Market Insight

Emerging Market Stocks: What We Are Watching
by Jeffrey Kleintop
September 17, 2018

EM stocks are prone to high volatility, as we have experienced this year. We will be watching the signs closely to see if this is typical volatility or something leading to a deeper and more prolonged downturn.

Schwab Market Perspective: Healthy Skepticism?
by Liz Ann Sonders, Jeffrey Kleintop, Brad Sorensen
September 14, 2018

Despite the long-running bull market, there continues to be a lack of investor enthusiasm, which should help the bull market continue.

Waiting (Was) the Hardest Part, But Wage Growth is Finally Kicking In
by Liz Ann Sonders
September 10, 2018

The August payroll report was generally strong, with a kick into higher gear for wages. Will “Main Street” feel better than “Wall Street” this year?

US Bonds Have an Important Message for International Stocks
by Jeffrey Kleintop
September 04, 2018

The U.S. bond market has been a good indicator of peaks in international stock markets. This is now important since the yield curve in the U.S. has flattened more than in Europe.

Where Will The Next Crisis Come From?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
August 20, 2018

There are some reasons to think that the probability of a repeat of a past crisis has eased. The changes we have seen should help reduce the vulnerability of the global system to shocks like those of the past. Of course, risk has not been entirely eliminated from the system.

Second Hand News: Facing a Second Derivative Economic Inflection Point?
by Liz Ann Sonders
August 13, 2018

The absolute levels of most economic data points remain healthy, but signs abound of second derivative inflection points in growth, inflation and volatility.

What Does GDP Mean For The Stock Market?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
August 06, 2018

What Does GDP Mean For The Stock Market?

Fed Stands Pat But Gets Ready to Bid Adieu to Meetings Without Pressers
by Liz Ann Sonders
August 01, 2018

The Fed acted as expected by not acting on interest rates; and although there was no associated press conference, the statement had a few nuggets of note.

Sugar Magnolia: Is the Economy’s/Earnings’ Surge a Sugar High or Sustainable?
by Liz Ann Sonders
July 30, 2018

The economy and earnings grabbed headlines last week; with a sharp acceleration in real GDP growth, and concerns about earnings thanks to Facebook’s face plant.

Top Five Global Risks for Investors in 2018: Mid-Year Update
by Jeffrey Kleintop
July 23, 2018

Many of our top risks for 2018 have come to pass. Our updated top five global risks for investors in 2018 are: geopolitics, chasing returns, return of inflation, dollar strength, and fading momentum.

Trade Tremors: Measuring The Actual Impact
by Jeffrey Kleintop
July 09, 2018

Trade-war anxieties have been reflected in markets and surveys of both consumers and businesses, but thus far have not appeared in actual “hard” economic data.

2018 Mid-year U.S. Equity Outlook: Headwinds and Tailwinds Facing Off
by Liz Ann Sonders
July 02, 2018

We continue with our theme of “it’s getting late” when looking ahead to the second half; with important and rising risks to weigh against the rewards.

Trade Fears Weigh on Stocks
by Schwab Center for Financial Research
June 26, 2018

Concern that recent trade skirmishes may turn into a global trade war have pressured equity markets in recent days. Here’s what investors should know.

2018 Global Mid-Year Outlook: From Sugar High to High Tariffs?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
June 25, 2018

Global economic and earnings growth momentum is slowing, but still growing. How the ongoing trade conflicts develop pose a risk to markets the second half of the year.

Debt Song: It’s Not a Pretty Tune
by Liz Ann Sonders
June 18, 2018

Total credit market debt is stratospheric, in spite of household/financial sector deleveraging; and with fiscal policy blowing out the deficit, it’s going to get worse.

Emerging Market Stocks: From Front-Runner To Dark Horse?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
June 11, 2018

Emerging market stocks appear to have gone from front-runner to dark horse in the minds of investors. Fear of a return to an environment that hobbled emerging markets in the past has gripped the market. Yet, the current environment may be most similar to those which generated outperformance by emerging markets in the past.

Market Volatility: Italy Adds to Global Uncertainty
by Schwab Center for Financial Research
May 30, 2018

Uncertainty over Italy’s political future spurred market volatility this week, after Italian President Sergio Mattarella vetoed the selection of an anti-euro finance minister and concern grew that Italy could leave the common currency.

Italian bond yields jumped on Tuesday, with the 10-year Italian government bond exceeding the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury for the first time in about a year. Meanwhile, U.S. stocks dropped on  Tuesday—with banking stocks taking the brunt of the sell-off, given their exposure to weakening Italian government bonds—but rebounded on Wednesday.



Are Stocks Taking A GAP Year?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
May 29, 2018

It is now graduation time for many high school students. But not all of the new graduates are headed to college right away. Gap years are growing more popular with students taking a year off to mature before taking on the next step in their education.



How To Avoid A Shark Attack
by Jeffrey Kleintop
May 14, 2018

A shark attack could take a big bite out of unprepared investors’ portfolios who don’t rebalance.

Beast of Burden of a High Earnings Bar
by Liz Ann Sonders
May 07, 2018

Since tax reform was passed the corporate earnings jump has been extraordinary…but is the good news already priced in to stocks?

Investors’ Guide to Diverging Global Economic Policies
by Jeffrey Kleintop
April 30, 2018

What does the increasingly different policy environments in U.S. and non-U.S. economies mean for stock market investors?

When Will the High Volatility End?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
April 16, 2018

April may bring a halt to the decline in stocks, but heightened volatility may not be going away for a long time.

Trade Fears Continue to Rattle Markets
by Schwab Center for Financial Research
April 06, 2018

An escalation in rhetoric over U.S.-China trade sent stocks back toward correction territory.

From Overheating to Underwhelming: Is the Economy Hurting Stocks?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
April 02, 2018

Economic growth has been an important factor driving the stocks market over the past year. But what if that economic support is now fading?

Stocks Drop Amid Trade Concerns
by Schwab Center for Financial Research
March 23, 2018

The announcement of new U.S. tariffs on imports from China, as well as lingering concerns about social media company regulation and the Federal Reserve’s hawkish tone on interest rates, rattled the stock market last week. Here’s what investors should know.

Stocks’ Sweet Sixteen: Volatility May Reign As Competing Drivers Square Off
by Jeffrey Kleintop
March 19, 2018

As the NCAA basketball tournament gets down to the Sweet Sixteen, it is a good time to reflect on sixteen competing drivers of the markets that may make for an exciting showdown in the weeks and months to come.

Trade War and Peace: Which Markets Are Most At Risk
by Jeffrey Kleintop
March 05, 2018

Global stocks gave up roughly half of their recovery from the February correction last week as President Trump previewed his plan to impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% on aluminum. Not every new tariff constitutes a trade war—metals have often been a target of U.S. tariffs with steel tariffs imposed by each of Trump’s recent predecessors in the White House. Although small in economic impact, these tariffs are symbolically important.



Market Volatility: Stocks Drop on Tariff Fears
by Schwab Center for Financial Research
March 02, 2018

News that the White House was contemplating broad tariffs on steel and aluminum imports rattled the stock market this week. Here’s what investors should know.

Is it Over? Five Misconceptions About Corrections
by Jeffrey Kleintop
February 20, 2018

The worst of the current global stock market correction may be over, but it is unlikely to be the last one this year. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about what signals the end of a correction.

Market Volatility: Here’s What You Should Know
by Schwab Center for Financial Research
February 09, 2018

Market volatility can make anyone nervous. Here’s what investors should know about dealing with it.

Stocks Fall: Why Now, What’s Next?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
February 05, 2018

Stocks Fall: Why Now, What’s Next?

Expecting the Unexpected: Is a Demographic Disaster Looming?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
January 22, 2018

Expecting the Unexpected: Is a Demographic Disaster Looming?

Five Global Risks for Investors in 2018
by Jeffrey Kleintop
January 08, 2018

Five global risks for investors in 2018

2018 Schwab Market Outlook: Executive Summary
by Schwab Center for Financial Research
December 11, 2017

Going into 2018, global earnings growth continues to be strong, while interest rates and inflation remain low and relative valuations of stocks to bonds reasonable–typical of the later stages of a market cycle.

2018 Market Outlook: U.S. Stocks and Economy
by Liz Ann Sonders
December 11, 2017

We expect another healthy year for capex and higher productivity, although the economy is likely in the late stage of its cycle.

2018 Market Outlook: Global Stocks and Economy
by Jeffrey Kleintop
December 11, 2017

The exceptional string of month after month gains in 2017 for global stocks raises a concern: Have investors become too optimistic about growth? We don’t think so.

2018 Global Market Outlook: Three Actions to Take for the Year Ahead
by Jeffrey Kleintop
December 11, 2017

What does 2018 hold for investors in global markets?

2018 Schwab Market Outlook: Fun Predictions
by Schwab Center for Financial Research
December 11, 2017

You’ll notice our market outlooks don’t include specific forecasts for the major market indices.

Are Stocks too Expensive?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
November 27, 2017

History indicates stocks could have further to run.

5 Reasons Investors Should Give Thanks
by Jeffrey Kleintop
November 13, 2017

Stock market investors have a lot to be thankful for.

Spirit of the Season: Scary Charts for Investors
by Jeffrey Kleintop
October 30, 2017

We still see more treats than tricks for investors in the year ahead. But in the spirit of the season, we are sharing some scary charts of a few things we worry about late at night.

Fires, Hurricanes, and Earthquakes: What Disasters Mean For Markets
by Jeffrey Kleintop
October 16, 2017

2017 is likely to rank as the most costly year ever for natural disasters. From a purely economic perspective—where analysis replaces emotion—disasters tend to spur economic growth over the short and long-term despite the widespread destruction they leave behind.

Inflation May Be The Biggest Question For Investors In 2018
by Jeffrey Kleintop
October 02, 2017

Central banks are behaving as if wages and inflation will revive in the year ahead. If they don’t, and central banks don’t alter their policy path, the global stock markets could be in for a rough 2018.

How the Shift by Central Banks May Affect the Stock Market
by Jeffrey Kleintop
September 18, 2017

Despite the coming shift by central banks towards trimming/tapering their balance sheets, we don’t believe the bull market is at risk.

Panic Is Not a Strategy—Nor Is Greed
by Liz Ann Sonders
September 13, 2017

Why doing nothing may be the best response to market volatility.

U.S. vs International: What Do Earnings Tell Us About What May Be Ahead?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
September 05, 2017

Over the past 15 years, earnings per share for both international and U.S. companies went from $33 to $108, but they took very different paths, illustrating the diversification benefits of global investing.

Earnings May Be About to Do Something They’ve Never Done Before
by Jeffrey Kleintop
August 21, 2017

For the world’s stock market to continue to rise, it is our view that after trying and failing three times over the past 10 years earnings per share must push through the ceiling of $30.

What Are Fund Flows Telling Us About Trends and Risks in the Global Stock Market?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
August 07, 2017

What are fund flows telling us about trends and risks in the global stock market?

An Important Benefit to Global Investors Is Back After 20 Years
by Jeffrey Kleintop
July 24, 2017

What’s happening in the markets that could benefit investors?

Where’s the Next Bubble?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
July 10, 2017

The current candidates for the next bubble do not seem to fit the classic bubble profile and may cause less potential damage if they were to burst, but that doesn't mean they don't carry risks for investors.

2017 Mid-year Global Market Outlook: Broader Growth, Narrower Risks
by Jeffrey Kleintop
June 26, 2017

Global stocks may continue to rise in the second half of the year supported by broad global economic growth and receding political risks.

Will the Fed Hike Rates This Week?
by Schwab Center for Financial Research
June 12, 2017

Amid signs of steady economic growth but low inflation, Federal Reserve policymakers will meet this week to consider another change in short-term interest rates. Will they or won’t they hike rates?

Are Bonds Signaling a Major Stock Market Peak?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
June 12, 2017

Does the flattening yield curve in the bond market and rising prices in the stock market reflect a fundamental disagreement on the prospects for the global economy?

Stocks and Bonds Rally: Can Both Be Right?
by Schwab Center for Financial Research
June 06, 2017

Two major asset classes appear to be pitted against one another in a tug-of-war over where the economy is headed. Which is right—the stock market or the bond market?

The Long Period of Underperformance for Emerging Market Stocks May Finally Be Over
by Jeffrey Kleintop
May 30, 2017

The end of the long period of emerging market stocks’ underperformance is supported by a recent change in trend for each of the four drivers of emerging markets.

Is the Stock Market Just Quiet or Is It Too Quiet?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
May 15, 2017

Does the low volatility and trading volume of this quietly rising stock market mean it’s vulnerable to a sharp pullback on any piece of bad news?

Mixed Signals: What Does Recent Economic Data Mean for Bonds?
by Schwab Center for Financial Research
May 02, 2017

As the Federal Reserve meets this week, bond investors are grappling with the implications of recent economic data. Here’s why bond investors may still be in for a bumpy ride, and what to consider doing now.

What the Coming Tax Cuts Mean for the Stock Market
by Jeffrey Kleintop
May 01, 2017

The leaders of most major countries are implementing or calling for corporate tax cuts. This may be welcome news for stock market investors since it could mean a boost to after-tax profits.

Missiles and Markets: An Investor Guide to Geopolitical Risks
by Jeffrey Kleintop
April 17, 2017

The long history of U.S. missile strikes and NATO military operations shows us that the market impacts of these geopolitical conflicts have been small and brief.

Top Five Trade Issues Investors Should Be Watching
by Jeffrey Kleintop
April 03, 2017

World trade is steadily rising, but changing trade agreements hold the potential to shape the direction of global trade and stock markets.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Global Investing: 6 Trends to Watch
by Jeffrey Kleintop
November 14, 2016

A look at the backdrop for global investing in 2017.

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?

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.

Mind the Gap: Are Earnings Expectations Too High?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
September 06, 2016

After a year and a half of cutting their earnings estimates for the world’s companies by a total of 14%, analysts have spent the past six months raising them. Are they now expecting too much?

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.

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?

Five ways investors can make the most of slower growth
by Jeffrey Kleintop
May 31, 2016

Making the most out of a slower growth environment may help define investment success in the coming years leading investors to find bright spots among mega-caps and emerging market stocks.

Trust but Verify: Five Independent Indicators of China’s Economy
by Jeffrey Kleintop
March 07, 2016

Some data coming out of China could be considered questionable. Learn where to look for a more accurate picture.

Negative Interest Rate Policy Adds Up To Less than Zero for Investors
by Jeffrey Kleintop
February 08, 2016

While central banks’ QE programs lifted stock prices in recent years, the latest shift by central banks to negative interest rate policy seems to be weighing on stocks and may be working against their intentions of promoting economic growth.

Central Banks to the Rescue?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
January 25, 2016

Rather than rescuing investors, comments from central bankers are more likely to create volatility in the markets until the global economic path is clearer.

How Rate Hikes Impact International Stock Markets
by Jeffrey Kleintop
December 21, 2015

The central banks of 20 nations raised interest rates in 2015, but not all countries are as well–positioned as the U.S. to handle the impact of rate hikes.

5 Ways Climate Policies May Impact Your Portfolio
by Jeffrey Kleintop
December 17, 2015

With climate-change concerns shaping new government and business policies, investors should be aware of the potential effects on global markets.

Decoding Devaluations: What Do Currency Moves Mean for Your Money?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
December 07, 2015

Find out more on how currency devaluations could impact your investment portfolio.

Devil Inside, Redux: Another Look at the Variety of U.S. Market Valuation Metrics
by Liz Ann Sonders
November 30, 2015

Looking again at some popular valuation metrics, it’s a mixed bag … with mixed messages, suggesting as always that valuation is in the eye of the beholder.

India Becomes World’s Fastest Growing Economy: What Investors Need to Know
by Jeffrey Kleintop
November 23, 2015

India has taken the title of the world’s fastest growing economy from China. Despite obvious similarities, the differences between these two economies mean the new leadership holds unique impacts for the global economy and markets.

Don’t Overlook Emerging Markets
by Jeffrey Kleintop
August 26, 2015

They could offer attractive growth and diversification benefits.

The Elegance of Indexing
by Schwab Center for Financial Research
June 20, 2014

Investors can diversify and participate in the long-term growth of markets by including index funds in their portfolios.