Modern Europe’s (and Canada and Australia and…) vaunted social welfare programs have helped many people, but they haven’t eliminated poverty, nor let everyone retire in comfort. Could they simply have shifted spending forward, leaving future generations with the bill? Today, we’ll explore that question as part of my continuing Train Wreck series.
Despite a recent modest pullback in U.S. stocks, and a sharper one in international markets—reflecting both trade worries and the recent strength in the U.S. dollar—we don’t believe it marks the beginning of a more severe correction. Risks of a prolonged trade dispute have risen but it’s too soon to declare war; while the possibility of a positive resolution that would likely be a tailwind for equities. For now, a healthy U.S. economy is an offset to those growing worries. Threats to the current bull market have risen, and they include this being a midterm election year—which have historically been accompanied by larger-than-average maximum drawdowns. We continue to espouse discipline and diversification; but for now it’s in the context of an ongoing bull market.
We’re a little more than a week into the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and so far Russia has surprised experts and fans alike. Expectations were low at best. Because of recent setbacks, including a disastrous performance at the 2016 UEFA European Championship and injuries sustained by key players, the federation ranked a dismal 66th place among Fédération Internationale de Football Association teams—its lowest position ever. The only reason it didn’t have to qualify to compete was because Russia is the host nation. (This is the first time in its 88-year history, by the way, that the World Cup has been held in Eastern Europe.)
This morning's release of the publicly available data from ECRI puts its Weekly Leading Index (WLI) at 148.5, up 1.1 from the previous week. Year-over-year the four-week moving average of the indicator is now at 3.41%, down from 3.57% last week. The WLI Growth indicator is now at 1.5, also down from the previous week.
Matthews Asia CIO Robert Horrocks says worries about U.S. monetary policy are not without cause.
Index provider MSCI’s decision to include Saudi Arabia in its emerging-markets index will likely transform the Kingdom’s equity market, and potentially those across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, according to Bassel Khatoun and Salah Shamma, Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity.
The opposite of populist nationalism is not globalist elitism; it is economic realism. And in the end, countries such as Britain, the United States, and now Italy will learn the hard way that reality always eventually wins.
Team performance matters more than star players or a large resource base. And in a rapidly changing world, Totaalvoetbal can help teams adapt.
Three of eight indexes on our world watch list have posted gains through Monday, July 16, 2018. The top performer this year is India's BSE SENSEX with a gain of 7.43%. In second is our own S&P 500 with a gain of 4.67%. In third is France's CAC 40 with a gain of 1.82%. Coming in last is Shanghai's SSE with a loss of 14.91%.
The U.S. inflation story made further inroads this month, with year-over-year price growth for consumers and producers alike hitting multiyear highs. U.S. consumer prices expanded at their strongest pace in more than six years, climbing to an annual change of 2.8 percent in May. Prices for final demand goods, meanwhile, grew 3.1 percent, their strongest annual surge since December 2011.