Money Talks – July 11, 2015

This week on Money Talks, Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Charlie Holloway, CFP®, CDFA™, and Ben Crowe, CFP®, CFA, C.P.A. to discuss the week’s headline market news, including Greek debt and austerity measures, China’s stock market plummeting and the NYSE’s computer glitch that stopped trading for a few hours. They also tackle a case study of a lawyer who has recently opened her own firm and is overwhelmed by the retirement savings opportunities. They explain what plans work best for the self-employed and what plans can accommodate employees, should she hire in the future. The experts also address listener questions on buying utility stocks instead of a money market account, and one on steel companies.

Turbulent Week with Trading Halt Still Ends in Green Zone

The week began with the markets slipping on a variety of economic news. The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index hit 56, a slight boost from a reading of 55.7 in May. However, Energy stocks traded lower because of a dip in crude oil. Tuesday’s turbulent trading ended with market gains despite continued Greed debt concern. U.S. foreign trade deficit expanded in May. The gap widened from $40.7 billion to $41.9 billion. Exports decreased 0.8% to $188.6 billion while imports slipped 0.1% lower to $230.5 billion. On Wednesday, trading was halted on the New York Stock Exchange for three-and-a-half hours following a computer glitch early in the session. Meanwhile, minutes from the June Federal Open Market Committee meeting showed policymakers less concerned over the U.S. economy’s sluggish start to 2015, while comments on Greece centered on its potential effect on euro area markets and possible U.S. spillover. The end of the week pushed the markets toward the green zone on news that a Greek debt deal may finally see the light of day. Government officials have offered up new proposals to its creditors.

Money Talks – June 27, 2015

This week on “Money Talks,” Matt Hames, CTFA, is joined by Managing Associate Charlie Holloway, CFP®, CDFA, and Research Analyst Nick Antonucci to discuss new and existing home sales, final first quarter GDP, oil inventories and personal income. Our experts also look at early retirement with reduced benefits in our case study. They also answer listeners’ questions on zero coupon municipal bonds, the best day to invest and when the next market dip may happen.

Markets End Week Slightly Lower After Focusing on Greek Debt

The markets began the week on a positive note with Financial giants, such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and American Express, leading the gains. The markets also reacted to a variety of economic news as well as word that a Greek debt deal may finally see the light of day. Existing home sales ticked up in May with sales climbing 5.1% to 5.35 million. The NASDAQ closed at a new record level Tuesday, on prospects of a debt solution for Greece. Meanwhile, durable goods orders slipped 1.8% in May, while April’s reading was revised down to a 1.5% decrease from a previous 1% dip. Trading closed in the red zone on Wednesday, with stocks selling off on news the International Monetary Fund had rejected Athens’ latest proposal. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.2%, to settle at $60.27 a barrel. On another note, real GDP declined 0.2% in the first quarter, according to a third estimate. The result was down from 2.2% growth in the prior quarter, but better than the second estimate of a 0.7% dip. Thursday’s trading also ended lower. Initial jobless claims moved higher. Labor Department data showed an increase of 3,000 to 271,000 last week. Personal income activity jumped up in May, as income climbed 0.5%, matching April’s upwardly revised gain. Spending ticked up 0.9%, following a slight 0.1% upswing in April. Indices closed out mixed on Friday. The Dow added some points while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ traded into red territory for the session.