Since 2012, real global gross domestic product (GDP) growth has been between 3.1 and 3.5% annually, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates, with 2016 seeing the slowest growth of the period. At the start of the year, broad expectations were that continued support from global central banks, the potential for increased fiscal stimulus, especially in the U.S., and stabilization in commodity prices would return growth toward the top end of that range.
Can overseas earnings continue to grow and extend the first-half rally in many international markets? That is the question investors are asking as second quarter 2017 earnings season begins. Since the financial crisis of 2008, U.S. companies and equity markets have generally outperformed their overseas peers. Greater U.S. profitability and corporate efficiency have resulted in stronger earnings growth, and domestic equity markets outperforming overseas ones.
The state of Illinois, facing financial challenges, is back in the news again. After two years of political infighting between the Democratic-led legislature and the Republican governor which left the state’s finances in disarray, bondholders received some welcome news earlier this month when the state finally enacted a budget. Because to many this was unexpected, passage appears to have temporarily eased some pressure and bond prices have risen.
Economic reports released in June 2017, which mostly reflect economic activity in May, continued to indicate that economic growth picked up during the second quarter of the year. The consensus estimate from economists surveyed by Bloomberg is calling for a gross domestic product (GDP) rate of 3% during the second quarter, on an annualized basis, slightly above the average of the New York Federal Reserve (Fed)and Atlanta Fed NowCast models, which forecast quarterly GDP based on currently available data.
The Portfolio Compass provides a snapshot of LPL Financial Research’s views on equity, equity sectors, fixed income, and alternative asset classes. This monthly publication illustrates our current views and will change as needed over a 3- to 12-month time horizon. Read recent issue...
Stock markets, bond markets, the economy, policy — some years they push and pull on each other lightly as markets follow their own path; in others, one influence, such as monetary policy, dominates. But sometimes, often following a period of change, understanding the pushes and pulls and how they interact becomes a key to reassessing market dynamics for the next year and beyond.
An important shift has taken place in this economic cycle. The Federal Reserve (Fed) was finally able to start following through on its projected rate hike path, raising rates twice in just over a three-month period. By doing so, the Fed showed increasing trust that the economy has largely met its dual mandate of 2% inflation and full employment, that the economy is progressively able to stand on its own two feet, and that fiscal policy may now provide the backstop to the economy that monetary policy has provided throughout the expansion.
During any presidential election, you can expect a barrage of promises from the yard sign endorsements, bumper stickers, stump speeches, and media headlines. All pledge to improve the economy, provide better education for all, and preserve the environment.
The Economic Cycle - We believe we are in the mid-to-late stage of the current expansion, but we are still seeing some early cycle and late cycle behavior. Extended loose monetary policy, inflation, and employment growth are still exhibiting early cycle behavior, while some items relating to corporate profits are showing late cycle behavior, although they may be reset if profits improve.