Thought leadership publications from HighMark

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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  • 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


  • Q3 2015 Economic and Market Perspectives

    Second quarter domestic and international economic data points appeared far more positive on balance relative to numbers released in the first quarter. Still, asset class returns were muted as investors worried about the impact of rising interest rates on bond prices, and the potential ramifications from failed bailout talks between Greece and its creditors. Price trends in oil and the dollar reversed during the quarter, relieving pressure in areas of the market that had been hurt by the dramatic price action that occurred over the preceding three quarters. After dipping below $45 per barrel in the first quarter (from a high of $107 last July), oil (West Texas Intermediate) rebounded early in the second quarter and traded at approximately $60. The U.S. dollar’s break from a long-running streak of appreciation, meanwhile, was welcomed by domestic exporters. Over the same period as oil’s decline, the greenback had appreciated 25% against a trade-weighted basket of currencies. READ MORE