Market Roundup: Holiday-Shortened Week Ends in Green Territory

After observing Memorial Day, market action was mixed on Tuesday. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index shed some points, while the NASDAQ landed in green territory for the session. Consumer confidence decreased this month, as the Conference Board reported a downswing to 92.6 in May from 94.7 in April, noting a slight slowing in the labor market. On another note, Commerce Department figures showed consumer spending ticked up in April with a 1% jump versus expectations of 0.7%. The result marked the strongest increase in seven years. Substantial demand for new vehicles and higher fuel prices led the advance. U.S. trading volumes were low on Wednesday, with nearly 6.5 billion shares exchanging hands compared with the year-to-date average of 7.8 billion shares. Despite the low volume, the major indices closed with gains. Indices closed with slight gains on Thursday, while the S&P 500 traded up to a seven-month high. Initial jobless claims decreased, dipping by 1,000 to 267,000. Crude oil moved up on a downswing in inventory levels when reserves retreated by 1.4 million barrels in the past week. Stocks ended in the red zone on Friday despite rebounding from early low levels. Less-than-stellar employment numbers likely led the decline. Labor Department figures showed an addition of 38,000 non-farm payrolls for May, versus economist expectations of 164,000. Additionally, numbers for March and April were downwardly revised by a combined amount of 59,000. Services industry activity also retreated in May as ISM non-manufacturing index dipped to 52.9 from 55.7 in April.

Money Talks – May 28, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” Research Analyst Nick Antonucci joins hosts Matt Hames, CTFA, and Troy Harmon CFA, CVA, to discuss the week’s economic news including the semiconductor book-to-bill ratio, existing and new home sales, mortgage applications and durable goods. In this week’s case study, the analysts discuss Henssler Financial’s philosophy of laddering bonds to cover liquidity needs, and the firm’s bond buying criteria. They also answer listeners’ questions on using income stocks for the ninth and tenth year liquidity needs to compensate for low interest rates, in addition to specific stock questions on United Therapeutics Corp., Gilead Sciences and Best Buy.

Market Roundup: Markets Rally Despite Monday’s Initial Loss

Indices began the week with a loss as Utilities and Telecommunication stocks led the slight downswing. West Texas Intermediate crude shed 0.7% to settle at $48.08 a barrel. Despite the rough beginning, the market indices traded well into the green zone on Tuesday. New home sales increased to an eight-year high in April. Sales jumped 16.6% last month to an annual pace of 619,000 versus expectations of 525,000. Stocks continued to rally on Wednesday with several Financial stocks posting gains after a jump in crude oil. Additionally, several Energy stocks stepped up on a dip in inventories. Energy Information Administration data showed reserves decreased by 4.2 million barrels in the past week. Markets were mixed on Thursday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 traded slightly lower, while the NASDAQ ended in the green zone. Initial jobless claims decreased as Labor Department data showed new filings for the prior week dipped by 10,000 to 268,000. On another note, durable goods orders increased by 3.4% in April. Technology, Financial and Consumer Discretionary stocks posted gains on Friday amid a variety of economic news. Revised gross domestic product numbers may have been an inspiration. The economy expanded at a pace of 0.8% in the first quarter, versus the previous estimate of 0.5% growth. The revised data was shy of an expected 0.9% rate. 

Money Talks – May 21, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, joins Matt Hames, CTFA and Research Analyst Nick Antonucci to discuss the market sectors’ year-to-date performance, April’s retail sales, inflation indicators Producer Price and Consumer Price indices and the speculation of Britain leaving the European Union. The hosts also take a look at the fiduciary responsibility an adviser has to clients who are getting divorced in this week’s case study. The experts answer a variety of listener questions, including ones on quick serve restaurants, investments in banks and the Financials sector, and an investment in DNP Select Income Fund versus the Vanguard High Dividend Yield index fund. They also discuss private mortgage insurance and the different ways to remove it from your mortgage payment.

Market Roundup: Stocks Close Higher Despite Hawkish Fed Comments

Stocks started the week on a high note, with Energy and Technology stocks leading the upswing. West Texas Intermediate crude oil also settled at $47.72 a barrel. Stocks traded lower on Tuesday. Consumer prices increased in April as the Consumer Price Index rose 0.4% versus March’s uptick of 0.1% and February’s 0.2% decline. Core prices, discounting food and energy, jumped 0.2% as expected. Industrial production ramped up by 0.7% in April versus expectations of a 0.3% expansion, while Commerce Department data showed housing starts climbed 6.6% in April to an annual rate of 1.17 million units. The stock indices closed out Wednesday’s trading session mixed on Federal Reserve comments. Minutes from April’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting showed a rate hike is somewhat likely for June, but only if economic data warrants it. Crude oil retreated midweek with West Texas Intermediate crude settling at $48.19 a barrel. Figures from the Energy Information Administration showed a 1.3 million barrels lift in inventories in the past week. Stocks rebounded somewhat in Thursday’s afternoon momentum. Labor Department data showed first-time claims for unemployment benefits decreased by 16,000 to 278,000, while continuing claims dipped by 13,000 to 2.152 million last week. Indices closed in the green zone on Friday. Better-than-expected quarterly data led the Technology sector higher. West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled the week at $47.75 a barrel. Existing home sales ticked up in April as data from the National Association of Realtors showed a 1.7 percent increase to an annual rate of 5.45 million units. Sales in March were revised slightly higher to 5.36 million units from the initially reported 5.33 million.