Weekly Market Commentary, February 23, 2016

February 23, 2016  | By Robare & Jones

  The Markets And the economic data says… The United States economy is doing pretty well. So well that a March rate hike by the Federal Reserve is not entirely out of the question. Barron’s described the situation like this: “Squawking pessimism can’t drown out what is a very respectable start to 2016. Economic data so far this year, apart from predictions of deflation and negative interest rates, could justify what was scheduled to be, but what soon seemed impossible, … Read More

Weekly Market Commentary, February 16, 2016

February 16, 2016  | By Robare & Jones

  The Markets Are markets suffering from excessive worry? Last week, markets headed south because investors were concerned about the possibility of negative interest rates in the United States – even though the U.S. Federal Reserve has been tightening monetary policy (i.e., they’ve been raising interest rates). The worries appear to have taken root after the House Financial Services Committee asked Fed Chair Janet Yellen whether the Federal Reserve was opposed to reducing its target rate below zero should economic … Read More

Weekly Market Commentary, February 9, 2016

February 9, 2016  | By Robare & Jones

The Markets There was bad news and good news in last Friday’s unemployment report. In the negative column, fewer jobs were created in the United States than economists had predicted, and January’s jobs gains were not as strong as December’s had been. In addition, the December jobs increase was revised downward from 292,000 to 252,000, according to Barron’s. On the positive side of the ledger, more than 150,000 new jobs were added in January. The unemployment rate fell below 5 … Read More

Weekly Market Commentary, February 2, 2016

February 2, 2016  | By Robare & Jones

The Markets How low can you go? The Bank of Japan (BOJ) dove into the negative interest rate rabbit hole last week when it dropped its benchmark interest rate to minus 0.1 percent. If you’ve been following Japan’s story, then you know the country has been struggling with deflation for almost two decades. The BOJ’s goal is to push inflation up to 2 percent. MarketWatch explained the idea behind negative interest rates: “Central banks use their deposit to influence how … Read More