Market Roundup: Stocks Gave Back Prior Week Gains

Indices started the week in the red zone, despite rebounding somewhat from early low levels. Financial and Consumer Discretionary stocks appeared to sell off on a variety of economic news. The ISM Manufacturing Index dipped to 57.2 in March from 57.7 in February, which was weaker than expected. On Tuesday, stocks edged higher, led by a rise in shares of manufacturers. By mid-week, stocks fell reversing a surge in prices early in the trading day. The ISM Nonmanufacturing Index fell from 57.6 in February to 55.2 in March, again below expectations. Furthermore, minutes from the March Federal Open Market Committee meeting showed that interest rates could continue to rise even as the Fed’s balance sheet shrinks by tightening monetary policy. Indices ended trading in green territory on Thursday. Energy stocks led the way up on a jump in crude oil prices. In economic news, the Department of Labor showed new jobless claims fell by 25,000 to 234,000, marking a two-year low level. The labor report, while positive, came in well below expectations, which may have dampened investor enthusiasm by the close of the markets last Friday as trading closed in red territory. Department of Labor data showed the U.S. economy added 98,000 jobs in March versus estimates of 180,000. Additionally, the unemployment rate dropped to a 10-year low of 4.5%. Syrian conflict concerns likely also contributed to the decline.

Money Talks – April 1, 2017

This week on “Money Talks,” Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Managing Associates, K.C. Smith, CFP®, and D.J. Barker, CWS®, to talk about the week’s market action, OPEC’s comments on oil supply, Congress’ movement on health care, the Case-Shiller Home Price Index and mortgage applications.  K.C. and D.J. lead a conversation on a wealthy family whose patriarch is acting irrationally and falling in love with a younger woman. The conservative family has concerns that the new lady friend may only be after the family’s money. The experts discuss the type of estate planning that they can do now before there is a marriage and what families can do proactively to protect assets. The show hosts also address listeners’ questions on Sears’ sale of Craftsman Tools and Kenmore lines, Amazon’s brick-and-mortar stores and their effect on traditional retailers.

Case Study: Providing a Surviving Spouse with a Source of Funds While Protecting Family Wealth

Managing Associates, K.C. Smith, CFP®, and D.J. Barker, CWS®, lead a conversation with Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, on a wealthy family whose patriarch is acting irrationally and falling in love with a younger woman who may only be after the family’s money. The experts discuss the type of estate planning that they can do now before there is a marriage and what families can do proactively to protect assets.

Market Roundup: Indices Posted Week-Over-Week Gains

The markets kicked off the week with mixed moves as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index shed some points while the NASDAQ posted gains. The Financials and Telecommunication sectors led the downswing while the Healthcare sector stepped up. Indices closed in green territory on Tuesday with the Energy and Financial sectors leading the upswing. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence index hit 125.6 in March, its highest level since December 2000. Up from 116.1 in February, the reading exceeded a forecast of 116.5 and consensus expectations for 113.9. Midweek brought mixed moves as several Energy stocks posted gains. Crude oil prices climbed following the release of inventory data from the Energy Information Administration. Their report showed reserves increased by a less-than-anticipated 900,000 barrels over the past week. Stocks were broadly steady in trading on Thursday and ended the day slightly up, despite a pullback in the Chinese domestic markets. Indices ended trading in the red on Friday and down for the month, but well up in the first quarter. According to the report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, personal spending rose 0.1%, half the amount anticipated, while personal income ticked up 0.4% in February, as expected. However, the year-over-year PCE has risen 2.1%, reaching the Fed’s 2.0% inflation target for the first time in almost five years. Consumer sentiment climbed in the final reading for March. The University of Michigan’s index registered a 96.9, from a prior estimate of 96.3. Economists expected a jump to 97.2. Furthermore, Midwestern manufacturing activity ticked up in March. The Chicago Purchasing Managers index rose to 57.7 from 57.4 in February, versus estimates of a decrease to 56.9.

Money Talks – March 25, 2017

This week on “Money Talks,” anchor host Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Managing Associate, Shawna L. Theriault, CFP®, C.P.A., and Senior Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, to discuss the market’s 1% dip during the week. They also cover economic releases Industrial Production, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey, and housing news. Shawna brings to the table a case study on a family who is wondering if the home office tax deduction will benefit them if the husband accepts a telecommuting position at work. The experts also answer listeners’ questions on chemical company Braskem SA; McDonald’s market share problem; social media platform Snapchat; using trusts for education expenses, and iconic retailer Sears.

Case Study: Home Offices: Specific Qualifications for Deductions but Many Expenses Qualify

Managing Associate, Shawna L. Theriault, CFP®, C.P.A., brings to the table a case study on a family that is wondering if the home office tax deduction will benefit them when the husband accepts a telecommuting position at work. She and hosts Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, and Senior Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, discuss the IRS requirements for a home office deduction and what are considered deductible expenses.

Market Roundup: Market Slips Nearly 1.5% for the Week

Market indices closed Monday with mixed results; however, movement was relatively flat, likely a result of light trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 ended marginally lower while the NASDAQ added fractional gains. Trading was choppy throughout the day, including a dip in crude oil, causing Energy brands to sell off on the news. The markets closed well into red territory on Tuesday. Financial brands led the selloff, while Basic Materials stocks declined as well. Indices closed mixed on Wednesday, with the Dow shedding some points and the S&P 500 and NASDAQ eking out slight gains on a variety of economic news. Existing home sales dipped in February, as the National Association of Realtors data showed sales decreased by 3.7% to an annual rate of 5.48 million, versus an expected rate of 5.57 million. Crude oil prices slipped again following news of a greater-than-expected jump in inventories. Reserves increased by five million barrels over the last week, twice the anticipated amount. Indices found themselves in the red zone again on Thursday with stocks declining amid a voting delay on the repeal and replace health care bill. In housing news, new home sales jumped to a seven-month high in February. Commerce Department figures showed sales of newly built houses climbed by 6.1% last month to an annual rate of 592,000. The results exceeded estimates of 571,000. Department of Labor data showed initial jobless claims increased by 15,000 to 258,000, versus expectations of claims dipping to 240,000. Mixed results were on deck Friday as stocks rebounded slightly following news the GOP pulled the health care reform bill. In economic releases, durable goods orders for February were stronger than expected. Census Bureau data showed orders for goods designed to last several years climbed 1.7% last month, down from 2.3% growth in January but beyond estimates of 1.5% growth. Core goods orders slipped 0.1%, versus an anticipated increase of 0.5%.