Who We Are

What We Do

We provide investment banking, research, sales and trading, asset and wealth management, public finance, insurance, private capital, and family office services.

About Us

We are a family-owned financial services firm that values client relationships, long-term stability, and supporting the communities where we live and work.

The Stephens Story

The idea of family defines our culture, because each of us knows that our reputation is on the line as if our own name was on the door.

Leadership

Our reputation as a leading independent financial services firm is built on the stability of our longstanding and highly experienced senior executives.

Impact Initiatives

We are committed to corporate philanthropy; economic and financial literacy advocacy; and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Our Brand Ambassadors

Stephens is proud to sponsor the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, and PGA TOUR Champions careers, as well as applaud the philanthropic endeavors, of our Brand Ambassadors.

Making Connections

We host many highly informative meetings each year with clients, industry decision makers, and thought leaders across the U.S. and in Europe.

Our Businesses

Capital Management

We provide fiduciary investment strategies to public-and private-sector institutional clients through asset allocation, consulting, and retirement services.

Fixed Income Sales & Trading

Decades of proven performance and experience in providing tailored fixed income trading and underwriting services to major municipal and corporate issuers.

Institutional Equities and Research

Proven industry-leading research, global market insights, and client-focused execution.

Insurance

Customized risk management, property & casualty, executive strategies and employee benefits solutions that protect our clients over the long term.

Investment Banking

We assist companies with accessing capital through innovative advisory and execution services that help firms achieve their strategic goals.

Private Capital

We have been a trusted and reliable source of capital for private companies for over 70 years.

Private Wealth Management

Our experienced Private Client Group professionals develop customized investment strategies to help clients achieve their financial goals.

Public Finance

We are a trusted municipal advisor with proven expertise in public financings. We also work with clients in negotiated and competitive municipal underwritings.

Market Trends

Weekly Economic Review | May 31, 2022

May 31, 2022

The Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims declined last week, suggesting the labor market remains very strong. There has been a lot of noise in the claims data recently, but the consistency of the data for applications for unemployment insurance suggest that not much has really changed in the labor market. Claims in regular state programs decreased 8,000 to 210,000 for the week ending May 21st, after reporting 218,000 initial claims the prior week. The four-week moving average rose to 206,750 from 199,500 the prior week. The total number of people continuing to receive regular ongoing state benefits, a report which is lagged one week, increased 31,000 to 1.346 million for the week ending May 14th.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported the pace of U.S. economic activity improved in April. The Chicago Fed National index, which draws on 85 economic indicators, was positive 0.47 in April after reporting a positive 0.36 in March. A reading above zero indicates above-trend-growth in the national economy.

The Commerce Department reported sales of new homes plunged in April to its lowest level in two years. Higher costs, supply chain disruptions and surging mortgage rates are sidelining many prospective buyers. New home sales declined 16.6% to a 591,000 annualized pace in April after reporting a downwardly revised 709,000 pace the prior month. New home sales, which account for about 10% of the residential market, are accounted for when contracts are signed, which makes this data a more timely indicator than existing home transactions.

The Commerce Department reported durable goods orders climbed in April, even as supply chain issues, specifically semi-conductor shortages, limit production. Businesses appear ready to spend on capex in response to labor market shortages and strong aggregate demand. Durable goods, which are bookings for goods and materials meant to last at least three years, rose 0.4% in April after increasing a downwardly revised 0.6% in March. The non-military capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a proxy for business investment, rose 0.3% in April after surging 1.1% in March. Excluding transportation, durable orders increased 0.3% in April after growing 1.1% in March. The ratio of inventory to shipments climbed to 1.81 from 1.80 in March.

The FOMC Minutes for the May 3-4th meeting indicated a unanimous commitment among policymakers to get inflation under control. The minutes reiterate the Fed’s desire to move policy towards a neutral stance “expeditiously” and note that it remains likely that policy will have to move into a restrictive stance at some point to achieve the dual mandate.

The second estimate by the Commerce Department of the 1st quarter gross domestic product showed economic growth declined for the first time since 2020. Gross domestic product contracted at a 1.5% annualized rate in the 1st quarter, after gaining 6.9% in the previous quarter. Personal consumption, which accounts for about 70% of the economy, gained 3.1% in the quarter after gaining 2.5% in the previous quarter. The GDP price index gained 8.1% in the 1st quarter after increasing 7.1% in the 4th quarter.

The National Association of Realtors reported the index of pending home re-sales declined for the sixth straight month as rising mortgage rates, high prices and low inventory continue to pressure buyers. The number of contracts to purchase previously owned homes decreased 3.9% in April after dropping 1.6% in March. Pending home sales are down 9.1% on a seasonally adjusted year-on-year basis in April. Pending sales are a leading indicator in the housing sector as they reflect contracts signed, as opposed to actual closed and final sales.

The Commerce Department reported the goods trade deficit narrowed in April from a record level in March. Imports declined amid lockdowns in China. The deficit decreased 15.9% to $105.9 billion in April. Exports rose 3.1% to $173.9 billion and imports declined 5.0% to $279.9 billion.

The Commerce Department reported wholesale inventories rose 2.1% in April after gaining 2.7% the previous month. Year-on-year wholesale inventories have climbed 23.8%. Retail inventories increased 0.7% in April after gaining 3.0% in March and are up 15.0% year-on-year.

The Commerce Department reported personal income rose 0.4% in April and personal spending surged 0.9%. Consumers are relying more and more on their savings to maintain the current high level of spending. The savings rate fell to 4.4% in April, the lowest level since September 2008. The PCE Deflator, the preferred inflation gauge by the Federal Reserve, climbed 0.3% in April, bringing the year-on-year gain to 6.3%, above the central bank’s target of 2.0%. Disposable income, or the money left over after taxes, increased 0.3% in April after climbing 0.4% higher in March.

The University of Michigan’s final index of consumer sentiment decreased in May to its lowest level in a decade as consumers grow more concerned about inflation. The gauge of consumer confidence decreased to 58.4 in May from an earlier estimate of 59.1. This is a decrease from the 65.2 reading in April. The index of current conditions fell to 63.3 from 69.4 the prior month while the index of expectations dropped to 55.2 from 62.5 the prior month.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported the MBA index of mortgage applications declined last week. The index decreased 1.2% for the week ending May 20th after dropping 11.0% the previous week. Refinancing applications decreased 3.9% to 794.9 from 826.9 the prior week. Home purchase mortgage applications increased 0.2% to 225.5. The average contract rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 5.46% from 5.49% the prior week for a 30-year fixed rate loan.

BOND MARKET REVIEW

Friday’s yields for the 2-, 5-, 10- & 30-year Treasury benchmarks securities were 2.48%, 2.72%, 2.74%, and 2.96%. The 2yr/5yr, 5yr/10yr, 10yr/30yr and 2yr/30yr spreads closed at 24, 2, 22, and 48 basis points respectively.

Economic/Events Calendar

Tuesday

May 31

Mar FHFA House Price Index (2.0%)

8.00 Central

Mar S&P CoreLogic CS 20-City Index (1.90%)

8:00 Central

May Conf Board Consumer Confidence (103.6)

9:00 Central

Wednesday

June 1

May 27th MBA Mortgage Applications

6:00 Central

Apr Construction Spending (0.5%)

9:00 Central

May ISM Manufacturing (54.5)

9:00 Central

Apr JOLTS Job Openings (11,300k)

9:00 Central

U.S. Federal Reserve Releases Beige Book

13:00 Central

Thursday

June 2

May 28th Initial Jobless Claims (210k)

7:30 Central

May ADP Employment Change (300k)

7:15 Central

1st Qtr Nonfarm Productivity (-7.5%)

7:30 Central

1st Qtr Unit Labor Costs (11.6%)

7:30 Central

Apr Factory Orders (0.7%)

9:00 Central

Apr Factory Orders ex Transportation

9:00 Central

Friday

June 3

May Change in Nonfarm Payrolls (325k)

7:30 Central

May Unemployment Rate (3.5%)

7:30 Central

May Avg Hourly Earnings –YOY (5.2%)

7:30 Central

May Labor Force Participation Rate (62.3%)

7:30 Central

May ISM Services Index (56.5)

9:00 Central

About the Expert

Troy Clark

Senior Vice President, Fixed Income Strategist, Fixed Income Sales & Trading

Mr. Clark has been in investment banking since 1983. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He has been a fixed income strategist at Stephens Inc. since 1996, developing investment strategies, policies and procedures for institutions consistent with overall asset/liability management.

Read full bio
Source: Bloomberg L.P.
  1. This report has been prepared solely for informative purposes as of its stated date and is not a solicitation, or an offer, to buy or sell any security. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the individual expressing the opinion and are subject to change. This report does not purport to be a complete description of the markets or developments referred to in the material. Information included in the report was obtained from internal and external sources which we consider reliable, but we have not independently verified such information and do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. Prices, yields, and availability are subject to change with the market. There is no assurance any forward looking statements will be realized or any of the trends mentioned will continue. Nothing in this report is intended, or should be construed, as legal, accounting, regulatory or tax advice. Additional information available upon request. 2022 Stephens Inc., Member NYSE/SIPC.