The Independent Market Observer

Monthly Market Risk Update: December 2021

December 8, 2021

My colleague Sam Millette, manager, fixed income on Commonwealth’s Investment Management and Research team, has helped me put together this month’s Market Risk Update. Thanks for the assist, Sam!

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Economic Risk Factor Update: December 2021

December 7, 2021

My colleague Sam Millette, manager, fixed income on Commonwealth’s Investment Management and Research team, has helped me put together this month’s Economic Risk Factor Update. Thanks for the assist, Sam!

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Monday Update: Job Growth Slows in November

December 6, 2021

Last week saw a number of important economic data releases, with a focus on consumer and business confidence and the November employment report. The jobs report showed a notable slowdown in headline job growth in November, although the month’s underlying data was more encouraging. This week will be relatively quiet, with only three major data releases scheduled. They will cover international trade, consumer inflation, and a first look at consumer sentiment in December.

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Turkey’s Unconventional Monetary Policy

December 3, 2021

Brad here. What is the next crisis? We get this question a lot. To keep up on such trends, we have to watch many things, such as countries getting into trouble. Turkey, which is currently struggling with the financial markets, is one of those countries we are watching—but not, as Anu Gaggar shows, all that worried about. This is a good case study of how we keep an eye on emerging risks. Thanks, Anu!

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Looking Back at the Markets in November and Ahead to December 2021

December 2, 2021

November was a solid month for the economy but difficult in terms of both the medical news and financial markets. After a strong October, the Fed announced plans to start tightening monetary policy. Then we heard about a new variant of COVID-19. By month-end, the combined news pulled the markets down from midmonth gains to much more mixed results.

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Market Thoughts for December 2021 [Video]

December 1, 2021

After a strong October, November saw generally weak performance in the markets. In the U.S., the Nasdaq showed a small gain, but the S&P and the Dow were down. These results were driven by the emergence of the Omicron variant and the Fed’s announcement that it would start to normalize monetary policy. Still, hiring for October was healthy, and layoffs dropped to pre-pandemic levels in November.

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Will Omicron Lead to More Market Volatility?

November 30, 2021

Once again, we have some volatility in the financial markets. With the appearance of the Omicron variant of the COVID virus, stocks have pulled back. This has caused all sorts of speculation about the resurgence of the pandemic, the derailing of the economy, and more significant downturns in the market. It’s time for a deep breath, as always, and a determination of what is—not what could or might be—happening.

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Monday Update: Personal Income and Spending Beat Expectations

November 29, 2021

Last week saw a number of important economic updates, with reports on home sales, durable goods orders, personal income and spending, and the most recent FOMC meeting. Among the largely positive reports, the better-than-expected personal income and spending growth provided a highlight. This week will be another busy one for data updates, with a focus on consumer and business confidence and the November employment report.

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COP26: Key Outcomes and Takeaways

November 26, 2021

Brad here. This post follows up on last week’s excellent post on the United Nations Climate Change Summit by Sarah Hargreaves. I would like to call your attention to the generational tilt of today’s guest author, Sara Bray. As one of Commonwealth’s youngest employees, she is attuned to what her generation (Generation Z) is thinking—which is not necessarily what old people like me are thinking. She offers valuable information about what is happening with climate change policy, insights into how future investors may see these issues, and some thoughts about what all this means for today. Thanks, Sara!

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A Perfect Time to Give Thanks

November 24, 2021

It has been proven that being grateful is one of the best ways to make your life better—to be both happier and more successful. Here on the blog, I try to focus on gratitude a couple of times a year, although I notice that I have not done so through 2020 or really 2021. Perhaps that’s understandable, with the pandemic, but still misguided. Despite the real problems and concerns, I have much to be grateful for, and I hope you do as well. So let’s take Thanksgiving as the perfect opportunity to remember that.

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