Results 2,201–2,250 of 2,390 found.
Equity Investment Outlook
During the fourth quarter, the stock market staged a strong rally, reflecting both growing evidence of a sustained economic recovery and the reversal (thanks to the Republican victory in November) of the seriously anti-business tone in Washington. These two factors enabled investors to begin thinking not just of a recovery from the recent crisis and recession, but of a more sustainable and enduring expansion. As a result, they were able to bet on a longer stream of favorable corporate earnings.
Fixed Income Investment Outlook
As for our strategy, we continue on a steady course of balancing major risk aversion while opportunistically seeking returns. Although there are no longer any soft pitches like there were in late 2008 and early 2009, we feel that there are still enough bond issues from well-run companies that offer reasonable returns without going too far out on the risk or duration curves. We do not believe it is prudent to lower quality standards or to take excessive duration exposure at this time in order to increase returns. We believe there will be better opportunities for that in the future.
A Near Perfect Pair: The Markets and Obama
President Obama has quietly maintained his position as one of the equity market?s most well loved Presidents. As the data show, the 47.6% gain in the DJIA since he took office ranks as the third best first two years for any President since the start of the 21st Century (FDR 90.5% and Coolidge 52.6%). Whether or not you give the President credit for the market?s performance will undoubtedly depend on your political views, but strictly at face value, the numbers don?t lie.
Inflation a Growing Concern for Emerging Market Countries
As a group, emerging market countries have rebounded from the Great Recession in much better shape than developed economies. And driven by higher commodity prices, robust domestic consumption, and a growing middle class with buying power, the emerging market asset class appears poised for more growth heading into 2011. While investors have been focusing on the European debt crisis, however, many emerging market economies have been getting a little overheated from the rapid pace of growth, and inflationary fears are quietly becoming a daily reality.
Global Outlook and Strategy
by Team of Loomis, Sayles & Co.,
After being challenged in November by renewed Eurozone sovereign debt concerns, global risk markets ended 2010 on a strong note. The key to the late-2010 and early-2011 optimism was the potential for the two biggest engines of global growth ? the US and Chinese economies ? to pull together this year.
A Rare and Dying Breed
by Team of Beacon Pointe,
Despite the rapid ascent of index funds and ETF investing during the past decade, we contend that carefully researched and selected active strategies offer the best opportunities for our clients to achieve their investment objectives while taking the least amount of risk possible. Our conviction is based on past experience, and our analysis of manager performance in the context of "active share", an objective new measure introduced by Yale School of Management's Cremers and Petajisto in a 2006 academic paper discussed below.
Not As bad As You Might Think: State Revenues Q3 2010
We found that compared to Q3 of 2009, 42 of the 50 states saw revenue increases in the third quarter while only eight saw declines. On the positive side, nine states saw their revenues increase by more than 10%, with Alabama leading the way. Looking at the list of states with declines, the more notable aspect of that list may be the notable names that are absent. California, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York are generally considered to be the states that have the worst finances, but of those four only New Jersey saw a decline in revenues during the quarter.
2011 Outlook: Fixed Income
Entering 2011, there is no shortage of potential issues that could ignite periods of extreme market volatility. While short-term market gyrations are unsettling for both novice and experienced investors alike, for the year as a whole, we believe the outlook for the economy and the fixed income market is generally positive. In particular, certain non-Treasury sectors have compelling fundamentals going into the New Year. In our opinion, these areas could benefit generally from an increased risk appetite, should investors seek incremental yields given a continued low interest rate environment.
Demographics and Sovereign Debt
Events surrounding what the press calls the European Sovereign Debt Crisis have been in the news for much of the past year. Unfortunately, this label masks an underlying major contributing factor: demographics. The combination of long life expectancies, relatively early retirement ages, generous retirement benefits and a shrinking base of workers to support the growing proportion of retirees in the population will put tremendous burdens on the budgets of these countries.
Encouraging Signs of Life from the U.S. Consumer
Early data from the start of the 2010 holiday shopping season indicate this could shape up to be the best year for consumer spending (and retailers) since 2005. Some have attributed this simply to consumer psychology based on pent-up demand and frustration after nearly three years of relative austerity. However, there are other indicators suggesting that consumer finances are at least on the mend.
'Shadow' NAVs for Money Funds Available
In January 2011, so-called "shadow" net asset values (NAVs) for money market funds (MMFs) will become available publicly for the first time. They will be posted by the SEC on their Web site 60 days after they are filed monthly with the commission by fund management companies, including American Century Investments(R). As one of the investment industry's MMF pioneers, American Century Investments supports the new regulations and manages five MMFs.
Bond "Bubble" Fears Overblown
In this paper, we consider the argument that there is a bond ?bubble? in the context of current economic and market conditions. We examine academic literature for commonly accepted characteristics of speculative bubbles, finding little evidence to support the notion that the bond market is currently experiencing a ?bubble.?
Global Tensions Rising Over Fed's QE2 Initiative
QE2 represents a dramatic intervention in the capital markets, and its ultimate impact is hard to predict at this point in time. Critics of the plan, including some Fed members, believe that too much monetary stimulus might lead to runaway inflation, which in turn could derail economic growth or even create future asset bubbles. Alternatively, a weaker dollar could create incentives for other countries to implement capital controls and foreign exchange interventions that negatively impact global trade.
Bullish Sentiment Sees Largest Drop in Nearly Two Years
Large swings in bullish sentiment once again highlight the 'drive by' mentality and lack of conviction that investors have in the current market environment. When the headlines are positive, they get bullish, but the slightest hint of any negative news sends investors scurrying for cover.
Education, Employment and Earnings
American Century Investments analyzes salary growth, real wages, and unemployment levels as a function of education levels to conclude that education plays a crucial role in our economy and in determining the opportunities for employment, the risks of unemployment and the level and growth of wages within our society. This was true 70 years ago when earning a high school diploma put one in a minority of workers, and it is even truer today when earning a bachelor?s degree or more is one of the best options a young adult can pursue to ensure a prosperous future.
Latest GDP Growth Report Points to Continued Economic Weakness
After one quarter of robust gross domestic product (GDP) growth late last year - characteristic of an economy snapping out of a recession - the trend that has followed has been very uncharacteristic, with a substantial downward shift in GDP growth. American Century Investments investigates quarterly shifts in consumer spending and investing and other factors that effect GDP.
Advance 3Q Bank Delinquencies
by Team of Foresight Analytics,
Final figures for the third quarter 2010 are not due until late November, but based on earnings reports and call report filings from many smaller banks, Foresight Analytics offers its advance estimates of what final 3Q 2010 real estate and business loan delinquency results will be.
November Economic Update
by Team of Cambridge Advisors,
We have enjoyed the recent rally, but we expect volatility to continue. Investors should remain cautious. It is not necessary to chase stocks higher as buying opportunities are expected to present themselves throughout the next year. If Bill Gross is right, government bonds may not be the safe investment they once were. To reduce risk, broad diversification across many asset classes is the best strategy during these uncertain times.
Grey Owl Q3 Letter
by Team of Grey Owl Capital Management,
Uncertainty abounds and all broad asset classes are beginning to look expensive again. Unemployment shows few signs of improvement and business confidence is low, yet the stock market continues to climb the 'wall of worry.' Frankly, we have little confidence in the economy or in the broad stock market. However, we continue to find pockets of value in out-of-favor names across industries and market capitalizations. Macro uncertainty may continue to drive the market for some time, but eventually the weighing machine will win out.
'Bubble' Bashing Does Not Imply a Risk-Free Bond Outlook
The present bond environment still doesn't fit previous 'bubble' profiles. We are, however, in a period of historically low interest rates and Treasury bond yields, with more room to rise than fall. Future bond price declines are a realistic expectation, but these declines are unlikely to rival other post-bubble, extended price plunges. Bonds continue to provide a cushion for equity exposure in diversified portfolios and a source of steady income for those who need it.
Have the Financial Markets and the Real Economy Become Disconnected?
There are solid and logical reasons why equity markets have been up substantially since the start of the third quarter. The U.S. economy remains in a fragile situation and the global financial system is far from healthy. Nonetheless, progress is being made and, barring any new crises or setbacks, the case for the market's recent rise can be justified. What's different this time is that two sectors that have traditionally led economic recoveries in the U.S. - consumer spending and real estate - will remain on the sidelines for the foreseeable future.
What Lack of Innovation?
In a recent address at the home of Google executive Marissa Meyer, President Obama implied that there has been a lack of innovation in the American economy in recent years. As Bespoke illustrates in a chart provided, however, the number of U.S. patent applications granted has increased steadily each year since 2000, with the exception of 2005. In fact, many have argued that it has never been cheaper for someone with an idea to spread and develop it.
The World According to TARP
Taken together, initiatives enacted under the Troubled Asset Relief Program will provide up to $45.6 billion in home mortgage foreclosure relief. Proponents of these programs argue that if they finally stabilize the housing market and pricing, all homeowners will benefit. Opponents believe they create a huge problem of moral hazard in the residential housing market. They also point out that stabilizing home values above what may be a lower floor based on market supply may preclude other individuals from being able to enter the market and purchase a home they can afford.
Fixed Income Investment Outlook
Low yields, high corporate debt issuance, increased monetary stimulus and the rising dollar do not mean that growth will accelerate any time soon; the outlook of a slow and meandering recovery still holds. Corporations continue to rebuild balance sheets and margins at the expense of hiring and investment. While this bodes well for future debt repayment, the outlook is not rosy for job seekers. When the job outlook does change, however, and the economic pulse quickens, the era of low interest rates could end quickly.
Equity Investment Outlook
Housing is still deflating, but commodities are mixed. The concern longer term is that the Fed is printing money in order to stimulate the economy. At some point, all this liquidity in the system could cause inflation to accelerate, perhaps to a level that the Fed cannot contain. We are not forecasting either serious deflation or serious inflation. On the other hand, we do not regard the probability of a negative outcome as trivial.
The Great Depression, the Great Recession and Lessons from 1937-1938
While much shorter and less severe than the Great Depression, the recession of 1937-1938 added approximately three years to the recovery period. It is extremely unlikely that we will see a repeat of this type of recession. However, depending on the outcome of elections in November, there could be substantial shift in the fiscal and taxation policies of the federal government away from Keynesianism and toward fiscal discipline and supply side economics.
Dem Turnaround Yet to Happen
The Intrade odds for the Republican Party to win the House of Representatives have been well above 50 percent for some time now (currently at 75 percent), but the Democratic Party has been favored to retain the Senate throughout the Intrade contract's entire history. Today, however, that contract fell below 50 percent for the first time, and the odds are currently at 47.5 percent for the Democratic Party to keep a Senate majority.
Challenges and Solutions for Income-Seeking Investors
The Fed's prediction that it will keep its short-term interest rate target at 0-0.25 percent for 'an extended period' continues to affect the near-term game plan for risk-averse investors and savers. A period of potentially heightened uncertainty and low absolute returns means that maximizing risk-adjusted returns is crucial to investment success over time. An optimized mix of fixed income holdings with a variety of different risk levels can add value to investor portfolios in this low-yield and low interest rate environment.
Claims of the 'Death of Stock Picking' Are a Good Sign for Value Investors
by Team of Grey Owl Capital Management,
A recent Wall Street Journal article highlights the macro-driven nature of today?s stock market. Long-time value investors lament the current environment where stocks appear to trade in unison based on unemployment data or European bank stress test results. If stocks are driven by macro factors instead of company fundamentals, stock pickers can?t get an edge. We think stock-picking is very much alive. Call us contrarian, but we couldn?t think of a better sign that fundamentally-driven, bottom-up stock-picking is likely to make a comeback sooner rather than later.
The U.S. Oil Glut
Although U.S. oil inventories declined by 475,000 barrels in the latest week, the decline was less than the forecasted decline of 700,000 barrels. As shown in charts provided, oil inventories in the U.S. are currently right near their highest levels of the year relative to the historical average. Since oil stockpiles peaked earlier in the year, inventories have declined by 2 percent. In an average year, however, oil stockpiles are down 6 percent from their seasonal high by this time.
Is Deflation Still a Risk?
Last Friday's Consumer Price Index report found that prices rose 1.1 percent on an annual unadjusted basis in August. Because the U.S. Federal Reserve Open Market Committee noted in last week's statement that inflation is currently at levels somewhat below what it judges to be consistent with long-run price stability, some have suggested that the central bank is still concerned about deflationary pressures in the economy. Whatever happens, one thing is clear: As long as the residential housing crisis drags on without resolution, the risk of deflation should remain a concern for investors.
American Century Investments
Among the first items the U.S. Congress is likely to deal with after the midterm election are the federal budget deficit and taxes. The accepted wisdom is that markets prefer the more incremental change based on political compromise brought by divided governments. However, median returns data looking back 60 years do not provide any strong support for this. Indeed, if a divided government leads to intransigence and gridlock, then it will take another two years and the next general election before key issues can be addressed.
Japan Invervenes to Bail Out America.com
by Team of Euro Pacific Capital,
This week the Japanese government decided to intervene in the foreign exchange market, initiating a vigorous campaign to buy U.S. dollars, thereby stemming the rise of the yen and pulling up the greenback. The effects were immediate, with the yen falling an astonishing 3 percent on the day of the announcement. The media spin doctors cast the Japanese decision as an attempt by the island state to prop up its own fragile economy. The intervention was actually done to help American consumers buy more cars and electronics from Japan.
The Woody Hayes Economy
by Team of Applied Finance Group,
By preventing additional redistribution policies, the split government that will likely emerge from the November U.S. midterm elections will probably loosen some purse strings to invest, hire and grow. However, we probably will not see any policies that will meaningfully change the overall economic condition or the outlook for equities as an investment. The next two years will thus most likely bring a Woody Hayes economy - 'Three yards and cloud of dust'- meaning we will have some renewed economic activity, but not the sustained, robust growth to be expected coming out of such a long slump.
Pass the Ammo
by Team of Dana Investment Advisors,
The Fed has kept interest rates near zero and has purchased more than $1.5 trillion in Treasury and agency bonds in order to inject cash into the banking system. Although there has been disagreement within the Fed, interest rates will remain low. Free enterprise has worked for us for several hundred years. There have been and always will be recessions and even financial panics, but markets have the propensity to straighten themselves out.
Latest Bond 'Bubble' Fears are Overblown
Despite considerable discussion in the financial media about the existence of a bond market bubble, the fixed-income team at American Century Investments finds little evidence to support this claim. Bond bubble proponents base their argument largely on record flows into fixed-income investments, bonds' extended outperformance over stocks, and record low interest rates. However, a confluence of economic headwinds argues for a prolonged period of low interest rates and inflation, while investor demographic and behavioral finance trends also appear to favor further bond inflows.
Using the Past to Predict the Future
Most technical analysts believe that chart patterns tend to repeat themselves. Using quantitative analysis, Bespoke went back and compared the last six months in the S&P 500 to every other six month period since 1928. They found that the stretch that most closely resembles the last six months is the period from November 1959 through May 1960. While the majority of investors still believe we will avoid the double-dip recession this time around, the 1959 to 1960 example suggests that even if we do go back into a recession (as we did then), a new bear market is not necessarily a sure thing.
Cheap Labor Helps Southeast Asia Compete with China, But It Won?t Be Easy
Labor disputes in China and other emerging market countries have been catching global media attention. As employees in the low-cost workshops of the world fight for higher wages and better working conditions, the longer-term outcome will be better standards of living and rising disposable incomes in emerging market countries. These changes hold positive implications for many global-based companies' present and future growth. A growing consumer class with 'buying power' will certainly be beneficial.
Merger and Acquisition Activity Rises
Merger and acquisition activity has jumped dramatically in the past few months. The good news for investors is that increased M&A activity can help sustain the market during a period of economic softness or a slowdown that we may face in the next several quarters. The risk for investors is whether the money spent on M&A activity will be done wisely and with a clear eye on creating shareholder value. If not, that money is probably better spent buying back shares or increasing dividend payouts.
Views on Developing Markets
As the developed world stumbles from crisis to crisis, many developing countries seem poised to continue taking a greater share of the world's wealth. This trend, however, is not an automatic signal to invest. China, India and Brazil, the most sought-after developing markets, now demand double-digit multiples, and have higher inflation and monetary growth than developed markets. These factors suggest that the margin of safety is significantly smaller in developing markets than in developed markets.
How Low Are Bond Yields Really?
A growing number of investors are calling the bond market a bubble. Bespoke presents a chart showing the yield on 10-year Treasury bonds minus the year-over-year change in the CPI. Using this method, the adjusted 1.62 percent yield on the 10-year bond is still below its historical average of 2.66 percent, but nowhere near historical extremes. While one could make the argument that Treasury bonds are unattractive due to increased supply and their low yields relative to other periods in the past, it is hard to argue that their current valuation fits the criteria for a bubble.
India to Open Equity Markets to Foreign Retail Investors
While opening up its equity market to foreign retail investors will likely benefit India and increase capital inflows in that country, there is also more growth potential for investors who are prepared to accept the risks and invest for the long term. Over the next five years, India and emerging market economies will be driven not only by export demand from the rest of the world, but by growth in domestic consumption, including health care, technology, infrastructure, and finance. This will create huge opportunities for investors and companies doing business in these sectors.
Dow Dividend Yield Versus 10-Year Treasury Yield
There has been a lot of talk this week about how 'the great bond bubble' is about to crash and that equities look attractive compared to them. One data point that commentators have been citing is that the Dow's dividend yield is now greater than the 10-year Treasury bond yield. We've heard some say that this is the first time this has happened in decades, but in actuality, the Dow's yield got much higher than the 10-year bond yield as recently as late 2008 and early 2009. Bespoke presents a chart Dow yields minus 10-year Treasury bond yields from 1920 to the present.
Summer Camp For Stock Traders (But Will the 'Fall' Arrive Before Summer Ends)?
by Team of Emerald Asset Advisors,
There is no shortage of reasons to believe that the environment for stocks is weak, if not outright dangerous. Debts and deficits, for example, have climbed to record proportions. Consumers are learning what 'austerity' means. And governments in developed markets are acting as if they can continue to delay enforcing real, sustainable improvements. Maybe these real world concerns will matter this autumn, when stocks are historically very vulnerable. But the world's troubles seem to have little meaning to the summer campers.
The New Normal
by Team of Dana Investment Advisors,
The housing bubble is slowly winding down and inventories are being worked off. The stock market has recovered half of its losses since February 2009, while corporations have cleaned up their balance sheets, increased productivity and stand ready to expand. Consumers have cleaned up their debt and increased their savings. The government can now lead us out of a slow growth economy by cutting spending dramatically and keeping the tax cuts in place.
Consumers, Credit Cards and Deleveraging
The August 6 report from the Federal Reserve on consumer credit and indebtedness depicts consumers and households that are still in the throes of a difficult deleveraging process. In the longer term, this is exactly what is needed to help put the U.S. economy back on a solid foundation for recovery and renewed growth. Because deleveraging involves two steps, however - first, avoiding spending based on new borrowing, and, second, directing current discretionary income toward debt repayment rather than consumption - it limits how much consumers can contribute to the recovery.
Democrats Now the House Underdogs
For those that haven't checked the odds for the November elections over on Intrade.com lately, the odds for Republicans to win control of the House have jumped all the way up to 61 percent. At the start of 2009, the odds for Republicans to win were at just 15 percent. From mid-March to mid-June, odds for control of the House hovered around the 50/50 mark. Since mid-June, however, traders have been betting big on Republican control. At this point, we have to assume that the market is 'pricing in' a Republican victory.
Comparing Our Path to Recovery with Past Recessions and Recoveries
What appears to be a preliminary trend in declining rates of GDP growth has led many to speculate that the current economic recovery is weakening, or that we are slipping into another recession. The latter scenario seems very unlikely given the number of simulative factors at work in our economy, such as record-low interest rates and record-high deficit spending by the federal government. But the fact that we are less than three months away from an important midterm election in the U.S. Congress means that the state of our economy will be hotly debated and in the headlines.
Insights from the U.S. International Balance of Trade
The U.S. trade deficit increased to -$42.3 billion in May. Large and increasing trade deficits are sustainable as long as the rest of the world is willing to lend money to finance them. Growing trade deficits, however, are unhealthy in the long term. Trade imbalances also cause imbalances in capital flows. There was a time when it was argued that, as the U.S. entered a post-industrial society and economy, its growing trade deficit in goods would be offset by a growing trade surplus in services. Nearly three decades of experience, however, have demonstrated that this isn't the case.
Growing Federal Debt Will Cause Major Challenges in the Years Ahead
by Team of Litman Gregory,
A combination of sharply declining tax revenues and a surge in stimulus and bailout spending, both stemming from the financial crisis, caused the federal budget deficit to soar to almost 10 percent in 2009. Total debt to GDP ratios are climbing sharply, and could pass 90 percent by next year. The growth track of entitlement programs has led many to conclude that growing federal debt levels are unsustainable in the long term. Additionally, the Greek debt crisis could trigger increasing awareness of sovereign default risk with investors demanding higher rates for owning government debt.
Results 2,201–2,250 of 2,390 found.