Market Roundup: First Weekly Gains in a Month

After the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday on Monday, U.S. stocks enjoyed their first week of gains in a month. The markets closed Tuesday mixed, as the Dow’s turbulent session ended with gains. The S&P 500 ticked up slightly while the NASDAQ shed some points. Shares rose in Asia and Europe on Tuesday after China released economic growth figures and Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, climbed. In the United States, however, oil prices and energy shares retreated, leaving the broader market with only minuscule gains after a morning rally. Mid-week, the markets closed well into red territory after a new low in crude oil. Oil’s plunge, now in its 19th month, largely has been driven by oversupply during a production boom in the United States. Also, Economic data released Wednesday showed a slight decrease in the Consumer Price Index; however, all items less food and energy rose 0.1% in December, its smallest increase since August. Reports also showed an unexpected drop in housing starts in December. The index reversed course on Thursday, as markets were positive after a rebound in crude oil prices. Additionally, Labor Department figures showed 293,000 initial jobless claims for last week. Friday’s rally pushed the markets higher for the week.

Money Talks – January 16, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” Principal Bil Lako, CFP® and Research Analyst Nick Antonucci join Matt Hames, CTFA, to discuss the week’s market performance, from where the fear causing the selloff stems and what is happening with the interest rate yield curve. They also discuss employment, wholesale trade and the Fed’s Beige Book. With the market off to a rocky start, our experts take a deeper look into dividend stocks and how to evaluate them for your portfolio. They also address several listeners’ questions this week, including a follow up from last week’s 401(k) contribution question, life insurance offers for children, insurance companies Markel Corp. and White Mountain Insurance Group, and big brands Apple, Inc. and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Market Roundup: Markets Close Week Down More than 2%

The indices closed mixed on Monday with late day trading leading the Dow and S&P 500 into the green zone. The NASDAQ shed some points, and Small-Cap stocks briefly fell into a bear market. On Tuesday, a late afternoon rally left indices positive for the day, with NASDAQ trading leading the advance. Crude oil briefly fell below $30 a barrel; however, West Texas Intermediate crude managed to settle at $30.79 a barrel. U.S. stocks tumbled on Wednesday to their lowest close since September, and oil prices gave up an early rally on mounting worries about the global economy. In economic reports, the Fed’s Beige Book reported growth in consumer and housing sectors. Expansion in manufacturing, agriculture and energy sectors continued to lag in recent months. Trading closed in green territory on Thursday as Labor Department data showed initial jobless claims increased to 284,000 last week. Unfortunately, indices closed the session well into the red zone on Friday with stocks trading into territory not seen since August. West Texas Intermediate crude dipped 5.7% to settle at $29.14 a barrel.

Money Talks – January 9, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, joins Matt Hames, CTFA, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, to discuss the turbulent ride the market has taken at the start of 2016. They also discuss the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing and Nonmanufacturing indices, international trade, mortgage applications and Interest rates. In this week’s case study, our experts explore a listener’s dilemma on timing his 401(k) contributions and whether he should pay off his mortgage before retirement, discussing the decisions from both a financial and emotional standpoint. The hosts also address listeners’ questions on oil and energy prices, companies BP and Marathon Oil, as well as, tax deductions for 529 plan contributions, and diagnostic testing service provider Quest Diagnostics.