Money Talks – December 12, 2015

This week on “Money Talks,” Senior Associate, K.C. Smith, CFP®, and Analyst Nick Antonucci join hosts Matt Hames, CTFA, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, to discuss the market’s performance year-to-date, energy and oil prices, employment news and earnings from Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. In this week’s case study, the hosts look at a family whose children have left the nest. The experts focus on financially adjusting to their new lifestyle. K.C., Troy and Nick also address listeners’ questions on American Financial Group, tobacco supplier Universal Corp., what happens once a family fills out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and utility holding company Ameren Corp. They also provide their opinions on whether the European markets will perform better than domestic markets in the next three years.

Market Roundup: Markets Tumble More Than 3%

Energy stocks weighed on the markets Monday as crude oil futures settled at their lowest level in nearly seven years. The decline continued Tuesday with brands in the Materials and Industrials sectors trading lower in the wake of falling oil prices. The lower oil prices also weighed on the global markets. Technology stocks took their turn bringing the markets lower mid-week, while crude oil continued to slip. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said crude-oil inventories fell last week but distillates, which include heating oil and diesel, grew more than expected. On Thursday, the markets reversed course as the Labor Department showed a jump in initial jobless claims. First time claims for unemployment benefits rose by 13,000 to 282,000 last week. Continuing claims increased by 82,000 to 2.243 million in the last week of November. Unfortunately a rally was thwarted on Friday as Energy stocks continued to trade lower. Market action this week marked the weakest Dow and NASDAQ performance in a month and the worst week for the S&P 500 since August.

Money Talks – December 5, 2015

This week on “Money Talks,” Bil Lako, CFP®, Matt Hames, CTFA, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, discuss the economy and interest rates, the ISM Manufacturing and Nonmanufacturing indices, productivity and costs, and jobless claims. Our experts also discuss a case study focusing on a couple who have been disciplined savers and have plenty of money. However, they live a conservative lifestyle so their Social Security benefits pay for most of their living expenses. The hosts discuss how a Social Security income stream should be incorporated into a Ten Year Rule investment strategy. Bil, Matt and Troy also address listeners’ questions on Hydrogenics Corp., pharmaceutical companies Celgene Corp. and Lannett Company, and the lack of Social Security cost of living increases.

Market Roundup: Late Rally Pushes Markets into Weekly Gain

Indices were down on Monday but closed out the month of November with gains. Energy and Utilities stocks posted gains, while Healthcare and Consumer Staples weighed on the market. Indices moved into positive territory on Tuesday amid a variety of economic news. The ISM Manufacturing Index fell from 50.1 to 48.6. Both new orders and production dropped below 50. The markets volleyed back to the negative side midweek as a result of a dip in crude oil prices and other economic news. Crude oil fell below the $40 level for the first time in three months. Prices slipped following news that domestic reserves increased for the tenth straight week. On another note, comments from the Federal Reserve’s “Beige Book” report, which covered activity from October through mid-November, showed a modest to moderate rate of expansion in most districts. Stocks traded well into the red on Thursday, despite crude oil’s gain of 2.9% for the day. Friday’s news that November nonfarm payrolls came in 5.5% higher than consensus estimates, drove the market to its biggest gain since early September. The news may have also opened the way for the Federal Reserve to consider raising interest rates later this month.