Benchmarks End Week Lower

The Weekly Update

Week of September 30th, 2019
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
Stocks retreated last week. Traders worried that the formal impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump might distract White House officials from their pursuit of a trade deal with China and shift the focus of Congress away from consideration of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Also, news broke Friday that the White House was considering restricting levels of U.S. investment in Chinese firms.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost less than the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500. Blue chips declined 0.43% week-over-week, while the S&P fell 1.01% and the Nasdaq dipped 2.19%. The MSCI EAFE index, tracking developed overseas stock markets, lost 0.89%. , ,

Incomes Grow, Spending Slows
Data released Friday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed household incomes rising 0.4% in August. Consumer spending improved just 0.1%, however; that was the smallest personal spending advance in six months.

Another BEA report noted that “real” consumer spending (that is, consumer spending adjusted for inflation) rose 4.6% during the second quarter. ,

A Slip in Consumer Confidence
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index fell to 125.1 for September. That compares to a reading of 134.2 in August. Lynn Franco, the CB’s director of economic indicators, wrote that “the escalation in trade and tariff tensions in late August appears to have rattled consumers. However, this pattern of uncertainty and volatility has persisted for much of the year and it appears confidence is plateauing.”

In contrast, the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index ended September at 93.2, an improvement from a final August mark of 89.8. ,

What’s Ahead
On October 10, the Social Security Administration is scheduled to announce the 2020 cost of living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security retirement benefits. Earlier this month, Bureau of Labor Statistics yearly inflation data pointed to a possible 2020 COLA in the range of 1.6%-1.7%.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: The Institute for Supply Management presents its September Purchasing Managers Index for the factory sector, a barometer of U.S. manufacturing health.
Wednesday: ADP, the payroll processor, releases its September National Employment Report.
Thursday: ISM’s non-manufacturing PMI arrives, reporting on the state of the U.S. service sector.
Friday: The Department of Labor’s September jobs report appears, and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gives a keynote speech at a Fed event in Washington D.C.

Source: Econoday, September 27, 2019
The Econoday economic calendar lists 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
Wednesday: Lennar (LEN), Paychex (PAYX)
Thursday: Constellation Brands (STZ), Costco (COST), PepsiCo (PEP)

Source: Zacks, September 27, 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.cnn.com/2019/09/27/investing/dow-stock-market-today-oil/index.html
https://www.wsj.com/market-data
https://quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/consumer-spending-barely-rises-in-august-as-americans-save-more-2019-09-27
https://www.investing.com/economic-calendar
https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerconfidence.cfm
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/consumer-sentiment-rebounds-in-september-but-americans-more-anxious-2019-09-27
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/3-events-could-push-social-100600194.html
Benchmarks End Week Lower2019-09-30T12:45:04-04:00

Getting Strategic with Social Security

Getting Strategic with Social Security

While social security should be just a portion of your overall retirement strategy, it’s an important part to get right. Grab a copy of our new resource that provides information on how the Social Security system works and strategies for getting the best benefit possible. http://bit.ly/2mbu0xF.

Getting Strategic with Social Security2019-09-25T13:45:38-04:00

Stocks Stage a Modest Retreat

The Weekly Update

Week of September 23, 2019
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
Investors reacted to two major news items last week, one far more of a surprise than the other. The Federal Reserve did indeed make a rate cut, matching Wall Street expectations. Drone strikes on two of the world’s largest oil fields brought a shock to the global oil market.

At Friday’s closing bell, stocks wound up with weekly losses after news broke that Chinese trade officials were heading home dowfrom the U.S. sooner than planned. The S&P 500 retreated 0.51% week-over-week; the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.05%, and the Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.72%. In developed foreign markets, shares tracked by the MSCI EAFE index fell 0.31%.

Another Quarter-Point Cut
Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee voted 7-3 to lower the benchmark interest rate by another 0.25%, to a range of 1.75% to 2.00%.

While traders looked for signs of future guidance on monetary policy, little emerged from the latest Fed policy statement and Fed chair Jerome Powell’s subsequent press conference. The updated dot-plot forecast showed that seven Fed officials anticipated at least one more cut before 2020, while ten did not.

Oil Prices Jump
As last week began, crude oil futures spiked in response to an attack that interrupted roughly 5% of the world’s oil production. The value of West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, spiked 14.7% in a day, starting at $8.05 and reaching $62.90 by Monday’s close.

This was oil’s biggest one-day leap since September 2008. Prices came down from there: Friday, WTI crude settled at $58.48.

Final Thought
So, what day last week saw the biggest loss or gain for stocks? Not Monday, when the market absorbed news of the Saudi oil field strike. Not Wednesday, when the Fed rate cut occurred. Instead, it was Friday, when the S&P 500 lost only 0.49%. It just goes to show that stocks may ride through seemingly market-moving events with little daily change.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: The Conference Board’s September Consumer Confidence Survey.
Wednesday: August new home sales data from the Census Bureau.
Thursday: The federal government’s third estimate of second-quarter economic growth.
Friday: August personal spending numbers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and September’s final University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, measuring consumer confidence levels.

Source: Econoday, September 20, 2019
The Econoday economic calendar lists 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: AutoZone (AZO), Cintas (CTAS), Nike (NKE)
Thursday: Accenture (ACN), Carnival (CCL), Micron Technology (MU)

Source: Zacks, September 20, 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.marketwatch.com/story/dow-skids-to-friday-lows-amid-reports-that-chinas-delegation-has-canceled-a-tariff-related-visit-2019-09-20
https://www.wsj.com/market-data
https://quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed/fed-cuts-rates-on-7-3-vote-gives-mixed-signals-on-next-move-idUSKBN1W32H7
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-oils-10-surge-after-saudi-attack-puts-it-on-track-for-the-biggest-daily-gain-in-312-years-2019-09-15
https://money.cnn.com/data/commodities/index.html
https://money.cnn.com/data/markets/sandp/
Stocks Stage a Modest Retreat2019-09-27T11:42:41-04:00

Dow Logs 8-Day Win Streak

The Weekly Update

Week of September 16, 2019
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
Stocks edged toward all-time peaks during a relatively calm week marked by easing trade tensions. Friday marked the eighth straight daily advance for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Small-cap shares, as tracked by the Russell 2000 index, rose 4.85% in five days. The S&P 500 improved 0.96% for the week, while the Dow and Nasdaq Composite respectively advanced 1.57% and 0.91%. Foreign shares added 1.22%, according to the MSCI EAFE index.

A Delay for Planned October Tariff Hikes
Existing tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports were slated to rise from 25% to 30% on October 1, but the White House decided Thursday to postpone the increase until October 15, in a “gesture of good will” honoring a request from Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

Bloomberg reported last week that some White House officials were considering an “interim” trade agreement that could pause some import taxes on Chinese products, so long as China agrees to buy specific U.S. crops and address intellectual property concerns.

More Risk Appetite
Last week’s conciliatory gestures between the U.S. and China influenced the bond market. By Friday’s close, the 10-year Treasury yield had climbed to 1.90%, up 0.35% for the week after a big selloff. (A rise in bond yields generally reflects a drop in bond prices.)

Inflation Pressure Increases
Yearly core inflation reached a 13-month peak of 2.4% in August, according to the federal government’s Consumer Price Index. Core inflation (which excludes volatile food and fuel costs) has now increased for three straight months.

What’s Next
This week, traders await the Federal Reserve’s latest policy announcement. Whether the Fed chooses cut short-term interest rates, any guidance in the statement will be highly scrutinized, as Wall Street is eager to discern any hints about whether the Fed is prepared to continue cutting short-term rates.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Wednesday: The Federal Reserve’s policy announcement is scheduled for 2:00pm EST, and Fed chair Jerome Powell is slated to address the media at a subsequent press conference.
Thursday: The National Association of Realtors issues its August existing home sales report.

Source: Econoday / Federal Reserve, September 13, 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: Adobe (ADBE), FedEx (FDX)
Wednesday: General Mills (GIS)
Thursday: Darden Restaurants (DRI)

Source: Zacks, September 13, 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/2019/09/13/stock-markets-dow-sp-500-close-to-all-time-highs-on-wall-street.html
https://money.cnn.com/data/markets/russell/
https://www.wsj.com/market-data
https://quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/stock-market-news-september-12-2019-121421711.html
https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=yield
https://www.investing.com/economic-calendar/core-cpi-736
Dow Logs 8-Day Win Streak2019-09-18T10:36:46-04:00

Boss Ladies of Chicago

Boss Ladies of Chicago

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Boss Ladies of Chicago2019-09-12T11:31:42-04:00

Dow, Nasdaq, S&P 500 Advance

The Weekly Update

Week of September 9, 2019
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
Stocks rose last week, with help from two developments: the announcement of further U.S.-China trade talks as well as August hiring and manufacturing numbers that seemed to bolster the argument for a rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

The broad U.S. equity market, as represented by the S&P 500, added 1.79% during a 4-day trading week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average improved 1.49%; the Nasdaq Composite, 1.76%. Foreign shares tracked by the MSCI EAFE index gained 1.69%.

Trade Talks Poised to Restart
Trade representatives from the U.S. and China are planning to head back to the negotiating table early next month. This news came Thursday from China’s ministry of commerce, which confirmed a verbal agreement among Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

Formal trade discussions between the U.S. and China last happened in July. China has said that it wants punitive U.S. tariffs on its products removed in the event of a deal.

Weaker Hiring & Manufacturing Data
Payrolls expanded with just 130,000 net new jobs in August, according to the Department of Labor; 25,000 were temp jobs linked to the federal government’s 2020 Census. The main jobless rate stayed at 3.7%. The U-6 rate, which measures both unemployment and underemployment, rose 0.2% to 7.2%.

A key gauge of U.S. factory activity, the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing purchasing manager index, fell to 49.1 in August. A number below 50 indicates factory sector contraction. Some investors took these hiring and manufacturing reports as hints of a slowing economy, one which the Federal Reserve could potentially try to stimulate with an interest rate cut.

What’s Ahead
August inflation data arrives this week, and if looks especially mild, it may amount to another suggestion that the Fed should ease. The European Central Bank concludes a meeting on Thursday, and Fed officials will certainly pay attention to its latest policy statement.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Thursday: A new Consumer Price Index, tracking both monthly and yearly inflation.
Friday: The August retail sales report from the Census Bureau.

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, September 6, 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
Thursday: Broadcom (AVGO), Kroger (KR)

Source: Zacks, September 6, 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.cbsnews.com/news/u-s-china-trade-talks-scheduled-for-october-beijing-says-2019-09-05/
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-06/u-s-payrolls-rise-130-000-boosted-by-25-000-for-census-count
https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/business-confidence
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/06/stocks-look-to-reclaim-their-all-time-highs-in-the-week-ahead.html
Dow, Nasdaq, S&P 500 Advance2019-09-09T13:58:08-04:00

Stocks Rally as August Ends

The Weekly Update

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

The Week on Wall Street
Fears of an impasse in the U.S.-China trade dispute lessened last week. While additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports were scheduled to take effect on September 1, China’s government communicated that it would refrain from taking retaliatory measures for the moment.

U.S. stock benchmarks advanced during the week. The S&P 500 rose 2.79% across five trading days, and the Nasdaq Composite and Dow Jones Industrial Average respectively gained 2.72% and 3.02%. The MSCI EAFE international index added just 0.25%.

Positive News in the Trade Dispute
Thursday, a spokesman for China’s commerce ministry said that negotiations could resume this month, and that discussions need to focus on “removing the new tariffs to prevent escalation.”

In addition, officials in Beijing indicated they would hold off on responding to the U.S. tariff hikes announced Friday by the White House.

Mixed Consumer Confidence Signals
The Conference Board’s monthly consumer confidence index was at 135.1 in August. Analysts polled by Reuters had projected a reading of 129.5. Consumers’ view of the present economic situation was the best since November 2000.

On the other hand, the University of Michigan’s monthly consumer sentiment index (based on a different collection of survey data) dropped 8.6 points during August to 89.8; that was its biggest monthly descent in nearly seven years. ,

What’s Next
After a pause for the Labor Day holiday, U.S. financial markets have an abbreviated trading week. The August jobs report may influence Friday’s Wall Street session, and any news pertaining to U.S.-China trade talks could also influence the markets.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: The Institute for Supply Management releases its August purchasing managers index (PMI) for the factory sector, assessing U.S. manufacturing activity.
Thursday: ISM presents its August PMI for the service sector, and payroll giant ADP publishes its latest private-sector employment snapshot.
Friday: The Department of Labor offers its August employment report.

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, August 30, 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
Wednesday: Palo Alto Networks (PANW), Slack Technologies (WORK)
Thursday: Lululemon Athletica (LULU)

Source: Zacks, August 30, 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.marketwatch.com/story/dow-futures-up-over-250-points-as-china-tamps-down-fears-of-further-trade-war-escalation-2019-08-29
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/27/us-consumer-confidence-august-2019-index-dips.html
http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu/
Stocks Rally as August Ends2019-09-03T12:36:13-04:00