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Faster Growth Deceleration Prompts Increased Market Turbulence

Market volatility looks to have become the norm of late, with intraday swings of 500 points on the Dow Jones Industrials seemingly commonplace. The days of complacency and ever rising stock prices appear to be firmly in the rear-view mirror, now replaced by daily angst. And, with good reason. Markets have fully recognized that “synchronized” world economic growth has ended, that the U.S. economy is not an island, immune from …Read More

“Normal,” It’s Not What You Think!

Most readers remember the pre-recession days of 4% GDP growth, interest rates at levels where savers had return choices worth pursuing (e.g., the 10 year T-Note at 4%), and workers could count on annual real wage growth.  Today, many refer to this as “normal,” and there is a desire, if not a movement, to return the economy back to such a state. You can see this in the political arena.  …Read More

Does 2.3 percent economic growth justify Dow 20,000?

A survey of 53 economists by Blue Chip Economic Indicators forecast 2.3 percent economic growth for 2017, up from an estimated 1.6 percent in 2016. While better, 2.3 percent is still low by post-World War II standards. Consensus found that inflation would tick up to 2.4 percent, industrial production would begin to grow again (+1.6 percent) after stagnating in 2016, business investment (+2.7 percent) would finally be positive (after several …Read More

Dealing with the ‘New Normal’

In ’09 and ’10, when Mohammed El-Erian and Bill Gross both worked at PIMCO, they put forth a concept they called “the New Normal.” It postulated that the economy would grow at a much slower rate than it had in the past, and therefore market returns – both equity and fixed income – would be much lower than what we had experienced in the post-WWII era. Nice theory, many thought; …Read More

Economic Review – Q1/16

At quarter’s end, the equity market had recovered all that it had lost between 12/31 and 2/11, plus about 1%.  Apparently, this was the swiftest recovery in any quarter since 1933.  While we were fairly certain that the downdraft was just a much needed correction, like you, we don’t care too much for the uncertainty that such markets bring, especially when the business media was practically cheerleading for a recession.  …Read More

Assessing the market now that recession fears have disappeared

With recession fears now nowhere to be found, the market averages have raced their way back to a positive return for the year, a much-welcomed development considering where they were on Feb. 11. The bears have retired to their caves, and the negativism in the media has all but disappeared. The rising price of oil It is counterintuitive to look at the rising price of oil as a positive for …Read More