Weekly Commentary

Earnings Are All About 2020

Earnings growth was largely absent in 2019, but we expect it to pick up in 2020. With stock valuations elevated, we think earnings hold the key to pushing stocks higher this year. ...

Assessing Geopolitical Risk

The United States' airstrike January 3, 2020, near Baghdad, Iraq, that killed a top Iranian military general was a major escalation in Mideast tensions. Iran's retaliatory strike January 8 sent a message, but additional responses can't be ruled out. ...

Lessons From The Past Decade

As we begin 2020, we've had a chance to reflect on what was an unprecedented decade for financial markets. The 2010s taught long-term investors two important lessons: to ignore short-term market noise and to be prepared for volatility. It was a curious time,...

2019 Hits And Misses

2019 was a difficult year to forecast after 2018 ended with the worst December since the Great Depression. While our positive stock market outlook proved too conservative, we are pleased to report we got more right than wrong for 2019. ...

Seasonal (Tail) Winds

The stock market has started October on a bumpy path. Many global issues remain unresolved, but seasonal forces, sound fundamentals, and breakthroughs on the trade and geopolitical fronts could help sustain the S&P 500 Index at record highs. Volatility can be uncomfortable, but...

Earnings May See Better Days Ahead

Corporate earnings growth has ground to a halt, but we think better times lie ahead. While tariffs and ongoing trade uncertainty could delay improvement, we remain optimistic that some progress on trade will be forthcoming and earnings growth could pick up over the coming...

Policy Uncertainty Intensifies

Geopolitical matters have complicated the tug-of-war between fiscal and monetary policies and contributed to investor concerns about increased policy uncertainty. Policy uncertainty will likely persist, but we think financial markets will climb this wall of worry. ...

Global Economy Muddles Along

The U.S. economy continues to perform well when compared to the rest of the developed world, and is still exhibiting growth near its long-term trend. The outlook in other developed economies is not quite as bright, however, as unconventional and aggressive policy decisions from...

Central Banks Are Back

Since we began highlighting the return of fiscal leadership as a primary driver for economic and market activity nearly two years ago, we've seen the return to central bank dominance, particularly by the U.S. Federal Reserve. This has significant implications for global markets. ...

The Curious Case of Negative Yields

There's a growing pile of negative-yielding debt around the world amid extraordinary monetary policy initiatives. While maintaining respect for global money flows, we believe the combination of economic fundamentals, domestic monetary policy, and a widening federal budget deficit limit the prospects for sub-zero yields...

Corporate Earnings Outlook

We lowered our 2019 earnings growth forecast for the S&P 500 Index on August 19 due to increased risk to economic growth and corporate profits from the ongoing trade conflict between the United States and China. Until we get clarity on trade, we believe...