Todd Stottlemyre on Mastering the Art of Being an Observer
Kat Van Slyke, the protagonist in my guest’s new novel, is a woman living a seemingly wonderful life. She runs a thriving apparel business that she built herself. She has a son who is a budding baseball star, and a role model in her father, who was once a star major league player. She lives in a fancy condominium, travels by private jet and has an expensive vacation home. But through a series of events, most of which were of her own making, her life quickly unravels. In that downward spiral, she learns many important lessons about business, family and life.
CPI and PCE: Two Measures of Inflation and Fed Policy
The BEA's Core Personal Consumption Expenditures Chain-type Price Index for January, released last week, shows that core inflation is below the Federal Reserve's 2% long-term target at 1.53%. The January Core Consumer Price Index release is currently lower, at 1.41%. The Fed is on record as using Core PCE data as its primary inflation gauge.
Coming Out of COVID-19: A Look at Interest Rates and Inflation in Europe
There is hope that economies will see a more sustainable and robust recovery this year, given unprecedented levels of monetary and fiscal stimulus and as more individuals are vaccinated against COVID-19. But one question for investors is what happens next—will inflation and higher interest rates be a consequence?
Are Inflation Fears Justified?
In the near term, markets should not be too worried about a possible spike in demand driving up inflation and interest rates, causing asset prices to fall across the board. But longer-term inflation risks are skewed much more to the upside than many investors and policymakers seem to realize.
Understanding Fat Tail Returns
Much statistical analysis in finance depends on the assumption that variables have normal distributions. This assumption is far from correct. As a result, as Nassim Nicholas Taleb has rightly pointed out, most statistical results in finance are wrong. Now, a disciple of Taleb has tried to extend Taleb’s research by relating it to an obscure mathematical concept.
February ISM Manufacturing Index: Continued Expansion
This morning the Institute for Supply Management published its monthly Manufacturing Report for February. The latest headline Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) was 60.8, an increase of 2.1 from 58.7 the previous month and in expansion territory. Today's headline number was above the Investing.com forecast of 58.8 percent.
February Markit Manufacturing: "Production growth near six-year peak but price gauge highest since 2011"
The February US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index conducted by Markit came in at 58.6, down 0.6 from the 59.2 final January figure. Markit's Manufacturing PMI is a diffusion index: A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector; below 50 indicates contraction.
How to Illustrate Planning Risks to Clients
Clients face three big risks in retirement from the sequence of returns, volatility and asset shortfalls. Michael Hirthler, the founder and chief investment officer at Pennsylvania-based Jacobi Capital Management, explained to me how he uses the Big Picture app to explain those risks to his clients.
Powell Changes The Rules On QE
The markets took a tumble to start this week as rising interest rates and inflationary pressures begin to weigh on outlooks. Those worries quickly diminished as Jerome Powell changed the rules to reassure Wall Street that “QE” is here to stay.
Government Bond Yields Have Surged, but Real Yields Are at Zero
Yields have jumped so much, in fact, that they’re giving stocks a serious run for their money. The 10-year yield is now higher than the S&P 500 dividend yield, which may have added to the selling pressure that cost stocks close to 2.5% yesterday.
February Moving Averages: Up 2.6% from January
Valid until the market close on March 31, 2021.
The S&P 500 closed February with a monthly gain of 2.61% after a loss of 1.11% in January. At this point, after close on the last day of the month, four of five S&P 500 strategies are signaling "invested" — Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF (VEU), Vanguard REIT Index ETF (VNQ), and Invesco DB Commodity Index Tracking (DBC) — unchanged from last month's quadruple "invested" signal.
America's Driving Habits as of December 2020
"Travel on all roads and streets changed by -10.3% (-28.1 billion vehicle miles) for December 2020 as compared with December 2019. Travel for the month is estimated to be 244.1 billion vehicle miles." The 12-month moving average was down 0.98% month-over-month and down 13.2% year-over-year. If we factor in population growth, the 12-month MA of the civilian population-adjusted data (age 16-and-over) was down 1.04% month-over-month and down 13.5% year-over-year.
What To Do Before The Tech Bubble Bursts
For the last year or two big tech has been hot, so has new tech. For prudence sake, it might be time to take a little money off the table. No one can time the market, and the bubble has risen far further and for a lot longer than any rational person could have predicted.
Can Mario Draghi Recharge Italy’s Economy?
Italy’s new prime minister, Mario Draghi, has a well-earned reputation for turning around difficult situations. But can he reverse Italy’s relative economic decline? And what does his program mean for Italian bond yields?
The Birth of Global Tech Continues
From cloud computing and automation to self-driving cars, technology continues to be one of the world’s hottest sectors. Our Chief Market Strategist Stephen Dover and Portfolio Managers Donald Huber and John Remmert believe active investing in technology and innovation is a global story, and government support and spending in next-generation technologies is likely a long-term positive.
The Minimum Wage and the Cost of Living
President Biden’s coronavirus stimulus package has the intention of flooding the economy with money at a time when economic growth is sputtering. Ironically, it contains one provision likely to create exactly the opposite of what he intends: raising the national minimum wage from $7.25 to $15.00 per hour.
Michigan Consumer Sentiment: February Final Slightly Lower
The February Final came in at 76.8, down 2.2 from the January Final. Investing.com had forecast 76.5. Since its beginning in 1978, consumer sentiment is 10.9 percent below the average reading (arithmetic mean) and 9.9 percent below the geometric mean.
The Big Four: Real Personal Income in January
Personal Income (excluding Transfer Receipts) in January fell 0.14% and is down 0.6% year-over-year. However, when adjusted for inflation using the BEA's PCE Price Index, Real Personal Income (excluding Transfer Receipts) MoM was down 0.48%. The real number is down 2.0% year-over-year.
Harvard Critics Ask Supreme Court to Ban Race in Admissions
Opponents of Harvard College’s affirmative action policies asked the Supreme Court to bar colleges from using race as an admissions factor, setting up what could be a defining showdown for higher education and the court’s conservative majority.
Real Disposable Income Per Capita in January, CARES Act 2.0
With the release of this morning's report on January Personal Incomes and Outlays, we can now take a closer look at "Real" Disposable Personal Income Per Capita. At two decimal places, the nominal 11.33% month-over-month change in disposable income is cut to 10.95% when we adjust for inflation. This is an increase from last month's 0.55% nominal and 0.18% real increases last month. The year-over-year metrics are 14.38% nominal and 12.74% real. Increases can be attributed to the second round of funds distributions through the CARES Act.
PCE Price Index: January Core at 1.53%
The BEA's Personal Income and Outlays report for January was published this morning by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The latest Headline PCE price index was up 0.34% month-over-month (MoM) and is up 1.45% year-over-year (YoY). Core PCE is now at 1.53%, below the Fed's 2% target rate.
Minisode - A Platform for Investing in the Private Markets
PPB Capital Partners is a platform to access alternative funds with investment minimums as low as $100,000 and no sales charges or platform fees. It was launched in July of 2008, meaning that it successfully navigated the 2008 financial crisis. PPB has successfully invested in over 250 funds and it is actively working with over 100 private wealth firms around the U.S., with nearly $2 billion in capital commitments. PPB delivers a process to operationally streamline the often complicated and onerous process of investing in the private markets.
The Greatest Possible Stimulus
After receiving the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus from China, it took Moderna just two days (two days!!) to generate the sequence of the vaccine. In less than a month, they produced the first clinical batch of the mRNA-1273 vaccine that has now seen tens of millions of doses distributed.
February Regional Fed Manufacturing Overview
Five out of the twelve Federal Reserve Regional Districts currently publish monthly data on regional manufacturing: Dallas, Kansas City, New York, Richmond, and Philadelphia. The latest average of the five for February is 18.1, up from the previous month's 13.6. It is well below its all-time high of 25.1, set in May 2004.
Why Core? Finding Opportunities in the Securitized Market
Join Henry Song, portfolio manager for the Diamond Hill Core Bond and Short Duration Securitized Bond strategies for a discussion about opportunities in the investment-grade fixed income market including a breakdown of the securitized markets and the importance of looking beyond the benchmark for investments in investment-grade fixed income.
Mr. Song will also offer his insights into the importance of maintaining an allocation to core fixed income as a key component of an asset allocation.
Pulling Up the Inflation Anchor
Rather than worrying about the prospects of higher long-term expected inflation, the US Federal Reserve is exuding confidence that it can maintain price stability should the need ever arise. It should think again, before the inflation genie has escaped from the bottle.
Q4 GDP Second Estimate: Real GDP at 4.1%
The Second Estimate for Q4 GDP, to one decimal, came in at 4.1% (4.09% to two decimal places), a decrease from 33.4% (33.444% to two decimal places) for the Q3 Third Estimate and a slight increase from the Q4 Advance Estimate of 4.0%. Investing.com had a consensus of 4.2%.