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Insights & Ideas

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CONTENT WITH Market Commentary

Timely takes on markets and the economy.

U.S. stocks have broken out of their post-January 2018 trading range and it’s worth a look at sentiment and whether elevated optimism represents a near-term risk.
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A wide range of outcomes from -10% to +40% may lie ahead of emerging market stocks depending on the timing and details of a trade deal.
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Hopes of a trade détente and agreement have led to new highs for U.S. stocks, but investors may be getting too optimistic, too soon.
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Although economic signals are mixed, bottom-up sector fundamentals help inform decisions on sector ratings.
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Last week’s key releases of job growth and ISM manufacturing data highlight the ongoing bifurcation in the economy; with the consumer bucking manufacturing’s malaise.
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As expected, the FOMC lowered the fed funds rate (and the IOER) by 25 basis points; with a slightly more hawkish tone in the accompanying statement.
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The last global economic cycle ended with a housing bust; will the bust in auto sales end this cycle?
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We may be at a moment of truth of sorts for both profits and leading economic indicators as they relate to where we are in the economic cycle.
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Fortunately, stocks are nowhere near that overvalued, based on the price-to-earnings ratio. But, if we take a more refined look at historical stock market valuations at peaks and lows, we find some cause for concern.
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Employment reports are increasingly in focus due to weak survey data and a risk that manufacturing’s weakness spills over to services/consumer segments.

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