China Announces More Tariffs

The Weekly Update

Week of August 26, 2019
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
Traders assumed that the week’s biggest news event would be Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at the annual Jackson Hole banking conference. Instead, China seized the headlines by announcing new tariffs on U.S. goods.

Domestic stocks ended up lower for the week. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.83%; the S&P 500, 1.44%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 0.99%. International stocks posted a weekly gain: the MSCI EAFE benchmark rose 0.96%.

Beijing Plans New Tariffs
Friday morning, China’s finance ministry stated it would levy import taxes of 5-10% on an additional $75 billion of American imports. One set of tariffs is slated to start September 1, targeting U.S. crops, meats, and seafood. A second set, effective December 15, will put tariffs on U.S.-made cars and car parts. In total, these taxes are scheduled for more than 5,000 American products.

Friday evening, the White House announced two rounds of 5% increases on existing U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, to be successively implemented on September 1 and October 1.

Powell Reflects at Jackson Hole
Friday, Jerome Powell delivered an address on monetary policy at the Kansas City Fed’s annual Jackson Hole symposium. He noted that the global economy currently presented a “complex, turbulent picture,” and added that the Fed was “carefully watching developments” and would “act as appropriate.”

Investors wonder if the central bank will consider another rate cut at its September meeting. Comments from other Fed officials at Jackson Hole did not indicate a consensus on that matter.

Leading Indicators Rise
The Conference Board, the business research group known for its monthly Consumer Confidence Index, also publishes a monthly Leading Economic Indicator (LEI) Index. The Conference Board LEI provides a forward-looking analysis of the health of the business cycle, looking at ten factors ranging from consumer expectations to stock prices to construction activity.

In July, the LEI rose 0.5%, following 0.1% descents in May and June. This sudden increase offers optimism at a time when investors are wondering about the momentum of the economy.

Final Thought
Bond prices have risen around the world, leading to lower bond yields. In some instances, yields have turned negative. While the yield on the 10-year Treasury has also declined, it is still above 1.5%, notably exceeding the yields of similar-duration bonds in France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: The Conference Board’s July Consumer Confidence Index.
Thursday: The Bureau of Economic Analysis presents the second estimate of second-quarter economic growth, and the National Association of Realtors publishes new data on pending home sales.
Friday: July consumer spending data from the Department of Commerce, and July’s final University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (a gauge of consumer confidence levels).

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, August 23, 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: Autodesk (ADSK)
Thursday: Abercrombie & Fitch (ABF), Best Buy (BBS), Lululemon Athletica (LULU)

Source: Zacks, August 23, 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.cnn.com/2019/08/23/business/china-tariff-products-soybeans-oil/index.html
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-says-us-tariffs-will-increase-on-chinese-goods-2019-08-23
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/powell-says-fed-carefully-watching-developments-and-will-act-as-appropriate-2019-08-23-10103027
https://www.conference-board.org/data/bcicountry.cfm?cid=1
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/20/investing-in-the-strange-negative-yield-world-its-very-hard-to-wrap-your-arms-around.html
China Announces More Tariffs2019-08-26T14:33:38-04:00

Equities Face Some Volatility

The Weekly Update

Week of August 19, 2019
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
U.S. stock indices saw significant ups and downs last week, with traders looking for economic cues from Treasury yields and also developments in the tariff fight between the U.S. and China.

The S&P 500 lost 1.03% on the week; the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite respectively declined 1.53% and 0.79%. Overseas shares also retreated: the MSCI EAFE index lost 2.34%.

Attention on the Bond Market
Wednesday, the yield of the 2-year Treasury bond briefly exceeded that of the 10-year Treasury bond. When this circumstance occurs, it signals that institutional investors are less confident about the near-term economy. That view is not uniform. Asked whether the U.S. was on the verge of an economic slowdown, former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told Fox Business “the answer is most likely no,” noting that the economy “has enough strength” to avoid one.

The demand for bonds has definitely pushed prices for 10-year and 30-year Treasuries higher, and their yields are now lower (bond yields usually fall as bond prices rise). The 30-year Treasury yield hit a historic low last week.

Some China Tariffs Postponed
Last week, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced that about half the Chinese imports slated to be taxed with 10% tariffs starting September 1 would be exempt from such taxes until December 15.

The White House said that the reprieve was made with the upcoming holiday shopping season in mind, so that tariffs might have less impact on both retailers and consumers.

Final Thought
Lower interest rates on bonds are now influencing mortgages. According to mortgage reseller Freddie Mac, the average interest rate on a conventional 30-year home loan was just 3.6% last week. That compares to 3.81% roughly a month ago (July 18).

30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages are conventional home loans generally featuring a limit of $484,350 ($726,525 in high-cost areas) that meet the lending requirements of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but they are not mortgages guaranteed or insured by any government agency. Private mortgage insurance, or PMI, is required for any conventional loan with less than a 20% down payment.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Wednesday: The minutes of the July Federal Reserve meeting and the latest existing home sales data from the National Association of Realtors.
Friday: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell delivers a speech at the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole economic conference on monetary policy, and July new home sales numbers arrive from the Census Bureau.

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, August 16, 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: Baidu (BIDU), Estee Lauder (EL)
Tuesday: Home Depot (HD), Medtronic (MDT), TJX Companies (TJX)
Wednesday: Analog Devices (ADI), Lowe’s (LOW), Target (TGT)
Thursday: Salesforce (CRM), Intuit (INTU)

Source: Zacks, August 16, 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/2019/08/15/us-bonds-30-year-treasury-yield-falls-below-2percent-for-first-time-ever.html
https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/janet-yellen-to-wall-street-a-recession-is-unlikely
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-tariffs/trump-delays-tariffs-on-chinese-cellphones-laptops-toys-markets-jump-idUSKCN1V31CX
http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/archive.html
Equities Face Some Volatility2019-08-19T14:15:04-04:00

Pro VS. Solo Investing

Pro Vs. Self-Managed

In 2018, the S&P 500 was down -4.38% and the average investor lost -9.42%. (DALBAR) Emotional decision-making was a major factor, and we explored this topic in a recent article here. bit.ly/2Zmo1Vu

Pro VS. Solo Investing2019-08-15T10:26:49-04:00

Trade Tensions Affect Stocks

The Weekly Update

Week of August 12, 2019
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
Stocks spent much of last week rebounding from a Monday drop that reflected nervousness about the U.S.-China trade fight. By Thursday’s closing bell, the S&P 500 had regained all its Monday losses – but it descended again on Friday.

The three big U.S. equity benchmarks finished the week lower: the S&P declined 0.46%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 0.75%; the Nasdaq Composite, 0.56%. A broad index of foreign shares, the MSCI EAFE, lost 0.95%.

China Devalues Its Currency
Last Monday, stocks fell 3% in reaction to the overnight weakening of the Chinese yuan. A weaker yuan makes Chinese exports cheaper for buyers who pay for them in dollars.

Critics quickly accused China of manipulating its currency to strike back at the U.S. The federal government plans to impose tariffs on nearly all Chinese products next month, likely making those goods more expensive to American consumers; a weaker yuan could counter the effect of those import taxes.

Earnings Season Update
Ninety percent of S&P 500 firms have now reported second-quarter results. Their collective sales and profits have surprised to the upside.

Stock market analytics firm FactSet says that overall earnings have beaten estimates by 5.7%. Seventy-five percent of firms have reported actual earnings per share surpassing estimates, which is better than the five-year average.

Final Thought
We are seeing a significant bond rally this summer, even with interest rates at very low levels. (When bond prices rise, bond yields tend to fall.) At the moment, about a quarter of the global bond market is invested in government notes with negative interest rates. The 10-year Treasury stands in contrast. Friday, it was yielding 1.74%.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: The July Consumer Price Index appears, reporting the country’s monthly and annual rate of inflation.
Thursday: July retail sales numbers from the Census Bureau.
Friday: The initial August University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index presents the latest snapshot of household confidence in the economy.

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, August 9, 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: Sysco (SYY)
Wednesday: Cisco (CSCO)
Thursday: Alibaba (BABA), Applied Materials (AMAT), Nvidia (NVDA), Walmart (WMT)
Friday: Deere & Co. (DE)

Source: Zacks, August 9, 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.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-04/asia-stocks-set-to-drop-with-trade-back-in-focus-markets-wrap
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-05/china-hits-back-at-trump-with-weaker-yuan-halt-on-crop-imports
https://insight.factset.com/earnings-season-update-august-9-2019
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/07/how-bonds-with-negative-yields-work-and-why-this-growing-phenomenon-is-so-bad-for-the-economy.html
https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=yield
Trade Tensions Affect Stocks2019-08-12T13:53:37-04:00

Half Time Report – August 2019

Half Time Report – August 2019

Here’s our new piece that walks through some market fundamentals from the 1st half of 2019. We take a look at what drove U.S. equity market performance and we examine the market forces that may affect the outlook for the second half. http://bit.ly/halftimereport

Half Time Report – August 20192019-08-07T09:39:03-04:00

Fed Cuts Rates, Stocks Retreat

The Weekly Update

Week of August 5, 2019
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
Last week, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time in more than a decade, in line with Wall Street’s expectations. Ironically, stocks had their worst week of 2019.

The S&P 500 finished the week 3.10% lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite also posted weekly losses; the blue chips fell 2.60%, while the premier tech benchmark slumped 3.92%. International stocks tracked by MSCI’s EAFE index dipped 1.06%.

Fed Cuts Benchmark Interest Rate
On Wednesday, the central bank reduced the federal funds rate by 0.25%. The latest Fed policy statement noted that “global developments” and “muted inflation” influenced the decision.

Addressing the media, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell described the cut as a “mid-cycle adjustment.” After that comment, Wednesday’s trading session turned volatile on the interpretation that the cut was a “one and done” move, instead of what might be the first in a series.

More Tariffs Planned
Shares also fell Thursday, after a White House tweet indicated that the U.S. would put a 10% tariff on another $300 billion of goods coming from China, effective September 1.

Practically speaking, this would mean a tariff on nearly all Chinese products arriving in America. So far, the announcement has not affected plans for trade delegates from both nations to continue negotiations in September.

The Latest Hiring Data
Payrolls expanded with 164,000 net new jobs in July, according to the Department of Labor. The headline jobless rate stayed at 3.7%; it has now been under 4% for 17 months. The U-6 jobless rate, which counts both underemployed and unemployed Americans, dipped to 7.0%, a level unseen since December 2000.
Monthly job growth has averaged 140,000 over the past three months, compared to 187,000 in 2018.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Monday: The Institute for Supply Management releases its latest Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, its monthly gauge of business activity in America’s service sector.

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, August 2, 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: Marriott International (MAR), Tyson Foods (TSN)
Tuesday: Walt Disney Co. (DIS)
Wednesday: American International Group (AIG), CVS Health (CVS)
Thursday: Booking Holdings (BKNG), Uber (UBER)

Source: Zacks, August 2, 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.apnews.com/e15c18b9dbc44efab400d2214e2cb6f9
https://www.wsj.com/market-data
https://quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jjkinahan/2019/07/31/feds-quarter-point-rate-cut-weak-global-growth-trade-tensions-muted-inflation-cited
https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/01/investing/asian-market-latest-trade-war/index.html
https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/02/economy/july-jobs-report/index.html
Fed Cuts Rates, Stocks Retreat2019-08-05T14:08:34-04:00