Money Talks – September 23, 2017

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 consumer sentiment, the latest on monetary policy from the Federal Open Market Committee and housing news. The Equifax data breach is still dominating headlines, so the experts take a look at protecting your information online and in real life, and what to do if you discover your information has been compromised. They round out the show with listener questions on investing in Equifax, maintaining a good debt-to-income ratio, and whether or not to sell an investment in Apogee Enterprises.

Market Roundup: Dow and S&P Close at Record Levels as Fed Maintains Rates

Indices ended trading with gains on Monday with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 index closing at new records. Indices closed in the green zone again on Tuesday with advances made in the Telecommunications, Financials, and Technology sectors. The Dow and S&P 500 closed at record levels on Wednesday on a variety of economic news. The Federal Open Market Committee announced it will begin rolling off its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in October. The Fed will use caps, initially set at $6 billion per month, and will increase by $6 billion at three-month intervals over 12 months until it reaches $30 billion. Furthermore, despite strengthening in the labor market and modest economic growth, the FOMC decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1.00%-1.25%. In housing news, existing-home sales decreased in August, as sales slipped 1.7% from July levels. Sales last month were still 0.2% above totals from August 2016. The indices took a turn and closed in the red zone on Thursday, as Technology stocks led the downswing. Additionally, the Department of Labor showed that first-time claims fell by 23,000 from the previous week’s revised level to 259,000, versus an expected increase to 300,000. The markets were mixed on Friday with the Dow shedding points while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ posted marginal gains. Crude oil ticked up just slightly to close at $50.66 a barrel following news of a dip in U.S. drilling. Weekly numbers from Baker Hughes showed oil rig totals fell by five to 744.

Money Talks – September 16, 2017

This week on “Money Talks,” Chief Investment Officer, Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Managing Associate, K.C. Smith, CFP®, and Director of Insurance Planning, Jim Crone, CLU®, CFS®, to discuss property and casualty insurers and the aftermath of hurricane Irma, how hurricane season affects the market, inflation indicators Producer Price and Consumer Price indices, and unemployment. Jim leads a conversation about life insurance and how your needs may change throughout your life. The experts round out the show answering listeners’ questions on the Equifax security breach and Travelers insurance.

Case Study: Life Insurance Needs Change Throughout your Lifetime

This week, Chief Investment Officer Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, and Managing Associate K.C. Smith, CFP®, are joined by Director of Insurance Planning, Jim Crone, CLU®, CFS®, who brings a conversation about life insurance and how your needs may change from being single with group coverage through your employer to needing more because of personal responsibilities such as a family and a home.

Market Roundup: Record Highs for Major Indices Throughout Week

While much of the Southeast was braced for Hurricane Irma, U.S. indices still closed in the green zone on Monday. The S&P 500 stepped up to a new all-time high. Crude oil prices ticked up as refineries closed because of Hurricane Harvey have started to resume production. The major indices closed Tuesday’s session at new record levels, as a promise of tax reform motivated the market. The rally continued the next day as indices closed with record highs for a second session. Energy brands led the upswing on a jump in crude oil prices, as West Texas Intermediate crude tacked on 2.2% to settle at a five-week high of $49.30 a barrel. In economic news, producer prices ticked up at a slower rate than expected in August. Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed the Producer Price Index climbed by 0.2% last month, versus an anticipated 0.3% increase. Core prices, which discount food and energy, gained 0.2%. Markets edged up again on Thursday, as did inflation indicator, the Consumer Price Index. CPI rose 0.4% in August, stronger than expected. Excluding food and energy, CPI rose 0.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 closed at new record levels on Friday. Commerce Department data showed retail sales decreased by 0.2% in August versus expectations of a 0.1% gain. On another note, consumer confidence is on the wane for September. In a preliminary measure, the University of Michigan’s sentiment index fell to 95.3, a better reading than an expected 95.1.

Money Talks – September 9, 2017

This week on “Money Talks,” anchor hosts Bil Lako, CFP®, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, are joined by Managing Associate Shawna Theriault, CFP®, C.P.A. to discuss August’s employment situation, consumer sentiment and both the Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing indices from the Institute for Supply Management. They also cover interest rates and the market indices year-to-date performance. For this week’s case study, Shawna shares information on how private family foundations can fulfill a philanthropic legacy desire. The experts round out the show discussing available tax loss selling opportunities in large cap companies and provide their opinions on technical analysis of the markets.