Featured Insights


Chart of the Week

Source: Bloomberg, as of 8/23/16. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. An investor cannot invest directly in an index. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect any fees, expenses or sales charges. This information is provided for illustrative purposes only and does not reflect the performance of an actual investment.

Europe: Creeping improvement

The latest PMI data for Europe suggests growth could continue expanding at a slow but steady pace.

Market Snapshot

The Fed: Jackson Hole in one

As planned, less than meets the eye

Fed Chair Janet Yellen delivered a media-friendly quote while staying mostly non-committal on the timing of the next rate hike – no small achievement. Meanwhile, more good news arrived about 2Q in the U.S. and the ECB indirectly suggested that the most helpful boost to Europe's economy would be fiscal rather than monetary.


Insights

Market Outlook
Aug 31

Biotech and more

Finding Value In Stocks Now

Investors who focus on US stocks' overall price level are overlooking the values available in health care and other sectors, says Evan Bauman of ClearBridge Investments.

Market Outlook
Aug 31

Mid-Week Bond Update

Fed: investors want deeds, not words

The global bond market rally that started following the February sell-off was brought to a halt over the past five trading days, on the back of a more hawkish tone from the US Federal Reserve (Fed). At the annual central banks’ gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Fed chair Janet Yellen said the case for a rate hike is now stronger, albeit still data-dependent. Investors’ reaction, however, has been mixed, a sign of their ongoing confusion following months of sometimes contradictory Fedspeak: US short term rates initially rose following Yellen’s Friday’s speech, only to fall afterwards. And the market-implied likelihood of a September hike – actually fell. Investors continue to be concerned that global data remains weak, and in the US, it is mixed. Aside from words, investors now hope Friday’s jobs report may shed more clarity on the state of the US economy.

Market Snapshot
Aug 26

As planned, less than meets the eye

The Fed: Jackson Hole in one

Fed Chair Janet Yellen delivered a media-friendly quote while staying mostly non-committal on the timing of the next rate hike – no small achievement. Meanwhile, more good news arrived about 2Q in the U.S. and the ECB indirectly suggested that the most helpful boost to Europe's economy would be fiscal rather than monetary.

Market Outlook
Aug 24

Mid-Week Bond Update

Seeking clarity in Jackson Hole

The central bank and oil price supported global bond rally continued yet another week, this time leaving behind some Emerging Markets (EM), which suffered from a rising US dollar and political tensions in South Africa and Turkey. All eyes, however, are focused on Friday’s central banks’ gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where investors expect US Federal Reserve (Fed) chair Janet Yellen to shed some light on future policy actions. While some anticipate an interest rate hike later this year, on the back of an improvement in labour and wage data, others expect the Fed to focus even more on inflation – or the lack of it. This makes some investors question whether a hike is warranted at all. Different messages from Fed officials, some more cautious than others, have kept US rates at bay over the summer as investors wait for clearer signals.

Market Snapshot
Aug 19

More mixed signals from the Fed:

When Doves Try...

Minutes from the July FOMC meeting revealed little consensus for a rate hike in September; new data suggest that Abenomics’ “three arrows” may be falling short; and three reasons that S&P 500 earnings could improve later this year.

Market Outlook
Aug 17

Mid-Week Bond Update

US-UK inflation: oceans apart

The post-Brexit risk rally continued for most Fixed Income asset classes over the past five trading days, but this time supported by a jump in oil prices, rather than central bank talk of further monetary easing. The technique was similar, though: officials from oil producing countries talked up the sector, highlighting the need to control the present supply glut. West Texas Intermediate surged to US$46.5 per barrel, up from $42.7 last week. Currencies of oil-exporting Emerging Markets (EMs) rallied, including the Colombian peso and the Norwegian krone.

Investment Insights
Aug 16

A Bear, A Brexit, and A Welcome Start to 2016

The market's pronounced shift toward companies with attractive to reasonable valuations, solid balance sheets, and strong profitability in the first half of 2016 was positive for many active managers.

Market Snapshot
Aug 12

How will this affect the Fed?

US retail: Not buying it

Retail sales for July disappointed, with auto sales the only major category making up for contraction in the others. Financial markets, however, focused on the impact of the shortfall on the Fed's September rate decision. Meanwhile, Germany issued more zero-coupon notes priced above par, and Brazilian President Rousseff's impeachment grew increasingly likely.

Investment Insights
Aug 10

Municipal Market Update: July

Western Asset examines recent trends in the muni bond market and provides its outlook about conditions ahead.

Market Snapshot
Aug 05

More signs of growth. Rate hike ahead?

US jobs: Nice work

July's US employment report was a solid win in just about every category, rekindling speculation about a Fed rate hike as early as September. Meanwhile, the Bank of England cut rates and more than doubled its bond-buying, and Europe's banks pondered the results of one of its regulators' latest stress test.

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