Economy

Mid-Quarter Update: Spotlight on US Corporate Profits December 04, 2019

Posted by Steven Vannelli, CFA in Economy

US corporate profits are down from the 2014 peak. In this mid-quarter special report, we dive deep into corporate profits, taxes, profit margins and the increasing government debt levels that have propelled stock and bond prices higher, in our view, leading to rising equity and government…

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Economic Growth Has Not Hit Bottom Yet November 21, 2019

Posted by Bryce Coward, CFA in Economy, Markets

Even as left tail risks to US and global economic growth seem to have been mitigated over recent weeks (more accommodate financial conditions, rising of some PMI data, worst case trade outcome seemingly a lower probability now), incoming data continue to suggest the nadir of…

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4Q Growth Expectations Crashing: A Tailwind for Bonds November 15, 2019

Posted by Steven Vannelli, CFA in Economy

Today’s US economic data releases have sent growth expectations plunging for fourth quarter GDP. First, retail sales ex-autos and gasoline rose only .1% in October, well below the .3% expectation. Second, industrial production fell twice as much as expected in October, dropping -.8% compared to…

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Not So Fast on the Cyclical Chinese Recovery November 14, 2019

Posted by Bryce Coward, CFA in Economy, Markets

This morning investors were unfortunately treated to a rather disappointing package of October Chinese economic data. Three of the most important hard data series were reported: fixed asset investment, industrial production and retail sales. Each was lower than the previous month and missed expectations, suggesting…

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Not QE? October 18, 2019

Posted by Bryce Coward, CFA in Economy, Markets

Last week the Federal Reserve announced the re-commencement of large scale asset purchases in order to alleviate funding pressures that had been bubbling for several months. Much effort has been made by Fed Chairman Powell and other missionaries to explain why this round of asset…

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Hard Data Gets Put to the Test October 03, 2019

Posted by Bryce Coward, CFA in Economy

United States and indeed global economic data have been weak – at least that is the unabated message from the PMI data that were released this week on both manufacturing and services. At this stage everyone knows the survey data, or “soft” data, are weak….

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Confirmation of the Deterioration in Consumer Confidence September 25, 2019

Posted by Steven Vannelli, CFA in Economy

In our mid-quarter update, we highlighted the plunge in the University of Michigan’s consumer confidence indicator, suggesting that “good feelings” among consumers were starting to fade. Often surveys offer a leading glimpse into economic activity. A more confident consumer is more likely to make those…

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A Deep Dive into Consumer Confidence September 04, 2019

Posted by Steven Vannelli, CFA in Economy

In this mid-quarter special report, we do a deep dive into the University of Michigan survey and discern what it may mean for the vigor of the consumer moving forward, prospects for a recession and consequences for asset allocation. Download the slides here: A Deep…

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German Banks: Cutting Off Nose to Spite Face August 07, 2019

Posted by Steven Vannelli, CFA in Economy

Today Germany’s second largest bank, Commerzbank, reported a fourth straight quarter of falling revenue and projected lower profit for the year, suggesting clients have been impacted by trade tensions. Chief Executive Officer Martin Zielke describes the situation: “Despite all the successes we have made, challenges…

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