Monthly Archives: November 2019

Book Bits | 30 November 2019

The AI Economy: Work, Wealth and Welfare in the Age of the Robot
By Roger Bootle
Summary via FT
Bootle, chairman of Capital Economics, argues that the economic effects of artificial intelligence may not be as different from those of previous technological transformations as many suppose; that the speed with which the changes occur may not be all that fast; and that, in all probability, piecemeal changes in policy, rather than a radical shift towards universal basic income, are the right response. We need to hear his arguments.
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Off The Charts: Extreme Moves In ETFs — 29 November 2019

Today begins a semi-regular column that focuses on a handful of ETFs that have recently posted extreme changes. The playing field starts with nearly 100 equity funds (US and foreign). For a complete list, see a recent edition of The ETF Portfolio Strategist. The goal: highlighting some of the gains and losses at the outer edge of market action of late, where the odds may be slightly higher for developing quasi-reliable near-term expectations, perhaps for use in adding context to strategic-oriented return estimates. In any case, all the standard caveats still apply and so proceed accordingly.

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Macro Briefing | 29 November 2019

Trump restarts talks with Taliban during visit to Afghanistan: The Hill
North Korea fires two short-range missiles in latest provocation: AP
Will US law on Hong Kong derail trade talks with China? Maybe not: NY Times
Is a tight US job market Trump’s ticket to re-election? WSJ
Signs of financial stress are rising in China: Bloomberg
Poll sees UK’s Conservatives set for big win in December election: Reuters
German retail spending tumbled in October: Reuters
Industrial output in Japan fell sharply in October: Nikkei Asian Review
Japan’s retail sales tumble after tax hike: Japan Times
US stock market begins November’s last trading day at record high:

Is The Recent Rebound In Interest Rates Fading?

For much of this year through early September a downside bias in interest rates was conspicuous. The driving force: economic pessimism. The 10-year/3-month yield curve inverted in the spring and for the most part remained below-zero, offering what is widely seen as a recession forecast. But over the last three months the yield curve turned positive and key interest rates rebounded. But economic data doesn’t look any better today vs. the macro profile of three months ago—in fact, the economic trend has weakened slightly. Is that a clue for thinking that interest rates will resume a downward bias in the final month of 2019?

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Macro Briefing | 27 November 2019

US opens criminal probe into role of drug companies in opioid crisis: WSJ
China’s economy continues to slow in November: Bloomberg
Pondering the economic iron curtain that’s dividing the world: NY Times
US trade gap narrowed sharply in October: Reuters
Sales of new US homes unexpectedly fell in October: CNBC
Home prices in the US picked up in September: CNBC
Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index turned slighty negative in Nov: RF
US Consumer Confidence Index ticked lower again in November: MW

Macro Briefing | 26 November 2019

Yet another hint of progress in US-China trade-deal talks: Bloomberg
Fed Chairman Powell: strong labor market still has room to run: NY Times
2% inflation remains Fed’s target, says Powell: CNBC
Americans expect to raise their Christmas spending at a strong pace: Gallup
Financial advisers worry they’ll get squeezed in Schwab-TD Ameritrade deal: WSJ
Dallas Fed Mfg Index reflect modest contraction in November: DFed
US economic activity continued to slow in October: Chicago Fed

Macro Briefing | 25 November 2019

US Navy Secretary forced to resign over controversial SEAL case: Reuters
Pro-democracy candidates win big in Hong Kong election: Reuters
German business sentiment improved slightly in November: Bloomberg
Capital spending by S&P 500 companies slows, creating economic headwind: WSJ
Security forum focuses on rising stress weighing on West’s democracies: Politico
US consumers remain upbeat in November: CNBC
KC Fed Manufacturing Index falls again in November: Mstar
US economic growth picked up in November but remains slow: IHS Markit
Slightly firmer slow-growth sign expected in today’s CFNAI (3mo avg) data for Oct: