The H Group Blog

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

Weekly Review - December 11, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, December 11, 2017

Summary

Economic releases were mixed on the week, with weaker results in non-manufacturing ISM, factory orders and lower sentiment. On the other hand, labor markets continued to perform, with jobless claims running at cyclical low levels and the monthly employment situation report coming in stronger than expected.

U.S. stocks gained for the week, as did developed foreign markets despite the tempering influence of a stronger dollar. Bonds were generally flat, while commodities also fell due to the dollar's strength coupled with other specific factors.

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Weekly Review - December 4, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, December 04, 2017

Summary

Economic data released last week included an upward revision in 3rd quarter GDP, a dip in the ISM manufacturing index, a recovery in various housing metrics and higher levels of consumer confidence.

U.S. equity markets rose sharply during the week, outperforming foreign stocks, which lost ground. Bonds were little changed on net with interest rates mixed across the yield curve. Commodity prices fell, with declines in several key segments, including oil and metals.

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Weekly Review - November 27, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, November 27, 2017

Summary

On a shortened Thanksgiving week, the few economic reports that surfaced were mixed, with slightly weaker durable goods orders, while existing home sales and jobless claims were positive, and the index of leading economic indicators was quite strong.

Global equity markets fared positively, with U.S. small caps and foreign stocks faring well on the heels of a weaker dollar. Bonds ended up with slight gains as interest rates ticked downward slightly, with foreign bonds faring better. Commodity indexes were higher as crude oil rose to its highest price in over two years.

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Weekly Review - November 20, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, November 20, 2017

Summary

Economic data for the week was highlighted by stronger retail sales, mixed-but-still-strong manufacturing and industrial production results, along with slightly higher inflation. Homebuilder sentiment improved, while jobless claims remained very low.

U.S. equity markets were mixed with small caps outperforming large caps. Emerging market stocks similarly outperformed developed market equities. Bonds achieved positive gains, while foreign bonds were helped by a weaker dollar. Commodities lost a bit of ground with crude oil prices ending flat for the week.

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Weekly Review - November 13, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, November 13, 2017

Summary

In a very light week for economic data, highlights included continued strong job openings data, while claims ticked upward due to temporary weather impacts. Consumer sentiment also ticked downward a bit.

U.S. and foreign equity markets lost ground for the first week in several as sentiment soured, although emerging markets gained. Bonds were also down across the board, although a weaker dollar helped foreign stocks and bonds somewhat. Commodities gained as energy prices again moved higher.

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How is 2018 Shaping Up?

Guest Post - Monday, November 13, 2017

We know it’s early, but market hopes and dreams have already moved on to next year.

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Weekly Review - November 6, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, November 06, 2017

Summary

Economic news for the week was dominated by a Fed meeting that resulted in no policy change, mixed manufacturing results, stronger optimism and a below-par employment situation report—several releases continue to demonstrate the effects of recent hurricanes.

Equities continued their run of success, with gains in the U.S. and foreign markets, on the back of strong earnings and economic growth. Bonds also fared well as rates decreased. Commodities gained on the week, in keeping with higher oil demand and lower production.

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Weekly Review - October 30, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, October 30, 2017

Summary

Economic data for the week was highlighted by a strong 3rd quarter GDP report, in addition to solid durable goods results. Housing experienced a bit of a bounce back from a weaker hurricane-plagued prior month, while jobless claims contained to run at a low level.

U.S. stocks ended the week again with gains, led by strong earnings and economic data; foreign developed markets gained in local terms, but lagged when a stronger U.S. dollar was accounted for. Bonds lagged somewhat upon rates ticking higher. Commodities gained on net as crude oil prices continued a trend higher, as production cuts looked to continue.

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Weekly Review - October 23, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, October 23, 2017

Summary

Economic data for the week included solid regional manufacturing results and production numbers, while housing statistics reflected the large impact of recent multiple hurricanes, which depressed activity. Labor strength remained robust, with jobless claims again reaching multi-decade lows.

Equity markets gained in the U.S., outperforming foreign stocks that were held back by dollar movements higher. Bonds on the investment-grade side lost ground due to higher rates, while lower quality bonds fared better; foreign bonds were held back by currency movements. Commodity prices were mixed as crude oil prices moved slightly higher, ending in the low 50's.

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Weekly Review - October 16, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, October 16, 2017

Summary

Economic data for the week was focused on the FOMC minutes, which appeared to sustain high odds for a December rate hike, retail sales came in as expected, as did inflation, while labor markets continued to show strength in the areas of job openings and jobless claims.

Equity markets rose globally, with foreign stocks outperforming U.S. names with help from a weaker dollar. Bonds also fared decently, with interest rates falling across the yield curve. Commodities gained in a variety of sectors, including oil, which again gained ground and rose above $50/barrel.

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