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Weekly Market Commentary

July 16, 2018

Investors are becoming more discriminating.

Trade tensions escalated as the U.S. administration expanded tariffs on Chinese goods last week. You wouldn't have known by watching the performance of benchmark indices, though. Just four of the 25 national stock market indices tracked by Barron's --Australia, Italy, Spain, and Mexico--moved lower...

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July 9, 2018

What a rollercoaster of a quarter!

When it comes to the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) Sentiment Survey, respondents tend to be more bullish than bearish about U.S. stock markets. The survey's historical averages are: 38.5 percent bullish; 31.0 percent neutral; 30.5 percent bearish.

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July 2, 2018

There’s a bear in China – and it’s not a panda.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) Composite Index, which reflects the performance of all shares that trade on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, dropped into bear market territory last week, reported CNBC. The Index has fallen more than 20 percent from its previous high. It appears some investors saw an opportunity and bought the dip since the SSE Index bounced higher last Friday, gaining more than 2 percent.

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June 25, 2018

The yield curve may be the pocket watch of economic indicators. It’s been around for a long time and it’s often right, but not always.

The yield curve is the difference between the interest paid on two-year government bonds and 10-year government bonds. In normal circumstances, an investor would expect to earn a higher rate of interest when lending money to a government for 10 years than when lending money for two years because there is more risk associated with lending for a longer period of time.

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June 18, 2018

Deal or no deal?

Last week opened with heightened trade tensions between the United States and its allies. It closed with the United States imposing new tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods. The Chinese declared it was the start of a trade war, reported Financial Times.

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June 11, 2018

G whiz!

Never before could the Group of 7 (G7) Summit have been mistaken for reality TV.

The generally dignified annual meeting of leaders from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom (along with the heads of the European Commission and European Council) was a lot more contentious than usual, reported Reuters.

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June 4, 2018

If the countries were instruments, last week sounded like a fifth grade garage band.

World markets were buffeted by a clamor of good, bad, and unexpected news last week. Despite the noise, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and NASDAQ forged ahead last week. 

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May 29, 2018

Geopolitical uncertainty didn’t dent U.S. stocks last week.

Geopolitics is the intersection of geography, economics, and politics. Last week, there were some fine examples of the ways geopolitical events can create uncertainty.

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May 21, 2018

Too much? Too little? Or just right? 

U.S. stock markets were relatively calm, although they finished the week lower. U.S. Treasury yields hit a 7-year high and finished the week above 3 percent. While these were notable, the most remarkable events last week occurred beyond our borders.

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May 14, 2018

Splash!

How do employers lure staff in a tightening labor market? The curly tail grubs and spinnies of the business world are higher wages and better benefits.

During the past decade, the employment picture in the United States has shifted dramatically. In mid-2009, 15.4 million unemployed Americans were chasing 2.2 million available jobs. At the end of 2017, just 6.6 million Americans were unemployed, and employers were casting eagerly to fill 6.6 million open jobs.

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May 7, 2018

What in the world?

A lot happened last week. Some of the notable events included: 

  • Trade Talks between the US and China
  • A Federal Open Market Committee Meeting
  • Low unemployment in the US
  • Sky-high rates in Argentina
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April 30, 2018

A meeting of the minds.


The Federal Reserve and the U.S. bond market appear to be in agreement about the direction of interest rates. For more years than anyone cares to count, investment professionals have been predicting the end of the bull market in bonds. Bond guru Bill Gross called the end of the bond bull in 2011 – and called it again in 2013.

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April 23, 2018

The world is in debt. 

The April 2018 International Monetary Fund (IMF) Fiscal Monitor reported global debt has reached a historically high level. In 2016, debt peaked at 225 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) (the value of all goods and services produced across the world). Public debt is a significant component of global debt.

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