The Independent Market Observer

Jobs Report Preview: Headwinds Ahead?

August 4, 2021

The monthly jobs report gives us a good chance to think through where we are in the recovery—and what effect the most recent developments have had. With the next report coming this Friday, what should we be looking for?

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Monday Update (on Tuesday): Consumer Confidence and Spending Beat Expectations

August 3, 2021

Last week’s economic updates touched on a variety of economic sectors. Highlights included better-than-expected results for personal income and spending in June, as well as improved consumer confidence in July. This week will be packed with updates once again, with the focus on July’s business confidence and employment reports.

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Market Thoughts for August 2021 [Video]

August 2, 2021

July was a generally good month for the markets, with all three major U.S. indices up by more than 1 percent. But emerging markets were hit hard and ended the month down significantly. On the economic front, the data remains positive, although business and consumer confidence declined. Further, medical risks are on the rise, with the Delta variant hitting the unvaccinated population.

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What Riots in South Africa Mean for Emerging Markets

July 30, 2021

The celebrated “rainbow nation” of South Africa was recently rocked by the worst violence since the nation achieved democracy and ended apartheid in 1994. Many lost their lives, the economy was hit at a time when it was already reeling under the effects of the pandemic, and its capital markets grew nervous.

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The Regulatory Crackdown in China Continues

July 29, 2021

Today’s post is from Peter Roberto, investment research analyst on our Investment Management and Research team.

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How Green Are Your Sustainable Strategies?

July 28, 2021

Today’s post is from Sarah Hargreaves, an investment management analyst on our Investment Management and Research team.

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Is Climate Change a Risk to Your Portfolio?

July 27, 2021

As stewards of more than $12 billion in client capital (as of July 25, 2021), our job on the Investment Management team at Commonwealth requires a great deal of risk assessment—and there are many risks that require evaluation. But too often in our industry, the talking heads focus on the short-term ones like interest rate moves and market pullbacks. Most investors, however, have long time horizons. So, what we should be considering as an industry are the longer-term risks that match up with our clients’ goal horizons. One of those risks? Climate change.

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Monday Update: Housing Starts Hit 3-Month High

July 26, 2021

Last week saw a number of important economic data releases, with a focus on the housing market. Housing starts increased by more than expected in June, hitting a three-month high despite rising costs for home builders. This will be another busy week of economic updates, with reports scheduled that will touch on business spending, consumer confidence, the Fed’s July meeting, and second-quarter GDP growth.

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This Is the End (Again)

July 23, 2021

For some reason, I have been getting another round of questions about the end of the world. The dollar is collapsing, the IMF is devaluing the U.S. currency, the deficit and debt are blowing up, inflation is rising, and so forth. These end-of-the-world worries usually happen every couple of years, driven by some outside anxiety, which is, at the moment, COVID.

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Jobs and the Labor Force: The Long View

July 22, 2021

Yesterday, we talked about whether the labor market would balance in the short term. We also discussed whether there were enough people outside the labor force who might move back in, with higher wages and other inducements, to provide enough bodies to not only fill the current vacancies but also provide enough of a cushion to prevent further dislocations in the future. Although it is close, so far the numbers suggest there are enough people out there to do that. In the next year or so, jobs and employees should move back into a rough equilibrium.

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