The Commodities Channel

High Yield Train Wreck

The first defaults will occur at the lowest end of the problematic market: high yield or “junk” bonds. They will play a role comparable to subprime mortgages in the last crisis. We’ll see mortgage problems as well, but I think overleveraged companies will be the core problem.

Building a Better U.S. Economy

This shouldn’t surprise anyone, but public trust in the federal government is eroding. Sixty years ago, 75 percent of Americans expressed faith in the government to do the right thing “most of the time” or “just about always.” Seventy-five percent! You can’t get 75 percent of people to agree on anything now, as the recent “Laurel or Yanny” video proved.

Trump "Victories" on Trade are Anything But

Earlier this year when President Trump began beating the drums loudly, causing fear of a trade war (and assuring us that such a conflict could be easily won), I cautioned that he had no idea the trouble he was courting . Based on his spectacular misunderstanding of the power dynamic built in to international trade, he was also in danger of bringing a knife to a gunfight.

S&P 500 Snapshot: Down 0.24% from Yesterday

The S&P 500 fluctuated around a smaller interval to start the week and dropped midweek. The index saw a gain of 0.31% from last Friday and 0.24% loss from yesterday. The index is up 0.95% YTD and is 5.27% below its record close.

ECRI Weekly Leading Index Update

This morning's release of the publicly available data from ECRI puts its Weekly Leading Index (WLI) at 148.5, down 0.2 from the previous week. Year-over-year the four-week moving average of the indicator is now at 3.34%, down from 3.80% last week. The WLI Growth indicator is now at 3.5, down from the previous week.

The "Real" Goods on the April Durable Goods Data

This morning, the Census Bureau posted the Advance Report on Durable Goods New Orders. This series dates from 1992 and is not adjusted for either population growth or inflation. Let's now review Durable Goods data with two adjustments.

‘Simplification Day’ for Oil & Gas MLPs: What Investors Need to Know

We believe the news is evidence of a broader shift toward simpler corporate structures in the midstream energy sector – a trend that supports our investment approach and our constructive view of the sector.

Food for Thought: Integrating vs. Mixing

Although a naïve comparison appears to favor the integrating approach to multi-factor strategy construction, after taking into account both quantitative and qualitative considerations, many investors—those seeking transparency, diversification, minimal governance oversight, and low fees—may find mixing is a more sensible choice.

The Fundamentals of RAE: Seeking Value Beyond Borders

It may be time for U.S. investors to challenge their home-country equity biases.

How to Fire a Client

The decision to "fire" a client is painfully difficult. Many planners are reluctant to disengage with difficult clients due to a sense of responsibility. If you are contemplating firing some of your clients, the following steps will ease the break-up and ensure a minimum of follow-on damages.

Gundlach Defends Technical Analysis

Criticism of technical analysis ranges from bemused skepticism to claims of harebrained alchemy. Few investors as well-respected as Jeffrey Gundlach admit to using it. But yesterday, he explained why he relies on technical analysis under certain conditions.

Oil and the Economy

The rise in oil prices is expected to have mixed effects on the U.S. economy. Higher gasoline prices will restrain consumer spending growth to some extent. However, increased energy exploration implies more capital spending, adding to GDP growth. For Federal Reserve policymakers, the key question is whether higher costs of transporting goods may be passed along to consumer prices.

Imagining the Stock Market in Ten Years

What will the next ten years look like in the U.S. stock market? As we often do, we refer you to one of our favorite songs, “I Can Only Imagine,” and a book by George Friedman, The Next 100 Years. We believe the best performing securities of the next ten years will be very different from the securities and the sectors which currently capture the “popular imagination” of investors.

Global Economic Perspective: May

In this month's Global Economic Perspective, our Fixed Income Group opines on rising energy prices, US Treasury yields, emerging-market currency pressures and global economic growth.

Why Not 50?

Asking if the Federal Reserve will lift the federal funds rate on June 13 is like asking if Las Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who has stopped 94.7% of the shots against him in the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs, will stop the next one. It's a virtual lock.