Category: Markets

23 posts categorized as "Markets"


August Update on the U.S. Economy

Our proprietary Astor Economic Index® deteriorated slightly last month and is showing about average growth in the U.S. economy. Labor Market My interpretation is that the labor market is slowing somewhat and in the next few years, we will not enjoy the regular robust gains we have seen since the Global Financial Crisis. For example,…

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Rob Stein Discusses Fed Rate Cut on TDA Network’s Market on Close – July 31, 2019

Watch Astor’s CEO and Founder, Rob Stein, on TDA Network’s, Market on Close,  as he discusses the FOMC announcement and  Jerome Powell’s press conference.   Click the image above or click here to watch the video! All information contained herein is for informational purposes only. This is not a solicitation to offer investment advice or services in any…

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Q2 in Review: Eyes on the Fed’s “Medicine”

  Q2 ended with a continuation of the 2019 rally, marking one of the best half-years in recent memory. That said, at of the close of Q2, the broad U.S. equity market was roughly 8% higher from one year ago. Given how far the market traveled in that 12-month period, a 8% gain is no…

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Understanding the Recent Decline in the Astor Economic Index®

2019 has seen a marked deterioration in the Astor Economic Index® (the AEI) from levels we associate with strong growth to levels which we see as more representative of average growth.  This long-term chart of the AEI shows that while not unprecedented, the sharp decline in the AEI over the last few months is unusual….

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Dimensioning the Impact of the U.S.-China Trade Dispute

There is no shortage of whiplash-providing economic and geopolitical risks to pay attention to these days. For some time, market participants were focused on Federal Reserve policy and the (still) ongoing Brexit negotiations. Of late, however, the market narrative and risk tolerance are driven more and more by growing concerns around the U.S.-China trade war….

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Is the Yield Curve Signaling a Recession?

As parts of the yield curve begin to stay inverted, more investors start asking the same question: Is a recession finally coming? As an economist, I do value what the yield curve says. However, in my view, the current shape is still inconclusive as the curve is only inverted at certain points along the line….

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Rob Stein Talks About Translating Economic Information Into Investing Insights on Business First AM

  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. Astor and its affiliates are not liable for the accuracy,…

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Astor’s Outlook for 2019

Click here to read Astor’s Outlook for 2019. Founder and CEO, Rob Stein, looks back at 2018 in the markets, as well as what could be in store for 2019.

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Current Market and Historical Context

Market volatility of the past few weeks/months has created anxiety for investors who can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen next. The economic backdrop, while moderating a bit, is not exhibiting recessionary indications. Nonetheless, trade, the Fed and other geopolitical issues domestic and abroad have created an environment of concern for investors. What this…

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December update on the US economy

Our proprietary Astor Economic Index® is still showing strong growth in the US economy, though the index is near its low for 2018.  The economy as we measure it has thus far proved itself resilient to escalating trade tensions and steadily rising interest rates. Labor market The pace of hires slowed slightly last month –…

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Does an Inverted Term Structure Lead to Recession?

Given the yield curve has been in the news as of late, we wanted to re-share Astor’s views. Much has been made of the flattening yield curve trend that has developed over the past year or so.  Yield curves that are inverted, with short-term rates higher than long-term rates, have historically preceded recessions in the…

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The Recession is Coming, The Recession is Coming . . . Or Is It?

Although the impossibility of predicting future recessions seems almost axiomatic, a growing crowd of economists, pundits and market participants have added their voices to the chorus proclaiming an impending recession in 2019 or 2020. The next recession is unlikely to mirror the 2008 financial crisis in duration and severity, but several of the more plausible…

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Market Turbulence: Why Passive Needs Active

Did your passive index fund call you this month?  NO, it did not! Imagine a scenario of sitting on a plane.  After some turbulence, the pilot came back and asks you if everything seemed ok. He tells you he has the plane on auto pilot and was not fully watching. Imagine the shock/concern/fear!  The assumed professional…

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Uncertainty and the Market

The market hates uncertainty. Well, perhaps not hates, but dislikes for sure. The market climbs a wall of worry and falls down the wall of uncertainty, as we saw this week with the S&P 500 losing more than 6% earlier this month (October 2018). There is no shortage of uncertainties on the list; to name…

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Emerging Market Turbulence: Here to Stay?

Normalizing US rates and higher oil prices have begun to expose persistent macroeconomic imbalances in emerging markets.   As returns begin to look more appealing in developed markets, we expect elevated levels of volatility to continue in emerging markets, especially those with large twin deficits, high external borrowing needs, reliance on portfolio flows for financing and…

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Which sectors are defensive?

As the current recovery ages and trade tensions garner headlines, a money manager’s thoughts turn to defensive sectors.  But how have the defensive sectors actually done in recent recessions? We examine the record in this post. For an investment manager, there is an obvious appeal in knowing how sectors of the economy perform in recessions…

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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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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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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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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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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. Please refer to Astor’s Form ADV Part 2 for additional information regarding fees, risks and services.