Investment Insights

Monthly Markets Memo - September 2019

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA 

Our Market Minute this month notes the consumer remains in good shape and is currently being credited for keeping the economic expansion going, supported by low unemployment, low inflation, and rising wages.  Retail sales continue to do well, and there’s hope that a recent drop in mortgage rates spurs another round of home buying activity.  With consumer activity doing well, I wanted to take the opportunity to check in on the other side, the producers.  This is where the stories diverge.  Consumers have, for the most part, been able to dodge the effects of the trade war.  Producers have been less fortunate.

Market Minute - September 10, 2019

by Scott Rosenquist, CFA​

U.S. Consumer

The U.S. consumer has been the bright spot for the economy as trade uncertainty continues to weigh on the manufacturing sector.  The second revision for Q2 GDP released late August showed 2% annualized growth.  Consumer spending increased 4.7% in the second quarter and continues to offset weakness in other areas of the economy.  

Monthly Markets Memo - August 2019

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA 

The sleepy days of summer have been anything but.  Last month the Fed cut interest rates by 0.25% in what they’re calling a ‘mid-cycle adjustment’.  In other words, the Fed is saying this is not the start of a prolonged easing cycle with multiple rate cuts.  The broader market seems to disagree as the futures market is pricing in one to three additional 0.25% cuts by the end of the year.  Ultimately, the Fed is attempting to extend the current bull market and protect the economy from slowing to the point of recession.  It is believed that rate cuts at this point in the cycle will do little to stimulate the economy as trade tensions and recession fears overpower the marginal benefits of lower rates. 

Market Minute - August 13, 2019

Tariffs and Market Movements

Anybody who reads the headlines knows by now that the markets were volatile last week.  The broad market ended the week lower as global headlines continue to grab investor’s attention.  In the bigger picture, this is a pretty modest drop for a market that was up 17% so far this year. 

Market Minute - July 9, 2019

I’d like to share an article from Bob Veres that discusses the current market conditions based on a six month look back.  I hope you enjoy.

Monthly Markets Memo - June 2019

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA 

High Expectations for Lower Rates?

Trade issues continued to drag on the market over the past month as President Trump opened a new front against Mexico.  In an effort to curb illegal immigration, President Trump threatened to place 5% tariffs on all imports from Mexico with a plan to scale the tariffs up to 25% by October.  This caught the market by surprise and added fuel to the equity market sell-off that began earlier in May with the escalation of trade tensions with China.

Market Minute - June 18, 2019

There has been a lot written on tariffs over the past few months as news regarding the trade war with China continues to develop.  On another trade front, President Trump threatened to impose 5% tariffs on Mexico but later dropped those plans as a deal was reached regarding immigration.  Trade should remain in the news as President Trump and Chinese President Xi are likely to meet at the G-20 summit in Japan later this month.   

Monthly Markets Memo - May 2019

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA 

The Trade War Heats Up

Months of calm and optimism regarding the ongoing trade war with China were shattered with a single tweet from President Trump.  U.S. officials claim China had reversed course on several key points of the agreement being negotiated between the two largest economies. 

Market Minute - May 14, 2019

Last year’s earnings growth for the S&P 500 will be a tough act to follow.  Earnings increased over 20% in 2018 with the help of tax cuts and record stock buybacks by corporations.  A lower share count boosts earnings per share and therefore the growth reported by these companies.  How does 2019 look now that most of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported first quarter earnings?

Monthly Markets Memo - April 2019

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA 

Equities moved higher over the past month with the U.S. markets leading the charge.  Emerging and developed international markets were not far behind.  The bond markets also rallied marking the second month in a row that both equities and bonds have moved higher. 

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