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Monthly Market Update for June 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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Please find the next blog in our monthly series that provides timely market data as well as perspectives on the current state of the economy and the global financial markets. Global Economy: Mixed signals continue in the US economy.  The Commerce Department revised 1Q-17 real gross domestic product (GDP) upward from 1.2% to 1.4%, which now represents a full doubling of the initial estimate for economic growth, as consumer spending and exports have been revised higher.  On the other hand, the latest report on personal consumption expenditures (PCE) indicated that spending declined in May, restraining the overall monthly increase to…

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Monthly Market Update for May 2017

Thursday, June 8, 2017

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Please find the next blog in our monthly series that provides timely market data as well as perspectives on the current state of the economy and the global financial markets. Global Economy: In the US, the Commerce Department revised 1Q-17 real gross domestic product (GDP) upward from 0.7% to 1.2%. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) rose 0.2% in April, but year-over-year (YoY) reading was 1.7%, down from the 1.9% annual rate in March.  The labor market was mixed, with jobless claims remaining relatively low and unemployment declining to 4.3% (its lowest level in 16 years).  Wage growth remains stubbornly low at…

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Monthly Market Update for April 2017

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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Please find the next blog in our monthly series that provides timely market data as well as perspectives on the current state of the economy and the global financial markets. Global Economy: There was a sigh of relief from investors in April following the first round of elections in France and the announcement of the upcoming election in the United Kingdom (UK).  The likelihood of a moderate president in France and a less-divided House of Lords during Brexit negotiations led to decreased expectations of turmoil in the European Union (EU), and consequently increased the market’s overall appetite for risk.  All

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Monthly Market Update for March 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

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Please find the next blog in our monthly series that provides timely market data as well as perspectives on the current state of the economy and the global financial markets. Global Economy: Throughout March, financial markets began to formally take notice of certain “gaps” that have developed across the political and economic landscape.  Observing the partisan fractures that exist between the new administration and Congress, an expectations gap emerged between pro-growth policy aspirations and the less-optimistic reality of when and to what degree the proposed changes can be implemented.  Embarking on its ninth year of economic expansion, recent indicators for…

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Monthly Market Update for February 2017

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

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Please find the next blog in our monthly series that provides timely market data as well as perspectives on the current state of the economy and the global financial markets. Global Economy: Measures of US economic sentiment continued to gain strength, even as the pace of real activity has yet to fully reflect this high level of optimism.   In response to the prospects of pro-growth policies offered by the new US administration, both consumer and business confidence remained on an uptrend.  The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence index advanced to 114.8 in February from January’s 111.6.  The potential for tax cuts…

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Potential Phone and Phishing Scams

Friday, February 24, 2017

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As we are in tax season, we thought a good time to remind you to be aware of potential IRS phone and phishing scams. One of our employees recently received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, claiming that he owed the IRS money and demanding payment. Obviously, this was a scam attempt. Note that the IRS will never: Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes. Threaten to…

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Monthly Market Update for January 2017

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

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Please find the next blog in our monthly series that provides timely market data as well as perspectives on the current state of the economy and the global financial markets. Global Economy: Economic reports were mixed in January as a US Commerce Department report showed US economic growth slowed more than forecast during the fourth quarter of 2016, but January gauges of US manufacturing and service business activity continued to gain momentum.  Initial data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed gross domestic product rose at a 1.9% annualized rate in Q416, down from the prior quarter’s 3.5% rate as…

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Monthly Market Update for December 2016

Thursday, January 19, 2017

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Please find the next blog in our monthly series that provides timely market data as well as perspectives on the current state of the economy and the global financial markets. Global Economy: Recent economic indicators showed momentum was building in US manufacturing.  Latest results indicate that activity is broadening outside the US consumer who has served as the primary engine of growth in 2016.  The services sector, that represents a much larger share of the economy, continued to expand, while another month of job gains helped drive consumer confidence back to pre-recessionary levels. The Commerce Department’s final estimate of third…

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Fed Funds Target Rate Increased with Unanimous Vote

Thursday, December 15, 2016

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The FOMC has decided to raise the target range to 0.50% – 0.75%. This 25 bps upward adjustment to the Fed Fund rate was almost guaranteed, as the futures implied probability of an additional hike had increased from ~75% at the beginning of November to 100% in the days leading up to the meeting. There was even a small chance that a 50 bps could have taken place, although the unanimous decision illustrates Chair Yellen’s ability to reign in the four more hawkish Committee members that had previously projected a higher year-end rate. Growth: The official statement indicated that “economic…

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Monthly Market Update for November 2016

Friday, December 9, 2016

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Please find the next blog in our monthly series that provides timely market data as well as perspectives on the current state of the economy and the global financial markets. Global Economy: Recent economic data showed the US economy delivered solid growth during the third quarter after a tepid pace in the first half of 2016.  US households boosted spending against a backdrop of solid employment growth, cheap gasoline and rising home values.  The Commerce Department showed 3Q16 gross domestic product rose at a 3.2% annualized rate, the fastest pace in two years.  The rate of consumer spending, which accounts…

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