|Bid||110.30 x 1000|
|Ask||0.00 x 2200|
|Day's Range||110.51 - 110.66|
|52 Week Range||110.27 - 114.48|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Expense Ratio (net)||0.20%|
What Does the Market Expect from the August Jobs Report? Fed policymakers are watching job numbers closely. The numbers give them clues about whether the US economy (SPY) (IVV) is strong enough to withstand interest rate hikes.
The fixed-income market has played second fiddle to equities, but there are still areas of opportunity that bond exchange traded fund investors can look to. “The fixed income market remains challenging, ...
Venezuela is a perfect current test case for those who believe gold is a good hedge against hyperinflation. The International Monetary Fund projects Venezuelan inflation to reach one million percent this year. The situation is reminiscent of what historically has been history’s paradigmatic examples of hyperinflation, such as Germany after World War I. In 1922 and 1923, the exchange rate between the German mark and the U.S. dollar (which was pegged to gold) rose from 430-to-1 to 433 billion-to-1.
The Federal Reserve’s annual economic policy symposium starts this Thursday in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Fed chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak on Friday. Investors will be looking closely for any comments about the US economy (IVV), employment, and inflation (TIP), the most important considerations in order for the Fed to decide on the pace and frequency of interest rate hikes.
Indeed, expectations for inflation over the next ten years, derived from 10-year Treasury inflation-protected securities, or TIPs, have barely budged from a 2.1% rate even after the core July consumer-price index, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, came in at 2.4% year over year, the fastest since September 2008. “A collective unwillingness to look beyond the CPI release speaks to our ‘too little, too late’ take on any late-cycle spike in consumer prices,” said Ian Lyngen, head of U.S. rates strategy at BMO Capital Markets, in a Monday research note.
What Will Financial Markets Look for in July's Jobs Report? The numbers give them clues about if the US economy (SPY) (IVV) is strong enough to withstand interest rates hikes. The Fed has already raised interest rates twice this year.
Gold prices (IAU) have been on a losing spree since mid-April due to the US dollar’s strength and diverging monetary policies in the United States (IVV) and the rest of the world. During the congressional testimony, Fed Chair Jerome Powell gave an upbeat assessment of the US (VOO) economy. The assets are attractive when interest rates (TLT) are high because gold doesn’t generate any income.
In the preceding parts of this series, we discussed how gold prices have remained weaker despite escalating trade war fears and geopolitical tensions. Many of these risks stem from the ongoing trade spats, which would create inflationary (TIP) pressures in the economy apart from uncertainty. Gold (GLD) is often seen as an inflation hedge.
It’s a question that has nagged at investors for as long as both asset categories have existed … are stocks the way to go, or bonds? If both, how much of either belong in a portfolio?
Oil prices (USO) soared ~6.0% in the week ended June 22. After its meeting on June 22, OPEC decided to raise its output. However, this increase was lower than what the markets expected.
An inverted yield curve, in which short-term yields (SHY) are higher than long-term yields (TLT), is considered as a warning sign for a future recession. The LEI’s economic model uses the yield spread between the ten-year Treasury bond (IEF) and the federal funds rate (TBF) as one of the components. The May LEI report indicated that this yield spread increased from ~1.2 in April to ~1.3 in May. The use of the term “symmetric” along with the inflation target in the May FOMC meeting minutes led to the increase of yield spreads in May.
The average weekly unemployment claim numbers are used as one of the forward indicators in the Conference Board LEI (Leading Economic Index). Low unemployment levels can indicate that the economy is performing at an optimal level. Recent reports indicate that unemployment levels in the US are moving toward multidecade lows.
Is It Time to Turn Bullish on Gold after Its Recent Weakness? The Consumer Price Inflation (or CPI) for May rose 2.8% annually, its fastest annual pace in more than six years. The PCE (personal consumption expenditure) (CPI), the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation, has also hit the 2.0% level.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a monthly report that tracks price trends in wholesale markets. The PPI (producer price index) is constructed using the inputs of a monthly survey of industries in the manufacturing sector (XLI). The survey consists of questions that determine changes in raw materials prices, production levels, and finished goods.
With inflation on the rise, investors may consider ETF themes that may help diminish the negative effects and diversify an investment portfolio. The consumer price index was up 0.2% from the previous month and 2.8% year-over-year, its biggest annual gain since February 2012. The data “provide further evidence that inflation is moving towards the Fed’s objective,” and the central bank will continue on its gradual rate-hike path, Kevin Cummins, an economist at NatWest Markets, told Bloomberg.
With the unemployment rate at a low 3.8%, rising wages and a healthy inflation level, the markets are poised for another rate hike by the Federal Reserve. The federal funds rate is currently in the range of 1.5% to 1.75%, but an increase of a quarter of a percentage point is expected, but not guaranteed. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will release the most recent economic forecasts, which could hint at additional hikes.
This week is set to be packed with action as the Fed and the ECB (European Central Bank) are scheduled to hold crucial policy meetings. While a quarter-percent rate hike is largely expected, many will be watching for changes in the Fed’s tone on policy, economic growth, and inflation (TIP), and how many rate hikes the Fed is planning for this year. A more aggressive approach to rate hikes by the Fed could be negative for precious metals, including gold.
With interest rates on the rise, bond values, REITs and dividend-paying stocks have all been pressured lower as a means of adjusting for the prevailing interest rates of the day. It’s one reason why Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, or TIPS for short is worth a look. Another reason is that, with the inflation outlook being largely uncertain there’s no end in sight to the frustration.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (or BEA) released its second estimate for real GDP for the first quarter on May 30. Although the reading was lower than consensus expectations, the reason for the decline was due to a decline in inventories, which could be considered a positive sign.
If there was any lingering doubt about the matter, it’s been wiped away within the past few weeks — inflation is upon us, and it’s here to stay. Expectations of three, if not four, rate hikes before the end of the year plainly says higher prices must be reined in before rampant inflation sparks an economic meltdown.
The last three trading sessions in May are likely to be influenced by geopolitical issues rather than economic data. Last week (ended May 25), traders’ sudden realization that the supply decline because of sanctions on Iran and disturbances in Venezuela could be offset by increased production from Russia and OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) countries led to a sharp fall in the energy sector (XLE). This decline could continue if the negative outlook for crude prices persists this week.
The 3% ten-year bond yield isn’t a significant level for any reason—it’s a psychological level that has created some market frenzy. The continued increase in bond yields, however, has been worrying stakeholders in the housing (XHB) industry. Recent reports from the housing sector haven’t raised any red flags for the sector at this point, but continued increases in the 30-year mortgage rate along with rising home prices could push prospective buyers away once rates reach higher levels.
The FOMC’s May meeting minutes indicated that some of its members had turned bearish on inflation (TIP). This information played a major role in changing investor’s assessment of the Fed’s plan for future rate hikes. If members feel that inflation can’t sustain above 2%, there’s the chance that they could limit the number of rate hikes going forward.