The H Group Blog

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

Weekly Review - April 24, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, April 24, 2017

Summary

Economic data for the week showed slower but still-strong results in regional manufacturing and production, while housing metrics were mixed.

Stock markets gained globally, led by the U.S. and Japan, while other markets generally came in flatter. Bond returns were flattest of all, with minimal changes in interest rates for the week. Commodities lost ground along with oil prices declining due to higher supplies

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Tax Freedom Day 2017

Ron Kelemen - Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Taxes are on everyone's mind this time of year, now that most of us have filed our taxes—or at least extensions. Just how much taxes do we pay, and how long do we have to work each year to pay them? According to The Tax Foundation, Tax Freedom day falls on April 23 in 2017, 113 days into the year. The Foundation also calculates that: Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - April 17, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, April 17, 2017

Summary

Economic data for the week consisted of unsurprisingly weaker retail sales, lower inflation readings via the consumer price index and producer price index, as well as continued strength in labor markets.

Equity markets lost ground in the U.S. for the most part, while developed and emerging foreign markets generally were flattish. Bonds fared well in that anti-risk environment, as did real estate, while commodity indexes also gained with help from higher crude oil and gold prices.

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Question of the Week - April 10, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, April 10, 2017

What does the Fed mean when it talks about reducing its balance sheet?

In the course of its regular operations, the Federal Reserve maintains a balance sheet of assets and liabilities, which is meaningful for government accounting purposes, and, more tangibly, to serve as a vehicle for holding U.S. treasury bonds that are bought and sold during the Fed’s routine open market operations (which serve the key function of interest rate targeting). Since the financial crisis when quantitative easing was put into place through the massive purchase of treasuries, this asset bucket has also held agency mortgage debt, in an effort to help stabilize home finance markets in the wake of the widespread breakdown of housing prices and well-publicized issues with mortgage underwriting quality.

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Weekly Review - April 10, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, April 10, 2017

Summary

Economic reports for the week came in mixed, with slightly weaker ISM manufacturing and non-manufacturing data, although both remained strongly expansionary. While the ADP employment report was quite strong, the government nonfarm payrolls report was far less so, while the unemployment rate declined.

Equity markets were mixed with flat to lower results in the U.S., with large-caps holding up much better than small, and better results from emerging markets than developed. Bonds gained a bit with interest rates ticking downward a bit, but foreign assets of all kinds held back by a stronger dollar. Commodities edged upward along with higher prices for crude oil.

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Here's Our Review of the First Quarter of 2017

Ron Kelemen - Thursday, April 06, 2017

Happy spring, everybody.  It’s been quite a quarter, and we’re pleased to send you our commentary about it.  You can access it by clicking here.  We discuss recent portfolio changes we made, the state of the current bull market, the Conference Board indicators, and a review of market corrections over time.   As always, we welcome your feedback.  Enjoy! Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - April 3, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, April 03, 2017

Summary

Economic data for the week was highlighted by stronger manufacturing and housing results, an improvement in consumer confidence to a multi-decade high, while Q4 GDP was revised slightly higher than in earlier releases.

Equity markets in the U.S. gained, developed markets ended flattish on net and emerging markets lost ground. The majority of bond indexes were flattish, with very little interest rate movement, while commodity indexes gained generally with a bounce higher in crude oil prices.

 Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - March 27, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, March 27, 2017

Summary

In a lighter week for economic data, durable goods and housing data were mixed, while jobless claims rose due to winter weather in parts of the country.

U.S. stocks declined in line with political disappointments surrounding health care reform, while foreign equities were helped somewhat by a weaker dollar. Bonds fared well as flows moved away from risk and interest rates declined, with foreign outperforming domestic. Commodities declined generally with weakness in crude oil prices due to supply concerns.

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Weekly Review - March 20, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, March 20, 2017

Summary

It was a busy week for economic data, as the FOMC raised interest rates by a quarter-percent, manufacturing data came in decently, inflation ticked a bit higher, and housing results and labor data came in stronger.

U.S. equity markets ticked modestly higher on the week, but were outpaced by foreign stocks, and especially so by emerging markets. Bonds also experienced a decent week, as interest rates declined somewhat. Commodity prices rose with strength in metals, a weaker dollar and slight recovery in crude oil.

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Corrections Are Just a Part of This Bull Market

Guest Post - Monday, March 20, 2017

As the current bull market enters its ninth year, it's time to recall that bull markets never go in a straight upward trajectory. Pullbacks of 5% or more and corrections of 10% or more are quite normal. But just how normal are they? Read Entire Article Here


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