Cracks in Consumption Have Started To Appear
From a very weak retail sales report for January 2024 to stronger inflation readings as well as increases in credit card and auto loan delinquency rates during the last quarter of 2023, the picture for consumer demand has weakened considerably.
Why Is the Federal Reserve Still Concerned With Inflation?
Once again, as we have argued several times before, if the Fed, once after having achieved its 2% target and remained at the target for several years, decides that a different target may be more effective for conducting monetary policy, they may decide to change the target.
529s Are More Than a College Savings Tool
Most of us associate 529 accounts with college savings. They’re flexible, allowing you to transfer assets to anyone, including yourself, for the express purpose of furthering the education of your beneficiary. But did you know that a 529 can be a powerful estate planning tool?
Launching a Financial Future
Whether you have a family member turning 18, or someone in your life looking to build wealth from the bottom up, this primer provides a solid overview of the basic types of securities, investing strategies, and valuable lessons to help pave the path toward financial confidence.
Employment Growth: Which Sectors Are Doing the Heavy Lifting?
In the middle of 2023 we argued that, according to our forecast for GDP at the time for the whole of 2023, employment was growing too fast and that it would have to slow considerably during the second half of the year.
Clear Sentiment on Interest Rate Direction
We did an internal survey among our associates, attempting to get a feel for their views on various economic and fixed income topics. Any survey result concerning the future can net inexact results but nonetheless reveal general sentiment. Attitude, outlook, and opinions can help shape the market.
New Year... Same Old Discussions
The Federal Reserve (Fed) left the door so wide open after the end of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in mid-December 2023, that markets have run ahead and have continued to push long-term rates lower since the decision was announced.
2023 Economic Summary: The Year of Defied Expectations
The year 2023 will be remembered by economists and investors as 365 days of resiliency and defied expectations. This week’s Weekly Economics will dive into the U.S. economic landscape and summarize the major factors that shaped the nation’s economic trajectory this year.
How Does Secure Act 2.0 Change Saving for Retirement?
The year-end fiscal 2023 government funding bill contained legislation that makes the most significant changes to the U.S. retirement savings system in decades. The SECURE 2.0 Act builds on retirement savings changes passed in 2019 and contains new provisions that further raise the required minimum distribution (RMD) age, shift to automatic plan enrollment and provide for new matching/emergency withdrawal opportunities.
Inflation’s Fight Seems Under Control, the Markets Have the Upper Hand
November’s inflation numbers delivered good news for the Federal Reserve (Fed) even though the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was higher than what markets were expecting, with shelter costs surprising to the upside.
The Many Lives of the U.S. Consumer
To argue that the U.S. consumer has remained resilient has become a cliché and at the same time an understatement. After a very strong increase in real incomes during the pandemic, real income growth started to slow considerably.
Recapping November’s Key Market Events
For much of 2023, the market has tried to anticipate a Fed pivot – only to be wrongfooted several times. However, sharply higher interest rates, cooling inflation pressures and moderating wages have the market convinced that the Fed’s current tightening cycle is over.
Inflation Is Decelerating... Its Effects on Consumers Are Not
We understand that many economists/analysts/market participants are already discounting inflation as a serious problem for the U.S. economy. Even if this seems correct on the surface, the problem is very different for those who suffer the most from higher prices – middle- and lower-income individuals.
Key Takeaways as Earnings Season Winds Down
Good news – the earnings recession is over! After three consecutive quarters of negative earnings growth, 3Q S&P 500 earnings are on pace to climb 5% YoY. If sustained, this would be the best quarter of earnings growth since 2Q22.
Keeping It Real
The 2- through 30-year Treasuries rallied hard to drop yields from 12 to 18 basis points. By example, the 10-year Treasury price bottomed out at $91.86 (4.93%) and peaked at $95.25 (4.48%). This is a 3.4-point price swing or 45 basis point drop in yield.