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.
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.
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.
Bonds are, at their core, less complex and more easily understood than most clients might assume. While “interest rates” and “bond yields” make them sound complicated, bonds can be boiled down quite simply: bonds are loans.
It’s hard not to be a little discouraged each night when you watch the evening news. The laundry list of problems facing the markets can seem quite daunting: Fed tightening, slowing growth, dysfunction in Washington, D.C, tariffs, etc. We believe that these are real issues that certainly need to be addressed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.