An Odd Decoupling in the
US Private Service Sector

First-quarter US economic growth data were revised downward today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), based on new information suggesting a slower pace of consumer spending on services. The change draws attention to an anomaly between strong private service sector job growth and weak private service sector output.

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Is There Life After BRICs for Emerging Market Investors?

For more than a decade, Brazil, Russia, India and China have dominated the landscape in emerging markets. But as the BRICs-driven commodities boom wanes, investors may need to rethink their approach.

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Will Carney Light Fireworks at Bank of England?

On July 1, former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney will replace Sir Mervyn King as governor of the Bank of England. For many observers, this will herald a new dawn in the conduct of British monetary policy. We agree, but think the process will be more evolutionary than revolutionary.

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Quality Can Deliver in Times of Rising Rates

By Chris Marx (pictured) and Kent Hargis As talk of an early Fed “tapering” triggered a sell-off in bonds, safe-haven equities have also suffered. Can low-volatility strategies survive rising rates and an unraveling of the safety trade, in which investors rushed headlong into safe assets no matter the cost? We say, yes—but you’ll need an [...]

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Municipals: A Glimpse of What’s to Come?

Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke reiterated today that a healthier economy would prompt the Fed to end its unprecedented bond-buying program, which has kept yields artificially low. Speculation on this question over the last several weeks has caused a sharp bond sell-off and rising yields. But we don’t see this as the start of a rout [...]

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Managing Equity Risk: Some Rules for the Road

Under the surface of May’s strong equity returns were major shifts in sector leadership, notably a rotation from defensive to traditional cyclical sectors. Given the market’s tendency to change gears, it helps to be flexible in managing portfolio risk. In fact, it should be a daily exercise.

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Tail-Risk Parity: The Quest for a Crash-Proof Portfolio

Ashwin Alankar (pictured) and Michael DePalma By any name—Black Swan, three-standard-deviation event or negative tail event—the risk of unexpected heavy losses is a major concern for investors. The question is how best to protect against these low-probability, high-impact market moves.

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Sector Distortions Can Be Costly in Passive Investing

Joseph G. Paul (pictured) and Kevin Simms Passive investing strategies that emulate an index have become increasingly popular. But passive investing can go awry when sector concentrations leave investors exposed to unintended risks.

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Looking for Growth? Go Small and Global

Liliana Castillo Dearth (pictured) and Bruce K. Aronow In the hunt for growth in today’s low-growth world, up-and-coming small- and mid-sized companies are a good place to start. But you need to look everywhere, from Indiana to Indonesia.

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Cyclical Stocks Appeal After Defensive-Led Rally

This year’s equity market rally was initially led by defensive stocks, as macroeconomic concerns persisted despite improved risk appetite. With valuations in these sectors looking stretched and cyclically oriented stocks starting to rebound in May, is a bigger shift starting to unfold? 

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