Category: Markets

86 posts categorized as "Markets"

29Nov

The “Fear Gauge”

The Cboe Volatility Index® (herein “VIX®” or “VIX® Index”) has become something of a household name. Known sometimes as the “Fear Gauge”, the VIX tracks market participants’ expectations for future S&P 500 Index volatility. In other words, the VIX provides information about the prospect for fluctuations (up or down) in equity markets. When the VIX…

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23Nov

Inflation Hedges: A Look at the Record

TO DOWNLOAD A PRINTABLE VERSION (CLICK HERE) Many of our clients are concerned about a rise in inflation. This note takes a hard look at various supposed inflation hedges. We will look at stocks, bonds, REITs, gold, commodities, T-bills and TIPS: the answer may surprise you. I don’t see one size fits all answers to…

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19Nov

November 2021 Update on the U.S. Economy

The month of October brought plenty of exciting macroeconomic data to discuss. Despite the fervor around the recent inflation print (which we’ll delve into below), our reading of the U.S. economy is still quite strong. The Astor Economic Index has ticked down slightly from the middle of the year but remains at an above average…

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15Oct

October 2021 Update on the U.S. Economy

The Astor Economic Index moderated slightly in September after several months of steading readings, perhaps suggesting the peak of output growth during the post-pandemic boom is behind us. Nonetheless, the AEI remains consistent with a strong economic state: we delve into some of the numbers below.     Part of the story behind the AEI’s…

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12Oct

Astor Investment Management Commodity Review

2021 has seen equity and fixed income valuations very rich by traditional standards. As demand roars back and supply chains remain constrained, commodities have increasingly been in the limelight as an alternative source of return. Indeed, many commodities have enjoyed a spectacular rise in price throughout 2021 which creates a question of whether there is…

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15Sep

September 2021 Update on the U.S. Economy

The Astor Economic Index ended the month of August essentially unchanged from the last several months, a level consistent with strong economic growth domestically, despite headwinds from the Delta variant. We discuss labor market developments below and delve into some of the dynamics surrounding the current inflation debate. Non-farm payrolls disappointed strongly to the downside…

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13Aug

August 2021 Update on the U.S. Economy

The month of July saw further signs of a durable expansion across sectors in the United States, and encouragingly, continued improvement in the labor market. Our nowcast of the U.S. economy, the Astor Economic Index®, followed in kind, resuming its climb from the beginning of the year and at its highest level since January 2019….

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14Jul

Astor Q2 2021 Strategy Update Recording with CEO & Founder, Rob Stein.

Recording of Astor’s Q2 2021 Strategy Update call with CEO & Founder, Rob Stein.  

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9Jul

July 2021 Update on the U.S. Economy

The Astor Economic Index was essentially unchanged month over month, ending June at a level consistent with strong to very strong economic growth. Of course, a quiet month in the AEI® does not mean that there is no interesting economic data to dissect, and we delve into some highlights below. The story of the past…

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23Jun

Astor Weekly Economic Review—Episode 73

Astor’s CIO John Eckstein and Nick Porter break down the latest on interest rates from The Fed and dive into the retails sales numbers that aren’t nearly what was expected. AIM-6/23/21-OP388

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16Jun

June 2021 Update on the U.S. Economy

The Astor Economic Index® (“AEI”) improved once again in the month of May, ticking up to a post-pandemic high, and nearing levels last seen in 2019. The reading is consistent with the general macroeconomic narrative of the U.S. economy, with flush households, strong demand and burgeoning external support. Although GDP growth seems to be on…

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24May

The ‘Macro’ Style of Investing and Why I’m Excited…

Let’s look back on a historic, discretionary macro trade: In September 1992, the British pound was fixed to the Deutschemark through the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), a precursor to the Euro we know today. If you tried to sell pounds below a certain level, the Bank of England (the central bank of the UK)…

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18May

My Compelling Reasons for Hyper-Inflation and Potential Impacts

Inflation itself is not a rally-killer for stocks.  Rather, I believe it is the interest rate differential between a risk-free return against the risk on stock prices and dividend yield. I think that spread has favored stocks for some time and very aggressively for the past 12 months.  As rates rise and stocks appreciate, I…

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18May

Economic Fundamentals During Economic Recoveries

Case Study: Economic Fundamentals and Mid-Recovery Slowdowns The U.S. is amid a historic recovery, with U.S. GDP expanding at an eyewatering 4.3% (Q/Q SAAR) in Q4 2020 and 6.4% (advance number) in Q1 2021. While the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, substantial fiscal stimulus, and loose monetary policy have contributed to a substantially sunnier economic outlook…

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14May

May 2021 Update on the U.S. Economy

The Astor Economic Index® (“AEI”) improved slightly month over month and remains at a level indicative of strong fundamentals, reflecting very strong output measures across the U.S. economy, as well as declining jobless claim figures. The dip in the AEI from the second wave earlier this year has been mostly retraced as the U.S. recovers…

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14Apr

April 2021 Update on the U.S. Economy

Macroeconomic data has teased us for several months with the hope of a new spring, and the month of March has aptly enough delivered on that promise. Much of the nation has substantially eased lockdown restrictions as the pace of vaccinations pick up pace, and the near-term trajectory of the U.S. economy is on substantially…

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12Mar

March 2021 Update on the U.S. Economy

No news is good news, at least as the U.S. economy is concerned in its current state of slowly animating suspension. The Astor Economic Index has been range bound at a level approximating above average growth for several months and ended the month of February essentially unchanged. The labor market picked up some steam, with…

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25Feb

Rob Stein Update on Inflation

As inflation expectations begin to accelerate and long rates begin to rise, I thought I would review my thoughts on inflation and rates from previous articles and the Outlook 2021. One of the basic definitions of inflation is “too much money chasing too few goods.” With the mailbox money from 2020 increasing money supply and…

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22Feb

Rob Stein 2020 Review – ADA

Recording of Astor’s Q3 2020 call with CEO & Founder, Rob Stein. Rob Stein Q4 Review 2020 from Astor Investment Management on Vimeo.   AIM-2/18/21-VP307

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16Feb

February 2021 Update on the U.S. Economy

The theme in economic pundit circles during the month of January was short-term stagnation, and the Astor Economic Index certainly agrees, remaining essentially unchanged from where in began the year and in growth territory.  As in prior months, the economy remains under substantial restrictions that are trending broadly towards easing, and we expect to see…

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