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Monthly Archives: November 2011

A November To Remember for the Economy?

Concerns over the eurozone dominated the month of November in the global financial markets, leading to another difficult month for equity market returns and risk assets in general, and another solid month of returns for U.S. Treasuries and other safe-haven investments. While the economic backdrop soured in the eurozone, and continued to slow in China, the U.S. economy held up reasonably well in November, and this week’s batch of economic reports are likely to support that view…

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A November To Remember for the Economy?

The Center of Gravity

After rising to 2.4% in October 2011, the 10-year Treasury yield has reverted back near its 2.0% center of gravity. The 10-year Treasury yield has hovered around the key 2.0% benchmark for much of the past two months as investors debate the impact of European debt problems. Low Treasury yields indicate the Treasury market is still concerned that leaders are not doing enough to stem the crisis…

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The Center of Gravity

Leading The Way

Concerns over the eurozone are likely to continue to dominate the investing landscape this week, but the super committee’s failure (please see this week’s Weekly Market Commentary for details), a full slate of economic data, the minutes of the November 1 – 2 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, along with the build up to “Black Friday”, the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, will also compete for the market’s attention…

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Leading The Way

Super Committee: Go Big or Go Home?

With the congressional super committee’s deadline on finding $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction this week, the markets want to know if they will go big or just go home for the Thanksgiving recess…

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Super Committee: Go Big or Go Home?

High-Yield Halloween Hangover

After a very strong October, high-yield bonds have pulled back in November in a Halloween Hangover. October 2011 was tied for the fifth best month of performance for high-yield bonds relative to Treasuries on record (according to Barclays index excess return data). But, mid-way through November high-yield bonds have lagged Treasuries by 1.4% month-to-date. The pullback over the past two weeks…

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High-Yield Halloween Hangover

The Best Year-End Strategy May be to Invest by the Book

It has been a textbook year. That is, if your textbook is the Stock Trader’s Almanac. The old stock market chestnut “sell in May and go away” proved to be good advice this year. But that was not the only old adage of Wall Street traders that worked in 2011 — they all worked…

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The Best Year-End Strategy May be to Invest by the Book

Moving to the Muddle

The ongoing political and financial turmoil in Europe is likely to draw most of the market’s attention this week. Against that somewhat unsettling backdrop, market participants will digest a relatively busy slate of U.S. economic data for October and November, as well as a full docket of appearances by Federal Reserve (Fed) officials…

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Moving to the Muddle

Kicking the Cannes

The S&P 500 Index had a bumpy ride last week as it tumbled 5% in the first two days on the eve of the Group of 20 summit in Cannes, France, as the Greek Prime Minister proposed a referendum on the European debt deal. This political move risked scuttling the hard-fought deal that had been unveiled the prior week that contributed to the powerful stock market rally. Stocks recovered most of the lost ground later in the week as the Prime Minister withdrew his call for a referendum and moved toward establishing a new government for Greece that is very likely to approve the controversial debt rescue package…

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Kicking the Cannes

Can The Labor Market JOLT the Economy?

The upcoming week (November 7 – 11) is heavy on speakers from the Federal Reserve (Fed) and relatively light on U.S. economic reports, providing markets ample time to reflect on the October employment report and to focus on the deliberation of the congressional super-committee and the latest news in Europe.

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Can The Labor Market JOLT the Economy?

Mix It Up With MBS

High-quality agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) may help investors reach a middle ground between the volatility of corporate bonds and expensive, low-yielding Treasuries. During periods of safe-haven buying, MBS typically lag Treasury gains but still benefit. Conversely, when risk appetites increase, MBS typically lag, or diverge, from corporate bond gains but do not exhibit the same weakness as Treasuries…

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Mix It Up With MBS