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.

Market Roundup: Slightly Positive Week

The week began with a rally as the markets rebounded from last week’s downswing, led by a rise in Technology stocks. Google was up in post-session trading after announcing an operations restructuring and a company name change to Alphabet. Stocks dipped Tuesday, likely a result of sinking crude oil prices and news of an unexpected devaluation of Chinese currency. The People’s Bank of China lowered the yuan by 1.9%, marking its largest decline in more than 20 years. Markets were mixed mid-week with energy stocks stepping up while consumer brands remained flat. Thursday brought news that retail sales increased in July, while the Labor Department stated jobless claims increased more than expectations. The markets closed the week on a positive note with news producer prices increased in July while The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index, hit 92.9 in a preliminary reading, down from 93.1 in July, missing expectations of 93.5.

Money Talks – August 8, 2015

This week on “Money Talks,” Matt Hames, CTFA, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, are joined by firm principal Jennifer Thomas, CFP®, and Senior Associate D.J. Barker, CWS®, to discuss the week’s economic news, including the ISM Manufacturing and Service indices, International Trade, Factory Orders and Personal Income. The show hosts explore a unique case study about a two-year-old child who inherits a $550,000 home. While this isn’t common, the hosts highlight how important it is to carefully consider your beneficiaries, especially if they are underage. The experts also answer listener questions on Zillow’s stock dividend payout, Nielson N.V., Sprouts Farmers Market, prenuptial agreements and Humana Inc.

Market Roundup: Markets Languished, as They Have for Most of the Summer

Monday saw several blue-chip stocks, including IBM, Chevron and Apple, trading lower. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 4.1% to settle at $45.17 a barrel. Personal income growth rose 0.4% in June, while consumer spending ticked up by 0.2%, missing expectations of 0.3%. Indices continued downward on Tuesday, despite news that orders for manufactured goods gained 1.8% in June, in line with the consensus forecast. On Wednesday, the S&P 500 index rebounded after three consecutive days of decline. The ISM Nonmanufacturing Index posted its second consecutive gain and the largest since 2008. The July survey bucks other economic data that suggest the economy was off to a slow start in the quarter. Stocks dipped amid a retreat in crude oil on Thursday. On another note, Labor Department data showed initial jobless claims increased by 3,000 to 270,000 last week. On Friday, the Labor Department released July’s data, showing the economy added 215,000 jobs last month, versus expectations of 225,000 additions. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.35%.