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China’s Trade Data Say It’s Fine 01-17-17

Probably the most important numbers reported last week: China’s December trade data. Its trade surplus declined to about to about $41 billion in December. Exports decreased slightly while imports increased. The surplus was one of China’s lowest in 2016. We see two key takeaways. First the Chinese economy is doing fine without gains in exports. Read more about China’s Trade Data Say It’s Fine 01-17-17

Beyond the Celebrations, We Spy Some Doubts 01-09-17

It is probably too early in the year to read much into trends in various assets. We can’t conclude anything about a 1.5 percent gain in the S&P, most of which occurred in the first two trading days—typically among the strongest two days on the calendar. Read more about Beyond the Celebrations, We Spy Some Doubts 01-09-17

2017 Will Not Follow a Straight, Narrow Path 01-03-17

One thing seems fairly certain about 2017 it will not follow a straight and narrow path. Safe rather sorry more. On the first business day alone we received a taste of things that could come and come and come. The year’s first data showed that factory activity ended 2016 on a surprisingly strong note. All components of the report were strong, from prices to export orders. Read more about 2017 Will Not Follow a Straight, Narrow Path 01-03-17

Things to Watch Out For Next Year 12-27-16

As we look forward to 2017, prospective tax cuts and possible infrastructure spending will likely face us, along with two other major issues—oil and cyber space. We believe that it will be no problem to deal with the upside. The downside risks, on the other hand, can be life changers. Read more about Things to Watch Out For Next Year 12-27-16

Needed: A Real Increase in Productivity 12-19-16

Last week the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced that it would raise the overnight lending rate by a quarter percentage point to a target range of 0.5 to 0.75 percent. Alas, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen also noted concern over extremely low growth in U.S. productivity. Read more about Needed: A Real Increase in Productivity 12-19-16

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