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Market Updates

CALENDAR CONCERNS AND GOLD GAINS

Real-time economic data continues to show a slowdown, at the same time we’re entering two months of the year that historically have been troublesome for stocks. Meanwhile, gold is breaking out to new all-time highs, confusing many as to what it all means. Stocks are likely due for a breather, but it isn’t out of the ordinary to see both gold and stocks trend higher together.

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STALLING ECONOMIC RECOVERY MAY SLOW STOCK MARKET RALLY

Stock market weakness late last week caused investors to ask whether the long-awaited market pullback may be at hand. This week, we review the drivers of the market’s impressive rally back to the break-even point for the year, share our thoughts on whether the gains are justified, and take a look at some timely data for clues on the state of the economic recovery.

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AN EARNINGS SEASON TO FORGET

This earnings season may be one to forget. We will see one of the biggest year-over-year quarterly declines in S&P 500 Index profits ever, and we will hear a lot about uncertainty facing corporate America as COVID-19 continues to impact many companies in the United States and globally. But it may not all be negative.

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ELECTION PREVIEW

2020 is an election year, and as we get closer to November, we expect this to replace COVID-19 and the recession at the top of investors’ minds. The makeup of Congress may influence stock market performance, and how stocks and the economy perform prior to the election may forecast who will win.

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THE FUTURE OF FIXED INCOME

Although the US economic recovery has picked up and we expect yields to rise in the second half of 2020, structural forces may help limit the size of the move. The pandemic-driven demand shock, the Federal Reserve, and disinflationary pressures may likely keep yields low for quite some time.

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5 Reasons We Favor US Stock

Among developed markets, we maintain our preference for US equities over international, but the bout of strong performance for the MSCI EAFE Index relative to the S&P 500 Index in late May through early June and the latest weakness in the US dollar are noteworthy. We share our latest thoughts on international equities and reiterate our positive emerging markets view.

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