Weekly Market Review: The Fed takes on the elephant in the room

Markets brace for the long, slow — and potentially risky — process of balance sheet normalization

Last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced it would raise the fed funds rate by a quarter point — its fourth rate hike since starting to tighten in December 2015. This was very much expected and created no surprises for investors. But the far bigger news coming out of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting is that the Fed released its plan to normalize its balance sheet. And with that, the Fed has finally addressed the elephant in the room.

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Weekly Market Review: Politics takes center stage

We examine last Thursday’s trifecta: The UK election, Comey’s testimony, the ECB decision

Last week saw a number of geopolitical risks rise to the fore. For the second June in a row, the UK stunned the world with the outcome of its election. When British Prime Minister (PM) Theresa May called for elections two months ago, it was to strengthen her hand in negotiations regarding the UK’s Brexit from the European Union (EU) as it was expected that her party, the Conservative Party, would increase their seats in Parliament. Instead, it has dramatically weakened her hand. As with last year’s Brexit election, the immediate reaction was negative. The pound fell, stocks sold off briefly, and pundits concluded that the United Kingdom has been thrown into “chaos.”

However, despite the surprising outcome,

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Weekly Market Review: US jobs disappoint and UK voters head to the polls

General election results could shape the path of Brexit negotiations

Last week, the US jobs report for May took center stage in terms of economic data. Nonfarm payrolls grew just 138,0001 — well below expectations and certainly not what was indicated by the ADP National Employment Report released earlier in the week,2 which showed payroll growth of 253,000 in May. Employment disappointment extended back to the previous two months. The April nonfarm payrolls number was revised down from 211,000 to 174,000, while the March jobs report was revised down from 79,000 to an even more anemic 50,000.1

However, this lackluster payroll growth should not be surprising given that

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Weekly Market Review: What to look for in Trump’s budget, and beyond

We analyze five key items from last week, and preview two upcoming reports to watch

Investors have no shortage of headlines to absorb as we approach the summer months. Below, I highlight five key takeaways from last week — featuring a new federal budget proposal — and preview two questions that will be answered this week concerning jobs and productivity.

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Weekly Market Review: Can spending help support stocks?

As stocks swoon on political news, we examine the ability of businesses and consumers to prop up the market

After weeks of being impervious to negative headlines, the stock market experienced some volatility last week with the announcement that a special prosecutor has been appointed to investigate Russia’s involvement in the 2016 US presidential election. This has many implications. The outlier theory is that legislation such as tax reform will be taken over by the House and sped through Congress more quickly given that the White House will be preoccupied with the investigation. However, I would argue that this scenario is unlikely, and that the base case scenario is that the White House’s legislative agenda is pushed back in terms of timing and, possibly, pared back in terms of breadth. I would also argue that

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