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Friday, June 18, 2021

As the economic focus has frantically shifted from inflation concerns to peak growth fears to the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) tightening timeline in recent weeks, it can be helpful to take a step back and assess the broad economic...

Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Federal Reserve (Fed) ended its two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting yesterday and, as expected, there were no changes to current interest rate or bond purchasing policies. However, signaling on future path of...

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

As nearly everyone knows by now, inflation has soared the past few months, with the May Consumer Price Index (CPI) coming in at 5.0% year-over-year, the highest since 2008, while the core CPI (excluding energy and food) was 3.8%, the...

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

As investors we fight against behavioral biases in every investment decision we make. Our Director of Research Marc Zabicki talked recently about some of these biases in this video. We become attached to our ideas and when we think...

Friday, June 11, 2021

While U.S. economic conditions have certainly improved, and earnings momentum for S&P 500 companies has been strong, U.S. small business conditions remain somewhat less stable. Notably, the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index has...

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Thursday, June 10, 2021

Make that two consecutive months that CPI inflation has surprised meaningfully to the upside. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its May inflation report this morning, June 10, revealing that the headline Consumer Price Index...

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

The S&P 500 Index is flirting with new highs unlike nearly any time in history. In fact, it has now gone nine days in a row closing within 1% of an all-time high without breaking through. “There’s an old saying about not...

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

While many of the taxable markets have generated negative returns this year, both the high quality and high yield municipal markets have generated positive returns (no guarantees that will continue, of course). State and local...

Friday, June 4, 2021

Before diving into today’s jobs report for May, it will be a useful exercise to recall the curveball that April’s report threw at investors. One of the more hotly contested topics investors have been debating recently is...

Thursday, June 3, 2021

The U.S. economy is opening up and overall sentiment on Main Street is the strongest it’s been since our earliest analysis in 2005, according to LPL Research’s proprietary Beige Book Barometer (BBB). The result is based on...

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Although there was some notable weakness in the middle of May, the S&P 500 Index was able to rally late in the month to finish with a modest gain. Incredibly, this was the eighth year out of the past nine that stocks gained during in...

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The amount of negative yielding debt is shrinking and that’s a good sign that the global economic recovery is well underway. While negative yielding debt became prevalent in many non-U.S. countries after the Global Financial...

Thursday, May 27, 2021

In terms of whether economic data is either beating or missing economists’ forecasts, it appears conditions may now be a bit better overseas. Driven by some improving COVID-19 trends, the economic backdrop has improved overseas,...

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Congrats to Phil Mickelson on his amazing victory on Sunday at the PGA Championship at the age of 50, officially the oldest person to ever win a golf major championship. This was Lefty’s 6th major victory, leaving him just a win...

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Mortgage rates are still around all-time lows but they may be headed higher. The 30-year national average mortgage rate hit an all-time low of 2.82% back in February, but with the U.S. economic recovery in full swing, mortgage rates...

Friday, May 21, 2021

After some shaky economic data releases in recent weeks, most notably the latest employment report, investors had turned their eyes towards Thursday’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) report for confirmation that strong underlying...

Thursday, May 20, 2021

The global economy continues to pick up speed as vaccine distribution gradually allows many countries to lift restrictions. The recovery, however, remains uneven, as some regions still struggle to contain the pandemic in the face of...

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Inflation is all the rage after last week’s much hotter than expected inflation numbers. Our base case remains that this period of higher inflation will be transitory, as many of the forces that have kept a lid on inflation over...

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

After the April consumer price index (CPI) release that surprised to the upside, indicating consumer prices in some areas of the economy are increasing at a faster pace than many expected, the discussion has shifted to the need for the...

Friday, May 14, 2021

Last week’s monthly nonfarm payroll was disappointing, but it usually takes a long time for jobs to come back after a recession, so maybe we shouldn’t have been so surprised. In fact, looking at the 10 previous recessions,...

Thursday, May 13, 2021

We’ve warmed up to developed international stocks recently for several reasons. For one, the U.S. stock market has staged a tremendous rally—this week notwithstanding—since last March which has prompted us and others...

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

For nearly a year, investors have had the late spring/early summer months circled on their calendars for a potential jump in inflation. Base effects from rolling off weak data a year ago held the promise of eye-popping year-over-year...

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Inflation is one of the primary risks to bondholders. Rising consumer prices erodes the “real” value of principal and interest payments making them worth less. However, the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) reaction to...

Friday, May 7, 2021

Investors betting on a continued acceleration in U.S. payrolls in April following March’s impressive numbers received an unwelcome reminder of just how choppy the data can be month-to-month. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics...

Friday, May 7, 2021

As talk of inflation continues to heat up, one asset class fueling the fire has been the commodities complex. In our one-year review of the market low, we noted how commodities had been some of the biggest winners during the market...

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Even as an unprecedented global vaccine rollout is underway the daily number of new COVID-19 cases reported (measured by the 7-day moving average) recently passed 1.25 million for the first time. The number of daily global cases has...

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

“Our new Constitution is now established, everything seems to promise it will be durable; but, in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes,” Benjamin Franklin One of the big discussions lately has been about...

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Fixed income investments have generally played two key roles within a diversified asset allocation—generating a stable income and providing protection during equity market selloffs. While we still think high-quality fixed income...

Friday, April 30, 2021

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill. You know how it is with an April day. When the sun is out and the wind is still, you’re one month on in the middle of May.” American Poet Robert Frost One of the best known...

Thursday, April 29, 2021

In what was initially expected to be one of the slower quarters of the year, the U.S. economy jumped out of the gates in 2021, with gross domestic product (GDP) growing 6.4% quarter over quarter. A faster than expected vaccination...

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Incredibly, the COVID recession may have ended a year ago, but we still don’t have call from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). That may when the first estimate of Q1 2021 gross domestic product (GDP) growth is...

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

President Biden’s 100th day in office is tomorrow, on April 29. Hard to believe it has been 100 days already, but overall the economy continues to improve and stocks have done very well under our new President. We’ve heard...

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

President Biden’s recently proposed $2 trillion infrastructure investment plan would, if enacted as-is—a big “if” for sure— provide much needed support to traditional infrastructure projects like roads and...

Monday, April 26, 2021

The economic reacceleration is underway in the U.S., as the expanding vaccination campaign, lifting of mobility restrictions, and infusion of fiscal stimulus combined to lift the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) in...

Monday, April 26, 2021

It was a particularly challenging year for the greenback in 2020, where the world’s reserve currency acted as a “safe haven” asset at the height of the March 2020 market volatility, only to fall over the remainder of...

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

“Don’t fight the Fed.” Old investment saying One of the popular questions we’ve received lately is what do stocks do after the first rate hike? Let’s be clear, we think the Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) will...

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

“Price is what you pay; value is what you get.” – Legendary value investor Ben Graham. Valuations matter—at least in the long run. We believe it to be true in the equity markets and in the fixed income markets...

Thursday, April 15, 2021

It has been a volatile year in 2021 for the retail industry, but improving COVID-19 trends and fiscal stimulus have improved the outlook. Weather-related disruptions and a high January watermark led to a soft patch in February, but...

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Is it time to add international stocks to portfolios? Valuations are attractive in Europe and Japan relative to the United States. The environment is favorable for the value style—and international markets are full of value...

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Stocks are back at all-time highs while the economy is quickly improving, now comes first-quarter earnings season. This week on the LPL Market Signals podcast, Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick and Equity Strategist Jeff Buchbinder...

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

“I look to the future because that’s where I’m going to spend the rest of my life.” George Burns The bull market continues, with the S&P 500 Index now up more than 10% in 2021. With stocks up more than 80% from...

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Growth and inflation expectations are widely known fundamental variables used in determining fair value for fixed income securities, but are there seasonal patterns that exist in the bond market that can help investors determine when...

Friday, April 9, 2021

Stocks have kicked off the year in a strong fashion, and history shows this may give reason to be optimistic for the rest of the year. After a solid—but certainly turbulent—year in 2020, the S&P 500 Index has continued to...

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Before the pandemic we had begun to warm up to international stocks. Valuations relative to the U.S. markets had become increasingly attractive after a long stretch of outperformance by U.S. stocks compared with those in Europe and...

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Today we update forecasts based on how the economy’s recovery from the pandemic, aided by vaccine distribution, massive stimulus, and the desire to return to normal, continues to surpass expectations. Strong March jobs report....

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

The United States, and the rest of the world, are looking to emerge from the shadow of COVID-19, and business conditions may already have put the pandemic in the rear-view mirror—at least according to the monthly business surveys...

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Coming into this year, we expected longer-maturity U.S. Treasury yields to rise, consistent with improving economic growth dynamics. That is indeed what we have seen, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury higher by 80 basis points (0...

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

As we continue LPL Research’s Inflation Week, today we will examine how stocks have historically done at different inflation levels. For more color on our views on inflation, look out for tomorrow’s blog, where we’ll...

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” Mark Twain What more can we say other than few months have been kinder to stocks lately than the month of April. In fact, it was last year that saw the S&P 500...

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Inflation is coming and, according to certain market-based inflation metrics, markets are expecting sustained inflation rates not seen since the late 2000s, although likely still at manageable levels. Inflation, which captures price...

Monday, March 29, 2021

It has been a little over a year since the S&P 500 Index bottomed on March 23, 2020, and it was certainly an eventful year, to say the least. It’s also been one year since LPL Research upgraded their view on equities from market...

Friday, March 26, 2021

Our friends at Goldman Sachs recently announced a 2021 growth target for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 8% (Q4/Q4). Should this happen, it would be the biggest annual increase in GDP since 1951. Of course, last year was the worst year...

Thursday, March 25, 2021

It has been just over a year since the S&P 500 Index bottomed on March 23, 2020, and while global stock markets have provided historic returns since the low, the biggest winners come from a completely different asset class: commodities...

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

It has now been a little over a year since the first COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns were implemented in the United States, with California having implemented the first stay-at-home order on March 19, 2020. LPL Research can now use...

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

While most market participants have been (rightly) focusing on the sell-off in the Treasury markets this year, U.S. corporate credit markets have sold off as well. Corporate credit markets, as defined by the Bloomberg Barclays U.S....

Friday, March 19, 2021

In almost every direction we turn, we see optimism mounting over a mid-2021 economic reacceleration. Unfortunately, it seems we will have to wait at least another month for that optimism to make their way into leading economic...

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Last week we reviewed updated global economic growth forecasts from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), highlighting the significant increase in their gross domestic product (GDP) forecast for the United...

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

“The stock market is a giant distraction to the business of investing.” Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard First off, we hope everyone has a happy and safe Saint Patrick’s Day! We’ve had a lot of green out there...

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

This week, the Federal Reserve (Fed) meets for their two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, which concludes on Wednesday followed by a press conference with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. If we were invited to the press...

Friday, March 12, 2021

Few equity sectors on earth have been as poor as European financials since the Global Financial Crisis. The sector still sits more than 50% below its 2007 all-time highs, hampered by regulations, low to negative interest rates, and all...

Thursday, March 11, 2021

The economic recovery is gaining steam. In fact, so much so that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) had to raise their U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) forecast for 2021 by more than 3 percentage points...

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Investors have become increasingly concerned with inflation, and inflation hawks have cited historic stimulus measures and accelerating economic activity as tailwinds that could lead to runaway inflation. February’s consumer...

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” -Yogi Berra The Nasdaq officially moved into correction territory, down more than 10% from the all-time high. It took only 15 trading days to do this, one...

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Today is the one-year anniversary of the low in the 10-year Treasury yield. While we’ve discussed the sharp rise in U.S. Treasury yields that have occurred this year, rising rates have been a global phenomenon. Similar to the...

Friday, March 5, 2021

US payrolls grew at a solid clip month over month in February, as progress in the vaccine distribution process appeared to boost growth by enabling more of the economy to reopen. Our opinion has always been that until we have achieved...

Friday, March 5, 2021

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on March 1 added another important tool in the fight against COVID-19. President Biden reported Wednesday that thanks to a deal with Merck & Co. to...

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The energy sector has certainly been on a wild ride over the course of the past year, perhaps the wildest of all of the S&P 500 sectors. The outbreak of the pandemic in 2020 caused such a demand shock that oil futures traded for a...

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Coming into 2021, one of our higher-conviction ideas was that we would see rising long-term interest rates in the United States; it’s one of the reasons we recommended suitable investors consider an underweight to interest rate...

Friday, February 26, 2021

March is right around the corner and with it is a harsh reminder of one year ago when everything stopped. As we inch closer to a lot of reminders about March 2020, here are three charts that have caught our attention recently. First...

Thursday, February 25, 2021

With investors taking note of improving COVID-19 trends, an expanding US economy, and additional fiscal stimulus expected in the coming weeks, many are wondering if market sentiment is getting ahead of itself, and the stock market has...

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Leading economic indicators are providing early signs that we may be exiting a recent soft patch and the economic recovery could be poised for a reacceleration. On Monday, February 22, the Conference Board released its January 2021...

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Treasury yields started moving sharply higher this past month (remember that as yields go up, prices go down). And while the upward march began in earnest last August when the 10-Year Treasury yield bottomed at an all-time low rate of...

Friday, February 19, 2021

Today marks one year since the market began to price in the effects that COVID-19 would have on the world. The old market adage “stairs up, elevator down” certainly rang true over the coming weeks, as the S&P 500 recorded...

Thursday, February 18, 2021

The US economy had a tumultuous year in 2020, to say the least, and after rebounding strongly in the third quarter, the holiday surge in COVID-19 cases increased the risk that the economy may stumble heading into the new year. The...

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

In LPL Research’s Weekly Market Commentary this week, we looked at some stock and bond options that may be attractive income-producing ideas for suitable income-oriented investors. On the bond side, many income-oriented investors...

Saturday, February 13, 2021

“One of the most helpful things that anybody can learn is to give up trying to catch the last eighth—or the first. These two are the most expensive eighths in the world.” –Jesse Livermore Countless stock...

Thursday, February 11, 2021

The recession appears to be behind us in the United States, and the early stages of an economic expansion have been taking shape. There is a growing debate over whether an expanding economy, in conjunction with historic fiscal and...

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

“Bulls make money, bears make money, and pigs get slaughtered.” Old Wall Street saying. The Chinese New Year (often called the Lunar New Year) will kick off Friday, February 12, and with it will begin the Year of the Ox....

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

The 10-year breakeven inflation rate, a market-based measure of inflation expectations, hit its highest level last Friday, February 5, since 2014. Still, at 2.21% expected annual inflation over the next 10 years, it remains a...

Friday, February 5, 2021

US payrolls grew month over month in January following a brief dip into negative territory in December. Peering under the hood, though, this report did little to dispel the notion that the labor market’s recovery has been...

Friday, February 5, 2021

Negative yielding debt has been one of the most extraordinary and peculiar consequences of global monetary policy initiatives, turning the basic premise of fixed income investing upside down. Instead of one party lending another party...

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Our latest installment in debt week for the LPL Research team is on corporate debt. On Monday in our Weekly Market Commentary: Markets Shrug Off Debt Levels, we discussed federal debt, and Tuesday we tackled household debt. Here we...

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The Super Bowl Indicator suggests stocks rise for the full year when the Super Bowl winner has come from the original National Football League (now the NFC), but when an original American Football League (now the AFC) team has won,...

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

The surge in global debt has been a hot-button issue, so this week LPL Research will focus on the various segments of global debt, beginning “Debt Week” with Weekly Market Commentary: Markets Shrug Off Debt Levels. The US...

Monday, February 1, 2021

Stocks got off to a nice start in 2021, until the late January selloff, as everyone got GameStop fever. Should bulls worry about what a down January might mean for the rest of 2021? There’s an old adage on Wall Street that...

Friday, January 29, 2021

Economic momentum moderated in the United States in the fourth quarter, with gross domestic product (GDP) expanding at a 4% quarter-over-quarter annualized basis according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, as the high-water mark set...

Thursday, January 28, 2021

The incredible action from some of the most heavily shorted names has investors everywhere wondering what it all means? GameStop (GME) specifically has taken the country’s imagination by storm, as the stock started the year under...

Thursday, January 28, 2021

It has been a busy past 12 months for the Federal Reserve (Fed), after the onset of the global pandemic prompted historic stimulus from monetary policymakers. With the economy showing signs of being in the early stages of expansion,...

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

2021 kicks off the first year of a new four-year presidential cycle. One of the most popular questions we’ve received lately is how have stocks performed historically during this political year. For starters, the S&P 500 Index...

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

In LPL Research's Outlook 2021: Powering Forward, they noted that large interest rate declines historically have been followed by reversals. With the 10-year Treasury yield continuing to climb, now’s a good time for an update. As...

Friday, January 22, 2021

It has been exactly one year since the first COVID-19 case in the United States was reported to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and to say the world as we know it has been completely changed would be an understatement....

Thursday, January 21, 2021

The onset of the global pandemic shocked the economy and triggered one of the deepest recessions ever in 2020. As investors fled to “safe haven” Treasuries and the Federal Reserve (Fed) lowered interest rates, the yield on...

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Today Joe Biden becomes the 46th President of the United States. We’ve already looked forward at what his presidency, coupled with a blue wave in Congress, could mean for policy in Market Policy Projections for 2021, so today we...

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Investment-grade credit spreads, the extra yield you get from investment-grade corporate bonds compared to similarly dated US Treasuries, have already tightened to a level you usually only see during the middle of the economic...

Friday, January 15, 2021

One of the top questions we’ve received recently has been what a blue wave may mean for investments. After the Democrats won the two Senate runoff elections in Georgia, they will now control the White House and both chambers of...

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Heading into 2020, we maintained our preference for growth stocks as we believed that earnings growth would become harder to come by as the economic cycle aged, and their robust earnings growth was greatly appealing. These same growth...

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Rising COVID-19 cases and concern about the policy environment put a dent in small business optimism in the month of December, the index’s second straight monthly decline. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the National...

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Treasury yields hit two key levels the first week of 2021. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the 10-year Treasury yield moved above 1% for the first time since March 2020, and the 10-year breakeven inflation rate, a measure of...

Friday, January 8, 2021

The differences in strength between the stock market and real economy were laid bare this week as the stock market surged to new highs while the jobs market continued to deteriorate and remains well short of its February peak. The US...

Thursday, January 7, 2021

2020 was a good year for stock investors despite unprecedented challenges. After being down more than 30% at the March 2020 lows, the S&P 500 Index ended the year with a solid 18.4% total return. Last year marked the first time the...

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

US investment-grade bonds had a solid 2020 despite a tumultuous year overall. The broad Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index had a total return of 7.5%—not as strong as 2019’s 8.7% but its fifth-best year in the last...

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Welcome to the last day of 2020! It has been a devastating year in so many ways, yet for investors it has been quite rewarding. Much of the gains in 2020 have taken place the final two months, with the S&P 500 Index up more than 14% in...

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

For many economic data series, 2020 has been a roller coaster. Not for housing, however. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures jump-started the “nesting” behavioral shift away from urban...

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

2020 was an extraordinary year for the Federal Reserve (Fed). The Fed responded swiftly and decisively to the rapidly accelerating financial and economic uncertainty brought on by efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The current...

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

“If Santa should fail to call, bears may come to Broad and Wall.” —Yale Hirsh December is widely known as one of the best months of the year for stocks, but most don’t realize that the majority of the gains...

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

With concern about inflation rising for some investors, we’ve started to receive questions about Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, or TIPS. With TIPS, the principal of the bond, the part that’s paid back when the...

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Brexit, the United Kingdom’s (UK) withdrawal from the European Union (EU), is making news again as it stumbles toward its apparent conclusion on December 31, 2020. The major sticking point now: fish. The UK officially left the EU...

Friday, December 18, 2020

Leading economic indicators are flashing yellow, as it becomes clearer that rising COVID-19 case counts and renewed lockdowns are inflicting damage on a budding economic recovery. On December 18th, the Conference Board released its...

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Federal Reserve (Fed) demonstrated Wednesday in its final policy meeting of the year—again—that it has not exhausted the tools it has for supporting the economy and still holds plenty in reserve. The Fed kept its target...

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Stocks continue to surprise to the upside, with the Russell 2000 Index (small caps) and the Nasdaq making new all-time highs on Tuesday. The S&P 500 Index, a chip shot from new highs, already has made 30 new highs so far this year....

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Back in July, we wrote in our July 23 blog that dollar weakness may continue, highlighting a short-term bearish technical case for the US dollar. Since then, the Bloomberg US Dollar Index and the US Dollar Index (DXY) are down 5.3% and...

Monday, December 14, 2020

The November reading for the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the most well-known measure of inflation, was released Thursday, December 10, and while both the headline and “core” readings (excluding food and energy) came in...

Thursday, December 10, 2020

This week we released Outlook 2021: Powering Forward, with our 2021 market and economic views. In the past several Outlook publications, we have favored the United States over developed international in equity allocations...

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Tuesday, we released our 2021 market views in Outlook 2021: Powering Forward. We are extremely proud of this report and we can’t wait to hear your feedback! As we explain in Outlook 2021, we anticipate a strong earnings rebound...

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

2020 has been a tumultuous year, and as we near its close, we are pleased to present Outlook 2021: Powering Forward, which outlines our views on markets, the economy, and policy into 2021 and beyond. Policy changes should be relatively...

Friday, December 4, 2020

The pace of US jobs growth slowed further in November, adding fuel to what’s been borne out by recent high-frequency data: The economic recovery is increasingly cooling in the face of rising COVID-19 cases and renewed lockdowns....

Thursday, December 3, 2020

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in the US, particularly in the Midwest. This latest wave of the virus and related restrictions have begun to hamstring economic growth at a time when momentum was already fading as we entered the...

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

What a month November was! Here are some of the highlights: Best month for Dow since January 1987 (11.9%) and best November since 1928 Best month ever for the STOXX 600 (16.7%) Best month ever for the Russell 2000 (18.3%) Best month...

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Not surprisingly, corporate credit spreads widened dramatically back in March 2020, making corporate bonds cheap relative to historical averages. (Credit spreads are the extra yield corporate bonds offer versus similarly dated...

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

As 2020 winds down, it has been an extremely tough year on all of us. Still, there are many reasons to be thankful and today we will share some reasons investors should be thankful. Stocks have had one of the largest reversals ever in...

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

It may be a year or more before the end of the recession is officially called, but gauging from the growth we’ve seen since April, it may already be over. If that’s true, it’s a good time to take a look at what US...

Monday, November 23, 2020

COVID-19 cases have been rising in several regions around the world, prompting many countries to implement new restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. Governments in a few European countries have rolled out what has been dubbed...

Friday, November 20, 2020

Leading economic indicators are confirming what high-frequency data has been telling us for weeks: The rate of the domestic economic recovery, while still positive, is slowing. On November 19, the Conference Board released its October...

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Real-time European COVID-19 and economic data provides an insight into how the pandemic is affecting economies around the world. We’re monitoring real-time data because traditional economic data is too slow to pick up the changes...

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

First, the big economic data point this week was retail sales. Although the headline number was a little light at 0.3% versus an expected 0.5% gain month-over-month, it still hit another new all-time high along the way (source: US...

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Fixed income investors aren’t used to having to deal with the volatility of stocks, but in the year that is 2020, that is exactly what has happened thus far. Unfortunately, while we don’t see the volatility of Q1 2020...

Monday, November 16, 2020

It took more than two years, but small caps finally broke out to new highs, as the Russell 2000 Index on Friday closed at its first new high since August 31, 2018. This capped off one of the longest stretches ever without a new high....

Friday, November 13, 2020

This year’s Masters Golf Tournament teed off Thursday at the Augusta National Course in Georgia. While there will be some familiar sights as the players compete for the coveted green jacket, it will also be a year unlike any...

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Bond markets have had quite a ride since Election Day. The 10-year Treasury yield had been climbing very slowly in the months leading up to the election as the economy improved, but possibly also in anticipation of a potential...

Monday, November 9, 2020

Stocks just had their best week since April, with the S&P 500 Index incredibly a chip shot away from new all-time highs. Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States, but markets are confident Republicans will maintain the...

Friday, November 6, 2020

The US labor market shrugged off election uncertainty and continued to add jobs in October. Despite the waning effects of fiscal stimulus and rising COVID-19 cases, per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US economy added 638,000...

Thursday, November 5, 2020

As of Thursday morning, a winner to the 2020 presidential election has yet to be “officially” declared as several battleground states have yet to be called. Even as more clarity emerges from remaining votes being counted in...

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The election is over, but the questions are mounting. We don’t know who will be the next president as of Wednesday morning, but we do know that stocks tend to do well the final two months of an election year. “Once the...

Friday, October 30, 2020

With Election Day a mere five days away, we at LPL Research thought we would add one last election forecaster to the mix of what we’ve presented over the last several months—as much because of what it might tell us about...

Thursday, October 29, 2020

The outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns triggered the largest quarter over-quarter decline in gross domestic product (GDP) since WWII, so perhaps it comes as no surprise that the following quarter tallied the sharpest...

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Historically it has been unwise to attempt to “play” the stock market ahead of an election in an attempt to position based on perceived implications of a president’s policies, but the municipal bond market may be more...

Monday, October 26, 2020

With the election only eight days away and earnings season in full swing, stocks have bucked the usual October weakness during election years so far in 2020 (Monday’s losses notwithstanding). The good news is this could continue,...

Friday, October 23, 2020

The Federal Reserve’s (Fed) Beige Book presented qualitative data that suggested the pace of the economic recovery had been tapering, as we discussed in the LPL Research blog, Beige Book Shows Pace of Recovery is Moderating, but...

Thursday, October 22, 2020

We have seen a historic rebound in economic growth since the US economy emerged from lockdowns, but the pace of the economic rebound has tapered in recent weeks as the effects of fiscal stimulus fade. The recently released Federal...

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Now that we have your attention with that eye-grabbing title, there’s definitely something to the idea that stocks perform better the year after a sitting president wins reelection. “Think about it—usually when a...

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The 10-year US Treasury yield, at 0.77% as of October 19, is still near historical lows set earlier this year. Historically, 10-year Treasury performance for the next 10 years has tended to track the Treasury yield at the start of the...

Friday, October 16, 2020

There are many charts that caught our attention this week, and today we share the top 5 charts we’re watching. The S&P 500 Index recently had a four-week losing streak and fell nearly 10% along the way, while the Nasdaq and many...

Thursday, October 15, 2020

We continue to monitor real-time COVID-19 and economic data to provide insight into how the pandemic is affecting economies around the world. Traditional economic data sometimes can be too slow to pick up the changes that are occurring...

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

With Election Day just under a month away and voting already taking place in many states, it is still anyone’s guess who will win on November 3. With all of the noise surrounding the election, we prefer to focus on the signals...

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The 10-year Treasury yield has stayed in a narrow range since April 2020, helped by a supportive Federal Reserve and ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. As shown in LPL’s Chart of the Day, the 10-year Treasury yield...

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Stimulus talks in Washington, DC, are getting a lot of attention from investors—and for good reason. The midpoint of the two offers—roughly $1.6 trillion from the White House and $2.2 trillion from US House...

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Stocks fared well during the third quarter despite September’s weakness, with the S&P 500 Index returning about 9%. The quarterly gain brought the return through the first nine months of the year to 5.6%. Here we peel back the...

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

The third quarter was characterized by the carry-over of economic momentum from the second quarter, as states continued to lift restrictions to reopen their economies. Perhaps it was no surprise that some of the hardest hit and most...

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Index Performance View expanded table. View expanded table. View expanded table. US and International Equities The S&P 500 Index gave back some gains in September after a strong five-month run, with most sectors finishing in the red....

Friday, October 2, 2020

First and foremost, we wish President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump a swift and full recovery. This October surprise raises the already high level of political uncertainty markets are dealing with as Election Day approaches...

Thursday, October 1, 2020

With the election drawing near, politicians, pundits, and especially voters will be paying even closer attention to the state of the US economy. It’s been a wild ride since the outbreak of COVID-19 around the world, and with such...

Thursday, October 1, 2020

“October: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February.” Mark Twain After a historic 60%...

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The first presidential debate is now in the books, with two more (maybe) ahead and a vice presidential debate on October 7. The debate was raucus, occasionally uncouth, and more than a little surreal for viewers at home. But did...

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

An old Wall Street adage says bond markets are smarter than equity markets, so when stocks encounter volatility, investors often look to the bond market for clues about the potential severity of equity market weakness. The...

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The first presidential debate is tonight, September 29, with millions of people expected to tune in to see how each candidate handles the pressure. With tensions heightened amid an election that may be much closer than the polls...

Friday, September 25, 2020

The September weakness continued with the S&P 500 Index 9.6% off the all-time high set on September 2 (as of 9/23/20). It is important to remember that after a 60% rally in the S&P 500—and much more in some of the large cap tech...

Thursday, September 24, 2020

In recent months, we have warmed up to Europe as a destination for equity investments in global portfolios. Through July, Europe had done a relatively good job containing the first wave of COVID-19, and cases were plummeting to...

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

On March 23, 2020, the S&P 500 Index closed down 2.9% for the day, bringing its total loss from its all-time high to 33.9%. The index was in the midst of its fastest bear market ever. A day earlier, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had...

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A few weeks ago we looked at how different bond sectors performed during rising rate periods during the last economic cycle (2009–2020). Today we look at falling rate periods—not the outcome we expect, but it can still be...

Monday, September 21, 2020

We check in again today on some of the real-time economic data that LPL Research is monitoring to provide timely and valuable insights into the state of the US economy. Traditional economic data is often reported too slowly to pick up...

Friday, September 18, 2020

One of the top requests we’ve received the past few weeks is for more charts on the US elections. We shared some of our favorite in Election Charts You Need to See: Part 1 and Part 2, and today’s the third blog in our...

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Retail sales rose 0.6% month over month in August following July’s downwardly revised 0.9% advance, but sales fell short of Bloomberg’s consensus expectation for a 1% increase. The retail sales control group, which excludes...

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The US Federal Reserve (Fed) and Bank of Japan (BoJ) both meet this week, while the European Central Bank (ECB) met last week. When central bankers talk— markets listen. “The global economy has been steadying faster than...

Monday, September 14, 2020

As we noted last week, the demand for election charts is off the charts (pun intended), so we are sharing some of our favorite election charts. Without further ado, here are some more election charts you need to know as November 3...

Friday, September 11, 2020

First off, our thoughts go out to everyone who was impacted by the tragic events of September 11, 2001—19 years ago today. It is a day to reflect and remember those who were lost. One of the top requests we’ve had here at...

Thursday, September 10, 2020

With everything else going on this year due to COVID-19, it’s been easy to lose track of the latest fallout of the United Kingdom’s (UK) withdrawal from the European Union (EU), also known as Brexit. The UK is currently in...

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

While the direction of the 10-year Treasury yield over the last cycle was decidedly lower, as shown in LPL’s Chart of the Day, there were still six extended periods where it rose at least 0.75%, and in two of those it rose almost...

Friday, September 4, 2020

The jobs market remains strong, as the August nonfarm payrolls came in at a solid 1.37 million jobs created, right in line with expectations. This was the fourth consecutive month of gains, up 10.6 million over this time frame. In...

Thursday, September 3, 2020

The outbreak of COVID-19 caused considerable deterioration in the economy and left many wondering when we might expect conditions to improve. As historic stimulus measures were implemented to backstop the economy from outright collapse...

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The S&P 500 Index just closed the door on its best August since 1986, making new all-time highs along the way, while also closing up five months in a row. First things first, make no mistake about it; this is a new bull market. That of...

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell gave a significant speech at the annual central bank symposium at Jackson Hole last week in which he laid out the general conclusions of the Fed’s review of its Statement on Longer-Run...

Monday, August 31, 2020

What a month August has been so far, with the S&P 500 Index up more than 7%, for the best August since 1984. Not to be outdone, this is the first time in history August saw two separate 6-day (or more) win streaks. Last, with one day...

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The incredible rally off the March 23 bear market bottom continues, with the S&P 500 Index up more than 50% from those fateful lows. It feels like a lifetime since the longest bull market ever ended. Remember though, although the...

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

As the economy begins to recover, with the early stage more robust than expected, we increasingly get asked when interest rates will move meaningfully higher. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, historically rates don’t start...

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

“Better late than never.” It took a while, but the S&P 500 Index finally made a new all-time high, coming all the way back from the vicious 34% bear market in less than six months. View enlarged chart. It might bring back...

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

As the COVID-related economic weakness that characterized the first half of the year subsides, growth has begun to return as trillions in fiscal stimulus have helped to stabilize consumer spending. Against a backdrop of improving labor...

Friday, August 14, 2020

The S&P 500 Index has been flirting with a new all-time high the past few days and is currently less than half a percent away from exceeding the last all-time high set on February 19. What a different world it is from that last new...

Thursday, August 13, 2020

We continue to follow high-frequency data to assess whether the US recovery remains on track or if it has been derailed by COVID-19 outbreaks in parts of the country. Here we look at 5 charts that illustrate that the economic recovery...

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The S&P 500 Index is a few points away from a new all-time high, completing one of the fastest recoveries from a bear market ever. But this will also seal the deal on the shortest bear market ever. Remember, the S&P 500 Index lost 20%...

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

As election season heats up, we are often presented with questions regarding market returns based on the political party composition of the White House and Congress. In our Election Preview Weekly Market Commentary, we took a closer...

Friday, August 7, 2020

After falling the most on record in April, the US labor market has rebounded with three consecutive months of job gains, adding back more than 9 million of the 22 million jobs lost in March and April. In July, the economy added back...

Friday, August 7, 2020

We’ve written quite a bit lately about the deterioration in high-frequency data. Indicators of mobility (such as auto and air travel, commuting activity, restaurant diners, etc.) leveled off in July due to the latest wave of...

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

This isn’t like any recession we’ve ever seen, as it was sparked by a horrible pandemic and happened because people were told to stay inside. The impact was the worst contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) last quarter...

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The 10-year Treasury yield is historically low, so low that it could climb a full 1% before the end of the year and still be the lowest year-end yield on record, with room to spare. Historically low rates come with a genuine concern...

Monday, August 3, 2020

2020 has been historic and devastating in many ways, from the fastest bear market ever, to one of the greatest stock market recoveries ever. Not to mention a historic drop in the economy in the second quarter, with likely a record jump...

Friday, July 31, 2020

Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Facebook. These five stocks have helped spawn a number of acronyms as they try to capture the rise of mega-cap tech stocks that have led the market higher for much of the past decade. The average...

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The best thing we can say about today’s US gross domestic product (GDP) report for the second quarter is that it’s behind us. GDP contracted at a 32.9% annualized rate during the quarter, the largest decline on record. If...

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Federal Reserve (Fed) completed its latest two-day policy meeting Wednesday, July 29, and the primary message coming from the world’s most important central bank was a continued commitment to supporting the economy as long as...

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

“An object in motion tends to remain in motion along a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force.” Sir Isaac Newton Last September, we noted that gold had many structural reasons to soar. Well, soar it has,...

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

After carving out the first part of a “V-shaped” recovery, the US economy has leveled off somewhat in response to the latest wave of COVID-19 infections. In this week’s Weekly Market Commentary: Stalling Economic...

Monday, July 27, 2020

“That’s not a knife … that’s a knife!” Paul Hogan in Crocodile Dundee There is growing talk that growth stocks and specifically technology stocks are in a bubble. But as Paul Hogan showed is in the...

Monday, July 27, 2020

The US dollar was remarkably strong during the first quarter of 2020, benefitting from the flight to safety and rallying to nearly a 10% year-to-date gain at the stock market’s low point on March 23. However, as equity markets...

Monday, July 27, 2020

Leading economic indicators continued to rebound in June, albeit at a slightly slower pace than in May. Yesterday, The Conference Board released its June report detailing the latest reading for its Leading Economic Index (LEI), a...

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

LPL Research released it's Midyear Outlook 2020 last week, discussing the path of the eventual economic and market recovery. What makes this year so incredible is, as of July 21, the S&P 500 Index moved positive for the year....

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

While the 10-year Treasury yield has traded in a narrow range since early April, the equivalent real yield, represented by the yield on 10-year Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS), has continued to fall and could go lower....

Thursday, July 16, 2020

The gradual reopening of the US economy has started to lift Main Street sentiment from depressed levels, according to the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) Beige Book. Despite growing concerns about rising COVID-19 cases in several pockets...

Thursday, July 16, 2020

LPL Financial Research is looking ahead for new ways to face current challenges and prepare for better times. Use LPL's Midyear Outlook 2020 to chart a path to eventual economic and market recovery. Plus, learn how stocks may predict...

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

We check in again today on some of the real-time economic data that LPL Research is monitoring to provide insight into how the latest increase in COVID-19 cases and the rollback of certain reopening measures are affecting the state of...

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Based on the latest polling data, there’s growing consensus that former Vice President Joe Biden potentially may win the election and Democrats possibly may sweep Congress. Some might think this could be a negative for stocks, as...

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

After pulling back in the first quarter of 2020, flows into bond mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) dominated stocks in the second quarter. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the second quarter is consistent with recent...

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The wild ride of 2020 continues, with the S&P 500 Index down 20% in the first quarter and up 20% in the second quarter. Much like dropping a 20 dollar bill and picking it up, this doesn’t mean you are 20 dollars wealthier. Down...

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

It’s certainly been a wild ride for stocks in 2020. Barely past the halfway point, the year has already brought the worst pandemic to hit the US in over 100 years, an unprecedented government-induced recession as much of the...

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index posted a solid total return of 2.9% in the second quarter of 2020, its eighth consecutive quarterly gain, and a relatively strong quarter for the broad investment-grade bond index...

Monday, July 6, 2020

Following the massive beat in May nonfarm payrolls, many wondered if last month’s job gains pulled forward hiring ahead of the expiration of the Paycheck Protection Program to ensure small business loans were forgivable. Recall...

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

We check in again today on some of the real-time economic data that LPL Research is monitoring to provide valuable insights into the current state of the US economy, even as traditional economic data is too slow to pick up the changes...

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

What a quarter the second quarter was, with the S&P 500 Index adding 20.0%, for the best quarter since 1998 and the best second quarter since 1938. Of course, stocks fell 20% in the first quarter, so what we really have is a bad case...

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Nearly four months ago, in late February, the 10-year Treasury yield broke to its lowest level ever, undercutting the record lows from 2016 of 1.32%. Over the following two weeks, as fears surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic intensified,...

Friday, June 26, 2020

The economy is moving in the right direction, as many economic data points are coming in substantially better than what the economists expected. From May job gains coming in more than 10 million higher than expected and retail sales...

Thursday, June 25, 2020

What is a Collateralized Loan Obligation (CLO)? Collateralized loan obligations (CLO) are portfolios of leveraged loans, a type of below-investment grade loan usually taken out by more heavily indebted companies. Each CLO is divided...

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

What can we learn about investment income opportunities from coupon-clipping environments? From 1977 to 2019, the price of the Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index rose in 22 calendar years and fell in 21 years, but, adding in...

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The US economy has made impressive progress in recent weeks. As the economy re-opens, the way we assess the recovery has changed. In March and April, we were looking for evidence that growth in COVID-19 cases was...

Monday, June 22, 2020

The Citigroup Economic Surprise Index, or CESI, tracks how the economic data fare compared with expectations. The index rises when economic data exceeds Bloomberg consensus estimates and falls when data is below forecasts. The CESI has...

Friday, June 19, 2020

Yesterday, The Conference Board released last month’s reading for its Leading Economic Index (LEI), a composite of leading data series, which showed a month-over-month increase of 2.8%. As seen in the LPL Chart of the Day, the...

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Stocks have shaken off the 5.9% S&P 500 Index drop last Thursday by gaining three days in a row before yesterday’s modest weakness. While researching and reading this week, three charts stood out that tell us quite a good deal...

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

COVID-19 has decimated global demand as lockdowns materially re-shaped consumer and business behavior. Even as states have begun to re-open, significant questions remain about how demand could recover. The May retail sales print...

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The yield on the 10-year Treasury yield has been broadly declining since the early 1980s, when it peaked over 15%, but even over that long decline there have been intermittent periods of rising rates. In fact, after periods of...

Monday, June 15, 2020

Real-time data continues to provide valuable insight into the current state of the US economy even as traditional economic data is too slow to pick up changes that are occurring. Today we revisit some of the real-time data points that...

Friday, June 12, 2020

“Stocks take an escalator up, but an elevator down.” — Old investment axiom The saying above sure happened yesterday. In the end, the S&P 500 Index fell 5.9% for the worst day since March 16 and the first three-day...

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Federal Reserve (Fed) completed its third scheduled policy meeting of the year Wednesday, June 10, and continued to signal strong support for the economy, committing to keeping rates near zero until it is confident of a recovery...

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

US equities continued to gain ground in May, with the S&P 500 Index advancing an additional 4.5%. However, Treasury yields have been remarkably stable since the equity markets bottomed on March 23, with the 10-year Treasury yield...

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

In probably one of the least surprising economic calls of all time, the Nation Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) officially declared an end to the longest expansion ever and the start of a new recession. As shown in the LPL Chart of...

Monday, June 8, 2020

It has been a volatile year for the US dollar, which has given back nearly all of its gains in 2020 after behaving as a “safe haven” during the market volatility in March. While a variety of factors and headlines can have...

Friday, June 5, 2020

It appears optimistic stock investors have for the moment won out versus more dour economic forecasters. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly employment report this morning, revealing that the domestic economy gained...

Thursday, June 4, 2020

In many ways, what we’ve seen so far in 2020 has been both record-breaking and devastating. From the S&P 500 Index peak on February 19 to the bear market lows March 23, stocks lost 33.9%. Now, 50 trading days later, stocks have...

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The S&P 500 Index has rallied mightily off of its March 23 low, climbing almost 40% through the close of the market yesterday, as market participants look ahead to the economy continuing to gradually reopen. While there are signs that...

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

2020 is only five months old, but in many ways it is one of the most historic years we’ve ever seen. “2020 went from moving along nicely, to seeing the worst recession in a generation and the fastest bear market ever...

Friday, May 29, 2020

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 Index closed above its 200-day moving average for the first time since March 4. While that move marks an important milestone for an index that has rebounded more than 35% from its March 23 low, we believe...

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Despite the gradual reopening of the economy in several states, sentiment on Main Street remains suppressed, as the effects of COVID-19 appear to be keeping a lid on American optimism in the most recent Federal Reserve (Fed) Beige Book...

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The S&P 500 Index flirted with closing above 3,000 yesterday, even as much of the economic data is some of the worst we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes. We are often asked how this is possible. The reality is the double backstop of...

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Federal Reserve (Fed) increased its bond exchange-traded funds (ETF) purchases in the week ending May 20 (the most recent data available), adding another $1.5 billion in bond ETFs to its balance sheet, bringing the total holding to...

Friday, May 22, 2020

Leading economic indicators are signaling that the pace of economic deterioration may be slowing. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI), a composite of leading data series, fell...

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Most economic charts we look at from the LPL Research Department look alike. Many segments of the US economy came to an abrupt halt in March when the lockdowns and business closures began, making most economic charts covering March and...

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The incredible rally off the March 23 lows continues for equities, with the S&P 500 Index now up more than 32% in 40 trading days. As impressive as the rally has been, we do have some near-term concerns, as we discussed in Downside...

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

There’re plenty of people who think negative interest rates are a good policy. But we don’t really think so at the Federal Reserve. And I think it’s an area of real uncertainty in the central banking world. -Fed Chair...

Friday, May 15, 2020

Retail sales numbers for April were released today, and the basic story was no surprise. Retail sales fell a record 16.4% in April, after declining 8.4% in March, already the largest decline since the government started keeping records...

Friday, May 15, 2020

As we discussed in earlier this week in Markets Due for a Pause, there were multiple technical reasons to believe that US equities were due for some sort a pullback following a more than 30% rally from the March 23 lows. Technical...

Thursday, May 14, 2020

As stocks rallied 30% off the March 23 lows and earnings expectations were cut dramatically, valuations have become increasingly concerning for many investors (including some high-profile hedge fund managers being quoted in the...

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Gold has done quite well so far in 2020, up more than 12% year to date versus the S&P 500 Index which is down about 10%. We started to warm to the yellow metal late last year and continue to think it can serve as a potential hedge in a...

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Like most major segments of the bond market outside Treasuries, mortgage-backed securities (MBS) experienced increased market stress as global COVID-19 containment efforts accelerated. And, like most major segments of the bond market,...

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The number of COVID-19 tests in the US has ramped up significantly, which is a major step to defeating this terrible pandemic. “We know we need more testing to help quickly isolate those infected, and last week we had more than...

Friday, May 8, 2020

Economists had braced market participants for massive job losses in today’s employment report, but that does not make the numbers any less eye-popping. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly employment report this...

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Stocks have staged one of the strongest rallies ever since the S&P 500 Index’s bear market low on March 23. Some, including LPL Research, are worried that the rally may have come too far too fast given the economic realities...

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Recent economic data confirms that the US economy has entered a recession, led by the consumer, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy based on gross domestic product (GDP). The consumer spending collapse was evident...

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

One of the most historic market crashes ever took place 10 years ago today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index plunging more than 1,000 points, or 9%, within minutes, only to regain most of the losses by the end of the day....

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Like other areas of the economy, the finances of states, counties, cities, and towns have been heavily impacted by efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The disruption has raised concerns for municipal bond (“muni”)...

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Federal Reserve (Fed), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) all met in the last week and while the show of power was minimal compared to recent weeks, they collectively reasserted their resolve to do...

Thursday, April 30, 2020

One of the best known investment axioms is to “sell in May and go away.” This is largely because these six months have historically been some of the worst six months of the year. As you can see below, the next six months...

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Over the past couple of weeks, we have thankfully witnessed new cases of COVID-19 in the US trending lower. Increasingly, we are also seeing governors implementing plans to re-open their state economies in phases. If the US economy...

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for April came in 86.9, falling more than 30 points from the prior month. The monthly drop was the biggest for the index since 1973, reflecting the severity of the economic...

Friday, April 24, 2020

With 20% of S&P 500 Index companies having reported first quarter results so far, earnings season has been a mixed bag. In our April 13 earnings preview, we noted that S&P 500 Index earnings for the quarter were expected to decline 10%...

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

With 22 million jobs lost in the past four weeks, a record drop in retail sales, and huge drops in industrial production and housing starts, it is safe to say we are likely in a recession. Even the Federal Reserve (Fed) in the recent...

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Headlines had oil selling at -$37.63 per barrel at close on Monday, April 20. The negative sign in front? Sellers had to pay buyers $37.63 to take the oil off their hands. Except this wasn’t the price of oil. It was the price of...

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Stock returns get all the headlines, and with US equities entering their first bear market since 2008, there is good reason for that. However, fixed income may account for a significant portion, or even a majority, of many...

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

We continue to follow our Road to Recovery Playbook for help determining where the market is in its bottoming process. Today we are making two changes. The first is to Signal #1, which we upgraded from “monitoring daily” to...

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

What a ride 2020 has been for investors. The fastest bear market ever, now one of the steepest recoveries ever. After being down more than 30% for the year on March 23, this recovery is extremely impressive. In fact, before yesterday,...

Monday, April 13, 2020

First quarter earnings season will kick off this week with 40 S&P 500 Index companies slated to report results, including several of the biggest banks on Tuesday and Wednesday. Analysts are calling for a roughly 10% year-over-year...

Thursday, April 9, 2020

The economic damage inflicted by the current COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented, with thousands of businesses temporarily shuttered and millions of workers out of work. While the historic drop in economic activity is real and...

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Market Blog Stocks have rallied nicely off the March 23 lows on the back of a bold policy response from the Federal Reserve (Fed) and lawmakers in Washington, DC, which was followed by signs that a peak in growth of COVID-19 cases may...

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Did the US economy go into a recession last month? According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) the answer is no, but we think there’s a good chance that will be revised after the fact to show the economy did...

Monday, April 6, 2020

Experiencing a major pullback in stocks is never a comfortable feeling. In times like these, we believe it can be helpful to set aside the daily headlines and keep perspective of how stocks have historically performed over the long...

Friday, April 3, 2020

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly employment report this morning, showing the US jobs market posted its first month-over-month decline in March since September 2010. As seen in the chart below, total nonfarm...

Thursday, April 2, 2020

More than 6 million people filed new claims for unemployment in the week ending March 28. It’s hard to capture what a number like that means. Last week’s 3.3 million new claims was already almost five times the previous...

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

With the US economy having entered recession, investors were braced for weak manufacturing data today. The report released this morning at 10am ET clearly showed the pandemic has negatively impacted the sector, but the headline number...

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Factor #1 in our Road to Recovery Playbook is finding confidence in the peak of COVID-19 cases in the United States. Ford Financial Group and LPL Research are monitoring this factor daily, and we wanted to provide an update into what...

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The big equity bounce has continued, with the S&P 500 Index up more than 17% from the multi-year lows hit last Monday. The big question on many investors’ minds is could this be a bear market rally? After all, some of the most...

Friday, March 27, 2020

With the major stock market indexes all entering a bear market this month, it’s no surprise that stocks have stolen most of the spotlight. However, actions taken by the Federal Reserve (Fed) to support what may be considered the...

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Weekly new jobless claims were reported this morning, and to no one’s surprise they rose to levels thought unimaginable just a few weeks ago. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, 3.3 million people filed new claims for...

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

We’ve been monitoring the details in our Road to Recovery Playbook closely over the past few weeks, looking for ways to opportunistically take advantage of the sharp pullback in equity prices. The Playbook has five important...

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented volatility in recent weeks that has investors and traders scrambling to assess the economic and market impact of the aggressive containment measures. This past week the CBOE Volatility...

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The incredible volatility continues, with the S&P 500 Index now in one of its worst bear markets ever, along the way making the quickest move from an all-time high to down 30% at only 22 days. What is a long-term investor to do?...

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

As COVID-19-related fear continues grip global financial markets, we wanted to take a closer look at factor #1 in our Road to Recovery Playbook: confidence in the timing of a peak of new COVID-19 cases in the United States. This is...

Monday, March 23, 2020

Policy makers in Washington, DC, worked over the weekend to try to put the finishing touches on a significant stimulus package to help cushion the economic and financial blow being delivered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal...

Friday, March 20, 2020

Over the past few weeks, investors may have been introduced to a new term they weren’t previously familiar with: circuit breakers. Today, we answer a few simple questions about circuit breakers: What is a circuit break? A circuit...

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The indiscriminate selling continued yesterday, with one of the worst days in stock market history. Fears over the potential impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) have led to one of the steepest sell-offs in history, rivaling what we saw in...

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

In just 13 trading days, the S&P 500 Index pulled back nearly 19% from its recent all-time highs, making this the fastest such move in stock market history. We all know why this happened, as concerns over COVID-19 (coronavirus) and...

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

On October 16, 2008 in an editorial for The New York Times, Warren Buffett, considered by many to be one of the greatest investors of his generation, repeated one of his favorite maxims: Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy...

Friday, March 6, 2020

While stock markets continue to be extremely volatile as they come to terms with how the coronavirus may affect global growth, the U.S. job market has remained remarkably robust. Continued U.S. jobs data resilience in the face of...

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Despite strong market gains on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, the on-the-run 10-year Treasury yield ended the day below 1% for the first time ever and has posted additional declines in real time, sitting at 0.92% intraday as this blog is...

Thursday, March 5, 2020

The hits keep coming, as the Federal Reserve (Fed) did an intra-meeting cut yesterday, causing stocks to sell off hard on concerns the economy is on more fragile footing than most think. Read First Emergency Rate Cut By the Fed Since...

Thursday, March 5, 2020

In a move in which the timing was more compelling than the decision itself, the Federal Reserve (Fed) announced this morning that it unanimously decided to cut its policy rate by 50 basis points (0.5%) from the 1.5-1.75% range to the...

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Amid all of the attention on the coronavirus outbreak and related market volatility, and rightly so, we did get one of the most impactful U.S. economic data points on Monday—the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Purchasing...

Friday, February 28, 2020

Amid increasing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its potential impacts on global economic growth, many major global stock markets entered correction territory on Thursday; a correction is generally defined as...

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The coronavirus outbreak—or Covid-19 —has caused significant market volatility over the past week. Our approach as always is to focus on economic fundamentals first, but the uncertainty around the scope of the outbreak has...

Monday, February 24, 2020

News that the coronavirus—known as COVID-19—has spread to South Korea, Italy, Japan, and Iran, has led to massive selling around the globe, with many European markets closing down more than 4%. U.S. stock markets are...

Friday, February 21, 2020

The recent news that technology giant Apple would miss its fourth quarter 2020 revenue targets has understandably increased investor anxiety surrounding the potential economic impact of the coronavirus (now called COVID-19). Lost in...

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

We hope everyone had a nice Presidents’ Day yesterday, and by nice we hope you got the day off work! In honor of George Washington, starting in 1971, the third Monday in February was originally celebrated as a Federal holiday to...

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A late month selloff in January saw the S&P 500 Index close marginally lower for the month. But stocks have taken off in February, with the S&P 500 up nearly 4% this month, as US economic data remains strong and fears over the...

Monday, April 23, 2018

1. I don't have enough money to invest. Sure, some firms have minimum dollar requirements in order for you to get in the door, however not all firms are the same. Be sure to research different advisors and see if they have a niche...

Monday, April 16, 2018

In my experience in working with younger investors, I find that many people start to get serious about their finances once they start a family. When you have a little one you're now responsible for, the stakes get a little bit higher,...

Monday, February 5, 2018

Happy 2018! We are making our way through our staff and we hope that you are enjoying learning a little bit more about the folks at Ford Financial Group. This month we are featuring Erin Redmond. Erin has been with Ford for 4 years....

Monday, January 29, 2018

My biggest 2018 resolution is to get out of my comfort zone. It is very easy for me to reject opportunities because they are scary. I am quite content in my little routine, thank you very much. However, this year I am facing my fears...

Monday, December 18, 2017

Yes, another year is almost over. Most of us take a few minutes to sit and ponder about how we can make next year better; more profitable, save more, spend less, max out the retirement plans, save for vacation, put money in our...

Monday, December 11, 2017

This month, we are featuring Ryan Louie. Ryan is a Financial Advisor and has been with Ford for 11 years. In addition to meeting with his clients and the day to day responsibilities of being a Financial Advisor, he’s also a...

Monday, December 4, 2017

What is the one thing that is not only good for your wallet, but also good for your well-being? Giving back and volunteering! The holidays are always a time of deal shopping, parties, treats, and time with family, but it also a time...

Monday, November 20, 2017

In my experience, most of our clients tend to use a 529 college savings account to save and invest for their kid’s college. It is easy, can provide a tax deduction in some states, and has other benefits (like multiple...

Monday, November 13, 2017

Data breach. Identity theft. Cybersecurity. Digital security. Password protection. Hacking. Malware. Are you as sick as I am? Seriously, it makes me want to go back to the 70’s… ok, 80’s - before these words and...

Monday, October 30, 2017

Ah the holidays… the time of year where our schedules fill up with parties, good food, laziness, and nostalgic movies. While the holidays are joyful and a perfect excuse to dive into some baked goods, it can also be a hard time...

Monday, October 23, 2017

One of the things I hear the most often from younger investors is how they are skeptical of equity markets and they want to use what they perceive as more conservative investments as they seek to protect their money as the save for the...

Monday, October 16, 2017

So a loved one left you money, either expectedly or unexpectedly. It might be tempting to treat yourself or your family to a luxury. A new car, a long vacation, new teeth, a face lift... ok, the last two are more impractical but you...

Monday, October 9, 2017

In this month’s profile, we are featuring Robert Farmer, one of two new advisors to join Ford Financial Group. While he’s only been here for a few weeks, he already feels like a long-time member of the team! We are excited...

Monday, October 2, 2017

How taking a simple approach has made money lessons fun for my children (and myself). A couple weeks ago I noticed my daughter, who is 6, was fascinated with the concept of money. As we strolled the aisles of the store rather than my...

Monday, September 25, 2017

In my last post I discussed zero-based budgeting and how it can really help to turn your finances around. In this post I want to cover some of those tools that can make the budgeting process faster and easier, so you can stick with it...

Monday, September 18, 2017

While most of us don’t want to be a financial burden to our kids, without an adequate investment portfolio or some type of Long Term Care Insurance, chances are… we will be. I know, we all say our kids would care for us in...

Monday, September 11, 2017

In this month’s post, we are featuring Brian Ullmann, Financial Advisor here at Ford Financial Group. Brian has been with Ford for 10 years. In addition to preparing and meeting with clients, Brian is also our go-to in house tech...

Monday, September 4, 2017

Budgeting is so much fun... said no one ever. But look, we all should adhere to a budget, if for no other reason than to learn more about our spending habits over time. I am, still to this day, shocked how the little things add up. via...

Monday, August 28, 2017

Many people know, deep down, they need to do a better job of budgeting their money. Yet, we all come up with tons of reasons why we can’t do it THIS month…. You’re too busy, an odd expense just came up, you want to...

Monday, August 21, 2017

Last year, while leaving for a conference, I had a morbid thought… what if the plane goes down? Would my husband know how to pay the bills online? Would he know the passwords? Does he know which payments go out automatically...

Monday, August 14, 2017

Like many of us around here, Nik wears many hats – he is our experienced trader (thanks to his years of experience at a trade desk in Chicago; more on that later), advisor, manager and dad. Nik is used to me asking him a million...

Sunday, August 6, 2017

If you love the NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation" like I do, one of my favorite episodes features a scene where characters Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford spend one day treating themselves to anything they wanted, they called it: via...