Musings on Monaco

May 17, 2019

I just returned from spending the past week in Monaco on a Commonwealth conference trip. It was a stellar experience, per usual—our conference planners are the best of the best. Also per usual, getting out of my comfortable home environment has prompted a new level of reflection in me. In this case, I’ve been musing over affluence, income distribution, and what it means to be wealthy.

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What Lies Ahead for the Economy and Markets?

May 16, 2019

Thus far, it has been an eventful year. Markets were up substantially, pulled back sharply, and then bounced again. The economy was slow going into the year, picked up during the first quarter, and now may be slowing again. The political story has included the Mueller report, a China trade deal and then trade war, and Brexit (now postponed). Like I said, it has been an eventful year—and it is only May.

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What Will the Tariffs Mean for the Economy?

May 15, 2019

Yesterday, we talked about the effects of the tariffs on the stock market and why those effects—even though they are real—are likely to be limited. Today, I want to discuss what actually happened with the tariffs, what they mean for the economy, and where this situation is likely to go. The conclusions from yesterday on the stock market remain the same, but this discussion will provide valuable context for what might happen in the future. So, let’s start with what happened.

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Should We Ignore Recent Market Volatility?

May 14, 2019

After yesterday’s terrible performance—with U.S. stock markets down more than 2 percent—worries are starting to rise. Combined with last week’s declines, it looks like we may be seeing the end of the bull market. So, is it time to panic?

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Monday Update: Inflation Under Control, Trade Balance Stops Improving

May 13, 2019

Last week’s data was focused on prices, although we also got an update on the trade balance. This week is a busy one, including looks at retail sales, consumer confidence, and the housing sector.

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Monthly Market Risk Update: May 2019

May 10, 2019

It’s time for our monthly look at market risk factors. Just as with the economy, there are several key factors that matter for the market in determining both the risk level and the immediacy of the risk. Although stocks have largely recovered from their recent pullback, given valuations and recent market behavior, it is useful to keep an eye on these factors.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: May 2019

May 9, 2019

After a difficult quarter, April’s data showed signs of meaningful improvement. Job growth bounced back, easing a major concern. Plus, consumer confidence improved, which should help growth going forward. On the other hand, business confidence dipped further, and the yield curve remains close to a risk level.

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Is the Latest Market Pullback Just Noise?

May 8, 2019

When we see sharp drawdowns in the stock market like we have over the past couple of days, it’s natural to worry it might be the start of something much worse. Indeed, it could be. Odds are, however, that this will be a brief pullback followed by a rebound.

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A Look Back at the Markets in April and Ahead to May 2019

May 7, 2019

April was the month that everything turned around . . . we hope. Job growth kicked back to very high levels, taking the unemployment rate to a 50-year low. Consumer confidence rebounded in a big way. And, perhaps as a consequence, retail spending also came in well above expectations. On top of all that good news, economic growth came in well above expectations for the first quarter—even as the Fed stepped back from its hawkish stance, leaving interest rates unchanged and likely to remain that way.

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Monday Update: Strong Job Growth and Consumer Confidence

May 6, 2019

Last week was a very busy one for economic data, with a number of key reports. This week’s data is focused around prices, but there will also be an update on the trade balance.

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Two Cheers (Not Three) for the Jobs Report

May 3, 2019

On the face of it, this morning’s strong jobs number should elicit a full three cheers. Job growth came in at 263,000. This result was up from last month’s downwardly revised 189,000 and well above the expected 190,000. Looks like a home run, right? In fact, when you dig into the details, the news (while still good) is not nearly as good as the headline suggests. That is why I am subtracting a full cheer from the headline.

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Market Thoughts for May 2019 [Video]

May 2, 2019

April was another great month for the financial markets, as U.S., emerging, and developed markets were all in the green. Although there were concerns about a slowdown at the end of last month, first-quarter economic growth actually came in well above expectations. Plus, consumer spending picked up, consumer confidence bounced back, and business investment came in stronger than expected.

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Investors: Sell in May and Go Away?

May 1, 2019

Today we will take a look at an old investing adage: “sell in May and go away.” It is supposed to reflect the idea that market returns over the summer and fall are worse than those in the winter and spring. Under this theory, you should sell all your stocks in May and then buy them back in November.

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Upcoming Appearances

Tune into Bloomberg Radio's Bloomberg Businessweek on Wednesday, May 22, at 3:45 P.M. to hear Brad talk about the markets. Stream the show live at https://www.bloombergradio.com/, listen through SiriusXM 119, or download Bloomberg's app, Bloomberg Radio+. 

 

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