Blog

10May

May update on the US economy

Our proprietary Astor Economic Index® is still showing solid growth in the US economy. The index is currently near the top of the fairly narrow range it has been in the last twelve-month range. The labor market continues to add more jobs than is required to keep up with the natural growth of population and…

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1May

Q1 GDP first look, and more…

The initial read on GDP was released on 4/27/18 and it was better than expected (2.3% reported vs. 2.0% expected).  Although this report is lower than the pace set in the previous 3 quarters, I believe the Fed will continue on the path of raising rates.   Concern of rising rates will continue into the…

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27Apr

Economic Update

Watch Rob’s latest economic webinar 2018-82

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24Apr

What? Me Worry?

The first quarter of 2018 is ‘in the books’ and investors may still feel a little woozy from the ups and downs they experienced. The volatility in Q1 seemingly reminded investors what ‘fear’ feels like and, in my opinion, the financial news mediums started to help investors find the fear they were looking for. To…

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24Apr

Astor Investment Management CEO Robert Stein on Economic Data

Click here to watch our CEO Rob Stein on Morning Trade Live! All information contained herein is for informational purposes only. This is not a solicitation to offer investment advice or services in any state where to do so would be unlawful. Analysis and research are provided for informational purposes only, not for trading or…

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11Apr

U.S.-China Trade Wars: Talk and Market Impact

Your diligent economic blogger is struggling to keep up with the news on the trade war front. Last week the US and China traded threats of additional proposed trade sanctions – to be imposed after the still-theoretical initial set of mutual tariffs announced earlier in April. Recall that the world’s two largest economies will soon…

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14Feb

Market Questions: Less Why, More What

Given the stock market’s 10% drop over about the past two weeks, the question we’re left with now is less about “why” and more about “what.” What to do from here? First, we must keep in mind that the S&P 500 has appreciated by almost 30% in three years with little volatility and only minor…

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7Feb

Bond triple whammy

US ten-year bond yields have increased about 70 basis points to 2.8% over the last several months which gotten the attention of investors.  While ancient market specimens like myself have a hard time seeing 2.8% as “high,” the change from the last several years is interesting.  There is a good argument to be made that…

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5Feb

Comments on Recent Equity Market Pullback

It’s been a very long time since the stock market was the lead news story. That changed quickly as the stock market declined almost 10% (from intraday high to intraday lows) in the course of two days (2/2 ‐ 2/5/2018)—a big move, no matter how you slice it. The question everyone is asking is, “What’s…

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4Feb

Volatile Markets? What Investors Can Expect

Given a recent escalation of questions from advisors and their clients about current market activity, we at Astor wanted to take a few minutes to outline what all of this means for investors. First, it’s important to pause and consider these changes in the overall economic schema. We at Astor have previously discussed in our…

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19Oct

AI in my ETF!

Artificial intelligence continues to move into the ETF space. On October 18, 2017, the Artificial Intelligence run ETF powered by IBM’s Watson launched on the NYSE. The fund, AIEQ, is managed by EquBot and brought to market by ETF Managers Group. It’s hard to deny the lure of such an elegant concept behind an ETF in…

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21Jul

Fed Outlook H2 2017

Our proprietary Astor Economic Index® is still showing good growth in the US economy. The index improved substantially this month to near its highest levels of the year. The bright spot of the economy continues to be broad labor market improvements for such a late period in the cycle. Direct measures of labor market slack…

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16Jun

Why You Need to Care About This Amazon Deal

I was speaking to someone early this morning. Their exact words were “no big headlines on my phone this morning…that’s unusual”. Of course, they were referring more too political headlines, but the point was taken. Then the Amazon/Whole Foods deal hit the tape. By in large it was a surprise to see and exciting. Amazon…

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2Jun

How To Tell If A Smart Beta Trade Is Crowded?

Featured in ETF.com May 23, 2017 With smart beta and factor strategies growing in popularity, getting in and out of them has become a real concern for today’s investors. Are they getting too crowded? How long is too long to be in a strategy? Can I bet against these factors and make money? Deepika Sharma,…

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13Apr

Investing: Put First Things First

At Astor we often say that we focus our attention on the most important question: asset allocation.  For the typical US investor that means primarily the ratio of equities to fixed income and secondarily allocations to diversifying assets to smooth the portfolio returns.  Once you have decided these broad allocations your ultimate returns are –…

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13Mar

This time we mean it – Janet Yellen reviews and previews monetary policy

One of the problems in this business is picking the few relevant pieces of information out of the endless stream of financial news, opinion and speculation.  Like a prospectors looking for a slightly shinier flake of stone among the silt in our pans we occasionally pick out promising pieces we think have not gotten enough…

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14Feb

February Quick Read on the US Economy

I interpreted last few month’s economic releases as showing somewhat stronger economic growth in the US.  Our latest reading for the Astor Economic Index® (“AEI”) is higher over the month and has been moving steadily higher since the election to its highest level in about 18 months.  I still see the US as currently growing…

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26Jan

Prediction 2017: The End of the “Great Experiment of the Managed Economy”

As we look ahead to what 2017 may hold, I’m predicting the end of  what I call “the great experiment”—the managed economy that has dominated the fiscal and economic landscape for nearly ten years. The reason, as we state in the Astor Outlook 2017 Report, is not political. Rather, it’s time! Given where we are…

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18Jan

The Astor Pulse: How To Talk to your Clients about….

How to Talk to Your Clients About …. Dynamic Asset Allocation For many investors, the phrase “asset allocation” brings to mind the traditional 60/40 split between stocks and bonds. In today’s low-return market environment, however, the standard 60/40 asset allocation may not suffice.  At Astor, we believe the solution for investors is to include dynamic…

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19Dec

An Active Approach to Diversify Fixed Income Portfolios

“Active” may not be the approach that immediately comes to mind in income investing. But as the fixed income markets have reminded us recently, taking an active approach can be key to both controlling risk and capturing yield. Click here to learn more about Astor’s Active Income Strategy Consider the recent move in the 10-year…

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All information contained herein is for informational purposes only. This is not a solicitation to offer investment advice or services in any state where to do so would be unlawful. Analysis and research are provided for informational purposes only, not for trading or investing purposes. All opinions expressed are as of the date of publication and subject to change. Astor and its affiliates are not liable for the accuracy, usefulness or availability of any such information or liable for any trading or investing based on such information.”