Explore our thinking about today's financial markets


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U.S. labor market — 55 is the new 65

July 15, 2021  |  Fixed income

Following broad-based recovery in the labor market when the economy initially reopened in 2020, the labor force participation rate has stagnated and started to diverge.

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U.S. labor market — 55 is the new 65

Capital Markets Outlook

Fed's hawkish pivot shouldn't stoke inflation fears

Fed's hawkish pivot shouldn't stoke inflation fears

July 14, 2021  |  Capital Markets Outlook

We take a closer look at inflation, unfilled jobs, and semiconductor shortages.

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Fixed Income Outlook

Bond markets in flux on rates and inflation outlook

Bond markets in flux on rates and inflation outlook

July 28, 2021  |  Fixed Income Outlook

Global financial markets were mixed during the second quarter.

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Equity Insights

The small-cap index changes, but our process stays the same

The small-cap index changes, but our process stays the same

July 1, 2021  |  Equity Insights

The makeup of the small-cap growth universe can change dramatically over time, but we focus on what drives stock prices over longer time periods.

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All posts
U.S. labor market — 55 is the new 65

U.S. labor market — 55 is the new 65

Following broad-based recovery in the labor market when the economy initially reopened in 2020, the labor force participation rate has stagnated and started to diverge.

More

State financial health adds to muni appeal

State financial health adds to muni appeal

State financial health has improved as tax receipts rebound and states receive sizable federal aid.

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Toys, cars, and the U.S. recovery

Toys, cars, and the U.S. recovery

We believe growth in the United States remains strong, but expectations need to be revised lower.

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Don't overlook international small caps

Don't overlook international small caps

When focused on diversification one asset class that is often overlooked is non-U.S. small-caps.

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Time-as-a-Service, anyone?

Time-as-a-Service, anyone?

The evolution of time-as-a-service illustrates the changing nature of economic moats, competitive advantages that protect a company’s market share.

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Fiscal impetus and the U.S. labor market

Fiscal impetus and the U.S. labor market

We examine the interplay between President Biden's multi-trillion-dollar stimulus plans, the labor market, and corporate profits.

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If taxes go higher, will munis be hurt?

If taxes go higher, will munis be hurt?

The Administration's recent plan would increase the highest marginal income tax rate but would not likely impact muni yields.

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China technology stocks in a reboot, not a shutdown

China technology stocks in a reboot, not a shutdown

China’s technology sector has cratered since February and we view the selloff as a buying opportunity in China tech.

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From V-shaped recovery to bond vigilantes

From V-shaped recovery to bond vigilantes

The Federal Reserve remains dovish on monetary policy as bond market vigilantes push yields higher.

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Clean energy: Myths, reality, and opportunities

Clean energy: Myths, reality, and opportunities

We believe many companies are poised to benefit significantly from the big shift toward renewable energy.

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Pandemic recovery: Who may benefit once the dust settles?

Pandemic recovery: Who may benefit once the dust settles?

Uncertainty still surrounds the future of Covid-19 and various vaccines, but we're already seeing clear differences in consumer and business behavior since the pandemic.

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American Rescue Plan strengthens state and local finances

American Rescue Plan strengthens state and local finances

The American Rescue Plan Act provides billions in federal stimulus to states and local governments.

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Why think twice about investing in an EM ETF

Why think twice about investing in an EM ETF

Active management can offer superior performance when investing in an emerging markets ETF.

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Massachusetts budget taps rainy day fund, federal aid

Massachusetts budget taps rainy day fund, federal aid

The Governor of Massachusetts introduced a budget proposal that includes a withdrawal from the state’s rainy day fund and federal aid to balance the budget.

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Company diversity and social justice

Company diversity and social justice

Company diversity is a step toward equity and equity is a step toward inclusion, which is important to company success.

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Munis in demand with new taxes possible

Munis in demand with new taxes possible

Demand for municipal bonds continues to be robust in 2021.

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New York confident about recovery

New York confident about recovery

New York leaders are confident about the state's economic recovery.

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Thinking about growth investment? Consider your exposures.

Thinking about growth investment? Consider your exposures.

The technology and healthcare sectors stand apart for bringing new products, ideas, and services to market.

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New medicines and digital tools target mental health

New medicines and digital tools target mental health

In recent years, there have been several developments for treating mental health. These innovations — which come after decades of slower-paced advances — include novel drugs and digital offerings.

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Is inflation poised to return?

Is inflation poised to return?

We believe that pandemic-related bottlenecks have temporarily lifted U.S. inflation. Still, the underlying inflation trend is weak.

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California budget outlook brightens

California budget outlook brightens

With revenues coming in higher than projected, the outlook for the California budget is positive in the near term.

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Mental health is a business issue: How companies are supporting their employees

Mental health is a business issue: How companies are supporting their employees

Companies are beginning to focus more on mental health at work, and some are offering a wider range of supportive and preventive care.

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U.K. starts new chapter after EU split

U.K. starts new chapter after EU split

It is strategic for the U.K. to have a trade deal with the EU given the short- and long-term negative effects of Brexit.

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Vaccine not in time for jobs recovery

Vaccine not in time for jobs recovery

The U.S. labor market continues to lose steam as fewer Americans were able to find work amid surging Covid-19 cases.

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Record-setting muni issuance pauses post-election

Record-setting muni issuance pauses post-election

Muni issuance pauses post-election, but reinvestment demand typically increases near year-end.

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Oil markets pin hope on vaccine and OPEC+

Oil markets pin hope on vaccine and OPEC+

Oil prices are likely to trend slightly higher as OPEC+ mulls maintaining lower output in 2021 and demand recovers in key markets such as China.

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Calls for new stimulus as recovery fizzles

Calls for new stimulus as recovery fizzles

Governments are trying to calibrate their policies to support growth as “fiscal cliffs” loom amid a resurgence in the virus.

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Post-election option markets show uncertainty for new reasons

Post-election option markets show uncertainty for new reasons

Two weeks after Election Day, we believe the markets have a lot more clarity, but options markets reveal uncertainty.

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U.S. politics amid virus surge

U.S. politics amid virus surge

U.S. election politics are playing out against a backdrop of an easing recovery, rising COVID-19 cases, and a potential new vaccine.

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Munis outpace Treasuries, taxable bonds

Munis outpace Treasuries, taxable bonds

The recovery in the municipal bond market continued in the third quarter as munis outpaced U.S. Treasuries and the broader taxable bond market.

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China leads, other emerging markets lag

China leads, other emerging markets lag

China is leading the economic recovery among emerging-market countries, buoyed by stimulus and stringent COVID-19 measures.

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Pandemic persists in policy patchwork

Pandemic persists in policy patchwork

Fiscal and monetary policies will be central to the economic recovery between now and the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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U.S. economy remains a centerpiece in 2020 vote

U.S. economy remains a centerpiece in 2020 vote

Fiscal policy will be a key focus for investors after the November election.

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The global economy and the race for a vaccine

The global economy and the race for a vaccine

The development of a vaccine will play a role in shaping the global economic comeback in 2021.

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If taxes move higher, demand for munis may surge

If taxes move higher, demand for munis may surge

The likelihood of higher taxes in the future could boost demand for tax-advantaged investments including munis.

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Keeping Japan's economy afloat after Abe

Keeping Japan's economy afloat after Abe

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's resignation raises questions about the future of Abenomics and reform in Japan.

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Investors returning to municipal bond funds

Investors returning to municipal bond funds

Municipal bond funds rebounded in the second quarter as investors returned to asset classes they abandoned early in the pandemic.

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Muni-bond market slowly reviving from COVID-19 setback

Muni-bond market slowly reviving from COVID-19 setback

The Fed helped the muni-bond market revive the muni-debt market as states and local governments grappled with revenue disruptions.

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The Fed’s flexible new policy

The Fed’s flexible new policy

The Fed announced a shift in its approach to monetary policy and the new strategy can be viewed as a flexible form of average inflation targeting.

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The future is happening faster now

The future is happening faster now

We rarely see as much disruption as we have seen in 2020, and we believe this offers investment opportunities.

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Perspective on keeping perspective

Perspective on keeping perspective

Five months into our pandemic environment, financial professionals are looking for ways to keep their work in perspective.

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Deglobalization creates new winners in China

Deglobalization creates new winners in China

The trade war, pandemic, and the Made in China 2025 initiative are resulting in a deglobalization trend and opportunities in China.

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Staying at home increases spending on homes

Staying at home increases spending on homes

As the economy continues to be challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing two notable trends in the U.S. housing industry.

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V-shaped recovery proving elusive

V-shaped recovery proving elusive

The U.S. and global economic recoveries are unlikely to be “V-shaped” as businesses and consumers remain wary of returning to pre-pandemic behavior.

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Vaccine is a wild card for the economy

Vaccine is a wild card for the economy

A vaccine for the coronavirus will be supportive of risky assets even if the economic benefits take longer to materialize.

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Risk sentiment swings with Fed tapering

Risk sentiment swings with Fed tapering

Without a proactive Fed, the rally in risk assets would be in trouble.

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Europe displays rare unity over relief fund

Europe displays rare unity over relief fund

In a step toward closer ties, European Union leaders plan to discuss a recovery fund for countries hardest hit by the pandemic.

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U.S.–China war of words playbook

U.S.–China war of words playbook

The politics of the U.S.–China relationship have clearly become more complicated recently. The war of words over China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and the proposed new Hong Kong security law has the potential to create headwinds for the global economy and financial markets.

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Disruptive change: A growth driver for small companies

Disruptive change: A growth driver for small companies

Disruptive change is often the force that enables small companies to compete against their larger peers.

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Navigating market turmoil: Our intrinsic value compass

Navigating market turmoil: Our intrinsic value compass

Our investments in the communications sector help illustrate our intrinsic value approach to finding opportunities.

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U.S. economic fog lifts slightly

U.S. economic fog lifts slightly

It is encouraging that some stabilization has started in the United States and the economic data fog is lifting just a little; but we forecast a low probability of a "V-shaped" recovery.

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Sustainability research: A week in the life of our team

Sustainability research: A week in the life of our team

Our research includes discussions with company managements, other researchers and investors, industry and subject experts, and non-profit organizations.

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Behavioral shifts bring investment opportunities

Behavioral shifts bring investment opportunities

Many businesses that have been resilient and strong during the COVID-19 crisis are likely to become even stronger in the aftermath.

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Coronavirus tests limits of U.S. stimulus plans

Coronavirus tests limits of U.S. stimulus plans

The coronavirus pandemic is testing the limits of fiscal and monetary policy responses from Congress and the Federal Reserve to boost the economy and calm financial markets.

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Sustainable value: Gender diversity on corporate boards

Sustainable value: Gender diversity on corporate boards

Diversity in companies — including gender diversity — can have a positive impact on company performance and strategic ability.

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Stumbling toward a fiscal equilibrium in the eurozone

Stumbling toward a fiscal equilibrium in the eurozone

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe will be severe amid stimulus efforts by policymakers, including the European Central Bank, to cushion the blow.

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Bracing for a slow U.S. recovery

Bracing for a slow U.S. recovery

U.S. economic recovery will likely be slow and halting as coronavirus health risks cast a shadow on demand.

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ESG issues alive in healthcare

ESG issues alive in healthcare

Our team analyzes medical costs and access as ESG issues affecting human well-being and sustainable economic development.

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What’s next for the hard-hit financials sector?

What’s next for the hard-hit financials sector?

The financials sector has been among the hardest hit from the COVID-19-induced equity market selloff, but there are reasons for optimism.

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Perspectives on COVID-19

Perspectives on COVID-19

Putnam’s health-care analysts and portfolio managers offer their outlooks and perspectives on key aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Oil’s wild ride and what lies ahead

Oil’s wild ride and what lies ahead

Demand for oil has collapsed as the coronavirus pandemic devastates the global economy and curbs much of the need for fuel from companies and consumers.

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Navigating bond yields

Navigating bond yields

The trajectory of bonds yields will depend on the Federal Reserve's policies and fiscal stimulus amid a sharp global economic downturn.

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Investing for growth in volatile markets

Investing for growth in volatile markets

Putnam portfolio managers discuss managing risk and finding investment opportunities in challenging markets.

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Social distancing generates recession

Social distancing generates recession

A recession is looming in the United States as COVID-19 and social distancing take a toll on economic activity.

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Manager insights: Bulls, bears, and bond markets

Manager insights: Bulls, bears, and bond markets

With the extreme swings in the market over the last few weeks, several of Putnam’s senior fixed-income managers shared their insights on the bond markets.

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Equity opportunities in challenging markets

Equity opportunities in challenging markets

Putnam’s equity investment professionals recently discussed market conditions, their strategies, and their outlooks.

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Recessions and the equity market:  A framework for investors

Recessions and the equity market: A framework for investors

In these days of significant market volatility, investors are looking for a framework.

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Slowing the spread of COVID-19 entails economic disruption

Slowing the spread of COVID-19 entails economic disruption

The global economic outlook has deteriorated because of the coronavirus pandemic amid rising supply and demand disruptions.

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The Fed reacts to coronavirus economic risks

The Fed reacts to coronavirus economic risks

The Fed made a proactive move to reduce the federal funds rate by 50 basis points.

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Tax-free muni strategies in a low-rate world

Tax-free muni strategies in a low-rate world

Tax-free muni strategies may provide a competitive yield, and preserve capital, whether economic growth accelerates or remains slow.

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The impact of coronavirus on markets

The impact of coronavirus on markets

The spread of coronavirus infections is having an impact on China’s GDP and on financial market sentiment worldwide.

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Mapping the virus toll on China

Mapping the virus toll on China

The coronavirus poses a risk to China's growth as the government races to contain the outbreak, and the global economy could suffer.

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Is another round of Fed rate cuts looming?

Is another round of Fed rate cuts looming?

The Federal Reserve may lower its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points in 2020 if sustained financial market stress affects economic activity against a backdrop of the coronavirus epidemic.

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The SECURE Act opens a new frontier for 401(k)s

The SECURE Act opens a new frontier for 401(k)s

The SECURE Act represents significant changes to retirement savings and could drive a expansion of workplace retirement savings plans including 401(k)s.

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Solutions to antibiotic resistance

Solutions to antibiotic resistance

As the focus on natural ingredients intensifies, so has concern about antibiotic use in food production.

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China's economy braces for fallout from coronavirus

China's economy braces for fallout from coronavirus

There will be some temporary disruption to economic activity in China and elsewhere from the coronavirus outbreak.

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Bond yields in early 2020 likely to stay range bound

Bond yields in early 2020 likely to stay range bound

Bond yields will likely stay range bound in early 2020 as the economy shifts to a lower gear and central banks shift to neutral.

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Millennial money drives 401(k) plan evolution

Millennial money drives 401(k) plan evolution

Growing in number, the Millennial generation is having an impact on the evolution of 401(k) plan design.

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Linking impact and performance

Linking impact and performance

Often, the same elements that create environmental and social benefits are driving positive financial performance.

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Fed relieves pressure on repo market

Fed relieves pressure on repo market

In recent weeks, the Federal Reserve has provided billions of dollars of liquidity for participants in the market for repurchase agreements, or repos, to stabilize interest rates following a spike in mid-September.

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Engaging with allies to advance sustainable investing

Engaging with allies to advance sustainable investing

We collaborate with institutions to examine and understand the financial impacts of sustainability.

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Will the improving housing market further divide the Fed?

Will the improving housing market further divide the Fed?

The Fed remains divided on the trajectory of interest rates; a pick up in U.S. housing activity may increase this division.

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Talking sustainability with CEOs

Talking sustainability with CEOs

We have ongoing dialogue with the management teams of companies in which we invest, across a wide range of sustainability-related topics.

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An inverted yield curve: Recession or stagnation?

An inverted yield curve: Recession or stagnation?

The Treasury yield curve briefly inverted in August, rattling markets with the possibility of a recession.

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Sustainability analysis enhances research

Sustainability analysis enhances research

An intense focus on sustainability has the potential to deliver strong returns to investors while also benefiting communities and the environment.

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July rate cut: “Insurance” policy or recession guard?

July rate cut: “Insurance” policy or recession guard?

The Federal Reserve delivered on its widely expected quarter-percentage point interest-rate cut at the July meeting. It was the first reduction since 2008 and came in response to slowing global economic growth and muted inflation.

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The SECURE Act: Completing an unfinished masterpiece

The SECURE Act: Completing an unfinished masterpiece

Congress is considering the SECURE Act, which would enhance workplace retirement savings plans and extend access to millions of workers.

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Trade war fallout can hurt risky assets

Trade war fallout can hurt risky assets

The simmering trade war between the United States and China is expected to continue, and could put the economy at risk.

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Implications of the Huawei export ban

Implications of the Huawei export ban

With Huawei blocked by the U.S. Commerce Department from buying U.S. technology, we discuss ramifications on the technology sector and how the ban may end.

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Trade tensions could reduce global GDP

Trade tensions could reduce global GDP

There is a significant likelihood that U.S.-China trade tensions will remain high. Effects on global GDP effects are uncertain, but could exceed 1%.

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