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.

Money Talks – March 19, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” Managing Associate K.C. Smith, CFP®, joins Matt Hames, CTFA and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA to discuss retail sales, industrial production and economic indicators the Producer Price and Consumer Price indices. In the featured case study the hosts take a look at an investor who inherits her aunt’s IRA and discuss her withdrawal options. The experts also answer listeners’ questions on American Tower Corp., General Motors Co., Agrium, how to save for both a house and retirement and how to budget when transitioning into retirement. 

Market Roundup: Week’s Gains Push S&P 500 into Positive Territory Year to Date

The week began with mixed results as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and NASDAQ added marginal gains, while the S&P 500 closed slightly in the red. Investors likely traded with caution in anticipation of comments coming from the Federal Reserve meeting that were due later in the week. Mixed results continued the following day as West Texas Intermediate crude dipped 2.3% to settle at $36.34 a barrel and a variety of economic news was released. U.S. retail sales decreased in February, falling 0.1%, which was in line with estimates. Sales for January were downwardly revised to a 0.4% retreat. Stocks were up midweek on comments from the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting. Policymakers held interest rates unchanged and now anticipate two rate hikes this year versus December’s forecast of as many as four. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate crude tacked on 4%, providing a boost to Energy sector stocks. The Consumer Price Index dipped 0.2%; however, the core measure, which discounts food and energy, ticked up 0.3%. Thursday saw Energy stocks increase as crude oil touched $40.20 a barrel. The rally continued on Friday, spurred by a variety of economic news. In a preliminary measure, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index fell 1.7 points in March to a reading of 90, which was shy of the consensus forecast for a slight uptick. The rally from Wednesday to Friday was able to push the S&P 500 into positive territory year to date.