Thoughts on the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting and interest rates

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Tim Holland, CFA,
Senior Vice President, Global Investment Strategist

 

  • As expected, the FOMC raised the Fed Funds rate to a target range of 2.25% to 2.50%.
  • The question for many is given markets had effectively “priced in” or were largely expecting the rate increase, why did equities sell off sharply and bonds rally strongly on yesterday’s Fed Funds news?
  • We – and many market participants – expected the Fed’s post meeting statement and Chairman’s Powell press conference to strike a much more dovish tone over the outlook for interest rate policy into 2019.  We think the Fed fell short on both fronts.
  • The Fed now expects two (instead of three) rate increases next year and also lowered their estimate for GDP growth in 2019 and their estimate of the long-term neutral interest rate (the Fed Funds rate that neither hinders nor helps economic growth).
  • However, we believe the Fed did not adequately recognize the impact recent market volatility, slowing economic growth outside the US and the ongoing US / China trade dust up is likely having on corporate sentiment and spending, and how a weakening of both could ultimately cause the US economy to stall and potentially slide into recession.
  • We see two primary risks for the markets and the economy into the new year – 1) a monetary policy mistake (the Fed going too far, too fast) and 2) a trade policy mistake (the US / China trade dynamic worsening).  After today, we have not yet “solved for” monetary policy risk, which means investors will likely be looking even more intently for good news on the trade front.  We are optimistic that it is coming. In the meantime, the risk posed by monetary policy to the economy and markets has increased.
  • Finally, the next Fed meeting isn’t until January.  We expect investor disappointment over today’s FOMC statement and Chairman Powell’s press conference to be additive to already heightened market volatility.  However, a bear market is not our base case.  There is still time for monetary policy and trade policy to move in a more supportive direction for both the economy and risk assets as we enter 2019. Meanwhile, indicators of an imminent bear market or recession aren’t present, and we can continue to cite several positive economic and market data points, including…
    • The yield curve has not inverted
    • Inflation remains contained (including wage inflation)
    • Corporations and consumers have ample access to credit
    • US fiscal policy remains accommodative
    • US corporate earnings should grow 20%+ this year and by mid to high single digits next year
    • Market valuation is attractive with the S&P 500 trading at about 15x forward earnings

The views expressed are those of Brinker Capital and are not intended as investment advice or recommendation. For informational purposes only. Brinker Capital, Inc., a registered investment advisor.

Investment Insights Podcast: The top of many investor’s list of worries

Chris HartSenior Vice President

On this week’s podcast (recorded November 30, 2018), Chris discusses investor concerns about the Fed and interest rates.

 

Quick hits:

  • Recent statements by the Fed appear to indicate a change in its messaging after introducing the idea that a data dependent approach in 2019 might be prudent.
  • The Fed may be closer to a neutral stance regarding monetary policy—meaning a level at which the Fed Funds rate neither stimulates nor slows economic growth.
  • If the Fed does take a data-dependent approach in 2019, this doesn’t mean that it will become unpredictable from meeting to meeting.

For the rest of Chris’s insight, click here to listen to the audio recording.

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The views expressed are those of Brinker Capital and are not intended as investment advice or recommendation. For informational purposes only. Holdings are subject to change. Brinker Capital, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.

Investment Insights Podcast: The dreaded yield curve inversion


Andrew Goins
, CFA, Investment Manager

On this week’s podcast (recorded September 24, 2018), Andrew discusses the probability of future Fed rate hikes and the potential impact of the yield curve.

Quick hits:

  • The more highly anticipated event will be the release of the Beige Book following this weeks meetings, which covers everything discussed and includes the widely followed dot plot.
  • We’ve been dealing with a very flat yield curve for much of this year.
  • Everyone is watching closely for the dreaded yield curve inversion, which has been an ominous sign for impending recessions historically.
  • While the curve remains flat, but positively sloped, and with the weight of the evidence leaning positive, our portfolios remain overweight to equities.

For Andrew’s full insights, click here to listen to the audio recording.

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This is not a recommendation for Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google. These securities are shown for illustrative purposes only.

The views expressed are those of Brinker Capital and are not intended as investment advice or recommendation. For informational purposes only. Holdings are subject to change. Brinker Capital, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.

Investment Insights Podcast: July 2018 market and economic outlook

Leigh Lowman, CFA, Investment Manager

On this week’s podcast (recorded July 13, 2018), Leigh provides a brief review of the second quarter.

 

Quick hits:

  • Volatility continued into the second quarter with risk asset performance mixed.
  • The Fed implemented a 25-basis point rate hike in June and revised its forecast from three to four rate hikes for 2018.
  • Concern over a more hawkish Fed coupled with increasing trade tensions will likely cause volatility to persist, but we expect fiscal stimulus and strong fundamentals will lead to positive economic growth over the intermediate-term.

Listen_Icon  Listen to the abbreviated audio recording.

Read_Icon  Read the full July Market and Economic Outlook.

 

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The views expressed are those of Brinker Capital and are not intended as investment advice or recommendation. For informational purposes only. Holdings are subject to change. Brinker Capital, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.

 

Investment Insights Podcast: The yield curve – What is it and why does it matter?

Tim Holland, CFA, Senior Vice President, Global Investment Strategist

On this week’s podcast (recorded January 26, 2018), Tim discusses a topic that’s been receiving significant attention from the media and investors, and that’s the yield curve.

 

Quick hits:

  • The yield curve is simply the spread or difference between the yield on the 10-year US Treasury Note and the 2-year US Treasury Note.
  • Usually, our economy is expanding and the yield curve is positively sloped.
  • Two forces typically cause the yield curve to flatten or invert: 1. the Federal Reserve raising the Fed Funds Rate, and 2. when investors continue to invest in the long end of the yield curve.
  • The yield curve has been flattening of late. So do we at Brinker think it might be signaling a recession?

For Tim’s full insights, click here to listen to the audio recording.

 

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The views expressed are those of Brinker Capital and are not intended as investment advice or recommendation. For informational purposes only. Holdings are subject to change. Brinker Capital, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.

Investment Insights Podcast: Three things we’ve learned in the first quarter of this year

Jeff Raupp, CFARaupp_Podcast_Graphic, Director of Investments

On this week’s podcast (recorded April 3, 2017), Jeff discusses three things we’ve learned in the first quarter of this year.

 

Here are some quick hits before you have a listen:

  • While the administration’s policies are still considered bullish for stocks, the road to implementation will be a bumpy one.
  • We remain in the second half of the business cycle.
  • A rising Fed funds rate does not mean get out of emerging markets.

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For Jeff’s full insight, click here to listen to the audio recording.

The views expressed are those of Brinker Capital and are not intended as investment advice or recommendation. For informational purposes only. Holdings are subject to change. Brinker Capital, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.