There is no question that the U.S. economy is better today than it was when the Federal Reserve started down its path of quantitative easing in late 2008. What remains wide open for debate is just how much of the improvement is due to the Fed's QE program as opposed to normal cyclical factors at work.
There are times when the market needs to catch its breath after a strong run to adjust to a changing macro environment—this is one of those times. Last year’s near 30% run in the S&P 500 was sure to be a tough act to follow with the end of QE and the prospect of Fed rate hikes coming closer into view.
I’ve been around a long time, through many economic and market cycles, and I don’t recall a time when the bull/bear debate had such strong arguments on both sides.
Gold prices fell to a one-week low at $1232.55 per ounce on Friday in London as safe haven demand was eroded after a rebound in US equities and a strengthening dollar.
Thus far, the European Central Bank (ECB) remains the only one of the world’s major central banks that has resisted QE in the wake of the global financial crisis. That hasn’t been a matter of prudence— it has been a matter of policy paralysis in the European Union...
An interesting article on MarketWatch today caught my attention. The subhead is the money quote, “Back in April every economist in a survey thought yields would rise. Guess what they did next.”
Earnings remain front and center in today’s session, with positive results from a number of industry leaders helping boost investor confidence. Hard to tell whether the mood will last through the entire session or not, but markets made a very strong open.
The number of active rigs drilling for oil and gas fell by their most in two months, according to the latest data from oil services firm Baker Hughes. There were 19 oil rigs that were removed from operation as of Oct. 17, compared to the prior week.
Official recession calls are the responsibility of the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee, which is understandably vague about the specific indicators on which they base their decisions. This committee statement is about as close as they get to identifying their method.
EM economies ex-China are slowing to a “new, normal growth” phase, which will keep bulks and base metals under pressure this year and next. These economies join China in a broad-based EM slow-down, which will increase...