The Economic Insights Channel

Michigan Consumer Sentiment: May Final Slips Slightly

The University of Michigan Final Consumer Sentiment for May came in at 98.0, down 0.8 from the April Final reading. had forecast 98.8.

‘Simplification Day’ for Oil & Gas MLPs: What Investors Need to Know

We believe the news is evidence of a broader shift toward simpler corporate structures in the midstream energy sector – a trend that supports our investment approach and our constructive view of the sector.

Equity-Sector Leadership Can Shift Amid Rising Interest Rates

In an environment in which interest rates have been steadily rising — the 10-year US Treasury yield has moved up almost 75 basis points since its recent low in September 2017 — one question that investors face is the potential effect of this phenomenon on equity sectors. Which sectors might be winners or losers in a rising rate environment?

Schwab Market Perspective: Buy in May…and Stay?

Stocks have rebounded along with economic data, could we be setting up for a solid summer?

The Madness of Crowding Out

Public debt may be growing at the expense of private debt, the Chinese bond market is opening up, and important dates for tariffs are fast approaching.

Kansas City Fed Survey: Growth Expanded in May

The latest index came in at 29, up from 26 last month, which indicates that activity expanded in May. The future outlook decreased to 26 from 31 last month. Here is a snapshot of the complete Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Survey.

Existing-Home Sales Slide in April

This morning's release of the April Existing-Home Sales decreased from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million units. The consensus was for 5.56 million. The latest number represents a 2.5% decrease from the previous month and a 1.4% decrease year-over-year.

FHFA House Price Index: Up 1.7% in Q1

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released its U.S. House Price Index (HPI) for March. U.S. house prices were up 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted nominal basis from the previous month. Year-over-year the index is up 6.7% (nonseasonally adjusted). Seasonally adjusted, the index is up 4.73% year-over-year.

John Williams Takes the “Under” on Expected Rate Hikes

John Williams, one of the newest members of the Federal Open Market Committee, wrote an article titled “The Future Fortunes of R-star: Are They Really Rising?” where he summarized his views on real neutral interest rates.

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Up 11K from Last Week

This morning's seasonally adjusted 234K new claims, up 11K from the previous week's revised figure, was worse the forecast of 220K. From the release: "The claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal."

Vehicle Miles Traveled: Another Look at Our Evolving Behavior

"Travel on all roads and streets changed by +0.5% (+1.4 billion vehicle miles) for March 2018 as compared with March 2017. Travel for the month is estimated to be 268.7 billion vehicle miles." The 12-month moving average was up 0.05% month-over-month and 0.9% year-over-year. If we factor in population growth, the 12-month MA of the civilian population-adjusted data (age 16-and-over) is down 0.01% month-over-month and down 0.1% year-over-year.

Long Train Running: Leading Indicators Show Little Risk of Recession

Leading economic indicators have accelerated since morphing from recovery to expansion, so let’s see what that means for the economy and stock market looking ahead.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

A strong start for markets in January was quickly replaced by uncertainty and volatility, which continue to this day. How might the rest of the year play out?

New Home Sales Down 1.5% in April

This morning's release of the April New Home Sales from the Census Bureau came in at 662K, down 1.5% month-over-month from a revised 672K in March. The forecast was for 680K. Revisions were made going back to 2013 for seasonally adjusted figures.

The Holy Grail Investment Formula: Better Returns with Less Risk

What would you do if I handed you a map to the Holy Grail of investing? Would you toss it in the trash because Nobel Laureate economists say it’s impossible to beat the market with less risk? Or would you give it a thorough read to see if there is any validity? Let’s find out.