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.
In her post-FOMC press conference, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is expected to provide a concise evaluation of the current economic situation. That includes a discussion about the recent trend in low inflation and the economic impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. She is not expected to signal what the Fed will do with short-term interest rates in the months ahead.
There’s an ongoing narrative about the energy industry that says exploration and production (E&P) companies are making money in unconventional shale plays, even with oil selling for only $50 a barrel. This is touted as a positive trend. But a deeper dive into energy company fundamentals suggests a vastly different story — one that prioritizes production volume over economic value.
Summer is normally a pleasant time, but most Americans are likely to be happy to have August 2017 in the rear view mirror. Civil unrest, tensions abroad, devastation and destruction – yet, the stock market continues to improve.
As we publish this month’s Commentary, Hurricane / Tropical Storm Harvey continues to pummel Houston and the surrounding areas. The flooding is intense, the damage will be massive, and there will be tremendous human and economic suffering as the rains subside and the waters all-too-slowly recede.
The exodus of CEO support following President Trump’s response to Charlottesville shook the foundations, but the stock market outlook has remained constructive. Every administration has its share of difficulties early on, many self-inflicted, before settling down.
The July CPI data were a bit softer than anticipated, due partly to a drop in the price index for lodging away from home. Granted, if you exclude everything that went down, the CPI always looks higher, but the underlying trend is not far from the Fed’s earlier expectations (of a gradual move toward the 2% goal).
There’s a fair amount of noise in the monthly employment data, but July figures remained consistent with expectations of moderately strong growth in the near term. One glaring weakness remained.
Equity factors are increasingly used by investors to help guide their portfolio allocations. So it’s important to have a good grasp of what factors are and how they perform through an economic cycle, in order to invest effectively.
The advance GDP report for 2Q17 contained few surprises. Growth was largely in line with expectations, leaving growth for the first half of the year at a 1.9% annual rate. Recent reports suggest some loss of momentum for the consumer, but rising real wages ought to provide support.