Economic Perspectives (Third Quarter 2014)

by Jim Baird on October 20, 2014

Despite some weakness throughout developed economies internationally, most economic indicators in the U.S. appear to have gradually improved in recent months.  Overall, the economy appears on track to sustain a moderate pace of expansion during the closing months of the year.

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Market Perspectives (October 2014)

by Jim Baird on October 16, 2014

Executive Summary

  • Capital markets sold off broadly during September.
  • Domestic equities fell throughout the month, led lower by small cap names, which declined enough to pull the index into negative territory thus far for the year.
  • The yield curve steepened during the month, as short-term rates remained anchored near zero and rates between 10 and 30 years rose modestly, also dragging on year-to-date returns.
  • Alternative investments joined stocks and bonds in losing ground during the month. After beginning the year with a strong performance, commodities have recently faced some headwinds that have pushed the index into negative territory year to date.
  • U.S. economic data remains positive. Job growth surged again in September, providing further support for the Fed to announce a wrap up of its QE3 program during October. The timing of the first rate hike remains a wild card for the capital marketsDomestic equities extended their rally in August, nearing double-digit returns year to date. Small caps led the pack but continue to trail for the year.

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September’s Employment Situation Research Notes

October 7, 2014

Jobless rate falls to six-year low; nonfarm payrolls surge The jobs picture continued to improve in September, as the economy added 248,000 payrolls during the month. Today’s report easily exceeded market expectations of 215,000 new jobs. Adding to the good news, August payrolls were revised sharply higher from the preliminary estimate of 142,000 to 180,000. […]

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September Perspectives Podcast

October 1, 2014

A new PMFA Perspectives Podcast is now available via the link below: September Market Perspective Podcast

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Market Perspectives (September 2014)

September 22, 2014

Executive Summary Domestic equities extended their rally in August, nearing double-digit returns year to date. Small caps led the pack but continue to trail for the year. Developed international equities lost ground during the month for U.S.-based investors, as the dollar strengthened. This expanded the underperformance gap between international stocks and their domestic counterparts since […]

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August Retail Sales Research Notes

September 12, 2014

Retail sales surge; sentiment reaches highest point in over a year The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 84.6 in September, easily beating expectations.  That result marked a high-water mark for the index for the year, driven higher by a sharp improvement in expectations for the economy over the coming year. Earlier this […]

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August’s Employment Situation Research Notes

September 5, 2014

August nonfarm payrolls disappoint; jobless rate falls to 6.1% The unemployment rate declined to 6.1% in August, but the good news in the jobs report largely ended there. The economy added only 142,000 jobs in August, falling short of expectations by about 90,000 for the month. On top of that disappointing result, revisions to prior […]

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August Perspectives Podcast

September 4, 2014

A new PMFA Perspectives Podcast is now available via the link below: August Market Perspectives Podcast

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Consumer Sentiment Research Notes

August 29, 2014

Sentiment rebounds in August; expectations for future slip The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index increased in August, printing at 82.5 this morning, a better-than-anticipated result for the month and a meaningful uptick from the July reading of 79.2. The news on sentiment comes on the heels of a report earlier today that consumer spending […]

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Q2 GDP Research Notes

August 28, 2014

Economy grew at 4.2% pace in Q1, beating expectations To the surprise of no one, today’s report from the Commerce Department affirmed that the economy grew in the second quarter. Modestly surprising, however, was the fact that it apparently grew at a faster pace than previously believed. The second estimate of second quarter GDP indicated […]

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