Fortem Financial

Post 11 to 20 of 476

Better Inflation News, But...

U.S. equities were higher last week (S&P 500 +2.4%) more than erasing the prior week’s declines. The small-cap R2000 increased 3.6%. The main focus for the week was the June CPI report, which came in softer than consensus on both the headline and core readings. Best sectors were communication services (+3.4%) and consumer discretionary (+3.3%); worst sectors were energy (+0.6%) and consumer staples (+1.2%).   Source: Bob Doll, Crossmark Investments   Chart reflects price changes,… View More

Market Gains this Year Entirely Drive by Multiple Expansion

Expectations for 2024 S&P 500 operating earnings have fallen from $253 at the start of the year to $246 today. While this is only a modest decline, it means that the S&P 500’s entire +14.6% price gain year-to-date has been due to multiple expansion. This may have been easier to understand when 10-year Treasury yields plumbed their 2023 depths of roughly 3.3% in early April, but it is harder to justify now as the 10-year broke decidedly above 4% last week. A combination of slower expect… View More

The High Wire Act Continues

U.S. equities fell last week (S&P 500 -1.4%) as the S&P 500 broke a five-week streak and the NASDAQ an eight-week streak of gains. Higher-for-longer Fed policy remains a key piece of the bearish narrative. Best sectors were healthcare (+0.2%) and consumer discretionary (-0.0%); worst sectors were real estate (-4.0%) and energy (-3.5%).   Source: Bob Doll Crossmark Investments   Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it s… View More

Is the Recession Threat Dead?

Lately, it’s been easy to see the optimism. As of the Friday close, the S&P 500 is up 15% so far this year (not including dividends) and up 23% (again, without dividends) versus the lowest bear-market close back in October. Some investors attribute this to the Federal Reserve being very close to finished with the series of rate hikes that started back in March 2022. But that doesn’t really make sense. If investors thought the Fed were finished (or nearly finished) because it had tighten… View More

The Fed is All Mixed Up

If the Federal Reserve were paying close attention to the money supply, it would know that monetary policy is now tight. Through April, the narrow M1 measure of money has fallen for thirteen straight months. The broader M2 measure of money has dropped nine months in a row and is down 4.6% from a year ago. M3, a broader measure of money that includes large CDs, is down 4.1% from the peak last July. Meanwhile, bank credit at commercial banks as well as their commercial and industrial loans are bot… View More

Market Returns and Full Employment

Historically, the movement in stock prices has had a stronger relationship with inflation and long-term interest rates than it has with the unemployment rate. Still, we are left with a simple question – can a new and durable economic cycle and market cycle begin when the economy is already starting at full employment? As the table below indicates, forward stock returns are better coming off peak unemployment rates rather than troughs. Still, forward returns off trough unemployment can be dece… View More

The Beat (Narrower and Narrower) Goes On!

U.S. equities were mixed last week, with the S&P 500 slightly higher (+0.3%) though NASDAQ posted its second straight week up at least 2.5%, largely driven by AI optimism. Analysts have continued to warn of narrow breadth. Best sectors were technology (+5.1%) and communication services (+1.2%); worst sectors were consumer staples (-3.2%) and materials (-3.1%). The chart below shows just how narrow the market performance has been this year. Notice the sectors that performed the worst last ye… View More

Risk / Reward Not Favorable

Stocks were higher last week (S&P 500 +1.6%), lead once again by the tech-heavy NASDAQ (+3.0%). YTD NASDAQ is +20.9%, S&P 500 +9.7% and DJIA +0.8%. The S&P 500 broke above 4200 for the first time since last August. The news backdrop featured seemingly positive progress on the debt ceiling negotiations. Best sectors were technology (+4.2%) and communication services (+3.1%); worst sectors were utilities (-4.4%) and real estate (-2.4%). While we are reasonably certain that inflation h… View More

Answers to Strategas Research's Frequently Asked Client Questions

What follows are some simple answers to the questions Strategas research is receiving most frequently from their clients these days. We are happy to hop on a call to discuss them in greater detail should you have further questions about our answers.   What would make you change your mind? There are two major themes underlying our bearishness on both the economy and the markets: 1) the bill is finally coming due for more than 12 years of financial repression and fiscal profligacy; and 2) g… View More

Weekend Reading - Bank Problems Aren't Over, But It's Not 2008

Yes, we have banking problems. No, this is not 2008. It’s much more like the 1970s Savings & Loan problems. In other words, we do not have credit problems today, we have duration (asset-liability) problems. These are exacerbated by the fact that Quantitative Easing inflated total deposits in the banking system. In the 1970s, the Federal Reserve held interest rates too low for too long. From 1974 through 1978, the federal funds rate was below inflation most of the time, and the “real” … View More

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All financial companies choose how they share your non-public personal information. Federal law gives consumers the right to limit some but not all sharing. Federal law also requires us to tell you how we collect, share, and protect your non-public personal information. Even when you are no longer our customer, we will only share your non-public personal information as described in this notice. So, please read this notice carefully to understand what we do.

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We share your non-public personal information for our everyday business purposes such as to process your transactions, maintain your account(s), respond to court orders and legal investigations, report to credit bureaus, to protect the confidentiality or security of your records, or as permitted by law. We may also share your non-public personal information for our own firm’s marketing purposes; so that we can offer our products and services to you.

Federal law gives you the right to limit only sharing non-public personal information about your credit worthiness for our affiliates’ everyday business purposes; sharing non-public personal information about you with our affiliates to market to you; and sharing non-public personal information with non-affiliates to market to you.

We don’t share non-public personal information about your creditworthiness with our affiliates for their everyday business purposes. We don’t share your non-public personal information with our affiliates to market to you. We don’t share your non-public personal information with non-affiliates to market to you. We also don’t share your non-public personal information for joint marketing with other financial companies. State laws and individual companies may give you additional rights to limit sharing.

We share non-public personal information with our parent company affiliate, Focus Financial Partners, Inc, for its internal and external auditing purposes. We also share your non-public personal information with a non-affiliate for the purpose of aggregating it and providing summary information based on this data to our parent company, Focus Financial Partners, Inc.

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Our policy about obtaining and disclosing non-public personal information may change from time to time. We will provide you notice of any material change to this policy before we implement the change.

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Fortem Financial Group, LLC ("Fortem Financial" or the "Firm") is a federally registered investment adviser with offices in California. Fortem Financial and its representatives are in compliance with the current registration and notice filing requirements imposed upon federally registered investment advisers by those states in which Fortem Financial maintains clients. Fortem Financial may only transact business in those states in which it is notice filed, or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from notice filing requirements.

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