The official numbers aren't in yet but it looks like 2015 ended without a bang for US markets. The S&P 500 managed somewhere around 1% total return and the Barclay's Aggregate ended up about .5% -- nothing worth getting excited over. Of course, across the globe and everywhere in between there were substantial divergences in … Continue reading Halfway Between Double or Nothing
After improving economic prospects earlier this year, Japan has abruptly reversed course. A third-quarter annualized GDP reading of negative -.8% puts Japan back in a technical recession (defined as two quarters of negative GDP growth). Following stimulative policies (aka "Abenomics") by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a blossoming recovery from 2014's technical recession, many assumed … Continue reading Japan’s Footsteps
Following a choppy third quarter, global markets have made a comeback. Since October 1, the S&P 500 and EAFE have both rebounded over 5%, and emerging markets have bounced by more than 8%. Strangely enough, the same fears that stoked the sell-off also seem to be fueling the rally. Investors who disliked the uncertainty … Continue reading Full Swing Voting
The third quarter is officially in the books, and it ended a dicey one. Global stocks ended the quarter squarely in correction territory, the FTSE Global All Cap Index was down 10.5% for the period. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 was down 7.3%, the EAFE was down 10.1%, and emerging markets were the worst at … Continue reading Rolling the Dice
Market volatility picked up significantly in August and US stocks have been teetering in and out of correction territory ever since. Uncertainty is pervasive and investors' nerves are rattled. At times like these, it's more important than ever to manage expectations and maintain appropriate expectations. A market correction is generally defined as a pullback of … Continue reading Never a Wrong Time
After more than doubling since 2014, China's stock market has fallen about 30% over the past couple of months. That has investors holding their breath and scratching their heads at the same time. Everyone wants to know what's behind the selloff -- and there are many theories to meet the demand. I don't know why … Continue reading Red is the New Green
It's been over five years since Greece's current financial crisis started making public headlines. Since then Greece has received more than 240 billion Euros of bailout loans from the ECB, the IMF, and the EU (aka the "Troika"). That figure doesn't include the "phantom" aid that Greece also received in the form of the debt … Continue reading Big Trouble in Little Athens, Revisted
Back in April, Bill Gross called shorting long-term German Bunds the "short of a lifetime." Gross was basically saying the ~0.95% yield on the 10-year German Treasury was at an unsustainable low, and that an inevitable yield reversal was the biggest "no-brainer" he saw. And he was right! Just shortly after his call yields did … Continue reading Miss of a Lifetime
Speculation has been rampant about when Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve will finally begin raising interest rates. Last month all the buzz was focused on whether Yellen would drop the word "patient" (with respect to rate increases) from her scheduled Fed policy statement. She did, and ever since strategists and traders all up … Continue reading Has Janet Lost Her Patience?
With about every major US equity index making new highs, many investors are nervous about US stocks. I don't know if there's an impending stock market crash, but regardless at BCM we favor foreign developed market equities for the time being. Here are a few reasons why. Western Europe appears to be trailing the US … Continue reading Looking Abroad
US stocks got off to a choppy start in 2015. The S&P 500 ended January down 3% and some took it as an omen for the year ahead. But the market bounced back 6% in February and is now up 2.88% for the year. So much for the "January Barometer?" Whether you use them … Continue reading The February Barometer?
Today S&P announced it cut the credit rating on Russian sovereign debt to junk status. The Russian equity market slid about 8% on that news, but the damage wasn't as bad as some may have thought. That's because the downgrade was widely expected, and of course, the Russian market is already down more than 60% … Continue reading Anything and Everything for Russia