Stocks Touch Record Highs

The Weekly Update

Week of June 24, 2019
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
The S&P 500 hit an all-time peak of 2,964.03, in intraday trading Friday, while improving 2.20% across five market days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite posted respective, 5-day advances of 2.41% and 3.01%. In addition, the MSCI EAFE benchmark of overseas stocks rose 2.58%.

A White House tweet and the latest monetary policy outlook from the Federal Reserve sent the bulls running. These were the top two financial news items in an eventful week – a week in which the value of West Texas Intermediate crude rose 9.4%, the price of gold went above $1,400 for the first time in six years, and the 10-year Treasury yield fell below 2%. (Treasury yields fall when their prices rise, and vice versa.)

The Fed’s June Policy Statement
The central bank stood pat on interest rates this month, but the expectations of some of its policymakers changed. About half of the 17 Fed officials who have a say in monetary policy now project either one or two quarter-point rate cuts by the end of the year. As recently as March, no Fed official saw grounds for a 2019 cut.

Markets interpreted this shift as a sign that the Fed might soon ease. While a rate cut is by no means a given, traders now believe that the Fed will make either a quarter-point or half-point cut at its July meeting.

Last Tuesday’s Market-Moving Tweet
A day earlier, stocks rose after President Trump stated that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping “will be having an extended meeting” at this week’s G-20 summit in Japan.

Investors were encouraged by this note, sensing a chance for progress in U.S.-China trade talks.

Final Thought
With tensions persisting between Iran and the U.S., investors are keeping a close eye on both commodity prices and stock indices. Economic or geopolitical developments could heavily influence the short-term movement of the markets.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: The Census Bureau’s snapshot of May new home buying and the Conference Board’s monthly consumer confidence index.
Thursday: The federal government’s third (“final”) estimate of first-quarter gross domestic product.
Friday: May consumer spending data from the Department of Commerce as well as the final June consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan, another key gauge of consumer confidence.

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, June 21, 2019
The Econoday and MarketWatch economic calendars list upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.

THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: Carnival (CCL)
Tuesday: FedEx (FDX), Micron Technology (MU)
Wednesday: General Mills (GIS), Kraft Heinz (KHC), Paychex (PAYX)
Thursday: Accenture (ACN), Nike (NKE), Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)
Friday: Constellation Brands (STZ)

Source: Zacks.com, June 21, 2019
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Data collected from Investors FastTrack software.
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/21/it-was-a-monumental-week-for-markets-with-major-milestones-in-stocks-bonds-gold-and-oil.html
https://www.wsj.com/market-data
https://quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/21/it-was-a-monumental-week-for-markets-with-major-milestones-in-stocks-bonds-gold-and-oil.html
https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-fed-interest-rate-policy-20190619-story.html
https://www.cmegroup.com/trading/interest-rates/countdown-to-fomc.html
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/18/trump-says-he-and-chinas-xi-spoke-will-have-extended-meeting-next-week-at-g-20.html
Stocks Touch Record Highs2019-06-24T14:18:29-04:00

Thriving in the Gig Economy

Thriving in the Gig Economy

Approximately 57 million Americans participate in the gig economy. While the gig economy has been around forever, the number of freelancers has increased exponentially. The need for these freelancers and side hustlers to save for retirement is greater than ever. Check out our new piece where we examine 4 critical areas of personal finance that should be a focus for freelancers looking to get ahead. http://bit.ly/2L0puN0

Thriving in the Gig Economy2019-06-21T10:14:03-04:00

Further June Gains

The Weekly Update

Week of June 17, 2019
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
Stocks advanced for a second straight week. The S&P 500 benchmark rose 0.47%; the Nasdaq Composite, 0.70%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 0.41%. Overseas shares, as tracked by the MSCI EAFE developed markets index, added 0.20%.

The market seemed to put its recent preoccupation with trade issues aside, with attention shifting to this week’s Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting. Traders in futures markets now believe the Fed will make a rate cut in July, so its June policy statement will be of great interest.

Oil Prices Rollercoaster
Attacks on vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, the busy oil shipping channel, helped to push the price of West Texas Intermediate crude 2.2% higher Thursday, just a day after a 4% fall. Even so, WTI crude lost 2.7% in five days, closing Friday at $52.51 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Investors wondered at mid-week if tensions in the Persian Gulf region would soon impact oil output and transport. Looking beyond the short term, however, the International Energy Agency reduced its 2020 projection for global oil demand.

Households Bought More in May
Retail sales rose 0.5% last month, according to the Department of Commerce. Across the year ending in May, they advanced 3.2%. The previously announced 0.2% April retreat was revised into a 0.3% gain.

These numbers affirm strong household spending this spring. Consumer spending accounts for roughly two-thirds of the nation’s gross domestic product.

What’s Ahead
In terms of news, Wednesday offers what may prove to be the biggest economic event of the week: a Federal Reserve policy statement and press conference.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Wednesday: The Federal Reserve concludes a 2-day policy meeting, with Fed chair Jerome Powell addressing the media afterward.
Friday: The National Association of Realtors releases data on May existing home sales.

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, June 14, 2019
The Econoday and MarketWatch economic calendars list upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.

THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Tuesday: Jabil (JBL)
Wednesday: Kraft Heinz (KHC), Oracle (ORCL)
Thursday: Kroger (KR), Red Hat (RHT), Darden Restaurants (DRI)
Friday: CarMax (KMX)

Source: Zacks.com, June 14, 2019
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Data collected from Investors FastTrack software.
https://www.wsj.com/market-data
https://quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-price
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/14/stock-market-middle-east-tensions-weigh-china-data-in-focus.html
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-steady-as-market-keeps-watch-on-strait-of-hormuz-after-tanker-attacks-2019-06-14
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/14/retail-sales-may-2019.html
Further June Gains2019-06-17T16:14:20-04:00

Big Gains for the Major Indices

The Weekly Update

Week of June 10, 2019
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
Stocks rallied during a week in which Wall Street was buffeted by headlines. The S&P 500 rose 4.41%. The Nasdaq Composite and Dow Jones Industrial Average respectively added 3.88% and 4.71%. The MSCI EAFE index of overseas stocks improved 2.02% across five days.

Following a mixed Monday, the market jumped Tuesday after dovish remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Breaking out of a 6-week losing streak, the Dow had its best week since November.

Jerome Powell’s Comments
Speaking at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Fed chair stated that central bank officials “will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion” of the economy in the face of “recent developments involving trade negotiations and other matters.”

The next 2-day Fed policy meeting ends on June 19, with a press conference to follow.

Hiring Cools
Employers added just 75,000 net new jobs to their payrolls in May, according to the Department of Labor. Economists polled by Reuters thought that the gain would be 185,000. The main unemployment rate held at 3.6% last month; the U-6 rate, which includes the underemployed and those who have stopped looking for work, fell 0.2% to 7.1%.

To some analysts, the weak May hiring number hinted at private-sector concern over tariffs. To others, it simply signified the possibility that the economy may be at or near full employment.

Final Thought
While breaking news does often merit investor attention, refrain from letting the headlines of the moment prompt you into emotional decisions. Brace yourself for further headlines that may drive market volatility because new developments are arriving quickly in the financial markets.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Wednesday: The latest Consumer Price Index, showing the rate of inflation in May and across the past 12 months.
Friday: The Census Bureau’s May retail sales report as well as the University of Michigan’s initial June consumer sentiment index, measuring consumer confidence levels.

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, June 7, 2019
The Econoday and MarketWatch economic calendars list upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.

THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Tuesday: H&R Block (HRB)
Wednesday: Lululemon Athletica (LULU)
Thursday: Broadcom (AVGO)

Source: Morningstar.com, June 7, 2019
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Data collected from Investors FastTrack software.
https://www.wsj.com/market-data
https://quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/07/us-futures-edge-higher-as-wall-street-rally-set-to-continue-jobs-data-in-focus.html
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/04/powell-says-the-fed-will-act-as-appropriate-to-sustain-the-expansion.html
https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/calendar.htm
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-instant/us-may-payrolls-rose-less-than-expected-idUSKCN1T81GG
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-instant/us-may-payrolls-rose-less-than-expected-idUSKCN1T81GG
Big Gains for the Major Indices2019-06-10T14:16:12-04:00

May Ends With A Retreat

The Weekly Update

Week of June 3, 2019
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
Stocks struggled during a 4-day market week as the U.S.-China trade standoff continued to weigh on the minds of market participants. From the Friday, May 24 close to the Friday, May 31 close, the S&P 500 retreated 2.62%; the Nasdaq Composite, 2.41%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 3.01%. The MSCI EAFE index of overseas stocks dipped just 1.47% in a week.

Trade is dominating the conversation in the financial markets, with developments steadily unfolding. Wednesday, China’s state media suggested that the country could soon cut off exports of rare earths to the U.S. Late Thursday, the Trump administration announced 5% tariffs on all imports from Mexico, effective June 10; these taxes could rise in the coming months.

Meanwhile, on Main Street…
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index soared to 134.1 in May, its highest reading since November; the consumer view of present economic conditions was the best since the end of 2000. Additionally, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index ended May at 100.00, near the 15-year peak of 102.4 seen earlier in the month.

Spring also brought a solid advance in consumer spending. April’s gain was 0.3%, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Final Thought
While Wall Street remains cautious and concerned about trade, consumers appear to be upbeat, sensing widespread economic prosperity. This underscores the fact that the state of the economy does not necessarily correspond to the state of the stock market (and vice versa).

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Monday: The Institute for Supply Management releases its latest factory purchasing manager index, which takes the pulse of the U.S. manufacturing sector.
Tuesday: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks on monetary policy at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Wednesday: Payroll giant ADP releases its May private-sector employment snapshot.
Friday: The Department of Labor presents its May employment report.

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, May 31, 2019
The Econoday and MarketWatch economic calendars list upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.

THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Tuesday: Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (CBRL), Salesforce (CRM)
Thursday: Beyond Meat (BYND), J.M. Smucker (SJM)

Source: Morningstar.com, May 31, 2019
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Data collected from Investors FastTrack software.
https://www.wsj.com/market-data
https://quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices
https://apnews.com/af8ed9e6b95f4d14b32e6e0135949159
https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/us-stocks-wall-street-may-31-2019
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-28/u-s-consumer-confidence-tops-forecasts-rises-to-six-month-high
https://www.investing.com/economic-calendar
https://www.investing.com/economic-calendar
May Ends With A Retreat2019-06-03T12:47:14-04:00