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Commodities and Precious Metals Update (Week ending January 17, 2020)

Stronger-than-expected U.S. economic reports (retail sales, housing starts and jobless claims), moderate inflation and good earning releases drove the S&P 500 to another record high. In addition the official signing of the U.S.-China Phase One trade agreement and the removal of the designation of China as a currency manipulator along with a stronger-than-expected Chinese industrial production report, helped move U.S and global stock markets higher while strengthening the U.S. dollar. At week’s end the S&P 500 Index increased 1.6% to 3329.62, the 10-year U.S. Treasury rate was unchanged at 1.82% and the U.S. dollar (as measured by the DXY index) strengthened 0.3%.

Commentary,

A Decade of Stock Returns: Chart of the Week

Stock market returns come in all shapes and size—how exactly does 2019’s 30% gain measure up? Breaking down a decade of S&P 500 stocks illustrates how lumpy equity returns can be, and the folly to simply trying pick winners. Just as important as the actual returns is how they are distributed, and this chart serves as a powerful visualization of how the risks we take are always changing.

Commentary,

Commodities and Precious Metals Update (Week ending January 10, 2020)

Though markets started the week with heightened concerns regarding possible Iran retailiatory actions against a U.S. airstrike killing IRGC general Soleimani, U.S. stock markets, 10-year U.S. Treasury rates and the U.S. dollar moved slightly higher through Tuesday. Overnight reports on Tuesday of Iranian missile attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq drove U.S. and global stock markets significantly lower before U.S. stock markets opened on Wednesday. President Trump’s speech before the nation late Wednesday morning defused tensions surrounding the U.S. and Iran and U.S. stock markets moved higher yet again through Thursday. Friday’s good-but-slightly-weaker-than-expected payroll report pushed U.S. stock markets off their highs and pushed the 10-year Treasury rate and the U.S. dollar slightly lower as well. At week’s end the S&P 500 Index increased 1.2% to 3265.35, the 10-year U.S. Treasury rate increased 3bp to 1.82% and the U.S. dollar (as measured by the DXY index) strengthened 0.5%.

Commentary,

Commodities and Precious Metals Update (Week ending January 3, 2020)

Though finishing slightly lower than its all time high reached on Friday the previous week, the S&P 500 Index ended the year up just shy of 29% while the 10-year U.S. Treasury rate closed at 1.92%, down approximately 80bps from its level at the end of 2018. The U.S. dollar (as measured by the DXY index) finished the year almost unchanged. Last week opened with reports of U.S. attacks on pro-Iranian military bases in Syria and Iraq and closed with news of a U.S. airstrike killing IRGC general Qassam Soleimani. Stock and bond markets barely reacted to the former news with markets experiencing very light trading activity Monday and Tuesday. On Thursday, the first trading day of the new year, the S&P 500 moved higher by almost 1% and U.S. 10-year Treasury rates fell about 4bps after the PBOC said it would further loosen monetary policy to support the Chinese economy. However, overnight news leading into Friday of the killing of Soleimani and weaker-than-expected ISM manufacturing index number the S&P 500 Index reversed almost all of Thursday’s gain and pushed the 10-year U.S. Treasury rate a few basis points lower. At week’s end, the S&P 500 Index was down 0.2% at 3234.85, the 10-year U.S. Treasury rates was down 9bps to 1.79% and the U.S. dollar was almost unchanged.