Market Roundup: Despite Positive Economic Releases, Markets End Week Mixed in Reaction to Tariffs

The U.S. markets posted slight gains on Monday ahead of the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore. On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve kicked off its two-day meeting on monetary policy. Indices closed mixed with the Dow ending fractionally in the red while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite stepped up. The mixed results followed the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. On another note, consumer prices ticked up slightly in May, as the Consumer Price Index rose by 0.2%, as anticipated. The CPI has climbed 2.7% over the past year, marking the fastest pace since early 2012. Indices ended trading in the red zone on Wednesday amid the approval of the AT&T-Time Warner acquisition. The decision affected brands such as CVS, who tacked on more than 3%, and may clear the way for the $69 billion CVS and Aetna acquisition. As expected, the Federal Reserve raised the target range for the federal funds rate 25 basis points to 1.75%-2.00%. Additionally, the Producer Price Index rose 0.5% in May, exceeding estimates. Indices ended the trading session mixed on Thursday, as the Dow closed fractionally lower while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ added some points. The utilities sector led gains on the S&P 500. Initial jobless claims decreased last week, when the Department of Labor showed first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits fell from 222,000 to 218,000. On another note, retail sales ticked up in May. Sales rose 0.8%, following gains of 0.4% and 0.7% in the prior two months. Gains achieved earlier in the week were given back on Friday as investors appeared to react to China’s retaliatory tariffs on American exports. The deteriorating relationship between the United States and China escalated as the Trump administration revealed plans to impose tariffs of 25% on a significant number of Chinese imports. In response, China targeted U.S. exports, including cars and crude oil, for similar tariffs. By the end of the week, the Dow fell the most, suffering through its largest one-week loss since March.

Money Talks – June 9, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” Chief Investment Officer Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Managing Associate Shawna Theriault, C.P.A., CFP®, CDFA®, and Senior Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, to discuss the differences between growth and value stock performance in the market, in addition to sector performance. They also discuss the Employment Situation, and the ISM Manufacturing and Nonmanufacturing indices. Shawna and Jarrett discuss a common situation for young investors: finding the balance between saving for retirement and paying down debt like student loans. The experts also tackle several listeners’ questions, including those on JP Morgan Chase, the top points to consider when planning retirement goals, and how to title an automobile that has been gifted to a college student.

Market Roundup: Good Economic News Led to Strong Week for Large-Cap Stocks

Indices closed well into the green zone on Monday that pushed the NASDAQ up to a new record level. Stocks likely advanced in the wake of stronger-than-expected payroll additions for May. Indices closed with mixed moves on Tuesday, with the Dow shedding some points and both the the S&P 500 and Nasdaq gaining. Services industry activity increased in May, according to the ISM Nonmanufacturing Index, which climbed to 58.6 from 56.8 in April beating expectations of 58.3. The major indices all closed up Wednesday as Dow stocks led the way while the NASDAQ hit a new record level for the third straight session. In economic news, the U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $46.2 billion in April. The goods deficit dipped to $68.3 billion. Nominal goods exports ticked up 0.2% and imports slipped 0.3%. Markets were mixed on Thursday with Dow ending the session in the green zone. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ shed some points. Energy stocks led advancers while Technology stocks took a breather. On another note, Department of Labor data showed first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits dipped by 1,000 from the prior week’s revised level to 222,000. Indices closed trading with slight gains on Friday. West Texas Intermediate crude shed 0.47% on the day to settle at $65.66 a barrel.

Money Talks – June 2, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” Chief Investment Officer Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Tax Manager Dan DiLuzio, C.P.A., and Managing Associate D.J. Barker, CWS®, to discuss first-quarter earnings season, consumer confidence, and the second reading of first-quarter gross domestic product. Dan brings to the table a unique way to preserve our natural resources while getting a tax deduction with conservation easements. The experts also answer a variety of listeners’ questions, including those on biopharmaceutical company, Celgene, and technology company, Ciena Corporation. They also discuss Italy’s current debt crisis and buying municipal bonds over U.S. Treasury bonds.

Market Roundup: Markets Fractionally Higher in Holiday-Shortened Week

The U.S. markets were closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day, and Tuesday, the major indices slipped into the red zone amid political uncertainty in Italy and a drop in crude oil prices. In one of two consumer confidence readings, the Conference Board showed confidence climbed to 128 for May from 125.6 in April. Last Friday, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey showed sentiment dipped 0.8 points to 98 for May. Stocks rebounded off Tuesday’s drop by mid-week, as Financials, Materials, and Energy sector stocks led the upswing. In a revised reading, real gross domestic product grew 2.2% in the first quarter, down from the 2.9% expansion in the fourth quarter and slightly shy of the 2.3% initially reported in the first quarter. Additionally, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book showed moderate economic expansion across all districts from mid-April through early May. Thursday, stocks slipped on news the United States plans to impose steel tariffs on Europe, Canada, and Mexico. On another note, consumer spending increased 0.6% in April while personal incomes edged up 0.3%. Looking elsewhere, Department of Labor data showed initial jobless claims decreased last week, with first-time claims falling by 13,000 to 221,000. On Friday, stocks stepped up on stronger-than-anticipated monthly employment details. Department of Labor data showed the U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in May versus expectations of 188,000. Unemployment dipped from 3.9% to 3.8%.