Macro Overview – December 2018 The Group of Twenty (G20) summit in Argentina produced two significant trade deals for the United States, a revised trade agreement with Canada and Mexico as well as a trade tariff truce with China. The trade arrangements were initially received positively by global financial markets alleviating months of uncertainty surrounding trade and international commerce. Skepticism surrounding the trade truce with China has evolved, questioning the exten
Year End Volatility For Equities - Global Equity Market Overview Major U.S. equity indices stabilized in November as markets reassessed October’s pullback. The Dow Jones Industrial and S&P 500 indices made up of larger cap stocks rebounded over 1.5% in November, outpacing the tech heavy Nasdaq index for the month. Emerging market equities rebounded in November as the dollar’s rise slowed and investors found value in various developing economies. Ongoing tariff and trade tensi
Rates Fall In November - Fixed Income Update The recent trend in rising rates slowed in November as expectations intensified that the Fed may not raise as ambitiously in 2019 as initially projected. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond fell from 3.24% at the beginning of the month to 3.01% at month’s end. The drop in rates may be interpreted by equity markets as either positive or negative. Federal Reserve officials acknowledged the adoption of a more flexible process in gr
Oil Prices Take A Large Drop - Commodities Update Global oil prices declined sharply in November, with the domestic benchmark (WTI) falling 22% for the month, the single largest monthly drop in 10 years. The steep drop in price is a result of increased production by U.S. producers as well as Saudi Arabia, Russia, and OPEC. The recent price decline is of grave concern to OPEC, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, whose breakeven cost for oil production is estimated to be higher than U.S.
Used Car Sales Are Heading Higher - Consumer Behavior Over the past few months, the demand for used automobiles has been rising, with the difference in prices between new autos and used autos the largest it has been in years. Consequently, as the demand for used cars has increased, so have used car prices, as tracked by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Even with the recent price gains, used automobiles are still less expensive than a comparable new automobile. With near
Insurance Losses By State Are Adding Up - Insurance Sector Review As natural disasters mount from wild fires in California to hurricanes and flooding in Texas, Florida and the East coast, insurance claims are in the billions of dollars and growing. Most major insurance companies offer and issue various types of insurance, including liability, fire, flood, earthquake and homeowners. As claims increase with one or two of the coverage segments, coverage costs may increase with t
Tax Breaks For Family Caregivers - Tax Planning As the number of elderly has grown nationwide, so has the need for caregivers. The baby boom generation, the largest demographical segment of the U.S. population at 74 million, are now entering their late 60s and early 70s. Many are still very capable of caring for themselves, but others are in need of assistance as they progress into their senior years. Unfortunately for many, the costs associated with an assisted living facili