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Market Outlook
Feb 14
Market Outlook

Mid-Week Bond Update

Thorny Valentine roses

February 14, 2018

The much-awaited January US inflation report brought what many investors had wished for, rising inflation, but a busy Valentine day also delivered a gloomy and unexpected dip in the country’s retail sales. Investors focused on the former and most global bond asset classes continued the...

Market Outlook
Feb 09
Market Outlook

Policy Matters

The Fed and Current Market Pricing

February 09, 2018

The transition from Janet Yellen to Jerome Powell as chair of the Federal Reserve (Fed) is happening at an interesting moment for financial markets and the US economy. Two topics in particular have recently come to the fore of investors’ minds: the potential for an increase in inflation and the current pricing of Fed interest rate hikes. We address both in the final section of this note. However, some context is needed first. Before addressing the topics du jour, we assess Yellen’s record and then provide an outlook for the Fed under Jerome Powell. It is only with the context properly established that we can attempt to adequately address the issues of the day.

Market Outlook
Feb 02
Market Outlook

Fixed income

Where Are We in the Credit Cycle?

February 02, 2018

The credit cycle is still in expansion mode, and investors who run for cover too early may regret missing out on incremental returns.

Market Outlook
Feb 02
Market Outlook

US Mortgage Market

Lessons for the past, investing for the future

February 02, 2018

The US mortgage market is markedly stronger and simpler in the aftermath of the subprime credit bubble that led to the financial crisis. For investors, the mortgage market is attractive today as a result of greater protections for bondholders, better mortgages backing those bonds and a healthier US housing market and consumer. Read more.

Market Outlook
Jan 31
Market Outlook

Mid-Week Bond Update

Bonds sink but still no inflation

January 31, 2018

A sea of red spread over major bond indices over the past five trading days, as improved global growth optimism, strong US corporate earnings, rising merger & acquisition activity and renewed trade tensions led some investors to question, again, whether the end of the 30-year bond rally is finally here. US president Trump’s first State of the Union speech seemed to disappoint investors – as did his inaugural speech...

Market Outlook
Jan 31
Market Outlook

Small-cap stocks

It's Not the Index

January 31, 2018

The companies best-positioned to benefit from burgeoning economic strength around the globe aren't necessarily the companies in the Russell 2000.

Market Outlook
Jan 29
Market Outlook

Equity income

Holy Cow!

January 29, 2018

2017 was another wonderful year for dividend increases and we continue to expect dividends to rise in line with corporate earnings.

Market Outlook
Jan 24
Market Outlook

Mid-Week Bond Update

From Davos with Growth

January 24, 2018

Nothing like a few optimistic messages from Davos to give further fuel to world equities and to lift bond yields to levels not seen in four years. The proposed US tax cuts that continued to take US equities to yet another record also led the International Monetary Fund to lift its global economic outlook earlier...

Market Outlook
Jan 18
Market Outlook

The big picture in bonds

Market and Strategy Update

January 18, 2018

The slow but steady recovery since the financial crisis continues to make progress; looking ahead, we expect another 2+% growth year in 2018, perhaps better with the new tax law. The fundamental investment backdrop is exceptional, but prices are high -- so sector and security selection remain key.

Market Outlook
Jan 15
Market Outlook

The Long View

Recession Risks Muted Heading Into 2018

January 15, 2018

The positive economic momentum that lifted equities over the past year should continue into 2018, with higher interest rates and inflation posing the biggest risks, notes ClearBridge Investment Strategist Jeff Schulze.

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