Our Perspective

  • Finishing the third quarter, we can all look back and remember it has been ten years since the financial crisis and the beginning of the Great Recession. On September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers, what was then the fourth largest investment bank, filed for bankruptcy. Much of that event was occurring over the previous weekend, but at shortly after midnight, the filing set in motion a dramatic sell-off in the stock market and credit markets that froze as investors learned quickly just how...
    Post date: : 10/12/2018 - 4:02pm
    Category: Our Perspective
  • Despite some occasional faltering and vulnerability this quarter, major US stock indexes are still boasting decent gains for the year. But a quick look at the Federal Reserve, the bond market, and growth prospects across the globe tell us to at least take heed as we head into the last quarter of 2018 and look ahead to next year.   The Fed At the end of September, the Fed raised its benchmark federal funds rate for the third time this year to a range of 2-2.25%, and economists generally agree...
    Post date: : 10/12/2018 - 3:56pm
    Category: Our Perspective
  • In case you were able to forget, the second quarter reminded us that we are no strangers to volatility in the markets. We’ve seen the main indexes whipsaw intraweek and even intraday over the last three months, with the S&P 500 Index ultimately finishing the second quarter up 3.43% and up 2.65% year to date, making up for the first quarter’s losses. Headlines surrounding geopolitical turmoil, political agendas, central bank policy, international trade disruptions, and corporate...
    Post date: : 07/17/2018 - 1:48pm
    Category: Our Perspective
  • I’d like to introduce our newest addition to our fixed income team, John Trentacoste, who has written the Bond Market Overview this quarter. There is an old saying that the more things change, the more they stay the same. It actually is an old saying. The interpretation we most recognize dates back to a French translation by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr (1808-1890) who was a French novelist with a reputation of having a bitter wit.1 In thinking about the second quarter, what probably sticks in...
    Post date: : 07/17/2018 - 1:38pm
    Category: Our Perspective
  • PDF version here By now, everyone should be reacquainted with the term volatility. For the first month of the quarter, it seemed as though the trajectory of interest rates was up, up, up in almost a straight line. No sooner had I written my fourth quarter newsletter highlighting how the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note had finished 2017 lower than where it began the year than I was surprised by an increase in the yield by 30 basis points by the end of January. It did not stop there. By...
    Post date: : 04/13/2018 - 3:53pm
    Category: Our Perspective
  • PDF version here As we finally say goodbye to winter in Rochester, will we welcome back the bear after a long, long hibernation? This feels like a possibility, as the bull market run may have hit highs in January that we won’t be seeing again for a while. The extreme volatility we’ve seen in the past three months could be a symptom of an underlying shift in the market cycle from a bull to bear market, as opposed to just some normalizing and correcting. Just two months into the new year, the...
    Post date: : 04/13/2018 - 3:36pm
    Category: Our Perspective
  • This year’s opening quarter saw gains across most indices, even globally. The S&P 500 Index finished the quarter up just over 6%, with large cap outperforming small and mid cap stocks (a reversal of what we saw for much of 2016), Technology, Consumer Discretionary, and Healthcare sectors outperforming their peers, and Energy significantly lagging. The US markets in general have responded positively to Trump’s policy plans, and it’s looking as though earnings had a surprisingly positive...
    Post date: : 10/12/2017 - 10:12am
    Category: Our Perspective
  • As is probably always the case in election years, it’s difficult to look back at the entire year without the picture being painted in large part by the election. And unsurprisingly, it also sets the scene heading into the New Year. Whereas investors approached 2016 with apprehension, 2017’s entrance has been one of unexpected hope. We aren’t as unabashedly convinced as the market might suggest, but we’re staying tuned.   Renewed Optimism? In the aftermath of the election, some sectors of the...
    Post date: : 01/30/2017 - 9:23am
    Category: Our Perspective
  • After a booming fourth quarter for the stock market, it is difficult to not feel a bit squeamish over how 2014 has begun.  With the S&P 500 Index down over 5% for the year, such a number is hard to ignore. We understand this, and we have been dedicating much time and effort to a temperature check of sorts, in order to assess what the slump means, where it came from, and where we believe it’s headed. First, we are not overly surprised by the market’s behavior thus far. As we described in our...
    Post date: : 02/05/2014 - 7:00pm
    Category: Our Perspective
  • On July 18, the city of Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection and will seek to reorganize and restructure approximately $18-20 billion dollars of debt.  Often times, municipalities and corporations about to enter bankruptcy will try to come to a compromise with their creditors and go through a “pre-packaged” bankruptcy in which they submit a pre-agreed-upon plan for restructuring to speed up the process and cut down the legal fees and proceedings.  The Emergency Financial Manager,...
    Post date: : 08/06/2013 - 8:00pm
    Category: Our Perspective

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