December 2018 – Monthly Commentary

January 25, 2019  |   Monthly Commentary   |     |   0 Comment

December 2018 As we expected, the Federal Reserve lifted the overnight lending rate by 25 basis points in December and indicated that they would lift rates two more times in 2019, backing away from their forecast of more frequent rate hikes.  Also, as we expected, Fed Chair Powell gave a dovish assessment of the Fed’s view of the economy and markets.  However, that did little to calm investors, with December ...

November 2018 – Monthly Commentary

December 26, 2018  |   Monthly Commentary   |     |   0 Comment

November 2018 As the fourth quarter began, the S&P 500 index sat just below an all-time high, with expectations that earnings would continue to surprise to the upside and Q4 GDP would again post 3% or greater growth.  But those expectations were almost immediately dashed by a trifecta of confusing news in the form of Chairman Powell backtracking on his hawkish comments from a month earlier, plunging oil prices, and ...

October 2018 – Market Commentary

November 28, 2018  |   Monthly Commentary   |     |   0 Comment

October 2018 In recognition of the strength of the economy Fed Chairman Powell delivered the most hawkish speech of any Central Banker in the last ten years on October 2nd.  Speaking before the National Association of Business Economists he described the economy as operating with “limited slack” and that “the Fed would act with authority if inflation expectations shift.”  There are many observers who would describe the Fed’s current pace of rate hikes as already acting ...

September 2018 – Monthly Commentary

October 19, 2018  |   Monthly Commentary   |     |   0 Comment

September 2018 The Federal Reserve releases the value and composition of their Open Market holdings every Wednesday afternoon.  These are the securities the Fed bought when, in their judgement, the economy demanded artificially low interest rates.  On Wednesday September 5, the value of the Open Market holdings fell below $4 trillion dollars for the first time since peaking at $4.24 Trillion in April 2017.  That represents a reduction of approximately 5% and a milestone in monetary ...

August 2018 – Monthly Commentary

September 24, 2018  |   Monthly Commentary   |     |   0 Comment

August 2018 The U.S. economy continues to chug along with the second quarter growing at a revised 4.2% annualized rate.  That strength has carried into the third quarter with the Atlanta Federal Reserve forecasting 4.3% growth for the period.  That growth seems to have emboldened equity investors as the S&P 500 posted an all-time high of 2,916.50 on August 29th.  The index has since pulled back marginally, but all signs suggest that new records are likely ...