Q4 2018: Financial Markets Monitor
A decade after the financial crisis, the U.S. economy is in mid-cycle form. Growth is solid, and inflation is firming slightly but is close to the Fed's target. Other regions of the world are facing more economic headwinds than the U.S., complicated by trade frictions and China's growth and policy path.
Q3 2018: Financial Markets Monitor
Despite robust growth metrics, trade and monetary policy concerns have limited upside in U.S. equities and have produced negative returns abroad year-to-date. The Federal Reserve’s steady cadence toward higher interest rates, combined with normalized inflation readings, have weighed on bond returns in 2018.
Q2 2018: Financial Markets Monitor
Despite strong economic and earnings growth, global trade and inflation concerns weighed on equity markets in Q1. However, our base case remains a solid global economy and gradually rising inflation.
Q1 2018: Financial Markets Monitor
Strong global earnings and U.S. fiscal policy spurred the best equity market returns since 2013. Emerging Markets led the way. Meanwhile, Fed policy flattened the yield curve in 2017 with longer duration bonds as the biggest beneficiaries. Credit risk was again well-rewarded.
Q3 2018: Fixed Income Market Review
Tight labor markets have generated moderate levels of wage inflation according to a number of surveys and anecdotal evidence. Broader inflation measures are in line with targets set by the Federal Reserve and the Fed should continue with its current plan of gradual rate normalization.
Q2 2018: Fixed Income Market Review
The U.S. economy remains strong with unemployment hitting a cycle low of 3.8% in May. The global growth story, however, no longer appears synchronized. Manufacturing surveys in Europe have decelerated and emerging economies are under pressure from higher US rates and deleveraging in China.
Q1 2018: Fixed Income Market Review
Economic growth and corporate earnings gained strength in the quarter with a boost from fiscal stimulus. Faster growth in a “full employment” economy raises the risk of wage inflation, but the empirical evidence has been slow to emerge.
Q4 2017: Fixed Income Market Review
The FOMC raised rates in December to a range of 1.25% - 1.50% as expected. The Fed continues to signal three additional increases by the end of 2018 and markets imply a nearly 90% chance of the next hike occurring at the March 21st meeting.
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