A Sharpened Focus 05-18-17

Editor’s Note: Due to an unexpected outage at our email service provider yesterday afternoon, we were unable to send our Weekly Issue at its regular time. And with the Comey memo leak creating heightened uncertainty in the market, we decided to send the issue today to give the indicators one day to gather in data and settle in.   Read more about A Sharpened Focus 05-18-17

Another Controversy 05-10-17

Yesterday’s abrupt firing of FBI director James Comey, which reportedly surprised even many top officials, sent political shockwaves across Washington. The official reason was Comey’s handling of the email controversy involving Hillary Clinton. Given the ongoing investigation into possible Russian involvement in the election and Moscow ties to the Trump campaign, and President Trump’s previous positive praising of the now former director, however, the timing does raise some eyebrows. Read more about Another Controversy 05-10-17

Fed Stands Pat 05-03-17

The Fed concluded its latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy-setting meeting today. As was widely expected, the decision makers chose to stand pat.

In its policy statement, the FOMC acknowledged a slowdown in economic activity but described continued strengthening in the labor market and stated that “fundamentals underpinning continued growth of consumption remained solid.” First-quarter GDP growth slowed to an annual rate of 0.7 percent, the lowest mark in 3 years, but the Fed dismissed the slowdown as “likely to be transitory.” Read more about Fed Stands Pat 05-03-17

A Preferred Outcome 04-26-17

The French headed to the polls this past Sunday to choose their next president. Emmanuel Macron, ex-investment banker and ex-minister of economy won first place with 24 percent of the votes. Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen finished in second place with 21 percent voter support, better than she performed in 2012. She and Macron will face off in round 2 on May 7, the winner of which will become the next president of France. Read more about A Preferred Outcome 04-26-17

Political Risks Persist 04-19-17

This week, gold approached but failed to eclipse the $1,300 mark. Today, as the dollar bounced back slightly, the yellow metal fell to a one-week low. The failure to surpass the psychologically important round number likely spurred some profit taking. Still, with tensions over North Korea persisting and the French national election happening this weekend, gold may still see some renewed buying interest. Read more about Political Risks Persist 04-19-17

Staying Hedged 04-12-17

The much anticipated summit between President Trump and President Xi came and went without incident, though Trump did order an airstrike against Syria before his dinner with the Chinese head of state. Contrary to his persistently tough rhetoric against China and prediction for a “difficult” meeting, Trump came out of the summit declaring that he’s developing an “outstanding” relationship with Xi. Read more about Staying Hedged 04-12-17