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Central Banks Take Center Stage

By David O'Malley | January 30, 2017

Stocks made new highs last week as the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke above the 20,000 level on optimism for pro-growth policies from the Trump administration. The week ahead will provide the first significant update on several key central banks’ thinking for 2017.

U.S. High Yield: Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?

By Scott Ellis | January 26, 2017

The U.S. High Yield market (USHY), as represented by the JP Morgan Domestic High Yield Index, quietly returned almost 19% in 2016, outpacing stocks in the S&P 500 Index, which are up approximately 12%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, up approximately 16.5%. There are many constantly changing variables that factor into market returns. However, I wonder if even without being able to identify and correctly forecast every variable, was there a way to predict the odds of an outsized return for the USHY market at the start of 2016?

Economic Data Will Drive the Markets in the Week Ahead

By David O'Malley | January 23, 2017

The inauguration stole the headlines last week, and I expect it will be no different in the week ahead. With the anticipated repeal of The Affordable Care Act, cabinet appointments and the planned meetings with world leaders, including U.K., Canada and Mexico, the activities in Washington will continue to keep the media’s attention. Amid this, I believe market participants will start to turn their attention back to the economy and earnings, both of which will be prominent in the week ahead.

Capital Market Outlook for 2017

By Mark Heppenstall | January 20, 2017

Nearly eight years into one of the most unloved bull markets ever for U.S. equities and credit, the rally now appears ready for “extra innings.” Despite increasingly full valuations and an earnings recession for U.S. companies during a recent five-quarter stretch, proposed economic policies under the Trump administration will be supportive of domestic economic growth and corporate profits.

Animal Spirits: Solid Tailwind or Just an Apparition?

By John Swarr | January 19, 2017

Risk assets have recently lifted higher thanks to the rejuvenation of “animal spirits” and the rising sentiment among spenders in the U.S. Gauges such as the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index and the National Federation of Independent Business’ (NFIB) Index of Small Business Optimism are the most optimistic they’ve been in a decade, while equities hover near all-time highs. Believers in the animal spirits are calling for an increase in consumption-driven growth to provide additional tailwinds to risk assets this year. However, the market may be quick in overlooking a popular headline from yesteryear: the rise of the “smart” consumer.

The Market and Economic Impact of the Trump Administration

By David O'Malley | January 17, 2017

This week has several key market-moving events, including the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting, potentially impactful dialog coming out of the World Economic Forum in Davos and key economic data in the both the U.S. and around the globe. However, the swearing in of the new administration on Friday and the changes that will be made in Washington trumps all of them (pun intended).

Tax Exempt Municipals: Buckle Up for Volatility in 2017

By James Faunce | January 12, 2017

The tax exempt municipal market is poised to confront many challenges in 2017. The market will need to adjust to a new environment in terms of policy, governance, rates and volatility. The November 2016 election results have highlighted the real possibility of change and the tax exempt municipal market reacted with heightened volatility in the weeks following the election.

What Investors Can Expect from the Federal Reserve in 2017

By Penn Mutual Asset Management | January 11, 2017

Penn Mutual Asset Management CIO Mark Heppenstall contributed an article to The Hill where he shared his outlook on what investors can expect from the Federal Reserve (Fed) in 2017.

Economic and Market Review for 2016

By Mark Heppenstall | January 10, 2017

The markets hit record highs in 2016, and we are taking a look back at the factors that influenced the U.S. and global markets throughout the year with a comprehensive economic review of 2016.

2017: A Year of Market and Economic Uncertainty

By David O'Malley | January 9, 2017

2017 began with significant uncertainty surrounding the implications of the major geopolitical changes that happened during 2016. In the next few weeks, we will learn more from the British Prime Minister on the process to withdraw from the European Union. On January 20th, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the next President of the United States. The impact of these two changes in the global environment will most likely drive the course of markets during the year ahead.

Disclosure Statement

This blog post is for informational use only. The views expressed are those of the author, Dave O’Malley, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Penn Mutual Asset Management. This material is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and it is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy.

Any statements about financial and company performance of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company or its insurance subsidiaries (each, “Client”) made by the author is provided with a written consent from the Client.  Penn Mutual Asset Management is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company.


Opinions and statements of financial market trends that are based on current market conditions constitute judgment of the author and are subject to change without notice.  The information and opinions contained in this material are derived from sources deemed to be reliable but should not be assumed to be accurate or complete.  Statements that reflect projections or expectations of future financial or economic performance of the markets may be considered forward-looking statements.  Actual results may differ significantly.  Any forecasts contained in this material are based on various estimates and assumptions, and there can be no assurance that such estimates or assumptions will prove accurate.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  All information referenced in preparation of this material has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. There is no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information and Penn Mutual Asset Management shall have no liability for decisions based upon such information.

High-Yield bonds are subject to greater fluctuations in value and risk of loss of income and principal. Investing in higher yielding, lower rated corporate bonds have a greater risk of price fluctuations and loss of principal and income than U.S. Treasury bonds and bills. Government securities offer a higher degree of safety and are guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest if held to maturity.

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