Monthly Archives: May 2010

Interpreting Mutual Fund Flow Data

According to the May 2010 Morningstar Direct Fund Flows Update, investors continue to draw money out of money market funds at a record pace. In April alone, investors pulled out $118.8 billion. Year-to-date ("YTD") in 2010, money market outflows now total $443 billion, which surpasses the entire amount drawn out or money market funds in 2009 - in just four months!Read more

Putting Greece into Perspective

The Economist termed this past weekend's emergency bailout package for Greece as "shock and awe" due to the size of the $146 Billion combined European and IMF commitments to the country. The widely read magazine went further to suggest that they hope the package will convince the markets that loan commitments will cover the potential bond losses and contain the issue from spreading into Portugal and, perhaps more dangerously, into Spain. This is now the third attempt at a solution for the sovereign debt crisis in Greece. Previously the Euro-zone leaders seemed to be trying to buy time but spiraling Greek bond rates, which intensified after Moody's recently cut Greek bonds ratings to junk status, along with fears of the contagion spreading to Spain - which has a much larger GDP than Greece and Portugal combined - forced their hand.Read more

What Happened to Saving for a Rainy Day?

According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. consumer spending rose twice as fast as income in March of 2010 as personal savings dropped to its lowest level in 18 months. The Commerce Department reported, "Consumer spending increased by 0.6% from the prior month, likely lifted by government efforts to spur economic growth, but personal income rose just 0.3% on a weak labor market. As a result, the U.S. saving rate dropped to 2.7%, its lowest level since September 2008."Read more

Are the Equity Markets Poised for a Pause?

The global equity markets machine continued to churn full speed ahead in April as evidenced by the S&P 500's monthly advance of 1.25% and the DJIA's increase of 1.06%. As a result, the S&P 500 and the DJIA are now up 7.05% and 6.42% respectively thus far in 2010. This early 2010 gain stands on top of the meteoric rise that took place in the equity markets during the final three quarters of 2009. This situation has left many investors in a precarious state. On the one hand, they feel as though they may have missed out on a large part of the market recovery - which probably is true if one is only looking at the U.S. stock market (Large Cap companies in particular). On the other hand, they are growing more and more concerned that a pullback, or extended pause, in the equity markets is increasing in likelihood -which is probably also true especially considering the continuing difficulties that the P.I.I.G.S. countries (i.e. Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) are presenting in terms of their own sovereign debt.Read more