Market Indicators That All Finance Experts Should Be Looking At

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Finance experts have to look at a wide variety of metrics to do their jobs and properly understand trends in the economy. They have to be aware of both macroeconomic and microeconomic factors at the company level in order to make these analyses. Here are three of the most critical market indicators that any financial expert should know in order to do their jobs.

Volatility

Volatility is perhaps the most important factor that any financial expert should know. This concept is the clearest way to understand how an individual can predict the movements of financial markets. Volatility is measured by the VIX index and other factors. In many ways, volatility is more damaging than a simple downturn in the market. Financial experts know how to transfer their assets and pick counter-cyclical industries if they see that a downturn is coming.

They are not able to make those same bets if there is a considerable amount of volatility in one or more sectors. Knowing volatility is helpful for understanding what factors influence the decisions that financial experts make. One decision that many experts have to make is whether or not they want to take short-term or long-term positions in securities.

Having a short-term outlook may push financial experts to recommend more short sales and limits on trades. Financial experts also may focus more on the bond or real estate markets than stock markets at times of high volatility. High volatility often means a greater chance of losing money for anyone invested in the stock market. Times of steady growth are the best possible times for investment and often do not go along with high ratings on the VIX index.

Value Pprojections

Value projections are the most common market indicators that most individuals use to understand markets. They are the essential facts behind the performance of companies. Most companies release a wide variety of statistics about their performance over the previous year or quarter. But they also issue predictions about how those same companies will perform over the next year. These predictions are more informative to a financial expert than the previous year’s numbers because they help show expectations and assumptions by professionals from a wide variety of companies.

Expectations and assumptions about trends in the market drive the market more than almost any other fundamental. Financial experts can buy, sell, and hold based directly on these predictions. Their job is to show the predictions that matter and the predictions that are based on poor forecasts or guidance. By picking the most influential ideas about the performance of the stock market, a financial expert can use value projections to greatly aid their analyses.

Real Estate

Financial experts need to make sure that they are considering other asset classes outside of bond and stock markets. One of the most common other asset classes to consider is real estate. A wide variety of new, used, individual, and commercial real estate metrics is released every month. This information can point to the success of consumer spending and the economy in general. Real estate is vastly more influential than information about nearly every other industry. Buying a home is often the most consequential purchase that any family will make. It involves a transfer of hundreds of thousands of dollars over a period of years or even decades. As a result, moves in this market show the financial ideas and security of millions of Americans.

Every financial expert needs to become as familiar with this market as with any other. They need to better understand how the real estate market influences the amount of money that individuals spend on technology products and staples. In addition, financial experts need to learn the amount of time it takes for moves in the real estate market to translate to moves in equities markets. Such an understanding is critical for financial experts to make recommendations about the prices of stocks or the performance of the bond market.

No finance expert can perfectly predict every movement of the market. But following critical financial indicators can help ensure that an individual is as informed about markets and market developments as possible. Knowing about volatility and other asset classes helps experts stay informed and make financial plans that are likely to generate considerable returns over a period of time.

Forecasting the 2019 Financial Market

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As 2018 is coming to close, the state of the financial market is a hot topic. Many have made the prediction for another market crash. Reviewing the reports and trends from the 2018 quarters will help with forecasting the 2019 financial market. The Federal Reserve has an Open Market Committee who are responsible for setting targets for interest rates that have to be met in early November.

However, investors do not expect to see an increase until the mid-December conference. Therefore, investors have two things to consider:

Analyze the economic replicated data that the policymakers monitor and use the reports to create an idea of what the interest rates will increase to in the year 2019. The Fed has gathered that there will be approximately three rate increases for 2019, but several investors agree there will be only two rate increases. An important fact is the strength of the U.S. economy. Is the economy continuing to see any indications of solid economic growth or is the economy slowing down just as the people have suspected?

Increased Inflation

As for inflation, there are two different measurements to watch for such an indication of the federal rate increase to change. Without there being a drastic change from the recent 2% inflation trend then the market is headed toward an unpredictable short-term quarter.

Investors on Wall Street have been conducting surveys as well as strategists, financial advisors and retail investors with the hope that the U.S. stocks – ranging from short to long-term – will not prove to be unpredictable as the 2018 year has. Early November was the kick off for the earnings season. Investors have been conversing about how the impact of the large data variables, higher rates, increased raw material costs, lowered foreign currencies, tariffs and a decrease in demand from China. Investors are turning their heads toward 2019 predictions with this data instead of focusing on the third and fourth 2018 quarter earnings, which is not a bad idea.

Affected Gross Margins and Increased Interest Rates

Other factors for forecasting the 2019 market are the issues arising. This includes margin erosion. The margin erosion is closer to increased costs in wages and raw materials. Amazon has reported its $15 minimum wage will not interfere with the ending year quarter earnings, but there are flags indicating its effect on the 2019 financial market. Luckily, the higher costs with several companies are leaning toward increasing the prices for consumers instead. Stronger sales will create a strong margin in the market.

The increased consumer prices are another hopeful prediction for rising margins and increased revenues. In order to keep the revenue growth strong for 2019 is interest rates. If the interest rates remain higher on a permanent level, then revenue-driven earnings will rise. This may also result in the fall of valuation math. A crucial cause and effect for 2019. Tariff reports have investors on the outs with its effect. Many say tariffs are considered raw material all companies (only a select few). Those few companies have acknowledged their earnings may fall as a direct effect of tariffs.

David Zinsner commented that the expected gross margins will remain high in the first quarter of 2019. This statement was made by David in September of this year. The high margins will be linked to a healthy financial market. Now the end of the year quarters, effective September 24th, involving tariffs will have a 10 percent impact on the imports from China. The imports are estimated at $200 billion. Shifting the impact over the next three quarters is in the works.

The trade war with China has been scrutinized heavily by investors. This is a huge factor with the predictions for 2019’s financial market. The main concern is undermining the effect the trade war will have. Conservatives are hypothesizing a 25 percent tariff on imported goods from China. This would cause S&P 2019 earnings to slightly decrease from $170 to an estimated $159. This prediction suggests that 2019 fiscal earnings will be scientifically lower in comparison to 2018. As higher rates contribute to higher interest prices, the increased yields will be placed on many firms who have hefty debts.

How much of an impact does this cause in 2019? Several firms will be hit with the risks of stocks while others may see a rewarding rise with favorable stocks. This is why the prediction for increasing consumer prices is being pushed. Can the so-called market crash for 2019 come true? It is possible, but there is hope to retain a strong economy with increased stock prices

How The 900 Point Drop In The Stock Market Will Affect Businesses

This past Thursday, the stock market officially dropped 900 points which makes the month of October the markets biggest loss since February. The numbers reported are enough to make any investor pull out. While the stocks took a sudden plunge, panic also set in for not only the investors watching but for the business. This comes unexpectedly as the blue-chip stock hit an all-time high. Technology stocks took the majority of the damage in this decline. Here are the ways that this 900-point drop will affect businesses.

Financial health is affected

When investors are looking at a business, many observe the price. When a stock price is firm, this is an indicator of the business’s financial health. A business is determined to be financially feasible by analysts to inform investors by evaluating the financial data and stock price of the business. The stock price is an indicator for determining if the business’s potentials are content or concerned. With the plunge, several businesses are at risk of not being able to raise capital because potential investors are being told by analysts or brokers that this business may not be in their best financial interest. If the stock for the business continues to fall, they could lose their current investors to, which in turn is critical to their financial health and data reports.

The looming risk of a takeover

A takeover of a business is high when the stock price falls. This is a risk because now the business’s stock price is cheaper. This negatively affects businesses because they are not making capital once the takeover is complete. To understand, the public companies can distribute their shares among thousands of shareholders who have the ability to sell whenever they choose. When organizing a takeover, the bidders have a higher percentage of being able to offer a better price to shareholders solely because the trading price is lower.

This is another reason how this 900-point drop will affect businesses. If their prices are on the cheap side and bidders can and will perform a takeover. The problem with this is that the interests that are being protected by management no longer will be because management for the company will be released. This does not apply to just bidders; another business can be keeping an eye on a declining stock price of another business to perform a takeover. The business acquiring the other is able to avoid taking a debt because they have the finances to back the acquisition.

Spending halts

As an investor, people tend to continuously spend more when their stock of the business they are investing in is on the rise. This indicates that the business is in good financial standing and so is their money. The equity markets improves in wealth when people invest in them for the business as the stocks are increasing. The formula is usually increased wealth = increased spending because outside of the stock market, investors, who are most likely consumers of the business, are actively buying the goods or services. The spending increases revenue for the businesses.

The opposite occurs when numbers drop. So, this 900-point drop has affected the equity market, the revenue, the stock price, and the spending habits of the consumers. When a consumer reviews their portfolio and sees a rapid drop in value they are not going to continue their spending habit. As stated above, an increase in spending means an increase in business revenue, but a decrease in spending means the same for the revenue. This is especially true for businesses who sell non-necessity goods and services, such as high-end vehicles or entertainment, which will cause the consumers the willingly relinquish the items if they are suddenly confined to a smaller budget.

Tech companies will be affected by the drop

Tech companies such as Caterpillar, who took the lead in the recent stock market point decline according to the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The shares of such companies as Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Netflix have been affected also. Unfortunately, Facebook, Twitter, and Alphabet, a Google-parent company, are receiving extreme governing scrutiny from the U.S. government because of the trade fight that is affecting the supply chain from China. This is due to Trump’s stern stance on Beijing. Chris Zaccarelli, who is Independent Advisor Alliance’s CIO (chief investment officer) mentioned that because of the trade war with China, tech businesses will be affected the most and need to be concerned about the rising interest rates.

Experts are chiming in and saying that this point down is a correction and not the beginning of a crash. Businesses are being informed to not panic, and do not time the market.

Fundamental Market Indicators Every Finance Expert Should Know

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Most people want to make money in the stock and bond markets. The markets provide the preferred investment path for retirement savings, emergency funds, and home down payments. But many would-be investors stay on the sidelines. Having seen the heavy losses imposed by market corrections, they choose to keep their money in the bank.

With low-interest rates and inflation an ever-present reality, leaving money in the bank presents the highest risk of all. Inflation will always devalue cash savings, eventually leaving the saver with severely diminished spending power. Just noting the difference in the cost of housing, vehicles, and everyday items over the last few years demonstrate this truth.

The key to successful investing lies in understanding what moves the stock and bond markets. To gain from market appreciation and guard against losses, investors, both large and small, must actively manage their holdings. When indicators show the markets are primed to stay strong, investors should buy more stocks and consider growth-oriented plays. Signs of deteriorating
conditions should signal investors to sell a portion of their holdings and move the proceeds into cash equivalents. The money remaining in stocks should be kept in safer, more conservative stocks that are known to hold up during economic and market declines.

If calling the market’s direction were easy, we’d all invest like Warren Buffet. While no one can predict all of the market ups and down on a daily basis, investment pros are able to read the overall trends in the market and determine when broad increases and declines are imminent. They key is following the fundamental market indicators and knowing what they mean in terms of market direction. Here are the fundamental market indicators every financial expert should know.

Unemployment Reports

Though no single indicator can determine market direction, if one could, the unemployment situation would be it. Employment underpins the American economy. Since the vast majority of Americans receive most or all of their income from employment, a strong economy and a strong stock market are dependent on a low unemployment rate.

As explained in Investopedia, corporate profits rely on strong employment. When large numbers of Americans are out of work, corporate profits decline. People simply stop making non-essential purchases. When the situation gets bad enough, people stop making essential purchases as well.

Part of predicting the direction in the economy rests on understanding the state of the job market. To aid investors, the government releases two jobs reports each month: the household survey on unemployment and the unemployment insurance claims report. The household survey captures a
broader swathe of the job market because it includes those who are ineligible for unemployment insurance; however, because the jobless claims report has a long historical record, its movements can rely on the show the overall state of the job market.

Inflation indicators

As mentioned, inflation is the enemy of any saver. The goal of any investor is to beat the rate of inflation each year. Inflation also moves the market.

The Federal Reserve’s mission is to promote economic growth while taming inflation. As economies heat up, so does inflation. The government wants growth from productivity, not price increases from inflation. Because of this, the Fed tries to keep inflation in check by altering interest rates. When the economy needs a boost, it lowers interest rates. As inflation takes hold, it ups interest rates.

What the fed does with interest rates moves the markets. Investment pros monitor inflation indicators in order to gauge what the fed will do with interest rates. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) indicates the rate of inflation for consumer goods, while the Producer Price Index (PPI) shows inflation in the cost of making goods. Both reports should be monitored. A rise in PPI usually translates into an increase in the CPI as producers pass on their rising costs to
consumers.

Consumer Confidence

How consumers feel about the economy indicates their spending habits in the coming months. Thus, consumer confidence is a leading market indicator. Markets stay strong when consumer confidence is high. When consumers stop spending, corporate profits fall.

To gauge consumer confidence, watch the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI). When this index falls, a weaker market often follows. Retail sales also provide insight.

The Housing Market

Housing is a giant part of the American economy. Smart investors know that the state of the housing market affects the stock and bond markets. Though housing prices and construction activity vary greatly by region, the overall housing market provides clues into the health of the American economy. By watching the reports on housing starts and building permits each month, investors determine the strength or weakness of the housing market.

Investing is a tricky endeavor. No person can call the direction of the market correctly all the time on a short-term basis; however, knowledgeable investors are able to predict broad, long-term trends. The key is monitoring these key economic indicators.

Current Market Indications Point to Potentially Robust Economic Growth in 2018

It has been nearly a decade since the end of the Great Recession. After such a lengthy period of recovery, there are now signs that the US economy is finally poised to experience robust growth throughout 2018. Perhaps most importantly, current market trends have economists especially optimistic about the possibility of pervasive growth, with many analysts expecting a significant acceleration in wage gains.

During the long period of economic recovery that began in 2009, the US economy posted an average growth of 2.1 percent, with 2.9 percent (2015) representing the high-water mark. Due to the expectation of continued business investment and rising consumer spending, analysts are projecting a 2.6 percent rate of growth for 2018, an increase of 0.3 percent from the 2017 projection (2.3 percent). Since the 2018 projection was made prior to the passage of tax legislation, it’s reasonable to conclude that the 2.6 percent figure might approach a full 3 percent.

Of course, these projections never rely on any single market indicator, and a number of recent developments have contributed to the optimistic economic projections for the year ahead. Consumer demand for automobiles, combined with continued technological innovation as well as the recent rally in oil production, has been instrumental in the recovery experienced in the manufacturing sector. With the global economy also growing stronger, other sectors in the US have enjoyed significant benefits as well.

These recent domestic and international gains continue to play an important role in the declining unemployment rate in the United States. At 4.1 percent, the nation’s unemployment rate is the lowest posted in the aftermath of the Great Recession, when the unemployment rate reached 10 percent in 2009 (prior to 2009, it hadn’t eclipsed 10 percent since 1983).

Even at the current rate of 4.1 percent, analysts tend to agree that the downward trend will continue in 2018. This is good news for American workers, as employers will be forced to compete for new hires and will likely adopt stronger policies intended to retain current employees. Employers will also have to seriously consider instituting robust training programs to help fill existing vacancies, which will give American workers the opportunity to expand their skill set without investing in potentially costly academic programs or vocational schools.

It’s these conditions — an ever-tightening labor market at a time when companies have immediate and expanding employment needs — that have economists confident that wage growth with finally experience significant gains after stagnating for nearly a decade. According to current projections, analysts are predicting an increase of 2.5 percent for 2018, with gains growing stronger with each passing month until finally exceeding 3 percent at year’s close.

When wage growth rises at a rate approaching 3 percent, it’s only natural to expect a commensurate increase in consumer spending, which is responsible for approximately 70 percent of the US economy. Consumer spending is expected to increase at a rate of 2.5 percent, and business investment is projected to grow at a rate of anywhere from 4.5 percent to 6 percent or more.

The recent tax legislation is expected to further bolster these projections, although it remains possible that the overwhelming majority of corporations will opt to use the tax cuts to increase dividends or buy back stock rather than investing in employees by increasing wages or expanding benefits.

Although the full economic impact of the recently passed tax cut legislation remains to be seen, economists recognize ample reason for optimism about the possibility of economic growth in the year 2018. The most recent projections for economic growth are supported by a number of critical market indicators, including declining unemployment rates, increasing wage gains, and the likelihood of increased business investment, all of which contribute to the growing confidence in the future of the US economy.