Perspectives Blog

A creature is stirring

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | December 8, 2014

…is is a supply shock, and you treat them differently than a shock that’s caused by … demand” On the state of the labor market: “The really big fact that I think about with the labor market much of the time is the fact that the unemployment rate has come down much more rapidly than was expected as little as a year and a half ago … [broader measures] too have come down more recently; U6 has come down quite rapidly as well.” And on the lack of a pic…

European equities – Should investors care about periphery vs. core anymore?

Dan Ison, Portfolio Manager | January 13, 2014

The more dramatic the economic reforms, the better the stock market performance in the eurozone We expect nominal growth to be the key driver of an improving earnings picture in Europe European equities should show further good returns to investors in 2014 As we enter 2014 there are the usual questions, conversations and strategy pieces extolling the virtues of different regions and asset classes. 2013 saw a phoenix-like resurgence in interest…

Does Japan’s sell-off present buying opportunities?

Daisuke Nomoto, Senior Portfolio Manager | February 10, 2014

…ax cuts; ii) granting a Special Economic Zone license to Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido and/or Okinawa; and iii) labor reform to ease working visa issuance to foreign workers for the construction and medical industries, raise female labor participation rate, etc. Since the market expectation of Abe’s growth strategy is somewhat low at the moment, any clarity about it could positively surprise the market. It is hard to imagine that the Japanese st…

U.S. rates — Data dependence

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | June 23, 2014

Evidence of data dependency at the June FOMC meeting suggests policy will respond to unemployment and inflation surprises. We are more confident the Fed’s reaction function is (nearly) done moving. We therefore remain cautious about exposure to U.S. interest rate risk, especially at the middle of the yield curve. The June FOMC meeting contained a little bit for everyone and interest rates reacted only marginally after the announcements. But lo…

Digital dining: How restaurants are applying technology to drive sales

Daniel Spelman, Equity Analyst | February 24, 2014

Restaurants are modernizing dining with consumer-centric tech focus. Large chains are the leaders, investing more and increasing market share. Innovation is boosting efficiency and reducing costs. In a $680 billion industry that is notoriously low margin, competitive and high touch, restaurants are increasingly using technology to differentiate themselves from the crowd. Advancements in digital ordering, loyalty, payments and convenience are i…

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…

Interest rates — Farewell, liquidity trap

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | December 15, 2014

The U.S. Treasury market as a whole has returned +1% annualized since the end of 2012 (and +0.5% annualized since the low in 10-year yields in July 2012). Because of imminent Fed rate hikes and depressed yield levels, prospective returns look no better today. We recommend investors take profit in long-duration ­fixed-income sectors that benefited from 2014’s decline in rates, and look to other sources of income for their bond portfolios. With…