Markets & Economy

Hard Times: Time for the Hard Data to Catch Up to the Soft Data
by Liz Ann Sonders
March 27, 2017

The spread between soft (surveys/confidence readings) and hard economic data is historically wide … will the spread narrow, and if so, how?

The Fed has China in a Tough Spot
by Jeffrey Kleintop
March 20, 2017

The Fed rate hike has put China in a tough spot in early 2017. How China responds will be important for global markets as investors assess the trade fallout and growth trajectory for the world’s second largest economy.

Schwab Market Perspective: Teflon Market
by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen and Jeffrey Kleintop
March 17, 2017

Stocks have had a remarkable run, but can it continue?

Schwab Sector Views: How Should Investors Look at Health Care Now?
by Brad Sorensen
March 16, 2017

The health care system is the subject of much debate, but how should investors look at recent developments?

Consumer Discretionary Sector Rating: Marketperform
by Brad Sorensen
March 16, 2017

Schwab's view on the consumer discretionary sector, which covers companies that sell non-essential goods and services. 

Consumer Staples Sector Rating: Marketperform
by Brad Sorensen
March 16, 2017

Schwab's view on the consumer staples sector, which includes consumer items that tend to be viewed as household necessities.

Materials Sector Rating: Marketperform
by Brad Sorensen
March 16, 2017

Schwab's view on the materials sector, which describes an array of commodity-related manufacturing industries.

Information Technology Sector Rating: Outperform
by Brad Sorensen
March 16, 2017

Schwab's view on the information technology sector, which covers most makers and providers of computer, data, and electronic equipment and services.

Real Estate Sector: Underperform
by Brad Sorensen
March 16, 2017

Schwab's view on the real estate sector, which covers companies involved in real estate and includes equity REITs.

Utilities Sector Rating: Underperform
by Brad Sorensen
March 16, 2017

Schwab's view on the utilities sector, which covers a variety of industries that generate and deliver power and water. 

Financials Sector Rating: Outperform
by Brad Sorensen
March 16, 2017

Schwab's view on the financial sector, which encompasses the financial services industry and is often referred to by the acronym FIRE, for finance, insurance and real estate.

Energy Sector Rating: Marketperform
by Brad Sorensen
March 16, 2017

Schwab's view on the energy sector, which encompasses companies that help produce and distribute energy.

Health Care Sector Rating: Outperform
by Brad Sorensen
March 16, 2017

Schwab's view on the health care sector covers health care equipment and services as well as  pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. 

Industrials Sector Rating: Marketperform
by Brad Sorensen
March 16, 2017

Schwab's view on the industrial sector, which includes providers of capital goods, commercial services, transportation services and infrastructure.

Telecommunication Services Sector Rating: Underperform
by Brad Sorensen
March 16, 2017

Schwab's view on the telecommunications sector, including operators of telecom networks and providers of communications and data transmission services.

Big Machine: Why Large Caps Are Likely to Outperform
by Liz Ann Sonders
March 13, 2017

Momentum, breadth, sentiment, earnings, valuation and macro conditions all now support a bias toward large cap stocks within the U.S. equity market.

The future of Europe: EU 2.0 and its impact on the markets
by Jeffrey Kleintop
March 06, 2017

What does Europe’s future look like and what might it mean for investors?

Closed-End Bond Funds: How They Work and What You Should Know As Rates Rise
by Kathy A Jones
March 02, 2017

Closed-end bond funds are a popular way for investors to garner extra yield when interest rates are low, but rising rates can negatively affect their performance. Here’s what you should know about these investments.

What would a shake-up at the Fed mean for bond investors?
by Kathy A Jones
February 28, 2017

Significant turnover will likely hit the Fed in the next few years. The changes may result in a shift in the way the Fed sets policy. 

Radioactive: Is Passive’s Dominance Over Active Set to Wane?
by Liz Ann Sonders
February 27, 2017

The macro landscape has led to passive investing strategies handily outperforming active strategies…but the winds are shifting toward a better environment for active.

The stock market sees nothing to worry about—that may be about to change
by Jeffrey Kleintop
February 21, 2017

Stock markets are currently behaving as if there is nothing to worry about, but that may be about to change now that we are within 45 trading days of the French Presidential election.

Better Days: Earnings Growth Picks Up Sharply in 2017
by Liz Ann Sonders
February 13, 2017

We step away from the macro and focus on the micro of earnings and valuation... courtesy of the surge in the former, the latter looks reasonable.

Simple Indicators In A Complex World
by Jeffrey Kleintop
February 06, 2017

When people feel there is a situation that is out of their control or too complicated to analyze, they often fall back on rules of thumb to make decisions.

Rise Up: Dow 20k Fails to Thrill Individual Investors
by Liz Ann Sonders
January 30, 2017

With the post-election surge in stocks, and the subsequent passing of 20k by the Dow, investor sentiment expectedly surged; but individuals have become wary.

Five Reasons to Stay Invested Despite Heightened Uncertainty
by Jeffrey Kleintop
January 23, 2017

There are five reasons to stay invested despite the heightened uncertainty.

Anatomy of a Bond Bear Market: What to Look For When Yields Rise
by Kathy A Jones
January 19, 2017

With yields surging from last summer’s record lows, are bonds at the start of a long-term bear market? To answer that question, you must first determine what constitutes a bear market in bonds.

The CURE for a calm market: Four risks for 2017
by Jeffrey Kleintop
January 09, 2017

After a calm post-election climb for stocks, developments in China, United Kingdom, Russia, and Europe may bring a return of volatility.

Will the U.S. Dollar Bull Market Continue in 2017?
by Kathy A Jones
January 05, 2017

The U.S. dollar looks set to continue rising this year, but the risks to the rally increase as the bull market ages.

Luminous Times: Looking Ahead With Optimism About 2017
by Liz Ann Sonders
January 03, 2017

The rally has been called the "Trump trade" but the economic and earnings inflection points pre-dated the election. Optimism is warranted, but greed should be kept in check.

Changing Conditions: A Bond Market FAQ
by Kathy A Jones
December 13, 2016

Yields have surged and potential changes in taxes, government spending and interest rates could make the bond market more volatile. What does it mean to investors?

5 Reasons International Stocks May Underperform in 2017
by Jeffrey Kleintop
December 12, 2016

There are five key reasons developed international stocks may lag U.S. stocks again in 2017.

You’ve Got to Earn It: Valuations Aided by Improving "E"
by Liz Ann Sonders
December 05, 2016

Economic and corporate earnings momentum has picked up sharply heading into 2017; but the inflection point trend pre-dated the U.S. presidential election.

Bond Market Outlook: Higher Rates and Known Unknowns
by Kathy A Jones
December 01, 2016

The incoming administration’s proposals for taxes, spending and trade could create waves in the bond market. Caution may be in order.

Happy Unrecession: The Alice in Wonderland economy
by Jeffrey Kleintop
November 28, 2016

While the odd and upside-down developments confronting investors may seem mad, the stock market gains are not as misguided or illogical as they may at first seem.

Emotional Rescue: What to make of the post-election surge?
by Liz Ann Sonders
November 21, 2016

The post-election rally has been remarkable and likely reflects pro-growth policies expected next year; but also the long-awaited revival of animal spirits.

President Trump and Global Trade: How Will Campaign Promises Play Out?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
November 10, 2016

Even if he carries out his most aggressive campaign proposals, we believe the consequences could be less damaging than they might at first seem.

Change Is in the Air: A Post-Election Look at Bonds
by Kathy A Jones
November 09, 2016

The election results look set to continue the shift toward increased fiscal spending and higher inflation, but some caveats are in order.

Recession Odds Pass Key Threshold
by Jeffrey Kleintop
October 31, 2016

A reliable historical indicator suggests the events of October may have been more soothing than scary for long-term investors.

Three Reasons Stocks May Avoid Another Lost Decade
by Jeffrey Kleintop
October 17, 2016

The end of September marked 10 years with no growth in earnings and nine years with no gain in the stock market—what will the next 10 years offer investors?

Are Bond Yields About to Rise?
by Kathy A Jones
October 06, 2016



Going Godzilla: What has the Bank of Japan Unleashed?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
October 03, 2016

The Bank of Japan faces a rising risk that their policy has created a monster that may be getting harder to control.

World Tour: An Around The World Look At the Economic Landscape
by Jeffrey Kleintop
September 19, 2016

The global picture may have brightened a little, thanks largely to Asia, but with little momentum to that improvement.

Negative Interest Rate Policy: What Is It and Could It Happen Here?
by Kathy A Jones
September 08, 2016

Five major central banks have lowered their countries' interest rates into negative territory. Why are they doing it, and could the U.S. Federal Reserve follow suit?

Emerging Market Bonds: Curb Your Enthusiasm
by Kathy A Jones
August 30, 2016

Emerging market debt has delivered solid returns this year, but currency and default risks loom thanks to slow global growth and a potential rise in U.S. interest rates.

Your portfolio may be less diversified than you think
by Jeffrey Kleintop
August 22, 2016

Investors with a large home bias in their portfolio may not be nearly as diversified as they believe.

What Does Strong Job Growth Mean for Bond Investors?
by Kathy A Jones
August 11, 2016

Healthy recent U.S. employment growth suggests the Fed could raise rates again this year. Here's what investors should consider doing now.  

Does Zika pose an Olympic-sized risk to stocks?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
August 08, 2016

While the threat of Zika at the Olympic Games may garner headlines, past world pandemics show us that the market impact has not been significant—even when the global economy was especially vulnerable to a shock.

Earnings estimates are rebounding: what it means for stocks
by Jeffrey Kleintop
July 25, 2016

Analysts’ improving outlook for corporate earnings has tracked the trend of better than-expected economic data, helping to support stocks in the face of negative geopolitical events.

Turmoil in Turkey: What Does Coup Attempt Mean for Markets?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
July 18, 2016

Turkey's government re-established control following an attempted military coup over the weekend. We believe market reaction will be limited.

Three Reasons Why Now is Not the Time to Retreat from Global Diversification
by Jeffrey Kleintop
July 11, 2016

The Brexit is another in a series of political, economic and financial shocks coming from outside the United States. So is it time for long-term investors to retreat from global diversification to the perceived relative safety of the U.S. stock market?

After the Brexit Vote: What Lies Ahead for Markets?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
June 27, 2016

U.K. voters' decision to exit the European Union has rocked global markets. What will "Brexit" mean for investors going forward?

Brexit: What Does It Mean for the Bond Market?
by Kathy A Jones
June 24, 2016

Amid market turmoil, investors are flocking to U.S. Treasuries. What else can investors expect as a result of Brexit?

Global Bonds: A World Without Yield
by Kathy A Jones
June 16, 2016

Bond yields are so low that investors may find themselves paying to hold foreign bonds rather than being paid for it. Caution is advised.

What investors need to know about helicopter money
by Jeffrey Kleintop
June 13, 2016

The return of deflation in Japan has led some to call for the use of “helicopter money” which we see as unlikely to be effective at boosting growth, but may raise the risks to the global financial system.

Bond Index Investing: Why You Should Track More Than One Benchmark
by Kathy A Jones
May 19, 2016

Bond market changes mean that even mutual funds and ETFs tracking a broad bond index could expose investors to more risk than they realize. 

Japan: Another Recession Coming?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
May 16, 2016

Japan’s economy is struggling and may be set to disappoint economists’ expectations for a sharp rebound in economic growth this year.

Mixed Signals From the Bond Market: Something’s Got to Give
by Kathy A Jones
April 21, 2016

If you’ve done well recently by investing in high-yield and long-term bonds, take heed: It’s unusual for both to outperform at the same time.

Will Rising U.S. Debt Levels Keep the Fed On Hold?
by Kathy A Jones
April 04, 2016

Rising interest rates could add to the national debt burden, but that isn’t likely to deter further Fed hikes.

Bargain Hunters Beware: Is the Rally for Real?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
October 26, 2015

Investors shouldn’t mistake the double-digit rebounds seen in some emerging markets this month as an all-clear sign to snap up bargains.