Money Talks – August 29, 2015

This week on “Money Talks,” Matt Hames, CTFA, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, are joined by firm principal Scott Keller, CFA, to discuss Monday’s dramatic selloff. They discuss whether the Fed will raise interest rates in the near future, the price of oil and the last bit of earnings for the season. They experts also answer listener questions on Southern Company’s bid to buy AGL Resources, energy stocks Total SA, Apache Corp and Chevron Corp., and explain why the market’s tumble gave investors a chance to do some tax loss selling.

Market Roundup: Markets Close Flat after a Volatile Week of Trading

The week began with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing at its lowest level in 18 months. The S&P 500 Index and the NASDAQ also lost nearly 4% each in a frenzy of selling. The losing streak continued on Tuesday with a rush of selling minutes before the closing bell. On Wednesday, the three major indices surged nearly 4%, with the S&P pulling itself out of correction territory. Still, Wednesday’s big gains don’t erase the financial pain inflicted by the market’s first 10 drop since 2011. The Dow remained 11.1% off its recent high, the S&P 500 remained down 8.9%, while the NASDAQ composite remains 10% off its high and the small-cap Russell 2000 is down 12.6%. Stocks continued to soar on Thursday as renewed optimism about the U.S. economy eased concerns about the pace of global growth. Oil prices soared more than 10% to their biggest one-day percentage gain in six years amid a surge in commodities. The Commerce Department reported Gross Domestic Product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the U.S., expanded 3.7% in the second quarter, well ahead of expectations. The markets ended the week with a whimper, as the major indexes notched gains for the week in a subdued end to one of the most volatile periods in years for global markets. Upbeat economic data has helped reassure some investors that while global growth is slowing, the U.S. remains relatively stable. The Commerce Department said consumer spending rose 0.3% in July.

Money Talks – August 22, 2015

This week on “Money Talks,” Matt Hames, CTFA, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, are joined by Senior Associate K.C. Smith, CFP®, to discuss the rough week the markets have had, which brings the S&P 500 into the red zone year-to-date. They also discuss the minutes from the Fed’s July monetary policy meeting, and several points of housing news, including housing starts, mortgage applications and existing home sales. Matt and K.C. delve into a case study about a family with two children in college and only a limited amount in savings to pay for it. They’re looking to make the most out of the assets they have and the available tax breaks for higher education. The experts also address listeners’ questions on Canadian oil companies, marijuana stocks and Netflix.

Markets Finish Red

Although stocks finished higher Monday, the week saw the markets tumble. The major indices started the week lower, following an unusually weak reading on the New York state manufacturing sector, but trading activity was among the lightest of the summer, allowing stocks to rebound on relatively little buying activity. Stocks began their descent on Tuesday as a result of a variety of economic news. Housing starts increased by 0.2% to 1.206 million in July, which was slightly shy of expectations. Trading closed in the red zone mid-week with Energy stocks such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips dropping significantly. The Consumer Price Index increased 0.1% in July, down from June’s 0.3% addition and shy of expectations for a 0.2% gain. Excluding food and energy, the index added 0.1%, versus 0.2% growth in June. Stocks experienced most of their selling pressure at the end of the week. Economic news and less-than-decisive Fed comments put pressure on the sessions. For July the National Association of Realtors data showed a 2% climb in existing home sales to an annual rate of 5.59 million. Economists had expected a lesser reading of 5.48 million. Additionally, the Department of Labor showed initial jobless claims increased by 4,000 to 277,000 last week. The results exceeded expectations of 271,000 new claims. China’s decision to devalue its currency by loosening its peg to the U.S. dollar also appeared to be driving the selloff, in addition to Friday’s news that Chinese factories were operating at their slowest pace since the financial crisis of 2008—2009.

Money Talks – August 15, 2015

This week on “Money Talks,” hosts Ben Crowe, CFP®, CFA, C.P.A., Charlie Holloway, CFP®, CDFA™, Nick Antonucci and Daniel Rigby, CFA, discuss productivity and costs, wholesale trade, retail sales and earnings from International Flavors & Fragrances, Sysco Corp, and Shake Shack Inc., in addition to Google changing its name to Alphabet. In this week’s case study, our experts take a look at the options a small, family-owned business has when offering stock options as an incentive. They explore ways to compensate the executive team with and without diluting the company’s ownership. Additionally, they look at what the options mean for the executives. The hosts also answer listeners’ questions on Apple, the correlation of population to the rise in the S&P 500 index, investing in Greek banks, Boston Properties, business losses and how an in-law apartment affects your homeowner’s policy.