This content is from: Portfolio

Daily Agenda: Market Tranquility Amid the Violence

Four more asset management firms halt U.K. commercial property trading; U.S. economy posts 287,000 new jobs.

On a day when headlines in the U.S. are dominated by violence, markets remained calm with European equities and futures contracts for U.S. stocks rising. In the wake of a Federal Open Market Committee notes release that indicated growing concern among US policymakers that the job market is cooling, today’s job report provided some assurance to investors that more easing is likely in the developed world.

Four more asset management firms stop trading in U.K. commercial property. Henderson Global Investors, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, and Canada Life suspended operations on their U.K. commercial property funds; and Aberdeen Asset Management cut the value of its fund by 17 percent and halted withdrawals. Brexit-related concerns have left investors feeling jittery over the stability of the property market in the U.K. as companies mull whether or not to move European operations elsewhere. This brings the number of asset management firms suspending their U.K. property funds to seven since the June 23 Brexit vote.

287,000 new jobs last month. The U.S. economy added 287,000 new jobs during the month of June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report released this morning. The unemployment rate edged somewhat upward, however, from 4.7 percent to 4.9 percent. Nonetheless, the official jobless rate has remained below the 5 percent threshold since last fall — a factor likely to weigh on discourse both at the Fed and at this month’s Democratic and Republican conventions.

Bridgewater’s McDonald’s-themed fund outperforming flagship. Bridgewater Associates’ $60.7 billion All-Weather fund has logged 10 percent performance this year, far outperforming the firm’s mainstay $62 billion Pure Alpha fund, which has fallen 12 percent the first six months of this year, its worst first-half performance in more than two decades. The All-Weather fund is nicknamed its “McDonald’s” fund because it employs similar strategies that firm founder Ray Dalio used to advise fast-food chain McDonald’s on how to hedge its Chicken McNugget costs. Bridgewater Associates, founded in 1975, is the world’s largest hedge fund firm, with more than $150 billion in assets under management.

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