Education

  • December 2017 Recap

    Political volatility through the use of fiscal policy became the dominant talking point throughout the month. The new Republican tax bill emerged through Congress victorious and was finally signed into law by President Trump. Such an outcome was only certain in the last few weeks of the month given the increasing disparity of bipartisan support to such a crucial piece of legislation. In fact, not a single Democrat voted for the legislation, which makes its long-term success, in our view, highly questionable. The new tax law contains short-term provisions that expire over the next five-to-ten years but also contains provisions that have been embedded indefinitely.

     

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  • Patiently Waiting for Earnings

    The quarterly earnings season is upon us and expectations are running high.  As of last week, less than 6% of the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500’s constituents have reported earnings and the trend, although in its infant stage, appears positive.  We’re highly vested in the data that emerges from the fourth quarter earnings reports given that it may provide an additional catalyst for equity market guidance (in either direction).  The fundamental economic backdrop has been supportive of strong global equity markets and the corporate activity from 2017 may provide further clues as to where we may be headed, albeit it’s possible that the market has already priced-in positive results.  Global equity market activity throughout the week yielded positive results as the S&P 500 gained 1.61% and closed at yet another record high.  Smaller domestic equities, as depicted by the S&P 600, ...

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  • The Equity Market No One Loved

    By: Edison Byzyka, CFA

    Chief Investment Officer

    Optimism is running high. I mean really high. It is now increasingly difficult to find a Wall Street strategist with a notably cautious undertone for equity markets in 2018. Not only are these brave souls confident enough to make capital market predictions on live television but it’s hard to attribute their optimism to pure economic fundamentals or to the fact that no one wants to be a lone wolf and produce a contrarian viewpoint (not to mention the fact that they’re rarely correct, if ever). After all, performance in 2017, both as it relates to the economy and broad equity markets, has made it extraordinarily difficult to be a cautiously minded investor.

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