Commentary

Trump Wins: A First Take On The Economic And Market Outlook

Trump’s victory may be a positive for the US economy, but the wild car is Trump’s stance on free trade. Trump’s policy proposals for lower regulation and lower taxes could be highly stimulative to the US economy. The biggest uncertainty for future economic growth relate to his trade policy and whether Congress will be able to temper the more extreme aspects of his proposals.

Commentary

Fed?s Inflation Target Misguided? Good vs. Bad Disinflation

For more than a year the Federal Reserve Board has cited inflation below its targeted 2% level as one justification for maintaining its extraordinarily accommodative monetary stance. As of February, the core inflation rate was 1.1%, based on the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) inflation series, the Fed?s preferred measure of inflation. But there is good reason to question whether the 2% target justifies current policy.
Commentary

The U.S. Begins an (Un)employment Experiment

Extended unemployment benefits stopped for 1.3 million people at year-end. This doesnt change their employment status...they just stop getting unemployment compensation. Extended benefits (of up to 99 weeks) was part of the recession-fighting fiscal stimulus package. A question was: did this create a dis-incentive to find a job (aka "funemployment").
Commentary

Looking Beyond the Initial Fed Taper

Can the Fed be believed or trusted? Pioneers Sam Wardwell analyzes the tension between data dependency and forward guidance in Fed policy.
Commentary

2013 A Pretty Good Year

This time last year we were bullish about equities and positive on the slow but steady strengthening of the economy. The market did not disappoint. The economy was almost heroic, you might say, with its performance enduring government sequestrations and higher taxes almost a 2% drag on GDP but comporting with our expectations of 2 - 2.5% growth. 2013 is ending with GDP and the markets coming fairly close to what we thought theyd achieve. Now the year is almost out, so lets take stock of 2013 but look ahead to 2014.
Commentary

Where Have All the Savings Gone?

The last six years have witnessed the most severe financial crisis since the end of World War II, with household earning capacity and saving ability experiencing significant changes due to the downturn in the real economies. This challenging economic situation definitely affected household saving behavior, although the impact has been different in various countries - for some, the impact on household earning capacity was more intense than others.
Commentary

What Will 2014 Bring for The Equity Markets?

As the year draws to a close, investors are searching for clues as to what may be in store for the economy and markets in 2014. What have we learned from the markets in the month of November? Honestly, not very much. The scenario has not changed much in the last 30 days.
Commentary

The Fed is Playing Hamlet to the Markets

To taper or not to taper-that is the question the Fed is asking itself. Whats moving the market is (it appears) the odds of Fed action. For the first half of last week, "good news was bad news" as stock and bond markets apparently interpreted better economic data as suggesting an earlier QE (Quantitative Easing) Taper. On Friday, the market apparently decided the jobs report was good enough to further reduce downside risks to the economy but not strong enough to spur the Fed to action.
Commentary

U.S. Economy Slowly Gaining Traction - What's Ahead for Year-End?

As we enter the final month of 2013, my themes of the last several weeks continue - the capital markets, in general, remain quiet and U.S. economic data, while mixed, shows signs of steady improvement. This week, Ill start by looking forward to some news well be watching as the year closes out...
Commentary

What is the Current Market Reality?

At this years Global Investment Forum, the discussion among Pioneer investment professionals was generally positive. Of course, everyone was conscious of the current market reality: that the major force behind recent positive, though benign, market trends is the unprecedented creation of liquidity and extremely loose stance of monetary policies around the world. Monetary policy alone cannot be the only conduit to a new economic model of income growth and job creation.
Commentary

Yellen's Testimony Not Surprising: Fed Has More Work to Do

Janet Yellens Senate testimony in last weeks confirmation hearings was very dovish and offered no real surprises. She did not signal or hint at any change in Fed policy (it was a confirmation hearing), but suggested that the best way to achieve an exit from unconventional policy is to deliver a stronger recovery . . . and the Fed has "more work to do" to support that recovery. The risk that she will not be confirmed is considered negligible.
Commentary

New Fed Papers Foreshadow a Dovish Fed Policy Under Yellen

New Fed Papers Foreshadow a Dovish Fed Policy Under Yellen Two new Fed papers presented at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) argue for prompt lobbying for continued aggressive monetary policy, but suggest prompt tapering of quantitative easing (QE) and more emphasis on forward guidance. The assumption is that these papers would not have been released if Janet Yellen intended to push policy in a different direction . . . and they reinforce the message of papers released at Jackson Hole this summer, suggesting that QE wasnt acting as effective economic stimulus.
Commentary

Taking Stock in the Economy

Now is a good time to take stock in the current macro environment from a market perspective. Heres what we think could happen at the end of this year and next year.
Commentary

Is This the New Normal'?

Markets Settle into a New Normal All sorts of economic data were released last week, but volatility has dropped: rightly or wrongly, market forecasts about the pace of quantitative easing (QE) and earnings growth in the U.S. appear to have coalesced around an outlook for slow growth with ongoing QE.
Commentary

Washington Strikes a No-Surprise Deal - Now What?

Congress called a time-out in the budget/debt fight last week, striking a deal to avoid default and fund the U.S. government through January 15, 2014 and raise the debt limit through February 7, 2014. While the parties agreed to budget talks, they did not commit to reaching an agreement (technically, Paul Ryan and Patty Murray, the House and Senate budget committee chairs will begin a process of fiscal negotiations, due to wrap up by mid-December).