The Economic Insights Channel

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.

When an Innocuous Correction is the Start of a Sinister Bear Market

It's true that equities fall before the start of most recessions. So why bother following the economy; why not just follow the price of equities? "Market corrections" occur every 20 months, but less than a third of these actually becomes a bear market. Recessions almost always lead to bear markets, and bear markets outside of recessions are uncommon. For that reason, discerning whether a recession is imminent can help determine when an innocuous correction is probably the start of a sinister bear market.

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.

Michigan Consumer Sentiment: May Final Slips Slightly

The University of Michigan Final Consumer Sentiment for May came in at 98.0, down 0.8 from the April Final reading. Investing.com had forecast 98.8.

‘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.

Equity-Sector Leadership Can Shift Amid Rising Interest Rates

In an environment in which interest rates have been steadily rising — the 10-year US Treasury yield has moved up almost 75 basis points since its recent low in September 2017 — one question that investors face is the potential effect of this phenomenon on equity sectors. Which sectors might be winners or losers in a rising rate environment?

Schwab Market Perspective: Buy in May…and Stay?

Stocks have rebounded along with economic data, could we be setting up for a solid summer?

The Madness of Crowding Out

Public debt may be growing at the expense of private debt, the Chinese bond market is opening up, and important dates for tariffs are fast approaching.

Kansas City Fed Survey: Growth Expanded in May

The latest index came in at 29, up from 26 last month, which indicates that activity expanded in May. The future outlook decreased to 26 from 31 last month. Here is a snapshot of the complete Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Survey.

Existing-Home Sales Slide in April

This morning's release of the April Existing-Home Sales decreased from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million units. The Investing.com consensus was for 5.56 million. The latest number represents a 2.5% decrease from the previous month and a 1.4% decrease year-over-year.

FHFA House Price Index: Up 1.7% in Q1

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released its U.S. House Price Index (HPI) for March. U.S. house prices were up 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted nominal basis from the previous month. Year-over-year the index is up 6.7% (nonseasonally adjusted). Seasonally adjusted, the index is up 4.73% year-over-year.

John Williams Takes the “Under” on Expected Rate Hikes

John Williams, one of the newest members of the Federal Open Market Committee, wrote an article titled “The Future Fortunes of R-star: Are They Really Rising?” where he summarized his views on real neutral interest rates.