The H Group Blog

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

Weekly Review - November 16, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, November 16, 2015

Summary

  • In a light week for economic data, retail sales disappointed somewhat while consumer sentiment and jobs/claims data remained strong. Producer prices fell, especially on a year-to-year basis, which continues to reflect non-inflationary pressures throughout the system.
  • Equity markets fell back sharply on the week due to a number of economic and earnings-related factors. Bonds fared slightly positively in the risk-off environment, as interest rates generally fell, with foreign issues outperforming domestic. Crude oil prices declined dramatically, back towards $40/barrel upon ongoing supply concerns.
 Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - November 9, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, November 09, 2015

Summary

  • Economic data came in a bit better than expected on average, with the ISM non-manufacturing index and the October employment report surpassing expectations. Conditions were less appealing on the manufacturing side, as ISM manufacturing, factory orders and related data continued to show some softness.
  • Domestic equity markets rose on expectations of a solid jobs report, while foreign equities generally lost ground with some negative impact from a stronger dollar. Bonds fell back on rising interest rates, with corporates outperforming longer-term government debt. Commodities, including crude oil, experienced weakness, due to dollar effects and lack of any positive catalysts.
 Read Entire Article Here

Question of the Week - November 9, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, November 09, 2015

Will we ever see inflation again? Where’s all this deflation coming from?

We would say be careful what you wish for, but like anything else in the economic realm, each of these conditions offers a double-edged sword.

Inflation, of course, is the general rising of prices. While everyone wants their wages to increase, this is not as useful if coupled with or surpassed by price increases in everyday goods, from groceries to gasoline—such impacts can cause ‘real’ (after-inflation) wage increases to net out to zero, or even fall behind if goods inflation is high or unpredictable enough. Economists and central bankers generally are of the belief that ‘some’ inflation (1-2% per year or so) is beneficial—mostly due to the fact that some manageable degree of price growth is a positive byproduct of economic growth, and growth is a desired thing. Too much inflation is naturally problematic, destabilizing and difficult to combat (U.S. in 1970s-early 1980s, Germany after WWI, some emerging market nations in various years), but finding that sweet spot of ‘just enough’ can be a tricky policy balance.

 Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - November 2, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, November 02, 2015

Summary

  • Economic data for the week was again mixed, with advance GDP for the third quarter coming in at a tempered level, but not too far off of expectations, while housing numbers and consumer sentiment surveys disappointed. However, the Chicago PMI manufacturing report moved back up into positive territory.
  • Equity markets gained a bit on the week in the U.S., but struggled abroad—especially in emerging markets. Bonds also lost ground domestically upon higher interest rates. Commodities were flat overall, but energy bounced back to gain a few percent on the week.
 Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - October 26, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, October 26, 2015

Summary

  • Economic data on the week was focused on several housing reports, which came in better than expected; however, the much broader index of leading economic indicators fell backward a bit.
  • Global equity markets responded positively to news of possible (European Central Bank) and actual (China) additional quantitative easing measures designed to spur sluggish economic growth. U.S. bonds lagged upon slightly higher interest rates, while foreign results were mixed due to a stronger dollar. Crude oil declined dramatically again upon reports of higher inventories and higher-than-expected upcoming supply.
 Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - October 19, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, October 19, 2015

Summary

  • Economic data for the week was generally lackluster, seen in retail sales and several manufacturing surveys. Inflation came in quite tempered, on par with recent months and expectations.
  • Equity markets gained on interpretations of weak data meaning the Fed may keep raising interest rates at bay; bonds performed well with rates falling. Crude oil declined on the week with continued uncertainty about demand/supply dynamics looking into next year.
 Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - October 12, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, October 12, 2015

Summary

  • In a lighter week for economic data, the ISM non-manufacturing survey release disappointed while remaining quite positive, the trade balance deteriorated due to a stronger dollar and the FOMC minutes were a bit more benign than expected although didn’t clarify any interest rate policy uncertainty.
  • Equity markets gained in the U.S., upon stronger sentiment from higher energy prices, while bonds sold off a bit as interest rates inched higher. Commodities naturally had a strong week due to the oil impact, a rare event recently.
 Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - October 5, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, October 05, 2015

Summary

  • Economic data last week was lackluster, but not too far from expectations, with ISM manufacturing staying in just in expansionary territory, while the employment situation report disappointed on the downside.
  • U.S. markets gained on the week, with sentiment improving on net despite continued global growth worries; emerging markets performed especially well. Interestingly, bond prices also experienced a positive week as interest rates fell.
 Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - September 28, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, September 28, 2015

Summary

  • Economic data for the week was highlighted by weaker durable goods orders and mixed but a bit better data on the housing side, while 2nd quarter GDP was revised higher.
  • Equity markets experienced a negative week globally, which continues the fall seasonal pattern of higher volatility. Bonds were mixed with interest rates rising slightly on the week.
 Read Entire Article Here

Fed Note – September, 17, 2015

Guest Post - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fed Note – September, 17, 2015”  Read Entire Article Here


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