Market Roundup: Positive Week as Oil Prices Increase

Indices began the week with gains as energy stocks stepped up on a slight dip in crude oil. Crude pared earlier losses as the session progressed. The markets closed with mixed moves on Tuesday when both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 index tacked on some points while the NASDAQ traded slightly into red territory. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 3.3% to settle at $41.08 a barrel. Commerce Department data showed U.S. housing starts decreased in March, with new construction falling 8.8% to a rate of 1.09 million versus expectations of 1.17 million. The markets posted gains across the board on Wednesday as oil prices increased 4%. Existing-home sales ramped up 5.1% to 5.33 million in March versus expectations of 3.7% growth. Stocks took a pause in their upward climb on Thursday as the oil rally slowed and doubts persisted whether the stimulus measures of the European Central Bank were working. Indices were mixed on Friday with the Dow and S&P 500 adding marginal gains while the NASDAQ traded lower. Crude oil ramped up again as West Texas Intermediate crude increased 1.4% to settle at $43.73 a barrel.

Money Talks – April 16, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” Managing Associate Shawna Theriault, CFP®, C.P.A., joins Matt Hames, CTFA, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, to discuss the S&P 500’s movements for the week, including the rallies in the Energy and Financial sectors. They also discuss wholesale trade, inflation indicators the Producer Price and Consumer Price indices, March’s retail sales and employment. The hosts also delve into a case study about longevity risk and the financial planning needed to ensure you do not outlive your money. Closing out the show, the experts answer a listener’s questions about lump sum investing vs. dollar cost averaging and the current trend of buying on the dips. They also provide their opinions on cyber security firms and identity theft protector, LifeLock.

Market Roundup: Overall Green Week Despite Red Start and Finish

The markets began the week on a down note as Healthcare stocks traded lower despite the step up by Financial stocks. West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled at $40.36 a barrel, which led to Energy stocks ramping up on Tuesday alongside a continued upswing in crude oil. Indices closed in positive territory on Wednesday on a variety of economic news. The Producer Price Index slipped 0.1% in March, while core goods prices rose 0.1% for the second straight month. Retail sales dipped 0.3% in March. Discounting cars, sales jumped 0.2%. Additionally, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, which covered economic activity from mid-February through March, showed a modest to moderate rate of expansion in the majority of districts. Indices closed slightly mixed on Thursday. The Dow and S&P 500 added fractional gains, while the NASDAQ ended the session marginally in the red. Bank stocks in the Financials sector led advancers while Technology stocks retreated. Indices closed Friday’s session in red territory with stocks this time retreating on a variety of economic news. West Texas Intermediate crude lost its weekly gains to settle at $40.36 a barrel, where it began the week. In a preliminary measure, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey showed a 1.3 point dip to 89.7 for April, versus expectations of an uptick to 91.8. 

Money Talks – April 9, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” Jim Crone, CLU®, CFS®, joins Matt Hames, CTFA, and Troy Harmon CFA, CVA, to discuss the week’s market movements, healthcare, unemployment and the Consumer Sentiment Survey. They also touch on the ISM Manufacturing and Services indices as well as Factory Orders. The hosts also discuss the latest changes the Department of Labor made to the definition of fiduciary standard under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). In this week’s case study, Jim helps the hosts explore a case study about an investor who is considering a long-term care annuity. The experts also answer listeners’ questions on oil companies BP and Exxon; life insurance trusts and estate taxes; and agricultural chemical companies Potash, Ciner Resources and Mosaic.

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.