Perspectives Blog

Could tapering be good for stocks?

Fred Copper, Senior Portfolio Manager | December 16, 2013

Despite all the discussion surrounding quantitative easing (QE), there has been little theoretical justification for the link between QE and equity prices. Europe provides a glaring counter-example of the impact of central bank policy on financial markets. Once the psychic umbilical cord of QE is cut (tapered), the market may actually be cheered by the end of what has always been perceived as a temporary and extreme form of life support. Few i…

Special report – Commodity markets outlook

Columbia Management, Investment Team | July 21, 2014

…ng on the price of international natural gas because the U.S. is unable to export natural gas into the global market. Consequently, developments in the Ukraine, for example, have no bearing on the U.S. natural gas market. The European natural gas market certainly is affected, however. But overall we believe that Europe and Russia’s interdependence is too great for there to be any long-term impact from the problems in the Ukraine, where we anticip…

Second quarter U.S. corporate earnings wrap-up

Tom West, Director of Equity Research | August 18, 2014

Non-cyclical sectors slightly out performed cyclical sectors during the quarter. In technology, the U.S. is improving, Europe is still not strong and developing markets lag. The healthcare sector improved, but it is still a question mark for the second half of the year. As the economic recovery matures, we have seen a fairly consistent pattern in quarterly earnings: estimates come down during the course of the quarter, and then beat the “lower…

Global Asset Allocation Outlook (as of February 24, 2014)

Columbia Management Global Asset Allocation Team, | March 10, 2014

Markets had a difficult start to the year. After experiencing negative returns in January, both U.S. and European equities recovered in February and are now slightly positive for the year. The best returns have come from U.S. small-cap equities along with shares of equities domiciled in the periphery of Europe. These two broad groups are both up mid-single digits. Emerging market equities continue to lag developed market performance. And, Japane…

Inflation consternation

Martin Harvey, Fund Manager, Threadneedle International Ltd | November 5, 2013

…is week; we think any intervention is likely to be verbal, at least at first. October inflation in the eurozone slowed alarmingly to levels not seen since late 2009. Some commentators have been quick to change their call for European Central Bank (ECB) action on November 7 or the December meeting. Previously, ECB President Mario Draghi has said lower inflation due to factors such as energy prices is actually positive, as it boosts disposable inc…

Comments on the effect on global markets from the Ukraine crisis

Mark Burgess, Chief Investment Officer, Threadneedle Investments | March 12, 2014

…in volatile in the short term. Emerging equities reflect concerns not only around Russia and Ukraine but also the weaker growth outlook in Brazil and China. In commodities, Russia is a significant oil player, supplying 30% of Europe’s gas, with 50% of that piped through Ukraine. Any move to curb Russian oil exports by the EU could easily drive Brent crude oil into the $140-160 a barrel range. We therefore do not expect major sanctions against the…

Retail sector outlook – It’s a share game

Mari Shor, Senior Equity Analyst | March 17, 2014

…ts. The “wealth effect” has greatly impacted consumer confidence among upper-income consumers, and companies targeting these consumers have benefitted to a greater degree from higher tourism-driven spend (both in the U.S. and Europe). As it relates to the lower-income consumers, growth in disposable income is likely to remain under pressure given higher healthcare costs and lower government benefits (including food stamps and unemployment). In th…