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 | November 28, 2022

Nov 28, 2022

Economic Review

The Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims surged last week to its highest level since August 13th. The labor market is finally showing signs of weakness, although the claims are rising off of historically low levels. Claims can increase a lot before they’re at levels that suggest the labor market is really deteriorating. Layoffs are climbing in the technology industry and other select industries as hiring freezes and job cuts mount. Claims in regular state programs increased 17,000 to 240,000 for the week ending November 19th, after reporting 223,000 initial claims the prior week. The four-week moving average climbed to 226,750 from 221,250 the prior week. The total number of people continuing to receive regular ongoing state benefits, a report which is lagged one week, increased 48,000 to 1.551 million for the week ending November 12th.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported the pace of U.S. economic activity eased in October to below-trend-growth after three months of above trend. The Chicago Fed National index, which draws on 85 economic indicators, was negative 0.05 in October after reporting a positive 0.17 in September. A reading below zero indicates below-trend-growth in the national economy.

The Commerce Department reported durable goods orders climbed more than expected in October, suggesting capital spending plans are holding up in the face of higher borrowing costs and economic uncertainty. Durable goods, which are bookings for goods and materials meant to last at least three years, climbed 1.0% in October after edging 0.3% higher in September. The non-military capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a proxy for business investment, rose 0.7% in October after declining 0.8% in September. Excluding transportation, durable orders increased 0.5% in October after falling 0.9% in September. The ratio of inventory to shipments remained unchanged at 1.78 in October.

The University of Michigan’s final index of consumer sentiment declined in November, reflecting concerns about inflation and the increasing likelihood of a recession next year. The survey also indicated consumer assessments of the labor market continue to deteriorate. The final reading for 5-10 year inflation expectations, an inflation indicator closely watched by the Fed, climbed to 3.0% in November from 2.9% in October. One year inflation expectations slowed to 4.9% from 5.1%, driven by lower gasoline prices. The gauge of consumer confidence increased to 56.8 in November from an earlier estimate of 54.7. This is a decrease from the 59.9 reading in October. The index of current conditions fell to 58.8 from 65.6 the prior month while the index of expectations dropped to 55.6 from 56.2 the prior month.

The Commerce Department reported sales of new homes unexpectedly increased in October, driven by an increase in the South. While the gain is welcome news, it is likely just a pause in a weak housing market. New home sales rose 7.5% to a 632,000 annualized pace in October after reporting a downwardly revised 588,000 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 FOMC Minutes for the November 1-2nd meeting revealed a surprisingly dovish sentiment on the committee. The minutes indicate there is widespread agreement to slow the rate of interest rate hikes, a view championed by Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard. It indicates that Fed Chair Jerome Powell belongs to the minority group that does not view the policy stance as clearly restrictive yet. Most participants seem to believe inflation has peaked ant that inflation expectations are well anchored. Powell is one of the most hawkish members of the committee, and the minutes show he likely had to work hard to get other members on board with the need to communicate a higher terminal rate.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported the MBA index of mortgage applications increased last week for the second straight week. The index increased 2.2% for the week ending November 18th, after gaining 2.7% the previous week. Refinancing applications climbed 1.8% to 373.6 last week from 367.1. Home purchase mortgage applications increased 2.8% to 174.4. Refinancing made up 28.4% of applications with an average loan size of $270,700, while purchases average loan size was $400,100. The average contract rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 6.67% from 6.90% last week.

BOND MARKET REVIEW

Friday’s yields for the 2-, 5-, 10- & 30-year Treasury benchmarks securities were 4.45%, 3.86%, 3.68% and 3.73%. The 2yr/5yr, 5yr/10yr, 10yr/30yr and 2yr/30yr spreads closed at -59, -18, 5, and -72 basis points respectively.

Economic/Events Calendar

Tuesday

November 29

Sep FHFA House Price Index (-1.2%)

8:00 Central

Sep S&P Corelogic CS 20-City Index (-1.2%)

8:00 Central

Nov Conf Board Consumer Confidence (100.0)

9:00 Central

Wednesday

November 30

Nov 25th MBA Mortgage Applications

6:00 Central

Nov ADP Employment Change (198k)

7:15 Central

3rd Qtr Gross Domestic Product-2nd Est (2.8%)

7:30 Central

3rd Qtr GDP Price Index-2nd Est (4.1%)

7:30 Central

3rd Qtr Personal Consumption-2nd Est (1.6%)

7:30 Central

Oct Goods Trade Balance (-$90.4b)

7:30 Central

Oct Wholesale Inventories (0.5%)

7:30 Central

Oct Retail Inventories (0.5%)

7:30 Central

Oct Pending Home Sales (-5.3%)

9:00 Central

Oct JOLTS Job Openings (10,200k)

9:00 Central

US Federal Reserve Releases Beige Book

13:00 Central

Thursday

December 1

Nov 26th Initial Jobless Claims (235k)

7:30 Central

Oct Personal Income (0.4%)

7:30 Central

Oct Personal Spending (0.8%)

7:30 Central

Oct PCE Deflator-YOY (6.0%)

7:30 Central

Oct Construction Spending (-0.2%)

9:00 Central

Nov ISM Manufacturing (49.8)

9:00 Central

Friday

December 2

Nov Chg in Nonfarm Payrolls (200k)

7:30 Central

Nov Unemployment Rate (3.7%)

7:30 Central

Nov Avg Hourly Earnings-YOY (4.6%)

7:30 Central

Nov Labor Force Participation Rate (62.3%)

7:30 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.