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Michael Strauss

Returning to the “Old Normal”

Posted by Ryan Driscoll, Michael Strauss on Feb 15, 2018

Topic: Equities | Industry Knowledge | Market Commentary

Investors took solace in the lack of stock market volatility in 2017. In reality, that may have been more of an anomaly than the current turbulence equity investors are experiencing. Volatility spikes in the capital markets are not unusual.

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Moving from a Gallop to a Grind

Posted by Ryan Driscoll, Michael Strauss on Jan 10, 2018

Topic: Market Commentary

The U.S. economy, in line with our long term view, has clearly moved into a stronger growth mode as the domestic economy expanded at around a three percent pace in the final nine months of 2017. The short-term stimulus from the tax cut package is likely to produce continued solid growth in 2018.

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Keeping It Simple — Growth and Earnings Still Driving Equities

Posted by Ryan Driscoll, Michael Strauss on Nov 3, 2017

Topic: Market Commentary

The U.S. economy has moved into a stronger growth mode. Even with the negative impact from hurricanes, real GDP growth expanded at a 3.0 percent pace in 2017:Q3, after a 3.1 percent advance in 2017:Q2. This represented the first time since 2014 that the economy registered back-to-back quarterly gains of three percent or more.

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A Different Engine for European Equities

Posted by Ryan Driscoll, Michael Strauss on Sep 18, 2017

Topic: Equities | Market Commentary

The Euro area economy seems to be on solid footing and the European Central Bank (ECB) has taken notice. European companies are finally showing meaningful improvements in corporate earnings, although the strengthening Euro could put pressure on some entities. One new twist - European officials are beginning to recognize that the stronger Euro may present a challenge to the economic and earnings ...

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Navigating the Hurricane Season

Posted by Ryan Driscoll, Michael Strauss on Sep 15, 2017

Topic: Market Commentary

Over the near-term, the one-two punch from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma will weaken many of the economic statistics that will be released . . .

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Preparing for the Fall Season?

Posted by Ryan Driscoll, Michael Strauss on Aug 4, 2017

Topic: Market Commentary

For the last several months, the turnaround in corporate earnings has provided support and stability to the stock market. If this strength is maintained, it would be the first time since 2011 that the S&P 500 Index posts double-digit yearly gains in earnings for two consecutive quarters. Although the prospects for near term earnings growth are positive, support for improved profit margins is decelerating.

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Avoid the Home Run Derby

Posted by Ryan Driscoll, Michael Strauss on Jul 12, 2017

Topic: Investment Strategy | Market Commentary

We do not look for a repeat of the “home run” 18 to 20+ percentage point relative outperformance from stocks versus bonds (which was registered in three of the last five fiscal years) in the upcoming fiscal year. And, unlike Aaron Judge at MLBs Home-Run Derby, investors should aim for singles and doubles going forward as we expect a lower return environment.

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The Fed Still on “Autopilot”

Posted by Ryan Driscoll, Michael Strauss on May 26, 2017

Topic: Industry Knowledge | Investment Strategy | Market Commentary

The latest FOMC minutes show that the Fed believes that the growth and inflation slowdown in 2017:Q1 will prove to be transitory...

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Fiscal Follies Negated by Earnings

Posted by Ryan Driscoll, Michael Strauss on May 2, 2017

Topic: Market Commentary

A president’s first 100 days in office is often viewed as a barometer for success of a new administration. Despite Trump’s touting that his fiscal policy plan will be the “biggest tax cut in history,” the proposal is merely a framework for starting tax negotiations. Nonetheless, an agreement over the weekend among Congressional leaders on a short-term spending bill offers hope that Washington officials could formulate a “watered down” long-term budget deal late this year.

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The Crowded Liquidity Trade

Posted by Ryan Driscoll, Michael Strauss on Apr 10, 2017

Topic: Fixed Income | Investment Strategy | Operating Assets

Over the past few months, we have seen a massive shift of investor assets from prime to government money market funds in response to post-crisis regulatory amendments that have been years in the making. Surprisingly, the market reaction happened quickly and dramatically, even though the changes were widely known. In October 2016, SEC rule amendments were implemented to prevent the possibility of cash investments, specifically prime money market mutual funds, from “breaking the buck” and resulting in liquidity panics in the future.

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