Moving Averages: S&P Finishes February Up 5.2%
Valid until the market close on March 31, 2024
The S&P 500 closed February with a monthly gain of 5.17%, after a gain of 1.59% in January. After close on the last day of the month, one of five Ivy portfolio ETFs — Invesco DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund (DBC) — is signaling "cash", unchanged from last month's final single "cash" signal.
Two Measures of Inflation: January 2024
The BEA's core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index for January shows that core inflation continues to be above the Federal Reserve's 2% long-term target at 2.8%. The January core Consumer Price Index (CPI) release was higher, at 3.8%. The Fed is on record as using core PCE data as its primary inflation gauge.
The Opportunity in Middle Market Private Credit
Private credit markets have shifted upmarket. Many larger financial players are seeking bigger deals that can have a greaterimpact on their portfolios. This has led to a vacuum in small/mid-cap deals where investors can get a significant yield premium to the overall market. In this episode, we will look at the public debt markets, where one can invest in high-yield/lower-rated bonds (e.g., triple Cs) to construct a portfolio that has a 200 or 300 basis point yield premium and has default losses equal to or less than the market. Investors can take advantage of market inefficiencies by participating in a part of the market that others are avoiding.
Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Activity Declined Slightly in February
The latest Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Survey composite index declined slightly in February while the future outlook moderated. The composite index came in at -4, up from -9 in January, while the future outlook fell to 2.
Pending Home Sales Unexpectedly Fall in January
The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) released the latest monthly data for its pending home sales index. The index unexpectedly fell 4.9% in January to 74.3. Pending home sales were expected to increase 1.4% last month.
Core PCE Inflation Cools Further in January
The BEA's Personal Income and Outlays report revealed inflation cooled further in January. Core PCE, the Fed's favored measure of inflation, was up 0.4% from December and slowed to 2.8% year-over-year, the lowest reading since March 2021 and one step closer to the Fed's 2% target rate.
Revitalized Japanese Stock Market Fuels Investor Optimism
Dina Ting, Head of Global Index Portfolio Management for Franklin Templeton Exchange-Traded Funds, delves into these positive developments and sheds light on Japan’s expanding economic prospects.
Retreating Dollar Puts Gold Back in the Spotlight
A retreating dollar is exactly what gold needed to put the precious metal back into the investment spotlight. Hotter-than-expected inflation in January pushed the yellow metal below the $2,000 mark. But it has been rising again with geopolitical factors providing tailwinds along with a weaker greenback.
AI-Powered Metaverse Applications Propelled Tech Stocks in 2023
Marcus Weyerer, Senior ETF Investment Strategist, EMEA, for Franklin Templeton ETFs, delves into the industrial and consumer applications of the metaverse, the role of AI in enhancing these experiences, and the significant growth potential and investment opportunities this virtual world holds.