Weekly Market Makers

Green Shoots in February

Green Shoots in February

The offhand reference to stock charts in a rising trend accurately describes the good times stock investors have enjoyed so far this year. For those who hung tight amid the carnage of December, the S&P 500 has delivered returns just shy of 11 percent so far this year.

"Fewer Bigger Stronger" - Bill Joseph, Morgan Stanley

"Fewer Bigger Stronger" - Bill Joseph, Morgan Stanley

On Thursday, SunTrust Banks and BB&T Corporation announced the biggest bank merger in 10 years. The partnership will create a banking powerhouse in the Mid-Atlantic region and throughout the southeast United States.

Closing the Gap

Closing the Gap

One of the four takeaways from our 2019 Economic Outlook is “Increased Turbulence” which has been in full force this winter. In December, the S&P 500 lost 13.5 percent, including the “Christmas Eve Massacre,” making it the worst December since 1931. In a complete reversal, the market returned 8 percent in January, representing the best January return in 30 years.

Opportunity Zones: Walk, Don't Run

Opportunity Zones: Walk, Don't Run

Opportunity zones have become a trending topic in financial circles of late and we are taking a “walk, don’t run” approach when reviewing the space.

Versus Capital Update

Versus Capital Update

Versus Capital is a partner that we utilize for private real estate and real asset investing on behalf of clients.  

Leave the Past Behind

Leave the Past Behind

Stocks put in a bottom on Christmas Eve of 2018 and have since rallied close to 10 percent. While December of last year was the worst since 1931, we believe that the worst is behind us.

Growing But Slowing

Growing But Slowing

2019 is off to a turbulent start. The first couple trading days of the year were the worst in 18 years, only to be eclipsed by a huge rally today that left equity investors a bit richer for the week, albeit whipsawed in the process.

Turning the Page

Turning the Page

As we look back on 2018, we can summarize the year as one where volatility emerged at the same time equity markets and the economy diverged enormously. In fact, 2018 is estimated to produce the strongest economic growth since the Global Financial Crisis at 3.0 percent.

The Present We Didn’t Ask For

The Present We Didn’t Ask For

While expectations were for the Fed to raise the federal funds rate by 0.25 percent, there was a small glimmer of hope that they may hold pat.

Walking Slowly in a Dark Room

Walking Slowly in a Dark Room

When the Federal Reserve meets next week, everyone will be waiting to hear what they have to say about future interest rate hikes.

Market Seesaw

Market Seesaw

With a week subdued by a day of mourning, traders hoped market volatility would follow suit: it did not. In less than three trading sessions the S&P 500 traded down five percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 1,400 points and small cap stocks lost 6 percent.

Trade Policy Tango

Trade Policy Tango

This weekend, many world leaders will travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for a meeting of the Group of Twenty, also known as, “G20.” Although the G20 does not have the power to enforce policies, the outcomes of G20 summits have been highly influential to global policy.  

A Time for Thanksgiving

A Time for Thanksgiving

For a holiday-shortened week, this one is experiencing more than its fair share of action.

Slowing, Not Shrinking

Slowing, Not Shrinking

As the U.S. expansion draws closer to becoming the longest on record, a number of economic and political risks have emerged or intensified in recent months, leading to global equity market weakness.

The Way It Is

The Way It Is

It was a busy week in Washington with a highly anticipated midterm election followed by the Federal Reserve meeting. The results of both came in as expected although it seems the markets were not synced to that result.

More Attractive Valuations

More Attractive Valuations

As we expected at the beginning of the year, S&P 500 valuations have contracted year-to-date. Typically during an economic expansion, we see stocks move higher with earnings. Investors are willing to pay more for those earnings with the assumption that growth will continue.

Glass-Half-Empty Earnings Season

Glass-Half-Empty Earnings Season

On Wednesday this week the S&P 500 plunged by 3 percent on cumulative fears of slowing economic and earnings growth as well as concerns of a slowdown in China and the Federal Reserve being too aggressive in increasing short-term interest rates.

Short Pullback in a Long Bull Market

Short Pullback in a Long Bull Market

In recent weeks, the 10-year U.S. Treasury rose to three-and-a-quarter percent—a level not seen since 2011. In addition, the stock market sold off five percent from all-time highs, volatility has risen and the Chinese and European markets dipped. All this amid a backdrop of good corporate earnings and moderate-to-good economic news.

Growth Gain, Stock Pain

Growth Gain, Stock Pain

Global markets sold off sharply on Wednesday and Thursday as investors continued to wrestle with a diverse set of risks.

Sprint to the Finish

Sprint to the Finish

U.S. investors who enjoyed strong fourth quarter equity returns were dealt a change in market landscape this week. While history has demonstrated a low correlation between equities and U.S. government bonds – exactly the reason why Treasuries are such an important diversifier of equity risk -- this week proved to be an exception. Stock and bond prices both fell following news that the U.S. and Canada had reached agreement about modifying trade terms in North America.