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Category Archives: Investments

September 2014 Update from the FOMC

As I mentioned in my post last week, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) commenced its sixth meeting of the year on Tuesday, September 16. At the end of the two-day meeting, the Committee provided an update on U.S. …Read more

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

Is the Consumer Losing Confidence?

Consumer confidence in the United States appears to be waning after a recent wave of optimism. According to a recent Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers, consumer sentiment fell from 73.5 in September to 69.4 in October. Further, the Survey's economic outlook index also decreased, falling from73.5 in September to 67.6 in October.Read more

Is the Consumer Starting to Wage a Comeback?

August retail sales soared far higher than expected, rising 2.7% during the month. Backing out the impact of the "cash for clunkers" program, retail sales, excluding autos, still rose by 1.1%. The overall gain, led by a 10.6% growth at auto dealers, was the strongest month over month gain since January 2006. The most positive aspect of these reports, in our view at Hennion & Walsh, was the strength observed in the traditional "back to school" segments such as department, apparel, sporting goods and hobby stores. While these are sequential gains and retail sales are still off last year's pace by approximately 5%, this data suggests there may be upside surprise potential for retail sales during the 2009 Holiday season.Read more