Perspectives Blog

U.S. rates — play for growth

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | December 10, 2013

More signs that U.S. growth is accelerating; with 7% unemployment rate, look for qualitative communication changes at next FOMC meeting. Higher odds of December taper but we still think January is more likely (with possible hint in December press conference). We wonder whether front-end rates can remain anchored as growth picks up. The November employment report brought more positive news on U.S. activity, with a healthy gain in nonfarm payrol…

Investing selectively in Asia

Soo Nam Ng, Head of Asian Equities | July 14, 2014

Beneath the surface of slowdown headlines lay pockets of exciting growth opportunities. As companies step back from chasing revenue growth and start emphasizing profit delivery, better cash flows and dividend payouts typically follow. We see the greatest contrarian opportunities in sectors where market sentiment has been most depressed. In my previous two articles, I argued that big picture conditions for more sustainable growth are beginning…

Where’s Waldo? Be on the lookout for rising costs in a low growth world

Paul DiGiacomo, Senior Analyst | August 18, 2014

Broad measures of cost inflation (PPI and CPI) growth rates have remained near 2% for the past three years. Sharp increases have occurred in isolated areas like trucking, but the effect is far-reaching. Investors must be on the lookout for accelerating expense growth within a company or industry cost structure, as high inflation can lead to lower stock returns. Over the past three years, Producer Price Index (PPI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI…

Quality milestone in the European recovery story

March 17, 2014

…in Italy, 10% in Germany, 12% in Benelux and 7% in the UK. Interestingly France was flat, which shows that the strength of the recovery will be unequally distributed. However, from a low base, there is potential for European growth to catch-up with other faster-growing areas of the globe. Political news has provided a further boost, with the German Constitutional Court referring the ECB’s Outright Monetary Transactions policy to the European Cou…

Rebalancing the U.S. economy

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | January 13, 2014

Both fiscal and monetary policy will begin to normalize in 2014 The economy’s performance will be an important metric for markets as growth needs to catch up The key to getting growth beyond 2% is for business to borrow to improve/expand productive capital It’s happening again—a fourth quarter bounce in economic activity that extends into the first quarter and supports the view that growth really, finally, has started to accelerate. Such bounc…

A tepid cyclical lift

Tom West, Director of Equity Research | April 28, 2014

Cyclical investment and discretionary spending are on track to deliver earnings growth of 7% in the S&P 500. Strength in some consumer durables appears more of a “wallet share” gain than a general lift due to recovering wages or a release of excess savings. Construction and energy are poised for another year of growth, while “enterprise” spending and investment in the tech sector remain challenged. The S&P 500 Index should grow earning…

Triangulating on 2014 corporate earnings

Tom West, Director of Equity Research | January 27, 2014

Estimating corporate earnings with bottom-up forecasts, top down forecasts and empirical forecasts will result in a range of outcomes While we believe bottom-up forecasts provide the best estimate, the other two methods can be useful in testing the result We look at top down build-up earnings growth for the S&P 500 and growth expectations by sector to arrive at an EPS growth estimate for 2014 I generally think the best way to build up an e…