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Unemployment Ticks Down, Business Closures Rise, and Is a New Bubble On the Rise in Stock Valuations?

Unemployment Ticks Down, Business Closures Rise, and Is a New Bubble On the Rise in Stock Valuations?

After climbing slightly through August, new unemployment claims ticked down last week. We’re far from out of the woods though as permanent business closures continue across the country. And as the Fed now intends to keep rates at historic lows through at least 2023, it may be time to move beyond traditional allocation methods like the 60/40 portfolio. Do you have an alternative in place?

Debunking Some Bunk: Is September Really That Bad a Month?

Debunking Some Bunk: Is September Really That Bad a Month?

Sometimes our industry grabs on to a concept and cannot let it go. Is September the worst month from a performance standpoint? Does it almost always go down? Should one avoid the markets in September? Let’s take a quick look.

U.S. Manufacturing Growth Slows, Trends in the S&P 500, and the Fed Slows Asset Purchases

U.S. Manufacturing Growth Slows, Trends in the S&P 500, and the Fed Slows Asset Purchases

Though manufacturing activity remains strong in New York, national growth fell below expectations last month as momentum slows in the face of natural disasters and the ongoing battle against the coronavirus. And while the big have certainly gotten bigger in the S&P 500® Index, do the new follow the same pattern? Finally, after a historic wave of asset purchases that effectively stabilized yields, the Fed is easing off the gas pedal. Will Chairman Powell reveal any significant new insights when he speaks this afternoon?

Unemployment Climbs, Market Movement Picks Up Speed, and Gold is Approaching a Breakout Point

Unemployment Climbs, Market Movement Picks Up Speed, and Gold is Approaching a Breakout Point

After establishing a fairly stable downward trend since April, initial claims for unemployment benefits are again on the rise. If they haven’t already, homeowners may want to grab a drink—while suppliers are still well stocked—and take advantage of the 30-year mortgage rate, which just slid to a record low of 2.86%. Finally, as the mega-caps push the speed of market movement to new heights and gold approaches a breakout point, equities are sending more and more reminders of the millennium era.

A Historical View of Job Recovery, Pandemic-Era Spending Trends, and Checking in on Commodities

A Historical View of Job Recovery, Pandemic-Era Spending Trends, and Checking in on Commodities

While we saw some good news on payrolls heading into Labor Day weekend, the U.S. still has a long way to go to hit a full recovery. Over the last 60 years, post-recession job recovery has taken 30 months on average… and the 2020 job losses were anything but average. Curbed credit card spending has been one popular response to tightening purse strings, while over in the business sector leading trends include reducing office space and taking on loans to stay afloat. We’ll be keeping an eye on the consequences for banks, the real estate sector, and earnings. Checking in on commodities, oil prices just suffered their worst day since May as travel remains minimal and the Saudis issue a price cut, but industrial metals are getting a boost from strong demand in China. The demand is perhaps not surprising, given China’s climbing exports and global market share…

The Market Rout, ‘Double Dips,’ and the U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls Below 10%

The Market Rout, ‘Double Dips,’ and the U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls Below 10%

The U.S. unemployment rate fell below 10% for the first tine since March last month, but a politicized process—and a week-over-week rise in new claims—is undercutting confidence in the recovery. Equities had their own crisis of confidence yesterday with Big Tech leading the major U.S. indices to their sharpest losses in months—is it just a natural (and healthy) pullback or a sign of trouble ahead? And global manufacturing has fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels, but is it sustainable when second waves of infection are taking hold and many economists are bracing for a “double-dip” recession?

The Future of Inflation, the Manufacturing Recovery, and the Sinking USD PE at 20-year High, and the Sinking USD

The Future of Inflation, the Manufacturing Recovery, and the Sinking USD PE at 20-year High, and the Sinking USD

The U.S. goods trade deficit surged 11.7% to $79.3 billion in July—the second largest deficit on record—as imports climb back to pre-pandemic levels on recovering consumer demand. Meanwhile, as U.S. equities move to wrap up their best August since the 1980’s today, thanks largely to the tech mega-caps, stocks remain extremely expensive in yet another reminder of 1999. And as the bond market continues to inch back toward “normal,” the sinking USD is giving a boost to commodity prices. Could it ultimately benefit U.S. exports too?

U.S. Trade Deficit Approaches Record, Trailing PE at 20-year High, and the Sinking USD

U.S. Trade Deficit Approaches Record, Trailing PE at 20-year High, and the Sinking USD

The U.S. goods trade deficit surged 11.7% to $79.3 billion in July—the second largest deficit on record—as imports climb back to pre-pandemic levels on recovering consumer demand. Meanwhile, as U.S. equities move to wrap up their best August since the 1980’s today, thanks largely to the tech mega-caps, stocks remain extremely expensive in yet another reminder of 1999. And as the bond market continues to inch back toward “normal,” the sinking USD is giving a boost to commodity prices. Could it ultimately benefit U.S. exports too?

Durable Goods Orders Jump, and Tech’s Massive Growth & Its Implications on Sector Weightings

Durable Goods Orders Jump, and Tech’s Massive Growth & Its Implications on Sector Weightings

Durable goods orders—excluding transportation—grew for the third month in a row in July after significant contraction during the early days of the Covid-19 crisis, indicating a renewed openness from consumers to long-term capital investments. While much of the overall durable goods spike was thanks to new auto sales, the 2.4% ex-transportation bump is largely attributable to strong home sales as the suburban migration continues in an enduring work-from-home era trend.