Our Insight

& strategic views

2016 3rd Quarter Commentary

October 15, 2016  |   Documents and Literature,Insight,News & Press   |     |   0 Comment

Overview
Somewhat counterintuitively, the third quarter was characterized by the lowest volatility we’ve seen in a while.  Following the “Brexit” vote at the end of the second quarter, markets stabilized and continued to march higher. Second quarter earnings (reported during the third quarter) were mainly favorable which reinforced the narrative that the economy continues its slow growth trajectory.  The Federal Reserve met last month and decided to keep interest rates unchanged, citing that “the economy has a little more room to run than might have been previously thought.”  The net result is a stock market setting all-time highs and a continued guessing game in regards to the path of interest rates.

Economy
Approximately ...

2016 2nd Quarter Commentary

July 22, 2016  |   Documents and Literature,Insight,News & Press   |     |   Comments Off on 2016 2nd Quarter Commentary

Overview
It seems every year at this time, Europe manages to spook the markets. A European recession, a threatened default by a Eurozone member (Greece) or (this time) an exit from the EU by a member nation, Britain (i.e. “Brexit”) have all come across the headlines.  Markets deplore uncertainty and this most recent drama has ratcheted up global economic apprehension and reduced global GDP expectations.  While there is plenty of uncertainty in the system, it is only fair to note that many fears were overstated by a sensational media and those wishing to scare British voters into the “remain” camp.  We will expound on our viewpoint below.

Economy
The economy continues to slowly ...

2016 1st Quarter Commentary

April 22, 2016  |   Documents and Literature,Insight,News & Press   |     |   Comments Off on 2016 1st Quarter Commentary

Overview
The first quarter of 2016 was volatile – politically, economically and in the stock market.  The year began with fears of a U.S. recession linked to sagging oil prices and economic volatility in China which led to the worst start to a year for the S&P 500 on record.  Through the first 10 days of 2016 the market was down 7% and by February 11th the market was firmly in correction territory, down over 11% for the year.  In the midst of all this negativity it became clear from economic data that we were not headed into a recession.  As “earnings season” got underway, fact overcame emotion and the market ...

2015 4th Quarter Commentary

January 29, 2016  |   Documents and Literature,Insight,News & Press   |     |   Comments Off on 2015 4th Quarter Commentary

Overview
Last year marked the end of a multi-year winning streak for most major equity indices and a divergence in the fixed income markets. 2015 broke a string of three straight years of double digit gains in stocks and it was the weakest showing since 2011 for the S&P 500. This last quarter was also historic in that the Federal Reserve, after years of zero interest rate policy, finally raised short term rates by 0.25%.  The final results do not tell the full story for 2015 where many sectors experienced dramatic moves.  Energy prices continued to freefall in the fourth quarter and High Yield bonds fell, led by issuers in the ...

2015 3rd Quarter Commentary

October 20, 2015  |   Documents and Literature,Insight,News & Press   |     |   0 Comment

Overview
The stock markets have finally experienced the pullback that we’ve written about for the last 6 quarters.  The volatility that began in the sec ond quarter of this year sparked by concerns over Greece and Puerto Rico continued with a vengeance in the third quarter.  The last three months logged the largest decline in stocks in any one quarter in over four years with the S&P down 6.4% and the Dow down 7%.  Even after this decline, the markets are only down 5.3% for the S&P and 7.0% for the Dow for the full year.  Greece concerns disappeared from the headlines and were replaced with worries about Chinese economic growth, Fed ...

2015 2nd Quarter Market Commentary

July 22, 2015  |   Documents and Literature,Insight,News & Press   |     |   0 Comment

Overview
The fireworks came out just in time for the Fourth of July.  The second quarter was relatively sleepy until the end of June when the Greek debt crisis made headlines again.  Greece rejected a cash-for-reform proposal by the EU and missed an IMF debt payment causing a banking system closure. The Greek people voted on the matter July 5th and rejected the plan as well.  As of this writing, no final agreement has been made.  Additionally, there has been a massive correction in the Chinese stock market where the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 22% in a matter of weeks.  To cap it off we had an announcement from Puerto Rico’s ...

2015 1st Quarter Commentary

April 15, 2015  |   Documents and Literature,Insight,News & Press   |     |   0 Comment

Overview
With the first quarter of 2015 in the books, the domestic stock and bond markets managed to post a (barely) positive return.  After another positive year in 2014 and with economic uncertainty increasing as investors weigh the actions of the Fed, we have plenty to watch as the year unfolds.  Below are our thoughts on the events of the past three months as well as where we believe we are heading.

Economy
We ended 2014 on a decent note with a 2.2% expansion in GDP.  The New Year has not started with much fanfare as the most recent economic data has been on the weak side.  U.S. manufacturing posted weaker numbers which ...

2014 4th Quarter Commentary

January 20, 2015  |   Documents and Literature,Insight,News & Press   |     |   0 Comment

Overview
This has been quite an eventful year, both internationally and domestically.  Internationally we have seen increasing unrest in Hong Kong, Russian military antagonism, Middle Eastern unrest and an African pandemic that threatened the world. Domestically we had a significant shift in the political climate with a Republican takeover of the Senate. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Economy
GDP surged to finish the year and we saw real improvement in the jobs market. According to the Wall Street Journal, employers added 2.7 million jobs in 2014 and we are set to post the best year of hiring since 1999. Job openings are running near a 13-year high. ...

2014 3rd Quarter Market Commentary

October 20, 2014  |   Documents and Literature,Insight   |     |   0 Comment

Overview
The economic and world news for this quarter has been intense.  Developments in Iraq and Syria with renewed calls for military intervention have dominated headlines.  The stalemate between Russia and the Ukraine continues while in Africa, a deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus has gripped the world’s attention.  Most recently, Hong Kong has called for more autonomy from China through peaceful demonstrations.  Economically we had a strong reversal in GDP (more below) and of course we are heading into a significant election that will impact the future of a wide range of legislation from immigration to healthcare. Below are our thoughts on the events of the past three months as ...

2014 2nd Quarter Market Commentary

July 16, 2014  |   Insight,News & Press   |     |   0 Comment

Overview
At the halfway point for the year, the markets have continued to surprise investors.  Below are our thoughts on the events of the past three months as well as what we see for the second half of this year.

Economy
In what seems to be becoming a pattern, our economy has managed to make forecasters and economists look foolish.  During the last full week of June we received the third quarterly revision for Q1 GDP.  Economists were looking for a slightly negative GDP number when instead we saw a massive -2.9% contraction. Please understand this is still only an “estimate” as the government continues to compile and sift through the available data. ...

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