Earlier this week, we updated our commentary on household income distribution to include the Census Bureau's release of the 2016 annual data. Our focus was on arithmetic mean (average) household incomes by quintile (and the top 5%) over the 50-year history of this data series. The analysis offered some fascinating insights into U.S. household incomes. But the classification misses the implications of age for income. Households are by no means locked into the same quintile over time.
The Federal Reserve’s September policy meeting played out largely as expected, as US monetary policymakers left the central bank’s benchmark short-term interest rate unchanged. The Fed did clarify when it would begin to unwind its hefty balance sheet, and updated its economic forecasts and interest-rate projections.
Three new health care reform initiatives - from the political right, left, and center - are developing in the Senate. Earlier this week I joined CNBC's Nightly Business Report to discuss the proposal up first for consideration: the Graham-Cassidy bill, which would turn the ACA into a system of state grants.
History shows, and investment strategists tout, that small cap stocks are the best performing asset class. While small caps outperformed the runner-up, large cap stocks, over the last nearly 100 years, research has shown that the outperformance hasn’t persisted over all multi-year time periods and that the outperformance is concentrated in microcap stocks.
The big news today wasn't the Federal Reserve's decision to start gradually reducing its balance sheet in October. Almost everyone expected that. Instead, the big news was that twelve of the sixteen members of the Fed's interest-rate setting body – the Federal Open Market Committee – think the Fed will be raising interest rates by at least 25 basis points later this year.
Investors all over the world often prefer to stay in their home markets. But at what cost? Going global can open up a world of choice to help improve a portfolio’s equity risk and return profile.
The U.S. high yield bond market has grown substantially to around $1.3 trillion today. At the same time, the global high yield market has become more geographically diverse. North America’s share of the market has fallen from 87.1% in 2005 to 62.6% in 2016.
The Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Commission has released the latest report on Traffic Volume Trends, data through July. "Travel on all roads and streets changed by 0.8% (2.2 billion vehicle miles) for July 2017 as compared with July 2016." The less volatile 12-month moving average was up 0.13% month-over-month and 1.2% 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 just 0.05% month-over-month and up only 0.6% year-over-year.
The latest Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for August increased to 128.8 from 128.3 in July and is currently at another all-time high.
Today's seasonally adjusted 259K new claims, down 23K from last week's revised 282K, was better than the Investing.com forecast of 300K. Hurricane Harvey and Irma impacted this week's claims.