Money Talks – September 24, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” Senior Managing Associate, Jennifer Thomas, CFP®, joins Bil Lako, CFP® and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, to discuss the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey and CPI, both released last Friday. They also cover housing news and the market action for the week. Both Bil and Jennifer discuss a case study of a couple who have been using general rules of thumb to do their financial planning. Our planners discuss the problems with assuming you can just save 10% of your income, anticipate spending less in retirement, and picking target-date funds as set-and-forget investments. The hosts also address a listener’s question on Bayer’s buyout of Monsanto, and provide advice to a husband who is the beneficiary of his late wife’s 401(k).

Market Roundup: Despite Red Start and Finish, Markets End Up for the Week

The market indices kicked off the week with losses; however, the S&P 500 index only declined 0.04 point marking the smallest percentage move for the index in either direction since October 2014. On Tuesday, indices closed with slight gains. Housing construction took a breather as Commerce Department data showed starts slipped 5.8% in August to hit an annual rate of 1.14 million units, versus expectations of an annual pace of 1.18 million units. West Texas Intermediate crude rose by 0.66% to settle at $44.15 a barrel. Positive moves continued mid-week when the NASDAQ closed at a new record level. Stocks stepped up following the release of comments from the latest Federal Reserve meeting. In a 3 to 7 vote to keep rates unchanged, the Federal Open Market Committee indicated the possibility of a hike has strengthened. Currently, economic risks “appear roughly balanced.” Energy Information Administration data showed domestic oil reserves decreased by 6.2 million barrels last week, versus an expected gain of 3.25 million barrels, which resulted in West Texas Intermediate crude increasing 2.9% for the day. Indices closed the session with gains on Thursday. Initial jobless claims declined last week as Labor Department data showed new claims decreased by 8,000 to 252,000. Investors also heard more down housing news as sales of existing homes slipped by 0.9% in August, but were up 0.8% from a year ago. Like Monday’s results, the markets ended Friday’s trading session in the red. Energy brands retreated following a dip in crude oil. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 4% to settle at $44.48 a barrel. Thankfully, for the week, the major indices still eked out a gain.

Money Talks – September 17, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Managing Associates D.J. Barker, CWS®, and K.C. Smith, CFP®, to discuss the week’s economic news, including the Producer Price Index, Retail Sales and Industrial Production. The experts also discuss a listener’s concern about how to invest given the upcoming presidential election—should you alter your portfolio for the outcome? The hosts round out the show answering listeners’ stock questions on Elbit Systems, Energy Transfer Partners, CYS Investments and The Buckle. They also cover advice for teaching your children about money and rolling a 401(k) from a previous employer to a Roth IRA.

Market Roundup: Markets End Week Up, Despite Return to Volatile Trading

The markets kicked off the week closing well into the green zone on Monday. Many stocks rebounded from Friday’s downswing on Federal Reserve comments. In a speech on Monday in Chicago, Fed Governor Lael Brainard cautioned prudence in raising interest rates. Indices closed lower on Tuesday with Energy stocks retreating amid a drop in crude oil. West Texas Intermediate crude dipped 3% to settle at $44.90 a barrel. Additionally, the International Energy Agency reduced its demand estimates by 100,000 barrels a day for this year and by 200,000 daily barrels in 2017. The trading session closed with mixed moves on Wednesday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 shed some points while the NASDAQ added slight gains. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell by 2.9% to settle at $43.58 a barrel. On Thursday, volatility returned to stocks after a relatively flat summer, after spending 43 trading days without a 1% move. Thursday’s 1% gain for the S&P 500 marked the fourth session out of five in which the index swung 1% or more. Financial and energy companies dragged down U.S. stocks on Friday with the three major indices falling. For the week all three indices posted weekly gains with the NASDAQ experiencing its biggest weekly jump since July. 

Money Talks – September 10, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” Senior Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, joins Research Analysts Nick Antonucci, Jacob Keen and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA to discuss August’s Employment Situation and July’s Factory Orders and International Trade data. They also cover inflation indicator, the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index. Jarrett takes a deeper look at an investor’s situation of wanting to avoid taking his required minimum distributions once he turns age 70 ½. The hosts also talk in-depth about tax loss selling and what does and does not qualify as a substantially similar holding that might trigger the wash sale rule. The experts also answer listeners’ questions on selling in May and going away, and Atlanta-based company Home Depot.