The Trump administration took its first steps to address infrastructure Tuesday, with the president signing an executive order aiming to expedite environmental review and permitting processes. Some will decry the fact that these actions weren't accompanied by a multi trillion-dollar spending bill.
It's hard to read the business pages or watch the business news without seeing a story about the death of the consumer. In particular, the business press continues to be obsessed by relative weakness among traditional brick and mortar stores.
For many years now a relatively large contingent of analysts, investors and journalists has been convinced the stock market was in a bubble because the "Shiller P-E" ratio was just too high. Back on 8/12/2013, in our Monday Morning Outlook, we made our case that the Shiller model was too pessimistic. Now that looks like a pretty good call.
Yes, Friday's report of the Q2 real GDP growth rate was a little faster than average, but, with one exception, it remains the same Plow Horse it's been for the past eight years.
The Federal Reserve made no changes to interest rates today and made almost no changes to the text of its statement. However, the wording changes it did make strongly support our view the Fed will announce the start of balance sheet reductions at the end of its next meeting on September 20.
Thomas Kertsos is a portfolio manager and senior research analyst at First Eagle Investment Management. He is the manager of the First Eagle Gold Fund (SGGSX), which, as of June 30, has returned 5.37% since its inception, on 8/31/93. That is 645 basis points better than its benchmark, the FTSE Gold Mines Index (-1.08%).
Since the start of the economic recovery in mid-2009, real GDP has grown at an average annual rate of 2.1%. The second quarter of this year doesn't look much different. Our calculations suggest real GDP grew at a 2.5% annual rate in Q2, exactly the same as the consensus forecast.
At eight years, the current economic recovery is the third longest on record. Personal income, consumer spending, household assets, and net worth, are all at record highs. Stock markets are at record highs. Corporate profits are within striking distance of their all-time highs. Federal tax receipts are at record highs.
Inequality is usually measured by comparing incomes across households within a country. But there is also a different kind of inequality, in the affordability of homes across cities, and the impact is no less worrying.
Andrew Susser manages the MainStay High Yield Corporate Bond Fund (MHCAX). Over the last 15 years, the fund has ranked in the 12th percentile of its Morningstar peer group; its annualized return was 8.45%, 395 basis points ahead of the AGG and 95 basis points greater than its peer-group average. In this interview, he discusses the opportunities in the high-yield market.