Investment Insights

Market Minute - December 10, 2019

by Scott Rosenquist, CFA​

This year is on track to be great for most financial asset classes.  Domestic and foreign equity markets are up double digits through the end of November and the broad fixed income market is up high single digits.  This is almost the exact opposite of what investors saw last year when cash was a top performing asset.

Monthly Markets Memo - November 2019

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA 

Something interesting happened in the markets in the last couple months as value stocks came to life posting returns that nearly double that of their growth counterparts.  Value and growth are two labels in an overly simplified yet effective way to categorize different types of stocks. 

Market Minute - November 15, 2019

by Scott Rosenquist, CFA​

October’s employment data came in better than expected showing that the US economy continues to plow ahead.  The previous two months were also revised higher and the labor force participation rate increased.  All of this points to a growing economy and keeps recession risk low for the time being.  What do the numbers mean for the economy going forward?

Monthly Markets Memo - October 2019

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA 

The Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the second time in 2019 this past September.  The Fed reiterated its desire to extend and sustain the current expansion while citing the U.S. economic outlook as favorable.

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.

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