Weekly Market Makers

Stream Wars

Stream Wars

A couple of months ago, Netflix announced it would be losing the number one most-watched show on the platform, The Office, in 2021 to NBC Universal (owned by Comcast) in order to promote their own streaming service set to launch next year.

Why Cut?

Why Cut?

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and other members of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) have signaled they will be cutting the benchmark federal funds rate at the end of this month. This will be their first interest rate cut since December 2008.

Divergent Messages?

Divergent Messages?

As the second quarter came roaring to a close, stocks marched consistently higher while bond yields moved drastically lower. Those trends continued the first week of July, but it is doubtful that they can continue in unison much longer. Either the economy stabilizes and rates stop falling, or the stock market will inevitably take a break from this rise higher.

Libra - All Signs Point to Interesting

Libra - All Signs Point to Interesting

The Roman poet Marcus Manilius, proposed author of Astronomica, the earliest work describing astrology, characterized the sign Libra as “the sign in which the seasons are balanced.” Last week, Facebook announced that Libra is now the moniker for its new blockchain-based payment system.

Veruca Salt and the Bond Market

Veruca Salt and the Bond Market

Veruca Salt was a character in the novel and film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Her character was the greediest, most spoiled child of all the children that received a “Golden Ticket” and had the opportunity to tour the Wonka Chocolate Factory

Sustaining Growth

Sustaining Growth

Investors anticipating Fed rate cuts in the months ahead have become inversely sensitized to economic news supporting continued economic expansion. Last week’s surprisingly tepid payroll report and today’s reassuring read on U.S. retail sales resulted in opposing stock price reactions.

180-Degree Shift

180-Degree Shift

After a huge run to start the year, equity markets declined throughout May as trade tensions re-escalated and fears of slowing economic growth came back into focus. This week, equity markets moved sharply higher with the S&P 500 closing within 2.5 percent of its all-time high.

In the Summertime

In the Summertime

As May draws to a close, equity investors were not treated well. Concerns over a slowing economy and heightening trade tensions with China weighed on investor sentiment. The S&P 500 fell over 6 percent for the month, which is the first negative month of May since 2012.

This Will Get Your Attention

This Will Get Your Attention

We have continued to closely monitor economic indicators for tariff-related impacts on business confidence but up to now it didn’t seem to have affected sentiment. However, that narrative seems to be changing, and we expect the administration will take note.

Staying Invested

Staying Invested

Last week, the unblemished veneer of the year-to-date equity market showed a crack. After a 24 percent rally, the S&P 500 set a new high and then sold off 5 percent shaking some investors’ confidence.

A Curve Ball in May

A Curve Ball in May

As first quarter reporting season draws to another constructive close, investors’ attention was ripped away from the earnings scorecard and refocused almost exclusively on trade.

The Economy: Growing but Slowing

The Economy: Growing but Slowing

It’s the tail-end of the first quarter of 2019 earnings reporting season and the results have been better than expected. While corporate earnings growth was up 22 percent in 2018 due in part to tax cuts, this year those same cuts will provide limited benefits and corporate earnings growth is expected to only be up around 5 percent for the full-year 2019.

Tariffs Hit the Spin Cycle

Tariffs Hit the Spin Cycle

Although tariffs and trade disputes have been front and center in the news, their impact may not yet be felt by U.S. consumers. If you’ve purchased a washer and dryer recently, it’s likely that you now have firsthand and inadvertent experience bearing their cost.

Prognosis Negative

Prognosis Negative

While the broad market finished the holiday-shortened week positive, healthcare investors weren’t as fortunate. Continued chatter regarding “Medicare for All” as well as a Health and Human Services proposal to ban drug rebates for Medicare are weighing on the sector.

Tax Seasoning: SALT and Preparers

Tax Seasoning: SALT and Preparers

April 15 a.k.a. Tax Day for the United States, is fast approaching. As we near the finish line, many Americans are already seeing the impact; the IRS reported in congressional testimony earlier this month that they have issued 2.2 percent fewer refunds compared to the same time last year.

Global Hunt for Yield

Global Hunt for Yield

Investors the world over are starved for yield. Investments that provide a consistent stream of cash flow are vital for insurance companies, pensions, retired individuals and banks.

0-for-7

0-for-7

While yesterday was Major League Baseball’s Opening Day, this week’s 0-for-7 statistic unceremoniously belongs to the Federal Reserve for failing to achieve its 2 percent inflation target since it was established seven years ago.

Policy U-Turn

Policy U-Turn

On Wednesday, in a widely anticipated event, the Federal Reserve held a press conference and released the “minutes” from their last meeting. The Fed changed their forecast for the path of interest rates from two increases all the way down to … zero.

March Madness

March Madness

This weekend, millions of college basketball fans will start filling out their NCAA tournament brackets. The period during this “distraction” can be economically meaningful to corporate America: it is estimated that, due to lost productivity, companies will lose a combined $6.3 billion.

A Tin Star for the Market

A Tin Star for the Market

On Saturday, March 9, we mark the 10th anniversary of the stock market bottom that started the great bull market we’re now experiencing. Traditionally, tin is the gift given on a 10th anniversary. So in lieu of a gold star, the equity markets deserve a tin star for impressively running up 400 percent since that bottom.