Explore our thinking about today's financial markets


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Is another round of Fed rate cuts looming?

February 24, 2020  |  Fixed income

The Federal Reserve may lower its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points in 2020 if sustained financial market stress affects economic activity against a backdrop of the coronavirus epidemic.

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Is another round of Fed rate cuts looming?

Capital Markets Outlook

Risks have eased, but so has growth

Risks have eased, but so has growth

January 22, 2020  |  Capital Markets Outlook

We favor reducing risk as we look for proof that earnings can support asset valuations.

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Fixed Income Outlook

Bonds likely to be range bound in 2020

Bonds likely to be range bound in 2020

January 27, 2020  |  Fixed Income Outlook

Global growth will likely stabilize and remain soft as we head into 2020.

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Equity Outlook

Is the path paved to 5,000 on the S&P?

Is the path paved to 5,000 on the S&P?

December 27, 2019  |  Equity Outlook

What's in store for equities? We consider a number of factors that could drive stocks higher.

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All posts
Is another round of Fed rate cuts looming?

Is another round of Fed rate cuts looming?

The Federal Reserve may lower its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points in 2020 if sustained financial market stress affects economic activity against a backdrop of the coronavirus epidemic.

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The SECURE Act opens a new frontier for 401(k)s

The SECURE Act opens a new frontier for 401(k)s

The SECURE Act represents significant changes to retirement savings and could drive a expansion of workplace retirement savings plans including 401(k)s.

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Solutions to antibiotic resistance

Solutions to antibiotic resistance

As the focus on natural ingredients intensifies, so has concern about antibiotic use in food production.

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China's economy braces for fallout from coronavirus

China's economy braces for fallout from coronavirus

There will be some temporary disruption to economic activity in China and elsewhere from the coronavirus outbreak.

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Bond yields in early 2020 likely to stay range bound

Bond yields in early 2020 likely to stay range bound

Bond yields will likely stay range bound in early 2020 as the economy shifts to a lower gear and central banks shift to neutral.

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Linking impact and performance

Linking impact and performance

Often, the same elements that create environmental and social benefits are driving positive financial performance.

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Fed relieves pressure on repo market

Fed relieves pressure on repo market

In recent weeks, the Federal Reserve has provided billions of dollars of liquidity for participants in the market for repurchase agreements, or repos, to stabilize interest rates following a spike in mid-September.

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Engaging with allies to advance sustainable investing

Engaging with allies to advance sustainable investing

We collaborate with institutions to examine and understand the financial impacts of sustainability.

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Will the improving housing market further divide the Fed?

Will the improving housing market further divide the Fed?

The Fed remains divided on the trajectory of interest rates; a pick up in U.S. housing activity may increase this division.

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Talking sustainability with CEOs

Talking sustainability with CEOs

We have ongoing dialogue with the management teams of companies in which we invest, across a wide range of sustainability-related topics.

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An inverted yield curve: Recession or stagnation?

An inverted yield curve: Recession or stagnation?

The Treasury yield curve briefly inverted in August, rattling markets with the possibility of a recession.

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Sustainability analysis enhances research

Sustainability analysis enhances research

An intense focus on sustainability has the potential to deliver strong returns to investors while also benefiting communities and the environment.

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July rate cut: “Insurance” policy or recession guard?

July rate cut: “Insurance” policy or recession guard?

The Federal Reserve delivered on its widely expected quarter-percentage point interest-rate cut at the July meeting. It was the first reduction since 2008 and came in response to slowing global economic growth and muted inflation.

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The SECURE Act: Completing an unfinished masterpiece

The SECURE Act: Completing an unfinished masterpiece

Congress is considering the SECURE Act, which would enhance workplace retirement savings plans and extend access to millions of workers.

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Trade war fallout can hurt risky assets

Trade war fallout can hurt risky assets

The simmering trade war between the United States and China is expected to continue, and could put the economy at risk.

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Implications of the Huawei export ban

Implications of the Huawei export ban

With Huawei blocked by the U.S. Commerce Department from buying U.S. technology, we discuss ramifications on the technology sector and how the ban may end.

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Trade tensions could reduce global GDP

Trade tensions could reduce global GDP

There is a significant likelihood that U.S.-China trade tensions will remain high. Effects on global GDP effects are uncertain, but could exceed 1%.

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How green is your beverage container?

How green is your beverage container?

Rigorous research of sustainability can lead to attractive investment opportunities.

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Why flexibility matters if Treasury yields climb

Why flexibility matters if Treasury yields climb

An active, flexible posture on rate risk could be helpful given the reasons why Treasury yields might rise from recent low levels.

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ESG investing: Identifying leaders in data management

ESG investing: Identifying leaders in data management

Data security and privacy practices can significantly affect business models, and leading companies may offer strategic and financial advantages.

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Investing for impact  |  Q&A with Stephanie Henderson

Investing for impact | Q&A with Stephanie Henderson

A member of Putnam's sustainable investing team describes her motivations for spreading ESG fluency throughout the firm to enhance fundamental insights.

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Market volatility returns to "old" normal

Market volatility returns to "old" normal

Our outlook for stock market volatility sees the levels reached in 2018 continuing, in part because these levels were close to the long-term norm.

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401(k) reaches milestone as innovation continues

401(k) reaches milestone as innovation continues

As the 401(k) reaches milestone, the workplace savings plan continues its evolution, adapting to changing demographics and savers’ needs.

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ESG Outlook for 2019

ESG Outlook for 2019

We see increasing evidence that systems thinking is becoming more prevalent and influential throughout corporations and the investment community.

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What November means for 2019

What November means for 2019

The events of November provide a fresh view of two key risks facing the economy in 2019 — a hawkish Fed and an escalation of the trade war.

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Bigger tax refunds may help boost retirement savings

Bigger tax refunds may help boost retirement savings

Projections of larger tax refunds this year could mean an increase in contributions to retirement savings.

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How company diversity can help performance

How company diversity can help performance

The potential to improve work performance is perhaps the most intriguing and least understood argument for diversity — and worth examining in more depth.

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Use wellness to gain wealth

Use wellness to gain wealth

New research found that a worker who focuses on wellness may save nearly $100,000 more for retirement than someone who does not manage their health well.

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October stock market volatility may signal a shift

October stock market volatility may signal a shift

Recent stock market volatility reflects a process of pricing in the fact that the global growth outlook has diverged.

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Italy may be conduit for EM contagion

Italy may be conduit for EM contagion

If Italy's populist government increases government debt, prices of Italian bonds and banks could drop and trigger a larger crisis for the region and world.

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Back in black: Higher oil prices to persist

Back in black: Higher oil prices to persist

Fueling higher oil prices this year — and counter to market expectations — is a drop in oil inventories ...

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Sustainable investing: Assessing the choices

Sustainable investing: Assessing the choices

Sustainable investing is growing in popularity, and investors should be thoughtful about choosing from a range of strategies and portfolios.

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Are international stocks truly cheap?

Are international stocks truly cheap?

On the surface, U.S. stocks appear more expensive than international stocks, but a quantitative comparison reveals the impact of sector valuations.

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Munis feel knock-on effects of tax reform

Munis feel knock-on effects of tax reform

The municipal bond market will likely see a reduction in supply in 2018 because of certain provisions in the new tax reform law.

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Just how cheap are European equities?

Just how cheap are European equities?

Our analysis finds that industry group weightings play a significant role in valuation discrepancies between U.S. and European equities.

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Looking for impact in CEO compensation

Looking for impact in CEO compensation

It’s important for investors to be able to understand how a company’s performance relates to CEO compensation.

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Longevity and medical costs – education for the great unknowns

Longevity and medical costs – education for the great unknowns

Understanding the impact of longevity and medical costs on savings requires education and a proactive approach to saving.

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How the Japan election may influence global interest rates

How the Japan election may influence global interest rates

The Japan election could have consequences for the future leadership of the Bank of Japan and the country's impact on global interest rate trends.

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Using and enhancing ESG investment data

Using and enhancing ESG investment data

ESG data is having investment impact but is still evolving, and stands to benefit from feedback offered by fundamental analysts.

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Take the measure of currency risk in portfolios

Take the measure of currency risk in portfolios

With the dollar moving higher since 2014, it's worth considering the currency risk in international portfolios.

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Job growth continues in January

Job growth continues in January

January jobs 257,000 Unemployment rate 5.7% (up from 5.6% in December) The labor participation rate remains near its lowest point of recent

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Rising receipts may recast federal budget debate

Rising receipts may recast federal budget debate

The true measure of underlying economic strength in the United States is not showing up completely in GDP numbers or ...

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Fed foretells end of QE3

Fed foretells end of QE3

The Federal Reserve has implemented a monetary policy called quantitative easing, or "QE" for short, to drive down interest ...

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The views and opinions expressed are those of the speaker, are subject to change with market conditions, and are not meant as investment advice.