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  • Industrials

    Can manufacturing activity in the northeast increase the pace?

    The Philadelphia Fed will release the results of its Business Outlook Survey for June, on Thursday, June 19.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Energy & Utilities

    Why monetary policy’s still abnormal as the FOMC nears its target

    While addressing the Tennessee Bankers Association’s annual meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, on June 9, 2014, James Bullard explained how the FOMC is moving closer to its target while monetary policy still maintains a distance from its objective.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • Financials

    Must-know: Future impacts of financial stability measures

    The Fed currently uses considerable staff resources in monitoring financial markets for risks arising from financial instability.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    An investor’s guide to financial intermediation and key risks

    Financial intermediation can result in concentration of risks that increase the fragility of the financial system. These risks are referred to as systemic risks.

    By Phalguni Soni
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    Financials

    When geopolitical risk takes precedence over interest rate risk

    The total returns on municipal debt came in at 3.32% in the first quarter of 2014, as measured by the Barclays Municipal Bond Index.

    By Phalguni Soni
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    Company & Industry Overviews

    Walmart: Price Wars In The United Kingdom’s Grocery Market

    The United Kingdom has been one of the most successful overseas forays for Walmart (WMT). The company operates ~576 stores in the country.

    By Phalguni Soni
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    Energy & Utilities

    Ukraine and Russia at the brink of war: All major indices affected

    Russia began the Ukrainian invasion by invading Donetsk, and with the Ukrainian army trying hard to regain control, the situation seems a little short of a battle to begin.

    By Surbhi Jain
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    Consumer

    When Can You Expect Walmart’s Profitability Margins to Stabilize?

    Despite the revenue headwinds we discussed in the previous part of this series, Walmart (WMT) expanded its gross margin by 21 basis points to 24.6% in the first three quarters of fiscal 2016.

    By Phalguni Soni
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    Financials

    Evans suggests using macroprudential tools for financial stability

    An example of macroprudential tools are bank stress tests, conducted regularly by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

    By Phalguni Soni
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    Macroeconomic Analysis

    Weak Currencies, but Consumer Packaged Goods Margins Improved

    The 1Q16 margins of consumer packaged goods (or CPG) companies sent strong signals. These companies have been investing heavily in innovative products and other growth initiatives.

    By Penny Morgan
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    Company & Industry Overviews

    Walmart’s Strategic Business Priorities and Their Impact

    Walmart’s strategic priorities include building omni-channel capabilities, growing its top line faster, focusing on core assets and capital discipline, and generating stronger shareholder returns.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    Must-know: Where will the doves and hawks find common ground?

    The pursuit of higher employment, in terms of both labor and resources, often involves a loose monetary policy.

    By Phalguni Soni
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    Company & Industry Overviews

    Walmart Lowers Capital Expenditure Projections

    Walmart has updated its capital expenditure projections for fiscal 2016. It expects to spend $12.4 billion in fiscal 2016, in the middle of the $11.6–$12.9 billion guidance range provided earlier.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Consumer

    Will falling credit card debt affect stocks like Walgreens?

    Consumer credit figures for February will be released by the U.S. Federal Reserve on Monday, April 7. It’s a monthly release, and the headline number for the report is total consumer debt.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    Why John Williams says monetary tightening won’t happen right away

    Mentioning that the economic outlook for the U.S. was “quite good,” Williams said the Fed’s monetary policy would slowly revert to normal as the economic recovery progresses.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    Overview: Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index report, May, 2014

    Unlike the regional manufacturing surveys conducted by the Federal Reserve Banks of other districts, the CFNAI is a nation-wide measure.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    Overview: New York Fed’s advice to revive Puerto Rico’s economy

    In 2011, led by Dr. William Dudley, the New York Fed had commissioned a report on the major economic issues facing the island of Puerto Rico.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    Why did demand for floating-rate notes decline?

    Floating-rate notes (FLRN) are the Treasury’s most recent issue. Their first auction was held in January 2014. They offer you a term-to-maturity of two years.

    By Phalguni Soni
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    Company & Industry Overviews

    Why Home Depot and Lowe’s Are Leaders in Home Improvement Retail

    Lowe’s (LOW) operates in the home improvement retail industry. The company competes with a number of retail and wholesale players.

    By Phalguni Soni
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    Consumer

    How Nike Has Sustained Profitability despite Headwinds

    Nike’s profitability in fiscal 3Q16 was helped by better-than-average performance in North America and Greater China, two of its most profitable segments.

    By Phalguni Soni
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    Energy & Utilities

    Why do Pianalto’s economic views as a centrist matter to the Fed?

    Pianalto has long supported the Fed’s aggressive policies to lift the economy from recession. She is seen as a centrist whose views reflect those of the Fed’s core decision makers.

    By Sandra Nathanson
  • Industrials

    Why investors should consider municipal bonds despite Puerto Rico

    The municipal bond (RVNU) market’s debt outstanding on December 31, 2013, stood at ~$3.7 trillion, making up about 9.2% of the total outstanding debt in the U.S.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    Investing in fixed income: What motivates bond investors?

    We can understand the investment objectives of fixed income investors in terms of returns, risks, and constraints. There are two categories of investors.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Consumer

    Why credit risk and liability risk matter to bond investors

    A bond portfolio must track a benchmark with a similar risk profile to the portfolio. That is, investors should choose to replicate (or buy an ETF that replicates) an index benchmark that has a risk profile similar they can tolerate.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    Why Minneapolis Fed President Kocherlakota disagrees with the FOMC

    Narayana Kocherlakota is an American economist and the 12th and current president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

    By Surbhi Jain
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    Real Insights

    Are Small Caps Worth the Risk Right Now?

    The small-cap stock universe started rallying after Trump’s victory in November.

    By Edward J. Perkin, CFA
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    Company & Industry Overviews

    How Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Oncology Segment Performed in 2016

    Given the strong performance of Opdivo, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Oncology segment emerged as its largest revenue contributor in 2016. The segment contributed ~35% of BMY’s total revenue.

    By Mike Benson
  • uploads///SmallCap Stocks Have Had a Stella Year
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Why Did Small-Cap Stocks Have a Stellar Year in 2016?

    Small-cap stocks have outperformed large caps on a regular basis since 1926. Small-cap stocks had a stellar year in 2016.

    By Sanmit Amin
  • uploads///Higher Inflation Rates Could Stunt the Small Cap Rally
    Macroeconomic Analysis

    How Would Higher Inflation Impact Small Caps?

    Higher inflation rates suggest that the economy might be improving. It’s good for small caps. They tend to outperform large caps during economic upturns.

    By Sanmit Amin
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    Macroeconomic Analysis

    A Pass on a November Hike: It’s Up to December Now

    The expected occurred on November 2, 2016, when the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) left the federal funds rate unchanged at 0.25%–0.5%.

    By David Ashworth
  • uploads///SP  Sector Returns in YTD
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Richard Bernstein: Don’t Fear the Bear Market

    A legitimate bull market In this series, we’ve taken a look at Richard Bernstein’s views on investors’ fear of an impending bear market. In Richard Bernstein Advisors’ October Insights newsletter, he rejects the notion that the current rise in US stocks (SPLV) (OEF) has been brought about only by the Fed’s easy monetary policy. In the […]

    By David Ashworth
  • uploads///Equities and Real Yields Have Had a Negative Correlation in the Last Two Years
    Company & Industry Overviews

    How Rising Real Yields Could Affect Equities

    Since the start of 2015, the S&P 500 and real yields have had a high negative correlation. Falling real yields have encouraged investors to take more risk in search of higher returns.

    By Richard Turnill
  • uploads///SP  Returns Have Been Shrinking
    Macroeconomic Analysis

    Why Your Portfolio Needs More Carry

    Since 2009, equities have staged a comeback. Between 2010 and 2015, the S&P 500 index has risen 10.3% on a CAGR basis. Most of the comeback is due to multiple expansion.

    By Russ Koesterich, CFA
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    Fund Managers

    Colgate’s Notion of Consumer Engagement, Brand Penetration

    Colgate is adding the greatest number of new shoppers among fast-moving consumer goods companies. Most are in India.

    By Penny Morgan
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    Macroeconomic Analysis

    Could Small Caps Continue to Underperform Large Caps?

    As I’ve discussed in the past, small caps have struggled this year despite optimism that a strong dollar would favor this style.

    By Russ Koesterich, CFA
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    Company & Industry Overviews

    Weighing Altria Group’s Strengths and Opportunities

    Altria’s major strength is its diversified portfolio, which includes wine and beer assets. Altria has the most diverse business model among US peers.

    By Penny Morgan
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    Earnings Report

    A Look at Disney’s Advertising Revenues

    The Walt Disney Company’s (DIS) advertising revenues made up 37% of its Media Networks segment’s total revenues of $5.7 billion in fiscal 3Q15.

    By Shirley Pelts
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    Company & Industry Overviews

    Altria’s Heritage of Innovation and Investments in R&D

    Altria’s R&D expenses for fiscal 2014 were $0.2 billion, or 0.9% of net sales. Its R&D expenses upped by 9.2% in 2014, reflecting a trend toward innovation.

    By Penny Morgan
  • uploads///Supply Chain
    Macroeconomic Analysis

    P&G’s Attempts to Reduce Inventory in Supply Chain

    At the Barclays Consumer Staples Conference earlier in September, P&G revealed its plan to reduce inventory in supply chains and improve stock rates.

    By Penny Morgan
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    Macroeconomic Analysis

    Disney and Netflix: Friends or Foes?

    OTT operators like Netflix are gaining popularity in the changing media landscape, so Netflix is becoming an important strategic partner for Disney.

    By Shirley Pelts
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    Company & Industry Overviews

    Philip Morris’s Spin-off from Altria, with New Collaborations

    On March 2008, Philip Morris split from Altria. In 2013, both companies combined their marketing powers to revamp and distribute their e-vapor products.

    By Penny Morgan
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    Company & Industry Overviews

    Philip Morris’s Initiatives to Boost Distribution and Manufacturing Channels

    Philip Morris oversees the distribution of tobacco products in more than 180 countries and territories and owns 50 manufacturing facilities across 23 markets.

    By Penny Morgan
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    Company & Industry Overviews

    How Colgate Is Capitalizing on the Pet Nutrition Market

    The revenue from Hill’s, Colgate’s pet nutrition segment, for 2014 was reported at $2.3 billion. It contributed 13.1% to the company’s total revenue.

    By Penny Morgan
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    Company & Industry Overviews

    Procter & Gamble: Strategies to Improve Long-Term Profitability

    Procter & Gamble continues to look at large developing markets where it thinks it can win enough market share to take a leadership position.

    By Penny Morgan
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    Company & Industry Overviews

    Procter & Gamble Leads the Market in Baby, Feminine, Family Care

    The company’s Baby, Feminine and Family Care segment is the second-largest grossing segment at Procter & Gamble.

    By Penny Morgan
  • uploads///The Dollar Has Strengthened Against the Euro and the Yen in the Last Few Months
    Macroeconomic Analysis

    What’s Causing the US Dollar to Strengthen?

    The strength in the US dollar is because of divergence in central bank policies. The US dollar is strengthening against most of the major currencies.

    By Daniel Gamba
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    Company & Industry Overviews

    Walmart’s Capital Strategy – Smaller Stores And Supercenters

    Walmart embarked to aggressively minimize the capital cost per square foot of retail space with the aim of faster payback on investment.

    By Phalguni Soni
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    Macroeconomic Analysis

    Why You Should Choose Mega And Large Caps Over Small Caps

    Mega caps outperformed small caps in 2014. Choose mega and large caps over small caps.

    By Russ Koesterich, CFA
  • Financials

    Why the US Treasury ups the T-bills auction size by 12%

    Last week’s T-bill auctions had a mixed trend for discount rates. While the six-month rates were unchanged, rates increased for the three-month and one-month maturities. A higher discount rate for the T-bills would imply higher demand at the higher discount rate at the auction.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    Must-know: Why re-pricing transactions dominate leverage loans

    A leveraged loan is a commercial loan provided by a group of lenders.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    Analyzing the key trends at recent Treasury bill auctions

    Last week, the week ended June 13, the U.S. Treasury held weekly auctions for four-week, 13-week, and 26-week Treasury bills for $30 billion, $25 billion, and $23 billion, respectively.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • uploads///South stream project rout map
    Energy & Utilities

    The “third energy package” becomes a roadblock for South Stream

    The European Union competition laws called “the third energy package” are intended to break monopolistic supply chains.

    By Surbhi Jain
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    Energy & Utilities

    Russia invades Eastern Ukraine: Will a war affect equity ETFs?

    After their annexation of Crimea, it now seems that Russia is on the lookout to invade and claim other regions in mainland Ukraine.

    By Surbhi Jain
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    Energy & Utilities

    Was the snowy winter weather a deterrent to economic growth?

    The FOMC review indicated that economic growth slowed early this year, in part because of the cold and snowy winter weather.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • Energy & Utilities

    Why analysts expect Gallup’s payroll-to-population number to rise

    Gallup’s payroll-to-population (or P2P) metric tracks the percentage of the U.S. adult population aged 18 and older that’s employed full-time by an employer, for at least 30 hours per week.

    By Surbhi Jain
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    Consumer

    Homer Jones: The guru of the Federal Reserve’s transparency efforts

    Homer Jones started worked at the St. Louis Fed in 1958 and is known for his contribution toward the bank’s development as a leader in monetary research and statistics.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Energy & Utilities

    Why the Bureau of Labor and Statistics jobs report is important

    The employment situation is the primary monthly indicator of aggregate economic activity because it encompasses all major sectors of the economy.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • Energy & Utilities

    Why Yellen says the unemployment rate is an incomplete barometer

    When the Federal Reserve’s policies are effective, they improve the welfare of everyone who benefits from a stronger economy—most of all those who’ve been hit the hardest.

    By Surbhi Jain
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    Energy & Utilities

    Yellen explains how the Fed uses monetary policy to create jobs

    Along with community-initiated organization sponsor programs, Yellen believes two other important things help people find a job in a challenging economy.

    By Surbhi Jain
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    Healthcare

    Leading economic indicators: Stock prices & interest rate spreads

    All three indices—leading, lagging, and coincident—recorded increases in February, with the Leading Economic Index increasing the most.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Energy & Utilities

    Why the distressed ratio is an important indicator of recovery

    With declining a default rate and distress ratio, investors are increasingly flocking towards leveraged loans, with a view of an expected rise in interest rates in the near future.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • Energy & Utilities

    Why leading indicators and the default rate help predict recovery

    These indicators are categorized as leading or lagging indicators based on when they show signs of recovery in the economy.

    By Surbhi Jain
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