A combination of a weakening U.S. dollar and a decline in the U.S. consumer savings rate has driven corporate profits to all-time highs. This record-breaking earnings season has seen notable technology firms such as Apple and Facebook produce great earnings reports--but, it is notable that the record hasn't been achieved by a select few large companies. When we look at the S&P 500, more companies have been beating earnings and sales estimates than at any time in the past decade. As Jack ... [Continue Reading]
Articles and resources related to Economy.
This fall the Federal Reserve intends to officially begin the process of unwinding their large balance sheet, marking an end to the program known as quantitative easing (QE). This program was initiated in 2008 as the U.S. economy was quickly heading into recession, led by the U.S. housing crisis. The Federal Reserve, over the following six years, purchased $4 Trillion worth of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities in an attempt to prevent the recession from turning into another Great ... [Continue Reading]
Last week, Wall Street’s so-called 'fear indicator,' the VIX (Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index), set a new low since just prior to the 2008 financial crisis. The only time in the past two decades that this indicator was so low was in 2007, right before markets started to decline. Many are wondering aloud if this means that the market has again become too complacent, and that a recession and subsequent market decline are just around the corner. This is the subject of today’s ... [Continue Reading]
TRIVIA TIME: how many stocks make up the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index (a widely used benchmark for the U.S. equity market)? While the logical guess might be 5,000, the reality is that as of December 31, 2016, the index actually included around 3,600 companies. In fact, the last time this index contained 5,000 or more companies was at the end of 2005.1 Surprisingly to most, this reduction in investable companies is nothing new. Over the past two decades, there has been a steep decline in ... [Continue Reading]
2016 was a rollercoaster ride for equity investors. Despite the volatility, and a few white knuckle moments, last year ended up being an excellent one for investors who maintained a long-term perspective. Not only did the S&P 500 recover from the worst start in U.S. stock market history, but CCM clients also captured additional returns from the outperformance of small company stocks and value stocks. In this recommended reading article, Paul Merriman recaps that outperformance and highlights ... [Continue Reading]