Market Roundup: Major Indices Continue Downward Trend for Second Week

The major U.S. indices closed in red territory as trade tensions ramped up on Monday. The Technology sector was hit particularly hard resulting in the NASDAQ Composite falling nearly 3% in mid-day trading. In housing news, new home sales ticked up in May, with sales increasing 6.7% from April’s revised level and are up by 14.1% from May 2017. Tuesday Energy sector stocks rallied, pushing the markets higher, giving investors a reprieve from the previous day’s performance. However, the market was down again mid-week with the Financial sector leading the way lower on the S&P 500 amid continued trade tussling. Investors have had to weigh mixed signals from the United States and China, leaving some worrying about the outlook for global growth. Thursday saw stocks stepping up on a variety of news, despite reports that U.S. gross domestic product growth slowed slightly in the first quarter. Real GDP grew 2% versus 2.9% in the fourth quarter, and the 2.2% and 2.3% growth reported for the prior two months. Additionally, initial jobless claims increased, as the Department of Labor reported new claims rose to 227,000 from 218,000 in the week ended June 23. Friday, markets were relatively flat as both China and the Trump Administration have been quiet for a few days regarding the tariffs imposed from both directions.

Money Talks – June 23, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” Chief Investment Officer Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Managing Associate K.C. Smith, CFP®, and Senior Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, to discuss the latest Consumer Sentiment according to the University of Michigan, housing news and the week’s market action. K.C. and Jarrett discuss legacy planning using a charitable remainder trust. They also talk about how investors can further control their charitable gifts by combining a charitable remainder trust with a donor advised fund. The Henssler Experts also answer a variety of listeners’ questions, including a follow-up to last week’s discussion on health savings accounts, GE’s stake in Baker Hughes, mature tech stocks, and whether one can undo a Roth IRA conversion.

Market Roundup: Indices Close Week Flat to Lower on Trade Fears

The U.S. Markets started out the week on a mixed note on continuing trade tensions between the U.S. and China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index shed some points while the NASDAQ Composite ended fractionally positive. West Texas Intermediate crude oil increased, settling at $65.85 a barrel, and Energy stocks stepped up as a result. Indices closed in the red zone on Tuesday, amid continuing trade tensions. In housing news, starts rose 5% in May to an annual pace of 1.35 million, exceeding estimates of 1.31 million. Results were again mixed mid-week, with the Dow closing slightly in the red zone, the S&P 500 rebounding, and the NASDAQ traded to a new record level. China trade tensions continued to weigh heavily on the market Thursday, despite Department of Labor reports showing new jobless claims fell by 3,000 to 218,000 in the week ended June 16. Indices were mixed again Friday, with the Dow and S&P 500 stepping up while the NASDAQ shed some points. Oil prices jumped up after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reached an agreement to increase output. For the session, West Texas Intermediate crude added 4.58% to settle at $68.78 a barrel.

Money Talks – June 16, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” Research Analyst Nick Antonucci, CVA, Managing Associate D.J. Barker, CWS®, and Senior Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, host the show and discuss inflation indicators, the Consumer Price and Producer Price indices released during the week. D.J. and Jarrett discuss a client situation of navigating company-sponsored health care coverage, and offer tips on how to make the most of your health care dollars. The experts also answer listeners’ question on Athenahealth’s CEO stepping down, how many insurance policies an investor should have; buying a house with no money down; and more.

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.