Since the pandemic began, disruptions in business activity have varied greatly from region to region, and often from one week to the next, according to the severity of local COVID-19 outbreaks. Unfortunately, many of the official government statistics used to gauge the health of the U.S. economy are backward looking and somewhat delayed.Continue reading “High-Frequency Indicators: Where to Look for Signs of Recovery”
I wanted to reach out to address the recent stock market volatility. For the past few months, it seems as if every news headline has been negative and while there are certainly causes for concern, there are some reasons for optimism. Before touching on this, I wanted to reiterate some of my comments from our last letter and discuss our approach to portfolio construction.
I wanted to take a minute to address the most recent bout of volatility in the market. Before addressing the causes for the recent downturn and providing our thoughts, it’s important to remind investors of the benefits of having a diversified portfolio. Different areas of the market will outperform at different times and it can be tempting to wonder, why bother holding asset classes that are not performing as well as others at any given time? The reason is that changes in the market happen quickly, much more quickly than changes in the economy and much more often. In fact, since 1980 the average annual intra-year drop for the S&P 500 is 13.8%, yet the Index has rebounded to finish the year positive in 29 of the 38 years analyzed and averaged an annual gain of 8.8%.
When economists, journalists, and politicians talk about the strength or weakness of the national economy, they cite one main statistic: GDP. The metric, which stands for Gross Domestic Product, singlehandedly quantifies the output of national economies, guides the action of central banks, and acts as the universal benchmark for when economies officially enter and exit recessions. Continue reading “GDP: Faster Growth Than Meets the Eye?”
On January 25th of this year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA/Dow) passed the 20,000 milestone for the first time ever. Seemingly every media outlet began to host discussions regarding whether investors should get back into the marketplace, how much further stocks can go, and a multitude of other investing-related topics. Continue reading “DOW 20,000 — Does It Matter?”
Each year, more deals and promotions seem to enter the marketplace in hopes of enticing holiday shoppers to spend more, or even to get them to actually come to the store itself. Expectations on how major retailers will perform and notifications regarding the level of confidence consumers have with the economy are rampant throughout the holiday season. Continue reading “Holiday Retail Sales”
With the market swoon to start the year, many investors wondered if we were finally due for a sustained slowdown in the economy or even a recession. After all, since 1926, recessions have happened once every five years on average and it has been over six-and-a-half years since the last one ended.
Well, positive economic growth has continued and the capital markets have actually made a sharp recovery since mid-February. So, does this make a recession even likelier now as more time has passed?