Market disruption shows no signs of slowing down

Weekly Market Compass: Examining the Brexit transition, Italy’s coalition and the Iran nuclear accord

Time to read: 4 min

For more than a year, I have been talking about the growing impact that disruption is having on global markets. The events of last week illustrated that this theme isn’t slowing down.

Monetary policy disruption

About a decade ago, many of our major central banks became ultra-accommodative — with most immersed in experimental monetary policy — in response to the global financial crisis. Normalizing monetary policy from these extreme levels carries the potential for disruption, so central banks today are attempting to delicately unwind their policies, which is an experiment in and of itself.

A case in point is

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Is the ‘synchronized’ global expansion really in sync?

Weekly Market Compass: While some countries’ economic expansions are aging, others are just getting started

Time to read: 4 min

“Getting long in the tooth” is an interesting way to describe something that is getting old and presumably nearing its end — it refers to the long-time practice of estimating a horse’s age by looking at its mouth. I’ve found myself using this expression a lot these days, as the US experiences its second-longest economic expansion in the last 100 years. But investors should remember that — even as market-watchers talk about “synchronized global growth”— other economies are in much earlier stages of expansion.

Economic expansion varies around the world

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Five takeaways from April and five things to watch in May

Weekly Market Compass: Tariffs, economic growth, central banks and more

Time to read: 5 min

As April comes to a close, we learned some key lessons this month about the likely path forward for central banks, the growing concerns about protectionism, and the market’s sensitivity to any changes in key indicators. Below, I highlight five key takeaways from April, and preview five things to watch in May.

Five takeaways from April

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Yield signs: Deconstructing a key market indicator

Weekly Market Compass: What does the recent jump in the 10-year US Treasury yield mean for markets?

Time to read: 5 min

The biggest news of last week was not a tweet, but a Treasury yield — specifically the 10-year US Treasury yield, which rose significantly last week, to 2.95%.1 As of this writing on Monday, the 10-year Treasury was yielding 2.98%, very close to the key 3% level it has not seen in more than four years.1 But what is this key market indicator telling us? And why do people care?

Let’s start with the second question first; people care for a number of important reasons.

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Geopolitical tensions impact more than just stocks and bonds

Weekly Market Compass: Missile strikes and sanctions affect prices of oil, aluminum and more

Time to read: 4 min

The last week has seen a flurry of geopolitical events — from US sanctions on Russia to missile strikes on Syria — that have affected the prices of various commodities as well as some currencies.

Missile strikes in the Middle East

First of all, there are growing problems in the Middle East.

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