Recent Supreme Court Rulings May Boost Munis

August 17, 2018

My name is Sam Millette, and I’m a fixed income analyst on the Investment Management and Research team here at Commonwealth. I focus on analyzing individual municipal bonds (munis) for our advisors and their clients. As you are likely aware, munis are primarily bonds that have been issued by local municipal governments to finance public investments. Income from these bonds is often exempt from federal and state income tax, which makes them attractive investments for high-net-worth individuals in a high tax bracket.

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Brexit: Deal or No Deal?

August 16, 2018

Today’s post comes from Anu Gaggar of Commonwealth’s Investment Research team. Take it away, Anu! —Brad

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Book Review: The Absent Superpower, by Peter Zeihan

August 15, 2018

I will be away with my family in Iceland for the next 10 days and will be turning over the blog to my colleagues for that time. We have some very interesting pieces lined up, and I expect you will find them both entertaining and useful. But before I go, here is one last post—a book review!

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The Real Lesson from Turkey’s Crisis

August 14, 2018

As Turkey’s crisis rumbles on, investors are on the watch for signs of contagion. Emerging markets in general are getting hit, so contagion remains a possibility. Still, there are reasons to believe the crisis will burn out in Turkey itself.

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Monday Update: Inflation Moderates, But Still Above Fed Targets

August 13, 2018

Last week’s data was all about prices and whether inflation is picking up. It doesn’t seem to be, in any significant way. This week, we'll see a wide range of data, including housing reports and retail sales.

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Quick Takes from the Financial News: Inflation and Turkey

August 10, 2018

To end the week, I have a couple of quick takes on some hot topics from the financial news. Let’s start with inflation.

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Monthly Market Risk Update: August 2018

August 9, 2018

Market risks come in three flavors: recession risk, economic shock risk, and risks within the market itself. So, what do these risks look like for August? Let’s take a closer look at the numbers.

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Economic Signs and Portents

August 8, 2018

I am reasonably convinced that the economy remains solid—although my conviction is softening (see yesterday’s Economic Risk Factor Update)—and that the market is more likely headed higher than lower through the end of the year. But there have been an increasing number of events that, while not really quantifiable, are making me go hmm. So, in the interest of giving some time to anecdotal data and not just the quantifiable stuff, here we go with some economic signs and portents.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: August 2018

August 7, 2018

For the first time in quite a while, we saw disappointing news in the monthly reports for two major data points. First, job growth weakened significantly. Although the prior months were revised upward—more than making up for the shortfall—the question remains as to whether the labor market is getting closer to tapped out. Second, business confidence pulled back significantly. It remains expansionary, but this drop is an unusual move and raises the question of whether the tariffs are finally starting to have an effect.

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Monday Update: Consumers Strong, Business Confidence Weakens

August 6, 2018

Last week was a busy one for economic news, from consumer confidence to the employment report. This week’s data will be all about prices—and whether inflation is picking up.

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Is the July Jobs Report Really as Bad as It Looks?

August 3, 2018

The employment report, probably the single most important economic report there is, came out this morning, and the headline number on job creation was not good at all. In June, the economy added 213,000 jobs, and the expectations for July included another 193,000. Instead, we got only 157,000. You might see a fair amount of angst in the coverage today.

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Market Thoughts for August 2018 [Video]

August 2, 2018

July was a great month for financial markets. In the U.S., the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq were all up, and after a terrible June, both developed and emerging markets bounced back. What fueled this performance? Strong economic data, in particular GDP growth, which came in at 4.1 percent for the second quarter, nearly double what it was in the first. Job growth remains strong, corporations are beating sales and earnings expectations, and even the Fed is more positive on the economy than it has been in some time.  

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A Look Back at the Markets in July and Ahead to August

August 1, 2018

As we begin August, let’s take a look back at the markets in July, plus what to expect in the month ahead.

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