Quarterly Strategy and Observations

September marked the eleventh straight month where the S&P 500® Index posted a gain, the longest streak of consecutive monthly gains since 1959. Stocks across all market caps posted solid returns during the third quarter, pushing year-to-date returns into …Read More

After the Flood

The sheer scale of the devastation from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria is hard to fathom. Places where we have friends, relatives and clients, and where many of us have vacationed, have been reduced to rubble. As with all natural disasters, the immediate needs of those …Read More

Here Comes the Wage Growth (Will Inflation Follow?)

Wage growth and inflation have been abnormally low for the better part of the past decade. The lack of rising wages has had numerous impacts, from increased income disparity and a vanishing middle class, to sluggish consumer spending. After averaging a paltry 2% annual …Read More

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Play the Lottery

In 1964, New Hampshire introduced the first modern state lottery. Today, 44 states, the District of Columbia and two territories all run sweepstakes (lottery) games. State governments now rake in about $70 billion a year from lotteries with profit margins of about 33%. …Read More

The Bond Box – 3rd Quarter 2017

Taxable Fixed Income Markets

The third quarter of 2017 featured weak data, which brought into question the intentions of a seemingly dovish Federal Reserve. The Fed, while acknowledging some of this weakness, continues to see a strengthening economy …Read More

Second Quarter 2017

It’s hard to believe that one year ago stock markets were digesting the U.K.’s Brexit vote and had just dropped 5%. That was the last time the markets experienced a downdraft to that extent. The second quarter continued the pattern of low stock market volatility and …Read More

Virtually No Volatility

For yet another quarter, stock markets exhibited a lack of volatility. In fact, as the chart below shows, implied volatility of the S&P 500® Index has been below its long-term average for the past five years, going on a sixth in 2017.

Partisan Conflict is Good for Stocks

If the stock market could speak to our politicians, it would probably tell them to keep agreeing to disagree! There is an old Wall Street adage that “gridlock in D.C. is good” for stocks. In response, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank has quantified partisan conflict, …Read More