Month in Review: December 31, 2015

December saw markets limp to the finish line to close out a relatively challenging year for investors as concerns surrounding monetary policy, Chinese fundamentals, and commodity/currency volatility dominated the conversation. As has been the case for several years, central bank policy maneuvers grabbed headlines and drove markets.

Overall, U.S. equities fell 1.5%-5.05% with smaller stocks underperforming larger blue chip cap names. Non-U.S. markets fell in a similar fashion but were penalized more ...

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Month in Review: September 30th, 2015

Global markets limped into September with the swift August correction still freshly in the rearview mirror. The first half of the month saw a short lived relief rally give way to worries over global trade, resulting in a weak finish to wrap up the worst quarter for U.S. equities in the past four years.

The primary focus of the month was the lead-up to and digest of the September 17th FOMC announcement ...

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Month in Review: June 30th, 2015

Market headlines throughout June closely monitored two main drivers, Federal Reserve interest rates and the Greek debt saga.  Federal reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen, reiterated the central bank’s policy on data dependence in the latest FOMC meeting.  The Chairwoman further stated that investors should be more concerned with the path of interest rate hikes rather than the timing of the first.  Despite a poor revision to first quarter GDP, the FOMC believes U.S. economic growth metrics are positioned to support higher ...

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Month in Review: April 30th, 2015

April kicked off the second quarter with several notable and new trends taking shape. Market momentum of latter half 2014 and Q1 2015 reversed course in many areas including oil, domestic equities, currencies, and bond yields. Overall market action in April could be categorized as a reflation trend as commodities, bond yields, inflation break-evens, and equities seem to be pricing in higher growth. As is often the case, commodity markets and the U.S. dollar were mirror images of each other. ...

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Month in Review: March 31st, 2015

On the back of a strong February, markets in March were of the up and down sort, ending with more of a risk aversion tendency. March gave us the official passing the six year anniversary of the bear market low, the start of Eurozone QE, and seemingly ever present geopolitical considerations in Europe & Middle East. A variety of data points were discounted including a dovish FOMC meeting, deteriorating U.S. economic conditions, Greek-Eurozone deliberations, and several oil market considerations. Net ...

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Month in Review: February 28th, 2015

February saw a complete reversal from January’s more dire start to the year.  Equities and commodities were up sharply while bond yields bounced off late January record lows.  Top market moving news during the month included Greek‐Euro negotiations, U.S. Fed policy guidance, slowing Chinese economic growth, and continued momentum in the U.S. labor market.

Toward month-end, Greece reached a temporary four month stop‐gap deal with the European officials which solved nothing and simply delayed the inevitable conflict.  Fed Chair Janet Yellen ...

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Month In Review: January 31st, 2015

Markets in January had to reconcile several high profile headlines and increased volatility.  Most headlines emanated from Europe this month including a bond buying (QE) program by the ECB, a surprise currency policy shift by the Swiss national bank (SNB), and a victory by Euroskeptic party, Syriza, in Greece.

The announcement of an opened ended QE program (€60b per month) in Europe was the most important development impacting markets. International stocks and European sovereign debt both posted gains on the month ...

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Month In Review: December 31st, 2014

December 31st, 2014

The big theme in the final month of 2014 was the continued price collapse in the energy markets with much speculation about the wide range of drivers and implications. Oil dropped another $13 (nearly 20%) in December and finished nearly 47% off its high on the year.  Ultimately both supply and demand factors have contributed to the bear market in energy.  Economist Rudiger Dornbusch famously stated, “In economics things take longer to happen that you think they will, ...

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Month in Review: October 31st, 2014

October 31st, 2014

October was anything but boring.   After falling 8% month to date through October 15th, the bulls came charging back into the S&P 500 with a gain of nearly 11%. The DJIA saw triple digit moves in 16 of 23 trading days as volatility was pronounced. The ECB began the month underwhelming investors with what was perceived as a weak response to anemic conditions in Europe.  However, growth and Ebola concerns in the U.S. began to fade mid‐month with ...

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