2018 Q3 Quarterly Report

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Economic Commentary The US economy continued to hum along in Q3 with very low unemployment and optimism from consumers and businesses alike. The fiscal stimulus has helped boost 2018 consumer spending fueling goldilocks US economic growth with mild inflation, halting immediate worries of an overheating economy which could have led to overzealous rate raising from the Federal Reserve (Fed). It has also led to a decoupling of US economic expectations from the rest of the … Read More

2018 Q2 Quarterly Report

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Economic Commentary Unemployment has continued to decline during the 2nd Quarter (Q2) of 2018 to levels not seen since the beginning of this millennium. With the benefits of hindsight, we know how and why the music stopped on the Dot-com boom, a year after the lowest levels of unemployment since the late 1960’s. Currently, at 3.8%, we are again knocking on the door of the lower-bound limit while pondering its contribution to effects of tight … Read More

2018 Q1 Quarterly Report

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Economic Commentary The latest estimate for 4th quarter US GDP was revised higher at an annualized 2.9% growth rate. So far, consensus expectations for the 1st quarter of 2018 are similar to earlier 4th quarter estimates of 2.5%, with the preliminary release coming on April 19th. Weak consumer spending and retail sales data has weighed slightly on estimates, and continues to be somewhat of a conundrum as consumer confidence has been extremely high since the … Read More

2017 Q4 Quarterly Report

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US Economic Commentary GDP growth for Q2 and Q3 were both at or above 3%, marking the first time this has occurred since Q1 of 2015. This economic strength is part of the rationale used by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to raise its benchmark interest rate by 0.25% to the 1.25%-1.50% range, which it announced after its meeting on December 13th. The Federal Reserve also continues to shrink its $4.5 trillion portfolio of … Read More

2017 Q3 Quarterly Report

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US Economic Commentary As we commenced the 3rd quarter, GDP for the 1st quarter had just been revised upward from 1.2% to a “still modest” 1.4% in the 3rd estimate. The Federal Reserve’s acknowledgment of this tepid pace of economic growth was apparent in Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s dovish comments on July 12th during the Fed’s mandated semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress. Yellen indicated that the Fed may not need to hike rates much … Read More

2017 Q2 Quarterly Report

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US Economic Commentary The 2nd quarter began in April with trepidation among investors as the U.S. stock market continued its advance in the face of modest real GDP growth, which on its third revision was increased to a 1.40% annualized growth rate for the first quarter compared to an initial reading of only 0.70% growth. Weakness in consumer spending has been a drag on growth and inconsistent with recent consumer confidence surveys which had indicated … Read More

2017 Q1 Quarterly Report

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US Economic Commentary The 1st quarter started with the US stock market consolidating its gains during most of the month of January. After the January 20th presidential inauguration, the market resumed its upward trend as investors looked forward to the new administration’s planned elimination of over-regulation, initiating huge infrastructure projects, building up the US military establishment, and the restructuring of both the personal and corporate tax code, including lowering tax rates. Investors were particularly looking … Read More

2016 Q4 Quarterly Report

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Overall Market Commentary The fourth quarter of 2016 reminded investors that there are no certainties in life, or financial markets, as the upset victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton left many political and investing professionals speechless. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures initially reacted with an 800-point free fall, but market sentiment quickly shifted and domestic equity indices surged to end the year near all-time record highs. Seemingly overnight, the narrative shifted; dire warnings against … Read More