Economic Perspectives (Fourth Quarter 2016)

by Jim Baird on January 16, 2017

In this quarter’s Economic Perspectives, we take closer look at fiscal spending and its impact on economic growth.  While president-elect Trump’s pro-growth initiatives are expected to be supportive to growth later this year, only time will reveal the specifics of future fiscal policy and whether it will live up to current expectations.

Read the full article>>

Market Perspective (January 2017)

by Jim Baird on January 13, 2017

Executive Summary

  • An improving corporate earnings picture and expectations for a more robust economic expansion fueled a rally in domestic equities in December; 2016 calendar year returns for the major U.S. stock indices were up double-digits, with small-caps leading the pack.
  • December was also a positive month for international stocks despite headwinds from a stronger dollar; developed market equities added 3.4%, while emerging markets managed a 0.2% return.
  • Returns for most fixed income benchmarks were largely flat in December, following November’s selloff, with the exception of the more risk-correlated high-yield bonds, which added 1.8%.
  • In a widely anticipated move, the Fed hiked its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points following the FOMC meeting in December; it also released a new “dot plot” suggesting the possibility of three more hikes in 2017.

Read the full article >>

December Retail Sales Research Notes

January 13, 2017

Retail sales fall short of expectations, increase by 0.6% in December Retail sales increased by 0.6% in December, wrapping up the crucial holiday shopping season for retailers on a modestly disappointing note, while undershooting expectations of a 0.7% increase. Dampening the negative disappointment, November retail sales were revised modestly upward to a 0.2% gain from […]

Read the full article →

Jobless Claims (week of 1.7.17) Research Notes

January 12, 2017

Jobless claims increase by 10,000, less than expected Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to 247,000 in the week ended January 7, a less pronounced increase than what was expected by consensus forecasts, although still representative of an increase of 10,000 from the previous week’s revised print of 237,000. The four-week moving average of jobless […]

Read the full article →

December’s Employment Situation Research Notes

January 6, 2017

Job creation softened modestly in December; unemployment edges upward to 4.7% Job market growth softened moderately in December as the economy added 156,000 new jobs, below expectations of 175,000 for the month. However, October and November payrolls were revised higher by 19,000, putting the expectation for total payrolls to end the year in line with […]

Read the full article →

Q3 GDP Research Notes

December 22, 2016

U.S. economic growth revised upward to 3.5% for Q3; jobless claims rise With the latest revision for Q3 now in our hands, a few things are clear: the economy found its stride in the third quarter, and that pace of growth is going to be difficult to match in Q4. Today’s report reaffirms the upward […]

Read the full article →

Special Commentary

December 21, 2016

Executive Summary President-elect Trump’s pro-growth economic policies focus predominantly on tax reform, infrastructure spending, and regulatory reform. While the policy direction of the incoming administration seems clear, the devil is in the details on a host of matters. The first 100 days of the incoming Trump administration should provide some clarity. Most economists expect that […]

Read the full article →

Market Perspectives (December 2016)

December 16, 2016

Executive Summary Surprising the majority of pollsters and political pundits, Donald J. Trump prevailed in the presidential election last month, along with GOP majorities in the House and Senate, creating an expectation of significant regulatory and policy changes ahead. Following a lackluster first half, revised estimates show U.S. GDP growth surged by 3.2% – more […]

Read the full article →

November Retail Sales Research Notes

December 14, 2016

Retail sales rise by a modest 0.1% in November Retail sales disappointed in November, rising by a modest 0.1% vs. expectations for a 0.3% increase. October retail sales were also revised downward to 0.6% from a previously reported 0.8%. Despite these recent results, sales still grew by 3.8% over the past year. Areas of strength […]

Read the full article →

November’s Employment Situation Research Notes

December 2, 2016

November jobs report a mixed bag Job market conditions were generally solid again in November as the economy produced 178,000 new jobs, in line with expectations for 180,000. September and October payrolls were revised modestly downward, trimming 2,000 from previously reported estimates. The net impact is that total payrolls as of the end of November […]

Read the full article →