Economic Outlook

A Pleasant Winter, But Cool Spring Economy-Wise

Three short months ago the mood approached the euphoric; now, investors are once again in the gloom of doubt. Many of the concerns spring from beyond our shores. Emerging nations continue to slow, but the real malady lies in Europe. Effectively in recession, with a dilemma between austerity from within and salvation from Germany, Europe seems to be a burden on financial markets worldwide.

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Equity Portfolios

U.S. Stocks Ease In Second Quarter, Still Strong Year-To-Date

Despite agonizing doubts about European recession, emerging-markets slowdowns and earnings concerns, U.S. stocks corrected only moderately in the second quarter and generated a 9.5% total return in the first six months of the year, leading most asset classes globally.

From a valuation perspective, stocks remain attractively priced relative to the current level of earnings. Nevertheless, we’re scrutinizing both economic performance and policymaker actions throughout the world, but especially in Europe and emerging markets. Presently we have a dichotomy – weak economies riding tandem with policymakers seemingly focused on doing all they can to fix problems, if awkwardly

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Fixed Income Portfolios

Bond Market Bubble?

With the bellwether 10-year U.S. Treasury yield hitting yet another new low, discussion of a bond bubble is understandable. Low yields are driven by the Federal Reserve’s monetary stimulus and the globally low interest-rate environment. We do expect the bond market could remain volatile as the European crisis continues to evolve, the U.S. political season heats up and we approach the year-end “fiscal cliff”.

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