The U.S. economy continues to be lifted by an incredible wave of new technology. Fracking, 3-D printing, smartphones, apps, and the cloud have boosted productivity and profits. Yet taxes, regulation and spending all increased markedly in the past decade, raising the burden of government and dragging down the real GDP growth rate to a modest 2.2% from mid-2009 to early 2017.
Last year US stock markets experienced the least volatile year on record, hitting new highs seemingly every day. Then came the tax reform bill to end 2017, and a huge January with the S&P 500 rising 5.6%. Investors, especially individuals who finally became convinced that the rally would go on, piled in.
Back in the 1970s, supporters of the status quo said there was nothing to be done about stagflation (high inflation and slow growth). It was a "fact of life" that Americans had to accept after experiencing faster growth and lower inflation during the decades immediately following World War II.
“Animal spirits” were once again at large in global equity markets during the fourth quarter of 2017 as economic growth perked up in many parts of the globe and equity market returns followed in kind.
In January of this year, Franklin Equity Group’s Jonathan Curtis and Robert Stevenson headed to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the biggest technology trade show in the United States. Here, they report back on some of the event’s highlights, including the battle of “smart speaker” platforms, the road ahead for autonomous cars, artificial intelligence and other tech trends.
Jeremy Siegel almost never gives a one-year forecast for stocks, but last week he predicted that U.S. equities will end the year with gains of as much as 10%. That may seem meager for investors who have benefited from double-digit gains in seven of the last nine years, but Siegel said this year will be far better for stocks than it will be for bonds.
In Janet Yellen's swan song as Chair of the Federal Reserve, she exited on a quiet note. The Federal Reserve did what just about everyone expected earlier today, keeping short-term interest rates unchanged while providing forward guidance that economic growth remains on track for further hikes in 2018.
You know the old saying about every cloud having a silver lining? Well, if you listen to some of the financial press, you'd think their motto was that clear skies are just clouds in disguise.
Nominal growth is likely to pick up, reflecting some recovery in real GDP and a gradual rise in inflation.
In their first-quarter (Q1) 2018 outlook, K2 Advisors’ Research and Portfolio Construction teams believe favorable dispersion has created reasons for optimism in three main hedge-fund strategies: Long/Short Equity – Europe, Relative Value and Discretionary Macro. We believe offering these insights will help investors better understand the rationale for owning retail mutual funds that invest in hedge strategies.