Commentaries

Timely market commentaries from leading investment firms

China Plays It Cool

This year, China is in the headlines because President Trump wants better trade terms. That’s important, but it’s only one piece of a much larger Chinese story that has been unfolding slowly for decades. Periodically, I check in on the latest developments. Today, we’ll see where we are, with the help of my trusted sources.

Ireland's Anxiety

In this issue, the Northern Trust economics team explores the challenges facing Ireland in Brexit, the continuing demand for eurozone debt, and wage growth within U.S. states.

Commodities Are Flashing a Once-in-a-Generation Buy Signal

The investment case for commodities, gold and energy is more compelling than at any other time in recent memory.

Volatility Awakens: A Market Review

The beginning of the first quarter was serene and pleasurable, as equity markets levitated on the back of increasing earnings expectations and solid world economic underpinnings. But the market euphoria didn’t last long.

China’s Growth Rebalancing Provides Opportunities for Bond Investors

After a decade of relying on investment and exports for growth, China’s effort to rebalance its economy toward consumer-led growth is well underway and should continue to build steam in 2018.

Will 2018 be a Banner Year for US Bank Stocks?

Franklin Equity Group Vice President and Portfolio Manager Matt Quinlan explains why he thinks US banks could benefit from a more favorable economic and regulatory environment. Given this healthy backdrop, he believes select large-cap bank stocks may increase dividends and stock buybacks in the next two years.

Oil Is Breaking Out, So Are Inflation Expectations

After spending the last four months consolidating gains, crude oil is breaking higher again, and it’s taking inflation expectations with it. The break higher in crude isn’t surprising given that oil fundamentals haven’t been this good in years.

Global Credit Economic Summary & Outlook

Consumer spending and business fixed investment remained strong, pointing to continued domestic economic growth. Notably, business fixed investment growth, represented by private domestic investment, accelerated to 5.4% year-over-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2017, from a low of 0.71% in the third quarter of 2016.

Market Outlook: Don't Forget Your Umbrella!

Market volatility does exist! After a year of all-time low volatility and booming stock and bond markets, investors received a wake-up call in February when equity indexes around the globe sold off by as much as 10% in a matter of days.

At Cycle Turn, Fed Can Follow Two Possible Paths

Rieder and Brownback discuss how cyclical turning points result in market friction, even with solid growth, presenting the Fed with two potential paths.

10 Fairly Valued Dividend Growth Stocks for Total Return: Part 4

This is the fourth of a five-part series presenting 50 dividend growth stocks that I have screened for current fair value. With this article, I will be covering 10 additional dividend growth research candidates with moderate to higher yields...

Managing Volatility in Short‑term Markets: The Global Liquidity Ladder

In a storm, you want to be able to reach higher ground. Recent market volatility – sparked by concerns over interest rates, inflation, global trade, the tech sector and more – has many investors shifting toward more defensive portfolio positions.

Who Said the Rules of the Game Could Change Because LIBOR’s Going Away?

There’s been a lot of discussion in the fixed income world about the end of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and what might replace it. But what hasn’t been as widely discussed is an important consequence for investors in this space: changes to LIBOR language in new-issue and amended credit agreements—particularly how these changes are implemented.

Quarterly Review and Outlook, First Quarter 2018

Nearly nine years into the current economic expansion Federal Reserve policy actions appear to be benign, as even after six increases, the federal funds rate remains less than 2%. Changes in the reserve, monetary and credit aggregates, which have always been the most important Fed levers both theoretically and empirically, indicate however that central bank policy has turned highly restrictive.

Protectionists Hide in Your Wallet

When you see trade deficit data between the US and China, be aware that the numbers are vastly different depending on the source. China actually follows a more commonly used protocol to account for trade than does the US. For 2016, for example, US data shows a $375 billion trade deficit with China, whereas China shows $276 billion.