Money Talks – April 14, 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 inflationary indicators, the Producer Price and Consumer Price indices. They also discuss Wholesale Trade and the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s March meeting. Jarrett and D.J. discuss how the current volatility in the market presents planning opportunities for investors who follow the Ten Year Rule. The experts round out the show answering listeners’ questions on First Solar and Trump’s tweets’ effect on the market.

Market Roundup: Positive Week As Trade War Fears Were Soothed

Stocks kicked off the second week of April, trading higher throughout much of the day before strong selling in the final hour pared back much of the day’s gains after reports that federal investigators searched the office and home of President Trump’s long-time lawyer, Michael Cohen. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 440 points, or 0.19%, before the selling started, which ultimately forced the index to finish just 46.34 points higher. Technology stocks performed well on Monday; the tech-comprised Nasdaq Composite outpaced the other major indices rising 0.51%, while the Technology sector was the second best performing group in the S&P 500. U.S. Stocks moved higher again on Tuesday following comments from Chinese President Xi Jinping that seemed to soothe investor fears of a potential trade war. Speaking at an economic summit, Mr. Xi expressed his commitment to economic liberalization and hinted toward opening foreign access to China’s financial and manufacturing sectors. Nine of the 11 S&P 500 sectors rose on the day with energy stocks leading the way. For the day, the Dow rose 1.8%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose 1.7% and 2.1%, respectively. Midweek, with news of military tensions in the Middle East, inflation on the rise and political turmoil in Washington, the stock market gave back some of the gains it garnered in the days prior. The markets recouped their losses Thursday with the S&P 500 turning positive for 2018, leaving just the Dow in negative territory for the year. A calming of geopolitical tensions and the start of earnings season drove investors to buy stocks sending the Dow nearly 300 points higher. Cyclicals led the move higher with Financials being the day’s best performing sector, rising 1.82%. The Dow rose 1.3% on the day while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were up 0.83% and 1.01% respectively. Stocks fell on Friday as banks continued the new earnings season with less-than-stellar results. Though headline numbers were strong, the finer details left much to be desired, which left the Financials sector leading the decline falling nearly three times as much as the second worst performer. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.50% to lead major U.S. indexes on the decline. The Nasdaq Composite was close behind, losing 0.47%, while the S&P 500 fell less than its rival indexes losing only 0.29%.

Money Talks – April 7, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” Chief Investment Officer Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Research Analysts Nick Antonucci, CVA, and Jacob Keen, to discuss the week’s economic releases including the ISM Manufacturing and Nonmanufacturing indices, factory orders and International trade. The market experts also take a deeper look into the market’s recent decline, exploring how proposed tariffs, presidential cabinet upheaval, basic economic indicators, valuation and the Federal Reserve’s quantitative tightening may add to the volatility. The hosts also answer listeners’ questions on Trump’s issue with Amazon using the United States Postal Service and Elon Musk’s April Fool’s Day prank.

Market Roundup: Despite Mid-Week Rally, Indices End Week Lower

April kicked off with heavy selling across U.S. equity markets with all major indices off more than 2% on Monday. The Nasdaq 100 dipped negative year to date for the first time in 2018, and 10 of 11 S&P sectors are lower on the year. Sentiment reversed Tuesday as stocks rebounded from Monday’s selloff with all 11 sectors moving higher in a late-day rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose almost 400 points or 1.6%, while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite rose 1.3% and 1% respectively. Midweek, China announced retaliatory tariffs against the United States, and the initial reaction saw many industrial heavyweights opening down significantly, with the announced tariffs affecting soybeans, beef, tobacco, and most notably aircraft among other products. It was a key test of support for U.S. equities, with the Dow closing more than 700 points off its lows gaining 0.96% on the day. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq saw even stronger daily gains to pare back recent losses closing up 1.16% and 1.45% higher, respectively. Stocks posted gains for a third consecutive day Thursday, the first such occurrence in a month. Investors’ fears regarding a potential trade war with China seem to have subsided as all three major indices once again closed higher on the day. With heightened volatility as of late, investors are likely looking ahead to first quarter earnings season with hopes that strong earnings growth will help to soothe some of the worries in the market. Stocks traded markedly lower on Friday after President Trump asked the U.S. Trade Representative to consider $100 billion worth of additional tariffs on China, while a poor jobs report was also released in the pre-market hours. The wage inflation reading came in at 2.7%, which lessened some fears, but comments from the President that markets may feel “pain” pressured equities into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the NASDAQ composite, and S&P 500 all saw declines of more than 2% on the day. The selling was widespread with all sectors finishing in the red, and investors seeking safer investments pushed bond yields lower as well.