The Independent Market Observer

Sam Millette

Sam Millette is director, fixed income, on the Investment Management and Research team at Commonwealth. With the firm since 2013, he manages the fixed income research team, responds to advisor requests, analyzes individual bonds, and authors market research and commentary. Sam graduated from Tufts University with a degree in economics and is a member of the CFA Society Boston.

Recent Posts

Economic Release Snapshot: Inflation Comes in Hot in January

February 20, 2024

Each week, we break down the latest U.S. economic reports, including what the results mean for the overall health of the economy. Here, you will find how economists’ forecasts compare with actual results, key takeaways to consider, as well as a list of what’s on tap for the week ahead.

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Monthly Market Risk Update: February 2024 [SlideShare]

February 14, 2024

Equity markets continued to rally in January, as all three major U.S. indices were up for the month. The S&P 500 gained 1.68 percent to start the year, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.31 percent. The Nasdaq Composite lagged its peers, as the technology-heavy index gained 1.04 percent in January. While these were smaller gains than those at the end of 2023, this still marked three consecutive months of positive returns for all three indices.

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Economic Release Snapshot: Service Sector Confidence Improves in January

February 12, 2024

Each week, we break down the latest U.S. economic reports, including what the results mean for the overall health of the economy. Here, you will find how economists’ forecasts compare with actual results, key takeaways to consider, as well as a list of what’s on tap for the week ahead.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: February 2024 [SlideShare]

February 7, 2024

January’s reports showed solid economic growth to start the year. Hiring accelerated, as 353,000 jobs were added in January following an upwardly revised 333,000 new jobs in December. Consumer confidence and service sector confidence also improved to start the year.

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Economic Release Snapshot: Hiring Surges in January

February 5, 2024

Each week, we break down the latest U.S. economic reports, including what the results mean for the overall health of the economy. Here, you will find how economists’ forecasts compare with actual results, key takeaways to consider, as well as a list of what’s on tap for the week ahead.

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Economic Release Snapshot: Economic Growth Beats Expectations

January 29, 2024

Each week, we break down the latest U.S. economic reports, including what the results mean for the overall health of the economy. Here, you will find how economists’ forecasts compare with actual results, key takeaways to consider, as well as a list of what’s on tap for the week ahead.

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Economic Release Snapshot: Consumer Sentiment Soars in January

January 22, 2024

Each week, we break down the latest U.S. economic reports, including what the results mean for the overall health of the economy. Here, you will find how economists’ forecasts compare with actual results, key takeaways to consider, as well as a list of what’s on tap for the week ahead.

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Monthly Market Risk Update: January 2024 [SlideShare]

January 17, 2024

Equity markets continued to rally in December, with all three major U.S. indices up for the month. The S&P 500 gained 4.54 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 4.93 percent in December. The Nasdaq Composite led the way as the technology-heavy index gained 5.85 percent. Falling interest rates supported higher valuations during the month, leading to positive returns for stocks.

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Economic Release Snapshot: Mixed December Inflation Reports

January 16, 2024

Each week, we break down the latest U.S. economic reports, including what the results mean for the overall health of the economy. Here, you will find how economists’ forecasts compare with actual results, key takeaways to consider, as well as a list of what’s on tap for the week ahead.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: January 2024 [SlideShare]

January 10, 2024

The reports released in December showed solid economic growth to finish the year. Hiring accelerated, as 217,000 jobs were added in December against 179,000 jobs in November. Consumer confidence also improved notably, but service sector confidence fell. The yield curve inversion widened again in December, marking two consecutive months of an increasing inversion.

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The information on this website is intended for informational/educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice, a solicitation, or a recommendation to buy or sell any security or investment product. Please contact your financial professional for more information specific to your situation.

Certain sections of this commentary contain forward-looking statements that are based on our reasonable expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.

The S&P 500 Index is a broad-based measurement of changes in stock market conditions based on the average performance of 500 widely held common stocks. All indices are unmanaged and investors cannot invest directly in an index.

The MSCI EAFE (Europe, Australia, Far East) Index is a free float‐adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets, excluding the U.S. and Canada. The MSCI EAFE Index consists of 21 developed market country indices.

One basis point (bp) is equal to 1/100th of 1 percent, or 0.01 percent.

The VIX (CBOE Volatility Index) measures the market’s expectation of 30-day volatility across a wide range of S&P 500 options.

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