Category Archives: Economic Analysis

Japan’s negative rate is a positive growth driver

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) announced it has set a negative deposit rate, which basically punishes banks for holding reserves instead of lending them out. It’s a potent tool. This is a smart move that should help spark economic growth … Continue reading

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What’s next for the Fed? Hikes, earnings, and more

It’s a new year, which brings a new flock of voters on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The new members were supposed to be slightly more hawkish, but they sound pretty dovish. The FOMC left its policy rate unchanged … Continue reading

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U.S. elections: Important, but not to the markets

We’re approaching an election year. That means lots of arguments and name calling, and that just describes my family gatherings! Which political party is the best for the stock market? It’s a simple question with a not-so-simple answer. Everyone has … Continue reading

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Debt ceiling: What, me worry?

Here we go again. The U.S. is facing another last-minute deal cobbled together between the outgoing House Speaker John Boehner and the White House about the looming debt ceiling. The Treasury secretary has warned Congress that the debt ceiling needs … Continue reading

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Eurozone: Financing its way to growth, finally

The European Central Bank (ECB) kept monetary policy unchanged in the eurozone, though ECB President Mario Draghi did signal the ECB stands ready, willing, and able to provide more monetary stimulus through expanding or extending its asset-purchase program. He also … Continue reading

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New from the Fed: A clearer hurdle for rate hikes

It used to be that investors looked for two things to support a Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hike: continued improvement in the labor market and for the Fed to be “reasonably confident” that inflation would rise to 2% over the … Continue reading

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China’s manufacturing sector slows as economy adjusts

The private-sector version of the official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) had an initial reading of 47.0 in September. That reading is the lowest level since the financial crisis. It marks seven months in a row of a contracting manufacturing sector. … Continue reading

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The Fed: It’s not about jobs; it’s about inflation

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) kept its target rate for the federal funds unchanged. In the policy statement, the Fed stated that the economy seems to be advancing at a moderate pace, but global developments may restrain that growth. … Continue reading

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Low jobless claims: Digging into the details

As U.S. unemployment figures hover near record lows, commentators could be misreading the meaning behind the data. There’s a more nuanced story to be told from the bundle of labor market reports we see each month. Without insight into those … Continue reading

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Why all the hoopla over 25 basis points?

Shifting expectations of whether the Federal Reserve (Fed) will or won’t hike interest rates may not be the only factor causing global volatility—just look at how China’s slow growth is roiling markets—but the rate debate is weighing on investors’ minds. … Continue reading

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