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Economy

Negative bond yields: could the 2020s mark the end of this freakish financial phenomenon?

If there’s one thing the 2010s will be notable for, it's the incredible things happening in the bond market. John Stepek asks if we've finally seen th…
24 Dec 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: as the year draws to a close, optimism reigns

At the end of an eventful year, John Stepek casts his eye over the charts that matter the most to the global economy.
21 Dec 2019
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China economy

China’s maturing corporate bond market

Chinese companies are defaulting on their debt in record numbers. And the trouble could spread to state-owned enterprises.
20 Dec 2019
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Economy

Don’t bet on a stellar 2020 for the pound – but UK stocks should do fine

With the dust starting to settle after the general election, John Stepek looks at what the new Tory government might mean for your investments.
17 Dec 2019
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Bonds

The bond bubble has yet again failed to burst

2019 looks set to go down as the year in which the bond bubble yet again failed to burst
13 Dec 2019
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Personal finance

Mini-bonds could spell big trouble for small investors

Investors have been seduced by the high interest rates on mini-bonds, but they’re not as safe as they seem.
11 Dec 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: a fresh hope for the global economy?

John Stepek looks to the charts that matter most to the global economy to see if he can glean some signs of hope.
7 Dec 2019
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Global Economy

Corporate debt is at record levels – here’s what the risks are

With interest rates at rock bottom, companies have been loading up on debt. And a lot of it is poor quality debt. John Stepek explains what that means…
3 Dec 2019

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Stock markets

Why investors should stop worrying about the yield curve

After "inverting" and sparking talk of impending recession earlier this year, the yield curve on US government debt has returned to a more normal patt…
22 Nov 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: a time to take stock

After a hectic week, John Stepek takes a look at the charts that matter most to the global economy.
16 Nov 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: markets are back in “bull” mode

As markets move back into "bull" mode, John Stepek looks at how the charts that matter most to the global economy have changed in the last week.
9 Nov 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: China’s scepticism on Trump

With China sceptical of getting a trade deal out of Donald Trump, John Stepek looks at how that affects the charts that matter most to the global econ…
2 Nov 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: relative calm – and a surge for Tesla

As shares in electric car group Tesla surge, John Stepek looks at the charts that matter most to the global economy.
26 Oct 2019
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Economy

Markets are getting over their burst of summer panic – but why?

Not so long ago, investors were despondent, diving headfirst into “safe haven” bonds. Now, however, markets have perked up. John Stepek explains what’…
22 Oct 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: hopes for a trade deal and a Brexit breakthrough

John Sepek looks at how the latest Brexit negotiations have affected the chart that matter most to the global economy.
12 Oct 2019
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Bonds

Jeff Gundlach: don't bet on lower interest rates

The ten-year US Treasury yield has already hit its low for the year, says "bond king" Jeff Gundlach.
30 Sep 2019
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Economy

Cracks emerge in corporate debt

The total value of non-financial corporate debt in the US is now almost $10trn, equivalent to half of America’s GDP.
27 Sep 2019
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Alternative investments: three hidden gems beyond stocks and bonds

Alternative investments such as private equity or commodities are one of the oldest forms of investment, says professional investor Alex Barr. Here. h…
16 Sep 2019
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Economy

Could spiking oil prices burst the bubble in bonds?

The oil price has spiked after drone strikes crippled some of Saudi Arabia’s vital oil production infrastructure. John Stepek looks at the effect on t…
16 Sep 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: “risk on” rules

The “risk-off” move we saw over the past month or so has reversed. John Stepek looks at how that affects the charts that matter the most to the global…
14 Sep 2019
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Economy

Mario Draghi pulls out his big bazooka

Mario Draghi pulled out the biggest bazooka he could find in his second-last monetary policy meeting as boss of the European Central Bank. John Stepek…
12 Sep 2019
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Bonds

Chart of the week: a tale of two century bonds

Investors keep buying Argentinian debt even though they really should know better. The price of Argentina’s century bond has slumped by 45% as concern…
9 Sep 2019
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Stock markets

The topsy-turvy world of stock and bond yields

The dividend yield of the S&P 500 index is now higher than the yield on the 30-year US Treasury bond. That hasn’t happened since the financial crisis.…
6 Sep 2019
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Stock markets

How negative yields could destroy the stockmarket

If the domination of negative yields continues, companies will give up on the equity markets. Why, when you are paid to borrow, would you look to the …
5 Sep 2019
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Economy

What to buy in a world of negative interest rates

The world’s most bizarre financial experiment ever – negative interest rates – continues. Merryn Somerset Webb looks at how investors should respond.
2 Sep 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: the dollar strikes back

As the US dollar index heads higher, John Stepek looks at how that affects the charts that matter the most to the global economy.
31 Aug 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: markets hold their breath

The yield curve suggested a recession was on the way when it inverted – but that could be up to two years away. John Stepek looks at the charts that m…
24 Aug 2019
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Bonds

Chart of the week: America’s corporate debt binge

US households have spent much of the past decade deleveraging. Companies haven’t as this chart shows.
23 Aug 2019
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Bonds

Easy money will keep inflating bond bubble

A usually sedate part of the investment world is clearly in a bubble.
23 Aug 2019
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Economy

Doomsday clock approaches midnight

The inverted yield curve on US Treasuries spells trouble for investors. Alex Rankine reports.
23 Aug 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: the rush to safety

The now infamous yield curve inverted this week, and that's sent investors running for cover. John Stepek looks at the charts that most most to invest…
17 Aug 2019
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Economy

Time to review your portfolio

It's always a good idea to see where your portfolio stands at times of market extremes, says John Stepek.
15 Aug 2019
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Economy

Navigating the weird world of negative interest rates

Investors are paying good money to be allowed to lend money to governments across the world. What on earth is going on, and what does it mean for your…
15 Aug 2019
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Economy

What is a yield curve, and why should I care if it inverts?

Everybody is talking about the inverted yield curve and how it predicts recessions. John Stepek explains everything you need to know about it and why …
15 Aug 2019
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Bonds

David Rosenberg: this is a “Potemkin market”

You need only look at the global bond market to see that we are in unprecedented territory, says David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff.
13 Aug 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: it’s all gone a bit pear-shaped

With the currency wars escalating, John Stepek looks at how the week's events have shaped the charts that matter the most to the global economy.
10 Aug 2019
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Economy

Are trade wars rattling markets, or is it fear of another blow-up in Europe?

As the trade war intensifies, developed-world government bonds have sunk to new lows. But the root cause of the markets' jitters could lie not so much…
8 Aug 2019
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Bonds

Beware the lure of illiquid debt funds

Illiquid debt offers tempting returns, but the next downturn could still reveal unexpected risks.
6 Aug 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: the un-inverting of the yield curve

The US bond yield curve turned positive again at the tail end of this week. John Stepek looks at how it affects the charts that matter the most to the…
20 Jul 2019
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Bonds

Investors are going bonkers for bonds

In a further sign of the mania gripping the bond market, Germany issued €3.15bn of zero-interest ten-year bonds last week.
18 Jul 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: the Fed gives the market the green light

This week, the Federal Reserve reassured investors that an interest rate cut is coming. John Stepek looks at how that has affected the charts that mat…
13 Jul 2019
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Economy

Lend to Germany at 0%? We’ve seen even stranger things in the bond market

If you want to lend money to the German government, you won't be getting any interest. In fact, you may have to pay. John Stepek explains what's going…
12 Jul 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: a quandary for the Fed

The yield curve is putting pressure on the Federal reserve to cut interest rates. But the economic data doesn't support that. John Stepek looks at wha…
6 Jul 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: the bond bubble keeps getting bigger

Markets are still absorbing the impact of the Federal Reserve’s shift closer to cutting rates that we saw last week. John Stepek looks at what's happe…
29 Jun 2019
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Bonds

The fresh madness in the bond markets

Plunging bond yields are sending an unambiguous distress call as investors fret about everything from a weaker global economy and the trade war to Mid…
27 Jun 2019
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Economy

The bond bubble is back and bigger than ever before

Many developed-world sovereign bonds now carry negative yields – investors are paying for the privilege of lending governments money. John Stepek expl…
24 Jun 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: the great central bank-sponsored rally

With the US central bank now on board with the idea of cutting interest rates, John Stpeek looks at what this means for the charts that matter most to…
22 Jun 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: the US dollar continues lower

As markets continue to believe that a cut in US interest rates is just a matter of time, the US dollar continued its fall this week. John Stepek looks…
15 Jun 2019
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Economy

The charts that matter: the Fed chucks investors a bone

With America's central bank sounding more likely to cut short-term interest rates, John Stepek looks at how it affects the charts that matter most to …
8 Jun 2019