Revolving headlines lead to a tug of war for stocks

Weekly Market Compass: Exploring the events that could move markets

Time to read: 4 minutes

Across the globe, stocks experienced a tug of war last week, with good news (positive earnings and other signs of accelerating growth) and bad news (concerns that protectionist actions could slow economic growth) influencing the markets. I believe this tug of war will very likely continue going forward, and I’ll be closely watching for more market-moving news this week as new central bank leaders make their debuts.


Protectionism tightens its grip

Weekly Market Compass: Markets contend with news about tariffs, North Korea and a slate of data releases

Time to read: 4 min

I’ve been warning for some time about the economic dangers of protectionism and the potential for retaliatory policies that could stifle free trade. Last week, this threat intensified — and that was just the tip of the iceberg in a week filled with market-moving news. Below I highlight five critical headlines from last week and preview what’s ahead.


The dangers of protectionism

Weekly Market Compass: Tariffs take the spotlight once again

Time to read: 4 mins

Geopolitics is back in the spotlight, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel finally securing a governing coalition after nearly six months of uncertainty, while Italy embarks on its own period of uncertainty given the inconclusive results of its election this past weekend. Italy’s voters are following in the recent footsteps of voters in the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and elsewhere — questioning the “status quo.” Inevitably, that includes questioning current trade and immigration policies. While the official results of the Italian election have not yet been released, it appears that there will be continued uncertainty for some time as parties try to form a governing coalition (as of this point, we don’t even know yet which party will be given the first opportunity to form a government). This will be an ongoing saga we will want to follow closely. And that takes us to the biggest geopolitical news of the week.


Five upcoming events that could drive markets

Weekly Market Compass: As the market roller coaster continues, we anticipate where the next twist could be

Time to read: 4 min

Markets took another roller coaster ride last week. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond rose to 2.95% — a level it hasn’t seen in four years — but then moved lower by the end of the week.1 Stocks also vacillated, largely in response to those Treasury yield movements. It appears that markets are unsettled and primed to react to the news of the day — both negatively and positively. Below, I discuss five upcoming events that could possibly be the catalyst for more moves ahead.


Three market concerns move to the fore

Weekly Market Compass: Exploring the potential for populism, protectionism and pressure on debtors

Time to read: 4 min
Last week brought renewed focus to three areas of concern that I’ve been writing about for some time: populism, protectionism and pressure on debtors. It appears that we may be moving closer to certain outcomes that could be of concern to markets.


On March 4, Italian citizens will vote in the country’s parliamentary elections. With polls showing there are still many undecided voters, there is much uncertainty surrounding the election. It seems likely that the Five Star Movement — a relatively new party focused on environmental, anti-immigration and Euroskeptic issues — could garner the most votes of any party, although not enough to govern without a coalition. However,