2017 Charts of the Week

U.S. Producer Price Index

Posted November 17, 2017

U.S. Treasury yields over the past year have risen across the board as shown in the yield curve chart above. Yield curves plots yields of similar-quality bonds against their maturities, ranging from shortest to longest. By showing the relationship between the yields and the time to maturity, investors are able to compare the yields offered by short-term, medium-term, and long-term bonds. The yield curve may also suggest insights into investors' expectations for inflation and economic growth across different time periods.

U.S. Treasury Yield Curve

Posted November 10, 2017

U.S. Treasury yields over the past year have risen across the board as shown in the yield curve chart above. Yield curves plots yields of similar-quality bonds against their maturities, ranging from shortest to longest. By showing the relationship between the yields and the time to maturity, investors are able to compare the yields offered by short-term, medium-term, and long-term bonds. The yield curve may also suggest insights into investors' expectations for inflation and economic growth across different time periods.

U.S. Real GDP

Posted November 3, 2017

U.S. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth has been positive but volatile over the past eight quarters as shown above. Ranging from a low of 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2015 to a high of 3.1% in the second quarter of 2017. The third quarter of 2017 showed 3.0% growth, which some economists considered strong given the expected disruptions that the recent hurricanes caused. Year-over-year U.S. GDP growth increased 2.3% helped by increased durable good spending and investment in equipment. In recent quarters a falling U.S. dollar has helped trade with increased exports and decreased imports. Some economists are predicting continued GDP growth as the U.S. economy continues to perform well with consumers benefitting from a strong job market and employers benefitting from stronger profits and low borrowing costs.

Fixed Income Sector Performance (Total Return as of 9/30/17)

Posted October 27, 2017

The fixed income market includes many different types of securities and performance can vary substantially among them. The chart above compares the performance of 11 major fixed income sectors for the 1-year periods ended September 30, 2017 ("current year" - dark blue bars above) and September 30, 2016 ("prior year" - light blue bars above). Eight of the 11 fixed income sectors shown produced positive returns for the current year while all 11 sectors produced positive returns in the prior year.

Top Ten Countries in the MSCI EAFE Index (as of 9/30/17)

Posted October 20, 2017

The bar chart above shows the net performance in U.S. dollars for the 1-year periods ended September 30, 2017 ("current period" - dark blue bars above) and September 30, 2016 ("prior period" - light blue bars above) for the MSCI EM Index, the MSCI EAFE Index, and the top 10 non-U.S. developed countries. The Morgan Stanley Capital International ("MSCI") Europe, Australasia, and Far East Index ("EAFE") is a commonly used benchmark to measure non-U.S. developed stock market performance and the MSCI Emerging Markets ("EM") Index is a commonly used benchmark to measure emerging market stock market performance.

S&P 500 Index Sector Performance (as of 09/30/17)

Posted October 13, 2017

Similar to the stock market as a whole, returns for individual sectors of the stock market experience fluctuations. For example, a sector may outperform other sectors for a period of time and then underperform in subsequent periods. The chart above compares the performance of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (“S&P 500”), including dividends, to its 11 underlying sectors for the twelve month periods ended September 30, 2017 ("current" period) and September 30, 2016 ("prior" period). The S&P 500 is an index consisting of 500 companies representing larger capitalization stocks traded in the U.S. and is a benchmark commonly used to measure the performance of the U.S. stock market.

Capital Markets Review (As of 09/30/2017)

Posted October 6, 2017

Capital market returns were positive for all asset classes and time periods shown above. Over the 1-year period, returns were greater than 15% in four of the six asset classes.

Annual Return Expected in Retirement

Posted September 29, 2017

In September 2017, Ignites Research ("Ignites") published a study on investors' and advisors' views on retirement income products. One of the topics covered in the study was investment returns in retirement from the view of both advisors and investors in Defined Contribution plans.

September 2017 U.S. Federal Reserve Rate Odds

Posted September 22, 2017

On September 20, 2017, the Federal Open Market Committee ("FOMC") of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board announced that the target rate range of the Federal Funds Rate ("Fed Funds") would remain unchanged. Target rate range changes are one of the most widely monitored economic indicators and expectations of a rate change can impact markets. The chart above shows the probabilities of an increase in the Fed Funds target rate range at the FOMC's September 2017 meeting beginning in January 2017, which is compiled by Bloomberg based on Fed Funds futures trading data.

U.S. Consumer Credit

Posted September 15, 2017

On a monthly basis, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board publishes data on consumer credit based on a survey of commercial banks, consumer finance companies, credit unions, and retailers. The report represents loans for households, for financing purchases of goods and services as well as refinancing existing consumer debt. The chart above shows the monthly change in the amount of credit (in billions) from August 2016 through July 2017.

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