FOMC Meeting and Putin’s Reservist Mobilization Overhang an Edgy Day

September 21, 2022

The FOMC announcement at 14:00 EDT will be accompanied by updated macroeconomic forecasts and followed by Chairman Powell’s press conference starting at 14:30 (18:30 GMT). Officials are expected to raise the federal funds target by 75 basis points, bringing the increase since June to 225 bps and establishing the highest target level (3.0-3.25%) since a […] More

Mixed Messages Amid Cross-Currents

March 14, 2022

There hasn’t been a consistent theme this Monday tying together overnight financial market developments. The biggest Covid threat in China since early 2020 has created heavy equity market selling in that country (-2.6%) and Hong Kong (-5.0%). Sources are claiming progress in diplomatic attempts to end the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but Russian […] More

Escalating Financial and Political Chaos in Ukraine and Russia, and Rest of World Feeling Pain, Too

February 28, 2022

Ukrainian and Russian talks in Belarus are unlikely to defuse the military conflict. Russian President Putin seeks to replace Ukraine’s government and has insinuated that he may use nuclear weapons if Nato doesn’t back off. In this high stakes game game of chicken, Nato allies seek to decapitate the Russian ruble and financial markets and […] More

Markets Unsure How to React after Putin Sends Troops into Breakaway Regions of Eastern Ukraine

February 22, 2022

Investors don’t know if Putin’s move is the opening round of a full-scale invasion. Putin’s provocation has elicited push-back from Western allies, who aren’t waiting for the Russian leader to expose all his cards. Germany has halted work on the Nord Stream 2 oil pipeline. U.S. President Biden is tightening economic sanctions against Russia. Equities […] More

Fresh Distractions

December 18, 2014

The Yellen press conference gave reassurance to a market unsure of the direction of Fed policy, and it triggered strong gains in stocks and the dollar plus a rebound in long-term interest rates.  But now the market has moved on to new distractions. The Swiss National Bank at an unscheduled meeting and just a week […] More

Persistent Fears about Ukraine Crisis Weaken Equities

May 7, 2014

Investors are tired of the America’s speak-loudly-but-carry-a-small-stick approach to the Ukraine crisis and other geopolitical hotspots, and frustration has been vented on equities, which also have been hurt by uninspiring corporate earnings this season.  Japan’s Nikkei tumbled 2.9%.  Equity losses elsewhere amount to 1.1% in Hong Kong, 1.0% in South Korea and Italy, 0.9% in […] More

European Equity Blues

April 8, 2014

Russian President Putin is at it again, accusing Ukraine of fomenting civil war in its eastern regions and apparently moving toward annexation of more Ukrainian territory into the Russian orbit of influence.  Geopolitical risk depressed stocks in Europe by a further 1.6% in Spain, 1.4% in Italy, 0.9% in France and Britain and 0.8% in […] More