Money Talks – May 6, 2017

This week on “Money Talks” Director of Research Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, and his team, Research Analysts Nick Antonucci, CVA, and Jacob Keen, discuss the market’s moves during the week. The analysts explore a case study on investing in alternative assets. They discuss the types of alternative assets that average investors may consider if they understand the investment risks involved. The experts round out the show answering listeners’ questions on owning stock options vs. stocks; what “actively managed funds” means and “kid-friendly” stock picks: Hasboro, Activision Blizzard and World Wrestling Entertainment.

Market Roundup: Mixed Week Ends in New Market Highs

A climb in technology shares buoyed U.S. stocks, boosting the Nasdaq Composite to a fresh record on Monday. The gains lifted Apple, Google-parent Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon.com and Facebook to records, the first time those companies—the five largest by market capitalization—all reached highs on the same day. The gains in the tech heavyweights came as investors are analyzing signs of lethargic domestic growth. U.S. factory activity expanded at a slower pace in April, the Institute for Supply Management said Monday, while Americans’ spending was flat in March for the second consecutive month, according to the Commerce Department. The following day, U.S. stock indexes edged higher, as gains in shares of industrial companies offset losses in the energy sector. Stocks have mostly climbed over the past two weeks, supported by earnings reports pointing to corporate strength. With more than two-thirds of S&P 500 companies having reported, firms are on track to post their best results since the third quarter of 2011. Corporate news drove swings in individual stocks on Tuesday while leaving major indexes little changed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the U.S. dollar and government-bond yields edged higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve held interest rates unchanged. Major indexes pared early losses after the Fed’s announcement, which some investors and analysts said signaled the central bank is looking past recent signs of tepid economic growth and holding course toward raising interest rates in June. The S&P 500 inched higher Thursday, as gains in shares of consumer companies offset a slide in the energy sector. Commodity prices slid across the board, putting pressure on shares of energy companies. Metals slid amid concerns about Chinese demand for commodities such as steel and iron. Solid corporate earnings and a slightly stronger-than-expected April jobs report lifted the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite to fresh records on Fridays. Hiring data released by the Labor Department on Friday bolstered the case that the broader economy is strengthening after weak signals earlier this year. Still, many investors brushed off concerns about the U.S. economy’s soft first-quarter patch and this past week the Federal Reserve suggested it is committed to tightening monetary policy. Friday’s jobs report encouraged more confidence in the stock market, some investors and analysts said. Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 211,000 in April from the prior month.

Money Talks – April 29, 2017

This week on “Money Talks”, Principal Bil Lako, CFP®, and Director of Research Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, discuss Trump’s proposed tax plan and the market’s moves during the week. The hosts delve into a case study about how simple mistakes in estate planning can cause trouble and cost your heirs time and money. The experts round out the show answering listeners’ questions on DNP Select Income Fund and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.

Market Roundup: Up-and-Down Week for the Markets

Indices closed well into the green zone on Monday. Consumer staples and financial brands led the upswing as stocks stepped up on French election inspiration. Centrist Emmanuel Macron won the first round of France’s presidential elections over far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. European markets rallied on the news. On Tuesday, indices closed trading with gains as Caterpillar and McDonald’s led the Dow while the NASDAQ hit a new all-time high. Stocks climbed on a variety of economic news including new home sales which ticked up 5.8% to 621,000 in March. On another note, a measure of consumer confidence waned in April. Conference Board data showed sentiment hit 120.3 this month, down from 124.9 in March. Stocks moved marginally lower on Wednesday. Early market momentum faded late in the day as investors reacted with slight indifference to the White House’s highly anticipated tax plan. The release contained few surprises, but prompted many questions. U.S. stock indexes edged higher Thursday as gains in the shares of technology companies offset losses in the energy sector as shares of Google rose after the company reported growth in revenue and profit that topped analyst’s estimates. Also, the European Central Bank left its policy unchanged and said interest rates would remain at present or lower levels well past the horizon of asset purchases by the ECB. Stocks traded slightly lower Friday on a variety of economic news. Bureau of Economic Analysis figures showed the U.S. economy expanded at a pace of 0.7% in the first quarter. The results were shy of expectations for gross domestic product to climb 1.2%. On another note, manufacturing activity in the Chicago region ticked up in April. The Chicago PMI rose to 58.3 this month, from 57.7 in March. Analysts had expected a decrease to 56.5.

Money Talks – April 22, 2017

This week on “Money Talks” Managing Associate, D.J. Barker, CWS®, and Senior Associate, Jarrett McKenzie, CWS®, CFP®, join Director of Research Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, to discuss the Consumer Price Index, industrial production and the market’s moves during the week. The hosts delve into a common situation among retirees—the transition from accumulation to distribution. They discuss how important the plan is when it comes to finally withdrawing your retirement savings. The experts round out the show answering listeners’ questions on military defense stocks, education savings for private high schools, and how the repeal of the FCC privacy rules may affect Internet service providers.