The H Group Blog

Investment and Financial Planning news from some of the best in the business.

Weekly Review - January 16, 2018

Website Administrator - Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Summary

Economic data for the week was led by growth in retail sales, tempered inflation results and mixed but continued strong labor market metrics.

Equity markets gained ground again, with U.S. markets leading the way upon strong sentiment. Foreign markets also gained, with a help from a weaker dollar. Domestic bonds generally lost ground with interest rates ticking higher. Commodities gained across the board, but particularly due to higher crude and natural gas prices last week.

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Weekly Review - January 8, 2018

Website Administrator - Monday, January 08, 2018

Summary

Economic data for the first week of the new year showed strength in manufacturing, a weaker result for services ISM, and a mixed result in employment, with strong jobless claims and ADP employment numbers, while the government employment report disappointed with challenging winter weather.

Equity markets started the year with significant gains globally, with optimism for the new year running high in both the U.S. and abroad. Bonds faced a more challenging week, as interest rates increased along with these expectations. Commodities rose to a more tempered degree, as crude oil again gained in price.

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Weekly Review - January 2, 2018

Website Administrator - Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Summary

With an extremely light holiday calendar for economic data, highlights included stronger housing and regional purchasing data and weaker consumer confidence and jobless claims.

U.S. stock markets fell during the last week of the year, while international equities gained with the help of a weaker dollar. Bonds fared well as interest rates declined for the week, and foreign bond markets also benefited from the dollar’s move. Commodities across the board experienced a positive week.

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Now that the tax plan is finished, now what?

Website Administrator - Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Now that the tax plan is finished, now what?

The 1000+ page tax reform plan, the largest in decades, has been passed by both legislative chambers and signed into law. It moved surprisingly quickly, with initial debate about various components turning into a package that looked very much like the original submission.

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Weekly Review - December 26, 2017

Website Administrator - Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Summary

Economic releases last week consisted of very strong results in housing and manufacturing, as well as the broad measure of leading economic indicators, mixed results from personal income/spending and durable goods orders and slightly worse sentiment and jobless claims.

U.S. equities gained with tax reform efforts wrapping up, which boosted pre-Holiday sentiment. Foreign equities outperformed with help from a weaker dollar. Bonds generally lost ground as interest rates gained across the curve. Commodities also rose slightly, along with the price of crude oil.

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What to make of the rise in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?

Website Administrator - Monday, December 18, 2017

What to make of the rise in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?

Bitcoin has been in the news again, with exponential gains in its dollar price (currently over $18,000 per unit), coupled by the rollout of a futures market for the currency, which has left many intrigued about the future prospects of this and other cryptocurrencies. However, many traditionalists are quick to quote classic market wisdom that 'no tree grows to the sky,' as hyperbolic euphoria and emergence of new products related to niche investment themes have often been associated with market manias (and subsequent later pullbacks). The difficult part is that such episodes are far easier to spot in hindsight than in real time.

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Weekly Review - December 18, 2017

Website Administrator - Monday, December 18, 2017

Summary

Economic activity for the week centered on the Federal Reserve, which raised short-term interest rates another quarter-percent, as expected. Retail sales gained more sharply than expected, while industrial results were mixed and inflation came in weaker than consensus though several measures. Labor force gains remain robust.

U.S. equities gain for the week, with positive sentiment related to tax reform. Foreign markets were mixed on net, falling behind U.S. stocks for the week with little change in the dollar. Bonds on net made slight gains, with the treasury yield curve flattening further. Commodities were generally little changed with crude oil experiencing a quieter week.

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Weekly Review - December 11, 2017

Website Administrator - Monday, December 11, 2017

Summary

Economic releases were mixed on the week, with weaker results in non-manufacturing ISM, factory orders and lower sentiment. On the other hand, labor markets continued to perform, with jobless claims running at cyclical low levels and the monthly employment situation report coming in stronger than expected.

U.S. stocks gained for the week, as did developed foreign markets despite the tempering influence of a stronger dollar. Bonds were generally flat, while commodities also fell due to the dollar's strength coupled with other specific factors.

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Weekly Review - December 4, 2017

Website Administrator - Monday, December 04, 2017

Summary

Economic data released last week included an upward revision in 3rd quarter GDP, a dip in the ISM manufacturing index, a recovery in various housing metrics and higher levels of consumer confidence.

U.S. equity markets rose sharply during the week, outperforming foreign stocks, which lost ground. Bonds were little changed on net with interest rates mixed across the yield curve. Commodity prices fell, with declines in several key segments, including oil and metals.

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Weekly Review - November 27, 2017

Website Administrator - Monday, November 27, 2017

Summary

On a shortened Thanksgiving week, the few economic reports that surfaced were mixed, with slightly weaker durable goods orders, while existing home sales and jobless claims were positive, and the index of leading economic indicators was quite strong.

Global equity markets fared positively, with U.S. small caps and foreign stocks faring well on the heels of a weaker dollar. Bonds ended up with slight gains as interest rates ticked downward slightly, with foreign bonds faring better. Commodity indexes were higher as crude oil rose to its highest price in over two years.

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