Market Commentary & Analysis

Monetary Policy Flash Report

 

The U.S. Federal Reserve has set the stage for a much anticipated rate hike later this year, the first such shift in monetary policy since 2004. While many investors have been preoccupied by the removal of the word "patience" from the Fed's language (which clears the way for tightening to begin as soon as June), we believe the precise timing of a shift in policy is largely a non-event.

 

Market Pulse Report

The equity bull market is celebrating its sixth birthday since the S&P 500's March 9th, 2009 closing low of 676 (the intraday bottom was a more inexplicable level of 666). Since that credit-crisis trough, the index has more than tripled in price. The tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite has also entered the act, breaking back through the 5000 milestone for the first time in nearly 15 years. All this hoopla may lead many investors to wonder—is there much gas left in the tank for this aging bull market? We believe there is.

Market Flash Report

U.S. stocks broke a two-month losing streak in grand fashion amid firming oil prices and stabilization in Europe. The S&P 500 registered its best month in over three years to close out February just off record highs. 

Market Pulse Report

Markets have gotten a bit choppy as of late, with big swings in oil prices and interest rates causing investor angst. Worries about European deflation, Greek disruptions, the Federal Reserve's shifting stance, and the potentially negative impact of a strong U.S. dollar on multinational company earnings have not helped. But we do not think too much should be read into the poor start to the year for U.S. stocks. The backdrop for higher equity markets remains in place, supported by a strengthening U.S.

Market Flash Report

January's disappointing stock market performance, driven by an uneven start to the fourth-quarter earnings season and nervousness about the plunge in commodities, was not good news for those that subscribe to the theory of the January Barometer.

Global Currency Flash Report

Due to global uncertainties, we expect increased volatility across markets this year. In the face of slowing global growth and the resulting divergent central bank policies, currency moves may be more pronounced than they have been in the past.

Quarterly Market Overview

The big story of the fourth quarter was the tumble in oil prices and continued surge in the U.S. dollar. Otherwise, things looked much the same as they played out in the prior quarter, with U.S. stocks and investment grade bonds leading the way while international stocks and commodities struggled. This concentration of returns in a few domestic asset classes has caused some level of chagrin for those with broadly diversified portfolios, but eventually things have a way of working themselves out across the investment landscape in favor of diversification.

Market Pulse Report

2014 is in the books, marking the sixth year of the economic recovery and stock market rally off the credit crisis lows. U.S. stocks continued to enjoy the benefits of Federal Reserve accommodation, positive economic growth, low interest rates, muted inflation, and healthy corporate balance sheets. The bond market digested the Fed’s tapering act quite well, and despite attention turning towards eventual rate hikes, yields have stayed surprisingly low. We see many of these themes continuing to play out in 2015:

Market Flash Report

Stocks lost steam heading into the New Year, weighed down by a continued decline in the price of oil. Still, the S&P 500 index of domestic large cap stocks notched its third straight year of double-digit gains.

Emerging Market Debt Flash Report

Emerging market ("EM") debt was one of the hardest hit asset classes during the first half of December. 

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