The H Group Blog

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

Weekly Review - February 27, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, February 27, 2017

Summary

On a shortened holiday week, and a light one for economic data, housing results were generally strong, and jobless claims continued to run at low levels.

Global equity markets were generally higher on the week, with continued improved sentiment, while U.S. bond markets rallied upon lower interest rates, as did foreign bond markets. Commodities ended flat, with little change in crude oil prices.

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Are Equities Overvalued?

Guest Post - Monday, February 27, 2017

With the Dow index of 30 stocks recently closing above 20,000, we are getting asked if the stock market is too high. Our favorite answer to this and many other questions is "It depends." Just the price of a stock or the level of a market index doesn't tell the whole story. Part of our answer depends upon whether one is looking at the stock market as value investor or as a growth investor. Both approaches are valid, and both go in and out of favor. Read Entire Article Here

New Advisor Rules Coming for IRAs and Retirement Plans

Ron Kelemen - Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Last June we wrote about the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new Fiduciary Rule.  At that time, it had been in the works for many months, but it finally takes effect on April 10 this year, and a few remaining details take effect in January 2018.
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Weekly Review - February 21, 2017

Guest Post - Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Summary

In a busy week for economic releases, several manufacturing indexes shined with strong results, inflation came in stronger than in recent months, and housing numbers were a bit mixed.

U.S. equity markets again showed strong gains, although foreign stocks also came in positive. Bonds were flattish with little changes in interest rates, although high yield bonds continued their momentum. Commodities fell on the week, although crude oil prices were little changed.

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Weekly Review - February 13, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, February 13, 2017

Summary

In a very light week for economic data, import prices were relatively contained, sentiment fell a bit, labor metrics JOLTs and jobless claims continued to show strength.

Equity markets gained during the week, in the U.S. and even more so abroad. Bonds also fared well, with interest rates ticking down. Commodity prices rose a bit, despite a stronger dollar, with oil ending flattish on net.

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Question of the Week - February 13, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, February 13, 2017

What's changed since the election?

Unsurprisingly, not much on the front of actual economic data, but it's still very early in the new administration agenda-setting and negotiation process. For markets, what has changed most notably has been the improvement of 'animal spirits,' which is the optimistic/bullish business and investing sentiment associated with pro-business expansion. While hard to measure with precision, we know that catalysts that either add incentives or cut disincentives can be incrementally additive for economic growth. However, these do take time to play out and there could be a number of roadblocks and compromises in the meantime. We've already started to see a bit of this, with pushback from Republican leaders on a variety of issues—the sentiment hasn't been helped by some early controversy in the initial few weeks, which, if it continues, could keep even some Republicans skittish about jumping on the Trump train.

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Weekly Review - February 6, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, February 06, 2017

Summary

Economic data for the week was highlighted by a Fed meeting marked by no action, stronger ISM manufacturing data and employment, with middling non-manufacturing, housing and consumer confidence data.

Equity markets experienced a mixed, flattish week on net, with emerging markets leading the way with stronger returns. U.S. bonds were generally flat, while foreign bonds and commodities gained in line with a weaker dollar during the week.

 Read Entire Article Here

Question of the Week - January 30, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, January 30, 2017

Are equities getting expensive yet?

They certainly aren't as cheap as they were a few years ago, but valuations tend to be relative, and are based on the metric used.

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Weekly Review - January 30, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, January 30, 2017

Summary

Economic data for the week was focused on a somewhat lackluster GDP report for the 4th quarter, along with mixed durable goods data and poor housing results.

U.S. and developed foreign equities experienced gains for the week, with emerging markets gaining even more strongly. Bonds were flattish with minimal net changes in interest rates for the week, while commodities were mixed as crude oil prices changed little for the period.

 Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - January 23, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, January 23, 2017

Summary

A fair amount of economic news for the week was released, including strong regional manufacturing and industrial production numbers, slightly stronger housing data and relatively contained inflation, as expected.

Equity markets declined a bit in both the U.S. and abroad. Bonds also lost ground with interest rates ticking higher due to stronger economic data. Commodities were little changed on net for the week.

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