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Macro Outlook









A Closer Look at the Macro Factors Influencing the Investing Environment

Macro Update | September 17 2020

Mixed Macro Messages Provide Unclear Path for Stocks

Federal Reserve policy remains a bullish backstop for stocks while the economy is struggling to sustain momentum of the initial recovery.

Market & Sector Trends | September 11 2020

Breadth Strength Tested As Indexes Struggle

Large-cap groups are seeing strength, while recent relative improvements in mid-cap and small-cap groups are being challenged.

Market & Sector Trends | September 8 2020

Volatility Not Yet Disrupting Breadth Gains

At the industry group level, Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure and Retailing have seen broad strength, while Energy and Utilities have been weak.

Fixed Income Monitor | August 31 2020

Treasury Yields Bear-Steepened

Powell comments on desire for more inflation not immediately recognizable in yields. Broadly munis tracked Treasuries and corporate spreads were tighter. 

Monthly Chartbook | August 2020


Market & Sector Trends | August 31 2020

Sector New High List Expanding

More than half of the sectors in the S&P 500 made new 52-week highs last week.

Market & Sector Trends | August 24 2020

Breadth Trends Remain Robust

Sector-level momentum is faltering but price and breadth trends remain positive. Overall sector-level trends have deteriorated but remain in positive territory. 

Macro Update | August 20 2020

Seeing Strengths and Strains in Housing Market

A decline in mortgage rates and changing living preferences in the midst of coronavirus is fueling some strength in the housing market. 

Fixed Income Monitor | August 17 2020

Treasury Yields Uncharacteristically Bear-Steepened 

Last week was different for Treasuries. Relatively solid (to expectations) economic data, in particular inflation data and retail sales, and big long-dated auctions moved the curve higher and steeper.

Market Commentary | August 13 2020

Shifting Winds Suggest Volatility Poised to Pickup

Weight of the evidence has shifted from bullish to neutral. Excessive optimism emerging even with calendar arguing for more caution. Breadth now bullish as rally participation has continued to expand.

Market & Sector Trends | August 10 2020

Trends Show Rally Participation Expanding

Improving trends among the mid-cap and small-cap groups have fueled recent strength. A sign of expanding rally participation.

Fixed Income Monitor | August 10 2020

Treasury Yields Rose a Few BPS by the End of the Week

Based on the labor report. Corporate credit tightened and muni ratios tightened in some more – all despite Congressional failure to close a relief package.

Fixed Income Monitor | August 3 2020

Treasuries Rallied Once Again to Achieve New Lows

10yr real yields now at -101 basis points. Economic data highlighted the weakness as Q2 GDP was -9.5% and jobless claims improvement stalled. Corporate credit mixed and munis strong.

Monthly Market Chartbook | July 2020

Market & Sector Trends | August 3 2020

Discretionary & Technology Continue to Lead

Overall sector-level trend indicator is off its recent peak, but downside risks likely remain limited as long it is still in positive territory.

Macro Update | July 30 2020

Despite Attention, Valuations Less of a Concern – For Now

Stocks appear fairly valued versus corporate bond yields. 

Market & Sector Trends | July 27 2020

Sector Trends Point to Leadership Rotation

Technology, Discretionary & Telecom suggest momentum (and leadership) in those areas may be slipping.

Fixed Income Monitor | July 27 2020

Treasuries Rallied in Flattening Fashion

Backpedaling on jobless claims progress. Corporate spreads continued to tighten meaningfully.

Muni Fortnightly | July 20 2020

Looking For Signs of a Fiscal Deal

Markets are looking for signs from Congress to alleviate economic pain from the recession. 

Market & Sector Trends | July 20 2020

Cyclical Sectors See Relative Strength Improve

Momentum is getting back in gear while price and breadth trends remain strong.

Fixed Income Monitor | July 20 2020

Treasuries Little Changed on a Broad Array of Sequentially Better Economic Data

Corporate credit spreads tighten and muni yields fall.

Market & Sector Trends | July 13 2020

Industry Group Trends Still In Consolidation Mode

Price and breadth trends at the sector level remain strong, and momentum trends are improving.

Investment Strategy Outlook | July 10 2020

Second Half to Provide Test of Market Strength

Fed pushing for fiscal stimulus.

Market & Sector Trends | July 6 2020

Trends Proving Resilient Despite Uncertainty

Sector-level trends show strength from a price and breadth perspective even though momentum is weak.

Market & Sector Trends | June 30 2020

Trends Point To Consolidation Not Correction

Sector-level trends (especially momentum) have deteriorated in recent weeks.

Fixed Income Monitor | June 30 2020

Equities and Credit Spreads Weaker while Treasuries Bull-Flattened

Treasuries bull-flattened as risky assets fell on virus resurgence concerns and stress test caution. Muni ratio and corporate credit spreads rose.

Muni Fortnightly | June 22 2020

Treasury yields were little changed in low volatility.

Bond markets were quiet end to end with some volatility thrown in intraweek. Risky asset markets took kindly to the Fed’s announcement that it would begin implementing its previously announced corporate bond buying program.

June 18 2020

After Economic Pileup, Traffic Starting To Lurch Forward

  • After standstill, any improvement is encouraging
  • Uneven recovery could struggle with sustainability
  • Liquidity challenges pose risk to recovery

Fixed Income Monitor | June 15 2020

Two Very Different Weeks Within One

Treasuries rallied throughout the week, accelerating after gloomy FOMC meeting commentary and broad equity sell-off. Spread sectors widened significantly.

Market & Sector Trends | June 15 2020

Market Consolidation Provides Test of Resiliency

After surging to its highest level since September, the sector-level trend indicator has cooled off as the S&P 500 has consolidated its recent gains.

Fixed Income Monitor | June 8 2020

Treasuries Bear-Steepened as Risk-Aversion Melted Down

Equities and corporate credit spreads rallied while munis completed their relative-value round trip and the labor market reflected under predicted improvement.

Market & Sector Trends | June 8 2020

Improving Trends Signal Broad Rally Support

Sector-level trend indicator has continued to strengthen, breaking out of the pattern of lower highs that emerged earlier this year.

June 4 2020

Economic Imbalances Reveal Wall Street/Main Street Divide 

  • Stock market and economy on different trajectories
  • Economic inequality adding to tensions
  • Out of uncertainty comes opportunities for growth

Monthly Market Chartbook | May 2020

Market & Sector Trends | June 1 2020

After Delay, Small-Cap Leadership Emerges

Sector-level trends continue to improve, providing fuel for index-level strength. Momentum trends remain robust overall while price and breadth have been slower to improve.

Market & Sector Trends | May 26 2020

Market Rotation Suggests Economy In Transition

Weekly industry group trends are getting back in gear – 95% of the individual groups are trading above their 10-week averages and our overall indicator has jumped to 40%.

Economic Chart Pack | May 20 2020

Evidence Improving Though Recovery Likely to Be Uneven

“What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.” -- Mark Twain

Market & Sector Trends | May 18 2020

Sector Trends Not Endorsing Index-level Strength

Sector trends not endorsing index-level strength.

Fixed Income Weekly Monitor | May 18 2020

Risky Assets Were Weighty and Treasuries Were Little Changed

Corporate credit spread performance mixed with high-yields widening. Munis rallied strongly with continued signs of stability.

Fixed Income Weekly Monitor | May 11 2020

Treasures are Mixed on a Steeper Curve

Corporate credit spread tightening stalls with strong issuance. 

Muni Fortnightly | May 11 2020

What Happened in the Bond Markets Last Week?

Treasury yields mixed with curve steepening. Muni yields fall, relatively richening. Moody’s puts State and Local government sectors on negative credit outlook.

Market & Sector Trends | May 11 2020

Large-Caps Leading But Small-Caps Improving

Despite the rally off of the March lows, our sector-level trend indicator remains in negative territory.

Macro Update | May 5 2020

Taking Stock of the Economic Damage

Economic damage takes time to heal.

FIxed Income Weekly Monitor | May 4 2020

Relatively Immune

As equity markets experienced a Jekyll and Hyde personality other markets were relatively immune to the volatility. Treasuries were little changed. Credit spreads tightened.

Market & Sector Trends | May 4 2020

Sector & Industry Group Trends Suggest Caution

Sector trend indicator improved over the course of April, but has not yet gotten back into positive territory.

Macro Update | Apr 28 2020

Economic Damage Takes Time to Heal

Resetting expectations can reduce frustration and help fuel economy.

Market & Sector Trends | Apr 27 2020

Breadth Slow To Improve As Defensive Groups Lead

Short-term momentum trends remain positive, but improvement in price and breadth trends has been more uneven.

Muni Fortnightly | Apr 22 2020

Treasury and Municipal Yields Declined in a Move Toward Less Volatility

CARES Act impact helpful but insufficient. Municipal Liquidity Facility launched.

Weight of the Evidence | 4 21 2020

Stocks Off Lows, But Evidence Remains Neutral

Stocks have been looking past an economic pile-up and price gains have outpaced improvements in broad market trends

Market & Sector Trends | Apr 20 2020

Sector-Level Trends Struggle To Gain Traction

S&P 500 has rallied 30% off its March low, but sector-level trends are not endorsing this move.

Macro Update | Apr 14 2020

Stimulus Coming but Economic Pile-Up Hampers Rejuvenation Efforts

Strength of recovery will be tied to length of shutdown.

Market & Sector Trends | Apr 13 2020

Despite Bounce, Sector-Level Trends Still Weak

Rally off of March lows has come with improved momentum trends, but price and breadth trends remain weak.

Market & Sector Trends | Apr 6 2020

Industry Group Trends at Lowest Level In Decade

Across sectors, short-term price and breadth trends remain negative but momentum has turned positive.

Macro Update | Mar 31 2020

Investors Should Brace For Negative Headlines

History shows stocks bottom before economy turns higher.

Muni Fortnightly | Mar 30 2020

Continued Volatility in All Paper Asset Markets

Treasury and municipal yields were extremely volatile. Moody’s notes sector outlook changes and exposures to economic fallout.

Market & Sector Trends | Mar 30 2020

Watch Sector Trends for Strength of Rally

Seeing sector-level trends in positive territory would suggest a sustainable rally (not just a bounce) has emerged.

Investment Strategy Outlook | Mar 25 2020

Evidence Argues For Patience In Face Of Coronavirus Weakness

The cyclical decline may be entering a period of enticing rallies and frustrating re-tests that can challenge investor patience.

Market & Sector Trends | Mar 23 2020

Amid Broad Selling, Defensive Groups Gain Relative Strength

Short-term sector level trends remain buried as selling pressure has been intense.

Market & Sector Trends | Mar 16 2020

Breadth Collapses as Selling Intensifies

Short-term sector level trends are universally negative coming into this week. A rally that has legs will have to reverse these trends.

Stock Market Update | Mar 11 2020

Bear Market Realities

Evidence of panic today points to possible peak in near-term volatility. With the weight of the evidence still neutral, patience on the part of investors is the recommended strategy.

Weight of the Evidence | Mar 10 2020

Breadth Turns Bearish But Sentiment Improves

Downside momentum is intact. Longer-term breadth trends continue to deteriorate and multiple indexes have undercut December 2018's lows. Short-term sentiment indicators are getting washed out, but deep-seated complacency is only beginning to unwind. Patience remains the best near-term approach.

Muni Fortnightly | Mar 9 2020

Treasury Yields Fall to Lowest Level Ever – All Below 1%

Fed Funds cut 50 bps. Munis can’t keep up – ratios ratchet higher. Credit spreads at widest levels since 2016 in corporate high-yields.

Market & Sector Trends | Mar 9 2020

Defensive Groups Ascendant

Energy sector trends remain poor and show little evidence of stabilizing.

Macro Update | Mar 4 2020

Tracking the Spread of Economic Effects of the Coronavirus

While the ultimate impact of the virus remains to be seen, moving from a stance of reaction to anticipation would be a helpful development, especially for the financial markets.

Weight of the Evidence | Mar 2 2020

Broad Market Deterioration Drops Evidence To Neutral

Recent stock market volatility is weighing on broad market trends, which failed to confirm new index-level highs in February. Absent a decisive break in the downside momentum that emerged last week, a more cautious view is warranted.

Stock Market Update | Feb 28 2020

Breaking News 

Follow-up Addressing the Recent Volatility and the Coronavirus

Stock Market Update | Feb 25 2020

Breaking News

Addressing the Recent Volatility and the Coronavirus.

Stock Market Update | Feb 24 2020

Elevated Valuations and Excessive Optimism Have Investors Focused on Headlines

Headline-fueled volatility has the S&P 500 testing support at the January lows. A break of that level could lead to a deeper unwind of excessive valuations/optimism as the market digests the economic implications of the spread of the coronavirus.

Investment Strategy Outlook | Feb 21 2020

Evidence Bullish Despite Volatility and Uncertainty

Excessive optimism and widespread complacency turns sentiment bearish. Seasonal patterns bullish with economic confidence consistent with incumbent reelection.  Declining bond yields fueling strength in Gold.

Market & Sector Trends | Feb 18 2020

Cyclical Sectors Struggle to Gain Traction

Our sector-level trends continue to improve as momentum expands and price remains strong. Breadth trends remain mixed.

Macro Update | Feb 11 2020

Is Economic Optimism Warranted?

Americans feeling confident. The rebound in business optimism suggests animal spirits are returning.

Market & Sector Trends | Feb 10 2020

Price Strength Outpacing Breadth Gains

Industry group trends barely budge as S&P 500 moves to new highs.

Muni Fortnightly | Feb 3 2020

Treasury Yields Fell Sharply for Second Consecutive Week

Coronavirus impacts on risk tolerance and potential impacts on the real economy.

Market & Sector Trends | Jan 27 2020

Uncertainty Fueling Flight to Safety

Sector-level momentum trends are deteriorating, with cyclical sectors showing the most weakness. Our overall sector-level trend indicator remains in positive territory, as price and breadth trends remain relative robust.

Market & Sector Trends | Jan 21 2020

Utilities Rise, Financials Fade as Bond Yields Fall

Sector-level trends remain strong and supportive of continued rally attempts by the S&P 500.

2020 Market Update - Baird Wealth Strategies | January 2020

What Matters and What Doesn't

Recording: Michael Antonelli, Baird’s Private Wealth Management Market Strategist and author of the popular Bull & Baird blog, provides his views on the current state of the economy and stock market. 

2020 Global Industrial Report

Finding Opportunity in Uncertainty

Baird's Head of Global Equities reflects on how the industrial sector is adapting to change and setting a course for the decade ahead.

Muni Fortnightly

Ratios Back to Near Most Expensive Levels

Treasury Yields Whipsaw on Iranian-Conflict and Weak Payroll Data.

2020 Wealth Management Outlook

What We’re Paying Attention to in 2020

Will the presidential election affect the stock market in 2020? Could global trade concerns derail economic growth? Should you be thinking differently about your financial plans because of The SECURE Act?

Technical Review | Jan 9 2020

Trends Argue for Continued Stock Market Strength

Weight of the evidence (below Jan. 6) remains tilted toward the bullish camp. Key takeaways on the market factors supporting that view.

Macro Update | Jan 7 2020

2020 Earnings Outlook: Optimism and New Leadership

Companies with international exposure fuel 2020 earnings expectations. After finishing 2019 with a whimper, earnings expected to rebound this year. Earnings growth likely to struggle in the face of fundamental headwinds.

Weight of the Evidence | Jan 6 2020

Bullish + 1

Not a low risk environment, but a bullish side tilt.

Market & Sector Trends | Jan 6 2020

Broad Strength

Trend indicator has risen from 15% to 84% over the past year.

2020 Outlook Supplemental Charts | Dec 12 2019

Cyclical Strength Emerges Amid Ongoing Uncertainty

2018 vs. 2019 reflects the shift from central banks tightening to central banks easing. This tailwind will carry into 2020.

Economic & Market Outlook 2020 | Dec 9 2019

Cyclical Strength Emerges Amid Ongoing Uncertainty

Recession risk in US remains low. Globally, green shoots offer encouraging evidence of improvement. Elevated valuations and a fully invested public could leave stocks vulnerable to volatility if uncertainty remains elevated. After a decade of US large-cap strength, opportunities for new leadership are on the rise.

Macro Update | Nov 19 2019

Stocks Buoyed by Better-Than-Expected Q3 Earnings

Many companies surpassed Q3 expectations, though not by much. Expectations for 2020 moving lower but still suggest growth re-acceleration. Elevated valuations remain a headwind for stocks.

Oct 2019

Learning to Eat Ground Glass

The Federal Reserve actions and interest rates have not gone as predicted by many economists and analysts. We examine what went wrong and where we go from here.

Sept 27 2019

Forward Earnings within a Fair Value Range

Our Macro Framework for US Markets and Why We Like Healthcare, Financials & Energy.

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