Category: Uncategorized

62 posts categorized as "Uncategorized"

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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6Nov

November 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 has thus far proved itself resilient to escalating trade tensions and steadily rising interest rates. Financial stress in October The most dramatic event in October was the selloff in global…

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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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18Oct

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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16Oct

What Recession? Why the Sky Can’t Fall in the New Economic Reality

The recession is coming, the recession is coming – or, maybe not. Even as the market marches steadily higher, and the economic data print is consistently at or above the level indicating economic growth, the cry being heard is that a recession is coming.[i] Some even predict that the next downturn will be as severe…

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11Oct

October update on the US economy

Our proprietary Astor Economic Index® is still showing strong growth in the US economy. The index is currently at the bottom of a fairly narrow range it has been in during 2018.  The economy has thus far proved itself resilient to escalating trade tensions and steadily rising interest rates. Has the Fed shifted According to…

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9Oct

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, a reliance on portfolio flows for financing…

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11Sep

September update on the US economy

Our proprietary Astor Economic Index® is still showing strong growth in the US economy. The index is currently in the middle of a fairly narrow range it has been in during 2018.  The economy has thus far proved itself resilient to escalating trade tensions.     Various of the regional federal reserve banks produce nowcasting…

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24Aug

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 obvious appeal in knowing how sectors of the economy perform in recessions and…

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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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3Oct

THE LIBRARY

Click here for the latest information on our strategies   Listen to a Webinar with CEO and Founder Rob Stein   VIEWPOINTS Revisiting Active:  Is the Trend in Passive Over? Picking the Right Sectors for 2017 Invest like an Economist, not a Stock Picker Look to ETFs as Passive Investing Grows in Popularity What are…

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13Jul

July Quick Read on the US Economy

The economic news improved somewhat from my last update.  The labor market looks more solid than it did a month ago and there are some signs the manufacturing sector may have found it footing.  I believe the Brexit vote will likely have only a modest direct impact on the US, but will make all observers…

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24Jun

Brexit – First impressions for the US and world economy

This morning our CEO Rob Stein wrote a good overview of the our view of the US after the British vote to leave the EU earlier.  As Rob said, at Astor we are alert for signs of a deteriorating US economy, but we will wait to see them before we further reduce our exposure to…

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13Jun

Second Fed Rate Hike? Much Ado About Not Very Much

Imagine this scenario: You are at the next regular board meeting at Apple, Microsoft, Tesla or some company of your choosing. As you glance down the agenda, where do you picture the discussion of the Federal Reserve’s expected interest rate hike? At the top? Somewhere near the bottom? My guess is that it isn’t mentioned…

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8Jun

June Quick Read on the US Economy

The economic news softened somewhat from my last update.  The payroll numbers for May were especially weak, following a modest April.  However, we should not exaggerate one reading of a volatile series Overall the economy still looks like it is on a decent heading, but evidence has accumulated of at least a small pause in…

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13May

May Quick Read on the US Economy

Economic news softened somewhat from my last update.  The most recent readings for employment (as measured by the non-farm payrolls report) showed a slightly weaker pace of growth.  Additionally, much of the bounce in the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Index was given back last month.  However, we should not exaggerate the weakness.  The current…

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11Apr

April Quick Read on the US Economy

The latest numbers on the US economy were positive. As a promising sign for the future, the global manufacturing environment may be showing signs of stabilizing – coincident with a stabilizing of commodity and international equities prices. I still believe the Fed will continue to hold and will not raise rates in April. Our Astor…

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8Mar

March Quick Read on the US Economy

In my opinion, the latest numbers on the US economy were positive last month. After plummeting for the first half of February, stock markets became markedly more positive over the second half. International equity prices seem to have regained their footing and oil prices are well off the lows of the year as well. I…

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