Dashboard

June 2020 Economic Dashboard

The second quarter of 2020 happily contrasted to the first quarter, which experienced one of the worst declines in stock market history. Record fiscal and monetary stimulus accompanied by improving coronavirus-related news served as powerful tailwinds for the market. The Federal Reserve has stated a willingness to respond aggressively should the economy struggle to recover…. Read More »

May 2020 Economic Dashboard

Since the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus, the two dominant economic questions have concerned 1) the depth of the economic decline and 2) the duration of the economic recovery. Massive global fiscal and monetary stimulus has helped reduce the depth of the economic decline. Policymakers have been aggressive in the amount of stimulus, as… Read More »

April 2020 Economic Dashboard

April was a historic month for the US economy, as the coronavirus continued to grind parts of the economy to a halt. 20 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims, benchmark oil prices went negative for a short period, and the 1st Quarter GDP report, released April 29th, showed a -4.8% contraction. Despite the flurry of… Read More »

March 2020 Economic Dashboard

The eleven-year US bull market ended abruptly in March, yet another victim of the novel coronavirus.  The US has responded with two significant steps: Congress has passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package (equal to 10% of the economy) and the Federal Reserve has made up to $4 trillion (18% of the economy) in liquidity to… Read More »

February 2020 Economic Dashboard

Last month’s letter mentioned the coronavirus’ potential to infect global supply chains. February showed the risk materializing along with more widespread impacts on travel. The Federal Reserve’s 0.50% rate cut on March 3rd did little to assuage investors, highlighting the limitations of monetary policy tools in “treating” the virus. Nevertheless, consumers are enjoying the benefits… Read More »

January 2020 Economic Dashboard

One month into 2020 and the market has already had two major unexpected events thrown its way. Stocks shrugged off US-Iran hostilities quickly but have encountered additional volatility during the recent coronavirus outbreak. We’ll leave the health debate to the virologists, but it is important to consider the economic implications for China, and more importantly,… Read More »

December 2019 Economic Dashboard

The S&P 500 is coming off one of its best years of all-time, with a price return of 28.9%.  An initial reaction might be to take gains in anticipation of a pullback. History tells us such a response would be unwise, as the market has performed well following big up years. The graph below shows… Read More »

November 2019 Economic Dashboard

In announcing their third rate cut for 2019 earlier this quarter, the Federal Reserve signaled that they believed this latest cut would be enough to support moderate growth and a continued buoyant job market. With the federal funds benchmark rate back down to a range of 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent, the focus now turns… Read More »

October 2019 Economic Dashboard

Much has been in the news and on the minds of investors about a weakening US economy. Several developments in October helped to temper these fears, leading to a 3.3% rise in the S&P 500. Trade talks showed some signs of positive momentum, with the US and China announcing a “phase one” trade agreement. Better… Read More »

September 2019 Economic Dashboard

The US stock market finished the third quarter near its all-time highs, which is remarkable given the volatility witnessed during the 90-day period.  The media has been touting a recession resulting from the combination of the trade war and restrictive Fed monetary policy.  Most economic indicators are pointing to slower growth, so the Fed has… Read More »