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Commentary,

Your 60/40 May Be Broken: But Not for the Reasons You May Think…

The mathematical reality is that the venerable 60/40 was a sub-optimal investment in 2019—simply adding gold, and in any quantity, would have immediately improved portfolio efficiency. Even during a historic year for bonds, substituting gold for fixed income exposure in 2019, in any amount, automatically constructed a superior 60/40 portfolio. While sacrilegious to the extreme, these insights merely combine the 70 year old lessons of Modern Portfolio Theory with gold’s ability to buffet market volatility.

Commentary,

Commodities and Precious Metals Update (Week ending February 14, 2020)

Amid reduced concern surrounding the coronavirus and supportive statements by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell regarding the strength of the U.S. economy and that the Fed was monitoring the possible effects of the coronavirus, U.S. stock markets moved higher once again last week. Reports on Tuesday the FTC would be investigating tech companies and China’s restatement higher of the number of coronavirus cases on Thursday, only momentarily moved U.S. stock markets lower with the FTC clarifying it was not investigating but only opening a study and as the WHO made clear China’s restatement did not represent a surge in the growth of new coronavirus cases. And despite weaker-than-expected industrial production numbers and so-so retails sales numbers on Friday, U.S. stock markets closed at all time highs on Friday. At week’s end the S&P 500 Index increased 1.6% closing at 3380.16, the 10-year U.S Treasury rate was unchanged at 1.58% and the U.S. dollar strengthened .5% (as measured by the DXY Index).

Commentary,

See Ya Dimon, Hello Fink: Top 10 XOUT’s for Q1 2020

The latest XOUT rebalance gives fresh insight into the pulse of disruption, and significantly, the players who are falling behind in the race to innovate effectively. Here we examine the 10 largest companies XOUT eliminates this quarter—the roughly $3 trillion in market cap vulnerable to secular decline. When yesterday’s titans can rapidly become today’s bankruptcies, the XOUT Index continually looks to identify potential market laggards, aiming to leave them out of the portfolio.

Commentary,

Commodities and Precious Metals Update (Week ending February 7, 2020)

Despite continued concerns and uncertainties surrounding the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak and as the Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 7.7% on Monday, U.S. stock markets moved sharply higher through Thursday supported, by among other things, reports of the Chinese developing an effective drug against the coronavirus, improved U.S. trade deficit numbers, a very strong ADP payroll report, the Senate’s acquittal of President Trump and the Chinese announcing they would halve tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. imports. Coronavirus fears, however, resurfaced on Friday pushing U.S. stock markets lower for the first time last week despite a much-stronger-than-expected U.S. employment situation report. At week’s end the S&P 500 Index increased 3.2% closing at 3327.71, the 10-year U.S Treasury rate increased 7bps to 1.58% and the U.S. dollar st

Commentary,

Commodities and Precious Metals Update (Week ending January 31, 2020)

The coronavirus and its possible deleterious effect on the global economy ruled the markets last week, pushing global stock markets and bond yields lower. Weaker-than-expected durable goods orders, new home sales and an as-expected GDP report combined with the FOMC leaving U.S. interest rates unchanged but expressing concerns about the coronavirus and the low level of inflation also helped to push U.S. stock markets and bond yields lower. At week’s end the S&P 500 fell 2.1% closing at 3225.52, the 10-year U.S Treasury rate fell 17bps to 1.51% and the U.S. dollar weakened 0.5% (as measured by the DXY Index).

Commentary,

Commodities and Precious Metals Update (Week ending January 24, 2020)

U.S. stock markets were mostly unchanged through Thursday last week despite building concerns surrounding the coronavirus, more negative news regarding Boeing and the 737 MAX. 10-year U.S Treasury rates, in contrast, fell 9bps through Thursday moving lower as investor concerns over the coronavirus increased. On Friday, U.S. stock markets capitulated to coronavirus concerns after a second case was reported in the U.S., with the S&P 500 Index decreasing just under 1% and with the 10-year U.S Treasury rate falling another 5bps. At week’s end the S&P 500 lost a little over 1% closing at 3295.45, 10-year U.S Treasury rate dropped 14bps to 1.68% and the U.S. dollar strengthened 0.3% (as measured by the DXY Index).

Commentary,

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%.