Category: Uncategorized

32 posts categorized as "Uncategorized"


Do You Want To Know What Is Going On With The Markets?

Do you want to know what is going on with the markets?  It’s common sense duh. At times, doctors, politicians, professors, and economists make things sound complicated when there are obvious logical answers. My guess is that they need to feel superior because, well, you know…The Fed and many well-known economists are looking too deep…

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September 2022 Update on the U.S. Economy

The U.S. economy has proven resilient to firming monetary policy so far this year. The Astor Economic Index® (AEI) is at a level consistent with below-average growth but above outright recession. This is consistent with other nowcasts and forecasts of the U.S. economy: Bloomberg consensus for Q3 GDP growth is at 1.4%, down a tad…

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August 2022 Update on the U.S. Economy

July was a very interesting month for economic data, with several of the series that we watch closely at Astor pointing in different directions. The Astor Economic Index®, our attempt to summarize these data points, ended the month in below-average growth territory and somewhat softer than the month before. The labor market has been a…

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Is The Market Showing Signs of A Recession?

Astor’s CEO, Rob Stein, and CIO, John Eckstein, break down the latest employment report looking for signs of the recession everyone is talking about.

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Market Commentary: Super-Hyper Inflation, So What’s the Plan?

Wednesday (5/18) was a day of turmoil in equity markets with the S&P 500 down about 4% as investors sold risk assets for the safety of government bonds. I personally wouldn’t jump into bonds for the long term at this point, but yesterday investors needed to do something and bonds were the easiest choice. Markets…

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Commodity Market Update – Q1 2022

Many of the most visible commodities – energies and grains – appreciated a great deal during the first quarter as shown in the charts below for eight of the more well known commodity contracts.   There are macro factors both boosting and restraining commodity prices: On the bullish for commodities side: Shift in the composition…

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January 2022 Update on the U.S. Economy

As usual, we’ll be looking at recent economic data this month, but we’ll also expand on some of the themes we’ve seen this year and look ahead to our base case for 2022. It’s worth noting that our portfolio decisions are made by the current state of the U.S. economy, rather than any forecast, but…

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December 2021 Update on the U.S. Economy

Another month has passed as we hurtle to the New Year, and we find the Astor Economic Index at a similar level as in weeks past. In aggregate, the AEI (and our) view of the U.S. economy is that of continued strength, with a vigorous labor market and consumer demand. We discuss some of the…

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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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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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Astor Weekly Economic Review – 85 – Questions about Inflation?

Astor CIO John Eckstein and Research Associate Nick Porter break down the latest price measures and the Fed’s options for addressing high inflation. AIM-11/19/21-OP493

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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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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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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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Astor Weekly Economic Review – Episode 80 -The Astor Research Team Dives into the Fed’s Promise of Tightening

Growth is still strong and we should have seen the peak behind us and now we have these on-going questions about time constraints and price pressures in the economy. Fed is talking about tapering, reducing the pace in treasuries and agency securities. The indication of when this is going to happen is November – the…

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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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Astor Weekly Economic Review- Episode 79 -Payroll Friday

This week- Astor CEO, Rob Stein, and CIO, John Eckstein make sense of the Employment Situation Report and it’s implications- the FED in particular. Rob Stein shares his thoughts on the Fed’s actions coming out of Jackson Hole Economic Symposium and answers John’s question, “Is the latest labor market news going to affect the Fed’s…

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Rob Stein on Millennials and Money with Angela Miles AIM-8/31/21-OP445

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Astor Weekly Economic Review – Episode 77 – Boon or Swoon Economy

Astor CIO John Eckstein and Nick Porter eyeball the latest numbers from from labor, housing and industry. Is the economy still booming or did June produce a swoon that will affect the outcomes moving forward? AIM-8/2/21-OP429

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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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