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Current Views

Release of the Doves

There were four 25 basis point increases in the Fed funds rate in 2018 and three in 2017. At the January 2019 meeting, the FOMC left the Fed funds rate unchanged at a target range of 2.25 – 2.50%. While the pause was expected,... Read more »

Fourth Quarter 2018 | Fixed Income Commentary

Market Overview The final months of 2018 will likely be remembered across U. S. capital markets for extreme levels of daily price volatility. In fixed income, final year-to-date performance was for most bondholders generally... Read more »

Volatility Makes an Appearance in the First Quarter

Market Overview The return of volatility took investors on a wild ride during the first quarter of the year. While the overall trend for market yields is higher, several factors complicated the picture this quarter, resulting in... Read more »

Double Whammy for Credit Markets in Fourth Quarter

Market Overview The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) maintained its slow and steady approach to normalize interest rate levels when it announced an increase to the federal funds target rate during its December 2017... Read more »

Meet the New Boss: Jay Powell’s Fed

The nomination of Jerome H. Powell as the new Federal Reserve Chair marks the end of an unusually public selection process. This provided market participants with the unique opportunity to debate various contenders’ strengths and... Read more »

Slow and Steady is The Pace

Market Overview While US credit markets experienced slightly wider price swings this past calendar quarter, domestic interest rates still linger just about where they started at summer’s beginning. Serving as a safe haven for... Read more »

Market Sector Differences Persist in Second Quarter

Market Overview Despite the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) raising short-term interest rate targets, US investment grade fixed income markets held surprisingly steady so far this year. The 10-year US Treasury note... Read more »

Where is Inflation?

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) just tightened short-term rates by 25 basis points for the third time in the last seven months – resulting in a target range of 1.00% to 1.25%. Beyond the Federal Reserve’s desire to... Read more »

Challenging Income Environment Continues in First Quarter

Market Overview US investment grade credit markets settled into tight trading ranges over the first quarter of 2017. Despite the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) official announcement increasing its short-term interest rate... Read more »

Credit Market Returns Positive in 2016 Despite Pullback in Fourth Quarter

Market Overview U.S. credit markets closed a year of moderate volatility with general expectations akin to those widely held twelve months ago. A steadying domestic economy, declining unemployment rates, some moderate wage... Read more »

Credit Markets Display Global Search for Yield

Market Overview Following two quarters of strong performance, U.S. investment grade credit markets steadied in the third quarter. Domestic interest rates bottomed in June, with the U.S. 10-year Treasury hitting 1.40%. Since then,... Read more »

This Time We Mean It

Yesterday’s Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) statement was the most hawkish issued in quite some time. It presented an optimistic story of strengthening labor markets and economic growth. Yet it also included the surprising... Read more »

The Market versus The Fed

A divided Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) meets this week. Federal Reserve members recently issued divergent statements as to their desired course of action for the Fed funds rate. For instance Governor Brainard, who does... Read more »


Over the past week, the market focused on the Federal Reserve’s meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. While Chair Janet Yellen chose not to speak at last year’s meeting, this time her speech was eagerly anticipated. Yellen’s sound... Read more »

Generating Income in a Post-Brexit World

It’s been a great week for those looking to refinance or purchase a new home, but a tough one for income investors. Our takeaway continues to be the increasing importance of balancing income and safety. As global stock markets... Read more »

The Fed’s Most Dovish Member

As recently as December, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) seemed to be on track for reaching four upticks in the federal funds rate in 2016. By January, amidst a stock market slump, the FOMC was already thinking better of... Read more »

Will Spring Bring Growth?

Real GDP for Q1 2016 came in at a 0.5% annualized pace, continuing both a string of weak first quarter numbers and a not so subtle reminder to market wags that the economy is dull at best. The first quarter has been the weakest... Read more »

A Tale of Two Reversals in Just One Quarter

Market Overview Already, domestic fixed income markets have assumed multiple personalities this year, taking only three months to flip and then flip again. After adjusting at the end of last year to the likelihood of the Federal... Read more »

No, Not Now

This month it became clear that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is not too eager to raise rates. This was affirmed by a dovish speech from Fed Chair Janet Yellen during the first week of April. The expectations many... Read more »

Trauma of the Tape

Grim, choppy, and sloppy, it is certainly a time of transition. In the U.S., we are anticipating a new government, with all the uncertainties that brings. China is amidst an economic conversion. Technology and shifting global... Read more »

And Yet Yields Aren’t Higher

At this point, the Federal Reserve’s December increase of the Federal Funds Rate has left limited traces of any action whatsoever. Yields are in fact lower. 2016 started off on a less than auspicious note, and the world seems... Read more »

Preferred Securities: What to Expect With a Fed Rate Hike

Preferred securities have garnered much attention in recent years from investors seeking meaningful yield in our persistent low interest rate environment. But now that the Fed has embarked on a self-described period of gradually... Read more »

The Doves Lift Off, Gradually

The most telegraphed Fed-engineered rate rise in history is over. The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised short term rates a quarter of a percentage point at its meeting Wednesday afternoon. The markets largely... Read more »

“Next Meeting”: How the Extensive Coverage of a Non-event Misses the Big Picture

The market’s focus on two words (“next meeting”) in the Federal Open Market Committee’s recent announcement shook markets, sending both the U.S. dollar and U.S. yields higher. Yes, perhaps the Fed does indeed want to raise rates,... Read more »

Is the “Return to Normal” a Sisyphean Endeavor?

Market Overview So far this year, U.S. credit markets have been characterized by an unusual mixture of generally accepted expectations for things to come, followed by non-events. As a result, we have seen sporadic yet fairly... Read more »

Failure to Launch

The September Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting was the first in almost a decade where the agenda included a real possibility of raising interest rates. Given that markets have long expected such an action, it would... Read more »

Pause Before Launch?

At this point, it’s well established that the Federal Reserve is “data dependent”. We have all been aware that removal of the extraordinary monetary accommodation is only going to happen after a strong set of economic releases.... Read more »

Second Quarter Tug of War

Market Overview The U.S. credit markets meandered through the second quarter of this year searching for guidance and a sustainable direction. In the end there was little of either. Economic data was mixed, surprising, and... Read more »

The Dove is Upbeat

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen spoke a few times over the past week and we think her views remain consistent with previous comments. She continues to paint an upbeat scenario for the economy, stating, “prospects are favorable... Read more »

Storm Clouds Trigger Risk Aversion

We continue to expect the Federal Reserve to be ready to raise rates in September. Consistent with that timeline, the Fed would need to continue to see the kind of positive economic data we have seen over the last few weeks. That... Read more »

Everything but the Data

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) finished their two-day meeting and released their usual statement Wednesday, with Chair Janet Yellen hosting a press conference afterward. Their statement and Fed Funds Rate... Read more »

Total Return vs. Income Investing: Which Strategy is Superior?

Investors have long differed when it comes to various aspects of investing: how to best diversify a portfolio, which stocks and bonds to own (if any), which investment products and strategies make the most sense, and so on. But... Read more »

What To Do While You Wait

On April 29, 2015 the Federal Open Market Committee (“FOMC”) met, discussed the economic outlook and, as usual, released a statement. The core view remains unchanged: the Committee expects growth to “expand at a moderate pace”.... Read more »

Steady as She Goes

Market Overview Perhaps at odds with the Federal Reserve Board’s current guidance, U.S. credit markets have remained, in their own ways, extraordinarily calm in the face of approaching policy changes. In the first quarter, the... Read more »

5 Characteristics to Keep in Mind When Seeking Income

An increasing number of bond buyers rely on their fixed income portfolios primarily for generating a consistent stream of high and reliable income. For these investors, the goal is to maximize annual cash flows while preserving... Read more »

We Are All Data Dependent Now

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is no longer “patient”, but they have not become impatient either. For over six years, the target Federal Funds Rate has been zero bound, a level the FOMC has acknowledged as overly... Read more »

Fixed Income Update

Thoughts from our Domestic Fixed Income Team A funny thing happened on the expected pathway through the first half of 2014 to higher US interest rates: the market took a detour. The consensus views at the beginning of the year... Read more »

Fixed Income Update

Thoughts from our Domestic Fixed Income Team The U. S. Treasury and credit markets remained on a steadying trek for the early part of the New Year toward stable prices at historical low yield levels. The fears of rising bond... Read more »

Fixed Income Update

Thoughts from our Domestic Fixed Income Team The door has closed on 2013 and a new set of challenges has begun to take form for fixed income investors. In terms of Federal Reserve monetary policy, we feel the credit markets have... Read more »

October 7, 2013: U.S. Default and Investing in U.S. Treasuries

Thoughts from our Domestic Equity and Fixed Income Teams In August 2011, the U.S. sovereign debt rating was downgraded to AA by Standard and Poor’s and the debt ceiling was raised on the very day that the U.S. Treasury predicted... Read more »

June 17, 2013: Short-term Volatility Effects on Bond Investing

Thoughts from our Fixed Income Team As we approach the halfway point of the calendar year, nervousness has become the dominating characteristic throughout the credit markets. Bond investors who more commonly decide to buy and... Read more »

April 24, 2013: Domestic Fixed Income: What’s left; and what matters

Thoughts from Our Fixed Income Team It has been, and will continue to be, a challenge: finding anything resembling the attractive yields of olde without assuming undue levels of risk. U. S. nominal interest rates remain stuck on... Read more »

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