Financial Markets Monitor

Q2 2018: Financial Markets Monitor
Despite strong economic and earnings growth, global trade and inflation concerns weighed on equity markets in Q1. However, our base case remains a solid global economy and gradually rising inflation.

Q1 2018: Financial Markets Monitor
Strong global earnings and U.S. fiscal policy spurred the best equity market returns since 2013. Emerging Markets led the way. Meanwhile, Fed policy flattened the yield curve in 2017 with longer duration bonds as the biggest beneficiaries. Credit risk was again well-rewarded.

Q4 2017: Financial Markets Monitor
Data has been distorted by the violent hurricane season, but the U.S. economy is improving. Recession risk is quite low. Elsewhere, the "macro sweet spot"—solid economic growth and low inflation—persists globally, especially in Europe and Japan.

Q3 2017: Financial Markets Monitor
The U.S. economy continues to plod along, with a slight uptick in Q2 after a sluggish Q1. We do not expect a “breakout” in the second half, but rather, a continuation of the economy’s growth rate in the 2.0–2.5% range.

Fixed Income Market Review

Q1 2018: Fixed Income Market Review
Economic growth and corporate earnings gained strength in the quarter with a boost from fiscal stimulus. Faster growth in a “full employment” economy raises the risk of wage inflation, but the empirical evidence has been slow to emerge.

Q4 2017: Fixed Income Market Review
The FOMC raised rates in December to a range of 1.25% - 1.50% as expected. The Fed continues to signal three additional increases by the end of 2018 and markets imply a nearly 90% chance of the next hike occurring at the March 21st meeting.

Q3 2017: Fixed Income Market Review
The Federal Reserve announced the beginning of its balance sheet reduction program. The Fed has stated its goal of a gradual and predictable runoff of portfolio holdings with interest rates resuming the role of primary tool of monetary policy management.

Q2 2017: Fixed Income Market Review
Markets, given the lack of recent inflation, have not bought into the Fed’s projections. Market expectations for both inflation and Fed action have diverged from Fed guidance.