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HighMark's Views and Publications
HighMark's views on investing and global markets are summarized in our research papers and quarterly Economic and Market Perspectives reports, which also include the portfolio recommendations of our Asset Allocation Committee.
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ECONOMIC AND MARKET PERSPECTIVES
Q1 2016 Economic and Market Perspectives
To the surprise of few, the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) last meeting of 2015 resulted in a Fed Funds rate hike from the 0%–0.25% range to 0.25%–0.50%. Equity and bond markets reacted with a collective yawn. Capital markets and the Federal Reserve (Fed) finally agreed it was time.
Yet, even with added clarity on an important factor like U.S. monetary policy, the future is far from certain. The U.S. economy is entering uncharted, and potentially stormy, waters after seven years of "emergency" monetary policy and nearly a dozen years since the beginning of the last cycle of rate tightening. Today’s economic environment is different from prior tightening episodes as a slowly strengthening domestic economy confronts growth challenges faced by key trade partners. READ MORE
Q4 2015 Economic and Market Perspectives
The net impact of continuing U.S. dollar strength, declining global demand for U.S. products and the slumping energy sector contributed to disappointing preliminary measures of U.S. manufacturing in mid-September as manufacturing activity growth slowed to its weakest point in nearly two years. Manufacturing employment also appeared to take a breather with forecasted manufacturing payroll growth up only slightly-at its weakest level since July 2014.
While the goods-producing sector of the domestic economy disappointed expectations, the services sector turned in somewhat stronger results helping to push estimated third quarter GDP growth to an annualized 2.4%. This follows the rebound in second quarter GDP growth of 3.9% after sluggish first quarter growth of 0.6%. READ MORE