Money Talks – May 12, 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 April employment situation, the Producer Price Index, the Consumer Price Index and wholesale trade. They also delve into geopolitical tensions with North Korea and China. Shawna and Jarrett talk about a common question for most investors, “How much life insurance should I have?” The planners’ conversation covers how life insurance protects the financial plan and can help ensure goals are met even if something unfortunate should happen. The experts also answer listeners’ questions on Ross Stores, and how one 401(k) beneficiary can and cannot share her windfall with her siblings.

Case Study: The Need for Life Insurance Is as Unique as Your Financial Plan

Managing Associate Shawna Theriault, C.P.A., CFP®, CDFA®, and Senior Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, join Chief Investment Officer Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, to talk about a common question for most investors, “How much life insurance should I have?” The planners’ conversation covers how life insurance protects the financial plan and can help ensure goals are met even if something unfortunate should happen.

Market Roundup: Benchmark Indices Markedly Advance for First Time in Weeks

Indices kicked off the week on a positive note Monday as Technology stocks led the advance on a variety of economic news. Strong quarterly earnings coupled with Friday’s positive employment report have boosted investor confidence in continuing economic growth. Markets closed mixed moves on Tuesday. After flat trading most of the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and NASDAQ Composite tacked on fractional gains while the S&P 500 index shaved a few points. According to the Producer Price Index, prices moved very little in April, up a scant 0.1% over March, when prices jumped 0.3%. In fact, the bump in prices is attributable to a 0.1% rise in the prices producers got for services—prices for goods were unchanged in April.  Stocks were back in positive territory mid-week with energy brands posting gains on a jump in crude oil prices. West Texas Intermediate crude tacked on 3.1% to settle at $71.14 a barrel. The good news continued Thursday as stocks advanced on a variety of economic news. Department of Labor data showed initial jobless claims held steady at 211,000 new claims for the second week straight. However, the Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% in April, versus a forecast for a 0.3% gain. Core prices edged up 0.1% following a 0.2% rise for the previous two months. At Friday’s close, the weekly gains were enough to push each of the indices into the black year-to-date. Furthermore, it marked the first time April 13 that the major indices had posted weekly gains exceeding 1.0%.

Money Talks – May 5, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” our in-house Research Department takes over as Analysts Nick Antonucci, CVA, and Jacob Keen join Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, to discuss the March Employment Situation, Personal Income, and the ISM Manufacturing and Non-manufacturing surveys. They also touch on the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on monetary policy. The Analysts take a deep look into why companies buy back their stock, and what it means for investors and the company. The hosts also answer listeners’ questions on catastrophic liability insurance policies, what is going on with Consumer Staples stocks, and what is behind the rise in Commodities.

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.