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Fireside Charts 5.31.18

May 31, 2018

Several charts on the economic and political turmoil in Europe kick off this post as the Italian yield curve flattens significantly; a visual on how more than any other high-income nation, Italy takes from the poor and gives to the rich; plus, an update on the US trade policy as we explore the potential impact on GDP of the latest proposed China tariffs, and a view on Q1 earnings. 

Fireside Charts 5.29.18

May 29, 2018

In today's Fireside Charts we provide updates on the S&P indices showing small-cap continued leadership, a view of the rising dollar, and domestic and European bond yields. Despite the dollar's strength, commodities like gold and crude oil are still performing well. Italy's current political crisis is now showing up in the markets and could have devastating effects on the European economy. 

Fireside Charts 5.25.18 - Bonus Friday!

May 25, 2018

This Bonus Friday, both "soft" and "hard" data point to strong GDP growth this quarter, and Germany and Europe struggle for a number of reasons such as weaker inflation. Also included is a year-to-date performance of EM currencies and an update on Japanese economic indicators from wages to inflation to the aging population.


As the holiday weekend is upon us, we remember and honor the fallen and all those who have ...

The Players Behind a 401(k) Plan

May 24, 2018

Building and maintaining 401(k) plans require a comprehensive array of administrative and investment professionals. They are subject to many rules and regulations from not just the DOL, but from the SEC, and now possibly FINRA too. Do you know the specific roles and duties of the "players" involved in a 401(k) plan? Many advisors, plan sponsors, let alone plan participants, do not. 

Fireside Charts 5.23.18

May 23, 2018

What factors drove the GDP growth over the past few years, where is the smart money going and how are the S&P 500 sectors reacting to rising rates? Find out in today's Fireside chats as well as more information on the currency crisis in Venezuela and its neighboring countries, plus freight shipments and expenditures reactions to rising rates.

Fireside Charts 5.21.18

May 21, 2018

Factories are hiring rapidly to keep up with the demand in our first chart covering the "prices paid" index. We share further updates on consumer debt and more specifically student loan delinquency rates. The trade-weighted renminbi keeps climbing with the dollar as the Nikkei has been up 8 weeks in a row in a Japanese growth spurt. 

The Pulse on the Defined Contribution World

May 17, 2018

The 2018 Annual DC Pulse Survey (by Blackrock and Market Strategies International) findings are in. In an effort to align the concerns and needs of plan sponsors and participants alike, we have compiled some of the findings that we think need immediate attention from our industry in this infographic. 

Fireside Charts 5.16.18

May 16, 2018

The economic climate is not well in neighboring South America as currency indicators tumble. Rising mortgage rates hit a multi-year high this week and as oil prices rise, we see a staggering amount of growth comparatively from years past in energy price and rig count. 

Fireside Charts 5.14.18

May 14, 2018

Steel scrap, lumber and other commodities see significant price increases as effects of tariffs have started to show up in the data. We follow the Baltic Dry Shipping Index, among other updates on freight transportation. A snapshot of online spending behavior confirms how the U.S. continues to move away from brick and mortar and a chart on investing in cryptocurrencies underlines the extreme downside for the average investor as a result of hackers. 

Fireside Charts 5.9.18

May 9, 2018

Americans are more incentivized than ever to repay their credit card loans because the rates are now well above the post-recession levels. The current economic expansion is now the second longest on record, but is the U.S. dollar's recent rise starting to weigh on oil? 

Fireside Charts 5.7.18

May 7, 2018

Notice anything different? Welcome back to Fireside Charts from BCM's Bird's Eye View Blog! We may have renamed our dedicated chart posts, but don't fret! All the insightful and informative chart data is still included.


In today's post, momentum outperforms the rest of its factor counterparts as Q1 earnings barely affected Q2 estimates. The U.S. dollar did end up breaking to the upside as we speculated last week. Economic indicators such as bank lending and manufacturing are showing healthy signs, with more ...

Market Highlights in Charts 5.4.18 - Bonus Friday!

May 4, 2018

The dollar continues to rise up as the Fed's policy diverges from much of the world. Several charts on oil show that not only is production increasing, but also taking in more light crudeAs expected, the US trade deficit improved as imports slowed. Finally, foreign demand for Treasuries has slowed.

Market Highlights in Charts 5.2.18

May 2, 2018

Rising wages and climbing energy costs are beginning to show up in the data and corporate margins have shown significant improvement post Q1. In other news, BBB type credit is a growing component of the global investment-grade indices which is likely going undetected by many investors. Another chart in today's' post points to the socioeconomic trends of aging populations.