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The Fed shows its hawkish side

January 8, 2016

The Fed struts its disconnect with the markets by suggesting that four rate hikes this year might be on the table. The market is thinking maybe two small hikes. “A more aggressive path would be in order.” China reverses course on stock-market...

No point in comparing Bill Gross' performance at Janus to what he did at Pimco

January 5, 2016

Comparing Bill Gross' past and present performance is like comparing apples and oranges. While it might be tempting to pit the Bond King's new Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund (JUCAX) against the Pimco Total Return Fund (PTTRX), they are...

The junk-bond correction is not the next financial crisis

January 4, 2016

All those folks claiming the recent pullback by junk bonds is just like the start of the 2008 financial crisis need to watch the movie 'The Big Short' to understand why they're wrong. There is no surge in junk-bond defaults. It's a brand new...

Economic forecasters predict market volatility in 2016

December 29, 2015

What do all the really smart economic forecasters see for 2016? Volatility, baby. Take advantage of stock price swings. The Fed's tiny little rate hike isn't likely to be enough to derail corporate America's borrowing binge. Next year is expected...

What we'll remember about the markets in 2015

December 29, 2015

Reflecting on 2015, I'm inclined to dub it the year of “It's about time.” After years of taunting and teasing, the Federal Reserve finally pulled the trigger in December with the most hyped 25-basis-point interest-rate hike in history, leading...

'Smart beta' tops the list of 2015 financial-term searches

December 21, 2015

The curiously interesting notion of smart beta was the top financial search term on Investopedia in 2015, and for good reason. 'Not new, not beta, still awesome.' An ETF that concentrates on drone-technology investments? Why not? Being the first...

6 ways the rate hike could be bad for markets

December 18, 2015

The Fed's rate hike could hit the markets in a half dozen, mostly bad, ways. There is no free lunch. If history has taught us anything, it is that the financial services industry is fertile soil for producing the Martin Shkreli's of the world....

BlackRock CEO Fink gives Yellen high marks

December 17, 2015

BlackRock Inc. chief executive officer Laurence D. Fink on Thursday predicted a slow-growth economy in early 2016 and gave Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen high marks for her speech Wednesday following the Fed's move to raise interest...

Wells Fargo wastes no time hiking its prime lending rate in stride with the Fed

December 17, 2015

Wells Fargo wins the prize for being the first major bank to increase its prime lending rate after the Fed's rate hike. It took the bank just 12 minutes after the Fed announcement to bump its prime rate to 3.5% from 3.25%. No word yet on whether...

The bond market selloff has sparked fears that the Fed might not hike rates today

December 16, 2015

Say it ain't so. After seven years at zero, and a full 18 months of teasing about a hike, there's now a real possibility that the Fed might not be able to pull the trigger this afternoon. This is exhausting. Three scenarios replace what was...

The junk-bond selloff is raining on the Fed's rate-hike parade

December 15, 2015

Just when the Fed felt it was safe to move off a zero-rate policy, suddenly all kinds of heck is busting loose in the high-yield bond market. Is it too late for the Fed to change course about a rate hike this week? The junk-bond rout still has...

Top 10 credit funds with extreme junk bond exposure

December 15, 2015

Third Avenue Management’s abrupt closing of its high-yield Focused Credit fund and freezing of immediate investor redemptions is causing some angst among both investors and bond fund managers. Following is a look at the high-yield bond funds...

Third Avenue fund collapse may be 'much bigger problem' for bond ETFs

December 14, 2015

Third Avenue Management's abrupt freezing of investor redemptions from its high-yield bond fund may be an early warning signal for bond exchange-traded funds. Investment strategists say that Third Avenue's troubles may be the latest test for...

Spreading the blame for oil's freefall

December 11, 2015

The oil price free fall is getting uglier and OPEC isn't the only culprit. Don't overlook the impact of the strong U.S. dollar, and the determination of U.S. production efforts. The 'drop dead price' is $25 to $30 a barrel. What next week's...

Third Avenue blocks redemptions from credit fund amid losses

December 11, 2015

As signs of stress mount in credit markets, a $788 million mutual fund is blocking clients from pulling their money so its holdings can be liquidated in an orderly fashion. Martin Whitman's Third Avenue Management put some of the assets in the...

How to talk 'interest rate hike' with clients

December 10, 2015

Advisers should be ready to put next week's expected Federal Reserve interest rate boost into context for clients, making sure it's clear to them that this long-awaited move is only the first step. As the Fed has labored over this decision during...

Hedge funds are waking up to redemptions

December 3, 2015

The trend of hedge fund redemptions could mark a turning point for pricey strategies that sometimes underperform. 'The fourth quarter will be flat and possibly negative.' Not that we're expecting anything too dramatic in the way of Fed activity,...

Financial markets brace for fallout from the Paris terror attacks

November 16, 2015

The financial markets are likely to be swept up in the immediate unrest following Friday's terror attacks in Paris. Pushing the markets in a direction they are already heading, toward reduced risk The Paris terror attacks could rock global financial...

Calpers makes another move away from pricey investments by trimming real estate exposure

November 13, 2015

Calpers trims its real estate holdings with a $3 billion sale, representing 10% of the pension giant's holdings. Part of a broader effort to simplify portfolio holdings and reduce fees. The SEC has cracked down on adviser for allegedly convincing...

The apolitical Fed is becoming a political target

November 12, 2015

When all else fails, blame the Fed. Even though it's designed and expected to be apolitical, the Federal Reserve is becoming a popular target of political attacks from all sides. The Fed did it Making the case for a portfolio of 100% equities....

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