Another Look at the Dollar: The Fed and Interest Rates

July 29, 2020

One of the reasons behind the recent decline of the dollar is reportedly the fact that the Fed has largely committed to keeping rates low—the market believes—forever. Looking at the yield curve, the 30-year Treasury rates are at 1.22 percent as I write this. With rates that low, the value of the dollar would certainly take a hit if other central banks raised rates.

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The Dollar Is Not Collapsing

July 28, 2020

We have returned to that point in the cycle where the dollar starts moving down and the doomsayers come out of the woodwork. As the headlines have begun to point out the decline of the dollar in recent months, worries have started to rise. In fact, if you look at the chart for the most recent couple of months, you can see where these headlines are coming from.

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Signs of Stabilization on the Pandemic Front

July 23, 2020

The good news this week is that things are about the same as they were last week. The reason this is good news is that things had been getting worse. So, this stabilization represents progress. It also indicates that, in many states, outbreaks are being contained, as expected.

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Q2 2020 Earnings: Terrible, But Still Positive

July 22, 2020

While it is still early days, with only 9 percent of S&P 500 companies reporting as of the end of last week, the initial earnings reports seem to show that things are still not good. According to FactSet, quarterly earnings are down, so far, by 44 percent. If this number holds, it would be the second-worst quarterly drop since the end of 2008 during the financial crisis. Scary news—but not unexpected.

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Where Is Value Now?

July 21, 2020

Brad here. “Value” is an often-mentioned word, but few people have really considered what it means in the context of the whole economy. A short while ago, Pete Essele, one of Commonwealth’s most senior portfolio managers, wrote a post for this blog in which he discusses value investing and its underperformance. That was the first part of the story. Here, he takes a deeper look at why that underperformance happened—with very interesting implications for the future. Take it away, Pete!

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So Far, Medical Risks Not Derailing Economic Recovery

July 16, 2020

This week’s update is somewhat worse than last week’s. Medical risks are still rising. Outbreaks in several states (notably, Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas) continued to get worse, even as other states began showing faster outbreaks.

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Are Localized Viral Outbreaks Turning into a National Threat?

July 9, 2020

This week’s coronavirus update is pretty much the same as last week’s. The medical risks are still rising. Outbreaks in several states (notably, Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas) have continued to get worse. All have shown significant spikes in cases in recent days, and health care capacity is now a concern in some cities. Further, multiple other states are also seeing expanded case growth, although not yet at the levels of those four. At the national level, as of July 9, the number of new cases broke above 60,000 for the first time, and the daily spread rate is now at 2 percent per day. Similarly, even as the number of tests continues to rise, the positive rate is also increasing. The breadth and magnitude of the outbreaks continue to increase the risk at a national level.

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