Market Roundup: Stocks Trade Lower in Final Trading Week of 2016

After being closed for the Christmas holiday, the markets opened Tuesday with a quiet session, as trading volumes generally dwindle around the holiday period. Despite not making a move of at least 1% in either direction since Dec. 7, the Dow Jones Industrial Average extended a post-election rally that has lifted it 8.8% since Nov. 8 and brought its 2016 gain to 14%. The S&P 500 gained 0.2%, with the Technology sector leading the way. Furthermore, U.S. crude oil rose 1.7% to $53.90 a barrel, its highest level since July 2015. Thanks to a recent climb in commodity prices, shares of energy and mining companies helped stocks inch higher midweek. The following day, Thursday, the markets closed mixed. Recent declines have put the Dow on track for its first weekly loss since the election and wiped out three weeks of gains for the S&P 500. Indices closed in red territory on Friday but gained for the year. In the year’s last day of trading, the Dow Industrials fell 0.1%; the S&P slipped 0.2%, and the NASDAQ fell 0.6%. However, for the year, the Dow jumped 13.5%, the S&P 500 added more than 9.5% and the NASDAQ Composite gained more than 7.5%. Crude oil also ramped up by 45% in 2016. 

Money Talks – December 17, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” Bil Lako, CFP®, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, are joined by insurance expert Jim Crone, CLU®, CFS®, to discuss Consumer Sentiment, Wholesale Trade, both the Producer Price and Consumer Price Indices, and Industrial Production. Jim brings a case study about an investor who was sold annuities inside his IRA—something most financial planners would not recommend. Jim also discusses Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts, an annuity that may help stretch your IRA until your old age. The experts finish the show discussing listeners’ questions on a tax-free exchange on Universal Life policies, buying additional life insurance and Amazon’s drone delivery service.

Market Roundup: Stocks Close Mixed for the Week After Touching New Highs

The major indices were mixed on Monday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting a new record high while the S&P 500 index and NASDAQ shed some points. Energy stocks led advancers while Technology companies pressured the NASDAQ. The rally continued the following day as we again reached new record levels. Technology and Energy stocks led the advance, likely fueled by a tick up in crude oil. Additionally, the Wholesale Trade report showed U.S. import prices retreated in November, slipping 0.3% last month from a 0.5% increase in October. Export prices decreased by 0.1% in November versus expectations of a flat reading. Indices closed in the red zone on Wednesday amid comments from the Federal Open Market Committee. In a unanimous decision, the Federal Reserve boosted interest rates by a quarter point. The move puts the Fed funds rate at 0.5% to 0.75%, and signaled a faster rate of increases in 2017. In another economic release, U.S. retail sales increased at a slower rate than expected in November. Sales ticked up 0.1% last month, a third of the pace anticipated. Excluding cars and gas, sales rose 0.2%. Indices closed the trading session with gains on Thursday on a variety of economic news. Department of Labor data reported new claims dipped last week by 4,000 to 254,000. Meanwhile, continuing claims rose 11,000 to 2.018 million in the first week of December. The Consumer Price Index climbed 0.2% versus a forecast of a 0.3% gain. The core measure, which discounts food and gas, edged up 0.2% in November, following 0.1% gains for the prior two months. U.S. stocks closed lower on Friday, with the Dow swinging to a loss, following reports that a Chinese warship seized an underwater U.S. Navy drone in international waters off the coast of the Philippines. Also on Friday, U.S. Census Bureau data showed that U.S. homebuilding fell more than expected in November, tumbling from a nine-year high as construction activity declined broadly, the latest sign of slower economic growth in the fourth quarter. Stocks spent the Friday affair inside narrow ranges amid a mixed showing from individual sectors with Utilities the biggest gainer and Financials the biggest laggard. Despite Friday’s decline, the Dow posted its sixth consecutive week of gains, even as the postelection rally lost some steam following the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates. Bond yields and the dollar rose to their highest levels in years as the Fed raised interest rates for the first time in a year and signaled a quicker-than-expected pace of increases in 2017. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ both closed the week higher by about 0.1% while the Dow rose 0.4%.

Money Talks – December 10, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Managing Associate K.C. Smith, CFP®, and Senior Associate, Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, to discuss the readings from November’s ISM nonmanufacturing index, productivity & costs, International trade and Factory Orders. The hosts also explore the situation of a couple who are directing their investments into mutual funds. The hosts discuss the benefits of mutual fund diversification, the fees associated with owning shares and some issues to watch out for. They also round out the show addressing listener questions on the relationship between GDP growth and the stock market, stocks W.R. Berkley, The Clorox Co and Eli Lilly & Co., as well as what an investor needs to know about an inherited IRA.

Market Roundup: Stellar Week For Markets with Major Indices up More Than 2.5%

The week kicked off with a rally in Financial stocks, which led the S&P 500 index to its best day in two weeks. Also on Monday, the ISM Nonmanufacturing index showed services bounced back in November, rising above consensus and above its six-month average. The rally continued on Tuesday, as economic reports showed productivity growth remained unrevised for the third quarter, the U.S. Trade Deficit widened in October and Factory Orders increased as well. On Wednesday, the major indices logged their biggest one-day rally since the election, which led to new closing records for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P. The markets were a little shakier on Thursday, shifting between gains and losses for most of the trading session. Investors’ eyes were likely on the European Central Bank, as the bank extended its stimulus program at a reduced volume. Indices closed at session peak levels on Friday, with the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all hitting record highs. Consumer confidence was up in a preliminary December reading from the University of Michigan. The Consumer Sentiment Index ticked up to 98 from 93.8 in November, well beyond an expected reading of 94.1.