Market Roundup: Hello Volatility, My Old Friend

Indices closed in the red zone on Monday, as the Utilities and Energy sectors lagged on the S&P 500. The slip continued Tuesday with the major indices closing the session in red territory. Energy brands dipped on a slip in crude oil prices. Midweek, the indices rebounded up off back-to-back downswings with stocks stepping up on a variety of economic news. Comments from Janet Yellen’s final meeting as Fed chair offered few revelations. The Federal Open Market Committee members left rates unchanged at 1.25% to 1.5%, but expect inflation to increase and stabilize around the 2% mark. The first rate hike of the year is expected in March. Indices closed out with mixed moves on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average stepped up, while the S&P 500 Index and NASDAQ Composite shed some points ahead of earnings from Technology sector titans. In other news, the Department of Labor data showed initial jobless claims fell by 1,000 to 230,000 last week. A jolt of volatility hit markets on Friday, reversing the tranquility markets have been experiencing recently after a rise in interest rates spooked stock investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 2.5%, marking its biggest one-day decline since the Brexit vote in June of 2016. For the week, the blue-chip index lost nearly 1100 points, the most since the financial crisis in October 2008. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ also closed in the red, falling 2.1% and 2% respectively. Despite the drop, all three major indexes are up for the year. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed to 2.85%.

Money Talks – January 27, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” Bil Lako, CFP®, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, are joined by Tax Manager John Dickson, C.P.A., CFP®, CVA, to discuss the market movements for the week, housing news, including, mortgage rates, and existing and new home sales, and how the markets are reacting to tax reform. John helps the guys take a deeper look into some immediate tax benefits for businesses, including a doubled Section 179 and 100% first year bonus depreciation. The experts round out the show answering listeners’ questions on the Vanguard Index Trust 500, capital gain exclusion on a home, and provide their advice to a retiree on taking community board positions.

Market Roundup: Full Week of Record Territory Highs

For the week, favorable corporate earnings reports and a 2.6% annual rate of growth for the fourth-quarter GDP helped buoy investors’ confidence in equities. The market kicked off the week with indices again closing in new record territory on Monday. Stocks stepped up as the Senate arrived at a deal to resume full government activity. Energy sector brands traded up to a 52-week peak level. Mixed moves were on deck Tuesday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the trading session fractionally in the red. The S&P 500 Index and NASDAQ Composite hit new record levels. Moves were again mixed on Wednesday, when this time, the Dow closed at a new record level while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ shed some points. On Thursday, both the Dow and S&P 500 moved up to new all-time heights while the NASDAQ ended fractionally in the red for the day. In economic news, Department of Labor data showed initial jobless claims ticked up by 17,000 to 233,000 last week. Additionally, the latest report from the National Association of Realtors showed that total existing-home sales fell 3.6% in December from November’s total. However, sales increased 1.1% in 2017 to a 5.51 million sales pace—the highest rate in 11 years. The week ended with indices landing in new record territory on Friday. Brands stepped up on a variety of earnings and economic news. On another note, crude oil hit a two-year peak. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped 1.0% to settle at $66.14 per barrel. Looking elsewhere, Commerce Department data showed the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.6% in the fourth quarter, just shy of an expected pace of 3.0%.

Money Talks – January 20, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” Principal Jennifer J. Thomas, CFP®, and Managing Associate D.J. Barker, CWS®, join Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, to discuss the market’s continued rise and how the increase is distributed across the S&P sectors. Jennifer and D.J. discuss the changes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made to 529 Plans, now allowing withdrawals of up to $10,000 for private elementary and high school tuition. The experts also have an in-depth discussion on Bitcoin, and answer listeners’ questions on optical subsystems provider Finisar Corp., and brewers Boston Beer Company and Anheuser Busch InBev.