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Treasury Auctions and Inflation Data

By David O'Malley | August 7, 2017

Last week’s employment data confirmed the strength of the jobs market with 209,000 new jobs added during July versus an expected 180,000. The unemployment rate fell to a cyclical low of 4.3% while hourly earnings increased by 0.3% to a 2.5% year-over-year rate.

Bond Yields Rise Around the Globe

By David O'Malley | July 10, 2017

Bond yields have been rising around the globe for the last few weeks as central bankers discuss the continued normalization of monetary policy. The unprecedented monetary policy used since the financial crisis in 2008 is slowly being removed. Despite the reduction in stimulus, monetary policy is still accommodative. I expect the trend of rising rates will continue over the next few months as the supply and demand equation for debt is being reevaluated amid less support from central banks.

Waiting for the Healthcare Vote

By David O'Malley | June 26, 2017

The week ahead has limited economic data. Durable goods were down 1.1% for May and likely fell on weaker demand for airplanes. Personal Income will be reported on Friday, and I expect it will likely remain solid, as there is not much employment slack left in the economy.

Sell in May and Go Away?

By David O'Malley | May 30, 2017

As we reach the end of May, I was thinking of the old trading adage “sell in May and go away,” or the recommendation to sell stocks in May and buy them back in November, therefore avoiding the historic volatility that has occurred in the June to October period. Since 1950, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has returned 0.3% during the May to October period versus 7.5% in the November to April period.

French Election Alleviates Global Market Uncertainty

By David O'Malley | May 8, 2017

Yesterday the French election concluded with Emmanuel Macron defeating Marine LePen by approximately 30%. The convincing victory should ease concerns in France and across the globe that the European Union would be called into question. Macron, the centrist candidate who has a business background, now has the daunting task of trying to jumpstart France’s economy. The French unemployment rate currently stands at 10% versus 4.4% in the U.S.

Tax Reform, the Fed and April Employment Data Remain in Focus for the Markets

By David O'Malley | May 1, 2017

Last week we saw the straw outline for the Trump administration’s tax reform proposal. The initial proposal is light on details and will likely be the opening bid in negotiations. It is too early to tell if bipartisan tax reform can be accomplished or if the budget reconciliation process will be used to make temporary reforms.

PMAM CIO Mark Heppenstall on Safe-Haven Plays with CNBC “Closing Bell”

By Penn Mutual Asset Management | April 12, 2017

PMAM Chief Investment Officer Mark Heppenstall appeared on CNBC “Closing Bell” last Friday amid the day’s breaking news of a surprisingly weak March employment report and unexpected geopolitical news. He offered his thoughts on safe-haven plays, noting the markets have been quick to shake off politically-driven news from Washington D.C., but investors are still looking for safety. He points to treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPs) as an option for investors, since they pay a current income and are especially attractive as inflation pressures build.

Disappointing Employment Report Clouds Economic Picture

By David O'Malley | April 10, 2017

Last week’s March employment data release disappointed market expectations as the economy added 98,000 jobs–about 100,000 less than estimates and the average gains experienced over the last six months. Average hourly earnings remained stable at a 2.7% year-over-year gain. On the positive side, the unemployment rate fell by 0.2% to 4.5% in March, which is the lowest rate since 2007.

Is the Fed Behind the Curve with Interest Rate Increases?

By David O'Malley | March 13, 2017

Last week’s strong employment report makes it almost certain the Federal Reserve (Fed) will increase interest rates by 25 basis points (bps) at its meeting this Wednesday. The February employment report showed strong gains in job creation. Non-farm payrolls increased by 235,000 for the month, which was stronger than the expected 200,000 increase and surpassed the average increase of 180,000 for the past six months. As a result, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.1% to 4.7%.

February Employment Data will be Key in the Week Ahead

By David O'Malley | March 6, 2017

Last week saw the equity market hit new highs as economic optimism abounded after President Trump addressed a joint session of Congress. Continued expectations for significant fiscal stimulus and corporate-friendly tax policy have kept stocks well-bid since the election. With the S&P 500 Index up over 11% since the election and more than 6% since year-end, stocks have seen tremendous gains with very little pullback since November. It is now essential the administration and Congress deliver in market expectations.



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.

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