Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

UC Speaker Talks Stock Market Ups, Downs in 2016

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

UC Speaker Talks Stock Market Ups, Downs in 2016

Article excerpt

The stock market can be a hard thing to predict, and the uncertainty that has followed its worst January performance in seven years has driven its day-to-day flux more than anything else, a premier investment strategist told those gathered Tuesday for the University of Charleston's Speaker Series. Mark Luschini, the chief investment strategist for the Investment Strategy Group and the chief investment officer of Janney Capitol Management, visited UC as part of its speaker series to discuss the world events and domestic policies that continue to influence the U.S. economy years after its 2008 financial crisis. According to Luschini, while most financial analysts don't expect a big resurgence for more aggressive stocks in the near future, there are a number of factors that lead most to be "cautiously optimistic about the country's financial recovery.

"The wherewithal to spend is there, consumers have repaired their balance sheets, debt as a percentage of household income is back down to near 20-year lows, and the service cost of debt, given the low interest rate policy that the Federal Reserve has engineered, has also made the service costs of what debt households do have today the lowest we've seen in more than two decades, he said. "That confluence of factors, we believe, is so important for profiling a picture for the consumer that is quite healthy and quite robust.

Luschini noted several positive trends in the economy, including that the rate of unemployment claims is at a 40-year low, and that the U.S.'s aggregate household net worth is roughly $83 trillion, 20 percent more than when it last peaked in 2007.

China, which has seen a severe economic downturn in recent years that has impacted other emerging markets globally, has shown signs of recovery, Luschini said, and parts of Europe are also bouncing back after years of downturn.

"We're starting to see tentative green shoots; tentative signs, if you will, that China's economy is starting to slow down in its descent, if not re-accelerate somewhat, he said. …

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