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Every Monday, The Upshot offers timely market analysis from our US investment strategist, including a breakdown of economic and policy trends, and their implications for investors. Plus, a snapshot of upcoming economic events.

Will the Fed Drive With Both Feet on the Pedals?

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The potential for a June rate hike is higher than many market participants believe, says Kristina Hooper. But summer tightening could still be part of an overall benign monetary policy, given the possibility of a "gas-brake-gas-brake" rate-hike cycle.

Mindreading Markets Need Clarity from Fuzzy Fed

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With economic data still mixed, the Fed will have a hard time deciding whether to hike rates in June, says Kristina Hooper. But the markets expect the Fed to take a pass, so FOMC members must get much more vocal if a hike really is on the table.

Politics Cranks Up the Volume on Volatility

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In a US presidential primary season that has defied expectations at every turn, Kristina Hooper says the unpredictable race could create additional volatility for investors, who, like the American electorate, need to be prepared for the unexpected.

Consumers Feeling Less Confident About the Future

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Last week, several consumer sentiment readings were released that show further weakness in confidence. As we move into May, the consumer is down—begging the question of whether the consumer is on the way out.

Earnings and the Dollar: What You Need to Know

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First quarter earnings thus far show the continued negative impact of a strong US dollar, says Kristina Hooper. But with the greenback's recent weakening, investors should pay closer attention to what's driving dollar fluctuations.

Is Oil Still Black Gold?

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Oil has had a vital, although shifting, relationship with the US economy and stock market over time. Kristina Hooper says the recent meeting in Doha reminds us just how much sway the price of oil has had on US stock market performance.

A Closer Look at Consumer Debt

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The US has become reliant on consumer spending as a key source of economic growth, accounting for over 70% of all GDP activity. As such, we need to pay close attention to consumer debt, says Kristina Hooper, for clues about the future of the US economy.

Greater Gradualism for the Greater Good

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The case for financial repression remains self-evident based on Fed Chair Yellen's dovish comments last week, says Kristina Hooper. In this environment, investors need to be vigilant about the potential for higher inflation.

Beyond Measure: The Costs of Terrorism

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The horrific terrorist attacks of the past week suggest that terrorism is likely to play a more prominent role in the investment landscape, leading to increased volatility for stocks as well as possibly oil prices, writes Kristina Hooper.

The Central Bank as Helicopter Parent

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In the absence of expansionary fiscal policies, many countries have relied solely on monetary policy. As central banks consider new and experimental tools, Kristina Hooper says "helicopter money" stands out.

Central Banks Get Busy as Investors Wait in the Balance

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This week is shaping up to be a critical one for central bank policy, says Kristina Hooper. After last week's confusing ECB meeting, the upcoming Fed and BOJ meetings should bring more volatility for asset classes—and hopefully more clarity for investors.

Is the US Stock Market Rally for Real?

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After a weak start to 2016, investors are becoming calmer as they adjust to volatile market conditions, enabling equities to rally. With doom not emerging in the US just yet, says Kristina Hooper, fear is all around us but not upon us.

The Slinky US Consumer

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Bolstered by job and wage gains but still somewhat tentative, Kristina Hooper says US consumers have been less like a tightly coiled spring and more like a Slinky—which moves slowly only to compress and uncoil once again.

Less Than Zero

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In the 1985 novel Less Than Zero, the characters seem intent on a race to the bottom. So too are the world's central banks, according to Kristina Hooper. Some have recently adopted negative interest rates with others set to follow down below zero.

5 Reasons to Keep Calm and Stay Diversified

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Recent market turmoil underscores the necessity of active management and the ability to take advantage of volatility. This is not a time to move to cash, but to take a longer-term view—with confidence—through periods of tumult.


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