The H Group Blog

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

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

Weekly Review - September 21, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, September 21, 2015

Summary

  • The week was highlighted by the Fed’s decision to keep interest rates at zero for yet another meeting, despite growing expectations for an increase. Retail sales results were stronger, as did jobless claims, but several regional manufacturing surveys came in weak. CPI was little changed, as expected, and remained at low levels.
  • Large-cap U.S. equities were largely negative on the week, while small cap and foreign equities turned in positive results. Investment-grade bonds offered slight positive returns as rates declined upon no action from the Federal Reserve.
 Read Entire Article Here

Question of the Week - September 14, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, September 14, 2015

Volatility has sure picked up. What’s the best way to think of volitility?

Even with the recent correction aside, this type of volatility is actually much more normal than the opposite condition of low volatility. Since the 1950’s (when the S&P 500 was created), absolute daily changes in the S&P 500 amounted to about +/- 0.7% per day. Interestingly, if we take this back further to the inception of the DJIA in 1896, daily changes are a remarkably similar +/- 0.75%. Markets and trading technology have no doubt changed, but these provide interesting behavioral benchmarks for what ‘normal’ expectations might look like. So, 1% up or down days aren’t really that strange after all. Since the standard deviation of those daily changes is just short of 1% as well, even a band twice as wide as the ‘normal’ daily move isn’t overly unusual historically.

 Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - September 14, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, September 14, 2015

Summary

  • In a relatively light week for economic data, producer prices came in flattish, on par with tempered inflation trends, while some sentiment data weakened a bit, as expected due to market volatility recently. Labor measures, including JOLTs and jobless claims, continued to show improvement to the point of looking ‘normal.’
  • Volatility continued to be the new normal for global equity markets, with it ending positively for equity markets. Bonds lost ground in a risk-on week and higher interest rates.
 Read Entire Article Here

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