ISIL Threat by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Recently, the insurgent group called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has made stunning inroads into Iraq. ISIL represents a new threat to the region. In this report, we offer a historical analysis of how the modern Middle East was constructed and why the construct is coming under pressure. One of the keys to understanding why ISIL is so potent is to differentiate it from al Qaeda; we will analyze the differences. We will offer the strongest reason why we believe ISIL has staying power, also noting ISILs greatest weakness and the possibility of a broader sectarian confli

2014-06-24 00:00:00 Is The Fed Underestimating Inflation? by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Following a week in which investors took pause and focused on the negatives, they reversed course last week and pushed equity prices higher. A number of factors seemed to contribute to the positive tone, not the least of which was an indication from the Federal Reserve (Fed) that there will be no near term change to its accommodative monetary policy.

2014-06-23 00:00:00 Italy: When Hope Is a Strategy by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

I came back from Italy this week, and one of my guilty pleasures was being able to sit down and watch the last three episodes, including the season finale, of Game of Thrones. For those readers who are not enthralled with the fantasy epic from HBO or have not read the first five books (will he ever finish?), author George R.R. Martin has written one of the most complex fantasy series ever, about a world where everyone is occupied with who will sit on the Iron Throne.

2014-06-21 00:00:00 Ah, the Power of Mean Reversion. by Frank of U.S. Global Investors

The chatter this week has been gold. The precious metal flew up $45 an ounce on Thursday, surprising investors, the media and markets alike.

2014-06-20 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: June by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

With 10-year US Treasury yields dropping below 2.5% at one point during early June in spite of improving forward economic indicators, the US bond market has continued to send out confusing signals, in our view. Purchasing manager indexes have remained well over the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction for many months, consumer demand has remained relatively buoyant, and nonfarm payrolls show job creation running at over 200,000 per month for 13 of the 21 months to May 2014.

2014-06-20 00:00:00 Turkey Is the Big Winner Following the Crisis in Ukraine by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Russias annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and the possibility of further action taken in Ukraine and other former Soviet Bloc nations have led many investors to wonder, understandably so, what impact the crisis has had on investment opportunities in Eastern Europe. To unravel these concerns and more, U.S. Globals Director of Research John Derrick caught up with Gavin Graham of VoiceAmericas Emerging and Frontier Markets Investing program.

2014-06-19 00:00:00 American Allure by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The American economy is looking stronger, and with Europe improving and China working through its problems, the outlook for U.S. stocks and bonds looks positive heading into summer.

2014-06-18 00:00:00 Euro-Sterling Credit: Yield and Spread Still Appeal by Ketish Pothalingam of PIMCO

Framed by ongoing renormalisation in Europe and stronger UK growth, euro-sterling investment grade credit markets are in a favourable part of their respective cycles as corporates continue to deleverage, default rates are expected to remain low ahead and market liquidity has improved across Europe. We believe the sterling credit market provides a more balanced credit market and offers investors the opportunity for better total carry versus euro and global investment grade credit markets.

2014-06-17 00:00:00 Gundlach: A Big Moment for the Economy and the Markets by Robert Huebscher (Article)

The benchmark 10-year Treasury bond is an attractive investment, according to Jeffrey Gundlach, although its yield is likely to stay between 2.2% and 2.8% for the remainder of the year. Despite that narrow range, Gundlach foresees pivots in other parts of the investment landscape.

2014-06-17 00:00:00 Stiglitz: Europe's View on Inequality by Marianne Brunet (Article)

When you approach a crowd conversing over coffee at an economics conference, you don't normally expect to hear them giddily saying: "He's absolutely adorable! Adorable, and so sweet." But at a recent economics conference in Toulouse, France, participants were raving about Joseph Stiglitz like he was a movie star.

2014-06-16 00:00:00 Crosscurrents and Fatigue Cause a Slight Slump in Stocks by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Favorable monetary policy and improving economic growth have remained steady, but investors appeared to focus on some of the negatives last week. Sentiment seemed to sour due to the rising turmoil in Iraq (and subsequent rise in oil prices), as well as House Majority Leader Eric Cantors primary defeat, which served to highlight a more partisan environment before the November elections. For the week, the S&P 500 Index declined 0.6%.

2014-06-16 00:00:00 Unconstrained Bond Investing in The New Neutral by Mohit Mittal, Saumil Parikh of PIMCO

At our recently concluded Secular Forum, PIMCO investment professionals from around the globe gathered in Newport Beach to discuss and debate the secular outlook for major world economies. With insight from guest speakers and new MBA/PhD hires, PIMCO coined the phrase The New Neutral to define its secular three- to five-year outlook for the world economies. In his most recent Investment Outlook, Bill Gross further elaborated on The New Neutral.

2014-06-14 00:00:00 Stealthy, Silent…Sustainable? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Michelle Gibley of Charles Schwab

US stocks should continue to move generally higher although activity may remain sluggish through the summer and the possibility of a correction is elevated as per both seasonal/election cycle tendencies and elevated optimistic sentiment. The U.S. economy should help support the market as signs are increasing that we may be entering the long-waited for self-sustaining expansion. The ECB's actions weren't game changing but are helpful and European equities look attractive, while we believe the worries over a Chinese slowdown are overblown.

2014-06-14 00:00:00 Gold Investors: Let This Cycle Be Your Guide by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

U.S. Global Investors recently welcomed Doug Peta, an economist from BCA research, to our offices. He presented some interesting research regarding the Fed Funds Rate Cycle, and in turn, what that research could mean for gold. I wanted to share points from his presentation, as well as our own in-house research, to help you understand the positivity we see for the precious metal looking towards 2015.

2014-06-14 00:00:00 ECB Leaves the Door Open for Further Action by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

he European Central Bank (ECB) delivered a robust package of monetary policy measures on June 5 and promised more to come if needed to help stave off deflation and support the eurozones fragile economic recovery. Among the moves announced were interest rate cuts, including a negative interest rate on excess deposits that banks hold with the ECB, and new facilities to support bank lending to small businesses. We asked David Zahn, portfolio manager for the Franklin Global Government Bond Fund, for his thoughts on what these latest measures could mean for investors.

2014-06-14 00:00:00 The Age of Transformation by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Today I offer some musings on what Ive come to think of as the Age of Transformation (which I have been thinking about a lot while in Tuscany). I believe there are multiple and rapidly accelerating changes happening simultaneously (if you can think of 10 years as simultaneously) that are going to transform our social structures, our investment portfolios, and our personal futures. We have had such transformations in the past. The rise of the nation state, the steam engine, electricity, the advent of the social safety net, the personal computer, the internet, and the collapse of communis

2014-06-13 00:00:00 Trading the Last Third of a Move by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

When bull markets mature, investors fear a coming crisis and today there are plenty of candidates from Europe to China to Thailand. Still, some of the best profits may lie ahead.

2014-06-13 00:00:00 German Defense: Spending Spree? by Team of GaveKal Capital

A Bloomberg article today highlighted the potential need for Germany to invest more in its defenses, in light of recent geopolitical instability. As a percent of GDP, defense spending has been falling since the early 1990's. However, if we look at absolute spending levels, yearly totals have recently matched or even exceeded those reached more than 20 years ago.

2014-06-13 00:00:00 ECB Leaves the Door Open for Further Action by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

The European Central Bank (ECB) delivered a robust package of monetary policy measures on June 5 and promised more to come if needed to help stave off deflation and support the eurozones fragile economic recovery. Among the moves announced were interest rate cuts, including a negative interest rate on excess deposits that banks hold with the ECB, and new facilities to support bank lending to small businesses. We asked David Zahn, portfolio manager for the Franklin Global Government Bond Fund, for his thoughts on what these latest measures could mean for investors.

2014-06-13 00:00:00 Is the European Economy Turning Japanese by PJ Grzywacz of CMG Capital Management Group

Turning Japanese in todays macroeconomic environment means that your country is at risk of deflation which can turn into a 20 year battle, like in Japan.

2014-06-12 00:00:00 Central Banks Chart a Course for Overheating by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

When bull markets mature, investors fear a coming crisis. Today there are plenty of candidates from Europe to China to Thailand. But bull markets climb a wall of worry and there are reasons now not to expect a looming crisis.

2014-06-12 00:00:00 A Quarter Century of Emerging-Markets Investing by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

At one time or another, every country could have been classified as emerging. Back in the 1800s, the Western part of the United States was called the new frontier. Investors purchasing farmland there were likely to consider it a highly speculative venture putting stakes in such a rugged and wild place.

2014-06-11 00:00:00 Technical Checkup Of MSCI World Regions by Team of GaveKal Capital

There are many ways to measure the intensity of moves in the equity market. One method we use is to measure the net percent of stocks up over a certain time period.

2014-06-11 00:00:00 Disturbing Headlines, Strong Equity Markets: Why the Disconnect? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Its hard not to see some disconnect between recent disturbing world news headlines and the markets quiet advance. Russ examines why this disconnect is rational in the short term, but not necessarily in the long term, and gives three rules of thumb for how investors can potentially respond.

2014-06-11 00:00:00 Is Inequality Caused by Capitalism or Statism? by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

The French economist Thomas Piketty has achieved worldwide fame by promoting a thesis that capitalism is the cause of growing economic inequality. Unfortunately, he is partially right. However, the important distinction missed by Piketty and all of his supporters is that state capitalism, not free market capitalism, has reigned supreme in recent decades in the world's leading democracies.

2014-06-11 00:00:00 US Regional Banks Attractiveness Jumps in June by Erik Kobayashi-Solomon of YCharts, Inc.

Our Sector-level heat map looks much the same as it did last month, save for the fact that the shade of green has deepened for the Utilities and Financial Services sectorsindicating a larger number of companies screening undervalued according to YCharts Value Score.

2014-06-10 00:00:00 The Central Bank Divide: 3 Implications for Investors by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Major central banks are no longer moving in lockstep. While the Fed is pulling back, other central banks are maintaining very easy monetary policy. Russ explains three implications this new dynamic has for investors.

2014-06-10 00:00:00 Stocks' Correlation to Real Interest Rates was the Most Significant Factor Driving Returns Last Week by Team of GaveKal Capital

Real interest rates as measured by TIPS yields proved to be the most significant factor driving stock prices last week while other macro factors such as stocks' correlation to the Japanese yen and euro were also important. It is also noteworthy that the beta factor is making its way back to the top of the list after having been insignificant over the last one and three months. Below we show the top ten factors driving returns for each region.

2014-06-10 00:00:00 The American Oil Weapon by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

In this report, we will begin with a basic analysis of the oil markets. From there, we will examine Russia's economic dependence on energy and offer a historical analysis of Saudi Arabia's decisions in 1985 and 1997 to retake oil market share and the impact these choices had on the Soviet economy. Using this historical parallel, we will offer an example of how the U.S. could drive down oil prices in a bid to undermine Russia's economy.

2014-06-09 00:00:00 Bright Signs for the Economy and Equity Markets by Bob Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The macro backdrop last week was positive for the markets. As expected, the ECB cut interest rates, highlighting the favorable global monetary policy backdrop. Closer to home, solid vehicle sales and a good May labor market report gave investors additional reasons to bid up stock prices. The S&P 500 Index advanced 1.4%, marking a third straight week of gains above 1% the longest such streak since last September. Looking ahead, we believe the combination of an improving world economy, low levels of volatility and easy global monetary policy should continue to provide support for equ

2014-06-09 00:00:00 Why are bond yields and volatility so low? by Carl Tannenbaum and Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

This years mid-point review would not be terribly kind to me or to other forecasters. None of us foresaw a big U.S. economic contraction during the first quarter of the year, although we should have better times ahead (as long as the Polar Vortex doesnt return). A more vexing surprise, however, has been the steep decline in U.S. Treasury yields and the persistently low market volatility during the years first half.

2014-06-09 00:00:00 Jobs return to pre-recession peak by Ryan Davis and Brian Payne of Fortigent

Global equity markets cheered the European Central Banks (ECB) decision to lower rates and provide further monetary stimulus last week, as the DJIA and S&P 500 gained 1.2% and 1.3%, respectively. As one might imagine, notable outperformance came from Europes peripheral countries with Italy (MSCI Italy) and Spain (MSCI Spain) gaining 3.4% and 2.6%, respectively.

2014-06-08 00:00:00 Can Central Planners Revive Chinas Economic Miracle? by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

We are going to try gamely to finish with China today, having left at least three or four letters worth of copy on the editing floor. There is just so much information and misinformation to cover. Im going to turn it over to Worth and then follow up with a few final thoughts of my own.

2014-06-07 00:00:00 China Leads the World in Green Energy, Gaming and Gambling Markets by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Last month, Xian Liang, co-portfolio manager of our China Region Fund (USCOX), attended the 19th CLSA China Forum in Beijing. There he and hundreds of other global attendees were given the opportunity to meet with representatives from Chinese corporations, some of which U.S. Global owns. Xian also managed to get a sense of how the nation?s recent changes in consumer behavior and governmental policy reforms might affect its investment outlook. Although China remains an emerging market, it has lately taken a number of considerable strides to position itself as one of the world?s most

2014-06-06 00:00:00 The ECB finally acts and hopes for a good reaction by Carl Tannenbaum and Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

Many have criticized the European Central Bank (ECB) for preferring words over action in recent months. So credit must be given to ECB President Mario Draghi and his colleagues for enacting a series of measures aimed at shaking the eurozone from its malaise. The question is whether yesterdays decision will result in more credit given to eurozone borrowers.

2014-06-05 00:00:00 Time (and Money) in a Cellphone by Bill Gross of PIMCO

Our modern age is becoming more virtual than physical, which I find increasingly depressing if only because Ive failed to keep pace. I dont even own a cellphone. Still, it doesnt take a Boomer to observe that the reality outside as opposed to inside a computer or a cellphone should be the preferred experience. Scientists claim we are all just bits of information with billions of 1s and 0s, glued together to form a beating heart. Even so, Im sticking with live chirping as opposed to Angry Birds for now. Virtual reality seems just a tad UNreal to me.

2014-06-04 00:00:00 Schroders Multi-Asset Insights: What is the forward curve telling us about US Treasury yields? by Matthias Scheiber and Aymeric Forest of Schroder Investment Management

If central bank liquidity provision and the use of forward guidance has been dampening volatility, then its withdrawal over the coming 12 months could result in an increase in volatility. Arguably the recent flattening of the yield curve is a harbinger of this. Given the gradual path of the reduction in liquidity, this process of normalization could be extended. However, with the mean reverting nature of volatility, we believe it is currently cheap and will normalize upwards over the coming months towards its longer term average of 20. This is why we recommend adding actively managed volatilit

2014-06-04 00:00:00 Helping Clients Hedge Market Risk: Four Important Considerations by Roger Masi of Macro Risk Advisors

The S&P 500 was up 32% last year and recently reached a new all-time high. Since the March 2009 lows, the market is up 180%. Despite this impressive rally, both institutional and retail advisors must contemplate how to protect client portfolio wealth as many sources of uncertainty remain. The risk environment has changed over the past several years. Banks can create instability, government debt is no longer seen as risk free, the China growth miracle is in question, and Central Banks are actively influencing the prices of assets. This is not your fathers market.

2014-06-04 00:00:00 European challenges and outlook by Matt Lloyd of Advisors Asset Management

The constant debate of leading and lagging indicators is one that spills over to the political components as well. The timing of demographic shifting, recent economic events, geopolitical tectonic shifts taking place globally and neo-creative monetary policy have all been pointing to voter sentiment evolving. We have seen this represented in Europe for some time and the recent European Parliament election saw more than sublime results.

2014-06-02 00:00:00 Equities and Bonds Diverge Amid Low Volatility by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Another week brought another record close for equities. The S&P 500 Index increased 1.2% for the week, notching a new high, but investor attention appeared to be focused elsewhere. Low levels of market volatility, a pickup in M&A activity, a difficult revenue environment for banks and improving housing data all gathered headlines, yet the bond market garnered the most focus.

2014-05-31 00:00:00 From Constantinople to Istanbul, Turkey Has Never Been Better by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Every time he travels to Turkey, portfolio manager of our Emerging Europe Fund (EUROX), Tim Steinle, says the country continues to develop. Although technically classified as an emerging market, one wouldn?t think to label the country as such upon arrival. The population is young and growing, there are improvements to infrastructure everywhere you look, beautiful green parks are more prevalent, and the professional staffs that run many of the shops and businesses are both well organized and thriving.

2014-05-31 00:00:00 The Great Backlash by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

In the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, policymakers success in preventing the Great Recession from turning into Great Depression II held in check demands for protectionist measures. But now the backlash against globalization has arrived, and we know from bitter experience what could come next.

2014-05-30 00:00:00 The Growing Importance of Natural Gas by Skip Aylesworth of Hennessy Funds

The natural gas industry is experiencing a revolution. Fueled by advances in drilling technology, natural gas has become an abundant energy source and is quickly becoming Americas domestic energy solution. In fact, it is believed that we now have a 100-year supply in the U.S. even with increasing demand.

2014-05-30 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: May by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group® of Franklin Templeton Investments

We believe a substantial improvement in US growth is underway, despite first-quarter 2014 gross domestic product (GDP) growth coming in at an annual rate of -1.0%, well below market expectations.

2014-05-30 00:00:00 Taking Advantage of Pessimism by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The world is distracted with fears of the next great calamity, but heading into summer U.S. financial markets are enjoying a remarkably positive environment.

2014-05-30 00:00:00 Tax-Exempt Securities Confounding the Consensus in 2014 by Michael Smith, Bob Meyer of SMC Fixed Income Management

Rarely do the financial markets provide the double treat of simultaneously rising equity valuations and falling bond yields. Almost midway through the second quarter of 2014, key stock indices reached new all-time highs while global bond yields have retreated to levels not seen in over six months. Something has to give: either stock prices retreat or yields rise. Right? At least this is the popular assumption supported by classic economic rationale for a normal investment environment.

2014-05-30 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Reflections from a fortnight abroad;Last weekend's European elections will make cooperation more difficult

2014-05-29 00:00:00 Is There a UK Housing Bubble???? by Mike Amey of PIMCO

We see the UK experiencing a very traditional monetary cycle involving lower mortgage rates, higher house prices and then hopefully higher transactions. The Bank of England can address rising house prices either by raising financing costs via the banking system or by raising interest rates. Markets will watch BoE activity closely. Our expectation is for a gradual and modest interest rate cycle, with low rates in the UK economy for years to come. Housing may be an overvalued asset, but one that is secularly supported by low rates.

2014-05-28 00:00:00 A Deeper look at Corporate CapEx and Stock Buybacks by Team of GaveKal Capital

Yesterday we analyzed aggregate capital spending on tangibles for non-financial constituent companies in the MSCI World Index (90% of global investible market cap). We found that CapEx as a % of sales has been extremely steady over the last nine years, fluctuating in a 0.9% range. In 2013 CapEx as a % of sales, at 7.9%, registered the second highest reading over the 9 year period.

2014-05-28 00:00:00 Europes Ukrainian Lifeline by George Soros of Project Syndicate

Europes voters recently expressed their dissatisfaction with the way the EU currently functions, while Ukraines people demonstrated their desire for association with the EU. European leaders and citizens should take this opportunity to consider what that means and how helping Ukraine can also help Europe.

2014-05-27 00:00:00 Lacy Hunt: The Dark Side of Debt by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Lacy Hunt has used econometric research to persuasively demonstrate the statistical relationship between excessive debt and slow economic growth. Although Hunt and I disagree over whether this analysis can be applied to the U.S., our forecasts for growth in the U.S. economy and for the bond markets are remarkably similar.

2014-05-27 00:00:00 Five Steps to Get Out of a Rut by Dan Richards (Article)

Five simple strategies have proven successful in breaking the logjam caused by inertia - and making change happen.

2014-05-27 00:00:00 Four Market Risks to Focus on This Summer by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

What could lead to a more severe market correction? While theres a long list of things that could go wrong in 2014, Russ lists four market risks to pay attention to this summer.

2014-05-27 00:00:00 Economy Begins to Accelerate While Equities Push Higher by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities finished higher last week as the S&P 500 advanced 1.3%, snapping a two-week losing streak and ending at a new record high. Markets seemed to lack conviction, but the path of least resistance appeared skewed to the upside as momentum for the economic recovery was positive.

2014-05-25 00:00:00 A Bubble in Complacency by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

The simple fact is that we are in what I call a Muddle Through Economy. Things arent terrible, but they are not great, either. Weve come through a devastating Great Recession caused by a crisis in the financial sector. It is quite typical for the effects of such a crisis to linger for a decade or more. So compared to where we were at the bottom of the Great Recession, the glass is half-full. But compared to the expectations we have for economic recovery and the resumption of vibrant growth, half-full seems like an exaggeration. And for many people, the glass is simply empty, whil

2014-05-25 00:00:00 Mounting Momentum? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Michelle Gibley of Charles Schwab

Although the stock market remains sluggish, with the potential for a correction elevated, the U.S. economy appears to be improving. There is probably no great rush to get into the stock market at this point, but maintaining a steady investing discipline in the face of what we think is a continuing secular bull market is key. Investors frustrated with the low yield environment should be careful about adding too much risk to a portfolio in search of higher yields.

2014-05-22 00:00:00 Scarce Growth - Can the Tortoises Continue to Outpace the Hares? by Robert McConnaughey of Columbia Management

For some time we have suggested that in a world slowly recovering from the 2008 financial crisis, aggregate global growth would be sub-par and that investors would benefit from seeking scarce growth, so long as that growth did not become wildly overvalued. Recent market action has tested that stance severely.

2014-05-22 00:00:00 The Crimean Conflict Has Affected Commodities Markets, Just Not Where You’d Expect by Nicholas Johnson, Gillian Rutherford of PIMCO

Since the end of February, when the Crimean crisis started to escalate, grain prices have responded to nearly every up and down of the crisis. Wheat is up 21%, and corn is up 10%. We believe investors looking to take a view on the future price of wheat or corn should do so through the options market. In this case, we think being long puts on wheat is an attractive way to implement our short wheat view.

2014-05-22 00:00:00 China’s Property Problems by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Alarm bells are warning of a Chinese property bubble, but Beijing can avoid a crisis by allowing inflation to fix the problem.

2014-05-22 00:00:00 Russian Interests by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine remain high, and have spilled onto the international stage. The Western world seemed to be caught off guard by Russian President Putins reaction to civil unrest in Ukraine, leading to Russias annexation of Crimea and spreading into a broader question of regional sovereignty. The situation remains fluid, so its difficult to predict just exactly how it might play out. But given escalating conflict in Eastern Ukraine, we do not envision an easy or quick end to the conflict.

2014-05-21 00:00:00 Pacific Powers: Australia and Japan by Don Huber of Franklin Templeton Investments

Separated by nearly 4,000 miles of sea, the economies of Australia and Japan are often lumped together under the Asia Pacific (APAC) label. Both of these countries can be considered global powers and powerful GDP generators, but their economies, the challenges they face and their responses to those challenges have been very different. Don Huber, vice president, research analyst and portfolio manager, Franklin Equity Group, looks at how these APAC powers are navigating their unique issues and shares his market outlook for each.

2014-05-21 00:00:00 And That's The Week That Was by Ron Brounes of Brounes & Associates

What goes up must come down (and then go up again). Such was the fickle week in the stock market. After soaring to new highs on the major indexes, investors went into selling mode (profit-taking for the most part?), before jumping back in for the end-of-week bargain shopping.

2014-05-20 00:00:00 Will Global Tensions Derail the US Recovery? by Robert Huebscher (Article)

It's not the Fed's monetary policy that investors should fear, but the "geopolitical tapering" undertaken by the Obama administration, contends Niall Ferguson, the Harvard historian. Ian Bremmer, the political scientist and chairman of the Eurasia Group, disagrees - despite some tactical missteps, he said, the current administration has achieved reasonable results.

2014-05-20 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Update with Rennie McConnochie by (Article)

Despite recent challenges, the Emerging Markets sector poses a potentially attractive opportunity to long-term CEF investors, says Rennie McConnochie of Aberdeen.

2014-05-20 00:00:00 Which Resource Areas Show Signs of Strength? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Global synchronized growth, as measured by the Global Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), remained stable or positive for the past 12 months until Japan reversed the momentum in April with a precipitous drop in its PMI. China is contributing modest growth but, fortunately, the U.S. and Europe are rebounding. This lack of consistent global momentum has created a short-term, volatile, hot and cold, stop-and-go sentiment. Global real GDP growth peaked in 2010 at 5.2 percent then slowed for the next three years to 3 percent.

2014-05-20 00:00:00 A Revised Bond Market Outlook? by Scott Brown of Raymond James

A year ago, as Fed Chairman Bernanke spoke of the possibility of tapering the Feds Large-Scale Asset Purchase program (QE3), bond yields moved higher. Theyve been range-bound over the last year, but have more recently dipped to the lower end of that range. Whats driving the bond market?

2014-05-19 00:00:00 America The Youthful? Yes, On a Relative Basis by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

While the United States is aging at a much slower pace than much of the rest of the world, the U.S. population will almost certainly continue to age. As Russ explains, this has three implications for the U.S. economy.

2014-05-19 00:00:00 Sovereigns Look Seductive in Europes Periphery by Jorgen Kjaersgaard, John Taylor of AllianceBernstein

Investment-grade bonds issued by nonfinancial firms in Europes peripheral countries have had a great run but now look expensive. In our view, government bonds from the likes of Spain and Italy offer better value for investors who want peripheral exposure.

2014-05-19 00:00:00 The Belgian Connection by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

One of the biggest questions at the end of 2013 was how the Treasury market would react to the reduction of bond buying that would result from the Federal Reserves tapering campaign. If the Fed were to hold course to its stated intentions, its $45 billion monthly purchases of Treasury bonds would be completely wound down by the 4th quarter of 2014.

2014-05-17 00:00:00 Which Resource Areas Show Signs of Strength? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Global synchronized growth, as measured by the Global Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), remained stable or positive for the past 12 months until Japan reversed the momentum in April with a precipitous drop in its PMI. China is contributing modest growth but, fortunately, the U.S. and Europe are rebounding. This lack of consistent global momentum has created a short-term, volatile, hot and cold, stop-and-go sentiment. Global real GDP growth peaked in 2010 at 5.2 percent then slowed for the next three years to 3 percent. Global growth in 2014 is likely to accelerate, for the first time in four y

2014-05-16 00:00:00 Mixed Signals and the Road Less Traveled by Doug MacKay, Bill Hoover, Mike Czekaj of Broadleaf Partners

As the markets flirt with all-time highs and a potential shift in Fed policy, earnings season has not altered the fact that the level of investor uncertainty feels elevated. Throw in the case of a really bad winter, a geopolitical environment that rhymes with events just prior to World War I, and poor trading volumes, and it all suggests that heightened levels of unease remain.

2014-05-16 00:00:00 India: Counting Efficiently by Rahul Gupta of Matthews Asia

Indias massive election processinvolving more than 1 million polling stations and 800 million eligible votershas just drawn to a close. Despite being a poor country with annual GDP per capita on the lower end of Asian economies (at US$1,527), it is home to some of the worlds best IT and generic pharmaceutical companies. Electronic voting is one illustration of the dichotomies that are present in the rapidly changing nation. This weeks Asia Weekly explores the hurdles and the technology used to manage the worlds biggest democratic election exercise.

2014-05-16 00:00:00 And That's The Week That Was by Ron Brounes of Brounes & Associates

Strike up the band! The Dow is now in positive territory for the year AND even set a record close. Who would have thunk that after the dismal January and the pessimism that reigned from the winter? The recovery continued as earnings season offered more surprises and the economic numbers show a country moving beyond the thaw of winter. Now if only China (Europe and Russia) could follow suit.

2014-05-15 00:00:00 Schroders Monthly Markets Review: Overview of Markets in April 2014 by Keith Wade, Azad Zangana, Craig Botham of Schroder Investment Management

Global equities edged higher in April. Some stronger macroeconomic data from developed economies helped to support returns but the ongoing crisis in Ukraine remained a headwind for equities. Developed markets outperformed emerging markets. In the US, a generally firmer tone to macroeconomic data and a broadly encouraging corporate earnings season supported sentiment. Investors were also reassured by comments from Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Janet Yellen about maintaining low interest rates.

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.

2014-05-14 00:00:00 Worried about the Downside? by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

There have been numerous academic studies that suggest investors reactions to market risk are not symmetric. Investors consistently react more negatively to losses than positively to gains. At RBA, we incorporate this asymmetry in our sentiment work. Data clearly show that no group of investors is currently willing to take excessive US equity risk. Pension funds, endowments, foundations, hedge funds, individuals, Wall Street strategists, and even corporations themselves remain more fearful of downside risk than they are willing to accentuate upside potential.

2014-05-14 00:00:00 The Good, the Bad and the Opportunity by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The press is demanding the attention of investors more than ever. Whether it was the recent jobs report or last weeks testimony from Janet Yellen, sorting through the market noise is no easy task. Since the world is so interconnected from Facebook to WhatsApp, a spark of news can ignite unfounded fear in an instant. Whats truly significant when it comes to your investments?

2014-05-13 00:00:00 Thomas White's 2014 Market Outlook by (Article)

Assessing the prospects in 2014, 45-year industry veteran Thomas S. White offers his view of the challenges and opportunities ahead in the global economic markets.

2014-05-13 00:00:00 The Bull Market Isn’t Over. It’s Changing. by Sponsored Content by OppenheimerFunds (Article)

Markets, especially in the developed world, have hit new highs. However, a rising economic tide will no longer lift all boats to the extent it once did. Find out why Chief Economist Jerry Webman believes the winners are likely to be organic revenue generators, efficiency vendors and innovators.

2014-05-13 00:00:00 Dollar Bulls Drop Their Heads in Frustration by Chris Maxey, Ryan Davis of Fortigent

For some time, strategists have been bullishly positioned on the U.S. Dollar, anticipating a rally that failed to materialize. The arguments were straightforward the Federal Reserve is exiting its easing cycle, Europe is facing deflationary pressure and likely to ease further, and the economy in the U.S. is on improving footing. Those expectations, while true to some extent, are not translating into gains for the Dollar, leaving many frustrated. The Dollar is suffering from a bad case of dejection and could struggle to see a sustained breakout for some time.

2014-05-13 00:00:00 Goldilocks and the Global Economy by Douglas Cote of Voya Investment Management

Macro conditions are lukewarm but positive and largely absent any systemic risk. Momentum stocks have fallen out of favor as the market rotates into names with more attractive valuations. Europe and especially the U.K. have been showing signs of strength despite geopolitical risk with its energy supplier, Russia. The safety of sidelined cash exposes investors to what we view as the greatest current risk in the market upside risk.

2014-05-13 00:00:00 Market Perspective by The CCR Wealth Management Investment Committee of CCR Wealth Management

US equity markets have seen what we would describe as mild volatility over the last few weeks, mostly attributed to geopolitical tensions emanating from the Ukraine-Russia belligerence. For the first quarter, the S&P 500 rose 1.30%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the NASDAQ composite were both down slightly.

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.

2014-05-11 00:00:00 Are Valuations Really Too High? by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

I have done quite a number of media interviews and question-and-answer sessions with audiences in the past few months, and one question keeps coming up: "Are valuations too high?" In this weeks letter were going to try to look at the various answers (orthodox and not) one could come up with to answer that basic question, and then well look at market conditions in general.

2014-05-10 00:00:00 The Good, the Bad and the Opportunity by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Twice a day, in the morning and at lunch, our investment team sits down together to discuss what?s important and what?s immaterial. This past week, in my opinion, the good outweighed the bad. Much of the economic news was a direct result of government policies, both fiscal and monetary. Here are my findings, which I hope will help you filter through the noise.

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 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The global recovery remains very uneven, deflation and debt: a very bad mix, a new look at Das Kapital, continued.

2014-05-09 00:00:00 Fighting History? by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

A lot of movement to go nowhere can characterize the major indexes to this point in the year. History suggests we're entering a potentially tough period for stocks, due to both seasonal and midterm election year tendencies.

2014-05-09 00:00:00 Is 2014 the Year to "Buy in May and be Prepared to Stay"? by Kevin Mahn of Hennion & Walsh

One of the long standing adages on Wall Street is that investors would be wise to "Sell in May and Go Away" in most market environments. This adage contends that stock volatility historically is higher during the months of May - October so investors may want to consider exiting the stock market in May, perhaps repositioning to less correlated asset classes, and returning to the stock market in November.

2014-05-08 00:00:00 Europe, Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold Sweet Spot for Credit Investors by Eve Tournier of PIMCO

European economies are improving, yet the regions low growth and low inflation will keep the central bank engaged. As such, European duration should be safer versus other major developed economies. Given recent European Central Bank comments pointing to a further easing bias, we believe it makes European assets relatively attractive, especially in sectors with deleveraging fundamentals, positive technicals and attractive valuations.

2014-05-08 00:00:00 Weekly Commentary & Outlook by Tom McIntyre of McIntyre, Freedman & Flynn

Another stable week for stock prices as deal making, solid earnings and dividend growth offset the conflicting signals on the economy as well as the uncertainties stemming from various global hot spots.

2014-05-08 00:00:00 And That's The Week That Was by Ron Brounes of Brounes & Associates

Yes, spring has officially sprung. After months of hearing that "poor winter weather" excuse, investors seem ready to turn the page (and the calendar) as the 1st quarter GDP is now in the books. With that said, the numbers are expected to be stronger in the coming days and the markets are already reacting accordingly as the Dow Jones even pushed into record territory. Manufacturing and labor have shown signs of thawing out, though housing still lags behind. Earnings season has been better than expected and must of the over-analyses focuses on the outlooks these days.

2014-05-07 00:00:00 First Quarter Letter by Team of Grey Owl Capital Management

The broad equity market displayed a fair amount of volatility during the quarter, but essentially went sideways. This pattern continued through April; 2013s losers became 2014s winners and vice versa. In the broadest sense, bonds narrowly beat stocks on the heels of 2013s thorough drubbing.

2014-05-07 00:00:00 And the Band Played On by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

After three months of consistently disappointing jobs numbers, the markets were as keyed up for a good jobs report as a long suffering sailor awaiting shore leave in a tropical port. The just released April jobs report, which claimed that 288,000 jobs were created in the U.S. during the month, provided the apparent good news. But you don't have to go too far beneath the surface to find some troubling trends within the data. Even this minor excavation was too much for the media cheerleaders and Wall Street pitchmen to handle.

2014-05-06 00:00:00 The Book that will Reshape the Study of Economics by Michael Edesess (Article)

It’s incredibly rare to see a work ascend to the status of a classic almost instantaneously following its publication. Such a work is Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. It is almost certain that its impact will last for decades. A century hence, it may be a cornerstone of economic and political debate and discussion, much as those of Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek are today.

2014-05-06 00:00:00 The Risk Trilogy by W. Ben Hunt of Salient Partners

Gregg Greenberg at TheStreet.com was kind enough the other week to give me a few minutes (2:30 to be exact) in a video interview to enumerate the three biggest risks I saw facing markets today. At first I rolled my eyes at the request and the format. 150 seconds? Really? I mean, have you heard my Alabama drawl? It can take me 150 seconds just to order a cup of coffee.

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.

2014-05-06 00:00:00 An Improving Economy, But Lower Rates. Why the Disconnect? by Russ of iShares Blog

Despite economic data showing an improving economy, interest rates remain stuck in a low and narrow range. Russ explains why this is and what it means for investors.

2014-05-06 00:00:00 Albania?s Fertile Grounds for Oil Opportunities by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Texas is oil country. The state I now call home leads the nation in oil production and would be one of the top oil-producing nations if it were its own country. But that doesn?t stop us from exploring other promising oil opportunities further afield. I recently traveled to Albania to check out a drill site of Petromanas Energy, a Calgary-based international oil and gas company focused on exploration and production throughout Europe and Australia. We own the junior stock in our Global Resources Fund (PSPFX) and Emerging Europe Fund (EUROX).

2014-05-06 00:00:00 Taking Emotion Out of Taking Risk by Peter Langerman of Franklin Templeton Investments

The straight ?risk-on/risk-off? play where investors flee assets perceived as risky en masse in times of uncertainty seems to be becoming a bit more nuanced this year. As a bottom-up stockpicker, Peter Langerman, takes the short-term emotional response out of the equation as he looks for opportunities for his portfolios where other investors may have jumped ship. Langerman discusses where he?s finding value today, why he thinks the markets are probably ?right where they should be? and why some investors may need to take a few risks to meet their long-term financial goals.

2014-05-05 00:00:00 Big Pharma's Bitter Pills by Peter Nielsen of Saturna Capital

Price Pressure Becoming Pharmaceutical Industry's Bitter Pill as Breakthrough Drug Therapies Break the Bank

2014-05-05 00:00:00 Asian Currencies to Stay Calm at Center of EM Storm by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

Emerging markets have fallen from favor, but does that mean investors should avoid them entirely? We don?t think so.

2014-05-04 00:00:00 Albania's Fertile Grounds for Oil Opportunities by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Texas is oil country. The state I now call home leads the nation in oil production and would be one of the top oil-producing nations if it were its own country. But that doesn?t stop us from exploring other promising oil opportunities further afield. Last week I traveled to Albania to check out a drill site of Petromanas Energy, a Calgary-based international oil and gas company focused on exploration and production throughout Europe and Australia. We own the junior stock in our Global Resources Fund (PSPFX) and Emerging Europe Fund (EUROX).

2014-05-03 00:00:00 A Yen for a Mortgage by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

For some time I have been saying that I was going to close the mortgage on my new apartment and then hedge it in yen. I promised to tell you the story, including what type of loan I got and how I am doing the hedge. This week I was finally able to pull the trigger. This topic will also let us re-examine why I think the Japanese yen is a screaming short. This is not a big think piece, but I think many of you will find it interesting. It outlines how I put my economic thinking into actual practice, and names names, if you will, of those who helped me do it.

2014-05-02 00:00:00 Yellen?s Three Big Questions (and a Few Others) by Scott Brown of Raymond James

Speaking to the Economic Club of New York, Fed Chair Janet Yellen presented an analysis of the monetary policy actions taken to address the Great Recession and offered guidance on what will drive policy decisions going forward. The centerpiece of her talk was about the three big questions that the Fed has to answer. However, there are a number of other debates going on in economics right now that have long-term consequences.

2014-05-02 00:00:00 Weekly Commentary & Outlook by Tom McIntyre of McIntyre, Freedman & Flynn

Earnings have been supportive and merger activity has skyrocketed these past couple weeks. Stock markets have remained firm as a result despite money coming out of the previous hot sectors of social media (Amazon) & the biotech industry (despite great fundamentals).

2014-05-02 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Outlook - April 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

Emerging market equities as an asset class have been underperforming developed market equities for more than three years, though they continue to maintain the lead over 10-year returns. The divergence in returns between emerging and developed markets widened sharply in 2013, when the prospect of reduced capital inflows heightened investor concerns about slower economic growth in the emerging countries.

2014-05-01 00:00:00 Old Embers Never Die by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The situation in Ukraine could become worse than markets now anticipate as Putin?s best interests might not be what investors expect.

2014-05-01 00:00:00 Europe Part 2: The Smart Beta Portfolio by James Calhoun of AdvisorShares

In our last post we discussed the attractiveness of European equities in aggregate, and assessed the pros and cons of implementing this regional investment theme with a market capitalization weighted ETF (VGK ? Vanguard). It was our conclusion that the most effective way to gain exposure to the expected advance in European equities was through a multi-factor ?smart beta? portfolio.

2014-04-29 00:00:00 Americas: Regional Economic Review - Q1 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

The developed economies in North America continue to see relatively healthier growth prospects this year, while the outlook for the emerging economies in Latin America remains subdued. Trends from both the U.S. and Canada indicate that these economies are recovering from the slowdown at the beginning of the year, caused by adverse weather.

2014-04-29 00:00:00 Will a Rise in Rates See a More Lasting Shift to Quality? by Charlie Dreifus of The Royce Funds

Late March saw signs of a re-emergence and shift back to the kind of quality names that we like. Portfolio Manager and Principal Charlie Dreifus discusses the recent Fed policies and their effects on the market, his outlook on the U.S. and global economy, current valuations, small-cap quality, and more.

2014-04-29 00:00:00 Putin's Ideologist by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

For the past few months, Western leaders have been baffled by Russia?s behavior toward Ukraine and, to a lesser extent, Eastern Europe. To better understand Russia?s actions, we will examine the ideology of Aleksandr Dugin, the man who created the ideology that appears to be behind Putin?s behavior. We will offer a short biography of Dugin, focusing on his intellectual roots and the creation of the Eurasian Concept. Using Dugin?s framework, we will examine Putin?s recent behavior. As usual, we will conclude with market ramifications.

2014-04-29 00:00:00 First Quarter Commentary by John Prichard of Knightsbridge Asset Management

In investing, certain things are viewed as worth paying a lot for, if you "know" you're going to get them. Akin to Socrates, we speculate that it may be wiser to admit that you do not know the future and therefore are unwilling to pay for these positive outcomes, than to falsely believe you can know the future with certainty and are justified in paying a high price...

2014-04-29 00:00:00 Europe: Market Capitalization vs. Smart Beta by James Calhoun of AdvisorShares

A bullish investor consensus for European equities appears to be building. More and more, we are hearing and reading that European equities are attractive and undervalued. It may be the right time for greater exposure to developed international equities, and Europe might be the right place for investors to focus. However, why stop there? Why stop at the regional level?

2014-04-28 00:00:00 IMF Meetings: China and Ukraine Concern Emerging Market Investors by Banu Asik Elizondo of Invesco Blog

Three recurring themes pertaining to emerging markets became apparent during the recent spring International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings in Washington, D.C.

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.

2014-04-27 00:00:00 The Cost of Code Red by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

There is reason to believe that there have been major policy mistakes made by central banks - and will be more of them - that will lead to dislocations in the markets - all types of markets. And its not just the usual anti-central bank curmudgeon types (among whose number I have been counted, quite justifiably) who are worried. Sources within the central bank community are worried, too, which should give thoughtful observers of the market cause for concern.

2014-04-26 00:00:00 China Holds the Keys to the Gold Market by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

It?s important to follow the money, or in this case the gold, to see how people around the world react to this rare commodity. Looking forward, stay curious as an investor and you?ll see if China can keep the key to the gold market.

2014-04-25 00:00:00 Rhyme or Reason? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, Michelle Gibley of Charles Schwab

Stocks have seen wide swings recently, but year-to-date major indexes are roughly flat. Volatility may persist, but we suggest investors look past the near term and focus on the underlying fundamentals.

2014-04-25 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The link between money and inflation has clouded, but it hasn?t disappeared

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.

2014-04-24 00:00:00 Global Economic Outlook by Team of Northern Trust

Advanced economies should dominate the growth picture in 2014, but the jobless rate is likely to show only a small improvement

2014-04-24 00:00:00 And That's The Week That Was by Ron Brounes of Brounes & Associates

After a week of panic, investors focused on the positives and went bargain hunting throughout. Thus far, earnings are not as bad as expected; Chinas woes could mean new stimulus; labor and manufacturing seem to be in full fledge thaw. Hope the holiday season brings more good news.

2014-04-23 00:00:00 Positioning Your Portfolio for Rising Rates. by Team of Forward Management

Accelerating outflows from bond funds in 2013 highlight investor nervousness over the prospect of rising interest rates. Investors may want to carefully assess the role of fixed-income investments in their portfolios, particularly in light of other types of income-producing vehicles. Upon careful evaluation of their options, investors can make adjustments suitable to their objectives.

2014-04-23 00:00:00 Hasenstab: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

Fixed income investors have dealt with a number of headwinds in early 2014, including unrest in Eastern Europe, the prospect of rising interest rates in the United States and fears about slowing growth in China. Michael Hasenstab, executive vice president and CIO, Global Bonds, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, has been on a global tour to assess conditions in select countries first-hand, looking beyond what the media headlines portray.

2014-04-23 00:00:00 Yellen?s Three Big Questions (and a Few Others) by Scott Brown of Raymond James

Speaking to the Economic Club of New York, Fed Chair Janet Yellen presented an analysis of the monetary policy actions taken to address the Great Recession and offered guidance on what will drive policy decisions going forward. The centerpiece of her talk was about the three big questions that the Fed has to answer. However, there are a number of other debates going on in economics right now that have long-term consequences.

2014-04-22 00:00:00 Emerging Europe: Regional Economic Review - Q1 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

The International Monetary Funds latest assessment of the global economy pointed out that robust economic recovery in developed countries has significantly reduced the risk of a downturn this year. The Washington-based lender said it sees growth in emerging and developing Europe as a whole at 2.4 percent in 2014, which is expected to accelerate to 2.9 percent next year.

2014-04-21 00:00:00 Spring Checkup: Five Investment Ideas for Your Portfolio by Russ Koesterich of iShares Blog

As the second quarter of 2014 gets underway, many investors are wondering how they should adjust their portfolios given the events of the first three months of the year. Russ shares five investing opportunities that he and his BlackRock colleagues think are worth considering this spring.

2014-04-18 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

In a currency war, everyone loses. Should monetary policy be coordinated across countries? The International Monetary Fund is at a crossroads.

2014-04-17 00:00:00 A Bend in the Road is Not the End of the Road by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Turmoil in Ukraine, growth concerns in Japan, and weakness in U.S. equity markets are giving U.S. investors a short-term case of heartburn but none of this should undermine the overall case for optimism.

2014-04-17 00:00:00 Investors Ignore Frightful Geopolitics by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

When the former Soviet Union collapsed almost 25 years ago, most global strategic forecasters assumed that the U.S. would adapt pragmatically to her new status of sole world superpower. Instead she has pursued a variety of misguided nation-building adventures and has largely shrunk from her primary responsibility of neutralizing the ambitions of petty dictators around the world. From this perspective, America's multi-generational expenditures on military personnel and equipment has become more of a stealth economic stimulus program rather than an insurance policy for global stability.

2014-04-17 00:00:00 Hasenstab in Ukraine, on Ukraine by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton

Ukraine is a country both rich with potential and strategically well positioned. While recent events have been very difficult for many, the people of Ukraine have shown their strength. It?s also been heartening to see the proactive support from the international community. Michael Hasenstab, chief investment officer, Global Bonds, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, shares his view on the long-term potential of this unique country after a recent visit to Kiev.

2014-04-17 00:00:00 Equity Outlook by Team of Osterweis Capital Management

Short term, we would not be surprised if the market took a breather after its strong gains last year. Additionally we may see volatility related to news coming out of the Middle East and Russia. But longer term, we remain very optimistic on the outlook for U.S. equities. In addition to the reasons we discussed above we believe U.S. equities are very attractive relative to the alternatives. The great bull market in bonds appears to be over. The great decades of emerging market growth appear to be behind us.

2014-04-17 00:00:00 Ukrainian Crisis: Should Investors Avoid the Russian Stock Market? by Philip Lawton and Noah Beck of Research Affiliates

This is neither to treat the profoundly worrisome crisis in Eastern Europe cavalierly nor to advocate profiting, however indirectly, from the distress of Ukraine, a sovereign nation whose people have suffered horribly over the last three-quarters of a century. It is merely to caution international investors that, from a strictly financial perspective, withdrawing assets from Russia might not be the right move.

2014-04-16 00:00:00 A Classic Barometer by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

Investors seem a bit too eager to tout emerging market equities. Much as they did with technology stocks during the early-2000s, investors today are looking for the best re-entry point. Data clearly do not support anymore the notion that emerging markets are a superior growth story, yet investors seem to be ignoring the classic warnings signs for fear of missing out. One such classic warning sign is the slope of the yield curve. Historically, steeper yield curves have been reliable forecasters of stronger overall nominal economic growth and stronger profits growth.

2014-04-16 00:00:00 Echo-Mania at The Fed by Cliff Draughn of Excelsia Investment Advisors

Greetings from a thawed out Savannah! Q1 of 2014 will be remembered for a number of things, but the most prominent were the erratic weather patterns and arctic-blast temperatures that most of the country experienced. I missed writing my Q1 letter for the first time in ten years due to a nasty bout with pneumonia in mid-January. For those of you who have never had pneumonia, I do not recommend it!

2014-04-16 00:00:00 And That's The Week That Was by Ron Brounes of Brounes & Associates

And what a bad week it was. After flirting (and setting) new record highs on both the S&P and Dow, equity investors worried about the upcoming earnings reports and freaked out over the some disturbing news from China. Stocks plunged late in the week with the Nasdaq particularly hard hit, though the other indexes followed suit and gave up all of their prior gains for the year. For the most part, domestic developments remain strong but news on the global front have prompted investors to seek out the safe-haven of treasuries. Over-reaction or new trend?

2014-04-16 00:00:00 Weekly Commentary & Outlook by Tom McIntyre of McIntyre, Freedman & Flynn

Stocks fell last week upset by the growth sectors of biotechnology and social media stocks. Energy issues and related infrastructure were largely unaffected. It is clear that hedge funds and others have become forced sellers as their macro bets on being long growth areas, but being short the bond market have blown up in their faces. Until this settles down the overall market is likely to continue its correction.

2014-04-16 00:00:00 The Wile E. Coyote Stock Market? by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Last Wednesday, when the D-J Industrials were up some 180 points, I could not shake the feeling that this was the ?Wile E. Coyote stock market.? The visual is when Wile runs off a cliff, but his feet keep moving, until he looks down and realizes there is nothing underneath him. The resulting fall was similar to what happened late last week to the equity markets. Indeed, I really did not understand, or trust, last Wednesday?s Dow Wow for the reasons mentioned in these missives.

2014-04-15 00:00:00 Does Rebalancing Really Pay Off?? by Michael Edesess (Article)

No investment advice is more universally offered than the advice - originally posited by William Bernstein - to rebalance your portfolio. Yet, the evidence that this practice is beneficial is shockingly meager.

2014-04-15 00:00:00 Complacency Makes Volatility Markets a Dangerous Place by Chris Maxey, Ryan Davis of Fortigent

With a dissipation of economic stress in Europe, and a general strengthening of economic conditions in the U.S., equity market volatility has plunged to new lows. Some would argue that market intervention by central banks is acting as an unnatural dampener to market volatility, raising the question as to whether a gradual removal of those policies will cause volatility to resurface. So far, the answer is up for debate, but current positioning suggests many investors are becoming complacent and will be caught off sides if such a scenario emerges.

2014-04-15 00:00:00 What's Next for Emerging Markets? by Nathan Rowader of Forward Management

Emerging markets (EM) have been an enduring growth story, but their recent stretch of underperformance and fears of a global economic slowdown are chilling investors enthusiasm. Pulled between opportunity and risk avoidance, many investors have been left uncertain as to what they should do next.

2014-04-15 00:00:00 2016 (Part 2, The Political Situation) by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

As we survey the political landscape for 2016, the next presidential election could be historic. In this report, we will examine the domestic political situation using four different archetypes to describe the U.S. political landscape. We will then offer a history of the interaction between these groups and address the likelihood of various policy outcomes based on the relative strengths and weaknesses of the four political groups. Unlike our usual reports, we will not conclude with market ramifications but instead discuss the transition to Part 3 of this analysis.

2014-04-14 00:00:00 We?re Shuffling the Cards on Our European Play by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Did you know that over the last year the Greek stock market is up roughly 45 percent? The country that many believed would never recover from a six-year recession is now making astounding strides, recently being added to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index at the end of 2013.

2014-04-14 00:00:00 Uncovering Opportunities in Emerging Markets by Mark Kiesel of PIMCO

Emerging markets have underperformed expectations, but the longer-term secular outlook remains constructive for many regions. Highly negative investor sentiment and outflows have sharply reduced prices, significantly improving relative value in emerging markets. We see opportunities in emerging markets in interest rates, sovereign credit and select companies for investors with a longer-term investment horizon. ?

2014-04-12 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The Federal Reserves search for stability. The patterns of world trade are undergoing important changes. Greece issued debt this week: good news or bad news?

2014-04-12 00:00:00 Proper Perspective by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Michelle Gibley of Charles Schwab

Getting caught up in the weeds is easy in this 24-hour news cycle where everyone is looking to make a splash, but successful investing requires staying above the fray. The U.S. economy is growing and equities appear fairly valued, Europe has issues to deal with but has come a long way from the depths, Japan may be working against itself but improvement has been seen, and the threat of a Chinese debacle at this point seems minimal.

2014-04-12 00:00:00 Every Central Bank for Itself by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

Whether the FOMC can actually turn the taper into a true exit strategy ultimately depends on how much longer households and businesses must deleverage and how sharply our old-age dependency ratio rises, but markets seem to believe this is the beginning of the end. For now, that?s what matters most. Under Fed Chair Janet Yellen?s leadership, the Fed continues to send a clear message to the rest of the world: Now it really is every central bank for itself.

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.

2014-04-11 00:00:00 Bubble Bursting? Only for Biotech & Internet Stocks by Russ Koesterich of iShares Blog

The recent sluggish performance of U.S. stocks is leading some market watchers to question whether we?re witnessing the bursting of an equity bubble. Russ explains that while U.S. equities overall are not in a bubble, valuations have started to become an issue, particularly for certain segments of the market.

2014-04-10 00:00:00 The Russians Are Coming by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming is a 1966 American comedy film directed by Norman Jewison and based on Nathaniel Benchley?s book The Off-Islanders. The movie tells the Cold War story of the comedic chaos that happens when a Soviet submarine runs aground closely offshore a small island town near New England and the crew is forced to come ashore. Last Friday, however, rumors that the ?Russians are coming? swirled down the canyons of Wall Street, causing a late Friday Fade that left the S&P 500 (SPX/1865.09) down an eye-popping 24 points.

2014-04-10 00:00:00 "I Will Gladly Pay You Tuesday for a Hamburger Today" by Robert Mark of Castle Investment Management

In October of 2013, Robert Shiller won the Nobel Prize in economics for his research on spotting market bubbles. Shiller, an economist and professor at Yale University who accurately predicted the housing bubble, is a pioneer of behavioral finance, or the understanding of how psychology causes us to act irrationally with our money.

2014-04-10 00:00:00 And That's The Week That Was by Ron Brounes of Brounes & Associates

One quarter down; three to go. After a rough January, stocks rebounded to complete a solid quarter with the Dow Jones the lone main index still "in the red." The new week found decent numbers from manufacturing and labor and investors moved past the "bad weather" excuse, though still took profits from high-flying bio-techs and internet stocks. The late-week selling hindered the overall equity performance.

2014-04-09 00:00:00 Russia and the Baltics by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

The Ukrainian crisis and the Crimean annexation have been closely watched by the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). For many, the recent developments are bringing recollections of the start of the Soviet Union. In this week?s report, we will explore the geopolitical atmosphere in the Baltic states after the Russian annexation of the Crimea, focusing on Estonia. We will start with a brief history of the relations between Russia and its Baltic neighbors. We will then take a look at what the local press is reporting, the reports coming out of Russia and the word on the street.

2014-04-08 00:00:00 On Cruise Control by Richard Michaud of New Frontier Advisors

The first quarter was a relatively calm start to the year. The Dow was down 0.7%, the S&P up 1.3%, and the NASDAQ up 0.5%. International equities were nearly flat as well with the MSCI ACWI ex US down 0.1%. European equities were up 1.5% and Pacific equities were moderately negative, with the MSCI Pacific down 3.3% for the quarter. Emerging market equity indices were down 0.8% for the quarter, with China down 6.7%.

2014-04-08 00:00:00 Avoiding Losers Is as Important as Picking Winners in High Yield Markets Today by Andrew Jessop, Hozef Arif of PIMCO

Although high yield bonds span a broad range of sectors, industries and individual credits, their yields today tend to fall within an increasingly narrow range. Narrow dispersion means portfolio decisions that target outperformance should now be guided by avoiding deteriorating credits as much as by selecting the most attractive rising stars. Strategies for picking the rising stars can extend to CCC rated credits where agency ratings lag the improvement in the underlying credit profile.

2014-04-08 00:00:00 Moving Forward With the Normalization of Yields by Scott Mather, Michael Story of PIMCO

One response to yield normalization is to consider retaining core bonds and diversifying the specific risk factor of concern, in this case duration. In the past, global bonds have captured most of the upside but avoided a significant amount of the downside relative to domestic-only bonds. Generating capital gains from bonds in a rising yield environment requires defining concretely what yield normalization means ? where yields are going and when they will get there ? and setting these expectations against forward market pricing, country by country.

2014-04-08 00:00:00 A Surplus of Controversy by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

When the US Treasury recently added its voice to critics of Germany?s chronic trade surplus, it underscored the deep disagreement over what, if anything, should be done about it. It is a highly contentious debate, often informed more by ideology than facts.

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.

2014-04-04 00:00:00 Meet "Lowflation": Deflation's Scary Pal by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

In recent years a good part of the monetary debate has become a simple war of words, with much of the conflict focused on the definition for the word "inflation." The latest front in this campaign came this week when Bloomberg News unveiled a brand new word: "lowflation" which it defines as a situation where prices are rising, but not fast enough to offer the economic benefits that are apparently delivered by higher inflation. Although the article was printed on April Fool's Day, sadly I do not believe it was meant as a joke.

2014-04-04 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

For the European Central Bank, actions will speak louder than words. US hiring is back on track. The debate over unemployment and wage pressure.

2014-04-03 00:00:00 Q2 fixed income outlook ? Hitting for the cycle by Gene Tannuzzo of Columbia Management

By the middle of this year, the economic expansion in the U.S. will officially turn five years old. By comparison, the average of all business cycle expansions tracked by the National Bureau of Economic Research dating back to the mid-1800s is about three and half years. But like many five year olds, this cycle hardly seems mature. In particular, we have taken notice of three key elements of the business cycle that have distinct implications for bond investing today.

2014-04-03 00:00:00 VIX Exchange Traded Products...Growth and Risk Impact by Daniel Kirsch of Macro Risk Advisors

The growth of ETFs has been nothing short of tremendous. What started as a product designed to provide investors with broad equity or sector exposure in the US, the ETF landscape now includes a myriad of geographies (Europe, Asia) and asset classes (FX, rates, credit, commodities). Research consultancy firm EFTGI estimates that there are almost 5,000 ETFs globally with total AUM in excess of $2 trillion.

2014-04-03 00:00:00 And That's The Quarter That Was by Ron Brounes of Brounes & Associates

After a nightmare than was January, the quarter actually turned out pretty well (except in the Ukraine).

2014-04-02 00:00:00 Gain International Exposure with Small-Caps by David Nadel of The Royce Funds

Portfolio Manager and Director of International Research David Nadel discusses our attraction to international small-caps, how our investment approach translates into the international small-cap universe, how we try to avoid value traps, the effect monetary policy has had on our approach and performance, and more.

2014-04-02 00:00:00 A Fixer-Upper? by Team of GaveKal Capital

As noted yesterday, March was not an exceptionally positive month for European equities.

2014-04-02 00:00:00 4 Areas Revved Up for a Resources Boom by Brian Hicks of U.S. Global Investors

Commodity returns vary wildly, as experienced resource investors can attest and our popular periodic table illustrates. This inherent volatility can spell opportunity for the nimble investor who can look past the mainstream headlines to identify hot spots. Our global resources expert, Brian Hicks, CFA, identified four we believe are revved up for a resources boom.

2014-04-01 00:00:00 How to Avoid Hidden Costs in Your Bond Allocations by Bob Veres (Article)

The supposedly safe move to shorten bond maturities in anticipation of rate increases has been very costly over the last three years - and there’s no reason to expect the next three will be any different. Here’s a way to quantify those costs and position your portfolios in a way that makes money in a variety of interest-rate scenarios.

2014-04-01 00:00:00 Equities Sag as Macro Backdrop Quiets Down by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Last week U.S. equities struggled for direction as the S&P 500 declined 0.4%. Small cap stocks were hit harder, and macro and geopolitical issues seemed to be on the back burner. Overall, emerging markets rallied, value and contrarian plays outperformed and Japanese stocks bounced.

2014-03-31 00:00:00 European Rally Has Legs by Nick Kalivas of Invesco Blog

Since hitting a low on June 1, 2012, the MSCI Europe Index has rallied 64.73%. In our view, there?s room for European equity markets to advance further, supported by strong fundamentals, positive flows and a steady uptrend from the June 2012 low.

2014-03-31 00:00:00 Labor Market Clues for Bond Investors by Christopher Molumphy of Franklin Templeton

When the US Federal Reserve (Fed) began tapering early this year, the general assumption was that investors would flee en masse from fixed income investments. Certainly, there has been some volatility in Treasury yields, most recently after Fed Chair Janet Yellen suggested interest rates could start to rise around six months after tapering ends ? which would be somewhat sooner than many were expecting.

2014-03-31 00:00:00 March Was A Tough Month for MSCI Europe by Team of GaveKal Capital

The only sector in MSCI Europe with positive performance for the month of March is Utilities, while Health Care stocks took quite a beating.

2014-03-29 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Using energy as a pawn may work to Russias disadvantage in the long run. Chinas 2014 economic outlook is hazy. Lessons from the 2014 stress test.

2014-03-28 00:00:00 ?Mind the Gap?: Adapting to a Post-Crisis World in Transition by Virginie Maisonneuve of PIMCO

??Barring any sharp deterioration in global geopolitical risk, the medium term outlook for equities is quite positive in an environment where we see subdued growth and inflation amid healing economies. From a markets standpoint, valuations are not very expensive ? they?re not cheap, but they?re not expensive versus historical standards for the market overall.

2014-03-28 00:00:00 Why International Now? by David Garff of AdvisorShares

One of the ongoing challenges that advisors face is determining what percentage of their clients assets should be allocated to international equities. The magnitude of this decision is often amplified when the United States has years of persistent out/under performance. US clients will inherently gauge the success of their portfolio based on the S&P 500, or similar index. The challenge for advisors is explaining why a more diversified exposure to global equities is meaningful in the long-run, despite recent years of outlandish performance.

2014-03-28 00:00:00 Lacking Conviction by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen and Michelle Gibley of Charles Schwab

Investors seem to lack conviction, what will potentially push them to one side or the other.

2014-03-28 00:00:00 Four Areas Revved Up for a Resources Boom by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Commodity returns vary wildly, as experienced resource investors can attest and our popular periodic table illustrates. This inherent volatility can spell opportunity for the nimble investor who can look past the mainstream headlines to identify hot spots. Our global resources expert, Brian Hicks, CFA, identified four we believe are revved up for a resources boom.

2014-03-27 00:00:00 A Sustainable Recovery?? by Mike Amey of PIMCO

Early signs indicate that the long awaited increase in business investment is underway. In turn, that bodes well for real income growth and the sustainability of the economic recovery. Given the improved economic prospects and the change in rhetoric at the Bank of England, the central bank could well be an early adopter of tighter monetary policy. We expect the BoE to hike rates ahead of the US Federal Reserve. While we beli?eve the British pound has already reflected the BoE?s guidance for official rates to rise by mid-2015, the bond market has yet to fully reflect the new environment. ?

2014-03-26 00:00:00 And That's The Week That Was by Ron Brounes of Brounes & Associates

Well, apparently Janet Yellen has her own style, her own personality, her own mixed message. Just as Fed watchers had to get used to Bernanke in the aftermath of maestro Greenspan (does that name still apply after the financial crisis?), investors will need a few meeting to figure out the new Fed Chair. An early rebound was followed by a selloff which was followed by a rebound which was followed by a late-week selloff. Nicely done, Ms. Yellen (though Russia played a role as well).

2014-03-26 00:00:00 Understanding Gold Cost of Carry in Various Currencies by Ade Odunsi of AdvisorShares

Under normal market conditions, the term structure for the price of gold for delivery at increasing maturities (the term structure) exhibits an upward sloping curve. In futures market terminology the term structure is said to be in contango and implies that the price of gold for spot delivery is lower than the price of gold for future delivery.

2014-03-26 00:00:00 Europe is a Land of Opportunity in 2014 by Kevin Mahn of Hennion & Walsh

While we are forecasting a high, single-digit gain for the S&P 500 index over the course of 2014 at this time, we do still contend that U.S. stock market returns will likely be outpaced in 2014 by certain International ? Developed Country stock market returns (notably Europe) as regions such as the Eurozone continue to emerge from their own recession.

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.

2014-03-25 00:00:00 Will Putin Stop with the Crimea? by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Now that the Crimean referendum has passed in favor of annexation, what will Putin do next? In other words, will he stop with the Crimea? In this report, we will look at the post-Cold War situation from Putin?s perspective. From this viewpoint, we will examine Putin?s likely next steps and how this will affect the U.S. and the rest of the developed world. As always, we will conclude with market ramifications.

2014-03-25 00:00:00 Int'l Mega Banks Still Ticking Time Bombs by Steve Rumsey of Optimus Advisory Group

During the past five years, following the worst financial crisis since The Great Depression, the financial media has been talking about the deleveraging process happening worldwide. We've all heard the stories of how banks to consumers to corporations have deleveraged and continue to do so. It's as if all the global financial bailouts were all orchestrated just to buy us enough time so that we could get our financial houses in order. Then, miraculously, after someone blows the "all clear" alarm we can all go back to living our normal lives once again.

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.

2014-03-24 00:00:00 Is the Fed Supporting the Equity Markets? by Tom Riegert of Hatteras Funds

The Federal Reserve?s unprecedented increase in reserves purchased through its quantitative easing programs has paralleled the performance of the equity markets to a startling degree. Has the Fed?s program been supporting the equity markets? We examine the strong correlation between the Fed?s balance sheet and the performance of the S&P 500 since end-2008, and ponder the effects the Fed?s long-awaited tapering will have on market volatility. Investors facing the uncertainty ahead could well find alternative investments a welcome addition to their portfolio.

2014-03-22 00:00:00 China's Minsky Moment? by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

In speeches and presentations since the end of last year, I have been saying that I think the biggest macro problem in the world today is China. China has run up a huge debt, and the payments are coming due. They seem to be proactive, but will it be enough? How much risk do they pose for the global system?

2014-03-22 00:00:00 What Makes a Slam-Dunk Portfolio? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

As a native Canadian, hockey is in my blood, but after moving to Texas, the icy arenas changed to basketball courts, as the sole major league sports team in the city is the San Antonio Spurs.

2014-03-21 00:00:00 Climbing a Wall of Worry? by Norm Boersma of Franklin Templeton

One of the main questions our clients have been asking us lately revolves around worries of how strong equity markets have been over the last five years. During that period, we?ve seen markets bottoming out in February ? March 2009 and basically recovering since then.2 Given the performance of the market since the trough, it?s not surprising that people are a bit concerned right now, and the market has been quite volatile in early 2014.

2014-03-19 00:00:00 What Rising Turmoil in Ukraine Would Mean for Stocks by Russ Koesterich of iShares Blog

How vulnerable might stocks be if turmoil in Ukraine escalates? Russ weighs in and notes which two market segments would be particularly vulnerable.

2014-03-19 00:00:00 Pockets of Opportunity in Europe, Emerging Markets by Lisa Myers of Franklin Templeton

Maintaining the right mix or balance of assets in a portfolio to achieve a desired goal can be a challenge, particularly when the markets are constantly shifting. As portfolio manager for Templeton Global Balanced Fund, Lisa Myers, executive vice president, Templeton Global Equity Group, regularly faces that task.

2014-03-18 00:00:00 Japan?s Rising Opportunity by Neil Hennessy, Masakazu Takeda of Hennessy Funds

After WWII, the Japanese economy began what is sometimes referred to as the ?Economic Miracle?, a three-decade long period of growth and prosperity. Japanese firms and their management teams were studied around the world as the model of efficiency and an example for all companies and leaders to strive for. In 1989, a bubble in real estate fueled by speculators burst, and the Japanese markets crashed. Since then, the Japanese economy has been in a virtual standstill with more than two decades of stagnant growth and a deflationary environment.

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.

2014-03-18 00:00:00 Currency Markets Heat Back Up, and Will Likely Remain that Way by Chris Maxey, Ryan Davis of Fortigent

Long dormant after the financial crisis, foreign exchange markets are beginning to heat up, offering ample trading opportunity for asset managers. The U.S. dollar was widely viewed as being the best long trading opportunity for 2014, but so far, that has not played out, with activity in the Euro, Chinese Yuan, and other currencies impeding dollar strength.

2014-03-18 00:00:00 The Paradox of Self-Determination by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Lost in the discussion surrounding the referendum in the Crimea is the ?legal? process. Simply put, how does part of an established nation decide to secede? Are there established protocols? In this report, we will offer a short history of the self-determination issue. With this background, we will discuss President Wilson?s inclusion of self-determination in his peace plan and examine how the U.N. has dealt with this issue. From there, we will analyze how self-determination was used during the Cold War and how those practices have continued after 1990. We conclude with market ramifications.

2014-03-18 00:00:00 Weekly Commentary & Outlook by Tom McIntyre of McIntyre, Freedman & Flynn

Stocks were buffeted last week on the outcome in Ukraine (well founded), growing concern that the world does not know what happened to that missing Malaysian airliner, and of course, the ever-present worries about the global economy - especially in light of renewed concern over China, both its economy and its banking system.

2014-03-18 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview - February 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

Pessimism over the sustainability of global growth this year has subsided as it is now widely acknowledged that softer data from some of the developed countries in recent months were influenced by the severe winter weather.

2014-03-17 00:00:00 Frontier Markets Find Footing by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton

Frontier markets remain in focus for the Templeton Emerging Markets Group in 2014, and my team and I have spent the early part of the year exploring potential investment opportunities in a number of them.

2014-03-17 00:00:00 Market Outlook by Scotty George of Alexander Capital

What's another 200 point down day (Dow) when you're having fun? The violent and excessive overreactions of the week prior were added to by Asia and Europe on Thursday/Friday past, just for good measure.

2014-03-17 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Equity Commentary - February 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

After a weak start to the year, emerging market equity prices recovered in February as concerns about slower than expected global expansion and a further decline in Chinese economic growth subsided.

2014-03-17 00:00:00 And That's The Week That Was by Ron Brounes of Brounes & Associates

Remember when tiny Greece was a market mover? Well, now its tiny Crimea. With the growing global tensions and concerns about Crimeas secession from the Ukraine to Russia, investors chose to take a week off (for the most part) and take some equity profits, while moving back into the safe haven of tr