High Quality Munis Held Back by Puerto Rico Storm

The S&P Municipal Bond Puerto Rico Index is down over 16% since mid-year and over 20% for the last 12 months.  The ‘storm’ has continued into October as the index is down 2% month to date. The Puerto Rico bond market debacle weighs on the rest of the municipal bond market despite its relative high Read more […]

Less [Information] May be More…

For most investors and many economists the first Friday of the month means the Employment Report at 8:30 AM eastern time.   The much-watched first official bit of economic data for the month just ended sets the tone for the markets and for the weekend investment advice columns.   This weekend the economic-investing blogosphere had little to Read more […]

Commodities Fall at the Start of Autumn

Hear the impact of the Syrian tension on oil and why the effect on copper might be different than in historical wars. The S&P GSCI® and Dow Jones UBS Commodity Index both fell in September, returning -3.4% and -2.6%, respectively. Some highlights from the S&P GSCI® include: Energy: Despite losing 4.5% on the month, S&P Read more […]

Jekyll & Hyde: The U.S. Preferred Stock Market

Preferred stocks have a split personality, part equity and part bond. The bond characteristics of preferred stock has, at least for the time being, become the ‘Mr. Hyde’ of the asset class.  The high dividends that preferred stock owners enjoy can be compared to future interest payments of bonds. Like bonds, the prospect of the Read more […]

Real Data on Healthcare

One of the biggest things missing from the never ending healthcare debate is hard data.  “Man-on-the-street” interviews reveal that some people don’t realize that Obamacare, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the ACA are all one and the same.  The absence of factual data is most crucial when examining the cost of healthcare.  Read more […]

US Energy Revolution’s Impact on Trade Flows

The substantial increase in the supply of energy from the United States is dramatically affecting US trade flows.  US crude oil production has increased about 29% and natural gas production has grown 33% since 2005.  To analyze the impact on trade flows, we must first examine what has happened to US energy consumption. Energy consumption Read more […]

US Energy Production & Its Growth Dividend

The substantial increase in the supply of energy from the United States is providing the US with an economic growth dividend. Since 2005, which we use as our base year since it roughly represents the year before the energy revolution in the US started, crude oil production in the US has increased 29% and natural Read more […]

The Shutdown and The Debt Ceiling

As of the market close on Monday, Congress is still pushing bills back and forth from one house to the other and a government shutdown looks like the odds-on bet.  The S&P 500 rebounded part way from a sharp drop at the open but has done little since mid-morning.  If the Credit Default Swap market Read more […]

Commodities Crystal Ball: What do the FUTURES hold?

What strategies will be the most profitable over the next 12 months?  Which spread will have the greatest opportunity? These are just a few questions we asked the audience at our S&P Dow Jones Indices 7th Annual Commodities Seminar, and we thought you may be interested in their answers. As I mentioned in a recent CNBC interview, Read more […]

Active vs Passive Investing – Looking at 2013 Mid-Year Results

The past 12 months ending June 30 saw an impressive rally in the domestic equity markets with S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400 and S&P SmallCap 600 posting double digit gains.  During that period, the majority of active managers in all the categories except small cap growth underperformed their benchmarks.  The SPIVA 2013 mid-year report shows Read more […]