Insights

Expert Commentary. Personal Conversation.

At Astor, we create high-quality content with highly specialized commentary for our investors. Explore our blog for insightful articles, informative videos, and vast ideas that inspire action. Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and news, as we translate economic information into investing insights.

10Apr

April Update on the U.S. Economy

Our proprietary Astor Economic Index® is still showing above average growth in the U.S. economy. The index recovered somewhat in line with the more positive payroll report released last week. Payroll rebound The payroll numbers in March rebounded from February’s low number which is now looking like an aberration and not the beginning of a…

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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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15Mar

March Update on the U.S. Economy

Our proprietary Astor Economic Index® is still showing above average growth in the US economy, though the index dropped significantly last month, partly in response to the payroll report. I characterize US growth as being good – somewhat above average – but below the strong growth we saw in 2018. Note that part of this…

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27Feb

The Deep Breath Before the Plunge: FOMC Forward Guidance on the Balance Sheet

The January 2019 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting gave market participants a welcome respite from what many viewed as a decoupling of rate expectations between the Federal Reserve and the market.  As a result, we expect the Fed’s balance sheet normalization to end sooner than previously expected and at a level greater than previously…

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6Feb

February update on the U.S. economy

Our proprietary Astor Economic Index® is still showing good growth in the US economy.  The index rebounded somewhat from last month as jobs growth continued strong and the purchasing managers surveys became more optimistic.  The shutdown did not affect the market moving measure of private payrolls with the rate of job creation increasing solidly compared…

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25Jan

Rob Stein discusses his outlook for 2019 on TDA Network’s Morning Live

  Is It So Good It’s Bad? Watch Astor’s CEO and Founder, Rob Stein, on TDA Network’s Morning Live. Rob discusses how Astor is monitoring the current economic data as well as his outlook for 2019. Click the image above or click here to watch the video! All information contained herein is for informational purposes…

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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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11Jan

Astor’s Bryan Novak featured in Wealth Management Magazine’s 2019 Market Outlook

  In the 2019 Market Outlook published this month by WealthManagement.com, Astor portfolio manager, Bryan Novak, highlights key factors that impact rates, credit, and the economy. Click here to read more! 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…

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11Jan

Factor Investing: Here to Stay?

Factors have entered the mainstream of investing.  Factor investing was once limited to academic finance and institutional investors, but strong returns have driven a proliferation of factor (also known as smart beta) products (1025 ETFs with over $823 Bn AUM), allowing individual investors to access factor investing as never before.  Of late, however, factor performance…

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10Jan

January update on the US economy

Our proprietary Astor Economic Index® is still showing good growth in the US economy relative to its recent average, though the index dropped significantly last month, partly in response to weaker purchasing managers surveys.  The fading fiscal stimulus from last year’s tax cut may be partially responsible for a downshift (though not a reversal) in…

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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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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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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.