Market Roundup: Proposed Tariffs Weighed on an Already Red Week

The major U.S. indexes were uniformly strong on Monday, carrying over Friday’s bullishness into the new week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added as much as 400 points during the day, while the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ both benefited from a rally in Technology sector stocks. Indices traded into the red zone on Tuesday with stocks dipping on a variety of economic news. Durable goods orders slipped in January, as orders for goods fell 3.7%, marking the largest decrease in six months, and well beyond economists’ expectations for a lesser decline of 2.5%. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence index ticked up to a 17-year high in February, jumping to 130.8 from 125.4 in January. Midweek, both the Dow and S&P 500 closed lower and snapped their 10-month winning streaks. In economic news, fourth-quarter gross domestic product was revised to a reading of 2.5% growth, matching expectations. This was down just slightly from the prior reading of 2.6%. On another note, pending-home sales dipped in January. Sales fell 4.7% to 104.6, marking the lowest reading since October 2014. Additionally, the Energy Information Administration data showed crude oil inventories increased by three million barrels last week, marking a larger-than-expected jump in oil reserves. For the session, oil prices dipped 1.1% to settle at $62.29 a barrel. Stocks continued their slip Thursday amid investor concerns over new steel and aluminum tariffs announced by President Trump. Trump’s pronouncements of a tariff of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports were enough to send stocks tumbling on both Thursday and Friday morning. Department of Labor data showed new claims fell last week by 10,000 to 210,000. The result marks a 49-year low for first-time claims. Looking elsewhere, the ISM manufacturing index reading came in at 60.8 for February, up from 59.1 in January, and exceeded the consensus forecast of 58.7. Indices ended trading with mixed moves on Friday. The Dow shed some points, while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ stepped up. In the second consumer reading for the week, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index for February jumped four points to 99.7.

Money Talks – February 24, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” hosts Bil Lako, CFP®, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, are joined by our Chief Economic Adviser, Roger Tutterow, Ph.D., to discuss the latest minutes from the January Federal Open Market Committee meeting, jobless claims and interest rates. The experts also delve into a discussion on how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changes, for businesses and corporations may affect the economy. They discuss how companies may take advantage of corporate tax rates, the repeal of corporate AMT, the reduced tax rate for repatriated profits, and increased Section 179 and bonus depreciation. The experts also answer listeners’ question on Keurig/Green Mountain’s plans to buy Dr Pepper Snapple, the latest scam affecting taxpayers, and the $8-million-dollar-question of, “When is the recession?”

Case Study: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Promises Big Changes for Businesses

Hosts Bil Lako, CFP®, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, are joined by our Chief Economic Adviser, Roger Tutterow, Ph.D., and delve into a discussion on how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changes for businesses and corporations may affect the economy. They discuss how companies may take advantage of corporate tax rates, the repeal of corporate AMT, the reduced tax rate for repatriated profits, and accelerated depreciation.

Market Roundup: While Equities Advanced Modestly, Volatility was Prevalent Throughout the Week

The U.S. Markets were closed Monday, commemorating Presidents Day; however, the break from trading didn’t stop indices from sliding into red territory on Tuesday, marking the first declines for the indices since they entered correction territory on Feb. 8. The decline continued Wednesday as concerns about higher interest rates resurfaced with the release of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes from the January meeting. The Fed minutes showed the central bank plans to keep gradually raising short-term interest rates throughout 2018. The day’s losses were broad, across all 11 sectors of the S&P, while bond rates saw a fresh four-year high. In housing news, existing-home sales dipped in January, with sales falling 3.2% from December and were down by 4.8% from January 2017. Early signs showed the major indices would snap a two-day losing streak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a gain of 0.66%, while the S&P 500 rose 0.11%. The tech-laden NASDAQ Composite Index closed down about 0.1%. The weekly jobless claims fell 7,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 222,000. This brought the four-week moving average down to 223,750. Indices finally closed with gains on Friday, as Technology sector stocks led the way up. Gains were led by the NASDAQ, but the broad-based S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average also enjoyed the accelerated rally in the final hours, pushing them into positive territory for the week.

Money Talks – February 17, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Managing Associates, Shawna L. Theriault, C.P.A., CFP®, CDFA®, and K.C. Smith, CFP®, to cover the week’s market moves and sector performance. They also cover inflation indicators, the Consumer Price and Producer Price indices and discuss what inflation might mean for the market. Shawna and K.C. discuss how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed the game for middle income taxpayers who may have been subject to alternative minimum tax in the past. With higher exemptions and phaseouts, far fewer people will pay AMT. The experts also answer listeners’ questions on Broadcom’s hostile takeover of Qualcomm, the difference between profit sharing plans and 401(k)s, retailer QVC and its parent company Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, and Social Security statements.

Market Roundup: Markets Rebound After Last Week’s Decline

The major indices closed in green territory on Monday as commodity prices stabilized. Energy stocks moved ahead on an increase in crude oil prices. The following day, the indices closed with slight gains, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ending in the green zone, rebounding up off early low levels. Indices landed in the green zone on Wednesday, again with the Dow rebounding from early session lows on a variety of economic news. Inflation ticked up slightly more than expected in January as shown by The Consumer Price Index increasing 0.5% last month, versus economists’ forecasts of a 0.3% upswing. Core inflation edged up 0.3% in January. On another note, retail sales decreased in January, with sales slipping 0.3% versus expectations of a 0.2% gain. The Dow, S&P 500 Index, and NASDAQ Composite stepped up for the fifth straight session on Thursday. The Street heard from the Bureau of Labor Statistics again, this time, reporting that U.S. producer prices ticked up by 0.4% in January. The results were in line with forecasts. Core PPI rose 0.4%, which exceeded estimates of 0.2% growth. Additionally, the Department of Labor showed initial jobless claims increased last week, as first-time claims climbed by 7,000 to 230,000. After a positive week, the markets closed with mixed moves on Friday. The Dow and S&P 500 posted slight gains while the NASDAQ shed some points. Trading was mixed on a variety of economic news. Consumer confidence ticked up in February, according to a preliminary measure from the University of Michigan. The Consumer Sentiment Index ramped up to 99.9 from 95.7 in January. The reading marked the second-highest level in 14 years.