• End of an Era

    Posted on June 20, 2018 by Gemmer Asset

    Printable VersionNothing lasts forever.  Tuesday afternoon we learned that General Electric, an original member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, will be kicked out effective June 26th.   It will be replaced by Walgreens Boots Alliance.   Wow!!   GE was an original member of the Dow in 1896 and has been in it continuously since 1907.  The company has been struggling the last few years, it replaced its CEO recently, and slashed thousands of jobs while cutting…
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  • Market Update

    Posted on June 15, 2018 by Gemmer Asset

    Printable Version   It was obviously a busy news week.  The Trump/Kim meeting garnered a lot of attention early on, and then of course there is the World Cup.  But market wise, there were four key items:   Inflation report   The Fed meeting   European Central Bank (ECB) meeting   Trade Policy   Inflation – Drifting Higher   There was another sign that inflation is percolating this week.  The CPI report for May showed…
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  • Trade with Canada – Surplus or Deficit?

    Posted on June 14, 2018 by Gemmer Asset

    Printable VersionCanada has been in the press a lot recently.  The reason for all the attention is the country’s trading relationship with the United States.  In a recent tweet, the President claimed: “…they (Canada) make almost 100 Billion Dollars in Trade with U.S. (guess they were bragging and got caught!). Minimum is 17B.” If you listen to other economists, the U.S. runs a trade surplus, not a deficit with Canada (meaning Canada imports more goods…
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  • A Hawkish Hike

    Posted on June 13, 2018 by Gemmer Asset

    Printable VersionIt’s not exactly a shocker the Fed hiked interest rates by another 25bps today. But going into to today’s meeting the market had started to think the Fed might ease up on future rate hikes. After all:   1) Emerging markets were starting to show some stress.   a.  Take Brazil   b.  Or Argentina   c.  Both the Indian and Indonesian’s central bank heads took the Fed to task about tightening.   2) Recent…
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  • What Does the Yield Curve Tell Us?

    Posted on June 7, 2018 by Gemmer Asset

    Printable VersionWhat Does the Yield Curve Tell Us?   If you have had the unfortunate pleasure of reading the financial press over the last few months you have invariably run into articles talking about the shape of the yield curve and the bad things it portends.  A ten second internet search gives the following headline from the Wall Street Journal (see box to the right).  If you peruse the darker underbelly of online financial news…
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  • Labor Market: Haven’t Seen This Before

    Posted on June 6, 2018 by Gemmer Asset

    Printable VersionThe labor market set something of a record this week. For the first time since records have been kept (OK, the data only goes back to 2000, but cut us some slack here!), job openings in the U.S. exceed the number of unemployed workers. Bloomberg has a quick summary here.     This report coming on the heels of last Friday’s payrolls reports basically guarantees the Fed hikes next Wednesday by another quarter point….
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  • Forecasts for Q2 GDP: Its all about the inputs…

    Posted on June 4, 2018 by Gemmer Asset

    Printable VersionThe Atlanta Fed, who maintains a model that attempts to estimate future US GDP data releases came out with their latest Q2 forecast:     This estimate is definitely an outlier.  Consensus among top economists is that growth will come in around 3.2% (blue line above).  And the New York Fed’s own model is predicting a 3.3% print.  If the Atlanta Fed’s 4.8% number holds however, it would be the best real quarterly growth…
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  • Market Update

    Posted on June 1, 2018 by Gemmer Asset

    Printable Version   The markets were pulled back and forth on political uncertainty this week. First, Italy sparked euro breakup fears again as a new coalition government looked like it might fail. Then the U.S. administration upped the ‘trade war’ rhetoric. Despite the political uncertainty, equities in the U.S. managed to gain ground, with the S&P 500 adding +0.5% while small-cap U.S. stocks advanced +1.3% and the NASDAQ +1.6%. The overseas markets were weaker with…
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  • Are Hedge Funds Unfairly Criticized?

    Posted on by Gemmer Asset

    Printable VersionCliff Asness from AQR put together a very interesting piece rebutting some of the negative press surrounding hedge fund returns.  The gist of the piece is that the financial press misses the mark when criticizing hedge funds.  They inevitably compare something with a beta of far less than 1 (hedge funds) to something with a beta of 1 (the S&P 500 or the market).  While there are perfectly valid criticisms of hedge funds, not keeping…
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  • Recent ETF Flows

    Posted on May 30, 2018 by Gemmer Asset

    Printable VersionThere have been some interesting things happening with ETF flows over the past month or so.  Below is a chart of some of the larger country ETF in/outflows over the past month (all asset classes – equities, fixed income, currency, etc):     As questions surrounding Italy’s debt load become the topic du jour, Eurozone focused ETFs have borne the brunt of investors’ concern… If you count regionally focused Eurozone ETFs as well as specific…
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