Country In Focus: Japan

January 09, 2017 | Market Commentary

Japan seems to have fallen off the financial media radar of late, so perhaps it is a good time to check in with the world’s third largest economy. Even as the political calendar continues to heat up with the recent U.S. election which now shifts...

Research Note - December 2016

December 22, 2016 | Market Commentary

Does the election of Donald Trump plus a Republican majority in the House and Senate equal a change in our economic overview? We look beyond the splashy headlines to contemplate this question in our new Research Note.

Research Note - October 2016

October 04, 2016 | Market Commentary

Slow growth and volatility have been the status quo throughout most of the current expansion. Our indicators suggest these features are likely to remain in place for now, but it is still important to consider what could threaten this outlook.

Research Note - September 2016

August 29, 2016 | Market Commentary

Once again equity markets have demonstrated their ability to bounce back from a flare up in volatility. The market shock from the unexpected victory for the “Leave” camp in the United Kingdom’s referendum on membership in the European Union has faded, and the VIX is once again near multi-year lows.

Research Note - August 2016

August 10, 2016 | Market Commentary

A recurring topic in our Research Notes in 2016 has been the importance of being prepared for market volatility against a backdrop of slow economic growth and relatively full valuations.

Research Note - March 2016

April 15, 2016 | Market Commentary

The performance of the S&P 500 in the first quarter of 2016 was ordinary and rather extraordinary at the same time. This proxy for U.S. large-cap stocks closed the quarter up 0.77% (exclusive of dividends), which is a little light in terms of the historical average return but well within historical norms. This is only part of the story, however.

Research Note: February 2016

March 11, 2016 | Market Commentary

Volatility can provide opportunities for investors to add value through active management. Embracing volatility is inherently uncomfortable, because it forces you to step in when the crowd is running for the exits or to walk away when the crowd is still piling in. In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words, “People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.”

Research Note: January 2016

February 09, 2016 | Market Commentary

2016 has made quite an entrance so far with the S&P 500 experiencing the worst beginning to a calendar year (through the first 10 trading days of the year) in history. The financial press has attributed the recent volatility to a variety of suspects, including concerns about Chinese economic growth, falling oil prices, fears of a U.S. recession, and the possibility of a policy mistake by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Accounting for the U.S. Consumer’s Gas Savings Windfall

July 23, 2015 | Market Commentary

Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) have increased throughout the recovery as incomes have grown and confidence has improved. This needs to be taken into account when analyzing growth in PCE linked to the fall in energy prices in order to avoid confusing growth that would have occurred regardless of the change in energy prices.

Life in the Last Mile

February 17, 2015 | Market Commentary

Life is lived in the last mile. The last mile is a term that originated in the telecommunications, cable, and Internet industries to reflect the final leg of the system connecting the customer. It is thus not a literal mile but a useful metaphor...

A Closer Look at Small Caps

January 09, 2015 | Market Commentary

When we wrote about small cap stocks in June 2011, we concluded that they faced a number of headwinds and were unlikely to continue their strong outperformance versus large caps that began in 2000. This outlook was strongly supported by relative valuations versus...