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Economy

Historic economic growth vs. long-term investing

The U.S. economy is in uncharted waters. It has been expanding for more than 10 years—an unprecedented streak, based on National Bureau of Economic Research calculations dating back to 1854. As with bull markets for stocks, economic expansions don’t die of old age, but some people just get anxious when they think there’s been too much of a good thing. […]



Economic surprise, steady as she goes

By Kyle Tetting
While we’ve minimized some economic uncertainties, that isn’t to say they haven’t had an effect. […]



Economic surprise, steady as she goes

By Kyle Tetting
While the current economic expansion stretches on toward 10 years, the U.S. economy continues to surprise. U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), the total value of all goods and services produced, grew by 3.2% in the first quarter, easily beating consensus expectations. For a variety of reasons, the preliminary report is a big deal for investors—though it isn’t all rosy.



Leaning into the curve

A rare inversion of the yield curve—when long-term yields get lower than short-term—occurred on March 22. The phenomenon ended within a week but not without reminders that inverted yield curves frequently precede economic recessions. More important than their power to predict imminent downturns, though, is the message that inverted yield curves send to investors. […]



Economic SnapChart: Strong Dollar

By Paige Radke
Since 2013, the dollar has strengthened against a broad basket of currencies, rising nearly 30%. The stronger dollar affects three main areas of concern to investors: consumers, industry and financial markets. […]



Talking Money: Business Cycle

By Peter May
Economic history is marked by reoccurring cycles of expansions and contractions. That pattern is called “the business cycle.” (The latest in a series of articles explaining common terms and concepts used in personal finance and investing.) […]



Economic SnapChart: Consumers

By Adam Baley
Consumer spending drives nearly 70% of our economy, so the ongoing wellness of consumers is key to sustaining economic growth. More than seven years after the Great Recession, American consumers’ finances overall are in good shape. […]



Economic SnapChart: Housing

By Chris Evers
Amid global uncertainty, housing is an important gauge of the U.S. economy. […]



Economic SnapChart

By Adam Baley
Seven months through 2016, the health of the U.S. economy remains stable, and the risk of recession remains low. Growth is expected to continue plodding along at a moderate pace. […]



Bob’s View: Seeking clarity from Brexit

By Bob Landaas
The recent vote in Britain to leave the European Union sparked a sell-off in global stock markets and gyrations in currency markets.
Although markets have recovered much of the immediate losses, it is too early to tell if we are over the worst of the recent volatility. While we do not know the ultimate effects of the British vote and we will not for many months, certain things appear likely to occur.



Bob’s View: Still room to run

By Bob Landaas
With this bull market more than seven years old, it is natural to question when the good times will be over. Significant market downturns are normally brought on by recessions.
A recession at this point looks unlikely.
First-quarter gross domestic product (the broadest measure of U.S. economic output) rose an anemic 0.8%. Forecasts call for GDP to average 2% or more in the coming quarters. In the majority of cases, stock prices improve along with improving economic growth.



Negative interest rates: What you need to know

By Adam Baley
Negative interest rates were little more than an academic curiosity until recently when some of the world’s most powerful central banks made negative rates part of their monetary policy.
Just as they sound, negative interest rates require depositors to pay banks to hold their money. Negative rates challenge a fundamental assumption of financial systems – that when you lend someone money, they have to pay you. […]




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