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Integrated Insights -- Week of March 15, 2021

Integrated Insights -- Week of March 15, 2021

| March 15, 2021
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Stocks touched new record highs last week as bond yields steadied, a fiscal relief bill was signed into law, and confidence in a strong economic recovery grew. As we unpack the American Rescue Plan in the coming weeks, we will be sure to provide salient thoughts on its direct impact to our clients.

Here's what I'm reading this week.

Weekly Commentary -- A strong restart, not a recovery -- BlackRock

  • BlackRock lay out three reasons they see a strong economic restart (namely, the distinct nature of the shock, broad-based pent-up demand, and different inflation dynamics) rather than a normal recovery, and believe markets still underappreciate its size and speed.

  • U.S. Treasury yields hit 13-month highs. We see the recent rise in real yields as justified given the growth outlook and remain tactically pro-risk.

  • Investor focus is set to shift to policy meetings of major central banks for their reaction to rising yields, after passage of the $1.9 trillion U.S. fiscal package.

Four Reasons Why the Odds May Be Stacked Against US Equities -- Hartford Funds

Non-US equities have underperformed for the past decade, but we may now have reached a turning point in this cycle. Hartford thinks through 4 reasons why International exposure may be on the comeback.

1. Cyclical Opportunities Lie Outside the US

2. US Valuations Are at Their Peak

3. President Biden Could Prove to be a Tailwind for Emerging Markets

4. Tech-Market Concentration May Hinder Future US Performance

The coming M&A wave -- Capital Group

Will M&A play a significant role in the post-pandemic world? Companies often rely on mergers & acquisitions to transform their businesses by buying, selling or divesting assets, and 2021 is shaping up to be a big year for deal making. M&A activity hit $484.5 billion for January and February, up 33% compared to last year.

  

NCAA Tournament Bracket of College Costs -- Columbia Threadneedle

Columbia Threadneedle posted a copy of this year's NCAA Basketball Tournament bracket with a twist--the 4 year cost to attend the school is listed next to each tournament team.  This is a sobering look at the current cost of higher education and a reminder for those looking to support a student through college education.

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