The Independent Market Observer

Economic Risk Factor Update: September 2021

September 8, 2021

My colleague Sam Millette, manager, fixed income 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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Economic Risk Factor Update: August 2021

August 10, 2021

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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Economic Risk Factor Update: July 2021

July 9, 2021

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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Monthly Market Risk Update: June 2021

June 9, 2021

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!

Equity markets started off strong in May, but volatility later in the month led to a partial pullback. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) indices both hit all-time highs earlier in the month before suffering from volatility. Despite the turbulence along the way, the S&P 500 gained 0.70 percent during the month, and the DJIA saw a solid 2.21 percent return. The Nasdaq Composite fell by 1.44 percent, as the heavy technology weighting led to additional volatility for the index.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: June 2021

June 8, 2021

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!

The economic recovery picked up steam in May, driven by continued improvements on the public health front and ongoing reopening efforts across the country. Improving business confidence was a highlight, as service sector confidence set a record high. The May employment report showed that the pace of hiring accelerated following a lull in April, although headline job growth came in below economist estimates.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: May 2021

May 12, 2021

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!

The economic recovery continued in April, driven by improvements on the public health front and the lingering tailwind from the most recent federal stimulus bill. Consumer confidence surged during the month, highlighting increased optimism from consumers for a return to more normal economic conditions throughout the year. Service sector confidence fell slightly in April but remains near record territory. The weakest data point was employment, with April’s employment report showing a significant drop in job growth. Although it marked four consecutive months with job growth, the drop called into question how sustainable recent job growth might be.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: April 2021

April 14, 2021

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!

The economic recovery continued to pick up steam in March, driven by public health improvements and the federal stimulus checks that reached bank accounts during the month. All of the major indicators we track in this piece showed improvement, with rising service sector and consumer confidence coinciding with faster job growth and a continued normalization of interest rates.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: March 2021

March 10, 2021

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!

The economic recovery picked up speed in February, driven by public health improvements and the federal stimulus checks that reached bank accounts. We saw a positive turnaround in consumer confidence and spending figures, along with an acceleration in hiring. We also saw signs of continuing normalization of long-term interest rates, which is a positive signal that the economic recovery remains on track.

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Monthly Market Risk Update: February 2021

February 12, 2021

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!

Markets took a breather in January, as month-end volatility led to a mixed month for major equity indices to start the year. This volatility caused the S&P 500 to decline by 1.01 percent during the month, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.95 percent. The Nasdaq Composite managed to record a 1.44 percent gain. While we have seen markets largely recover to start February, the month-end volatility is a good reminder of the risks markets continue to face.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: February 2021

February 10, 2021

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!

The economy showed moderate growth in January, despite the lingering headwind of the third wave of the pandemic. There were signs toward month-end that federal stimulus and an improving public health picture started to have a positive impact on the economic recovery, with a return to job growth and increases in business and consumer confidence. Reflecting the improvements, long-term interest rates also began to show signs of normalization.

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