The Factor-Based Investing Channel

S&P 500 Snapshot: A Decline in Advance of the Inauguration

The S&P 500 hit its 0.11% intraday high five minutes into the session and then sold off steadily to its 2 PM plunge to its -0.59% intraday low. A weak buy-the-dip strategy trimmed the closing loss to -0.36%. The 500 has alternated between gains and losses for the past six sessions. Its elderly cousin, the Dow, has posted five consecutive losses and eight declines over the past ten sessions.

Can the Trump Administration Make the American Economy Great Again?

Trump’s tax and infrastructure proposals will soon face the reality of US debt and monetary policy. We analyze what to expect next.

Q4 Earnings: Expect to Beat Expectations?

The key driver of the stock market, over the long term, is earnings. In the short term as well, earnings can be the primary driver of market performance. So, each quarter, it makes sense to review whether earnings are doing well or poorly, and why.

New Year, New Policies, and Managing the New Risks

We would like to take this opportunity to extend our warmest Holiday Wishes to all of our clients and their advisers. 2016 certainly was a year for the history books – from the Brexit surprise to the November surprise; the year certainly was not one that improved the reputation of pollsters!

2017 -- Shades of 1937

As a result of some Fed actions taken in 1936 and 1937, the U.S. economy, after experiencing a robust economic recovery starting in early 1934, slipped back into a recession midyear 1937, which lasted through midyear 1938.

Vehicle Miles Traveled: Another Look at Our Evolving Behavior

The Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Commission has released the latest report on Traffic Volume Trends, data through November. "Travel on all roads and streets changed by 4.3% (10.8 billion vehicle miles) for November 2016 as compared with November 2015." The less volatile 12-month moving average was up 0.34% month-over-month and 3.0% year-over-year. If we factor in population growth, the 12-month MA of the civilian population-adjusted data (age 16-and-over) is up 0.25% month-over-month and up only 1.9% year-over-year.

Media Headlines Will Lead You To Ruin

Since investors are mostly individuals that have a “day job,” the majority of their “research” comes from a daily dose of media headlines. Therefore, since the media tends to “focus” their attention on “market moving headlines,” either bullish or bearish, investors tend to “react” accordingly.

New Tools to Prove You Acted as a Fiduciary

This article, the first of two parts, is a review of some of the more prominent new tools that advisors can lean on as they prepare for the full DOL rule implementation on April 10. Each of them addresses a different aspect of the rule, and they all approach it from different angles.

Monthly Market Risk Update: January 2017

ust as I do with the economy, I review the market each month for warning signs of trouble in the near future. Although valuations are now high—a noted risk factor in past bear markets—markets can stay expensive (or get much more expensive) for years and years, which doesn’t give us much to go on timing-wise.

ETF Trends to Watch in 2017

The turn of the calendar to a new year brings new year’s resolutions—and predictions. While many market pundits are now making their prognostications for the year ahead, David Mann, head of Capital Markets, Global Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), doesn’t claim to have a crystal ball that will reveal where the market is headed next.

ECRI Weekly Leading Index: "2016 Shapes 2017 Cyclical Outlook"

Today's release of the publicly available data from ECRI (Economic Cycle Research Institute) puts its Weekly Leading Index (WLI) at 144.9, up 0.2 from the previous week. It is currently at an all-time high. Year-over-year the four-week moving average of the indicator is now at 10.49%, up from 10.14% the previous week. The WLI Growth indicator is now at 12.2, up from 12.0 the previous week and its highest since 2010.

2017 Global Market Outlook

The search for investment portfolio returns is not going to get any easier in 2017 against a backdrop of record U.S. equity prices, narrow credit spreads and low bond yields.

Is the U.S. Workforce Nearing Full Recovery?

We've updated our monthly workforce analysis to include last week's Employment Report for December. The unemployment rate, as expected, ticked up from 4.6% to 4.7%, and the number of new nonfarm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) was below forecast at 156K.

2017 ETF Top Trends and Insights

The Year of the Dynamic ETF With the world digesting the surprising results of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, the team at IndexIQ has turned their thoughts to next year and their top five ETF-focused trends and insights for 2017.

Economy Ends 2016 Strongly, Liberals Gaining On Conservatives

When the Commerce Department reported on December 22 that 3Q Gross Domestic Product increased at an annual rate of 3.5%, many of us in the forecasting business wondered if that figure might be too optimistic. We also wondered whether the economy could sustain a 3+% growth rate in the 4Q.