Money Talks – May 7, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” hosts Matt Hames, CTFA, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, are joined by Managing Associate D.J. Barker, CWS®, to discuss the week’s market performance, personal income and savings rates, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey and other weekly economic releases. The experts explore a case study of an individual who had a defined benefit plan and has recently taken a job with a 401(k) where he was auto-enrolled. They discuss the differences between the types of plans and using a target date fund as a default investment. Wrapping up the show, the hosts answer listeners’ questions on Expedia, Sherwin-Williams, ADP, Roth IRA conversions, Harris Corp and General Dynamics.

Market Roundup: Despite Lackluster Jobs Numbers, Stocks Close Week Marginally Lower

Market indices began the week positive with Consumer Discretionary stocks leading the way up while Energy brands trailed with West Texas Intermediate crude falling 2.5% to settle at $44.78 a barrel. The ISM Manufacturing Index slipped to 50.8 from March’s reading of 51.8. Economists had expected a lesser decrease to 51.5. Stocks fell to their lowest level in three weeks on Tuesday, likely because of weak manufacturing data from China. Energy stocks felt the effect of a continued slip in crude oil. The fall in Energy continued on Wednesday. Energy Information Administration figures showed U.S. reserves increased by 2.8 million barrels last week, versus the 1.2 million barrels expected. The services industry activity ticked up in April, as the ISM non-manufacturing index moved up to 55.7 from 54.5 in March, exceeding expectations. Factory orders rose as new orders ramped up 1.1%, also beating consensus expectations. Indices closed with mixed moves on Thursday with the Dow producing a slight gain while both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ shed some points. Labor Department data showed new jobless claims climbed by 17,000 to 274,000. Trading ended in green territory on Friday. Carmaker and raw materials brands stepped up and Energy sector stocks climbed on an upswing in crude oil. Labor Department data showed an addition of 160,000 jobs in April, which was well shy of an expected 200,000. Gains for February and March were revised down by a total of 19,000 while the unemployment rate held steady at 5%.

Money Talks – April 30, 2016

This week on Money Talks, Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Principal and Senior Managing Associate Jennifer Thomas, CFP®, and Research Analyst Nick Antonucci to discuss Energy’s rally, the Federal Open Market Committee’s minutes from its latest monetary policy meeting, consumer confidence, and first quarter gross domestic product. In this week’s case study, the hosts explore Medicaid planning. The details include a son whose mother is being guided by a Medicaid planning specialist to gift away her assets so she’ll qualify for Medicaid in the future. Jennifer helps explain the possible drawbacks to their situation. The experts also address listeners’ questions on investing assets for young children when the assets are not needed for future education expenses, 409A non-contributory plans, and stocks Lennox International, Apple, Verizon and Ambarella.

Market Roundup: Week Ends in Red Amid a Fall in Consumer Confidence

Declines in commodity-sensitive stocks caused the markets to trade slightly lower on Monday. Energy brands led the way down ahead of the Federal Reserve’s two-day April meeting. Commerce Department figures showed new home sales dipped in March, falling 1.5% to a rate of 511,000. February sales were upwardly revised to 519,000. Tuesday’s trading session ended mixed with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index adding gains while the NASDAQ closed in the red. Moves were mixed on a variety of economic news, including a tick up in durable goods orders for March, and a fall in The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence index. The mixed results continued Wednesday following comments from the April Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Policy makers left interest rates unchanged and left an increase in June unconfirmed. Thursday’s results were down across the board after the Commerce Department reported the U.S. economy grew at 0.5% in the first quarter, which was below analysts’ expectations. On Friday, West Texas Intermediate crude oil slipped 0.2% to settle at $45.92 a barrel. On another note, Commerce Department data showed consumer spending ticked up just slightly in March, increasing a mere 0.1%, half the amount anticipated. Personal income rose by 0.4% last month. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell to 89 from 91, slightly below expectations of 90.

Money Talks – April 23, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” Managing Associate, K.C. Smith, CFP®, joins Matt Hames, CTFA and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA to discuss the week’s market news including Industrial Production and the Consumer Sentiment Survey from last Friday. They also discuss Housing Starts, Mortgage Applications and Existing Home Sales that were this week’s headlines. Our experts also explore a case study about a couple who want to test drive their retirement plan as their current lifestyle will not be covered by Social Security alone—they will begin drawing on their retirement accounts almost immediately. The hosts also answer listeners’ questions on whether low oil prices bolstered consumer spending, interest on consumer debt vs. investment gains, water companies York Water and Middlesex Water Company and global industrial company General Electric Co.