Results 801–850 of 857 found.
Heartbreaker: Soft Patch Hits Stock Market
We remain in the soft patch versus double-dip recession camp, believing a lot of the weaker growth has been from temporary factors. Investor sentiment has become decidedly pessimistic? a contrarian positive for stocks. Market breadth also shows the market at extremes typically followed by a bounce.
Pause or Panic?
Economic data has deteriorated to the point that talk of a double dip recession has returned. The risk of another recession is low as most indicators remain well in expansion territory. Several factors are contributing to a soft patch, but a rebound is likely in the latter part of 2011. Along with talk of recession risk, chatter about the need for QE3 by the Fed has increased. The bar is quite high for QE3, but it is very likely the Fed will not let its balance sheet shrink in the near-term. Global growth is decelerating as well, with China tightening and Japan dealing with reconstruction.
Some Days (Months) Are Better Than Others
May was a rough month for investors, though it ended on a sunnier note. A growth slowdown is evident, but the debate rages about whether its factors are temporary. We think May's risk-off mode is easing, but choppy action remains likely until longer-term worries subside. After an uphill ride in April, when the Dow was up 4%, May wasn't kind to investors, although the last two trading days brought some sunshine. It was the first time in nearly three years that the S&P 500 index had no up weeks in a month.
Expert Roundtable on Risk
by Mark W. Riepe, Liz Ann Sonders, Randy Frederick, Rob Williams, & Brad Sorensen of Charles Schwab,
The word "risk" has a negative connotation-something to steer clear of whenever possible. However, in the investing world, risk and performance are intertwined. Market sentiment can shift quickly depending on economic or political news, geopolitical events and even natural disasters and these shifts can sometimes send investors fleeing for safety or taking on more risk as they seek higher returns. Mark Riepe, led a roundtable discussing the concept of risk in investing, strategies for reducing portfolio risk, and investment suggestions tailored to both risk-seeking and risk-averse investors.
Schwab Market Perspective: Shifting Sentiment
Economic headwinds are causing growth expectations to be reevaluated, resulting in choppier action in a majority of asset classes. The Fed is moving steadily closer to ending its purchases of Treasuries but we dont believe its a major event. Normalization of monetary policy still seems slow in coming, although we believe QE2 ending on schedule is nearly certain. Europe's debt crisis continues to plague the eurozone. Solutions appear to be limited and agreement is still anything but assured. Meanwhile, China's slowdown is also weighing on investors.
Breakdown: Commodities Tumble ? For Good?
'When in doubt, get out' has become the mantra for commodities traders the past couple of weeks. Sentiment had become too one-sided (and may need to ease even further). Is risk-on, risk-off trading finally coming to an end, and can fundamental analysis prevail? We've written a lot about the 'risk-on, risk-off' trading environment prevalent over the past several years. Risk on is basically when investors have been feeling better about the global economy and about the markets, so they buy and embrace more risky assets. Then, when fears rise investors essentially avoid all risk?risk off.
Market Turbulence Increasing
We are entering a traditionally tough period for the market and economic data has been raising questions about the sustainability of the recovery. While still optimistic on the longer-term outlook, there could be more choppiness in the near term as markets adjust to a changing environment. The Fed continues to buck the global trend by maintaining loose monetary policy, which contributed to a weaker dollar. But lately the dollar has gotten a lift as QE2 comes to an end, contributing to a rout in commodity prices.
Schwab Market Perspective: Making Sense of a Mixed Bag
Earnings season is winding down and is largely positive and CEO confidence is high. This points toward a continued improving labor outlook but could mean more grinding in the stock market. Housing remains moribund but the market seems to be largely dismissive. A ratings warning on US debt rattled the stock market but bond markets were relatively unmoved. Issues need to be addressed, but they are more likely to affect money flowing into the economy and highly unlikely to result in failure to pay obligations. Meanwhile, the Fed is striving to communicate more effectively-but about what?
The Fed Meets the Press
The Fed's meeting ended with no surprises on rates or outlook. But the first-ever news conference added some clarity, context and transparency to the Fed's thinking. The Fed has just begun its long process toward monetary policy normalization?and that's a good thing.
Earnings season gives an 'insider' look at economic growth. Businesses see and react to changes in the economy before the broader macro data show a clear trend. The Fed has floated some trial balloons about reining in its extremely accommodative policies, the time for which is overdue. Budget issues remain a problem at all levels of government, but likely wont derail the recovery at this time. Despite ongoing debt problems in peripheral European nations, the ECB hiked interest rates. Europe still faces significant issues that make it more likely to underperform other areas of the world.
Concerned About Inflation?
Inflation has become a bigger topic of discussion among investors and in the media as of late. While we have noted in numerous publications that we don?t believe inflation is a near-term concern due to a number of factors, investors are wondering how to position themselves should inflation start to take hold. First, despite common perception, gold has not historically been a very good hedge against inflation. Due to the possibility of gold prices being a bit extended after the recent run, we don't recommend gold as an investment for those concerned about inflation.
When Doves Cry: Debates Rage About QE2's Finale
Will the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing (QE2) pull into the dry dock in June as intended? If so, what are the implications for stock and bond investors? Might the Fed begin tightening policy before many think?
Expert Roundtable on Inflation: Should You Be Worried?
Inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services; your money buys less. With oil and other commodity prices rising, the Federal Reserve's current easy monetary policy and the economy picking up, many investors are worried about inflation. Mark Riepe, head of Financial Research and president of Charles Schwab Investment Advisory, led a roundtable discussing why Wall and Main Street may have different perspectives on inflation. The roundtable also covers our inflation outlook, ways to protect your investments and inflation-savvy investments you might want to consider.
Above the Fray
Attacks on Libya and recovery efforts in Japan have dominated the headlines, but behind the scenes US economic growth remains solid and we remain optimistic on the stock market. Commodity prices have backed off a bit and the Fed is likely to see QE2 through to its June 2011 end. Of particular concern is the unwillingness or inability for Congress to agree on a budget that addresses the growing deficit issues in the US. Japan has a significant debt burden with which to deal as it rebuilds, while Europe is struggling to come up with a comprehensive plan to deal with the eurozone debt crisis.
Tilting Toward Energy
Despite dramatic current events impacting markets, tactical shifts to your energy-sector allocation could add a small performance boost over the next several months. Volatility will likely remain elevated as events unfold in the Middle East and recovery continues from the devastating disaster in Japan. For investors looking to make shorter-term, tactical adjustments to a portfolio.
Focus on Japan Overshadows Fed Decision
To no one's surprise, the Fed kept interest rates at near zero and maintained its scheduled purchases of Treasury securities (also known as quantitative easing, or QE2). We're growing more concerned that the Fed is keeping interest rates low for too long, leading to potential problems down the road. With the market currently reacting to the tragedy in Japan and the ensuing market volatility, it's important to avoid acting hastily.
Volatility on the Rise
Geopolitical unrest and rising inflation concerns have conspired to increase market volatility. We remain bullish on US stocks and believe that this recent increase in consternation will ultimately be healthy for stocks. The US government keeps kicking the debt can down the road, while the Fed seems unconcerned about inflation and is intent on completing QE2. We believe changes are needed at both entities to foster sustainable economic growth. The European debt crisis is bubbling up again, while the ECB is talking interest-rate hikes. Future growth depends on the path of both issues.
Moment of Surrender: Regimes Fall, Oil Prices Spike
Geopolitical tensions swell along with oil prices, pushing the stock market lower. The absence of a longer-term oil- supply shock suggests the price spike could be short-lived. Consumers will take a hit, but the broader economy should avoid a double-dip recession.
Worry ... Friend or Foe?
Interest rates have moved higher, inflation concerns are growing, debt issues remain and global tensions are heightened. All valid concerns, but in our opinion not enough to derail stocks?although they could potentially in the future. Violence in the Middle East and North Africa is creating tension in global markets, but there are other concerns for emerging markets as well. Europe is becoming a bifurcated situation, with investors distinguishing between those with debt issues and those without.
Food Chain: Do Spiking Food Prices Warn of Generalized Inflation?
Food inflation has heated up and has incited global unrest. But for now, it's unlikely to become a monetary phenomenon. Investors should expect geopolitical risk to stay elevated in 2011, with implications for emerging markets performance.
Strong US economic signals and solid earnings continue to provide a positive backdrop for stocks. We expect pullbacks if optimistic sentiment gets too elevated, but remain optimistic about the stock market. Inflation concerns are rising, but the Federal Reserve is unlikely to react with tighter policy. There's not much it can do to fight commodity inflation, but Treasury yields are rising in response to headline inflation, even with little near-term risk of companies passing on rising costs.
Back in Black: Economy Moves to Expansion From Recovery
Real GDP moves from recovery to expansion, but growth remains below potential. Inflation concerns globally replacing double-dip recession concerns as key theme in 2011. Egyptian unrest and rising volatility could further temper optimism, which could bring back the "wall of worry" the stock market likes to climb.
Schwab Market Perspective: Confidence Climbing
Although still relatively low, confidence is returning to businesses and consumers. We believe this confidence is well-placed and could portend healthy gains for the economy and the market as the year matures. Risks remain: commodity prices are rising, housing is still moribund, and federal and local governments have severe fiscal budget crises to deal with. Confidence in developed international markets is still lagging.
The Fed Sticks to the Status Quo
The Fed announced no changes to its interest rate and quantitative easing round two (QE2) policies. There were no dissenters, with two new voting members changing their tune about QE2. The risk is growing that the Fed will stay easy too long, which could have implications for bond yields (and bond investors).
House of the Rising Sun: A Check-Up on Housing
Housing is becoming less national and more regional in terms of strength/weakness. Affordability is up but so are foreclosures. Employment remains key to housing, but be aware of housing's diminished impact on the economy.
Stocks may be vulnerable to a near-term pullback thanks to elevated sentiment, and earnings season could provide an impetus for some profit taking. The economy appears to be strengthening and we remain optimistic. Despite signs of growth, the Fed seems insistent on letting QE2 play out, pointing to continued high unemployment and housing. The new congress also has to deal with these issues, while attempting to pare deficit spending. International exposure is important, but we recommend taking some profits and rebalancing if your emerging-market exposure gets above your target allocation.
Glory Days: Another Good Year in 2011?
Setting targets doesn't make sense to us, but we do believe in reading the market's tea leaves, and the outlook is healthy. However, frothy sentiment has us a little concerned in the very near-term. Investors need to be mindful of complacency, but also to make sure they're not still loaded up on bonds?a major capitulation from bonds to stocks is possible.
Cutting Through the Noise
Economic data is rarely clear-cut, but we believe the weight of the evidence indicates a strengthening US economy. The negative rhetoric surrounding the Federal Reserve's recent decision reached a crescendo, but while we were among the first to voice our belief that it wasn't necessary, we believe the dire warnings of potential consequences from a second round of quantitative easing (QE2) are overblown. The European debt crisis continues to plague world markets. Finally, we believe the European Central Bank (ECB) needs to be more proactive instead of continually reactive.
Touch of Grey: Market Takes a Breather
My best guess as to the scenario that is unfolding is that the economy is gaining traction, which could cause the Federal Reserve to pull QE2 into the dock sooner than expected. It could also lead to a lift in the dollar, a related pullback in commodity prices, and rising bond yields. Given the high correlation recently between bond yields and stock prices, if yields were to continue to rise, they could take stock prices up with them; especially if the reasons are a better economy and lessened deflation fears.
Down the Home Stretch
Economic data has shown signs of strengthening. We believe we could be emerging from the soft patch and that stronger-than-expected growth could be in the offing. The elections are done and the Federal Reserve made its move, but the question remains as to whether much-needed confidence returns to businesses. Additionally, housing remains a problem that may not be helped substantially by either event. Competitive currency devaluations are dominating the international conversation, while investors are flocking to emerging markets, making us a bit skittish in the near term.
Moment of Surrender: Musings on the Election and Fed Policy
Neither the midterm elections nor the Federal Reserve announcement of another round of quantitative easing brought surprises. Tax clarity needs to come next while uncertainty about the implications of QE2 remains front and center. Investors will likely be among the winners, but they need to understand the pros and cons of Fed policy.
Schwab Market Perspective: So Now What?
The Federal Reserve and upcoming elections are in sharp focus and results and actions in these two areas could determine whether the momentum seen since September can continue. Earnings season was better than expected and the market reacted as such. But confidence remains a major issue, with brewing mortgage-related problems and continued uncertainty around tax policy causing consternation. Debt remains a major issue that's just now being addressed and protectionism still threatens economic expansion. China remains a bright spot for global growth.
Dirty (Paper) Work: Foreclosure Mess Gets Messier
Moratoriums on foreclosures, and the reasons behind them, bring back fears of 2008 all over again. These fears will likely cement another round of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve. Even if 'Foreclosure Gate' blows over, investors shouldn't make too little of a potentially big problem.
Is the Flattening Yield Curve Good For Stocks?
The flattening yield curve has investors asking questions about what it means and whether it is bad for stocks. Charles Schwab is not concerned: Historically, a narrowing of the yield curve has been tied to stocks performing reasonably well.
Win, Lose or Draw: Do We Have a Win-Win Scenario?
U.S. stocks are not expensive and they're most certainly under-owned. Most individual investors are either pessimistic or indifferent about the stock market, suggesting the 'wall of worry' - the contrarian nature of the market to perform best when pessimism is highest - is alive and well. In the near term, the stock market is likely overbought, and a little pullback to improve the sentiment picture would be helpful. On the other hand, however, strong stock market would be a terrific confidence builder, as Alan Greenspan noted last week.
2011 Taxes Remain in Limbo
Unless Congress takes action, most Americans will see their taxes rise next year. In this commentary, Charles Schwab handicaps the most probable outcomes of the tax debate, and provides helpful information for all investors and taxpayers. The most likely outcome, at 50 percent odds, is that Congress will simply extend all of tax cuts for one or two years. Republicans would unanimously support such a proposal, and several Democrats have signaled their support for the idea.
The Fed's Opponent: Deflation
While there are downside risks, the U.S. economy will probably avoid a double-dip recession. Historically, a downward-sloping yield curve is the best recession predictor, and for now it continues to slope upward. Meanwhile, with interest rates already at historically low levels, lowering the cost of borrowing money even further is unlikely to spur economic growth and employment, and so quantitative easing is not the silver bullet for economic growth. Actions that give businesses increased certainty about how to plan for future operating costs in relation to demand growth are preferable.
Autumn Leaves... And Election Cycles
The passion is palpable about the upcoming November 2 midterm elections, and more and more market watchers are starting to study the historical election cycle to see if it provides any clues as to how stocks are likely to behave in the near term. It's also September, historically the weakest month of the year for stocks, and this year it's following a bruising August. But here's a word of caution for those relying heavily on past performance trends: In five of the past six years, the market was actually up in September.
Land of Confusion ? Bubbles and Omens Dissected
Charles Schwab is sticking with its view that the recovery is square root shaped (a 'V' followed by a stall), and there's little question that we've entered the stall phase. In addition to the havoc the stall has wreaked on stock market volatility, it's taken yields on Treasury bonds to near all-time lows. This, of course, has generated a very strong upward price move in bonds (as bond prices and yields move inversely) and much talk about a 'bond bubble.' That could be the case if yields move higher, which could trigger a swift move out of bonds as an asset class.
Perception Versus Reality
Market volume continues its traditional August swoon, making it difficult to gauge much from stock market action. Economic data continues to tell a mixed story, as growth slows and risks rise. Confidence is key to consumer spending, business investment and stock market performance. The Federal Reserve and the government are attempting to instill that confidence in the American public, but so far have had little success. Emerging markets continue to show signs of growth and China's market has been performing well. Germany also has posted some nice numbers lately, but Japan remains a concern.
Late Summer Slumber?
The stock market rallied nicely in July after reaching the bottom of its recent range. Incoming data remains mixed but indicates that the economic expansion continues. However, risks remain elevated. The Federal Reserve downgraded its view and is discussing how to combat possible deflation, while federal and state governments continue to grapple with budget issues. Chinese growth has slowed, but the stock market is providing some positive indicators. Central banks around the world are creating a muddied picture.
Fed Downgrades Economic View
The Fed isn't yet ready to raise interest rates, even though doing so could be beneficial. Raising rates would give savers a bit of a return in money market-type vehicles, potentially spur those now on the sidelines of the market into action, and give the Fed some wiggle room down the road should it need to slash rates again.
Back to Zero: Deflation Fears Emerge
The current high correlation between stocks and bonds has only two historical precedents - periods when deflation was a reality, or when it was a fear. Low inflation is the reality today, but worries about deflation have still wreaked some havoc on markets. The latest rally may be based on a combination of waning deflation risk and the lessened likelihood of a double-dip recession.
Bulls and bears both have strong cases. With earnings results and economic data indicating continued growth, we lean toward the bullish side?although risks to the bullish case are elevated. Uncertainty and concern regarding government actions continue to weigh on sentiment, while the Federal Reserve leaves all options on the table. Some questioned the credibility of European stress tests, but the market responded favorably. Meanwhile, China's growth appears to be moderating but remains relatively robust.
Double Trouble: A Slowdown, Not a Meltdown
Double-dip recessions are historically rare, but fears about them are less rare. One key indicator has flashed a recession warning, but several more tell a more positive story. Investors need to be objective, not emotional, when reading the economic tea leaves.
No Surprises from the Fed
The Federal Open Market Committee surprised no one with its decision to keep the Fed funds target rate in a range between zero and 0.25 percent, where it's been since December 2008. The new statement marked the first time since the economic recovery began last summer that the Fed had to slightly dial back its language about the pace of the recovery. Stocks rallied immediately after the announcement, but in light of rampant intraday volatility lately, it's way too soon to judge if there will be any longer-term impact.
Life in the Fast Lane: Volatility and Uncertainty Abound!
A 'square root' recovery is the most likely scenario: a V-shaped initial recovery followed by a flat-line period of growth. With the peaking in the US leading indicators in April, a likely double-dip in the euro area, slowing growth in China and rising US taxes, the beginning of a soft patch for the economy is likely upon us. This next phase has been accompanied by heightened volatility, a characteristic that is unlikely to go away. However, the current rally off the recent lows has legs.
Results 801–850 of 857 found.