The Commodities Channel

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Let's take a closer look at recent activity in US Treasuries. The yield on the 10-year note ended Tuesday at 3.03% and the 30-year bond closed at 3.21%. The 2-10 yield spread is now at 0.54%.

April 2018 Economic Outlook

Conditions we are seeing today are more normal than recent years, when investors grew accustomed to record low interest rates, a near-absence of inflation and the subdued volatility. We expect coordinated global economic expansion will continue through 2018, although improvements in some economic fundamentals may have peaked.

Yes. It's a Bubble. So What?

With sky-high valuations in the US stock market, and what we believe is a tech bubble that has dangerous implications for other areas of the market, we suggest four actions investors can take now to avoid the inevitable bursting of the bubble, and which will likely benefit their portfolios’ long-term performance potential.

Home Price Surge Continues in February, Led by Western States

With today's release of the February S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, we learned that seasonally adjusted home prices for the benchmark 20-city index were up 0.83% month over month. The seasonally adjusted national index year-over-year change has hovered between 4.2% and 6.3% for the last two-plus years. Today's S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index (nominal) reached another new high.

Global Trade and the Unsustainability of Federal Debt

While it may appear the post-Bretton Woods covenant was a win-win pact, there is a massive cost accruing to everyone involved. The U.S. is mired in economic stagnation due to overwhelming debt burdens and a reliance on record-low-interest rates to further spur debt-driven consumption.

Weekly Gasoline Price Update: Regular and Premium Up a Nickel

It's time again for our weekly gasoline update based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The price of Regular and Premium were up a nickel each from last week. According to GasBuddy.com, California has the highest average price for Regular at $3.55 and San Francisco, CA is the most expensive city, averaging $3.68. Oklahoma has the cheapest at $2.40. The WTIC end of day spot price closed at 66.22, a 4.4% increase from this time last week.

Chicago Fed: March Sees Moderation in Growth

"Index points to a moderation in economic growth in March." This is the headline for this morning's release of the Chicago Fed's National Activity Index, and here is the opening paragraph from the report: "Led by slower growth in production- and employment-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) declined to +0.10 in March from +0.98 in February."

China Plays It Cool

This year, China is in the headlines because President Trump wants better trade terms. That’s important, but it’s only one piece of a much larger Chinese story that has been unfolding slowly for decades. Periodically, I check in on the latest developments. Today, we’ll see where we are, with the help of my trusted sources.

Commodities Are Flashing a Once-in-a-Generation Buy Signal

The investment case for commodities, gold and energy is more compelling than at any other time in recent memory.

S&P 500 Snapshot: Up 0.5% WoW

The S&P 500 rose and fell this week, ending Friday up 0.5% from the same time last week. The index was down -0.85% from Thursday and is down 0.95% YTD.

Volatility Awakens: A Market Review

The beginning of the first quarter was serene and pleasurable, as equity markets levitated on the back of increasing earnings expectations and solid world economic underpinnings. But the market euphoria didn’t last long.

ECRI Weekly Leading Index Update

This morning's release of the publicly available data from ECRI puts its Weekly Leading Index (WLI) at 148.9, up 1.1 from the previous week. Year-over-year the four-week moving average of the indicator is now at 2.71%, up from 2.70% last week. The WLI Growth indicator is now at 3.2, down from the previous week.

Oil Is Breaking Out, So Are Inflation Expectations

After spending the last four months consolidating gains, crude oil is breaking higher again, and it’s taking inflation expectations with it. The break higher in crude isn’t surprising given that oil fundamentals haven’t been this good in years.

Global Credit Economic Summary & Outlook

Consumer spending and business fixed investment remained strong, pointing to continued domestic economic growth. Notably, business fixed investment growth, represented by private domestic investment, accelerated to 5.4% year-over-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2017, from a low of 0.71% in the third quarter of 2016.

Protectionists Hide in Your Wallet

When you see trade deficit data between the US and China, be aware that the numbers are vastly different depending on the source. China actually follows a more commonly used protocol to account for trade than does the US. For 2016, for example, US data shows a $375 billion trade deficit with China, whereas China shows $276 billion.