Market Commentary & Analysis

Market Flash Report

With markets tumbling due to concerns over China and the impending U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hike, August was a wild month for stocks. The S&P 500 posted its worst monthly loss in more than three years, falling into correction territory (a 10% decline from recent highs) for the first time since 2011. Commodity prices also sold off—for the first time since 2009, oil traded below $40 per barrel before rebounding to end the month higher at $49.

Market Flash Report

Citing progress in the labor and housing markets, the Federal Reserve remains on course to raise interest rates later this year for the first time in nearly a decade. That said, the Fed is very wary of derailing the moderate economic expansion, so the trajectory of rate hikes is not anticipated to be steep or rapid.

Quarterly Market Overview

A ho-hum quarter. From a return standpoint, it was a rather dull couple of months for most asset classes when compared against the double-digit swings experienced in recent years.

No Grexit Imminent

It appears there will not be a Greek exit from the Eurozone anytime soon, as Eurozone leaders reached a deal to give further bailout aid to the embattled country (up to €86 billion), provided Greece's government passes additional austerity measures. Additionally, the Eurozone will consider steps to make the country's mountain of debt more manageable, such as extending the time to repay rescue loans (though debt relief appears off the table). This deal should help Greece, which is experiencing depression-like conditions, avoid outright financial collapse.

Market Flash Report

The dog days of summer have arrived early this year, and markets have not taken too kindly to the heat. While the U.S. economy is recovering from a slow winter, drama in Greece and a plunge in China have now taken center stage.

Market Flash Report

U.S. equity markets continued to climb in May, despite conflicting data surrounding the strength of the economy, with large cap indices hitting fresh record highs throughout the month. Meanwhile, international stocks lost a bit of ground as Greece debt repayment concerns surfaced. That said, Europe might still hold some of the best opportunities going forward given the ECB's aggressive stimulus efforts.
 

Market Flash Report

Investors continue to favor equities as stock markets produced positive performance across the globe. Leading the advance was emerging markets, most notably Russia and China, and developed non-US markets. April witnessed a strong reversal in two major macro-economic factors. The US dollar fell sharply due to a string of weak US economic data, and oil prices surged due to the forecast for higher demand. These recent oil spikes may be short-lived since the expectation for these trends to continue is low. As a result of shaky market confidence, the odds of a near-term rate hike have been reduced as the Fed assesses whether the economy is regaining momentum.

Quarterly Market Overview

Weakening earnings helped keep U.S. large cap stocks in check during the first quarter. U.S. manufacturing activity, as well as corporate profits, have stalled thanks to the disruptive West coast port strike, harsh winter weather, difficulties within the energy segment, and the competitive pricing disadvantages of a stronger dollar. Relatively expensive domestic stock valuations have not helped either. U.S. equities are generally more richly priced than overseas markets, reflecting in part the large return disparity of the past few years.

Market Pulse Report

A few major themes have been driving equity markets as of late—energy prices, currencies, and monetary policy. It should come as little surprise that these themes are intertwined, perhaps more closely than many realize.

Market Flash Report

It was not a great month, or first quarter for that matter, for U.S. large cap stocks. Market action has been choppy and mostly trendless, with investors contemplating reduced earnings expectations, a soon-to-be tightening Federal Reserve, a strengthening dollar, and oil price declines. On the other hand, European equities have gained momentum following the start of the ECB's bond purchase program. Investors are taking notice, with funds flowing into international segments at the expense of domestic exposures.

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