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    January 1, 2024
    Wall Street is optimistic about 2024, but risks remain on the horizon, including potential disappointment surrounding interest rates.

    “I just think there’s still going to be challenges with the market perhaps being ahead of where the Fed is,” Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management told the Wall Street Journal. “And that’s OK, because volatility presents opportunities.”

    Read the Journal’s front-page article here (subscription required).
     
    December 27, 2023
    The case for owning BB-rated bonds has never been stronger, James Camp, CFA, Managing Director of Fixed Income and Strategic Income at Eagle Asset Management, told Bloomberg Television.

    “Since 2009, defaults have been almost non-existent in that space,” he said. BB- and BBB-rated bonds – “to us, the sweet spot of yield in credit” – together “encapsulate roughly half the investment-grade market, roughly half the high-yield market ... and if you look at a 6% yield relative to the equity risk premium and relative to most folks’ investment policy or investment objectives, that’s hitting a lot of marks. We think that’s going to be, especially for balanced investors, a very good entry point.”

    Watch Camp’s interview here for his additional thoughts on the likely path of the yield of the 10-year U.S. Treasury note. A separate Bloomberg article also quoted Camp on the development that has been “unambiguously good for bonds” during “an extraordinary couple of months for the bond market.” Read that article here. (Subscription required.)
     
    December 26, 2023
    What can investors expect in 2024?

    "Where people have been spending money is going to change," Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist for Raymond James Investment Management, said on Fox’s Mornings with Maria. Orton said many parts of the economy are starting to work again, which is why he recommends leaning into quality and away from businesses where consumers might not want to spend money.

    Watch his interview here.
     
    December 17, 2023
    After a year when seven mega-cap tech stocks dominated the S&P 500 Index, select small caps and emerging-market equities now could be poised to benefit from a falling dollar and lower interest rates.

    “You probably, hopefully, will not have the same sort of roller coaster of emotions that we have had going forward,” Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management told the Wall Street Journal. “We have moved to a little bit of a more normalized market environment where some of the stuff that hasn’t worked for a long time finally starts to work again.”

    Read the Journal’s front-page article here (subscription required).
     
    December 15, 2023
    How can investors adapt to U.S. Federal Reserve decisions in a market that tends to get ahead of itself?

    "Waiting for the market to come to you" has been a winning strategy over the past year says Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management.

    Watch his interview with CNBC's Power Lunch.
     
    December 14, 2023
    The timing is still very uncertain on future rate cuts from the U.S. Federal Reserve, but James Camp, CFA, Managing Director of Fixed Income and Strategic Income at Eagle Asset Management, does not expect the Fed to reduce interest rates in the first quarter of 2024.

    Read more in S&P Global Market Intelligence.
     
    December 11, 2023
    "We see the beginnings of recession actually hitting in the second quarter and we expect the Fed to cut (interest rates) at the back half of the year," said James Camp, CFA, Managing Director of Fixed Income and Strategic Income at Eagle Asset Management. Read his full remarks in Reuters.
     
    December 7, 2023
    “We know one thing about bonds,” says James Camp, CFA, Managing Director of Fixed Income and Strategic Income at Eagle Asset Management. “At peak Fed — and this goes back to the five tightening cycles that I’ve lived through — fixed income instruments outperform cash, unambiguously, 100% of the time.”.

    Watch his conversation with Becky Quick on CNBC’s Squawk Box discussing what the slowing rally in Treasuries means for fixed-income investors.
     
    October 27, 2023
    Even with a pause in rate hikes, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s statements on current economic conditions and his views on fiscal deficits will have significant short- and long-term impacts on markets, according to James Camp, CFA, Managing Director of Fixed Income and Strategic Income at Eagle Asset Management.

    Read the full article at CNBC.com (subscription required).
     
    October 26, 2023
    Leaning into quality is the playbook for Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management. His interview with CNBC TV-18 discussed how markets are realizing that the U.S. Federal Reserve is serious about “higher for longer” interest rates and why investors should prepare for an environment where quality investments can meaningfully outperform.

    The full interview with CNBC TV-18 has more of his thoughts.
     
    October 7, 2023
    With long-term interest rates rising, the Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced its first three-week decline since February. Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist for Raymond James Investment Management, told Nikkei Asia that rising rates have worsened investor sentiment.

    Read the full coverage here (Japanese language).
     
    October 2, 2023
    The U.S. Federal Reserve is keeping its foot on the brake, and interest rates will remain higher for longer. Student loan payments have resumed, and U.S. consumers are expected to be pinched going into the holiday season.

    However, it may be time for investors to start selectively looking for opportunities in the market. On Fox Business News, Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management, told Maria Bartiromo that he recommends looking at profitable companies with high-quality balance sheets and free cash flows. (No link available.)
     
    September 28, 2023
    Even though real rates are finally reflecting the true cost of capital, profitable companies are generating free cash flows that make them attractive to investors.

    "It's been a long time since I've been willing to buy a dip in the U.S. market, but I think we're finally getting to that point," said Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management.

    Watch his interview with CNBC TV-18 to hear his thoughts on the markets.
     
    September 26, 2023
    “Lean into quality,” Raymond James Investment Management Chief Market Strategist Matt Orton, CFA, told CNBC. “Profitability and strong balance sheets” are attributes of quality that many companies in the healthcare and energy sectors now provide. He also noted that companies in the industrials sector are benefitting from trends like the reshoring of manufacturing and increased capital expenditures by companies across many sectors.

    Watch the interview to learn more.
     
    September 14, 2023
    A global fund manager survey may show that investors are fleeing China, but Matt Orton, Chief Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management, sees opportunities in other emerging markets. In an interview with MarketWatch, he identified India, Taiwan, and South Korea as countries that have bright prospects. “Where investors are willing to do a little bit of homework, there’s definitely opportunities,” Orton said.

    The full MarketWatch article goes into more detail.
     
    September 14, 2023
    India is winning what China has lost now that more companies are reorganizing their supply chains, according to Matt Orton, Chief Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management. In his appearance on CNBC TV-18, he also discussed how increased energy costs are being driven by supply constraints and demand that has been stronger than investors are willing to acknowledge. Orton says that he'd be ready to put money to work if markets experienced a healthy pullback, but as always, quality counts.

    Watch the interview and learn more.
     
    August 24, 2023
    It’s still possible that the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) will raise rates in November. Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management, told Street Signs Asia that the Fed has maintained a “dogmatic focus” on getting inflation to its targeted 2% level.

    Orton said real interest rates reflect the actual cost of capital, and they continue to move higher, making it more important than ever to study company balance sheets and to lean into quality investments. “It’s unlikely that we're going to see the Fed take its foot off the brake," he said.

    Instead of a “hard landing” scenario, Orton expects a series of rolling recessions where individual industries cycle through their own downturns. This, he said, could provide investors with frequent opportunities for tactical reallocation.

    In Orton’s opinion, it’s “highly unlikely” that every sector will experience a simultaneous recession and everything trades down together. Although the Fed must thread a very fine needle, he said, "I do think it can land the plane where the data has been coming in."

    (No link available.)
     
    August 10, 2023
    Can the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) declare victory against inflation? Some of the data has been encouraging, says Matt Orton, Chief Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management, but it’s too early to say that the fight is over. Orton expects interest rates to remain higher for longer, even if the Fed pauses rate increases in September.

    Watch his full interview with CNBC TV-18 here.
     
    August 2, 2023
    Investors may be feeling positive for the first time in a while, but a key test will be whether they remain calm through a market correction. Matt Orton, Chief Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management, expects some consolidation ahead, warning clients not to chase the market higher.

    Watch his full interview on the TD Ameritrade network.
     
    August 2, 2023
    “Build versus buy” is a well-known decision framework for business strategies, and Raymond James investment Management is considering both approaches to developing new offerings. Private credit, secondary private equity, real estate, and infrastructure are some of the possibilities, in addition to actively managed exchange-traded funds.

    Bob Kendall, President of Raymond James Investment Management, shares his thoughts for expansion in CityWire (subscription required).
     
    July 27, 2023
    The U.S. Federal Reserve has implemented some of the most aggressive interest rate hikes in history, but inflation remains a major concern. Todd Thompson, CFA, managing director and portfolio co-manager at Reams Asset Management, discussed the central bank’s likely responses with S&P Global Market Intelligence.

    Read the article to learn more.
     
    July 19, 2023
    Earnings season has brought encouraging news from money center banks and some of the larger regional banks, with an inflection in the flight of deposits, improving deal flow, and continued signs of a healthy consumer, said Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management, told CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe. “The consumer has continued to surprise to the upside, and I think that has provided a lot of support not only for the economy as a whole but for corporate earnings,” he said. Once more regional banks start to report, it will be key to watch what’s going on with commercial real estate losses. Watch the full 10-minute interview here.
     
    July 12, 2023
    Inflation may be moving in the right direction, but Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management, told CNBC TV-18 that it's too early for the Fed to declare "mission accomplished."

    Watch the interview and learn more.
     
    July 11, 2023
    “Coming out of zero-COVID,” the performance of China, the world’s second-largest economy, has “definitely been disappointing,” but still “good enough that it hasn’t derailed the global growth story,” Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management, told the Wall Street Journal. A lot of semiconductor companies that have driven large-cap stocks into the artificial intelligence growth market “have high revenue exposure to China,” Orton said. Read the article here. (Subscription required.)
     
    June 29, 2023
    David R. Vaughn, CFA, Chief Investment Officer of Non-U.S. and Global Strategies at ClariVest, believes that longer-term growth potential and a significant valuation gap are reasons why investors with longer time horizons should consider emerging markets. Read more in this Forbes article.
     
    June 27, 2023
    There are several factors to consider when determining how fixed-income markets will behave in the second half of the year. James Camp, CFA, Managing Director of Fixed Income and Strategic Income at Eagle Asset Management, discussed them with Tom Keene and Lisa Abramowicz on Bloomberg Surveillance.

    Click here for Camp’s remarks on tight credit conditions, banks under stress, and how “the Fed’s work is really just starting.” (segment begins at 1:17:00).
     
    June 13, 2023
    After correctly predicting that the June meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee would result in a pause for interest rate hikes, Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management, told CNBCTV-18 that investors need to take the U.S. Federal Reserve at its word when it says that rate hikes may not be over. Watch the full video.
     
    June 5, 2023
    Although the U.S. may be just shy of entering a new bull market, market gains continue to be supported by a small number of companies. At the start of June, the S&P 500's information technology and communications services sectors had each gained more than 34%, but only five of the S&P 500’s 11 sectors are up for the year. Other sectors may catch up. In the meantime, Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management, told the Wall Street Journal that “I think you want to be leaning into higher-quality, low volatility names.” Read the full story here. (Subscription required.)
     
    May 30, 2023
    Once the drama of the debt ceiling is over, investors and central banks will be able to re-focus on economic data. Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management, told CNBC-TV18 that over the next six months, a strong economic outlook means that the U.S. Federal Reserve will have a difficult time cutting interest rates. “Inflation’s certainly coming down,” he said, “but there’s persistent pressure.” Click here to watch the full interview.
     
    May 24, 2023
    Asset managers looking to grow need to focus on a few key areas, including long-term decision-making, clients’ needs, cultural alignment, and broader distribution, Bob Kendall, President of Raymond James Investment Management, told Ignites. Fund companies can build internal distribution teams that target clients by segment, but doing so is expensive, he said. They can also work with third-party distributors, or they can “look to be acquired by a larger platform that will respect their independence while providing efficiencies of scale,” Kendall said. “Managers can make money in this new paradigm of ever-compressing fees, but it’s easier to do so with preexisting back-office functions, versus having to create those functions individually.”
    Click here for the full article (subscription required).
     
    May 1, 2023
    How are professional investors reacting to fears of recession and expectations that the Fed may end its rate tightening cycle? Todd Thompson, CFA, managing director and portfolio co-manager at Reams Asset Management, told Reuters that outsized moves in Treasuries and debt ceiling uncertainty could make a case for maintaining neutral-duration portfolio strategies. Read more in the article.
     
    April 28, 2023
    “The economy has held up much better than a lot of folks have feared, and the consumer wallet is still open,” Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management, told CNBC’s Closing Bell: Overtime. Consumer spending and company earnings suggest that worst-case scenarios are unlikely, but “the Fed is going to be the big question mark.” Click here for more of his thoughts on company earnings.
     
    April 27, 2023
    Although bond yields are changing, it might not be a good time to abandon effective investment approaches. From a credit selection perspective, "we still think it makes sense to focus on strong companies and defensive sectors, whether in investment grade or high yield," Bishop Jordan, senior credit analyst at Eagle Asset Management, told Reuters. Read more in the full article.
     
    April 18, 2023
    What’s coming next from the U.S. Federal Reserve: A pause, a pivot, or preparation for another hike? Todd Thompson, CFA, Managing Director and Portfolio Co-Manager at Reams Asset Management, discussed the possibilities with Bloomberg. “Our thesis in credit is that you want to be on the long side and we do expect the Fed to pivot and ease,” Thompson said.
    Read the full story here.
     
    March 30, 2023
    U.S. equities don’t seem fazed by a trio of midsized bank failures touched off by the implosion of Silicon Valley Bank, Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management, told the Wall Street Journal. “Market fears of broader contagion are limited,” Orton said. “The market is starting to coalesce around the fact that this was not a systemic risk event. It was very idiosyncratic, and specific to issues at certain banks.” Read the full story here. (Subscription required.)
     
    March 30, 2023
    “The script has flipped” regarding the relationship between the yields of the 10-year Treasury note and the S&P 500 Index, James Camp, CFA, Managing Director of Fixed Income and Strategic Income at Eagle Asset Management, told Barron’s. So it’s no surprise that Investors have moved cash out of dividend-focused mutual funds as rising yields make bonds more competitive. “There are alternatives for income investors,” Camp said. Click here to read more.
     
    March 24, 2023
    The crisis in the banking sector stands to slow the process of replacing the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) with the Federal Reserve's Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), Matt Orton, CFA, told Reuters. "Only about 15% to 20% of outstanding loans are using SOFR and I fully expect to see administrative logjams for borrowers, lenders, lawyers, and bankers,” Orton said. "One of the hurdles in the flip to SOFR has been in agreeing to amendments that address credit spread adjustments, and the wild swings in the market will only add to lender reticence to resolve these issues in the near term.” Click here for the full article.
     
    March 8, 2023
    “I think the markets have misread (U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome) Powell all along, and I think yesterday’s comments were kind of trying to put a damper on risk assets that started the year on fire back in January,” James Camp, CFA, Managing Director of Fixed and Strategic Income at Eagle Asset Management, told CNBC’s Squawk Box. “To get inflation back to long-term trend,” interest rates are “going to have to be higher for considerably longer than I think people were really ready to believe.” Click here for the Camp’s thoughts on monetary policy and the timing of a possible recession.
     
    February 17, 2023
    Can high-growth, rate-sensitive stocks like tech continue to outperform in a rising rate environment? Don’t count on it, Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management, told Reuters. “The textbooks have not been rewritten,” he said. “In a higher rate regime, profitability matters. Fundamentals will start to catch up." Read the full column here.
     
    February 14, 2023
    “Where I think the market continues to miss the mark is in expecting that the Fed isn’t going to keep its foot on the brakes for a longer period of time,” Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management, told CNBC-TV18 in India. “Higher for longer is going to remain the thesis, and bond markets have started to come around to that. Bond market pricing is much closer aligned to what Fed guidance has been. The issue is in the equity markets and particularly in the lower-quality, higher-duration parts of the market.” Click here for Orton’s thoughts how high interest rates could get as well as why he favors remaining more defensive in core positioning.
     
    February 8, 2023
    “Moving forward, there’s no question that the weakening dollar is going to be positive on the margin” for growth stocks, including those in the tech sector, Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management, told the Wall Street Journal. That said, Orton said he expects technology demand to remain the most important driver of the sector’s growth. Read more here.
     
    February 2, 2023
    Stocks face questions two key Asian markets – India, because of controversy centered on a massive conglomerate there, and China, because of regulatory crackdowns – but those aren’t Asia’s only options for global investors, said Matt Orton, CFA, Chief Market Strategist at Raymond James Investment Management. “I think China is overbought in the near term,” Orton told CNBC-TV18 in India, so “look at some of the other Asian emerging market countries, like the Philippines, which has been an outperformer, Thailand, South Korea, and Taiwan, which are large semiconductor areas and the market is becoming much more optimistic there. So I think you want to lean into the China re-opening story, but you can do so by finding other countries that don’t have those regulatory risks that still have solid growth and are going to benefit from China re-opening and more global trade.” Click here to listen to the interview.
     

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