The H Group Blog

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

Weekly Review - August 25, 2014

Guest Post - Monday, August 25, 2014


  • Economic data points from the week were quite good, and showed a continued rebound of conditions. Inflation, as measured by CPI at least, rose at a tempered pace we've come to expect.
  • Equities and other risk assets were higher, with positive data economic data noted above and lack of geopolitical disruptions; bonds sagged on higher interest rates as a result of the same.
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Weekly Review - August 18, 2014

Guest Post - Monday, August 18, 2014


  • Data was mixed on the week, with retail sales disappointing, but surveys and sentiment still decent on the manufacturing/small business end.
  • Equity markets deflected geopolitical concerns and gained, as did bond prices with interest rates falling a fraction of a percent to very low levels (even lower in Europe, which reported flat economic growth for the quarter.
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A tough round trip

Scott Maxwell - Monday, August 11, 2014

It has been a wonderful run hasn't it? Since the spring of 2009 markets have moved significantly higher in their recovery from that recessionary time. We've come a long ways from those dark days and stocks reflect more normal valuations than they did before. It's a great time to think about two things in relation to our portfolios; how we'll feel about the next correction and how futile market timing is in the process of making good portfolio decisions. Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - August 11, 2014

Guest Post - Monday, August 11, 2014


  • Economic data reports for the week were relatively good, led by ISM non-manufacturing, factory orders and the Fed's Senior Loan Officer Survey showing positive results.
  • Stocks experienced a more volatile week as events in the Ukraine raised anxiety again, which dissipated by the end of the week with net small positive effect in the U.S., although it weighed on foreign equities. Bonds performed well with safe haven rates falling, while some riskier foreign issues sold off a bit.
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Weekly Review - August 4, 2014

Guest Post - Monday, August 04, 2014


  • A jam-packed week of economic data releases boosted by a faster Q2 real GDP growth rate, a stronger ISM manufacturing reading in July and upbeat consumer confidence levels.
  • Weaker housing sales data in June, and in-line results for July's payroll numbers and June's personal income and consumption data.
  • No major surprises from last week's FOMC meeting with another asset purchase reduction of $10 billion each month; Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser voted against the guidance language about rates being on hold for “a considerable time after the asset purchase program ends.”
  • Initial jobless claims came in softer than the consensus expectation with a small improvement for the 4-week moving average and slightly higher continuing claims.
  • U.S. equity markets pulled back at the end of the week in reaction to the ongoing geo-political tension in Eastern Europe and the Middle East plus fears of uncertainty after the expected end of the Fed's QE3 in October.
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Fed Note - July 30, 2014

Guest Post - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Federal Reserve met today and proceeded according to the recent plan. The taper continued, with Treasury/MBS purchases being wound down from $35 bil./mo. to $25 bil./mo. At this pace, QE Fed buys should end by October. Other comments made in the release alluded to economic strengthening, relative to the difficult winter especially, labor market improvement, but continued frustrations in housing, which has lagged it’s normal point in previous modern recoveries. Interestingly, Philadelphia Fed Pres. Charles Plosser voted against the guidance language alluding to a low Fed Funds rate for a ‘considerable time’ after QE ends, as time-dependent and not helpful considering the better conditions.

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Weekly Review - July 28, 2014

Guest Post - Monday, July 28, 2014


  • Economic data was mostly focused on inflation and housing: CPI was up marginally, while housing stats were mixed—remaining below trend for an economic recovery.
  • Stock markets were a mixed bag, with larger-cap stocks performing a bit better than small cap, although very sector-dependent. Bonds were mixed as well, due to a flattening of the yield curve on the week.
 Read Entire Article Here

Question of the Week - July 28, 2014

Guest Post - Monday, July 28, 2014

What's going on with Argentinian bonds? How will the recently released changes for money market funds affect clients?

We have to take a step back at least a decade to understand the unusual set of circumstances that surrounds Argentina's possible upcoming default. This started from their original default of $100 billion worth of debt in 2001-02, which followed IMF-imposed austerity measures, severe economic hardship and some poor political choices. With difficult access to credit markets, the government spent time and effort to devalue their currency, the peso, to further erode the existing peso-denominated debt (note that such efforts would have made USD-denominated debt repayment even more precarious, but they'd already defaulted, so a moot point). This didn't help their international reputation at the time, and trust is still hard to come by.

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Weekly Review - July 21, 2014

Guest Post - Monday, July 21, 2014


  • Economic data was mixed to positive on the week, with solid results in some portions of retail sales, as well as the Empire and Philly Fed surveys; while other data, such as housing starts and sentiment, lagged a bit.
  • Markets were relatively flat most of the week, until the Ukrainian plane crash put markets into a tailspin Thursday–that righted itself again to the upside by the week's end. Revenues and earnings for U.S. equities have surprised on the upside so far.
 Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - July 14, 2014

Guest Post - Monday, July 14, 2014


  • It was a light week for economic data domestically, and little new geopolitical news.
  • Equity markets sold off on the week, helped in no way by the troubles of the second largest bank in Portugal, which was having trouble rolling over its debt. In the risk-off environment, bonds gained.
 Read Entire Article Here

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