Category: Uncategorized

43 posts categorized as "Uncategorized"


May 2023 Update on the U.S. Economy

The general economic outlook for the U.S. economy is essentially stable, with the labor market moderating and inflation coming down slightly from its recent peak. The Astor Economic Index® remains at a level consistent with below-average economic growth and has been supported by continued growth in employment, although somewhat weakened by softer data like PMIs….

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April 2023 Update on the U.S. Economy

The data for the month of March showed a slight cooling of the U.S. economy but wasn’t fundamentally view changing for the domestic near-term trajectory. The Astor Economic Index® stayed in the same range that it began in 2023, at a level consistent with below-average growth. One of the big puzzles of the current macroeconomic…

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March 2023 Update on the U.S. Economy

Harold Wilson, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, said (probably apocryphally) that “a week is a long time in politics”. In economics, a day can prove to be a lifetime, as recent events have shown. Banking sector stress over the past week has led to a dramatic repricing across the fixed-income world, and…

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Banking Crisis 2.0

As the recent bank failures hit the news wires the headlines became sensational, with some commentators claiming that the system was imploding. Ironically, just weeks ago, the banking system was characterized as ‘bulletproof’. To be clear, this is not 2008. That was a true banking and financial crisis with a complete breakdown of the banking…

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January 2023 Update on the U.S. Economy

Another year is past us, and 2023 has begun with the promise of new macroeconomic trends and data to digest. The Astor Economic Index® ended the year up slightly from months prior but still at a level consistent with below-average growth. The key questions going into 2023 are the persistence of strong labor market trends,…

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The Case for Active Fixed Income

The Case for Active Fixed Income: The End of the Era In Which Rates Only Went Down Fixed income had been deemed a dull affair for much of the past four decades. It was considered by many as something of an afterthought compared to the time many spent on the minute handcrafting and tweaking of…

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FAQ 2022 – 2023

A Q&A into what we saw and where we are going.  This frequently asked questions guide is an overview of 2022 and a look into 2023.  CLICK HERE OR ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO READ.    

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Breakdown of the Latest Economic News

Astor’s CEO Rob Stein and CIO, John Eckstein discuss the breakdown of the latest economic news. MAS-M-334704-2023-01-09

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December 2022 Update on the U.S. Economy

The Astor Economic Index® declined further in the month of November to a level typically associated with a weak economic state. The economy is in an interesting position, with the labor market humming along, but some soft data point to substantial weakness in manufacturing. The latest non-farm payroll was interesting, and it’s worth going beyond…

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Employee of the Year for 2022 – Stephanie Yuskis

Astor Investment Management is pleased to announce that Stephanie Yuskis, Chief of Staff, has been awarded the Employee of the Year for 2022. Your contributions to making Astor what it is today are sincerely appreciated. Thank you for all your hard work – day in and day out. We are sure lucky to have you…

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November 2022 Update on the U.S. Economy

The Astor Economic Index®, our nowcast of the U.S. economy, is essentially unchanged from the prior month at a level consistent with below-average economic output. Nonetheless, the intervening period has had several significant data prints, which we discuss below. In sum, recent trends suggest that the window to a soft(er) landing is now more open…

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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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