Market Roundup: Major Indices Posted Gains for the Week

Monday brought February to a close with the S&P fell 0.41% in February after losing 5.07% in January, putting its year-to-date loss at 5.47%. Worries about China’s economy, depressed oil prices and signs of deflation in the Eurozone all weighed on the market. Tuesday, the stock indexes surged to their highest levels in nearly two months on signs of improvement in the U.S. economy. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index rose more than anticipated, rising from 48.2 in January to 49.5 in February. Though the index remained below the neutral threshold of 50, there was improvement in the production and inventory index. Higher oil prices fueled a rally mid-week, as energy shares led the S&P 500 up. Data showing continued strength in the labor market attracted attention as investors search for clues about when the Fed will make its next interest-rate increase.  On Thursday, the Non-Manufacturing Index from the Institute for Supply Management indicates growth in February at 53.4%. The index for January was 53.5%, thus reflecting growth, but at a slower rate. The news from the employment sector continues to be favorable based on the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 242,000 in February, while the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9%.

Money Talks – February 27, 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 week’s market movements, Consumer Confidence, the Consumer Price Index, a review of earnings by sector and how banks are reacting to interest rate movements.  In this week’s case study, Shawna and Matt discuss a situation about a professional who is interested in going back to school as an adult. The experts look at the cost of going back to school, her options to pay for school and some mistakes she should avoid. The experts also answer listeners’ questions on investing using a stop-loss strategy, domain and web hosting company GoDaddy, Inc., Roth IRA conversions and how interest rates affect inflation.

Market Roundup: Week Ends with Marginal Gains

The week saw a mixed bag of information from some major economic sectors, which may have influenced the equities markets to record some marginal gains by week’s end. On Monday, both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 indices increasing 1.4% to reach more than six-week highs, despite the day coming in as the second lowest volume trading day for the year. The gains were nearly wiped out the next day when there was speculation about energy-company loan defaults. Energy companies fell sharply after Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said not to expect production cuts. The falling oil prices created a drag on shares of exploration-and-production companies, with energy stocks in the S&P 500 falling 3.2%. By mid-week, U.S. stocks rose, recovering from earlier losses as oil prices turned higher. The rebound was broad-based, with nearly every S&P 500 sector eking out a gain. In economic news, the latest report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed consumers increased spending in January, as personal spending increased 0.5% from December. New orders for durable goods rose 4.9% in January, following a steep decline in December. The important details on core capital goods were positive overall, with orders up 3.9% and shipments down just 0.4%.

Money Talks – February 20, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” Henssler Norton Insurance’s President of Commercial Insurance, Brian Borngesser, joins Matt Hames, CTFA, and Research Analyst Nick Antonucci to discuss the week’s market movements, mortgage applications and the producer price index.  In this week’s case study, Brian helps the hosts explore a question about a business owner who operates her business out of her family’s home. The experts look at the insurance policies she should have in place to protect her business and inventory. The experts also answer listeners’ questions on what company insurance covers, integrated energy company Enertgy, and U.S. marketer and distributor for food Sysco.

Market Roundup: Friday’s Gains Were Not Enough to Erase the Week’s Losses

Despite being closed Monday in honor of the President’s Day holiday, stocks got off to a great start on Tuesday after being beaten down on a global economic slowdown. The S&P 500 rallied to its biggest two-session gain since August as investors piled into Financial and Technology stocks and sold off other “safer” asset classes such as gold and treasury bonds. Oil prices fell despite Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela saying they wouldn’t increase crude oil output above January levels. All three major indices closed the day more than 1% higher. The rally carried over into Wednesday partially due to a recovery in oil prices and positive economic data, which included an uptick in the Producer Price Index and positive industrial production data. Stocks fell for the first time in three sessions on Thursday due to tepid earnings and declines in Energy stocks. Investors remained apprehensive that global economic concerns could spill over into the U.S. Oil prices also fell as U.S. inventory data showed another increase in stockpiles of crude. Stocks finished mixed on Friday, the markets second-lowest volume day of the year, but positive for the week with the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 all up more than 2.5% for the week. Friday’s drop came as an indication that investors still want to see more positive economic data before piling further into stocks.