Investment Insights

Monthly Markets Memo - April 2018

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA & Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Market Update

With twitter tirades, tariff threats, and trouble in tech, it sure is noisy out there.  The U.S. markets, as measured by the S&P 500, re-tested February lows as the quarter came to an end.  The volatility was fed by escalating trade disputes as the Trump administration raised the prospect of additional tariffs on Chinese products, with the Chinese responding in-kind with their own tariffs on U.S. imports.  The tech sector wrestled with its own problems which added to the pain; Tesla is struggling to meet production goals, Facebook is working damage control for a scandal involving the improper sharing of user’s data, and Amazon finds itself in President Trump’s crosshairs over taxes and its business with the post office.

Market Minute - April 10, 2018

by Scott Rosenquist, CFA

TECH, TARIFFS & TWITTER = VOLATILITY

Volatility has picked up this year after an extraordinarily calm 2017.  The sources of volatility are numerous ranging from potential regulations for technology companies regarding user data, tariffs on Chinese imports and possible retaliation, and uncertainty from President Trump’s twitter feed.

Monthly Markets Memo - March 2018

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA & Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Market Update

The correction may have passed, but the volatility remains. The broad markets are in approximately the same spot they were a month ago, which may come as a surprise considering both the strong up and down moves across equities over that same time period. Equities sold off on the talk of trade tariffs out of Washington and then rallied when certain allies were exempt. They sold off again when Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn stepped down, and then rallied when the February jobs report was not only strong but failed to propel inflation-related fears. The volatility is not limited to equities.  

Market Minute - March 9, 2018

by Scott Rosenquist, CFA

FIXED INCOME MARKET

The low interest rate environment over the past several years has changed the broad bond index that I discussed last month (Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate).  The interest rate sensitivity has increased to levels that investors may not be aware of.  This is highlighted in the chart below from J.P. Morgan’s Guide to the Markets.

Monthly Markets Memo - February 2018

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA & Scott Rosenquist, CFA

The collective euphoria within the markets was shattered by a surge in volatility that led to several days of intense selling.  After peaking on January 26th, the S&P 500 index had dropped over 10% by market close on February 8th, the first technical correction for the market since the 1st quarter of 2016.  Both developed and emerging international equity markets could not escape the turmoil as they declined in lockstep with the U.S. markets.  

Market Minute - February 9, 2018

Market Minute Final Blog.pngby Scott Rosenquist, CFA

BLOOMBERG BARCLAYS US AGGREGATE BOND INDEX

The Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index is one of the more popular bond indices that covers the broad bond market similar to the S&P index as related to the stock market.  It is often referred to as the “AGG” for short.  Formerly known as the Lehman Aggregate Bond Index and then the Barclays US Aggregate Index, the index dates back to 1986.  The bond market has certainly changed since then but let us take a look at what makes up this popular index. 

Monthly Markets Memo - January 2018

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA & Scott Rosenquist, CFA

The U.S. markets are off to an exceptionally strong start for 2018, with the S&P 500 hitting a string of new highs over the first several weeks.  International markets, both developed and emerging, are keeping pace thus far.  Unlike the S&P, the broad international market indices of both developed (EAFE Index) and emerging markets (MSCI EM Index) have a way to go to make new highs, as neither has exceeded the highs made prior to the financial crisis. 

Market Minute - January 18, 2018

Market Minute Final Blog.pngby Scott Rosenquist, CFA

FACTOR INVESTING

The concept of factor investing is well known and includes years of academic research.  The objective is to find ways of constructing portfolios using factors compared to market capitalization which is how most major indices are built (ex. S&P 500). Factors are attributes that help explain sources of risk and return in the financial markets.  There are two categories of factors: economic and style. 

Monthly Markets Memo - December 2017

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA

2017 Year in Review

The markets have been more than kind to us this year.  Both domestic, international developed, and emerging markets are all up double digits.  The U.S. benefitted from a combination of earnings growth, and general optimism over the pro-growth agenda of President Trump. 

Market Minute - December 13, 2017

Market Minute Final Blog.pngby Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency has been a hot topic in the financial press this year and even hotter with investors.  Bitcoin is just one of the several cryptocurrencies that are now receiving interest from everyone; professional investment managers to grandmothers.  Bitcoin, the most popular of the cryptocurrencies has soared in value this year as more and more people are becoming interested in the digital currency. 

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