Closing out the first half of 2017

As we close out the first half of 2017, many of the major U.S. equity indices are at or very near all-time highs, equity market volatility is exceptionally low (Vix hovering around 10), unemployment, at just 4.3%, is at levels not seen since mid-2001, and inflation, although creeping upwards ever so slightly, remains benign. At the same time, the yield curve is flattening as intermediate and longer term bond yields are trending lower once again as are the prices for some commodities – most notably oil which is now below $44/bbl.