Growth Scare … Or a Recession?

As we embark on 2019, investors are still in a daze after a challenging few weeks in the global stock markets. Volatility picked up in early 2018, subsided in the middle of the year and then reached almost unprecedented levels in the fourth quarter. The number of outsized daily and intraday moves in December shot up dramatically and approached all-time highs.

2019-01-17T20:12:54+00:00

Decoupling of Global Growth

While we saw uniformly stronger growth around the world in 2017, we now observe divergent regional growth trajectories. On the heels of fiscal stimulus and deregulation, the U.S. continues to dominate the growth story. The rest of the world has struggled to sustain last year’s momentum for a myriad of reasons. We examine the more notable drivers for this divergence below.

2018-10-12T20:39:09+00:00

Goldilocks Trumps Tariffs

After an abnormally calm and placid 2017 in the global equity markets, a higher and more normal level of volatility has resurfaced in 2018. The year got off to a good start as the momentum from tax cuts pushed U.S. stocks higher by 8% in January. Investor focus shifted in early February to an uptick in inflation, a steady rise in interest rates and talk of tariffs and trade wars. Stock markets corrected by about 10% in February, retested those lows in March and have gone sideways in recent weeks.

2018-08-10T17:57:57+00:00

The Growth Conundrum

After an abnormally calm and placid 2017 in the global equity markets, a higher and more normal level of volatility has resurfaced in 2018. The year got off to a good start as the momentum from tax cuts pushed U.S. stocks higher by 8% in January. Investor focus shifted in early February to an uptick in inflation, a steady rise in interest rates and talk of tariffs and trade wars. Stock markets corrected by about 10% in February, retested those lows in March and have gone sideways in recent weeks.

2018-05-09T19:42:32+00:00

Stock Valuations – Frothy, Elevated or Fair?

Stock prices rose sharply during 2017 in a remarkably coordinated rally around the globe. Even for the most optimistic forecaster, the sheer magnitude of the surge and its unusually smooth trajectory probably came as unexpected, but welcome, surprises. Most notably, 2017 enjoyed the unprecedented outcomes of positive returns in each of the 12 months and no decline greater than -3% from a prior high.

2018-06-04T22:56:20+00:00

Firing On All Cylinders

Even as the current economic expansion and bull market continue their remarkable run, investors are increasingly wary of rising valuations, geopolitical instability and potential policy missteps. Investors are also mindful of monetary headwinds as the Fed continues to raise rates and begins to trim its balance sheet.

2018-05-08T23:40:50+00:00

The Conundrum of Low Interest Rates

The current economic expansion in the U.S. is beginning to approach longevity that has rarely been seen in prior cycles. This economic cycle, which began in July 2009, is already the second-longest expansion on record at 96 months. It has been a remarkable recovery … in many different ways beyond its sheer chronological age. One of its most striking traits has been the prevailing conundrum of low interest rates – at such a late stage of the economic cycle.

2018-06-04T22:52:52+00:00

Economics Trumps Geopolitics

Global stocks continued to perform well in the first quarter of 2017. The post-election momentum in the stock market persisted into the post-inauguration phase as well. U.S. stocks rose by about 6% and foreign stocks gained even more. Large company stocks performed better than smaller ones and stocks with more sustainable growth attributes outperformed the more economically sensitive value stocks. Bonds were up by about 1% as interest rates eased back from their highs of early 2017.

2018-06-04T23:20:15+00:00

Green Shoots of a Global Revival

What a difference a year makes! At this time in 2016, markets were collapsing under the weight of a Clatter of Concerns…Crude, Commodities, Currency, China, Credit and Central bank divergence. Those fears have since dissipated as we enter a new year and perhaps a new phase of renewed global economic activity.

2018-06-04T23:21:14+00:00

The Big Hand-Off

The United States elected Republican nominee Donald J. Trump as its 45th President on November 8th. Marking a remarkably peaceful transition of power, the Republicans now add the White House to their incumbent leadership positions in the Senate and the Congress, and an anticipated conservative majority on the Supreme Court, for a rare clean sweep. Indeed, the last time the Republican Party enjoyed such power for an entire term was almost a hundred years ago in the 1920s.

2018-06-04T23:55:10+00:00