The Economic Insights Channel

Testing 4: FHFA House Price Index: Up 0.8% in January

Testing 4: The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released its U.S. House Price Index (HPI) for January. U.S. house prices were up 0.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted nominal basis from the previous month. Year-over-year the index is up 7.3% (nonseasonally adjusted). Seasonally adjusted, the index is up 5.60% year-over-year.

Testing: Timing. Conference Board Leading Economic Index: Another Increase in February

Testing: timing. The latest Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for February increased to 108.7 from 108.0 in January. The Coincident Economic Index (CEI) came in at 103.3, up from the previous month.

Testing 4: Kansas City Fed Survey: Growth Maintained in March

Testing round 4: description. The latest index came in at 17, unchanged from last month, which indicates that activity expanded in March. The future outlook decreased to 33 from 38 last month. Here is a snapshot of the complete Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Survey.

S&P 500 Snapshot: Down 3.8% from Last Thursday

This week, the S&P 500 continued to decline with 3 days of losses. The index closed Thursday at its lowest yet of the week and fell 3.77% from this time last week. It is down 1.93% YTD and is 8.0% below its record close.

Killing Each Other

Bill Gross' March 2018 Investment Outlook: A monthly outlook on the global financial markets.

Powell Takes Charge

In his first meeting as Chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell and company delivered what almost everyone had been expecting, a 25 basis point hike in the federal funds rate, and raised expectations for economic activity in the months and years ahead.

Hawks, Doves and Jays: Takeaways From First Fed Rate Hike Under Jerome "Jay" Powell

With new chair Jerome Powell at the helm, the Fed increased borrowing costs today for the sixth time since the U.S. economic expansion began. Can markets expect continued rate hikes under Powell's watch?

Fed Outlook: Headwinds Shift to Tailwinds, But Pace of Hikes Still Gradual

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s announcement of another 25 basis point hike in the fed funds rate range to 1.5% to 1.75% was widely expected by us and by markets. The more interesting aspect of the March FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting is the change to central bank officials’ forecasts.

Do Your Target-Date Funds Measure Up to Rising Rates?

Rising US interest rates could pose a challenge for target-date funds (TDFs) that concentrate on “core” US fixed-income exposure. Diversifying across a broad range of bond markets and strategies can create a cushion in a rising-rate environment.

Fed Remains in Tightening Mode in March

The US Federal Reserve remained in tightening mode at its March monetary policy meeting, raising its benchmark interest rate for the sixth time since December 2015.

The Fed Has the Direction of Prices Correct, but Could be Undershooting the Magnitude

Today the Fed hiked the Fed Funds rate by .25% and also updated their policy statement and the so called dot plot, which is a compilation of the FOMC members projections’ for GDP growth, unemployment and prices.

For Stocks, What Consumers Say Outweighs What They Do

Russ discusses why stocks can still thrive when consumers are confident, but frugal.

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Up 3K, Worse Than Forecast

This morning's seasonally adjusted 229K new claims, up 3K from the previous week's figure, was above the forecast of 225K. From the release: "The claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal."

Worried About Rising Rates? I Believe this Strategy Could Be the Answer

With interest rates continuing to creep up, there’s a changing of the guard at the Federal Reserve. In my travels and during conferences, I’ve spoken with many fixed-income investors who wonder how they can best prepare for the uncertainty these changes might bring.

Gasoline Volume Sales and our Changing Culture

The Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) monthly data on volume sales is several weeks old when it released. The latest numbers, through mid-January, are now available. However, despite the lag, this report offers an interesting perspective on fascinating aspects of the US economy. Gasoline prices and increases in fuel efficiency are important factors, but there are also some significant demographic and cultural dynamics in this data series.