July 2017 – Monthly Commentary

September 25, 2017  |   Monthly Commentary   |     |   0 Comment

July 2017 The equity market remained a bastion of tranquility in July as the S&P 500 rallied 1.9% and the volatility index (VIX) touched an all-time low of 8.84 late in the month. A telling example of the complacency was on display in a Bloomberg TV interview. The analyst being interviewed was asked how she could offer a buy recommendation on a stock with such a lofty Price/Earnings ratio. The analyst responded that yes, the stock ...

June 2017 – Monthly Commentary

July 19, 2017  |   Monthly Commentary   |     |   0 Comment

June 2017 We knew it had to come at some time, but the elusive question has always been when?  The question we refer to is when the European Central Bank (ECB) would finally signal that they were going to ease off of ultra-stimulative monetary policy.  At the late June press conference ECB President Mario Draghi took the first step, albeit a tiny one, and hinted that quantitative easing could be tapered at some point in the ...

May 2017 – Monthly Commentary

June 21, 2017  |   Monthly Commentary   |     |   0 Comment

May 2017 We’ve written on several occasions about the robust job market and the most recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) served to further bolster that fact.  JOLTS represents the inverse of the unemployment report in that it measures the number of unfilled jobs in the economy.  Since touching a low of on 2.1 million in the summer of 2009, job openings have steadily grown, with the latest measure surpassing six million for the ...

April 2017 – Monthly Commentary

May 22, 2017  |   Monthly Commentary   |     |   0 Comment

April 2017 Last month the Commerce Department reported that the U.S. economy expanded at a 0.7% annualized rate, below consensus forecast of 1.0%.  Much was made in the media that such anemic growth is an indication that the economy is at risk of tipping into recession.  It seems like that proclamation is made this time every year.  At first glance the outcome was disappointing, but we caution readers not to place too much credence in the ...

March 2017 – Monthly Commentary

May 22, 2017  |   Monthly Commentary   |     |   0 Comment

March 2017 The Federal Reserve didn’t disappoint last month, delivering the third rate hike of this cycle, pushing the overnight Fed Funds rate to 0.90%.  However, at the post-meeting press conference Chair Yellen delivered a “wishy washy” assessment of the economy which did little to instill fear in the bond market.  In fact, instead of tightening policy, the move actually eased monetary conditions.  Since raising overnight rates on March 15th, prices of Treasury notes and bonds ...