Market Roundup: Large-Cap Stocks Close the Week Down

The major indices started the week on a low note as stocks traded lower on a variety of economic news. Crude oil prices ticked up settling at $68.57 a barrel, which caused energy stocks to decline. Trading was mixed on Tuesday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing lower. Good earnings news in Technology helped push the S&P 500 index and the NASDAQ composite higher for the day. The market was back in the red zone mid-week when stocks slipped on the release of commentary from the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting. The Fed held steady on interest rates, which will remain in a range between 1.5% and 1.75%. While the decision surprised few, the committee also noted strong gains in jobs and economic activity expanding at a “moderate rate.” Thursday saw more mixed results as the Dow rebounded from early lows to close with slight gains. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ shed some points. The session was turbulent, but when all was said and done, stocks closed trading along the flat line. Moves were mixed on a variety of economic news, including initial jobless claims, which ticked up last week. Department of Labor data showed new claims increased by 2,000 to 211,000 in the last week of April. On another note, the U.S. trade gap dipped in March. The deficit decreased 15.2% to $49 billion, down from $57.7 billion in February. Exports climbed to a record $208.5 billion in March. Indices finally made it into the green zone on Friday with gains in the Technology sector. On another note, data from the Department of Labor showed the U.S. economy added 164,000 jobs in April while the unemployment rate fell to 3.9%. Additionally, West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 1.9% to close at a three-year high of $69.76.

Money Talks – April 28, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” Chief Economic Adviser Roger Tutterow, Ph.D., joins Chief Investment Officer Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, and Managing Associate K.C. Smith, CFP®, to discuss the week’s economic releases, including the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index, both new and existing home sales, and the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence reading. The experts delve deeper into the economic reports, looking at the yield curve of U.S. Treasury bonds, and how close the curve has come to inverting. They also discuss fiscal policy and what it may mean for our economy. The hosts also answer listeners’ questions on using life insurance for expenses if one becomes terminally ill, how gas prices are rising and if that is a harbinger of a recession, and how an investor can begin to estimate their spending needs in retirement. They also answer a stock question on Bemis Company, a manufacturer of packaging products.

Market Roundup: Lackluster Earnings Leads to Relatively Flat Week for Equities

Indices kicked off the last full week of April mixed with Dow Jones Industrial Average and the NASDAQ Composite ending the session fractionally lower while the S&P 500 index added marginal gains. Trading was fairly flat despite a variety of economic news. Tuesday saw a slight decline led by Industrials. Consumer confidence ticked up in April, as the Conference Board data showed sentiment increased 1.7 points to 128.7 versus a consensus estimate of 126. In housing news, new single-family home sales climbed to 694,000 in March versus expectations of 630,000. Wednesday had mixed results as the Dow and the S&P 500 ticked up while the tech-heavy NASDAQ shed some points. The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds surpassed 3.0% for the first time in several years, but ultimately fell back to where yields began the week. Indices ticked up on Thursday with help from positive earnings in the Technology sector. Friday’s trading ended relatively flat. The advance estimate for first quarter 2018 gross domestic product showed economic growth at an annual rate of 2.3%. Crude oil hit a four-year high during the week, but by Friday, West Texas Intermediate crude settled at $68.26 a barrel.

Q&A Time: Rising Gas Prices, Life Insurance Uses, Estimating Retirement Spending and More

The “Money Talks” hosts also answer listeners’ questions on using life insurance for expenses if one becomes terminally ill; how gas prices are rising and if that is a harbinger of a recession, and how an investor can begin to estimate their spending needs in retirement. They also answer a stock question on Bemis Company, a manufacturer of packaging products.

Money Talks – April 21, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Managing Associate D.J. Barker, CWS®, and Senior Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, to discuss the week’s market movements, including sector performance and year-to-date numbers. They also discuss how first quarter earnings are coming in. In economic news, they discuss interest rates, mortgage news, and retail sales. D.J. and Jarrett discuss portfolio selection, keeping a long-term view of your investments, and sticking with your investment strategy, especially during market volatility. The experts also answer a listener’s question on how active managers may fare now that the Federal Reserve is less accommodative on monetary policy as compared to a passive investment strategy.

Market Roundup: Stocks Closed Higher by Week’s End, But Volatility Continues

Stocks kicked off the week strong with all eleven sectors finishing Monday higher and more than half rising at least 1%. Investors brushed off the multi-national missile strike against Syria, instead devoting their attention toward corporate earnings and economic releases. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.87%, to settle at 24,573.04, while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite gained 0.81% and 0.70%, respectively. Monday also saw the yield on the two-year Treasury hit levels unseen since 2008. The following day, major indices had closed higher, but volumes have been light, suggesting some investors are remaining on the sidelines as geopolitical tensions simmer. The Dow climbed 0.9% to its highest close since March 16 and propelled the index back into the black for the year. The S&P 500 added 1.1%, as 10 of the index’s 11 sectors traded higher, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ rose 1.7%. Markets closed mixed but essentially flat mid-week as strong corporate earnings fueled the markets and pushed the NASDAQ and S&P 500 inched higher while the Dow finished slightly lower. Sector rotation was mixed with five sectors rising and six falling. Wednesday also saw West Texas Intermediate crude oil jump more than 3% and surpass $68 per barrel for the first time since December 2014. Consumer Staples stocks tumbled Thursday, pulling the S&P lower as investors showed signs of fatigue after three straight days of gains. Investors were jarred by the weak performance of some of the world’s biggest consumer product companies that reported earnings results, sending shares of those companies into a tailspin. U.S. stocks slid into negative territory on Friday, but all three major indices posted gains for the week. Selling in government bonds accelerated as inflation expectations picked up, pushing the 10-year yield to its highest close since January 2014 at 2.949%. The NASDAQ was the biggest loser for the day selling off 1.3% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were down 0.8% and 0.9% respectively.