Invesco Canada blog

Insights, commentary and investing expertise

Is global trade entering an era of ‘vigilante protectionism’?


December 11, 2019
Subject | Institutional | Macro views

I grew up in the New York City area in the 1980s. My dad always read the tabloids, and so I started to do so as well. That’s where I first learned about a fascinating phenomenon – the Guardian Angels. This was a large group of concerned citizens who wore distinctive uniforms, most notably red berets, and patrolled subways and other public areas in an attempt to prevent crimes from occurring during what was perceived to be a lawless time for New York City. In the beginning, the Guardian Angels were labeled by the tabloids as “vigilantes” who were “taking the law into their own hands.” Today, they are a reminder of how chaotic New York City was at that time.

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2020 outlook: An optimistic view of capital markets


December 3, 2019
Subject | Institutional | Macro views

Welcome to December – just one more month until a new year begins (and, depending on how you do the math, a new decade as well). Naturally, this is the time when market-watchers issue their forecasts for what may lie ahead, and my team is no exception. Simply put, we expect continued monetary policy accommodation with little fiscal stimulus. Therefore, we are more optimistic about capital markets than we are about the overall economy, and we favor risk assets over non-risk assets for 2020. Below, I highlight some of the reasons why. An in-depth analysis is available here.

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Amid a host of central bank developments, one constant remains: global market pressure


November 26, 2019
Subject | Institutional | Macro views

Last week brought a number of key developments from central banks around the world, from the release of the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) latest meeting minutes, to a reaffirmation of the Bank of Canada’s (BOC) monetary policy, to the first speech from European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde. These underscored the key differences between each central bank, but I see one constant: the continued pressure imposed by trade war tensions and a slowing global growth outlook.

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What could the upcoming U.K. election mean for Brexit?


November 19, 2019
Subject | Macro views

On Dec. 12, the U.K. is holding a general election, and the outcome is difficult to gauge. While the Conservative and Labour parties try to broaden the debate, the dominant theme remains Brexit. To give us a preview of this important election, I’m turning over today’s Weekly Market Compass blog to my colleague Paul Jackson. Paul is based in our London office and has been tracking the election news and polls closely.

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Will this week’s data confirm last week’s optimism for stocks?


October 29, 2019
Subject | Macro views

Last week was a “risk on” week for the markets, with stocks rising. The MSCI All Country World Index rose during the course of the week, the S&P 500 Index came close to its all-time high, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index surged a robust 1.9%.1 U.S. Treasury yields also rose as fear dissipated – the 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.8% and the 30-year finished at 2.29%.1 By the end of last week, there was a relatively comfortable 18-point spread between the 2-year and the 10-year Treasury yield.1

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Should investors be scared of a Halloween sell-off?


October 22, 2019
Subject | Macro views

Many people around the world observe Halloween in the month of October, celebrating all that is spooky and macabre. My kids have all been enthralled with Halloween, choosing their costumes several months in advance (one year, my older son insisted on wearing his costume every single day of the month of October). And plenty of adults who have outgrown trick-or-treat still believe that October would not be complete without horror movies running non-stop throughout the month. But no matter if you celebrate with cute kids’ costumes or elaborate haunted houses – what makes Halloween fun is the knowledge that the scares aren’t real.

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News versus noise: Assessing the market impact of three major headlines


September 30, 2019
Subject | Macro views

One of the key themes I have been discussing in the last several years is geopolitical disruption – and we got a heavy dose of it last week. However, one of my main points over the past few years is that investors should try to identify the geopolitical disruption that really matters for the economy and markets, and ignore the events that are just background noise (most fall into this category, in my view). In particular, issues that can increase economic policy uncertainty are what we need to be sensitive to, as they can have significant consequences for economies and markets. Below, I assess today’s three major headlines and where they fall on the spectrum of “news versus noise” in relation to their potential longer-term impact on the markets.

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Markets shake off a series of unusual events


September 23, 2019
Subject | Macro views

I am the mother of three, including a 13-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy. Like many American children their age, they spent the last several months obsessed with an urban myth surrounding Area 51. Many conspiracy theorists believe that Area 51, a secretive Air Force base in Nevada, is being used by the U.S. military to house aliens. One creative guy thought it would be funny to start an online movement to storm Area 51 this past weekend. What began as a joke gathered steam quickly, and 2 million people signed up to force entry into Area 51. That huge response created great excitement and anticipation about what the event would bring.

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Could ‘helicopter money’ help Europe’s economy take flight?


September 16, 2019
Subject | Macro views

Last week, the European Central Bank (ECB) decided to take a significant step away from normalization and toward more accommodation. It cut the deposit facility rate by 0.1% to a level of -0.5% (the first time the deposit rate has changed since 2016) and announced a re-ignition of quantitative easing (QE).1

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Five things to watch in September


September 3, 2019
Subject | Macro views

August is supposed to be a slow, relaxing month – but this August was anything but that for investors. Trade frictions were on the rise for much of the month. The U.S. Treasury yield curve inverted several times, causing jitters for investors concerned that a U.S. recession is imminent. Of course, stock volatility rose, with the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) hitting its highest level of 2019 in the month of August.1 Instead of enjoying calm, sunny days, markets were rocked last month by interviews with Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) members at Jackson Hole, tweets from President Donald Trump, and geopolitical events in the U.K., Italy and India – to name just a few.

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Uncertainty hits a high point as the trade war escalates


August 26, 2019
Subject | Macro views

Last week was one of those weeks when anyone following the news flow closely would have a serious case of whiplash. Friday alone put me in a neck brace as we saw a serious escalation in the trade wars between the U.S. and China. Other notable events last week included:

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Beyond the yield curve: Other economic indicators to watch


August 20, 2019
Subject | Macro views

Last week, the U.S. Treasury yield curve, specifically the spread between the 10-year U.S. Treasury rate and the 2-year U.S. Treasury rate, briefly inverted. An inverted yield curve is considered to be a good predictor of recession, and so markets sold off on fears that a recession will occur in the next year. However, I believe a U.S. recession is not a foregone conclusion — and so we should monitor the economic data closely. I have received a number of questions from clients and the media about what other indicators to follow to help divine how the economy is doing. The following are just a few indicators to watch — and some caveats:

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Will the inverted yield curve lead to recession?


August 14, 2019
Subject | Macro views

The U.S. Treasury yield curve, specifically the spread between the 10-year U.S. Treasury rate and the 2-year U.S. Treasury rate, briefly inverted on the morning of Aug. 14. As of early afternoon, the spread was roughly 1 to 2 basis points wide. The brief inversion follows the inversions earlier this year between the spread of short-term rates (such as the federal funds rate and the 3-month Treasury bill) and the benchmark 10-year rate.

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You can’t train a great white shark – or control global trade


August 12, 2019
Subject | Macro views

One of my all-time favorite movies is “Jaws,” an iconic American summer movie about a great white shark that terrorizes a seaside New England resort town. Maybe it’s because I like the musical score, or maybe it’s because I like hearing my last name interspersed throughout the movie (a particularly noteworthy line is “Hooper drives the boat, Chief”), but I can be found watching the movie at least several times each summer. In fact, I like the movie so much that I’ve watched documentaries and read articles about the making of “Jaws.” My husband thought that was a strange and ridiculous waste of time, but I actually learned some very interesting factoids.

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Stock market sell-off underscores trade war dangers


August 6, 2019
Subject | Macro views

Monday’s significant market sell-off reflected fears about escalating trade tensions, which caused investors to panic. This sell-off should not come as a surprise to those who recognized that stocks were vulnerable because the market wasn’t fully pricing in trade tensions. I view this as a healthy re-pricing of stocks to more fully factor in the potential that the trade war is likely to drag on.

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This week the Fed will remind us that it’s the world’s central bank


July 29, 2019
Subject | Invesco | Macro views

Back when I was in high school, I worked as a lifeguard. I thought it would be a great job, with an opportunity to get a tan and do some summer reading. However, it was a lot of responsibility for a 15-year-old, and I found myself running around with a first aid kit, bandaging cut toes and knees, and even having to perform a water rescue in my first few weeks on the job. I soon realized that I could save myself a lot of trouble, especially since I hated the sight of blood, if I strictly enforced the rules – like no running in the pool area – in order to pre-empt accidents and other mishaps.

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Waiting for a rate cut: How much is too much?


July 16, 2019
Subject | Institutional | Invesco | Macro views

As any parent of toddlers or teenagers knows, there’s often a big difference between what kids want (candy and a later bedtime) and what they need (vegetables and plenty of rest). I’m reminded of this as I anticipate this month’s Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting. A cut is widely expected — but what is the level that markets need, versus what they want?

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