The H Group Blog

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

Weekly Review - February 13, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, February 13, 2017

Summary

In a very light week for economic data, import prices were relatively contained, sentiment fell a bit, labor metrics JOLTs and jobless claims continued to show strength.

Equity markets gained during the week, in the U.S. and even more so abroad. Bonds also fared well, with interest rates ticking down. Commodity prices rose a bit, despite a stronger dollar, with oil ending flattish on net.

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Question of the Week - February 13, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, February 13, 2017

What's changed since the election?

Unsurprisingly, not much on the front of actual economic data, but it's still very early in the new administration agenda-setting and negotiation process. For markets, what has changed most notably has been the improvement of 'animal spirits,' which is the optimistic/bullish business and investing sentiment associated with pro-business expansion. While hard to measure with precision, we know that catalysts that either add incentives or cut disincentives can be incrementally additive for economic growth. However, these do take time to play out and there could be a number of roadblocks and compromises in the meantime. We've already started to see a bit of this, with pushback from Republican leaders on a variety of issues—the sentiment hasn't been helped by some early controversy in the initial few weeks, which, if it continues, could keep even some Republicans skittish about jumping on the Trump train.

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Weekly Review - February 6, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, February 06, 2017

Summary

Economic data for the week was highlighted by a Fed meeting marked by no action, stronger ISM manufacturing data and employment, with middling non-manufacturing, housing and consumer confidence data.

Equity markets experienced a mixed, flattish week on net, with emerging markets leading the way with stronger returns. U.S. bonds were generally flat, while foreign bonds and commodities gained in line with a weaker dollar during the week.

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Question of the Week - January 30, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, January 30, 2017

Are equities getting expensive yet?

They certainly aren't as cheap as they were a few years ago, but valuations tend to be relative, and are based on the metric used.

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Weekly Review - January 30, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, January 30, 2017

Summary

Economic data for the week was focused on a somewhat lackluster GDP report for the 4th quarter, along with mixed durable goods data and poor housing results.

U.S. and developed foreign equities experienced gains for the week, with emerging markets gaining even more strongly. Bonds were flattish with minimal net changes in interest rates for the week, while commodities were mixed as crude oil prices changed little for the period.

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Weekly Review - January 23, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, January 23, 2017

Summary

A fair amount of economic news for the week was released, including strong regional manufacturing and industrial production numbers, slightly stronger housing data and relatively contained inflation, as expected.

Equity markets declined a bit in both the U.S. and abroad. Bonds also lost ground with interest rates ticking higher due to stronger economic data. Commodities were little changed on net for the week.

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Weekly Review - January 17, 2017

Guest Post - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Summary

For the week, economic data included moderate retail sales, some gains in producer prices, stronger small business sentiment and continued strong labor results.

Stock markets were mixed on the week, with foreign equities outperforming U.S., with help from a weaker dollar. Interest rates ticked downward, which helped bonds earn slightly positive returns. Commodity returns were also mixed, as crude oil prices ended down a few percent.

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Our Take on 2016 and the 4th Quarter

Ron Kelemen - Thursday, January 12, 2017
Happy New Year!  We are pleased to share our thoughts with you about the past year and our outlook for 2017.  As we think about the financial markets from previous years, the year 2016 goes down in our memory as one of the most interesting and unpredictable years of all.  Here is our commentary.   Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - January 9, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, January 09, 2017

Summary

In the first week of the year, a variety of economic data releases pointed to continued expansion, including the ISM manufacturing and non-manufacturing indexes. The employment situation report for December, however, was decent but didn't meet expectations.

Equity markets in the U.S. and abroad gained in the first week of the year. Bonds also rose to a lesser degree as interest rates declined. Commodities were mixed, with oil rising slightly for the week.

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What Were the Winning and Losing Asset Classes of 2016?

Ron Kelemen - Friday, January 06, 2017

No single asset class is the best performing year after year. They rotate over time, sometimes dramatically in just one year. Every year we update our "Periodic Table of Asset Classes" or as we sometimes call it, our "Skittles Chart." We also include a balanced portfolio of various asset classes, as indicated by the yellow. As you can see, it will never be the top performer, nor at the bottom because it is a weighted average. To view this fun chart in PDF format, please click here. Read Entire Article Here


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