Uncertainty remained high in the fourth quarter of 2011 as the large macroeconomic challenges that dominated headlines throughout the year continued to weigh on investor confidence. Treasury rates in the United States declined slightly amid solid demand, while discussions over reducing the size of the federal deficit continued to take center stage heading into the
In today’s post-housing bubble environment, the long-awaited recovery has failed to build a solid foundation. The high unemployment rate, declines in household income, and significantly tighter credit conditions have left both existing and new home sales close to recessionary levels in the United States.
With its meteoric rise to become the world’s second-largest economy, China is an engine of global growth and is currently expanding much faster than developed nations still struggling to recover from the recession. Although today China is facing headwinds such as nagging inflation, Putnam sees investment opportunities in many industry sectors.
Over the next 10 years, some of the greatest growth in health-care spending is projected for emerging markets such as China, India, and Brazil. For many reasons, growth opportunities are abundant in developing economies, but selecting health-care stocks, particularly among the smaller-cap companies based in these regions, is not without its challenges.
Developments in European sovereign debt markets have taken a significant turn recently, and the risk that the crisis could affect financial markets has increased.
Obviously the situation in Japan is extremely serious. The northeast region of the country has suffered unprecedented devastation from the rapid sequence of a major earthquake, a historic tsunami, and a severe nuclear crisis.
The recent Dodd-Frank Act introduced sweeping changes to the derivatives market. Daniel Farrell, Putnam’s Head of Equity Trading, discusses how Putnam uses derivative contracts and the impact of the bill on Putnam equity funds. Broadly speaking, what are derivatives and how are they used? Derivatives are investments whose value is based on — or “derived”