Consumer defensive firms look to offset muted growth by beefing up their competitive positioning, and select opportunities for investors remain.
We may likely be entering a period of slower growth, but no growth at all is unlikely.
With interest rates poised to rise further and credit spreads near their tightest levels since the end of the 2008–09 credit crisis, we expect rising rates to largely offset the yield that investment-grade corporate bonds currently offer.
Current valuation levels imply mediocre total returns and an elevated risk of a material drawdown.
Despite the Fed taper, a U.S. economy struggling to shake off the winter blues, and a slowing China, stocks continued their remarkable winning streak from April through June.
With volatility creeping back into the market and most technology and telecom names trading at or above fair value, we fall back on our moat methodology
In a rising interest rate environment, which is generally tough on REITs, we'd prefer exposure to reasonably priced, narrow-moat firms with attractive internal and external growth prospects, conservative capital structures, and well-laddered debt maturity schedules.
Despite full valuations overall, we do see some opportunities, especially in pharmacy benefit managers.
As their fundamentals improve, public auto dealers and wide-moat Mexican airport operators are worth keeping on your radar.
The faltering Chinese real estate market is weighing on globally fungible commodities like iron ore, while improving developed-country construction markets aid regionally priced commodities like cement.
The sector is feeling the pressure from regulators and appears to be fairly valued overall.
With roughly two thirds of this sector enjoying a narrow or wide economic moat, we continue to find pockets of opportunity when short-term concerns outweigh our forecasted long-term growth trajectories.
Steady U.S. retail spending and rebounding European and Chinese sales offer decent end-market outlooks for consumer cyclical companies, but the larger retail spending environment remains uncertain around the world.
Geopolitical tensions have sent oil higher amid a rising tide of U.S. crude.
As credit spreads have tightened on a nearly continuous trend over the past year, they are becoming richly valued relative to their historical average.
In a market leaning toward the overvalued side, stock-picking is key, and opportunities can still be found.
Some of the most defensive companies in the utilities sector have performed the best this year and could face a sharp drop if interest rates start to creep up.
The stock market may have ended up near where it started, but the first quarter was far from placid.
As valuations have run up in tech, we're staying focused on economic moats.
We are concerned about a slow start to U.S. light-vehicle sales this year, but we expect improvement once the cold abates.
Interest rate fears have weighed on the sector's absolute performance, but utilities' fundamentals remain strong for the most part.
Novel products will allow drug firms to achieve price premiums on diabetes drugs in the U.S. and at least retain level pricing internationally.
Though many long for faster economic growth, the current environment has actually been very good for landlords--but higher rates could still sting.
Amid the current challenging environment for defensive names, we see several opportunities for long-term investment in wide-moat companies at reasonable discounts.
As consumers rapidly embrace online and mobile commerce, traditional retailers are scrambling to refine their strategies.
The rapid increase of online and mobile banking is streamlining transactions, reducing costs, and making the traditional bank branch a relic of an earlier era.
We don't see the recent share price declines for metals and mining producers as a buying opportunity on average.
U.S. tight oil production continues to set the pace for the industry, but the companies most levered to it are either fully valued or overvalued.
Corporate credit spreads are fairly valued--albeit at the tight end of the range that we view as fairly valued.
At a price, investors are still willing to take on municipal credit risk--even from some of the highest-profile and most fiscally distressed issuers.
What this recovery has lacked in robustness it may make up for in longevity.
In a market leaning toward the overvalued side, investors must dig deeper to unearth buying opportunities.
Seemingly nothing could derail the bull market in 2013.
Most industrials are fairly valued at present, with a pocket of value in automakers.
Finally, utilities with good growth and attractive yields are on sale.
Med-tech multinationals look to the East for growth in China.
Greed trumps fear in several pockets of the tech sector, but buying opportunities can still be found.
The Volcker Rule is finalized, so now banks need to worry about complying with it.
U.S. tight oil remains front and center for investors and market observers, for good reason.
Improved demand should underpin stronger potash and PRB coal markets in 2014.
The consumer shift to e-commerce is becoming more pronounced, but retailers are fighting back.
We are finding more undervalued names in this moaty sector.
A rising market leaves fewer opportunities, but stocks are still the place to be over the long run.
GDP, employment, and consumption growth have all been stuck in a very narrow range--and are likely to remain so in 2014.
The corporate bond market will probably struggle to return much above break-even in 2014.
Relevant questions (and answers) for investors as they continue their research into bankruptcy and pension issues.
All eyes were on the Fed during the quarter as stocks continued to rally.
European stock markets improved on their second-quarter performance in the third quarter, but the region is still delicately balanced.
Investors could still benefit by taking a closer look at some firms with strong positions in mobile computing.
Health-care exchanges provide the biggest uncertainty going into 2014.