The Independent Market Observer

Approaching Economics with Humor: Some Favorite Videos

December 31, 2019

I suspect not too much work will get done today, at least in my house, so let’s have some fun. Below are links to some of my favorite economic and investing videos. In true economist fashion, I have categorized them appropriately. Note that I may not agree with the content—especially for the funny ones! Start at the top.

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Monday Update: Durable Goods Orders Down, New Home Sales Up

December 30, 2019

Last week was slow on the economic update front, with only two major updates being released. This week will also be quiet as we finish 2019 and enter the new year. We’ll be focusing on consumer and manufacturer confidence, as well as the minutes from the most recent Fed meeting in December. 

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Appearance on CNBC’s Power Lunch, December 27, 2019 [Video]

December 30, 2019

Do I think there’s a market pullback ahead? I appeared on CNBC’s Power Lunch on Friday to discuss this and more. 

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The View from the Aisle: Reflections from the Massachusetts Conference for Women

December 27, 2019

Recently, along with some very dynamic colleagues and friends from Commonwealth Financial Network, I had the privilege of attending the Massachusetts Conference for Women. Held in Boston over a packed two days in December, it was the largest women’s conference in the country, boasting more than 13,000 attendees. Here, Giovanna Zaffina and I would like to share our experiences and thoughts.

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The Next Decade: A Humble Approach to Predictions

December 26, 2019

I have been thinking a lot about the next decade. As we enter 2020, we know only a couple of things, but we should keep them in mind as we plan ahead.

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Monday Update: Economy Picking Up Speed

December 23, 2019

Last week, economic updates were largely positive, with seven of the eight releases beating forecasts. This week will be very quiet, with only two major updates scheduled, both on Monday morning.  

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Do You Believe in the Santa Claus Rally?

December 20, 2019

Brad here. At this time of year, we hear a lot about seasonal effects, with the Santa Claus rally at the head of the list. Today, Jim McAllister, director of equity research, takes a look at how much is fiction and how much is fact when it comes to the Santa Claus rally. Thanks, Jim!

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Brexit: The End of the Beginning or the Beginning of the End?

December 19, 2019

Brad here. One of the big political and economic news stories in the past week or so has been the British election. Here to help put that election into context—and think about what it could mean for our investments—is Anu Gaggar, Commonwealth’s international analyst. Thanks, Anu!

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Is Credit a Cause for Concern?

December 18, 2019

Brad here. One of the great things about this blog is that it sparks quite a few questions. When we see the same question popping up, it is something we try to address. Today’s post, by Nick Follett, does just that, looking at some of the dislocations in the financial markets that have been worrying advisors. It is a bit more inside baseball than we normally do here, but it gives a good look at what is really going on. Thanks, Nick!

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Appearance on Yahoo Finance's On the Move, December 18, 2019 [Video]

December 18, 2019

Do I think we’re going to avoid a recession next year? I discussed this and more today on Yahoo Finance’s On the Move.

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2020 Market Outlook [Video]

December 17, 2019

After a strong 2019, worries are starting to build for the year ahead—especially over a potential recession. But the data is actually improving. As such, 2020 may look much like 2019. Job growth might slow, but consumers are likely to keep spending. Plus, business investment is showing signs of a comeback, which would be a significant tailwind. The news for the markets may not be as positive, as we may see some volatility. But as long as the economy keeps growing? The markets should continue to move forward.

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Monday Update: Home Builder Confidence Blows Away Expectations

December 16, 2019

Last week, the Fed left interest rates unchanged at its final meeting of the year. Muted inflation and falling unemployment support this wait-and-see approach from the central bank. This week will be filled with economic updates, including reports on the housing sector and industrial production. Regarding consumers, we’ll get a look at income, spending, and confidence numbers.

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Impeachment Means Nothing for the Markets

December 13, 2019

This morning, the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary voted to advance two articles of impeachment against President Trump to a vote by the full House of Representatives. The forthcoming event will mark only the fourth time in U.S. history that the full House has been set to consider impeaching a president. If, as is likely, the House votes to impeach, the trial will take place in the Senate, where President Trump is expected to be acquitted. Although this political shock from Washington, DC, has been widely anticipated, it’s still driving headlines now that it has occurred. But, despite the frenzy, it’s an open question whether we should care. As citizens, we certainly should. As investors—no. 

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Monthly Market Risk Update: December 2019

December 12, 2019

My colleague Sam Millette, senior investment research analyst 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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Navigating the Capital Gains Distribution Season

December 11, 2019

Today’s post is from Brian Price, Commonwealth’s senior vice president of investment management and research.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: December 2019

December 10, 2019

My colleague Sam Millette, senior investment research analyst 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: Jobs Report Beats Expectations

December 9, 2019

Last week, we saw a number of important economic updates as we kicked off December. Business confidence fell unexpectedly last month, but a better-than-expected jobs report and increased consumer confidence bode well for future growth. This will be a relatively quiet week for economic updates, with November’s inflation figures and the retail sales report highlighting the release calendar.

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Show Me the Money! Private Markets and Alternative Investments

December 6, 2019

Today’s post is brought to you by Rob Kane, a senior investment research analyst on Commonwealth’s Investment Management and Research team. Over to you, Rob!

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November 2019 Jobs Report Preview

December 5, 2019

As I mentioned yesterday, one of the key data points that will determine whether we get a recession sometime next year is whether job growth continues. Tomorrow, we get the November 2019 jobs report. This report is a big one—not only for the economic impact but also for the potential market impact on whether we will really see a Santa Claus rally.

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A Look Back at the Markets in November and Ahead to December 2019

December 4, 2019

November was a great month for U.S. markets, with the S&P 500 up by 3.63 percent, the Dow up by 4.11 percent, and the Nasdaq up by 4.64 percent. All three indices are now up by more than 20 percent for the year. As we celebrated Thanksgiving, we had a lot to be thankful for. The news abroad wasn’t as good. But it also wasn’t as bad as the headlines might have suggested, as developed markets were up by 1.13 percent and emerging markets were down by just 0.13 percent. Given the headlines, those results are also pretty good.

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Market Thoughts for December 2019 [Video]

December 3, 2019

November was another great month for U.S. markets, although international markets didn’t fare as well. Still, the news was positive given the worrying headlines on the Hong Kong riots and the ongoing trade dispute. Here in the U.S., consumer confidence remained at a strong level, and business confidence bounced back. Plus, job growth beat expectations, and new home sales were up.

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Appearance on CNBC's The Exchange, December 2, 2019 [Video]

December 3, 2019

What should we expect from the markets in 2020? Yesterday, I appeared on CNBC's The Exchange to discuss this and much more.

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Monday Update: Third-Quarter GDP Growth Beats Expectations

December 2, 2019

Last week was filled with economic updates, as we finished out the month of November. The highlight was the second estimate of third-quarter GDP growth, which showed faster economic growth than previously reported. This week, data releases will focus on business and consumer confidence, international trade, and November’s employment report.

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