The H Group Blog

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

Weekly Review - May 26, 2015

Guest Post - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Summary

  • Economic results were again mixed, with some improvement in housing, tempered overall but higher core CPI inflation readings and stronger jobless claim data.
  • U.S. equity markets on average were slightly higher, while foreign equities ended up negative due to the influence of a stronger U.S. dollar that eroded the impact of a much better week in local terms. Higher interest rates generally pressured bonds and real estate, while commodities also lost some ground on average.
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Weekly Review - May 18, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, May 18, 2015

Summary

  • Economic data for the week was mixed, with weaker-than-expected retail sales numbers, decent employment metrics and conflicting sentiment data from consumers and small businesses.
  • Global equities gained on the week, with international stocks outperforming U.S. names—due to a weakening dollar effect—both despite a lack of major headline data to move sentiment in either direction. Global bond yields jumped mid-week but came back to earth, in both U.S. and foreign markets, which resulted in generally flat domestic returns and slightly better for foreign bonds, which benefitted from a weaker dollar. Commodities rose a bit, with oil price stability and some gains in gold.
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Weekly Review - May 11, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, May 11, 2015

Summary

  • Economic reports last week were led by a decent ISM non-manufacturing report, low levels of jobless claims and a decent but unexceptional employment situation release—uninspiring enough to keep markets hoping for continued easy Fed policy beyond June.
  • Stocks generally gained in developed markets last week, and many emerging markets as well, although a sharply negative week in China weighed on overall index numbers. Bonds were flat in the U.S. but sold off sharply in Europe upon better economic data and accompanying rising interest rates. Commodities were generally flat as well, as oil prices were stable on the week.
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Weekly Review - May 4, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, May 04, 2015

Summary

  • The economic picture last week was colored by a poor U.S. GDP release for the first quarter, as well as acknowledgment by the FOMC of slowed conditions. However, other data, such as the ISM and Chicago PMI came in mixed to a bit better. Jobless claims are one stat that has continued to show improvement in the labor market.
  • Interestingly, both stock and bonds experienced negative returns last week, as did real estate, upon worries of slower growth yet also rising interest rates. Commodities gained with a weaker dollar and continued higher pricing in energy.
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Fed Note - April 30, 2015

Guest Post - Thursday, April 30, 2015

The FOMC meeting ended with little fanfare as theories continued to swirl about surrounding the timing of the Fed's choice to raise interest rates. Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - April 27, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, April 27, 2015

Summary

  • In a light week for economic releases, durable goods came in somewhat better than expected, led by aircraft orders, while housing also showed some mixed signs of life. Housing has been sporadic over the last few years, which has concerned economists, although the spring season will no doubt bring more information and clarity.
  • Equity markets worldwide gained on the week, with earnings coming in a bit better than expected. Interest rates also rose, which ended up being a negative for government bonds; corporate and emerging market debt fared better. Commodities rose with help from a weaker dollar and higher oil prices.
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Weekly Review - April 20, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, April 20, 2015

Summary

  • Economic results on the week were in keeping with the recent lackluster trend, with weaker-than-expected retail sales and manufacturing. Inflation came in a bit stronger, but remains flat to slightly negative on a year-over-year basis when energy price declines are considered.
  • Equity markets lost ground last week upon a variety of factors later in the week, not helped by challenging economic data. Bonds rose on lower interest rates, while commodities generally were aided by a weaker dollar and rising oil prices.
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Question of the Week, April 13, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, April 13, 2015

When is the crash coming?

This question is more hypothetical than one we've actually been responding to yet, but it's important to lay the groundwork for these things while conditions are good so clients avoid becoming complacent—not an easy task. Historically, we know that each year brings a pretty good chance of a -10% correction, with less severe pullbacks happening more frequently. Often, these pullbacks aren't predictable or obvious events that can be avoided in advance, but valuation conditions can also play a role in expected return outcomes before and after such corrections.

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Weekly Review - April 13, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, April 13, 2015

Summary

  • Economic data was light and results mixed last week with the ISM services report coming in a bit weaker, but jobs reports—JOLTs and claims—better than consensus. The FOMC minutes generally read as expected, with differing views on the strength of the economy and timing of potential rate hikes.
  • Equity markets gained on the week, led by emerging markets. Government bonds lost ground upon higher rates, although corporates fared better. Commodities generally gained—led by energy—even in spite of a stronger dollar.
 Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - April 6, 2015

Guest Post - Monday, April 06, 2015

Summary

  • Despite being a shortened holiday week, it was busy due to a number of economic data releases. Good news came from upside surprises in factory orders, firmer housing data and a better consumer confidence reading; bad news came from weaker job reports and disappointing manufacturing survey results.
  • U.S. equity markets pulled back on the last day of the first quarter as profit-taking and quarter-end window-dressing activities took place. Emerging market stocks outperformed both U.S. and EAFE stocks. Bonds performed similar to stocks as weaker economic data supported yield trending down. REITs were flat and commodities lost ground.
 Read Entire Article Here

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