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

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2016-04-30 00:00:00 World Markets Weekend Update: The Global Rally Loses Ground by Doug Short (Article)

The global rally in equities reversed and lost ground last week. All eight indexes on our watch list were negative for the week, and the average of the eight was a disappointing -2.18%. The range was considerable, from China's top-performing Shanghai Composite, down less than a percent to the Japan's Nikkei, down over five percent.

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

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

2016-04-29 00:00:00 S&P 500 Snapshot: Down 1.26% for the Week, But a Fractional 0.27% Gain for the Month by Doug Short (Article)

Global equity markets ended the week on a down note. Asian markets were mostly lower (although the Nikkei took the day off), and key European indexes were sharply lower, with the DAX and CAC 40 down 2.8% and 2.7% respectively. Our benchmark S&P 500 opened lower and sold off to twin intraday lows around 1.13% at midday and mid-afternoon. Some buying in the final hour trimmed the day's loss to -51%. The index was dropped 1.26% for the week but finished the month with a fractional gain of 0.27%.

2016-04-29 00:00:00 Moving Averages: April Month-End Update by Jill Mislinski (Article)

Valid until the market close on May 31, 2016

The S&P 500 closed April with a monthly gain of 0.27% after a gain of 6.6% last month. All three S&P 500 MAs are signaling "invested" and all five Ivy Portfolio ETF MAs are signaling "invested". In the table, monthly closes that are within 2% of a signal are highlighted in yellow.

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 Chief Investment Strategist Erik Ristuben Looks at the Fundamentals of What Could Trigger a Bear Mar by Erik Ristuben of Russell Investments

So far 2016 has proven to be an uneven year for investors, with some roller-coaster market swings that left more than a few stomachs churning. So we’ve heard a question from a lot of clients: “Are we headed for a bear market this year?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-04-28 00:00:00 Managing Debt in an Overleveraged World by Michael Spence of Project Syndicate

In the years since the 2008 global financial crisis, austerity and balance-sheet repair have been the watchwords of the global economy. And yet today, more than ever, debt is fueling concern about growth prospects worldwide.

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 Special edition: Can you trust investment research? by Jeffrey Briskin (Article)

Investment strategy research has become a cottage industry, with hundreds of studies published every year claiming that actively managed strategies, from factor-based investing to market timing, have greater potential to generate alpha. Those claims are usually based on backtesting performance over various market timeframes. Campbell Harvey views most of this research with a high degree of skepticism.

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 The Impeachment Proceedings of Dilma Rousseff by Kaisa Stucke of Confluence Investment Management

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

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

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

2016-04-27 00:00:00 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.

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

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

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

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

2016-04-27 00:00:00 A Better Way to Manage Risks by Thomas Zimmerer, Patrick Bastian of Allianz Global Investors

A recent series of financial shocks has raised questions about some fundamental risk-management strategies—particularly diversification. Tactical asset allocation is one answer, says Allianz Global Investor’s Multi Asset team, but dynamic risk mitigation may be more viable.

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 Equity Investment Outlook April 2016 by John Osterweis, Matt Berler of Osterweis Capital Management

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

2016-04-26 00:00:00 Should You Hedge Your Foreign Currency Exposure? by Remy Briand of MSCI

The volatility of currency has ticked up in recent years as a combination of monetary policy and currency wars fuel swings in the foreign exchange market. That leaves managers of global equity portfolios with a dilemma: disregard the volatility and leave their exposure to foreign currency unhedged, or apply fully hedged strategies that can prove costly over time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-04-25 00:00:00 The ECB Remains Focused on Its Targets by Rob Waldner of Invesco Blog

The European Central Bank (ECB) surprised markets once again on April 21 with the timing of some important announcements and also the scope of its bond purchasing program. While the ECB kept all three of its policy interest rates on hold — as expected — and the size of its asset purchase program unchanged at EUR80 billion a month, ECB President Mario Draghi provided new details in a news conference on the implementation of the bank’s program and on the scope of what assets it can buy. At a high level, Draghi summarized by saying that the ECB’s monetary policies are working, but they need time to be more effective.

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 Cash Flow: An Equalizing Force in Analysis by Colin McWey of Heartland Advisors

When evaluating companies with different debt loads or from divergent sectors, cash flow analysis may be an excellent place to start.

2016-04-25 00:00:00 America’s Trade Deficit Begins at Home by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate

Thanks to fear mongering on the US presidential campaign trail, the trade debate and its impact on American workers is being distorted at both ends of the political spectrum. What the candidates won’t tell voters is that the trade deficit and the pressures it places on hard-pressed middle-class workers stem from domestic policies.

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

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

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

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

2016-04-24 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.

2016-04-23 00:00:00 Dividend Boost from Korea by Michael Han of Matthews Asia

With President Park Geun-hye leading the way, South Korea has received the domestic investment boost it’s needed. This week, Portfolio Manager Michael Han explains what has led to the improvement of Korea’s corporate governance and why he’s optimistic about its future.

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

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

2016-04-22 00:00:00 Unnaturally Negative Interest Rates by David Blitzer of S&P Dow Jones Indices

Negative interest rates – you pay for the privilege of keeping your money in the bank – are current monetary policy in Japan and some European countries. Negative interest rates pose questions: Are they here?

2016-04-22 00:00:00 Thinking Broadly About Emerging Markets by Raman Aylur Subramanian of MSCI

The recent uptick in emerging market equities has left investors to wonder whether the gains might continue and to think anew about how to approach the segment. An emerging markets composite index has tended over time to capture diversified returns across multiple countries without adding additional risk, Raman Aylur Subramanian, MSCI's head of equity applied research, explains in his latest post.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-04-22 00:00:00 Why Today's Bond Environment Is Different (in 4 Charts) by Rick Rieder of BlackRock

Over the last seven years—as central banks have rolled out more quantitative easing programs and moved benchmark interest rates below, or close to, zero—global fixed income markets have dramatically changed. Here’s a quick look at four charts showing just a few of the interrelated ways the fixed income landscape is different today.

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

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

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

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

2016-04-21 00:00:00 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 Can Emerging Market Equities Work in a Rising U.S. Interest-Rate Environment? by Charles Wilson of Thornburg Investment Management

Rising U.S. interest-rates aren't the headwind for emerging markets many expect. It depends on where you start.

2016-04-20 00:00:00 Negative Interest Rates: Powerful Out-Of-The-Box Thinking or Insanity? by Wendy Stojadinovic of Cleary Gull

The fight against currency appreciation and deflation explains negative short term rates, but what explains why longer term bonds have negative yields?

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

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

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

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

2016-04-20 00:00:00 The Unprecedented Real Estate Bubble In China by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Most economists and financial writers agree that the US has the strongest economy among the developed nations, even though we’re only growing at about 2%. Despite the slow growth, most don’t believe we are facing a recession anytime soon. However, most economists and financial writers also agree that a serious external shock could quickly throw the US economy into a recession and take most of the rest of the world with it.

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 Permanently High Plateaus Have Poor Precedents by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Speculators seem willing to imagine that the Fed has created a permanently high plateau, but historically-informed investors should know better.

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

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

2016-04-19 00:00:00 Expect Economic and Market Improvements Later in 2016 by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The uneven market uptrend in place since mid-February resumed last week, with the S&P 500 Index climbing 1.7%. The primary catalyst appeared to be better-than-expected corporate earnings results in the still-early reporting season, particularly from the banking sector. As a result, bank stocks performed particularly well, rising 7% last week, marking the best weekly gain in over four years. Investors also focused on better economic data coming from China and ongoing evidence that the U.S. economy is growing slowly.

2016-04-19 00:00:00 This Should End Talk of a Hard Landing by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

A modest credit stimulus and a housing market rebound led to a pick-up in investment and industrial activity during the first quarter of the year, and while that should end talk of a hard landing, the gradual deceleration of China’s economic growth will continue. Growth is driven increasingly by consumption and services as rebalancing proceeds, and that part of the economy—the largest part—continues to offer opportunities for investors.

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.

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

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

2016-04-18 00:00:00 The Q1 Curse Strikes Again by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Remember the recession of 2011, or 2014, or 2015? Each of those years started out with either a contraction or anemic first quarter economic growth. But despite these slowdowns, the US economy didn’t fall into recession. Instead, it was just more Plow Horse growth.

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 The Pros and Cons of the “Gig Economy” by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

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

2016-04-15 00:00:00 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.

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

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

2016-04-14 00:00:00 In the Know: DOL Expands Fiduciary Definition by Yaqub Ahmed of Franklin Templeton Investments

The intent of the DOL’s new rule is, in its words, to enhance consumer protection and ensure that advisors and financial institutions put their clients’ best interests first. These are principles we can all support.

2016-04-14 00:00:00 Spring Awakening by Jerome Schneider of PIMCO

In a volatile market environment, investors may look to cash alternatives in their effort to add stability to portfolios.

2016-04-14 00:00:00 What’s Wrong With Negative Rates? by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

One reason for the lingering effects of the 2008 financial crisis is central banks' continued reliance on a flawed economic model. As long as policymakers focus on interest rates instead of on the flow of credit, the problem of deficient aggregate demand is unlikely to be resolved.

2016-04-14 00:00:00 The Winter of Discontent by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

The Winter of 2015-2016, which came to an end a few weeks ago, has been officially designated as the mildest in the U.S. in 121 years according to NOAA. While this fact will certainly add a major talking point in the global warming debate, it should also be front and center in the current economic discussion. The fact that it isn't is testament to the blatantly self-serving manner in which economic cheerleaders blame the weather when it's convenient, but ignore it when it's not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-04-13 00:00:00 Looking Forward - My View on Multinationals by Pamela Rosenau of HighTower Advisors

The current election season has been filled with a cross-current of emotion. Anti-Wall Street, protectionist and populist campaigns appear to be the overwhelming themes in trying to persuade the electorate. Additionally, there has been significant friction between the public and private sectors as we are “seeing a tidal wave of corporate merger rejections.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-04-13 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 Do International Actively Managed Small-Cap Funds Add Value? by Larry Swedroe (Article)

One frequently hears active managers claim that they avoid the large-cap U.S. market because it’s too hard to find undervalued stocks. By that reasoning, actively managed small-cap international funds should be alpha-generating powerhouses. Let’s see if that’s true.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-04-12 00:00:00 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 Another Macro Reason To Expect More Cyclical Underperformance by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

Yesterday, Bryce correctly pointed out the tight relationship between interest rates and stock market leadership that has persisted for the past decade. As interest rates fall, cyclical stocks have tended to underperform while counter-cyclical stocks have tended to outperform. We would like to add another macro data point that has had a very close correlation to stock market leadership over the past decade: changes in China’s Forex reserves.

2016-04-11 00:00:00 Yen Trouble. Bond Rally. by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

Last week started slow. But then stumbled. The stock market realized that i) earnings are not going to be great ii) that the Fed’s “low rates for longer” message means “low growth for longer” and iii) international markets wrestled with what zero bound means. U.S. stocks were flat, the Japanese market fell 6% and U.S. long Treasuries were up 1.5%.

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 What Will Drive the Next Emerging-Market Supercycle? by Sammy Suzuki of AllianceBernstein

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

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

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

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

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

2016-04-11 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 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 Challenges Remain for Asia's Economies by Luke Spajic, Tadashi Kakuchi, Adam Bowe of PIMCO

Complicated growth and policy environments in China and Japan create challenges for the region.

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

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

2016-04-08 00:00:00 On Interest Rates and Stock Market Leadership by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

One of the biggest questions equity investors are facing right now is whether to stay defensive or to turn up the cyclical heat on any pullback.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-04-08 00:00:00 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?

2016-04-08 00:00:00 A Glimpse into North Korea by Colin Dishington, of Matthews Asia

During a recent visit to Asia, I took the opportunity to join a tour to the notorious demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea. The “DMZ” as it is more commonly referred to, is 4 kilometers wide and has served as a buffer zone between the two states since the Korean War Armistice Agreement of 1953.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-04-07 00:00:00 Anti-Trade America? by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

The rise of anti-trade populism in the US presidential election campaign portends a dangerous retreat from the country's role in world affairs. In the name of reducing inequality at home, candidates in both parties would stymie the aspirations of hundreds of millions of people in the developing world to join the middle class.

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

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

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

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

2016-04-06 00:00:00 South Africa's Great Challenges, and Greater Opportunities by Pablo Echavarria of Thornburg Investment Management

South Africa faces a myriad of challenges. Government missteps slow the pace of progress, which nonetheless is being made, setting the stage for growing investment opportunities.

2016-04-06 00:00:00 Recession Probability Models - April 2016 by Ted Kavadas of RevSD

There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession. While I don’t agree with the methodologies employed or probabilities of impending economic weakness as depicted by the following two models, I think the results of these models should be monitored.

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

2016-04-06 00:00:00 Small-Caps Shift in a Wild Quarter by Francis Gannon of The Royce Funds

In a volatile quarter full of downs and ups, equity returns wound up close to where we started in 2016. Underlying these unremarkable results was the real story—the leadership shift to small-cap value.

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.

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

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

2016-04-05 00:00:00 Is the Fed on the Right Track? by Rick Rieder of BlackRock

BlackRock’s Rick Rieder explores whether Fed caution is appropriate for today’s economic environment.

2016-04-05 00:00:00 China's Economy Is Transforming; It Just Needs Time by Anthony Cragg, Stephen Kinney of Wells Fargo Asset Management

China’s service sector could be a major growth catalyst. In our view, all the country needs is time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-04-02 00:00:00 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 Taiwan's New Status Quo by Tiffany Hsiao of Matthews Asia

During the first decade of her political career, Taiwan’s President-elect Tsai Ing-wen essentially maintained bipartisanship between the pro-unification Kuomintang (KMT) party and its rival Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). But now her election win to Taiwan’s top post sends a strong message to Beijing that cross-strait affairs may not be as smooth as they have been under KMT rule.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-03-31 00:00:00 Five Reasons Emerging Markets Assets Have Rebounded by Ashok Bhatia of Wells Fargo Asset Management

Emerging markets debt and currencies had a rough 2015. Wells Fargo’s Ashok Bhatia examines the reasons behind the 2016 rally and assesses whether the rebound is here to stay.

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 Anticipating March Employment: ADP Report at 200K by Jill Mislinski (Article)

The economic mover and shaker this week is Friday's employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This monthly report contains a wealth of data for economists, the most publicized being the month-over-month change in Total Nonfarm Employment (the PAYEMS series in the FRED repository). Today we have the March estimate of 200K new nonfarm private employment jobs from ADP, a decrease from February's 205K, revised downward from 214K.

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.

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

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

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

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

2016-03-29 00:00:00 Real Estate Gets Its GICS by Team of Neuberger Berman

A dedicated sector classification gives real estate securities the recognition they deserve.

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

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

2016-03-29 00:00:00 China’s Economic Identity Crisis by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate

This year's China Development Forum highlighted the authorities' new emphasis on supply-side reforms. The problem is that this approach could overwhelm the shift to a consumer-led growth model that the country desperately needs.

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

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

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

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

2016-03-29 00:00:00 Can Manufacturing Jobs Come Back? by Scott Brown of Raymond James

The leading presidential candidates of both parties have pledged to bring manufacturing jobs back to America. It’s unclear exactly how this will be done or even whether it can be done. However, the sentiment has hit a nerve with many voters. The more important problem will be to figure out where the economy is headed over the long term and how to prepare the workforce for the future.

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

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

2016-03-28 00:00:00 Indian Government Sovereign Paper - the Search for Carry Ends Here by Ritesh Jain of Tata Asset Management

Investors need to look at the INR and Indian sovereign G-sec through a fresh pair of lens. Last year, in a major monetary policy overhaul, RBI adopted inflation targeting as a guide to its monetary policy for the first time. India is among the few EM countries in the world with inflation targeting as a monetary policy tool. Inflation targeting will mean that the INR’s depreciation will not be as severe as in the past which will leave more carry in the hands of the investors.

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

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

2016-03-28 00:00:00 Chinese Non-Performing Loans – How Bad Can They Get? by Julian Wellesley of Loomis Sayles

The main contributor to China’s economic slowdown is its manufacturing sector, which is suffering due to overcapacity and lower global demand for Chinese products. While these conditions have tempered local bank loan growth substantially, there doesn’t seem to be any significant increase in banks reporting non-performing loans (NPL). That is surprising…NPLs typically rise in a country when the economy weakens after a period of very high loan growth.

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

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

2016-03-28 00:00:00 Run-Of-The-Mill Outcomes vs. Worst-Case Scenarios by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

With the S&P 500 Index at the same level it set in early-November 2014, and the broad NYSE Composite Index unchanged since October 2013, the stock market continues to trace out a massive arc that is likely to be recognized, in hindsight, as the top formation of the third financial bubble in 16 years. The chart below shows monthly bars for the S&P 500 since 1995. It's difficult to imagine that the current situation will end well, but it's quite easy to lose a full-cycle perspective when so much focus is placed on day-to-day fluctuations.

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 The Fed's Spring Surprise by John Canally of LPL Financial

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

2016-03-27 00:00:00 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 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?

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

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

2016-03-26 00:00:00 Don't Let the Name Fool You by Hardy Zhu of Matthews Asia

Why is it tough to rely on the usual screening metrics when it comes to China’s A-share market? Research Analyst Hardy Zhu offers an in-depth analysis.

2016-03-24 00:00:00 Is the ECB Flying Toward Helicopter Money? by Darren Williams of AllianceBernstein

In recent weeks, the European Central Bank (ECB) has talked openly about helicopter money, price-level targeting and debt monetization. None of these are imminent. But against a backdrop of high debt and weak growth, further steps into experimental monetary policy terrain look inevitable.

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

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

2016-03-24 00:00:00 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.

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

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

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

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

2016-03-23 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 Stocks Have Swung From Short-Term Oversold In January To Overbought Today by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

Stocks have swung from being very oversold in January to overbought today. 82% of developed market stocks are trading above its 50-day moving average. Back on January 20th, only 6% of stocks were trading above its 50-day moving average. DM stocks are as overbought today as they have been at any point in over two years (since October 2013).

2016-03-23 00:00:00 Do Actively Managed Small-Cap Funds Add Value? by Larry Swedroe (Article)

Active managers often contend that the market for small-cap stocks is less informationally efficient, thus allowing them to uncover mispriced securities and generate alpha. I will evaluate whether that claim is true.

2016-03-22 00:00:00 China’s Incompatible Goals by Carmen Reinhart of Project Syndicate

China’s commitment to prop up its currency appears to be incompatible with its recent turn toward more accommodative monetary policies. The country will undoubtedly find it easier if it allows the renminbi to float sometime soon, rather than waiting until a full-fledged confidence crisis forces its hand.

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 It's All About the Central Banks by Jeremy Boynton of Laureate Wealth Management

The stock market has now climbed back to break-even for the year. This after a roughly 10% decline thru mid-February (as measured by the Dow Jones or S&P 500). Will the rally continue? My suspicion is yes --- in the near term. But the more important (and more interesting) question might be --- why? In this commentary, I will attempt to answer that question. By way of background, I’d like to start with a re-print of some thoughts I have shared in a prior commentary. But first a brief hint to the eventual answer: it has everything to do with the monetary policies of the most important central

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 Looking for Yield in All the Right Places: A Post-FOMC Playblook by Gene Tannuzzo of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The Fed took out an insurance policy in order to stay on a rate hiking path. A shallower path of rate hikes should temporarily ease pressure on the U.S. dollar and help improve financial conditions. Bond investors should take cues from the TIPS and credit markets. The Fed wants to see tighter credit spreads and higher inflation expectations before raising rates much more. We view investment-grade corporate bonds and commercial mortgage-backed securities as attractive sources of income in this environment.

2016-03-21 00:00:00 Central Banks Just Pulled Back from the Abyss by Brad Tank of Neuberger Berman

A spiral into deeper negative rates is off the table for now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-03-19 00:00:00 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 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.

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

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

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

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

2016-03-18 00:00:00 Health Care Pricing Dynamics by Igor Golalic of Diamond Hill Capital Management, Inc.

The health care industry is in the business of saving people’s lives. That is the implicit expectation in commercial and social contracts the industry has with other parties. For the benefit of the services it provides, the industry is afforded a payment that should reward it for the risks and the costs entailed in delivering that benefit. That payment is ultimately a function of demand and supply, which should meet in the long run at the marginal cost of production.

2016-03-17 00:00:00 Is Valeant the Pharmaceuticals’ Proverbial Canary? by Jennifer Thomson of GaveKal Capital

Yesterday’s headline-making news that Canadian pharmaceutical company Valeant is in a bit of a precarious situation produced a 50% drop in the stock and some serious relative underperformance in our point-and-figure charting.

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 Seven: Happy Anniversary Bull Market (?) by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

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

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

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

2016-03-16 00:00:00 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 The Apple Problem by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

In December, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife attacked a San Bernardino county facility, killing 14 people and injuring 22 others. The FBI discovered an Apple iPhone that was used by Farook but owned by the county. The encryption built into the device prevented authorities from accessing its data. The government has sued Apple to circumvent its security, but Apple has refused. We discuss the attack, compare and contrast the legal positions of both parties, and frame the issue using the U.S. Constitution, examining the tensions between the Bill of Rights and the conflicts presented by wartime.

2016-03-16 00:00:00 Market Assumptions Are Wrong Again by Avi Gilburt of ElliottWaveTrader.net

This past week, much was written about expectations regarding the ECB actions. The wide consensus was that the Euro was going to tank and the metals would tank with the Euro. However, that is not exactly what we saw.

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.

2016-03-16 00:00:00 Outlook: Peak Dollar? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Is the dollar's seemingly relentless rise in recent years coming to an end? What are the implications not only for the greenback, but other currencies and markets around the world?

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

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

2016-03-16 00:00:00 The War on Liquidity by Ashish Shah, Douglas Peebles of AllianceBernstein

As policymakers try to support the real economy and protect the banking system, they’re unwittingly conducting a war on market liquidity. We think this ensures they won’t achieve either of their stated goals.

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 Equities Advance Again, But Risks Lurk on the Horizon by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

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

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

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

2016-03-15 00:00:00 Is Russia’s National Character Authoritarian? by Robert Shiller of Project Syndicate

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the public’s acquiescence in direct government control of news media have many people wondering if Russians are predisposed to authoritarianism. But survey evidence counsel caution about drawing conclusions about national character from isolated events.

2016-03-15 00:00:00 China's Neighbors to Millions of New Free-spending Tourists: "Ni Hao!" by Ben Kirby of Thornburg Investment Management

With more disposable income than ever before, Chinese tourists are venturing abroad in ever-greater numbers, many on shopping sprees.

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

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

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

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

2016-03-14 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 NIRP -- No Need to Go There by Paul Kasriel of Econtrarian, LLC

Despite the success of QE by the Fed in stimulating growth in US nominal domestic demand, many a talking twerp is discussing the necessity of NIRP to bring the US economy out of its next recession. First, why worry about the next US recession when there is none on the horizon? Second, if QE worked to help get the US economy out of its worst recession since the early 1930s, why don’t you think it will work in producing a recovery from the next US recession, whenever it may come?

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

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

2016-03-14 00:00:00 Senior Floating Rate Loans Provide Income and Value by Richard Gardiner, Ing-Chea Ang of Neuberger Berman

While equity volatility at the start of the year prompted handwringing among many investors, one of the most vexing issues in the current environment is in the fixed income market.

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 China's Trilemma—and a Possible Solution by Ben Bernanke of Brookings Institute

China’s central banker, Zhou Xiaochuan of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), and other top Chinese officials recently launched a communications offensive to persuade markets and foreign policymakers that no significant devaluation of the Chinese currency is planned.[1] Is the no-devaluation strategy a good one for China? If it is, what does China need to do to make its exchange-rate commitments credible?

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 ECB Makes a Bold Move to Boost Growth by Rob Waldner, Mark Nash, Nicholas Wall of Invesco Blog

New monetary stimulus measures announced today by the European Central Bank (ECB) represent a bold move, in our view, and should be positive for riskier European assets, such as credit assets.

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

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

2016-03-11 00:00:00 What 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 ECB Delivers Big Package with Muddled Message by Darren Williams of AllianceBernstein

Who’d be a central banker? Last December, European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi was widely criticized for leading markets up the garden path and delivering a lukewarm package of stimulus measures.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-03-10 00:00:00 China's Transparency Challenges by Ben Bernanke, Peter Olson of Brookings Institute

At the recent G20 gathering in Shanghai, three Chinese leaders—Premier Li Keqiang, People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan, and Finance Minister Lou Jiwei—reassured attendees that the Chinese government had the monetary and fiscal tools as well as the know-how to guide the economy through its current challenges.

2016-03-10 00:00:00 Is the Perfect Storm Over for Markets? by Mohamed El-Erian of Project Syndicate

So far this year, financial markets around the world have been navigating a perfect storm – that is, a violent disruption fueled by an unusual amalgamation of smaller disturbances. The spike in volatility of financial markets is the direct result of three distinct factors.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-03-08 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 Economies of Scale: An Analytical Framework for Assessment of A Firm’s Competitive Advantage by Baijnath Ramraika, CFA and Prashant K. Trivedi, CFA (Article)

In our previous article in our series on sustainable competitive advantages, we identified six distinct sources of competitive advantages. This article focuses on one of those sources: economies of scale.

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 New Gold Bull Market Now Official; Breaking Point in Paper Gold? by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-03-08 00:00:00 Can China Change Its Growth Model? by Charles Wilson of Thornburg Investment Management

The transition to consumption-led from investment-driven growth, and the shift away from the one-child policy will help.

2016-03-08 00:00:00 Recession Probability Models - March 2016 by Ted Kavadas of RevSD

There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession. While I don’t agree with the methodologies employed or probabilities of impending economic weakness as depicted by the following two models, I think the results of these models should be monitored.

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

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

2016-03-07 00:00:00 2 Sectors To Consider by (Article)

CEF investors may want to consider the taxable income and covered call sectors, says Stephen Minar, Vice President, BlackRock.

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 Analyzing Earnings As Of Q4 2015 by Lance Roberts of Real Investment Advice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-03-06 00:00:00 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 Greetings from the Cold by Charles Aram, Jonathan Treussard of Research Affiliates

The value-oriented investor, still in the throes of a long harsh winter, should be heartened in the knowledge that summer will inevitably arrive on the predictable warm breeze of mean-reverting valuations.

2016-03-04 00:00:00 There’s Been An “Anti-Dollar” Movement In The Market Recently by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

Part of our investment work is understanding what has or hasn’t been driving the market recently. We quantify this by regressing various valuation, fundamental, estimate, and correlation factors against the market over 1-day, 1-week, 1-month, 3-month and 1-year time periods. Over the past year, North American stocks that have had the lowest correlation to the USD have had terrible performance. The decile of stocks with the lowest correlation to the dollar are down nearly 22% over the past year. What’s interesting is we have seen this relationship completely reverse over the past month.

2016-03-04 00:00:00 China Throws Open Its Bond Market by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

China has reminded investors that there’s more to the country than worrisome economic indicators by announcing a significant step in the opening up of its domestic interbank bond market. The move has positive implications for capital flows and the strength of the currency.

2016-03-04 00:00:00 3 Different ETF Strategies for Your Portfolio by Team of BlackRock

With today’s market volatility, you’ll want to be more nimble with your investment mix. We explore how you can use “passive” ETFs in an active way.

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

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

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

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

2016-03-04 00:00:00 Cashless in Beijing by Julia Zhu of Matthews Asia

How far can you get in urban China carrying just plastic and e-wallet mobile apps? Asia Weekly explores.

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 .

2016-03-03 00:00:00 The Recession of 2020 by Joachim Fels of PIMCO

A U.S. recession this year is much less likely than a recession in, say, 2020.

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

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

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

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

2016-03-03 00:00:00 Investment Opportunities Are Slowly Emerging in Asia Pacific Markets by Brent Bates of Invesco Blog

Virtually all Asia Pacific countries and sectors are experiencing negative earnings revisions, with return on capital falling to decade lows, a weak export environment and lackluster domestic economies. In this environment, investors have sought the highest-growth and highest-quality companies irrespective of valuation. Because the Invesco International and Global Growth team is not willing to buy at any price, we have been priced out of many of businesses we believe are attractive. But we see signs that this is starting to turn in certain areas.

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

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

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

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

2016-03-02 00:00:00 China’s Loan Spike May Not Be a Red Flag by Hayden Briscoe, Anthony Chan of AllianceBernstein

Lending in China has jumped massively, startling already rattled investors and intensifying fears that the country’s financial system could be close to collapse. While these concerns are understandable, we think they may be overdone and based on a too-simplistic assessment of the risks.

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.

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

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

2016-03-01 00:00:00 By the Side of the Road by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

A man lived by the side of the road and sold hot dogs. He was hard of hearing, so he had no radio. He had trouble with his eyes, so he had no newspapers, but he sold hot dogs. He put up a sign on the highway, telling how good they were. He stood by the side of the road and cried, ‘Buy a hot dog, mister’ and people bought.

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 Looking For, But Failing To Find, An Expansion In New Highs by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

We have had a nice little bounce in the equity market over the past two and half weeks. Since making a multi-year low on 2/11, our GKCI United States Index has rallied by nearly 7%. From the May 2015 peak to the February trough, the index fell by almost 16%. So has the latest rally kicked the equity market correction to curb and have equity markets entered into a new bull phase? Unfortunately, one of the more reliable market internal data points is indicating to us that there is probably further downside ahead in the short-term for investors.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-03-01 00:00:00 India: 2016-17 Union Budget - A Budget for the Real Economy by Ritesh Jain, Abhishek Sonthalia of Tata Asset Management

India’s Finance Minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley presented the 2016-17 Union Budget yesterday where he chose macro stability over short term growth tactics, earning credibility on fiscal discipline and empowering the bottom of the pyramid. The budget clearly outlined the government’s thrust on the rural economy while taxing urban and the top of the pyramid consumption. This is a budget for the masses not the classes! It was about credibility and character, presented amidst heightened global volatility and economic upheaval.

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

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

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

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

2016-02-29 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 Five Questions Canadian Investors Are Asking by Scott DiMaggio, Erin Bigley of AllianceBernstein

From concerns about market liquidity to investing in clean energy, we answer the questions Canadian bond investors have been asking.

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

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

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

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

2016-02-28 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 India: What Makes it Unique? by Sunil Asnani of Matthews Asia

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

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

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

2016-02-26 00:00:00 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…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-02-25 00:00:00 Emotional Selling Has Nearly Tripled So Far This Year by Jennifer Thompson of GaveKal Capital

Down gaps in developed world stocks have risen three-fold since the beginning of the year– indicating an increase in emotional selling the likes of which we have not seen since 2011.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-02-24 00:00:00 Smart beta: Are we outsmarting ourselves? by Jeff Middleswart of Ranger International

There is a risk the popularity of smart beta has increased the valuations of certain types of stocks. These new higher valuations may subvert the premise that such characteristics lead to superior performance.

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 Advice for Riding This Market's Rocky Rebound by Dr. Brian Jacobsen, CFA, CFP of Wells Fargo Asset Management

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

2016-02-24 00:00:00 Constructing a Balanced Portfolio by Litman Gregory Research Team of Litman Gregory

We often write about how our tactical asset allocation investment process seeks to use shorter-term market price volatility to our long-term advantage. Of course, while it is easy enough to say volatility creates opportunity, the reality is that volatility can be stressful and painful when you are actually experiencing it in your portfolio.

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 This Is Not 2008 by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-02-23 00:00:00 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 Less Than Zero by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

In the 1985 novel Less Than Zero, the characters seem intent on a race to the bottom. So too is the current predicament of the world’s central banks, according to US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper. Some have adopted negative interest rates with others set to follow down below zero.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-02-22 00:00:00 Who Cares If You're out of Ammo When You Only Fire Blanks? by Colin Moore of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Central banks have been aiming at growth and inflation targets for several years now without hitting them. The real issue that investors should be worried about is whether government policy can match the boldness of monetary policy. Without bold action on taxation, education, infrastructure, immigration and regulation, the policy actions of central banks will be the equivalent of firing blanks.

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 A Better Week but Traders Have the Upper Hand by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-02-19 00:00:00 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 Wuhan: China’s Travel Hub by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

News and entertainment I saw in China indicated to me that political changes are coming hard and fast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-02-18 00:00:00 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-02-17 00:00:00 The Case for Surge Funding by George Soros of Project Syndicate

Epidemiologists know that spending a large amount of money up front can be far more effective than spending the same amount over several years. The same approach must be applied to the migrant crisis, where large investments are needed to avert an epidemic of fear, hatred, and radicalization.

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.

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

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

2016-02-15 00:00:00 Warning with a Capital "W" by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

When a widely-identified support level gives way at rich valuations, in an environment where poor market internals convey a shift toward risk-aversion among investors, the break can behave as a common trigger for concerted attempts to exit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-02-12 00:00:00 Negative Interest Rate Policies May Be Part of the Problem by Scott Mather of PIMCO

Investors may see these experimental policy moves as damaging to financial and economic stability.

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 How to Ballast a Portfolio with Bonds by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ and investment strategist Terry Simpson explain how to ballast a portfolio using fixed income, traditional “safe-haven” Treasuries not included.

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

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

2016-02-12 00:00:00 Lost in Translation by Teresa Kong of Matthews Asia

The imposition of negative rates on Japan’s bank reserves recently caught the market by surprise. Teresa Kong, CFA, Portfolio Manager, explores the possible implications of this new interest rate policy for Japan and the rest of Asia.

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

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

2016-02-12 00:00:00 Predicting Recession by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Economic surveys are reflecting a higher possibility that a recession could begin in the next 12 months.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 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.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 A Shopping List for Bargain Hunters by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

While stocks overall still aren't cheap, investors looking to bargain hunt may be pleased to know there are certain segments of the market worth considering. BlackRock's Russ Koesterich explains.

2016-02-11 00:00:00 Through the Looking Glass on Rates by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

On January 29th, Japan’s central bank governor, Haruhiko Kuroda, announced that the Bank of Japan would introduce a Negative Interest Rate Policy, or NIRP, on bank reserve deposits held in excess of the minimum requisite. The European Central Bank, and central banks in Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden have already partially blazed this mysterious trail. The banks have done so in order to weaken their respective currencies and to light a fire under inflation.

2016-02-11 00:00:00 China Rings in the New Lunar Year with Disconcerting Headline Numbers and Underlying Strengths by Charles Roth of Thornburg Investment Management

Six hundred million alcohol consumers celebrate the year of the Fire Monkey, and baijiu, China's $100 billion spirits industry, will benefit. As the country's "old economy" industries lose steam, its services sector is going gangbusters. Consumption now constitutes two-thirds of China's GDP.

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

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

2016-02-11 00:00:00 Focus on Economic Fundamentals by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

Adverse financial market developments have led to an overflow of bearish analyses. It is certainly dangerous to ignore market signals, but they aren’t always conclusive. There are some positive fundamentals in place that provide some reassurance around the outlook.

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

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

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

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

2016-02-10 00:00:00 Fear Trade: Metals Up, Stocks and Jobs Down. by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

Precious metals banked another solid week of gains as investors looked for alternatives to the stock market and U.S. dollar. Both gold and silver pushed through important technical resistance levels. Metals bulls hope to see markets enter a virtuous cycle; improving charts followed by more speculative long interest leading to improved charts.

2016-02-10 00:00:00 Investing in a 3-D World by Bill Nasgovitz of Heartland Advisors

Demographics, debt, and the fear of deflation are posing challenges for investors, but we believe some areas of the market are better insulated from the headwinds than others. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have questions or would like any additional details.

2016-02-10 00:00:00 Clueless Fed?! by Axel Merk of Merk Funds

"The Fed doesn't have a clue!" - I allege that not only because the Fed appears to admit as much (more on that in a bit), but also because my own analysis leads to no other conclusion. With Fed communication in what we believe is disarray, we expect the market to continue to cascade lower - think what happened in 2000. What are investors to do, and when will we reach bottom?

2016-02-10 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 A View From the Hill by Team of Cedar Hill Associates

Investors cautious after rocky 2015, but recession appears remote. Investors stomached a white-knuckle ride through much of 2015 as the financial markets searched for direction. Although global equity indices bounced off their September lows during the fourth quarter, returns for the full year proved disappointing.

2016-02-09 00:00:00 The 3 Keys to Active Investing by Neil Dwane of Allianz Global Investors

Neil Dwane, Global Strategist for Allianz Global Investors, says investors must navigate increasingly volatile markets by being more ACTive: agile, confident and thorough. Explore our global outlook and its investment implications in his summary of our latest Investment Forum.

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

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

2016-02-09 00:00:00 Stocks You Shouldn't Own by Travis Fairchild, Chris Meredith, Patrick O'Shaughnessy, Ehren Stanhope of O'Shaughnessy Asset Management

Active management has two potential advantages versus an index. The first advantage is the one that most people think of: active stock selection. But this paper instead focuses on the second potential advantage: active stock elimination, or identifying stocks not to own in the portfolio. While owning strong performers is the most obvious source of excess returns versus a benchmark, the stocks that are in an index but not in an active portfolio often explain as much of the active portfolio’s relative returns.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 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 Recession Probability Models - February 2016 by Ted Kavadas of RevSD

There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession. While I don’t agree with the methodologies employed or probabilities of impending economic weakness as depicted by the following two models, I think the results of these models should be monitored.

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 Exploring Culture and Companies in Changsha, China by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

It's clear to me that despite the tremendous amount of infrastructure building that has already taken place in China, there is a need for more.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 What Investing Factors Have Worked the Best for Equities Over the Last Year? by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

Factor investing is a well known and utilized means that investors use to allocate capital in hopes of outperforming the market over long stretches. It’s also known that no factor works all the time, and factors go into and out of favor with what can be a menacing frequency. With that said, what factors have worked the best for equity investors over the last year as the market has meandered around all-time highs and settled to multi-years all in twelve short months?

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Mitigating the Financial and Emotional Impact of Market Volatility by Adam Scully-Power of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The era of low volatility may be over, but the need to pursue long-term financial goals is not. Investors should consider both the financial and emotional impact of market volatility. Positive returns are achievable in a volatile environment with the appropriate investment strategy.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Will Oil Prices and Equities Stay Hitched? by James Tierney, Jr. of AllianceBernstein

Equity markets and oil prices are behaving lately as if they’re glued together. Our analysis suggests that the correlation is unjustified and investors should start thinking about what might happen when they become unstuck.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Sustainable and Responsible Investing: Is There a Price to Pay? by Larry Swedroe (Article)

Consumers can use their market power to demonstrate their aversion to certain business activities by choosing not to purchase goods or use services from companies that, in their minds, are selling immoral products. Similarly, investors can decide not to invest in such companies. But do those investors sacrifice returns relative to a broad-based index fund?

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Episodic Volatility by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

“The year ahead will be one of ‘episodic volatility’ – rather than wildly veering highs and lows – an environment that will create opportunities for astute investors.” . . . Simon Ho, Triple 3 Partners

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Rally Fails, Alerts Rise by Lance Roberts of Real Investment Advice

Last week, I discussed the boost the market received as the BOJ made an unexpected move into negative interest rate territory combined with end of the month buying by portfolio managers.

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 What’s Holding Back the World Economy? by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

The dominant policies pursued by developed countries during the post-crisis period – fiscal retrenchment and quantitative easing – have offered little support for household consumption, investment, and growth. On the contrary, they have tended to make matters worse.

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

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

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Treasuries. The Game In Town by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

What a ride. Stocks were mostly unchanged on the week, as of Thursday afternoon. We have seen a range in the last few weeks of around +/-4%. The action continues to be in bonds where we’ll risk showing the same chart two weeks in a row (updated of course).

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Is a Recession Looming? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The economic calendar is light and it is the start of the week-long Chinese New Year. This means some media time and space that must be filled. Needing an attention-getter, I expect the punditry to be asking: Is a recession looming?

2016-02-07 00:00:00 Markets Are a Mess, but Don't Jump to Conclusions Yet by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

2016 has not been a happy new year for investors thus far, with a January plagued by market volatility and some of the worst index returns observed in years. Have these first few weeks set the stage for disastrous markets throughout the rest of the year?

2016-02-07 00:00:00 Misadventures of Real Economy in Central Banks’ Neoclassical Wonderland by Sebastiao Buck Tocalino of SBTCapital Clube de Investimento

Before you start reading, I want to explain that the term wonderland I used in the title above is much more in the sense of incongruous and defying common sense, than in some cynical reference to the splendid sense of the word.

2016-02-06 00:00:00 $100 Trillion Up in Smoke by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

The total value of all the world’s oil reserves is over $100 trillion less than it was just a year and a half ago.

2016-02-06 00:00:00 Pollution and China's Economic Transformation by Henry Zhang of Matthews Asia

China’s air pollution has made frequent headlines recently, and authorities have implemented various measures to try to alleviate the situation. This week Portfolio Manager Henry Zhang writes about China’s attempts to solve its environmental issues during this critical juncture in its economic development.

2016-02-06 00:00:00 In Search of Solutions to Four Puzzles by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Economic discussions in Washington this week centered on a series of puzzles that are confounding the outlook.

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

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

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

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

2016-02-05 00:00:00 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 Muni Bonds Have Performed Well in Volatile Times by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Like Winter Storm Jonas, which has disrupted life on the East Coast with up to 30 inches of snow in some cities, strong levels of volatility are sweeping through global markets, from the U.S. to China. The Shanghai Composite Index closed at a 13-month low on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 Index has lost over 7 percent year-to-date.

2016-02-05 00:00:00 The Super Hole: Taking on the Competition of Entitlements by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

Healthcare liabilities in the form of Medicare and Medicaid present an enormous challenge that will meaningfully affect all of us. It’s time to get our game faces on.

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

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

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

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

2016-02-04 00:00:00 Groundhog Day? by John Canally of LPL Financial

In recent weeks, there have been plenty of “groundhogs” in the financial markets and in the financial media. For some investors, the fear is that the market’s performance in January 2016 will be repeated over and over again, as in the classic 1993 film Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. Other investors fear that 1998 will play out all over again, triggered by central bankers’ policy mistakes, volatile currency markets, wave after wave of currency devaluations, and eventually a sovereign default.

2016-02-04 00:00:00 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 The Folly of Negative Interest Rates as Public Policy by Stephen Conwill of Milliman, Inc.

With its surprise decision last month, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) has joined the European experiment with negative interest rates. Is this a bold and brilliant policy move or the last gasp of failed policy? Unfortunately, it is the latter. Quantitative easing was always a risky experiment. From the start, it failed the test of intellectual coherence. With three years of experience in Japan, it is failing empirical tests as well. It is unclear whether policymakers have the knowledge, fortitude, and tools to reverse course and unwind this unfortunate experiment.

2016-02-04 00:00:00 Crude Awakening by Jeffrey Baker of HiddenLevers

The price of oil has had a dramatic effect on markets since the start of the year. WTI was down over 9.0% in January and domestic markets followed oil downwards, returning approximately -5.0% the first month of this year. In an effort to break through the noise surrounding oil, HiddenLevers recently analyzed the commodities market and in this post will summarize the good, bad and ugly outcomes for oil and its broader effect on the global economy.

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

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

2016-02-03 00:00:00 Gold to Beat Stocks? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

"Stocks beat gold in the long run!" is a 'rallying cry' to buy stocks we have heard lately that gets me riled up. It’s upsetting to me for two reasons: first, an out of context comparison, in my opinion, misguides investors. It might be the wrong assertion in the short to medium term.

2016-02-03 00:00:00 A Look Back at 2015: Lessons Learned by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

The first sentence of my market update for last January went like this: “U.S. stock markets dropped across the board in January, as investors reassessed their risk tolerances.” Sound familiar? I went on to note that the primary concerns were slow earnings growth, caused by weakness elsewhere in the world, and a strong dollar. Again, does that ring a bell?

2016-02-03 00:00:00 Increasingly Addled by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

Long ago and far away in the adolescent cauldron known as Los Altos High School, I attended a senior U.S. history class with a man-child named Delos Roman. He was appropriately christened it seems, because his body resembled that of Zeus, the God of Thunder, and at 6’4”/230 pounds, he rumbled down the football sidelines like a Mack truck on a downhill mountain road.

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

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

2016-02-03 00:00:00 What Investors Need to Know About Returns in 2016 by Rick Rieder of BlackRock

Last year wasn't a great one for investors seeking solid returns. With 2016 off to a rocky start, will we see more of the same this year? Rick Rieder weighs in.

2016-02-03 00:00:00 China's Retail-driven Equity Market a Wild Ride by Inbok Song of Thornburg Investment Management

Household equity market exposure still a small fraction of total household assets. For institutional investors, opportunities in companies benefitting from long-term, structural growth.

2016-02-03 00:00:00 Sub-3% GDP Growth: A Lost Decade For The US Economy by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Whew – January is finally over! Up until the last week or so, the downside carnage in January was the worst New Year’s stock market start in history. Thanks to last week’s rebound, it was only the worst New Year’s start since January of 2009 when the Great Recession was unfolding. Still, it was a hair-raising month for stock investors. And no one knows if the damage is over.

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

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

2016-02-02 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Is the Correction Over? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Stocks once again made a sharp turnaround late in Wednesday’s session. The “mystery” rebound took the S&P 500 up 3.5% in about two days of trading. Despite the important economic releases and heavy earnings calendar next week, expect the punditry to be asking: Is the correction over?

2016-02-02 00:00:00 Global Economy Facing Five Finger Discount by Erik Weisman of MFS Investment Management

In the 1970s, as the US struggled through a deep recession, shopkeepers were constantly on the watch for stretched consumers looking to employ the so-called "five finger discount," a euphemism for shoplifting. Today, central bankers around the world need to be mindful of five growth-robbing challenges threatening the global economy over the course of the next several business cycles. Stalling globalization, unfavorable demography, excessive leverage, a harsher regulatory environment and rising taxes are creating a five-finger discount that much of the world will be hard pressed to avoid.

2016-02-02 00:00:00 Tough January. Now What? by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

Last week was relatively quiet, with stocks pretty much unchanged but still down around 2% since year-end. The action continues to be Treasuries with the Ten-Year note at 1.92% compared to 2.29%, when the Fed raised rates in December. Here’s the Treasury yield curve in mid-December and now.

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 The Great Escape from China by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

It might seem odd that a country running a $600 billion trade surplus in 2015 should be worried about currency weakness. But a combination of factors, including slowing economic growth and a gradual relaxation of restrictions on investing abroad, has unleashed a torrent of capital outflows.

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.”

2016-02-02 00:00:00 Global Growth Forecast - Q1 (Infographic) by Laura Sarlo of Loomis Sayles

Every quarter, we update our global forecast map. Explore our key themes by region in our latest infographic.

2016-02-01 00:00:00 Two New Books on Retirement Planning by Joe Tomlinson (Article)

The New Year brought us two new books on retirement planning written by well-known authors – Teresa Ghilarducci and Jane Bryant Quinn. Ghilarducci focuses on key steps to build retirement savings, while Quinn provides a much fuller analysis for both accumulation and de-accumulation. Both are books advisors should read themselves as candidates to recommend to clients.

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 Researching United Technologies: Here’s How I Do It by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

One of the greatest challenges that authors face when posting articles on financial blogs is how much information they should include and how much they should exclude. Space is limited, and many readers prefer a short write-up over long dissertations. Therefore, most authors (yours truly included) attempt to summarize their positions in the fewest words possible. However, this approach implies that readers will fill in the blanks between what is said and what is left out. Unfortunately, that is not what always happens.

2016-02-01 00:00:00 The Danger in Emerging Market Debt by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Most observers saw the recent troubles in the high-yield markets – the gating of the Third Avenue and Stone Lion funds – as a precursor to a junk-bond crisis. Instead, investors should be focusing on a potentially bigger problem, according to Russell Napier. Open-end mutual funds holding emerging-market debt are at risk.

2016-02-01 00:00:00 Equities Rally as Oil and Monetary Policy Remain in Focus by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Volatility remained high last week as U.S. equities regained some ground, with the S&P 500 Index rising 1.8%. Stocks soared on Friday in response to the Bank of Japan’s decision to adopt a negative interest rate stance. Oil prices also rose over speculation that global production might fall. Corporate earnings were mixed, as results continued to be held back by the long-term decline in lower oil prices, a soft economic backdrop and the strong dollar.

2016-02-01 00:00:00 Fed Not Going Away by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Close your eyes (well, not literally). Imagine a huge manufacturing economy, in Asia, growing very rapidly. It became the second largest economy in the world, from ruin, in just a few short decades and produced 14% of global output. Now imagine it collapses.

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

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

2016-01-31 00:00:00 The Gas Pedal Is Useless When The Spark Plugs Are Gone by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

As we observe in the U.S., central bank easing in Japan only reliably benefits the stock market, on average, when market action is already favorable, indicating a preference among investors to accept market risk. Once market internals deteriorate, central bank easing fails to provoke speculation, on average. The gas pedal is useless when the spark plugs are gone. Aside from short-lived, knee-jerk responses, there is no historical basis to assume that central bank easing will promptly encourage fresh speculation in an overvalued market that has lost internal support. To the contrary, as investo

2016-01-30 00:00:00 Where to Ride Out the Volatility by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

Recent market volatility is leading many investors to exit stocks. For those that remain, the key question is: Where to hide? Russ Koesterich shares ideas, and opting for defensive sectors isn't one of them.

2016-01-29 00:00:00 Oil’s Well That Ends Well? by Templeton Global Equity Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

With the modest-at-best global economic recovery after the still front-of-mind global financial crisis trauma from 2008-2009 … markets are understandably preoccupied with the scope for unpleasant shocks.

2016-01-29 00:00:00 For the Love of Mobile Money in Frontier Markets by Christine Phillpotts, Henry D'Auria of AllianceBernstein

Mobile money–transfer services are taking off in many lower-income countries in sub-Sahara Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America. These platforms offer investors an exciting growth opportunity that is still in the embryonic stages.

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 On My Radar: The Central Banks, the Market and Wealth Creation by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group, Inc.

Numerous investor behavior studies have been conducted by researchers, and most come to the same conclusion: individual investors tend to buy and sell at the wrong time. Perhaps it is the “fight or flight” in us that gets in the way. “Thinking deeply” – “Reflecting”. A good friend and advisor client said to me this morning, “This business can be a bi&@h.” I told him I was posting a chart today that may speak to his frustration. Here, I share it with you.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 How Low Can Oil Go? by Lee Kayser of Russell Investments

Not too much further we think. As we’ve seen over the first few weeks of 2016, WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude has been down as much as 25% from last year end 2015. Prices per barrel also closed below $30 for the first time since 2003.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 Message to Shareholders by Robert Horrocks of Matthews Asia

I can't believe I am putting my fingers to the keyboard again to write about U.S. Federal Reserve rate rises. Again!! You must be thoroughly bored with the whole tedious topic; I am certainly starting to tire of it. But it is an important topic for a couple of reasons: first, because December saw the first rate rise in the U.S. in almost a decade; second, because people seem to have serious misunderstandings about what it means for Asia. I intend to take on the second of these issues—the misunderstandings—and then examine more important matters concerning Asia's domestic growth.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 4th Quarter Commentary by John Prichard, Miles Yourman of Knightsbridge Asset Management

When it comes to the stock market, it is clearly a time for much doubt, but perhaps also heroism. As we write, the market is in the midst of a nasty sell-off, the worst start to a year in U.S. stock market history, with every sector down for the year with the exception of utilities. Global stocks have fared even worse, losing $14 trillion since peaking last May and more than $2 trillion during the first week of January alone. The beginning of the year is an especially inauspicious time for a stock market plunge as markets often trend in the direction of the year’s first week.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 Travels in China: Nanning to Guiyang by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

While we’ve heard reports of falling real estate prices in some of the smaller (second- or third-tier) cities in China, we didn’t see widespread evidence of that; sales still seemed generally robust in the regions we toured.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 Saved by the Bell by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

“Saved by the Bell” except in this case we are not referring to the late-1980s TV sitcom that focused on a group of high school teens and their principal, but last Wednesday’s closing bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The day began well enough with the preopening S&P futures only off about 9 points when I slid into my trading turret around 5:30 a.m. From there, however, things got pretty ugly as the D-J Industrial Average (INDU/16093.51) went into a minicrash that would see the senior index shed some 567 points and in the process break below its August 25, 2015 clo

2016-01-28 00:00:00 The Return of the Currency Crash by Carmen Reinhart of Project Syndicate

Excluding the mayhem associated with the global financial crisis of late 2008 and early 2009, currency crashes were few and far between from 2004 to 2014. But recent developments suggest that the dearth of currency crashes during that decade may be remembered as the exception that proves the rule.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 Bearish Tendencies (and silver linings) by Team of Pinnacle Advisory Group

2015 had many twists and turns, but from a financial market perspective, it was effectively a road to nowhere when looking across a variety of asset classes. In U.S. equity markets, large company stocks (large cap) barely moved as just a few sectors and stocks were big winners. In the broad market, many stocks performed far worse than the large cap averages and gave investors the false impression that the market was generally flat.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 A Market Correction Isn't Unusual…Look for Growth Later This Year by Vern Sumnicht of iSectors

As we saw at the close of last week’s market and really the entire first half of January, 2016 has had a difficult beginning. There are a number of market concerns that have resulted in a correction in the first half of January and they revolve around.

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

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

2016-01-28 00:00:00 FOMC FAQS: Making a Statement by John Canally of LPL Financial

The Fed holds its first FOMC meeting of 2016 this Tuesday and Wednesday, January 26–27, 2016. Without a press conference or a new set of economic and fed funds projections, the Fed must rely on its statement to communicate a complicated message to fragile markets.

2016-01-27 00:00:00 The Challenges Facing Emerging Markets Debt by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

Emerging markets debt (EMD) valuations have cheapened in recent weeks, as weaker Chinese economic data and lower oil prices pushed prices lower and yield spreads higher. The average yield spread closed at 4.6% on Friday, January 15, 2016, essentially matching the post-recession peak of August 2015; and the average yield to maturity rose to 6.25%, the highest since mid-2011 and the height of European debt fears.

2016-01-27 00:00:00 Markets Recover (for Now) as Investors Remain Wary by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equities remained volatile last week as the S&P 500 Index gained 1.4% following two weeks of sharp declines. The rebound didn’t appear to be driven by any fundamental shifts, although rising oil prices and expectations of additional policy support from the European Central Bank and Bank of Japan helped. In some ways, last week’s bounce may have been due to a reaction from oversold conditions, and we are not seeing technical signs that would suggest these gains will have sustained traction. Investors remain skeptical and seem to be looking for the next crisis.

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

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

2016-01-27 00:00:00 3 Charts All Investors Should See by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Worried there's a bear market ahead? You'll want to pay attention to these three charts. Russ Koesterich explains.

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

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

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

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

2016-01-27 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: A Dovish Tilt from the Fed? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Stocks managed a mid-day rebound from a 566-point decline in the DJIA. Among the suggested reasons was more help from central bankers. With a light economic calendar, I expect Fed speculation to compete with earnings in the week ahead. Everyone will be wondering: Will the Fed signal a dovish tilt?

2016-01-27 00:00:00 China’s Bumpy New Normal by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

Too often, the debate about China’s economy has been dominated by naive proposals for supply-side reform and criticism of the demand-side measures adopted after the 2008 global financial crisis. But, while those measures were far from perfect, they were far better than nothing – a lesson that remains relevant today.

2016-01-27 00:00:00 Italy's Banking Crisis by Kaisa Stucke of Confluence Investment Management

On January 1, the EU implemented a new bank restructuring directive. The new and stricter rules are aimed at forcing private stock, bond and deposit holders to accept losses before public funds would be used in a bank restructuring. Although all EU countries are affected, Italy remains of particular concern due to the number of distressed loans in the country. This week, we look at the overall health of Italy’s banking system as well as its nonperforming loan problem.

2016-01-26 00:00:00 Finding Bargains After the Selloff by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the recent selloff, which means some bargains are emerging.

2016-01-26 00:00:00 China Walks an FX Tightrope by Hayden Briscoe, Anthony Chan of AllianceBernstein

The liberalization of China’s currency and capital account is under threat as the renminbi (RMB) falls, capital outflows intensify and foreign reserves dwindle. Will the country forge ahead with its reforms or pause to allow the market to settle down? Both, in our view, have their pros and cons.

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

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

2016-01-26 00:00:00 Will the Tail Wag the Dog? by Scott Brown of Raymond James

Global economic conditions do not appear to be severe enough to justify this year’s adverse market action. However, the adverse market action may pose a risk to the global economic outlook. While the global financial system may currently seem a bit unstable, it’s unlikely that fear will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. At least, that’s the hope.

2016-01-26 00:00:00 Q4: Sluggish Growth, No Recession by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

The recent turmoil in the equity markets would make more sense if the US economy were headed for recession. But the economic data aren’t cooperating.

2016-01-26 00:00:00 Clueless in Davos by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Making their annual pilgrimage to the exclusive Swiss ski sanctuary of Davos last week, the world's political and financial elite once again gathered without having had the slightest idea of what was going on in the outside world. It appears that few of the attendees, if any, had any advance warning that 2016 would dawn with a global financial meltdown.

2016-01-26 00:00:00 False Alarm on China by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate

The prospect of an economic meltdown in China seems to be rattling global financial markets at the start of 2016. Yet such fears are overblown, pumped up by a growing misalignment between China’s encouraging progress on structural adjustment in its real economy and disappointing performance on market-based financial-sector reforms.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 Window on Main Street by John Canally of LPL Financial

During periods of economic volatility, investors sometimes abandon the tools for evaluating markets and the economy that had been serving them well before the volatility started. Good tools, however, should continue to provide insight, which is why we are turning, once again, to the latest Beige Book from the Federal Reserve (Fed) as we gauge the health of the broad U.S. economy as 2015 ended and 2016 began.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: Downside Risks Increase, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The IMF lowered its global forecast for 2016 and 2017. While they project growth for the US, EU and Japan, the rest of the world will experience weaker prospects.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review: Where's the Next Big Trade Idea? Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The market started the year with quite a bang, selling off to a degree not predicted by any event that occurred at the end of 2015. The ensuing sell-off has not only caused a fair amount of stress among investors, but also analysts who are struggling to explain what exactly is happening. To that end, I will argue we are seeing two events: an unwinding of the major post-recession trades followed by the markets attempting to find “the new trade.” Most importantly, current turmoil is the result of the inability to find new investment thesis.

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

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

2016-01-25 00:00:00 How Airlines Are Spending Their Record Profits by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

How did you spend your $700? That’s how much the average American driver saved at the pump in 2015, according to a report from J.P. Morgan Chase. The bank also found that the savings fueled consumer spending on non-gas related purchases, which, based on credit and debit card transactions, were higher than previously thought. For every dollar saved, Americans spent roughly $0.80 on other things—restaurant visits, appliances, new gadgets and more.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 New Year, More Volatility—What Can Investors Do? by Martin Atkin, Dianne Lob, Alison Martier of AllianceBernstein

The calendar has changed to 2016, but the volatility story remains. The key concern: weaker global growth and its possible ripple effects, including low oil prices for an extended period. How should investors approach this challenge?

2016-01-25 00:00:00 Lifting Sanctions on Iran a Mixed Bag by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

From a financial perspective, the New Year has been anything but happy. As of January 20th, the S&P had fallen over 9% since the beginning of the year, to levels not seen since 2014,reflecting a loss of some $2 trillion in market value. Compounding matters was the 30% collapse in oil prices, which brought crude down to the lowest levels in 13 years. The New Year has also seen further evidence of recession in the U.S., which has appeared in a string of bad manufacturing service sector data.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 Buckle Up: More Volatility Ahead by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Investors enter the final week of January wondering if they should sit out the rest of 2016. US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper cautions against such short-term thinking and reminds investors to keep their eyes on long-term goals.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 New Year, A New Start for EM? Not Exactly by Charles Wilson of Thornburg Investment Management

Emerging markets have tripped out of the gate in 2016, tangled in some of the same concerns that dragged down performance last year. But valuations have now become even more attractive.

2016-01-24 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 Shenzhen: A City on the Move by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

Driving through Shenzhen, I could see how it has transformed since the first time I visited about 20 years ago. Where there were once rice fields, office and apartment buildings have sprung up—some of which are now among the tallest in China.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 Even As Defaults Rise, High Yield Should Stay Afloat by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

The plunge in commodity prices is bad for energy- and metals-sector high-yield bonds. But it’s positive for the majority of issuers. That’s why we expect only a modest rise in the average default rate in 2016.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 Assassins, Hunters, and Rabbits . . . Oh My by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

It was a few weeks ago that I resurrected a line used in my September 10, 2001 missive from the movie Star Wars that read, “I felt a great disturbance in the force . . . as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”

2016-01-22 00:00:00 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 Market Macro Myths: Debts, Deficits, and Delusions by James Montier of GMO

In the context of the role that debts and deficits play in overall economic policy, in this paper I focus on the philosophy known as “sound finance,” which includes adherents who believe that governments should seek to balance their budgets. I, however, take a different view, and believe that the role of government when dealing with budget deficits should be one of “functional finance,” which ensures that the policies implemented help to reach the overarching goals of macroeconomic policy (generally held to be full employment and price stability).

2016-01-22 00:00:00 ETF Mechanics and Liquidity by Rob Parker of AdvisorShares

When a stock or a bond is traded, the traded price is the value of the security. This is due to the fact that stocks and bonds are non-derivative securities. Their value is driven solely by supply and demand at the moment of the trade. The supply of the security is fixed.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 LWM Market Commentary by Jeremy Boynton of Laureate Wealth Management

The S&P 500 is down roughly 9% on the year currently. I thought it might be helpful to briefly review some of the causes for such a poor start to 2016.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 Global Currency Watch: The Chinese Renminbi by Rob Waldner of Invesco Blog

Volatility in China has been a major driver of global markets, and Chinese foreign exchange policy has been a critical aspect of this volatility. The recent depreciation of China’s currency, the renminbi (RMB), has increased the volatility of currency pairs across Asia and may affect markets across the world.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 A "Glass-Is-Half-Full" Perspective on the Outlook by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Growth during the current phase has been by far the weakest of the four long expansions the U.S. has enjoyed during the past 50 years. Employment gains have also lagged past precedents.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 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 Looking for Answers by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen and Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

It can be difficult to stay calm during market declines, but reacting emotionally is rarely beneficial. Investors need to maintain discipline and keep long-term goals in mind. Risks have risen for the U.S. and global economy, but neither a domestic nor global recession appears to be on the imminent horizon. But oil likely needs to stabilize to stem some of the recent volatility. Stay calm, and don’t overreact to the short-term gyrations in the market.

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

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

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

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

2016-01-21 00:00:00 Another Battle for Investment Survival by Kendall Anderson of Anderson Griggs

It has been over four decades since my discharge from the US Army. During the short time I spent in service to our country, I had the privilege of becoming friends with a number of battle hardened veterans. These were special people who had the ability to face fear, adjust plans and, most importantly, lead others when needed in hopes that all would survive.

2016-01-21 00:00:00 It Feels Worse than It Is by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

There comes a point in the market cycle where all news is good news. This lasts for a while. And then all news becomes bad news. Right now, it’s all bad news.

2016-01-21 00:00:00 Seeking Shelter from the Storm by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the recent volatility and how investors should proceed going forward.

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

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

2016-01-21 00:00:00 Any Bulls Left? by Burt White of LPL Financial

The number of bulls is dwindling. In periods of extreme market volatility such as we have experienced in recent weeks—and Friday, January 15, 2016, in particular, when the Dow was down over 500 points at one point before paring losses—we find it helpful to try to take some of the emotion out of our investment decisions. As difficult as that can be at times, this approach can help us reduce the chances of selling at the bottom, even though the natural reaction for many is to panic and hit the sell button.

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

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

2016-01-21 00:00:00 Advisors Need to Know How to Address Their Clients’ Market Concerns by Chuck Self of iSectors

Given the recent 10% stock market decline from the May 2015 highs, financial advisors are receiving calls and emails from concerned clients. If a client called me, my extended elevator speech would be...

2016-01-21 00:00:00 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.

2016-01-21 00:00:00 2016 Marks Worst New Year Start on Record for S&P 500 by Joe Becker, Adam Schenck, Jeff Greco of Milliman Financial Risk Management

Economic weakness and market turmoil in China along with the continued decline in the price of crude oil rattled global markets during the first 10 trading days of 2016.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 What Does the Market Know? by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management

In Thursday’s memo, “On the Couch,” I mentioned the two questions I’d been getting most often: “What are the implications for the U.S. and the rest of the world of China’s weakness, and are we moving toward a new crisis of the magnitude of what we saw in 2008?” Bloomberg invited me on the air Friday morning to discuss the memo, and the anchors mostly asked one version or another of a third question: “does the market’s decline worry you?” That prompted this memo in response.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: China Sneezed and We All Caught A Cold, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

What’s behind the Chinese sell-off? It’s partly due to an expensive market. But equity markets are leading economic indicators, meaning a connection exists between the overall Chinese slowdown and its equity market.

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

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

2016-01-20 00:00:00 A Year of Transition for Financial Assets by Jeffrey Knight of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The rocky start to the year corroborates our belief that 2015 marked a transition in the investment environment. We expect low returns and high volatility to continue in 2016. Two factors that help explain market outcomes in 2015 remain relevant in 2016: 1) financial assets aren’t cheap and 2) Fed tightening eliminates one of the greatest tailwinds for financial markets. Even in this new and challenging environment, we strongly believe that positive returns are achievable with the appropriate investment strategy. Active strategies deserve higher prominence.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 Fear is Overbought by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

The stock market is not the economy, and the economy is not the stock market. Nonetheless, many are convinced that the market correction of the past few weeks is a certain sign of impending recession. Never mind that China just reported 6.9% real GDP growth. Never mind that a barrel of oil costs less than $30, which means consumers are saving hundreds of billions of dollars per year on top of what the drop in natural gas prices has saved them.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 The Sharp Equity Sell-Off Continues as Sentiment Sours by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets remained in free fall last week, with the S&P 500 Index dropping another 2.2%. Mixed economic data, a renewed collapse in oil prices, financial turmoil in China and worries over credit conditions and corporate earnings prompted fears that the U.S. economy may be heading for recession. This put additional downward pressure on equity markets and other risk assets.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 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.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 Stocks Plunge Most On Record Last Week, Oil Down 10% by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

In the first week of 2016, US stocks plunged by more than in any other first week of January since records have been kept (before 1900). The Dow Jones Industrial Index fell over 1,000 points from 17,591 at the close on December 31 to 16,519 at the close last Friday – a loss of over 6% in one week.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Gundlach’s Forecast for 2016 by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Jeffrey Gundlach is a prescient and accurate forecaster. Last week, as he does each January, he offered his market outlook. But unlike prior years, when Gundlach typically offered high-conviction investment ideas, this year he said he would let market movements over the near-term dictate his outlook.

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

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

2016-01-19 00:00:00 An Imminent Likelihood of Recession by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Since October, the economic evidence has shifted from supporting a growing risk of recession, to a guarded expectation of recession, to the present conclusion that a U.S. recession is not only a risk but an imminent likelihood, awaiting confirmation that typically only emerges after a recession is actually in progress.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Simplify Your Research Process and K.I.S.S. Your Worries Goodbye by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Most everything I write about is based on my belief in value investing as a sound, prudent and profitable long-term investing strategy. At its core, value investing relates to getting value on your money with investing just as it would to getting value for anything you would purchase. I feel safe in saying that no one wants to pay more than they should for anything that they purchase. This would apply to the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter, and everything else that we would want to buy. Consequently, I don’t think it should be any different when we are buying stocks.

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 CEF Market View by (Article)

Get ready for a bouncy ride. Volatility in the CEF market may continue in 2016, says senior analyst Cara Esser of Morningstar.

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

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

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Can Earnings Season Provide a Floor for Stocks? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Stocks continued the worst start in history. With little sign of dip-buying and the start of earnings season, everyone will be wondering: Can earnings reports provide a floor for stocks?

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

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

2016-01-19 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 One Weird Trick to Forecast Commodity Trends by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

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

2016-01-16 00:00:00 Ill Winds from the Far East by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The new lunar year doesn't begin for another three weeks, but it can't come soon enough for China and its Asian neighbors.

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

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

2016-01-16 00:00:00 What We’re Thinking by Doug MacKay and Bill Hoover of Broadleaf Partners

China and energy are the risks and lower for longer is the most likely domestic growth path. No recession is our call. And we’ll sell when we need to, even when we don’t necessarily want to. Discipline is key in times like these.

2016-01-16 00:00:00 Driving Mr. Andy by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

U.S. ride-sharing company Uber has big plans for China. Andy Rothman describes his personal experiences and reveals some Uber driver confessions.

2016-01-16 00:00:00 Market Overview Q415 by David Robertson, CFA of Arete Asset Management

Several economic trends are converging to meaningfully alter the investment landscape. This suggests it will require a great deal more effort from investors to stay on course.

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

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

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

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

2016-01-14 00:00:00 Japan: 5 Reasons to Be Optimistic Despite the Demographics by Julian Wellesley of Loomis Sayles

For many analysts, it’s difficult to be positive about Japan over the long-term given its demographic headwind. The old-age dependency ratio may rise by 70% by 2050. The government has forecast that the population may halve within 70 years. Despite Japan's demographic challenges, I see several significant bright spots which bode well for the future.

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

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

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

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

2016-01-14 00:00:00 A Tale of Two Economies by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

U.S. economic growth appears to have shifted to a lower gear in the final months of 2015. It has left many concerned about the well-being of the economy and raised questions about the Federal Reserve’s recent hike of the policy rate. In this context, it is important to note that the recent slowing reflects a lopsided development not a widespread deceleration of economic activity.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 Stocks Plunge Most On Record Last Week, Oil Down 10% by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

In the first week of 2016, US stocks plunged by more than in any other first week of January since records have been kept (before 1900). The Dow Jones Industrial Index fell over 1,000 points from 17,591 at the close on December 31 to 16,519 at the close last Friday – a loss of over 6% in one week.

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

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

2016-01-14 00:00:00 China: A Rocky Start to a New (Old) Year by Matthew Peterson of LPL Financial

Once again, the precipitous decline in the value of the Chinese stock market has spilled over to the broader global financial markets. The value of the Shanghai Index declined almost 15% since the beginning of the year, or at least the beginning of our year. China’s social and economic life is geared around the lunar New Year, which will be celebrated on February 8, 2016. The New Year makes a big difference in China, both psychologically and in real economic activity.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 Don't Be a Consumer Dinosaur by Scott Klimo of Saturna Capital

The Consumer Staples sector logged solid stock market performance in 2015, outpacing the S&P 500 Index. Intra-sector performance, however, varied widely, even among companies we might consider similar blue chips. Clorox enjoyed double-digit appreciation, while Procter & Gamble saw a double-digit share price decline, and Church & Dwight came in between the two. Changes to the market landscape are forcing Home and Personal Care companies to evaluate past practices and develop new strategies to address the evolution of consumer preferences and purchasing behavior.

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.

2016-01-13 00:00:00 Albert Einstein by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” . . . Albert Einstein I thought about Einstein’s quote, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them” when the Chinese abandoned their stock market circuit breakers system on Thursday (1-7-16) at 9:30 a.m. (EST) after just putting them in place on Monday (1-4-16). Said system halted stock trading for 15 minutes when the Chinese stock market declined 5% last Monday and after the quarter of an hour halt stocks reopened.

2016-01-13 00:00:00 Feeling Abandoned, Saudi Arabia Ups the Ante by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

Last week a major diplomatic crisis developed between Saudi Arabia and Iran over the Saudi execution of Nimr al Nimr, a charismatic Shiite cleric and anti-Sunni political activist. Nimr’s execution was...

2016-01-13 00:00:00 Why Top Mutual Fund Managers Love Municipal Junk Bonds by Robert Kane of BondView

Data for municipal bond funds show the so-called smart money investors have big bets on junk-rated bonds despite the worries over Puerto Rico and pension deficits across the U.S. Perhaps fears over pension costs are overblown.

2016-01-13 00:00:00 The China Storm: Parsing Sentiment and Substance by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses last week's market rout, and whether it marks the start of a bear market.

2016-01-13 00:00:00 EM Loses Footing by Jeffrey Baker of HiddenLevers

The start of the year has been bleak for investors. Domestic equity markets markets have had their worst start to the year ever and equity trading in China has been halted twice after markets in Shanghai cratered.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 Looking Ahead to 2016: What Matters Most by Beverly Flaxington (Article)

You work with advisors every day. What do you think will be the biggest challenges and opportunities we’ll face in the coming year?

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 Has Vanguard Added Value as an Active Manager? by Larry Swedroe (Article)

Passive management was pioneered by Vanguard, and its founder, John Bogle, remains its most outspoken advocate. But the firm also offers actively managed funds. Have they added value relative to its passive counterparts?

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016-01-12 00:00:00 Psuedo-Economics by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

To paraphrase the late Jude Wanniski – the history of man is a battle between the creation of wealth and the redistribution of wealth. Jude was a Supply-Sider, which means an economist who believes that entrepreneurship and supply (not demand) drives economic growth.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Is It Time to Buy the Dip? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

After the worst start in history for U.S. stocks everyone will be searching for meaning. One strategy has worked for almost seven years, but what about now? Is it time to “buy the dip?”

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

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

2016-01-12 00:00:00 Don’t Put Your Bonds on Autopilot in 2016 by Douglas Peebles of AllianceBernstein

The bond market is probably in for more turbulence in 2016, and investors may have to make some course corrections along the way. Staying airborne in these blustery conditions requires an active strategy.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 10 Attractive Dividend Growth Stocks Poised to Become the Next Dividend Champions Or Aristocrats by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

I screened the Dividend Contenders list provided by fellow Seeking Alpha Author David Fish searching for attractive valuation. This article presents 10 Dividend Contenders that I considered most attractive based on valuation and forecast long-term earnings and dividend growth. I want to be clear that these selections are not offered as a portfolio. Instead, these are 10 individual selections with various degrees of safety, yield and valuation levels that prospective investors can choose from.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 Grouchy Tiger, Somethin's Draggin' by Scott Brown of Raymond James

It was an important week for U.S. economic figures, but the data releases were overshadowed by market developments in China. The country’s new circuit breakers, which were meant to reduce market volatility, were a disaster, and were jettisoned after the Shanghai market was shut down completely in two of four trading sessions. The hope is that the Chinese authorities will stabilize the situation. However, currency management should be more of a challenge and poses the greater risk.

2016-01-11 00:00:00 January 2016 Flash Update by Clyde Kendzierski of Financial Solutions Group

Stock market performance during the first week of the year has historically been a good indicator of market direction for the year ahead. Strong starts have historically indicated a better than normal outcome. Conversely, weak beginnings are generally ominous (excluding years when the Fed cuts short term rates).

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

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

2016-01-11 00:00:00 Complex Systems, Feedback Loops, and the Bubble-Crash Cycle by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Our expectations for a global economic downturn, including a U.S. recession, have hardened considerably in the past few weeks, with a continued expectation of a retreat in equity prices on the order of 40-55% over the completion of the current cycle as a base case. The immediacy of both concerns would be significantly reduced if we were to observe a shift to uniformly favorable market internals. Last week, market conditions moved further away from that supportive possibility.

2016-01-11 00:00:00 China Reset by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

And we’re off. The China stock market sucked the air out of the room last week. It’s a strange beast. The size of the market relative to GDP is around 58% compared to 150% for the U.S. But the free, or tradable, part is about one-third as small again. And it runs on high levels of retail margin. What we saw was pent-up selling, circuit breakers kick in, the market close and then repeat for two more days. The authorities dumped the circuit breaker system and allowed the market to settle.

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 The Chinese Economy’s Great Wall by Mohamed El-Erian of Project Syndicate

The renminbi's recent decline, which has thrown Chinese stock markets into turmoil and drove the government to suspend trading twice last week, highlights a major challenge facing the country: how to balance its domestic and international economic obligations. The authorities' answer will have a major impact on the global economy.

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 Another Look at the Total Return Roller Coaster by Doug Short (Article)

Here's an interesting set of charts that will especially resonate with those of us who follow economic and market cycles. Imagine that five years ago you invested $10,000 in the S&P 500. How much would it be worth today, with dividends reinvested but adjusted for inflation? The purchasing power of your investment has increased to $17,357 for an annualized real return of 11.08%.

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

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

2016-01-10 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review: Don't Be Too Spooked By the Sell-Off (At Least, Not Yet), Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Overall, this week’s sell-off isn’t surprising in light of the weakening technical and fundamental environment. Prices for riskier equities (IWMs) have been weak for nearly 6 months. Transports – whose price action should theoretically confirm broader upward price movement – have been in a bear market (below the 200 day EMA) for 7 months. The SPYs couldn’t get above the 110-112 price level for all of 2015. And now the QQQs have fallen below their 200 day EMA. And the “average” stock is now in a bear market.

2016-01-10 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: New Year, Same Problems, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

As the new year starts, the world economy is still in a difficult situation. The Chinese slowdown is impacting a number of developing countries, slowing their top-line growth. Deflationary pressures continue. But now, we have an event (the Chinese market drop) that triggered concerns about global, leading to action (a global sell-off). Don't be surprised to see increased volatility in the coming few months.

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

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

2016-01-09 00:00:00 Why We’re Not Panicking about China by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

Templeton Global Macro CIO Michael Hasenstab’s response to the latest news from China? Don’t panic.

2016-01-09 00:00:00 Questions for the New Year by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen and Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

We continue to believe that U.S. and global stocks will continue to experience bouts of volatility and pullbacks; but a major bear market is likely to be avoided. Key determinants of the path stocks will take include central bank policy, inflation, currency volatility and earnings/valuation. We continue to reinforce the benefits of broad and global asset class diversification during a more difficult market environment.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 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 China’s Conundrum by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

As we see it, there is no question that China should continue to have strong growth this year, but one might say China is facing a bit of a conundrum. On the one hand, the government wants stability, but on the other, it also is striving toward more openness.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 Will Equities See a Sweeter ’16 Ahead? by Ed Perks of Franklin Templeton Investments

Global financial markets still face numerous risks, but the drivers of corporate profitability appear to us to be sustainable in the current business and economic environment.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 You Cannot Manage New Economies with Obsolete Measuring Tools by Francois Sicart of Tocqueville Asset Management

In his latest piece, Francois Sicart, Founder and Chairman of Tocqueville Asset Management, discusses how misleading macroeconomic averages and aggregates can be as they often consist of components that could both signal either economic weakness or an acceleration with the potential to rekindle inflation.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 The New Geo-Economics by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

Last year was a memorable one for the world economy. Not only was it one of the most disappointing in a long time; more important, it brought profound changes – both for better and for worse – in global economic governance.

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

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

2016-01-07 00:00:00 It's a Xanax World by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

The Romans gave their Plebian citizens a day at the Coliseum, and the French royalty gave the Bourgeoisie a piece of figurative “cake”, so it may be true to form that in the still prosperous developed economies of 2016, we provide Fantasy Sports, cellphone game apps, sexting, and fast food to appease the masses. Keep them occupied and distracted at all costs before they recognize that half of the U.S. population doesn’t go to work in the morning and that their real wages after conservatively calculated inflation have barely budged since the mid 1980’s.

2016-01-07 00:00:00 Franco-Nevada: Royalty of the Gold Industry by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

In 1983, my friends and early mentors Seymour Schulich and Pierre Lassonde founded Franco-Nevada Mining, the world’s first gold royalty company. The two uniquely gifted money managers were on to something big. It was originally Seymour—then an oil analyst at the Canadian investment firm Beutel, Goodman & Company, where he and Pierre met—who recognized that the royalty model used in the oil and gas industry had some of the highest returns on capital.

2016-01-07 00:00:00 Three Things That Matter Most to Markets in 2016: U.S. Interest Rates, Oil Prices, and China by Charles Wilson of Thornburg Investment Management

All three are linked, and hit inflection points in 2015. They all will play key roles in global growth and market performance again this year, but their respective impacts will differ from years past.

2016-01-07 00:00:00 A Happy New Year After All by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

As we return to work after the holidays, a sharp sell off in global equities and escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East beg the question whether this New Year will be a happy one for investors. I believe the recent market swings are no more than passing disruptions. For U.S. equities and credit, in particular, evidence is mounting that 2016 will prove happier than 2015 for investors. In fact, the global factors currently roiling the markets are easy to discount, and could lead to investment opportunities.

2016-01-07 00:00:00 My New Year's Resolution: Don't Confuse Debt with Wealth by Guy Christopher of Money Metals Exchange

If you don't have a magical crystal ball to see the future, then a good history book will do the job. Understanding the past offers a full color panorama to the dangers and opportunities facing you in 2016.

2016-01-07 00:00:00 Active Investing: Managing Global Currency Forecasts by Rob Balkema of Russell Investments

Rob Balkema, takes a look at what potential opportunities there may be for investors in light of our strategists’ recently released annual market outlook and its global currency forecast.

2016-01-06 00:00:00 Betting on Deflation May Be a Huge Mistake. Here’s Why by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

Precious metals investors heading into 2016 worry the dollar will continue marching ahead, right over the top of gold and silver prices. The Fed is telegraphing additional rate hikes throughout the year, and commodity prices – led by crude oil – are falling. There have been tremors in the biggest beneficiary markets of all when it comes to the Fed's QE largesse – U.S. equities and real estate. And the possibility of a recession is growing, both in the U.S. and around the world.

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

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

2016-01-06 00:00:00 Recession Probability Models - January 2016 by Ted Kavadas of StratX, LLC

There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession. While I don’t agree with the methodologies employed or probabilities of impending economic weakness as depicted by the following two models, I think the results of these models should be monitored. Please note that each of these models is updated regularly, and the results of these – as well as other recession models – can fluctuate significantly.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 The New Tools to Measure Risk in Your Portfolios by Michael Edesess (Article)

Understanding the risks embedded in a portfolio is central to providing value to clients. Traditionally, risks have been measured statistically – with standard deviation or value-at-risk. The shortcomings of those metrics, however, have been well documented. In response, a new generation of analytical tools has emerged that allow advisors to assess risk through scenario analysis – looking at portfolio outcomes through the lens of a storyteller.

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

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

2016-01-05 00:00:00 We Remain Positive About 2016 by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

The Arab Spring is turning into an Islamic Winter, with some added cold wind, reminiscent of the Cold War – as Russia and Iran are seemingly aligned against a US-backed Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The intricacies of the religious, political, military, and historical events taking place are enough to give any normal person a headache. “Outrageously unstable,” is an understatement. Millions of refugees are voting with their feet.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 Top 6 Investment Lessons from 2015 by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Despite news headlines bemoaning last year's stock-market returns, US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper says it wasn't such a bad year overall—particularly for investors who avoided energy, diversified internationally and took advantage of dividends.

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

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

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

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

2016-01-05 00:00:00 Where Are Valuations At Heading Into 2016? EM Edition by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

Yesterday we looked at where developed world valuations stand so today we are going to move over to the emerging markets. The equity pain experienced in the EM in 2015 has been well documented. While the median stock in the developed world has managed to squeak out a slight gain, the median stock in the emerging markets is down a disastrous 15% YTD. It shouldn’t be any surprise then that the average and median valuations in the emerging markets are both well below levels seen in the developed world.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 Monkey See, Monkey Do by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

This is how the stock market works: “Once upon a time in a village, a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each. The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10, and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort. He further announced that he would now buy at $20. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further, and people started going back to their farms...

2016-01-05 00:00:00 A Tale of Two Cities – Looking Forward to 2016 by Pamela Rosenau of HighTower Advisors

The U.S. equity market in 2015 was a tale of two cities. There was a wide divergence of performance within the market, which is reminiscent of the late 1990s. In 1999, tech stocks (per the NASDAQ composite returns) rallied to gain approximately 86% (that’s 86% in one year, not a decade!), while the more prosaic, or “old economy,” stocks (per the S&P 500) gained a mere 21%. In 2015, the divergence was exemplified by the largest ten stocks (by market cap) in the S&P 500 accounting for a 17% return, while the remaining 490 stocks were down in aggregate -5%.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 2015 In Review: It Was A Wild Year In The Markets by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

As we begin another New Year, it is often good to reflect on the year that just passed and what we may have learned from it. Here are some thoughts about the market activity we saw in 2015 and what we may see in 2016.

2016-01-04 00:00:00 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 Boss Kettering by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Charles “Boss” Kettering was an American automotive engineer, businessman, inventor, and the holder of 186 patents who was the head of research at General Motors. My father met Kettering during the late 1940s and often reminded me of the aforementioned quote. I recalled the quote when I received a pretty nasty email from someone I don’t even know about my call for a “rip your face off rally.” The phrase he kept using was “you failed!”

2016-01-04 00:00:00 The 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 International Economic Week in Review: A Year End Look At China, Japan and Australia, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The Pacific Rim is suffering from the Chinese slowdown. China’s decreased appetite for raw materials is negatively impacting the giant Australian raw material build-out of the last 10 years. Japan’s intra-regional trade is slowing as well. There are no signs of a recession on the horizon. But it is obviously one step closer in the current environment.

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.

2016-01-03 00:00:00 The Great Malaise Continues by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

Optimists say that the global economy will perform better in 2016 than it did in 2015. That may turn out to be true, but only imperceptibly so, unless the problem of insufficient global aggregate demand is finally addressed.

2016-01-03 00:00:00 The Next Big Short: The Third Crest of a Rolling Tsunami by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

At speculative extremes, recent history always temporarily belongs to the reckless herd that has ignored concerns about valuation and risk at every turn. Fortunately, the future has always belonged to those who take discipline, analysis, and the lessons of history seriously. On the basis of the valuation measures most strongly correlated with actual subsequent market returns (and that have fully retained that correlation even across recent market cycles), current extremes imply 40-55% market losses over the completion of the current market cycle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2015-12-31 00:00:00 Emerging Asia Pacific: Economy Trends Update - October 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Among the outperformers, India clung to its top position on the list of the world’s fastest growing large economies while the Philippines remained on track to be one of Asia’s fastest growing economies in 2015.

2015-12-31 00:00:00 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 How to Get Rich: Fade Drudge by Jared Dillian of Mauldin Economics

I always felt that Matt Drudge was linking to things I found important—things I wanted to read, particularly about surveillance/privacy, which is a hobby horse of his, and mine. As I write this, let’s see what’s going on over at the Drudge Report.

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

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

2015-12-31 00:00:00 A Year of Sovereign Defaults? by Carmen Reinhart of Project Syndicate

Like so many other features of the global economy, debt accumulation and default tends to occur in cycles, with one- and two-decade lulls in defaults typically followed by a new wave of defaults. As 2016 begins, there are clear signs of such a wave on the horizon.

2015-12-30 00:00:00 Emerging Markets 2016 Outlook by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

In many respects, 2015 was a challenging year for investors in emerging markets. However, we consider many of the factors driving recent volatility to be temporary, and we are optimistic for the longer term due to several factors.

2015-12-30 00:00:00 On the Completion of the Current Market Cycle and Beyond by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

As we look forward to 2016, to following through on our investment discipline over the completion of the current market cycle and beyond, a few recent market comments will serve as a detailed review of our present market and economic outlook.

2015-12-30 00:00:00 Somber 2015. Brighter 2016 by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

Thwaites discusses three main influences on capital markets in 2015 and recommendations for your portfolio in 2016.

2015-12-30 00:00:00 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 The 10 Most-Read Articles of 2015 by Various (Article)

As is our custom, we conclude the year by reflecting on the 10 most-read articles over the past 12 months. In decreasing order, based on the number of unique readers, those are…

2015-12-29 00:00:00 Let?s Try Again: S&P 2,375 by Brian S. Wesbury and Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

The future exists to keep forecasters humble. And our 2,375 forecast for the S&P 500 at year-end 2015 has done just that. We are humbled, but we do tip our hat to Jim Paulsen at Wells Fargo Asset Management who said that 2015 would be a tough year for US stocks.

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

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

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

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

2015-12-29 00:00:00 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

2015-12-28 00:00:00 Fed Hikes 25 Basis Points, Signals Gradual Path by Rob Waldner of Invesco Blog

On Dec. 16, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) increased the federal funds target rate range from 0-0.25% to 0.25-0.5%, in line with market expectations and Invesco Fixed Income’s baseline scenario. The committee’s “dot projections,” each member’s estimate of the federal funds rate based on personal economic projections, were unchanged for 2016, with a slight shift down thereafter. The median projection is often compared with overall market expectations. The dots signaled a faster pace of interest rate increases than the market had expected before the meeting.

2015-12-28 00:00:00 International Retrospective and Outlook by Roger Edgley, Ajay Krishnan, Andrey Kutuzov, Scott Thomas of Wasatch Funds

The ratio of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index divided by the MSCI World Index (an index of developed markets) is at its lowest level in 10 years, and developed markets have dramatically outperformed since 2010. If we believe most trends eventually reverse course, we may be close to a period of outperformance for emerging markets.

2015-12-27 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: Year End Look as the EU, UK and Canada, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

While both service and manufacturing PMIs continue to show moderate expansion, the Conference Board’s and OECD-s LEIs are showing weakness, largely due to negative contributions from the manufacturing sector. Weak emerging economies and the strong sterling are tamping down global demand. So long as domestic demand remains strong, this shouldn’t lead to a decline in GDP. But industrial weakness is never a good development and should be monitored.

2015-12-24 00:00:00 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 Where Investors Have Turned Optimistic by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ Koesterich shares his observations from Japan, where investors have turned positive on their domestic market and cautious toward the United States.

2015-12-23 00:00:00 These Asian countries are gearing up to pay out by Jeff Middleswart of Ranger International

Japan and South Korea have long offered equity investors notoriously low yields. That may be about to change.

2015-12-23 00:00:00 2016 Investment Playbook by Doug MacKay of Broadleaf Partners

It’s that time of year again. Time to take stock of the year that was and time to try pondering what 2016 could look like.

2015-12-23 00:00:00 Developed Asia Pacific: Economy Trends Update - October 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Thomas White International seeks superior performance by identifying undervalued securities in the U.S. and nearly 45 markets worldwide. Its flagship product is the Thomas White International Fund (TWWDX).

2015-12-23 00:00:00 Interest Rates, Energy, Commodities: The Highs and Lows of Year-End by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

The Fed. Interest rates. A stressed bond market. The Paris climate accords. What do these things have in common, and what does that commonality portend for portfolios?

2015-12-22 00:00:00 Robert Gordon, the Special Century, and the Prospects for Economic Growth by Laurence Siegel (Article)

Is the slowdown in economic progress in this new century an aberration or should we have expected it all along? Is it the result of unwise policies or unfavorable demographics, or is it the comedown that naturally occurs after a century-long global economic miracle? How one views the prospects for economic growth will have profound implications for the long-term performance of the capital markets.

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.

2015-12-21 00:00:00 On My Radar: Henry Hazlitt and Inflation by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

There is a battle going on between deflation and inflation. Right now, deflation is winning. It is winning globally. In the extreme, neither is desired, yet perhaps the worst of the two is deflation as it leads to depression. The global central banks are fighting to create inflation and it is fight that I think they will ultimately win (though it may take years).

2015-12-21 00:00:00 Middle East/Africa: Economy Trends Update -- October 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The three months from July to October turned out to be a reasonably good period for the five economies we cover in the Middle East and Africa region. Although the largest among these economies, South Africa, remained beleaguered by a range of external and domestic problems, there were signs that the country coped well with its difficulties. Israel recorded robust growth after staying depressed for much of the first half of this year while Egypt took further steps to reform its economy.

2015-12-20 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: EU Growing, China Slowing, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

As we go into year end, the world economic situation is tenuous. The US, UK and EU are doing fairly well, but Japan and China are weakening. And while Australia is growing, it's clear the Chinese slowdown is hurting. Overall, as noted by the Dallas Fed, the global economic environment is fragile.

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 Fed Lift-Off Begins – a Little by Paul Eitelman of Russell Investments

Today the Fed lift-off begins. Paul Eitelman delves into what it might mean for global markets in 2016.

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.

2015-12-18 00:00:00 Mission Accomplished by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

The new rounds of rate cutting and Quantitative Easing that the Fed will have to unleash will echo the military "surge" in Iraq in 2007. Those fresh troops were needed to roll back the chaos that the Administration had ignored for so long. But just as that surge only bought us a few years of relative calm, look for the gains brought about by our next monetary surge to be even more transitory. That is a development for which virtually no one on Wall Street is preparing.

2015-12-18 00:00:00 Said the Fed to the Markets, “Take a Hike” by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

The initiation of rate hikes removes the uncertainty around the start date obviously; but does not remove the uncertainty around the path of rate hikes from here. We believe this will remain a focus by investors in 2016; and is likely to contribute to some of the volatility we believe will persist across the equity and fixed income markets.

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 One Small Step by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Seven years to the day after bringing overnight interest rates to near zero, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) ended what Chair Janet Yellen termed an “extraordinary period” by moving its targets up by 25 basis points.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Six Lessons We Learned About Bonds in 2015 by Douglas Peebles of AllianceBernstein

In 2015, bond investors faced slower nominal global growth, less liquid markets and a looming US rate hike. But with challenges come lessons: here are some takeaways from 2015 that should remain important in 2016.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 The Fed’s Dilemma by Brandon VanLandingham of Perissos Private Wealth Management

The Fed is expected to raise interest rates this week for the first time in nine years. This could be a turning point in the overall economic landscape. The Fed in its latest meeting has sighted a healthy employment picture and an expectation that inflation will normalize in the near term as the reasons for a rate hike this week. We typically think of low inflation and low unemployment as keys to a healthy economy and this is for the most part true.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Travels in Sri Lanka: The Tourist Trade by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

I encourage travelers to check out Sri Lanka, which has much to offer tourists including warm weather, expansive beaches, and an interesting heritage with many cultural attractions.

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

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

2015-12-17 00:00:00 High Yield: A Challenge and an Opportunity by Sean Slein of First Eagle Investment Management

Liquidity in the high-yield market has been a challenge over the past several quarters, as several structural factors have adversely affected traditional sources of liquidity. Historically, counterparties like banks and brokers served as market-makers, allocating capital to provide down bids in periods of market distress, as they did in 2002 and 2008/09.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Navigating the Current Rate Environment by Giorgio Caputo of First Eagle Investment Management

Low interest rates globally have been an important driver of asset price returns over the past few years and are very much on investors’ minds today. In our conversations with financial advisers, many questions come up: How long can we expect the low-rate environment to continue? What has led rates to be so low in the first place? What are the consequences of global central banks’ quantitative easing (“QE”) policies? Have we definitively slain the specter of inflation?

2015-12-16 00:00:00 China Keeping the Dream Alive with Government Spending by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

Reported central government spending in China, which is likely only a fraction of the actual level of state directed spending in the economy, has recently shot up to a new all-time high just as the reported economic growth rate has plunged to a low not seen since the late ’90s.

2015-12-16 00:00:00 Follow the Dollar: It’s Heading for China by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

The move to confer reserve status on China’s currency is part of a process that could lead to nearly US$3 trillion being injected into the country’s bond and equity markets. We’ve taken a close look at where the money could come from.

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

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

2015-12-16 00:00:00 Liftoff Takes Backseat as Oil Drives Sentiment by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the reasons behind, and implications of, the collapse in oil prices.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2015-12-16 00:00:00 Impact Of The First Hike - This Time Might Really Be Different by Chun Wang of Leuthold Weeden Capital Management

This rate hike might really be different as it occurs in an environment where, despite strong job growth, the business cycle has already turned contractionary, disinflation is still dominant, and various risky assets are showing late-stage characteristics. In other words, we are in unchartered territory. Expect the unexpected.

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

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

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

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

2015-12-15 00:00:00 Trade: Taking the Pulse of the TPP by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

What are the pluses, and minuses, of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for the United States? Here’s a look.

2015-12-15 00:00:00 What to Expect When You're Expecting Uncertainty by Scott Brown of Raymond James

Last week, we looked at the Fed’s various policy tools and how the central bank will use them. This week, let’s examine the implications of a Fed rate hike. While a rate increase should be largely factored into the markets by now, the global reaction may be the largest concern for Fed officials.

2015-12-14 00:00:00 International Economic Week In Review: Hodgepodge, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

This was a very light week of news. Only the BOE had a policy meeting. And other major countries released very few economic numbers.

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 On My Radar: El-Erian’s 2016 Outlook & The T Junction by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

I spent a few days earlier in the week in Scottsdale, Arizona. I was invited to present on portfolio positioning and best execution at the 20th annual IMN Global Indexing and ETF Conference. One of the big highlights for me was El-Erian’s keynote presentation. Today, I share with you my notes from El-Erian’s speech. He is humble, balanced and brilliant. I have listened to my recording of his presentation several times. Stop-start-rewind-replay-rinse-repeat. Fun for me and well worth the effort. In short, he puts the odds for a good outcome at 50/50 saying he, “hates to say that."

2015-12-14 00:00:00 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 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 December 2015 Market Commentary by Adam Jordan of Paul R. Ried Financial Group

As we are approaching the end of a roller coaster year in most markets, many asset classes are now nearly flat or negative for the year.

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

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

2015-12-11 00:00:00 Rising Rates: Dispelling the Myth by Scott Mather, David Fisher of PIMCO

Bond investors may have little to fear and potentially something to gain from rising interest rates.

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

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

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

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

2015-12-10 00:00:00 An Illustrated Timeline of the Gold Standard in the U.S. by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Ever since the U.S. left the gold standard for good in 1971, some politicians and investors have called for its return. At one of the Republican presidential debates in October, Texas Senator Ted Cruz became the latest, touting the stability and booming prosperity the U.S. economy enjoyed in the years when the dollar was pegged to the yellow metal.

2015-12-10 00:00:00 Die Another Day: Can the Global Economy Keep Going? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Looking ahead to 2016, will the global economy improve, stabilize or slip into another recession? Russ weighs in.

2015-12-09 00:00:00 Back to a Routine: 2016 Economic Outlook by John Canally of LPL Financial

Our view is that the U.S. economy—as measured by real gross domestic product (GDP)—is likely to post growth of 2.5–3.0% in 2016. This rate is below its post-World War II average of 3.2%, but above the 2–2.5% average growth rate seen in the first six-and-a-half years of this expansion, based on the factors discussed below. Despite the length of the current expansion (already the fourth longest on record), it has not followed what would be considered a routine path.

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

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

2015-12-09 00:00:00 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.

2015-12-09 00:00:00 Steady Is Stellar by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

As we approach the end of the year, it is customary to take stock of major developments. Economic data point to continued forward momentum in the United States. All in, the economy has grown at an average pace of 2.2% during the first three quarters of the year, nearly matching the potential growth rate of the economy. The labor market is in a significantly better spot than it was at the beginning of the year. Inflation is low despite the age of the expansion.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 On My Radar: Beauty or the Beast by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“The economy is like a machine. At the most fundamental level it is a relatively simple machine. But many people don’t understand it – or they don’t agree on how it works – and this has led to a lot of needless economic suffering…

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 Fed’s Rocket Ship Turns Hoverboard by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Over the past year, while the U.S. economy has continually missed expectations, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen has assured all who could stay awake during her press conferences that it was strong enough to withstand tighter monetary policy. In delivering months of mildly tough talk (with nothing in the way of action), Yellen began stressing that WHEN the Fed would finally raise rates (for the first time in almost a decade) was not nearly as important as how fast and how high the increases would be once they started.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 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.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: Is the Fed Getting Inflation Wrong? Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Chairperson Yellen offered her assessment of the US economy in a speech to Economic Club of Washington. First, the good news. Growth, while moderate, is still positive, printing at 2%-2.5% for the first three quarters of 2015. And real final domestic purchases were over 3% in the 3Q. This tells us that consumers continue to spend and businesses are investing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2015-12-07 00:00:00 More Money Has Been Lost Reaching for Yield than at the Point of a Gun by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

A schizophrenic week, indeed, with a ~10 point loss for the S&P 500 (SPX/2091.69) on Monday followed by a 22 point pop on Tuesday and then 23 point decline on Wednesday and 30 point loss on Thursday, capped by Friday’s 42 point rally.

2015-12-07 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: Why Are We Growing So Slowly? Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Why is the world economy growing below trend? That seems to be the central question economists are asking since the Chinese market intervention over the summer.

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

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

2015-12-06 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.

2015-12-06 00:00:00 From Risk to Guarded Expectation of Recession by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

In the presence of obscene valuations, deteriorating market internals, widening credit spreads, and tepid economic activity on the most historically reliable measures, we presently observe the same essential syndrome of risk factors that allowed us to accurately anticipate the 2000-2002 market collapse and recession, as well as the 2007-2009 global financial crisis. Emphatically, a return to risk-seeking behavior among investors, as evidenced by a clear improvement in market internals across a broad range of individual stocks, industries, sectors and security types (including debt securities

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 A Vote of Confidence for the RMB by Wei Zhang of Matthews Asia

On November 30, 2015, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced its decision to add the Chinese renminbi (RMB) to the basket of currencies that make up the Special Drawing Right (SDR). The IMF SDR basket inclusion criteria—last updated in 2000—requires that the SDR basket comprise currencies whose exports of goods and services had the largest value over a five-year period, and have been determined by the IMF to be “freely usable.” The Chinese RMB has long met the first criteria of a currency whose exports of goods and services play a central role in global trade.

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 Malaysia’s Crisis of Confidence by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

While fiscal prudence and stronger commodity prices should help the country, one could argue that Malaysia will need to restore the confidence of its people in its government and of foreign investors in its markets to truly get back on track.

2015-12-03 00:00:00 The Dollar’s Run May Just Be Getting Started by Eric Busch of GaveKal Capital

As the dollar continues to move to multi-year highs, we are reminded that very few market moves matter as much as what happens to the reserve currency of the world. We have noted several times that a stronger dollar tends to be associated with lower profit margins (but higher US equity multiples), lower commodity prices, and lower emerging market equity prices.

2015-12-03 00:00:00 Japan’s Demographic Challenges Dampen Growth by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

Demographics have played—and continue to play—a key role in holding back Japan’s growth performance. Japan’s population keeps aging at a rapid pace.

2015-12-03 00:00:00 This Chinese Sector Continues to Score by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Over the summer the Chinese market experienced a major hiccup, causing concern that many Asian industries would be slow, or unable to recover. Since the June collapse, however, there is one sector that continues to score with investors, both here and overseas – sportswear.

2015-12-03 00:00:00 Breaking News! by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

Tired of reading about the Kardashians? Sick of egocentric politicians? Disgusted with endless war in the Middle East? Getting bored reading these monthly Outlooks? (not that bored or you wouldn’t be reading this). Here’s some “breaking news” that I find really interesting and I hope you will too. It’s a recent summary of some things that scientists have discovered over the last few decades. Prepare to be amazed.

2015-12-03 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.

2015-12-02 00:00:00 Eerie Similarities To Those Before 2000 "Dotcom" Bear Market by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

In the period leading up to the recession and bear market of late 2000-2002, the stock market was led by four large tech stocks: Microsoft, Dell, Cisco and Intel – the so-called “Four Horsemen.” These stocks continued to surge in 1999 and early 2000 even though much of the rest of the market was underperforming or moving lower. A severe bear market followed.

2015-12-02 00:00:00 Yuan Becomes Reserve Currency by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

This post is a follow-up of sorts to one I wrote a couple of weeks ago, “U.S. Dollar Still Failing to Collapse.” As expected, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) decided to add (as of next October) the Chinese currency to the list of reserve currencies. Also as expected, the world is not ending just yet.

2015-12-02 00:00:00 Plodding Along? A Discussion of Today’s Global Economy by Richard Clarida, Joachim Fels of PIMCO

This year has seen the global economy continue along a path of modest overall trend growth, but the path has been anything but clear, due to the complexities of oil prices, central bank policies and developments in China. In this interview, Richard Clarida, global strategic advisor, and Joachim Fels, global economic advisor, discuss essential questions surrounding the world’s major economies.

2015-12-02 00:00:00 The Great Policy Divergence by Mohamed El-Erian of Project Syndicate

Over the next few weeks, the US Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates, while the European Central Bank doubles down on monetary stimulus. Although both central banks are pursuing legitimate domestic agendas, there are few mechanisms to manage the international repercussions of this policy disparity.

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 Is the Bond Index Broken? by Michael Edesess (Article)

Several criticisms – I counted three – have been leveled at the AGG bond index recently. I explored these critiques in a wide-ranging conversation with John C. Bogle, renowned founder of The Vanguard Group. My conclusion is that two of these three criticisms are inconsequential or mistaken while the third is meaningful and significant.

2015-12-01 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: Diverging Oil Price Predictions and Rising Junk Yields, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

One of the central debates occurring within the Fed regards the causation of current inflation weakness. Some, like Fed President Bullard and Chairman Yellen argue low oil prices are solely responsible for the weakness. Ohers like President Brainard and Chicago Fed President Evans see a more nuanced picture involving declining international trade negatively impacting a wide swath of commodity prices. Regardless, this week various organizations published stories to support and counter each argument. As for oil prices, Goldman Sachs sees oil prices at $20 in the next 12 months.

2015-12-01 00:00:00 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 A Tipping Point for TIPS? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the case for Treasury Inflation Protected Securities in the current environment.

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?).

2015-12-01 00:00:00 This Chart is Too Ugly for Comfort by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

It’s quite easy to get carried away with the drawing of conclusions based on a few technical chart patterns (and we are not doing that here!), but this chart is just too ugly to at least go unmentioned. What we’re looking at is the percent of stocks in our own Gavekal Capital International DM Americas Index that are at least 10% off of their 200-day high.

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 Millennials, Too by (Article)

The Millennial segment of younger investors may find attractive qualities in closed-end funds, say Anne Kritzmire of Nuveen and Amy Charles of Raymond James.

2015-11-30 00:00:00 US Equity And Economic Review: Moderate Growth and Declining Earnings, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The BEA issued its second GDP report last week, increasing the 3Q GDP estimate to 2.1%. Real gross domestic purchases – a measure of strictly domestic demand – increased 2.8% Y/Y.

2015-11-30 00:00:00 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.

2015-11-30 00:00:00 A Silver Lining in China’s Clouds by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

China’s new Five-Year Plan reinforces the government’s pro-growth and reformist credentials. While this may not be enough in itself to reassure worried investors, we see some fundamental trends which provide encouragement for the country’s economic outlook in 2016.

2015-11-30 00:00:00 Consumption in China: From Commodities to Karaoke by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

China isn’t only a consumer of raw commodities—its growing middle class has been exerting formidable purchasing power and spawning new domestic industries that are of keen interest to us as investors, including cosmetics, entertainment (cinemas, music) and more.

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

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

2015-11-27 00:00:00 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 China’s Macro Disconnect by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate

China has been highly successful in transforming the industrial structure of its economy from manufacturing to services, but it has made far less progress in boosting private consumption. The country now has no choice but to address the causes of households' high precautionary saving and low discretionary spending.

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 The World Is Looking More & More Deflationary by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Consumer prices are running well below the 2% inflation target of central banks across the developed world. While central bankers continue to say they expect inflation to return to 2% or thereabouts in the medium-term, there is no evidence of that.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 Reflections on Four Decades of Economic Forecasting by Harald B. Malmgren (Article)

Timeworn economic forecasting methodologies on which we rely -- whether prepared by governments, central banks or private economists -- are gradually becoming less relevant and reliable.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 Understanding the Two Chinas by Stuart Rae, Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

Our view that China may be heading for a mild cyclical upswing next year needs to be set against the background of the broader economy, which is changing rapidly. We think that it makes sense to view the economy as consisting of two parts: old and new.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 r*=New Neutral by Richard Clarida of PIMCO

The Federal Reserve’s baseline view of a rate-hike trajectory is consistent with PIMCO’s New Neutral thesis about the neutral policy rate.

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 Why Investors Shouldn't Wait for Rate Hikes by Dr. Brian Jacobsen, CFA of Wells Fargo Asset Management

Don’t let “waiting on the Fed” postpone when you realign your portfolio. The markets have already priced in an interest-rate hike. Learning about how the markets moved before and after past rate increases can help investors.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 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.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 What Investors Should Know About China's Stock Market Rally by Weili Jasmine Huang of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

China’s government owns a significant share of companies which they need to unwind, and this is going to hang over the stock market in the months and years to come. We expect China’s economy will slow as it transforms from an industrial, manufacturing economy to a consumption-driven, service-focused market. Companies that can take advantage of economic and demographic changes while contending with environmental and social issues will survive and flourish.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 State Estate Taxes: Planning for Uncertainty by Kevin Duncan of Fiduciary Trust Company International

Prior to 2001 most states imposed an estate tax based upon the Internal Revenue Code Section 2011 Credit for State Death Taxes. The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (“EGTRRA”) repealed the credit effective for 2005, which effectively repealed any state estate tax that was tied to the credit. The states’ legislative response to EGTRRA was divided. Many states took no action and allowed their estate tax to become dormant.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 Putin and Flight 9268 by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

On October 31, Russian Flight 9268 took off from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, en route to St. Petersburg, Russia. Within 25 minutes, the aircraft had reached its cruising altitude and disappeared from radar over central Sinai. Shortly thereafter, airplane debris was reported over the area. All 224 passengers and crew were lost, making it the worst Russian civilian air disaster in history. In this report, we examine the potential causes of this event. Given that a terrorist group may be the culprit, we discuss the most likely perpetrator and analyze how Russian President Putin will likely react.

2015-11-23 00:00:00 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 Quantitative Tightening by Ritesh Jain, Abhishek Sonthalia of Tata Asset Management

In the last 15 years, emerging economy central banks have been busy accumulating forex reserves to build a buffer against external shocks after having learnt their lessons in the Asian financial crisis, adding more than $10tn in this period. The swing in global foreign exchange reserves is one key measure of the global liquidity tap flow. However, we are witnessing a reversal of reserve accumulation, something last seen at the height of the global financial crisis for a brief while.

2015-11-23 00:00:00 Asian Market Update by (Article)

China’s evolving economic conditions may affect Asian market CEF strategies, says Rennie McConnochie of Aberdeen Asset Management.

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

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

2015-11-23 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 International Economic Week in Review; Bearish Tenor is Growing, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The news continues to move in a bearish direction. Although the UK and Australia are in decent economic shape, neither country is setting growth records. And on the bearish side, Mario Draghi stated the EU recovery is weak and may need additional stimulus while Japan entered a technical recession for the second time in two years. And all this is occurring at time when the global growth juggernaut of China is slowing. Overall, the scales appear to be more and more tipped in a bearish direction.

2015-11-22 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: Why is the Long End Selling Off, Edition? by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

For the bond market, the release of the Fed minutes was this week’s biggest news. The Fed described employment positively. They also noted personal consumption expenditures and capital expenditures were “solid.” Housing was mixed, but continued to show a general, slow recovery. Industrial production was weak, but largely due to the strong dollar and weak international environment. As for inflation, they noted that overall CPI was weak, but expected it to rise with oil and import prices over the next 12-18 months. As for rates, the Fed felt the next hike would be in December:

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

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

2015-11-21 00:00:00 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.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 Waiting for the Fed by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

The inverse correlation between stocks and high-quality bonds failed to hold over the past week, after holding for October 2015, suggesting other forces are at work. The answer to the bond market’s indifference to risk asset performance may lie in market fixation over a possible Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hike in December 2015. According to fed fund futures pricing, market expectations for the timing of the Fed’s first rate were essentially unchanged, with the probability of a December rate hike marginally lower on the week to 64% from 70%.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 International Equity Commentary: October 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

International equity prices rebounded strongly during the month of October as fears about a further growth slowdown in China faded and the U.S. Federal Reserve appeared willing to delay its rate hike until early next year. While exports from the country remain weak, domestic demand in China has so far remained resilient.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 The Case for Active Equity Management by Paul Doyle of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The growth of passively managed funds adds to market inefficiency by increasing the prevalence of price indiscriminate buyers and sellers. This can create inefficiencies that active managers can exploit. Weakening global liquidity means that there will no longer be a rising tide of liquidity that lifts all boats, and dispersions in the returns offered by individual stocks are likely to increase.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 Provise Bullets by Team of ProVise Management Group

In a rare display of compromise and cooperation in Washington, Congress passed the Bipartisanship Budget Act of 2015 which settled the budget battles for the next two years and raised the debt ceiling until the spring of 2017. It adds $80 billion to the budget during that time, split evenly between defense and social programs. It also repeals the auto enrollment provision under ObamaCare and limits the Medicare Part B premium increase to a maximum of 15% which was set to go up as much as 50% for some.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 5 World Currencies That Are Closely Tied to Commodities by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

For more than a year now, commodity prices have been under pressure from the strong U.S. dollar and slowing global demand. This has made a huge dent in the balance sheet of many net exporters of resources, in turn weakening their currencies.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 South Korea 2.0 by Michael Oh of Matthews Asia

Some key differences between Korea’s older companies and its newer “2.0 firms.” include their target demographics, regional reach and branding tied to rising interests in Korean pop culture, or K-pop. Whereas the products of Korea’s more traditional and longer-standing exporters were geared toward developed economies, its newer cultural exports are a hit with more developing countries. This month Asia Insight explores such cultural exports, including those from industries as travel & leisure and entertainment, which are growing even faster than Korea’s overall export growth.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 Navigating the Energy Landscape by Will Nasgovitz of Heartland Advisors

More than 12 months into the oil slump, the picture for Energy remains unsettled. A mismatch between supply and demand is making for a stubborn bear market in Energy. Tighter lending standards may create a solution to oversupply. Low costs, greater efficiency, and strong balance sheets are likely to be make or break factors for Energy companies. Here is a look at issues, pockets of optimism, and possible approaches to the volatile group.

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

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

2015-11-19 00:00:00 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.

2015-11-18 00:00:00 Are You Being Paid for Emerging-Market Risk? by Shamaila Khan of AllianceBernstein

When it comes to emerging-market (EM) bonds, clients often ask us if they’re being adequately compensated for their risk. It’s a fair question, but answering it isn’t as easy as many people think.

2015-11-18 00:00:00 Drilling for Oil on Wall Street by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

As long-duration common stock owners and investors, we focus on our bottoms-up stock picking and seek to analyze the micro-economics of each industry involved. However, the importance of oil prices to the economy of the U.S. and its effect on inflation helps determine the intrinsic value of our companies. While we currently own no energy companies in our portfolio, we would like to pause and see what the rhymes of history can tell us about the circumstances of today.

2015-11-18 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 Do The SEI Funds Add Value for Investors? by Larry Swedroe (Article)

The previous installment in my series evaluating the performance of the market’s most prominent actively managed mutual fund families focused on Russell, one of the largest players in the world of investment consulting (where firms provide guidance to pension plans and other institutional investors, as well as to investment advisors, on picking the best active managers). Today, we’ll turn our attention to Russell’s largest competitor in the consulting field, SEI.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 The Paris Attacks by Bob Veres (Article)

Here is a letter you can send to clients in response to the Paris attacks.

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 Rising Rates? How About Some Inflation First? by Jeffrey Baker of HiddenLevers

Some pundits have expressed surprise the Fed did not raise rates in September, citing low unemployment and improving GDP numbers as evidence the Fed has gone too far with its dovish policies. Unfortunately, many market commentators gloss over the relationship between interest rates and inflation. HiddenLevers examined the effects of inflation in our End of Inflation webinar, and we have summarized some of our takeaways below.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 For Japan, When GDP is so Close to the Zero Line, Inventories are the Dominant Swing Factor by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

So Japan’s economy is back in technical recession…for the fourth time in five years (first chart). It’s likely that this unfortunate reality will be met with additional monetary ease, but that is a discussion for another day. Here we’d just like to make a very simple observation: when your GDP growth runs close to the zero bound, as it has in Japan, the inventory factor can be the make or break variable.

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 How to Invest in a Slowing China World by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

The obvious question is then how one positions their portfolio in a world where China is on a structurally slowing growth trajectory. In an effort to not over-complicate things, let’s look at China from the 30,000 foot view. From this perspective we observe two things that will unfold over the next decade.

2015-11-16 00:00:00 The Bubble Right In Front Of Our Faces by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Investors have a habit of pointing to past bubbles as if they have actually learned something, even when they are in the midst of another one.

2015-11-16 00:00:00 Currency Wars - What Will Break the Cycle? by Brian Hess of Loomis Sayles

The term “currency war" may sound like sensationalism. But the series of competitive devaluations in global currency markets over the past several years have essentially created a series of global currency battles.

2015-11-16 00:00:00 Covered-Call CEFs by (Article)

In periods of market volatility, income-oriented investors may want to consider covered-call closed-end funds, says Stephen Minar of BlackRock.

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

2015-11-16 00:00:00 Henderson releases the 8th edition of the Henderson Global Dividend Study by (Article)

Henderson’s Jane Shoemake, Investment Director of Global Equity Income, presents the 8th edition of the Henderson Global Dividend Study. Henderson Global Dividend Study is a quarterly report analyzing dividend trends from around the world. The study examines dividends paid every quarter by the 1,200 largest firms by market capitalization. In the latest edition, we saw an increase of 2% in global dividend growth for the quarter after nearly three quarters of consecutive declines.

2015-11-14 00:00:00 The Gig Economy Is the New Normal by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

It’s not just Uber driving or AirBnB. There are literally scores of websites and apps where you can advertise your services, get temporary or part-time work, and do so from anywhere you happen to be. Some “gigs” actually pay pretty good money, but they are for people with specialized skills who prefer to live a somewhat different lifestyle than the typical 9-to-5’er does.

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 A New Era Begins, and Not Just for China by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

As we approach the end of 2016, we’re increasingly of the view that we’re nearing the end of one investment era and the beginning of another. We expect this global trend to be positive for China, but it might have a downside for some risk assets.

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

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

2015-11-13 00:00:00 How Fast and How High by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

We do not believe last week’s sell-off is the start of a spike in interest rates. In fact, the spike may have already occurred with the 10-year Treasury yield higher by nearly 0.4% since October 14, 2015. The 30-year Treasury yield has also undergone a significant adjustment [Figure 1]. Yields on both 10- and 30-year benchmark Treasury yields have broken above the September highs and are within striking distance of 2015 highs of 2.5% and 3.2%, respectively. From a technical perspective, a breach above these levels would be needed to sustain a breakout to new yield highs.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 Do You Believe that China is “Fixed” as Copper Plunges to New Lows? by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

The last two days have been met with the usual monthly slue of Chinese economic statistics including retail sales (+10.4% YoY), auto sales (+11.8% YoY), industrial production (+5.6 YoY), fixed asset (infrastructure) investment (+10.1% YoY), and bank loans (+15.6% YoY), among others.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 A Decisive Monetary Policy Approach Is About More Than Economics by John Beck of Franklin Templeton Investments

With monetary policy divergence between the developed world’s three most influential central banks set to continue, it seems clear to us that the need for a decisiveness of approach extends beyond a simple economic argument.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 The Shadow Rate Casts Gloom by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Nearly 92% of economists surveyed this week by the Wall Street Journal expect that our eight-year experiment with unprecedented monetary easing from the Federal Reserve will come to an end at the next Fed meeting in December. Since we have had the monetary wind at our back for so many years, at least a few have begun to question our ability to make economic and financial gains against actual headwinds. But in reality, the tightening cycle that the forecasters are waiting for actually started last year. Sadly, the markets and the economy are already showing an inability to handle it.

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

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

2015-11-13 00:00:00 Americas: Economy Trends Update October 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The fall in energy and commodity prices continues to drive the divergent economic trends in the U.S. and other countries in the region. While the low fuel costs have supported the ongoing healthy U.S. economic expansion, the resource exporting countries in the region continue to struggle. Brazil remains in an economic recession even as political controversies have worsened the outlook for the country. The recent downgrades by the credit rating agencies have led to significant capital outflows from Brazil, making it difficult for domestic corporations to finance growth.

2015-11-12 00:00:00 On Why Emerging Market Funds Are Ill Equipped to Capitalize on a Rebalancing China by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

We’ve hashed out the arguments for a persistently slowing China in this blog many times, so we won’t go there again today. Instead, we want to focus on a different aspect of the slowing China reality: the fact that most investment products that focus on emerging markets are overweight exactly the wrong economic sectors. In the scenario of a slowing and rebalancing China, the areas of the economy that are likely to benefit the most are different from the areas that gained from the infrastructure build out since 2000.

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 How to Fly in Turbulent Emerging Markets by Sammy Suzuki of AllianceBernstein

Emerging markets may be stormier these days, but they’re still brimming with opportunities. You just need to know how to find them. That’s going to take some skillful piloting—and highly sensitive downside-risk radar.

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 Growth Will Pick Up by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

At first blush, the economy’s growth rate in the third quarter (+1.5%) suggests a significant slowing of activity after its solid performance in the second quarter. However, doubts should be set aside, as it was largely a reduction in inventories that held back overall gross domestic product (GDP) growth. In fact, final sales remained strong. Headline growth should pick up as firms increase inventories in the quarters ahead.

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.

2015-11-12 00:00:00 Myopia & Market Function by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

The Wall Street Journal posted an article written by Shlomo Benartzi who is a professor at UCLA specializing in behavioral finance. The article primarily focuses on the behavioral problems, like myopic loss aversion, that can arise when investors check their account balances or the prices of their holdings which thanks to technology has become increasingly more convenient to do.

2015-11-11 00:00:00 It's Groundhog Day for the Markets by Mark Burgess of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The likelihood of subdued economic growth means that interest rates will be lower for longer. There will no longer be a rising tide of U.S.-led QE that lifts all boats. We think that a selective approach in equities will pay off as investors focus more on valuations and fundamentals.

2015-11-11 00:00:00 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 The 2016 Outlook: 3 Important Issues by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

I’m working on my 2016 outlook right now—yes, a couple of months before it actually gets here—and am struggling to focus on what will be most important. Developing an idea about the future requires first identifying the most important issues, then making some decisions about how they are likely to evolve, and finally trying to tie them all together.

2015-11-11 00:00:00 Technically Speaking: Short-Term Bull Or Bearish Top by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

Over the last couple of weeks, I have discussed the entrance of the markets into the seasonally strong period of the year and the potential to increase equity exposure in portfolios on a "short-term" basis.

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 Do Growth Stocks Still Have Room to Run? by Robert McConnaughey of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

While growth and value stocks have historically traded off leadership roles, we do not think that a decisive shift towards value is in the works. We think that investing in competitively advantaged innovators is extremely important and that the best defense against potentially disruptive changes is to invest in them. While we are always interested in value investing opportunities, we see the overall picture as continuing to favor truly innovative growth.

2015-11-10 00:00:00 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 Japan: The Quest for Growth and Inflation by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

Abenomics [in Japan] constitutes a true regime change and has already had a significant impact—but the road to sustainably higher growth and inflation is still long.

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.

2015-11-10 00:00:00 Can Brazil Bounce Back? by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

While the government finally is promoting reform efforts, the nation’s economic and political troubles are likely to stick around.

2015-11-09 00:00:00 Remember Greece? Neither Does the Market. by Tere Alvarez Canida, Alan Habacht, William Canida, Scott Kimball, Daniela Mardarovici of BMO Global Asset Management

Global conditions are absolutely impacting the U.S. markets in known and established manners, but the Fed’s recent introduction of the language confused markets away from a perception of Fed support to one of Fed fear. The resulting move to wider in spreads, which was largely undifferentiated by issuer, caused the past quarter to be a very difficult one for investors. Looking forward, that undiscerning move in spreads has afforded the opportunity to purchase potentially mispriced assets in anticipation of a return to rationality.

2015-11-09 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What Will Higher Interest Rates Mean for Financial Markets? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Friday’s employment report, rightly or wrongly, confirmed expectations for a December shift in Fed policy. There will be a parade of Fed speakers. We can expect daily discussion about the implications. The punditry will be asking: What will higher rates mean for financial markets?

2015-11-09 00:00:00 America’s Education Bubble by Mohamed A. El-Erian of Project Syndicate

If not handled carefully, the pursuit of an important social goal can sometimes have serious economic and financial consequences. America’s effort to expand access to student loans – a fundamentally good initiative, aimed at enabling more people to pursue higher education – may turn out to be one such case.

2015-11-09 00:00:00 CEF Market Update by (Article)

As relatively wide discounts persist, the closed-end fund market presents potential opportunities to investors, says John Cole Scott of CEF Advisors.

2015-11-09 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Winners and Losers: Q3 2015 by Jackie Lafferty of Loomis Sayles

Investor risk aversion battered emerging market (EM) assets during the third quarter. Local currency and hard currency markets both posted negative gains and EM equities posted double digit losses.

2015-11-09 00:00:00 On My Radar: Resolve To Keep Happy by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“U.S. interest rates are already zero. Japanese interest rates are zero also. European interest rates are negative. All of these central banks have printed trillions of dollars in their respective currencies under various QE programs. They are at the point where they simply cannot print trillions more without risking political backlash or the collapse of confidence in their currencies.” – James Rickards

2015-11-09 00:00:00 Resisting the Chase: Reimagining Liquidity and Diversification by Douglas A. Dachille and Mark G. Alexandridis (Article)

Mutual fund bond investors have reached an unwelcome crossroads. With interest rates at historic lows, they have spent much of their post-crisis existence cautiously ascending the risk ladder in search of yield. While the liquid alternative space has been touted as fertile ground for diversification and non-correlated returns, it has fallen short of delivering the kind of liquidity and diversification today’s retail investor really needs.

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 October Jobs Report Gives the Fed a Green Light by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The first Friday of each month is filled with tension for those in my line of work. The U.S. employment data, arguably the most important international economic release that we receive, comes out on those days.

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 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl R. Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

The weekly commentary is a review of current activity in global financial markets, with an emphasis on the U.S. fixed income market.

2015-11-06 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter by Team of Grey Owl Capital

In 2008, most investors were driving a fast car down a country road at night with no headlights. They ignored widening credit spreads and kept their allocation to risk assets too high. Value investors bought financial securities because they seemed cheap relative to book value, and neglected to size the position with any consideration to the idea that these entities had so much financial leverage, a bad quarter could entirely wipe out equity value.

2015-11-06 00:00:00 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.

2015-11-06 00:00:00 Prepare for a More Volatile Market Now by Harin de Silva of Analytic Investors, Sub-Advisor of 361 Capital

Q&A with Harin de Silva, President of Analytic Investors. He has seen his share of market selloffs over the years. Yet, with the end of the latest bull market likely nearing, he’s not worried about increased volatility—and investors don’t have to be either, he says.

2015-11-04 00:00:00 The Big W?! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

This morning we revisit the “big W,” except in this case we are referring to the big “W”-shaped chart pattern left by the bottoming process often discussed in these missives.

2015-11-04 00:00:00 QE’s Creeping Communism by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Most economists and investors readily acknowledge that the current period of central bank activism, characterized by extended bouts of quantitative easing and zero percent interest rates, is a newly-blazed trail in economic history. And while these policies strike some as counterintuitive, open-ended, and unimaginably expensive, most express comfort that our extremely educated, data-dependent, central bankers have a pretty good idea as to where the trail is going and how to keep the wagons together during the journey.

2015-11-04 00:00:00 Next Time You Think of Emerging Markets, Think of Dividends by Anthony Cragg, Stephen Kinney of Wells Fargo Asset Management

Emerging markets aren’t only a source of a portfolio’s exposure to growth (and volatility); they can be a great source of more reliable dividend income as well.

2015-11-04 00:00:00 It’s the Zero Bound Yield Curve, Stupid! by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

I have been increasingly suspicious since late 2011 that Sir Thomas Gresham (1519-1579) may be the modern John Maynard Keynes. I said as much in a Financial Times op-ed when I wrote in December of that year, that the famous “Gresham’s Law” needs a corollary. Not only does “bad money drive out good money” but “cheap money” may do harm as well. Just as Newtonian physics breaks down, and Einsteinian theories prevail at the speed of light, so too might easy money, which has invariably led to stronger economic recoveries, now fail to stimulate growth close to the zero bound.

2015-11-04 00:00:00 Recession Probability Models - November 2015 by Ted Kavadas of StratX, LLC

There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession. While I don’t agree with the methodologies employed or probabilities of impending economic weakness as depicted by the following two models, I think the results of these models should be monitored. Please note that each of these models is updated regularly, and the results of these – as well as other recession models – can fluctuate significantly.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 Three Keys for Advisors When Implementing Alternatives by Sponsored Content from Invesco (Article)

• For almost 25 years, I’ve worked with financial advisors regarding the use of alternative investments. • I’ve found three common traits among advisors who have the greatest success, i.e., satisfied clients who understand their investments and their results.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 Global Growth Should Strengthen Next Year, Lifting Equities by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Markets were mixed last week, but the S&P 500 Index was up 0.2%, posting its fifth consecutive weekly gain. Last week’s highlight was Wednesday’s Federal Reserve meeting. The central bank left rates unchanged, but indicated the possibility of an increase in December. Corporate earnings were also in the news, with several companies posting positive results. The health care sector made a notable turnaround to become the best performing last week while utilities lagged.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 Light This Candle by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

The US stock market reminds us of Alan Shepard in 1961. Exasperated by the long wait in his Mercury Spacecraft “Freedom 7” while NASA engineers fiddled, he said, “Why don’t you fix your little problem and light this candle?” They finally did and he became the first American to go into space.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 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 El Niño: Winds of Change for Commodity Prices? by Andrea DiCenso of Loomis Sayles

An endless number of factors can influence commodity prices. The headlines this year are focused on the global weather pattern known as El Niño and its potential to impact all areas of the commodity complex.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 6 Reasons To Be Bullish (or Not) On Stocks by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

In between inspecting my kids candy cache for "safety reasons," which is parent code for eating the Snickers bars, I read an interesting piece by Simon Constable via U.S. News.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 Central Bank Divergence Returns by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the impact of the return of divergent central bank policies on stocks and bonds.

2015-11-02 00:00:00 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 How European Insurance Portfolios Can Benefit From Alternatives by Tom Collier, Matthieu Louanges, Jeroen Van Bezoouen of PIMCO

Adding alternatives may not only make economic sense, but it also has the potential to improve European insurers’ return on capital.

2015-11-02 00:00:00 The Fed’s Communication Breakdown by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

Nothing describes the US Federal Reserve’s current communication policy better than the old saying that a camel is a horse designed by committee. Indeed, the Fed’s communication strategy is a mess, and cleaning it up is far more important than the exact timing of its decision to exit near-zero interest rates.

2015-11-02 00:00:00 Do The Russell Funds Add Value for Investors? by Larry Swedroe (Article)

My series evaluating the performance of the market’s most prominent actively managed mutual fund families continues with an in-depth analysis of the Russell family of funds.

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.

2015-11-02 00:00:00 Small Stars Can Shine Bright by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

We have found that as an asset class, emerging-market small cap is one of the most widely misunderstood and underutilized among investors. It is often perceived to be a place to avoid in times of uncertainty, but we see things differently.

2015-11-02 00:00:00 Economic Review and Outlook by John Calamos, John Hillenbrand, David Kalis, Nick Niziolek, Eli Pars of Calamos Investments

The third quarter proved difficult for investors as apprehension about slowing global growth and monetary and fiscal policies converged. Volatility soared while equities declined sharply and commodities plummeted. Heading into the final months of the year, our positioning is cautious but reflects our view that the markets offer many opportunities, particularly among growth-oriented equities and convertibles, along with high yield.

2015-11-01 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review: Where's the Revenue Growth? Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

If the SPYs hit a record high, I don’t see it lasting, barring a change in the underlying fundamentals.

2015-11-01 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: It's A Brave New Policy World, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

From a policy perspective, the decline in Chinese demand and the relative over-supply of commodities within China adds downward pressure to a variety of commodities. This situation is likely to continue.

2015-11-01 00:00:00 Your Own Personal Inflation Rate by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

This week’s letter is all about how we create the sausage that is called inflation. The Fed has a target of 2% inflation. Aren’t we almost there at +1.9% CPI? Not really, as the Fed uses something called the PCE, and it is barely at +1.3%. Which is different again from other measures of inflation. Confused? Hopefully, we can make sense of inflation today and have some fun along the way with crazy government statistics.

2015-10-30 00:00:00 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 REITs and Rates: Dancing to Different Beats by Eric Franco, Ajit Ketkar of AllianceBernstein

Recent volatility in equity markets has added appeal to US REITs, with their generous dividends and cash flows. But could a US rate hike upset the picture? Probably not as much as you think.

2015-10-30 00:00:00 Have Commodities Reached an Inflection Point? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

This week the Federal Reserve announced that it would delay the interest rate liftoff yet again, but while everyone seems concerned about nominal rates—the federal funds rate, in this case—real rates have already risen about 5 percent since August 2011. This “invisible” rate hike is much more impactful to commodity prices and emerging markets than a nominal rate hike, which is simply the “tip of the iceberg.”

2015-10-30 00:00:00 In Defense of 2% by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The October release of the consumer price index (CPI) is used to set cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security recipients.

2015-10-30 00:00:00 Currency Risk, still an Afterthought? by Anton An of Matthews Asia

Foreign exchange concerns were once an afterthought for equity investors. But the recent slowdown in emerging markets, and the potential for the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, makes it even more critical for investors to examine currency exposure throughout corporate financial statements.

2015-10-30 00:00:00 A Better Bond Blueprint? by John Taylor of Alliance Bernstein

Bond strategies based on benchmark indices have big limitations and could expose investors to an unattractive mix of investment risks. Is there a better blueprint for global bond investors?

2015-10-29 00:00:00 The Weather Will Change for MLPs by David Chiaro of Eagle Global Advisors

The advantages and competitiveness of North American shale assets will only grow over time and we expect production to resume its increase at some point. We believe the recent sell off in MLPs is due to forced selling and a typical equity market cascade and overshoot, which has created a potentially attractive opportunity for investors to allocate to the asset class. Adapting Mark Twain to the MLP market, the reports of its demise are greatly exaggerated.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 Fixed Income Outlook October 2015: Is China Really That Important? by Carl Kaufman, Simon Lee, Bradley Kane of Osterweis Capital Management

Negative sentiment permeated the stock and bond markets this quarter, with August taking September’s usual honor as the worst month of the year, so far, for stocks. In particular, concerns about China weighed on the markets, and the Federal Reserve (Fed) Governors fanned these fears with comments at the September Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, when they voted to hold the federal funds rate steady.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 It's Darkest Before the Dawn – but Is the Time Now 1am or 5am? by Tim Guinness, Will Riley, Jonathan Waghorn of Guinness Atkinson Asset Management

It has been a pretty brutal summer for the energy markets. Brent oil fell from $65 in May to below $40, and the MSCI World Energy Index was down around 25% over the same period, leaving energy as the worst performing sector year-to-date and the most out-of-favour among all the portfolio manager surveys that we see. Long-dated Brent oil has also fallen; having started the year at $78 and traded in a fairly tight $75-$80 range until the end of June, it fell to a low point of just over $60, over 40% off its highs last year.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 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 The Upside Potential in Buying Some Puerto Rico’s Bonds Now by Robert Kane of BondView

Puerto Rico’s municipal bonds have crashed just like Greek bonds did three years ago. Puerto Rico issues hundreds of different types of bonds. They shouldn’t be viewed as a homogeneous h?oard??. They have varying degrees of credit quality and risks. Some are insured. Many have become mispriced because of the company they keep and are trading at a steep discount to face value.

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 On U.S. Growth: Near-Term Concern, Long-Term Optimism by Dr. Brian Jacobsen, CFA, and John Manley, CFA of Wells Fargo Asset Management

The global economic landscape raises near-term concern, but long-term optimism. Wells Fargo’s Dr. Brian Jacobsen, CFA, and John Manley, CFA discuss growth obstacles and prospects, as well as portfolio positioning.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 Corporate Beige Book by Burt White of LPL Financial

According to our new Corporate Beige Book, China has been a popular subject of discussion among corporate management teams this earnings season. Similar to the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) Beige Book, a qualitative assessment of the U.S. economy and each of the 12 Fed districts, conference call transcripts for third quarter 2015 company earnings reports can be used to create a Corporate Beige Book—a window into corporate America.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 Fed Sets Stage For December Rate Hike by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Today’s statement from the Federal Reserve sets the stage for a December rate hike. The key issue is whether the next two reports on the labor market, the one coming out late next week and the one released in early December, show a reacceleration in jobs gains or continued drops in the unemployment rate. At present, we expect both, which suggests the Fed will start a long-awaited series of rate hikes in December.

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.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 Multi-Asset Model Portfolio Investing: The Evolution Continues by Mark Eibel of Russell Investments

Mark Eibel takes a look at just how far has multi-asset model portfolio investing has come in the last 30 years.

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 Six Key Signals for the U.S. Economy by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Good news and bad news: Here are four reasons why an economic downturn now is unlikely—and two reasons why a sudden pickup is equally unlikely.

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 Good Earnings and Bad Ceiling by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

The world’s most persuasive central banker, Mario Draghi of the European Central Bank (ECB) , announced no rate changes last week. The overnight rate remains where it was a year ago, at -0.2%. Yes a negative rate. It is not alone. The Swiss overnight rate is around -0.74% and the US Treasury recently issued one month bills at 0% (it is not allowed to sell bills at negative rates). But the Euro area has a bad combination of low growth at around 0.4%, low inflation of -0.1%, unemployment over 10% and a larger current account surplus than China, Japan or Saudi Arabia.

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 Schwab Market Perspective: Bulls, Bears…and Hippos? by Liz Ann Sonders Brad Sorensen Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

When trying to describe our view of the market, we realized that bullish and bearish were quite limiting and could cause confusion. Bullish, for example, could mean anything from skyrocketing markets to very modest gains—one word, very different environments. So, we are introducing a new animal descriptor that should more accurately describe our view of the stock market—the hippo. While not initially obvious, we think this is the perfect descriptor, and who doesn’t love hippos?

2015-10-28 00:00:00 On My Radar: I’m Rooting For Ray by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

There is a great deal of research around investor behavior. For example, our brains notice when a group provides an answer that is different from ours, the disparity is unpleasant. For many, aligning with the group is more rewarding for the brain than being independent and correct.

2015-10-27 00:00:00 Conditions Remain Uneven, but Equities Again Charge Higher by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets climbed for the third consecutive week, with the S&P 500 Index gaining 2.1%.1 Much of the strength came from additional signs of easing from the European and Chinese central banks. Corporate earnings were mixed, with some health care and retail industries coming under pressure, while the technology sector provided impressive results. Overall, however, the majority of companies reported better-than-expected earnings results, which added to improved market sentiment.

2015-10-27 00:00:00 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.

2015-10-27 00:00:00 Will Voters Force Lawmakers to Loosen the Purse Strings? by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

With stocks soaring after Mario “Whatever It Takes” Draghi’s latest comments, it’s clear markets still like easy money from central banks, says US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper. But fiscal stimulus induces spending more directly—and voters might start demanding it.

2015-10-27 00:00:00 The Fed's Dilemma by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate rise history reveals a familiar dilemma—previous delays led to inflated asset prices and recessions.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 Why Inflation Is Lower Than You Think by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Financial pundits routinely claim that inflation is much higher than the reported statistics. We hear, for example, that food prices have risen much faster than the roughly 1.5% increase in the CPI over the past several years. Viewed over the longer term, however, inflation is far lower than reflected in the published data.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 Q: Is the Chinese Rate Cut a Silver Bullet? A: No! by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

Today the Peoples Bank of China cut the benchmark interest rate by .25% and lowered banks’ reserve requirements by .5%. The measure is supposed to spur growth and make life a little easier on debt-ridden Chinese companies. In the immediate term it may give a slight boost to the economy, but there is no chance this measure, or others like it, will keep the Chinese economy from slowing much further in the years ahead. Let us explain.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 The Changing Dynamics of Eurozone Inflation by Andrew Bosomworth of PIMCO

Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and its governments’ responses to it have changed the relationship between inflation and economic slack in a way that is causing inflation to undershoot the ECB’s forecast.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 Dan Fuss: Rates Will Rise (and so will taxes) by Robert Huebscher (Article)

If there truly were a “bond king,” it would not be Bill Gross or Jeffrey Gundlach. It would be Dan Fuss, whose tenure in the fixed-income markets has spanned more than half a century. In a talk last week, Fuss warned investors to expect higher interest rates along with higher taxes.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 Global Banks – Who Is Swimming Naked? by Julian Wellesley of Loomis Sayles

The outlook for most large banks around the world remains favorable, and one reason is that many global banks have been reporting unusually low non-performing loan disposal costs for a couple of years. Why? A financial crisis, like the one we had in 2008, is often followed by a period of low loan growth. But there are some early warning signs of trouble brewing out there.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 Digital India by Sudarshan Murthy of Matthews Asia

During Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Silicon Valley, he promoted his “Digital India” project, which aspires to provide easy access to a digital infrastructure for all of India. This is no small feat considering about 40% of the population still lacks access to proper sanitation. How feasible are these goals?

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 If the Buck Stops Here by Colin McWey of Heartland Advisors

If the dollar continues to weaken, it could provide support for some attractively valued cyclical areas of the market.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 Global Growth Forecast - Q4 (Infographic) by Rick Harrell of Loomis Sayles

The global economy is in the midst of a major rebalancing, and many themes we have tracked since the start of the year intensified during the third quarter. Every quarter, we update our forecast map. Read on for our global highlights.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 Indexing the Past by Bob Rice of Neuberger Berman

Today’s financial world disputes many of the most basic assumptions of yesteryear’s investing “truths.” Globalization, the rise of a “winner take all” digital economy and markets led by policymakers have redrawn the investing map in profound ways.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 The Seven Biggest Lies Told (and Believed) about Gold by Guy Christopher of Money Metals Exchange

It’s hard to say which lie about gold is the biggest whopper. Many widely held beliefs about gold are lies – propaganda hammered home to have us believe the only true measure of wealth is government-issued debt.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 Liquidity Premiums In High Yield Investing by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

There is no denying that liquidity has become a well-publicized concern in today’s high yield market, with much focus specifically on high yield ETFs. With the post financial crisis regulation that has curtailed market making activity by the large investment banks and dealer inventory, liquidity has decreased and volatility increased. However, we believe that arguments that liquidity concerns within the ETF space will lead to the high yield market’s demise are overblown.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: October by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

Overall, while there are plenty of ‘problem children’ in the emerging-market space, there are undoubtedly assets and currencies being beaten down by broad-brush assessments of economic prospects that merit renewed attention.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 The “Oprah Effect” and Gold by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Many short sellers of Weight Watchers no doubt felt too down to look in the mirror this week after company stock unexpectedly ballooned nearly 170 percent. You can thank (or blame) Oprah.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 India: Interest Rates, Inflation and Manufacturing Ambitions by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

We have high hopes for India’s future, so we remain quite interested in India and continue to seek out investment bargains there. We are looking to diversify our exposure to Indian equities through a mix of commodities-oriented, export-oriented and domestic companies.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 Four Strategies for Navigating the Equity Environment Ahead by Andrew Pyne of PIMCO

Recent market turmoil suggests we could be at a turning point for equities. After several years of high returns and low volatility as the market rebounded off the lows of 2009, supported by unprecedented monetary policies, investors are faced with broadly full valuations, global growth that is still uneven and the prospect of rising rates in the U.S. In this environment we suggest four simple approaches that could enhance returns while potentially reducing risk.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 Global Economic Outlook - October 2015 by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore, Victoria Marklew, Ieisha Montgomery, Marshall Birkey, Ben Trinder of Northern Trust

It has been a challenging interval for the world economy. The summer saw challenges in Greece, heightened uncertainty over China and renewed concern over emerging markets. At its recent meetings, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) further downgraded its outlook for global growth.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 Why Have the Markets Been so Volatile Recently? by Wendy Stojadinovic of Cleary Gull

U.S., European and Japanese central banks have all been running with easy monetary policies for years and all have engaged in quantitative easing (QE). We are seeing growth in all three countries, with the U.S. doing the best, as a result. However, QE tends to lead to currency depreciation, which is difficult to see when everyone is doing it.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 The US Bond Market: A Welcome "Nonstory" During August's Turmoil by Payson Swaffield of Eaton Vance

Overall, the bond market functioned relatively well in the risk-off month of August – it did its job in reflecting relative value among sectors.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 Black Ice: Low-Volatility Investing in Theory and Practice by Feifei Li, Engin Kose of Research Affiliates

Equity investors have endured two extreme market downturns since the turn of the century. The broad U.S. market, represented by the S&P 500 Index, fell by 44% in the aftermath of the dot-com bubble and 51% in the great recession. These devastating experiences reawakened institutional and individual investors to the downside of market volatility and, for a while, prompted great interest in low-volatility investing.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 Reshuffling the Deck in the Mideast by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

The U.S. presence in the Middle East, which for years provided some control over one of the world’s most volatile regions, appears to have dissolved into chaos. By removing Saddam Hussein from power, the U.S. removed his tyrannical but stabilizing hand from the powder keg that always existed in the poorly designed nation state of Iraq. Rather than attempting to repair the damage, President Obama appears intent on leaving what he terms “a quagmire.”

2015-10-21 00:00:00 What "Misery" Can Tell Us About The Economy by Bill Barker of Motley Fool Funds

Despite the recent market swoon, Bill Barker argues that the economy is holding up well by historical standards.

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 An Important Rebalancing Milestone by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

Third quarter macroeconomic data shows that Chinese consumers shrugged off the A-share market fall, with a small acceleration in spending. While many headlines may declare that China’s 6.9% GDP growth was the slowest since 2009, it should be noted that this pace of growth was on a base that is about 300% bigger than it was a decade ago (when GDP growth was 10%), meaning that the incremental expansion in China’s economy this year is about 60% bigger than it was back in the day.

2015-10-21 00:00:00 Third-Quarter Earnings Report: Industrial Worries by Tom West of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Lower energy prices are not a noticeable tailwind for industrial companies close to contraction in the North American energy sector. It is hard to picture enough good news this quarter to cause a significant change in sentiment for stocks in the industrial sector. The rest of this year may be tough in industrials, and 2016 may not be that great either, but I think we can avoid more dire scenarios.

2015-10-21 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.”

2015-10-21 00:00:00 On My Radar: Lucy, Charlie Brown and the Fed by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

All over the world, all eyes are zeroed in on the Fed. No pun intended.

2015-10-21 00:00:00 With Stocks on Shaky Ground, a Promising Ballast in Bonds by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the emergence of the return of longer-duration bonds as a potential hedge to equities.

2015-10-20 00:00:00 Chart Toppers: Diversification, China and the Fed’s Dual Mandate by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

From time to time, instead of diving into a singular topic in these reports, I am going to do a“Chart Toppers” review, where I share some of the more interesting and relevant charts I’ve put together or seen on a variety of topics.

2015-10-20 00:00:00 Moving a Little Too Fast by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

The markets remain Fed led. The theme this week was that we will not see a rate increase until 2016. Why? Well, Federal Reserve board members rarely speak with uniformity. But on Monday, a closed day for the bond market, Governor Brainard delivered a stinging rebuff to the “December, when the economy is at full employment” position with a clear description of the asymmetric risk of lifting rates too soon versus too late.

2015-10-20 00:00:00 Soft Headline, Solid Fundamentals by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

The most important part of the quarterly GDP reports is not the headline number. Instead, we like to focus on the underlying trend and what the details of the report mean for future growth.

2015-10-20 00:00:00 Will Gold Finish 2015 with a Gain? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

After its stellar performance last week, gold might do something it hasn’t done since 2012—that is, end the year in positive territory. You can see past returns for yourself in our perennially popular Periodic Table of Commodities Return.

2015-10-20 00:00:00 Four Takeaways on Alternative Opportunities Today by Marc Gamsin, Greg Outcalt of AllianceBernstein

Dispersion among asset classes and individual stocks and bonds will likely increase, and that’s only one trend reshaping the landscape and redefining alternative investing opportunities. Here are four things investors should consider.

2015-10-20 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 New TLAC Guidance Could Have Positive Implications for US Banking Sector by Jacob Habibi of Invesco Blog

The Financial Stability Board (FSB), an international body of banking regulators founded to promote global financial stability, on Sept. 25 confirmed that it would release its final proposal for minimum levels of “total loss absorbing capacity” (TLAC) required for globally systemically important financial institutions, or G-SIFIs, by the G20 Summit this November.

2015-10-19 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Can Strong Housing Data Give An "All Clear" Signal for the U.S. Economy? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

It is a very unusual week for data, with many of the major housing reports on tap and not much else. China’s GDP will be a big story over the weekend, and important earnings news will continue. Despite this, pundits will turn their attention to housing, asking: Can a housing rebound signal “all clear” for the U.S. economy?

2015-10-19 00:00:00 Where to Look for Outperforming Active Managers by Bob Veres (Article)

Not all stock-pickers are winners, and winning funds tend to be scattered all over the various sectors of the market. Is there a way to analyze the different segments of the global opportunity set, and determine the best places to look for those outperforming managers?

2015-10-19 00:00:00 3 Recession Signposts to Watch by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Worried the U.S. is on the cusp of another recession? Russ shares the economic indicators worth paying attention to.

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.

2015-10-19 00:00:00 Third Avenue Management Defends Its Pursuit of Alpha by Larry Swedroe (Article)

Bloomberg TV recently invited me onto their new show, Bloomberg GO, for a short debate on active versus passive investing with David Barse, the CEO of Third Avenue Management. Barse stated his funds had been able to beat their index benchmark. Let’s go to our trusty videotape to see if Third Avenue has, in fact, been delivering alpha.

2015-10-18 00:00:00 The “Age” Age by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

As I mentioned in last week’s letter, I traveled to San Francisco last Monday with my friend Patrick Cox, who writes our Transformational Technology Alert newsletter. We had dinner with Dr. Mike West of Biotime and then spent the next morning at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Pat and I decided we would jointly report on what we learned.

2015-10-17 00:00:00 Charting the Market's Course by Burt White, Jeffrey Buchbinder of LPL Financial

This week we highlight seven key charts to watch that may determine the stock market’s near-term direction. The charts cover a wide range of topics including manufacturing sentiment, earnings, oil, and high-yield bonds. We believe these charts can help investors navigate the market’s course for the balance of 2015 and into 2016.

2015-10-17 00:00:00 Third Quarter 2015 Economic & Capital Market Summary by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

On the one hand, the domestic economic story is playing out pretty much as we had thought. Economic growth is muddling along in the 2% area. The unemployment rate is low, but job growth is still limited to service sector jobs which pay lower wages. Inflation is barely rising as commodity prices continue to plunge and wage growth has been flat. The Federal Reserve is poised to raise interest rates, but has deferred making the first increase in over nine years under pressure from global economies who fear that an increase in short term interest rates will impair the fragile global growth.

2015-10-17 00:00:00 ProVise Bullets by ProVise Team of ProVise Management Group

The Republicans in Congress are struggling to find unity. First, the party’s division and very vocal tea party members influenced the Speaker to not only resign, but to leave Congress itself. Although Congress has now passed a bill to keep funding the government until December 11th without an amendment defunding Planned Parenthood, this battle is far from over. In December, Congress will not only have to focus on funding the government, but also will need to address raising the debt ceiling. Do not plan on these issues going away. They will continue to hang over Congress, the election, and t

2015-10-17 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Equities have risen 8% off their lows. Price is now near the prior trading range from which the waterfall collapse began in August. It would be normal to see selling pressure increase, as trapped longs finally achieve breakeven. But fund managers are overweight cash; they’ll want to be more fully invested before year-end. Upward momentum is therefore likely to prevail in the months ahead.

2015-10-17 00:00:00 Three Banks, One Message by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

Central Banks struggle to make sense of it all. The big three (The Fed, the European Central Bank or ECB and the Bank of Japan) released minutes last week. Japan’s QE is equivalent to 15% of GDP. Even QE3 in the US rarely exceeded 6%, but it at least moved the economy forward. The Japanese economy is stuck at around 0.9% growth. So they left rates at 0.1%.

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 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

Wealth Has Different Effects in Different Places; Our Good Fortune with Health Care Costs May Soon End; The Nobel Prize Rewards Digging into the Details

2015-10-16 00:00:00 US Monetary Policy: It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again by Brooks Ritchey of Franklin Templeton Investments

Is maintaining a zero interest rate policy in the United Sates today a good idea, or is not raising rates doing more harm than its intended good? I suppose that depends on perspective and opinion.

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.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 Whence Volatility? by Edward Perkin of Eaton Vance

We believe that a confluence of factors – not just concerns about China and Fed policy – has led to the sudden, sustained jump in volatility in recent weeks.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 Why There’s a Disconnect Between Economic Data and Performance by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Recent weak economic data have confirmed everyone’s worst fears: The global economy is indeed decelerating. Yet risky assets have been advancing. Russ explains why and whether this can continue.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 Tocqueville Gold Strategy Investor Letter Third Quarter 2015 by John Hathaway of Tocqueville Asset Management

Financial market turmoil has been what was needed to rekindle investment interest in gold, as we have argued in our investor letters this year. The onset of a bear market is what we envisioned in making this statement. A preliminary glimpse of what is what is needed to turn the tide for the gold market occurred in the 3rd quarter with a sharp decline in all global equity markets. On a year to date basis, most of the leading stock market averages are now in the red.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 Market Overview Q315 by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

Turmoil in the third quarter signaled some important changes that are going to require investors adopt new playbooks in order to succeed.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 Hoisington Quarterly Review and Outlook – 3Q2015 by Van Hoisington, Lacy Hunt of Hoisington Investment Management

Future business activity will reflect two economic realities: 1) the over-indebted state of the U.S. economy and the world; and 2) the inability of the Federal Reserve to initiate policies to promote growth in this environment.

2015-10-15 00:00:00 South Africa’s Sporting and Economic Scorecard by Johan Meyer of Franklin Templeton Investments

Dubbed the “rainbow nation” after the end of apartheid in 1994, South Africa had much to be hopeful about. In 2010, it achieved heightened recognition among investors when it became the fifth member of the “BRICS” grouping of emerging market economies, along with Brazil, Russia, India and China. While its economy and demographics differ from other BRIC countries, it has one thing in common with Brazil, Russia and China: It has hosted major global sporting events over the years. South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup five years ago, and it hosted and won the Rugby World Cup 20 years ago

2015-10-15 00:00:00 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 Is it Time to “Buy” Inflation? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

While there's little evidence that inflation is going to come roaring back anytime soon, current estimates may be too low. Russ explains.

2015-10-15 00:00:00 3rd Quarter Commentary by John Prichard, Miles Yourman of Knightsbridge Asset Management

The third quarter produced the worst return for the S&P 500 Index in four years, wiping out the prior year’s gains. Peak to trough declines from 2014-15 index highs to recent lows were even greater.

2015-10-15 00:00:00 Gauging Global Growth: An Update for 2015 & 2016 by John Canally of LPL Financial

The market continues to expect that global gross domestic product (GDP) growth will accelerate in 2015 (3.0%), 2016 (3.4%), and 2017 (3.4%) from 2014’s 2.0% pace, aided by lower oil prices and stimulus from two of the three leading central banks in the world.

2015-10-14 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review: Will the Rebound Last, Edition? by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The main US news this week was not economic, but political: Kevin McCarthy withdrew his bid to become Speaker of the House. As of this writing, several candidates have announced their desire to seek the position, but there is no clear front-runner. This couldn’t happen at a worse time: within the next 60 days, the debt ceiling must be raised and Congress must vote on a budget. And the leadership vacuum is occurring when 3Q US growth is projected to be weak.

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Emerging Market Debt: An End to the Agony? by Jim Cielinski of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Capitulation by many EMD investors has created opportunities in many of the more resilient countries. We favor countries moving down the reform path and where there is significant impetus to reign in excessive government spending. Valuations have reached the extremes that allow a selective approach to EM to now represent a key part of an income-oriented portfolio.

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Signs of Healing in the Markets Are Slowly Starting to Appear by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Signs of economic stabilization in China and improvements in commodity markets helped U.S. equities recover some ground last week. Diminishing concerns over the delay in Federal Reserve rate hikes also aided sentiment. For the week, the S&P 500 Index jumped 3.3%, with the energy, materials and industrials sectors leading the way. Health care, in contrast, struggled.

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Air Pockets! by Sam Stewart of Wasatch Funds

Global Stock Prices Dropped on Headline Concerns. But What Were the Underlying Causes? And Where Are the Opportunities?

2015-10-14 00:00:00 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.

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Earnings recession coming? Does it matter? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Despite a full slate of data, continuing international events, Washington maneuvering, and a possible record in Fed speeches, a new subject will command attention this week: Will there be an earnings recession, and should we worry?

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Upcoming Debt Ceiling Fight Could Get Really Ugly by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Here we go again – another debt ceiling battle will play out between now and November 5 when the Treasury says it will run out of “extraordinary measures” to fund the government without exceeding the current debt limit of just over $18 trillion. If the debt ceiling is not increased, the US government will default on its debt.

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Gaps, Growth and Headwinds by Richard Clarida of PIMCO

Global growth is uninspiring. The global economy plods along with aggregate GDP growth of around 3 per cent to 3.5 per cent and similar levels of inflation. This has been true for the past several years and many expect it to continue for at least the next couple. This is partly because trend growth rates in major economies appear to have slowed from the pre-crisis pace. But slow growth is not just a supply-side condition.

2015-10-13 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: When Doves Cry, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The latest Fed Minutes noted the US is still in fairly good shape. The US consumer continues spending, unemployment is low, retail sales are expanding moderately, and purchases of durables goods (vehicles and houses) are positive. The primary negative is weak wage growth. But the strong dollar, weak overseas economies and slowdown in the oil patch is hurting the manufacturing sector.

2015-10-13 00:00:00 Beware the Allure of One Data Point by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

The stock market continued cheering the bad-news September jobs report last week, glossing over other glum headlines in the hopes it would nix a 2015 rate hike. US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper says investors shouldn’t make the same leap of logic.

2015-10-13 00:00:00 3Q 2015 Smead Capital Management Quarterly Newsletter: The Red, Green, and Beige Room by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

One of the great investing books of the last 40 years was David Dreman’s, Contrarian Investment Strategy. He started it by telling of a hypothetical gaming casino with two separate, but adjoining, rooms: the red room and the green room. The red room was packed with people and excitement and almost every day someone hit a huge jackpot setting the building on fire with electricity. Every seat was packed, others waited their turn to play and the anticipation was palpable.

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 International Economic Week in Review: Now the IMF Lowers Growth Projections, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

This week, it was the IMFs turn to downgrade their global growth projections, which they did on October 6: The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) foresees lower global growth compared to last year, with modest pickup in advanced economies and a slowing in emerging markets, primarily reflecting weakness in some large emerging economies and oil-exporting countries.

2015-10-12 00:00:00 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 Despite Recent Downturn, Healthcare is the Investment of the Decade by Andrew Stotz of A. Stotz Investment Research

World equity markets are trading at a high 2015E* 15 times price-to-earnings (PE), led by highly priced United States (US) stocks at about 2015E* 17 times PE. However, uncertainty has risen after recent shocks in Asia, particularly in China.

2015-10-12 00:00:00 China is Not Collapsing by Anatole Kaletsky of Project Syndicate

One question has dominated the IMF’s annual meeting this year in Peru: Will China’s economic downturn trigger a new financial crisis just as the world is putting the last one to bed? But the assumption underlying that question – that China is now the global economy’s weakest link – is highly suspect.

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 The Failure of Politics by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

Sometimes, I really hate being right. A few weeks ago, I wrote that the Washington, DC, political environment had deteriorated and that the current go-round on the debt ceiling was likely to be even more contentious than the last one, two years ago. Sure enough, with the resignation of Speaker John Boehner—and the withdrawal yesterday of his heir apparent—the House appears ungovernable. Without some type of Republican internal agreement on at least whom to elect as speaker, it’s hard to see any resolution to the debt ceiling debate, which is likely going to hit in the next couple of week

2015-10-10 00:00:00 Not Making it in India by Siddharth Bhargava of Matthews Asia

Despite all the lip service Indian authorities give to policy reform, some smaller textile manufacturers in India still find the country’s business challenges not worth the effort. Lured by the speed and ease of setting up business abroad in countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam, their incentive to stay has diminished.

2015-10-10 00:00:00 Fourth Quarter Comeback? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

A disappointing year to this point for the US stock market has a chance to end on a better note, with good seasonality and a still-growing economy as supports. Consumers are in good shape, the Fed remains accommodative, and the much-larger service side of the US economy is still healthy. But Fed uncertainty, Congressional budget battles, and Chinese growth concerns will remain as headwinds and will likely contribute to continued bouts of volatility. Across the pond, the European fight against deflation appears to be working, although more QE may be needed, to the potential benefit of Europe/

2015-10-09 00:00:00 A Lens on Latin America by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

We think the manner in which Brazil’s government institutes reforms to utilize its resources most effectively will be key to its economic transformation. Within the next three to five years we could see tremendous changes—if the will is there.

2015-10-09 00:00:00 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.

2015-10-09 00:00:00 Earnings Preview by Burt White of LPL Financial

Third quarter earnings season will potentially look a lot like the second quarter. This quarter’s earnings preview could almost be a copy and paste of the second quarter preview: It looks like we will get meager earnings growth, if we get any at all. The media will again tout earnings recession, which we discussed on April 6, 2015. The big headwinds from energy sector weakness and a strong U.S. dollar remain. And the big overseas worries are again unlikely to have much impact on earnings overall, as business conditions in the U.S.?—?outside of the energy sector?—?are pretty good.

2015-10-09 00:00:00 Facts and Fear by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

The economic headlines have been somewhat disappointing over the past few weeks. First, the Federal Reserve failed to raise interest rates in September, partly out of fear that global conditions were eroding. Congress seems headed for another senseless impasse over the debt ceiling. Emerging markets are feeling added pressure. And some think the U.S. job engine has shifted into a lower gear.

2015-10-09 00:00:00 Investing versus Flipping by Chris Brightman of Research Affiliates

Newport Beach may be known as home to PIMCO (and, of course, Research Affiliates). Locally, however, the business of Newport Beach is real estate finance. Many of my local friends have made a bundle in recent years flipping houses in Orange County (the OC). I have also purchased some houses over recent years, but as an investment rather than as a flip. In this article, I explain the difference between investing and speculating by sharing my personal experience investing in residential real estate.

2015-10-09 00:00:00 The Hidden Debt Burden of Emerging Markets by Carmen Reinhart of Project Syndicate

As central bankers and finance ministers gather for the IMF’s annual meetings in Lima, the emerging world is rife with symptoms of increasing economic vulnerability. Some of those symptoms, like slowing growth, are obvious and quantifiable; others, however, are dangerous partly because they are difficult to discern.

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 Third Quarter 2015 Newsletter - Corrected Market! by Jim Tillar, Steve Wenstrup of Tillar-Wenstrup Advisors

The US stock market finally succumbed to selling pressure that has been affecting financial markets across the globe. For over a year volatility has been a feature of the world's currency, credit and commodity markets. In addition, many world stock markets have been in correction mode, especially emerging markets. Financial markets are interconnected so as poor economic news piled up last quarter all stock markets headed lower.

2015-10-08 00:00:00 Technically Speaking: The Real Correction Is Still Coming by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

In last week's update, I discussed the short-term oversold condition that existed at that time. To wit: "As you will notice, the reflexive rally, and subsequent failure, have tracked the original predictions very closely up to the point. With the market once again very oversold on a short-term basis, it is likely that the markets could manage a weak rally attempt over the next few days."

2015-10-08 00:00:00 September Jobs & Manufacturing Reports Disappoint Again by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

As is becoming increasingly frequent, we will touch on several bases today, given that there’s so much going on these days. (Speaking of bases, How ‘bout them Texas Rangers!!) Hitting several topics in a single E-Letter makes it more interesting and fast-paced for me, and I hope the same is true for you. After all, YOU are what this is all about. That’s why I always value your input, positive or negative, so much.

2015-10-08 00:00:00 Dot-Communism by Robert Stimpson of Oak Associates

In this commentary, Portfolio Manager Robert Stimpson discusses the effect the sharp correction in Chinese equities, the unwinding of the commodity supercycle, and the Federal Reserve’s decision to delay interest rate increases have had on US markets. Whether China’s own equity market China Syndrome will cause lasting damage to global markets - or simply a short-term spike in volatility and poor investor sentiment - is difficult to assess. Underlying fundamentals continue to suggest that corporate earnings are strong.

2015-10-08 00:00:00 Why Are You So Angry? by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Mass layoffs are being announced. The U.S., Central America, South American countries, etc. are all economic disasters. Major currencies are falling and raw materials companies are seeing huge order reductions around the world. Plant production has been reduced to 66% in the first half of 2015; there are fields of idle construction equipment that China is not buying. Look for Korea to dump products into the U.S. Wholesale raw sugar prices dropped from $0.36/pound to $0.11/pound leaving Brazilian sugar cane companies ready to file for Chapter 11.

2015-10-08 00:00:00 Can Central Banks Help Push Stocks Higher? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

As the fourth quarter kicks off, investors are once again hoping monetary policy will help push stocks higher.

2015-10-08 00:00:00 Global Market Outlook: Potential Currency Opportunities for Investors by Rob Balkema of Russell Investments

Rob Balkema takes a look at what potential currency opportunities for investors may be out there in light of Russell Investments’ recent quarterly outlook.

2015-10-07 00:00:00 Investing Through Volatility: Finding Opportunities in a Slow-Growth Environment by John Calamos, Sr. of Calamos Investments

We continue to believe the U.S. stock market is in a reset period, as investors contemplate the prospect of slowing global economic growth, mixed messages from the Fed (potential tightening) and the continued easing from other central banks (Japan, China and the ECB). Market participants seem concerned about the central banks’ inability to manufacture inflation after several years of near-zero interest rates. These concerns have resulted in higher volatility, catching many investors off guard.

2015-10-07 00:00:00 Putin and Syria by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Last month, Russia moved a significant amount of military hardware into areas of Syria controlled by the Assad regime. The action caught the Obama administration by surprise and raises questions about what Russian President Putin is trying to accomplish. In this report, we will examine Russia’s short-term geostrategic goals and the tactics Putin is using to achieve these aims. As always, we will conclude with potential market ramifications.

2015-10-07 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What is Behind the Recent Market Volatility? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The recent market volatility has led to a lot of head scratching. Even the Pundit-in-Chief seems to be struggling to make his daily morning and evening observations fit with observed reality. With a light economic calendar and earnings reports just getting started market observers will be asking: What’s the cause of the market volatility?

2015-10-07 00:00:00 On My Radar: Defaults Will Breach the Historical High Next Year – The Fed is the “Wild Card” by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“The Fed is the “wild card” that has the power to determine how quickly the current credit cycle ends.” – Ed Altman

2015-10-07 00:00:00 Recession Probability Models - October 2015 by Ted Kavadas of StratX, LLC

There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession. While I don’t agree with the methodologies employed or probabilities of impending economic weakness as depicted by the following two models, I think the results of these models should be monitored.

2015-10-07 00:00:00 Innovation and Investment in “short-termist” America by Robert McConnaughey of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The aggregate decision-making around capital allocation would appear to continue to support a strong global competitive position for U.S. companies. Leading American companies are making long-term investments and investors are giving the most compelling of them a lot of credit for those long-term choices. While many continue to underestimate the power of American innovative strengths, the speed of disruptive new developments will only increase the cost to those who do so.

2015-10-06 00:00:00 Money Glut: More to Come, Still Effective by Joachim Fels of PIMCO

Given global lowflation pressures, the central-bank-fueled money glut is likely to increase further before year-end.

2015-10-06 00:00:00 Failure to Launch by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

The popular belief that the U.S. economy has been steadily recovering has endured months of disappointing data without losing much of its appeal. A deep bench of excuses, ranging from the weather to the Chinese economy, has been called on to justify why the economy hasn't built up any noticeable steam, and why the Fed has failed to move rates off zero, where they have been for seven years. But the downright dismal September jobs report that was released last Friday may prove to be the flashing red beacon that even the most skilled apologists can't explain away.

2015-10-06 00:00:00 Under Pressure: Earnings Recession Warning; Economic Recession Watch by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

Many of the questions I’ve been getting recently at client events are around earnings, and whether the expected move into negative territory for earnings growth is a signal of a pending economic recession.

2015-10-06 00:00:00 Equity Outlook Fourth Quarter 2015 by Neuberger Berman Asset Allocation Committee of Neuberger Berman

The Committee upgraded our view on U.S. large cap equities following the recent correction, and maintained a slightly overweight view on European equities. Our view on MLPs has also improved following a challenging year.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 Rethinking 'Safe Haven' Assets in a Multi-Asset Portfolio by Sponsored Content from Invesco (Article)

• Correlations have risen between perceived ‘safe haven’ assets and equities • Volatility has been a positive performer in falling equity markets, and we see it as a diversification tool in multi-asset portfolios • We look for areas where we think the markets' implied relative risk is an opportunity

2015-10-05 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For Sep. 28-Oct 2; The Bull Needs Stronger Earnings, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

This week’s economic news was mostly positive. Manufacturing is still expanding and consumers are still spending, especially on durable goods. But the stronger dollar and weaker international environment are clearly taking their toll, as the ISM is just barely in expansionary territory. The markets are in somewhat precarious shape as we enter earnings season; they remain expensive and therefore need to see topline revenue growth. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be coming.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 The Looming Risk in the Bond Market by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Lack of bond-market liquidity has been the focus of recent reporting in the financial media. But one of the first to warn about that danger was Michael Aronstein, who said last week that the risks are clearer than ever. Mutual fund investors face the greatest peril.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 Does Wells Fargo Add Value for Investors? by Larry Swedroe (Article)

Assets in actively managed mutual funds have been a consistent source of revenue growth for Wall Street banks. But would investors have been better off in passively managed funds? I’ll answer that question for Wells Fargo and then for the group consisting of the four largest banks.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 China: Policy and Fundamentals Converge by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

We recently commented on the improving trends in China’s property industry. It’s not widely understood, however, how the country’s various economic reforms are combining to create a base for future growth. A case in point concerns the property sector and capital market liberalization.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 The Case for Gold to Protect Clients’ Wealth Shorting the Federal Reserve by Michael Lebowitz (Article)

This article presents the case for an asset that will help managers protect their clients and uphold their fiduciary duty owed to them. I’ll explain why gold is a powerful hedge that will protect your clients’ wealth, but first I’ll look at the history of trade and currencies and how gold evolved to become a global store of wealth.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 An All-Market Approach to Investing in China by William Yuen of Invesco Blog

As China transitions from a manufacturing-driven economy to a consumer-led one, the Chinese investment universe has expanded. Historically, global investors have chosen to invest in Chinese equities via Hong Kong stock exchanges. But with China gradually opening its capital markets to global investors, and more Chinese enterprises successfully listing overseas, the investment options and opportunities have increased significantly. In this changing investment landscape, we are seeing a growing trend toward investors adopting an all-market approach to investing in China.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 September 2015 Market Commentary by Joe Becker, Adam Schenck, Jeff Greco of Milliman Financial Risk Management

In the second half of Q3, higher volatility was the rule rather than the exception as markets wrestled with the implications of a global economy in flux.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 The Bull Market Still Lives by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Stock market corrections (usually defined as 10% pullbacks) are hard to understand. Often they happen in the midst of long-term bull markets. But why? Is it like getting the flu? Is it just emotion? Or, are corrections a necessary cleansing out of excess optimism? Our answer: we don't really know.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review; Did the Window Close, Edition? by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

A rate hike of at least 25 basis points was a done deal a few months ago. But recent global and domestic events have greatly lowered that possibility. It began with the Chinese equity sell-off followed by the surprise yuan devaluation. Recent Chinese manufacturing weakness adds to the mix. Although some recent US news has been positive, continued price weakness, lower industrial production and a recent employment slowdown show the US is not immune to the slowing international environment.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 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.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 Green Shoots in China? by Nick Niziolek of Calamos Investments

Over the next weeks, there will be a great deal more data for us to evaluate, including foreign reserves data on October 6. Signs of stabilization in foreign reserves and savings deposits would point to a reduced risk of capital flight, which would give us more confidence in a gradual depreciation of the renminbi. We’ll also be watching for mid-month data on imports. If these green shoots begin to take hold and the markets can become comfortable that a hard landing is off the table for the near term, we wouldn’t rule out a fourth quarter rally in Chinese and global equity markets.

2015-10-04 00:00:00 Recession Watch by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

If recovery from a banking crisis can take ten years and we are only seven years in, I expect (barring aliens) that we have a few more years to go. A slow, muddle-through recovery may not be exciting – but it’s better than the alternatives. As I noted at the beginning, I am quite worried about the possibility of a recession in our slow-growth, barely limping along at stall speed economy.

2015-10-03 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review for Sept. 28-Oct.2; Japan Flashing Yellow, Edition by Urban Carmel of Hale Stewart

Overall, the tone of news continues to lean negative. China continues to slow. Japan is clearly having problems regaining momentum after last year’s sales tax increase and Canada just missed being in a technical recession. The EU and UK are growing moderately, but not impressively. And it appears even the US is starting to import some of the global weakness.

2015-10-03 00:00:00 The U.S. Starts a Challenging Fiscal Year by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The budget battles that rage at this point on the calendar illustrate the myopia and dysfunction of the American legislative process.

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 When Markets Get Volatile, You’ve Got Options by Josh Lisser, Ben Sklar of AllianceBernstein

Last month’s simultaneous volatility spike and stock downturn were unpleasant surprises for investors. But in the spirit of making lemons into lemonade, we see them as reminders to think broadly about downside protection.

2015-10-02 00:00:00 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?

2015-10-02 00:00:00 China Looks to the US for Chinese Equity Strategy, WaveFront Capital Landmark Partnership by Team of WaveFront Capital Management

In a groundbreaking agreement, WaveFront Capital Management, a US-based investment manager chaired by renowned economist Dr. Burton Malkiel, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a joint venture with Shanghai-based Fortune SGAM Fund Management Co., Ltd. to sub-advise a China-focused equity strategy on behalf Chinese investors.

2015-10-02 00:00:00 Postcard from Huallywood by Sharat Shroff of Matthews Asia

First came Hollywood, then India’s Bollywood. Now, China’s Jiangsu province is hoping Huallywood will be the next film production site to make international waves. As a prime example of the China’s steady migration toward services-led growth, Wuxi studios—developed on the site of a former iron and steel factory—is trying to attract college students and independent artists.

2015-10-02 00:00:00 The Trans-Pacific Free-Trade Charade by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

As negotiators and ministers from the US and 11 other Pacific Rim countries meet in Atlanta in an effort to finalize the details of the sweeping new Trans-Pacific Partnership, some sober analysis is warranted. The biggest regional trade and investment agreement in history is not what it seems.

2015-10-01 00:00:00 Investments that Pay when Korean Workaholics Play by Sammy Suzuki of AllianceBernstein

The notoriously workaholic South Koreans are starting to kick back and take life a bit easier—and it’s already fostering brisk growth across a wide swath of consumer-centric businesses. Investors, take note.

2015-10-01 00:00:00 A Fragile Transition Supported by (Further) Policy Accommodation by Adam Bowe, Isaac Meng, Tadashi Kakuchi of PIMCO

n the following interview, Portfolio Managers Adam Bowe, Isaac Meng and Tadashi Kakuchi discuss conclusions from PIMCO’s quarterly Cyclical Forum, in which the company’s investment professionals debated the outlook for global economies and markets. They share our views on economies and investment implications across the Asia-Pacific region over the next 12 months.

2015-10-01 00:00:00 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

2015-10-01 00:00:00 Recent Volatility Signals a Market in Transition by Chuck Royce, Francis Gannon of The Royce Funds

CEO Chuck Royce and Co-CIO Francis Gannon talk about why they believe the decline for equities in 3Q15 is part of the market transitioning back to more historically typical performance patterns, why a rate hike could be positive for small-caps and stocks as a whole, how history reveals the importance of discipline, the necessity of diversification within the small-cap asset class, and more.

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.

2015-09-30 00:00:00 The Economy Surges Higher, But Is It For Real? by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Today we look at last Friday’s better than expected final report on 2Q GDP, which was revised from 3.7% to 3.9%. Best of all, this increase was largely due to increased consumer spending which accounts for almost 70% of GDP. Following the paltry 0.6% increase in GDP in the 1Q, this means the economy grew by 2.25% in the first half of this year.

2015-09-30 00:00:00 Faint or Feint?! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

“Janet’s faint causes stocks to feint.” Friday began with a surprise Zip-a-Dee-Doo Dah resignation from House Speaker John Boehner, Janet’s soothing words from the night before, some good earnings announcements, higher crude oil and world market prices, a stronger U.S. dollar, all combined with our expected upward revision to 2Q15’s GDP (+3.9%). Most importantly, there were very positive improvements in the entrails of the GDP revision.

2015-09-29 00:00:00 Annual Outlook by Mary Ellen Stanek of Baird Advisors

In an environment of low rates and heightened uncertainty, the U.S. has experienced sub-par growth during this economic cycle relative to past expansions. But compared to the rest of the world, the U.S. has been a strong performer. And even with only moderate growth, the U.S. economy has experienced healthy job creation – 11 million jobs since the bottom of the recession, 3 million created last year, the highest since 1999, and 2.5 million this year.

2015-09-29 00:00:00 Why Data, Not Lipreading, Hold Key to Liftoff by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper says that despite the market's confusion over a cacophony of Fed voices, it's critical not to lose confidence in what the Fed has been stating all along: Data will dictate its decision on rates.

2015-09-29 00:00:00 A Call for Quality as Volatility Turns Up the Volume by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses why volatility is likely to remain elevated, and how investors should manage the risks in their portfolio.

2015-09-29 00:00:00 The High Yield Market: A Look at Past Recessions by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

The Fed interest rate decision came and went with relatively little market reaction. They pushed out an increase in rates, citing concerns about global economic conditions. Like many, we do share their concerns about the global economy, as we expect that it will result in muted growth here at home (and as we have noted in prior writings over the past several months, we’d expect that muted growth to ultimately result in a very moderate move in rates). But some market participants are voicing concerns that this global weakness will lead to a U.S. recession.

2015-09-29 00:00:00 What’s the Market's Biggest Risk? by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

When meeting with clients throughout the country, investors ask if we are worried about various well-vetted and well-known negatives. The list includes what the Federal Reserve Board might or might not do, China's slowdown, emerging market struggles, plummeting commodities, dollar strength and the uncertainty over who will become President of the U.S. in 2017. We think investors are really asking us, “what’s the market’s biggest risk?”

2015-09-29 00:00:00 In 2015, Volatility from a Phantom Rate Hike by Tony Crescenzi of PIMCO

Many investors are familiar with the adage, “they don’t ring a bell,” to warn when it is time to get in or out of an investment. Well, sometimes they do, or so the famed scientist Ivan Pavlov would likely contend. The physiologist trained dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell, having conditioned them to associate the bell with the delivery of food. Pavlov discovered that he didn’t actually have to deliver the food to get the canines to salivate in anticipation.

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 The ABCs of Impact Investing by John Appleby (Article)

Impact investing is a small but growing segment of the financial landscape. It is coming to the fore as individual investors seek to “do good while doing good.” Groups from wealthy entrepreneurs to the G8, the UN and the Pope are talking about the subject. Here’s what advisors need to know if they want to serve clients who strive for “impact” with their investing.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 Strengthen Your Core by Scott DiMaggio, Alison Martier of AllianceBernstein

Core bond investors tend to have a strong “home bias.” But our research shows that global bonds have offered comparable historical returns and considerably lower volatility than local markets over the long term. In addition, a global approach offers protection when local rates climb.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 Is China “Fixed”? Short Answer: Financial Markets Say No by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

The rally in stocks off of the August low has in some respects alleviated worst case fears about the fate of the Chinese economy. After all, in hindsight it is pretty clear that the selloff was driven by a simultaneous rerating of Chinese growth expectations by market participants combined with the possibility of higher short rates in the US to boot. These fears resulted in vast under performance of growth sensitive asset prices throughout the correction and then a sharp rally in those assets in the days following its terminus.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will global weakness drag down the U.S. economy? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The recent Fed non-decision on interest rates increased worries about global economic weakness. Trading in commodity markets underscores a widespread perception of a potential recession. The week ahead is packed with fresh economic data, including the most important reports. The punditry will be asking: Will the U.S. economy succumb to global weakness?

2015-09-28 00:00:00 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.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 The Sino-American Codependency Trap by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate

Trapped in the dynamic of codependency, the US-China relationship has become fraught with friction and finger pointing. Indeed, the just-concluded summit between Barack Obama and Xi Jinping did little to dispel the possibility of a painful rupture in bilateral ties.

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 International Economic Week in Review: The Commodity Super-Cycle Explained, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Despite recent financial turmoil, no one has provided a concise explanation of the commodity super-cycle, one of the primary macro-economic forces causing recent volatility. That is, until now. In a September 21 speech, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz offered the following explanation:”

2015-09-26 00:00:00 Balloons in Search of Needles by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

It would be hard to miss an analogy to the stock market. Everything’s peaceful and calm, you’re drinking some fabulous wine, eating some fantastic fresh game and fish, looking at all the beautiful animals as you drift easily with the current. Anybody can steer the boat in a bull market. Until the rapids hit and the bottom falls out.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 Developed Europe: Economy Trends Update July 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Euro-zone Sustains Recovery on the Back of Robust Growth in Italy, Export Surge in Germany

2015-09-25 00:00:00 What's Ahead For Interest Rates? by Steve Rumsey of Optimus Advisory Group

Why is the Fed still hesitating to raise rates? Here are some possible answers

2015-09-25 00:00:00 In Search of the Phillips Curve by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Macroeconomics students spend a good bit of class time learning about the Phillips curve, and it is probably etched permanently in their minds. The Phillips curve suggests that there is an inverse relationship between inflation and unemployment in the short run.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 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 Visit to Cradle of Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Rahul Gupta of Matthews Asia

There is a lot of optimism around Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the San Francisco Bay Area, and rightly so. India is expected to add more than 100 million employable workforce to the global labor pool in the next decade. The country needs to find many engines of growth to provide employment opportunities to its population. Mr. Modi understands this very well—hence his slogan “Make in India.” The Prime Minister shown his acumen in understanding productivity the technology industry can unleash, and his upcoming visit to Silicon Valley’s cradle of innovation and entrepr

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 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 Yes, and No by John Canally of LPL Financial

The title of this commentary is our answer to the question: Does the Fed know something we don’t know? Many market participants and pundits were asking this question late last week after the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) policymaking arm, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), decided not to raise interest rates at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting on Thursday, September 17, 2015. Market participants were asking the question although they had priced in just a 30% chance of a rate hike prior to the meeting.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 Chart of the Week: Chinese Construction & Land Acquisition Falling by Joseph Taylor of Loomis Sayles

Over the last 10 years, the Chinese economy was drugged into growth through excessive amounts of investment. At its peak, capital expenditure made up 48% of GDP, an unprecedented level, and in my view, represented a massive misallocation of capital. Slowing levels of investment (mostly construction) have driven declines in related areas, including commodities, machinery and cement production.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 China, Commodities, and Crisis: What’s Next for Emerging Markets by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

China’s growth story fueled global markets for years, and the recent market rout raises concerns that the spigot may be tapping out. But is it really? Emerging markets, currently out of favor with investors, are showing signs of domestic economic growth driven by an expanding middle class. Could these economies, along with China, re-emerge as bright spots in the global markets?

2015-09-24 00:00:00 It’s Not Easy by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management

In 2011, as I was putting the finishing touches on my book The Most Important Thing, I was fortunate to have one of my occasional lunches with Charlie Munger. As it ended and I got up to go, he said something about investing that I keep going back to: “It’s not supposed to be easy. Anyone who finds it easy is stupid.”

2015-09-24 00:00:00 Saved by Zero? by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

So the Fed has chosen to hold off on their goal of normalizing interest rates and the ECB has countered with the threat of extending their scheduled QE with more checks and more negative interest rates and the investment community wonders how long can this keep goin’ on. For a long time I suppose, as evidenced by history at least.

2015-09-24 00:00:00 The Bear Case: "Before And After" by Doug Ramsey of Leuthold Weeden Capital Management

While our gut instincts and quantitative disciplines aren’t always in agreement, that conflict doesn’t exist today. The evidence comes down decisively in the “bear market” camp. The action leading up to the S&P 500 bull market high of May 21st traced out a “textbook” top in many ways.

2015-09-24 00:00:00 Is Another Bear Market Ahead? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ updates his outlook for U.S. stocks in 2015 and beyond.

2015-09-24 00:00:00 The Liquidity Crunch—It’s About Supply and Demand by Douglas Peebles, Ashish Shah of AllianceBernstein

Investors fear that new banking regulations are drying up bond market liquidity. But this overlooks several market trends that are making the liquidity situation worse and that could deepen—or even trigger—the next financial crisis.

2015-09-24 00:00:00 Deja Vu All Over Again for the Stock Market Correction? by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

In remembering the late, great Yogi Berra, we can’t help but associate one of our all time favorite Berraisms with the current stock market environment as compared with that of late 2011. From our perspective it looks and feels like deja vu all over again. Most of our readers probably vividly remember the panic that ensued over the 2011 government shut down and the then large negative revision to US GDP that sent US stocks down nearly 20% in a waterfall type decline.

2015-09-24 00:00:00 Thank Serendipity, but Don’t Depend on It by Glenn Dial of Allianz Global Investors

Many Americans caught a lucky break when it came to retirement preparation, but they can't afford to be complacent.

2015-09-24 00:00:00 Fed Implications by Burt White of LPL Financial

The Federal Reserve’s (Fed) decision not to raise interest rates at its September 17 policy meeting was undoubtedly the biggest event of last week. Although not a big surprise, besides Donald Trump (and perhaps China), the Fed is all that anyone is talking about these days. This week we share some of our perspective on what the Fed’s decision may mean for the stock market and offer some investment ideas.

2015-09-24 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 With the Fed Holding, an Opportunity to Make Moves by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses how the recent selloff has made some parts of the market look attractive.

2015-09-23 00:00:00 Does a Quarter Point Really Matter? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Actually, on at least one aspect of the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) seemingly inevitable move to hike interest rates, there is considerable agreement: The first 0.25%, or 0.50%, or even 0.75% move(s) in the federal funds rate will not make a material difference to US and global economies.

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.

2015-09-23 00:00:00 Sticking with Equities when Volatility Strikes by Kent Hargis, Chris Marx, Sammy Suzuki of AllianceBernstein

Does recent market turbulence increase the chances of higher volatility in the months ahead? Our research says yes. But don’t ditch an allocation to equities—instead think about how to stay invested while reducing risk.

2015-09-23 00:00:00 Balancing Risks and Opportunities in the Multi-Speed World by Richard Clarida, Andrew Balls of PIMCO

Read our global economic outlook for the near term and implications for asset classes.

2015-09-22 00:00:00 Middle-East / Africa: Economy Trends Update: July 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

During the second quarter and July, the countries under our coverage in the Middle East and Africa region continued to battle global macroeconomic problems and, in some cases, hurdles specific to their own economies. The largest among these countries, resource-rich South Africa, struggled to boost growth amid the downturn in the global commodities market and a power shortage at home.

2015-09-22 00:00:00 On My Radar: “Dammit Janet” by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Whatever you can do, or dream you can… begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

2015-09-22 00:00:00 The Uber-Dove vs Black Swans by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

You couldn’t have missed it. Only stages full of GOP presidential candidates or the Super Bowl have ever had more media attention. Yes, we are talking about the Federal Reserve’s thundering announcement on Thursday – of nothing. The Fed decided to keep interest rates at zero, for at least the next few months, after holding them near zero for over six years.

2015-09-22 00:00:00 Activate Your Portfolio by Edward Perkin of Eaton Vance

As the bull market ages and bouts of extreme volatility return, now may be the time for actively managed equity strategies.

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.

2015-09-22 00:00:00 US High Yield: Energy Is Lagging, but Consumers Are Set to Spend by Scott Roberts and Rahim Shad of Invesco Blog

Weak commodity prices have made this year’s US high yield story a “tale of two markets.” Year-to-date returns for the overall high yield market were a meager three basis points (0.03%) through Aug. 31. However, if you peel back energy and metals and mining, the rest of the asset class delivered a respectable 2.6% total return over the same period.

2015-09-22 00:00:00 Market Segments to Consider While the Fed Holds by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

After last week’s Fed news, investors may want to review their exposure to these two market segments.

2015-09-21 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For Sept. 14-18; Weak 3Q Numbers On the Horizon, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The U.S.’ immunity to international economic weakness continues. In their latest policy statement, the Fed once again described U.S. growth as “moderate.” With the exception of industrial production, this week’s economic releases confirm that assessment.

2015-09-21 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Has the Fed Assumed a Third Mandate? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Despite many signs of economic improvement, the Fed chose to maintain policy accommodation at emergency levels. In a week that is light on data and long on speeches, this news will be enough to keep Fed policy at the forefront.

2015-09-21 00:00:00 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 No rate change. Now what? by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

It is rarely a good moment when the Fed makes the Today show. It’s usually too esoteric a subject first thing in the morning. Most people, including us, thought they would raise rates for the first time since June 2006 by around 25bp. They did not. Here’s why and, more important, what it means for your investments.

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 Rising Rates Got You Down? by Scott DiMaggio, Alison Martier of AllianceBernstein

The Fed may have left well enough alone for now, but in our view it won’t leave the pot to simmer much longer. US interest rates are going to rise, almost surely before the year is out. Thankfully, diverging interest-rate cycles around the globe offer hope—and opportunity—for US investors.

2015-09-21 00:00:00 Communication Lessons from Donald Trump by Dan Solin (Article)

In a previous article, I discussed the lessons that advisors could learn from the non-verbal behavior of Donald Trump. Today, I will examine his communication skills and ways advisors can benefit from emulating them.

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.

2015-09-21 00:00:00 How to Generate Alpha without Selecting Superior Funds by Bob Veres (Article)

In Part I of my series on active investment management, I described two types of research that attempted to help advisors uncover above-average talent: identifying conditions where you are more likely to find outperformers, and better ways to identify above-average managers. As it turns out, there’s a third possibility. Instead of identifying superior funds, you identify superior combinations of funds – which, of course, includes a fund-selection process, but then takes it one step further.

2015-09-19 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review For Sep. 14-18; Asian Slowdown, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Analysts’ recent adjustments lowering global growth projections are in line with recent events; China’s economy continues slowing. This lowers commodity prices, which decreases economic growth of commodity exporting countries. Hence, the primary causation of Australia’s below trend growth and Japan’s weaker economic performance. The US is somewhat immune; Chinese trade accounts for a fraction of US GDP, limiting the impact. The EU is a bit more exposed, due to their increased reliance on trade.

2015-09-19 00:00:00 Upon Further Review: More Reflections on the Fed by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The Federal Reserve has typically downplayed market expectations of inflation. These indicators emerge from trading in Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), which can be influenced by many things.

2015-09-19 00:00:00 Groundhog Day at the Fed by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Every dictator knows that a continuous state of emergency is the best means to justify tyrannical policies. The trick is to keep the emergency from breeding so much paranoia that routine activities come to a halt. It's best to make the threat external, intangible and ultimately, unverifiable. In Orwell's 1984 the preferred mantra was "We've always been at war with Eurasia," even though everyone knew it wasn't true. In its rate decision this week the Fed adopted a similar approach and conjured up an external threat to maintain a policy that is becoming increasingly absurd.

2015-09-19 00:00:00 Annual Outlook Address by Mary Ellen Stanek of Baird Advisors

The uncertainty caused by speculating on when the Fed will raise rates is almost worse that the move itself. We think the Fed needs to forecast where the U.S. economy will be in terms of full employment and inflation a year or two down the road given the long and variable lags of the impact of their policy changes. We think they have been too optimistic in terms of the expected growth of the economy.

2015-09-19 00:00:00 Merkel Opens the Gates by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

This is all well and good for nations like Germany that need immigrants, but much of Europe is really not in need of new workers, given their present severe unemployment problems. Not to mention that in those countries budgets are already strained and taking on the task of housing tens of thousands of immigrants and refugees is not cheap.

2015-09-18 00:00:00 A Fed Move Could Be Good News for Emerging Markets by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

If in coming months the Fed feels confident enough in the US economy to raise interest rates, it could be viewed as positive news for emerging markets, particularly those with export ties that benefit from a strengthening US economy.

2015-09-18 00:00:00 Are “Chinese Whispers” Distorting Your View? by Stuart Rae, John Lin, Hayden Briscoe, Anthony Chan of AllianceBernstein

Renewed anxiety about China’s economic performance appears to be at odds with the fact that the country’s growth has been declining for years. How much of the recent nervousness is based on an outdated view of China’s policy direction?

2015-09-18 00:00:00 When Doves Cry … Yeah! Fed Punts and Keeps Rates Unchanged by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

The Fed opted to stall on raising rates for the first time since 2006; primarily citing global turmoil and still-restrained inflation for its decision. In addition, the accompanying Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement was not as hawkish as many expected (meaning, those who had been expecting no hike, were also expecting a more hawkish statement).

2015-09-18 00:00:00 Fed Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged: 4 Insights from Loomis Sayles by Orla O'Brien of Loomis Sayles

The FOMC signaled that plans for interest rate normalization are deferred but not yet derailed. It's difficult to categorize this outcome as a genuine surprise. While the rate decision and accompanying policy statement were no doubt dovish relative to expectations, the so called 'dot plot' reveals that the median Fed member sees that interest rate normalization, once begun, is expected to proceed at the same pace as was expected in June.

2015-09-18 00:00:00 Japan Then and Now by Kenichi Amaki of Matthews Asia

Late in 2006, Matthews Asia was wrapping up a special report titled “Japan Reawakens.” The timing of that AsiaNow publication, just ahead of the Global Financial Crisis, was unfortunate to say the least. With the ensuing economic turmoil, Japan fell asleep again, sliding off the radar screens of many investors. But as interest in Japan has more recently re-emerged, I thought it would be important for us to take a look back and consider what we previously published. Has Japan evolved the way we had envisioned? What’s changed and what hasn’t?

2015-09-18 00:00:00 Should Emerging Market Investors Fight the Fed? by Burt White of LPL Financial

Emerging market stocks have not won much lately, but the Fed may be a winnable fight. The Federal Reserve, which announces its policy decision on September 17, 2015, is on the verge of starting a rate hike cycle for the first time in more than 10 years. We have previously written that the start of Fed rate hikes has not marked an impending end to bull markets for U.S. stocks (despite the popular Wall Street adage “don’t fight the Fed.”) In reality, the first rate hike has told us we are about halfway through the cycle as discussed in our Weekly Market Commentary of August 25, 2014.

2015-09-18 00:00:00 Yellen Flinches by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

It is long past time for the Federal Reserve to start raising short-term rates. The unemployment rate is already very close to the Fed’s (new, lower) long-term projection of 4.9% and set to fall further in the next year, even if the Fed had already started lifting rates. Nominal GDP growth – real GDP growth plus inflation – is up at a 4.1% annual rate in the past two years, slightly exceeding the Fed’s long-run projection of 4% growth.

2015-09-18 00:00:00 The Fed Holds by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) concluded its meeting today with no change in interest rates.

2015-09-18 00:00:00 The China Syndrome: Lessons from the A-Shares Bubble by Jason Hsu of Research Affiliates

The rapid rise and sharp decline of the A-shares market represents a massive redistribution of wealth, especially painful to uninformed investors who bought hot stocks near the peak. What should the Chinese government do now?

2015-09-18 00:00:00 Why the Fed Kept Rates ‘Lower for Longer’ Yet Again by Kristina Hooper, Steve Malin, Greg Meier of Allianz Global Investors

As a divided FOMC continues sitting on its collective hands, we’ve analyzed what’s going on behind the scenes and outlined the investment implications of the Fed’s latest inaction. Read the new report from Allianz Global Investors’ US Capital Markets & Strategy team.

2015-09-17 00:00:00 Should You Actually Worry About Gold Confiscation? by Guy Christopher of Money Metals Exchange

Most gold owners are familiar with worries of forced government gold confiscation – that one day black-ops shock teams will toss homes to find that stash of coins and bars.

2015-09-17 00:00:00 How Much, How Far, How Fast, Not When? by John Canally of LPL Financial

The policymaking arm of the Federal Reserve (Fed), the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), will hold its sixth of eight meetings of the year this week. On Thursday, September 17, 2015, at the conclusion of the two-day meeting, the FOMC will release a statement and a new economic and interest rate forecast. In addition, Fed Chair Janet Yellen will conduct her third post-FOMC meeting press conference of the year.

2015-09-17 00:00:00 Provise Bullets by Team of ProVise Management Group

Speculation abounds about whether the Fed will raise interest rates for the first time since June 2006. Yes, it was almost a decade ago. Hard to believe that would have ever happened, but it has.

2015-09-17 00:00:00 More Volatility on U.S. Horizon Has Sights Turning to Asia by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

After weeks of struggling, global equities stabilized last week. In the U.S., the S&P 500 Index rose 2.08% to 1,961, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 2.05% to 16,433, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index advanced an even stronger 2.97% to end the week at 4,822. Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year Treasury rose from 2.13% to 2.19%, as its price correspondingly fell.

2015-09-17 00:00:00 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 Empirical Finance: Meeting Fiduciary Standards Through Skepticism, not Cynicism by Adam Butler, Michael Philbrick, Rodrigo Gordillo of ReSolve Asset Management

Michael Edesses is out with a scathing article lambasting the field of empirical finance. He draws inspiration from Harvey, Liu and Zhu’s (HLZ) recent article, entitled “…and the Cross Section of Expected Returns”, but extends HLZ’s conclusions to an absurd limit. In this article, we discuss why we embrace the framework of healthy skepticism described by HLZ, but in the context of a more optimistic and constructive view of empirical finance.

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 New Study: We're Nowhere Near Peak Coal Use in China and India by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Resource investors, take note: By 2025, just 10 years from now, energy consumption in Asia will increase a whopping 31 percent. A whole two-thirds of that demand, driven largely by China and India, will be for fossil fuels, most notably coal.

2015-09-16 00:00:00 Don’t Submit to Market Distortions by Sharon Fay of AllianceBernstein

After years of steadily rising markets, distortions have become embedded in the landscape. We believe there are several large market imbalances that investors may be exposed to in passive portfolios today.

2015-09-16 00:00:00 It’s Someone Else’s Money by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Indeed, due to expensive valuations, lack of revenue/earnings growth, slow GDP, China, politics, etc., the stock market had been in a virtual stalemate paralysis until the middle of July, having crossed above/below “go” so many times the only way to make money was to erect a toll gate at “go” (think the game Monopoly). And no wonder, frustration has reigned through the first six months of the year.

2015-09-16 00:00:00 September 2015 Economic Update by Team of Cambridge Advisors

In August, stocks started out trading within the range they had traded in for most of the year. Mid-month, investors were shaken when stocks stumbled and posted their worst monthly decline since August 2011.

2015-09-16 00:00:00 The Fed's Dilemma by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate rise history reveals a familiar dilemma—previous delays led to inflated asset prices and recessions.

2015-09-16 00:00:00 China, Commodities, and Crisis: What's Next for Emerging Markets? by (Article)

China’s growth fueled global markets for years, and recent events raise concerns about other emerging markets, heavily dependent on Chinese demand and already out of favor with investors. This month, we consider "China, Commodities, and Crisis: What’s Next for Emerging Markets?"

2015-09-15 00:00:00 The Nazrudin Project – Bending the Profession Since 1995 by Richard Vodra, JD (Article)

The financial planning profession is only a few decades old, and is continuing to discover how it can best serve its clients. This is the story of one group and its process that has had an outsized impact for change over the last 20 years.

2015-09-15 00:00:00 Gundlach on Donald Trump, China and Fed Policy by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Despite grabbing most of the headlines and leading in many of the polls, Donald Trump is not expected to win the Republican nomination. But Jeffrey Gundlach said that Trump has done the electorate a “big favor by bringing up issues that have been conveniently buried for quite some time.”

2015-09-15 00:00:00 Stuck in the Middle with You by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

Unless you have been asleep on the floor for the last six weeks, you’ve noticed that the U.S. stock market has gone down. Even before stocks sold off in August, the average common stock had been performing poorly relative to the S&P 500 Index. In August, the market officially declined more than 10% from peak to trough. An anthem for situations like this comes from the one-hit wonder, Stealers Wheel, who penned the song “Stuck in the Middle with You.”

2015-09-15 00:00:00 We Aren't Getting by with a Little Help from the Fed by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

Long term investors would do well to avoid getting caught up in the guessing game of when the Fed will raise interest rates. Economic theory and empirical evidence both point to the reality that there is precious little the Fed can do sustainably improve economic outcomes. Instead, it is far better to keep an eye on income and investment.

2015-09-15 00:00:00 China: Double, Double Toil and Trouble/Fire Burn, and Cauldron Bubble? by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

Many argue that China’s economy is descending into policy chaos and a witches’ brew, otherwise known as a hard landing. But perhaps tellingly, even during the recent A-share fall, Chinese consumers seemed to shrug off the drama and continued to spend. China’s recent economic developments can be seen as stumbles along the path toward growth rates that are continuing to decelerate (but are still quite fast) from an economy that is increasingly “rebalanced.” This latest issue of Sinology explores the thinking behind this non-consensus conclusion.

2015-09-15 00:00:00 FOMC Preview: First, Do No Harm by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

Next week’s meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is one of the more highly anticipated central bank sessions in years. A couple of months ago, the policy decision that will emerge next Thursday afternoon seemed clear.

2015-09-15 00:00:00 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 The Beauty of Truth and the Beast of Dogma by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

When you examine historical data and estimate actual correlations and effect sizes, the dogmatic belief that the Fed can “fine tune” anything in the economy is utter hogwash. Truth, on the other hand, is beautiful. Economic relationships that are supported in real-world data are a sight to behold.

2015-09-14 00:00:00 Designing the Appropriate Common Stock Retirement Portfolio: Stock Selection Options Part 1 by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

What is the best way to design or construct a common stock portfolio? This is a question I am often asked and my short answer is always the same - it depends. The truth is, there is no perfect method or strategy for designing a stock portfolio that is right for every individual investor. However, there are principles of sound investing that every investor can follow and apply when designing a common stock portfolio that’s just right for them.

2015-09-14 00:00:00 China, the Fed, and Bond Yields by Scott Brown of Raymond James

An initial increase in short-term interest rates is apparently still on the table at this week’s Fed policy meeting, but it’s more likely that we’ll see a delay. That may not ease the stock market’s concerns, as officials are expected to remain committed to raising rates at some point in the near future.

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 International Economic Week in Review For Sept. 7-11 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

There has been a slight but important shift in news coverage over the last few months. It started with the wild gyrations of the Chinese stock market, which, in retrospect, granted journalists permission to write more negative stories about the global economy. Since then, we’re seen more discussion about EM capital flight, the fiscal troubles of Brazil and the potential issues related to Russia. The news is hardly catastrophic; it simply represents the natural ripples flowing out from China’s attempt to change its economic model and the potential Fed rate hike coming down the pike.

2015-09-12 00:00:00 Life Is Uncertain and So Are Interest Rates by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Right now, a lot of investors are wondering about the uncertainty of rising interest rates—the causes, effects and possible ramifications. Many people have been saying for weeks and months now that a rate hike is imminent and that September is the anticipated takeoff. I’ve been skeptical of this, and now a chart from highly-respected market analyst Jeff deGraaf confirms my skepticism.

2015-09-12 00:00:00 The Case for (Carefully Selected) High Yield by Chad Gunther of Ivy Investment Management Company

The second half of summer has challenged high-yield fixed income investors with volatility fueled by developments on a number of fronts. That volatility, however, may have created some potential opportunities. Chad Gunther, portfolio manager of Ivy High Income Fund, shares his views.

2015-09-12 00:00:00 Needed at the Fed: An Inverse Volcker by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

I believe the Federal Open Market Committee should hike rates ASAP. A number of very astute analysts and Fed observers agree with me. On the other hand, an equal-sized army of similarly smart analysts think they should not. It seems to me this recovery is getting long in the tooth. The Fed needs to give itself some room to stimulate when the economy turns down again. As it stands now, their only weapons are to take interest rates negative or to resume quantitative easing. We don’t want either of those.

2015-09-11 00:00:00 Beige Book: Windo on Main Street by John Canally of LPL Financial

The latest Beige Book suggests that the U.S. economy is still growing at or above its long-term trend, indicating that some of the “transitory factors” that held the U.S. economy back in the first quarter of 2015 have faded. Comments also indicate that concern over China’s impact on the U.S. economy has increased and that some upward pressure on wages is beginning to emerge.

2015-09-11 00:00:00 Character Traits of the Great Investor Sir John Templeton by Kendall Anderson of Anderson Griggs

There is a great advantage in living with a psychologist. When the world seems to be acting irrationally, or when a fear of loss takes hold of my mind, the psychologist couch, which in my case is conveniently located in my living room, serves a purpose well beyond the Sunday afternoon nap. It is where I can hear soothing words such as: “You have been through this time and time again.” “You have prepared for this, and you have explained to all of your clients that this can happen.” “This too will pass.”

2015-09-11 00:00:00 Housing: A Secular Opportunity? by Adam Peck of Heartland Advisors

Low interest rates, demographics, and a solid economy should provide staying power to a resurgent housing market. We are finding opportunities to capitalize on growth in the area while diversifying idiosyncratic risks in our portfolios.

2015-09-11 00:00:00 An Expert’s Guide to Market Volatility by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ shares three themes that have emerged from his conversations with numerous clients following the market drama in recent weeks.

2015-09-11 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: September by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

While the [US] Fed is facing an extremely delicate task ... it is still our belief that the US economy remains sufficiently strong to be able to bear a gradual increase in short-term rates in the coming months.

2015-09-10 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review for Aug 31-Sept. 4 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The Federal Reserve released the latest Beige Book on Wednesday which showed a modestly expanding economy. While construction, aerospace and the auto industry led to manufacturing growth, cheap imported substitutes and the strong dollar continue providing headwinds. Retail, tourism and service sectors reported moderate growth. Housing sales and construction continue growing, but low inventory is driving prices higher. The imminent Fed rate increase is pulling some projects forward. The overall trend of loan growth and declining delinquencies continues.

2015-09-10 00:00:00 The U.S. Economy Is Not Holding Back the Fed by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

The Federal Reserve’s rate-setting committee meets next week, and there is more uneasiness than usual surrounding the event. Much has changed in the past few weeks, and the Fed’s likely course of action is being examined from a multitude of angles.

2015-09-10 00:00:00 Consulting Our Technical Playbook by Burt White of LPL Financial

When markets are tough, emotions can take over. The natural emotional response to sharp stock market declines is to sell. In periods like these, especially when the media sensationalize every gloomy angle as they tend to do, an objective look at the data can be reassuring and help us make better investment decisions.

2015-09-10 00:00:00 What Might Tax Liability Mean to You? by Frank Pape of Russell Investments

Understanding tax liability and being able to explain it to your clients can be important. Frank Pape provides ways to be more tax aware.

2015-09-10 00:00:00 Why All the Hoopla over 25 Basis Points? by Dr. Brian Jacobsen of Wells Fargo Asset Management

Should the Federal Reserve hike rates at their next meeting? Take a look at the case for and against, with Dr. Brian Jacobsen, CFA, CFP®, of Wells Fargo Asset Management.

2015-09-09 00:00:00 Competing with the Alpha and the Omega by Cole Smead, CFA of Smead Capital Management

In the Bible, Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” While Jesus infers that he is at both the beginning and the end of time, we as investors can only operate in the present with a knowledge of what has come before. To better understand today's commodity market circumstances, we believe investors should examine the herd mentality and the psychological backing that may lead to contrarian investment opportunities.

2015-09-09 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time to Revise Year-End Market Estimates? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Sometimes the calendar dictates the agenda. The Labor Day weekend marks the official end of a summer that was eventful for markets. The punditry will be asking: What is your (revised) EOY target for stocks?

2015-09-09 00:00:00 Everything's Not Bad by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Have you noticed? Everything’s bad these days. On February 25, 2015, the Washington Post wonkblog posted a piece titled “Why rising wages might be bad news.” Last week, on September 1st, after another strong month of car and truck sales, the Wall Street Journal published a story “The Bad News in Strong Car Sales.”

2015-09-09 00:00:00 Markets Remain in Turmoil, but Should Stabilize Eventually by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Global equity markets fell last week with the S&P 500 Index down 3.4% and some non-U.S. markets declining even more. The sell-off is a continuing reflection of the ongoing turmoil that started a few weeks ago when China devalued its currency on August 11.

2015-09-09 00:00:00 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 On The Economy, Inflation, China & Odds For Fed Liftoff by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The investment markets remain fixated on whether the Fed will hike interest rates for the first time in almost a decade on September 17. Stock market volatility spiked in late August and so far this month, with most global equity markets in “correction” territory. It remains to be seen if the latest stock market chaos will cause the Fed to delay lift-off until December or later.

2015-09-09 00:00:00 China Deserves More Credit than Blame by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

The visit to the US later this month by China’s President Xi Jinping comes at a politically sensitive time, with volatility in China’s markets—widely attributed to the effect of policy decisions—rippling globally. In our view, however, China deserves more credit than blame for its recent actions.

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.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 Does Morgan Stanley Add Value For Investors? by Larry Swedroe (Article)

In the latest 10-year period, only 38% of Morgan Stanley’s mutual funds outperformed their analyst-assigned benchmarks. Thus, while the fees these funds have generated are among the few consistent bright spots of growth on Wall Street, there is still a question for investors: Have these actively managed mutual funds been good investment choices?

2015-09-08 00:00:00 Largest Driver of Performance Over the Last Month? Beta by Jennifer Thomson of GaveKal Capital

As part of our treasure trove of data and tables, we rely on our factor scoring model to tell us the most important elements that have affected performance over various time periods and in different regions. For developed markets (DM), the most influential factor over the last week and month (coming in 2nd over the last year and 5th over the last three months) has been beta.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 Rising Rates and the Case for Leveraged Loans by Mark Boyadjian, Reema Agarwal of Franklin Templeton Investments

For certain investors—in particular pension funds and insurance companies that tend to follow a more cautious investment strategy—the extended period of record or near-record low US interest rates has been a thorn in the side.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 Betting on Japan, Inc.’s Recovery by Vadim Zlotnikov of AllianceBernstein

Japanese stocks have outperformed the past few years, and we don’t think their run is over. Policies to improve profitability, capital use and productivity should provide a stronger foundation for further gains.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 Curb Your Mind by Rick Lear of Lear Investment Management

With the recent events in China and Greece causing volatility in the global markets, we think it is more important than ever to take a moment to reflect on how capital markets function. People trade stocks; and an understanding of the human thought processes is at the foundation of markets. The recent gyration of the world’s markets reminds us how quickly greed can turn to fear and how investors can begin to make mistakes. We find that heightened emotions often lead to mistakes that can be easily avoided.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 ETFs: “Like Handing an Arsonist a Match” by Mark Oelschlager of Oak Associates

The popularity of ETFs has grown among market participants who, in the aftermath of the financial crisis, want to be able to reduce market exposure or shift between sectors when they sense danger/opportunity. The recent correction has brought to light the role of ETFs in the market, and the volume statistics are mind-boggling. Innovation is generally good, but like many things in life, there is a downside, and we would argue the downside to using ETFs to engage in frequent portfolio repositioning is particularly steep.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 On My Radar: A Bumpy Ride? How Bumpy? And For How Long? by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Volatility and uncertainty are nothing new in financial markets. QE4 may right the ship but that is the bet. No guarantees in this game.

2015-09-06 00:00:00 Muddling Through Shanghai by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

China is in transition, a transition that was clearly telegraphed if you have been paying attention. Our recent book on China (A Great Leap Forward?) clearly laid out this new path. Today we are going to talk about this precarious, difficult transition, which may impose profound impacts on much of the rest of the world. This transition is going to change the way global trade has worked in the past. There will be winners and losers.

2015-09-05 00:00:00 The Art of Capital Flight by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

For emerging-market investors, art has become a critical tool for moving and hiding wealth, which has been a major factor in the spectacular rise in auction prices of the last several years. So, with emerging-market economies from Russia to Brazil mired in recession, and China slowing rapidly, is the art bubble about to burst?

2015-09-05 00:00:00 Meet QT; QE's Evil Twin by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

There is a growing sense across the financial spectrum that the world is about to turn some type of economic page. Unfortunately no one in the mainstream is too sure what the last chapter was about, and fewer still have any clue as to what the next chapter will bring. There is some agreement however, that the age of ever easing monetary policy in the U.S. will be ending at the same time that the Chinese economy (that had powered the commodity and emerging market booms) will be finally running out of gas.

2015-09-04 00:00:00 Unpopularity Contest by Herbert and Randall Abramson of Trapeze Asset Management

With central banks focused on growth and generating inflation, and their pedals to the metal, we believe the ultimate outcome will be inflationary growth, or even stagflation. But, inevitably, a boost for depressed commodities and the depressed share prices of their currently unpopular producers. A particular opportunity when the correction phase ends and the bull market resumes. Time to be contrarian. And patient value investors should clearly be rewarded.

2015-09-04 00:00:00 Heading into the Labor Day Weekend by Doug MacKay and Bill Hoover of Broadleaf Partners

As we head into the extended Labor Day Weekend, we thought it would be a good idea to share some quick thoughts on the continued volatility in the global stock markets, including our own. In addition to our own long weekend, the markets in China will also reopen on Tuesday, after being closed for their holidays the past two days.

2015-09-04 00:00:00 Will Unsettled Markets Unsettle the Federal Reserve? by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The question of how events in the Far East will affect the Fed has come up frequently in recent conversations. At the outset, it should be noted that central banks do not center their policies on the levels of asset markets or the level of volatility.

2015-09-04 00:00:00 Unfazed by the Turmoil by Byron Wien of Blackstone

Overall, my sense of this year’s lunches is that the participants were still basically optimistic, as they generally are. I wonder if there were something big and negative brewing out there, whether the group would be able to anticipate it.

2015-09-04 00:00:00 China Sets its Sights on Life Sciences by Jerry C. Shih of Matthews Asia

China is a market too large to be ignored—this has long been a saying among those considering doing business in the country. But increasingly, multinational corporations see China as a hub of nascent innovation. China’s evolving pharmaceutical landscape and the government’s pro-innovation policies are driving indigenous innovation in its life sciences. Asia Insight explores China’s path in this arena.

2015-09-04 00:00:00 China Deserves More Credit than Blame by Hayden Briscoe of Alliance Bernstein

The visit to the US later this month by China’s President Xi Jinping comes at a politically sensitive time, with volatility in China’s markets—widely attributed to the effect of policy decisions—rippling globally. In our view, however, China deserves more credit than blame for its recent actions.

2015-09-04 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review For Aug. 31-Sept. 4 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The potential negative impact of China’s slowdown is sinking into policy maker’s decision making process and trader’s analysis. Money is flowing from emerging to developed economies; emerging markets and currencies are underperformers relative to developed markets. The potential for China to export deflation is being discussed. And central bankers are acknowledging the slowdown by lowering growth forecasts and opening speculating about additional monetary stimulus. As we leave the summer doldrums and enter the last four months of trading, the environment has clearly changed.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 12 Questions for a 12% Correction by Burt White of LPL Financial

The recent market downdraft and related uncertainty in China have led to many investor questions. The strong 6.5% rebound in the S&P 500 over the last three trading sessions (August 26, 27, 28, 2015) has cut the S&P 500’s losses from the 2015 peak (2130 on May 21, 2015) to 6.7%. In response to the S&P 500’s recent 12% correction?—?the first decline of more than 10% since 2011?—?we answer 12 investor questions. Bottom line, we do not expect the latest correction and China uncertainty to lead to the end of the U.S. economic expansion or the end of the six-and-a-half-year old bull

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Is a China Economic Crisis on the Horizon? by Erik Ristuben of Russell Investments

Chief Investment Strategist Erik Ristuben looks at the factors at play in a possible China economic crisis.

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 Weight of the Evidence Argues for Caution by William Delwiche of Robert W. Baird & Co.

At this point, cycle lows for the popular averages may well be in place. This is not yet supported by the weight of the evidence, however. Simply put, risks remain elevated and it is too early to sound an all clear.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Look Out Below? by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

Are we experiencing a healthy correction or something more? After a long-period of relative calm, risk assets sold off meaningfully in response to global growth concerns. Our Chief Investment Strategist analyzes the fundamental picture in the wake of the recent downturn and what investors should do now.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Market Worries, Real and Imagined by Scott Brown of Raymond James

Financial market participants were beset with a number of worries in August. However, as a general theme, investors often worry about things they shouldn’t worry about and don’t worry about the things that they should worry about.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Searching for Sustainable Growth in Malaysia by Dilip Badlani of The Royce Funds

As an active manager with a value orientation, Portfolio Manager Dilip Badlani seeks to locate inexpensive companies helmed by management teams that have demonstrated an ability to consistently execute plans to grow their business irrespective of economic conditions. Though not without its challenges, Malaysia's history of perseverance makes it an attractive market for disciplined and patient investors.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Inflation, the Fed, and the Big Picture by Carmen Reinhart of Project Syndicate

Inflation was the theme of this year’s international conference of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. But, while policymakers are right to prepare for future risks to price stability, they did not place these concerns in the context of recent inflation developments at the global level – or within historical perspective.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Defensive Expectations by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

Last week there was an article in the WSJ noting the performance struggles of one of the larger liquid alternative mutual funds. I am not going to link to the article or name the fund because any fund can do very well, attract a lot of assets, then do poorly and lose the assets which is the arc of this fund’s story but instead want to focus on avoid that sort of loop or at least recognizing the potential for that sort of loop so that no one is surprised if/when it happens.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 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 Recession Probability Models - September 2015 by Ted Kavadas of StratX, LLC

There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession. While I don’t agree with the methodologies employed or probabilities of impending economic weakness as depicted by the following two models, I think the results of these models should be monitored.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Vietnam-EU Agreement: A Good Deal for Southeast Asia by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

As investors in Vietnamese stocks, the primary constraint we face is one of liquidity and limited choices in which to invest, but we are hopeful that will soon change. Vietnam has had a fast-growing economy, and we have found good companies there, including some that are state-owned.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 The Many Uses of Gold by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Gold’s many qualities make it one of the most coveted metals in the world. Not only can it be beautifully shaped and sculpted, the yellow metal also conducts electricity, doesn’t tarnish and is biocompatible (meaning it’s not harmful to our tissue). These qualities make it the metal of choice in a wide variety of industries, including dentistry and medicine, electrical engineering, construction and aerospace manufacturing.

2015-09-03 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.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Remember This Isn’t 2008 by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

After a seesaw week for stocks, Russ Koesterich explains why it's important to maintain perspective.

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 Fear the Talking Fed by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Kristina Hooper discusses the confusion created by Fed officials' public comments and how they stir up higher volatility—and more moaning and groaning among investors.

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 With Further Market Declines Likely, Keep the Long Run in Mind by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

August was the worst month for U.S. markets in more than three years, so say the headlines. I suspect it was also the worst month in at least that long for many international markets as well. And, as today’s numbers show us, we aren’t done yet. As I write this, U.S. markets are down about 2.5 percent, and European markets closed down around 3 percent.

2015-09-02 00:00:00 Is "New Normal" Enough to Grow China's Economy? by Jerry Zhang of Wells Fargo Asset Management

Jerry Zhang, Ph.D., CFA, explores the economic underpinnings that can spark growth in China—and, in turn, present investing opportunities for growth seekers.

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 China and the U.S. Stock Market by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

Now that things seem to have calmed down a bit, it’s a good time to discuss why the past week has been so turbulent. The usual explanations—the Chinese currency devaluation and stock market crash—are certainly valid, but there’s more to the story. Let's take a closer look at the connection between the news from China and U.S. stock prices.

2015-09-01 00:00:00 Oil Prices: The Drill Is Gone by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

The nuclear deal with Iran is not yet settled, but it definitely points to, among many other things, lower oil prices. Once sanctions lift, Iran, desperate for cash, will sell all the oil it can, increasing global supplies and likely driving down prices. This one-time supply surge will, no doubt, take a while to have its full effect, until mid-2016 in all likelihood, but thereafter, slowdowns in production elsewhere in the world, including shale and tar sands in North America, should again begin to put upward pressure on the global price of crude.

2015-09-01 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What Are the Lessons from the Market Turmoil? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Dramatic events reset agendas. People re-evaluate probabilities about what is possible as well as the personal implications. Because the recent market story is so big and so fresh the week will start with the punditry asking: What are the lessons from the market turmoil?

2015-09-01 00:00:00 Investors Should Not "Buy the Dip" Because Macro and Market Risks Remain Elevated by Don Schreiber, Jr. of WBI Shares

The global market meltdown is turning into a rout as investors who ignored the warning signs of overvaluation, weakening earnings/revenue trends, and deteriorating internal market dynamics may now be heading for the exits. As advisors and investors try to rationalize asset allocation and equity market exposure, they may deem it appropriate to stick with investments in countries with the strongest economies. Reasoning, stronger eco-markets should behave better than markets in countries with economies under pressure.

2015-09-01 00:00:00 The Swing of the Pendulum: A Snapshot of the Market by Pamela Rosenau of HighTower Advisors

In the beginning of the year, I had written a prediction that developed markets would outperform developing (or emerging) markets for 2015. While the prediction may be correct, it has yet to be profitable. Nevertheless, I am encouraged as we approach the end of the year that we will move much closer to positive territory. When we encounter significant volatility in markets, it is always important to separate fact from fiction.

2015-09-01 00:00:00 Five Reasons Now is the Time to Hold Equities by Steven Vannelli of GaveKal Capital

After the recent correction, many investors are asking how to respond in their portfolios. I’m recommending clients hold on to equity exposure, even consider increasing it. Below, I run through my case.

2015-09-01 00:00:00 Is a Recession Coming? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ Koesterich explains why fears of an imminent U.S. recession may be overblown.

2015-09-01 00:00:00 DeVoe’s Unprovable but Highly Probable Theories by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

I don’t claim to be an economist, although I do have a degree in economics. Fortunately, I have forgotten most of the economics I learned at university. Also fortunate is that I work with one of the best economists on Wall Street in the form of Scott Brown, Ph.D., but I digress. For the past few months I have been suggesting the economy was doing better, which has brought about cat calls from many of the negative nabobs. My sense has been that GDP was growing by at least 3%.

2015-08-31 00:00:00 The Active-Passive Debate Revisited by Bob Veres (Article)

Asset flows to passively managed funds are surging. But, as often happens, advisors are embracing a trend just as debunking information is arriving in the marketplace. New research is showing that selecting above-average active funds may not be the impossible task that the academic research has suggested.

2015-08-31 00:00:00 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.

2015-08-31 00:00:00 Grade Yourself on August’s Moment of Truth by Dan Richards (Article)

Moments of truth occur when clients make judgments about their advisors. Exactly such a moment came in mid-August as clients read alarming headlines about “plunging markets” and “market routs.” Here’s a way to assess how you handled that moment.

2015-08-31 00:00:00 If You Need to Reduce Risk, Do it Now by John P. Hussman of Hussman Funds

The single most important thing for investors to understand here is how current market conditions differ from those that existed through the majority of the market advance of recent years. The difference isn’t valuations. On measures that are best correlated with actual subsequent 10-year S&P 500 total returns, the market has advanced from strenuous, to extreme, to obscene overvaluation, largely without consequence. The difference is that investor risk-preferences have shifted from risk-seeking to risk-aversion.

2015-08-31 00:00:00 On My Radar: We Didn’t Start The Fire by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Risk is high. For equity exposure, hedge or raise cash on rallies and let your tactical and alternative strategies follow their processes. Put in place the processes. Now is the time.

2015-08-31 00:00:00 Markets Volatile, Economy Fine by Brian S. Wesbury and Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

As you woke up this morning, US stock market futures were down again. They say it’s because the Chinese stock market fell, and in spite of this every summary of Fed intentions that we read suggests a rate hike this year (possibly in September) is still very much on the table.

2015-08-31 00:00:00 Stay Calm and Carry On by Kenneth Kim of EQIS Capital

As most everyone is aware, the markets have been highly volatile, and mostly down, during these past few days. Everyone seems to be pointing fingers at China’s slowing economy as the cause. Before joining EQIS, I was a professor of finance at Renmin University in Beijing, China for many years. Recognized as one of the top 15 economists* in China, and a frequent economic commentator on the Chinese economy on China’s only English-language national television station, I can speak about, and address, this current market condition that places blame on China.

2015-08-31 00:00:00 Dog Days Are Over: What a Week! by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

Volatility … and the volatility of volatility … hit record levels last week. We believe this is just a correction; not the beginning of a new bear market. Weeks like last week provide valuable lessons for investors about crowd psychology and the benefits of diversification and rebalancing.

2015-08-30 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Waterfall events like the current one tend to most often reverberate into the weeks ahead. Indices will often jump 10% or more higher and also attempt to retest the lows. Volatility will likely remain elevated for several months. But the fall in equity prices, which has knocked investor sentiment to its knees, opens up an attractive risk/reward opportunity for investors. Further weakness, which is quite possible, is an opportunity to accumulate with an eye toward year-end. However, a quick, uncorrected rally in the next week or two would likely fail.

2015-08-30 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For August 24-28 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The strongest news of the week was the upward revision of 2Q GDP from 2.3% to 3.7% (Q/Q). All sectors contributed. Personal consumption expenditures increased 3.1% with contributions from durable goods purchases (+8.2%) and non-durable goods (+4.1%). Residential construction increased 7.8% while non-residential was up 3.1%. Equipment was down .4%, but this can be attributed to oil sector’s weakness. Finally, exports increased 5.2%. Overall, this report was very encouraging, especially considering 1Q weakness.

2015-08-30 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For August 24-28 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The fundamentals overall are slightly positive because they give companies an environment where they can grow top line revenue. The problem is most companies are just barely doing so. Even excluding the energy sector, top line revenue was only up 1.1% last quarter. Yes, it’s positive, which is obviously better than the alternative. But with market is already pricey; a 1.1% revenue increase doesn’t add a lot of upside room.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 China’s Currency Devaluation by Team of Wasatch Funds

After years of small-scale strengthening against the U.S. dollar, the coordinated devaluation of the Chinese yuan has come when China’s economy is seeing more signs of weakness. In our view, it’s hard to believe that the recent devaluation of the yuan will significantly help the Chinese economy. In addition, relative to the last several years, the yuan is still strong against the euro and the yen. This raises the question: Is there more devaluation to come?

2015-08-28 00:00:00 Doodles from an Eventful Summer by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

This month's Absolute Return Letter is a little different. It was a very eventful summer with many incidents impacting financial markets and we have compiled all these topics into one letter. China is, not surprisingly, a core subject. If the Chinese economy is slowing (and it is), we don't think China is in for a hard landing. If anyone is in the near term - and this may surprise you - we think the U.S. and the euro zone are far more likely candidates.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 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 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 Schwab’s Perspective on Recent Market Volatility by Team of Charles Schwab

Global markets may have swung wildly in recent days, but we think the recent selloff in stocks and commodities is not a sign of imminent global recession. However, it may prompt the Federal Reserve (Fed) to postpone raising U.S. interest rates for a while longer. In the meantime, the basics of successful investing remain the same: Sticking to your long-term investment plan and maintaining a well-diversified portfolio should help you weather the market storm.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 If China Lands Hard, It Won’t Be Alone by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The news from China has been volatile and disconcerting. There is a general sense that the carnage would be far worse if not for active intervention from Chinese authorities.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 Weapons of Economic Misdirection by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

This week’s letter will deal with the problems of determining what GDP really is, and I’ll throw in a few quick remarks on what the recent GDP revision means for the Fed and whether they’ll raise rates.

2015-08-27 00:00:00 Investors Should Cheer A Higher Federal Funds Rate by Eric Busch of GaveKal Capital

With rocky equity markets and concerns about economic growth in China, there seems to be a growing chorus in the market calling for the Fed to hold off on raising rates in September. In fact, many are now saying (hoping?) that the Fed holds off raising rates until 2016. Bill Dudley, president of the New York Fed, came out today saying that the case to raise rates is “less compelling” than it was just a few weeks ago.

2015-08-27 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: The Start of Something Big? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The big market decline has the attention of everyone, even those who do not closely follow the markets. The week will start with the punditry will be asking: Is the market decline the start of something big?

2015-08-27 00:00:00 Market Update by Michael Kayes of Willingdon Wealth Management

On Wednesday, August 19th the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,348.73. It closed Monday, August 24th at 15,872.82, a drop of 8.5% in three trading days. Today, volatility spiked with the market falling over 1,000 points early in the day, then rallying almost back to even before closing down 586.53 points or 3.56% for the day.

2015-08-27 00:00:00 Special Provise Bullet by Team of ProVise Management Group

The uncertainty concerning the Chinese economy, which escalated following the sudden devaluation of the Yuan, has raised the specter of a global slowdown and set world stock markets into a tailspin.

2015-08-27 00:00:00 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 Sharp Selloff by Mark Oelschlager of Oak Associates

In a matter of a week the stock market has gone from historically low volatility to historically high volatility. The good news is that, in our estimation, the current events are not enough to throw the US economy into recession. The nature of a selloff can be quite informative as to its meaning or duration, and there are many signs that this correction may be ephemeral and that stocks may bounce back.

2015-08-27 00:00:00 Trying to Restore Order by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

It has been an unsettling month for the financial markets. The challenges faced by China, which have been amplified by inconsistent responses from policy makers, have heightened uncertainty.

2015-08-27 00:00:00 Global Market Chaos Amidst Worries About China, Etc. by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

There is so much to write about today it’s hard to know where to start. Equity markets around the world are plunging on worries about China, a possible Fed interest rate hike next month, the worsening bear market in commodities, economic and currency weakness in emerging markets, etc., etc.

2015-08-27 00:00:00 Should You Adjust? by Jim Tillar, Steve Wenstrup of Tillar-Wenstrup Advisors

Is it time for a correction? That is the question that has been on the mind of many investors for some time now. Those who have ridden the wave since the ugly market bottom of March 2009 can afford to be worried as they weathered an uncertain recovery in the market and have generally seen their assets grow quite well. Unfortunately the fires of gloom were hot after the financial crisis with the media fanning the flames of pessimism. Therefore many late arrivers to the market may still be struggling to reestablish their previous portfolio values.

2015-08-27 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 Days of Yesteryear by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

“Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. From out of the past come the thundering hoof-beats of the great horse Silver. A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty ‘Hi-Yo Silver’ the Lone Ranger rides again” . . . except in this case we are not referring to the iconic radio/TV show, The Long Ranger as played by Clayton Moore, but last October. I awoke early on October 15, 2014, looking for more news on what had caused the 18 session bone-crushing decline.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 A Macro View of Recent Market Volatility by Michael Hasenstab and Sonal Desai of Franklin Templeton Investments

When we look at how much market panic there has been, you’d be under the impression China is headed full-speed into full-blown recession. That is not our call. We expect moderation in China’s growth and continue to see it as healthy.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 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 What Investors Must Know About China by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The latest story scaring investors witless (TM OldProf Euphemism) is the collapse of the Chinese economy. It has become an element of Wall Street Truthiness. The Chinese are lying about their data, masking the true story. “All of the data” support this according to the commentators, led by pundit-in-chief Jim Cramer and the rest of the gang at CNBC. How about some much-needed objectivity?

2015-08-26 00:00:00 As Market Fears Grow, Stay Focused on the Long Term by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

One bad day doesn’t make a bear market. Two bad days, however, and the prospect of more to come, may well signal one.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 Markets Crashing, Gold Rising by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

U.S. Investors are on edge following last week’s and today’s sell-off in stocks around the globe. The carnage impacted equity markets in Asia, Europe, and the U.S. Interestingly, the U.S. dollar also weakened. And bonds and gold are getting most of the safe-haven buying.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 Why a 500-Point Sell-off Isn’t “Massive” by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

While I was training early this morning, I was forced to endure two hours of CNBC’s seemingly permanent headline across the bottom of the screen that screamed that the markets were heading for a “massive sell off.” At the time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down about 500 points. When the markets opened at 9:30, the Dow did open down about 500 points (thereafter it actually was down about 1,000 points) before bouncing back to its opening levels.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 A Painful but Healthy Adjustment for Risk Assets by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The source of the current market correction is the massive misalignment of exchange rates, which finds its roots in quantitative easing.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 Earnings Voids and the Emergence of Plausible Risk by Doug MacKay, Bill Hoover of Broadleaf Partners

We had put the finishing touches on a market update celebrating our first ten years in business, but were rudely interrupted by the first violence in the markets we’ve seen in nearly a year. Yes, a year.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 Turning an Oxymoron into an Opportunity by François Sicart of Tocqueville Asset Management

For my part, I feel in total harmony with the contrarian and value disciplines that have guided my investments for 40 years. At the same time, I also claim (and aim) to be a long-term investor. Yet, almost from the start of my career, I have had the somewhat uncomfortable feeling that, in practice, these claims may be contradictory.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 Building Corridors to the Future in Pakistan by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

We have been investing in Pakistan for a number of years, and see it as an overlooked investment destination with very attractive valuations due to negative macro sentiment.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 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 China and the Submerging Market Outlook by Scott Brown of Raymond James

China’s economic slowdown may not be much of a direct drag on U.S. growth. While U.S. exporters will have a tougher time, the drop in commodity prices should help consumers and domestic producers. However, the country’s difficulties need to be considered in the broader view of emerging market troubles.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 The Fed Is Spooking the Markets Not China by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Fasten your seat belts, this ride is getting interesting. Last week the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 1,000 points, notching its worst weekly performance in four years. The sell-off took the Dow Jones down more than 10% from its peak valuations, thereby constituting the first official correction in four years. One third of all S&P 500 companies are already in bear market territory, having declined more than 20% from their peaks. Scarier still, the selling intensified as the week drew to a close, with the Dow losing 530 points on Friday, after falling 350 points on Thursday.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 The Correction May Not Be Over, but the Bull Market Should Persist by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The S&P 500 Index fell 5.7% last week, its biggest weekly pullback since September 2011. Equities have been under pressure for some time, and it appears that investors finally gave in.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 This Correction is Technical, Not Fundamental by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

The only people more giddy with anticipation are the stock market pundits looking for The Big Short – II. It’s an eagerly anticipated sequel of the Panic of 2008. The S&P 500 is tumbling again today, more than 10% below the peak in May.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 On My Radar: An Optimist Sees The Opportunity In Every Difficulty by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

2015-08-25 00:00:00 China’s Complexity Problem by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate

There are many moving parts – economic, social, and geopolitical – in China’s daunting transition to what its leaders call a moderately well-off society, and the ultimate challenge may lie in managing the exceedingly complex interplay among them. Is China’s leadership up to the task, or has it bitten off more than it can chew?

2015-08-24 00:00:00 Risk Turns Risky: Unpleasant Skew, Scale Dilation, and Broken Lines by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Over the years, I’ve observed that overvalued, overbought, overbullish market conditions have historically been accompanied by what I call “unpleasant skew” – a succession of small but persistent marginal new highs, followed by a vertical collapse in which weeks or months of gains are wiped out in a handful of sessions.

2015-08-24 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For August 17-22 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

For the last several months, I have expressed three concerns regarding the markets. The high current and forward PEs of the major averages were the first. This was followed by the declining top line revenue of the S&P 500 companies. And third were deteriorating market technicals; a weakening advance/decline line, fewer stocks participating in rallies and various averages (the transports, IWCs and IWMs) declining. All of those factors came home to roost this week as the markets sold-off in a fairly sharp manner.

2015-08-24 00:00:00 Do John Hancock Funds Add Value for Investors? by Larry Swedroe (Article)

John Hancock ranked second on Barron’s annual list of best-performing mutual fund families for the latest 10-year period. How did its performance compare to that of two popular passively managed fund companies?

2015-08-24 00:00:00 Recent Market Volatility by Lane Jones of Evensky & Katz / Foldes Financial Wealth Management

Given the recent volatility in world stock markets, you are no doubt concerned and wondering whether we're entering a period of extended declines. We don't know the answer to this question; no one does. We do know that making investment decisions based upon short-term news is rarely a winning strategy. In times like this it's important to remember your investments are designed to carry you through decades not days. It's important to stay focused on the long-term.

2015-08-22 00:00:00 Playing the Chinese Trump Card by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Donald Trump wants to “rein in” China. Exactly how will anybody rein in anything if we tumble into another global recession, when it will be every country for itself? Not even Donald Trump knows how to make trouble on that scale.

2015-08-21 00:00:00 These Billionaire Investors Just Made Massive Bets on Gold and Airlines by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

I always advise investors to follow the smart money, and two people high on the list are Stanley Druckenmiller and Warren Buffett. Second-quarter regulatory filings show that Stanley Druckenmiller, the famed hedge fund manager, just placed more than $323 million of his own money into a gold ETF, at a time when sentiment toward the yellow metal is in the basement. Meanwhile, Buffett announced this week that Berkshire Hathaway is purchasing aircraft parts supplier Precision Castparts for $32 billion.

2015-08-21 00:00:00 Developed Asia Pacific: Economy Trends Update July 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

After a slump in consumer spending had raised concerns of an economic slowdown in Japan recently, there was a welcome uptick in indicators such as manufacturing activity and exports. However, slowing growth in China, a major trading partner, is widely expected to have a bearing on the economy in the near future. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia left interest rates unchanged in its recent review as expected, thanks to subdued inflation, a stabilizing job market, and early signs of a pick-up in business investment.

2015-08-21 00:00:00 Gold Glimmers as Global Market Fear Grips Investors by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Gold this week broke above its 50-day moving average as a fresh round of negative news from around the globe rekindled investors’ interest in the yellow metal as a safe haven. The Fear Trade, it seems, is in full force.

2015-08-21 00:00:00 Today's Market Action: S&P 500 and Dow more than down 3% by Jeremy Boynton of Laureate Wealth Management

What is causing the market to drop so significantly? The answer in one word: China.

2015-08-21 00:00:00 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 Is a Stronger U.S. Dollar Really Bad News? Three Myths about Emerging Markets by Michele Mazzoleni of Research Affiliates

A strengthening U.S. dollar threatens emerging market economies—owes its plausibility to three myths. Let’s examine them.

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.

2015-08-21 00:00:00 Schwab’s Perspective on Recent Market Volatility by Team of Charles Schwab

Global financial markets endured their worst week of the year this past week amid concerns over slowing economic growth and currency woes in China and other emerging markets, among other reasons. At times like these it is easy to start thinking short term, but keep in mind that the foundations of investing success are well established (have a plan, keep a close eye on expenses, stay diversified, and make sure your portfolio composition is lined up with your tolerance for risk and the timetable for when you’ll need to start drawing down the portfolio).

2015-08-20 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Equity Commentary: July 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Emerging market equity prices declined further in July, as concerns about slower growth in China as well as lower energy and commodity prices hurt investor optimism. Chinese equity markets, which had seen significant gains over the last one year, corrected despite the government’s efforts to stabilize the market.

2015-08-20 00:00:00 Why Rising Interest Rates Aren’t Necessarily a Harbinger of Trouble for EMs by Nick Niziolek, Todd Speed of Calamos Investments

In “Why Rising Interest Rates Aren’t Necessarily a Harbinger of Trouble for EMs,” VP and Portfolio Specialist Todd Speed, along with Nick Niziolek, explains why fiscal and economic reforms by many emerging markets support our view that many EMs may be less vulnerable to an eventual rise in U.S. short-term interest rates.

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.

2015-08-20 00:00:00 Commodities: A Crude Awakening by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

Commodities investors face numerous short-term challenges – falling demand, falling prices and a strong dollar – but this may present long-term opportunities for patient investors. Our Chief Investment Strategist, Jim McDonald, explains in his latest Investment Strategy Commentary: Commodities – A Crude Awakening.

2015-08-20 00:00:00 Summer Quartet by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

Music from four players continues to influence events in the bond market this summer: the Federal Reserve (Fed), China, oil prices, and the U.S. dollar. The music from these four players has led to a mixed response in the bond market: disturbing for short-term securities, melodic for long-term bonds.

2015-08-20 00:00:00 Unattractive ‘Glamour Stocks’ Lead the Way in Asia Pacific by Brent Bates of Invesco Blog

Economic growth continues to decelerate across the Asia Pacific region. Domestic economies have not been robust enough to offset weakness in commodities and exports, and both revenue and earnings expectations were adjusted downward by 1% during the second quarter. Because growth is scarce, investors have been crowding into the highest-growth and highest-quality stocks; within Asia and Japan, this group of stocks is now trading at the highest premium to the rest of the market that we’ve seen in the past 20 years.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: August by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

We believe sound headline job creation figures point to rate increases by a [US] Fed that would like to begin to ‘normalize’ monetary policy when possible. The US economy is no longer in the emergency room, as it was in December 2008.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Is the Chinese Yuan Undervalued or Overvalued? by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

Almost all of the recent analysis surrounding China’s recent currency fluctuation takes for granted that China just joined the global currency war by engaging in competitive devaluation in an effort to spur exports and thus growth. We offer a different take, that the recent move that in effect loosens up control over the peg (slightly) is more a measure of ongoing reform than of competitive devaluation. Indeed, one of the hallmarks of a liberalized financial system is that prices are determined by market forces rather than a central bank or other government entity.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Why Care About Commodity Stocks? by Henry D'Auria, Michelle Dunstan of AllianceBernstein

Commodities haven’t been kind to investors in recent years. But we believe that shifting the frame of reference away from underlying price trends of metals and raw materials can reveal surprising opportunities in select commodity stocks.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Signs of a Struggling Economy? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

For many investors, China’s surprise devaluation of its currency reinforced global growth fears. Russ puts the move in context, and explains why to expect more volatility ahead.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 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 Donald and Bernie by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

In this report, we recap the economic and political factors that led us to conclude in previous reports from last year that the next presidential cycle could be unusually significant. From there, we look at the unlikely rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders and what their success thus far signals about the electorate and the next presidential election. Finally, we analyze their potential impact on the election, including the possibility that each might mount an extra-party candidacy. As always, we conclude with market ramifications.

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?

2015-08-19 00:00:00 One man’s weed... by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

I spent time at the Woodward Dream Cruise this week in my brother Charlie’s 1985 Ford Mustang convertible (his first new car which he bought and has maintained since that year). I think the Cruise is the largest annual assemblage of classic cars on the planet. What a great time for anyone who enjoys historical vehicles and the memories they bring back, especially here in the Motor City.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Why the Yuan Devaluation Does Not Erode China’s Long-Term Investment Potential by Nick Niziolek of Calamos Investments

In his blog post, titled “Why the Yuan Devaluation Does Not Erode China’s Long-Term Investment Potential,” SVP and Senior Co-Portfolio Manager Nick Niziolek discusses the opportunities the Calamos team sees in China.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Technically Speaking: The Bull/Bear Conundrum by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

In March of this year, I wrote an article entitled "Think Like A Bear, Invest Like A Bull" in which I discussed the importance of not letting personal emotional biases derail your investment strategy and discipline.

2015-08-18 00:00:00 15 Ways to Make Investment Reports Easier to Read by Joyce Walsh (Article)

You put on your best outfit for client and marketing meetings. Your offices are well appointed, reflecting the professional culture of your firm. Then you pass the presentation materials around. The font is quirky and informal. In places it’s too small for some clients to read comfortably. With the flip of a page, your chance of making a positive first impression is lost.

2015-08-18 00:00:00 China’s Currency Moves by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

The recent action in China’s stock market and its currency has caused a heightened attention to Chinese government policy decisions. All this attention certainly demonstrates how important China has become within the global economy at large.

2015-08-18 00:00:00 China, the Fed, and Commodity Prices by Scott Brown of Raymond James

The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, moved to allow its exchange rate to be determined by market forces. After two sharp declines in the yuan, the PBOC apparently had had enough and declared that the currency adjustment was “basically completed.” The news from China added to uncertainty about what the Fed will do in September. Concerns about the pace of global growth have put downward pressure on commodity prices, which may keep the Fed on hold.

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 International Economic Week in Review For Aug. 10-14 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

This weekend was my summer vacation, when I (try) to completely unplug from news, internet and other variety of my daily routine. I was pretty successful at the task, although I did keep up with general events thanks to CNN. With the exception of China’s devaluation, there was little meaningful economic news, making my catch-up column a bit easier. But perhaps more importantly, when I returned I was struck just how little things had really changed in a 7 day period.

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.

2015-08-18 00:00:00 China Surprise by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

Ouch! August is often a month of surprises. In 2011, the S&P 500 lost nearly 7% at the height of the European debt crisis (yes, it’s been going on that long). In 2013, the NASDAQ closed for three hours sending stocks into a mini tailspin. This week’s “I didn’t see that coming” was the devaluation of the Chinese renminbi by nearly 3%.

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 ‘Rough Year’ For CEFs by (Article)

Concerns on multiple fronts have led to wider discounts in the CEF market this year, says Maury Fertig of Relative Value Partners

2015-08-17 00:00:00 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 On the Winners and Losers of the Great Chinese Rebalance by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

Change can be hard, but change can also be good. At this very moment we are living through one of the largest and potentially destabilizing periods of economic change in the last century. It is the mirror image and reversal of the last great economic paradigm shift. It is China’s shift from an investment driven growth model to a consumption driven growth model. For some it is painful. For others who are correctly positioned it is extremely lucrative. It is affecting all of us whether we know it or not. But most of all, it is inevitable.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 Your Economics (and Market Structure) Summer Reading List by Jeff Hussey of Russell Investments

Global CIO Jeff Hussey offers an economics summer reading list (plus one book on market structure).

2015-08-14 00:00:00 Should You Take Some Off The Table? by Jim Tillar, Steve Wenstrup of Tillar-Wenstrup Advisors

Is it time for a correction? That is the question that has been on the mind of many investors for some time now. Those who have ridden the wave since the ugly market bottom of March 2009 can afford to be worried as they weathered an uncertain recovery in the market and have generally seen their assets grow quite well. Unfortunately the fires of gloom were hot after the financial crisis with the media fanning the flames of pessimism. Therefore many late arrivers to the market may still be struggling to reestablish their previous portfolio values.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 An Unsentimental Approach to Finding Value by Brad Evans of Heartland Advisors

Sentiment has been a driving force for investor returns the past few years, but we believe a focus on valuations, management and balance sheets is still the surest path to superior performance over a full market cycle.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 The Shot Not Heard Around the World by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

China’s recent move to devalue the yuan has sent shock waves through the global financial markets and has convinced most observers that a new front in the global currency wars has begun. The move has caused...

2015-08-14 00:00:00 China Not Immune to Contagious Quantitative Easing and Massive Printing of Cheap Money by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

First it was the U.S. Federal Reserve. Then, in 2013, Japan launched what became known as Abenomics. The European Central Bank (ECB) followed suit in 2014. And now the People’s Bank of China has joined the parade. All of them in some way stimulated economic growth by initiating monetary quantitative easing (QE) programs.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 China Breaks into a New Range by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

For some time, analysts have suspected that China’s economic performance was trending well below targeted levels. The equity market correction that began earlier this summer seemed to confirm these concerns; only a substantial amount of official intervention prevented an outright crash. Now we can add exchange-rate uncertainty to the list of things that China will have to manage very carefully.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 China Currency Devaluation Update by Teresa Kong of Matthews Asia

What are the factors that prompted Chinese authorities to recently devalue the renminbi? Matthews Asia Portfolio Manager Teresa Kong, CFA, examines the lead up and implications of this development.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 Riding the Energy Wave to the Future by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Today I’ll tell you about some big shifts in the energy industry. These shifts are about as positive as can be, unless you need high oil prices to run your country. In the long run, these changes are bullish for the whole world, which I think this will surprise many of you. And though we’ve been used to thinking about energy and technology as two different facets of modern life, today they are inextricably linked.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 The Tortoise Wins Again? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

The narrow trading range for US stocks continues, but there are some concerning signs such as seasonality and technical issues that make us a bit more cautious in the near term. We don’t think the bull market is in danger of ending, but there could certainly be a pullback and we don’t believe investors need to be in a great hurry to put money to work. In the immediate aftermath, China’s move on its currency rattled markets, but we don’t think it’s the start of a currency war, and hope that this is part of a herky-jerky path to freer markets.

2015-08-13 00:00:00 Americas: Economy Trends Update -- July 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Even as the U.S. is recovering from stagnant growth during the initial months of the year, most other economies in the Americas region are struggling with slow growth. Prices of oil and other commodities have dipped again after a short recovery, restricting the ability of governments to increase spending. Many countries in the region depend on revenues from exports of energy and other commodities for financing a substantial part of their budgets.

2015-08-13 00:00:00 3 Things: Freight, Deflation, No Hike by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

We often look at broad measures of the economy to determine its current state. However, we can often receive clues about where the economy may be headed by looking at data that feeds into the broader measures. Exports, imports, wage growth, commodity prices, etc. all have very important ties to the health of the consumer which is critical to an economy that is nearly 70% driven by their consumption.

2015-08-13 00:00:00 Recession?! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

We begin this morning’s strategy report with the aforementioned quote from the business manager of a large commercial sprinkler company, which has 700+ plus contractors nationwide, because his comments are always a good “window” on the economy. To be sure, nothing really big is ever built without a sprinkler system. I also include said quote because there has been much talk over the past few months of slowing economic statistics telegraphing an impending recession.

2015-08-13 00:00:00 No Solace in Small Caps by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

In an effort to mitigate the impact of a stronger dollar, many investors have been favoring small-cap stocks. However, this strategy hasn’t provided much benefit year-to-date. Russ explains why.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Winners and Losers: Q2 2015 by Jackie Lafferty of Loomis Sayles

Following positive performance in the first quarter, emerging markets (EM) came under pressure from macroeconomic factors in the second quarter, resulting in mixed returns for the asset class.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 Turkey’s Predicament by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

It is our view that over the next few decades Turkey is well positioned to return to its status as a dominant regional power; however, the situation is much less clear in the near term. Turkey has been trying to run a foreign policy of having “no problems” with its neighbors. This stance has become impossible to maintain. Unfortunately for President Erdogan, Turkey is encircled by instability and is struggling to develop a response.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 Walls are Not Perfect by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

I spent part of this summer on a family vacation in four of the six nations that were once republics of the socialist state of Yugoslavia. Many have asked me “Why,” and I simply replied that I had heard it was beautiful and had always wanted to go there. It didn’t hurt that my barber of 40 years and my employer during law school, Marv Esch, a congressman from Ann Arbor, MI, were both of Yugoslavian heritage.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 Global Economic Slowdown - Implications For US Stocks by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The global economy is rolling over to the downside for the most part. The question is, will this global slowdown take the US economy down with it? While no one knows for sure, that possibility simply cannot be ruled out. If the softening in the global economy leads to a slowdown in the US, that will almost certainly result in a weakening of our stock markets.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 Iran: Open for Business? by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

We think relief from economic sanctions could accelerate Iran’s growth rate by removing barriers to the nation’s oil exports, bringing in more foreign capital, and ending the isolation of its banks from the global financial system.

2015-08-11 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 Commodities Remain a Valuable Portfolio Allocation by Bransby Whittion, Klaus Thuerbach, Kate Botting of PIMCO

While the last few years of commodity returns are not an aberration, they are also not the norm.

2015-08-11 00:00:00 The Idolatry of Interest Rates Part II: Financial Heresy by James Montier, Ben Inker of GMO

In many ways this is perhaps my most personal essay, not because I’m about to share some deep and dark personal revelation (I can almost hear the collective sigh of relief), but rather because this essay reflects my views and mine alone. Others at GMO should not be tarred with the brush of my beliefs, and I have no doubt that many will disavow any association with the views I express here. In fact, my colleague Ben Inker’s “rebuttal” follows this piece.

2015-08-11 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 International Economic Week in Review For Aug. 3-7 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The week started off poorly with the Chinese PMI dropping from 49.4 to 47.8. The overall trend for this indicator is clearly lower.

2015-08-10 00:00:00 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 The Emerging Markets Best Positioned to Withstand a Fed Hike by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ explains why not all emerging markets are created equal when it comes to weathering capital outflows associated with higher U.S. interest rates.

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.

2015-08-10 00:00:00 IMF Can't End Dollar's Reign by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Ever since Quantitative Easing began, a group of so-called Monetarist/Austrian thinkers have predicted “hyper-inflation” and the demise of the dollar as the world’s “reserve currency.”

2015-08-10 00:00:00 Is the Small-Cap Market Out of Joint? by Chuck Royce, Chris Clark, Francis Gannon of The Royce Funds

While results for most stocks in the first half were decidedly bullish, the primary drivers of performance continue to be unsettling—especially for those with an active, risk-conscious approach who’ve lagged in an environment that has often shown favor to highly levered, non-earning, and more speculative businesses. The question is—when will the speculative bubble burst?

2015-08-07 00:00:00 Recession Probability Models - August 2015 by Ted Kavadas of StratX, LLC

There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession. While I don’t agree with the methodologies employed or probabilities of impending economic weakness as depicted by the following two models, I think the results of these models should be monitored.

2015-08-07 00:00:00 China’s Secret Gold Hoarding Strategy by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

China’s recent stock market gyrations have some analysts now calling China the biggest bubble in history. But those who write off China because of market volatility are missing a more important long-term trend of Chinese geopolitical and monetary ascendancy. That trend shows no signs of abating.

2015-08-07 00:00:00 Fundamentals and Policy Keep RMB Afloat by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

Even before the recent correction in China’s A-Shares market, a number of investors had expressed skepticism about our positive outlook for the renminbi (RMB). Some even saw a devaluation as a possibility. For a variety of reasons, we continue to see the currency appreciating.

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.

2015-08-07 00:00:00 Closing the Sausage Factory by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Anything you do attracts bureaucratic oversight now. We may laugh at “helicopter parents” hovering over their children at school, but we all have a helicopter government looking over our shoulders at work.

2015-08-07 00:00:00 Is the United States Insulated from China’s Economic Distress? by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The Chinese economic slowdown, following decades of spectacular growth, is more than noticeable now. Also, the world is watching the recent turbulence in Chinese equity markets closely. These developments have triggered many questions. We address the most popular query in our inbox: What are the potential spillovers to the United States from weaker growth in China?

2015-08-07 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For August 3-7 by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The ISM’s US manufacturing number decreased from 53.5 to 52.7, but remained above the key 50 level. New orders and production continued their lengthy periods of expansion. 11 of 18 industries grew. The anecdotal comments are interesting:

2015-08-07 00:00:00 Keep Your Powder Dry by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Reports of ongoing global market volatility are taking a toll on consumer confidence. However, compelling opportunities await patient investors.

2015-08-07 00:00:00 20 Dividend Growth Stocks To Buy Today For Your Retirement Portfolios: Part 1 by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Assuming an equal investment in each of the 20 research candidates provides an average aggregate dividend yield of 3.66%. Although each candidate was primarily suggested based on the merit of fair or attractive valuation, the 10 research candidates in this article was primarily focused on quality. In part 2, the 10 candidates presented were focused primarily on either yield or total return.

2015-08-07 00:00:00 What Kind of "Improvement" Does the Fed Want? by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

If GDP growth only averages 2.0% in the Second Half (which I think is likely), then 2015 growth will only be about 1.7% annually. Given that the Fed didn't raise rates in 2012, 2013, and 2014, when growth was well north of 2%, why would they do so now? Yet Wall Street and the media stubbornly cling to the notion that 3% growth and rate hikes are just around the corner. Old notions die hard, and this one has taken on a life of its own.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 Global Growth Forecast - Q3 (Infographic) by Rick Harrell of Loomis Sayles

Every quarter, we update our forecast map. What's different this time? We have shaved our US GDP forecast down to 2.3% from 2.9%, mostly on account of weaker exports, a strong dollar and the decline in oil prices. In emerging markets, we still believe Asia Pacific is currently a bright spot - but we expect China to slow further as easing measures fail to gain traction.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 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 Do Your Alternative Investments Have the Right Fit? by Richard Brink, Christine Johnson of AllianceBernstein

Investors who chose alternatives for downside protection in recent years have been frustrated with their performance. We think the problems were an unfavorable market environment and the unique challenges of manager selection for alternatives.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 The Three Gluts by Joachim Fels of PIMCO

While the global savings glut is likely the main secular force behind the global environment of low growth, lowflation and low interest rates, both the oil glut and the money glut should help lift demand growth, inflation and thus interest rates from their current depressed levels over the cyclical horizon.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 The Euro Isn't Dead by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

While the world can count dozens of important currencies, when it comes to top line financial and investment discussions, the currency marketplace really comes down to a one-on-one cage match between the two top contenders: the U.S. Dollar and the Euro.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 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.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 America in the Way by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

Today, developing countries and emerging markets say to the US and others: If you will not keep your promises on development aid, at least get out of the way and let us create an international economic architecture that works for the poor. Not surprisingly, the US is doing whatever it can to thwart such efforts.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 Are Frontier Markets the Emerging Markets of Tomorrow? by Mike DuCharme of Russell Investments

Russell Investments’ Mike DuCharme examines investment opportunities in frontier markets.

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 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Soft Economic Data Confirm the Commodity Price Message? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Recent weeks have emphasized markets (especially declining commodity prices) as a read on the economy. This week’s full slate of data will provide a reality check on that interpretation.

2015-08-04 00:00:00 Reasons to Stay with an Equity-Focused Investment Stance by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

A number of issues garnered attention last week, including falling oil prices, a sell-off in Chinese equities, ongoing corporate deal activity and mixed economic and earnings data.

2015-08-04 00:00:00 A New Deal for Debt Overhangs? by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

The IMF’s acknowledgement that Greece’s debt is unsustainable could prove to be a watershed moment for the global financial system. Clearly, heterodox policies to deal with high debt burdens need to be taken more seriously, even in some advanced countries.

2015-08-04 00:00:00 On My Radar: The Fed – Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Now look at them yo-yo’s that’s the way you do it.You play the guitar on the M.T.V. That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it. Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free.” Money For Nothing – Dire Straits

2015-08-04 00:00:00 China: Are You Missing The Opportunities In The Market Noise? by Team of Thomas White International

In March, spring was upon the Chinese equity markets — they soared with the promise of a summer of good cheer and bounty. But come June, the markets plunged, just as dramatically as they had surged less than two months back. And now, with the sell-off continuing, many investors are wondering if it is indeed the beginning of a long period of hibernation for Chinese stocks.

2015-08-04 00:00:00 China’s Command Economy: The Gift That Keeps on Giving by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

With Beijing being selected to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, we at Smead Capital took a moment to reflect on China. We concluded that posturing against China’s attempt to defy business cycles could be one of the best decisions we have made and could be the gift that keeps on giving. Warren Buffett once observed that you get to make approximately 20 major business decisions in your life. As long-duration common stock pickers, we think what you avoid can be just as important as what you select.

2015-08-03 00:00:00 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.

2015-08-03 00:00:00 A Bad Equilibrium & How Speculative Distortion Ends by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

In economics, we often describe “equilibrium” as a condition where demand is equal to supply. Textbooks usually depict this as a single point where a demand curve and a supply curve intersect, and all is right with the world.

2015-08-03 00:00:00 5 Reasons August May Take Investors for a Ride by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

The dog days of summer haven’t been too favorable for the stock market, historically, and this year could be more of the same. But a temporary pullback might be a buy signal, writes Kristina Hooper, US Investment Strategist for Allianz Global Investors.

2015-08-02 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: Emerging Market Exodus, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

One of the biggest stories to emerge has been the decline in Emerging Market Currencies. The IMF noted this in their latest World Economic Outlook.

2015-08-02 00:00:00 Is Now the Time to be Bearish on China? by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

One of the world’s largest hedge funds has turned bearish on China, arguing that the recent stock market correction means ‘‘there are now no safe places to invest’’ in that country. I disagree. I respect Bridgewater as an investment house and their views require serious attention. But I think it worthwhile to explain some areas where my views differ.

2015-08-02 00:00:00 Fear of the Fed Is Rising by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore, Ben Trinder of Northern Trust

My youngest daughter has an acute case of arachnophobia; even the tiniest spider sets her off. When a daddy longlegs appeared in the bathroom of a vacation home we were renting, she covered herself in the shower curtain and ran straight out the front door. It’s gotten so bad that the mere mention of a spider upsets her; the fear is almost worse than the reality

2015-08-02 00:00:00 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 More Evidence of China Slowing Permeating Asia – 7/31/2015 by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

In today’s edition we highlight just a few data points: the South Korea Business Survey Index making a new low, Japan consumption expenditure having a very weak month, and Japan CPI headed back toward zero. The slowing of the biggest economy in Asia is really having a noticeable impact on the region.

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.

2015-07-31 00:00:00 Say A Little Prayer by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

I’m not what you would call a “prayerful” type of guy. Even at 30,000 feet, when the air gets rough, I never invoke the “God” word, settling instead for promising myself that if I ever get back to terra firma, I will never fly again, which I promptly forget days or even hours later. It’s not that I’m a non-believer in prayer’s ultimate destination, but more of a cynical take on why the Lord would hand out party favors to everyone that asked, or to those that asked most intently.

2015-07-31 00:00:00 China’s Stock Market Plunges Again (But Not to Worry) by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

It turns out that China’s stock market remains a market after all, despite the Chinese government’s best efforts. Prices on the Shanghai Composite Index fell 8.5 percent on Monday and another 1.7 percent Tuesday, stripping away more than half of the gain since the last bottom.

2015-07-31 00:00:00 Why the Dollar’s Strength Can Continue by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Though currency market volatility is likely to continue, Russ sees the greenback continuing to move higher for these reasons.

2015-07-30 00:00:00 Opportunities in International Equity Markets by Matthew Beesley, CFA, Head of Global Equities (Article)

Matthew Beesley, CFA, Head of Global Equities, provides an update on the International Select Equity Fund’s strategy and overall market outlook for the second half of 2015. Beesley comments on how well positioned the international markets appear to be relative to the challenges that the US may be facing soon. Further, he notes that he is finding significant opportunities in both European and Japanese markets while having an increased interest in the Emerging Markets.

2015-07-30 00:00:00 In Defense of Varoufakis by Mohamed A. El-Erian of Project Syndicate

Greeks and other Europeans may fault Yanis Varoufakis, Greece's former finance minister, for pursuing his agenda with too little politesse while in office. But the essence of that agenda was – and remains – largely correct.

2015-07-30 00:00:00 Solomon's Long Duration Investment Wisdom by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

Storm clouds seem to build by the day. Many investors have an ongoing love affair with a few large-cap and more futuristic companies, yet they have corrected the prices of any stock with disappointing earnings or an attachment to the production of commodities.

2015-07-30 00:00:00 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.

2015-07-30 00:00:00 Is it Time to Buy Commodities? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ Koesterich explains what's behind the recent commodity rout and whether it represents an opportunity for investors.

2015-07-29 00:00:00 Inflation Deniers Emboldened by Gold's Struggles by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

The vultures are circling. Precious metals bulls, laid flat by gold and silver prices dropping for the 5th week in a row, are watching deflationists such as Harry Dent and the financial media squawk about the imminent demise of precious metals.

2015-07-29 00:00:00 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"

2015-07-29 00:00:00 China's Stock Market: Can Beijing Keep It Steady? by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

The Chinese economy likely will sustain a pace of growth strong enough to stabilize stock prices.

2015-07-29 00:00:00 Laudato Sí by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Last week, the Vatican held a meeting of the mayors of some of the world’s largest cities to discuss climate change. This meeting was part of Pope Francis’s efforts to add to the discussion of climate change, which was the subject of a recent encyclical, Laudato Sí. In this report, we will begin with our position on climate change, discuss the encyclical and try to measure its potential impact on the direction of climate change policy. As always, we will conclude with market ramifications.

2015-07-28 00:00:00 Why Most Quantitative Investing and Trading Systems Fail by Baijnath Ramraika, Prashant Trivedi (Article)

Most, if not all, quantitative systems are designed by selecting factors that were present in successful investments/trades over a selected back-test period. That process, however, too often results in strategies that fail to produce results that are as successful as in the historical data. Here’s why.

2015-07-28 00:00:00 The Positive Use of Negativity Bias by Daniel Solin (Article)

In an article last week, I discussed how an understanding of three behavioral biases (in-group, confirmation and illusion-of-control bias) can help you gather more assets. Today, I will tackle another prevalent bias – negativity bias – and provide suggestions for how to use knowledge of its effects to your advantage.

2015-07-28 00:00:00 Greed and Genius?! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Greed is always hard to measure. Certainly we have seen some signs of it in the Big Bio-Bubble and the new issue market.

2015-07-28 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What is the Message of the Market? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

As I have noted for the last two weeks, this earnings season carries a special significance. It provides an alternative to the official data on the economy.

2015-07-28 00:00:00 Equities Retreat, but Long-Term Prospects Should Improve by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

At the beginning of July, it became clear that Greece and European policymakers would come to at least a temporary debt agreement. Since that time, U.S. equity prices jumped, with the S&P 500 Index climbing more than 4% by the beginning of last week.

2015-07-27 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 Chugging Along by John Osterweis, Matt Berler of Osterweis Capital Management

Sitting down to write this quarter’s Outlook we feel a bit sheepish. Despite all the headlines and drama around the world (e.g., Greece, Mid-East turmoil, China stock market bubble), not much has changed in our outlook for the U.S. economy or the U.S. financial markets. The U.S. economy appears to have rebounded in the second quarter from the first quarter swoon.

2015-07-26 00:00:00 European Drama Hasn’t Derailed US Growth by Ed Perks of Franklin Templeton Investments

We believe headwinds to growth have been easing and what the current leg of the US expansion has perhaps lacked in intensity may very well be made up for by a transition to a more durable or lengthy expansion.

2015-07-25 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: IMF Lowers Growth Projections, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

At the macro level, the IMF lowered their global growth outlook. The first quarter slowdown in the developed world (largely the US but to a lesser extent Canada) led to decreased 2H15 projections, while the commodity slowdown will negatively impact the developing world. As further evidence of this, note that Latin American currencies are broadly selling off. Low inflation gives central banks plenty of policy room. The wild cards continue to be the cumulative impact of the Chinese slowdown along with certain geopolitical factors such as the Middle East turmoil and Greek situation.

2015-07-25 00:00:00 Asia Insight: Online to Offline—The Great Technology Migration by Michael Oh of Matthews Asia

Asia has demonstrated an uncanny ability to leapfrog certain technological developments, making much quicker transitions to new technologies than Western countries: jumping from fixed line to wireless communications and moving away from desktop devices to mobile devices. Now, the latest interesting instance of technology leapfrogging that is happening in Asia is dubbed “Online-to-Offline,” commerce, or O2—an e-commerce model that combines offline opportunities with online platforms. Asia Insight explores.

2015-07-25 00:00:00 Should We Offer More Help to Homeowners? by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

• Should We Offer More Help to Homeowners? • The Dodd-Frank Act Observes Its Fifth Anniversary • Canada Looks South for Economic Support

2015-07-24 00:00:00 The Rise of the Renminbi: Will China’s Yuan Become a Global Reserve Currency? by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

Reserve currency status and RMB internationalization could confer a number of significant benefits on China, including potentially lowering borrowing costs and facilitating overseas expansion by Chinese companies.

2015-07-24 00:00:00 Is Social Security on Life Support? by Gail Buckner of Franklin Templeton Investments

The benefit of securing your future by building your own financial nest egg goes without saying, but developing a Social Security strategy can be a key part of the equation that can help lead to a less stressful future.

2015-07-24 00:00:00 Do Transport Stocks Signal a U.S. Selloff? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ Koesterich and an investment strategist on his team, Kurt Reiman, explain what the recent divergence between Dow Transports and Dow Industrials signals for the broader market.

2015-07-24 00:00:00 Is Gold Dead? by Treesdale Partners of AdvisorShares

Gold hit $1080 per ounce Sunday night which was the lowest price level since February 2010. Gold in U.S. dollar (USD) terms has a three-year annualized return of -11.1%. It is no wonder that money managers currently carry the smallest net long positions in gold.

2015-07-24 00:00:00 Don’t Let the Noise Keep You Up at Night by Carl Kaufman, Simon Lee, Bradley Kane of Osterweis Capital Management

Three subjects have concerned the markets recently: a Greek debt default and possible exit from the European Union (Grexit), the Federal Reserve’s (the Fed’s) normalization of interest rate policy and potential bond market illiquidity following a rise in interest rates. The first two are binary outcomes, which have been debated in the marketplace for years. While discussing these possible outcomes ad nauseam may be a palliative to some, in our view it doesn’t really provide much meaningful, incremental information until more definitive actions are taken.

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 Mid-Year Market Outlook - July 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

At the end of 2014, “why international?” was the prevailing investor sentiment. After all, foreign stocks had lagged U.S. equities yet again, underperforming four out of the five years between 2010 and 2014. The consensus outlook was that U.S. markets would outperform their foreign peers in any case, and so, would it really serve any purpose to hold international equities in a portfolio? Many investors followed the crowd.

2015-07-23 00:00:00 Summer Quarterly Commentary by John Prichard, Miles Yourman of Knightsbridge Asset Management

Greece is much in the headlines again. As we stated in our Spring 2013 letter, “The European debt crisis will not be over until either: 1) the debt goes away (read: default or substantial inflation) or 2) these governments start producing actual surpluses with which to pay the debt down.” So far, every subsequent deal has failed to produce either of these two scenarios, and so each time news media builds up another weekend summit or referendum, the running joke around here is, “Don’t worry, it will all be resolved this weekend.”

2015-07-23 00:00:00 Mid-Year Outlook: Global Economy Likely to Withstand China, Greece by John Calamos, Sr. of Calamos Investments

The global markets and economy should be able to move higher for the remainder of the year, with accommodative monetary policy and well-contained inflation providing tailwinds. The U.S. looks set to extend its not-too-hot, not-too-cold recovery, while Japan is benefiting from stimulus and pro-market reforms. Although economic conditions in Europe remain fragile and uneven, growth looks to be accelerating overall, and we believe the European Union has the tools to prevent a broader Europe contagion should the Greek bailout resolution fall apart.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 The BOJ’s Policy: What’s Next, More Easing? Or Something Else? by Tomoya Masanao of PIMCO

Investors are now debating what the next step will be for the Bank of Japan. It is a dramatic turn, isn’t it? Earlier this year, the consensus view was that the BOJ would move forward with additional easing – the question was ‘when’, not ‘if’.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 Why the Greek Deal Will Work by Anatole Kaletsky of Project Syndicate

Most economists and political commentators believe that the latest Greek bailout was little more than an analgesic. It will dull the pain for a while, but the euro’s problems will metastasize, with a dismal prognosis for the single currency and perhaps the EU as a whole. But the conventional wisdom is likely to be proved wrong.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 Corporate Earnings Outlook: Why Are Expectations so Low? by Tom West of Columbia Threadneedle

Corporate reporting for the second calendar quarter started last week with a lead group of early reporters. Looking forward to the body of earnings season, I think results are likely to be, on average, a bit soft. And despite valuations that are on the high side relative to history, it just doesn’t seem that expectations are that high. In many industries, investors seem willing to accept that better results are shimmering out in the future, provided management teams can make a good case for what they are doing to position the company for that future.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 July 2015 Economic Update by Robert Cron of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild

The U.S. economy continues to plod its way forward at a slow and steady pace. Short-term setbacks seem to be the norm, but a general sense of an improving economy is seen through many sectors. The focus on month-to-month indicators has been de-emphasized recently by the scale of global headlines that seems to be driving markets and investor sentiment. Having a steady economic backdrop is very helpful during a period of global challenges.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 Mid-Year Commodities Update: Is It Time To Buy? by Saurabh Lele of Loomis Sayles

Commodities have been falling, mainly due to concerns over the Chinese stock market crash, economic turmoil in Greece and the recent Iran nuclear deal. So could this be a good time to buy commodities? Not all of them. Here’s my updated forecast.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 Currencies Depend on Faith, Gold Doesn’t by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

In his July 17th Blog, Let's Get Real About Gold, author and Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Zweig likened investor interest in gold with the "Pet Rock" craze of the 1970's, when consumers became convinced that a rock in a box would provide continuous companionship, elevate their social standing, and give them something hip to talk about at parties. Zweig asserts that investor faith in gold, which he argues is just another inert mineral with good marketing, is similarly irrational, and has kept people from putting money in the much more lucrative stock market.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 Who's Right - Commodities Or Fed? by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

I have been suggesting for quite some time that the Federal Reserve is stuck in a "liquidity trap" which makes it very difficult for monetary policy to be effective. More importantly, beginning in January of this year, I have suggested that the Fed is being forced to choose between the "lesser of two evils."

2015-07-22 00:00:00 Global Economic Outlook by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Economists and the financial markets have been almost exclusively focused on events in Greece and China over the past several months. These situations merited attention but pushed more-positive economic developments into the background.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 The Upside to Low Liquidity Bond Markets by Multisector Full Discretion Team of Loomis Sayles

As structural and cyclical factors reduce bond market liquidity, the Multisector Full Discretion team explains how they are positioning portfolios.

2015-07-21 00:00:00 Do The Gabelli Funds Add Value for Investors? by Larry Swedroe (Article)

Mario Gabelli is one of the highest paid executives in America, having earned $88.5 million in 2014 – more than the leaders of all other publicly traded asset-management firms. But have the investors in his mutual funds been as richly compensated when compared to what they would have earned in comparable, passively managed funds?

2015-07-21 00:00:00 Secular Outlook: Implications for Asia-Pacific Investors? by Eric Mogelof, Alan Isenberg of PIMCO

We hope you have had the opportunity to review the summary from our secular forum in May: “The New Neutral Revisited,” written by PIMCO’s Group CIO Dan Ivascyn, Global Fixed Income CIO Andrew Balls an?d Global Strategic Advisor Rich Clarida. In this analysis, the authors identify the six key themes that emerged from our discussion, as well as six risks.

2015-07-21 00:00:00 Markets Show Life While Consumers Hold Back by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses why consumer spending remains sluggish, and what it means for the market.

2015-07-21 00:00:00 Jason Zweig Is Wrong About Gold by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

Jason Zweig’s latest post is titled Let’s Be Honest About Gold: It’s A Pet Rock and attempts to debunk most of the reasons people own gold but oddly skips over the one I believe to be most important and is still wholly intact.

2015-07-20 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of July 13-17; Earnings Season Begins, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The Federal Reserve issued two important documents last week: the Beige Book and Chairperson Yellen’s latest Congressional testimony. The Beige Book was largely positive. Non-financial service growth is moderate. Real estate is growing and the employment picture was generally positive. Strong demand for autos sales helped increase consumer spending. The only negative was manufacturing which was uneven due to the strong dollar and weak energy sector.

2015-07-20 00:00:00 On My Radar: Black Widow Returns by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“When it does happen, it’s usually not the first-derivative event that people are caught off guard by. They’re caught off guard by the second, third and fourth derivative events. It’s ‘Oh yeah, when interest rates go up, that happens.”– Gary Cohn, Goldman Sachs’ President and COO

2015-07-20 00:00:00 Iranian Oil to Fuel Further Price Drop? by Norman MacDonald of Invesco Blog

As part of the intensely negotiated nuclear agreement with Iran announced on July 14, Western financial and economic sanctions in place since 2011, including an oil embargo imposed on Iran by the US and the European Union, will be lifted. With a deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in the rearview mirror, observers are questioning the return of Iranian oil to the world market: When will it happen, and how much will it be?

2015-07-20 00:00:00 Release the Condor! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there was an advertising company trying to come up with a video commercial to introduce Buick’s new car. After a number of the ad company’s proposals were turned down, they came up with the idea of the car cruising on a road down the side of a mountain with an eagle superimposed flying over it. Buick loved it! There was, however, one problem; you cannot capture, or tame, an eagle. Therefore it was decided to use a condor.

2015-07-20 00:00:00 Equities Rise as the Focus Returns to Fundamentals by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities experienced their largest one-week gain since late March last week, with the S&P 500 Index rising 2.4%. Much of the gain came from an easing of Greece’s debt problems and a calming of volatility in China’s equity market. In both cases, policymakers achieved some breathing room, but fundamental issues remain. Greece must still engage in some serious structural reforms and the Chinese economy is still experiencing a significant slowdown.

2015-07-20 00:00:00 Shopping for Bargains in Russian Retailers by Henry D'Auria, Justin Moreau of AllianceBernstein

Russian equities are among the cheapest in the world amid political and economic controversy. Yet investors might be surprised to discover that the rapidly developing retail industry offers undervalued opportunities with attractive return potential.

2015-07-20 00:00:00 Understanding “Liquidity” by Payson Swaffield of Eaton Vance

In the U.S., the consumer economy is strengthening, while the industrial economy continues to struggle. What does it mean for equities?

2015-07-19 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 More Evidence of China Slowing Permeating Asia – 7/16/2015 by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

Yesterday saw a few more weaker data points out of Australia and South Korea that are worthy of mention. Namely, Australian consumer confidence dropped again to around the lowest it’s been since 2009 and South Korea unemployment remained at its cycle highs. No matter what the top line China GDP number was, there is no doubt that China is on a structurally slower growth trajectory and this is most definitely affecting its closest neighbors.

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 Tracking the Market with Social Media by Blair Jensen of Trade Followers

I’m starting to see signs that market participants on Twitter are turning from bullish to neutral. This is the first sign of longer term weakness from the Twitter stream that I’ve seen since mid to late 2012. Before the strong rally that started in late 2012 it was common for 7 day momentum to stay below zero for extended periods of time as traders were accustom to periodic corrections. The lack of a decline greater than 10% in since then has kept 7 day momentum mostly above zero with a few small dips that quickly reverse higher. It seems that we’ve all been conditioned to buy the dip.

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 Schwab Market Perspective: Slow Summer?! by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Summer is supposed to be a time of slow trading, light news, and an opportunity for vacations. But the past several weeks have been anything but slow. Greece—a country representing 0.38% of the world economy based on gross domestic product (GDP), has dominated attention; China’s recent stock market plunge also dented sentiment among US investors. It’s meant the “running to stand still” characteristic of this year’s first half is persistent. In fact, the first half of the year saw the S&P 500 trade in its narrowest range in history.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 Crude Oil Is the Best-Performing Commodity of 2015 So Far by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The widest expansion this year was made by none other than crude oil, the worst-performing commodity of 2014. As of June 30, oil posted gains of over 11 percent, rising to $59.47 per barrel. After falling more than 50 percent since last summer, though, it had little else to go but up. That oil claimed the top spot just highlights the reality that commodities are in a depressed state right now.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 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 International Economic Week in Review: Kicking the Greek Can Down the Road, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Obviously, the big news this week was the Greek deal. This only delayed the inevitable. The plan calls for additional austerity measures, which have been completely ineffective. Greek unemployment is over 25%; the economy is in the middle of a depression, and the debt/GDP ratio increased from 105% in 2008 to 177% currently. The country will simply continue on this path for the foreseeable future, leading to another inevitable conflict with the lending troika. The ECB also issued its policy statement this week, which kept rates unchanged.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 Northern Trust Perspective by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

Last month we said that the odds favored some sort of “kick the can down the road” agreement between Greece and its creditors, and it looks like that may be coming to pass. While there’s still much work to be done, the tone of the current agreement seems focused on avoiding a euro exit and debt write-downs, while ignoring growth-oriented policies. With the hard decisions yet again put off for another day, this should be euro-weakening, all else equal.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 China's Rebalancing Continues by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

The rebalancing of China’s economy continued in the second quarter of this year, as services and consumer spending drove more growth than industry and construction. The inevitable deceleration of most year-on-year (YoY) growth rates also continued, but a booming stock market provided a temporary lift to headline GDP growth.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 Productivity and Modern-Day Horse Manure by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

What exactly do we mean by this “productivity” word? I’ve given this a good deal of thought lately, and I plan to explore it in my newsletters over the next few months. As you will see, productivity growth has both a positive side and a very negative side.

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 U.S. Economy Slouches toward Recession as Eurozone Crisis Widens by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen may have missed her window of opportunity to raise interest rates. The economic data no longer paint a picture of even a tepid recovery. Since the start of the year, key indicators for the economy began pointing toward recession.

2015-07-16 00:00:00 Sometimes Waterfalls Aren’t Beautiful by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Over 25 years ago I took my family (my wife, Pat, and two sons, Michael and David) to the big island of Hawaii. It was a dream comes true. We’d been to Honolulu, Kauai, and Maui, but not to the Big Island. Our family spent two weeks in a car circumnavigating the isle on our own. It was a joy not to be forgotten. Early on in our trip, it became apparent that the major island attractions (after the live volcano that is) were the waterfalls. We seemed to race from one waterfall to another as we circled the island.

2015-07-16 00:00:00 Market Overview Q215 by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

Massive interventions by central banks over the last several years have created a “game of Chicken” that has fundamentally changed investing into an exercise that more closely resembles gambling. Until the game resolves investors will do well to recognize this “game” as largely unwinnable and await better opportunities later.

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 China: Searching for a New Equilibrium by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

Overall, based on our detailed analysis, we believe China will remain on course … while the economy shifts toward consumption, services and higher value-added manufacturing. This could have important implications for the global economy.

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 The Mirage of the Financial Singularity by Robert Shiller of Project Syndicate

Many economists and financial-market observers seem to believe that we are approaching the point when even Warren Buffett would be better off leaving all investment decisions to a computer program. How, then, would they explain the recent plunge in China's stock market?

2015-07-15 00:00:00 Become Like Water My Friend by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

I used to love watching the History Channel. Back in the good ole days (which actually weren’t too long ago), it would feature real historical content like documentaries, mini-series, and regular programs dedicated to some of the most interesting moments in which human beings have participated. When nothing else seemed to be on the other 300 stations, I could at least count on the History Channel to help kill a few minutes without killing my brain cells in the process.

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 China’s Market Correction in Three Easy Charts by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The sheer size and importance of China’s equity markets cannot be overstated. Second in size only to the New York Stock Exchange, the combined value of the Asian country’s stock markets is $14 trillion and change. Or at least it was, before they fell 30 percent, wiping away nearly $2 trillion in value. To put this in perspective, the gross domestic product (GDP) of debt-troubled Greece is around $200 billion.

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.

2015-07-15 00:00:00 How Socialism Destroyed Puerto Rico, and How Capitalism Can Save It by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

While Greece is now dominating the debt default stage, the real tragedy is playing out much closer to home, with the downward spiral of Puerto Rico. As in Greece, the Puerto Rican economy has been destroyed by its...

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 Our Bipolar Economy by Edward Perkin of Eaton Vance

In the U.S., the consumer economy is strengthening, while the industrial economy continues to struggle. What does it mean for equities?

2015-07-14 00:00:00 An Update on China from Charlie Awdry by (Article)

Charlie Awdry, Investment Manager in Henderson’s Asia ex Japan equities team, discusses the recent volatility we are seeing in Chinese equity markets. With shares being suspended from trading and further government action expected, this downturn in Chinese equities is causing nervousness among investors in the retail investor dominated Chinese markets.

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 How Likely is Hyperinflation in the U.S? Part Two by Seaborn Hall (Article)

My previous article covered hyperinflation's history, process, effects, definition, types and causes. Part Two answers the questions of how to gauge the likelihood of hyperinflation in the U.S., what the emerging dangers are, how it might happen here and how to prepare if it does.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 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 Perspectives on China by Nick Niziolek of Calamos Investments

There are considerable opportunities in China for disciplined, fundamentally driven investors. China’s medium- and longer-term secular tailwinds remain intact. Our team continues to encourage investors to look past the short-term noise and remain focused on the longer-term potential. The economic transition that China is attempting is incredibly challenging. Right now, Chinese regulators have taken a kitchen-sink approach. While it hasn’t achieved the desired effect, it affirms the depth of China’s commitment to stabilize its markets.

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.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Falling Earnings Sink the Stock Market? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

There is special interest in 2nd quarter earnings both as a read on the economy and trends in costs and margins. Ordinarily the focus would be Fed Chair Yellen’s House testimony on Wednesday and the reprise on Thursday. She has stated her viewpoint so frequently – rate hike possible, data dependent, expecting better growth – that a surprise is unlikely.

2015-07-13 00:00:00 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.

2015-07-13 00:00:00 The Invisible Hand Clobbers the Shanghai Market – And the State Intervenes by Joseph Taylor of Loomis Sayles

Anything that goes up as fast as the Chinese stock market was bound to correct. The Shanghai Composite Index value doubled over the last seven months (December 2014 – July 2015) and the rise was not based on brightening fundamentals (the Chinese economy has been slowing for more than a year.)

2015-07-13 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of July 6-10: The Fed Speaks, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Aside from two Federal Reserve releases, the only major news announcement was the ISM services index, which printed a very strong 56% headline number. New orders were a bullish 58.3 while employment was 52.7.

2015-07-13 00:00:00 On My Radar: High Probability of a Global Recession by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Economists have a number of different ways to measure over and under valuation. Most measures currently show an overvalued equity market. Let’s just say the market is expensively priced.

2015-07-13 00:00:00 Politicians Should Stop Giving Investment Advice by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

For the past six years, the conventional wisdom has predicted the end of the world. On the left, they say “Tea Party austerity” is a catastrophe and an “income divide” spells doom. On the right, the election of President Obama made collapse inevitable. Anything and everything that could be spun negatively, has been.

2015-07-11 00:00:00 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 Signs the U.S. Recovery is Solid by Rick Rieder of BlackRock Investment Management

Rick Rieder dispels pessimistic evaluations of the U.S. economy, explaining why the U.S. recovery is actually stronger than headline data would have you believe.

2015-07-11 00:00:00 Themes from the First Half of 2015 and Questions for the Second Half by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The weekly commentary is a review of current activity in global financial markets, with an emphasis on the U.S. fixed income market.

2015-07-11 00:00:00 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.

2015-07-11 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review for July 6-10; It's all Greek to Me, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Greece is obviously the big story of the week. As of this writing, it appears a compromise might be in play. But this is a very fluid situation, so that could change within an hour. Several weeks ago, I noted that given the massively high unemployment rate and GDP contraction, there is little left for Greece to cut without becoming a failed state. Be that as it may, it appears even more cuts are coming.

2015-07-10 00:00:00 Story of China Still Intact Despite Market Downturn by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

In my view, the bottom line regarding the recent correction in China’s markets is essentially a story of too much euphoria and a natural correction.

2015-07-10 00:00:00 More Evidence of China Slowing Permeating Asia by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

Yesterday and today were host to a few more macro data points all signaling basically the same thing – a synchronized slowdown in Asia which appears to be driven by China. In the five charts below we show that Chinese CPI remains anemic while PPI just made a new cycle low, Australian unemployment ticked up, Japanese bank loans appear to be topping/rolling over, the Japanese economy watchers survey is rolling over, and Japanese machinery orders excluding ships keeps weakening.

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.

2015-07-10 00:00:00 Is This the Big One? What to Do in a Financial Crisis by (Article)

If it seems we've focused on crises for years, that's because we have. Are the events of the past few weeks simply another temporary shock to the global financial system, or indicative of something much bigger?

2015-07-10 00:00:00 Greek Referendum: Definitive Vote Ushers in Further Uncertainty by Rob Waldner, Mark Nash of Invesco Blog

Greek voters sent a definitive message Sunday, July 5. They said “no” to further austerity measures required for additional bailout aid from the European Union (EU). In a 60/40 vote, Greek voters rejected EU reforms and entitlement cuts required for a new EU funding program. But according to exit polls, the referendum did not appear to be a vote to leave the euro.

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 China Reveals The Perils Of Leverage by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

I have, on more than one occasion, discussed the surging levels of margin debt in the U.S. markets. These discussions were met by opposing points of view suggesting that margin debt doesn't matter.

2015-07-09 00:00:00 Range-Bound ?? by Jim Tillar, Steve Wenstrup of Tillar-Wenstrup Advisors

In spite of an increase in daily volatility the stock market has been stuck in a tight trading range this year. There has been a lot of huffing and puffing with markets going nowhere until very recently. Many stock indices were down for the quarter, some only positive due to their dividends and have returned less than 2% in 2015. The biggest action was a reversal in interest rates as investors anticipated the Fed raising interest rates later this year.

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.

2015-07-08 00:00:00 More of the Same by Scott Brown of Raymond James

The U.S. economic data reports have remained mixed, consistent with a moderately strong pace of growth in the near term. The June jobs data suggest that a September Fed rate hike may be a closer call than thought earlier. Meanwhile, Greece’s economy is in tatters. The country has to face the burden of further austerity or the chaos of a euro exit.

2015-07-08 00:00:00 The Fed After the "No" by John Canally of LPL Financial

The “no” vote in the Greek referendum on July 5, 2015, will potentially raise the level of economic and financial market volatility in the coming weeks as global investors assess the market and economic risks associated with an increasingly likely Greek exit (Grexit) from the Eurozone and from the Eurozone’s common currency, the euro.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Asia Better Positioned to Handle a Hike by Sponsored Content from Invesco (Article)

It’s no surprise investors are concerned about whether a Fed rate hike will cause a replay of 2013’s taper tantrum meltdown in Asia. In our view, Asian markets are better positioned today to withstand short-term deterioration in global sentiment when the Fed decides to hike rates.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 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 Jobs Take Backseat to Greece’s Austerity Vote by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Kristina Hooper, US Investment Strategist for Allianz Global Investors, dissects the June employment report and the investment implications of a deepening debt crisis in Greece, which is likely to spur higher volatility and renewed contagion fears.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 The Summer Solstice and Mid-Year Thoughts by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Reflecting on the first half of 2015, while littered with geopolitical events, shows very little upside progress for the S&P 500 (SPX/2076.78). In fact, my notes of more than 50 years show no other time when the SPX was never up or down more than 3.5% year-to-date (YTD).

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Does Greece Pose a Threat to Global Markets? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ explains why the situation in Greece likely doesn’t pose a longer-term threat to the global economy or financial markets.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Big Door Opens to Smaller Chinese Companies by Liliana Castillo Dearth of AllianceBernstein

Structural changes in Chinese stock markets are opening up an entire world of smaller-cap stocks to foreign investors. But with valuations high and profitability low, make sure you know what you’re buying before diving in.

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 Recession Probability Models - July 2015 by Ted Kavadas of StratX, LLC

There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will FedSpeak Interrupt the Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

In one sense, the week ahead should be a quiet, dull semi-vacation. As Nat King Cole explained, the Lazy-Hazy-Crazy days of summer – pretzels, beer, and bikinis that never got wet. It is the lull before earnings and includes a light economic calendar. Will the A-Team need to return from the beach because of Greece? Or will it be a quiet week, disturbed only by an avalanche of FedSpeak and consequent punditry? One way or another, I think we will (finally) put the Greek drama behind us and resume the familiar debate about the Fed.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Emerging-Market Stocks: Back on the Map by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

After the volatility of the past few years, conditions once again appear favorable for this asset class.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 A Greek Play by Dr. Richard Michaud of New Frontier Advisors

The second quarter of 2015 experienced heightened bond market volatility in anticipation of the Fed’s first rate increase as well as international equity volatility involving Greek debt and Chinese equities. Despite whipsawed volatility, the major domestic and international equity indices ended close to where they started.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Are You Really Keeping Your Eye on the Ball? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

I was playing catch with my great-nephew, Bryson, over the weekend. He is just two years old and is a charmer. As we tossed the ball back and forth, he caught it and threw it back on target more times than he missed.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 China’s Stock Markets Imploded In June - Why? by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

While the mainstream media has been obsessed with Greece over the last month or so, there has been scant attention paid to the fact that China’s high-flying stock markets unexpectedly have plummeted in June and were down around 30% through the end of last week.

2015-07-06 00:00:00 Judging the Future at a Speculative Peak by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

With valuations still extreme and deterioration in market action continuing to indicate a shift toward risk-aversion among investors, we are less concerned about specific factors such as Greece than about much more general pressures that threaten to force an upward spike in compressed risk-premiums. We’ve often noted that a market collapse is nothing other than that phenomenon: razor-thin risk premiums that are then pressed abruptly to higher levels.

2015-07-06 00:00:00 Why Chinese Stocks are in a Bear Market and it Doesn’t Matter by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

Chinese stocks are down a cool 30% from their high less than one month ago, but it matters little to most investors.

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 Greece: Thinking the Unthinkable by Darren Williams of AllianceBernstein

Yesterday’s referendum has pushed Greece closer to euro-area exit, which would plunge the region into uncharted waters. But policymakers have powerful tools to combat contagion and prevent a Greek accident from triggering a wider recession.

2015-07-06 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of June 29-July3; Some Weakness Technical Emerging by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The biggest news last week was the employment report, which contained a headline number (223,000) a bit weaker than we’ve gotten used to. But, there is a very reasonable explanation.

2015-07-06 00:00:00 The Big Picture by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

The past four years or so have been extremely frustrating for investors like me who have structured their portfolios around the belief that the current experiments in central bank stimulus, the anti-business drift in Washington, and America's mediocre economy and unresolved debt issues would push down the value of the dollar, push up commodity prices, and favor assets in economies with relatively low debt levels and higher GDP growth. But since the beginning of 2011, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied 67% while the rest of the world has been largely stuck in the mud.

2015-07-06 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.

2015-07-06 00:00:00 U.S. Stock Market: Should You Be Worried? by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

Yesterday wasn’t a good day for the stock market—anywhere. When I wrote yesterday’s post, the U.S. markets were only off by a bit. But the drop later in the day looked like it might be a bad sign; at a little over 2 percent, it was the largest one-day dip in some time.

2015-07-06 00:00:00 What does the Outcome of the Greek Referendum Mean? by John Greenwood of Invesco Blog

On Sunday, July 5, the Greek people had to choose in a referendum between Scylla and Charybdis: voting “Yes” if they were willing to accept the demands of their creditors and “No” if they rejected those proposals. The outcome was that approximately 61% voted “No” and 39% voted “Yes” in a turnout of 62% (6.16 million people out of 9.86 million registered voters).

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 All That Crap About Not Panicking? by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

It is still true. As I write this post Monday after the close there is still a lot of uncertainty on how Greece will precisely play out. Markets were down on Monday of course, right now the S&P 500 is at 2057 right around where it started the year and is flirting with its 200 day moving average.

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.

2015-07-02 00:00:00 Why the Greek Bailout Failed by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

As the crisis in Greek demonstrates, imposing structural reforms from outside a country is unlikely to succeed without the willingness of a capable government. If a bailout program requires a wholesale change in a country’s economic model, moving swiftly to write down outstanding debts may be the more sensible option.

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 Greece Firestorm Won't Stifle Consumer Comeback by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Investors should expect more volatility in the stock market and larger flows into US Treasuries this week given the increased likelihood of a Grexit. Rather than hide, investors could view this crisis as a buying opportunity—a chance to position their portfolios for the second half of 2015. Over the longer term, fundamentals like job creation and a healthier consumer play a far more important role.

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 The Greek Saga Escalates by Carl Tannenbaum, Victoria Marklew of Northern Trust

The situation in Greece has taken some unexpected turns over the past several days, commanding the lion’s share of the market’s attention ever since. Following are answers to the questions we are being asked most frequently about the situation.

2015-07-01 00:00:00 Epic Uncertainty: Markets React to Greek Debt Crisis by Laura Sarlo of Loomis Sayles

It's a tense standoff between Greece and its international creditors. Unless both sides dramatically return to the negotiating table, Greece looks set to default on its €1.5 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan payment on June 30.

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 ProVise Bullets by Team of ProVise Management Group

Okay, so where did the last six months go? Hard to believe that half of 2015 is gone and even harder to believe that we have a presidential election coming up in “only” 16 months. Of course, with all the candidates coming out, especially on the Republican side, it is going to be an interesting 10-12 months while the primaries play out.

2015-07-01 00:00:00 Growth Matters by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

We have found that companies in the consumer or retail space with a high market share can benefit from rising consumption and GDP per capita. These investments are particularly attractive if profit margins can be improved.

2015-07-01 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 Can American Funds Sustain Its Outperformance? by Larry Swedroe (Article)

Among actively managed funds, American Funds has a reputation for providing investor-friendly, low-cost products with sustained records of outperformance. But has it outperformed comparable funds from Vanguard and Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA)? If so, should investors expect its funds to maintain their edge?

2015-06-30 00:00:00 S&P 500 Suffers First 2% Down Day Since End of 2014 by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

Today was no doubt a risk off day for the markets. There was persistent selling pressure in stocks worldwide with the S&P 500 down 2.09%, but international indexes down quite a bit more. Given that today was the first 2% down day since December 18th, 2014 and October 10th, 2014 before that, we thought we’d highlight the utter lack of volatility in these markets since the end of 2011.

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 Greece Isn’t the Only Problem U.S. Stocks Face by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Several factors are dampening investor sentiment, including Greece and an emerging bear market in China. However, for U.S. markets, a longer-term problem may be one closer to home. Russ explains.

2015-06-30 00:00:00 Independence Day?: “Greferendum” on July 5 Rocks Markets by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

“Greferendum”… the new “it” word of the day. In the United States, we celebrate Independence Day on July 4; but investors today are more interested in whether the following day will mark an independence day for Greece. As last week came to a close, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras walked away from talks with his country’s creditors and announced a referendum scheduled for July 5.

2015-06-30 00:00:00 It Never Rains in California by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

Ted Cruz recently suggested praying for rain in Texas, and apparently someone did a few weeks ago, producing a deluge resembling a modern day Noah’s Ark of sorts. California’s Governor Brown on the other hand, has taken a more secular approach. He believes that Mammon, not God, bears responsibility for the Golden State’s record drought and that I, we, all of us simple folk should cut back water usage by a minimum of 25%.

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 Floating-Rate Loan Investors: Clairvoyant or Missing Out? by Scott Page, Craig Russ, Christopher Remington of Eaton Vance

In a rising rate environment, we put floating-rate loans high on the list of fixed-income investment classes likely to perform well in 2015.

2015-06-29 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of June 22-26; Getting Ready For a Move Higher? Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

First quarter economic data was largely bearish, as confirmed by last week’s third revision to GDP data. While the .2% decrease was better than the -.7% in the second revision, it was still negative.

2015-06-29 00:00:00 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 Weighing the Week Ahead: Greek Ripples or Economic Fireworks? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The elements are in place for a week of fireworks. Barring some unlikely last-minute news, we are expecting a Greek bank holiday and capital controls on Monday, followed by one of the biggest weeks of the year for economic data, all crammed into a holiday shortened week. Will it be…

2015-06-29 00:00:00 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

2015-06-29 00:00:00 Newsletter - June 2015 by Harold Evensky of Evensky & Katz

Ever hear of Noah? I hadn’t until I read an article in Institutional Investors. It turns our Noah is a NYSE-listed wealth management firm – a Chinese wealth management firm. It employs 779 relationship managers in 94 offices in 64 cities throughout China! Not only that, it was founded and managed by Chairman and CEO Wang Jingbo, a young woman! I remember hearing a lot about a “New Era” in the ’90s. That story fizzled, but I believe this story is about a real New Era. It’s a risky time to be myopic with a home country bias in investing.

2015-06-29 00:00:00 CEF Market Update by (Article)

Discounts widened in the CEF market in the first half of 2015, creating potential opportunities for investors, says Cara Esser of Morningstar.

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 $8 Trillion Alternative Energy Boom Is a Win for Copper by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

As the world’s population continues to grow, and as more people in developing and emerging countries gain access to electricity, the role alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal play should skyrocket. Between now and 2040, a massive $8 trillion will be spent globally on renewables, about two thirds of all energy spending, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Solar power alone is expected to draw $3.7 trillion.

2015-06-27 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 High Drama for the Hellenic Republic by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Hard realities and hardened positions are combining to create a dangerous game of financial chicken between Greece and its creditors. We can only hope they avoid a headlong collision that could create a lot of collateral damage.

2015-06-27 00:00:00 Is The Decline in the Euro Over? by Jennifer Thomson of GaveKal Capital

Though downward pressure on the EUR/USD exchange rate has eased a bit since April, we can’t yet say for certain that the trend has reversed. We will be watching these charts, in particular, for any clues as conditions in the Eurozone evolve over the coming weeks.

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.

2015-06-26 00:00:00 International Economic Week In Review For the Week of June 22-26; More Good News, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

It appears more and more likely that Japan has shaken off the negative impact of the sales tax hike from a year ago. The EU appears to be growing. Australia, while still growing at a ~2% clip, is feeling the negative impact of the commodity bear market. The US has shaken off the weak 1Q number.

2015-06-26 00:00:00 India's Structural Challenges by Sudarshan Murthy of Matthews Asia

India is in need of sweeping reforms in order to realize the full power of its entrepreneurial talent and to ensure social improvements for its poor and middle class. Despite some encouraging efforts, the Modi government may need significant time to carry out such reforms, as its many public institutions are still a far cry from being considered inclusive—meaning they lack such attributes as well-defined property ownership rights, flexible labor policies and all-encompassing political representation.

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 Take Shareholder Yield With a Grain of Salt by Jeff Middleswart of Ranger International

A valuation measure called “shareholder yield” has gained credence among investors of late. While shareholder yield may be a one of many useful valuation measures, we caution against overemphasizing the metric. We are particularly concerned that the measure is indifferent to whether cash flow is spent on dividends or share buybacks, the latter being a questionable allocation of capital in our view.

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 Building for the Future: Infrastructure in Emerging Markets by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

Emerging economies in general have experienced stronger economic growth trends than developed markets over the past decade, a trend that I expect to continue. That growth, combined with rising populations and a trend toward urbanization, requires more infrastructure.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 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 Invest in Tomorrow Today by Lewis Piantedosi, Yana Barton of Eaton Vance

In our view, some of the most attractive equity opportunities these days are tied to several compelling megatrends that are likely to persist over the coming years in the technology, healthcare and consumer sectors.

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 America, China, and the Productivity Paradox by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate

As American and Chinese leaders meet for their annual Strategic Dialogue, they need not look far to find a shared challenge. Both are now victims of the “productivity paradox”: huge investments in information technology and Internet-enabled goods and services have been accompanied by slower growth in output per worker.

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.

2015-06-23 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 How Likely is Hyperinflation in the U.S? Part One by Seaborn Hall (Article)

Since the great financial crisis, perhaps the most talked about scenario for the next crisis to hit the U.S. has been hyperinflation due to high levels of Treasury debt and Federal Reserve Bank liabilities. Fortunately, the logic that produces this chain of events is specious.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 Looking Beyond the Babble over Bubbles by Serena Perin Vinton of Franklin Templeton Investments

Longer term, we do not think an increase in interest rates would necessarily be a negative for equity markets, particularly because a return to normal rates would be regarded as a sign of the Fed's confidence in the strength of the US economy and its belief that the economy could stand on its own.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 Equities Gather Momentum on Positive Indicators by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities finished higher last week as the S&P 500 increased 0.8%, recording its highest weekly gain since April. The dovish message from Wednesday’s FOMC announcement boosted markets. Contagion from Greece appears relatively contained. The sell-off in equities in China did not impact global markets. The health care, consumer staples and utilities sectors rallied. Financials lagged as banking lost momentum and energy underperformed.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 Cyber Security and Terrorism: Case Studies by Kaisa Stucke of Confluence Investment Management

This week we will look at two case studies of cyber attacks aimed at sovereign nations, the Estonian cyber attacks in 2007 that spanned three weeks and the multi-faceted attacks in Georgia in 2008. We will then look at the current state of international cyber attack research, readiness and cooperation. We have had the pleasure of talking to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Center of Excellence about their work and will communicate their vision and challenges.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 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.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 Why VBINX is the Wrong Benchmark For Global Tactical Asset Allocation Strategies by Adam Butler, Michael Philbrick, Rodrigo Gordillo of BPG & Associates

We recently came across a couple of articles making the sensational claim that TAA is nothing more than a repackaged and dressed-up version of market timing. Both articles – and others, we’ve subsequently learned – point to a Morningstar study showing that TAA has underperformed the Vanguard U.S. 60/40 balanced fund over the past few years.

2015-06-22 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of June 15-19; Better News But Still A Touch Slog by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Let’s start by looking at the leading indicators which were up .7. The breadth of the LEIs was very positive; there were no negative numbers while only 1 (the average work week) was 0.0.

2015-06-22 00:00:00 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 Greece Implications for Global Carry by Alexander Giryavets of Dynamika Capital L.L.C.

At least some large money managers have been seriously concerned about possible Greece implications for global asset dynamics. We briefly present one counter-intuitive and contrarian point of view on possible Greece implications for Global Carry and possible hedges and tail-hedges based on recently emerged link of Global Carry and Dollar.

2015-06-22 00:00:00 A Chinese Swap Meet by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

The new local bond swap program of China’s Communist Party is its latest effort to manage debt. It aims both to make the amount and structure of local government debt more transparent, and to reduce the financing burden of local government debt. Could this be considered a version of quantitative easing or a bailout? Could it lead to local government defaults?

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.

2015-06-20 00:00:00 Public Pensions: Live and Let Die by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

I am not sure if my heart was ever that much of an open book, but I like to think I’m still relatively young. Nevertheless, I must admit that sometimes I want to “give in and cry.” This is especially so when I look at our nation’s public pension funds.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 How to Play the Fed’s Big News Day by Kristina Hooper, Steve Malin, Greg Meier of Allianz Global Investors

Although the FOMC tried hard not to make headlines, there’s still plenty to parse in its latest communications. Bonds are likely to exhibit more volatility as we near liftoff, which is likely to happen in September. And based on the Fed’s “dots” forecast, we may even see two rate hikes in 2015.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: June by Team of Franklin Templeton Investments

In spite of lingering concerns about Greece’s fate, the European economy would appear to have hit a sweet spot marked by steadily improving growth and inflation figures along with declining unemployment.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Gold in the Age of Soaring Debt by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Ever wonder how much gold has ever been exhumed in the history of the world? The GFMS Gold Survey estimates that the total amount is approximately 183,600 tonnes, or 5.9 billion ounces. If we take that figure and multiply it by the closing price on June 16, $1,181 per ounce, we find that the value of all gold comes within a nugget’s throw of $7 trillion.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Joining the Dots: Fed Keeps Rates Unchanged While Lowering “Dots” by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) kept the fed funds rate unchanged from its 0-0.25% range, where it’s been since 2008. The decision was unanimous. The Fed did raise its assessment of the economy and labor market, which reinforces the view—shared by us—that the Fed will begin hiking rates in September, barring a significant change in the trajectory of the economy, jobs or inflation. It would be the first interest rate increase in almost 10 years.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 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 Federal Reserve, Abenomics, Trans-Pacific Partnership by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Central banks around the world have held interest rates at or near zero for quite a while. This action was justified in the wake of the financial crisis. But there are those who think that zero, in this setting, has become a dangerous concept.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 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.

2015-06-18 00:00:00 Who Would Have Guessed? Russia is the Best Performing, and Cheapest, Country Index YTD by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

Raise your hand if you thought Russia would be the best performing country index through roughly the first half of 2015? I imagine there aren’t too many digital hands up right now…

2015-06-17 00:00:00 Corporate Tax Reform: Should You Care? by Edward Perkin of Eaton Vance

Taking all of the current tax reform efforts together, we conclude that while nothing is imminent, global corporate tax rates are likely to converge over time.

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 Weighing the Week Ahead: A Market Message for the Fed? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

While few expect a change in Fed policy at this week’s FOMC meeting, it will still be the center of attention. With last week’s interest rate jump, I expect the theme to be: Is the market sending the Fed a message?

2015-06-17 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 How to Use Color to Make an Impact by Daniel Solin (Article)

Most firms have marketing materials available on their websites and in hard copy. And every advisor communicates with clients via email and through periodic performance reports. I have yet, however, to meet an advisor who pays the same attention to these materials as they do to their clothes or the way their office is appointed.

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 Take an Opportunistic Approach to the Municipal Market by Adam Weigold of Eaton Vance

The municipal market is vast: approximately 60,000 different issuers, over one million CUSIPs and about $3.7 trillion outstanding. Navigating this disparate universe is tremendously difficult for individual investors and their advisors.

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 Two Pillars Support US Growth: Consumers and Corporates by Grant Bowers of Franklin Templeton Investments

While we believe the current strength in the dollar will likely persist going forward, we don’t see it as a meaningful detractor from earnings growth for many companies over the long term.

2015-06-15 00:00:00 Worried About Rising Rates? Go Global by Alison Martier of AllianceBernstein

US-only bond investors are affected by one business cycle, one yield curve, one monetary policy. As long as interest rates were falling, that was good. But it doesn’t sound so good now.

2015-06-15 00:00:00 Luxury Spending in China by Winnie Chwang of Matthews Asia

Over the past decade, conspicuous consumption has been seen across China and Hong Kong, emerging as a natural by-product of an economy experiencing rapidly rising levels of affluence. Across China, there have been stories of unbelievable extravagance, from diamond-studded smartphone cases to gold-plated sport cars and replicas of homes that resemble the White House. However, these days of excessive spending in China may already have waned. Asia Weekly explores.

2015-06-15 00:00:00 A Rule of Law for Sovereign Debt by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

To avoid economic and political instability, governments sometimes need to restructure their debts. But, in the absence of an international rule of law for doing so, the world pays a higher price than it should: a poorly functioning debt market, marked by unnecessary strife and costly delays in addressing problems when they arise.

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 June Economic Update by John Richards of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild

A drop in exports, poor weather, and shipping yard difficulties led the U.S. economy back into negative territory after GDP was revised downward to -0.7%. Many economists believe this is a similar situation to what we saw in 2014 with a drop in GDP during the first quarter, and a subsequent rebound in the following quarters. However, the strong dollar effect has continued into April and May and will continue to provide a headwind for GDP. The preference by consumers to save additional earnings instead of spend is also putting downward pressure on growth.

2015-06-15 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.

2015-06-14 00:00:00 When You Look Back On This Moment In History by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

There are moments in time when durable history is made; history that others observe much later, shaking their heads, at a loss to understand how the events that followed could not have been obvious at the time. When you look back on this moment in history, remember these things. When you look back on this moment in history, remember that spectacular extremes in reliable valuation measures already told you how the story would end.

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 It Pays to Be Choosy in Emerging Markets by Morgan Harting of AllianceBernstein

Emerging equities remain rich in return opportunity, in our view. But as their recent whiplash behavior illustrates, capitalizing on this potential will require far greater selectivity than it did in the past.

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 Against this Rosy Backdrop by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

While bonds are still reasonably valued, yields have risen more than expected and seasonals appear to have turned against equities.

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 Luxury Spending in China by Winnie Chwang of Matthews Asia

Over the past decade, conspicuous consumption has been seen across China and Hong Kong, emerging as a natural by-product of an economy experiencing rapidly rising levels of affluence. Across China, there have been stories of unbelievable extravagance, from diamond-studded smartphone cases to gold-plated sport cars and replicas of homes that resemble the White House. However, these days of excessive spending in China may already have waned. Asia Weekly explores.

2015-06-12 00:00:00 Tug of War by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

The current stalemate in the US market could continue for some time, with bouts of volatility and pullbacks expected as the market anticipates the initial rate hike. Be prepared by staying diversified and consider buying protection, but we would view such an event as the pause that refreshes and help set up the next sustainable bull run. Investors should also look overseas as the aggressive stimulus measures being taken by the ECB appear to be beneficially impacting the economy, and may help equities perform better in the coming months.

2015-06-11 00:00:00 Risky Business: Single-Manager Target-Date Funds by Daniel J. Loewy, Christopher Nikolich of AllianceBernstein

Target-date funds are the only big pool of assets overseen by fiduciaries that typically rely on single-manager solutions. Best practices—and our research—suggest a multi-manager approach is better.

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 IMF Urges Fed Not To Raise Interest Rates Until 2016 by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

On Thursday of last week, the International Monetary Fund downgraded its forecast for US economic growth this year from 3.1% earlier in the year to only 2.5% now. That is not surprising in light of the mainly disappointing economic reports we’ve seen recently, and other forecasters have been revising their estimates lower as well.

2015-06-11 00:00:00 When Following the Herd is Risky, Where is the Safety? by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

Risk and safety. Safety and risk. In investing, as in life, balancing both is an ongoing challenge. We know intuitively that all of either one or the other rarely yields the results we want, but finding the right mix is easier said than done.

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 Can We Recover from the Public Debt Crisis? Of Course We Can by Laurence Siegel (Article)

Is the world facing a public-debt crisis, or is too much debt just another headache we will muddle through? How can investors distinguish between countries that are likely to default or otherwise injure debtholders, such as through high inflation, and those that will resolve their debt problems and emerge stronger? How can countries deal with high and rising levels of debt and return their finances to a sound footing?

2015-06-09 00:00:00 Four Reasons Why We Do Not Hedge Against Currency Volatility by Sponsored Content from Invesco (Article)

Currency volatility has continued to be a clear theme so far in 2015. Our International Growth strategy doesn't hedge for currency exposure, and never has. In essence, the team is much more concerned with what company managements are doing than central bankers.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 Me, Lord Marlboro, and the Dow?! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Holy cow, somebody must have slipped American Pharaoh a “sugar cube” last Saturday as horse and jockey (Victor Espinoza) made the turn into the withering stretch at Belmont Park and pulled away from the rest of the pack. Hopefully, somebody will feed a “sugar cube” to the stock market this week because it certainly needs it.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 AMT doesn’t have to stand for “add more tax” by Cindy Clemson, Tom Metzold of Eaton Vance

Muni bonds exempt from Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) may help impacted investors.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 China’s Roaring Market by Edmund Harriss of Guinness Atkinson Asset Management

Chinese stock markets have roared in the past year, since May 2014. The Chinese government has announced a $40 billion “Silk Road” fund to build a network of railways and air links to bring China and Central Asia closer together; China launched the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank in October 2014, and since then there has been a rush to join, not only from China’s neighbors, but also five of the G7 leading economies.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 The Punch Bowl Stays by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

It is well known that I don’t think much of the ability of government officials to correctly forecast much of anything. Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke have made famously clueless predictions with respect to stock and housing bubbles, and rank and file Fed economists have consistently overestimated the strength of the economy ever since their forecasts became public in 2008.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 The Importance of FIFA by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Swiss authorities recently arrested several top officials affiliated with FIFA on various charges, mostly related to corruption. The ongoing investigation continues to unfold, so we will not spend much time on arrests or new charges. Instead, we offer a short overview of the arrests and the election and resignation of FIFA President Blatter, discussing FIFA’s structure and how the organization is prone to corruption. We follow this discussion with the most important part of the report, the extension of U.S. law enforcement into the international realm as a function of the superpower role.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 Beige Book: Window on Main Street by John Canally of LPL Financial

The latest Beige Book suggests that the U.S. economy is still growing at a pace that is at or above its long-term trend, indicating that some of the “transitory factors” that held the U.S. economy back in the first quarter of 2015 have faded and that some upward pressure on wages is beginning to emerge. Overall, the Beige Book described the economy as expanding at a “modest or moderate” pace in most districts. In general, optimism regarding the economic outlook far outweighed pessimism throughout the Beige Book, as it has for the past two years or so.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 Developments in the Reform of China’s State-Owned Enterprises by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

Investors’ interest in China’s SOEs has no doubt been piqued by guidance from sources close to the government that reform plans foreshadowed in the government’s November 2013 program could soon begin to assume more concrete shape, helping drive the recent gains in the Shanghai and Hong Kong share markets.

2015-06-08 00:00:00 Why Stocks are Not "Cheap Relative to Bonds" by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

One of the constant refrains we hear at present is that while stocks may be richly valued on an absolute basis, they are “cheap relative to bonds.” At least one professor recently told students that valuations are meaningless because the P/E on cash is 100. Technically, with T-bill yields at just 0.01%, the P/E on cash is more like 10,000, but let’s not quibble. Using simple P/E ratios or inverted interest rates as a standard of value only makes sense if you have no appreciation for how securities are valued.

2015-06-08 00:00:00 Is the Air Getting Thin for Japanese Stocks? by Katsuaki Ogata, Masahide Ooka of AllianceBernstein

The rapid surge of Japanese equities in recent years has left many investors worried that they may have missed the bus. We believe big changes underway can support further profitability improvements and push the market higher.

2015-06-08 00:00:00 As the Economy Grows, Bonds Struggle and Equities Tread Water by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. economic data last week seemed to confirm that the country is rebounding from a weak first quarter. Manufacturing, construction, sales figures and the labor market all showed signs of improvement.

2015-06-08 00:00:00 Middle East/Africa: Economy Trends Update -- April 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The five economies under our coverage in the Middle East and Africa region did not see any noteworthy change in their economic situations during early 2015. Soon after overcoming a long phase of industrial unrest, South Arica faced another crisis in the form of a massive power shortage. The Israeli economy slowed to a more modest pace of growth after its surge in the previous quarter while Egypt continued to benefit from low oil prices and reform initiatives by its government.

2015-06-08 00:00:00 Emerging Asia Pacific: Economy Trends Update -- April 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

During the first quarter, news from emerging Asia was dominated by the deep slowdown in China and its adverse impact on a host of other Asian economies, such as South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and Taiwan. In other developments, India grew faster than China, Korea saw a large decline in its exports, and Indonesia struggled to jumpstart its economy.

2015-06-08 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.

2015-06-08 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.

2015-06-06 00:00:00 Thoughts from the Frontline: Cleaning Out the Attic by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

My goal is to present a simple outline of the policies we need to pursue as a country in order to get us back to 3–4% annual GDP growth.

2015-06-05 00:00:00 China Reforms Create a New Muni Market by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? These days, news about China seems to be mainly good or mainly bad. The market and media response to China’s local-government debt swap programme shows why maintaining a balanced view is essential.

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 The Fed will Strike Out by Rob Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research

It has been said that the most difficult thing to do in sports is to hit a Major League fastball. A small object coming toward you at 95 miles per hour, with the potential to dart down, sideways or toward your skull is certainly a skill that few can master. And many excellent athletes train all their lives, reach the Major Leagues and find out even they can’t do it. And as that sport gets more scientific, strikeout rates are rising at an alarming rate. More complexity is being thrown toward hitters and even the best in the business find it more difficult than their predecessors.

2015-06-05 00:00:00 Is the Yuan the New Greenback? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

Given the expanding role of China's currency in international trade and finance, Russ weighs in with his outlook for the yuan.

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 Why Oil Price Rally Isn’t a Surprise, but Iron Ore’s Price Should Stay Low by Tucker Scott of Franklin Templeton Investments

While oil has dealt with a relatively recent increase in supply, iron ore has been suffering through a long-term glut. And, based on our analysis of future supply/demand trends, we expect the abundance of iron ore to continue—and possibly increase.

2015-06-04 00:00:00 Emerging-Market Stocks for Flywheel Fashionistas by Sammy Suzuki of AllianceBernstein

The passion for gym-to-street fashion has gone global, and shows no sign of losing vitality. It’s also keeping business humming for a network of yarn spinners, fabric mills and sneaker makers across emerging Asia.

2015-06-04 00:00:00 Recession Probability Models - June 2015 by Ted Kavadas of StratX, LLC

There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession. While I don’t agree with the methodologies employed or probabilities of impending economic weakness as depicted by the following two models, I think the results of these models should be monitored.

2015-06-04 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 Faded Photographs: Obituary Of The Bull Market by Doug Ramsey of The Leuthold Group

We’re always impressed with those lengthy, and unnaturally eloquent, obituaries that pop up online within minutes of the passing of an elderly celebrity or public figure. Such an exercise might be fun when applied to another subject, specifically, the cyclical bull market in stocks (b. 2009—d. 20XX). How will today’s bull market be viewed through the eventual clarity and objectivity of hindsight? We’ve pulled together several still frames…to maximize the effect, run each page through a fax machine to produce the nicely faded, black-and-white images that might accompany an obituary.

2015-06-03 00:00:00 Global Carry Mechanics and Derailment by Alexander Giryavets of Dynamika Capital L.L.C.

Global Carry (a.k.a. Risk Parity) appears to be derailed, as we cautioned in February. We observe how that happened and how Global Carry is singularly linked to Bund and US Dollar. We also refresh and reflect on our US Leading Indicator and SPX fair value.

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 Does JPMorgan Chase Add Value For Investors? by Larry Swedroe (Article)

J.P. Morgan Asset Management has more than $318 billion in assets under management in mutual funds. But the question remains: Have their funds been adding value for investors, or has the firm itself been the real beneficiary?

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 Is ECB QE Beginning to Appear in the Data? by Team of GaveKal Capital

In addition to PMI data released today, preliminary figures for German Consumer Prices also came out– with a surprise to the upside.

2015-06-02 00:00:00 Profit of Doom? by Scott Brown of Raymond James

In its 2nd estimate of 1Q15 GDP growth, the Bureau of Economic Analysis published its preliminary estimate of corporate profits. No surprise, profits fell sharply in the quarter, reflecting the impact of a stronger dollar, adverse weather, and possibly statistical noise and seasonal adjustment issues. Profits are a key driver of new hiring and capital spending. Looking ahead, a lot will depend on currency market developments.

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.

2015-06-02 00:00:00 June Gloom Doesn't Mean Doom by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Kristina Hooper says bucking the conventional wisdom on summer swoons in the stock market may be a smart play, regardless of when the Fed decides to raise interest rates.

2015-06-01 00:00:00 Three Reasons Why We Like Brazil’s Prospects by Mark Jason of Invesco Blog

Strong headwinds in Brazil have recently blown its stock market off course. In the first quarter of 2015, Brazilian equities fell more than 15% in US dollar terms, as measured by the Bovespa Index. While current forecasts do not see these storms abating any time soon, our team finds reasons for optimism over the long term.

2015-06-01 00:00:00 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 Case for International Growth over Value Remains Strong by Team of Calamos Investments

We continue to believe investors should favor growth over value, given fundamentals, valuations and secular opportunities. International growth equities have generated higher revenue and earnings growth and delivered better capital efficiency, as reflected in a higher return on invested capital (ROIC) relative to value. Also, growth is inexpensive vs. value; growth companies are positioned to benefit from secular tailwinds; and international growth is underrepresented in stock assets.

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.

2015-05-31 00:00:00 Reflections From a Whirlwind Tour of Asia by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Reflections From a Whirlwind Tour of Asia; Roads and Ports are Pathways to U.S. Prosperity

2015-05-29 00:00:00 Can China Handle Political Satire? by Patricia Huang of Matthews Asia

Comic entertainment in China is taking some turns. But exactly what topics one can poke fun at is still a bit murky in this authoritarian state. Is China ready for political satire? Asia Weekly explores.

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 How Much Should We Invest in Emerging Markets? by Dr. Burton Malkiel of WaveFront Capital Management

Investors today are significantly underexposed to emerging markets; fortunately, the opportunity to correct this flaw is the best in years.

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 Valuing Stocks Requires a Human Touch by Kevin Simms, Joseph Paul of AllianceBernstein

Following pure valuation metrics today could leave equity portfolios with severe imbalances—especially in financials. But by studying patterns of the past, investors can gain insight into investing in underappreciated stocks by applying a human touch.

2015-05-28 00:00:00 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.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 The Currency Manipulation Charade by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate

The US Senate narrowly defeated a “currency manipulation” amendment to a bill giving President Barack Obama so-called “fast-track” authority to negotiate the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. But the issue could return as the debate shifts to the House of Representatives.

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 The Fed Considers a More Seasoned Approach by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Just as the steady torrent of awful economic data, which began in the First Quarter and continued well into April and May, had forced many market analysts to grudgingly concede that 2015 would not see the robust economic growth that most had expected, the statisticians arrived on the scene like a cavalry charge and routed the forces of pessimism with a wave of their spreadsheets.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 European And Asian Stocks Are Approaching Overbought Levels by Team of GaveKal Capital

Unlike the majority of this six year old bull market, European and Asian stocks are outperforming North American stocks in 2015 (yes even measured in USD). Asian stocks are nearly 12% higher, European stocks are nearly 10% higher and North America stocks are just about 3%. This surge in Asia and European are starting to hit overbought levels judging by the the % of stocks above its 100-day and 200-day moving average.

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 Uncorrelated by David Kleinberg of Universal Orbit

Once deemed uncorrelated, sovereign energy policies combine infrastructure development with corporate capital investment accounting for both scalability of renewable sources over the next 25 years and commodity strip pricing in the short-term. Reflecting continued private investment in public policy, simple audit of global multinational corporate profiles features integrated wind and solar operations—a dedication of business segments operations within industrial portfolios including oil and gas.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 The Slowly-Growing Economy Should Persist for Some Time by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

There was little meaningful direction in equity markets last week. Global bond yields generally rose and economic data was mixed.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 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 Mr. Bleu by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

“It’s a spectacle of excess at the highest level”, quoted an art consultant to the N.Y. Times. Perhaps it was. Christie’s, even not counting its archrival Sotheby’s, had bagged $1 billion in sales during its May auction week – rivaling even the frenzied bidding for Manhattan high rise condos. As with high flying stocks, the logic was that the money had to go somewhere and why not a wall instead of a monthly portfolio statement.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 Do Record Stock Highs Signal a Top? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

With the U.S. stock market hitting a new record high every week, are we close to the bull market's top? Russ and an investment strategist on his team, Kurt Reiman, weigh in.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 China Surpasses America As World's Largest Economy by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

For the first time in history, the People’s Republic of China’s Gross Domestic Product exceeded the GDP of America, as measured by purchasing power, in 2014. According to the International Monetary Fund, China’s purchasing power GDP hit $17.6 trillion last year versus $17.4 trillion in the US.

2015-05-26 00:00:00 Disproving the Four Themes Behind Gold Bearishness by Trey Reik (Article)

The resurgent bear thesis for gold rests on four key assumptions. Because each of these assumptions is already in the process of being disproved, Western investment demand for gold will surge dramatically in coming years.

2015-05-25 00:00:00 US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of May 18-22; Housing Rebounds But the Markets Continue G by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

Last week’s fundamental news was encouraging. Although we’re still in a shallow industrial recession, other sectors of the economy are printing solid results. However, large multi-nationals face sufficient headwinds from a strong dollar, weak international environment and declining oil prices to prevent a sustained advance.

2015-05-23 00:00:00 Rate Hike Ahead? Here’s How to Get Your Portfolio Ready by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Many experts and analysts believe a June rate hike seems very unlikely, but today, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen hinted that one might happen as soon as the end of this year.

2015-05-23 00:00:00 The Strong Dollar’s (Real) Toll on Tech Stocks by Heidi Richardson of BlackRock Investment Management

While the stronger dollar certainly did hurt technology sector earnings, the currency's impact wasn't as bad as predicted, and the case for US tech remains strong.

2015-05-23 00:00:00 Can Emerging Markets Survive Lower Commodity Prices? by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Can Emerging Markets Survive Lower Commodity Prices?; Some Central Banks Are Playing the Market; Australia – Real Estate Is Too Frothy for Regulator’s Tastes

2015-05-23 00:00:00 Northern Trust Perspective by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

Our monthly Perspective newsletter keeps you apprised of current market and economic conditions across an array of topics including: US, European and Asian markets, global real estate and commodities.

2015-05-23 00:00:00 Schwab Market Perspective: As the World Turns by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

A market that grinds higher isn’t all bad as it allows time for earnings to catch up to prices; but complacency must be reined in. Sharp movements could and should come as we move closer to a potential Federal Reserve rate hike. We believe the US economy will rebound from the weak soft first quarter, helping to support stocks and a rate hike, but the turn needs to gain traction. Meanwhile, Congressional approval of fast track trade authority could pave the way for improvements in the Japanese recovery.

2015-05-21 00:00:00 China: A Great Wall of Worry by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Beijing likely will find a way to mitigate the effects of a slowing economy and soaring debt levels—but the risks are high.

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 Forward Guidance Is Back at the Bank of England by Mike Amey of PIMCO

The central bank seeks to reassure markets about its policy intentions and also stabilise gilt yields ahead of an anticipated rate hike in the U.S.

2015-05-21 00:00:00 The Student Debt Dilemma and the Role of 529 Plans by Roger Michaud of Franklin Templeton Investments

While loans can be useful in bridging the gap between savings and final costs, a college degree doesn’t have to come with a mountain of debt. Develop a multi-pronged strategy, and hopefully you or your children can enjoy the fruits of a college education for decades to come.

2015-05-21 00:00:00 Factoring in Politics when Investing by Robert Harvey of Matthews Asia

Factoring in political backdrops typically makes investment decisions more complex. What should investors consider in trying to mitigate political risk?

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.

2015-05-21 00:00:00 Our May 2015 Market Commentary by Adam Jordan of Paul R. Ried Financial Group

We could spend this letter going into detail on the topics du jour, such as if/when we think the Fed will finally raise interest rates (they will...eventually). Or whether Greece will leave the Euro (they probably will...eventually). Or what we think of China’s growth (It will continue slowing...Slowly).

2015-05-21 00:00:00 China Bonds Still Offer Opportunities by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

As more corporate bond issuers in China run into financial trouble, investor anxiety about the possibility of a broader market collapse has understandably increased. We don’t think it’s time to man the lifeboats, however; on the contrary, we believe that Chinese bonds still offer good opportunities for research-driven investors.

2015-05-20 00:00:00 The Idolatry of Interest Rates Part I: Chasing Will-o’-the-Wisp by James Montier of GMO

First is the idolatry of the “equilibrium/natural/neutral” rate of interest displayed by central bankers around the world. The second idolatry is the modern-day belief in the world’s greatest con: that monetary policy matters.

2015-05-20 00:00:00 Economy is "Good Enough" for Stocks by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

With economic data remaining mixed, BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist, Russ Koesterich, discusses why investors should continue to favor stocks over bonds.

2015-05-20 00:00:00 China is Choking on its Own Debt by Joseph Taylor of Loomis Sayles

We have it on good authority. And in this case that authority is an unlikely source – the People’s Bank of China (PBoC). It’s difficult to remember the last time so many paid so little attention to something so vitally important. The revelation came in the bank’s release of its 1Q 2015 Monetary Policy Report on 8 May 2015.

2015-05-20 00:00:00 Recession Check: Updating The Indicators by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

In December of 2007, I wrote in my weekly newsletter that we were "...either in, or about to be in, the worst recession since the 'Great Depression.'" At that time, the warning rang hollow as GDP growth was positive, and the markets were still marching higher as the calendar turned to 2008. It was a year later, in December of 2008, that the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), stated that the recession did, in fact, begin in December of 2007.

2015-05-20 00:00:00 Why US Economic Growth May Disappoint Again In 2015 by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Our main topic today is how the US economy continues to disappoint expectations, and 2015 looks to be no exception. Forecasts for GDP growth this year continue to be downgraded, and there is at least a small possibility that the US economy is slipping into recession.

2015-05-20 00:00:00 Back to the drawing board by Scott Brown of Raymond James

The data reports for April suggest that the second quarter’s anticipated rebound from a weak 1Q15 will fall far short of expectations. We could get revisions, figures for May and June could be a lot stronger, but at face value, the economy has disappointed. However, the Fed is still on track to begin raising short-term interest rates later this year. We should come away with a better understanding of how the Fed sees the situation when the central bank’s two top officials speak later this week.

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 Do Goldman Sachs' Funds Add Value for Investors? by Larry Swedroe (Article)

Over the last few years, an expanding line of mutual funds created by commercial banks such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase have been drawing billions of dollars from investors looking to earn a good return. While the fees these funds have generated are among the few consistent bright spots of growth on Wall Street, the question for investors is whether or not the active mutual funds managed by these banks actually have been good investment choices.

2015-05-19 00:00:00 Crescendo or Consolidation? by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

The S&P 500 (SPX/2122.73) has basically been locked in a trading range between 2040 and 2100 since early February of this year. Some technical analysts term the subsequent chart pattern a wedge and others call it a rising wedge. While pundits can debate the difference between the two, the important point is which way said chart pattern will be resolved with either an upside breakout, or a downside breakout.

2015-05-19 00:00:00 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 The "New Era" is an Old Story by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

It’s not monetary easing, but the attitude of investors toward risk that distinguishes an overvalued market that continues higher from an overvalued market that is vulnerable to vertical losses. That window of vulnerability has been open for several months now, and the immediacy of our downside concerns would ease (despite obscene valuations) only if market internals and credit spreads were to shift back toward evidence of investor risk-seeking. Meanwhile, there’s no evidence to suggest that historically reliable valuation measures have somehow become irrelevant.

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 Security Selection and Liquidity Management Are Key in the Steadily Growing Credit Market by Jelle Brons, David Linton of PIMCO

Over the past several years, two trends have reshaped the market for U.S. investment grade (IG) corporate bonds: a significant increase in the size of the market (both in number of issuers and issues and in aggregate debt outstanding) and a contraction in dealer balance sheets.

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.

2015-05-18 00:00:00 Warning: Don’t Let Market Hype Cause You to Miss This Total Return Opportunity by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Since the Great Recession of 2008 came to an end, the stock market, as measured by the S&P 500, is almost midway through the 7th year of a strong bull run. This marks today’s bull market as the third longest in US history. Considering how traumatizing the Great Recession and the accompanying stock market collapse was for most investors, this should be good and comforting news. But unfortunately, the length and level of our current bull market seems to be conjuring up more worry and angst than comfort.

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.

2015-05-16 00:00:00 Align the Design: Considering and Evaluating Target-Date Glide Paths by Stacy Schaus and Ying Gao of PIMCO

Few responsibilities are as important to defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors as selecting a default glide path that best maximizes a participant’s odds of retiring on time and with sufficient lifetime income. The goal, put simply, is to maximize asset returns while minimizing volatility relative to the retirement liability – precisely what Objective-Aligned Glide Paths aim to achieve.

2015-05-16 00:00:00 Explaining the Rise in Long-Term Interest Rates by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Explaining the Rise in Long-Term Interest Rates; Consumers Should Overcome Higher Gas Prices; OPEC and the U.S. Face Off in the Oil Markets

2015-05-15 00:00:00 “Wrestling with Something Else”: Why this Gold Bear Market Is Different by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure to appear on Jim Puplava’s Financial Sense Newshour radio program and discuss the state of the gold market. Along with my peers John Doody of the Gold Stock Analyst and Ross Hansen of Northwest Territorial Mint, I shared my thoughts on how we arrived in the current bear market, what factors might help us get out of it and the role real interest rates play in prices.

2015-05-15 00:00:00 Can Crude and Copper Keep Rallying with China Slowing? by Team of GaveKal Capital

Yesterday saw the monthly slue of Chinese economic stats and the key feature among them was the continued broad-based weakness. The weakness in some of these statistics has been so pronounced (some things like IP and retail sales are at levels near or below those seen at the depths of the financial crisis) that it has us wondering if the price of oil and copper can continue to rally in the face of an increasingly slower China?

2015-05-15 00:00:00 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 Diagnosing China's Debt Disease by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

China suffers from a serious case of “debt disease,” but the treatment and side effects may not be as severe as some expect, and dramatic credit tightening is very unlikely. Debt is concentrated among state-owned firms, while the private firms that generate most of China’s new jobs and investment have already deleveraged. The biggest risk is the high level of debt among real estate developers.

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.

2015-05-15 00:00:00 The Discovery of Ignorance by Francois Sicart of Tocqueville Asset Management

Eleanor Roosevelt reportedly said that small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, and great minds discuss ideas. If she was right, my own mind took a huge leap toward greatness in the last few weeks.

2015-05-14 00:00:00 OMG: Putting Jump In Interest Rates Into Perspective by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

During my daily radio broadcast yesterday, I received a rather "panicked" call regarding the "dramatic plunge" in his bond funds due to the recent jump in interest rates. Of course, he is not alone. Over the last few weeks the media has done its normal headline-grabbing spin by dragging out every bond "bear" they can find to discuss why this time, unlike like the last 30 times, is definitely the end of the "great bond bull market."

2015-05-14 00:00:00 Bearish on the U.S. Markets, Yusko Looks to Japan and Russia for Growth by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

This week Professor Siegel and Jeremy Schwartz chatted with Mark Yusko, Chief Investment Officer of Morgan Creek Capital, about his thoughts concerning extended U.S. valuations and global markets that may offer abundant potential beyond that of the United States.

2015-05-14 00:00:00 Developed Asia Pacific: Economy Trends Update April 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Though Japanese exports exceeded imports in March 2015, weak domestic spending appears to have impacted the country’s nascent economic recovery. Wage growth needs to trickle down to workers employed in smaller Japanese firms, which would also push up inflation. Thankfully, the Bank of Japan has said it will hold its stimulus program in place until economic growth picks up pace.

2015-05-14 00:00:00 Risk Parity: Reducing Our Bond Exposure by Scott Wolle of Invesco Blog

Every month, the portfolio management team for the Invesco Balanced-Risk Allocation strategy examines the market’s signals for stocks, bonds and commodities, and makes tactical adjustments in an effort to enhance returns. In recent weeks, our tactical signals for government bonds have led us to substantially reduce our exposure and adopt an underweight position.

2015-05-13 00:00:00 The Next Generation by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Saudi King Salman recently announced a set of changes to his cabinet and the order of royal succession. We believe these changes are significant, perhaps the most critical since the first royal succession in 1953. In this report, we detail the changes announced by King Salman and provide a short history of the important succession plan that was established in 1964. With this background, we show how the king’s announcement represents the first change in the program and discuss how these changes could affect the future stability of the kingdom.

2015-05-13 00:00:00 The Happening by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

“The Happening” . . . except in this case I am not referring to the 1967 movie, whose title song was sung by the Supremes, but last Thursday’s “Friends of Fermentation” (FOF) gathering at Bobby Van’s across from the NYSE.

2015-05-13 00:00:00 Stocks Look Expensive…and Still Attractive by Ilya Figelman of AllianceBernstein

Developed-market equity valuations seem a bit expensive today—but we still think they’re worth an overweight in multi-asset strategies. A wider view shows that stocks remain attractive globally.

2015-05-13 00:00:00 Earnings Recap: Good Enough? by Burt White of LPL Financial

The first quarter 2015 earnings season is virtually over and the results relative to lowered expectations were quite good. Investors were braced for an earnings decline and the possible start of an “earnings recession,” but it looks like they will end up with a better than feared, year-over-year earnings growth rate of about 2%, according to Thomson Reuters data. This pace is impressive considering the significant drags from the oil downturn and strong U.S. dollar. Here we recap the first quarter 2015 earnings season and share our earnings outlook for the rest of 2015.

2015-05-13 00:00:00 See No Evil: What We Chose to Ignore in the April Jobs Report by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

We live in an age where bad economic news is not only unwelcome, but it is routinely overlooked or excused. On the other hand, good news is spotted and trumpeted even when it doesn't exist. An ideal illustration of this dangerous tendency towards collective selectivity came last week when the markets and the media somehow turned an awful employment report into an ideal data set that confirmed all optimism and contained nothing but good news for investors. In truth, it was anything but.

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 Michael Pettis: The Limit to China's Growth by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Faced with an incredibly difficult rebalancing challenge - one which very few developed countries have overcome - Michael Pettis says that the best China can achieve is 3% to 4% GDP growth.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Weathering Market Risk With Dividend Stocks by Sponsored Content by Invesco (Article)

Retirement planning is like a road trip: You need a well-thought-out plan to reach your destination. Prudent travelers should be prepared for occasional bursts of volatility. Dividend-paying stocks can help manage market risk by providing relatively conservative exposure to the equity market.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Q1 Letter by Team of Grey Owl Capital Management

Grey Owl’s strategies all performed well in the first quarter. The good performance came despite US GDP growth of just 0.2%, continually lowered earnings expectations, and volatile equity and bond markets. Below we discuss the current environment including the now absolute fixation by investors on every Fed comment, our continued focus on an all-weather approach, and our best and worst performing securities during the quarter.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Dog Days of the U.S. Expansion by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The Kentucky Derby marks the beginning of summer, but ultimately investors must prepare for the coming winter.

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 What's next for Gold? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Will gold zoom higher with Greece on the brink of default? Or will it crash as the Fed pursues an “exit?” Why has gold not rallied with the recent retreat of the dollar? To understand where gold may be heading, keep in mind that this shiny metal isn’t changing; it’s the world around it that is. We contemplate why investors may want to hold gold as part of their portfolio.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Time to look at South Korea by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

Our global investments continue to focus on the secondary effects of the deflating global credit bubble. The bubble’s deflation has left the world awash in capacity, and we expect countries to fight for market share as a result of that overcapacity.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Korea's Booming Health Care Sector by Soo Chang Lee of Matthews Asia

Korea’s health care companies have long faced challenges competing with global players that have secured patents and intellectual property for products. But is Korean pharma finally prepared to move beyond generics?

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 Attention Contrarians – Time to Look at Emerging Markets by Christopher Gannatti of WisdomTree

Often when it becomes difficult to even consider discussing—much less investing in—particular markets, it might be time to take another look. History is full of examples of investors with strong stomachs making out quite well by buying some of the most unloved markets, sectors or companies in the world.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Corporate Earnings and Inflation by Clyde Kendzierski of Financial Solutions Group

A few months ago our 2015 forecast emphasized several points we began making late last year. Taken together, those points differed dramatically from the prevailing wisdom of the time. As we begin May, they are falling into place.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 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 The Shocking Truth About Share Buybacks by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

The value and benefits, or lack thereof, of share buybacks to the future fortunes of a company and their shareholders is one of the most hotly debated subjects on popular financial blogs such as Seeking Alpha. Unfortunately, at least based on my own personal experience, most of the arguments are predicated on opinions and beliefs in lieu of the facts.

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 Watching and Waiting by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Patience can be tough, especially in investing, but that is what is needed at the present time. While a sharp upward move in equities seems unlikely, and the risk of pullbacks is elevated; a grind higher is not something most investors should miss out on. Economic data and the Fed will continue to be in the spotlight, and we expect improvement that will lead to both a Fed rate hike and increased equity volatility—so be prepared. Across the pond, political uncertainty exists, but money supply should be the main focus, which could bode well for the possibility of future European equity gain

2015-05-08 00:00:00 Americans Take 3-Trillion-Mile Road Trip, Dollar Corrects and Commodities Rebound by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The busy summer travel season is at our doorstep, starting this Mother’s Day weekend, and with that comes stronger fuel demand.

2015-05-08 00:00:00 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 Recession Probability Models - May 2015 by Ted Kavadas of StratX, LLC

There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession.

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 The Embarrassment of Transparency by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Over the past decade or so, "transparency" has become one of the buzzwords that has guided the Federal Reserve's culture. The word was meant to convey the belief that central banking was best done for all to see in the full light of day, not in the murky back rooms of Washington and New York. The Fed seems to be on a mission to prove that its operations are benevolent, fair, predictable, and equitable.

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 David Rosenberg - Bullish on Stocks by Robert Huebscher (Article)

The consensus narrative is negative for the economy and U.S. equity markets. But according to David Rosenberg, that is wrong. A recession is three years away, he said, and even if the Fed raises rates, equities will perform strongly this year.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 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 Americas: Economy Trends Update - April 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Lower oil and commodity prices as well as changes in currency rates continue to be the main drivers of economic trends in the Americas. The weak export outlook for energy and commodities have hurt the prospects of large economies such as Brazil, which is expected to see a decline in economic output this year.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 Re-Emerging Markets? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

With emerging markets showing surprising resilience, BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses why investors should consider including EM equities in their portfolios.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 Too Late to Invest in EM? by Heidi Richardson of BlackRock

While emerging market stocks have had a good 2015 so far, this may still be an attractive time to invest for invest for investors who have been sitting on the EM sidelines.

2015-05-04 00:00:00 The Importance of Full Market Cycle Returns by Ryan Leggio, Steven Romick of FPA Fund

A full market cycle can be defined as a peak-to-peak period that contains a price decline of at least 15% from the previous market peak, followed by a rebound that establishes a new, higher peak.1 Few publications or data providers publish, let alone highlight, full market cycle returns, yet we believe understanding them can help the return of your portfolio over the long-term.

2015-05-04 00:00:00 A Sense of an Ending by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

Having turned the corner on my 70th year, like prize winning author Julian Barnes, I have a sense of an ending. Death frightens me and causes what Barnes calls great unrest, but for me it is not death but the dying that does so. After all, we each fade into unconsciousness every night, do we not?

2015-05-04 00:00:00 On My Radar: “The Rodney Dangerfield Expansion” by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

"Earnings don't move the overall market; it’s the Federal Reserve board. And whatever you do, focus on the central banks and focus on the movement of liquidity. Most people in the market are looking for earnings and conventional measures. It's liquidity that moves markets." - Stan Druckenmiller

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 Asia Weekly China's Coming IPO Reform by Hardy Zhu of Matthews Asia

As China continues shifting toward a more market-based economy, what government powers are really being relinquished? Asia Weekly takes a look at changes in the IPO process.

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 Brittle Britain by Anatole Kaletsky of Project Syndicate

Once a haven of political and economic stability amid the turmoil of the euro crisis, the United Kingdom is about to become the EU’s most politically unpredictable member. No amount of denial ahead of the May 7 general election will change that.

2015-05-01 00:00:00 High Yield Bonds: A Legislative History and the Opportunity Created by Tim Gramatovich, Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

Throughout history of the high yield market there have been various legislative acts that have created and continue to create the market dislocation that allows investors an opportunity to produce what we see as attractive risk-adjusted returns.

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 Emerging-Market Opportunities: Look Under the Surface by Vadim Zlotnikov of AllianceBernstein

Emerging markets seem to offer value for investors to tap into based on stock and bond valuations. But allocating more isn’t necessarily the answer. We think the value lies under the surface.

2015-05-01 00:00:00 After the Market Crisis: Does Diversification Still Work? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Diversification may not have worked during the last market crisis, but this isn’t an argument for skipping exposure to international stocks.

2015-05-01 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 Analysts Love to Talk about China but Should F