The H Group Blog

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

Weekly Review - April 16, 2018

Guest Post - Monday, April 16, 2018

Summary

Economic data for the week included producer and consumer inflation reports that showed pricing ticking upward, as expected, while sentiment declined and labor data, while strong, came in below expectations.

Global equities gained upon more tempered language between the U.S. and China over trade policy, while bonds succumbed to interest rates pushing higher. Commodity prices rose, led by oil’s jump as a result of expected military action in Syria.

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How meaningful are these ongoing tariff threats?

Guest Post - Monday, April 09, 2018

Market volatility has obviously been ramping up as of late, with one of the catalysts being the announcement of various layers of tariffs by the U.S. administration. This rhetoric has been targeted at China, which has responded with a series of their own retaliatory tariffs. These are yet to go into effect in most cases, raising suspicions of these being merely a negotiating tactic to elicit better trade terms with China and other nations, including members of NAFTA, a treaty also under review. Regardless of the intentions, financial markets don’t like the uncertainty this has raised and have responded in kind with more extreme moves day-to-day in reaction to new announcements—certainly more volatility than we’ve become used to in recent quarters. Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - April 9, 2018

Guest Post - Monday, April 09, 2018

Summary

Economic data for the week was led by weaker-but-still-robust reports for manufacturing and non-manufacturing activity, yet mixed results for jobless claims and a weaker-than-expected employment situation report for March—likely weather-affected.

U.S. equity markets swung dramatically in both directions during the week, ending lower with ongoing market concerns over trade tariffs. European equities bucked the trend by gaining ground, while emerging markets declined. Bonds were flattish to slightly negative as interest rates ticked up again during the week. Commodities declined a few percent as positive results from non-energy groups were unable to offset declines in crude oil.

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Weekly Review - April 2, 2018

Guest Post - Monday, April 02, 2018

Summary

On a holiday-shortened week, home sales and price data came in solidly, as did jobless claims; manufacturing data came in expansionary but at a slower pace, while consumer sentiment declined a bit.

Equity markets recovered globally last week, as rhetoric over a trade war with China dissipated a bit. U.S. bonds fared well, with interest rates falling back from recent high levels. Commodities fell a bit on the week, led by declines in the prices of crude oil and gold.

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Weekly Review - March 27, 2018

Guest Post - Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Summary

Economic data for the week included an increase in the short-term interest rate by the Federal Reserve, as well as stronger durable goods orders and leading indicator results. Housing and jobless claims results were mixed to some degree.

Global equity markets declined due to a variety of negative inputs, including fears of a widespread deterioration in global trade conditions. This pulled the dollar down by nearly a percent, helping temper losses for foreign stocks. Bonds ended the week slightly higher, as interest rates tempered a bit, with foreign outpacing U.S. Commodities gains on the heels of a sharp move higher in the price of crude oil.

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Weekly Review - March 19, 2018

Guest Post - Monday, March 19, 2018

Summary

Economic data for the week was highlighted by a drop in retail sales and housing statistics, but gains in industrial production, continued strength in several manufacturing metrics and labor. Inflation results were as expected, reducing fears from last month.

U.S. equity markets fell back for the week on lackluster news, but were offset by positivity in foreign stock markets. Bonds also gained a bit of ground as interest rates ticked downward under recent highs. Commodities were flattish, although crude oil prices rose during the week.

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Weekly Review - March 12, 2018

Guest Post - Monday, March 12, 2018

Summary

Economic news for the week included a slight decline in the still-strong non-manufacturing ISM index, and a deterioration in the trade deficit, while the employment numbers for February showed strong labor growth yet a tempering in wage growth pressures that have worried markets.

Equity markets gained in the U.S. and Europe with positive economic data and hopes that tariff talk will be tempered somewhat. Bonds were mixed, with interest rates ticking slightly higher and the U.S. dollar little changed. Commodities gained slightly along with a slight rise in oil prices.

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Weekly Review - March 5, 2018

Guest Post - Monday, March 05, 2018

Summary

Economic data for the week included strong readings for manufacturing, consumer confidence and jobless claims, a slight revision downward in prior-quarter economic growth, but declines in durable goods and new/pending home sales.

Equity markets suffered due to uncertainty surrounding potential new trade restrictions. Bonds were little changed with interest rates holding steady, but gained slightly as assets moved away from risk. Commodities lost ground following declines in crude oil prices, which was tempered a bit by gains in other segments.

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What would be the impact of new tariffs on certain imports?

Guest Post - Monday, March 05, 2018

Economists and investors were surprised this last week by the administration’s announcement of upcoming tariffs on imported steel of 25% and aluminum of 10%. This follows the implementation of tariffs on a variety of other specific items, such as washing machines and solar panels, which appear to be targeted to specific companies and countries. These recent actions with steel and aluminum weren’t arbitrarily chosen product imports or tariff amounts; they were taken almost verbatim from a recent Commerce Department recommendation.

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Weekly Review - February 26, 2018

Guest Post - Monday, February 26, 2018

Summary

In a slower, holiday-shortened week, a sparse amount of economic data was led by a decline in existing home sales, a sharp move higher in leading economic indicators, a strong jobless claims report, coupled with FOMC minutes from January that leaned toward economic optimism.

U.S. equity markets moved forward on the week, as did emerging markets, while foreign developed markets were held back by a stronger dollar. Bonds were flattish, with little change in interest rates during the week. Commodities were pushed higher by stronger pricing again in crude oil and natural gas.

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