ISM Non-Manufacturing: Continued Growth at Slower Rate in March
The Institute of Supply Management (ISM) has now released the March Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), also known as the ISM Services PMI. The headline Composite Index is at percent 52.5, down 4.8 from 57.3 last month. Today's number came in above the Investing.com forecast of 44.0 percent.
Which Way Now?
How should investors think about the economy and asset values when faced with unprecedented uncertainty surrounding the effects of the coronavirus and a complete absence of guidance from analogies to the past? Read Howard Marks’s latest memo, in which he lays out the views of both the optimist and the worrier.
S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index: January
With today's release of the January S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, we learned that seasonally adjusted home prices for the benchmark 20-city index were up 0.31% month over month which is cut to -0.04% with inflation adjustment.
The Blutarsky Moment
The year after I graduated from college, the movie Animal House debuted in 1981. With everything falling apart for the Delta fraternity, including grades and double-triple probation, all looked lost. At the point when others would give up, senior fraternity member, John Blutarsky, gave a spirited call to arms by reminding everyone that the U.S. didn’t give up when our Naval operations at Pearl Harbor were bombed on December 7, 1941.
Postcards from the Frontline
With the economic and market situation changing by the day, I decided to approach this letter a little differently. Rather than go deep on one topic, I’ll share brief bullets on the many points swirling in my mind. Think of it as Postcards from the Frontline. These will be in no particular order and may generate even more questions.
Municipals versus Treasuries – a Tale of Two Cities
The recent price changes in the municipal bond market have potentially created an intriguing opportunity for investors; with municipal bonds selling at relatively enticing yields, even without considering the tax benefits. However, this market is likely to be short lived as investor behavior is stabilizing.
Trillion Dollar Stimulus on the Way
Lawmakers in Washington struck a compromise on a major fiscal stimulus package to help combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill, already passed by the Senate and awaiting House vote, packs in a lot, with upward of $2 trillion slated to provide important support for the economy.
China Could Be a Growth Engine for Global Recovery in 2H 2020
Global markets have not yet reached a bottom, but Nick Niziolek believes the global economy and markets could be in recovery mode by the second half of the year, with China and other overseas markets making strong contributions.
Visualizing GDP: An Inside Look at the Q4 Third Estimate
The accompanying chart is a way to visualize real GDP change since 2007. It uses a stacked column chart to segment the four major components of GDP with a dashed line overlay to show the sum of the four, which is real GDP itself. Here is the latest overview from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.