April 21, 2017

For the week ending 21 April 2017

  • Tensions on Korean peninsula high
  • UK’s May calls snap election
  • US tax reform likely delayed
  • Four seek to advance to French runoff election
  • China’s growth picks up


Global equities were up for the week as investors focused on strong US corporate earnings and overlooked increasing geopolitical tension and a likely delay in US tax reform. US Treasury yields continued their drift lower to 2.22% as investors remain concerned about the French elections and the diminished prospects of US fiscal stimulus. Oil prices gave back all of last week's gains, with West Texas Intermediate dropping to nearly $50 from last week's close of $53.25. Volatility, as measured by the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility index, moderated to 14.7, down from 16 last week. 

For the week ending 21 April 2017

  • Tensions on Korean peninsula high
  • UK’s May calls snap election
  • US tax reform likely delayed
  • Four seek to advance to French runoff election
  • China’s growth picks up


Global equities were up for the week as investors focused on strong US corporate earnings and overlooked increasing geopolitical tension and a likely delay in US tax reform. US Treasury yields continued their drift lower to 2.22% as investors remain concerned about the French elections and the diminished prospects of US fiscal stimulus. Oil prices gave back all of last week's gains, with West Texas Intermediate dropping to nearly $50 from last week's close of $53.25. Volatility, as measured by the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility index, moderated to 14.7, down from 16 last week. 

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James Jessee, CLU, CIMA

President of MFS Fund Distributors, Inc., Co-Head of Global Distribution

James A. Jessee, CIMA®, CLU®, is president of MFS Fund Distributors, Inc. (MFD) and co-head of Global Distribution for MFS Investment Management® (MFS®). He is also a member of the firm’s Management Committee.

Jim was named president of MFD in 2004 and co-head of global distribution in 2011. His group oversees the marketing and sales of MFS’ US- and Luxembourg-registered mutual fund product lines. His team works with global intermediaries at banks, broker/dealers,
insurance companies, retirement platforms and other advisory practices to distribute the firm’s investment products.

Previously, Jim served as director of MFS Dealer Relations, as national sales manager for MFS Private Portfolio Services and as a wholesaler, covering the southeastern United States for 15 years. He joined MFS in 1987.

Jim earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Richmond in 1980. He is a member of the ICI Board of Governors. He is also a Certified Investment Management Analyst® and Chartered Life Underwriter®.

April 20, 2017

by James Jessee, CLU, CIMA, President of MFS Fund Distributors, Inc., Co-Head of Global Distribution

No matter how the investment and economic environments change, there is one constant: investors will always have concerns that keep them up at night. A lot of the current angst is understandable, given global political instability, skyrocketing health care costs and market complexity. Fortunately most of these concerns aren't insurmountable. Advisors well-equipped to have insightful and sometimes tough and honest conversations with their clients, can ultimately help them take charge of their financial health.
 

But it's not always easy to stay on top of every client's pain points. That's where MFS comes in. For more than 90 years, we've created resources and tools to help financial advisors keep their clients invested and on track to meet their long-term goals. In fact, our flagship program, Heritage Planning, is now celebrating a 20-year anniversary. For two decades we've been giving advisors the actionable support they need to help clients. As part of that program, we recently conducted our 2017 Heritage Planning Survey, to gauge what worries investors most today. 

April 20, 2017

by James Jessee, CLU, CIMA, President of MFS Fund Distributors, Inc., Co-Head of Global Distribution

No matter how the investment and economic environments change, there is one constant: investors will always have concerns that keep them up at night. A lot of the current angst is understandable, given global political instability, skyrocketing health care costs and market complexity. Fortunately most of these concerns aren't insurmountable. Advisors well-equipped to have insightful and sometimes tough and honest conversations with their clients, can ultimately help them take charge of their financial health.
 

But it's not always easy to stay on top of every client's pain points. That's where MFS comes in. For more than 90 years, we've created resources and tools to help financial advisors keep their clients invested and on track to meet their long-term goals. In fact, our flagship program, Heritage Planning, is now celebrating a 20-year anniversary. For two decades we've been giving advisors the actionable support they need to help clients. As part of that program, we recently conducted our 2017 Heritage Planning Survey, to gauge what worries investors most today. 

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Joseph C. Flaherty, Jr.

Chief Investment Risk Officer

Joseph C. Flaherty, Jr., is an investment officer and chief investment risk officer at MFS Investment Management. He is the director of the MFS Quantitative Solutions team, chairman of the Investment Management Committee, a member of the MFS Global Equity Management team and the MFS Global Fixed Income team, and a portfolio manager for the firm’s asset allocation and target date portfolios.

Joe joined MFS as a fixed income quantitative research associate in 1993 and was named quantitative research analyst in 1996. He became manager of the Quantitative Research Group and portfolio manager in 1999, director of Fixed Income Quantitative Research in 2004 and director of the Quantitative Solutions team in 2005.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Tufts University and an MBA from Bentley University. 

Our portfolio managers are supported by our entire team of investment professionals in nine worldwide offices. The team employs a proprietary investment process to build better insights for our clients. The core principles of our approach are integrated research, global collaboration and active risk management.

April 14, 2017

by Joseph C. Flaherty, Jr., Chief Investment Risk Officer

Contrary to what the news headlines report, we believe active management has the strength to survive. In fact, after the current bull market comes to an end, the ability to generate index-beating returns will be even more important. Many investors are dealing with a growing set of challenges — from shrinking time horizons to greater cost sensitivity and tighter investment constraints. Active managers will need to adapt their investment approach to meet these changing investor demands. We had the foresight to do this 16 years ago. By combining fundamental research with a highly systematic quantitative research and risk-based portfolio construction process, we created our Blended Research® capability to help more fee-sensitive, outcome-oriented clients meet their investment needs.

April 14, 2017

by Joseph C. Flaherty, Jr., Chief Investment Risk Officer

Contrary to what the news headlines report, we believe active management has the strength to survive. In fact, after the current bull market comes to an end, the ability to generate index-beating returns will be even more important. Many investors are dealing with a growing set of challenges — from shrinking time horizons to greater cost sensitivity and tighter investment constraints. Active managers will need to adapt their investment approach to meet these changing investor demands. We had the foresight to do this 16 years ago. By combining fundamental research with a highly systematic quantitative research and risk-based portfolio construction process, we created our Blended Research® capability to help more fee-sensitive, outcome-oriented clients meet their investment needs.

April 13, 2017

For the week ending 13 April 2017

  • Trump may nominate Yellen to second term
  • Geopolitical tensions rise
  • Four candidates in French presidential mix
  • Fed chair: Economy healthy now
  • Canadian central bank head warns on house prices

 

Global equities dipped this week with the intensification of geopolitical jitters over rising tensions on the Korean peninsula and the possibility of a stronger US commitment to oust Syria’s Russian-backed leader Bashar al-Assad. A safe-haven bid pushed the yield on the US 10-year Treasury note down to its lowest point of the year at 2.25%. Oil prices continued their rebound, with West Texas Intermediate crude rising to $53.25 from $52 a week ago. Volatility, as measured by the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility index, jumped to 16 from 12.8 last week. 

For the week ending 13 April 2017

  • Trump may nominate Yellen to second term
  • Geopolitical tensions rise
  • Four candidates in French presidential mix
  • Fed chair: Economy healthy now
  • Canadian central bank head warns on house prices

 

Global equities dipped this week with the intensification of geopolitical jitters over rising tensions on the Korean peninsula and the possibility of a stronger US commitment to oust Syria’s Russian-backed leader Bashar al-Assad. A safe-haven bid pushed the yield on the US 10-year Treasury note down to its lowest point of the year at 2.25%. Oil prices continued their rebound, with West Texas Intermediate crude rising to $53.25 from $52 a week ago. Volatility, as measured by the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility index, jumped to 16 from 12.8 last week. 

April 7, 2017

For the week ending 7 April 2017

  • US March nonfarm payrolls rise 98,000
  • US launches missile attack against Syria
  • Trump, Xi hold summit
  • Fed to begin shrinking balance sheet
  • European manufacturing speeds up
  • South Africa suffers credit downgrade


Global equities were little changed this week despite an uptick in geopolitical jitters following the US missile strike on a Syrian airbase and a potential shift in tactics by the US Federal Reserve later this year. The lackluster employment report, coupled with the attack against Syria, helped push US 10-year Treasury notes to 2.28%, their lowest intraday yield of 2017, on Friday morning. Oil prices firmed after the attack, with West Texas Intermediate crude rising to $51.94, up from $50 a week ago. Volatility, as measured by the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX), remained subdued, at 12.8 on Friday versus 12 a week ago.  

For the week ending 7 April 2017

  • US March nonfarm payrolls rise 98,000
  • US launches missile attack against Syria
  • Trump, Xi hold summit
  • Fed to begin shrinking balance sheet
  • European manufacturing speeds up
  • South Africa suffers credit downgrade


Global equities were little changed this week despite an uptick in geopolitical jitters following the US missile strike on a Syrian airbase and a potential shift in tactics by the US Federal Reserve later this year. The lackluster employment report, coupled with the attack against Syria, helped push US 10-year Treasury notes to 2.28%, their lowest intraday yield of 2017, on Friday morning. Oil prices firmed after the attack, with West Texas Intermediate crude rising to $51.94, up from $50 a week ago. Volatility, as measured by the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX), remained subdued, at 12.8 on Friday versus 12 a week ago.