After Summer Slumber, Volatility is Back

The U.S. stock market is facing a dilemma based on mixed information and an uncertain political landscape. On the one hand, economic data is neither weak nor strong enough to make the choice to raise interest rates easy for policymakers. On the other hand, the unpredictable nature of the presidential race is contributing to market volatility.

Jobs ?

The August jobs report showed that the economy gained 151,000 new jobs instead of the 180,000 jobs predicted by economists. Since investors are keenly watching the odds of a rate hike ahead of the mid-September Federal Open Market Committee meeting, they treated the jobs miss as a win since it might reduce the chance of a rate hike this month.

Why Should You Care About LIBOR ?

Even as the Fed has kept interest rates flat, an unexpected surge in short-term interest rates triggered by an industry rule change is potentially doing some of the Fed's work for it.

U.S. Stocks Continue Rise, Will Interest Rates ?

Strategists continue to wonder what the Fed is thinking about the future of short term interest rates. Minutes from the July Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting showed that officials are split about the economic outlook and when to raise rates.

How Should Unemployment Be Measured ?

Among last week's major events was a surprisingly good July jobs report. Last month, the economy added 255,000 new jobs, beating expectations of 180,000 jobs. Even better, the gains were broad-based and the labor force participation rate (an area of concern because fewer people in our population were actively participating in the labor force) ticked upward.

Stocks Set New Record Highs

Stocks were up for the third week in a row, posting record highs on better-than- expected earnings results and solid domestic economic data. Since the bottom of the post-British referendum selloff, the S&P 500 has gained 8.06%.  For the week, the S&P 500 gained 1.49%, the Dow grew 2.04%, Corporate Bonds fell 0.86%, and International Stocks grew 3.65%.

How Brexit May Affect U.S. Investors

Stocks fell sharply last week in response to Britain's vote to leave the European Union (known as the Brexit), putting major indices in the red for 2016. Why did markets react so badly?

Is Britain Really Going to Leave the EU?

Before we begin our usual weekly commentary, we wanted to take a moment to honor the victims of Sunday's terrible attack in Orlando. Though details are still emerging, it is clearly the most devastating mass shooting in U.S. history. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and with the community that now must cope with the aftermath of the tragedy.

What Did the May Job Report Show Us?

On Friday, we got a look at how the labor market did in May. Analysts looked to the report to see whether the labor market would give the Fed the ammunition it needed to move at the June meeting. Here are a few things we took away:

Job growth disappoints...but it has happened before

Happy Anniversary? Not Quite

This past week marked the one-year anniversary of the most recent all time high levels in the U.S. stock market's major averages. It was around May 20th, 2015 when the records were hit and the equity markets seemed to be humming along en route to a nice return for the calendar year of 2015.

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