In lieu of our regular weekly update, we notify you that we will publish the February issue this week.
In a rough beginning of the year for investors, we review how our core ETFs have fared amid market turmoil, and what their performance suggest about the rest of the year. We also review recent economic data and discuss why corporate execs' outlooks may not reflect the true state of the economy. We also discuss what our latest indicator signals say about the near-term direction of stocks, bonds, and precious metals.
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the decision-making arm of the Federal Reserve, convenes this week to determine the next leg of monetary policy. While the Fed incrementally hiked the overnight lending rate at the last meeting in mid-December, this time the FOMC seems unlikely to further tighten. Read more about Fed on Deck 01-26-16
China reported today that its GDP rose 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period a year ago. For all of 2015, its economy expanded 6.9 percent, slightly below but largely in line with Beijing’s official 7 percent target. In 2014, China’s GDP grew 7.3 percent. Separately, China reported that retail sales increased 11.1 percent and industrial production 5.9 percent. Both were a tad below expectations, but showed that the Middle Kingdom is holding up better than market participants feared. Read more about China and Oil Again Capture Attention 01-19-16
In just seven trading sessions in the 2016 so far, oil—WTI crude—has already declined about 17 percent. It has yet to book a positive day this year and today oil briefly dipped below the $30 mark before rebounding slightly.
A new terrorist suicide attack in the heart of Istanbul—which threatens to enlarge the scale of the ongoing Middle East conflicts—and news that certain OPEC members have requested an emergency meeting helped the slight recovery but oil market sentiment nevertheless remains decidedly bearish. Read more about The Oil Decline Continues 01-12-16
Last year was the worst year for the S&P 500 since 2008. However, as a testament to the strength of U.S. equities since the Financial Crisis, the 0.7 percent decline of the index last year hardly constituted a catastrophe—and if one counts dividends, the S&P actually achieved a positive total return. Still, for the first time in nearly ten years, the U.S. Read more about A Rough First Day 01-05-16
This issue we discuss what the Federal Reserve's first rate increase since mid 2006 means for the central bank's economic outlook. Though Fed officials would love to "normalize" rates throughout 2016 and beyond, their forecasts for the future have trended down, indicating reduced optimism compared to even just three months prior. Importantly, the rate increase signals that the Fed feels that China will be okay. Although the Middle Kingdom has been a popular scapegoat to blame for commodities' tumble, Chinese imports of key commodities (measured in volume) have actually increased, indicating that demand has been fine.
In our Core ETF section, we review the two key trends that dominated markets in 2015 and recalibrate our portfolio. We bid farewell to one of our two emerging-market ETFs and replace it with an ETF that's leveraged to equity gains in a region that should be governed by a friendly central bank.
In lieu of the regular Weekly Update, today we provide a brief preview of the upcoming January 2016 issue of Leeb's Cash Cow, due for online publication tomorrow. Check your email inbox tomorrow for the download link. Read more about January Issue to Publish Tomorrow 12-29-15