Category: Markets

30 posts categorized as "Markets"

11Dec

December Update on the U.S. Economy

The Astor Economic Index moved upwards in November, its first month-end improvement in half a year and broadly consistent with a U.S. economy growing at about trend. As we’ve noted in prior months, the durability of this stage of the expansion has been solidly on the back of consumers. As a result, labor market indicators…

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9Dec

Remembering Paul Volcker, My “Boss”

While I am known for being the author of Inside Greenspan’s Briefcase: Investment Strategies for Profiting from Key Reports & Data (McGraw-Hill, 2002), my career began under the tutelage of another Fed Chairman: Paul Volcker, who passed away on Sunday, December 8, 2019 at the age of 92. In 1984-1985, as a project analyst for…

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6Dec

Rob Stein Discusses Unemployment Rate on TDA Network’s Morning Trade Live – December 6, 2019

Watch Astor’s CEO and Founder, Rob Stein, on TDA Network’s, Morning Trade Live with Oliver Renick,  as they discuss the current unemployment rate.   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…

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6Dec

What’s Really Behind the New Highs

We entered the last month of the decade with the major stock market indices at new highs: the Dow closing over 28,000, the S&P 500 over 3100, and the Nasdaq Composite over 8600. While market pundits searched for reasons for the euphoria—from expectations of a China trade deal to fading fears of a near-term recession—the…

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6Nov

November Update on the U.S. Economy

The Astor Economic Index, our proprietary nowcast of the U.S. economy has remained somewhat range bound for the past several months, and printed again this month at a level consistent with slightly below average domestic economic growth. We delve into some of the recent drivers of the AEI below. The Labor Market and Manufacturing In…

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8Oct

October Update on the U.S. Economy

Our proprietary Astor Economic Index® deteriorated somewhat last month and is showing slightly below average growth in the U.S. economy.   Labor Market The labor market is the strongest thing going for the U.S. economy.  While the pace of jobs growth has slowed meaningfully since last year at this time, it’s important to recognize that…

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16Sep

September Update on the U.S. Economy

Recent Economic Data Our proprietary Astor Economic Index® was slightly changed last month and remains consistent with average economic growth in the U.S. In aggregate, economic data points towards a weakening but durable expansion.  The ISM Purchasing Manufacturers Index headed into contraction territory at 49.1, down from 51.2 last month and the lowest reading since…

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7Aug

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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31Jul

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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30Jul

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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25Jul

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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30May

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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27Mar

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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23Jan

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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18Jan

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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31Dec

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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11Dec

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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6Dec

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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12Nov

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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31Oct

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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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.