The markets continue their upward trend, supported by accommodative fiscal policy from the Federal Reserve, strong gross domestic product (GDP) numbers and solid earnings reports.
Chief Economist Scott Brown discusses the latest market data.
Today marks 100 days since President Biden was sworn into office, a time often referred to as the ‘honeymoon period’ for a new president’s tenure.
Review the latest Weekly Headings by CIO Larry Adam.
Review the latest portfolio strategy commentary from Mike Gibbs, managing director of Equity Portfolio & Technical Strategy.
Chief Economist Scott Brown discusses current economic conditions.
On Monday, the Treasury Department is expected to report a March budget deficit of about $658 billion, bringing the 12-month total to nearly $4.1 trillion, about 19% of GDP. Proponents argue that the added spending, with more to come, will help to ensure the recovery.
As a backdrop, we’ll bring a bit of scientific language to our analysis this quarter as we celebrate the amazing feats of our scientific brothers and sisters.
As the pandemic recedes and the economy reopens, we can expect strong job growth in the months ahead.
Economic data rarely follow a smooth path. Weather and external events have effects.
As expected, the Federal Open Market Committee left short-term interest rates unchanged and did not alter its monthly pace of asset purchases.
What sustained low interest rates could mean for the economy and your wallet.
In an online discussion, Fed Chair Powell repeated that the central bank is a long way from achieving its inflation and employment goals (implying no change in short-term rates or the money pace of asset purchases anytime soon).
Long-term interest rates have continued to rise. While part of the increase has been fed by inflation fears, those concerns are overdone.
Though rising yields may be indicative of an economic recovery, market volatility and inflationary fear could produce future hurdles.
Despite the recent weakness in equities, Raymond James CIO Larry Adam expects positive stock growth over the next 12 months.
The details of the January Producer Price Index showed a further surge in prices of raw materials. Breakeven inflation rates (the yield spread between inflation-adjusted Treasuries and fixed-rate Treasuries) have continued to move higher.
For a variety of reasons, many investors are worried about higher inflation. While we may see reflation (a pickup in prices that were restrained due to the pandemic), a significant increase in underlying inflation appears unlikely.
The U.S. economy lost 2.77 million jobs in the initial estimate for January, which is on par with what we saw a year ago (-2.79 million). Seasonally adjusted, this was recorded as a 49,000 gain (with private-sector payrolls up just 6,000).
With the previous week’s short-squeeze headlines behind us, investors remained optimistic about a fiscal support package, which passed the Senate by a vote of 51-50, with Vice President Harris breaking the tie.
February begins with a stack of important economic scorecards. Among them are the last of the fourth-quarter corporate earnings reports, last week’s assessment of the 2020 gross domestic product (GDP), unemployment figures, consumer spending, as well as all the other regular reports that give us a snapshot of our recent economic history.
Real GDP rose at a 4.0% annual rate in the advance estimate for 4Q20, a much more moderate pace of recovery than was seen in the third quarter. Details were mixed, but consumer spending showed a significant loss of momentum and monthly figures reflected weakness in November and December.
As expected, the new administration has hit the ground running. In his first two days in office, President Biden issued executive orders which rescinded a number of previous directives or were aimed at ending the pandemic and easing the pandemic’s economic impact.
Judging by recent phone calls and email queries, inflation is a serious concern among investors this year.
For stock market participants, weak economic data has often been taken as a positive, since that implies more fiscal stimulus. However, investors have grown more concerned about possible stumbling blocks. Democratic majorities in the House and Senate are very narrow, some lawmakers are worried about running up the debt, and the window for bipartisan agreement may be short.
What can investors expect this year? Positive (but unsteady) economic growth, a powerful boost in earnings and continued success for information technology stocks, says Raymond James Chief Investment Officer Larry Adam.
The December Employment Report reflected an impact from the pandemic surge and further job losses in state and local government, but wasn’t bad otherwise.
Raymond James Chief Economist Dr. Scott Brown reflects on the trials and tribulations of 2020 and discusses his outlook for the new year.
The holiday shopping season is critical for most retailers. For some, the season is make or break for the whole year. The November retail sales report was weaker than expected, although amplified by the seasonal adjustment. No surprise, consumers are increasingly shopping online.
As the end of 2020 draws near, many of us are anxious to put this tumultuous year behind us, choosing to look ahead to 2021 in hopes that happier, healthier, and more prosperous times will be had by all.
The news on vaccines has boosted optimism for the economy for 2021. In contrast, near-term developments have been unfavorable. COVID-19 cases have surged and in all likelihood will rise further in upcoming weeks.
With apps designed for entertainment, travel, business, fitness, productivity, and more, the slogan ‘there’s an app for that’ sure seems to be true. But just as our daily lives are engrained in technology, the equity market’s performance has been reliant upon technology too.
The November Employment Reports was a bit disappointing. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 245,000 (vs. a median forecast of 485,000). The increase was held back by the loss of 93,000 temporary census workers.
The Dow, NASDAQ and S&P 500 are now all in positive territory for the year.
Whether you’re celebrating in-person or virtually, we’re wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving! Giving thanks may seem difficult to do in a year that’s resulted in the loss of so many lives, jobs, and businesses, but we believe this holiday is the perfect time to reflect on all we are grateful for.
Election results (a divided Washington) and good news on a potential vaccine boosted share prices, although there were some concerns about surging COVID-19 cases (163,402 reported on November 12) and possible difficulties in distributing the vaccine.
With a likely split-Congress outcome lowering the chances of substantial policy shifts, investors are refocusing on supportive fundamentals and the recovering economy. Raymond James CIO Larry Adam offers his perspective.
Recent data reports have been consistent with a further rebound in economic activity, but we still have a long way to get back to where we were before the pandemic and the pace of improvement has moderated.
The market through October continued to make the case for a steady approach to investing, especially as this is a historically volatile time – the months surrounding a U.S. presidential election – amid a historic, complicated year.
Your voice, your vote! With only four days remaining until Election Day, more than 84 million voters have already voiced their choice—over 61% of the total turnout of the 2016 election.
The S&P 500 posted its worst daily decline since late September but didn’t entirely erode October gains.
It’s the final countdown! Between the flared debate tensions and President Trump testing positive for COVID-19 on the campaign trail, the 2020 presidential election has arguably been one of the most contested and unique battles for the presidency in history.
There are a number of uncertainties heading into the November 4 election and many more as we look ahead into 2021. There’s a long held belief that the stock market abhors uncertainty. There’s also an old adage that says the market often climbs a wall of worry.
By now, it should be clear that COVID-19 is not going to go away anytime soon. Consumers and businesses are getting used to living and working under the pandemic and some changes, such as the tendency to work from home, will likely be long-lasting. The economy is always evolving. However, rapid changes can be destabilizing. There will be a number of challenges in the new year.
The initial efforts by policy makers positioned the economy for a robust rebound off the depressed levels, but there are still many moving pieces in order for the economy to return to pre-COVID levels.
Job losses in the early stages of the pandemic were more concentrated among low-wage workers. About half of those jobs have come back. For high-wage workers, who have been more able to work from home, job losses were less severe and have rebounded much better.