26 April 2018

James Swanson

The author is Chief Investment Strategist at Massachusetts Financial Services
  • Despite the recent big selloff, conditions don't appear to be in place for a prolonged market downturn, observers say. Photo: Xinhua

    Market sell-offs are dramatic, but can provide opportunities

    - Feb 14, 2018 9:44am
    A number of factors appear to have contributed to the selloff in equity markets that commenced early this month and picked up steam in a volatility-driven decline on Monday, Feb. 5. While the decline was eye-catching,...
  • US equities are well on track to continue last year's trends, at least for now. Photo: Reuters

    Divergences dent a spectacular year

    - Jan 9, 2018 11:40am
    You’d think, listening to media, that stocks are rising with great uniformity, that, as the old saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. But when you dig below the surface a bit, you’ll see that...
  • Although economic news has been good of late and stock markets are hitting new highs, investors would do well not to get carried away. Photo: Reuters

    Rising tides, changing news. Should I change my market views?

    - Nov 23, 2017 11:00am
    Based on a steady, broad-based flow of positive reports from around the world, the tide of global economic growth is rising. And as a strategist, I take stands on the markets based on my interpretation of...
  • Inflation and corporate borrowing rise during the late stages of a business cycle, levering up returns to shareholders — for a while. Photo: Reuters

    If Inflation is fizzling out, can profits be far behind?

    - Aug 15, 2017 3:54pm
    For decades, experts at the US Federal Reserve, academic economists and portfolio managers have been at war with inflation — the phenomenon of price increases without commensurate productivity gains. Investors and policymakers alike hate inflation because...
  • Fully eight years into this cycle, S&P 500 Index revenues have struggled to keep pace with the economy as a whole. Photo: Reuters

    Two reasons to skip the market’s joy ride

    - Jun 2, 2017 10:30am
    There are two primary reasons to be cautious about investing fresh capital in today’s richly valued US equity markets. The first reason is shaky pricing power — or top-line growth — for companies in the S&P...
  • Most of the tailwinds behind high profit have begun to falter and margins have narrowed for most of the S&P 500 firms. Photo: Internet

    It’s getting late — in the business cycle

    - Jul 12, 2016 10:17am
    I remain disenchanted with stocks and I need to see improvement in a number of key metrics before changing my view. 1. Improved pricing power for US-based multinational companies 2. Better consumer spending on goods and...
  • US car sales are losing momentum after a very strong 2015. Photo: Bloomberg

    Time to take a step back?

    - May 19, 2016 5:40pm
    As a disappointing first-quarter-earnings season in the United States rolls on, I am beginning to feel more cautious about the markets in the months ahead. We’re in the midst of a third consecutive quarter of poor...
  • China's economic slowdown has affected prices of energy and other commodities globally. Photo: Bloomberg

    What will be the top economic theme for 2016?

    - Oct 17, 2015 8:02am
    In the wake of China’s much lower economic trajectory, prices of commodities — from aluminum to zinc — have declined. First to feel the impact have been neighboring countries such as Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, which...
  • The magnitude of the housing problem in China is much smaller in relative terms than it was for the US in 2007. Photo: HKEJ

    Why worry about China?

    - Aug 17, 2015 3:39pm
    China is slowing down from very rapid growth rates. Retail sales are rising 9-10 percent year over year, down from 17 percent, but the growth is still faster than in most other regions. What about trade with...
  • As the Greek debt crisis appears to be on its way to being resolved, the rest of the global economy is showing promising signs of growth. Photo: Reuters

    Our world after Greece

    - Jul 18, 2015 8:01am
    As Greece moves out of the headlines, what does the rest of the world look like?  Crude oil prices, still well off last year’s highs, should be a boon to global growth. I expect this cycle...

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