Market Roundup: Down Week Nearly Erases Year-to-Date Gains

The week began with a pullback in oil prices, which eroded the market’s recent rally. Commodities prices slipped, weighing on Energy and Materials shares. Many investors took comfort in Friday’s solid reading on U.S. manufacturing activity and the March jobs report, which further eased worries about the strength of the U.S. economy. However, concerns about sluggish global growth remained. The decline continued Tuesday with every sector in the S&P 500 falling, all but erasing the index’s gains for the year. The two-day losing streak was snapped Wednesday, led higher by Healthcare sector stocks. Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s March meeting showed policymakers left interest rates unchanged and reduced the number of planned rate increases to two from four. The market’s gains were short-lived as Financials and Energy stocks led the decline on Thursday. Friday’s gains were not enough to push the week into green territory, despite the rally in West Texas Intermediate crude.

Money Talks – April 2, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, joins Matt Hames, CTFA, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA to discuss the news from the previous holiday-shortened week, including fourth quarter 2015’s gross domestic product. They also discuss this week’s news including personal income, consumer confidence and interest rates. The hosts explore a case study on making Roth 401(k) contributions in addition to or instead of pre-tax 401(k) contributions. The experts also answer listeners’ questions about value and growth investing, technology companies Belden, Inc., Amphenol Corp. and Cisco Systems. Additionally, they weigh the benefits to paying off a student loan early versus investing extra cash into a 401(k).

Market Roundup: Markets Continue to Climb

The markets started the week mixed, with both the Dow and S&P 500 closing Monday with gains, while the NASDAQ shed some points. Trading was likely mixed ahead of the March employment numbers, manufacturing and construction data that were scheduled for release later in the week. Personal income increased 0.2% in February, versus a forecast of no change. On Tuesday, stocks flourished on Federal Reserve comments. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen emphasized a gradual, “as needed” approach to moving on interest rates. Meanwhile, consumer confidence ticked up in March. Conference Board data showed confidence increased 2.2 points to 96.2 this month. Home prices also increased 5.7% in January, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index. Indices traded well into the green zone on Wednesday, with Technology stocks leading the way up. Crude oil moved higher on a smaller-than-expected jump in recent inventories. The ADP National Employment Report showed 200,000 jobs were added to the private sector in March. The market indices closed with mixed moves on Thursday, as investors proceeded with caution ahead of monthly employment numbers due out the following day. The Institute for Supply Management numbers showed economic activity in the Chicago area rebounded in March, as the Chicago PMI hit 53.6. The markets ended the week with a positive day of trading. U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday following positive reports on employment and manufacturing in the United States. The latest employment report showed 215,000 jobs were added in March, and average hourly earnings rose as well. The ISM manufacturing index also rose more than expected.

Money Talks – March 26, 2016

In this week’s holiday-shortened edition of “Money Talks,” Director of Research Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Research Analyst Nick Antonucci to discuss the week’s market action, including how the global markets reacted to the terrorist attack in Brussels. The hosts also discuss the S&P sectors’ performance year-to-date, current earnings and economic releases, including the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey, Existing Home Sales and MBA Mortgage Applications. The remainder of the show featured some of the best case studies from past weeks.