• 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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  • Market Update

    Posted on May 11, 2018 by Gemmer Asset

    Printable Version   It was a broadly positive week for the equity markets. Domestic stocks were up +2.0% to +2.5% while the overseas markets lagged modestly. For all the uncertainty about trade policy and geopolitics, the markets have been buoyed by robust earnings reports and a raft of share buyback announcements.   This week’s tamer than expected inflation report calmed the bond market, at least temporarily. Both 2-year and 10-year yields drifted higher and most…
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  • Market Update

    Posted on April 27, 2018 by Gemmer Asset

    Printable Version   A lot of back and forth this week but stocks really didn’t go anywhere. The S&P 500 and EAFE were basically unchanged and small-cap U.S. stocks lagged modestly. Jitters about rising interest rates were largely offset by decent earnings reports (more below) and a lessening of tensions on the Korean Peninsula (who would have thought?).   10-year Treasury bond yields briefly surmounted the 3% threshold for the first time since 2014, as…
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  • Market Update

    Posted on April 13, 2018 by Gemmer Asset

    Printable Version   It was a decent week for the global equity markets with broad based gains. The S&P and developed EAFE index both advanced +2.0% while small-cap U.S. equities modestly outperformed. Commodities performed well given the over +10% rally in crude oil. Interest rates ticked higher and intermediate-term government bonds lost -0.3%. Low quality high-yield bonds performed strongly, though, with a +1.2% gain for the week.   Conflicting Themes   In our latest quarterly…
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  • Market Update

    Posted on March 23, 2018 by Gemmer Asset

    Printable Version Market Recap Tough week for the equity markets. For the week the S&P lost -6.0% while small-caps were hit for -4.8%. The international markets were down between -3.6% and -4.7%, less than U.S. large-caps due in part to a weak dollar. Worries about trade wars and the Fed conspired to drive prices lower, and significant cracks in certain social media stocks didn’t help confidence (Facebook lost -13.9% this week). But despite the roughly…
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  • Market Update

    Posted on March 16, 2018 by Gemmer Asset

    Printable Version   The Inflation Trade Takes a Pause   One of the big market stories this year has been the rise in bond yields. This has led to modest losses for government bonds and is one of the reasons the equity market corrected in February. The bond narrative has gone something like this:   – Growth is going to boom because of the tax cuts…   – …which means faster inflation given that unemployment…
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  • Market Update

    Posted on March 2, 2018 by Gemmer Asset

    Printable Version   Well, the streak had to come to an end. The market decline in February ended the longest run of positive months on record. It was nice while it lasted!     The reasons are well known. Bubbling fears about inflation pushed bond yields up. Expectations for Fed policy were ratcheted up a notch as a result, especially after the massive budget deal a couple weeks ago. And just to keep things interesting,…
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